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Name: Jim
Gender: Male
Hometown: Frostbitefalls
Member since: Mon Apr 2, 2018, 08:44 PM
Number of posts: 1,747

Journal Archives

1000 houses

I'm expecting about 1000 houses to spring up when he dies. The results of just a little detour on his journey.

We're blocking twitter at our house

I'm the "admin" for our home network. I've finally had enough and added twitter to our Raspberry-PiHole black-list.

We're blocking all of twitter.com, x.com, and t.co now.

I suggest everyone do the same with their ad blockers or router firewalls or whatever it takes.

And I'm posting here to encourage people not to post links into the twitter, we won't be able to see them

Quantum Winter

Sabine Hossenfelder does a great job explaining why there is way too much hype about Quantum Computing research and predicts a "Quantum Winter" when the sponsors figure out they've been taken for a ride. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that has been rolling their eyes at every ridiculous news story about the coming future of Quantum Computing and Quantum Internet. But beware of her deadpan humor and try not to be drinking your coffee when watching

Posted by CloudWatcher | Sat Nov 5, 2022, 01:44 PM (2 replies)

Post-Quantum Encryption

I've been worried if our dependence on public-key encryption was going to be a serious problem when quantum computing eventually becomes real and widely available. But it looks like the encryption experts have been busy and are working to duck this bullet. This is excellent news, I hope it stands up to review.

From NIST:

NIST Announces First Four Quantum-Resistant Cryptographic Algorithms

Federal agency reveals the first group of winners from its six-year competition.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has chosen the first group of encryption tools that are designed to withstand the assault of a future quantum computer, which could potentially crack the security used to protect privacy in the digital systems we rely on every day — such as online banking and email software. The four selected encryption algorithms will become part of NIST’s post-quantum cryptographic standard, expected to be finalized in about two years.
The announcement follows a six-year effort managed by NIST, which in 2016 called upon the world’s cryptographers to devise and then vet encryption methods that could resist an attack from a future quantum computer that is more powerful than the comparatively limited machines available today. The selection constitutes the beginning of the finale of the agency’s post-quantum cryptography standardization project.

... but of course there is a lot of work to do before our public key encryption infrastructure is worthless.


Prepare for a New Cryptographic Standard to Protect Against Future Quantum-Based Threats

Although NIST will not publish the new post-quantum cryptographic standard for use by commercial products until 2024, CISA and NIST strongly recommend organizations start preparing for the transition now by following the Post-Quantum Cryptography Roadmap, which includes: ... [see original article for a long list of useful hints about how to transition to the new encryption algorithms]

For additional guidance and background, CISA and NIST strongly encourage users and administrators to review:

In the meantime, everyone should realize that the encrypted files (and possibly archived https sessions) being made today will not withstand decryption attacks once quantum computing becomes cheap and widespread.
Posted by CloudWatcher | Wed Jul 6, 2022, 02:52 PM (2 replies)

US Passport Fees

We should be lobbying to eliminate passport fees. Far too many people in the US have no idea how the rest of the world works and think that how we do things here must be the best way.

And ... soon we might need to leave the country to get health care.

Map from Center for Reproductive Rights: The World's Abortion Laws

International travel should be encouraged and even subsidized. Not just limited to those that can pay extra fees to prove citizenship.

How you can sponsor Ukrainian Refugees to come to the US

If you have the resources to financially support your Ukrainian refugee friends, it's possible to get them here quickly!

First hand experience: a Ukrainian friend and I just went through this process. It took us one week to get full approval. And most of that time was my gathering documents to prove my financial state. And it helped that I had copies of docs handy to prove my citizenship.

Perhaps we just got lucky, but fyi it's possible. It was free. It was all online (for us) and it was fast. I'm still stunned. Some of the other processes have estimated times of many months. And they gave no hints about how long this process might take.

NY Times Story (4/25) on the program: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/25/us/politics/americans-sponsor-ukrainians.html

The Biden administration on Monday established a program that allows Americans to sponsor Ukrainian refugees and have them temporarily stay in the United States under a system known as humanitarian parole.

The program, called Uniting for Ukraine, is a piece of a larger initiative to temporarily resettle as many as 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, but migrants themselves cannot directly apply. Instead, a sponsor in the United States must apply on their behalf, and then migrants may complete the process after their sponsor is approved

Sea of ​​​​Azov in danger of becoming a toxic wasteland

Bombing of Azovstal can lead to environmental consequences — Mariupol City Council
19 May 2022 13:44

Leakage of hazardous substance could kill all flora and fauna in the Sea of ​​Azov

There was a threat of the complete extinction of the Sea of ​​​​Azov due to enemy bombing of the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the besieged Mariupol.

On Wednesday, May 18, the press service of the Mariupol City Council announced the impending threat of an eco-catastrophe in a telegram.

The city council said that the destruction of the steel plant could damage the technical structure, which stores tens of thousands of tons of hydrogen sulfide solution.

"The leakage of this liquid will completely kill the flora and fauna of the Sea of ​​Azov. Further, dangerous substances can enter the Black and Mediterranean Seas," they warned.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko emphasized that international experts and the United Nations must be immediately admitted to the facility to study the situation and prevent a "world-class environmental catastrophe."

More at link. https://ecopolitic.com.ua/en/news/bombarduvannya-azovstali-zagrozhuie-ekologichnoju-katastrofoju-svitovogo-rivnya-2-2/

Who knew? Australia requires people to vote!

Not only is voting compulsory, it seems to have a lot of benefits. Here's a BBC video on it:


Of course there is no chance of us doing this nation-wide, but ... maybe a good idea in the blue states?
As pushback to the GOP trying to restrict voting?

The video is short, but fyi the bullet points for advantages are:

* Moderate contest more likely
* Marginalized people better represented
* More migrant participation

I like the idea because it helps put across the idea that good government is up to you. You can't just ignore it and then complain.

Today's math question ... what are 4.2% and 18.8%

The US has approximately 4.2% of the world's population. And has 18.8% of the world's deaths due to Covid.

We have over 307,000 dead now. MAGA indeed.

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