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Archive for the ‘software’ category

Sep 16, 2019

Was SHA-256 cracked? Don’t buy into retraction!

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, encryption, government, hacking, internet, mathematics, military, privacy, security, software

SHA-256 is a one way hashing algorithm. Cracking it would have tectonic implications for consumers, business and all aspects of government including the military.

It’s not the purpose of this post to explain encryption, AES or SHA-256, but here is a brief description of SHA-256. Normally, I place reference links in-line or at the end of a post. But let’s get this out of the way up front:

One day after Treadwell Stanton DuPont claimed that a secret project cracked SHA-256 more than one year ago, they back-tracked. Rescinding the original claim, they announced that an equipment flaw caused them to incorrectly conclude that they had algorithmically cracked SHA-256.

All sectors can still sleep quietly tonight,” said CEO Mike Wallace. “Preliminary results in this cryptanalytic research led us to believe we were successful, but this flaw finally proved otherwise.

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Jul 14, 2019

Can I Check Web Sites Visited by my Kids/Staff?

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, policy, privacy, security, software, surveillance

Early this morning, I was asked this question at Quora. It’s a pretty basic request of network administrators, including parents, schools and anyone who administers a public, sensitive or legally exposed WiFi hot spot.

Is there a quick and easy way to view, log, or otherwise monitor the web sites visited by people on your home or office network?

Yes. It’s free and and it is pretty easy to do.

It gets a bit trickier, if the individual on your network is using a VPN service that they have configured on their device.[1] A VPN does not stop you from logging their browsing, but all of their activity will point to the VPN address instead of the site that they are actually visiting. In that case, there is another way to monitor their activity. See note #1, below.

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Aug 10, 2017

Futurist Gray Scott: We Can’t Ignore Our Psychological Future

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, education, ethics, futurism, innovation, internet, media & arts, mobile phones, nanotechnology, philosophy, robotics/AI, software, transhumanism, virtual reality

Why are we often so wrong about how the future and future technology will reshape society and our personal lives? In this new video from the Galactic Public Archives, Futurist Gray Scott tells us why he thinks it is important to look at all aspects of the future.

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Jun 2, 2017

A Net Neutrality Nightmare? / Part II (Future A to Z)

Posted by in categories: futurism, information science, internet, journalism, law, media & arts, software, strategy, supercomputing

The recent efforts to remove Net Neutrality have given many a sense of impending doom we are soon to face. What happens to an Internet without Net Neutrality? Advocates have a vision of the possible results — and it is quite the nightmare! In this segment of Future A to Z, The Galactic Public Archives takes a cheeky, yet compelling perspective on the issue.

Part 1 / Part 2

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Mar 9, 2017

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours — By Hugh Son | Bloomberg

Posted by in categories: automation, finance, innovation, robotics/AI, software

“At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours.”

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Feb 18, 2017

MIT is working on 3 BIG Blockchain Ideas

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, internet, software

MIT has never stood stand still in the presence of change and opportunity. Their Media Lab Currency Initiative is at the forefront of Blockchain and Bitcoin research. With the fracture of the founding core team, MIT stands to become the universal hub for research and development.

The initiative now has a team of 22 people and at least
seven ongoing research projects, and it nurtures three startups that use cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology in a variety of ways. Blockchain research now sits alongside transparent robots that eat real-world fish, solar nebula research, and other imaginative, futuristic projects in progress at the university.

The initiative has already funded the work of bitcoin protocol developers and has supported research, going far beyond bitcoin—even partnering with Ripple Labs and developing enterprise data projects.

Now, the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative is working on 3 big Blockchain ideas:

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Feb 12, 2017

Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, privacy, software

At the heart of Bitcoin or any Blockchain ledger is a distributed consensus mechanism. It’s a lot like voting. A large and diverse deliberative community validates each, individual user transaction, ownership stake or vote.

But a distributed consensus mechanism is only effective and faithful if the community is impartial. To be impartial, voters must be fairly separated. That is, there must be no collusion enabled by concentration or hidden collaboration. They must be separated from the buyer and seller; they must be separated from the big stakeholders; and they must be separated from each other. Without believable and measurable separation, all sorts of problems ensue. One problem that has made news in the Bitcoin word is the geographical concentration of miners and mining pools.

A distributed or decentralized transaction validation is typically achieved based on Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS). [explain]. But in practice, these methodologies exhibit subtle problems…

The problem is that Proof-of-Work can waste an enormous amount of energy and both techniques result in a concentration of power (either by geography or by special interest) — rather than a fair, distributed consensus.

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Sep 19, 2016

Can Technology Help Fine-Tune Your Happiness?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, entertainment, innovation, software, virtual reality

Given the demands of the modern world, many people find solace and relaxation when they disconnect from their smart phones, computers and email. But what if you could improve your overall happiness simply by playing games on your phone? In a recent interview, tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Happify Ofer Leidner said gamification can make people “happier”, and that the development of technology that improves well-being is only just getting beginning.

Image credit: x-bility.com

Image credit: x-bility.com

It should be noted that not just any game on your phone can help one live a happier, healthier life. Instead, Happify and other comparable platforms use science-based games to drive behavior and to help people learn skills for generally improving their outlook on life. It’s still gaming and gamification, but gaming done with a meaningful purpose.

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Jul 14, 2016

The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule — By Keith Collins| Quartz

Posted by in categories: software, space

nasa2

“When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.”

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Jun 3, 2016

Microsoft’s latest HoloLens trailer looks ripped from a sci-fi blockbuster — By Matt Smith | Digital Trends

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, business, hardware, software, virtual reality

microsoft-hololens_-720x720

“HoloLens … is not just a headset. It’s also an API – called Windows Holographic — built by Microsoft to let developers code programs from the HoloLens itself. The company’s announcement that it’s opening Windows Holographic to partners means that they, too, will be able to build devices for its API platform. Anything that’s developed using that API should work as well on partner devices as on the HoloLens itself.”

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