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Comment Sadly, he is right. (Score 1) 54 54

Hi have no real opinions for or against KD -- I can see both sides of the argument.

However, there is one area where he is absolutely right -- and that's the issue of corruption running rife within the US and NZ governments. In fact, the list of "unlawful" actions that the NZ government or its agencies have been found to conduct is growing almost on a daily basis. I often wondered what the difference was between "unlawful" and "illegal" - and have since worked it out.

Illegal is when a mere citizen breaks the law. Illegal activities are punished by fines or incarceration.

Unlawful is when the government or one of its agencies breaks the law. Unlawful activities carry no censure or punishment. The government automatically excuses itself from the provisions of the laws which "mere citizens" must obey without question. Does this really seem fair -- to have those who make and enforce the laws effectively placed "beyond the law"? Surely they should actually be held to a higher standard of accountability -- not effectively given the right to dictate that "mere citizens" must "do as we say, not as we do".

The irrefutable evidence of corruption and blatant self-interest within government is clear to see for anyone who takes an interest. The sad thing is that the majority of the population has been "dumbed down" to the point where they either can't see or don't care about what's being done to them.

This is a "frog in a pan" scenario. Over successive generations, many western governments have slowly eroded the rights of their populations and reconfigured the economy and laws in a way that benefits the rich at the cost of the poor. While things may not seem too different to the way they were 10 years ago, I bet that if you took someone from the mid 1940s (who'd risked their life to protect the rights and freedoms of the Western World), they would be outraged that so much of what *they* fought for has been surrendered so readily by people.

When billions of dollars were effectively stolen by bankers -- who paid the price and who was punished?

Innocent depositors and the "poor" paid the price but virtually none of those who committed the crimes were held to account.

Socialize debt, privatize profit -- that's the mantra of today's world and it's something which is a clear indicator that governments are no longer serving to represent citizens. Governments now represent only those who can afford to lobby them and bribe them.

In the 1950s it was "reds under the bed" -- today it's corporate USA who are the unseen but very real enemy of the people (of all countries).

I suggest that *everyone* watches a documentary called "SuperPower". It has some *very* interesting facts that deliver irrefutable proof of exactly how the democratic process is just a farce.

Comment Let's swap anecdotes! (Score 1) 67 67

I've never actually been able to get Linux to run properly on arbitrary hardware that I happened to own.

I, on the other hand, have run into one thing that Linux didn't work with. I have a collection of accumulated 'stuff' and just last night Frankensteined a PC together. I don't even know the model number of most of the parts. It's an Nvidia 8600 (something) video card, and a Soundblaster Live, I know that much. Worked just fine, no issues. (Streams PC games from Steam pretty well to the TV upstairs, too.)

I purchased a mid-high prebuilt 'gaming rig' a couple years back, and everything 'just worked', except the "SoundBlaster® X-Fi XtremeAudio" card. That was the 'one thing'. There was a config fix but I just pulled the card and used the onboard MB audio. Whatever that is worked fine.

Just installed Linux for my cousin this weekend. Some HP laptop, I honestly didn't even check the model. Everything just worked, including the 'scroll region' on the trackpad, and the weird 'slide-touch' volume control above the keyboard.

Comment Old tech is good tech (Score 1) 120 120

And this is why I use a $9 phone that has support for nothing other than voice calls and plaintext SMS. Not only is it free from the effects of such exploits but the battery also lasts two weeks between charges, it fits very nicely in even the smallest pocket and doesn't distract me when I should be working or spending time with friends and family.

I only upgraded to this phone because I found the cranking handle on the side of my old phone was snagging on my pocket and the operator was sometimes very slow to respond with "number please" when I tried to summon her attention :-)

Google

Gmail Messages Can Now Self-Destruct 198 198

New submitter Amarjeet Singh writes: Dmail is a Chrome extension developed by the people behind Delicious, the social bookmarking app/extension. This extension allows you to set a self-destruct timer on your emails. You can use Dmail to send emails from Gmail as usual, but you will now have a button which can set an self destruct timer of an hour, a day or a week. Dmail claims it will also unlock a feature that won't allow forwarding, meaning only the person you sent your message to will be able to see it.
Intel

Intel Core I7-5775C Desktop Broadwell With Iris Pro 6200 Graphics Tested 75 75

bigwophh writes: 14nm Broadwell processors weren't originally destined for the channel, but Intel ultimately changed course and launched a handful of 5th Generation Core processors based on the microarchitecture recently, the most powerful of which is the Core i7-5775C. Unlike all of the mobile Broadwell processors that came before it, the Core i7-5775C is a socketed, LGA processor for desktops, just like 4th Generation Core processors based on Haswell. In fact, it'll work in the very same 9-Series chipset motherboards currently available (after a BIOS update). The Core i7-5775C, however, features a 128MB eDRAM cache and integrated Iris Pro 6200 series graphics, which can boost graphics performance significantly. Testing shows that the Core i7-5775C's lower CPU core clocks limit its performance versus Haswell, but its Iris Pro graphics engine is clearly more powerful.

Comment Re:We need better legislation (Score 1) 102 102

That is already being done. Many "store bought" drones will refuse to fly within the regulated "no fly" distance from documented airfields and most reasonable craft *do* have an auto-land facility that kicks in when the battery gets low.

There's no more point in banning drones than there is in banning butter-knives. Both are useful and very safe ways to perform a task -- however, both can be MISUSED when in the hands of idiots. Far better that we simply make sure that any idiot who misuses *any* technology is dealt with appropriately. The only alternative to ensuring public safety is to have us all fitted with straightjackets and locked into our own private padded rooms -- for our safety.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 617 617

Oh, wait, you didn't need to pass a test for that.

I'm just trying to think how that would have been possible. I think back then there was a medical exception you could plead for. I didn't. I passed the 20 WPM test fair and square and got K6BP as a vanity call, long before there was any way to get that call without passing a 20 WPM test.

Unfortunately, ARRL did fight to keep those code speeds in place, and to keep code requirements, for the last several decades that I know of and probably continuously since 1936. Of course there was all of the regulation around incentive licensing, where code speeds were given a primary role. Just a few years ago, they sent Rod Stafford to the final IARU meeting on the code issue with one mission: preventing an international vote for removal of S25.5 . They lost.

I am not blaming this on ARRL staff and officers. Many of them have privately told me of their support, including some directors and their First VP, now SK. It's the membership that has been the problem.

I am having a lot of trouble believing the government agency and NGO thing, as well. I talked with some corporate emergency managers as part of my opposition to the encryption proceeding (we won that too, by the way, and I dragged an unwilling ARRL, who had said they would not comment, into the fight). Big hospitals, etc.

What I got from the corporate folks was that their management was resistant to using Radio Amateurs regardless of what the law was. Not that they were chomping at the bit waiting to be able to carry HIPAA-protected emergency information via encrypted Amateur radio. Indeed, if you read the encryption proceeding, public agencies and corporations hardly commented at all. That point was made very clearly in FCC's statement - the agencies that were theorized by Amateurs to want encryption didn't show any interest in the proceeding.

So, I am having trouble believing that the federal agency and NGO thing is real because of that.

Submission + - Don't bring your drone to New Zealand->

NewtonsLaw writes: Drones such as the Lilly Camera, DJI Phamtom and (to a lesser extent, because of its size) DJI Inspire are changing the way we experience our vacations. Instead of toting along a camcorder or a 35mm DSLR, more and more people are just packing a GoPro and, increasingly, a drone on which to mount it.

This is fine if you're going to a drone-friendly country but be warned that (when/if they finally ship), your Lilly Camera will get you into big trouble in Thailand (where all use of drones by the public is banned outright) and now New Zealand, where strict new laws regarding the operation of drones and even tiny toys like the 20g Cheerson CX10, come into effect on August 1.

Under these new rules, nobody can operate a drone or model aircraft without getting the prior consent of the owner over which property it is intended to fly — and (this is the kicker) also the permission of the occupiers of that property. So you can effectively forget about flying down at the local park, at scenic locations or just about any public place. Even if you could manage to get the prior permission of the land-owner, because we're talking "public place", you'd also have to get the permission of anyone and everyone who was also in the area where you intended to fly.

Other countries have produced far more sane regulations — such as limiting drone and RC model operators to flying no closer than 30m from people or buildings — but New Zealand's CAA have gone right over the top and imposed what amounts to a virtual death-sentence on a hobby that has provided endless, safe fun for boys (and girls) of all ages for more than 50 decades.

Of course if you are prepared to pay a $600 fee to become "Certified" by CAA then the restrictions on where you can fly are lifted and you don't need those permissions. It seems that the government here is taking away our rights and simply selling them back to us as "privileges" that can be purchased by paying a fist-full of cash to the appropriate government agency.

When reading the linked news story, remember that as far as CAA in New Zealand is concerned, *everything* that flies and is remotely controlled is now deemed to be a "drone" — so that includes everything from a tiny 20g toy quadcopter to a huge octocopter.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 617 617

The Technican Element 3 test wasn't more difficult than the Novice Element 1 and 2 together, so Technican became the lowest license class when they stopped having to take Element 1.

The change to 13 WPM was in 1936, and was specifically to reduce the number of Amateur applicants. It was 10 WPM before that. ARRL asked for 12.5 WPM in their filing, FCC rounded the number because they felt it would be difficult to set 12.5 on the Instructograph and other equipment available for code practice at the time.

It was meant to keep otherwise-worthy hams out of the hobby. And then we let that requirement keep going for 60 years.

The Indianapolis cop episode was back in 2009. It wasn't the first time we've had intruders, and won't be the last, and if you have to reach back that long for an example, the situation can't be that bad. It had nothing to do with code rules or NGOs getting their operators licenses.

A satphone is less expensive than a trained HF operator. Iridium costs $30 per month and $0.89 per minute to call another Iridium phone. That's the over-the-counter rate. Government agencies get a better rate than that. And the phone costs $1100, again that's retail not the government rate, less than an HF rig with antenna and tower will cost any public agency to install.

You think it's a big deal to lobby against paid operators because there will be objections? How difficult do you think it was to reform the code regulations? Don't you think there were lots of opposing comments?

And you don't care about young people getting into Amateur Radio. That's non-survival thinking.

Fortunately, when the real hams go to get something done, folks like you aren't hard to fight, because you don't really do much other than whine and send in the occassional FCC comment. Do you know I even spoke in Iceland when I was lobbying against the code rules? Their IARU vote had the same power as that of the U.S., and half of the hams in the country came to see me. That's how you make real change.

Comment Re:GnuTLS (Score 1) 250 250

OpenSSL has first-to-market advantage, and anyone who hasn't evaluated the quality differences will choose the simpler license. Plus there are other alternatives, like Amazon's new SSL-in-5000-lines which is also gift-licensed.

The time for OpenSSL to dual-license was when it was the only available alternative to entirely proprietary implementations. That might indeed have funded a quality improvement.

I don't know a thing about the quality of GnuTLS or the Amazon thing. I've seen enough of the insides of OpenSSL to know it's not pretty, but am not a crypto guy and this don't work on it.

Comment Re:Few people understand the economics (Score 1) 250 250

Maintaining FIPS compliance did not make anything easier. It's essentially a prohibition on bug repair, as you have to recertify afterward. But the people who wanted FIPS were the only ones who were actually paying for someone to work on OpenSSL.

I don't think any of the other Free Software projects ever tried to be FIPS certified.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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