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Submission + - Keccak is the winner of NIST's SHA-3 competition (

fintler writes: "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is pleased to announce the selection of Keccak as the winner of the SHA-3 Cryptographic Hash Algorithm Competition and the new SHA-3 hash algorithm. Keccak was designed by a team of cryptographers from Belgium and Italy, they are:

* Guido Bertoni (Italy) of STMicroelectronics,
* Joan Daemen (Belgium) of STMicroelectronics,
* Michaël Peeters (Belgium) of NXP Semiconductors, and
* Gilles Van Assche (Belgium) of STMicroelectronics.

NIST formally announced the SHA-3 competition in 2007 with an open call for the submission of candidate hash algorithms, and received 64 submissions from cryptographers around the world. In an ongoing review process, including two open conferences, the cryptographic community provided an enormous amount of expert feedback, andNIST winnowed the original 64 candidates down to the five finalist candidates – BLAKE, Grøstl, JH, Keccak and Skein. These finalists were further reviewed in a third public conference in March 2012.

NIST chose Keccak over the four other excellent finalists for its elegant design, large security margin, good general performance, excellent efficiency in hardware implementations, and for its flexibility. Keccak uses a new “sponge construction” chaining mode, based on a fixed permutation, that can readily be adjusted to trade generic security strength for throughput, and can generate larger or smaller hash outputs as required. The Keccak designers have also defined a modified chaining mode for Keccak that provides authenticated encryption. Additionally, Keccak complements the existing SHA-2 family of hash algorithms well. NIST remains confident in the security of SHA-2 which is now widely implemented, and the SHA-2 hash algorithms will continue to be used for the foreseeable future, as indicated in the NIST hash policy statement. One benefit that Keccak offers as the SHA-3 winner is its difference in design and implementation properties from that of SHA-2. It seems very unlikely that a single new cryptanalytic attack or approach could threaten both algorithms. Similarly, the very different implementation properties of the two algorithms will allow future application and protocol designers greater flexibility infinding one of the two hash algorithms that fits well with their requirements. NIST thanks the many people in companies, universities, laboratories and organizations around the world that participated in and contributed to the SHA-3 competition, especially the submitters of all the candidate algorithms, and the many others who contributed expert cryptanalysis, and performance studies. NIST could not have done the competition without them.

A detailed report of the final round of the competition will be published in the near future. Information about the SHA-3 competition is available at:"


Submission + - Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 as 'Puzzling, Confusing' (

CWmike writes: "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has called Windows 8 'puzzling' and 'confusing initially,' but assured users that they would eventually learn to like the new OS. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. In a post to his personal blog on Tuesday — strangely titled in the third person as, 'Paul's take on Windows 8,' Allen said he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview — the public sneak peak Microsoft shipped May 31 — on both a traditional desktop as well as on a Samsung 700T tablet, designed for Windows 7. 'I did encounter some puzzling aspects of Windows 8,' Allen wrote, and said the dual, and dueling user interfaces (UIs), were confusing. 'The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application — such as Internet Explorer — can be opened and run simultaneously,' Allen said."

Submission + - SHA-3 winner announced (

An anonymous reader writes: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has just announced the winner of the SHA-3 competition: Keccak, created by Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen and Gilles Van Assche of STMicroelectronics and Michaël Peeters of NXP Semiconductors.

“Keccak has the added advantage of not being vulnerable in the same ways SHA-2 might be,” says NIST computer security expert Tim Polk. “An attack that could work on SHA-2 most likely would not work on Keccak because the two algorithms are designed so differently.”

For Joan Daemen it must be a "two in a row" feeling, since he also is one of the authors of AES.

Comment Several (Score 1) 867

Manual-no-distro (ref my signature) => SLS => Slackware => Manual (OK, some Slackware files &structures were left, but I compiled literally everything from the original sources (i.e. bypassing slack to get whatever version I wanted) and reconfigured just about everything) => Suse (very briefly) => OpenSuse.

In parallel also RedHat for many years, once I managed to have Linux accepted at the office. These days also some UI-less Ubuntu.

Comment Re:Cue the loonies -- uh no, not on Slashdot (Score 1) 398

OK, check out my UID for starters. Yes, that's a 3 digit number. And I could have had a 2 digit number if I'd have registered as soon as registering was an option, because I've been around here from before there were UIDs. With that fact out of the way, I'm definitely not in GW denial and never have been, because I'm in essence always taking the scientific approach to everything and the GW evidence has been around for a very long time.

Sorry to punch a hole in your scientifically unproven theory :-), but always willing to study the evidence for it if you can provide it after all.

Comment Re:Some people think bilingualism causes confusion (Score 4, Insightful) 221

Writing as a Belgian and thus intimately familiar with language wars: Over here the people who argue against multilingual education are indeed most often the "monolingual zealot (typically of the borderline racist kind)" type. Since they don't want to be labeled as such, they will typically use the "it confuses the child" argument, ideally using a young child that uses two languages in a single sentence as evidence (as if uni-lingual young children never make grammar mistakes). The "it's confusing" claim has the additional benefit that it can be used to convince non-racists who don't know any better. Never mind that the whole argument has been scientifically disproved a ton of times. Never mind even that every single multilingual child/adult walking the place is a perfect example that no harm was done. (Well, of course from the point of view of the zealots, harm was done. But I refuse make them my to reference point.)

Comment Re:Multiculturalism (Score 4, Insightful) 221

I'm almost 50 in a highly technical field, but I can assure you that mastering 4 languages (Dutch, English, French, German - all reasonably fluently) is an enormous help. I have team members that are native French speakers with a limited knowledge of English. I have team members who are native German speakers and are quite fluent in English, but who still communicate faster in German. For me as the team leader it helps enormously that I can switch on the fly.

Much more important, however, even as a "technical manager" I constantly have to deal with suppliers & potential customers from all over the world. Being able to switch languages to their native one or at least to their second best one opens an enormous amount of doors. Germany is a particularly good example of this. Especially in southern Germany practical knowledge of English is limited - even amongst engineers. They are always very pleasantly surprised when they discover that a foreigner speaks German fluently enough to do business with them. And if "doing business" sounds not technical enough, the same applies to our field application engineers. As a worldwide company, we have field application engineers "everywhere", but we cannot afford to have them in every country. So we require them to be multilingual so they can cover a wider area, travel with ease, and deal with people who master English less than perfectly.

You say "how will German help me in Japan, China, Mexico, Spain, Canada, France, Norway, Iceland, Russia, Sweden or any other place?" And indeed, German will not help you in Japan. But it will help you in many European countries. French and Spanish will help you in a very large part of the world. Think of Africa & South America, for instance.

Finally, the whole point of the reported research is that having grown up in a multilingual environment helps in other ways than just knowing languages.I fully understand that this may be hard to believe for people who didn't have that luck - a bit like inhabitants of flatland can't imagine the third dimension. But that doesn't make it untrue.

Comment Never, but I have been "sold" instead (Score 1) 250

I voted never, because I indeed never switched myself. But my really original one (that I "joined" around 1994) was acquired by my current one around 1999. I still feel I can claim "never", because my account name actually still is following the naming scheme of my very first ISP (first 3 letters from their name + a number). Plus I still have an e-mail alias (actually my main address for private use) that is actually not allowed according to the scheme of both my very first ISP and the current company. That alias was specially created for me be a former fellow CS student who worked as a security consultant for them at the time when I joined. They never dared to withdraw it afterwards - probably hoping I'd be long gone by now anyway. Not so... :-)

Comment Re:They ARE right: PM != leadership (Score 1) 171

I couldn't agree more!

But I have to add one comment based on my own experience: the "people are referred to as resources" yard stick depends on the corporate culture, and cannot always be used to separate good managers/leaders from bad ones. I'm a firm believer in "people are not resources" and "you manage things, but you lead people". And I'm even on record for saying to my team members when I joined my current employer that "if you ever hear me refer to people as resources, shoot me" (because I already knew that this is part of our corporate terminology). But the "people are resources" is so deeply entrenched in this 25000+ people company that everyone ends up doing it anyway, if only because otherwise some people simply don't even understand what one is trying to say. :-( Yes, I still hate it and I still want to change it, and I say so whenever I get an opportunity. But to really change this, I'd have to be 2 or better 3 stages higher up in the hierarchy and it would probably take about 10 to 15 years to sink in everywhere in the organization. More likely I'd need to be 4 levels higher up (which is CEO level) and it would still take 5 to 10 years.

Comment Re:Thanks! (Score 1) 1521

Similar situation here. I've had /. set up as my home page at work and at home for as long as I've been around on the site, which goes back to before the days of UIDs. I finally stopped being active in January'11 because the latest redesign made the site unbearable for me to use (and even plain technically impossible on one of my computers). I guess I also somehow stuck to the Slashdot of the past, even if maybe not in the same way a Rob.

So today I'm making an exception, loging in for the first time since January just to say thanks to Rob for all the work he did and all the joy I got out of it. Especially in the past. ;-)

Comment Farewell (Score 0) 2254

Dear /.,

I've tried. As your logs will show, I've really have tried the redesign. But there are so many broken bits - ranging from design errors to an obvious lack of testing and debugging - and other usability frustrations that I just can't stand it anymore.

I've had /. set up as my home page at work and at home for as long as I've been around on the site. And that goes back to before the days of UIDs. I even held out through many years of not being allowed to moderate despite excellent karma, just because once I'd disagreed with one of the editors. But as of today, I'm voting with my mouse buttons and switching away.

Maybe I'll pass by in a few weeks or months to see whether you've become usable and again. But until then: Sayonara!

No more regards,


Comment Re:Folded stories (Score 1) 2254

Indeed. But it's worse: if you dig around, you'll find options that suggest that they fix this. Except that they don't

The latter problem is present all over. So what does it actually *mean* disabling the section menu? What section menu? For sure it's not the section lookalike menu on the left, because it remains visible no matter what I do. So what is is? Let's click on the question mark to find out. ... Ooooh great: Now I'm told that if I tickmark "section menu", I will get the section menu.Surprise! But WHAT IS this mysterious section menu? WHERE IS IT? WHY does this section lookalike menu not listen when I try to tell it to get lost?

Summary: TOTALLY HORRIBLE implementation of options setting, options using, ,,,

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