* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1108 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

WikiLeaks claims 'significant' US election info release ... is yet to come

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Lost me a "documents"

Fell asleep just thinking about reading it. USA! USA!

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SpaceX searches for its 'grassy knoll' of possible Falcon rocket sabotage

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

I always figured the first little bang was from thermal expansion. Somebody would have to figure out what the flash of heat hit and whether or not it's the correct distance from the mic.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

Kevin McMurtrie
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microSD and battery

My experience is that, thanks to crappy software, cell phone batteries last one year. That's it. Just one year. A LiPo battery is good for about 300 to 500 full charge cycles. When the shovelware from Google and the phone maker run the battery dead by the end of each night, you're doing a full charge cycle every day. When that shovelware is buggy for a few months and running the battery dead in the afternoon, that's 1.5 to 2 charge cycles per day. I think I've just purchased my last fancy phone with a permanent battery. The next one has a removable battery or it's dirt cheap.

microSD card isn't negotiable. I need offline storage.

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Yahoo! couldn't! detect! hackers! in! its! network! but! can! spot! NSFW! smut! in! your! office?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Open sourcing my version too

private static Pattern NSFW_MATCHER = Pattern.compile(".*\\.yahoo\\..*", Pattern.CASE_INSENSITIVE);

public static boolean isNsfw (String url) {

return NSFW_MATCHER.matcher(url).matches();

}

It could probably use some more training data but it's working fairly well.

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Four US states demand restraining order to stop internet power handover to ICANN

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't tread on dialup

To bad states aren't so good at protecting communities and startups that would like to improve regional Internet delivery without being smothered under frivolous anti-competitive lawsuits.

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R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Once these appear in the wild

No, Knightscope makes the Daleks. They still lack the powerful drivetrain and moderately lethal weapons needed to not be stolen and dismembered in SF.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Kevin McMurtrie
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Life of a troll

Sounds like he's just fleshing out his Curriculum Vitae

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Video service Binge On 'broke the internet' but 99pc of users love it

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Yeah, brilliant!!

Turning it off costs $25 per month on the "ONE" and only current plan. Seriously.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

The re-carrier

I'm on a "grandfathered" plan where I can disable Bing-On. I'm ditching T-Mo the second it becomes mandatory. If there's a 1.5 Mbps version of the video available, it looks pixelated and turns to mud when anything moves. Anything needing more than 1.5 Mbps of streaming simply doesn't work.

Clearly expressing my feelings towards Bing-On would make me sound too much like John Legere and the moderators would probably delete my post.

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Kevin McMurtrie
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"email all those thought to be affected"

I won't be getting that e-mail. I was just wondering if I should pull Yahoo from my mail server's blacklist because the spam deluge had settled down to a tiny trickle. It looks like now isn't a good time.

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IPv4 apocalypse means we just can't measure the internet any more

Kevin McMurtrie
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NAT gonna happen

Routers default to allowing incoming IPv6 connections only by whitelist. It must be that way. Many LAN devices and appliances have received Linux upgrades giving them modern IPv6 networking but the apps on them wouldn't last even one second when exposed to the world.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stronger bags

For all the adapters, dongles, and hubs needed for a single port Apple product.

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T-Mobile USA leaked free access to sites with '/speedtest' in the URL

Kevin McMurtrie
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The un-car ...buffering... rier ...buffering... says GFY ...buffering... S.

A better use would be hosting videos. T-Mo's single "ONE" plan is $70/month with video streaming throttled to 1.5 Mbps "DVD quality" unless you opt-out for another $25/month.

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British mobile AI 'bot perfecter stalked by Silicon Valley – report

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

Two ways to make money from AI software:

A: Sell a complete system for $200 that makes life easier.

B: Free cloud connected app that manipulates people for profit.

I hope working AI isn't invented while Plan B is still in fashion. There are so many great ideas that can never turn into great products because people expect them to be crappy and free.

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Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: jailbreak your phone and install a firewall

There are open source Android operating systems that don't require the Google Apps suite. Chinese phones all have an OEM operating system available that doesn't use Google.

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JDK 9 release delayed another four months

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

High & Low

Java has already attempted to blend high and low level coding designs. Java 8 added lambdas, processing streams, and more modern concurrency. It's hit and miss. It provides a clean framework for efficiently performing complex operations while at the same time making it much easier to write the lazy bloated crap that gives Java a bad reputation. Honestly, I'd let the Java world spend more time figuring out how this concept should work before throwing together another half-assed language.

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Luxe cable crimper

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

RJ-45 plugs have already been solved using load bars or straight-through loading. They're much simpler than what's in this advert.

I don't know about your jacks, but the Cat6 jacks that I bought for my house don't need the wires untwisted either. They're also simpler.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Google Play Services (GPS), the Trojan app

OsmAnd+ and a microSD card FTW. The odds of me needing a GPS tagged map are inversely proportional to cellular data availability.

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: CNN says that these findings mean VW fibbed about their gas mileage figures too.

MPG ratings are pretty much a scam.

My lemoned 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was rated 29/37 MPG but the actual was 9/32. Yes, that's 9 MPG city. The hybrid system would overheat after a few stop signs and become massive deadweight. To make matters worse, it didn't re-enable 1st gear to compensate for the electric motor being off. This car must have been tested somewhere REALLY cold to keep the electronics running.

Current 2016 Golf R might be capable of meeting EPA estimates, but I need to double check whether or not the computer is lying about gas consumption. There have been a couple of times where odometer/pump came out to 22 MPG when the computer said 28 MPG.

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Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Will audio quality get better?

There's potential for headphones to improve with power and a digital signal source. Tradeoffs in driver design are more relaxed when local electronics can compensate for certain types of defects. It opens the possibility for a customized active design that outperforms a passive component design.

The shame is that Apple didn't fix any of this in a practical manner. Bluetooth doesn't have enough digital bandwidth to sound good and the Lightning port is proprietary. Their quest for a walled garden has killed this idea.

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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

"a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure"

HTTPS is really, really slow and I'm not a fan of Google's hacks to improve it. How about a long-term plan to make digital signatures work better? Most online content is public so all that matters is delivery integrity.

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Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Kevin McMurtrie
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terajoule laser?

Forget about this space sailing tech. Tell me more about your laser.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Kevin McMurtrie
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San Dimas High School football rules!

One day iPhone will just be an elegant little featureless slab you keep in your pocket.

Screen, headphones, iWatch, camera, mic, stylus, cell radio, WiFi radio, speakers, charger brick, iPhone charger base, headphone charger base, iWatch charger, camera charger base, mic charger base, cell charger base, WiFi charger base, speaker charger base, USB hub, USB-C hub, power hub, and cables will need their own shoulder bag.

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holmes

Smart move, Apple

I just peeked at some live feeds. If The Reg is thinking what I'm thinking, it's probably in Apple's best interest that you're not covering it. It's singing, a couple of iPhone game releases, and desperately trying to convince people that iWatches are a big thing.

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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: standard operating procedures

There is emergency response software that shows the extrication procedure for any car. It shows where to cut it open, where disabling wires are, and hazard areas. I found Tesla's Emergency Response Guide online so it should be there.

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Spoof an Ethernet adapter on USB, and you can sniff credentials from locked laptops

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Hmmmm

That's not how authentication hashes are supposed to work. I wonder the experiment was performed on a LAN with bad security and everyone configured their laptop to enable blacklisted protocols. Toss a 1990s era music file server on the network and post instructions for connecting. sudo sysctl -w ...

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IPv4 wealth redistributed

Kevin McMurtrie
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I did some random tests just now and IPv4 appears dominant because most web sites are using edge caches. Those don't consume a unique IP address for each site so they're probably in no hurry to upgrade. The Reg is using double-agent CloudFlare.

The biggest problem I see is that most routers are complete garbage. It says "IPv6" on the box but it doesn't work. The best I've seen so far is a functional switch that enables and disables incoming WAN connections. Forget about attempting to use firewall rules. I mean, most small business routers got support for multiple WAN IPv4 addresses working just a couple of years ago. Give Cisco/Linksys/D-Link/Netgear another 20 years for IPv6.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise in talks to offload software, asking for '$8bn to $10bn'

Kevin McMurtrie
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The most popular HP product in Silicon Valley

Is probably their vacated buildings.

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US spectrum auction falls short by, oh, you know, $66bn thanks to tightwad mobile giants

Kevin McMurtrie
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OTA

I just replaced the rooftop TV antenna and amplifier to fix signal overload from reallocated channels 52-83. It would be nice if I don't have to immediately do it again. What's on broadcast TV isn't worth a whole lot of effort.

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Li-Fi with my little eye … a vulnerability

Kevin McMurtrie
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It's dark and my computer stopped working

Many Software Engineers, when given the ability, will turn off the lights.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Those kids

World's most profitable tech company finds declining demand for its aging premium products. It must be the factory's fault.

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A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Too slow

I've tried cheap NAS before. It sounds like lots of fun - an instant way to share files without infrastructure. Soon you get tired of waiting for it. Simon's 100MB test works out to ADSL modem speeds so you might as well leave it at home plugged into your router's storage port.

It would be nice if these things got fast.

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Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Kevin McMurtrie
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Carrier fee for suckers

T-Mobile only knows how much tethering data you're using when it passes through their custom tethering app. Without it, tethering data is normal data like it should be. It's an odd and expensive penalty for buying your phone from a T-Mo store rather than from the manufacturer.

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Oracle reveals Java Applet API deprecation plan

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Just kill Applets already

I'm not sure why you'd want to compile an Applet with Java 9 when there will be nothing to run Java 9 Applets. It wasn't just security concerns that ended Applets. Java's GUI, multimedia, and certificate APIs are pretty miserable on their own. Trying to get them working properly through a browser plug-in is futile. For all of JavaScript's flaws, it's still a million times better than Java Applets.

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Google tells popup ads to p*** off on mobes

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Hey Googly...

99% of PlayStore would vanish if Google removed all apps that were vulnerable to click-fraud, phishing, and hijacks through malicious adverts. That's not good business to a company making money from data collection and advertising.

The real motivation is for Google blocking online crap is that it's not Google's online crap.

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Microsoft, Lenovo cross-licensing love-in: Android mobes knocked up with... Office apps

Kevin McMurtrie
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No need to worry

Lenovo is currently not issuing software updates.

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Kevin McMurtrie
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Unlicensed LTE

Does this mean letting people run their own low power community cellular services? This would actually be a great way to share Internet and fill in small areas where signals are blocked or roaming fees are too high. Auctioning it to telcos, or any large commercial deployment, would be a complete waste of public bandwidth.

Meanwhile, 26.965 to 27.405 MHz is still there for trolls leveling up their skills on a giant 1/2 wave antenna before heading to the Internet.

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Two-speed Android update risk: Mobes face months-long wait

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Lying with statistics

About that plateau on the Moto graph: Lenovo has halted updates. As of right now, the X Pure is Android 6.0.0 with the February 2016 security patch. The May 2016 security patch is partially deployed and the 6.0.1 update seems to have been abandoned after a limited release. VoLTE isn't entirely working and there are no plans for a fix.

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Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Whoa, hold on there!

Of course Google tries to watch everything you do. It's in the disclaimer that everyone dismisses the first time they signed in to Chrome or "improved" their GPS settings.

The difference is that Google offers nice stuff for your soul. It's hard to feel like you're getting a good deal with Edge and Starbucks.

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Verizon fingered in Android bloatware-for-cash cram scandal

Kevin McMurtrie
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Another reason why you should never buy phones from a telco.

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Intel teases geeks with 2017 AI hyper-chip: Xeon Phi Knights Mill

Kevin McMurtrie
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A chart with an arrow shooting up into infinity! Where's my wallet?

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Cisco raises axe above 14,000 staff – reports

Kevin McMurtrie
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Paris Hilton

Company that makes hardware for the cloud is laying off staff and moving to the cloud.

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Google's brand new OS could replace Android

Kevin McMurtrie
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Core control

About that Linux flame war - One consistent problem with Android is CPU core control. I have yet to see a governor determine accurately determine how many CPUs are needed and how fast they should be running. They need to know how many tasks may execute concurrently and whether or not intermittent loads are coming from a single operation (latency sensitive) or many operations (not sensitive). The hacks that try to make this work will make you cringe.

A new mobile OS that can control the CPU cores better could have at least 50% more battery life and 50% better performance for everyday tasks. A full-throttle benchmark would look the same, of course, but most uses are bursty.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

This is not the market you're looking for

Google and Apple have been saying the same about India without success. Google likes personal data collection, advertisements, social manipulation, cloud storage, and other things that drain batteries and data plans in an instant. Apple likes sky-high margins, new technology, flashy looks, and customer lock-in. Neither one suits India. Even Apple's and Google's current markets are growing a bit weary of these designs.

Some phone makers do understand it - replaceable battery, splash resistant, protective rim around the glass edge, minimal OS that runs for days on a charge, unlocked bootloader for free third party OS upgrades, microSD slot for cheap storage upgrades, and a bit of extra bulk to avoid exotic construction.

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Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: I call BS

I suspect it has issues with block motion compensation in modern cameras. Image features are a sharp but not exactly where they should be.

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: No need for hacking

I put a 'scope on the door handle. Touching the handle emits a coded EM signal in the audio frequency range that the transponder replies to. I was able to activate the transponder from a distance using a crappy old Archer Mini Amplifier (LM386 demo circuit in a box) and a couple of coils as a low frequency signal relay. A Satellite TV amp should be able to relay the return path from the transponder. Add directional antennas and you have an open car.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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No need for hacking

As it has been demonstrated before, VW keys don't need to be hacked because they're transponders. The natural decay of RF energy is their only security mechanism. An analog RF relay will open the doors and start the engine. I haven't hooked up my 'scope to the door yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if it used frequencies compatible with off-the-shelf cable modem range extenders.

You can pull the transponder battery out for security. The driver door has a hidden keyhole and there's a short-range RFID sensor on the steering column.

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Raucous Ruckus router ruckus roundly rumbles: Infosec bod says Wi-Fi kit is weak, biz says no

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Is Ruckus Wireless entering the "small business network" market of expensive yet buggy products?

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Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

Kevin McMurtrie
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Black Helicopters

Truckloads of these will probably go to a remote location in Utah. This is the tech you'd use to correlate observed events on a large scale in real-time.

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Proof! that! Yahoo! not! really! dead! (Sponsored)

I've been getting that zuckload of ads for a couple of weeks now making Facebook look like Yahoo News. You can click "Hide all ads from..." for an advertiser but it's useless against what seems to be infinite permutations of advertiser names.

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