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Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 903

by ChumpusRex2003 (#47998799) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running
one or both of them are full of something. Not necessarily. They could both be right. The interlock device only defeats the starter. However, if the car lessee is defaulting on lease payments, then it is likely that they are also cutting back on scheduled maintenance and repairs. It is entirely possible that the engine is unreliable and idles poorly, being prone to stall when idling. It is perfectly possible in such a case, for a driver to reach an intersection, have the engine stall, and then be unable to restart it because the interlock has defeated the starter.

Comment: Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (Score 1) 113

by ChumpusRex2003 (#47955735) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed
And only one variant of one JPEG protocol ever found widespread use. JPEG actually published both a lossless and a lossy compression algorithm and accompanying file format. The lossless format faded into near total obscurity, apart from some medical software, where the lossless JPEG data would be encapsulated in a medical (DICOM) container. Technically, lossless JPEG is a mandatory part of the DICOM specification, but not every product (free or commercial) supports it, and it's virtually impossible to find an opensource implementation of lossless JPEG outside of limited implementations as part of medical imaging tools. There have also been a variety of extensions published to the JPEG lossy algorithm - notably extension to 12 or 16 bit depths. Good luck finding any support for these, at all. Again, these formats were nominally supported in the DICOM standard for medical imaging, but were very poorly supported. A flurry of naive new-entrant machine vendors, ended up embracing these "novel" formats, only to cause total chaos for their customers, as they found that the files were unviewable on incumbent viewing software or untransmittable to other systems.

Comment: Re:Interesting difference between GPS and Galileo (Score 3, Informative) 140

by ChumpusRex2003 (#47737839) Attached to: 2 Galileo Satellites Launched To Wrong Orbit
The SAR component of galileo is a separate service to the positioning service. The intention is that it can operate as an EPIRB receiver. Conventional emergency beacons can be located by satellites, but the resolution is poor (tens of miles) and the time to fix is long (30-60 minutes). The beacon transmits a signal, and suitably equipped satellites detect the beacon, and relay it to ground stations, which then compute the location of the beacon by measuring the change in Doppler shift as the satellite flies by. The SAR component of galileo was designed with the intention that the overhead satellites would detect the time-of-arrival of the beacon signal and cross reference it with the satellites' atomic clocks, effectively performing a reverse GPS-fix. Such a system would be able to obtain a fix within minutes or seconds, and such a fix would likely have a resolution of 1-2 miles. The SAR component is not a mandatory service. You can use the passive location service without implementing SAR in a device. You would only use the SAR service, in an emergency locator beacon device. At the time the galileo SAR system was designed, feedback was a problem with locator beacons. The user had no idea if the signal had been received. Later revisions to the system mean that modern beacons and satellites now offer two big upgrades - the beacons can contain a passive GPS reciever, and can embed the location data in the beacon signal; and the satellite system can transmit feedback to a compatible receiver telling it that it's signal has been received and a position fix made. The Galileo SAR function is therefore rather redundant, but it's often helpful to have a 2nd independent and redundant safety system available, so I can see that it would still get used.

+ - The Windows Store is a Cesspool of Scam Apps, Why Doesn't Microsoft Care?->

Submitted by capedgirardeau
capedgirardeau (531367) writes "Microsoft’s Windows Store is a mess. It’s full of apps that exist only to scam people and take their money. Why doesn’t Microsoft care that their flagship app store is such a cesspool? ... It’s now been more than two years since Windows 8 was released, and this has been a problem the entire time, and it is getting worse. If Microsoft was trying to offer a safe app store to Windows users, they’ve failed. Searching for most popular apps will return a list of many scam clones that charge a fee for what is a free app from the official publisher and you have to hope there is no malware installed as well. Worse yet, the Windows Store is now integrated with the system search feature. Search for an application using the Start screen search or search charm and these garbage apps from the Windows Store will appear. The article points out the reason is probably "Microsoft hasn’t been encouraging quality apps. Instead, they just want quantity. In March, 2013, Microsoft ran a promotion where they paid developers $100 for each app they submitted to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store.""
Link to Original Source

+ - DARPA Wants To Kill The Password->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Many security experts agree that our current authentication system, in which end users are forced to remember (or, more often, write down) a dizzying array of passwords is broken. DARPA, the U.S. Defense Department research arm that developed the Internet, is trying to work past the problem by eliminating passwords altogether, replacing them with biometric and other cues, using off-the-shelf technology available today."
Link to Original Source

+ - Environmental Monitoring Ideas for Quesnel Lake System->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The dam break which flooded toxic mining sediments into Quesnel Lake British Columbia will effect the food web of a very important fisheries ecosystem for many years to come.
Here is the challenge; I am asking the people here to come up with suggestions for new and inventive ways to monitor and or help mitigate this horrendous ecological disaster. A large portion of a huge world famous food and sport fishery is at stake. The challenges ahead will take thinking outside the box and might not just be effectively done by conventional means."

Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Deciding on Logo Design Services

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It is a difficult task to compare and decide on the various services offered by logo design companies. However, if you are on a strict budget, you have no choice but to look for an affordable and effective logo design package offered by companies. Usually, a lot of small business owners would look for services that are affordable but has value for money. Not all business owners have a lot of budget and usually, they are very particular in every expense that they made. For business owner who are on a limited budget but would like to have a company to design their logo, there are some companies that are offering low cost packages but will guarantee you with professionalism. These packages will ensure that your budget is just right for the services that you need.

You can have a professional looking company logo at the rate of your budget. This means, you'd be able to establish your trademark in your business industry. Keep in mind that the services offered by companies would vary in prices so you need to look for companies that are offering low cost packages. Compare the services offered by each company so that you can choose which one provides the best services. Designing a logo for your company can be difficult especially if you would like to stand out against your competition. You can choose to have a simple or a complicated logo depending on your preference. Visually appealing colors are also much preferred.

When choosing colors, you need to make sure that it is the color that your target market would usually respond to. As much as possible, you need to make sure that the logo that you have created is readable and clear. Always keep in mind that your company logo would be responsible for representing your company. Hence, you should be particulate in having your logo design. You can always consult the logo designer regarding the colors and the designs that you are going to use. The professional designer will be glad to assist you and answer your queries regarding the logo design."

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon coerces KDP authors, in irony bypass->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As author of several (averagely successful) books, I decided to self-publish through Amazon's KDP initiative. Today I get an email (more like a novel) urging me to spam Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch, to complain about the price of their eBooks. They've given me his email, what I should say (quotes like "We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks.", and "They can and should be less expensive.
Lowering e-book prices will help — not hurt — the reading culture, just like paperbacks did." and "Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon's offers to take them out of the middle.") ... this is despite the fact none of the KDP books I've published are (by definition) published through Hachette. i.e. they've used an email exclusive for KDP, for propaganda against an unrelated company.

They also complain that Hachette are 'part of a $10 billion media conglomerate' when Amazon market cap is $146 billion.

They complain that ebooks should be cheaper because there's no printing etc... ignoring the fact that authors, editors, and _people_ need to get paid. (While Amazon invest in drones, and pay peanuts for their staff.)

And they continually reference George Orwell as being 'the other guy' ignoring their own practises of tracking ('who also bought...') and patent abuse.

When I found they've setup a web site claiming about 'readers united'.. when realizing it was their corporate shill site, I screamed and posted this.

Am I being too angry about this? Are they abusing their position?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Should You Worry About the New Facebook Messenger?->

Submitted by J.R.C.L.
J.R.C.L. (3739333) writes "A lot of Facebook users, including my wife, have recently raised privacy concerns over the new Facebook Messenger mobile app. They claim that by using the new app, Facebook would be able to steal all of your data, access your contact list and call your friends without permission, and use your camera and microphone without your knowledge. Scary, right?"
Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Impediments In The Path Of Waste Management

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It is quite surprising that many people in the world would still be surprised to know that ‘waste’ is not exactly rubbish that has no place on earth, but useful materials just waiting to be extracted and re used. From used news papers or tissue rolls or used plastic jars and containers, there is nothing that cannot be given a new life and a new purpose."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Where is the validation? (Score 1) 101

by ChumpusRex2003 (#47633545) Attached to: Network Hijacker Steals $83,000 In Bitcoin
The mining hardware/software will report a realtime hash rate, based upon the operation of the hardware/software.

However, the process of mining is a stochastic random process. Essentially, the job of a miner is to find a partial "hash collision" - essentially, the miner hashes the transaction data and a random nonce, and aims to find a hash as close to 000000000....00 as possible. The bitcoin/alternative network agrees a priori, what threshold counts as a "hit". The miner essentially tries random nonces, until it either gets a hit, or is told that its transaction data is stale, and needs to be refreshed.

Because, in the case of bitcoin, the network sets the target such that on average 1 "hit" is found every 10 minutes worldwide. This means that an individual miner might have to run for weeks or months to get a win and be awarded the (currently) 25 BTC reward for successfully computing a hash below target. In practice, therefore most miners operate on "pools", where a central server coordinates multiple diverse pieces of mining hardware operated by multiple individual operators. The pool operator when they receive a 25 BTC reward, then divides it up amongst the contributors.

The way the individual pool servers account for hash rate is to set a lower hash target, and count the number of "hits" each miner gets. E.g. if the main bitcoin network has target is Because pools can only detect hashrate by the rate at which "hits" are delivered, the reported hashrate will necessarily vary by virtue of the statistical properties of a stochastic process. The degree of variation depends upon the "difficulty" (target) set by the pool operator, the degree of "smoothing" that the pool operator applies to the displayed statistics, your hash contribution (a bigger contributor, will have a smaller coefficient of variation in their displayed hashrate, again for statistical reasons) etc.

Things are further complicated because many of the affected pools are "multi-coin" pools. The pool server automatically scans multiple cryptocoin networks, and various cryptocoin exchanges, to work out which coin is most profitable, the server will then jump between coins every few seconds or minutes as needed. For various technical reasons, different coins have different "stale" and "orphan" rates - "hits" which should have resulted in new coin creation, but where the hit was rejected (either immediately - stale) or initially accepted, then rolledback (orphan). Some of the alternative coins had rather dubious technical designs which could lead to massive reject rates, and this too could result in displayed hash rates fluctuating like mad.

The final issue is that many pools were often run by rank amateurs, and were targets for hackers/DDos like red-rags are to a bull. DDoSes, random server crashes, bandwidth exceeds, etc. were all common place, as well as various software bugs in "multi-pool" backend software would cause miners to end up disconnected from servers. Smarter miners would have typically have several pools configured on their mining hardware, so that the software could fail-over to another server. However, even that wasn't always successful. I once left my mining hardware unattended for a week, and configured it with 8 pools. When I checked the logs when I got back, there was a period of about 24 hours when the mines were idle, as all servers were off line.

Comment: Communications and knowledge were a problem (Score 4, Informative) 255

by ChumpusRex2003 (#47627119) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor
This is the crux of the problem. No one knew what was going on and what to do. Investigations over the last few years have shown that typical TEPCO safety drills were very limited and basic; there was little planning or rehearsal of complex accident scenarios, just basic minor incidents.

There were poor decisions and communication between various designers and operators. Take for example, the situation at reactor 1. After the generators started, the emergency reactor cooling condensers should have switched on to provide cooling. However, operators had found that they were very effective and being unfamiliar with their use were concerned that they would cause thermal shock to the reactor. Not familiar with the operation of this system, the operators decided to manually switch off the condenser system to arrest the temperature drop. They would then switch them on again manually as reactor temp rose again. This worked fine, until the generators failed, removing control and monitoring from this system.

Operators at emergency control, in a separate quake-proof building asked for confirmation of operation, but the control room could not give it. So,workers went out to inspect the reactor building for steam rising from the condenser stacks. They reported some steam rising, and it was assumed that the system was operational. However, the condenser system had never been used or tested since the plants were constructed 40 years ago. No one knew how they worked and how quickly they could cool the reactor, no one knew how much steam was produced during operation. It turns out that the workers sent out for reconnaissance saw only faint steam trickling from the stacks, consistent with the system having been switched off for many minutes, but still containing some residual heat. Had the system been switched on, the clouds of steam would have been so profuse and so dense that the it would have been impossible even to see the reactor building, let alone identify the condenser stacks.

On the assumption that the system was operational, other attempts to provide emergency cooling were suspended or delayed. A steam/battery powered pump system was available to deliver fresh water to the reactor, but without a heatsink (condenser) available, the reactor temperature rapidly rose and so did reactor pressure, eventually overcoming the maximum discharge pressure of the coolant injection system. After a few hours, the UPS controlling this system discharged and it also failed.

After 24 hours, reactor pressure unexpectedly dropped. Operators realised that this might permit external coolant injection and fire engines were called in. There was a huge delay, as the fire engines were unable to reach the site due to debris and some had been destroyed by the tsunami. Subsequent investigation showed that despite massive coolant injection, coolant did not rise in the reactor. The cause was thought to be due to damage to the reactor vessel or a pipe. In retrospect, it probably indicated damage to the reactor following meltdown of the fuel.

There were also design oversights in the emergency systems for the plants. One of the final backup schemes for reactor cooling was the ability to connect fire engines to the reactor to inject coolant. It subsequently became apparent that in units 2 and 3, this water didn't reach the reactor, and collected in a condenser unit instead. This was always going to happen, due to the way in which the water pipes were connected. There was a pump connected between the storage tank and the injection flow pipe. Under normal injection conditions, the pump would have been running, and any additional water from the fire engine would likely have gone towards the reactor, and this presumably was the assumption under which the water injection protocol was developed. However, under power failure conditions, the pump was unpowered. Due to the design of the pump - a rotodynamic (impeller) pump. this pump would have offered little or no resistance to reverse flow when unpowered.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.

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