8 volumes, hardcover, 21 x 27 cm, ca. 800 pages each.
In summer 2012 the social network LinkedIn.com got hacked and lost its whole user database. A few months later parts of the decrypted password list surfaced on the Internet. These eight volumes contain 4.7 million LinkedIn clear text user passwords printed in alphabetical order. Visitors are invited to look up their own password.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
The heavy drinkers showed greatly diminished vaccine responses compared with the control group of monkeys who drank the sugar water. But the more surprising finding: the moderate-drinking monkeys displayed enhanced responses to the vaccine compared to the control group. Moderate drinking bolstered their bodies' immune systems.
"It seems that some of the benefits that we know of from moderate drinking might be related in some way to our immune system being boosted by that alcohol consumption," said Kathy Grant, Ph.D., senior author on the paper, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at OHSU and a senior scientist at the ONPRC.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
A couple of policy changes recently, one that supposedly enhances privacy and another that could reduce it.
Google has been implementing perfect forward secrecy since 2011
and other major Internet players, such as Facebook and Twitter, have started using perfect forward secrecy in the wake of the Snowden revelations that the NSA has been collecting Internet traffic to these companies.
So what is perfect forward secrecy? Not an easy question to find the answer to on the Internet. The wikipedia article
says little. So I asked a couple of our security folks in the department.
The rough idea: We want to communicate several rounds of messages but if the current keys are compromised they can't be used to decrypt earlier messages. A couple of immediate thoughts: This isn't "perfect", you can still discover the earlier messages by breaking the encryption (say if P = NP). Also this isn't that exciting a problem from a theoretical perspective, you can just use a standard public-key protocol and start with fresh private and public keys each round and deleting the old ones. But that isn't very efficient.
One approach to PFS: Have a standard public/private key scheme to set up a session key (used in an AES or similar private key protocol) then run separate Diffie-Hellman schemes for each message. In RSA if you have the factors for N you can decrypt, where in Diffie-Hellman you can keep the same group without compromising security.
Chris Peikert calls this a poor-man's perfect forward security and there are better schemes though a bit more complicated.
On a different front, Google recently announced
that images by default would be displayed in gmail messages. The images would not come directly from the sender, which could contain malware that avoids Google's filters, but rather from Google's servers after being downloaded and cleansed by Google.
Downloading an image often tells the sender that the image was read, typically with some id encoded in the filename. So once again we give up privacy for convenience. At least Google gives us the option to turn off the automated displaying.
If you want to see a bunch of butthurt Libertarians, read the comments:
Like all currency systems, Bitcoin comes with an implicit political agenda attached. Decisions we take about how to manage money, taxation, and the economy have consequences: by its consequences you may judge a finance system. Our current global system is pretty crap, but I submit that Bitcoin is worst. [...]
It's also inherently damaging to the fabric of civil society. You think our wonderful investment bankers aren't paying their fair share of taxes? Bitcoin is pretty much designed for tax evasion. Moreover, The Gini coefficient of the Bitcoin economy is ghastly, and getting worse, to an extent that makes a sub-Saharan African kleptocracy look like a socialist utopia, and the "if this goes on" linear extrapolations imply that BtC will badly damage stable governance, not to mention redistributive taxation systems and social security/pension nets if its value continues to soar (as it seems designed to do due to its deflationary properties).
Also, this: @cstross: "Hacker News as a news site clearly lies somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum."
If you'll excuse me, I'll be on a leaky barge counting my bullets.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
Dear Lazyweb, how do I fake a click on this dingus using Applescript or Automator?
When I try to record an Automator action for it, it records "Click the "<fill in title>" button" and doesn't work.
(That button is the undocumented and apparently nameless magic thingy that makes Up Next use the selected playlist as its random source, which is the closest you can get to reproducing iTunes DJ in iTunes 11 -- but pretty much if you ever click anywhere else ever, it forgets about it. So I want to write a script to put it back to normal more quickly.)
Mirrored from jwz.org.
Severed hand attached to man's ankle.
'I was just shocked and frozen at the spot, until co-workers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital,' he said of the accident, which took place last month in Changde, south-central China.
After being taken to a larger hospital in the region seven hours after the incident, doctors said they could re-attach the hand but not straightaway.
In order to stop the severed hand from dying, they grafted it to Mr Xiao's ankle, where it remained for a month before he had recovered from other injuries sustained in the accident to undergo re-attachment surgery.
Doctors are now hopeful that he will regain full function of his hand.
Previously, previously, previously.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
Never kiss a Stormtrooper.
The woman who kissed a riot policeman during protests near the northern Italian city of Turin in November has been detained for "sexual violence" and "offence to a public official".
Franco Maccari, the Secretary General of Coisp, the Italian police officers' union, said during an interview on Radio24 that he had pressed charges against the demonstrator who kissed an officer's helmet. The kiss took place during a protest march against controversial plans for a new high-speed TAV train line.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
CREATE ASYMMETRY - USE TONAL INVERSE - CONCEAL THE NOSE BRIDGE
Next year the Janus program, an initiative run by the director of national intelligence, will begin to collect photographs of people's faces from social media websites and public video feeds. Machines will then use powerful algorithms to pair those photos with existing biometric profiles. [...]
My project, CV Dazzle, explores how fashion can be used as camouflage from face-detection technology, the first step in automated face recognition. The name is derived from a type of World War I naval camouflage called Dazzle, which used cubist-inspired designs to break apart the visual continuity of a battleship and conceal its orientation and size. Likewise, CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs to break apart the continuity of a face. Since facial-recognition algorithms rely on the identification and spatial relationship of key facial features, like symmetry and tonal contours, one can block detection by creating an "anti-face."
(Possibly I should add CREATE ASYMMETRY - USE TONAL INVERSE - CONCEAL THE NOSE BRIDGE to my ATMs.)
Mirrored from jwz.org.
(Jon Katz wanted me to mention this: A wise man once noted that there are fewer quantum algorithms than thereare quantum-algorithms textbooks! But there is still a lot of interest inquantum computation from cademia,government, industry, and the broader public. Univ of MD and NIST have recently formed a
center devoted to quantum computing
and involving faculty and researchers from both physics and computer science communities. As part of this they are advertising a posdoctoral fellowship.)
A long time ago people in theory did a lot of work on parallel computing before
there were many parallel computers build. Today people are doing a lot of work on quantum computing before quantum computers are build. What is similar and different here?
- When parallel computers were actually built they were not like PRAM's. Many of the models assumed shared memory which wasn't true. Even so, did the work on PRAMS and other models help the practioners? Directly? Indirectly?
- Are the models of quantum computing studied now helping the practioners? Is the development of quantum computers at too early a stage to even ask this question?
- Even if no quantum computers are ever built the study has been a sucess since some classical problems have been solved using quantum techniques (and I think this will happen more and more). And some interesting math has come out of it. And physicists and others have learned more about quantum mechanics from quantum computing. Could the same thing have been said for parallelism- even if parallel computers had not been built would the study of them have still be useful?
- One big difference- many problems can be parallelized in some form and solved that way (and some cannot be solved any other way). A wise man named Jon Katz referred above to a wise man named Ronald de Wolf who wrote, in a review of 3 books on quanum computing:
A quick survey on amazon.com shows that the number of books on quantum computing (at least 20) is more than 10 times as high as the number of quantum algorithms (2: Shor's and Grover's). (Footnote: Note that this review was written in 2003 so this statement is no longer true.)
While I think he meant there are more quantum algorithms (quantum random walks, quantum simulations, quantum selection-type problems?, quantum number-theory-type-problems?) now than in 2003, I will note that there are also more books on quantum computing now than then- on a cursory look at amazon I think I counted 30, but with the uncertainly principle, its hard to tell. The point is, aside from factoring I doubt that quantum computers, if they are build, will be able to do much more. (Every year my students are surprised to find out that quantum computers probably CANNOT solve SAT in poly time.)
ADDED LATER: Comment 6 has a pointer to a survey of MANY quantum algorithms for MANY algebraic problems, and also a pointer to a more recent article on quantum algorithms. I will be delighted if the number of quantum algorithms now exceeds the number of books on quantum computing.
Here in Canada, a hot political issue (other than disgust with Rob Ford) is the recent plan by Canada Post to stop home delivery in cities. My initial reaction was, “Wow, I wish we could get that in the USA!” but it turns out all they are doing is making people go to neighbourhood mailboxes to get their mail. For many years, people in new developments have had to do this — they install a big giant mailbox out on the street, and you get a key to get your mail. You normally don’t walk further than the end of your block. However, this will save a lot of work — and eliminate a lot of jobs, which also has people upset.
But let me go back to my original reaction — I want to see home letter delivery abolished.
Why? All I, and most other people get by mail are:
- Junk mail (the vast bulk of the mail.)
- One or two magazines
- Bills and communications from companies that refuse to switch to all-electronic communication
- Official notices (from governments who refuse to switch to all-electronic communication)
- Cheques from companies who refuse to do direct deposit (see note below.)
- Parcels (lots of these, though many more from UPS/Fedex/etc.)
- A tiny and dwindling number of personal cards and letters. Perhaps 2-3 personal xmas cards.
The abolition of general mail delivery would force all those parties who refuse to do electronic communication to switch to it. The concept of an official e-mail address would arise. We would also need to see a better e-cheque service, something priced like a cheque (ie. not paypal which takes 2% or more) and as easy to use (ACH is not there yet.) This would force it into existing if you could not mail a cheque.
A replacement for registered mail would need to arise — that is what is needed for legal service. Putting that into e-mail is doable though challenging, as it requires adding money to e-mail, because you want people to have to pay to use it so that you don’t get it all the time.
And of course, parcel service would continue. And people who really want to send a letter could send it via parcel service, but not for sub-dollar first class mail prices.
Magazines would have to go all-electronic. Some may not see the world ready for that, but I think the time is very near. Today, one can make cheap large tablets in the 14 to 17 inch size that would be great for magazines. They would be too heavy to handhold (though possibly if they had no batteries and used a small cord they could be light enough for that) but they could easily be held on laps and tables and replace the magazine.
Few would mourn the death of junk mail, though it might lead to more spam in e-mail boxes until that’s under control. Senders of junk mail (notably politicians) might mourn it.
So the only sad thing would be the loss of the dwindling supply of personal letters. People getting married could use the parcel companies or go electronic. Thank-you notes would go electronic, making Miss Manners spin in her grave, but spin she eventually will. Truth is, the parcel companies would probably start up a basic letter service priced higher than 1st class mail but less than their most basic parcel. The more addresses you can share the cost of a truck on, the better — until the deliverbots arrive, at least. This is not easy, though. The postal service got to use the economies of delivering several letters a day to your house, and this could pay for a person to walk the street with a bag full, while the parcel companies use trucks.
We all know this day is coming. The question is, can we do better if we force it, and shut down letter delivery sooner rather than later?
She sneezes glitter, pees lemonade, and shoots pink fire.
Kat and Jesse built in a small air compressor to activate the "glitter sneeze." It runs through a gravity-fed glitter containment unit, and is controlled from an arduino switch that is activated by a button on the base of the sculpture.
Beverages are run by a CO2 pressurized corny keg, also in the base, with a beverage tap at the crotch. She was originally supposed to pee champagne, but Vermont liquor laws prohibit anyone who is not a licensed bartender from serving alcohol on public land, and we weren't able to get the unicorn licensed in time. Plus, we figured that with lemonade, the kids could also partake -- and have something to talk about with their therapists later.
Katy Perry's horn is hammered copper with a flame-cut finial. The fire effect is an aerosolized methanol spray (which creates the pink color and liquid-looking flare), with a propane pilot.
Under supervision, wedding guests could activate the flare via a button on the back of the base. When timed correctly, she shot fire and sneezed glitter at the same time.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
This is why we can't have nice cities.
Imagine, just for a moment, that you live in an apartment building that offers a special lunch deal. Every morning the landlords put out a tray of 100 sandwiches for their tenants. They're darn good sandwiches -- each one costs $10 to make. Yet the landlords offer a discount, so that hungry tenants can buy a sandwich for just $3. If you don't want a sandwich, you don't pay anything. But if you do want a sandwich, you get a bargain! Neat, right? [...]
The economics of this crazy system quickly spiral out of control. The landlords lose $7 per day on each of the 60 sandwiches they sell. And they also lose $10 on each of the 40 sandwiches that go to waste. That adds up to $820 in losses on sandwiches each day. Spreading those losses across 80 tenants, the building will need to recoup $300 per month from each tenant just to break even on its below-cost sandwich giveaway. [...]
In fact, she finds, most local governments require building owners to prepare expensive sandwiches for their tenants. Some local rules only call for two sandwiches for every three tenants, others require one sandwich per tenant, and some actually require two sandwiches for every tenant. Moving to a different building could mean paying a little more than $10 a day for unwanted sandwiches, or maybe a little less. But no matter where you live, you'll still pay for sandwiches you don't eat.
Previously, previously, previously, previously.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
I’m shipping out today to sunny Rio de Janiero, where I’ll be giving a weeklong course about BosonSampling, at the invitation of Ernesto Galvão. Then it’s on to Pennsylvania (where I’ll celebrate Christmas Eve with old family friends), Israel (where I’ll drop off Dana and Lily with Dana’s family in Tel Aviv, then lecture at the Jerusalem Winter School in Theoretical Physics), Puerto Rico (where I’ll speak at the FQXi conference on Physics of Information), back to Israel, and then New York before returning to Boston at the beginning of February. Given this travel schedule, it’s possible that blogging will be even lighter than usual for the next month and a half (or not—we’ll see).
In the meantime, however, I’ve got the equivalent of at least five new blog posts to tide over Shtetl-Optimized fans. Luke Muehlhauser, the Executive Director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (formerly the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence), did an in-depth interview with me about “philosophical progress,” in which he prodded me to expand on certain comments in Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity and The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine. Here are (abridged versions of) Luke’s five questions:
1. Why are you so interested in philosophy? And what is the social value of philosophy, from your perspective?
2. What are some of your favorite examples of illuminating Q-primes [i.e., scientifically-addressable pieces of big philosophical questions] that were solved within your own field, theoretical computer science?
3. Do you wish philosophy-the-field would be reformed in certain ways? Would you like to see more crosstalk between disciplines about philosophical issues? Do you think that, as Clark Glymour suggested, philosophy departments should be defunded unless they produce work that is directly useful to other fields … ?
4. Suppose a mathematically and analytically skilled student wanted to make progress, in roughly the way you describe, on the Big Questions of philosophy. What would you recommend they study? What should they read to be inspired? What skills should they develop? Where should they go to study?
5. Which object-level thinking tactics … do you use in your own theoretical (especially philosophical) research? Are there tactics you suspect might be helpful, which you haven’t yet used much yourself?
For the answers—or at least my answers—click here!
PS. In case you missed it before, Quantum Computing Since Democritus was chosen by Scientific American blogger Jennifer Ouellette (via the “Time Lord,” Sean Carroll) as the top physics book of 2013. Woohoo!!
It's Actually Kind Of Heartbreaking To Hear Robot Telemarketer Insist She's A Real Person
When she's got nothing good to say or is accused of being artificially intelligent, she asks if you can hear her, and ponders whether the connection could be bad, as heard in recordings made by other Time staffers to the same number.
One of those callers keeps asking, "Are you a robot? Can you just say, 'I'm not a robot?' " to which she stiffly replies, "I am a real person." It's kind of heartbreaking to listen to, actually. She even insists she has a name, just like you and me and Siri.
Previously, previously, previously.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
This is a public service announcement. Mario Bava's 1968 masterpiece Danger: Diabolik
is available in its entirety on the Tube of Yous. If this is not how you are spending your next one hundred minutes, then I'm afraid I just can't help you.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
Thu, Dec. 12th, 2013, 03:08 pm
jwz: recent movies
It's been more than a year since the last time
I posted a bunch of movie reviews. I haven't been bothering because I've seen a whole lot of crap. For example, here's the review I would have posted last night:
Kick Ass 2: Wow, what a worthless piece of shit. Why did I waste my time on that?
So, yeah, in the last 13 months, I believe I've watched 97 movies, so imagine about 87 more reviews almost exactly like the one above.
Most of those 97 movies ranged between "utterly forgettable" (Percy Instruments: Volume 1: The Beginnining or whatever this week's cookie-cutter Teen Paranormal Romance is) and "so insultingly stupid that they made me angry" (Elysium, Cloud Atlas), or, "wearing out my fast-forward button" (The Hobbit, which I watched all 3 hours of in 15 minutes, like this: Zipzipzip, "Wow, they're still in the house." Zipzipzip "Still in the house." Zipzipzip "Eating, still in the house." Zipzipzip "Singing, still in the house." Zipzipzip "Does that guy really have poop on his head?" Zipzipzip "Oooh, terrible CGI goblins." Zipzipzip, "Wait, it's over?")
Anyway, these didn't suck, in reverse chronological order:
Red 2: Not nearly as good as the first one, but still fun.
Curse of Chucky: I was really surprised, but this is actually a decent little horror movie. And it's a horror movie, not a comedy! I'm one of the few people who actually liked Bride of Chucky, but this one is much more like the first Child's Play than the others.
Fright Night 2: Ok, I was really confused by this, because I had no idea that there had been a remake of Fright Night a few years ago, so I thought this was actually a sequel to the 80s version of Fright Night, or I wouldn't have bothered. And as a sequel to that one, it makes no goddamned sense. I mean, it's been years since I saw that one, so I wasn't sure at first, but no. Still, as dumb vampire hunting movies with boobies go, it's not so bad. Also I just realized that I don't remember the difference between Fright Night and Vamp, because I thought Grace Jones painted by Keith Haring was in Fright Night. No wonder it didn't make any sense.
Pacific Rim: Not bad. Everyone I know was like, "OMG amazeballs!!111" and it's not all that, but it was good fun. Certainly better than Robot Jox. Even so, I think the only thing I can remember about it are the Ron Perlman scenes, and he was in the movie for like 3 minutes. Quality 3 minutes though.
Europa Report: This is really solid hard sci-fi! It's a little slow, but I was not insulted by it, and that's so rare for a space movie. I was afraid it was going to be a piece of shit like Apollo 18. It was not.
The Numbers Station: The plot is John Cusack Shoots His Way Out Of A Room, and I'm ok with that. But the surprising thing here is that there is a Crypto MacGuffin and they actually don't screw that part up. (Also I'm a sucker for anything to do with numbers stations.)
The To Do List: It's a period piece, really. It's set in the early 90s and Aubrey Plaza is a teen lifeguard trying to lose her virginity to the jock. It's half "that movie" and half "parody of that movie".
The Devil's Rock: It's short, but it's a solid little flick about a demonic infestation during WW2. Very, very good practical effects.
Seeking a Friend for The End of The World: This is great. It reminded me a bit of Wristcutters: A Love Story. Which you should also see.
Safety Not Guaranteed: Also great, and in kind of a similar way. Spoiler: contains no actual time travel. This is good news.
Butter: It's about a butter-carving competition between a sociopathic homemaker, a stripper and an orphan girl. I really did not expect this to be as funny as it is.
Mirrored from jwz.org.
It’s the bane of the wanderer. A large fraction of open Wifi access points don’t connect you to the internet, but instead want you to login somehow. They do this by redirecting (hijacking) any attempt to fetch a web page to a login or terms page, where you either have to enter credentials, or just click to say you agree to the terms of service. A few make you watch an ad. It’s sometimes called a captive portal.
I’m going to contend that these hijack screens are breaking a lot of things, and probably not doing anybody — including portal owners — any good.
The terms of service generally get you to declare you will be a good actor. You won’t spam or do anything illegal. You won’t download pirated content or join torrents of such content. You waive rights to sue the portal. Sometimes you have to pay money or show you are a hotel guest or have an access card.
These screens are a huge inconvenience, and often worse than that. All sorts of things go wrong when they are in place:
- Until you do the login with the browser, your other apps, like e-Mail, don’t work though it looks like internet is there.
- With devices that don’t have keyboards, like Google Glass, you can’t use the network at all!
- Some redirect you from the link you wanted, and don’t pass you on to that link when you are logged in, you have to type it in again.
- If you go to a secure URL (https) some of them attempt an insecure redirect and cause browser security warnings. They look like a hijack because they are a hijack! This trains people to be more tolerant of browser security warnings, and breaks tools that try to improve your security and stop more malicious hijacks properly.
- Some for “security” block the remembering of credentials, making it hard to login every time.
- Really bad ones time-out quickly, and make you repeat the login process every time you suspend your laptop, and worse, every time you turn off and turn on your phone — making the network almost unusable. Almost all require re-login one or two times a day — still very annoying.
- Every so often the login systems are broken on mobile browsers, locking out those devices.
A lot of headaches. And one can perhaps understand the need for this when you must pay for the network or only authorized users are allowed in, though WPA passwords are much better for that because they need only one-time setup and also offer security on the wireless connection.
With all this pain, the question the world needs to answer is, “is it worth it?” What is the value of this hijack and “I agree” terms page? Nobody reads the terms, and people who connect, and would ignore the terms to spam or do other bad things, will happily agree to them and ignore them, and they will do so anonymously leaving no way to punish them for violating the terms. This is not to say that certain entities have not desired to actually find users of open Wifi networks and try to enforce terms on them, but this is extremely rare and almost certainly not desirable to most access point operators.
There are thus just a few remaining purposes for the hijack screen.
If you want to charge money, you might need a login screen. I don’t deny the right of a provider to ask for money, but there are different ways to do it. There are a variety of aggregator networks (Such as Boingo and FON) which will handle billing. They have already installed an app on the user’s device which allows it to authenticate and handle billing (mostly) seamlessly for the user. The very common skype application is one of these, and people pay from their skype credit accounts. Of course, you may not like Skype’s rates or the cut it takes, so this may not be enough.
You might also want to consider why you are charging the money. If bandwidth is very expensive, I can see it, but it’s not been uncommon to find some sites like cafes saying they charge — I kid you not — because the whole system including the charging gateway — is expensive to run. A cheap free gateway would have been much more affordable. Many operators decide that it’s worth it to offer it free, since it draws people in to restaurants, cafes and hotels. Cheap hotels usually give free Wifi — only expensive hotels put on fat charges.
It could be that your real goal is just to get attention…
Letting them know who provided the Wifi
I’ve seen a number of gateways that primarily seem to exist just to let you know who provided the gateway. Very rarely (I’ve mostly seen this at airports) they will make you watch a short ad to get your free access. They break a lot of stuff to do this. The SSID name is another way to tell them, though of course it’s not nearly as satisfactory.
Reducing the amount of usage
There is a risk that fully open networks will get overused by guests, and often thanklessly, too. You may be afraid your neighbours will realize they don’t need to buy internet at all, and can just use your open network. Here, making it hard to use and broken is a feature, not a bug. If you have to go through the hijack every so often it’s a minor burden to cafe patrons but a bigger annoyance to overusing neighbours. Those neighbours can play tricks, like using programs that do automatic processing of hijack gateways, but not too many do. They can also change their MAC addresses to get past restrictions based on that. You can do MAC limiting without a hijack screen, and it’s a great way to do it, possibly saving the hijack for after they reach the limit, not using it at the start. Clever abusers can change their MACs, though again most people don’t.
Covering your ass
The large number of complex terms of service suggest that people believe, or have been told, that it is essential they keep themselves covered in case a user of open Wifi does something bad, such as spamming or violating copyrights or even nastier stuff. They figure that if they made them agree to a terms-of-service that forbade this, this absolves them of any responsibility for the bad actions, and even, just maybe, offers a way to go after the unwanted guest.
Turns out that there is much less need to cover your ass in this situation, at least in the USA. You aren’t liable for coypright infringement by your guests if you did not encourage it. Thanks to the DMCA and CDA rules, you are probably not liable for a lot of other stuff these unwanted guests might do.
I am interested to hear reports from anybody of how they used the fact that Wifi guests had to agree to terms of service to protect themselves in an actual legal action. I have not heard of any, and I suspect there are few. It would be a great shame to confirm that everybody is breaking their networks in hope of a protection that’s actually meaningless.
It is true that you can get in real world trouble for what your unwanted guests do. If they violate copyrights, you might be the one getting the nasty letter from the copyright holder. The fact that you are not actually liable may not be much comfort when you are faced with taking the time and cost to point that out. Often these lawsuits come with offers to settle for less than the cost of consulting a lawyer on the matter. Naturally, those interested in violating copyrights are unlikely to be all that worried that they clicked on a contract that promised they wouldn’t. This is just a risk of an open network.
Likewise, if they send spam over your network, you may find yourself on spam-blocking blacklists who don’t care that it wasn’t you who did the spamming. Those vigilante groups run by their own rules. Again, the contract isn’t much protection. You may instead want to look to technical measures, including throttling the use of certain ports or bandwidth limits on guests. (It is better if you can throttle rather than cut off, since your guests probably do need to send e-Mail, just not thousands of them.)
Towards a protocol of open guest WIFI
How could we do this better? I’ll discuss that in part two.
Hadi Esmaeilzadeh is the newest professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. Hadi works in computer architecture and did some great work on dark silicon
. (Just noticed this is starting to look like a Lipton-style
I had Hadi give a lecture in my theory class (the dreaded day-before-Thanksgiving lecture). Hadi talked about his new research directions in approximate computing
. Approximate computing is a new paradigm in the architecture community, doesn't even have its own wikipedia entry yet.
When you do arithmetic operations, say addition and multiplication on real numbers, you typically want full precision up to the limits of the bits we use to store those numbers. Suppose you allow some error, say 5%. For logical operations, this would be a disaster giving a very wrong answer. Running various optimization algorithms, like simplex, these error might compound leading to very suboptimal results.
But there are several scenarios where approximate computing might not hurt that much. Processing media, like pictures, sound and video, are not exact anyway and a small error might not degrade the quality successfully. Statistical methods that sample a large space, such as when we analyze big data, still could yield reasonable results using approximate computing.
Why do approximate computing? Because of the architecture--approximate computing can be done often faster and with less power consumption. The tradeoffs may allow approximate computing to handle tasks beyond what we can do with traditional computing.
Approximate computing needs good theoretical models and that's where our community can come it. What's the right way to model the power-speed-accuracy tradeoffs and how can we determine the right computational problems that can take advantage of these tradeoffs. Might have nice connections to learning theory and property testing.