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* Posts by Charles 9

3273 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

FIERY DEATH awaits all who stroke mobes mid-flight? Nope, says FAA

Charles 9
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Re: What's the new relaxed rules then?

The basic rules have become: "You know what, there aren't really any rules anymore." Basically, apart from cell calls (which have logistics issues outside of interference), you're free to use your devices whenever you want. Just remember your priorities and pay attention to the flight attendants. Their word is still "law" on the plane, but at least they won't pester you about turning off your devices unless they're annoying others or they need your attention for something.

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Charles 9
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I think the problem's not as bad as people make it out. The thing with being that high up is that you're going to get LOTS of signals...and not all of them in different frequencies. The tower frequencies IINM are carefully juggled for ground use, such that two towers that cross each others' ranges don't use the same frequencies. Thing is, when you're in the air, you'll get towers from so far away that you'll inevitably run into a bunch on the same frequency, meaning crosstalk. Odds are the GSM spectrum that high up is so jumbled from all the crosstalk as to be unusable.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Henry Wertz 1

I don't recall the hotspots having picocells in them as well, though I will admit it's not outside the realm of possibility. The trick would be relaying the calls, as satellite (which IINM is used for the WiFi) has a very long round trip.

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We'll build Elon Musk's Hyperloop ... if you lob us ONE-MEELLION dollars

Charles 9
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Re: Fast horizontal elevator?

Except you can pretty much say the same thing about a TRAIN, and the ride's longer.

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Charles 9
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Having read that, it's worth noting that many of the initial technologies have been scaled back to more realistic levels.

1. IIRC they won't be using magnetic levitation. Instead they'll use air cushions.

2. It will be only a partial vacuum, not a complete one that would be difficult to maintain. To reduce air resistance, the cars will have vacuums at the front to draw in air and use as part of the air cushion system which can also be propelled at a backward angle to assist in propulsion.

3. Most of those high estimates are because they're tunneling. The hyperloop hopes to avoid this by using above-ground tubes. As for right of way costs, they also plan to utilize existing rights of way by running most of the tubes above and along the Interstates (which ALREADY have state rights of way).

I'm not saying it will or won't happen. I'm actually neutral on the Hyperloop; it's ambitious, yes, but since the scaling down of expectations things are looking more possible then it once was.

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Want to go to billionaire Sun kingpin's beach? Hope you're a strong swimmer

Charles 9
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Re: Stupid question

"So how do these property owners (and their guests and visitors) get to their properties? Does California have wayleaves and easements?"

They do, but since the Hidalgo Treaty is FEDERAL, California is being trumped.

That being said, if this road is the ONLY access for these other property owners, they now have a valid beef. Their rights must be respected, too, so they can invoke the First Amendment right to petition the feds for this grievance. Probably what could happen is that these property owners could file a new lawsuit, this time in a Federal court, demanding access. This could provide the rights clash needed for the federal system to justify invoking eminent domain themselves.

Let's see what happens.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for some eminent domain!

But then the question arises. Given the age of the original deed (remember, the original grant came from Mexico), could they argue that the BEACH was originally private, too, protected by the federal treaty, and therefore trumps California's claim to a public beach under prior claims (again because of the 14th Amendment trumping California law)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Federal shoud trump both

I believe that law only applied to interior waterways (thus the term "navigable", which typically only applies to lakes and rivers; this was intended to prevent them being closed off. The open seas don't have that problem.

Besides, the Hidalgo Treaty can possibly trump that act for two reasons. (1) It's a federally-ratified treaty, which under the Constitution gives it equal standing to any Act, (2) The treaty came after the aforesaid act. Judicial precedence could point to that and say the treaty acts as an amendment to the prior law.

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Charles 9
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Re: Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Given the state of the road in the picture, it's likely just a dirt path, plus we're talking SoCal: not exactly known for snow. If he has a proper off-road vehicle, he could drive up and down it with little regard for maintenance. Indeed, he may WISH to let the road fall into disrepair as a disincentive for other people or the state (or in this case, the US as it's a FEDERAL treaty blocking it) to try to obtain it through other means.

For further inquiry: Is the state beach enveloped by the private property in such a way that one MUST go through that property to reach it? Or could the state develop some other means to reach the beach, perhaps through an adjacent landowner who is more accommodating?

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Charles 9
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They can't. The treaty was ratified by Congress after the Mexican-American War and thus, under the Constitution, has the force of Federal law. Under the 14th Amendment, unless the law specifically exempts it (this one doesn't), federal law trumps state law.

It would require one of two things: agreement between it and Mexico to allow for an exception to the treaty or an overriding federal concern (such as breaching another federal Act or treaty) overruling it.

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Blighty's telcos set to CHOKE off another fistful of piracy gateways

Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

If they contain the content ENABLERS, they're as guilty as hosting the content. It's like taking a key impression and passing it along to someone to burgle a place while supposedly keeping you one step removed: thing is, you can still be nailed as an enabler.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvs

Most prepaid credit cards I know require you to register them before you can use them for purchases and before you say gift cards, most of THEM are blocked by e-tailers BECAUSE they can be used unregistered (they do that to get off the hook for potential money laundering).

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Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

But hosting the Torrent file on their own website can serve the same effect, which is what I'm saying. There is logic to this. Why else would the other torrents be hosted in "haven" websites other than they have no place to call home? That's why I use the "pirate's cove" argument.

If a torrent is for legitimate content, these torrents can be hosted on mainstream websites legally. Most of the distro sites I've seen are more than capable of hosting torrents for their own distros, and since it's for THEIR OWN content, hosting these torrents on their websites puts them in no legal trouble and also allows them to provide some safeguards like hosting hash files for verification.

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Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

"More fun, however, would be for everyone to upload a torrent link to legitimate downloads - say, Linux distro of your choice - to each of these sites, then all club together to raise the funds to sue the idiot who granted this order for blocking access to legitimate content."

Except they already have a counter for it in that, since the content is legitimate, the content can safely be hosted in places other than torrent distribution sites. Sites like, maybe, the distros' own websites, which IINM most of them keep at least one. In their minds, the primary reason the torrent sites exist is because there is no legitimate place for them otherwise. It's like saying, 'Where else can pirates find haven except in a pirate's cove?"

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WD slips bullet between teeth, gets ready to hand $706 MEELLION to Seagate

Charles 9
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Re: Quality drop

In my personal experience, I've learned to avoid Seagates. Many times, I have drives that are extremely slow to wake or suddenly reseek in mid-transfer. I currently keep a number of USB external hard drives. Two of them are showing signs of starting to fail (one them basically goes kaboom the moment it hits a certain part of the drive--once that happens it stops responding until I reset it). BOTH are Seagates. That has NEVER happened to me with a Maxtor or a WD.

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Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

Charles 9
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Re: DNT obsolete

Unless there is a way for a browser to track whether or not ad sites are honoring DNT or not. Doubt it could be logistically pulled off (since the ads can pretty much become indistinguishable from actual pages), but a framework like that would be needed to make DNT enforceable since sites ignoring DNT could be labeled untrustworthy and blocked by default.

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Charles 9
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Re: DNT is already dead, sadly

I don't know. If Microsoft starts considering these ad firms to be untrustworthy, they may start using DNT in a whitelist and ENFORCE trust by saying "you better be honoring DNT or we'll block you by default". Since Microsoft doesn't need ad money to exist, they don't have to kowtow to them, so the ad agencies can't pressure Microsoft.

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Charles 9
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Re: W3C against privacy & for DRM

Put it this way. The content providers don't need the web. They can either embrace the web or marginalize it. At this stage, they already seem to be learning towards marginalize since they intend to push forth a 4K standard that's under their complete control from top to bottom, from the encoders to the receivers.

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Everything's going to be all white: Google Nexus 5 mobe expected Friday

Charles 9
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Re: Kit Kat update

Or just root their phone and wait on a custom ROM. That being said, this may be a bit as the custom designers are only now cutting their teeth on Jelly Bean 4.3, which has been found to have more than a few changes that require working around.

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Mozilla goes where Google fears to tread with geolocation service

Charles 9
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Re: Howabout this

Because my phone uses the AP whenever I'm home, and without the broadcast, it can't tell that I'm home (and polling would chew up the battery time), and since it comes and goes, having to switch the network each time is a PITA. So yes, some of us DO have to broadcast to signal transient devices (that doesn't mean I don't take other precautions; I use a spec-limit password and have turned off the WPS PIN).

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Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

Charles 9
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The problem with circular plugs is that you need to be able to (1) establish a connection to several pins, for the data at the least (USB uses a pretty simple 4-plus-ground setup--two for voltage, two for data), AND (2) be electrically safe by designing it so the ground pin/shield touches first. Since USB transmits power, you can't rely on a setup like the 3.5mm plug since you might short something, not to mention the socket design leaves something to be desired in the realms of reliable connectivity. That's why even the Lightning connector is oblong: it's the most practical way to achieve both (1) and (2) in a robust way. Note that these connectors weren't just shots in the dark but carefully-considered designs with significant goals in mind (for USB, one consideration was socket grip--not too tight, not too loose).

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Charles 9
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Re: There should not really be any problem here

But the same product ID can mean completely different things between two different vendors.

For example, Product Code 0x0000 is a CD-RW drive for one vendor (0x03EE Mistumi) and a USB Hub for another vendor (0x0403 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd). Within each vendor, the product list is unique, and it's the COMBINATION of the two the tells the OS which driver to load up.

Anyway, this is simple to get around. Just use ONE specific Vendor/Product combination to indicate you need to invoke a subsystem driver to look up what you need now from further details. It involves a little more tedium, yes, but it's only done one per insertion and it can mostly be done in software. All the USB device itself would need is some additional way to describe itself, probably using some other basic capability. So in exchange for just ONE of the IF's codes (and if you borrow a code from an existing vendor, there may be little the IF can do about it), you can open up a whole new space of devices AND still be within the original specification.

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Charles 9
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Re: Patent Exhaustion

That would only be true if the USB-IF were actually enforcing patents pertaining to the system. A thorough search, however, only turns up patents for extensions of the technology (such as device implementations) rather than patents for the base technology itself. A legally-binding C&D letter would likely cite the patents in question, but we do not know what they are. Perhaps you can point us to them. Furthermore, the USB specification has been around for nearly 20 years. Allowing time for development of the implementation, there is a likelihood some or all of the base implementation patents (if any) are approaching expiration, meaning they will be accessible soon to all and sundry.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dead vendor squatting?

But that would essentially defeat the "U" in USB (Universal). Part of the goal is to use USB more universally. It would be much easier to use a single Vendor/Product ID combination to indicate an alternate product code scheme for them. This could be implemented all in software without any need to change out existing USB hardware.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dead vendor squatting?

According to the USB ID List, there's an unknown vendor with code 0xABCD and a product "PetCam" with a product code 0xCDEE. Perhaps this one with a Product code 0xFFFF?

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Charles 9
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And what if your open-source signature happens to cross with one of the Forum's signatures? That's the main reason for the standards: to prevent confusion.

Perhaps the best solution (provided they can obtain it) is to obtain a single Vendor ID and combine it with a single Product ID (with a class of 0xEF--Miscellaneous) and use them to indicate that the device will use a USB SUBsystem that can be used to support open-source hardware in its own way. Perhaps one of the already-open providers can supply one product ID--say 0xFFFF, and use that as a magic number to invoke a new USB driver system. Since it would be using an already-existent ID, what could the Forum do about it?

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Wanna sell a phone in New York? Better have a receipt

Charles 9
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Re: Plan:

If Fred-down-the-road has a reputation for fencing phones, odds are the cops will learn of it too, and he'll receive a visit from a stinger with a bugged plant phone. They track him through that, locate his seller, bust them both. And if Fred crosses the state line to do so, then he's committed a federal crime and the feds can get involved, meaning instead of a stint in state prison, he could be looking at hard time in Atlanta or Leavenworth.

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

"How does spying on my email prevent avian flu?"

How about an ENGINEERED flu? One that you're communication over the e-mail using codewords like "inoculation"? Recall the time antrax spores were sent over the mail. Bioweapons DO exist, and not necessarily in government facilities.

PS. I don't trust tinfoil hats. That's propaganda meant to get you zapped even MORE (think antennae--or foil in a microwave).

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Charles 9
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So how do you penetrate a very tight organization, one that seriously vets everyone and is only composed of kin or other "untouchables" (to use the Prohibition-era phrase)? That's why you still need sigint--because sometimes humint is too risky to attempt or the adversary is surrounded by untouchables.

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Charles 9
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Re: To H with privacy

Privacy is a relatively recent innovation, mostly a byproduct of the Industrial Revolution and the big city boom. Back in the days of the villages, there was pretty much NO expectation of privacy., as the community was small enough that people naturally kept tabs on each other: something a big city could prevent. Every time I think about this difference, I recall "The Scarlet Letter" (which was about small communities and shames that eventually came to light).

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Charles 9
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Re: This is just Crypto 101

The trouble with that approach is that the smaller the secret, the easier it is to copy and slip away with it. No matter how tight you seal it, you can't keep out an insider who needs the key to conduct business, and if that insider's doubled...

It's an alternate approach to security. Think the lockbox vs. the chain. Sometimes you WANT a big secret...because it makes the secret too big to move and thus steal.

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Charles 9
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Re: Long Live Bletchley Park!

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

But then you have to ask yourself, "What's really impossible?" Given the advances of technology, the list is getting considerably shorter, and if you eliminate something you THINK is impossible but in reality IS possible, you've lost the game already.

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Charles 9
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Re: War or no war

That's not a true libertarian. That's a crony. A TRUE Libertarian distrusts government, period. They're essentially anarchists. Sure, the rich can pretty much get their way right now in China and Russia, but recall that was true in Cuba, too...until the late 1950's. The big problem with government is it's prone to changing and/or reneging, meaning you can never be truly safe with them. Most Libertarians as you see them AREN'T true libertarians because they see SOME role in government: just a very SMALL one (minarchists). But real libertarians don't see a role for government AT ALL. It's like that banner you see in the beginning of BioShock (which BTW was based a lot on Randian Libertarianism): "No Gods or Kings. Only Men."

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

How about a variant of avian flu with a longer incubation time? The one after WW1 was plenty deadly and was done with almost no air travel. Imagine one worse in today's world.

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Charles 9
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But one can live without civilisation. It can become a stark choice between anarchy and death (or as of now, the risk of absolute death vs. the certainty of chaotic existence), in which case, what would be your choice?

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Charles 9
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So what can civilisation do if one man can REALLY wreck a country, can live within your borders (look at Oklahoma City, done by natural-born Americans), and can conceal his activities until it's too late? That's the biggest fear of the spy agencies: the existential threat (and it's hard to gauge a threat as existential until it's exposed or committed) that gets away. We may not be there YET, but there are signs it is dangerously close (the current leader is a long-incubation airborne rapidly-mutating RNA virus that's carried by a world-hopper who spends time in front of airport ventilation intakes and such).

As for human intelligence, they've always had a big problem: the bad guys know the good guys' rules and can screen based on them--usually by taking you past a point of no return. For example, picture an organization that won't trust you until you commit a murder and get on the wanted list (preferably that of a soldier which would basically make you a traitor). Now you're basically stuck with them.

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Charles 9
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Re: @Mr C Hill - Batteries!

"Use screws and/or clips. A screw should take *less* space and weight than their blob of glue (scews are stronger than glue, d'ya see), holding the end of a strap round the battery that would be of thin metal."

No offense, but I've seen plenty of screws shear off at the head and more than a few screw mounts split lengthwise. One advantage glue has over screws is bonded surface area, and that's a big plus when it comes to tension or stress forces. There was a tale of an experimental sign that survived the harsh winds of Hurricane Katrina when many others blew off their poles. The reason? It was affix with a high-bonding-strength foam tape. Glue uses the same principles.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Don Jefe - "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

"Google is your friend. Remove any Netnanny filter first though."

It's not that unsafe. Most of the time it's a simple matter of vandalism and petit theft. SOMEONE somewhere will take anything that isn't nailed down (and to them, anything that can be removed by a tool in their pocket inside of ten seconds isn't considered nailed down). They'll usually steal the fittings or the hasps, which they can pocket and then pop to a scrap yard for a pittance. Don't believe me? How many mom-and-pop bathrooms have you come across that have jury-rigged latches in the stalls...or simply no latches at all?

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Charles 9
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Re: Batteries!

"It's broken... Fix or replace, please... Thank you!"

The unspoken addendum to this statement is always, "Preferably fix, as it's cheaper, thank you AGAIN." A machine that lends itself to easy self-repair ALSO lends itself to easy repair in a shop. If batteries need changing, for example, it would much be preferable to just disconnect and remove old batteries and hook in a replacement set.

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Charles 9
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Re: "notorious, proprietary pentalobe screws"

That's nothing. The Nintendo Wii uses Tri-Wing (Y-shaped holes) screws in some of its innards, but at least with either one you can unscrew them.

If Apple were REALLY set on saying "you cannot open this," they'd have used one-way screws. These are designed so the only solid contact point is when you're tightening; everywhere else is too smooth to gain purchase.

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Netgear router admin hole is WIDE OPEN, but DON'T you dare go in, warns infosec bod

Charles 9
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Re: Muppets

"If you MUST have admin access from outside the network then you NEVER go straight into the kit interface - you always tunnel though something that you trust and that logs everything."

Would if I could, but IF a router has a VPN server built in (basically, cheap ones don't--not enough memory), it's almost always a bridging one (TAP mode). Unfortunately, Android's VPN client only supports tunneling (TUN mode).

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Oz racehorse shod with 3D-printed titanium hoofwear

Charles 9
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Re: Impressive

Except ANY suitable blank for a subtractive process would be subtracting MOST of the metal (given the U shape of the finished product with LOTS of space in between). Not to mention the interior parts of the horseshoe itself where machining can only remove so much material with its given bit set. That's one of the beauties of the additive process. You can build up fine-but-strong structures in ways no subtractive process can duplicate. Not to mention it doesn't waste so much metal (both in the base block and in too wear and tear).

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Fearless slayer of lawsuit-lovin' patent trolls steps forward from shadows

Charles 9
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Re: This version is too complicated

But what if the troll pounces BEFORE the product gets to market or finds a manufacturer?

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Mozilla CTO blasts WC3 plans to bless anti-piracy DRM tech in HTML5

Charles 9
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Re: lateral thinking..

The problem with sandboxing is that SOMETHING has to be OUTSIDE the sandbox to act as a guard (usually the process that created the sandbox in the first place, such as the Java runtime). That means a malicious process can take a shot in the dark, hook the outside process, and escape the sandbox. This is the same mentality behind the "Ring -1" attack (attempting to hijack a VM hypervisor from inside the VM): the hypervisor has to interact with the VM--attack through that.

Basically, no airgap is going to be 100% effective. You have to be able to communicate across the airgap or it's useless, and as Stuxnet showed, a very determined adversary can find a way to attack across the airgap.

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Charles 9
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Re: a solution is required

Funny that. The developer of "World of Goo" took an entirely different perspective on the same issue, and he was even able to quantify the level of piracy he had: somewhere around 90%, and this supposedly accounting for dynamic IPs and the like.

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Charles 9
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Re: No, thanks

But what about these tight data allowances we're seeing of ISPs? And with no trunk investment, these limits aren't likely to go up anytime soon. BluRay had some flawed implementations which are leaving some things open, although the use of BD+ (which is updateable) is slowing down the piracy rate for the new releases.

So this time, they're taking no chances. NO digital copy capability whatsoever, and given the extent of today's cryptoprocessors and busses, this time they have a fighting chance. Cryptoprocessors with keys in OTP XOM memory so they can't be read (and likely with suicide mechanisms if someone tries to decap it),, hardware-based chains of trust, and serialized discs using technique akin to the BluRay ROM-Mark. There ARE some chains of trust that have yet to be broken, this IN SPITE of lots of motivation to break them, so there DOES appear to be a right way of doing this.

Another thing they'll probably do is make the movies too large to move over the Internet. Imagine a 4K movie that ran at least 100GB of not 400GB. That'll be bigger by itself than most users' data allowances. And the only way to make them fit would be to reduce the quality so much it's not worth it anymore, which (like with exploiting the analogue gap) is possibly acceptable or at least less of a concern to the movie companies.

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Locked into fixed-term mobile contract with variable prices? Not on our watch – Ofcom

Charles 9
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Re: Landfill?

There's also the fact that the subsidized plans frequently offer value-added services, such as visual voicemail and Wi-Fi calling, that none of the prepaid carriers can offer (at least where I see it in the US. None of the unsubsidized GSM carriers I know support call forwarding that allows a third-party voicemail to work; some won't even support shortcodes).

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AT&T bags 363,000 new customers ... where did THEY come from?

Charles 9
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Re: New Contract =/= New Customer

I'd be interested to see if shared or "family" plans are counted by the phone or by the contract (two phones, one contract servicing both of them). If it's the latter, then new devices probably wouldn't account for it since many people would roll their new devices into their existing contracts where they offer lower rates for extra devices vs. an independent plan.

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Nice job, technology. Now we have to work FIVE TIMES HARDER

Charles 9
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Then you'll soon be expendable. Eventually, being able to reach the ankles and call out, "Hello Sailor" will become a job requirement. That's what happens with a race to the bottom. Eventually, someone desperate enough will step forward, leaving you and all the like-minded behind.

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What a twit: Obama aide FIRED for anonymous gov-bashing tweets

Charles 9
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They go overboard with it because, by the 6th and 7th Amendments, they only get ONE chance at it, and since some of their evidence may be tossed, they need to be sure they still have enough to make the case stick. It's not so much "going overboard" as "overabundance of caution".

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