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Comment: I call hogwash (Score 5, Informative) 349

by Excelcia (#48059951) Attached to: Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

I call this hogwash. When you ask Windows what version it is in software, it doesn't return its marketing name (Windows 95, Windows 2000), it returns it's platform ID (1 for DOS based, 2 for NT based), and its version numbers in major, minor format. Windows 95 returned 4.0 (platform 1), Windows 98 returned 4.1 (platform 1). Windows 2000 returned 5.0 (platform 2).

Comment: Servers? (Score 1) 326

by Excelcia (#47902599) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Both sets of information — from the car and phone — are sent to Katasi's servers.

Well that's not even a little troubling. I mean, one stop shopping - a central location that stores data on where everyone is all the time, and who is driving where any time someone gets in a car. All because some people drive while texting? That's not overkill at all. Nuh uh.

Betcha law enforcement has a woody about this.

The NSA doesn't need to do covert data surveillance. They just need to start up companies like Google and this Katasi that can do it all right in the open.

Errrr.... wait....

Comment: Don't buy off Broadcom directly then (Score 1) 165

by Excelcia (#47796119) Attached to: Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

No manufacturer wants to sell in small lots. If I called up Intel directly and said I want a hundred of anything, their salesman would laugh at me too. That's what distributors are for. They buy in volume and sell to the little people. Or other board makers that bought more than they need and want to unload some. Looking at right now I can see more than one, likely in the latter category. Available in any quantity Hardkernel would likely want to buy, and at a price point that should make the boards doable at their current selling price.

I have a hard time believing that their discontinuing the board is linked in any way to Broadcom's refusal to sell to them directly. I would be more inclined to believe they didn't get the interest they thought they would, and that the RPI community's antipathy towards them has given them cold feet.

Comment: I'm confused (Score 1) 235

by Excelcia (#47387265) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

A radar activated light... so that the driver of a car knows that the cyclist knows that the car is getting closer to the cyclist? Huh? How about just a light that blinks really fast to begin with, and a rearview mirror on the bike so the cyclist can see the car, rather than depend on LEDs to tell him there's a car behind him. Total savings, several thousand dollars and the heartbreak of putting your heart and soul into a project that will never go anywhere.

If the inventor was bound and determined to go high tech, then how about handlebar a mounted smart phone with a rear-facing bluetooth camera. Putting together some image processing software that recognizes something approaching from the rear and notifies the cyclist with a flash or a tone would be a lot easier than building a radar, and you get the added bonus of having the rearview camera image on the smartphone display too.

Either way you are using off-the-shelf hardware. As it stands, at the frequency he's working at, in any kind of weather that diminishes visibility to the point where you'd want to have it, it would be useless. 24GHz will give you returns off of humid portions of air, let alone actual smog, fog, or mist, and doppler isn't the be-all-end-all in an environment where air currents and gusts can move the stuff you're getting returns off of at the speed of a car.

I hope those venture capitalists haven't put real money into this.

Comment: What if... (Score 1) 176

by Excelcia (#47338541) Attached to: Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

What if you could have a shell you had to sit out and plan a custom UI for? What if you had a shell that took one of your most excellently trained typing hands away from the keyboard every command or two to make you do stuff with the mouse. What if you had to pay kickstarter money to get this shell rather than stick with existing open source tools?

++notinterested. I'm not even sure why I'm taking the time t

Comment: Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (Score 1) 455

by Excelcia (#47269381) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Sure, local dealerships can fight over the scraps over who will take the lowest cut. And the manufacturer, who sets the "cost" price that the dealerships pay, is who laughs all the way to the bank. So while dickering on a price isn't possible with Tesla, it's also not possible with the existing dealership model. You can't go to ten dealerships and tell them, ok, which of you is going to more aggressively call up Ford and get me a better price from them?

So yes, you can negotiate for a dealership that adds less markup on top of what they pay, why introduce that layer at all anyway?

Comment: Re:Please, please just stop... (Score 5, Insightful) 270

by Excelcia (#47207655) Attached to: Firefox 30 Available, Firebug 2.0 Released

Most everyone is aware of the ESR. This is just a bandaid over the real problem. Chrome was designed from the very beginning with a rapid release schedule in mind. Release numbers in Chrome are essentially meaningless. Firefox adopted the same rapid release schedule as Chrome in a project that wasn't designed for it either technically or from a project management or project cultural perspective. Firefox gave addon developers the finger as they constantly broke extensions and themes. They carelessly spent valuable resources trying to make Firefox extensions less reliant on versions numbers, which only more badly broke legacy extensions, and rather than using resources to actually help extension authors, they wasted them on semi-automatic systems to catch non-compliant extensions and disable them. Which left users high and dry when they were forced to upgrade (lest they get left behind on security fixes) and lose functionality. More and more UI changes were forced on users, despite in some cases, clear majority opposition. Mozilla has consistently adopted a "we know best" attitude when it comes to what users want. And it shows, with marketshare stagnant. Google is still a major funder of Mozilla, and it's easy to see they think it money well invested. They make Chrome and then pay Mozilla to implode trying to slavishly copy their success.

Who wants to go to an ESR that is a bandaid on a bad system? You just place yourself in the eye of the storm for a short time.

No project can emulate another project and outcompete it. ESR's are not the answer. I personally have moved to PaleMoon. It too is based on a Firefox ESR, but at least they are committed to sane development and user-based UI decisions.

Comment: This is horribly wrong (Score 1) 666

by Excelcia (#44082685) Attached to: Security Researcher Attacked While At Conference

All we know for sure is that a woman is claiming a man violently attempted to rape her, and the man is apparently denying any such thing happened. As far as the other 99.99999% of the world is concerned, either side could be telling the truth. We have no way to know. We have no appropriate way to find out, unless people are advocating a Boston Marathon type witch hunt. And given what happened there, I am surprised and disappointed that Slashdot posted this.

Shame on Slashdot, and shame on anyone else who engages in the actual debate. Each side may be making public posts about what happened, but that does not make it our responsibility to indulge them in the wrong way to approach this. All this can do is serve to muddy the water to make it harder for any sort of proper official investigation.

+ - Google Trials Near-Space Balloons for Internet Access to Remote Areas

Submitted by Excelcia
Excelcia (906188) writes "Google is launching balloons into near space to provide internet access to buildings below on the ground. About 30 of the superpressure balloons are being launched from New Zealand from where they will drift around the world on a controlled path. Attached equipment will offer 3G-like speeds to 50 testers in the country.

Access will be intermittent, but in time the firm hopes to build a big enough fleet to offer reliable links to people living in remote areas. The firm says the concept could offer a way to connect the two-thirds of the world's population which does not have affordable net connections, but one expert warns that trying to simultaneously navigate thousands of the high-altitude balloons around the globe's wind patterns will prove a difficult task to get right."

+ - NSA gets early access to zero-day data from Microsoft, others->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The National Security Agency (NSA) has used sensitive data on network threats and other classified information as a carrot to gain unprecedented access to information from thousands of companies in technology, telecommunications, financial, and manufacturing companies, according to a report by Michael Riley of Bloomberg. And that data includes information on âoezero-dayâ security threats from Microsoft and other software companies, according to anonymous sources familiar with the data-swapping program.
The NSA isnâ(TM)t alone in the business of swapping secrets with the corporate world. The FBI, CIA, and Department of Defense (DOD) also have programs enabling them to exchange sensitive government information with corporate âoepartnersâ in exchange for access to things like information on cyberattacks, traffic patterns, and other information that relate to network security."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google Patents Frowns and Winks To Unlock Your Phone->

Submitted by Excelcia
Excelcia (906188) writes "Users could soon be asked to pull a series of faces to unlock their Android phones or tablets. Google has filed a patent suggesting users stick out their tongue or wrinkle their nose in place of a password.

Requiring specific gestures could prevent the existing Face Unlock facility being fooled by photos. The software could monitor if there were changes in the angle of the person's face to ensure the device was not being shown a still image with a fake gesture animated on top."

Link to Original Source

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson