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How to generate a random snowflake

'Tis the season... And it's about time I pose my first question on MMA SE. So, here's an holiday quest for you Graphics (and P-chem?) gurus. What it is your best code for generating a (random) sno...

Click to view the original at mathematica.stackexchange.com

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Essays from the funniest man in Microsoft Research - The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

James Mickens has written a number of essays for ;login: magazine. The wall-of-text presentation is kind of scary, and the first time I encountered them, I skimmed the essays rather than reading them through. As a result, my reaction was, "I got tired." But if you follow the path and read the essays...

Click to view the original at blogs.msdn.com

Hasnain says:

These are absolutely hilarious and worth reading.

"Interestingly, these kinds of intuitive arguments are not intuitive. A successful intuitive explanation must invoke experiences that I have in real life. I have never had a real-life experience that resembled a Byzantine fault tolerant protocol. For example, suppose that I am at work, and I want to go to lunch with some of my co-workers. Here is what that experience would look like if it resembled a Byzantine fault tolerant protocol:

JAMES: I announce my desire to go to lunch.
BRYAN: I verify that I heard that you want to go to lunch.
RICH: I also verify that I heard that you want to go to lunch.
CHRIS: YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO TO LUNCH.
JAMES: OH NO. LET ME TELL YOU AGAIN THAT I WANT TO GO TO LUNCH.
CHRIS: YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO TO LUNCH.
BRYAN: CHRIS IS FAULTY.
CHRIS: CHRIS IS NOT FAULTY.
RICH: I VERIFY THAT BRYAN SAYS THAT CHRIS IS FAULTY.
BRYAN: I VERIFY MY VERIFICATION OF MY CLAIM THAT RICH CLAIMS THAT I KNOW CHRIS.
JAMES: I AM SO HUNGRY.
CHRIS: YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY.
RICH: I DECLARE CHRIS TO BE FAULTY.
CHRIS: I DECLARE RICH TO BE FAULTY.
JAMES: I DECLARE JAMES TO BE SLIPPING INTO A DIABETIC COMA.
RICH: I have already left for the cafeteria."

Posted on 2013-12-25T07:06:38+0000

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Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million

Click to view the original at reuters.com

Hasnain says:

"Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September."

"Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract."

-_-

Posted on 2013-12-20T21:52:42+0000

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Target stores hit by data breach affecting 40 million cards

Target says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach linked to recent purchases in its U.S. stores.

Click to view the original at cbc.ca

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Spoiler alert: Bill Gates did not get you, because he got me. - Secret Santa 2013 - redditgifts

I want to start by giving a HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Bill Gates for an amazing gift and secret santa experience. Bill- you ...

Click to view the original at redditgifts.com

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Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

Click to view the original at newsweek.com

Hasnain says:

This is from 1995.

"Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn't—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople."

And here I sit, peacefully ordering things from Amazon so that I don't have to interact with people.

Posted on 2013-12-19T03:20:56+0000

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Disney's Frozen - A Material Point Method For Snow Simulation

Disney's Frozen is now playing in theatres in 3D! Find showtimes: http://di.sn/pIO Like Frozen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyFrozen Follow Froz...

Click to view the original at youtube.com

Hasnain says:

2:16: "Now we destroy a castle with a cannonball"...

(paper: https://disney-animation.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/production/publication_asset/72/asset/snow.pdf)

Posted on 2013-12-18T22:33:45+0000

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Hasnain says:

"But in between the important cases, I found myself spending most of my time prosecuting people of color for things we white kids did with impunity growing up in the suburbs. As our office handed down arrest records and probation terms for riding dirt bikes in the street, cutting through a neighbor’s yard, hosting loud parties, fighting, or smoking weed – shenanigans that had rarely earned my own classmates anything more than raised eyebrows and scoldings – I often wondered if there was a side of the justice system that we never saw in the suburbs. Last year, I got myself arrested in New York City and found out."

Posted on 2013-12-17T21:38:17+0000