* Posts by Getmo

23 posts • joined 28 Jan 2015

Starliner snafu could've been worse: Software errors plague Boeing's Calamity Capsule


Re: This is why the Shuttle never had a software problem that killed people

There's so many problems with Starliner, you're going to have to be more specific.

The problems that did happen, with the 11 hour clock difference causing attitude control fuel burn, yes, unavoidable after launch was initiated. The other problems, with code controlling a separation event being bad (and who knows what else), actually was avoidable, since they avoided it by uploading some untested duct-tape software patches when it was on orbit.

Nothing like bringing a "just ship it now, we'll fix the rest with patches after launch" attitude to crewed space travel, eh?

Crazy idea but hear us out... With robots taking people's jobs, can we rethink this whole working to survive thing?


Re: They toooock ewre joohbs!!!

Every single "post currency" utopia argument always falls apart under any type of scrutiny.

And why shouldn't it? Currency is an extremely useful, probably essential tool to all modern society, invented way back when bartering was a thing.

This silly idea comes from a simple, yet fundamental misunderstanding most people have. In general, they think, "money is the root of all evil." That's incorrect. The correct quote is, "the *love* of money is the root of all evil." I.e. greed, jealousy, etc. Money is just a tool. By itself it's not good or evil, it's only how people interact with it that make it one way or the other.

Usually, the "post currency utopia" argument is just for fancy communism, which all the pros/cons for are well-documented already. If the debater still insists however that it's not, the argument can always be broken by just making unreasonable requests.

Me: "What if I want something that's not automatically provided? I want a pool in my backyard/garden." *yes/no* Me: "I want a gold-plated pool." Eventually: "No, you can't have that..." Me: "So this utopia does not allow [gold-plated pools]?" "It does, but that's extra. You won't get that for free automatically. You'll have to work extra hard to get it." Me: "Cool, so I'll go volunteer at the YMCA for 4, maybe 5 hours, work extra hard, then I'll get the pool?" "No, you'll have to work more than that. And you can't just pick the easiest jobs." Me: "Wait, then how will I know when I've worked 'enough' to afford what I want? And which jobs count as 'easy'?" "Well, there could be a system of credits that you can save from doing different work..."

Very simple to break the "we don't need currency!" argument. It's a silly wish anyway, born from hatred of the entirely wrong thing. Currency is an extremely useful tool. It's like saying "in my future utopia, there will never be any hammers, ever!" because his mother was killed with a hammer. It's a silly argument, born out of hatred for the wrong thing, and nearly trivial to prove through a short debate, that yes, this future society will still need hammers, even if they're called by an entirely different name.

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all


Re: Strange

If you want an "even cruder" way to do this, just buy a miniture FM transmitter. Not the 12v car ones, those are junk. Just one of those tissue box size, black boxes with an antenna and 2-ch input, from Amazon for about ~$70.

Sync issues, gone! Compatibility issues, gone. Multi-room becomes multi-device, any device, even ye olde cassette deck boomboxes. Any old set of amps & speakers, really. Even any possible network congestion issues are also gone, with FM not even being on same bandwidth as the rest of your network.

Hook the transmitter up to a Pi with DAC hat, and you're set. Only requires 1 audio source for practically infinite devices & rooms. Remote control the pi using any of the standard methods, like Home Assistant from any device.

The thing I love about this system is it also scales extremely well. Even the 1W transmitters can do about a mile, and Amazon's selling 5W models for essentially the same price. If you wanted multi-room audio for 2 different sources, say if you did own a mansion, you and your wife were fighting, and she wants to stroll the entire east wing while listening to her music and cursing your name; you want to do the same but with your music and in the west wing. All it would require is 2 FM transmitters.

The ONLY possible downside, you probably have already been thinking about: audio quality. No, it won't be "perfect". Yes, it will be limited to FM's bandwidth. But keep in mind, most radio stations down-sample their recordings for broadcast, to get clearer signal for longer distances. So right out of the gate, you'll get better quality than practically all stereo FM stations, not counting the quality of your source files.

The only REAL downside is the legality of unlicensed FM broadcast. Here in the US at least, the FCC's only written rule on it is the transmission must not reach "greater than 200 feet". I presume something similar for the UK. From my research so far, it looks like others have achieved this by using a 50dB attenuator on the antenna of the 1W transmitter models. For a good attenuator that promises no signal quality loss, they look to be about $85. So, the only real downside is to make it legal, it practically doubles the price. But, I think that's still cheaper than most Sonos products, and it's a 1-shot buy that enables the whole house with multi-room "synced" audio.

World's richest bloke battles Oz catastro-fire with incredible AU$1m donation (aka load of cheap greenwashing)


When he's eventually six feet under like the rest of us, he'll have the shiniest pair of shoes.

ICANN extracts $20m signing fee for $1bn dot-com price increases – and guess who's going to pay for it?


Cry into my whiskey glass?

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan


Re: How easy to re-purpose the hardware?

After having given a lot of thought & research to this problem of setting up a scalable, multi-room audio system without any of the sync/timing issues it presents, I've realized the solution to this problem is far more simple and cheap than I ever originally imagined...

An FM transmitter.

No need to embed yourself in proprietary, price-gouging system like Sonos or AirPlay (that could be bricked in the future thanks to mfr. updates), or to cry quietly in the corner that DLNA is dead and why couldn't they just add a broadcast timing-sync functionality before they died. No need to worry about wired vs. wireless, Wi-Fi network congestion, or even IP packet-switching in general. How about a dedicated, 1-way wireless stream on a completely different frequency that won't affect your network at all? What if I told you this technology is ALSO so old & backwards compatible with literally everything, it's been around since even before the time when old men started to yell at children for playing on their lawn?

Not only do you get to keep all your old speakers, amps, & boomboxes; this design also integrates with any home-automation system probably better than anything else. You only need 1 audio input source, preferably something you could control remotely like a raspberry pi, and output can be controlled using all the same methods you've already been using: Logitech Harmony remote, IR blaster system, OEM remotes, or even Alexa. (No judgement!) Whatever you use to turn on your stereo equipment, and switch the input to FM.

These devices go for about $60..$100 on Amazon, cheaper than Sonos, and you only need one. And according to the reviews, I wasn't the first knuckle-dragging genius to have this idea (Damn!) Others even say they actually got better audio quality than any local stereo FM station was transmitting, probably because of some compression method radio stations use.

The only consideration to make is what the law says. In the US, the FCC doesn't have any actual power limit on unlicensed FM broadcasts, in fact they only say "less than 200 ft. distance". Even with a 1W unit, reviewers were reporting getting almost a mile distance, and Amazon is even selling 5W units. One guy had to daisy-chain both a 30 dB and a 20 dB attenuator between the antenna to get below the 200 ft. range, and after some searching it looks like a high-quality 50 dB attenuator goes for about ~$75. So to make it legal, it's about double the price. But, still cheaper than some Sonos products, and no brand lock-in headaches.

Paris Hilton

Re: Plastic blister packs

Ah yes, the 'in-store friction' of being able to walk away with my goods immediately, in exchange for having to interact with a store employee for a few moments while he opens a case.

I know I can't stand the 'hassle' of obtaining things like razors and memory cards within minutes of needing them, so my life can go on. I much prefer the convenience of waiting days or weeks for such items to arrive.

The revolution will not be televised, it will be shipped by Amazon.

Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course

Thumb Down

On behalf of Arizonans

Those assholes don't represent us.

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build


Re: MS please fix the real issue

Their telementry is indeed terrifying, and it's the main reason I blew off the 'free upgrade' offer on my Windows 8.1 laptop. In fact I'll be sticking to 7 and 8 exclusively from now on until I find a flavor of linux I like.

Apparently the baked-in OS capability to watch whatever you're looking at and log ALL keystrokes (and maybe grab your webcam feed too, b/c why not?) was only in the 'Preview' edition of Win10. "It's not turned on by default in RTM editions" is what I've heard and such. To me, the pot is already poisoned when that capability was developed into the OS itself.

Icon because despite all the talk and nag over the years as a grumpy Windows customer, this version is the first to make me realize now may truly be the last time I use Windows as my main OS for personal machines.

It's a question worth asking: Why is the FCC boss being such a jerk?


Re: less government = more freedom for the citizens

Normally, I am a red-breathing freedom-loving free market supporter. Only enough gov't regulation and oversight as needed to protect the average consumers and prevent Corporation Inc. from dumping their toxic sewage directly in our fishing lake, I say. (That last part fields weird to mention, since to this day there are still people supporting that side.)

I am so freedom-loving I truly believe the market will sort itself out (in most cases) to the point of allowing a little bit of anarchy. I take Google and Netflix's side on piracy: If you just made a convenient service that was reasonably priced, with the content people want, they would pay for it.

However in the Net Neutrality debate I don't see any possible gain the people get from letting the "free market" of ISPs run wild colluding amongst themselves and Big Inc. partners, and yet the people have everything to lose. Control of your Data is how Google and Facebook grew into behemoths overnight, they sell that shit. We're already living in Orwell's 1984, now you want to arbitrarily loosen the ties on ISPs even more? Talk about gov't snooping.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips


Re: Thing is, I've been using Windows 10 for over a year, and I still absolutely hate it.

This is my fear. I avoided the free 10 upgrade to keep 8 on my lappy. The hate for Windows 8 is obviously real, but due in big part to Windows RT and the stupid push to "Touch-only devices first, and f**k everyone else". We could call it a Vista, but Vista broke backwards compatibility with XP applications, 8.1 was at least still compatible with earlier 7 and Vista code.

When I got my new laptop with 8 I hated it at first because they rearranged everything worse than a caffeinated Mad Hatter yelling "Change places!" But, I eventually got used to their new locations and tweaked everything else to my liking. Windows Nine 10 had a chance to fix that, but didn't. It looks (and acts) like a horrible hodge-podge of 7 and 8 genetic mixing gone wrong with a pink tutu put on. It's like they couldn't admit replacing the Start menu with Metro Tiles was a horrible idea, and sentimental devs tried to salvage "all their hard work" and mix it back in. And now we end up with an interface that requires TWO SEPARATE tools to configure the system: "Control Panel" and "Settings".

Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules


You like traffic?

This kind of shit makes me want to stand up a Tor exit node in my house. Come get some.

F U congress, enjoy your unemployment next season.

My ISP, and possibly friends & family's ISPs will be getting some stern phone calls for me to unload on. They'll soon know who they're truly beholden to.

Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern


Re: a bare-bones web browser that has no JavaScript

@Charles 9 What in the name of satan is your ultimate purpose with this 'ultra-secure' web browser? Real life security is a trade-off between convenience and being more secure. If you have specific planned activities for this type of web-browsing, that changes the goal posts.

Firstly I'd be more skeptical about a browser software connecting to today's public internet that was last updated in 2006.

If you're that paranoid, just switch to Qubes OS where every application window can basically can be it's own "VM / sandbox" to be destroyed and re-created at whim.

For regular everyday browsing, I think most would be more happy with a modified Firefox using Ublock Origin, HTTPS Everywhere (not in FF add-ons, visit eff.org/https-everywhere ) and NoScript. The NoScript project is the most interesting, is now a "security suite" I've been using for happily 6 years. It takes the whitelist approach, so everything is gets blocked first, then you choose which sites you trust to enable individually. Nearly every site you visit will be broken at first, due to the high dependency on Javascript of the modern internet just to display text/images properly, so you will have to fiddle with enabling sites to get it right. Rarely do you have to enable all the sites with Java/javascript/Flash elements, and many ads get blocked in the process. My whitelist today is a baby years in the making.

But what if you're a budding druglord kingpin trying to get your empire off the ground, and are just worried about that pesky NSA finding your whereabouts? Stick to a series of VPN's, TOR, disable all cookies forever, and worry obsessively about DNS leaks. Put all this on a burner laptop wiped with your favorite flavor of penguin, and no links or credentials to any of your personal resources.

And if your evil genius doomsday plan requires the utmost security to prevent your volcano lair from being discovered, wipe your burner laptop with Qubes and do all of the above.

Robo-Uber T-boned, rolls onto side, self-driving rides halted


Tempe, AZ

You're telling me self-driving Uber's have been in my town this whole time, after I just finished using the service all weekend??

Quick, how does one sign up to 'beta-test' these rides? Getting T-boned is completely worth it IMO, I've been dying to see this tech in action.

Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

Paris Hilton

Orbit > "in space"

"The first US astronaut to orbit" means the earlier flights were sub-orbital. They went straight up and straight back down.

Yes sub-orbital flights are important to do first for safety testing. But I guarantee it wasn't the main reason they were thinking of. At the time the Soviets were ahead of US in space race, president wanted to get an American "in space" as quickly as possible.

Getting your vehicle high enough and fast enough pointed in the right direction that you can go all the way around without crashing into the surface is a different feat altogether. The earlier flights were basically to make sure the rocket wouldn't explode.

Small number of computer-aided rifles could be hacked in contrived scenario


Re: Right on

There's a similar system - if you want to call it that - already in use on some newer US APCs. Basically a turret on the roof with a camera controlled by a guy on the inside with a monitor and a joystick. Technically it can't fire without a human controlling it, but it does have a servo motor actuating the trigger.

Google, Microsoft and Apple explain their tax tricks in Australia


Will our gov't ever realize?

There will *always* be a tax haven.

Just like in a competitive free market, some enterprising country will open its (tax) doors as others close theirs, inviting the Headquarters of those mega corporations to pack up and move like they've done in the past.

You cannot 'force' a multi-national corporation to pay taxes if you can't explain your own tax code in 5 pages or less. (More than that = guaranteed loopholes)

In US our IRS tax code is over 1,700 pages, and every politician promises to "fix it" by appending more pages. The official tax code literally contradicts itself in several places.

Warren Buffet illustrated this to Obama while he was making the same empty promises, stating publicly that he paid into a lower tax bracket than his secretary.

They demonstratedly do not understand things that these corporations designing advanced systems already do:

+ Complexity does not always = "Better"

+ "The simplest solution is usually the correct one" — Occam's Razor

+ The more moving parts you have, the more that can go wrong (i.e. = "loopholes")

+ KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid (or my personal fav, "Keep It Stupid Simple")

The only real solution is to become a tax haven yourself. Then all the companies who fled will say, "Hey, we can move back home!" pack up and come back to where they started.

Our attractive (international) tax code will then even attract businesses from other countries trying to grow internationally and escape the burdens of their local country's taxes.

Obviously, "revised tax code" does not mean "no taxes". There are only 2 things for certain in this life, after all.

What I'm saying: there's absolutely no reason our taxes have to remain as complex as they are. It's extremely wasteful. It is a problem, and there are many angles and solutions.

Personally I prefer a single flat sales tax (like Fair Tax), meaning no more Income Tax, illegal immigrants automatically pay their taxes when they shop, and even tourists pay tax when they shop here. (Sorry Tourists!!) Everybody would have more money in their paycheck, and prices of goods would remain the same. Hey, and we get to be a haven for business again, yar!!

If hypervisor is commodity, why is VMware still on top?


Re: Why Hyper-V is a non-starter in all situations

"No you don't. You can expand an online disk on an online VM with no downtime under Hyper-V."

This is a new feature that was just added to Server 2012 R2. I know because I'm studying for MS Cert exams and that was a part I was told to study. I got excited at work one day when I needed to expand a file server's VHD, perfect opportunity to practice my new skillz.... only to find that in Server 2012 the feature wasn't implemented yet.

Must take VM down to resize VHD :'(


Re: Why Hyper-V is a non-starter in all situations

And yet my phone, Edge router, Playstation, and Smart TV all have to reboot after firmware upgrades.... so maybe the problem is not so unique to Windows?

Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules


Partisan, much?

This entire article. So much it's silly.

You mention ISP lobbying arms, as if their opinion is a surprise

Fox News, who have never been "fair & balanced" and chant republican rhetoric so loud they don't even deny it anymore,

The Liberals, who are just jumping on the bandwagen for the good reviews (because of course everything is politics, if one side wants it the other has to hate it)

You are correct, we don't know the details, but you don't even mention the one thing we do know: this reclassifies internet under "Title II" regulation, making it a public utility, just like phone lines are.

Meaning: all traffic is treated equally no matter where it's going, ISPs can't throttle speeds based on where it's going, ISPs can't charge customers (customers in this case being companies with web services, like Netflix) more to use their magic packet inspection powers to make customers connect to their sites "faster", meaning well established companies who could pay to keep traffic headed to their servers from being throttled won't have an upperhand over disruptive startups who can't.

Basically a new Netflix competitor won't suffer from "lag", and have to pay to make it go away.

However, I do agree that Title II provides broad regulatory power to the FCC, being over 100 pages long it always makes me uneasy to have to "trust" that the FCC will only prevent network providers from discriminatory actions and nothing more.

On the other hand, we in the U.S. are ranked 13th in worldwide in internet speed, and we still pay more than most of you for it. Comcast owns 75% of ISP market, making it a damn near monopoly. There's absolutely zero incentive for ISPs to improve speeds or lower prices. So if FCC says, "you can't call it broadband unless it's 25 down and 5 up" then I say "o.k."

Will ISPs have to pay a lot more into their networks to improve them? Yes. Fuck them.

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools


"the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line"

Eh. I am O.K. with this.

Srsly, people, the only reason you'd be complaining about fiber in schools is because you're already too old and you don't understand.


Ground control to 2014: A year in Space


Re: First time ever? I think not.


67P's orbit is highly eccentric.

Its perihelion is 1.2432 AU which is less than Mars's at 1.3814 AU, so yes it gets closer to the sun.

However its aphelion is 5.6829 AU, which greater than Jupiter's. (5.458104 AU)

Not only that, but 67P's mass (10^13 kg) compared to the Moon's (7.3477×10^22 kg) is 1.3609e-10 the mass or 0.00000000013609 of the Moon's.

Escape velocity is estimated 1 m/s. Hasn't everyone played Kerbals by now?

Not that getting anywhere in space is trivial, but compared to this, it is.

Your efforts to downplay the significance of this event have been dismissed.

US cyber-army's cyber-warriors 'cyber-humiliated by cyber-civvies in cyber-games'


Re: It takes a real man [or woman] to do defense

Tell me, if "Any juvenilie delinquent can wreck something" then why does the term 'Penetration Testing' even exist? Why do private firms hire PenTest firms to probe their security for them, and suggest ways to plug the holes they found?

One of the most basic forms of security testing has always been breaking in, whether that be digital systems or physical. Try PenTesting your own house. Step outside, and try to break in to your own house. Put yourself in the shoes of the attacker.

It reveals obvious oversights that might not've been so obvious from the defender's shoes. It will keep you from doing silly things like buying new expensive locks for your doors, when you discover your son/daughter's window regularly remains cracked and is easy to open and slip thru.

Or buying a 'spensive new firewall when your VPN's Anonymous account was never turned off and still authenticates.


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