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Comment Re:They will go one step further (Score 3, Interesting) 381

I hate to say it, but they already have a "Made for iPhone" program where there are special chips the iDevices are looking for, and if they don't find it they will complain the accessory may not work properly:

Last I heard it never went past fear mongering but was still annoying. I can't remember if there was a way to disable it or not but I'm sure if so it was on by default.

That's nothing new. It's been around for a long time. I had a 2nd gen ipod touch. Apple wanted like $50 for their composite A/V cable (with the red/white/yellow connectors) so you could play video back on an old analog TV. Instead I went onto ebay and bought one for $3.50 that worked perfectly. Or at least it did work perfectly, until IOS 4.0 (I think that was the version, but maybe it was 3.0) was released. Then whenever the cable was connected, it would pop up that error message. You could still use the audio out on the cable, but the video portion was useless (I don't remember if it completely stopped working or was just useless because it showed the error message on your TV). The only way to get video out was to buy a new ridiculously priced official cable that had their DRM chip inside.

Comment Re:Easy solution - COSTCO does it better (Score 2) 480

I don't know if Costco has changed the way they do it recently, but when I tried to use Costco's car service 5 years ago it certainly wasn't that simple. I went to Costco to check the price, and they told me I'd have to contact the Toyota dealer to get the price (and there was only 1 participating Toyota dealer in the area). I called the dealer up, and they absolutely refused to provide any pricing info over the phone. They wanted me to drive there...20 miles away. Let's just say I was less than impressed by usefulness of the service.

Comment Re:If you don't like the textbooks, (Score 1) 337

Okay, didn't know that about glass, and still find it suspicious - if that were the case then you wouldn't need IR filters in cameras, etc, and would probably have proven problematic for Herschel's accidental accidental discovery of infrared. But okay, maybe for far infrared you'd need a special prism.

No need to remain suspicious. Simply look it up yourself. That's what google is for right? But I'll do it for you anyway.

Visible light is in the 390-700 nm wavelength.
Glass is transparent mostly in the 350 to 2500nm range, and is almost completely opaque outside of the 250 to 4000nm range
CO2 absorbsion occurs at 4257, 7204, 14992nm (more commonly notated as 667, 1388, and 2349 cm-1, in case you want to search to do your own verification)

So you can see there is a ton of IR in the 700-2500 range that glass is nearly completely transparent to. That's why you can have IR cameras. But CO2 is WAY out of range.

Comment Re:Simple problem with a simple solution (Score 1) 131

No, he's right. Higher polling frequency plus intelligence is technically the best solution. If you decrease polling frequency, you become more susceptible to losing distance around curves and right angle turns. Instead, the best solution is to poll continuously (or as continuously as is practical for computational and battery needs).

Assuming you travel in a straight line, then all of those errors should be randomly distributed to both sides of your actual line of travel. You then go from the starting point and assume you traveled in a straight line to the next point. You then go in a loop where every iteration, you bump up the assumed end point of your straight line by one additional point. Each time, you calculate how far off you are from the best fit line.

As you go further and further, your fit for the line should get better and better. At some point, you will eventually notice that you start to diverge from the best fit line...the points in between your assumed start and end point will start to fall more and more to one side of the line. At this point, you can start to realize that you've actually passed the end point of that straight line travel. You back up a few points until you get back to a good distribution. Then you mark that as the end point of your straight line, and then repeat the process from there.

On the other hand, assume you are travelling on a curve. With a high enough sampling frequency, this same process should be able to determine that right from the start, the line is becoming less and less fit, and realize that the straight line path needs to be broken up into smaller segments.

The algorithm isn't going to be great for capturing a zig zag path or lots of small alternating curves, but it's not going to be any worse for those situations than polling less frequently.

Comment Re:First... BULLSHIT (Score 1) 223

It's bullshit because why use ultrasound? I'm sure the sound of a commercial playing can be recognized from the commercial itself, just like Shazam can recognize a song. And to make things easier just embed a very recognizable sound in the commercial that is not annoying but is sure to be picked up and recognized.

Yes, exctly. I wish I had mod points. The premise of this is so stupid. If the app already has access to the microphone, then just listen to the commercial itself. The ultrasonic part is going to be so hit or miss. It's not a sound that the broadcast and TV is explicitly trying to reproduce, so it's going to be EXTREMELY hit or miss. Just think about the sound the TV is actually trying to intentionally reproduce, and how much it varies depending on different factors.
1) audio compression method
2) volume
3) type of speakers
4) the acoustics of the tv/cabinet the speakers are enclosed in
5) distortion characteristics of the amplifier circuitry
6) the shape and furnishings of the room
7) your position within the room

and probably more that I'm not thinking of. Then add in for your phone detecting that normal range of sound

8) materials between the speaker and the microphone (is the phone in your pocket? is your hand obscuring the microphone?)
9) other sounds within the room, airplanes flying by, etc
10) The characteristics of the microphone within the phone

Then you go to ultrasonic...a range that hasn't been explicitly designed for, and every one of those above factors gets magnified.

And to make it all even stupider...they think this is a way to link multiple devices together by virtue of them hearing the same ad? LOL...if they are able to overcome all of the above obstacles and actually detect the sound from 2 different devices, how are they going to know these aren't 2 entirely different people in different houses watching the same TV channel? I've got a much better method of correlating IP address. Most people have their phones set to connect to wifi in their house, and most people will have all devices NATed to a single IP.

I suppose it all might someday be possible to pull off this ultrasonic stuff. It's also possible I'll some day be able to travel to china by means of digging my way there. But just as it's always going to be quicker/easier for me to just take a plane to China, I'm pretty sure the commercial detection and device correlation will always be easier to accomplish with methods other than the ultrasound method.

Comment Re: Threaten to use a debit card (Score 1) 386

If your account is getting charged $0.25 / debit then either you don't live in the US or you need to get a new bank. In the US the fee used to be about $0.40 but a few years ago Congress capped it at $0.21 and I've never heard of a bank making you pay part of that fee (though some merchants will). In fact some banks will even split that fee with you. If you get a Discover checking account, for example, they will give you $0.10 cash back / debit

Comment Re: Exploit is though Chome browser (Score 1, Flamebait) 100

RTFA, works on Safari, Chrome, SMS or mms

Perhaps you should RTFA more carefully. If you did, you'd notice that TFA mentions the challenge required that the exploit work through one of those 4 mechanism, but the actual exploit itself only works through Chrome (or at least that's the only one mentioned specifically).

Comment Re:Remove casing from a Wallmart clock - get invit (Score 1) 621

Undeserved praise as a way of atoning for undeserved punishment does not show that we are more enlightened. In fact, it exposes further ignorance on our part.

Wrong, kids are exceptionally impressionable. This kid has shown an interest in tinkering with things. Then he gets all this negative attention over it from his school and the police. In the end, even though he got off without any punishment, he's probably had the shit scared out of him. There's a very good chance he might never want to mess with stuff like this again. The "undeservice praise" is a way of really telling him "fuck those do what you want to do, and don't let any racist dumbasses discourage you from the things you find interesting". Except the thing is, actually telling that to someone his age doesn't necessarily get the point across. You've got to make it a really positive experience to combat the really negative experience embedded deep into his memory.

Comment Re:Remove casing from a Wallmart clock - get invit (Score 1) 621

LOL. You are going to have to do a LOT better than that.

So we know that this Muslim kid did some trivial little project and the school completely overracted by calling the police on him and accusing him of terrorism. That fact I think is pretty well indisputable. And then you go and post a link to an article talking about how his Muslim sister was also accused of terrorism by the same school district? I'm absolutely shocked!!!!

Comment Re:Clocks are art? (Score 1) 105

Well, I think both can be true, right? Clocks = Art, as well as Clocks = Terrorism. And that sort of makes sense: by the transitive property, that implies Art = Terrorism. I can agree with that, because I do find it a bit terrifying that the thing discussed in this article is considered "art".

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce