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Comment: spoof it (Score 1) 65

by DriveDog (#48852611) Attached to: Microsoft Researchers Use Light Beams To Charge Smartphones
So if I put a picture of a phone on some other object, like the cat... ... and then program the indoor drone to attack the illuminated object... Seriously, just agree on a standard dock with conductive contacts that's easy to drop your phone on. How hard is that? The EU effectively made manufacturers agree on compatibility with microUSD.

Comment: Re:Insteon vs x10 (Score 3, Informative) 189

by DriveDog (#48776767) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?
X10 is lacking in many ways, and I still use some of it, but the biggest problem I've had was with durability. Many of the components were horribly made and just broke. Stanley, GE, Radio Shack, didn't matter. Old Sears parts lasted longer but still just died. I can't comment on how vulnerable the others are, but X10 is very vulnerableâ"from outside sockets and other units on the same transformer. North Koreans aren't going to hack your house from Pyongyang, but sneaky neighborhood kids can. I think you can filter the signals from the incoming power lines, but that's not commonly done. Also, you need to bridge the two incoming 110V legs so that X10 signals get across, otherwise parts of your house might not talk to other parts. Still, to play around a bit, there's no cheaper way than X10.

Comment: Re:Edward Snowden: For exposing the NSA (Score 1) 299

by DriveDog (#48738293) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: The Beanies Return; Who Deserves Recognition for 2014?
Second that, Snowden for confirming for us that our worst surveillance scenarios have already occurred. And... because he doesn't have some huge character flaw like Assange, which many use to try to detract from Julian's contributions. As far a "running away to Russia" is concerned, where would he go? Only a handful of nations can be expected to refuse to cooperate with the US. China, North Korea, Iran, Myanmar (maybe), Russia... which would you choose?

Comment: Swell (Score 1) 179

by DriveDog (#48584669) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

Huge pixel count. Great. Seriously, I like it. I can view DSLR photos in full resolution.

But it's going to take a long time for bandwidth available to most folks to catch up with the needs of 3840x2160. Hard to imagine the data flow necessary for 7680x4320 being available to most of us for years. In fact, that's about the fastest being rolled out to residences today. Then what? Then there'll have to be sources. Netflix's servers don't provide 1080p for me now, having an ISP that doesn't interfere and 50Mbps bandwidth on DSL, which should be just about enough for even uncompressed video.

Hey, at least the focus is on pixel count instead of idiotic curved screens and 3D. What would be real advances? Holographic 3D and quality programming. Now we have who knows how many TV channels and networks, but only about the same number (very few) of quality shows as we had 50 years ago, not long after the FCC head's "television is a vast wasteland" comment.

Comment: A good sign (Score 2) 233

by DriveDog (#48583189) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX
Funny, I wouldn't have given Ford the credit for recognizing the wisdom of such a move. Kudos to them. Wish my IPTV provider would ditch the Cisco/Windows set tops for something based on QNX, as they're seriously horrible. Part of what's smart about this move by Ford is that it avoids their cars being associated with the frequent complaint of how bad MS stuff can be, whether correct or not. There's no such conversation among other than geeks about QNX. It has numerous supporters and very few detractors for any reason other than it's not free. The only downside I see (aside from there being used cars out there with Windows) is that others—GM, Fiat/Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan—are likely to hesitate to move to QNX. There's still quite a bit of NIH syndrome.

Comment: sense of the word (Score 2) 195

by DriveDog (#48436945) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?
I think of hacking as almost anything to alter almost anything about the car, but it sounds like you're thinking mostly interfacing with the electronics to get there. I can't answer who's best, but I know for sure that some manufacturers make accessing and interpreting CAN bus information a lot easier than others. Search for CAN bus interface info for various makes in which you're interested and see how much is out there and how difficult it looks. When I find time (yeah right) I want to grab events from pushing steering wheel buttons and use it to control my own devices. So I'm not really looking to put messages on the CAN bus, just read from it. In general, models that have cult followings (not just "ricers") will have a lot more info out there that their owners have accumulated and shared. MINIs are not among the easiest cars to interface with (as with other BMWs), but there's a lot of info out there because of the interest among owners. On the other hand, something like a Camry, popular as they are, is unlikely to have been explored as much because they're appliances that people buy to reliably get them where they want to go and not for providing fun or making a statement.

Comment: Re:Skip Oracle. (Score 1) 147

by DriveDog (#48379727) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

SAS may be the best answer to "query huge amounts of data in sometimes rather odd ways". Using SQL Server for storage is fine, but not using anything else in front of it (SSAS is useless) is bringing a knife to a gun fight. Trying to do everything in a relational way means tying a hand and a foot behind your back. The real world doesn't neatly fit the model, hard as you might try to make it, so performance suffers greatly and doing unusual ad hoc things takes longer to figure out. Get SAS to send pure relational operations to the DBMS to do but perform other operations within. SAS's own SQL engine gives the user much more convenience since it supports SAS's functions and macro language, far richer than plain DBMS's, but I haven't found it to be particularly quick. In interoperability, SQL Server continues to improve, but SAS still works better with many more other applications. It has always been a best choice for moving data around. Organizations often choke on the licensing model, since most do "capital investments" every few years instead of paying a "licensing fee" every year (hefty, but does include some of the best support going). All this was about plain SAS. SAS/BI is really the product SAS will try to sell you to do what you describe; I haven't used it so can't rate it.

As far as those comments about writing code with SAS being "terrible", well, it can be inconsistent, but mostly those people have just never grasped the somewhat unique models it uses of handling observations. I find T-SQL to be seriously lacking for many tasks. If going all-MS, get VS and use a regular procedural language along with SQL Server.

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)