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Comment: Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 1) 161

by TheRaven64 (#47804999) Attached to: Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'
The BBC news article about the hack had a quote from one of the celebrities saying that the pictures had already been deleted before they were stolen. That is the problem with these services: they don't securely (or, at all) delete things. Google's deletion mechanism, for example, relies on simply not actively copying the files to newer disks so that when the old disks eventually die the files are gone. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's works in a similar way. Even if you decide you don't trust Apple/Google/Facebook today, you've got a long wait before all of the files that you've uploaded to them are gone.

Comment: Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 2) 161

by TheRaven64 (#47804987) Attached to: Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'
Step one is to have the big high-profile stories in the press about the problems. Step two is to have the big high-profile stories in the press about the alternatives. The important thing now is for anyone who is contacted by the press as an expert to ask about the iCloud hack to make it very clear that this isn't an Apple-specific problem, it's a problem inherent in the entire design of centralised services and to list alternatives.

Comment: Re:Notified and ignored? (Score 4, Informative) 88

by Enry (#47803489) Attached to: Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks

From the namecheap link:

I must reiterate this is not a security breach at Namecheap, nor a hack against us. The hackers are using usernames and passwords being used have been obtained from other sources. These have not been obtained from Namecheap. But these usernames and passwords that the hackers now have are being used to try and login to Namecheap accounts.

Comment: Re:Farmers will be delighted... (Score 1) 106

by Rei (#47800097) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Passenger pigeons were not primarily a grain species, although they would eat grain when other preferred foods were in short supply. Part of the reasons the flocks increasingly turned to grain with time is due to the cutting and burning of many of their native forests to make room for farmland (and with an average lifespan in captivity of 15 years, probably half that in the wild, populations don't readjust right away). They were a migratory species, of course, but the habitat destruction was going on all over their range. If you get rid of the oaks and chestnuts in an area and the only other food option is grain, of course they're going to eat that. They also ate insects, mainly when breeding.

When you're talking about reintroducing a species from scratch, obviously the issues of what to do if a billion birds come into the area is totally inapplicable. The forests capable of supporting those numbers are gone. Birds that primarily consume seeds and grains are a much bigger threat to farmers than birds with a primary focus on nuts like the passenger pigeon.

Comment: Re:Ecosystem (Score 1, Interesting) 106

by Rei (#47800041) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

it would take years for the ground plants to recover

Citation needed. Bird manure is one of the best natural fertilizers in existence. Have you seen what people charge for chicken manure? It's outrageous. Now, it's a concentrated enough fertilizer that you have to use it more like a chemical fertilizer than a soil suppliment - so it's possible that the pigeons would "nutrient burn" a location. But that's short term, in the long term that means leaving the area incredibly lush. And not to mention full of seeds in their droppings.

Trees and many smaller plants primarily cater to birds as their seed distributors.

Comment: Re:Ecosystem (Score 1) 106

by Rei (#47799999) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Passenger pigeons mainly ate tree nuts, particularly acorns, for most of the year. So they had a big effect on controlling tree distribution - in particular red oak has taken over from white oak after their demise in their former habitats (white oak is a slightly more valuable timber tree, FYI). During the summer they would also eat berries. They would sometimes steal grain from farmers but it wasn't a main part of their diet. They additionally consumed insects such as caterpillars and snails, so they did some good for farmers as well.

FYI, honeybees aren't native to the US. And colony populations are totally artificial, as people can raise as many colonies as they want, queens are mass-raised (you can mail order them) and the only limiting factor on the number of honeybees is the number of hives raised by beekeepers. Colony losses are a financial hit to beekepers but they're no threat to the species or the usage of honey bees for pollination (only the economics of their usage). And the increase in the rate of colony loss is way overplayed.

Comment: Re:Ecosystem (Score 3, Interesting) 106

by Rei (#47799907) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

There were humans living alongside the passenger pigeon for thousands of years before European settlers arrived.

Anyway, this "readapting" of an ecosystem isn't necessarily a good thing. For example, the extinction of the Carolina Parakeet (the only parrot native to the eastern US) coincided with major spreading cockleburs in the US, as it was a major part of their diet. Are you a fan of cockleburs?

Comment: Re:Bad timing, Apple (Score 1) 178

by TheRaven64 (#47799555) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet
It was on the BBC news this morning, which probably counts as more reliable than 4chan. Most interesting was the claim by one of the women involved that the photos had been deleted. If this is true, then it would be a great example of the fact that just because something is 'deleted' in the cloud doesn't mean that malicious people can't get at it in the future...

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 67

by TheRaven64 (#47799515) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung
If I'm going to report errors in a map, I'd rather do so with a map that releases its data under a license that allows reuse. Since such a map already exists and doesn't have the errors in Google Maps, I don't see much incentive. Google can pull the data from there if they want. This is actually one case where Microsoft has been a bit nicer: they allowed OSM to trace their satellite images to improve maps. Google Maps, in contrast, is very protective over their data.

Comment: You can have that... for a lot of money (Score 1) 88

by Sycraft-fu (#47798893) Attached to: RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

For whatever reason, it isn't something there's much interest in, but it does exist. I am aware of three options:

1) The HeaDSPeaker. The cheapest option. A little device from a not very well known company called VLSI Solutions. It handles the head tracking and HRTF, you provide the headphones. Runs about 340 Euro ($450). It can take input either as a Dolby Digital stream, or directly as USB from the computer.

2) The Beyerdynamic Headzone. This is an all-in-one solution from Beyerdynamic. Has a decoder, HRTF calculations, headphone amp, head tracking, and a pair of DT 880s. Costs about $1700. Requires DTS or DD input for multi-channel input.

3) Then the grand champion, the Smyth Research Realiser A8. This thing takes measurements of your headphones, ears, speakers, and room and so accurately recreates the sound it is more or less impossible to tell it apart. The unit handles measurement, decoding, HRTF, head tracking and so on. However it costs $2900 for the unit alone, $3700 with the Stax headphones and amp they recommend for it. Oh and you need a good surround system to measure, so you either need to own one or book time on one. Needs either multi-channel analogue or HDMI input.

So it is out there... but you pay a ton for it. That's all I know of at the moment, it is a topic I keep track of because I have a lot of interest in it.

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