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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Legal (Score 1) 136

by Dutch Gun (#49363185) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Is anything legal in California these days?

California is a nutjob of a state, but I have to say, I don't really see a problem with them outlawing flamethrowers. I mean, vast portions of the state are hot, dry, and pretty much a tinderbox waiting to be ignited. What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, they probably weren't considering this aspect when they outlawed them. They were thinking "ZOMG! Flamethrowers?!? We're going to see DRIVE-BY-FLAMINGS if we don't outlaw these things!" I'd guess it was just a happy coincidence that they banned something that's probably better off banned for more pragmatic reasons.

Comment: Re:So You are Saying (Score 1) 50

by Dutch Gun (#49363131) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

To answer your question: Yes. Whatever you think of patents (personally I despise software patents and think they're a cancer on our industry), these are not single algorithms, nor are they in any way simple. This is very sophisticated software. At least scan through the Wikipedia entry linked in the summary to get a rough idea of the complexity of these monsters.

Modern video formats are comprised of a vast collection of different algorithms and techniques, and part of the encoding process is determining how best to apply those various techniques to create the best compression while maintaining a specific desired perceptual quality. It's perhaps best to think of a video codec as a family of many different video encoding, decoding, and storage techniques.

Comment: Quote (Score 1) 75

by Rei (#49363093) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

"We are pleased Roscomos wants to continue full use of the International Space Station through 2024 -- a priority of ours -- and expressed interest in continuing international cooperation for human space exploration beyond that. The United States is planning to lead a human mission to Mars in the 2030s, and we have advanced that effort farther than at any point in NASA's history. We welcome international support for this ambitious undertaking.

Yeah, that's basically "Go F* yourselves" in diplomatic speech.

And as it should be.

Comment: How is it a "rite of passage"? (Score 4, Insightful) 36

by khasim (#49361155) Attached to: Startups Increasingly Targeted With Hacks

They're getting cracked because they're not paying attention to their security.

After resetting users passwords, Twitch initially introduced longer password character requirements, but had to dial back its new 20-character password length requirement to 8 characters after users complained.

Fuck you! If you cannot detect and mitigate a brute force attack then hire someone who can.

Twitch also said it encrypted passwords, but warned that hackers might have been able to capture passwords in the clear as users were logging on.

And make sure you know the difference between encrypted and hashed.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 203

by Rei (#49360117) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

One thing that dark energy can't be is *all* fundamental constants, plus position, velocity, etc scaling up evenly. Because if such was the case then there would be no perceptible change.

If youe saying that for example what is ground state would change too then it seems like you're arguing that things at the quantum level *aren't* moving into higher energy states. But things at the macroscopic level absolutely are moving into a higher energy state. So are you arguing that dark energy doesn't act on the quantum scale? I find that difficult to accept if so.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 4, Interesting) 203

by Rei (#49358535) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

That the thing about dark matter... it has a perfectly reasonable explanation (WIMPs). It's not that weird of a "thing".

Dark energy on the other hand, that's just WEIRD ;) It doesn't act like any "energy" as we know it, even though everything is clearly moving into a higher energy state. A question I've had for a while... if space itself is being inflated (or any sort of mathematically equivalent scenario) - everything inflating in all directions at all scales - wouldn't there be some sort of weak radiation signal from electrons expanding into a higher energy state due to dark energy and then collapsing back down? But I have trouble picturing how to reconcile an absolute, varying distance at the atomic scale with quantization of energy states, positions, etc...

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 353

by Rei (#49358149) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Sure there is: add this to the CPDLC standard and make all of the hardware modifications needed to support it:

----
Message type: Revert flight plan and lock
Message arguments: TIME: the time of the flight plan to use
Message description: Revert to the flight plan that was active at TIME that had been approved by both ground control and the pilot; engage autopilot; and disable all pilot / copilot access to all systems. If there is no approved flight plan then the flight plan is to return to the nearest suitable airport in the most direct route possible.
----

Additional modifications: Make sure that the pilot can never disable datalink communications with ground by any means that ground wouldn't have time to respond to.

Result: Nobody is ever "remote controlling" the plane from the ground. A murderous / terrorist ground controller can't crash the plane, only make it autopilot itself on a previously approved or otherwise reasonable flight plan. A pilot behaving suspiciously can't crash the plane, as ground control will just engage the autopilot and lock them out. To abuse the system both ground and the pilot would have to agree on a suicidal flight plan.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 353

by Dutch Gun (#49356841) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Autopilot systems can and do fail on occasion. Or more precisely, the sensors that they rely on can be rendered inoperative, causing a failure or shutdown of the system. In most cases, you absolutely want the pilot to be able to manually override the computer in case something is obviously going wrong.

There's really no easy answer to the problem of potentially suicidal/homicidal pilots. Would you feel more or less safe without a human pilot on board? Even after this incident, I still want a pair of pilots up front able to use their own best judgment in a sticky situation, because the vast majority of the time, those two people are every bit as anxious to get back down to earth safely as I am.

Comment: Crashplan (Score 1) 120

by goombah99 (#49355291) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

For DIY offsite backup I use crashplan. Their system lets you use their servers if you choose (for payment) but it also lets you use a remote disk you have over at a freinds house too, or one attached to your computer. I bought their software after using the free version for years. Besides being a nice automated backup system, the killer thing was the ability to backup offsite to a friends house. I do it mutually with them, each keeping the other's USB disk at our respective homes.

What's great about this is that if I do ever need to do a full backup, I don't have to try streaming it back through a soda straw over the web. I just drive the station wagon over, pick up the disk, and bring it home. Station wagons have very high bandwidth.

The disk is encrypted so no worries about peepers or what happens if my freinds computer gets broken into.

The payware version is a one time payment not a monthly fee. What you get for the payware version is more parsimonious differential backups and some other features about controlling backup times.

The software has gotten much better over the years too. Early on my complaint was the java bloated itself out to huge memory sizes over time. But now I don't even notice it is running.

Anytime I need to do a bigger than normal backup, I go get the disk and attach it locally, then take it back. That only happens when there's an unusual event. For example, if I make a major change in the structure of my file system, copy everything to a new disk or do something that touches all the files, then this could, in most backup systems, trigger a level 0 backup. So when that happens it's much easier to get things up to date then with any on-the-net storage system.

It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.

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