* Posts by Charles 9

7188 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece

Charles 9
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Re: BEAM - lack of ports

"Presumably they could have more than one, as long as they only used one at a time. Not that another robot arm is a realistic prospect of course, but power wouldn't seem to be the problem."

Not possible in the situation described as you'd need to be able to do a hand-off, meaning you have to co-ordinate the two arms, meaning you'd need them both operating. I don't think one can rapidly switch power between the two in such a scenario, plus there's the risk that turning one off will allow it to drift, making alignment more difficult.

In any event, Canadarm2 (the arm aboard the ISS, officially the MSS) turns out to be self-relocatable, so it could maneuver itself into a port extension. But like with a tangle of USB hubs, I'd feel a little uncomfortable about the logistics.

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Charles 9
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Re: BEAM - lack of ports

Did you neglect to note the nature of the space station's power? They only have enough power for ONE arm, and there aren't a lot of external power sources in outer space. One cardinal rule of USB is that you don't attach a bus-powered hub to another bus-powered hub.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mice

Not enough room in the capsule, I heard. Plus while that "bounce house" may be rated for micrometeors, I think the jury's out on cat claws.

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Charles 9
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Re: BEAM

Nice idea, but the ports needs to be accessible by the arm, the arm has a fixed range of mobility, the ports need to be a certain minimum distance apart, and they only have enough power for one arm, so they're kinda stuck with what they've got.

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Charles 9
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Re: Extremely impressive

How many attempts did it take them to get one to stick? I lost count, but this is, what, the fifth attempt at the barge landing?

Not bad at all. I was rather expecting around 9 or 10 attempts before they stuck one.

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Dear Windows, OS X folks: Update Flash now. Or kill it. Killing it works

Charles 9
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"Adobe want their nasty technology to survive, they should at least develop a reputation for trust."

Who needs trust when you have a captive market? Sure, video can pass, but Flash is more than video, and many things are used everyday and are Flash-ONLY (including very expensive enterprise stuff).

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Charles 9
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Re: Trust? Adobe?!

"Internet browsers do not need access to all the files under a user's account."

PS. The browser DOES need write access to user account storage. Otherwise, it has no capacity to download anything.

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Charles 9
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"REAL Operating Systems [I worked with VMS for many , many years] worked hard to ensure user code couldn't do damage outside areas it was allowed to."

But that was before the hacker culture turned mainstream. Now you have people that dedicate significant parts of their lives to finding chinks in the armor not just of the applications, not just of the OS's but even of the hardware. Think of that: exploits in silicon. And given humans aren't perfect and the hackers only need to be lucky once, it's basically a siege situation: sooner or later, either someone cracks it or it loses the value that made it worth attacking.

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Charles 9
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Re: Simples, all browsers should disable auto-play for all plug-ins and media!

What about all that Flash stuff that ISN'T about media files but about interactive control panels and the like? You know, the kind of stuff that's hosted on corporate intranets and can't be removed without writing off a very expensive and business-critical piece of hardware that runs it all?

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Charles 9
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Re: Rule of Law

Trouble is, that does squat for all the foreign websites out there, unless you're saying the UK can start blocking those sites like they at least try for The Pirate Bay.

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Charles 9
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Re: Trust? Adobe?!

Guess you never heard of a sandbox escape exploit. Even if you jail the process, the right exploit can allow the malicious process to jailbreak out into the OS itself, where a privilege escalation exploit takes care of the rest. And no, you cannot make a practical OS airtight without sacrificing something else the user demands like performance (example, seL4 is ONLY secure when DMA is turned off: kinda important for performance-intensive stuff like graphics and low-latency networking).

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Charles 9
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Re: Another click-bait headline.

But in order to be able to actually carry out the court order, you need a system that enables them to do it even when the only source of the original key no longer exists (like what happened in the San Bernadino case; the only person who knew the PIN was dead). Ergo, a backdoor must exist or the bill will have no merit.

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Charles 9
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Re: it takes generations to regain trust

And what happens when these policies get pushed elsewhere in the world, regardless of the "ink on a page" people call laws?

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Charles 9
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Re: If A -> B, B -> C then A -> C

"Done properly, the reporting on this could see an end to any and all attempts by traitors, paedophiles and murderers to weaken encryption."

NOPE. Because as long as they're in Congress, they can't be forcibly removed except by impeachment trial, and Congress looks to their own; sorta like how you can't expect foxed in a hen house to keep themselves in check. As for the election, being in Congress gives you the political muscle to reduce your risk of an ouster. After all, how often is an incumbent actually voted out in any given election?

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Charles 9
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Re: Not a chance.

Seems the election process is a no-win situation. Universal suffrage guarantees a glut of stupid, pliable votes that obey the whims of Pied Piper Politicians. Putting up any sort of standards test will eventually be corrupted to ensure only party loyalists can vote. Either way, the average person ultimately loses his/her ability to keep the government honest.

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Charles 9
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Against a constant and existential threat, ANY search or seizure will be considered reasonable. As for using encryption as arms. they'll construe that you're taking up arms AGAINST the country. Guess what? That's treason, one of the few crimes explicitly listed in the Constitution.

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This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Charles 9
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Re: "The CEOs are not villains"

"Regulations don't happen in a vacuum, they happen because some hyper-competitive asshole went too far and caused damage. Nobody sticks a gun to their heads and *makes* them behave like assholes. "

YES THEY DO. The "gun" in this case is the threat to take their business to another state or country, meaning bye-bye tax dollars that the state needs to keep the citizens happy. Money talks, all else walks. Just ask Detroit what happened after the big auto companies decided to pack up.

"Many of their former employees are already in the bread line. What makes the CxO so special?"

They've got the money and connections. You don't. Simple as that. They can close up in the walled garden and compete amongst themselves and not give two shakes of a dead dog's ding-dong about everyone else. Who needs them? Too many people in the world anyway, in their opinion. One dies, get another.

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Charles 9
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Re: "The CEOs are not villains"

Well, as they say, "Nice guys finish last." When everyone else around you is cheating, undercutting your business, and your clientele is not in a position to know or care about honest business, what are your options? Usually, it's either "start cheating" or "bail out," only many are already in too deep to bail out (it's the bread line if they do).

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9 -- This is Slavery

And as I recall, many of them don't really get paid. Any monetary proceeds go to the pimps. Point stands. It's just like the slaves having room and board and naught else. Plus both types tend to get traded around like so much cattle.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is Slavery

Trouble is, it technically isn't slavery if they're being paid.

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How Remix's Android will eat the world

Charles 9
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Re: if you can imagine it, then it's inevitable

No, that's "If it exists, someone's made a porn of it."

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China's Great Firewall inventor forced to use VPN live on stage to dodge his own creation

Charles 9
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Re: Is someone checking the checkers?

Not if it was altered BEFORE encryption, say at the news site itself...

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It's 2016 and idiots still use '123456' as their password

Charles 9
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Re: Sampling bias

I see a different take on the data. The very existence of all this indicates you can't expect people to learn proper security on the Internet. It's like idiots and fish. Give an idiot a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach an idiot to fish, he'll die a week later with the rod in his hand because he forgot what you taught him.

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Charles 9
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Re: Who can blame them?

"My job title is "Managing Director" - your's?"

Could be worse. You could be having the problem with an Executive. Nothing worse than dealing with a "know-it-all" who happens to be top brass.

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Full Linux-on-PS4 hits Github

Charles 9
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Re: Yeah...

"Hands up if anyone is still running a 7 year old AMD CPU."

Me!

I use a laptop that has an old Athlon 64 X2. May not win any speed awards, but with the RAM maxed out, it gets its kicked for office-related work. It can still handle Chromium and LibreOffice with few complaints.

I also have a similar CPU in an HP mini-PC. It's currently in mothballs but I have used it in the past as a TV computer. I think I'll take it back out of mothballs once I check the RAM in it and get a fresh Mint image.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a fun experiment...

Media encoding was, is, and will be for some time forward remain a CPU- rather than GPU-intensive job due to the potentially-divergent process of motion estimation as well as the need for good memory throughput. So I'm looking for something that has a good CPU at a decent price, and last I checked, none of the mini-PCs on offer have an octo-core CPU, let alone one with at least decent floating-point performance needed to do media work with any proper speed.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a fun experiment...

But what about something performance-intensive, like a game or perhaps media encoding at high-def (1080+) or latest codecs (HEVC)? Most of those tiny PCs use Intel Atom-class CPUs that are known to be a bit skimpy on the power (IOW, it may have to answer, "But can it run Crysis?" in the negative) whereas we know the APU in the PS4 has to be able to crank out SOME level of performance in order to play games like Fallout 4. I'd like to see some comparisons about its number-crunching performance.

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Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled

"Repurpose it to run Steam?"

A thought, but I think it needs some better specs to be better suited to the job. And I'm not going to continue the joke, as I'm pretty sure a 2015-spec device like this should be readily able to handle a game that is by now eight years old. Perhaps it's time to refresh the joke with something more modern, like perhaps "Caffeine".

What I'd be curious to know is some more meat-and-potatoes stats: such as how well such a converted PS4 would handle itself under say a 1080p or 4K H.265 encoding load, say to provide a benchmark.

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Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled

"So where are all the hacks for running Linux on your smart TV ? Your fridge ? Your washing machine ? Your [insert any device you "own" with embedded firmware that limits you to using the device for the manufacturers intended purpose which does not include general purpose computing] ?"

The smart TVs are definitely being worked on. The justification being support gets dropped and the internal software goes obsolete well ahead of its time. Thing is, this software are usually made by security-savvy companies like Samsung and LG who tend to sign their code and employ lockout mechanisms, so progress is there but very very slow.

As for other home appliances, that's generally tinker territory so you have to look into real hobbyist boards to learn more about what's happening there.

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Charles 9
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Re: Linux on PS4

Well, here's an interesting thing to consider. Graphics depend a lot on floating-point math, but an interesting trend has been emerging in AMD vs. nVidia regarding that. AMD cards can handle double-precision floating point with only a modest performance penalty compared to nVidia where performance pretty much chops directly in half. Plus current DX12 benchmarks show AMD's R9 290x performing comparably to the nVidia GTX Titan X, which is about twice the price.

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Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled (@ DougS)

Can you point to a cheap bit of hardware that can match the performance of the PS4's CPU/GPU combo?

As for where to store the data, USB sticks are a dime a dozen.

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Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled (@ DougS)

"Yes, you could just not install firmware updates that block the exploit, but then,assuming Sony are consistent with how they handled firmware updates on the PS3, games and things like Netflix will refuse to work until you update the firmware, turning the machine back into a single-use box again."

It should be worth noting that the article notes this is only confirmed working on a PS4 with firmware version 1.76. Last I checked, the PS4's most up to date firmware is version 3.15, released at the end of January. Now, if they can get this running on Sony's latest firmware, or even make it firmware-agnostic, then I'll be impressed.

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Charles 9
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And in so doing they drew attention to the fact, making the situation worse by making more people determined to crack the PS3.

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Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled

"Any, the age old myth from the bedroom experts that the PS4 has an off the shelf GPU."

It IS an OTS system, with some minor adjustments. AMD has been selling their APU CPU/GPU combos for years before the PS4 came along, and GDDR5 was nothing new, either. Thing is, GDDR has a graphics-oriented performance optimization which is why it isn't used with standard DDR memory channels. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are customized to some extent, but neither really use cutting-edge hardware (that still belongs to the realm of gaming PCs) that could be considered novel or revolutionary. Even the PS3's Cell architecture got leapfrogged early into its working life with the GPGPU push culminating with the release of OpenCL.

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Inside Nvidia's Pascal-powered Tesla P100: What's the big deal?

Charles 9
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OK, all fine and dandy, but what about some stats? How well will this Pascal handle something like Fallout 4 compared to Maxwell?

PS. Sorry, but Crysis is getting a little old to keep up the joke.

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Android gets larger-than-usual patch bundle as researchers get to work

Charles 9
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Put it this way. Sometimes, the only difference between finding a bug and not finding a bug is a different set of eyes. In which case, no amount of internal testing will find it, plus there are time and budgetary constraints.

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Charles 9
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Re: Android gets larger-than-usual patch bundle

"In the meantime just root and mod the damn thing: Samsung makes this pretty easy."

But rooting breaks some apps and the number is increasing.

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Flying Finns arm octocopter with chainsaw

Charles 9
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Re: Life with chainsaws

As I recall, eucalyptus is also a very oily and resinous tree, meaning another constant risk with them is catching fore and sometimes exploding.

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Charles 9
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Re: Life imitating Art

Not really. The Manhacks were drones with circular sawblades. Most enemies with chainsaws tended to be of the ground-based bipedal variety and not in HL2.

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Top Firefox extensions can hide silent malware using easy pre-fab tool

Charles 9
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"I want a "browser" that treats every incoming byte as possible malware/spyware, shows me the pure information content and sends nothing back to the source."

Then how do you do things like interactive whiteboards, running stats/scores/whatever or a shopping cart where the URL doesn't give the works away each time? Surfers want two-way content, and you can't do that on a one-way web.

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Charles 9
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"Specifically it was blocking the videos of weather forecasts on the Beeb's site."

You know uBlock Origin has a very obvious "Off Button" you can use to turn it off on a per-site or per-page basis if you need it? It's kinda necessary when ad content and legit content are fed off the same server, creating a part-and-parcel problem.

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Blighty starts pumping out 12-sided quids

Charles 9
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Re: Threepenny Bit?

BTW I don't think they're called Mars bars anymore but Snickers Almond bars.

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Charles 9
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Re: Threepenny Bit?

In America, the standard-bearer for many years was a Hershey bar for a nickel. IIRC inflation finally shrank the bar out of existence in the 1970's.

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AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

Charles 9
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Re: @Nifty always something else next

"Such an AI would leave human based law professionals in the dust."

I don't think so. The legal profession has one thing going against AI's: that being the ultimate arbiters are humans who don't always think rationally (humans are emotional first, rational second; it shows during impulse-sensitive events like a crisis or disaster). Being a trial attorney/prosecutor/barrister/anyone who has to argue in an actual courtroom is at least partially an oratory art because of this. Whether it's a single judge, a jury, or a group of higher justices, you pretty much have to push emotional buttons to win your case, much as anyone in the courtroom will deny it.

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Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Charles 9
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Re: Software updates

There is no solution. You're up against a "dual-use" problem: something that can inseparably be used for good and ill. It a lot like owning a gun. Sure, it can be used as a last resort to defend your life, but as long as you own it, it can be turned against you as well (stolen, used by an angry spouse, etc.). Same with cars. And since the computer has no way to separate the audacious from the stupid, just like the gun can't tell between a defensive use and a malicious use (and the car), we're kinda stuck with it. To get things done, we HAVE to run the risk of being pwned. Problem being, some people are too stupid to be able to make this kind of judgment BUT must be able to use the computer to run their daily lives.

In the end, it can boil down to one of those "Book of Questions" problems where there's no real answer.

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Charles 9
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Re: OpenBSD Pledge?

"Yes, let's blame the user. That's been so effective in improving IT security over the past several decades."

As the comedian once said, "You can't fix stupid," and stupid can break a lot of stuff no matter what you try to mitigate it (because the ways they can break it are often equal to the stuff they need to get their job done with no way to separate the two).

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Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it

Charles 9
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Re: Wired vs wireless

I have both. I wired myself back during the early days of cable modem, so it's a touch old with normal CAT5, but you'd be surprised how well it still carries things even now. And before that I had linked a few computer to a Linux-powered dialup box over 10-Base2 (yup,BNC cables run along the floor, at the time it was easier plus one of the devices could ONLY use coax, as it was a parallel-port adapter).

I have a wireless setup for those devices that must use it (laptops, phones, tablets, etc.), but to be on the safe side, my password's at the length limit and uses as broad a character base as I could use. I usually have to use WPS-PBC to add a device (WPS-PIN is turned off) because I can't remember it, it's so long.

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Charles 9
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Re: the answer

No good. Token ring only works if the connections are highly directional (thus the "ring" in Token Ring). The big thing with wireless (and this is a physical thing) is that radio is naturally omnidirectional; it tends to braodcast in all directions. It's like a common lightbulb in that sense. Or even a candle. You get the same problem when you happen to stand in a zone of radio crosstalk where two stations from two different areas both use the same frequency and happen to (usually unintentionally) get as far as you.

And for a mobile device like a tablet or phone, you NEED this omnidirectionality since you cannot rely on the device to have a specific orientation all the time. That's why we use radio instead of infrared. Yes, you can use light and lasers to transmit data, but they can only work in fixed settings where the endpoints are known and aimed carefully.

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It's nuts but 'shared' is still shorthand for 'worthless'

Charles 9
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Re: All well and good

"we shouldn't wrap kids in cotton wool all the time."

Tell that to the parents, especially those for whom it's their last or only child. Meaning his/her death means their complete failure as parents, with potentially tragic results which I've seen. Any reaction other than coddling is going to look cold and Spartan to them.

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Legion of demons found in ancient auto medical supply dispensing cabinets

Charles 9
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I guess it depends on the device, but my Symbol barcode scanner is USB, and you can choose whether it appears as a HID Keyboard or a Serial Port, both of which have pretty standard support.

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