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Comment Re:USAA (Score 1) 359

I just checked, only 5 months of my checking account could be downloaded. Not sure if this was a transaction limit, or a time limit. (I tried putting in a date in 2006).

I love USAA. I just submitted a 'suggestion' to USAA to increase the time limit. My guess is that they probably only keep ~6 months worth of transactions online accessible.

I haven't used Microsoft Money or Quicken in a while to see if that allows someone to pull more information. If I ever started using one of those tools again, then I'd probably like to be able to pull a few years worth of data.

Submission The Dog Ate Global Warming->

dave981 writes: "The author and Sr. Fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, Patrick J. Michaels, has brought forth the charge that the "Jones and Wigley" weather station data from the 80's and 90's has gone missing. This data served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a "discernible human influence on global climate." Why is this important?

"All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which canâ(TM)t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there's no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above."

I'm all for intellectual property, and national security issues being kept private: but shouldn't research that has been funded by tax payers and is used to justify major policy decisions be made public? Maybe another use for ''"
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Lack of bandwidth is not Apple's fault (Score 1) 551

If you read the fine print on your bill, you'll see the federal government has stepped in to mandate that carriers must cover the rural areas (and pass the bill on to us.). "Federal Universal Service Fund 12.9% " (If you're on AT&T, choose "change my rate plan" --> "Other Monthly Charges"). Maybe AT&T is just waiting for the government to mandate "get your network up to capacity to handle your customer load" - and then pass it along to us as a tax / surcharge.

Comment Remote Monitoring (Score 1) 158

A key thing that is left out (But what most people have surmised):

    Pacemaker <--MICS Band--> Home monitoring unit (developed by pacemaker company; obtains IP address - typically via dial-up.) <--TCP/IP--> PaceMaker Companies Servers <-- TCP/IP--> Physician Web connection

The 400mhz is considered to be the MICS band - . The great thing about MICS is that it covers not only 'both sides' of the pond, but pretty much all sides. (E.g. Asia, Europe, and the US). The 'challenge' with 400mhz is that it's only a 'few meters' coverage. So you have to have the home monitoring unit (the unit that actually does 'connect' to the internet and the implanted device) within a 'few meters' of the device/patient.

Pacemakers are very small, compared with an ICD (defibrillator). In both cases, battery space is one of the biggest uses of the volume of the CAN. (in a defib you also have a large capacitor). The more energy you use for communication, the faster you drain the battery - and the less power you have for therapy. No one has an 'externally rechargeable' unit - so the only option is to put the patient under for surgery and replace the unit. (Low risk - BUT, there is a risk... and it's a surgery. and these things aren't cheap)

It will probably be a long time before your pacemaker signs on automatically to the local WiFi connection to 'dial home' to the physician. (Power, security, and proprietary data communication formats to name a few reasons).

One commenter early said, "pacemakers have been connected for years" - that's via "TTM" -

TTM doesn't provide very much data from the CAN. Basically and EGRAM, battery strength, and maybe a few other items. The at home monitoring unit can pull more data from the can.

The great thing about these systems are the peace of mind from monitoring the pacemaker on a daily/weekly/monthly basis versus once every 6-12 months or 'when the patient feels bad.' And when the patient does 'feel bad' the physician can pull up the latest information from the pacemaker the help determine if the patient should come in or not.

Company Websites:
St. Jude (Featured) - House Call -
Boston Scientific -
Medtronic -

Comment Re:science? (Score 2, Interesting) 216

It depends what you mean, and I think a lot of people are conflicted about it. If "science" means to make predictive theories about the way the natural world operates, then no, CS isn't science. If "science" means to make claims in a verifiable, empirical, and unbiased fashion (that is, the scientific method), then CS theory proofs and industry debugging seem a lot like science to me.

Comment Re:Nothing to worry about... (Score 1) 276

But the threat in the video is farfetched, because there are much easier ways of finding American tourists.

I don't think the author is making the claim that RFID is the best way to ID Americans. I agree with you that there are much better ways for a human to ID an American. But what about an explosive device, as shown in the video? Modern terrorists use remote explosives to time an attack for most destruction and/or destruction of Americans as opposed to sympathetic locals.

It would be much easier to build a device that will only blow up if X number of Americans are in its kill range. This device could be constructed, dropped, and forgotten about. This means you have no risk of being caught once you plant the device. Sure it could make plenty of collateral damage, but it would always get at least X Americans along with it. The author's claim is that faulty RFID shielding on passports makes this possible to do. I don't have a cost analysis, so perhaps it is still farfetched, but for the right price I think this would be a very practical exploit.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.