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Comment: The illusion of security (Score 2) 66

by Animats (#48024919) Attached to: CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

OK, so now you're encrypted from user to Cloudflare, in plaintext within Clouflare, and possibly in plaintext from Cloudflare to the destination site. That's more an illusion of security than real security. Even worse, if they have an SSL cert for your domain, they can impersonate you. Worst case, they have some cheezy cert with a huge number of unrelated domains, all of which can now impersonate each other.

Comment: Re:It's true (Score 2) 259

by Animats (#48022367) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

It's a fringe brand in that Ferrari is a fringe brand. I don't think most people wouldn't want one but I don't know a soul who has one. Very few have seen them.

We get a warped view here in Silicon Valley. Lots of Teslas. No Supercharger stations, though. There are a fair number of electric car outlets around, of too many varieties.

Comment: Re:Disabled (Score 1) 388

True. My Android phone has no Google account, so I disabled Google Account Manager, Google Bookmarks Sync, Google Contact Sync, Google One Time Init, Google Play Magazines, Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, Google Play Store, Google+, Market Feedback Agent, and Picasa Uploader. No major problems.

Comment: Re:Security force owned by a corporation (Score 1) 296

Quite literally in this little square miles CORPORATIONS *ARE* PEOPLE. The corps vote like they are people, and the City of London police are their enforcement arm, giving the corporations police powers.

That's quite correct, and not an exaggeration. The "City of London" (now a tiny part of London) has a governmental structure left over from the Middle Ages. (It was codified in 1189AD, but is older than that.) It's one of the few holdovers from the feudal era that hasn't been modernized. The City of London Police should have been absorbed into the Metropolitan Police decades ago, but haven't been.

Comment: Re:Works like a cellphone? (Score 2) 171

by Animats (#48014495) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

We've gone from "So clear you can hear a pin drop" to "Can you hear me now?!?"

Right. Cellular telephony just barely works now. There's lag as long as a second, even when the call supposedly isn't going over VoIP. (Sprint seems to have that problem.) There's occasional echo when the lag exceeds what the echo suppressors can handle. Background noise kills the cellular compression algorithm.

Why don't we have CD-quality audio on phones?

Comment: Get a real phone. (Score 4, Interesting) 301

by Animats (#48010023) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Apple needs to get their ruggedness act together. Meanwhile, here's a real phone, the Caterpillar B15.

Cat B15 tested by users. Dragged behind car. Used to play basketball. (As the ball, not as a computer game.) Dropped off bridge. Run through cement mixer. Frozen in bucket of ice. Run over by car. No problem.

Cat B15 tested by Caterpillar. Dropped into pool of water. Scooped out with heavy equipment. Run over by front end loader. (One of Cat's smaller front end loaders.) No problem.

It's an Android phone. The B15 runs Android 4.2; the new B15Q runs Android 4.4. Price around $300. Available in the US at Home Depot. Unlocked; pick any GSM carrier. T-Mobile works. No annoying carrier-provided apps. Caterpillar preloads apps for ordering Caterpillar heavy equipment parts and renting heavy equipment.

If you have one of these in a pocket, you will break before it will. I carry one of these horseback riding.

Comment: Don't do apps. (Score 3, Insightful) 310

by Animats (#48007715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

You say you're an experienced embedded-systems developer. Those are rare. Stay with that and get better at it. There are already a huge number of people grinding out appcrap, more than the app market can support. Soon there will be a glut of former phone app programmers, if there isn't already.

Try to get in on the back end of the "Internet of things". That crowd is overrun with appcrap people and has no clue about embedded.

Comment: The 3D printing revolution isn't quite here yet. (Score 1) 69

by Animats (#48007655) Attached to: How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

The low-end 3D printers, the ones that try to weld ABS string together, still suck. TechShop has several of them. The Jet was a a flat failure. The Replicator 2 is OK if you're not building something more than about 2cm thick. I haven't tried the Type A Machines unit. In the end, it's a slow way to make prototype plastic parts that are inferior to injection-moulded ABS. Injection moulding requires machining a die, which is a big job, but then the production rate is high and the cost is very low.

The higher end printers have much better quality and more material options, but the machine cost is high and the process is slow. The really high end printers, the ones Space-X and Lockheed use to print aerospace parts, are very impressive, but still slow.

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business