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Comment: Re:Signal isn't chaning, the noise floor is (Score 5, Informative) 615

by Calos (#41723571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

"Algorithms" aren't going to change because that requires a standard that must be followed by the transmitter and receiver. Unless s/he's upgrading from something like 802.11b to 802.11g, then there shouldn't be any such change. Possible exception would be a proprietary addition, but the problem remains.

It would be interesting to know if, when switching out the router, if s/he changed the frequency it's operating on. There are different bands that can be chosen even within the 802.11g spec, a newer router might have selected a less busy band automatically.

Then of course there's the fact that 802.11n completed changed frequency bands, from the 2.4 GHz region (which is extremely cluttered) to the 5 GHz region, which is relatively empty. That said, the higher frequency would be more impeded by solid barriers, e.g. walls. But it may compensate by higher transmit power, I don't know.

Hard to say if transmit power is really changing without being able to rule out other factors. But electronics do degrade. First suspect I'd think would be cheap capacitors. Poorly designed transistors could degrade, but this seems unlikely as RF band usually uses BJTs. Dust buildup could increase temperatures, which could hurt the efficiency and gain of these devices, but that's a rather long shot.

Comment: Re:A simpler method would be great (Score 1) 111

by Calos (#41510579) Attached to: CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

I'm not familiar with the X-RAY app, but it sounds like you are vulnerable, but not necessarily compromised. As I recall, some of those are vulnerabilities in certain (usually older) Android builds. Could be used nefariously, but as far as I know most require ADB access - commandline access over USB from a computer. At least Zerg is, that's the only one I'm sort of familiar with.

Basically, on phones that are more locked down, sometimes an exploit of the Android platform itself is used to gain temporary root access. It's usually very very finicky root access, and may end if you do the wrong thing, and probably does not last a reboot unless you have something else to exploit once you have temporary root. And that's really all the goal is. Get access to parts of the phone you otherwise wouldn't - system directories, and perhaps a start at the bootloader and other normally write-protected areas. The escalation from temp root to permanent root, and a step towards the ability to flash.

It's really a dirty dirty hack, and should only be needed in cases where the phone manufacturer has decided not to play ball with the community, or has specifically tried to sabotage attempts at modding.

At any rate, what I'm getting at is - from what you say the app reports, you may not be exploited. Yes, Superuser should help if you are rooted - it basically acts as permission control for apps trying to get root access. Not that that is a cure-all, because as far as I know it only works on apps (things in the Android system - there is a Linux environment under that). But I expect it will complain that you don't have root access when you try to install it.

Comment: Re:Better Android (Score 2) 111

by Calos (#41509747) Attached to: CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

More than likely it's not a "bug" of CM per se, it's just that they don't have the proprietary bits they need to make it work. The code for the OS is mostly open source, drivers depend on the manufacturers.

It doesn't make it okay, of course, but not all phones are that way. You need to do a little research before you buy (or get a Nexus).

Comment: Re:Better Android (Score 4, Informative) 111

by Calos (#41509725) Attached to: CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

That's not fair. I know plenty of smart people with iPhones, and a quick look at forums will show you many people in far over their head trying to root and install ROMs.

But it's very apparent that what you do rooting etc. is not officially supported, and more than clear that official lines of support are useless if you have issues. Now, if people were calling AT&T to complain about their jailbreaking gone wrong or something, that would be different.

Comment: Re:jargon decoding (Score 4, Informative) 111

by Calos (#41509645) Attached to: CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

The trouble with CM or any AOSP (Android Open-Source Project - the code that is released publically) based ROM is that they don't have access to the binary blobs they need to make all of the hardware work, unless the companies upstream play along. This is why cameras frequently struggle. I don't know how much of this comes down to the phone manufacturer or the manufacturer of the specific part.

If it's something you care about, you know that going in and choose accordingly. As far as I know HTC tries to play ball; Samsung doesn't do bad; Motorola tries to make everyone's life hell. That isn't only driver support (or lack thereof), but locking down the bootloader and that kind of thing to specifically try to stop third party installs. HTC last I knew even had a "developer" program - all you had to do was sign up, give them some serial numbers and they emailed you a key to unlock everything.

If you need to be sure - buy one of the Google-branded models, the Nexus series. Made to be easily modded, necessary code and everything released. As such, they usually have the best and longest-lasting support from developers.

Comment: Re:so i can't make a clock with no numbers? (Score 1, Offtopic) 274

by Calos (#41432125) Attached to: Swiss Railway: Apple's Using Its Clock Design Without Permission

Well; perhaps I was a little too caustic in my response. I think I understand your reaction better now - you were responding as though the second poster was making a statement of fact.

I think you over-reacted. "Troll" implies intent. You admit in your own post that a little-reported aspect of the case is that the rounded-corners bit was not upheld in the case (and I'm only taking you at your word here as I truly do not know), and yet you seem to assume that the poster knows this and is trying to mislead and deceive. Seems an odd jump on your part to both claim that few people know this aspect of the case, but assume this person does. Then in your second post you seem to imply that the error was understandable. Understandable, yet troll? I think you calling them a troll was what triggered my response.

That said - I don't think whether that person knew it or not actually matters - because I don't think that was the point they were trying to make. As you said:
>> but since apple lost that point I suspect that the Swiss will as well ...this is perhaps exactly what the second poster was getting at.

Even if not, at the very least - in my reading, I figured the first post was not to be taken at face-value, that the meaning was something cynical towards design-related patents. The second post, to me, follows along the same lines - by bringing up another design-related patent, exerted offensively, and found to be frivolous. Disagree with them if you will, and there are very valid reasons to do so - the comparison is weak, for one - but when decrying frivolous design-related patents, the rounded corners thing is very pertinent; perhaps moreso *because* the court agreed they are frivolous. And while I can't say that attacking someone for bringing it up means you seek to absolve Apple, it certainly seemed to me like you meant to defend Apple - and I think it would not have seemed that way but for your second sentence.

Science

Three Mile Island Shuts Down After Pump Failure 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-bit-of-a-problem dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "The nuclear power station on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania shut down abruptly this afternoon. Its shutdown was caused when one of four coolant pumps for a reactor failed to work. 'The Unit 1 reactor shut off automatically about 2:20 p.m., the plant's owner, Exelon Corporation, reported. There is no danger to the public, but the release of steam in the process created "a loud noise heard by nearby residents," the company said.' If radiation was released into the environment, it is so low that it thus far has not been detected. The plant is a 825-megawatt pressurized water reactor, supplying power to around 800,000 homes, thought there has been no loss of electrical service. Three Mile Island was the site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1979. The Unit 2 reactor has not been reactivated since."
Businesses

The Worst Apple Store In America — An Employee Confession 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the what's-the-world-coming-to-when-you-can't-trust-cheap-labor-anymore dept.
Cutting_Crew writes "Gizmodo has a piece that describes one of the worst and most corrupt Apple stores. Two employees recount management exchanging brand new computers for face-lifts (and other things), not just from customers, but also from businesses. Other common activities ranged from destroying devices repeatedly and ringing up new ones (for themselves and friends as fake customers) to outright stealing merchandise and cash. Customers may have also lost their data if they weren't polite when coming in for a repair, or the 'Genius' help may have been intoxicated."

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.

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