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Comment: Re:Thrift store (Score 2) 420

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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 --

Comment: Re:uh - by design? PROM ? (Score 1) 163

by CaptQuark (#48674497) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector
ROM -- Read Only Memory. As stated, data is stored during the manufacturing process. Non-changeable

PROM -- Programmable Read Only Memory. Stores data by burning fusible links inside the chip using a special programming station. Non-changeable for most practical purposes. You can't fix a burned link, but you can burn additional ones.

EPROM -- Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. Data can be stored and then erased by exposing the chip to UV radiation. Chips of this type can be recognized by the opaque sticker covering the quartz window on the top of the chip. No UV sources are built into computer enclosures.

EEPROM -- Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. The only type of ROM memory that can be reprogrammed inside a computer. Almost identical to FLASH memory.

Comment: Re:Plastic socket wrench? (Score 5, Insightful) 152

by CaptQuark (#48645465) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS
I'll bet you any amount it won't break. This is a technology demonstration and proof of concept, not a stress-to-failure type test. The main goal is to upload the build file, print it, then return it to earth to compare against the reference model. Some of the questions they might be working to answer are: Do the extrusion heads work the same way in microgravity? Do micro-bubbles form in the material without gravity to collapse them? Do wisps of hot filament drift around the build chamber without gravity to control them?

Imagine turning an earth-bound 3D printer upside down and printing an object. What other issues does gravity alleviate that we don't know about?


Comment: Re:Who will guard the guardians? (Score 2) 93

by CaptQuark (#48645373) Attached to: Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras
The Seattle Police are working to comply with Washington State Public Records Act, not the federal Freedom of Information Act. Just as states have different versions of single-party or all-party recording consent, the Washington State law requires that certain public records be made available upon request, with the restrictions noted in the story. The Seattle Police Department currently has 350+ Terabyes of archived video subject to Public Records requests.

From the GeekWire article:

However, Seattle Police officials also admitted that about 90 percent of the video officers create probably needs no redaction at all. That’s because members of the public have no right to expect privacy in their interactions with police, unless they are juveniles or a witness or victim whose safety might be at risk if their identity is known.


Comment: Re:How about a list for Australia ... (Score 0) 43

by CaptQuark (#48579681) Attached to: New Compilation of Banned Chinese Search-Terms Reveals Curiosities
Where do you live that makes you think your access to information is being censored? Do you click on links and find the destination is blocked? Do people mention news articles that you can't access?

China has a history of blocking many sites they deem inappropriate for people to visit. You think the list of words that the country with the (now) largest economy in the world DOESN'T have an impact on you?

You think that's air you're breathing now? Hmph..

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson