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Comment: Re:Where have we seen this before? (Score 1) 65

by anubi (#46732439) Attached to: 3D Display Uses Misted Water
Is this anything like I have seen for years at Disneyland? I guess it was at least ten years ago they used to run a nightly show at the "Rivers of America" area and they would spray all sorts of water into the air and project images into it. It looked similar to the technologies where they were projecting moving faces onto heads in the haunted house.

Comment: Re:bad deal. (Score 1) 449

by anubi (#46613857) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
If there is one thing I can say about POTS, it had to be the absolute least secure way possible of conducting a phone call. All the signals were pure clean analog, in the clear, and you could tap in on any of them at a telco connection block with just a headset and listen right in. Remember those phones the linemen would wear on their belts... thats how they found where the line went bad - just clip in and and see if they had a good line. Red and green... tip and ring. They were not even polarity sensitive until the touchtone pads came out. They would put 20 hz on the line to ring it, then put something like 48 volts through a resistor to the line to power up your microphone and dial, and you had a little inductive coupler to pick the signal back off the line to run the earpiece.

The telephone company back in the 60's and 70's had their RIAA-style heyday with a lot of kids using "blue boxes" and the like to make free calls or prank calls through the long distance system. The magazine "2600" originated with this... it turns out one guy, going by the moniker "Captain Crunch" started spreading the word that General Mills just happened to distribute a little plastic whistle in boxes of breakfast cereal for a kid's toy, and this whistle just happened to emit one of the frequencies ( 2600 Hz ) which would divert a call to an 800 number to an outgoing trunk. Hilarity ensued there for a while. When I was a kid, it was all the rage to rip off the phone company for unpaid-for calls... many of which were prank calls to overseas for "bragging rights".

Comment: Re:An option? (Score 3, Insightful) 449

by anubi (#46613805) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
Think twice before you want to assume this mess. Ever seen inside those telco boxes? They are a mess of 50 year old wire, eroded, and crumbling. I have seen them in my neighborhood and wondered how the telco kept them running.

I think they are pricing landline use through the roof to get people to abandon their line, then they re-allocate the remaining working lines to the ones who have not jumped ship yet.

Personally, I think the landline infrastructure I have seen is rotten to the core, and is inevitably sinking, and even I cannot really see them investing much money in order to keep it alive. I think they see this kinda like I see my 40 year old car... its hard to get parts for it ... and everything in that car that is flat wore out. Its an old Toyota. Around 300K miles. Looks like shit and still runs, albeit rattles like a sonofagun and accelerates like an old coot getting off a couch. I have to be prepared to buy another car when anything major goes. I think the telephone companies have already written off the landline infrastructure, and is just milking it along for a few more years until they shut the whole thing off for good, but for now, a few lines still work, and they are pricing them for the last hangers-on like me. ( Yes, I still use a Western Electric 500 series phone - the black one... you know, the one with a carbon microphone ). I did get the touchtone pad though...however the old dial phone in the garage still works. Doesn't ring anymore though - I had to disconnect its ringer because I only had enough ring current coming to me to ring one old phone. I have to hand it to the phone company for always having their stuff work.

Comment: Re:Sure, Just Require Universal Cell Service (Score 1) 449

by anubi (#46613753) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
I have been a landline user for about a half-century.

This is how they are "encouraging" the abandonment of landline service.... they are hiking the bills through the roof!

I used to pay about $6 a month for service. Now its right around $40. PER MONTH!

I hardly ever use the damn thing... I guess I just want one around for emergencies... anyone have any recommendations for me?

Comment: Re:One thing's for sure... (Score 4, Interesting) 870

by anubi (#46579999) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate
Although I think the helicopter drop would get money into the hands of people who would spend it instead of "investing" it in rent-seeking behaviour, I feel that changes in our Tax Law would have far greater implications.

If it were simply finances that ran our Government, why in all blue blazes did we privatize the banking industry? The "creators of currency" ... I said "currency", not "wealth"... are empowered not only to draw from thin air that which they do not have, but are also empowered to exact usury for the use of that which never existed in the first place. Its a really nasty little paradigm which encourages extremely unproductive "investments".

As we move forward with manufacturing and production technology, the economies of scale lead to an environment of material goods abundance. I feel any shortages at our present stages of this game are purposely created by those who are gaming the system

I can't see where employees should cost the employer anything... the employer should simply write them off against taxes - as the employee they hired now has the burden of paying tax on his income. ( that's taxable income which would not exist if the employer hadn't created a job in the first place! ).

In short, I personally feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with the present system that an overhaul of our tax codes won't fix. But I can tell you one thing... the people who are presently gaming the system won't like it and they will do all in their power to keep the status quo by "working with" our lawmakers to make sure those changes won't happen. If that is the case, I feel we are on the road to repeating the French experience.

Comment: Re:GeoLocation is not evidence (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by anubi (#46570513) Attached to: Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate
When I try to log anything going through my system, I get all sorts of activity that I have no earthly idea what it is... but if I block it, there will be some app that suddenly stops working.

I am reticent to block all activity except for known ports, as a lot of today's software requires me to run the stuff open so they can communicate with their home base.

I would be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act if I were to reverse engineer the code to find out exactly what they wanted. So, in accordance of my understanding of the Terms of Compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was bought by the Copyright Holders, I run my wireless nodes that pass information subject to softwares governed by the DMCA wide open. I do not attempt to monitor, reverse engineer, or try to "break their codes". Like watching activity on the street, its not my issue with what other people are doing. Its been my experience that interfering in other people's doings is not very healthful.

The Copyright Industry has fought long and hard, spending countless resources to have law passed that makes ignorance of how one's stuff works as a condition of lawful compliance with their terms and conditions. We are now getting a lawfully compliant population who leaves every port on their system open because some copyright holder might want to use that port, closing it will cause the system to malfunction. Troubleshooting and repairing the malfunction is now defined by our Congress as being in violation of Copyright Law.

For my critical stuff, which I have not signed away any rights, I can still communicate securely, but for the commercial stuff, which I agreed to leave access wide open, I comply.

But as far as my wireless access points...

I HAVE NO EARTHLY IDEA WHAT IS GOING THROUGH IT.

Nor, do I feel I am lawfully allowed to know.

As far as I am concerned, I am running a public toilet.

Anyone is welcome as long as they don't come in and make a mess.

Comment: Re:this is not news (Score 5, Insightful) 150

by anubi (#46550225) Attached to: WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"
I think of it as this way. We know our stuff is getting snooped and hacked into. Its high time EVERYBODY knows this stuff is NOT private.

This forum, along with all the other times this has been discussed here on Slashdot, as well as other technical forums, provides evidence that may be one day very useful in a court of law if some copyright holder tries to prove an illegal download took place. If it took place through a wireless network, can it be proven who the recipient of the illegal download was?

We can whine and complain all we want, but if business finds it cheaper to simply include hold harmless clauses in their terms than to provide a robust product, they will do so, but in doing so, they have also removed surety of proof of download for the high and mighty MAFIAA.

The Copyright industry has spent millions of dollars to pamper Congressmen to pass law to make sure no-one can listen to a song unless terms of endearment are complied with... now they are finding out they just put a multimillion dollar lock on a cardboard door.

We do not have the money it takes to pay for Congressmen. The copyright people seem to have unlimited money. Money to hire lots of lawyers and send lots of threat letters. Those letters will be ineffective as long as we have insecure systems and no-one can prove a thing. We may have a problem with insecure systems, and the MAFIAA has a hell of a problem.

This kind of stuff gives everyone and his brother plausible deniability, which now means a total lack of accountability for online activity.

Comment: Re:"provides marketplace platforms" (Score 2) 93

by anubi (#46502825) Attached to: Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US
Yup...

This is the arm for the little guy. ; This one is for wholesale business

Its amazing what you can get over there. You can buy anything from a completely assembled product down to every little piece that goes to make one. I am currently looking into having some of my stuff replicated and sold through them.

Comment: Re:Bill Gates - changing people's lifes for the be (Score 1) 126

by anubi (#46502753) Attached to: Solar-Powered Toilet Torches Waste For Public Health
I never thought I would be taken as a shill for Bill Gates.

I have been so pissed off about some of his products I could just about climb the walls.

I do not know who to blame, as there are many special interests and factions with their hand in it.

However, I am in much agreement on how he sees fit as to how to distribute the proceeds of his business. He seems intent on leaving a legacy of making a difference. Much unlike most folk I know that seem to take finance like sharks at a feeding frenzy.

Comment: Re:Bill Gates - changing people's lifes for the be (Score 4, Insightful) 126

by anubi (#46497237) Attached to: Solar-Powered Toilet Torches Waste For Public Health
Agreed.

When some people accumulate enough wealth, they become empowered enough to make a difference in the history of man. Some ( like Gates ) are using their resources in a way which will benefit humanity, others will go out and buy all the rental property they can.

I am hoping so badly ( hoping, mind you, not really anticipating ) that our lawmakers in Congress will see and craft tax law to encourage the kind of stuff Gates is doing and closing all of these tax advantages of simply rent-seeking and financial churning.

If Gates gets favorable tax treatments for doing this kind of stuff, it only empowers him to do more similar things as well as lead others to use the power of their wealth in a similar manner.

If there is one thing Gates has demonstrated over and over, he does have the leadership, organizational, and business skills to do it.

I know I have left lots of anti-Microsoft rants here: I feel hypocritical in posting this. Those rants were my venting my frustration as an older guy about software becoming so un-necessarily complex with all these special interest groups trying to get their proprietary add-ons adopted into Windows that pranksters have started having a heyday leaving a mess in everyone's machine. I was rooting for a very simple but thoroughly understood OS that was pretty damned bulletproof. My feeling was if pranksters thought setting people's fancy little outhouses on fire, then what I wanted was a simple one made out of cinder block.

Comment: Re:Typical government stupidity (Score 5, Insightful) 185

by anubi (#46471321) Attached to: Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax
I keep seeing the argument of what we get for a dollar funded to NASA. I ask what we get for a dollar funded to professional sports. I get to see some grown man chase all over some field trying to snare a ball.

I admit a lot of kids see this and dream of becoming a sports star or rock star. Is this a productive use of a human lifetime? Some say it is, some say it isn't, and I am not qualified to state. All I know is advancement of science is a dream to me. As far as I am concerned, Space Exploration is to science like programming games is to computer science. Its the stepping stone, the common basis of knowledge, from which we spring off whatever comes up.

NASA has always been an icon for me - an entity who is actually doing something that has never been done before. Will I benefit from a romp on the moon? Probably not. Would I benefit from stronger alloys, higher energy density batteries, more sophisticated CAD systems, and legions of kids which were motivated by the Scientists at NASA. I believe I will.

Our society seems to be quickly succumbing to what the economists refer to as "tragedy of the commons", where everybody is in it for themselves regardless of the cost to others. Our government is passing all sorts of laws encouraging "rent seeking" ( ownership benefits ) at the expense of production ( job creation ), leading us into a welfare state. I see big social problems ahead with this leadership model, as the ownership faction will run amok, leading to enormous wealth disparities between those who labor and those who own. We are setting ourselves up for a civil war between the worker and the politician/banker classes.

We seem to have no problem funding enormous salaries for someone to hit a ball with a stick. Here we have fostered an intelligence great enough to have placed a part of ourselves on another planet, and we bicker over whether we can even fund manning the operation? I am quite sad over this whole affair. It seems the only idols we are given is all this bread and circus crap. No more Spock, Scotty, or Steve Squyres.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.

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