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Comment Re:Print up your own degree! (Score 1) 913

You're really funny. Brown ( has no University-wide requirements. We also have one of the best [13th according to some random website Google just showed me] CS departments in the US, and, as an Ivy, I somewhat suspect we're accredited. *cough* </snark>

I came here because I had roughly the same attitude as you, and, looking at the upmodded comments, I'm the only one who seems to be agreeing-ish. That said, most of the other upmodded comments make valid points. Let me elaborate:

Just because you don't have any requirements for gen-ed classes doesn't mean you want to take only CS classes. Almost everyone (all but 1 person I know) in the CS department who came in with our mentality has come to realize

  1. taking only CS-ey classes is FAR too much work (at least for Brown's CS classes.)
  2. unless every aspect of CS interests you, you'll run out. Don't OD on CS your first couple semesters.
  3. being here [Brown] gives you a unique opportunity to take, with little risk, anything that sounds interesting. Taking a general "how to write" class, feh. On the other hand, "Beyond Narnia: The Literature of C.S. Lewis", "Color Me Cool: A Survey of Contemporary Graphic Novels", "Human Sexuality in a Social Context": you're not going to get opportunities like that in your life ever again. Seriously.

Jon Sailor (

Comment Re:Anyone else think is was a .NET Fortran? (Score 1) 267

The name "functional" is a little confusing, since imperative languages are heavily based on functions as well, though they are not typically used in the same way.

Actually, imperative languages are typically based on procedures, not functions. The fact that such languages tend to call procedures "functions" is the confusing bit.

Comment xmonad (Score 1) 460

xmonad does what you want with desktops my default. Each of my monitors is bound to one specific workspace at a time; I can switch either monitor independently to any workspace, or manually stretch windows across the gap in between.

You can use xmonad as the window manager for GNOME.

It'll require a little bit of tweaking to make it look normal, though (you'll need to add window decorations, and configure it to make windows floating by default), or you could learn the keyboard shortcuts and use tiling, which sounds like it may work better with the way you want to think about screens anyway. (It sounds terrible, I know, but it's remarkably effective.)

Comment Re:Information Security Puffery (Score 1) 353

In fact, during the same time period a guy named Craig Gentry solved a major open crypto problem --- namely, how to compute on encrypted data --- and it got a fraction of the press coverage.

This was nothing fundamentally new; google "secure multiparty computation." Or, FTFA, Gentry's technique requires a "trillion times" more computational power than existing techniques.

Not that I think his work wasn't awesome-- I've already queued the paper in my reading list. All I'm claiming is that he didn't "solve a major open problem".

Comment Why has nobody suggested UDF? (Score 1) 484

FAT32: no POSIX metadata, 4GB file size limit is deadly. It's inefficient, and generally outdated and nasty.

NTFS: proprietary, sometimes complicated to get on Linux, hard to get on OSX.

ext*: bad-to-none support on non-Linux. IIRC, neither the Windows nor OSX drivers support journaling, for example.

HFS+: about the same boat as ext*, if you swap "Linux" and "OSX".

UDF: reasonably efficient, support for basic metadata (POSIX, though no EAs or forks), full support on Linux 2.6, OSX 10.5, Windows Vista/7, or (with third-party utils)

Comment Re:Another reason not to go Verizon! (Score 2, Interesting) 510

argue my way up the manager food chain

What you fail to understand is that the customer-accessible part of the manager food chain in the vast majority of companies is approximately two people tall: CSR and supervisor. (Depending on the company and nature of question, you may be able to get to tier2 support; hence the "approximately".)

You will have better luck...

  • Just calling back. Virgin Mobile's policies used to differ depending on which call center your call got routed to, but even in less extreme cases, some reps are nicer than others.
  • Turboing. In particular, some companies have started to have "Executive Support" hotlines (Sprint comes to mind.) Save these for a last resort. GetHuman is also useful.
  • Moving horizontally. Try web order support, activations, billing, customer service, terminations, etc.
  • Being nice instead of nasty.
  • Writing. Yes, seriously. I've resolved many issues just by sending the entity in question a nastygram. People still take snail-mail seriously.

Comment Re:Do you hear me now?? (Score 1) 510

Let me elaborate a bit on a previous comment.

T-Mobile's ETF is $200. They can't offer you a subsidy of significantly more than $200, because then it would be to your advantage to buy a phone, cancel your contract, and sell the phone for a profit. Contract lengths are two years. Amortized over 2 years, by taking the subsidy, you save $8._33. Meanwhile, T-Mobile's has two tiers of plans. One gives you the subsidy, has a contract, and is $10 more a month. Thus: if you have the money up-front, buy your phone, save $240 in the cost of a plan over two years, and save yourself from a contract.

Consider the Motorola Cliq. As a user, it's a good phone.

Comment Re:Rouge students and some more insight (Score 1) 300

but they haven't even bothered to make sure that only leaf certificates can be issued.

Nope; the CA only signed a what you call a leaf certificate, but the constraint which determines whether a key can is a branch ("CA = true") or leaf ("CA = false") was part of the cert that they were able to change. See the last paragraph of section 5.1


Submission + - RIAA Opposes 'Fair Use' Bill

fishyfool writes: "Link to story There's a new bill in congress aimed at preserving our fair use rights. It should come as no surprise that the RIAA is against it. this quoted; "The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act, introduced Tuesday by U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, and John Doolittle, a California Republican, would allow customers to circumvent digital copy restrictions in six limited areas when copyright owners' business models are not threatened, Boucher said in a press release. So-called fair use doctrine allows customers of copyright works to make limited numbers of copies, particularly for reviews, news reporting, teaching and research. The bill would allow exemptions to the anticircumvention restrictions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998. The bill is revamped from similar bills introduced in the last two sessions of Congress, Boucher said.""

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