117 posts • joined 29 Aug 2012
Not Allowing Fingerprint Storage? Got A Passport?
Last time I renewed my Swiss passport, they took a digital picture on the spot (which saved me from having to bring in a passport photo for them to glue on) and the fingerprints from both of my forefingers (right and left hands), and that data all goes in their system and - I assume - on the chip embedded in the passport.
Last time I travelled to the U.S. using my Swiss passport, I had to stick a forefinger on a reader. Don't tell me that the U.S. government isn't permanently storing any fingerprint they come by.
That's not the same as letting a private corporation store your fingerprints, but the point is, if you want to travel internationally, you're not going to totally avoid having your fingerprints stored.
Private corporations can't do much to you (apart from the evil ones in films), but the government can. I would think that you'd have more fear of government abuse than of business abuse.
One of the things I don't like about businesses storing my private information is that I know the NSA is going to have it, along with any law enforcement agency that wants it, and probably a few hackers. So if the government (mine and others) already has it anyway, it's not such a big deal.
Color Me (Still) Skeptical
"They have pretty much answered all the objections that have been in the market, they are taking away all the advantages that competitors have."
So now I'll be able to buy a cheaper model with less memory, and then insert a 64 GB micro-SD card for extra storage? And I'll be able to just stick the USB cable into my PC or laptop and drag pictures and MP3 files between the computer and phone, and dispense with the cumbersome iTunes software?
Send Frank Miller
Did this remind anyone else of Sin City? I say, send Frank Miller there for inspiration.
Naughty mask, because, that's what the men are going to be forced to wear.
The IT angle: I can see a tenuous connection with various Unix commands. Here's my "man" page:
type: she was his, and vice-versa
tee: what she was wearing
strings: he has a nice trophy collection
touch: how this all got started
wait: what they failed to do
strip: what they did
head: what he wanted
tail: what he got
expand: what happened to the burrito (that's a little donkey, right?)
join: the connection between burrito and taco
time: there wasn't enough
nice: right up until the police arrived
split: what they tried to do once the police arrived
alias: what he and she tried to give to the police
what: the crime of combining burritos and tacos in public
I don't get it. Everyone, even those who prefer spending money on unmanned space probes, more or less accepted, if not promoted, the Orion space capsule + Constellation program development which started back in mid 2000's. In a time frame longer than it took us to go from a V-2 to a Saturn V, and which consumed a good chunk of the NASA budget during the interim, the big aerospace companies working on the project failed to deliver much of anything. The plug got pulled when the expected delivery dates were being pushed back years, if not over a decade, and the emphasis shifted to letting private industry have a shot. Now Boeing and Lockheed-Martin are themselves private companies, yes, but I'm assuming that what was meant by private industry is letting smaller companies propose and develop their own ideas, and then try to sell them, rather than having NASA give out huge development contracts for dream projects. Now that the private industry idea is working, Space X can resupply the ISS with cheaper and reusable rockets which don't use cryogenic fuels, now they want to go back to the old way, and recycle the same type of legacy products which could not be delivered in the Constellation project? I can see the need for a heavy booster, to lift stuff into LEO which has to go in one piece. But how much is that? Wouldn't it be cheaper to, say, launch components for a Mars mission into space using smaller boosters and assemble them in orbit? Or is that not technically feasible? Or are the components all going to be too big for that?
Iron Sky Curtain?
Putin is dreaming of the Helium 3.
Replace Your Handwarmer with a Gamer Laptop
If you can afford it, you should consider getting rid of the HP and replacing it with a gaming laptop.
You cannot judge by the stats alone. The HP laptops look great on paper, regarding the CPU, RAM, etc. in the price/performance department. In actuality, some models have heat problems. The last time I went looking for a laptop, I did two things: (1) walked through a large electronics store, putting my hands on the keyboards of the running demo models and looking closely at where the exhaust ports are located. An HP laptop keyboard almost burned my hand. An ASUS model by comparison was cool to the touch. (2) I looked at user comments on review sites, and low and behold, there were many complaints about overheating and freezes in the HP same model that was so hot.
I purchased an ASUS Republic of Gamers laptop that has two large fan exhaust ports at the BACK of the case. One for the CPU, one for the GPU. Large enough to get decent airflow, and they blow the air out straight out the back. The only thing you cannot do is jam it up against something, because that would block the airflow. Duh. No hot air on the mouse hand. The keyboard does get warm while gaming, but not unbearably hot. However, I never notice that anyway. I use a Logitech Unified mouse and keyboard, so I have just one small USB connector for both, have a full-sized keyboard that I can turn off/on, turn upside down and shake out, and position how I want. It's usually propped up on the bottom edge of the laptop.
Gaming laptops seem to be a hit-or-miss proposition regarding quality. You probably have about a 10% chance of getting a lemon. Judging by the comments I've read, you either love yours or you hate the manufacturer for having crappy support. The same manufacturers that get 5 stars for great laptops also get rated as "never buy one from here again" by the people who get the occasional bad one.
Is the NSA Paying for This?
"OneDrive users with Android devices can also receive an additional 3GB of permanent storage if they enroll in the service's new automatic camera backup feature, which stores photos online as soon as they're snapped."
First they came for my browser history, then they came for my friends list, then they came for my phone numbers, then they came for my call list, cell towers, wi-fi hotspots and GPS coordinates, now they come for my pictures...
"After a few bouts of Tennis, the machine was left to gather dust and disappointment."
Yep. I played the heck out of Paper Mario, which I thought was great. But that wasn't thanks to the Wii. I would have liked playing it on any game console. My wife played through that and Mario Galaxy, but then lost interest part way through Galaxy 2. The Wii gets turned on for occasional bouts of bowling or kart racing when guests come to visit. Otherwise it collects dust. For awhile, I checked for new games, but I never saw any that caught my fancy. It is too underpowered to play a shooter, most of the third-party games look like cheap and simplistic games shoe-horned into the Wii style of control, and the sports games like the tennis and golf are neither good simulations nor much fun to play with friends over for a party, leaving just the bowling and kart-racing. Which got old after awhile.
I was hoping for something better with Wii U. It didn't impress me enough for me to upgrade.
Wasn't This Supposed To Stay In Vegas?
Breaking into a website is one thing, but violating the unwritten rule?
Re: More security company FUD
Angry Birds have to put their money somewhere, and the Piggy Bank apparently cannot be trusted with their nest eggs.
Consumer Rights Need To Catch Up
Every time I personally go to my bank, I am urged to use their on-line banking system. I always politely decline. I'm not a philistine when it comes to using the Internet. I have no problem using my credit card to order from Amazon, or using PayPal to pay for some other things. With the exception that I also refuse to sign up for the "Verified by Visa" program. With my credit card, my liability is limited if there is fraudulent use. With on-line banking, the banks shove the risk of fraud onto the consumers. They claim that their multi-factor authentication systems are fool-proof. Therefore, if your account is emptied, it can only be because you didn't properly keep your password, or one-time use sheet, or whatever safe. It is up to you to prove that you weren't at fault, that the on-line banking system has a security flaw, and that is effectively impossible. I know that the chances are small that with a multi-factor authentication system my bank account could be plundered. But the chances are not zero. I won't let the bank simply wash its hands of any responsibility, so until I get the same level of consumer protection that I do with a credit card, I won't use on-line banking.
If I do decide to ever use it, I can see how a mobile application would be at the same time very convenient, and -- being a new technology -- have new attack vectors, so I'd probably stick to using a dedicated computer.
I Think I Know The Answer To This One
"So what made Silva choose Lottie Dexter to lead the initiative? It's hard to tell."
Um, I would rephrase that as "You can tell he's hard."
He wants to see a lotta Lottie.
Suits you, sir, suits you!
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.
"In accordance with Art. 27 of the Federal Law 'On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation', the official currency of the Russian Federation is the ruble ... Bitcoin are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals and legal entities,"
I guess that the Russian players in Everquest II and World of Warcraft are going to be out some Gold then. Since any magical weapons and armor purchased with in-game money are tainted by currency violations, those must be seized as well.
This lends a whole new meaning to the term "raiding party".
Re: Hi handsome
"... they were actually more desireable and "beautiful" to at least the eyes of our species' males..."
Now if the scientists would kindly correlate the time frame with the discovery of fermentation, there might be an explanation.
Re: A load of marketing hot air
The article implies that in the future there could be various combinations of CPU and GPU. For example, possibly a chip with 8 CPU and 4 GPU. They'll be oriented toward specific needs, so if you only want CPU cores, there will presumably be one like that. Nobody will limit your selection. You will have to choose the correct product for your needs.
What? No Everquest 2 or Planetside 2 Spying?
It's a sad day for Sony I guess, when the spooks don't think there are enough users in these now free-to-play games to make it worth spying on them.
On the bright side, hackers still think it is worthwhile to hack into the Sony servers to steal usernames and passwords.
Re: not just faults
What? You never wrote an interrupt handler? Just don't forget to turn them back on...
Re: Re Why you can't satisfy your wife and I can
Well, both do involve rods being inserted, and something being split.
Re: less helium than a balloon
"Helium is a finite resource, once it escapes it cannot be recovered or re-created (on Earth at least)."
Well, there is one way it can be created, but it's not practical, and collecting the fused Hydrogen atoms might prove to be a problem.
I've read a couple of articles referencing the Wozniak piece where he calls for patience in the face of unrealistic expectations of a continuous stream of revolutionary products from Apple. Now that phones and pads have cameras back and front, flashes, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, 3G, 4G, etc. it seems that the best we can hope for are incremental improvements in the OS, battery life, and camera and screen resolution.
But why should phones be limited to defense? The best defense is a strong offence!
Here's my idea for the next revolutionary product: the iPistol!
Specs: a 14 round, 10mm pistol, with a white plastic inlay in the polished aluminium grip. Integrated MP3 player, phone, camera with integrated targeting sensor, and fingerprint sensor on the trigger. Can be configured to playback your favourite clips, like "Do you feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?" Automatically posts your best shots to Facebook.
You just have to be careful not to press the wrong button when you're having a conversation.
What, No Mention of Trousers?
Thanks to all for your various hints and warnings on what terms American tourists are advised not to use. No one seems to have remembered to tell them that men should use the term trousers, rather than pants.
Why only expand markets to allowing shorting of houses and real-estate? We should be able to short anything. For instance, pants. If I see a polyester bubble-butt, then I should be able to short pants.
Did the burst balloon remain attached and act as a drogue chute to slow down the fall of the assembly?
The guy should have denied ever having done anything of the sort, and offered to take a lie detector test to prove he was telling the truth.
Change the Name and You've Got Yourself an App
How about a description of how the app was supposed to work. I'm imagining that the app would have taken photos using both the front and rear facing cameras at the same time, pasting the two photos into a side-by-side presentation, with the gawking face on the left, and whatever the rear-facing camera was aiming at on the right. It could be anything, not just a pair of tits. So with a name change to something not involving body parts, it seems to me that it could be a perfectly legitimate app. It would be good for getting 'reaction shots', but instead of just seeing the face, you'd also see what the person was reacting to.
Paris, because I'd have liked to have seen the expression on her former boyfriend's face.
Re: That's not a "hound".
It was a "hapless hound". It's obvious that the author was after some alliteration. Fits better than "daunting dog" or "courageous canine" as the dog was the one getting bit, rather than doing the biting. Artistic license!
Let's not forget, that "hound" often is used in this sort of context, as evidenced by that arbiter of such things, Dick Dastardly:
Mutley, you snickering, floppy eared hound.
When courage is needed, you're never around.
Those medals you wear on your moth-eaten chest
Should be there for bungling at which you are best.
So, stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon now.
You, silly, stop snickering, it's not worth the chance.
For you'll be returned by the seat of your pants.
And clunk, you invent me a thingamabob
That catches that pigeon or I lose my job.
So, stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon now.
Re: I must be too old
I had a Timex Datalink. I could sync it with my PC running MS-DOS by holding it in front of the screen. You had to have a CRT though, not a TFT screen.
"Dr Afroze Khan ..."
A descendant of Ghengis Khan, with an afro?
Or an aluminium cylinder of beer in the freezer?
So what happened to all the controversy about being forced to play with an always on connection, or at least go on-line once per day, buy new licenses for resold games, etc. etc.? I know that MS backed down a bit, but where does it stand now in relation to the PS4 on those issues?
"Simple, you take each phone sold in Britain and see how if it can be inserted into the Home Secretary's arse.
The one's that will go in are banned."
Or you could just compare them with his head, since that fits.
"... And given what other articles have described about the mechanics of what happened (the way the water would basically stick to your head and flow around it to cover the entire surface) it is indeed a nightmare scenario when you could physically do nothing about it. ..."
Start drinking? If it flowed over your mouth, and you could suck it in and swallow it, then with the amount of water being limited, could you perhaps uncover your mouth enough to breathe?
I checked my recently received electric bill from the EWZ (Electric Works for the City of Zurich), to get the breakdown on the sources of electricity, which they conveniently supply. For 2012, the energy sources were overall 66.7% renewable (composed of 64.7% hydro, 0.4% solar, 0.3% wind, 1.3% biomass), 26.6% nuclear, no fossil. Of that, 98.7% was produced in Switzerland, the remainder imported.
That shows that getting rid of their nuclear plants, which like Germany are planned to be phased out, is going to require something to replace them. Either fossil (gas turbine) or looking the other way and importing nuclear power from France. But, unlike Germany, there is a significant amount of hydro, so the problem with base load is not as acute.
What About Deep Packet Inspection?
There is a technical problem to be solved for securing the content of private individual or business communications for stuff the government doesn't care about, but which you don't want competitors to have access to. There are some solutions for that. How adequate they are is debatable. Governments have been known to spy on foreign companies to help out competing companies based in their own country. Let's leave that aside.
Let us stipulate that you are a whistle-blower that a government does not like and wants to suppress. Once you are targeted, any intermediary, or you yourself, can be pressured into turning over any encryption keys. So you want to avoid attracting attention in the first place.
Assume for the sake of argument that someone did set up a secure e-mail server beyond the reach of a given government. The thing still has to be connected to the Internet. It still has to have an IP address and so does any other endpoint communicating with it.
So, you try to use some intermediary to obscure that you are communicating with it. As has been reported recently, even TOR is not secure, because you cannot trust the endpoints. But for the sake of argument, less us further assume that both the e-mail service and the intermediary you use are not themselves honey pots set up by the NSA or whoever. What is to stop them (you know, THEM) from coercing all ISPs and backbone providers into letting them monitor the packets going through every single router, in particular the ones at the edge of the Internet? And performing deep-packet inspection to try to match up packets going in one place and out another? It seems like it is just a matter of money and processing power and storage capacity. With some custom made hardware (such as FPGA) (which they probably already have...) it might not be far-fetched.
So, it seems to me that as long as you use the Internet for some kind of end-to-end communications, it will be impossible to use technical means to prevent the authorities from obtaining meta data.
If you don't care that they know you are communicating, then you may be able to sufficiently encrypt the transmission. But the men in black can always sneak into your abode and bug the place. Or put a trojan on your computer.
All of these suggestions from readers for out-foxing the authorities are pretty much an exercise in futility and a fool's game.
What we need is legislation which makes it flat illegal for the government to do this stuff.
But then, when the next act of terrorism occurs, are you going to demand that the authorities do something to prevent it from happening in the future? Or when you find out about some child-paedo ring, abusing children and sharing the pictures of their crimes via some secure server? Or some international drug cartel, which murders people by the hundreds and corrupts whole governments organizing their business the same way?
With the massive precautionary data collection, the authorities are taking the easy way out, to be sure, and it is being abused. So can be just back up the Patriot Act and its ilk a bit and go back to the days of having real judges issue real warrants?
Re: My English has gone to pot, but...
Also, I don't think that the Sun should get the blame for bad grammar just because it happened on Earth.
Next you know, someone in Hollywood will be shopping a script which involves a super-villain taking control of spacecraft as part of a plot for world domination + profit. No wait...
Paris, because she never got to be a Bond girl.
He's not allowed to spill the Beetle Juice.
Smilianets is no longer smiling, I guess we can call him Smilianyets.
"Water is actually the best thing to use to extinguish a lithium battery fire as it is one of the only suppressants that cools the battery enough to inhibit the thermal runaway. After water, in order of effectivness : Halon, CO2, them wet foam."
Thanks for the useful info. To be pedantic, you should probably have said "lithium ion" rather than "lithium" although for batteries, the latter implies the former. You really don't want to pour water on pure lithium - that will actually cause an explosion, which I'm sure you know, but your target audience might not.
If someone steals your Facebook password, then...
...you have lost face.
I'm reminded of the South Park episode where one of the kid's fathers buys a Blockbuster video store for $10,000 using the family's savings: http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s16e12-a-nightmare-on-face-time
Might blank CD-ROM/DVD/Blue-Ray sales pick up again?
It's been literally years since I bought any blank disks. I still have some lying around, collecting dust. Their main use in the past was making backups, but now it seems easier to just use a RAID system, and then occasionally back up to an external hard disk. That's unlikely to change.
But if kids become scared to download MP3 music files and movies, might they just go back to burning copies of each other's CD's?
Yeah, the wholesale downloading probably has to be combated, but I can't envision a rash of kids suddenly buying CD's again.
Coincidentally, the kettle body reminds me of a WWII era German helmet.
When Nerds Collide
Sort of a weak interaction, isn't it?
From the screen shot it looks like it has a 1990's Leisure Suit Larry level of graphics, but without any of the smutty humour, and probably plays like a boring version of Sim - something. I actually bought and played (maybe twice) Sim-Ant, by the makers of Sim-City, where you try to get your ant colony to drive the humans out of the house, and it bored me to tears. The game seems oriented to appeal to wanna-be game developers, which I estimate would be a small subset of the total gamer population. So the game is probably a hard sell to start with.
Add to that, this: as another poster pointed out, if the deliberately "cracked" version of the game, which the few interested people try out, is rigged to not allow the players to ever win, then if those players go on to assume that this is how the game normally plays, they'd sure give it a thumbs down. The company may have shot themselves in the foot with that trick.
Locked in, no, others locked out, yes.
I have a Kindle that I'm very happy with. I was well aware of Amazon's proprietary Kindle format and "lock-in" when I bought it. I generally don't like DRM. I never bought into the iTunes business because I only want unencumbered MP3 files, and iTunes is actually not all that cheap. However, in the case of Amazon, I accepted it. Why?
(1) I have been a customer of Amazon for a long time, using them to purchase books, paperbacks, DVDs, BlueRays, and assorted toys. I've had the best customer service I have ever experienced with any company.
(2) I was purchasing physical books from them anyway. The Kindle books are even cheaper.
(3) The Kindle books don't take up space in my apartment like the old paperbacks I have gathering dust in a stack of cartons.
(4) It is possible to share the Kindle books. My experience with sharing my physical books is that I can get one or two people to read them, not more. So the limitation on number of times shared with the Kindle is a comparatively minor issue.
(5) I looked at many e-readers in stores, and at a co-worker's Kindle, before I chose the Kindle. The Sony e-readers I found appalling poorly designed. They were clunky and suffered from buttonitis. Just like the old Nokia smart phones with their buttons and deep menu systems were made to look clunky by the first iPhone. Old companies have had trouble learning the lessons of Apple's success: simple design. Amazon had the benefit of coming after the iPhone, and took those lessons to heart when creating the Kindle.
(6) Amazon may have a walled garden, like Apple, but their way of making money is exactly the opposite: instead of demanding high profit margins for the hardware AND gouging on content via the walled garden, they subsidize the hardware AND sell the content cheaply, relying on massive sales with a small profit margin per sale.
(7) I'm not really locked in to the Kindle as tightly as has been implied. I've read at least half the books I bought on my Samsung Galaxy II using the Kindle app. I've also read some of the books on my iPod.
(8) The Kindle does one thing, and it does that one thing well. I can hold it in one hand for a long time, and read in bright sunlight, where I can hardly see what is on my mobile phone screen. I sync and go over to the mobile for reading in the dark.
(9) I like having Amazon store my stuff, because if I lose my Kindle, I can just get another one and re-download everything. For free. Using the 3G.
Agreed: I cannot just buy any old EPUB reader and transfer my Kindle books onto it (at least not yet, and without using some conversion app). But considering the number of other devices I can already read my Kindle books on, I find that not to be a deal-breaker when weighed against all the positive things I like about Amazon and the Kindle.
I tried to go the one-control-to-rule-them-all route and had about as much success as Sauron. It was a mid-range Philips RC, for about 50 bucks. The problem was this: it only recognized a certain set of devices for its built-in support, and the memory for the learning mode was insufficient.
I have a collection of devices spanning a great age range. The radio receiver + amp, with 6 channel inputs, is a name brand, but over 20 years old. It cost a lot at the time and is still going strong, so no reason to replace it. The large plasma screen TV is an off-brand, pre-production model, about 5 years old. It doesn't even have a name and model number. Then there are a couple of DVD and Blue-Ray players. The programmable RC had in its built-in catalog similar stereo amps from the same manufacturer, but not the exact model. Sadly, the differences were just enough to make using the wrong model unsatisfactory.
So I had to use the learning mode for everything: point the old RC at the new one, press a button, and map that to a button on the programmable RC. Repeat for every device. After about 80 buttons, the new wonder RC ran out of memory, leaving me unable to control everything.
Memory is cheap, but when manufacturers are trying to save pennies, this is what happens.
Now If The Stolen Laptop Had Only Been Purchased By A Web-Cam Sex Operator...
it would have been fun all-around.
With sticky keyboards, natch.
Re: They bought a stolen laptop.
You realize what happened to Marie Antoinette when she said that...
Paris, because she gets off on heads.
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