Simon Farnsworth

Simon Farnsworth

  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    You're talking about whitening transforms. These are techniques to "shuffle" the entropy in a key around so that you end up with white noise with the "same" entropy as the input vector. These (and other constructs, such as von Neumann's...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Just tried the same setup on an ads-heavy page that obliterates Chrome. It spends longer drawing 90W from the wall, settling after about 30 seconds instead of within 5 seconds of page load; it also settles to about 30W instead...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    The actual RSA algorithm (one of the simplest public key algorithms) is more complex than that. To summarize; you don't use the two large primes directly. Instead, they set the modulus that you're using for your arithmetic. The modulus is...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    You piqued my curiosity, so I thought I'd measure the power consumed by this laptop during web browsing (using a crap consumer-grade meter, so only reporting figures to 5W accuracy, as I don't trust the meter to actually meet its...
  • Commented on Attention Conservation Notice
    How would it be the publisher on the hook in the fraudulent case (which is the only one that matters here - there are long-established rules for dealing with the simple error case, where the publisher could end up on...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    I think this is the root of our disagreement - I don't think there are any circumstances where May would resign of her own accord, and given the ticking timebomb called Brexit, I don't see any circumstances in which the...
  • Commented on Attention Conservation Notice
    The big reason the card companies don't allow it any more (instead saying that you are obliged to ship goods once you've taken the money) is that they ended up on the hook for the fraud - the dodgy merchant...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    The trouble with both of those (which I expect to half-happen - I expect the crises you describe to occur, but I don't expect it to cost Ms May her Premiership) is that they don't fix the underlying problem of...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    If this were politics as usual, she'd be facing a leadership challenge by now; there was no need to call an election shortly after triggering Article 50, and she threw away both a majority in the Commons *and* a strong...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    It's not like the Conservative economic policies were any better - continuing austerity, pissing off our largest trading partners, annoying our other trade partners (who saw us as a good way to access the EU), and reducing police funding in...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Why is Kerberos never part of the answer? It's a good protocol for avoiding the use of passwords in protocols, instead exchanging authentication tickets over the network. What would you use instead for the purpose of identifying a remote user?...
  • Commented on The dog ate my homework
    In a parallel universe where a Twitter-obsessed property magnate turned reality TV star manages to win the US Presidential election, and where (in the UK), a badly considered referendum results in an authoritarian right-wing Prime Minister leading the UK's exit...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    One point on the "paid-for advertising is bad" meme; advertising itself splits into two categories: 1. Commercial provision of information to an audience that's already interested in the type of product you're selling. 2. Attempts to persuade someone to buy...
  • Commented on A reminder
    Same underlying bias, different expression. In this case, the assumption is that (for whatever reason), women can't be asked to balance more work with childcare - they "need" the childcare time - but men can, because you'll find a way...
  • Commented on A reminder
    Along similar lines, I've encountered a potential employer who shifted an interview from 0930 (gave me time to drop children at school etc before interview) to 0845 (would have to ask my wife to handle childcare) specifically because they discovered...
  • Commented on Children and War Toys and Violent Video Games and Action Stories
    When I had my first child, I was given two pieces of parenting advice that I've tried to keep to: 1) Only place limits on your child when they're not mature enough to handle the consequences of their actions. 2)...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Not all computers have power plugs. The one on my desk does, because it's a portable appliance in the electrical sense (I can, as a lone human being, conceivably unplug it and move it by myself). However, the ones in...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Putting it ever so slightly differently, naval engagements tend towards one of two forms: Standoffs. No-one actually shoots, and one side breaks when they start to get closer in All-out shooting match. This is sustained until one side or the...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    The flip side of the fuel synthesis question is "what raw materials are you working with, and how much does it cost you to make them into fuel?". If, for example, you're getting your power in the Nevada desert, you'll...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Depends crucially on the efficiency of your hydrocarbon synthesis process, given the available feedstocks. A big oil tanker consumes about 0.1% of its total cargo load per 1,000 km travelled, whereas a high-efficiency HVDC interconnect wastes about 3% of the...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    I was more reaching towards what causes a block that's been working well to fall apart, socially speaking. When everyone who can cope with communal life has a job (and thus can go to the pub for a beer, or...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    It depends very strongly on the design and running of the tower block. British ones were built as social housing, and generally didn't have enough communal areas, nor the staffing to keep the shared areas in useful state, nor "penthouse"...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Arbitrarily small amounts of energy, down to zero energy - the trick is to use entropy from another conserved quantity for computation; in the experimental case, spin angular momentum. There's no free lunch here - while the act of computation...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Then you run into the question of whether you should prefer a more efficient datacentre and energy transport between generation and the DC, or a less efficient DC and energy generation on site. If you cut the DC's energy needs...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    It was the southern end of Botswana - still sub-Saharan, but with some unique politics that come from never actually being under white rule....
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Nothing's broken. We previously believed that computation had to cost you thermal energy (in the form of heat dissipation); it's been demonstrated that, in fact, it's possible to "expend" other conserved quantities. The demonstration used spin angular momentum instead, showing...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Yeah - I'm describing the oral history of how things were pre-colonialization, so a very long time ago. Men accumulate wealth (herding, in that region), or provide luxuries. Women worry about survival, and do what it takes to ensure that...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    You need to understand the underlying social structure from pre-colonial to get a sense of why that was accepted. * Men don't do survival work unless they have to - men's work provides luxuries only - and are mostly expected...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    I think he's being more nuanced than that - renewable energy is going to be cheap enough that, in order to get you to pay the full cost of transport and metering, it's going to be "bundled" with your access...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Your comment intrigued me, so I went and ran the numbers. Assuming 100% efficient batteries, you still have the energy cost of running the trucking system (both the energy needed to maintain the roads, and the energy needed to run...
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