Posts Tagged 'privacy'

New random()

A new advance on a method known as a randomness extractor makes it easier for machines generate truly random numbers by harvesting randomness from the environment.

The new randomness extractor combines two independent sources of weakly random numbers into one set that is nearly random, with only minor deviations. Then the researchers use a “resilient function,” a method of combining information, to turn the string of numbers into one truly random bit — a 1 or 0.

Compared with the previous state-of-the-art randomness extractors, which required input that was already very close to random, the new method can mine sources that are “much, much, much, much weaker,” says computer scientist Avi Wigderson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. The new extractor is a “substantial improvement over the previous results, and it’s very close to the best you can hope for.”

The 7 sins of windows 7

Free software foundation has launched a campaign against the upcoming windows 7 operating system, listing 7 of its “sins” that should be considered before using it. Windows 7 is destined to dominate the world computing for the next years, so people should really be informed of what this will mean.

The sins listed are :

1. Poisoning education

2. Invading privacy

3. Monopoly behavior

4. Lock-in

5. Abusing standards

6. Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)

7. Threatening user security

Quoting from the site:

“Microsoft is up to their usual tricks again — only this time, they’re also inserting artificial restrictions into the operating system itself. While not the first time they’ve done this, this is the first release of Windows that can magically remove limitations instantly upon purchasing a more expensive version from Microsoft.”

If this is true, it is crystal clear that the software industry is no longer governed by free market laws. You cannot pull tricks like that if there is a chance that you will lose money or market share. The operating system market is a Microsoft Monopoly for decades now, and rumors of such tactics have been heard before. But lately, windows have been faced with increased competition from Apple and Linux.

However, the much needed competition in the operating system market will come to a full stop if MS is allowed once more to illegaly use its monopoly power to keep users tied to their products.