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Comment: Cutting their losses (Score 5, Interesting) 99

by Nonesuch (#49644087) Attached to: Amazon's Delivery Drones Will Be Able To Track Your Location

How will Amazon handle the theft problem? Why just steal a package of unknown value when you can stuff the drone into a steel box and get a pile of expensive parts along with whatever bonus you find in the package being delivered.

Will Amazon be forced to redline neighborhoods that have a high attrition rate?

Comment: Re:The author forgot one other option. (Score 3, Informative) 105

by Nonesuch (#49573415) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

I just read the entire article and the author forgot one other solution: the British solution Instead of putting the burden on app developers to include backdoors, or on Google to block apps that don't, put the burden on end users to turn over their keys to police when asked. I'm not saying I like this solution, but it is a solution the author of the article didn't consider. If you make the sentence for non-cooperation long enough, it doesn't really matter if the police find what they're looking for: they can just lock you up for not handing over the keys.

In the USA, this would likely require a constitutional amendment, it is widely held that the Fifth Amendment "Right Against Self-Incrimination" protects the right not to divulge an encryption key.

Comment: Re:Laugh (Score 1) 407

by Nonesuch (#49525207) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Americans work longer hours and take fewer vacations than most others in the developed world.

We shoot each other more often as well.

With the possible exception of Postal workers (sorry, stereotyping) people who work 60-hour weeks and take no vacations are unlikely to be the ones doing the shooting -- they are doing the work of two people, and that other guy, the guy whose job the over-achiever has eliminated, is more likely to one with time to spare to go out murdering.

As productivity increases, companies can get more done with fewer workers. Good for profit margins, not so good for unemployment rates.

Comment: Re:Lawful access is uneffected. (Score 1) 431

by Nonesuch (#49006089) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

There is only one way you can EVER be compelled to testify and actually ANSWER their questions (you aren't allowed to lie, but you can refuse to answer, the "right to remain silent" applies to your TRIAL as well which is why defendants can't be compelled to testify) and that is you have to be given IMMUNITY. If the prosecution gives your testimony immunity you cannot be prosecuted for what you say (unless you commit perjury and lie).

One undecided facet is whether compelling somebody to "testify" by providing their encryption key or by requiring them to unlock an encrypted device, also gives them immunity for the evidence revealed in the contents.

One legal theory is that a person may be compelled to decrypt (e.g. by sitting them in front of a laptop with a copy of their PGP disk volume and saying "unlock this or go to jail"), and the only immunity required is immunity for prosecution due to the fact that they knew the key (e.g. a conspiracy charge), without granting immunity for evidence found in the cleartext of data in encrypted storage. I disagree, but can see that approach passing constitutional muster

Comment: Re:Totally messed up. (Score 1) 577

I know you're trying to be funny, but for the last couple of years both organizations have gotten together to oppose the NSA, and domestic spying in general. They have other mutual enemies, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And on gun rights, the NRA and state-level ACLU organizations are often both on the same side of an issue, it's primarily the national ACLU that has taken a strong stance against individual firearms rights.

Comment: Re:Insteon ISY-994 (Score 1) 189

by Nonesuch (#48779063) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

The ISY (upgrade to the 994i if you haven't already) has a very nice and fully documented REST interface, included in the base license. There is an optional module enabling it to make calls out to remote network resources and also host web pages internally on the microSD storage card.

You don't need to use their proprietary programming interface. The same PLC or "PLM" (PowerLinc Modem) that the ISY uses can be accessed directly as a serial device if you want to work with Insteon devices at a low level from your own hardware, such as a Raspberry Pi.

Comment: Re:Insteon vs x10 (Score 1) 189

by Nonesuch (#48778953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

The worst part about Insteon devices is that they have x10 support which can't be disabled. It results in devices switching on and off randomly.

This may have been true when Insteon was first introduced in 2005, but has not been the case for at least the past 5 years. No new Insteon devices come with X10 addresses programmed in by default, and Insteon is almost entirely immune to accidentally responding to noise on the power line by switching on and off randomly.

Insteon support site now states "Please note that most new Insteon devices no longer support X10 communication.".

In general, Insteon is not a particularly secure protocol, and is vulnerable to sniffing and replay attacks. If you need devices with stronger security, consider more recent home automation protocols such as Z-Wave.

Comment: Re:It's a trap! (Score 1) 395

by Nonesuch (#48482227) Attached to: France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

Are there more impurities in home heating oil?

I'm in New England, and like many US states, we have a 25c/gallon tax on '#2 Road Diesel' (tax paid, no dye added), this is always Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Generally fuel sold for use in cars is only about 10-15% more expensive than fuel sold for use in a furnace, and most of that is highway tax, not extra distillation at the source.

For Delivery, you can can specify either 'Home Heating Oil" or "Off-Road Diesel". Both are #2 Diesel and contain dye (indicating no road tax was paid), and in most US states, both are at least Low Sulfur, but several states now mandate ULSD for heating oil. There is more margin for variation in the grade of oil sold as heating oil than for off-road diesel, but usually they come out of the same tank & truck. Off-Road Diesel is used for construction equipment, generators, etc. In the winter, when delivering off-road diesel, they might add kerosene and/or additional anti-gel treatment, only because home heating oil is usually stored underground or in a basement while construction equipment and storage tanks are more exposed to the elements.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 986

These strange antics and anomalous test results make fraud the obvious explanation.

Average electricity consumption per capita in the USA is 1683W. For the EU, it's 688W, which makes 2kW ample for a small household. If my electricity consumption went to 1.5MWh/month, I'd start to seriously worry - my electricity bill would be about three or four times what it currently is. According to Wikipedia, electricity in the USA costs 8-17 cents per kWh. That works out at $120 to $255 for 1.5MWh. Do people seriously spend that much money on power each month?

Yes. My monthly usage ranges from 800KWh to 1800KWh (peaks being due to HVAC)

Comment: Stream test urls (Score 2) 294

by Nonesuch (#48105367) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

Netflix offers several test streams for validating your speeds, and Google has a Video Quality Report

I find that the Speedtest.Net results are a realistic estimate of my actual best case upload/download speed, but there are certainly some websites which are much slower to load, for various reasons. If you suspect your ISP is throttling some websites intentionally, you can always browse through a VPN service.

As mentioned previously, local WiFi problems are often the root cause of slow page loads. Go wired. You can also use the network debugging tools built into Firefox (Network Monitor) and MSIE to try to determine what parts of a page are particularly slow.

Comment: Re:vpn's also get you disconnected (short term) (Score 1) 418

by Nonesuch (#47914551) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

I used a vpn almost all the time and my line stayed up pretty much 100%.this year when I moved, I transferred CC to my new place and I continue to run a vpn. I now notice, for some reason, that after a few hours, I get a loss of ping to anything. if I stop my vpn, the default router is still unpingable. what 'fixes' it is to reboot the cable modem (and my access pfsense router, which then gets a new dhcp primary addr) and then things are good again for a few hours. not sure if this is related, but if I don't use a vpn, the line stays up for days and weeks at a time. when I use a vpn, I get a few hours at a time.

Check your hardware, including your pfsense and cablemodem.

I'm on Comcast, and I run three VPNs over my residential connection -- SSL outbound from an internal NAT client to my work network for about 8 hours a day, plus a nailed-up outbound IPSEC tunnel to my personal server in Chicago, and I also have a listener for inbound OpenVPN sessions. All this and I've been doing about 100GB/month in torrents, yet my connection is rock solid.

You have junk mail.