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Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 27

by harrkev (#47434367) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy.

Off topic, I admit, but this reminds me of the current Isreal/Hamaas conflict. Just launch simple, dumb, and cheap unguided rockets from the Gaza Strip. Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 27

by harrkev (#47434329) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Actually, this should not be scary at all! You just need to figure out the frequency and modulation of the laser used. Then, just make sure that you have such a laser pointed at the guy beside you. You are suddenly safe from snipers! Just make sure that you do not like the guy beside you.

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

Comment: Bet he wasn't buckled in... (Score 1) 186

by rahvin112 (#47434013) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

I'm willing to bet the guy wasn't buckled up. Even when cars are tore in half in crashes if the person is buckled in they are usually still attached to the seat (even though they are sometimes dead from the car being sheared in half).

There is like a 95% chance that if he was ejected that he wasn't buckled up (the seat itself would've had to been sheared to cut the lap belt). I bet the final investigation notes that he wasn't buckled in (there is no guarantee of survival if the passenger compartment is compromised by ripping the car in half but it's still not likely). Seat belts are seriously strong and secure, even if the car is ripped in half the lap belt should have remained secure if it was buckled because it's anchored to the seat itself.

I personally wouldn't be surprised if the cops find that he would have survived if he'd been buckled in.

Comment: It's a tool vendor, not a target, issue. (Score 1) 177

But you see you are in the Windows CE embedded niche. Your vision is clouded.

I'm not in a "windows CE embedded" niche and the grandparent poster is right.

It's not an issue with the target. It's an issue with the platform(s) supported by the development tool vendors and the chip manufacturers.

For instance: With Bluetooth 4.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), two of the premier system-on-a-chip product families are from Texas Instruments and Nordic Semiconductors.

TI developed their software in IAR's proprietary development environment and only supports that. Their bluetooth stack is only distributed in object form - for IAR's tools - with a "no reverse engineering" and "no linking to open source (which might force disclosure)". IAR, in turn, doesn't support anything but Windows. (You can't even use Wine: The IAR license manager needs real Windows to install, and the CC Debugger dongle, for burning the chip and necessary for hooking the debugger to the hardware debugging module, keeps important parts of its functionality in a closed-source windows driver.) IAR is about $3,000/seat after the one-month free evaluation (though they also allow a perpetual evaluation that is size-crippled, and too small to run the stack.)

The TI system-on-a-chip comes with some very good and very cheap hardware development platforms. (The CC Debugger dongle, the USB/BLE-radio stick, and the Sensor Tag (a battery-powered BLE device with buttons, magnetometer, gyro, barometer, humidity sensor, ambient temp sensor, and IR remote temp sensor), go for $49 for each of the three kits.) Their source code is free-as-in-beer, even when built into a commercial product, and gives you the whole infrastructure on which to build your app. But if you want to program these chips you either do it on Windows with the pricey IAR tools or build your own toolset and program the "bare metal", discarding ALL TI's code and writing a radio stack and OS from scratch.

Nordic is similar: Their license lets you reverse-engineer and modify their code (at your own risk). But their development platforms are built by Segger and the Windows-only development kit comes with TWO licenses. The Segger license (under German law), for the burner dongle and other debug infrastruture, not only has a no-reverse-engineering clause but also an anti-compete: Use their tools (even for comparison while developing your own) and you've signed away your right to EVER develop either anything similar or any product that competes with any of theirs.

So until the chip makers wise up (or are out-competed by ones who have), or some open-source people build something from scratch, with no help from them, to support their products, you're either stuck on Windows or stuck violating contracts and coming afoul of the law.

Comment: Re:We need (Score 2) 140

by peragrin (#47433933) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

People keep praising Ron Paul yet everything I have ever seen on his actual policies scare me more than Cheney working with Obama to create what laws should be enforced.

Paul recent budget had a net increase in spending and a net reduction in income.

You can't be a fiscal conservative and not decrease spending

Comment: Re:Why 80% (Score 1) 140

by harrkev (#47433621) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Hey, Obama promised "Hope and Change." Isn't that what we have here? Admittedly, Bush started this -- probably. Or maybe he inherited the seeds from Clinton or earlier -- who knows how far back this trail goes? But Obama has had almost 6 years to fix things. Instead, under his watch, things have gotten worse.

In Obama's defense, I do not know if Romney would have done things any differently, but I suspect we would probably still be here even if he had won.

Comment: Re:Good. Let's go. (Score 1) 150

I'll believe that when I see a process for refining the raw materials in orbit and producing something usable out of them. As is, asteroid mining endeavors are nothing short of magical thinking.

So nothing is real or possible before you see it? Why not kill yourself now, then? After all, tomorrow may never come.

People smarter than you (or I) believe that mining asteroids is not only possible but even feasibly. That doesn't mean that it is, of course. It only means that I have no reason to give a shit what you think about asteroid mining.

Privacy

William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the must-use-a-good-compression-algorithm dept.
stephendavion sends a report at The Guardian about remarks from whistleblower William Binney, who left the NSA after its move toward overreaching surveillance following the September 11th attacks. Binney says, "At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the U.S. The NSA lies about what it stores." He added, "The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control, but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone." One of Binney's biggest concerns about government-led surveillance is its lack of oversight: "The FISA court has only the government’s point of view. There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for U.S. domestic audiences and you can double that globally."

Comment: Re:Dimmable LEDs (Score 1) 195

by icebike (#47432221) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Also, Lumens per watt can vary quite significantly from one to another.

Agreed. Not only in the actual usage, but also in the supposed "equivalence".

Get to know your Lumens boys and girls, because watts mean nothing anymore and we need
a new yard stick. As far as equivalence goes, 60 watts = 800ish Lumens, plus or minus any
fudge factor the manufacturer thinks they can get away with.

Oh, and years of life... Always calculated at 3 hours per day, or some silly very short period of time.
Still, I've got only a few more trips up the ladder because I don't expect any of the LEDs to fail in my remaining life time.

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