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Comment: Re:But I thought it was already dead? (Score 1) 71

by EmperorArthur (#47351579) Attached to: Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

If Google kills unpopular services, why is Google+ not dead yet?

Because Google tends to spam you to set up an account if you use any of their other services. If you define active as making more than 3 posts a month then over 99% of Google+ account's aren't active.*

* I made those numbers up, but they're probably reasonably close to true.

Comment: Re:Apps which require location? (Score 2) 67

by EmperorArthur (#47348513) Attached to: Ars Takes an Early Look At the Privacy-Centric Blackphone

Take a look at Xprivacy. If you have a rooted android phone you can do that and more today. I think Cyanogenmod also has some sort of permission control built in now. Even Iphone's have basic permissions. The only thing that doesn't is stock Android and Windows.

Google knows there's a market for it, but they're worried about ad revenue or apps breaking because it would be "too much of a burden" on developers to make sure there apps behave when permissions are denied.

Comment: Re:Nobody tests RF ability anymore (Score 2) 198

by EmperorArthur (#47346181) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

Just once, I'd love to see some side by side comparisons of the end-to-end RF ability of these new phones. While voice calls, the kids tell me, are a thing of the past we are getting more and more dependent on data connections. And how you get data is via RF link. And yet I haven't even seen link quality mentioned in a single review for at least two generations of smart phones.

The truth is that there are few radio manufacturers. If you have Verizon in the US then it's almost certainly going to be a Qualcom radio. The exact same Qualcom radio that are in all the other phones of the same generation. Kind of hard to differentiate yourself if the carrier forces you to use the same thing everything else is using.

That brings up another point. Radios are carrier and region dependent. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, while just about everyone else in the world (except Japan) use GSM. Worse, the US and Europe use different frequencies. I think most newer radios can handle them all, but that certainly wasn't true in the past.

Comment: Re:Um (Score 2) 93

by EmperorArthur (#47342271) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

I think it's even mentioned at one point of the Supreme Court's decision. They'll have to do a bit more than that, and only offer pre-recorded programming, but It'll probably be done and, if they have the money to survive the lawsuits, it'll end up before the Supreme Court again.

Comment: Re:Dream Theater (not the band) (Score 1) 310

Did you actually have the console, or just the HogPC software?

Because while it might be great for live shows, I've truly come to despise the hog when it comes to programming anything more complicated than a single scene. Seriously, I think I liked the lighting console that I had to use floppies and a VGA cable with better. At least that one was clear on exactly which scene I was working on, so I know exactly what happens when I press the next button. (that's without getting into overrides :/)

Seriously, the console/software is pretty good if you want colors on the fly with someone basically DJing the lights, but It would be a pita to run something like a play.

Comment: Re:Embedded System Designer's Opinon (Score 1) 240

by EmperorArthur (#47151035) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

But, But you can just put Linux on there. Then you can use Java for all those fancy things you mentioned. That will solve all your problems.
Seriously, I'm pretty sure I've seen this on an old Vonage box I was playing around with.

For many of the smaller microcontrollers we're lucky to have a full libc. It's always a wonderful day when I have to choose between rewriting an algorithm to use integers or taking a chance with new hardware with a built in floating point unit when the ship date is fast approaching.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 2) 240

by EmperorArthur (#47150431) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

A deadline has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind. No deadline, less motivation.

This is the next big one:

Honestly I wonder how many devices it will affect. I know anything which isn't patched and relies on security certificates is hosed, but what about the network printer that nobody cares about and is running completely unsecured?

Comment: Re:But will they also have GPS? (Score 1) 170

by EmperorArthur (#47148085) Attached to: Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

Will these puppies also have some form of GPS in them? Not only will they know what filth you are posting but they'll know where you posted it from.

With triangulation, and Doppler shift calculations it doesn't matter. Though it's much harder to do those things with everyone vs just have them send their position data. Not that ISPs don't already know everything about you.

Comment: HP Is Being Cheap (Score 4, Interesting) 121

by EmperorArthur (#47142195) Attached to: HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop

ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more.

In other words, this thing is going to be really slow if you try to use it for serious work. Why? Because HP is cheap and doesn't want to shell out for decent components. That and/or they like their locked down bootloader.

Comment: Re:That's the over-simplified version? (Score 1) 129

They say "randomly" generated coefficients, but I'll bet you can use a psudo random number generator and pass in the same seed value to both the sender and reciever. Bam, now both sides have the same set of semi random coefficients to use when doing the fancy linear algebra.

Comment: Re:Why do they need their own spaceport? (Score 4, Interesting) 40

Out of curiosity, what do they need their own spaceport for, especially if (as an earlier poster notes) they only intend to launch about once a month? Are there constraints on the use of launchpads at Cape Canaveral, where there's already been a great deal of investment in building launchpads, support structures, etc.?

That's a part of it. Without looking into the details, Cape Canaveral doesn't seem to want to deal with more than one rocket launch within a week of each other. Wile the US Gov launches from Vandenberg, they also launch from Cape Canaveral. Plus the Orbital Sciences launches, other commercial launches, and everything else that happens there. The current story is often launch attempt one aborts, launch attempt two has a delay to make sure they fixed the problem, then it's a several week delay because Cape Canaveral had another launch planned.

The other reason is the idea of recovering the Falcon 9 rocket. It could be easier to launch from Texas and recover at Cape Canaveral.

Comment: Re:ASLR (Score 1) 125

by EmperorArthur (#47125895) Attached to: Imparting Malware Resistance With a Randomizing Compiler

If you think a bit further... An operating system could load an executable at a different address every time it is used, without recompilation!

The problem with ASLR is that it involves Position Independent Code. The absolute addresses may change, but functions are called by their relative addresses to each other. When you know were one function is you know were all the others are as well. A mild example of this new randomization technique is to randomize the file order being fed into the linker. Different file order means different function layout. Then even if you know where one function is you don't know where all the others are without looking at that individual binary.

Comment: Re:overly complicated (Score 1) 193

by EmperorArthur (#47095431) Attached to: Bug In DOS-Based Voting Machines Disrupts Belgian Election

Like I said, cost is king.

Heck, I've been trying to redesign something to use the ATTiny and bitbang USB. Thinking about it, that's where the 4k number came from. Boards with more memory and more features are getting cheaper and that's awesome. I can't wait for when integrated USB becomes as common as integrated SPI and TTL.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to get out of my cave and yell at some kids on my lawn.

Comment: Re:overly complicated (Score 1) 193

by EmperorArthur (#47095319) Attached to: Bug In DOS-Based Voting Machines Disrupts Belgian Election

Where did 4K of code come from?

I would expect to use a micro that can address enough memory for the job to be done right.
Who mentioned Arduinos? It wasn't me.

I was just talking in general. When someone says "simple microcontroller" I think of an ATMicro/Mega or something like the MSP430 most of which cap out somewhere between 2 and 16k. Anything more than that is a full ARM soc and normally is expensive and has finicky power and i/o requirements compared to the "simple microcontrollers" I normally work with. They're the lap of luxury since, like I said, you normally spend large amounts of time to make the code work with the 4k device instead of the 16k just to save a few cents per unit.

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. -- Stanley J. Randall