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Comment: Re:This is a very international effort: Nope (Score 1) 76

And aren't all Three Worlds well-covered by Inmarsat's BGAN already?

If by "well-covered" you mean, "100mb of data transfer at speeds comparable to pre-56k dialup for about $450.

Saying "all Three Worlds are well-covered by Inmarsat's BGAN" is kind of like saying, "T-Mobile has excellent coverage in rural America, because GPRS works just about everywhere".

Comment: Re:motive? (Score 4, Insightful) 76

These aren't exaclty lucrative potential customers...
Who's paying for this and why?

Cruise ships. Especially in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea. Two years from now, fast and semi-affordable shipboard internet will be a selling point and competitive advantage. Five years from now, it will be something every ship needs just to be taken seriously.

Comment: Re:IP (Score 1) 349

by Miamicanes (#47390449) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

People should be more patient before blasting a company that has made many technological advances for our betterment.

Bullshit. American consumers owe them zero loyalty. Qualcomm has single-handedly done more to limit consumer choice and enable American carriers to rein in their customers and impose nearly complete vendor lock-in with phone hardware than any company in existence. Qualcomm is the reason why, up until a few months ago, it was LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for a company like Sony to sell a carrier-agnostic phone capable of doing LTE on nominally-GSM carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T. Why? Qualcomm refused to license radio-modem firmware to manufacturers, and only allowed it to be licensed by carriers. So, as a manufacturer, you were stuck... if you wanted your phone to do LTE on AT&T, you had to actively involve AT&T in its licensing... and by definition, that phone would be locked to AT&T, even if it had hardware technically capable of doing LTE on T-Mobile. Or 1700MHz HSPA+, for that matter. Likewise, if you wanted your phone to do LTE on T-Mobile, you HAD to get T-Mobile to deal with Qualcomm... and the resulting phones would be locked to T-Mobile and restricted to firmware that refused to operate on AT&T's LTE frequencies.

Yes, CDMA was a wonderful invention that ultimately determined the future direction of GSM (even if "IS95/CDMA-2000" itself fell out of favor in most places) by becoming the modulation method used for GSM 3G (HSPA+ is basically CDMA2000-1xRTT, extended to use multiple carriers with wider bandwidth, then further extended to allow one phone to simultaneously connect to two or more towers and split the traffic between them.)

By the same logic, we should be even MORE grateful to the Soviet engineers who developed the first mobile phone system based on CDMA back in the 1960s. Google "Altai". All Qualcomm did was make it commercially viable in the US & convince Sprint it was technologically superior to GSM (which, in fact, it was).

Comment: Re:Not githubs fault (Score 1) 349

by Miamicanes (#47386889) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

How do you know it's not just a recording of the guys kid singing the song in the bath?

Strictly speaking, under US laws (and Berne-influenced copyright laws in general), a kid singing a song in the bath might technically constitute an unlicensed public performance of a copyrighted work (or possibly an unauthorized derivative work) & be subject to takedown as well.

Comment: Re:Github overtaken by thuggish government (Score 1) 349

by Miamicanes (#47386783) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

One word: Venezuela.

* Caracas has terabits of fiber connectivity straight into Miami

* Venezuela's legal system is openly hostile towards the US and American laws

* AFAIK, there are no restrictions on Americans purchasing services from Venezuelan companies (or paying for them with American credit cards).

30 seconds on Google turned up multiple Venezuelan virtual/colo server hosting companies with monthly fees that aren't particularly expensive. (Try searching for 'Caracas Xen' without quotes).

Comment: Re:Dump MORE Snapdragon? (Score 3, Interesting) 349

by Miamicanes (#47385869) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

The problem is, dumping support for Qualcomm processors basically means dumping support for nearly every phone capable of doing LTE in the United States or Canada. Even now, you can count the number of top-shelf best-of-breed US/Canadian-LTE-compatible Android phones with non-Qualcomm baseband processors on one hand & have fingers left over when you're done.

In the meantime, if you're trying to find restricted documentation for things like Qualcomm's MSM8960 chipset, try Baidu. The Chinese internet is LITTERED with Qualcomm datasheets (not to mention other chips whose documentation is kept firmly under lock & key in the United States).

Comment: Fiber (Score 2) 190

by Miamicanes (#47348323) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

If there's a god, Raul Castro will announce on Monday that within 5 years, 80% of the Havana metro area will have gigabit fiber to the premises. The announcement will drive our elected officials in South Florida mad, and they'll quickly decide that getting TEN-gigabit municipal FTTP laid across Dade & Broward counties is their #1 priority...

Comment: Re:Just adopt Dade County building codes in OK/KS/ (Score 1) 501

You're right that concrete isn't a guarantee... but true EF5 tornadoes are almost as rare as landfalling category 5 hurricanes... and EF4 tornadoes aren't a whole lot more common. On the other hand, EF0 tornadoes are abundant, EF1 tornadoes are common, and EF2 tornadoes aren't particularly UNcommon. Switching to Florida-style construction wouldn't eliminate the risk of death or injury from a tornado altogether (because frankly, the only place that's safe to be when an EF5 hits your house is "somewhere else, far away")... but it WOULD basically eliminate meaningful damage from common EF0 tornadoes, would dramatically reduce property damage and injuries from EF1 tornadoes, and would almost certainly reduce the death toll (though not necessarily number of injuries or number of houses rendered uninhabitable) for EF2 and EF3 tornadoes. So yes, an unlikely (but non-inconceivable) EF5 tornado hitting downtown Kansas City mid-afternoon would still result in unfathomable carnage... but the dozen or so EF0 and EF1 tornadoes that hit the KC metro area over any given 5-year timespan would barely earn more than a few minutes of semi-sensationalistic coverage on the local TV news (maybe CNN, if someone gets good video footage of the tornado itself & it's a slow-news day).

Comment: Re:Mandatory features: (Score 1) 427

by Miamicanes (#47323773) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

That's because I'm demanding unlocked hardware with proper documentation, so its only limits will be those imposed by the bare-metal hardware itself instead of those imposed by somebody else's tunnel vision. The Atari 2600 is a perfect example. Officially, its capabilities were little better than a Pong game. It was the ability of programmers to bitbang registers mid-scanline that made it interesting and allowed it to persist well into the early 80s. Give it open-ended input options (diagonal buttons, high-resolution touchscreen, non-limiting display tech, good wireless connectivity (probably in conjunction with a nearby phone), and abundant ram & flash, and let the end users themselves decide how to use it instead of dictating its usage to them a-la-Apple.

Comment: Just adopt Dade County building codes in OK/KS/etc (Score 4, Informative) 501

There's a fairly easy way the death toll due to tornadoes could be lowered over time in states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, etc -- adopt the same building codes we have in South Florida.

Most people don't realize it, but South Florida experiences the most urban tornadoes per square mile per year in the entire United States. Granted, we basically never see EF4 and EF5 tornadoes... but we get plenty of the smaller ones.

The strength of South Florida tornadoes is EGREGIOUSLY under-reported by the Enhanced Fujita scale, because the EF scale is defined primarily in terms of observed damage rather than measured wind speeds -- damage that just doesn't happen in Florida, even with directly-comparable storms. An EF1 tornado capable of wiping a neighborhood of matchstick McMansions off the map would barely make a dent in a neighborhood of concrete post-Andrew South Florida homes with large-missile impact glass windows (Google "ASTM 1886-1996"), and would probably be reported as an EF0 unless it hit a trailer park or a neighborhood with older homes. An EF1 tornado is basically 30 seconds of a category 1 or 2 hurricane... and a direct hit by a category 1 hurricane is the South Florida equivalent of a snow day in upstate New York.

Anyway, the point is, if homes in suburban Kansas were built from reinforced concrete, deaths from anything short of an outright EF5 monster would basically fall into the category of "rare, unfortunate freak accidents" in areas where all the buildings were built to Dade County standards.

Assorted SoFla torn-porn:

Comment: Mandatory features: (Score 4, Interesting) 427

by Miamicanes (#47319767) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Mandatory features of any smartwatch that costs more than $100:

* Acceptable aesthetics.I'm setting the bar pretty low here, but it has to at least look rugged & utilitarian, if not actually attractive. If it looks like a Fisher Price toy or some cheap piece of plastic junk, it's not happening.

* Ability to use normal wrist straps, absent some compelling and good reason to the contrary.

* Glass that's either independent of the screen & can be replaced when cracked by me for $10 or so worth of parts and an hour of time, or hardened enough to survive getting repeatedly scraped against rough concrete walls. I destroyed dozens of watches growing up by accidentally getting too close to a wall/concrete pillar/whatever and scraping or smashing the glass.

* MINIMUM 36-hour battery life

* At least two tactile hard buttons that can be easily pinched independently of one another and used as a modifier key with the other. I hate HATE ***HATE*** touchscreens in general, and a watch would be the worst touchscreen environment of all. The only way to make it random-touch-resistant would be to add latency and sample delays that would make it feel laggy & slow.

* Rootable & reflashable as I see fit. Android would be nice, some Linux variant would be OK, and frankly I could live with an Atmel AVR as long as I can personally reflash it.

* Real, honest-to-god e-ink (not LCD-based "e-paper") display that takes a cue from the DSTN LCD displays of yore & has two or more independent controllers that can update different parts in parallel (doubling or quadrupling the time to redraw the display). Enough framebuffer ram to do full-blown double/triple-buffering with *really fast* DMA (to let you compose changes, then propagate them to the actual display in an instant instead of 200-400ms) would be even better. There's no technical reason why an e-ink display HAS to be glacially slow... they've just been slow up to now because they were designed to minimize component cost and conserve battery life. But since they'd only consume power while being actively updated, the power budget difference between e-ink with parallel controllers and e-ink with one slow controller would be fairly small (think: race to sleep instead of always running slowly).

* If it DOES have a touchscreen (in addition to the aforementioned pair of diagonally-opposed hardkeys from a few points back), that touchscreen needs to be capable of AT LEAST 120 samples/second (if not with stock firmware, at least the hardware itself when reflashed to a custom ROM). A tiny screen NEEDS a high sample rate to get any kind of acceptable resolution from a capacitive sensor.

Comment: Re:Well that sucks! (Score 1) 484

by Miamicanes (#47318953) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

They probably DO have the service available for a fairly low monthly fee... but they don't necessarily advertise it, and don't necessarily have to even volunteer details about its existence if you ask.

For a few years, AT&T had a program for dirt-cheap DSL (like, $9.97-14.99/month for 768k/128k ADSL) in their former BellSouth markets that they offered as a condition of FCC approval of their acquisition by AT&T. The catch was, unless you read the official Tariff filed with the state public utility regulators, knew the (unadvertised) phone number you had to call, and the precise ordering code for the service, you'd never have known it existed, and they wouldn't have told you about it if you asked. You had to order it as a blind act of faith (they'd confirm nothing, besides "the service you are ordering is being offered in accordance with their official Tariffs"), but towards the last year or two, a bunch of people found out about it when magazines & newspapers started to tell people about it and how to subscribe.

Comment: Re:Wrong decision (Score 1) 484

by Miamicanes (#47318833) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

In this specific case, the "turn key" (one-click install) nature of the service played a major role in the decision against Aereo itself.

If a New York server colo facility allowed customers to ship them arbitrary PCIe cards & installed them in leased servers on their behalf, supplied the servers with a generic Linux install, and left it 100% up to the customers to get the card working and set up the network streaming on their own, they'd probably be OK under this ruling. However, if a customer in Miami used his TV server in New York to watch NY NBC from anywhere that's "out of market" and lacks a "viable" affiliate signal (or outside the US altogether), the customer himself could probably be sued for infringement by his local NBC affiliate. Whether his local affiliate would *bother* (or even have any way of finding out) is debatable, but if he did it openly & somehow caught their attention, they'd have a fairly open & shut case against him that he'd be almost guaranteed to lose if it ever went to trial.

Comment: Re:Use a dash cam, not a jammer. (Score 1) 358

by Miamicanes (#47307141) Attached to: Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

You have obviously never driven in South Florida.

Believe it or not, the black letter of Florida law does NOT require that drivers unconditionally come to a complete stop at stop signs. That doesn't mean a cop can't give a ticket, but it does mean you're likely to prevail at getting it dismissed in court if you hire an attorney and the police officer can't compellingly demonstrate that you put a specific person in non-theoretical danger.

Comment: Re:NTSC TVs? (Score 1) 212

> It's getting more difficult now that most of the TVs have been trashed.

Well, there's always "Plan B" once 3840x2100 monitors become affordable... at THAT resolution, you can literally emulate phosphor smear and misconvergence, to the point where it almost becomes indistinguishable from a "real" CRT. Increase the framerate to 240fps, and you can even emulate interlaced scanline fade (assuming the game wasn't what would now be called "240p60" with black scanline gaps).

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.