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Comment Re:They just crossed the HAM homebrew Rubicon (Score 1) 138 138

I wouldn't be so sure about that. The most likely reasoning for this device getting nixed was that it was likely relying on Part 97 rules for access to additional frequencies/power levels, and it was hams themselves who went after it. As in "don't put this crap in our band". (Since encryption for the purposes of obfuscation is a no-no for Part 97 operation.)

Comment Re:Encryption is fine on any medium (Score 1) 138 138

WRONG. The FCC Part 97 rules themselves explicitly forbid encryption for the purposes of obscuring the message.

(Spread spectrum techniques can be considered encryption, which is why SS is only allowed if you publish your spreading algorithm. Encryption for the purposes of "data whitening" is OK as long as the key you're using is published somewhere.)

Comment Re:Encryption across radio waves is illegal? (Score 1) 138 138

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act assertion is absurd. I can not see in any way that this could result in a violation of that. (It could be used as a tool as part of OTHER activities that are violations, but its use in and of itself would not be a violation.)

However, the "ham" part of the name indicated that it was probably using an amateur radio (ham) service. This service requires operators to be licensed, and has its own rules very different from that of the ISM bands.

In many cases, ham bands and ISM bands overlap. The ham bands sometimes extend outside of the frequency range of the ISM bands, and also licensed ham operation is subject to different rules than ISM devices. Key differences:
1) Licensed amateur radio operators can use MUCH higher power levels than ISM devices. They can legally interfere with ISM devices (although doing this is frowned upon by most hams) - In most of the ISM bands, the military is the primary user, amateur radio is secondary (In some areas, military radars operate in the ham/ISM bands. IIRC there was an interesting situation a few years ago where no one could use certain brands of garage door openers near a military base because the big radar was interfering.), ISM devices are tertiary. Lower-class users must accept interference from higher-class users and can't interfere with them.
2) Operating under Part 97 (ham) rules instead of Part 15 (ISM) rules means that you can't use encryption for the purposes of obfuscating data

I suspect that something about this device made it require operation under Part 97 rules to function, but encryption is a no-no under such rules. Also, it seems like they intended to sell this/encourage its use by unlicensed operators despite the device being a Part 97 device.

Comment Great, just great... (Score 1) 55 55

"Finally, the spam filter is better than ever at rooting out email impersonation—that nasty source of most phishing scams. Thanks to new machine learning signals, Gmail can now figure out whether a message actually came from its sender, and keep bogus email at bay."

As if that crap didn't false-positive on me way too much already.

Comment Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 452 452

In fact, from reading up on Pao - her "termination" was a pseudo-termination. If I'm reading what I see correctly, they "terminated" her from direct involvement with investments but offered her an "operational" position (as in, manager).

(If I'm reading - they basically pulled her from investing but offered her five months of pay to transition to being an executive at one of their portfolio companies, i.e. a company that they had a stake in).

All of the evidence (including her fuckups at Reddit) indicates she was marginally competent and KP tried to move her into a role where she wasn't over her head. She was overconfident in her capabilities and sued them.

Comment One small issue (Score 1) 97 97

America the Beautiful was not written by the United States Navy Band. They are, obviously, one of the groups that performed it.

Not sure if the tune in question was synthesized or if this was a playback of a USNB recording. Being modern, it could be that someone owns rights to the USNB's recordings. (Although I find it VERY strange that a commercial entity would hold rights to a government band.)

If it was just the melody, that predates America the Beautiful based on the sources I can find quickly. (yeah, Wikipedia...)

Comment Re: Why bother with installed capacity? (Score 1) 259 259

As I understand it, the US capacity factor has been improving over the years:

around 88% from 2006-2012, but only 70% averaged from 1970-2009 - and from

Comment Re:Why bother with installed capacity? (Score 1) 259 259

I think he's talking about nameplate capacity vs. capacity adjusted for capacity factor.

Nameplate capacity - The power the system generates at full rated capability.

Capacity factor - Actual production divided by nameplate capacity averaged over time.

Nuclear stations usually have 80-90% capacity factor as do most other "baseload" plants including coal

Natural gas plants often run intentionally at lower capacity factor since they're usually built specifically for peaking. In the US, that's around 42%

PV Solar is usually only 13-20% (13-15% in MA, 19% in Arizona)

Concentrated solar power often has a lot of "inertia" in the plant along with built-in storage, so apparently CSP in California achieves a 33% capacity factor

Wind is 20-40%

Hydro varies widely since many countries intentionally overbuild nameplate capacity in order to use a hydro dam for energy storage. (I believe Norway's hydro stations operate at a pretty low capacity factor, but this is partly because Norway acts as Denmark's "battery" and is the sole reason Denmark can achieve around 20% grid penetration of wind/solar.)

So if the installations of solar nameplate capacity matched new coal nameplate capacity installations, in terms of actual contribution to the grid, solar is only contributing 20-30% of what the new coal/nuke/whatever plants are contributing. Another way of thinking about it is that you need MUCH more solar nameplate capacity along with a vast improvement in energy storage in order to match a baseload plant such as a nuclear station.

Also note that this is new installations - most gas/coal plants have already been built, and when renovated/modernized they don't count as "new".

Comment Re:The phone's owner has a copy of the binary (Score 1) 131 131

No, they're not.

THEY HAVE NOT RELEASED LOLLIPOP BINARIES FOR THE DEVICE. Which means they are under NO obligation to provided Lollipop kernel source.

They have provided KitKat kernel source for their devices. So they're fully in compliance with the GPL here.

Comment Re:You gave them the power (Score 1) 131 131

Their smartphones are usually pretty well built.

The problem is that software and hardware are so tightly integrated these days that if a company can't produce reliable embedded software, all of their hardware looks like shit.

That's why I never had issues with my Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 but, as stated before, will NEVER touch any non-Nexus LG phone.

Yeah, the Nexus devices often have their own software flaws (oops, considering they're supposed to be reference devices), but nothing nearly as bad as the shitfest that is LG's own software.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay