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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 1) 305

by CaptQuark (#49125221) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"
Interesting. I thought only iPhones did audio conferencing and video conferencing. I had guessed that an iPod was just a music player, an iPad was a larger tablet, and iPhone was for communicating.

If you are referring to an iPod doing all those things then it is a strange device indeed.

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Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 1) 305

by CaptQuark (#49117227) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"
And does your "pod" give you local weather forecasts, traffic reports, local events, road closures, or emergency notifications?

You can listen to your Three Dog Night's Greatest Hits over and over again, but most people need to get their local news from somewhere.

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Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 1) 674

by CaptQuark (#49109569) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge
Just because someone has a college degree doesn't mean they are exposed to concepts outside the scope of their field of studies. How many people could explain the math and science of say, the Doppler shift, if their studies are in Art History, Theology, History, Political Science, Agriculture, Forestry, Pharmacology, or Medicine? And I'm sure those other fields of study include knowledge that they consider very basic concepts that I am unaware of.

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Comment: Re:Overstamp twice. (Score 1) 133

Why would you need anything resembling the original font? You are trying to disrupt the original number shape enough so that the crystallized pattern remaining after everything is filed off won't resemble the original number.

You could overstamp the original number with a symbol of a duck if this would disrupt the original pattern enough.

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Comment: Re:Thrift store (Score 2) 431

by CaptQuark (#48897059) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

More than that, my hand categorically rejects two button mice — the dangling ring finger causes me genuine physical discomfort.

I have a feeling you also missed this sentence. He is bemoaning the loss of the middle button as much for the form factor as for the additional features. The old three-button mice were designed to allow index-middle-ring fingers to rest on the mouse with the thumb and pinky around the edges. Everyone has a favorite mouse shape - ivory soap bar, ergonomic hockey puck, small and narrow, palm vertical, etc - his just happens to be the three-button mouse.

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Comment: Re:Seems like jamming would be easier (Score 1) 151

by CaptQuark (#48873253) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone
Actually the DSM2 does use Spread Spectrum. It uses DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) centered around the two most open channels. Trying to jam the center frequency would only be effective until the data shifted into one of the sidelobes. https://www.spektrumrc.com/Tec...

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Comment: Questionable research (Score 2) 55

by CaptQuark (#48854501) Attached to: Researchers Use Siri To Steal Data From iPhones

In their experiments, Mazurczy and Caviglione managed to use this method to exfiltrate data at a rate of 0.5 bytes per second. At this speed, it would take roughly 2 minutes to send a 16-digit payment card number to the attacker.

2 minutes? One byte every 2 seconds for 16 characters should be 32 seconds. Plus, since they can control the encoding, they could send card numbers using only a nibble, so they could send all 16 numbers in 16 seconds.

Either the original (non-posted) research showed ALL card information could be sent in 2 minutes, or they realized Siri communications are so short they would need multiple requests to get a full 30 seconds of sent audio. Sadly, the original information is not posted so the math discrepancy remains puzzling.

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Comment: Re:Seems like jamming would be easier (Score 1) 151

by CaptQuark (#48848441) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone
Don't forget that all RC systems operating in the 2.4GHz range use Spread Spectrum features specifically to prevent interference. The transmitter and receiver are "bound" together so the receiver can ignore all signals not coming from the bound transmitter.

Jamming a single frequency would only result in the loss of a few frames of control signals before the TX/RX would move on to the next frequency.

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Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem (Score 1) 151

by CaptQuark (#48848409) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone

I'm not saying firing a 7.62 round into the air is without risk. But the chances of serious injury are very low.

Based on anecdotal evidence from Mythbusters testing, the determining factor seemed to be if the bullet maintains a stable spin. Once the bullet starts tumbling, it loses speed quickly and it becomes less damaging. http://mythbustersresults.com/...

Even shotgun pellets used in duck and pheasant hunting (Size 6 shot or less than 3mm) don't hurt when falling back to earth. I've been on a few pheasant hunts where hunters accidentally shoot upward toward another group of hunters and the falling shot does nothing more than sting when coming back down.

That said, shooting quadcopters with a shotgun is a TERRIBLE idea.

Comment: Re:You Must Be New Here (Score 1) 66

by CaptQuark (#48837447) Attached to: 'Be My Eyes' App Crowdsources Help For the Blind
I disagree that sighted testers are not helpful. I used to test our website for screen reader use and got to the point that I could just look at a website and tell it would be a horrible experience using a screen reader. Bad content included tables used for image slicing, dynamic content produced by javascript, no alt tags on important images, no navigational anchors to help skip repetitive headers on every page, anything with flash items, content hidden in external style sheets, etc.

It takes some extra work to produce a visually appealing page that a screen reader can easily read and navigate after the style sheets are ignored by Jaws. It requires careful planning to design a page with multiple columns (menu column on the left, main content in the middle, additional information on the right) and organizing it so a screen reader can skip to the main content without listening to menu choice after menu choice on every page but still looks appealing to sighted users after the style sheets are applied.

W3C guidelines don't tell you if common acronyms like URL, IANAL, CDMA, IMHO, or DMCA will be read letter by letter or pronounced as a word. Even little things like spacing or placement of periods inside or outside quoted material can cause the content to be spoken differently by JAWS. W3C page scanners will catch obvious mistakes like missing ALT tags and missing column headers, but having the designer actually listen to their page certainly improves it.

-- End of comment --

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad

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