* Posts by Charles 9

5024 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Charles 9
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Re: The time has come, the Walrus said ...

Not to mention the average plugs take the better part of a decade to start wearing down and they're designed to not be that difficult to replace if you need to. I replaced all the sockets in the house I moved into (some 25 sockets, including three bathroom ones that required GFCIs) in a day and a half (would've been a day but some rooms couldn't be done right away due to being in use).

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Charles 9
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Re: The Devil's Own

"I was in a rented flat for a few years with a landlord who would not allow me to put in any network cables or even put picture hooks up etc and with the amount of wifi networks in the area (counted 12 networks one day) i literally had zero signal in half the flat even with a buffalo airstation g54 high power."

No network cables at all, not even run along the floors and ceilings (which can be held in place with nondestructive hooks)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Wired ethernet still rules

So you run along the floor and ceiling corners, snake under doors, and so on. When you move, you can just pull it all up to please the landlord. Find this to be a useful technique not because the house I was in was rented but because all the walls (including the interior ones) were cinder block.

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US Congress promises death to patent trolls in bipartisan law scribbling

Charles 9
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No, it would bring political pressure to prevent it ever happening. Recall that most politicians ARE lawyers. The LAST thing any high-paying private business will want is takeover by the state. You'll be hearing "SOCIALISM!" for years if you tried.

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Charles 9
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Re: Punative legal costs

State and federal case law is against you. In both cases, reasonable is assessed by average per head, and these cases have been upheld on appeal.

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Charles 9
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Re: USPTO revamping

"With the America Invents Act, they were provided authority to adjust fees as necessary to reflect the aggregate costs associated with their mission, with the added authority to adjust the fee schedule based on the size of the patent submitter. With those changes, the USPTO has been able to hire more examiners and reduce backlog."

I suspect that bureaucracy is making things a bit slow over there. It was only signed in late '11, and it's only now starting to kick in much. There have been I recall more than a few rejections of not-so-novel patents, so perhaps this is a sign the pace is picking up. Plus there's the matter of extreme legalese that tries to submarine a patent. That said, my point still stands that the USPTO has to set the fee schedules accordingly to avoid a "barrier to entry" backlash from one or another group of filers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Does nothing...

No need to ban them altogether. Just note they're in rapid-turnover industries and make them appropriately short in length. The original term of 20-some years came about when designs and such had lifecycles in the decades: a length out of place in fast-moving industries. If a software patent was only good for, say, three years, software innovation still gets a fair bite of the apple. Not only that, remember that any patent that expires becomes public domain and open to everyone. That can effectively stifle rampant software patenting in itself if trade secrets are involved (due to the risk of giving information to the competition too soon).

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Charles 9
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Re: Great day for crony capitalism !

I see where this is going. Don't think of this in terms of the big boys suing you (in which case the onus falls on them) but rather them unilaterally usurping a patent and leaving the original inventor in the lurch. These firms can hire legal terms in the tens if not hundreds of lawyers, each of which can pick apart certain aspects of state and federal law to get what the firm wants. And they're not cheap. California and US Circuit cases both upheld judgments where the rates were both estimated and generous, which in the case of a defendant with a large team of lawyers all paid at least $150 an hour, let's just say the numbers add up: the bigger the firm, the bigger the bill (which also raises the chance of the defense winning the case AND having it upheld on appeal--both the aforementioned were upheld on appeal, too).

So if Google's defense team is some 50 seasoned lawyers all demanding $200 an hour, that's $10,000 an hour in legal fees throughout the trial, and if the trial goes on for a long time, the plaintiff runs a very real risk of being bankrupted if he/she loses (a risk a 10 or 11-figure defendant would not face even with a huge judgment against it).

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Charles 9
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Re: peer review?

"The correct solution is for the USPTO to do its work properly in the first place, although I have seen arguments by academics that patents are intrinsically bad (and not limited to those on software)."

But how can the USPTO do its job right on a shoestring budget? And no, it can't raise fees because inventors (especially small ones) will complain of a barrier to entry.

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Charles 9
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Re: USPTO revamping

But to do that takes money. Guess who's responsible for the USPTO's budget...

In any event, I also note the absence on any kind of reform IRT patent lengths relative to the industry, which can solve the patent issue in fast-moving industries like software without having to necessarily outlaw them (IOW, you need to make patents short for fast-moving industries to reflect their more rapid turnover. That way you still encourage novel thinking while recognizing they only need so much).

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Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Charles 9
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Re: Cats already out of the bag

Blanket jamming means you can't use a radio signal to set your package off, and you'll be too far away to do line of sight. If you have no suicidal people, no one will be there to set it off locally at the right time, and your fuse is just an analogue of the timer, which like I said is useless if the vehicle you place your package lacks any sort of time consistency (meaning your package is likely to explode off target). And note that blanket jamming can hide radio towers and geolocation satellites so location matching is out, too.

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Charles 9
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Re: Do we really need to tell the enemy what our plans are?

"What happens if someone like Snowden leaks the SOP? Does it negate the SOP? Will the have to ditch it? How does anyone follow it if they don't know what it is?"

They probably would have to change it for fear of the procedure being USURPED and turned against us. If it takes three keys to open the door, what choice do you have left when the locations of those keys have been leaked, meaning someone can obtain them all and circumvent the multiple agreement that's normally associated with three keys?

"What happens when the journalists show up with satellite links and free wifi? What happens when houses around the area decide to have open wifi? Can they shut down all the cable & telco fixed lines too? If information warfare comes to the streets, how long do you think it will be before people start bringing police radio jammers to demonstrations?"

Like you said, the Army has jammers of its own and more power than civilians could likely bring to bear, meaning they can probably outjam any femtocell or wifi setup you can think of. And that by default rules out satellite which is sensitive enough as is. Last I checked, police also carry extra power in their radios so are already somewhat jam-resistant. Plus, since such jammers are illegal, they'll likely triangulate the positions of these jammers and quickly move to neutralize them. And the cable and telephone companies have hubs and central points of control; ergo, easy to control.

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

Charles 9
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Re: EXACTO?

Trademarks can be separated by industry. Take the name "Cracker Barrel". There are at least TWO trademarks in active use for the name: one for a line of Kraft cheeses (honest cheeses, albeit very common varieties), another for an "old country" style restaurant/shop chain. As long as it's understood the two different trademarks don't compete in the same markets and are distinct enough so as not to be confused, the USPTO will allow the trademarks to stand.

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Charles 9
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"Actually the trained scout will do SFA for extreme range or wind. His training helps him compensate for it with unguided bullets but with a guided bullet, software takes over the moment it's fired. For starters the rifles are now smooth bore because you don't need it to fly true when it can change course."

But you need to at least get it close enough for the steering to compensate. The more extreme the range, the narrower the window before it becomes too much for the steering to correct and it misses. A trained sniper can help keep this from happening by removing the need for some of that correction, giving the round a better chance to stay on target.

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Charles 9
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

Thing is, a trained sniper can correct at least some for wind and motion, allowing EXACTO more leeway and allowing for hitting targets outside the sniper's unassisted skills due to range or wind.

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Charles 9
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"The EXACTO round isn't intended for general use, but as a tool for long-range snipers that provide support for ground troops in the field. No details have been released on the cost of each unit – or the ammunition – but it's unlikely to be cheap."

True, but then again, if a novice can nail the target using this round, imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do with such a round even under extreme range or wind conditions. The US has historically held value in the savings of one well-placed shot. When one is all you need, they may consider the cost worth it if it saves time, other ammo, and especially lives.

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Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

Charles 9
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Re: @AC

A closer analogy that actually happened in the past was railroads also buying raw good sources like timber plots and mines. They now carry a fiduciary interest to prefer their own materials vs. those of the competition. It's an example of vertical integration: own both the goods and the means to transport it. Similarly with media giants like Comcast, who own both an ISP and a media source (NBC Universal). Why should Comcast care about CBS and the like when they have their own content to push out?

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WHY can't Silicon Valley create breakable non-breakable encryption, cry US politicians

Charles 9
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Re: But what about...

"So your system can only possibly work in a mechanism whereby a symmetric session key is negotiated between the endpoints."

Look, it's basically how PGP-encrypted messages work. The message itself is encrypted using a one-time symmetric session key. This is done for reasons of speed (symmetric encryption is much quicker than asymmetric) and to allow for multiple recipient, which I'll elaborate. This session key is then encrypted using the PUBLIC keys of all the recipients: one copy per recipient. In such a scheme, all the plods need is to always be on the recipient list; a copy of the key is encrypted for them. Anyone who's a targeted recipient can then decrypt the message by using their private key to decrypt the session key from one of the key blocks.

Not saying it's infallible (who's going to have the plods' private keys is the key mistrust here), but it's a tried-and-tested system.

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Charles 9
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Re: What about current crypto?

"And even if they do find this Holey Grail (misspelling intentional), what are they going to do about all the current crypto systems that they can't crack? Make them illegal?"

No, most of them are susceptible to Shor's algorithm. And while we know about public progress with quantum computing, that says nothing about black projects (like perhaps one in Utah being covered up by the big data dump project) where they're already breaking early crypto. Meanwhile, most post-quantum crypto systems have problems of their own (very slow, easier to break, etc.).

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Charles 9
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Re: piping

But that's what I'm saying. I've had cases of the pipe not working, probably because the second program tried to load after the first, couldn't, and DOS returned an error to that effect. Like trying to stuff a huge text file (~1MB I think) through more.

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Charles 9
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Re: piping

Are you SURE it went to a temp file and not RAM? I know at least once I overloaded a pipe which you wouldn't expect to happen with a temp file given enough free space.

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

Charles 9
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Re: Sound bites bite back

Well, a collision hard enough to trip airbags is probably one likely to at least seriously damage if not disable the car, prompting the presence of police at the least.

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Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe

Charles 9
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Re: Dumbest idea ever

"Forcing everything to use HTTPS is like setting up security checkpoints at public roads. They cost a lot, and not only do they not serve any purpose, but they're actually counterproductive, and only slow things down."

You've never been to a DUI checkpoint, then. They set them up at chokepoints so drunk drivers have no choice but to pass them OR stop driving. Either way, fewer drunk on the road meaning fewer drunk driving incidents meaning fewer innocent fatalities.

Plain HTTP has its place, and there are a lot of web sites and application, where using HTTPS serves no purpose, but only slows things down and increase the costs, with no real benefits.

Some agencies have been able to build profiles using HTTP sniffing. HTTPS reduces the available data to sniff.

"Also, just because a site is using HTTPS, it does not mean that it's secure, by any standards. It can still leak information and even expose user behavior in a myriad of ways, both on purpose and by accident or by negligence."

Put it this way. Would you rather visit a place WITH or WITHOUT a lock on the door?

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Charles 9
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"The vast majority of HTTP use is information retrieval for which the additional confidentiality, integrity, and authentication benefits of HTTPS - which are not particularly generous in the first place - provide users with no benefit."

But people can build profiles based on the sites your frequent and the pages you read. HTTPS at least obscures some of the trail, blunting some of these side channel attacks.

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ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Charles 9
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Re: I hate watching sport

You'd be noticeably in the minority.

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

"I don't agree with that, the other stuff sure, but a newspaper to me really isn't comparable for 1 reason, reuse."

Three letters: DVR (used to be VTR but you get the drift). This is what threw Nielsen into a hissyfit in the past because it means reuse with no way to measure it. Point is, if people like it enough, they'll record their shows and rewatch them at their leisure. Just as people save news articles they want to re-read. The secondhand viewing argument also applies to DVR or shared households.

"Either way, you did state that Monday Night Football is now on ESPN. I didn't know that, but it's all too fitting of the greedy to take interests away from the masses for corporate gain....it's just extra greedy. Of course, this is what kills sports viewing in the end. The less kids that can see sports on TV, the less they will have a grown interest in watching sports on TV, ultimately killing off sports viewing."

I say this because Disney took a calculated risk. ESPN used to carry their football on Sunday nights (so as not to interfere with ABC's Monday Night), but NBC outbid them for that right in the last round of negotiations (because they wanted back in the football business--smart move), so Disney was in a bit of a bind. They decided that, since ESPN is such a high-demand network that any cable company still standing would have it as part of their standard package and since households using only the over-the-air antenna would be exceedingly rare (due to the low amount of content), and since ABC as a whole at the time was on a bit of a skid, they can drop it from ABC, move it to ESPN, and not really suffer for it. It's been like this for a couple years now, and given there's been no plans to move it, you'd have to think Disney knew what they were thinking.

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

Perhaps not so much stupid as "over a barrel". If it's a prerequisite to advertise on ESPN that you also have to advertise on ESPN2 and so on, what choice does the advertiser have to get in on one of the most-watched cable networks in the country?

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

"The concept that the networks will lose viewers is pure bullshit, and the concept that they will lose revenue is ever-so-slightly processed bullshit. So back to your marketing department, ESPN; you'll just have to do better than that."

Except ESPN is a high-demand network. Otherwise, ABC would never have lost Monday Night Football. Say what you will about side sports when things get slow, but when the big sports come along, viewership is still high enough to draw ratings. Some channels you just cannot ignore if you're an advertiser.

As for the channel blocks, remember that this system is analogous to the typical newspaper or magazine: most people buy them just for a section or two, yet one has to buy the whole thing to read them (Otherwise, why aren't newspapers partitioned? It wouldn't be worth the money otherwise). The idea is that of the impulse attraction: you pass by it in your flipping, see something interesting, and stick around. Sure it doesn't work all the time, but like TV ads and crime, they only have to be lucky ONCE.

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SpaceX in MONEY RING shot, no spare juice for tail backdown this time

Charles 9
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Re: "Change in plan for vertical-landing Falcon 9 rocket stage"

The change being they won't attempt a controlled landing of this stage because the payload's going into geosynchronous orbit rather than low-earth orbit. The distance involved means the Falcon 9 won't have enough fuel to even try a controlled landing.

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Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Charles 9
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But why is DAB such a power hog and why can't anyone find a way to cut the power use on it?

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Charles 9
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Re: ironically....

Guess it depends on where you get the phone. Most of the Chinese phones IIRC have the FM tuner included in the SoC simply because it was easy enough to throw it in and expands the versatility and saleability of anything it goes in. A relatively inexpensive Samsung phone I have has the capability, but you probably won't expect it in top-end phones.

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

Charles 9
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Re: Pedanting...

"Next, it seems very likely that humans co-existed and continue to coexist with small flying feathery "dinosaurs" (well, their descendants at least)."

But avians are different enough to be distinct from reptiles, of which dinosaurs are members (just as humans are different enough to be considered distinct from apes). All avians are warm-blooded and have feathers and wings as a standard feature. The subset of dinosaurs that became avians and thus weren't predominantly cold-blooded, scaled, and groundbound, constituted a tiny minority of the whole.

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DTS announces DTS:X – sparks object-based audio war with Dolby

Charles 9
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Re: Or as old school gamers call it "A3D"

I think Aureal was a bit too far ahead of its time. Positional audio for headphones, let alone arbitrary speaker setups, was computationally intense back around 2000. The big turn off for gamers as a result was that games like Half-Life started to lag and stutter when they used positional audio. I know that was my experience when I used a Diamond A3D card with Half-Life: the frame rate dropped with it in use.

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Charles 9
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Re: @Dana W

I think the correct term is half of DISCRETIONARY spending. One of the alarm bells is that TWO-THIRDS of the entire US budget is NON-DISCRETIONARY and MUST be paid no matter what. A tiny chunk of that is interest on standing debt, but the vast majority encompasses stuff like Social Security and Healthcare (yes, because they're guaranteed by law, they're considered NON-DISCRETIONARY). Half of mandatory spending is Social Security and the like, most of the rest is Medicare.

Put it this way. We are obligated to spend more on mandatory spending than the US takes in in income tax revenues ($2.5T in obligations vs. $2.2T in total income tax revenues).

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Charles 9
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Re: @Dana W

"That's where you can look at it fro a different angle. Affordable healthcare can be seen as investing in the workforce, just as you pay to have your car serviced and it keeps running longer and is less likely to break down when you need it most. I appreciate that this is not a perfect analogy because it's easy to scrap a problem car, whereas the law frowns on doing that to a person."

Trouble is, studies have shown that longevity HURTS the government. There's a certain age ideal for any country with such a system where the system breaks even: paying out as much per citizen in health benefits as they take in in taxes (and the loss accelerates as they get older because more money is required to keep people alive as they get older). Go beyond that point and healthcare becomes a money SINK. What the study showed is that the average country with strong state-run healthcare is past that point.

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Charles 9
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Re: Dalvik

But ART doesn't completely replace the Dalvik language: just the Dalvik runtime. ART simply compiles that bytecode into native code when the app is installed. The Dalvik source is still there, though.

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Charles 9
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Re: Uh oh

"Combine that with millions of people who have no clue how to fiddle their settings and you are suddenly looking at a LOT of very unhappy people who will do what they always do: take the path of least resistance and ditch the thing that changed everything."

But it makes you wonder what would happen when they suddenly find out that was the LAST thing that supported the status quo, basically leaving them up the creek without a boat and with the sharks in hot pursuit.

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Charles 9
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Have you considered taking your complaint all the way up to the Secretary of _____ on the grounds that the CIO's gross incompetence is placing national secrets in danger, something that could cause him/her to directly face a Congressional inquiry if (make that WHEN) it gets breached?

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Charles 9
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Re: Great.

"I don't think he's stupid. He's probably right: the only way to have a truly secure browser is to disable all client-side running code. If code can run in your client, it can be theoretically exploited."

Problem is, without client-side code, web pages can't be interactive, and a non-interactive web page now is likely to be your ticket to obsolescence. So it's like I said earlier: you can either sink or swim with the sharks...

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Dev gives HBO free math tips to nail Game of Thrones pirate leakers

Charles 9
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"Again, no. You are assuming that the copies do not have markers in common. That's not how this works. The pool of possible markers is huge (derived from the number of frames in the movie) and all copies will have markers in common with all but one other meaning only a complete compromise of all recipients allows one to complete obscure / remove all markers and all that tells the studio anyway is that all parties were compromised."

What about the matter that making all those encodes will take time since they're HD and each forensically unique meaning they can't be shortcutted? Plus the fact that a one-off is not worth making a ROM-Marked pressed copy?

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Charles 9
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Re: How about different watermarks?

Multiple watermarks means multiple encodes, increasing the production time for the screeners AND reducing the viability of pressing. Furthermore, pirates can obtain multiple copies to mix and match.

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Charles 9
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"This has been covered in detail. The above is possible. But what it achieves is to tell the distributors that TWO studios have leaked. And which ones they were. Basically, you think using n sources hides which one of n was the leak. It doesn't, it provides a list of thise n studios that have been compromised."

That depends on how they're forensically identified and how one goes about removing the traces. If they're all "add a frame here and there," the pirates can default to "trim anywhere an extra frame is detected," which would basically whittle down the forensic tagging to the point the studio won't be able to tell which studio got raided. If they're all "cut a frame here and there," you do the reverse and extend with the same results. As for "a mix of cut and trim," if you mix them up, then it's going to be much harder to tell which copy/copies got nicked because you also stand the chance of coming close to colliding with the signature of a THIRD copy, raising the possibility of a false identification. Oh, speaking of third copies, if the pirates obtain a third copy, they can probably defeat the signature reliably by using a "two-out-of-three" rule, keeping the clip length that appears in two of the three copies (and in the event of a three-way-tie between cut, extend, and nothing, keep the nothing).

And then, like I said, there's the time investment required to make each copy forensically unique, since even professional hardware takes time to encode a 1080p video.

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Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Charles 9
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Re: I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

"Agreed. If there was a chance of the plaintiff winning it would never get to court. There'd be an out of court "settlement" to make it go away."

That only works if they don't encounter an "untouchable" who's determined to set the precedent and won't settle for less than a full trial. And before you say they don't exist, one man once sued a company for $1 (and won it, too) just to put the company he sued over the coals.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

"5. When the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, argue that no rebates or court oversight can correct the problem: the content division MUST be separated from the ISP or the natural conflict of interest will remain."

That hinges on the court finding in favor of the plaintiff. Suppose some under-the-table bribing makes the court rule in favor of the fiddler instead, setting a precedent?

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

Charles 9
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Re: Could be useful

Perhaps not out of the box, but I don't see why it couldn't do two-way Morse code via haptic feedback and touch/button input. They make such stuff for Android devices and Samsung Gear already.

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Charles 9
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Re: Anyone remember the HP 01 Watch?

"Clearly the leading influence for the Apple Watch, from back when digital was a new buzzword.

http://www.led-forever.com/html/hp-01_led_calculator_watch.html"

Back when I was a kid I was given a Casio LCD calculator watch for Christmas. Having a calculator always (in a manner) at hand proved quite handy when a quick calculation was needed, especially when pen and paper weren't readily available. Lasted about ten years before it broke beyond repair.

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Your city's not smart if it's vulnerable, says hacker

Charles 9
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Re: Info = fewer suckers

Problem is, the average capacity for information's already there, meaning the average person just wants to get to tomorrow and doesn't really have the patience to think in longer terms.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's only taxpayers money, who cares?

Actually, I didn't. But what's one smart vote when up against ten stupid votes? And when the choices (if any) are down between Tweedledum and Tweedledummer?

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Got a big day planned in 15 BEELLLION years? You need this clock

Charles 9
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Re: Ironically, 'real' time is a bodge

Blame the Earth for that. If it weren't for the fact the Earth's rotation is oh-so-gently slowing down, atom-based UTC wouldn't need to keep adjusting to keep near the Earth-based GMT. Otherwise, UTC noon wouldn't match up to Grenwich noon.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obligatory Terry Pratchet reference

Maybe it's a case of "Too Soon". I only found out about Sir Pratchett's passing a week back, as I was out of touch for a while. As for the clock, I suppose it will be extremely difficult to know if it really can keep accurate time if it's THAT sensitive to movement, given that everything in the universe moves.

And just for the record, that precision limit is still about 25 orders of magnitude away from Planck time, so maybe it isn't right to compare this to the Glass Clock.

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