* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

813 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Apple MacBook 2015: Twelve inches of slim and shiny fanboi joy

Kevin McMurtrie
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Sleek laptop in a bulky bag

The problem with these laptops is that they stop being sleek and portable the moment you realize that they need a pile of accessory gadgets to go with them. If you're taking it to meetings you need an HDMI adaptor and power cable. If you're taking to a hotel you need power and an Ethernet adaptor. A road trip might need a USB-C adaptor, 12 inverter, and a cell modem. Eventually you realize that a bigger laptop would actually be more portable.

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Macroviruses are BACK and are the future of malware, says Microsoft

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

Looks like the problem stays well contained within the Microsoft ecosystem.

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FBI alert: Get these motherf'king hackers off this motherf'king plane

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

- Witness aircraft commands traveling to passenger seat

- Don't interfere with flight

- Land safely

- Joke about poor security

- Get arrested?

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NASA guy to White House: Be really careful with that HTTPS stuff

Kevin McMurtrie
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No middle road to stop the man in the middle

What the Internet really needs is widely supported digital signature standards. Most content is not private - you just don't want anyone altering the content during transport. A really, really simple way to do this for HTTP 1.1 content would be to add a digest field to chunked encoding headers. You'd get backwards compatibility, streaming support, and an insignificant protocol overhead.

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FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

Kevin McMurtrie
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Arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and a violation of federal law

Sounds like the service from a telco.

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Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

How is this suddenly a vulnerability? I tried implementing the Range header on my home server and got nothing but crap from the Internet. Since both numbers are not unusual, file length and the maximum value of a signed 64 bit integer, it's amazing that IIS servers weren't crashing 20 times a day from it.

Lost in the noise?

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Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Opt Out?

But you didn't opt-out of the new data sharing options created each month afterwards.

[X] Share my data with premium partnerships

[X] Subscribe to new Features magazine

[X] Share my story with other customers

[X] Something something rabid marketing something something

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Purple strain? Purple gain: WD doubles cam count for spy drives

Kevin McMurtrie
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I used to like WD, but recently it seems like they continue to sell drives even while they are known to have severe issues. It shows up clearly in online reviews when sorting by date. When people report that the power saving parameters are corrupted in a way that damages the drive, STOP SELLING THEM. When people report that a Red drive causes data loss on RAID systems in the compatibility list, STOP SELLING THEM. Rebuilding a RAID with new drives, having them fail, shipping them back, buying new ones, and rebuilding the RAID again costs more time than I'm willing to gamble.

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Strange radio telescope signals came from microwave ovens

Kevin McMurtrie
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Should probably fix that

Good ovens turn off the magnetron when the door latch is released, which is one step before the door can open. That burst of leakage might not hurt humans but 2.4 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell phone radios don't last long with that going on nearby.

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Cisco and Level 3 team up to squash brute force server hijackers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Too many bad networks for a Cisco product

This is for everybody owning a Cisco small business firewall that only supports 50 rules.

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Oh, hi there, SKYNET: US military wants self-enhancing software that will outlive its creators

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

LLVM is a start

LLVM is a start but cruft will still pile up in the LLVM environment. A system that can refactor and test itself would be larger than itself. The cheat to that paradox is massive social interaction where systems get feedback from other systems on whether or not they're doing better or worse. Being a cheat, you just have to hope that the feedback sends evolution in the right direction and us meat sacks aren't eradicated in the process.

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Cyanogen said to be hoovering up cash, but NOT from Microsoft

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

No, it's here

Download cm-12-20150401-NIGHTLY and enjoy.

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Great hopping nukes

This would explain why various government agents have been watching customers of the Falk 'n' Big Nets store.

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Silicon Valley gets its first 1Gbps home bro– oh, there's a big catch

Kevin McMurtrie
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*** ...speeds may vary and are not guaranteed...

I've heard that disclaimer before. I wonder if this is a real internet service or just a faster connection to an AT&T portal. Details are elusive for this service. A real 1Gbps connection would mean being able to host your own public content, streaming HD video without all its details stripped away, sharing NAS storage between family for backups, and never again needing to screw around with online document stores and thumb drives for personal storage. There are so many amazing things that could be done with a real 1Gbps internet connection and they just don't fit with AT&T's model of screwing the customer as much as possible.

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How much did T-Mobile US make from that failed AT&T buyout? How about $7.7bn

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Been there

A acquisition requires audits of every minute detail, it locks finances, it halts new deals, silences many types of advertisements, freezes hiring and firing, and throws all plans into doubt. Either you get enormous insurance money from the buyer or you expect that the deal is meant to put you out of business.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Kevin McMurtrie
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Misunderstood title

I came here thinking that the Apple Watch was somehow related to the Riker Maneuver.

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GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

So... I can check my private security key into GitHub, wait for my computer to get hacked, and then I have a right to spy on GitHub's visitors?

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This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

Kevin McMurtrie
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Déjà vu

Blu-ray movies are "sold" and you "buy" them. Those are the terms used on the box and the adverts. When they require permission to play, they're technically a lease or a rental. I would hope this technicality bites AACS-LA the same way it did with DIVX. It wouldn't surprise me if China redirects a bit of their DoS bandwidth towards Blu-ray licensing servers.

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Storm gathers around CDN Cloudflare after doxxing allegations, Pirate Bay deal

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: I'm lost

CloudFlare specializes in keeping sites up, not only against DoS attacks, but against complaints of abuse or illegal activity. Personally, I'd like to see of lot of the company thrown in jail for all the trouble I've had with their customers.

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Pass the Lollipop: Google creepily warms to body contact with Android lock function

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Not creepy enough yet

Let me guess, sensor data is uploaded to Google for complex analysis and it is retained for long periods of time as AI training data?

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Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Lost mine in a dark room

I had to turn on the lights to find them. The capsules are very loose inside the plastic chamber so I expect that one will break if I accidentally drop it.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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If you work out the cost per day of shipping, the number is quite small. (And getting smaller. I don't have mine yet.)

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Apple Watch is like an invasive weed says Gartner

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

...tapping consumers' precious music collections?

I buy music from iTunes because AAC sounds good and the files work on non-Apple devices. I'd buy even more if I didn't need to run that steaming pile of iTunes.

I'd say Apple is attempting lock-in by holding your data hostage to the platform: proprietary file sharing, proprietary filesystem, proprietary RPC, hidden user data, iCloud, patent trolling, and integration of Apple apps into the OS. It's the 1990s all over again. Analysts will predict never-ending growth due to lock-in and then one day customers will stop putting up with it.

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Meh

Zapping the data lines won't propagate beyond the USB port. A nastier trick would be drawing some to charge the capacitor bank then returning it at extremely high positive voltage. There's an excellent chance of there being a strong diode path allowing the surge to backflow into a common 5V power rail. PTC protectors used for secondary protection are too slow to stop this.

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Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

That's a brilliantly refreshing idea. A remote controllable WiFi music player. They could call it something catchy like "SoundBridge" or "Squeezebox." Maybe it could disguise itself as a tabletop clock while it's idle.

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Devs don't care about cloud-specific coding, right? Er, not so

Kevin McMurtrie
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I did some checks on current cloud computing offerings and they seem to be better now. The original cloud model of many virtual machines is always a nightmare when it comes to tracking online resources, maintaining uptime, and implementing secure host-to-host communications. That overhead guarantees that every application is bloated, complicated, and dangerously buggy. Newer cloud services offer virtual data centers, which is what you really want for some clusters of related services.

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CloudFlare launches nameserver DDoS shield

Kevin McMurtrie
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Not just DDoS attacks

I'm starting to think that CloudFlare is sponsoring articles on The Reg. I don't see any good journalism here to investigate the other things that CloudFlare offers protection against: spam complaints, fraud complaints, and criminal complaints. These services are even stated in CloudFlare's own blog and Facebook page. Check out the comments section for lists of actual customers.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Need a bigger laptop bag

This new "One Jack Mac" is a lot like Trash Can Mac. Minimalist and elegant but needs a whole desk full of cables, gizmos, and peripherals to be useful.

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Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing

Kevin McMurtrie
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Applet plugin != Application runtime

The Java runtime is quite useful and common. Some types of applications are faster to develop in Java or easier to support across diverse platforms.

99.99999% of users should not install the Java browser plugin. The applet environment is so awful that software engineers gladly waited 15 years for JavaScript to catch up, and even tolerated Flash in the meantime. That bad.

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US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Easy peasy!

Insurance companies and the US government are both experts at fee manipulation. I picture both of them gathering greasy, vile, monocle-wearing lawyers and financiers into a dark room, deep underground, around a ancient and worn wooden table to plan the next attack.

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Cash'n'Carrion restocks atomic keyrings

Kevin McMurtrie
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Unhappy

Inventory is up, cart is down

"Due to an unexpected technical problem, cashncarrion.co.uk is temporarily unavailable. Please check back in a few minutes – we'll be up and running in no time!"

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

Kevin McMurtrie
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Weak article

"9-amp-hour battery"

At how many volts? Come on, only Wired should make mistakes like this.

"electric pedal assist for speeds of up to 25km/h"

That's hardly impressive, and hardly difficult on a normal bike.

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FREAK show: Apple and Android SSL WIDE OPEN to snoopers

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Stuck on old Android

This is an issue with telcos locking down phones that they claim they're selling to you. You should never buy a locked phone. You will regret it in 6 months when you've hit a major bug and the telco offers to fix it with a $250 phone swap.

BTW, Apple stops providing security patches to older models too and offers no workaround other than switching to Linux or buying a new computer that isn't actually any faster.

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Ikea to start making electrified furniture. What could possibly go wrong?

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Wrong end of the problem

Will Ikea sell Qi hardwood floors to power the Qi furniture, or do you still need to string an extension cord out to the middle of your living room?

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MEGA PATENT DUMP! Ericsson, Smartflash blitz Apple: iPhone, iPad menaced by sales block

Kevin McMurtrie
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By the way

Somebody should remind the Ericsson lawyers that Ericsson is in the business of selling cellular base station hardware. There's a lot to consider there, like killing off your own ecosystem or inspiring Sony and GE review old paperwork about Ericsson Mobile Communications.

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NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Please stop destroying nice names

Yosemite and Mavericks used to have good connotations.

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Oh No, Lenovo! Lizard Squad on the attack, flashes swiped emails

Kevin McMurtrie
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Shhh!

Aw. My post about a certain company, involved with this and other El Reg articles, selling services to both sides of the battle does not seem to pass El Reg moderation.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Re: Oh dear

Complicated? There's just four magical plastic boxes in the engine compartment. Nothing all technical there to go wrong.

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Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

This will really kick ass when paired with my 7 Mbps internet connection.

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Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Surprise?

Granting temporary root permission is unfortunately too streamlined. Put up dialog box with a "Continue" button. Wait two seconds. Ask for root. Finger taps "Allow." You could probably improve timing using the camera, gyros, or touchscreen diagnostics to detect motions immediately preceding a touch. A countermeasure could be granting root permission using a gesture that's easy to abort.

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Google Talk is dead, long live, er, Google Talk: Chat will survive app zap, flaps G+ chap

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

If I have Hangouts on my phone, it somehow self-activates at a very annoying time and repeatedly posts notifications asking me to sign in. I quickly solve that by uninstalling it.

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Samsung's spying smart TVs don't encrypt voice recordings sent over the internet – new claim

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Jail time

Just wait until Sony and Hollywood find out that Samsung is transmitting illegal copies of movie audio every time somebody says, "Hi TV."

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Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Kevin McMurtrie
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Gimp

Warranty void if seal is broken

I thought Jedis liked to customize their lightsabers. They won't go for a sealed disposable cutting appliance that takes a very long time to turn on.

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So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Kevin McMurtrie
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Fail like the telcos

Big brother Oppo has gone the same way with their ColorOS. Much like big telcos with their custom ROMs, Oppo is angering customers with upgrades that lag by more than a year. AOSP is buggy, ugly, and no easy task to turn into a polished product. You'd think that independent phone makers would be better off donating money and technical support to public AOSP teams to improve custom drivers and themes.

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City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

Kevin McMurtrie
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Small ISPs?

The list of signatures looks like it's from mayors and public utility companies. I'm not seeing any independent providers in there. Unfortunately, I think that mostly says that independent providers don't exist any more.

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'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

Nude photography

U16 is a naked chip - solder balls on silicon that is melted face-down to a high precision PCB. It's supposed to be sealed with some black goop after soldering.

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Bankrupt RadioShack to close up to 2,900 stores, share others with Sprint

Kevin McMurtrie
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I read this as...

They'll be closing their stores in two phases.

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Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: "...no last-mile unbundling."

Sparsely populated areas can be well served by fixed wireless. Big cities are where big telcos bribe and sue the local governments to eliminate competition. Charging 6 million people $100/month to use decades-old wiring is extremely profitable.

BTW, Kansas City has Google fiber.

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Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: In the meantime,

The second recall was about them self-detonating so pulling the fuse or wires is no help.

(I have no hate for airbags. Having been in a crap 1988 Tercel during a fender bender, as the car flexed so that my front teeth almost met the steering wheel, I was thinking that a bag of explosive would have been a nice feature. That, and a car that doesn't flex so much. ...and a gas pedal that isn't behind the brake pedal.)

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Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

Firepower

Sucking power from trees to later detect a fire? By driving a giant nail into them? HOW ABOUT USING ENERGY FROM THE FIRE? Is that too obvious? A reservoir of liquid and a turbine. Heat from the fire boils the liquid, drives the turbine, and provides tons of power. It's so good at harvesting power that the circuits will stay nice and cool until the liquid runs out.

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