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* Posts by Pet Peeve

461 posts • joined 22 Nov 2009

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LOHAN Kickstarter campaign hits £9,000

Pet Peeve
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Re: Why are there no STARS in space?

Can't tell if serious...

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Tim Cook: I'm NOT worried about CRAP iPad sales. It's just a 'speedbump'

Pet Peeve
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Yeah, mostly market saturation - everyone who can be convinced to take the plunge has already done so.

I really haven't felt the slightest urge to upgrade my ipads. My "launch day" ipad is still working fine (it's my main book reader), but it is a little annoying that it can't run newer apps. But even the one I bought for the folks a year later is running IOS7 well too, and they have no speed complaints (their only complaint is that they don't have two of them, they love their ipad).

Also, the ipads currently for sale are nearing the end of their lifecycle - better to wait for the next refresh if you're just now thinking of buying one.

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Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000

Pet Peeve
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Re: walmart...

actually only 45 miles north of Las Cruces. I was going by the estimated travel time on google maps, which was over 2 hours. Bad road speed data or bad road, I guess.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: walmart...

The walmart you're finding is probably the one near their offices (the "spaceport authority") in Las Cruces. The spaceport itself is about 150 miles north of that. I don't think even walmart is nuts enough to put a store out there.

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Pet Peeve
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Oh, it exists, but it's hard to believe that it DOES exist. It's hard to use any words other than "the middle of nowhere". It's a couple of hours to Las Cruces from there (on the good roads, there's some nonpaved on the way), and that's the only significant city for quite some distance.

I haven't driven through this part of the state before - it would be quite an adventure I think. Bring about 3 times as much water as you think you might need, and a reliable 4-wheel drive car.

Edit: Actually Truth or Consequences NM is a bit closer than Las Cruces. Still not a Sunday drive with the top down though, unless you like being lightly grilled.

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Hack skirmish grounded Sony exec's flight after FAKE bomb scare

Pet Peeve
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Read their twitter feed. Apparently they think only the "internet police" are interested in calling in bomb threats to planes and pretending to be the terrorist scarecrow of the week.

Bets on the close of this story:

1) One of the team is already an informant and turns in the whole bunch.

2) They can't even spell "opsec" and they've already outed themselves.

3) One of them flips out when the party van shows up and spills everything.

4) 1. DDOS Random Shit. 2. Blow own horn about it. 3. ??? 4. Profit.

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BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

Pet Peeve
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Yeah, that would be a horrible design, requiring someone in the room to wave their arms every 12 minutes when the lights go out, even if they're doing calisthenics in the room the entire time.

I have had a PIR-sensored room go dark while I was in it. Apparently the sensor didn't have a line of sight to my furiously keyboarding fingers, and I was sitting very still for 10 minutes.

I love PIR lights - running down the hall and hearing breakers CLUNK is just so much fun if you're first into the office. And then there's playing "stealth mission" and seeing how far into a room you can get before the lights go on.

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LOHAN Kickstarter bid IS GO: Back our Vulture 2 spaceplane launch

Pet Peeve
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As in most places, drinking shitty beer is entirely a choice. And it's a bad, stupid, and incomprehensible choice in the US, where for every tap with the bad stuff, there's always great stuff right next to it. And please choose it - most of the US would be fine telling you not to give any money to the Bud/Coors piss industrial complex. The US generally doesn't do bitter, but for everything else, we've got you covered.

I will also note - I've been on your side of the pond, and I found some atrociously bad beer amongst the great beers, including one that gave me a raging headache halfway through the first pint. What in the name of all that's unholy does Brains put in their beer? Ground glass?

Anyway, looks like the kickstarter is moving well. Hope it works out!

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Target too high?

I'm kind of hoping they can sneak in Ariadne and dad too. Stretch goal!

I don't normally support kickstarters that aren't really kickstarting something (like a company or product line), but Lester's antics have been quite entertaining over the years, so why not. Buying a glass so I can raise a pint to 'em on launch day.

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Echopraxia scores 'diamond cutter' on the sci-fi hardness scale

Pet Peeve
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Re: Why don't media include source links?

It is - I was already a fan of Leckie's before she started writing, from her time on Escape Pod. It's quite a thing for a debut novel to win the hugo, and well deserved.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Pet Peeve
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Re: Ahh, New Mexico!

I didn't mean a literal law. And I swear that half the businesses in Santa Fe have Kokopelli in their name somewhere.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: HHGTTG

Sigh. The unfinished Dirk Gently novel ended just as he arrived in New Mexico.

By the way, if you see one of these signs:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LU4EFva4kuI/S6hPCbWaEqI/AAAAAAAAAFU/5muopfTVqkE/s400/gusty+winds.jpg

It's not nearly as philosophical as it appears. Winds across the highway are quite able to push your car 3 lanes over on a bad day.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Ahh, New Mexico!

Zia tribe sacred symbol for the sun. By law, every home in New Mexico must have that and/or a kokopelli on it someplace.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Re-Fuel

TOTALLY true. New Mexicans love their craftbrews.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Could you tilt that "US" map view north by about 25 °?

You can get an engraver attachment for this...

http://wiki.evilmadscientist.com/The_Original_Egg-Bot_Kit

You'd have to bodge the mount a bit to make it work for a glass, but if I remember right, instructions for it are in the docs.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: A Very Special Project

Whatever you do, do not follow GPS directions in this area if they take you off the main roads. People have died in the desert because their GPS's mapbase had dirt roads impassible with anything short of a deuce-and-a-half in it.

Also, depending on the time of year, do not be surprised if it goes below freezing, randomly drops 3 inches of rain in an hour on your head, or blizzards (which will flash to steam 5 minutes after the sun comes up). New Mexico deserts are seriously weird.

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Pet Peeve
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Totally in for a patch.

The Spaceport is in an interesting place in New Mexico - it's heavy desert, with much more forested areas all around it (though I don't think the magnetic tree flux will be a problem). Take the time to sightsee when you're there - New Mexico is a really underappreciated state.

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Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones

Pet Peeve
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Bookmarking this article so I can laugh out loud at Jasper, yet again.

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Cargo truck crammed with garbage explodes IN SPAAAAACE

Pet Peeve
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The temperatures reach thousands or even ten thousands of degrees - any biological matter would be carbon slag if it even made it to the ground. It's hard to survive it on purpose, let alone accidentally in a reentry designed to burn up everything.

P.S. "Viri" is a plural form of "man" in Latin. There is no Latin plural for virus, the plural is simply "viruses".

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

Pet Peeve
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Re: Each year we get the 'new words' announcement...

Forsooth, it's the Oxford Frelling Dictionary, you gormless knucklehead.

The entire point of the OED is to document usage. Words not used in 300 years are in there.

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Pet Peeve
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Re: 77nZMupqUnqgFSLbAF02RQAP

Don't go nuts using this as your main password method. It could definitely be improved, for example by using a keyed hash (sha256hmac would help), or if your machine has it, sha1passwd which does the whole pbkdf2 rigamarole on your input password, making it ridiculously hard to brute force.

The idea of deriving passwords is a pretty neat one. Google played around with a similar idea I believe, and there's also the SQRL project which throws tons of slick crypto at the idea, but that requires stuff on the server side.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Why trust any third party?

You missed the point of what he was trying to do. Not to make a random password, but to make a pseudorandom one based on a secret key and site name.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Why trust any third party?

Following myself up - the output from sha256sum is hex bytes, giving you a terrible 4 bits of entropy per output character, and encoding it in base64 doesn't help the situation.

Adding in "xxd" to turn the hex bytes back into binary gives much nicer results. I like Wood's idea quite a bit:

echo -n 'considerdollarbaseready fARSEbook' | sha256sum -|xxd -r -p|base64|head -1|cut -c 1-24

gTHDYfbTJYK0Sm5eI1W8mO+R

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Why trust any third party?

I assume the first part is a fixed password (using the xkcd "Correct Horse Battery Staple" method), and the second part varies by site. Years ago I saw a bookmarklet that did something like this too. It's a potential single point of failure, and it's unfortunate that the encoding method limits the entropy by character since you can't have any special characters, but at the size shown, it seems to be pretty solid.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: I like the 1Password approach

That's exactly how lastpass works. If you can't get to the server, it uses a cached copy of the password blob on your hard disk.

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

Pet Peeve
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Rude, yet perfect.

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

Pet Peeve
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Re: Er....

The infamous wooden eagle bug was "gifted" to the US in 1946 (supposedly carved by schoolchildren), and hung in the US Embassy, in the Ambassador's office, over his desk until 1952, when a bug sweep found it.

The US didn't officially tell the USSR they were onto it for almost a decade after that - I don't know if they had staged conversations in front of it during that time, or if they just stuck it in a basement until they made a stink about it in the UN.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Pet Peeve
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Re: I'm wainting with baited breath...

What do you mean it's only happened twice? Theoretical physicists make predictions ALL THE TIME, it's what they do.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Questions for rocket scientists:

The Bussard Ramjet is nearly as out-there as this emDrive is, unfortunately - the "collector" part is magic tech (or at least we haven't the faintest idea how to make one).

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Questions for rocket scientists:

It's surprisingly small! .01g will get you 400,000,000 kilometers (the maximum distance Mars is ever from Earth) in 2.2 months in a straight line run (turning around halfway). At .001g, it would take about 7 months. Continuous acceleration ROCKS, even if it's minuscule.

In a real trip to Mars, you couldn't do a straight-line trip with this kind of drive - you'd plonk one into orbit conventionally, and then use the thrust to gradually raise the orbit until it intersects Mars. I'll leave it to someone with better skills to estimate how well that would work, but I think it's quite practical.

On the other hand, all sorts of things are practical with magic tech - let's not put the cart before the horse.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Hmmm...

"Brad Arnold", real name or not, appears to be a frequent cold fusion booster on the web.

Hey Brad, stop calling it LENR - making up a technical term for pathological science is putting gold leaf on a turd.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Captain Future's enemy had one of those.

Exactly!

The fact that this "thrust" is measurable on the null test article too, makes me think this is much more likely a case of a measurement problem than an actual effect. It is quite common that a piece of crank technology appears interesting precisely because the effect is hard to measure properly. Another example would be not using an RMS multimeter when trying to tally up current in a motor-based perpetual motion scheme.

Of course I would love to see this be a real thing, because even if it takes large amounts of power, it is STILL a space drive, and that would be universe changing. It would open a new chapter in Fermi's paradox too - if it's possible to build a space drive, it's hard to believe we're the first intelligent species in the galaxy to discover it.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Hmmm...

*points and laughs at the cold-fusion ninny*

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Google's mysterious floating techno barge SOLD FOR SCRAP

Pet Peeve
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Re: I recon

It may simply be that they couldn't find a buyer for more than scrap value (and there may be a lot of scrap value in all that old iron).

If google deployed any nice technology into the barges, it's unlikely they included that in the sale price, leaving not much for a buyer other than lots of rust and maybe a fancy paintjob on some walls. I was always thinking that the "technology demo" part of the barge was some kind of VR setup, so there's probably a big welded-together space with some orientation grids / greenscreen painted on it, and lots of empty camera mounts and cable trays.

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Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

Pet Peeve
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Re: I think the HTTP_USER_AGENT has had its day

Lots, without even realizing it, if they use jquery, which everybody does.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: I think the HTTP_USER_AGENT has had its day

You've got it completely wrong. It's not that MSFT doesn't want to use the correct user-agent for IE11, it's that if they do, the modern web goes "der, what's that Chauncey?" and fails to detect that this is an actual standards compliant IE (snicker), as contrasted to every other IE.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: MS crippling IE

Exactly - it's not that IE11 is more standards compliant than the competition (most of them have been scoring 100% on the ACID tests for several years), it's that every website on the planet has had to commit all sorts of internal atrocities every time it sees a user agent belonging to IE. The fact that it looks fine when they change the user agent to Gecko is proof of that.

It's possible that some of this mess can be fixed by running a newer jquery, once jquery supports IE11 fully anyway (apparently right now it doesn't detect it quite right and it falls back to a quirks mode for an earlier IE).

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Apple's iWatch may be DELAYED over sapphire glass supply problems

Pet Peeve
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Re: Watches

Why? Is it silver hands on a silver face (I had a watch like that once), or are you still in kindergarten or something?

Other than digitals (which I absolutely loathe) I love watches and feel naked when not wearing one.

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Pet Peeve
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I was going to replace my kickstarter pebble with their new Steel, but Pebble's customer support is so terrible that I'm done giving them my money. The pebble could REALLY use a sapphire watch glass - the thing is a scratch magnet.

I'll definitely be checking out the iWatch - you really don't realize how handy a smartwatch is until you've used one for a while.

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Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins

Pet Peeve
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Re: (T)rouble, (C)onsistent (P)ain protocol

What in hades are you talking about? None of that makes any sense at all.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: FEC

Doubtful. UDP has plenty of use cases, but error-free connections aren't one of them. UDP is specifically for situations where packet dropping is desirable, such as in real time speech, where if you've dropped a packet, you have no desire to tie up the stream waiting for a replacement - you just fudge the sound and move on.

TCP is really a masterpiece - packet dropping isn't an undesirable event, in fact it happens by design so that the transmission speed adapts automatically to the maximum sustainable throughput. If you actually wanted error correction, you'd probably want to do it at the transport layer anyway - a packet garbled in transmission would most likely have a bad TCP wrapper anyway and wouldn't be presented to the stack to get corrected.

You get these "the net would be better if" things every once in a while, and most of the time, they are about as useful to read as the umpteenth explanation of physics that proves Einstein and/or quantum mechanics wrong.

Mostly, I just want freaking IPV6.

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

Pet Peeve
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Firefox still doesn't run each tab in a seperate process, but they put a stop to the various memory bloat and tab deadlocks quite a while ago. On my mac, the same instance of firefox stays running until I reboot (which is weeks or months apart), and it seems to always release the memory that a closed tab was using.

I think one of the early 20s (24 maybe?) was all about stability stuff like this.

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Pet Peeve
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Irrelevant?

Um, what? Firebug is nearly without peer as far as I'm concerned. I'd like to see some hard evidence that web designers are abandoning firefox before you start throwing around words like "irrelevant". Obvious linkbait is obvious.

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BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

Pet Peeve
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Re: New batteries...

Whatever the ultimate battery tech is, it's probably no single one of any of these stories, but a combination of bits of all of them. The power to weight ratio on this example is so amazing I'm not sure I believe it - I hope this isn't another "poke ordinary cells to make stem cells, honest!" type paper. And I'd like to know how easy it is to coat something with buckyballs - that sounds groundbreaking all by itself.

On the other hand there has been a lot of progress in battery tech - for example I recently purchased a jumpstarter that weighs less than a pound (the Jackco Zeta), replacing one I used to keep in my car that weighs 25 pounds. And the Zeta works better! I keep the old jumpstarter in my garage to inflate my bike tires (which it is quite good at, at least).

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Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source

Pet Peeve
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The Iranian GPS drone hack is mostly considered an urban legend these days, I believe. Iran loves to make things up, this for example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qaher-313

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LOHAN's stirring motto: Ad Astra Tabernamque

Pet Peeve
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It's pithy, fits nicely on a patch, and "tabernamque" is fun to say out loud. Good choice.

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

Pet Peeve
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Re: ISP level caches are surely one of the first things

By design, it's impossible to cache netflix content at the ISP level.

Well, not impossible as such (there are tools to capture the stream), but not "just plonk some hardware at the border and cache this" easy. And it would probably get you into copyright trouble if you a commercial enterprise even tried it.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: I am not sure that I am with the ISP in this case

Once you have the traffic on your network, it's not an issue. The reason ISPs like Verizon don't like it is because the offset of data coming in to data going out on those links is very lopsided, and that messes up transit agreements and costing.

A balanced link from one ISP to another is consider a wash financially - both sides have equal skin in the game so it's in everyone's interest to keep the data flowing. With (for example) cogent's link to verizon sending 10 times as much to Verizon than it gets back from them, it means that one side has more power than the other, and you're seeing Verizon throw it around. Is that a good thing for the net? Of course not, but it makes Verizon subscribers more likely to give in and get pay-per-view from them instead of getting the same movie from netflix.

Lately, I've been using itunes rentals a lot more for PPV stuff - it costs a buck less than my ISP charges, and because it's downloaded instead of streamed, you get a much better viewing experience all around if bandwidth is an issue. I would really like to see Netflix switch to an expiring-download model for their net-viewable content - it would be no less secure than a stream (i.e. neither is secure at all if you know what you're doing and are determined to snag a copy), it would stop a lot of these problems, and the viewing experience would be better.

Netflix's software is really infuriating in how it buffers - even if you purposely pause the video to let it build up some content, at some point it will throw the buffer on the floor anyway. Just give us the option to let the whole bar fill if we want!

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Pet Peeve
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That's the problem - Netflix doesn't work with small ISPs for openConnect, and even if they did, Netflix doesn't pay for the hardware or pipe for it.

Netflix would be totally on the good-fight side of this if they offered openConnect to everyone (and maybe kicked in some of the operating costs). As it stands, it leave a bad taste in your mouth when small ISPs get ignored like this - it's another strike against them that they shouldn't have to deal with.

Personally, I think they should use services like Akamai, which were built for exactly this situation, but it's possible that the content providers don't allow it. I suspect that IS the case, or openConnect wouldn't need to exist in the first place.

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Vote now for LOHAN's stirring mission patch motto

Pet Peeve
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I think the "various" one best captures the spirit of Lohan, but the Various includes Lester himself - he posted that exact phrase first IIRC, after some similar ideas (I turned it around as "To the stars, with beer").

I am rather fond of "To boldy go where angels fear to tread", but I guess the Reg doesn't have enough infocom fans.

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