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Comment Next request... (Score 1) 156

Next request...

DA: "We have the decryption keys; but that's not enough."
Person: "Why not?"
DA: "It's an asymmetric cypher."
Person: "So? You can decrypt it, and read what's there; what more do you want?"
DA: "We also need the encryption keys."
Person: "Why?"
DA: "With the decryption keys, we can only find what's there; we can't find what's not there... yet."

Comment Re:How were crimes solved before cell phones? (Score 1) 156

The council couldn't take them even when they were taking plastic in.

There's your problem: If you have "the council", then you live in the UK, where they lack both Euros and technology. The rest of us have no problems recycling plastic. We could teach you how, all it requires is some electricity... er... does the UK have electricity?

Yes, Google assures me that 31% of their electrical grid is powered by coal, and another 31% is powered by gas. The UK has electricity. They are in theory capable of recycling plastic.

But if you insist on having reusable shopping bags, I have some made from recycled material I would be willing to sell you.

Er... the recycled material is the kevlar racing sails from America's cup boats. Those fuckers aren't going to decompose for a good 5,000-10,000 years, unless you have lasers, or are willing to use extensive chemical processes. General Urko will probably make his battle armor out of them, after the apes take over the planet.

I make a point of mentioning that fact, any time someone says "Hey, cool bag! Where did you get it?". I especially like talking about it in front of the city officials who voted to ban plastic bags, as if I don't recognize them a couple people back in line. They get to just put up with me showing the idiocy of their policies to the interested person.

But that's better than plastic bags, which degrade quickly to useful materials when exposed to U.V., right?

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 Re:Better vs. Perfect (Score 1) 147

So we're throwing out the "better" in search for the "perfect?" Until tokens gain the ubiquity of phones (which seems unlikely), doing away with SMS-based two-factor authentication may just force many users back to the password-only era.

Two words: Google Authenticator.

There is no excuse for using SMS for 2FA when you have TOTP with a well-documented interoperability standard in RFC 6238.

Comment Re:Apple's on the wrong road (Score 2) 134

They occasionally undercut their competitors. The first flash iPods were cheaper than any other consumer device (including USB flash drives) with that much flash because Apple anticipated the demand and bought up an entire year's flash production capacity from several suppliers, getting a reasonable discount. No one else could get flash chips at close to the rate that Apple was paying for a while. More recently, they've used their cash reserves to build factories for suppliers in exchange for the first year of output from them. They end up paying less for chips than anyone else, and the suppliers then get to keep operating the factory and selling the output after Apple has moved on to wanting the newer process.

Comment Re:Side project... (Score 1) 343

I've never met a software developer, musician, or artist who didn't have a side project of some sort in addition to their "day job".

What?!?

You're putting software developer in the same category as musician or artist?!?

Which one of these things doesn't belong?

Writing software is considered a creative act.

I was one of the participants in the Department Of Labor study that decided that,

Jobs that are more than 50% creative are exempt from overtime pay requirements. Software engineering, unless you are job-shopping it as a contractor is considered more than 50% creative. Which means that if you are salaried, you don't get overtime pay.

Personally, when I write software, it's being processed in the part of my brain that processes music. Meaning I literally can't write software if there's music playing at the same time.

Submission + - Scribbles reveal Leonardo da Vinci ahead of his time, again

schwit1 writes: A historian doing a detailed study of Leonardo da Vinci’s research on the nature of friction has discovered his first notes on the subject, where da Vinci outlined the laws of friction two hundred years before they were finally documented by a French scientist.

“The sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493,” says Hutchings. “He knew that the force of friction acting between two sliding surfaces is proportional to the load pressing the surfaces together and that friction is independent of the apparent area of contact between the two surfaces. These are the ‘laws of friction’ that we nowadays usually credit to a French scientist, Guillaume Amontons, working 200 years later.”

It is an unfortunately thing that da Vinci lived and worked in Italy. Though this was where the Renaissance blossomed, it is also the place where some scientists at the time were persecuted for being too honest about their research. To protect himself da Vinci confined his scientific genius to his private diaries, written in a backwards script he created so that no one could easily understand them. Thus, while his brilliance as a painter was recognized in his lifetime and after, the discoveries he had made about engineering and science were lost for literally centuries.

Comment Re:because it's universal (Score 2) 526

FWIW, IBM actually PUBLISHED the SOURCE CODE for their IBM PC BIOS in an actual book!

Among the service documentation you could buy for the model 5150 was an IBM blue binder manual that had actual scans of MX-80 printouts of the BIOS in 7-dot matrix
print as well as the actual schematics of everything in the 5150 except the Power Supply, which they bought OEM from Astec at the time.

You had to buy the SAMS 3rd-party manual for the PC if you wanted power supply schematics.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 4, Insightful) 526

It's been decades I got plagued with loose mini-jack connectors. My 4s and iPad 1 still work perfectly, as do newer devices I have.

It's been a complain by Apple for long that MiniJack is too thick for the design goals they were targeting. Reusing BT or USB/C or Lightning connectors saves port space, allows for a second speaker (eg., in Apple's forthcoming design if we're to believe the hype). I think manufacturers will come to realize we still want jacks (I do as I dont want to have to charge my headphones) and provide combined-plug allowing charging while still having MiniJack headphones connected. If not, their loss.

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