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Comment What about "Census-ability"? (Score 1) 139

What about the effect the decrease in [male] population from the Civil War may have caused on the ability to perform the 1870 census? Fewer people in the work-force may have impacted the number of employees performing the census, which may have resulted in reduced ability to count "everyone" (any error almost certainly would show a reduction in the population).

Comment Re:Surprised (Score 1) 230

Has anyone considered this is what iCloud's been using since before Apple bought them? From what I read here, this smells to me like "leaked" MS propaganda, but so what? I got an iCloud account before then; it's designed to emulate the Windows UI, but there's more to this service than the GUI, or the platform. Apple also bought them for the rights to the name/domain "iCloud" itself. This is still a new acquisition in my book, and with MS so desperate for *any* sence of capable public deployment I think the article is racing to get us to draw *lots* of conclusions that are too early to move-forward with.

Submission + - Scientist in Saudi Arabia Make Rain 1

zentechno writes: Scientists in Saudi Arabia were able to produce negatively charged ions to attract, and send dust particles into the upper-atmosphere causing water suspended in the air to condense and fall back to earth. They did this 52 times, always when rain wasn't predicted (which it rarely is), so coincidence seems unlikely. It's been known for a long time that one of the reasons deserts are, well, deserts is not just the lack of rain, but more-so that the air carrying the water simply doesn't precipitate in those regions, carrying the water to areas where condensation happens naturally. This could mean an end to man drought areas, though note that the ionizers have to be placed in strategic locations to get the water to precipitate near where it's needed.

Comment Well, probably NOT a problem (Score 2, Interesting) 194

As has been said, it identifies the phone, and not the user (though a majority of the time it'll be the phone's owner). Many apps use the UUID as a unique ID (ahem) to store state, e.g. viewed pages, favorites, etc. Yes, this is also done with a log in, or it could be done transparently via the UUID; not sure there's a best/worse here. I know -- it's the transparency that's the controversy, but I'm a bit pressed to think of anything that's revealed that couldn't also be revealed with (or without) "vendor collusion" (e.g. an App-to-UUID database to see which apps are on the same phone -- oh, wait, Apple knows that).

Submission + - Secunia: Apple replaces Oracle in SW insecurity. (

zentechno writes: Ars Technica has a security story from Secunia saying Apple has replaced Oracle as producing the most insecure software. This is based on the company's reporting of the number of security flaws. It also does NOT take into account the severity, or "install-base" of the flaw. Microsoft retains its spot as number 3.

As a 'security hobbyist' I find stories like this a bit offensive, and wish there were better, or at least more consistent "standards" for analyzing things like software security, which is certainly more than a one-dimensional metric. It turns the public view of serious things like the actual security of their ever-growing on-line world into a who-can-find-the-best-way-to-weigh-data for marketing reasons — not that the point of the article is marketing, for anyone other than Secunia — but seriously, should something as serious as how protected we are be left to tag lines?

The Secunia PDF is their first ever half-year report.

Comment Geocentric?!? (Score 1) 2

"The world's largest Internet market" -- perhaps geographically, but more-so for China because China isolates itself, and because most people still think of the world geo-politically. The internet's financial picture is mostly based on social demographics, such as age-markets, and if China were treated that way then it's citizens may make up the largest portion of each social demographic, but there'd be more that could be done independent of geographic politics. Sending "explain yourself" letters works between governments, but not as directly for businesses (e.g. Google sending the same letter essentially makes no difference), so the decision from a business perspective is keep doing business in that environment, or stop.

Comment Re:Fix the headline? (Score 5, Informative) 420 --> Wireless --> Shop/Cell Phones --> PDAs and Smartphones --> iPhone 3G. Opening the (last) iPhone link in another tab prompts me for my zip, followed by "not available in your area", *then* refreshing the list of phones in the previous tab *removes* iPhone from the listing.

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"

Comment Re:Houston Has Similar Plans (Score 1) 456

I'd hazard a guess that the heating method would be forced hot air, so some technology could be thrown and filtering the air, though I'm not sure where they're going to put all this heating and filtering equipment, since it basically means being able to filter however much air the dome holds every day. If they put in some amazing electric public transport, then they could generate the extra electricity themselves, venting it directly out of the dome, and their downwind neighbors would have to deal with it.

Comment Mac's Typography; in short: transcribe your notes (Score 4, Interesting) 823

Firstly, the Mac has an incredibly rich simple character set. This is NOT coincidental, as Apple copied their editing capabilities from the publishing industry decades ago. E.g. in TextEdit type alt-b and you'll see a '' integral symbol (looks correct as I type it, hopefully the post wont change it). If you can learn these keyboard shortcuts (learning-curve arguments aside), you *may* be able to type these directly into your mac in class, BUT... If you take notes by hand, then transcribe them into your mac using these short cuts, or simply via the Mac's Font (e.g. TextEdit --> commant-T) and characters (e.g. via the gear drop-down in the Font) pane, you're doing yourself a much bigger favor.

Comment Re:Also... (Score 1) 433

So, this means they've clung to their dynamic library model to the point where they've invented a system to identify unique versions of these DLLs so each application can load multiple copies of the same DLL -- and *somehow* this is better than just using static linking? How, in practice (that is "in the real world) doesn't this completely marginalize the benefit of dynamic linking -- *especially* since they insist on using huge "dynamic" libraries? Fanatics, for sure.

Comment This is De-Authorizing, not De-Authenticating (Score 4, Interesting) 336

One other system used more prevalently is the simple locking screen saver. The idea is only the user, and sysadmin have the password to unlock the screen, and access through the system is prohibited until the screen saver password is entered. I'm not a fan of this, as generally screen-saver passwords are more-often assigned by the users themselves, and so are easier to guess than the back-end passwords which on occasion are set by the site, or by the sysadmin in the case of accessing corporate systems via corporate-policy. Now a minor, but important distinction. This isn't "un-authentication" this is de-authorizing the computer from which you're logged in accessing the place you're logged in to. You want to "authenticate a de-authorization" that is verify that you are the person removing access privileges. If the system doesn't require authentication to de-authorize access, then a denial of service attack is made (somewhat) trivial, and if more thought process went into understanding the difference I think more places would realize how serious the solution needs to be.

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