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* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

692 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

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Psst.. Know how to hack a mobe by radio wave? There's $70k+ in it for you

Kevin McMurtrie
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Google wins

Has anyone checked what the mobile Chrome does? Google has your bookmarks, your downloads, your history, thumbnails of pages you've visited, your calendar, your contacts, your search history, permission to take pictures, permission to record audio, a live stream of you typing into the URL bar, your location, and it even has an "optimization" that will route all HTTP traffic through Google. Most of this is enabled by the phone's factory configuration wizard.

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Billionaire engineer Ray Dolby, 80, dies at home in San Francisco

Kevin McMurtrie
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No nostalgia here

I was never a fan of Dolby processors on consumer equipment. Dolby NR required calibration that couldn't be provided by any consumer equipment, especially cassette tape players. What you got was pumping and arbitrary changes in volume. Various matrix encoding tricks to cram surround sound into two analog channels were a wreck too. It was fine for synthetic positioning from mono sources (sound effects, dialog, music tracks, etc) but it destroyed natural stereo. The licensing for the Dolby tech bumped up the price on everything, and no product came without it even if few actually turned it on.

Dolby wasn't cool until they started putting digital bits on film, but they were not much ahead of Sony by then.

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iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Ignored opportunities

The next opportunity is: Internet service. Telcos claim that everybody is bathing in 100+ Mbps Internet connections but the truth is that availability is poor, prices are high, shady deals interfere with connectivity, contracts screw customers, and there are EXTREME usage restrictions. Incredible amounts of money are being sucked up by telcos to provide virtually nothing, just like with smart phones before Apple and Google started kicking some telco ass. Google knows what's coming and have started providing internet services of their own but, as big as they are, they're not big enough. Apple should have jumped in too but they're still stuck on the old iPhone, and even dumbing down their other products to be more like iPhones.

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Apple seeds Golden Master iOS 7 to devs, calls Sep 18 ship date

Kevin McMurtrie
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AirDrop?

Still no Bluetooth file exchange? When living in a walled garden, one should periodically check if the walls are keeping the lunatics out or keeping them in.

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Ready to bin your USB cables yet? Wireless USB hops on WiGig bandwagon

Kevin McMurtrie
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For what?

WiGig isn't going to make wireless mice and keyboards perform any better. It won't help portable printers and scanners that need 5VDC. I don't like the idea of running disks or video over a connection that will constantly glitch from motion in the room. What's needing this solution?

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LinkedIn looks at bank account, thinks: We'll raise one Instagram*

Kevin McMurtrie
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Linked spam

The idea behind Linked-In is great but human nature kills it. Recruiters spam for quantity. Professionals hoard senseless connections and recommendations to improve their perceived standing. The noise generated by that overwhelms attempts to get anything serious done. I kept my account lean and clean but I found no way to stop Linked-In's own HR department from spamming me with their job openings until I closed my account. Hopefully that $1,000,000,000 can buy some professional hygiene tools. (And they better upgrade Maude Ave at their new HQ so I don't get killed bicycling to work)

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Sage 50 activation blackout: Shops sent back to paper age

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

Yellow rain from the little dark cloud

One datacenter isn't much of a cloud. In fact, it's more like a hosting environment that one would call a "datacenter."

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Tesla cars 'hackable' says Dell engineer

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

No REST for the stupid

It's worse than having a durable login cookie. If the documentation is correct, HTTP GET is used to initiate significant changes to the car rather than the proper POST method. GET must be idempotent - safe to make or not make at any time. Resources with GET allow clients to pre-fetch it, cache it, asynchronously revalidate the cache, or attempt to fetch the resource in segments. This API is begging for massive malfunctions and the designer never should have passed a hiring interview.

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Jolla's first Sailfish phone preorders 'fully booked'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Up

I still haven't finished disabling all the T-Mobile, Sony, and Google shoveware that came on my phone. There's even shovelware to help you maintain a phone that's overloaded with shovelware (for a small monthly fee, of course). A clean phone could cost a lot more and be worth every bit of it from the time and sanity saved.

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Engineer's $30m windfall from Nintendo 3DS patent spat SLASHED by beak

Kevin McMurtrie
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$15,000,000 and 2 years prison

Didn't Sony help create laws in Japan that give jail time to copyright infringers? It seems only fair that some Sony execs go to jail for stealing a patent.

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Peak Apple: Samsung hits DOUBLE the market share of iPhones

Kevin McMurtrie
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Just the specs

I have to agree that Samsung is the worst. Compare any phone/tablet maker to Samsung and the features for Samsung phones completely kick butt. They have better displays, microSD, replaceable batteries, faster processors, and better form factors. Unfortunately, the Samsung phones are the least likely to work. Android developer forums and customer support forums are always full of complaints about Samsung devices failing due to firmware and electrical bugs. It's serious stuff like rapid battery death, radios going dead, touch screens malfunctioning, GPS not working, and intermittent cell reception. Their repair centers return the devices as "operating normally" when what you asked for was "working."

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Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Kevin McMurtrie
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For what?

I see a lot of tech makes being oblivious to their customers. Apple rules at information appliances and new-tech office appliance products. Android targets geeks while still doing a good job at being information appliances and new-tech office appliances. Microsoft dominates the old-tech office appliances.

So now why are big companies screwing the best customers? Apple is dumbing down their products so much that they're becoming too incompatible with new-tech offices. Android champions HTC, Motorola, and Nexus are sealing in the batteries and eliminating microSD slots to piss off geeks. And what exactly is Microsoft's Surface RT? Commercials show them being tossed around picnic benches, laughed at in coffee shops, and clicked in and out of a tiny exercise mat. I have no idea what a Surface RT is, and memories of old Windows problems makes me not even care.

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Study finds online commentards easily duped, manipulated

Kevin McMurtrie
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up=down

I just felt compelled to vote so that ups and downs match counts.

As for the study - It's not just human nature. Most comment engines move highly voted articles to the top, creating a positive feedback loop based on first clicks.

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Smashing your phone? There's an app stupid game for that

Kevin McMurtrie
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Just cancelled my cell plan

But the things that I have in mind for my SII would terminate it faster than the speed of data.

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US feds: 'Let's make streaming copyrighted content a FELONY'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Government criminals

I've legally transferred many songs between my personal devices using the Internet for transport. I've also legally listened to purchased streams of copyrighted material. The NSA has surely duplicated a few of those streams without authorization and must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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Ultimate Radio Deathmatch: US Navy missile-defence radar vs 4G mobile mast

Kevin McMurtrie
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BZZZZZZAAAAAAP!

That's what it sounds like when you live next to an international airport and a low flying airplane momentarily reflects high power radar down at your electronics. The TV goes, the FM radio goes, your phone says Ø, and I've even had my digital car stereo lock up dead a few times.

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Chubby-chasing SEX TROLLS ran me offline, says fashion blogger

Kevin McMurtrie
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Pirate

One by one

Learn to read mail headers, learn to use network registries, and fire off abuse complaints. There are a lot of trolls, spammers, and hackers out there but there's satisfaction in kicking them off the Internet when they violate their laws or TOS. E-mail harassment and hoarding copyrighted material are easy ones. China, Taiwan, and Korea almost never have valid network contacts so it's best to stop all of their mess at the firewall.

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Malicious JavaScript flips ad network into rentable botnet

Kevin McMurtrie
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And the sky is blue

Hijacking web pages through advertisements is old as dirt. The last time I turned off my web bug blocker, I saw that it was still happening on CNN.com and Yahoo.com. Advertisers resell over and over so the true origin can difficult to track.

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PEAK APPLE: iPad market share hits the skids

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stronger walls

I originally viewed the "walled garden" as a limitation that would eventually be solved. I awaited improved iModels but Apple had other plans. The "walled garden" is extending further and further into the desktop computers with each MacOS release. Portable files and freely available applications are deprecated in the current OS. The next OS appears to push this even harder; further restricting what applications can do if they don't run in Apple's private "sandbox". Apple is taking such drastic measures to lock-in customers that, for the first time 20+ years, I can't see my self buying anything more from them.

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Verizon offers Motorola mobe with 48-HOUR battery life

Kevin McMurtrie
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They never exaggerate

My Samsung S2 is rated for 18 hours of talk time and 20 DAYS of standby time. It's junk and I never use it yet a full charge on a new battery gives it 25 HOURS standby. In one year it damages a battery so badly that it powers off after 9 hours of doing nothing but checking e-mail every 15 minutes.

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Aereo streaming TV now bargaining chip in Time Warner Cable, CBS tiff

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: The worst kind of cable nonsense.

Aereo sells in dense urban areas where your TV signals have been reflected and re-mixed dozens of times off the sides of tall buildings before flying in your condo window. They're not for suburban houses where a rooftop antenna is a trivial hookup for free TV.

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Rotten hackers feast on mouldy Java flaws

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Bad written software = old versions needed = vulnerable systems

The performance tuning is different in each version of Java. For example, String.substring() was changed in Java 7 to perform very differently. That's an extremely heavily used method and the change is not welcome to many. Parsers need to stop using the String class to regain performance! Another resistance to change is that it has usually taken several years for each new Java GC to be free of critical bugs on extremely large applications.

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FCC votes to bring faster internet to US schools

Kevin McMurtrie
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Pirate

My plan for success in the US government

1) Buy hundreds of enterprise grade routers and pocket sales commission

2) Legislate local telcos out of business to eliminate interference

3) Auction off vague but exclusive telco contract for highest bribe, um, I mean commission

4) Create expensive contracting agencies to oversee progress

5) Drain local subsidies of all funds to cover "unforeseen problems" and "regulations"

6) Say it's "almost done" and ask voters for more money

7) Leave town and repeat in another state

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Tablets? Check. Mobes? Check. What's next, Apple? Fondlable CARS

Kevin McMurtrie
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Red

Ah, now I know why Silicon Valley traffic lights are possibly the worst in the world. Only in Santa Clara county will 90% of your time on the road be spent at red lights for intersections with no traffic flowing. It's to give you a few minutes to play with the car tech at every intersection.

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Russian mobile operators say 'nyet!' to Apple, 'da!' to Samsung

Kevin McMurtrie
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Do the prom clothes still fit?

Apple's surge of innovation in phone tech is gone and it no longer justifies the strict rules for sellers and developers. While others are trying to make phones with the smarts of both an iPhone and a desktop computer, Apple is working on making desktop computers dumber like iPhones. Apple is still celebrating the glory of an event long gone while forgetting to tend to the present.

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EU competition inspectors RAID European telcos

Kevin McMurtrie
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Cooperative duopolies wrk grt in US. (Keep post shrt so uplds faster)

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HTTP 2.0 interop tests slated for August

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

Re: Why the Internet clusterfucks

Another month, another research paper promising to save us from TCP. How refreshing it would be to see a research paper instead showing that new tuning algorithms don't work outside a carefully controlled test. Here are your input parameters: Ack packets, data packets. Here are your output parameters: Data packet rate, data packet size, Ack packets. That's all it comes down to. There's absolutely no way for those input parameters to indicate which output parameter is the bottleneck. You can set up a slow guess-and-check feedback loop but the required solution changes too quickly for that. Unless your OS is many years old, TCP already knows all the tricks that work. UDP is also no cure for handshake latency and TCP sessions. To not have a handshake means that hackers can request that extremely large payloads be delivered to forged addresses. QUIC requires an initial handshake and session, just like a long-running TCP connection, for security.

Honestly, the best way to speed up web pages is to block advertisers and web bugs. Google is the problem, not the solution.

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15 MILLION dodgy login attempts spaffed all over Nintendo loyalists

Kevin McMurtrie
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rm /var/log/clubnintendo/2013-06-*

There, fixed that low disk space issue!

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Optical archival system - where to buy from?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Optical archival system - where to buy from?

Data on spinning rust can be safe forever. I still have my files from a 1989 hard disk, and even a few from a 1983 5.25 floppy. Keep feeding the Drobo new drives to replace failing drives. Keep a second copy to protect against Drobo failures and human errors.

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EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

Kevin McMurtrie
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IP

Efficiently sending TV over the Internet is no technical challenge as existing regional distribution boxes could have proxy or multicast hardware put in them. The challenge, especially in the US, is all the greedy fingers that want a cut of the money. Toll trolls can't do anything about over-the-air TV because it's direct and uninterruptible. Cable TV suffers channel outages as the media company owning the wires battles the media company owning the programs for more money. Now imagine every ISP, from mega media corp to mom'n'pop, installing a hierarchy of simple TV proxy boxes. Toll trolls would have a feeding frenzy. You'd end up with such a ludicrous mess of DRM, activation dongles, usage tracking, ad injection, and fees that it would never work.

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Snowden dodges US agents in Moscow, skips out on flight

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

But there's an elephant in the room, crapping on the carpet

There's public backlash against government spying and all I hear politicians saying is how hard they're working to punish the whistleblower. Diane Feinstein's buddy Nancy Pelosi keeps saying that it's all about the economy. How much money does all that illegal spying cost? I'm guessing it's enough money to give every US citizen fast Internet, cleaner energy, and a good education.

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Oracle: We WON grey market software and Solaris support case

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

And so commences the death of Oracle. "It's too hard to get support for it," businesses will say.

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TypeScript 0.9 arrives with new compiler, support for generics

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Just what the world needs …

JavaScript's lack of strong typing and freedom to do anything is what makes a small bit of code so easy and a large bit of code so awful. Editors can't offer any assistance in managing a large codebase because the code can not be statically interpreted. Even the runtime is often unable to perform vital optimizations because it can't prove that they're safe.

What's odd about Microsoft is that they're designing a new language syntax. There's really no need for that. They could recycle C++ or Java syntax but supply it with web-specific runtime libraries rather than the sprawling and insecure ones used for applications.

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New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Climber

It seems like when you're at the point of 30 megagram cables you want the elevator to instead climb a track. The lack of a counter weight would be a lesser disadvantage than the inertial mass of so much cabling.

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Reg hack prepares to live off wondergloop Soylent

Kevin McMurtrie
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Pancake?

What if you cut back the water, blend it until the proteins get sticky, mix in a bit of baking powder, and cook it in a skillet?

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Hot Mac Pro?

I was thinking of a HEPA filter attachment for allergy free computing.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Revenge of the Mac Cube

That new Mac Pro won't be so sleek when it's surrounded by a tangle of data cables, accessory boxes with noisy fans and blinking lights, power cables, power bricks, and everything else. A large silver box with lots of internal slots seems very elegant now, doesn't it? The power button is on the wrong side too. This would be a kick-ass Mac Mini but it's a total failure as a Mac Pro.

Still can't turn off the destructive Auto Save "feature". I see no mention of improving the sluggish old HFS+ filesystem codebase. That's not so Maverick.

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Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Megaphone

Record this, NSA : I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

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Drobo makes 'reductions' ahead of Connected Data merge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Joke

RAIDing the workforce

Layoffs can't be too bad. Surely they're keeping at least one in five employees redundant.

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Samsung plans new R&D centre in Finland

Kevin McMurtrie
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Happy

One bar of death

Ha! Now employees can experience the overheating, crashing, radio malfunctions, nonsense roaming warnings, and circuit crosstalk gremlins in their phones when the signal is weak.

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Japanese SoftBank's $20bn Sprint gobble clears US security hurdle

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

wha....

In addition to obvious points about Softbank not being Chinese, hackers would want a much faster network.

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IBM puts supercomputer Watson to work in ROBOT CALL CENTRE

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Can't be any worse

"My new wireless access point was delivered sounding like a box of rocks and bits of broken plastic are falling out the vents. I need a new one shipped with some padding."

"Thank you. Who is your internet service provider?"

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Don't Panic! Google FCC filing reveals mystery media device

Kevin McMurtrie
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And next

H840 revision 2 would shorten nicely to "Hate 42".

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Jailed Romanian hacker repents, invents ATM security scheme

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Erm.

No PIN is needed. Most ATM cards also work as credit cards, and retailers don't need to perform any security checks on credit cards if they're willing to pay high transaction fees.

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Report: AT&T dropping Facebook phone after dismal sales

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Contract

The catch is in the contract worth $2000 - $3000 that's bound to the phone. The telco asks you to keep paying even if the phone they gave you is incapable of functioning. The telco and manufacturer are well defensed against continuous warranty repair claims. They keep your phone for two weeks each time and send it back as "operating as expected" while you keep paying the contract. The other option is legally fighting the contract. Nobody wants to risk that on a Facebook phone. (And why I will never buy from Sprint or Samsung again)

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Self-assembling robot inches towards WORLD DOMINATION

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

IKEA furniture bot

Open box

Plug in

Wait for motion to stop

Rotate interlocks

Unplug

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CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: A similar argument applies to Time Travel - if it were possible, they'd already have visited.

Time travel would be possible with infinite computational power. Traveling back in time would be a matter of examining the state of the universe, reversing its path in a virtual environment, and then entering that environment or overwriting the present with it. Altering the present from the past would be calculating what changes a past event would have and then applying them in the present. Altering the future would be predicting what changes would be needed to arrive there and applying them in the present. You could argue that it's not really time travel but, if done well enough, there'd be no way to know the difference. Extremely narrowly scoped examples can already been seen on the Internet, in history books, the financial market, and in good brain washing. The scope of such hacking will increase over time.

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AT&T debuts 'Digital Life' robo-home and security tech

Kevin McMurtrie
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Black Helicopters

NSA DEBUTS 'DIGITAL LIFE' ROBO-HOME AND SECURITY TECH

There. Fixed the title for you.

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Boffins explain LED inefficiencies

Kevin McMurtrie
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Black Helicopters

Fricken lasers

Manufacturing is driving costs too. An LED's layers are built at very high temperature so a big chip would warp and crack when cooled. This limits production to small sizes on synthetic sapphire. I suspect that one reason that the US DOE is looking specifically at higher intensities is for using LEDs to pump lasers.

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Verizon: 96 PER CENT of state-backed cyber-spying traced to China

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Re: Great firewall of China

Unfortunately, large countries with well maintained networks must also use APNIC allocations. Blocking the constant stream of intrusion attempts from China, Korea, and Taiwan isn't as simple as adding a bunch of /8 CIDRs. Australia, New Zealand, and Japan should tell APNIC to get their crap together and release all of those giant IPv4 blocks with invalid registrations. Electronic intrusions and espionage attempts would drop instantly.

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