* Posts by armster

32 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

armster

Re: Biometrics are broken

Biometrics are broken for high security. Biometrics are great for phones. Many people don't even use a passcode for the sake of convenience. Those who do mostly use 4 digit pins (or an android gesture that is equivalent to a 4 digit pin). There have been plenty of reports showing that such a pin can be brute forced if you have access to a standard PC with the proper software. If I use a fingerprint and a long passphrase as back-up authentication I truly believe I am much more secure than the next guy.

If you worry about your credit card, do you carry a wallet in your pocket, or do you bring along an electronically keyed lockbox to the store? If anything credit card "no factor authentication" is broken, and paying with single use codes protected by single factor authentication is infinitely more secure.

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

armster
Flame

What about all the other premium phones?

So the S5 and the OneM8 are the top income earners (not top sellers) for Samsung and HTC, and they cost at least as much as an iPhone6. If the reduced subsidies impact Apple they will also reduce the profitability of the top tier Androids since they don't sell as many of their high-end high-markup phones.

Then again there is the increased usability term that people may take into account. Apple will still support the 4S with iOS8, Google officially ends Android support 18 months after a device is Nexus updated, vendors often don't even do that much to keep their Androids usable.

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Amazon begs Feds for drone test permission slip

armster

And where is your warehouse?

I just have to wonder (in addition to the mind boggling number of drones needed to replace an ordinary or even autonomous truck) if a 30min delivery @ 50mph is reasonable they do need a warehouse within 20miles of any person served, and not just a distribution warehouse, the whole point is that I can order my thingy and receive it in 30 minutes. So they need a stocking warehouse within 20 miles of say downtown LA, San Francisco, NY, London, Paris.... Wonder how many million dollars that would cost.

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Apple rats on Google to FTC: You thought WE were in-app-ropriate?

armster

This is all in the past...

It seems most people don't grasp that the lawsuits are about the way in app purchases used to be handled a couple of years ago. And it is not about the stupid parents who told their kids passwords or such. It is about parents who downloaded a game for their kids, had to enter a password (even though the game is free), and assumed that the device would ask for a password again for the next purchase. I think this is a fully legit assumption. All the manufacturers have changed the way it works, and so claiming that Android is better than iOS because it does not allow you to do this in the current version is just total crap. Apple pointing out Google to the FTC is a bit like being pulled over by a cop and saying yes I was going too fast, but look at this guy he is going twice as fast...

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

armster

What about Bikinis?

So if I find some nation somewhere that thinks women in bikinis are porn then Facebook will remove all those images in all public profiles? I'm no international legal expert, but with the restrictive customs in many muslim countries I would not be surprised if such laws exist somewhere.

I really think Facebook just wanted some controversy around censorship so people are less inclined to look at their current 'upgrades' in personalized advertisements.

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Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

armster

NOT the parents fault

I got a kindle fire as a gift, and I am a bit scared of it. Once you enter your Amazon ID (and you need to do that to set it up) it knows everything, including your credit details. Even if you never entered it on the device. I can see how parents set the device up, install a few 'free' games, and hand it off to the kids to play, all the while assuming that since they never entered any credit details or authorized any purchases this would be a safe thing. Of course the parents could figure all this out, I did. But the point is that Amazon made it too easy for kids to spend their parents money if they have access to a kindle and gave too little warning to the parents. Apple did the same thing, and they paid for it (and fixed it afterwards).

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

armster

Re: I need to get some t-shirts made up...

It is always shocking how far away from the problem this discussion runs. The problem is that there is excessive peak load, that can't be met. Nuclear can't meet peak load. Ever try cranking up and down a nuclear plant on a moments notice? Great for base loads, but wait, that is not the problem here.

Gas is great for peak loads, since you can spin up a turbine in a few minutes, and get an idling one to full power in seconds. But you would have to pay for the turbine sitting around, or idling. Seems fair to me, peak power is hard, making it available should be rewarded. My problem with gas is that it comes from Russia. Prices have been a bit in free fall lately so it is easy to argue that gas is cheaper than renewables, but I would not claim that it really is more reliable, considering that if Russia shuts down all deliveries prices will be so sky high that burning candles will be a great alternative to light bulbs.

In my mind the real questions are: Why does the Grid need to quadruple STOR power? more finicky renewable plants or more and spikier usage? Why are gas plants not more attractive to run, prices for gas have fallen, peak energy prices are up, yet we hear that gas plants are mothballed. Why is it the politicians that shut down plants? The energy companies made those decisions, based on (good or bad) economic stimulus by the EU and UK politics. If they shut down too many plants without building new ones the energy companies screwed up, not the politicians. If the grid operators did not enter into enough long term contracts and allowed the energy companies to shut down plants and drive prices up (ever learned from California? Enron wrote the book on this.) then this is the grid operators fault. In the end the consumer pays, or puts PV solar on his roof...

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Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

armster

Amazon as the bad guys

I think it is really neat to see Amazon as the bad guys here, when just yesterday an article about Ebook price fixing had Apple as the bad guys and Amazon as the good guys. So if Google or Amazon use their market power to push low prices on publishers (or labels) so they can give the music to the consumer for cheap this is bad. If Apple works with the publishers to establish an alternative Ebook market to Amazon, so they can charge more this is just as bad. I guess the definition of bad is really in being a consumer or a producer.

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New software nasty encrypts Android PHONE files and demands a ransom

armster

You mean like an iPhone? Which does exactly that, or backs up to iCloud or both...

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EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?

armster

Pension Fund

So if the spread went down due to HFT why is that good for my pension fund. This really meas that some high frequency traders are vacuuming up the profit (was that 400M) and the pension fund still has the same cost. I actually think this is much worse since the HFT guys are vacuuming up much more than the 400M in reduced spread, so people who trade on the value of a company, and not on the microsecond fluctuation thereof get shorted.

I happen to like the idea of a tax on trades. If my pension fund has to pay a fraction of a percent of the value of a share that they (hopefully) make a several percent gain over the course of the year I won't notice. If a HFT has to pay even a minuscule fraction of a percent he can't operate.

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CEO Tim Cook sweeps Apple's inconvenient truths under a solar panel

armster

Re: re Apple was regularly slammed by Greenpeace

I think Jobs was really greener than Cook, he just did things rather than promise things. Unfortunately the Greenpeace rating at the time was about a companies promises for the future, so Apple predictably scored badly, while HP built computers that were harder to recycle, used more power and had more toxic substances scored better because they had a plan on what they could do to improve on this. Of course the plan was voluntary so nobody ever checks compliance either...

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Proof Apple is GOING BACKWARDS: It's trying to patent a Newton-ish touchscreen stylus

armster
Flame

Re: Probably intended for graphic artists

I know I'll get flamed for this, but it seems most of the commenters did not read or understand the patent application. This is about a pen that does NOT have interchangeable nibs, it is about a pen that uses an actuator (wheel) to change the way the tip (nib) interacts with the tablet. So you could change your brush, get tactile feed-back and NOT search for an easily lost plug-in tip. Wacom pens have buttons that change pen behavior, but not the tip consistency. I have not seen prior art on this.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

armster

Re: Question to someone sciencey.

It is always better to compress air to take on as extra ballast than to compress your lifting Helium. Since the COSH apparatus is shrouded in much mystery I am not convinced that this is not exactly what it does.

As far as usefulness goes: Any tracking outfit will have 50 tons of water available wherever they operate, and they might benefit greatly from getting 50tons of equipment delivered in exchange.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

armster

What about updates

So why would anyone consider the Nexus device for "good updates" when you already know that you get less than 18 month of updates, which is much less than the 2 year contract and much much less than I want to keep my phone. I need updates for 3 years guaranteed. So that means MS or Apple.

I wish google would change, but I have no hope they will.

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FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

armster

Ever tried to wear those?

I know there are ancient goggles that may be that bad, but for less than $500 you can buy multi-band goggles with good optics and 75% transmission. Laser lines are very narrow and good filter design can remove essentially all commercially available laser wavelengths without much visible issues. I have long wondered why not more pilots wear those.

http://search.newport.com/?x1=sku&q1=31-20096&xcid=goog-pla-31-20096&gclid=CLCys_yKx7wCFQNufgodPBUAgw

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Display tech based on EYEBALLS could reduce teens' mobe-fiddling

armster
Unhappy

users are more intelligent

I seldom fiddle with brightness, but when I do I take a choice: I trade display quality for battery life. If the fancy tech needs more processor cycles to save some nits at constant display quality that is nice to improve daylight readability, or even preserve quality at lower backlight rates, but there is no way it is as efficient as dialing down backlight to 'barely readable' mode.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

armster

Win 9 is going to be perfect!

Just look at the numbers: 9=3x3 so this is got to be good. It takes MS three tries to do anything right and this is the third try on a third try so I expect greatness.

Unfortunately it really way further than their 9th try so I just hope for the best.

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A whopping one in four Apple fanbois uses OBSOLETE TECH

armster

Re: @DougS

Why don't you learn how to calculate before posting. If only35 million devices came with iOS7 and 75% of 600 million = 450 million are using iOS7 then 415 million users must have upgraded.

The only reason Android looks halfway up to date is because its surge in market share. More new devices around. Few people upgrade android devices more than once or twice in their life, mostly since device manufacturers and telcos don't roll out new versions quickly. So if you want anything recent it is cyanogen or iOS, or buy a new phone every 6 months.

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Women crap at parking: Official

armster

This was a New York study

If you are really confused about the 80% of pedestrians in New York being run over by male drivers, you have never seen New York: 90% of cars are cabs, and 98% of cab drivers are male. (O.K. I just made up those numbers, but it sure feels that way). I am shocked that 20% of pedestrians in NY are run over by women....

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Patent law? It's all about Apples, Newton and iPads

armster

Re: Sightly strange complaint

So why is the NHS not a public good? It works out in economy just like the herd immunity: In the US where we don't have such a thing a new hip costs a fortune, while it is cheap (and I don't just mean the cost to the individual) in most reasonable systems (such as Canada, UK or Germany). The reason is if you have a decent universal health care system it drives down cost of service for everyone. Not having a decent system in the US (and unfortunately Obamacare is just not enough) causes higher drug prices, higher service prices and even higher insurance company profits. So the true market approach here is if you spend enough money lobbying you can guarantee your profit base for the foreseeable future.

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iPad Air BARES ALL, reveals she's a high maintenance lady

armster
Flame

So what did Google say about Android

I just read that Google won't support the galaxy nexus on kitkat since it is older than 18 months. So you should throw an android out after less than two years. No need to replace the batteries. At least Apple still supports the iPhone4 with iOS7. Much more important to me than how easy it is to replace the battery.

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Apple handed Samsung-busting nuke after Steve Jobs patent U-turn

armster

Irrelevant

All this litigation is irrelevant for the companies involved. Even if Samsung gets found guilty of infringement they can ban imports of the S4 two years or so from now. Big win. Patents in the current system work great for trolls (they can easily make it more expensive to settle than to fight), but not so much for protecting IP from copies. The money involved is not going to hurt Samsung or Moto.

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Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

armster

Right facts wrong conclusion

While it is true that more ways to speculate might bring the price of a commodity closer to the 'real' price, this assumes that we want the commodity close to the real price. Any engineer should know that if you remove all damping from a system it reacts very fast to change, but that still means we want damping in a system. The tax does not prevent any type of speculation. You can still go long and even sell naked short. You just have to pay for it. This is the equivalent of a damping force on a mechanical response. Remove the shock absorbers from your car and your tires will follow sudden dips and bumps much more closely. They will follow the 'real' road. The ride quality for the man in the cab will suffer.

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'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

armster

Re: Thermal runaway

Toyota uses Li batteries in their Prius plug-in. There simply is no choice when it comes to range. NiMh is only useful if you want ~100000 cycles of partial charge/discharge as you would in a standard hybrid during regenerative breaking.

If you 'insert' a metallic object into a LiMg battery there will be a fire. Tesla packs are built to deal with such a fire should it happen to a few isolated cells. If many cells in close proximity get internally shorted (no protection circuit can help there) that area will ignite. I think it shows good engineering that the fire did not spread through the entire battery pack.

Most cars have exposed fuel lines along the underside and a convenient ignition source in form of a catalytic converter right next to them. Car fires are really not that rare.

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IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

armster
Flame

Who said global warming stalled

What most climate skeptics fail to realize is that global warming has not stalled in the past 15 years. The atmospheric part of it has stalled, but looking at good old Earth that really is just an incredibly tiny fraction of the globe. If you look at the global deep sea temperatures things are moving along just fine. So just because some ocean circulation patterns have changed, moving more heat into the deep end is not a reason to say 'there is no problem'. If I were sitting in Britain I would be rather more worried about changing circulation patterns...

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Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

armster
Devil

Or are they hiding something?

When I first heard about the draconian DRM measures I was wondering what they were thinking, but then I realized that nobody is talking about the ridiculous privacy issues around the new "I know who you are, and which friends you visited" Kinect any more. So maybe they just designed the EULA as a distraction from the privacy issues, intending to U-turn "we do listen..." all the way.

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First Cook, now Intel bigwig pokes Google in the eye over Glass

armster
FAIL

Re: History will repeat itself

I know Apple bashing is en vogue, and I used to be an Apple fan from 1987-2009, so I may be a bit biased. But Apple has produced some very innovative products, they certainly are not a company to criticize for plagiarizing stuff (even if my first MP3 player was not an iPod, the first player that got lots of use was.) Why not criticize Apple for their true failings? Walled gardens, no support for legacy applications, App store on the Mac, moving tablet UI elements to the Mac... the list is definitely there.

The way I see google glass is just like the first CE smart phones: interesting but useless. If a friend gets one I'll play with it for a few minutes, but I'll never buy one. So the real question is will Google improve Glass over time to a point where it will be useful, or will it be a different company that comes up with a useable headmounted computer?

So if history repeats itself and a different company comes out as the inventor of the usable headmounted computer I would still give the accolades to them and not to Google for making an innovative but unusable product. My guess is this will be neither Google nor Apple.

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Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple: Tech titans say 'No'

armster
Windows

Who cares about the injunction

I really don't get the fuss about the injunction. With the lawsuit running for years no product that still generates reasonable revenue is on the list of infringing products. I wonder if Samsung is just trying to stretch this out while they sell the last remaining stock of those old and outdated phones.

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Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

armster
Flame

Re: So what's changed?

Why not look at chemistry or climate when talking about both.

If we have a warm climate down here due to greenhouse gases (I said if) we will have a colder troposphere, because those gases keep the IR radiation further down to the ground.

But the nice thing is that you ignored both chemistry and climate science, so maybe the cooling of the troposphere keeps the unstable intermediaries around longer so they can form more clouds. It is just one more thing that may have a negative or positive feedback. So why shouldn't we burn some fossil fuels in the meantime to see if we can reach tipping point. If we can reach a tipping point we will wipe out most of humanity (why do they want to settle in coastal cities?), if it turns out the feedback is strongly negative we can look back and say there never was a problem.

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

armster
Coffee/keyboard

This is how MoD contracts work

The problem with MoD contracts is that the skill is not in building the kit, or designing the kit, but rather in designing a Cost Model that the MoD buys for designing and building such kit. Nobody ever believes that any program can be run at the promised cost, but if the Cost Model can be tweaked so that it fits within MoD budget all is well. Once you have spent all the money under the cost model, you then just have to ask for more, and show a new Cost Model that shows you are at least 50% there. So if you want to have more than 100% cost overrun (as in the case of the carriers) you just have to do multiple rounds of this. This is especially easy to do on projects >4 years since the politicians change, and so you can claim a change in requirement.

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Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

armster
Alien

Re: I'll admit that this patent might have a leg to stand on.

Try using any actual Apple mouse. They give you a warning message 2 days, 2 hours and 5 minutes before they stop working. I would still prefer a mouse that 'just works' without me going for the battery charger whenever the 2 hours left message comes on.

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armster
Unhappy

Did anyone look at the patent before commenting?

I think the patent talks about distance charging, not inductive mat charging which has indeed been around for years. If I read this correctly it will be used for the Apple mice and keyboards, and will be integrated in future macs (but I could be wrong). Certainly nobody builds anything like that currently, and I don't know enough about the Wireless Power Alliance patents to see if they have anything similar. The older patents are certainly very different.

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