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Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

I have the front panel of the VAX 11/780 used to render that scene hanging on my wall, but I got to Pixar after that project. This year and last I've contributed some designs that will fly on a FEMA satellite, and a long time ago did a little work to support the Biosciences mission on the shuttle.

Submission + - John Cook's experiment with online science trolls

Lasrick writes: John Cook is a researcher who writes about climate change denial at SkepticalScience, and he writes here about dealing with online trolls. Not only has he turned online trolling into a source of data collection, but has also come up with a very effective way to deal with trolling. Great read: 'When I turn the spotlight around to expose the techniques of science denial, the reaction can be intense.'

Comment Best drivers (Score 1) 35

Currently on linux, modern AMD cards have the "best-of-both-world" driver support.

Nvidia currently only produce closed-source drivers.
(Nouveau is exclusively the work of reverse engineering. Recieving nearly no support from Nvidia, except for the occasional patch to enable modesetting)

AMD provides a hybrid stack:
- they develop an kernel module (amdgpu) which is available up-stream. (i.e.: new versions of the kernel feature it out of the box).

above this, you have two choices:

- AMDGPU-Pro, the closed source drivers (which are the modern day equivalent of the user-space portion of Catalyst).
Nowadays, they seem pretty stable, run games without bugs, and because they require a module which is already in mainstream kernel, they do work even with the latest kernel update. (unlike nvidia's driver which need the nvidia.ko some adaptation in case of variation of the kernel API).

- RadeonSI, the opensource back-end to the Mesa driver.
These are devloped by people of whom some are on AMD's payroll (i.e.: AMD doesn't only provide information, but even salaries for opensource development)
With the Polaris, the driver was available at release day, and has a decent performance compared to the closed source one, and runs lots of games.

That's quite some achievement compared with the early "fglrx" that was buggy as hell, and that's quite some engagement for the opensource community.

As a Linux user, I actually like more the ADM driver situation.

Comment Re:A good reason not to use fingerprint unlocking (Score 1) 222

Is there any good reason to even use Touch ID or other fingerprint unlocks instead of just using a password or passcode?

Less chance of someone seeing you typing in your passcode.

When I used to use a passcode, I had the phone lock after an hour of not having been used. With the fingerprint sensor, it locks immediately when it goes to sleep, and then requires the code after not having been used for 8 hours. I'm comfortable with this, and consider it an improvement...

Comment Re:Also (Score 1) 125

My phone is encrypted and protected with a fairly strong password (12-digit PIN in my case). In addition, the mobile banking app is also protected with a different, fairly strong password. It has multi-factor authentication, but since that is a text to my phone that doesn't count here.

Since my life is on the phone and I use it to constantly stay in touch with family and friends, plus things like navigation, and quick look-ups of information, it is always on me. So much so that I'd sooner forget my wallet or car keys than my phone.

Finally, my phone is not only constantly backed up, it has, essentially, a GPS locator that I can use from my PC to to find it. Just enter "where's my android phone" into Google, assuming you're logged in to your Google account.

Comment SHA-1 probably... (Score 1) 30

You have to use a UNIQUE SALT for every password and then have a WORK FACTOR of some large number (use the bcrypt library).

Yup, a slow and hard to brute force hash would have been good (other example: PBKDF2, Scrypt and the latest competition winner Argon2)

Saddly people are still using SHA-1 as a password hash (a hash function designed purposedly to be fast and simple, which has the advantage of being able to be useful even on small hardware like smart cards - but is easy to brute force on dedicated hardware (GPU, FPGA) as proven by bitcoin's proof-of-work system, and it there a bad solution for *password* hashing)

Public key based authentication is even better, but I have it seen rarely used outside of the professional word.

Two-factor is another alternative, and at least that one is seeing come consumer usage...

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

Comment How about a pool of shared virtual SIM cards? (Score 5, Interesting) 107

I've thought about this a bit. Consider a consortium of like-minded privacy-concerned people that has a pool of virtual SIM cards (exceeding the user base by perhaps 2x or more). The group pays for the whole pool of SIM cards (end users pay the group, perhaps through bitcoin). Participating phones check out random virtual SIM cards (using some kind of cryptographic signature perhaps similar to blockchains to assure anonymity) periodically in order to ensure apparently random distribution. All transactions flow over a VPN to a common network and the phone itself is disabled (use VoIP). Web access runs through Privoxy or similar filtering to ensure there are no traceable bits. This should be fine until you start installing other apps.

This probably requires special hardware in order to "spoof" the consortium's SIM cards and swap between them with minimal downtime.

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