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Comment Re:This is a real threat (Score 1) 221

It's because it's easy to install a new firmware (ddwrt or tomato), set your country as JP and use channel 13 for instance at full power...

A poor example. The FCC clarified some time ago that they didn't intend to restrict the usage of channel 13 in the way that current firmwares do (usually by locking it out entirely).

If the rule hadn't so obviously been written by Belkin's lawyers as a money grab, we'd be less annoyed with it. As it is, the reason you cite sounds more like an excuse than a reasonable (and legal) justification.

Comment Re:they don't ban installation of open source (Score 1) 221

It would be absolutely fantastic if people would be rational about tech news. Tech people/netizens are starting to sound like my grandfather now. Every change is something to be feared.

It ain't paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Considering DD-WRT was mentioned by name as something that would explicitly be banned, yes, this is something to be feared. If the FCC was doing their job, the job of regulating transmitters in order to preserve the utility of the commons that is the electromagnetic spectrum, the job that someone else pointed out they've been doing for 80 years, then there would be no problem. But when the proposed rule is worded primarily for the purpose of enriching a tiny handful of corporations, and only tangentially justified by their actual mandate, we're going to start sounding a bit shrill about it.

Tired of how shrill Slashdot has become lately? Blame the problem. Regulatory capture, and ongoing attempts such as this to extend it. This is the new normal. So of course we're going to become suspicious of every change, and of course we're going to be shrill about every change, because even when it's not such a blatant attempt at profiteering as this one is, Occam's Razor leads us to the conclusion that it's just a more subtle attempt at profiteering at our expense that we haven't figured out yet. The expense not only of our pocketbooks, but also our freedom, specifically the freedom to do whatever the hell we want with our possessions.[1]

The people running the FCC are people, but they are not just like me. Not in the least like me. The people running the FCC tell 300 million people what they can and can not do. I don't. They are not remotely like me. Therefore if I want to be suspicious of their motives, I damn well can be. Judging by past behavior, I damn well should be.


[1] And before the pedantic among us 'correct' me and tell me I don't have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with my possessions, it was a rhetorical device. The previous paragraph acknowledging the problem of preserving the commons was your clue. I am perfectly well aware that this is a worthy and laudable goal, and if the number of cases of WiFi AP firmware modification resulting in out-of-spec radio performance that interferes with other uses of the spectrum ever rises above zero, the FCC might have a good reason to issue a new rule. But it still wouldn't be this rule.

Comment Re:hire two ninjas (Score 2) 808

Persson also began hosting wild parties where guests like Skrillex, Selena Gomez, and Tony Hawk would sometimes make appearances.

I'd hire a ninja keep those people out.
And another ninja to beat my ass if I had actually invited them.

Those people? Those people are precisely the kind of people who would show up to a Notch party. They were all raised middle class, at best, and I'd be shocked if any of them are more than double digit millionaires.


Yeah, I looked it up. Skrillex is worth an estimated $36 million, Selena Gomez is worth $20 million, and, surprise, surprise, Tony Hawk is worth $140 million. Still, none of them came from even big money, let alone old money.

With the exception of 2 or 3 posts here, Notch probably got better advice from Tony Hawk than he has from anybody else. Which is amusing to think about.

Comment Bait (Score 1) 122

Trojan horse? Seriously? ++Clickbait;

From their own blurb:

In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

In other words, they told the world up front that it's for home automation. So... Shock! Horror! It's for home automation!

This thread is full from top to bottom of why the Alphabet name was created. The Google guys want to be able to sell neat hardware without the tremendous "Google will spy on meh!" backlash. If the hardware is designed, manufactured, branded, and sold by a company that ISN'T an advertising company, maybe people will be able to believe it.


As for the device itself, I don't understand why all the angst about only two ports. My router is a Linux box. It has only two ports. It only needs two ports. The switch is a nice 24 port gigabit device, $70 on sale at NewEgg. It moves Ethernet packets around. My wifi access point is the dumbest possible no-name in bridge mode. It moves wifi packets around. I don't want either device to be routing anything at the IP level. Not their jobs.

I have to agree, I don't see why it's not a beige box. Infrastructure should not be seen. Isn't that the point of wifi? Invisible packets flying through the air! To this.... vase-looking thing on the kitchen counter? They justify it with "it werks better if it's out in the open!" I think I can live with a little signal degradation, and dispense with the electronic vase that my mother-in-law is going to try to pour water into.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play? (Score 1) 571

Now that we've established the Belgium part is a fabrication, I'll wager good money the Chile and China parts are also fabrications. I've got a working visa in Hong Kong, no need to register with the police there. Shortly I'll have one for the UK, done a crapload of research, again no need to register with the police.

The GP left out the part where he's a registered sex offender. What can he say? He likes to piss on buildings. The fact that it was an elementary school at 10:00AM is all just a big misunderstanding. Is it his fault they site the bar within staggering distance of a school? And he just woke up. And he drank a LOT the night before. Perfectly natural mistake.

But he has to check in with police everywhere he goes.

Comment Re:Energy density (Score 1) 395

It's there, but we have to put an absurd amount of relatively rare resources into photovoltaic cells to make *use* of that energy.

You have peculiar notions about what solar cells are made of.

By weight, a finished monocrystalline solar panel is primarily silicon, 2nd most abundant element in Earth's crust, followed by aluminum, 3rd most abundant element in Earth's crust. The n-dopant that is half of what makes the silicon a semiconductor is phosphorous, 11th most abundant element in Earth's crust. The p-dopant that is the other half of what makes the silicon a semiconductor is boron, 41st most abundant element in Earth's crust, considerably more common than beryllium or tin, somewhat less common than lead. There is a tiny bit of silver on the upper surface, as a conductor, 65th most common element in Earth's crust, and the only remotely rare element in the list. Fortunately it is used in proportion to its rarity, so it's not a limiting factor to speak of.

In short, solar panel production is not in any way material limited. The Earth is made of the necessary elements, almost in the proportions they are used. There is enough of the necessary materials available to plate the entire surface of the Earth in solar cells, oceans included.

Fortunately no such excess is necessary. A population of 20 billion could enjoy the average per-person energy availability of an American without covering an appreciable fraction of the Earth's surface in solar panels, and you couldn't tell the difference in terms of the material used.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score -1) 743

su is not only for root. it has a dual purpose: switch user or super user. Sometimes you might have to run a command as another user. So if you need to login as Gary you $su gary and type in Gary's password.

Yes, but not quite. If you need to login as Gary, you $su gary and type in your password. You never know Gary's password.

Unless you're using systemd su. Then I suppose maybe you do have to demand Gary's password. That sounds like something Poettering would think up.

Comment Re:And so it begins (Score 3, Interesting) 180

There should be pushback. But there won't be pushback.

In North Dakota? A machine points a weapon at them with no visible human, you can bet North Dakotans will shoot back, and they won't be shy about using lethal weapons. This is practically an invitation to a skeet-shoot. Any reluctance to fire at law enforcement simply doesn't exist when it's nothing but a buzzing flying thing. Even if it's a larger one, if it's low and slow enough to employ a non-lethal weapon successfully, it's GOING to get shot down, repeatedly. Yeah, you'll be brought up on charges. It won't stop people, no matter how much of an example they make of the first few.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 1) 184

If a girl can improve her reading comprehension and strengthen her vocabulary by reading trashy novels...

If? Have you actually read one of those things? I have, basically on a dare, and I was assured by the woman who issued the challenge that it was typical of the genre. And there will be no vocabulary strengthening from trashy romance novels. They're apparently written using the apocryphal 700 words that newspapers are supposed to use. Wielders of extended vocabularies, they are not. With the exception of being excellent sources of synonyms for "breasts" and "penis". Somehow I don't think the children would have any trouble picking those up on their own, so I'm thinking the trashy novel is not a big win.

Comment Re:They are missing a perfect opportunity... (Score 1, Informative) 67

They are missing a perfect opportunity to conduct testing on the effects of alcohol on the human body while weightless!

You do realize half the station personnel at any time are Russian, right? And that they get a personal baggage allowance? Which is inspected by other Russians? That was practically the first experiment conducted on the human body in space, aside from just living and breathing.

Comment Re:It's a prototype (Score 1) 107

To be fair, it was kind of a funny comment. All someone has to do to get +5 is read the article, summarize the relevant points, and suddenly you are the most knowledgeable guy in the room because no one reads the articles.

With good reason. Half the time the article is wrong, either in whole or in part, and you have to read six other things too before you really have any understanding of the topic.

For years, the summary was usually insanely wrong. Diametrically opposed to the linked article. It was bizarre. I'm convinced it was Slashdot editor policy to pick the worst possible article summary submission for the front page in order to drive comments correcting it. So yeah, you had to read the comments to find out what was actually said (because you weren't going to read the article, because it was wrong anyway).

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.