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Comment: Re:Why can't they fairly negotiate? (Score 1) 30

by hey! (#49184405) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

There was a period in the early 00's when one of the my company's manager would periodically walk through my office door and the first words out of his mouth was "I just read about this patent..." and I'd stop him right there.

"This is going to be one of those things where the extent of the filer's 'invention' was to take something people were doing with LORAN fifty years ago, cross out 'LORAN' and write in 'GPS', isn't it?"

"Well," he'd begin.

"I don't want to hear about it. It's guaranteed to be invalid on the basis of obviousness, but if they get lucky in court and I've actually read or even heard about that specific patent they'll be able to take us to the cleaners."

You'd be amazed at some of the technology patents the patent office grants. Stuff anyone who'd been a practicing engineer for more than a few months would laugh his ass off at if he were patent examiner.

Comment: Re:Revisionist history? (Score 1) 120

Given that I never heard of "Spocking" before these articles, and now that I have heard of it wished I was Canadian and had a ready supply of $5 bills, I wondered if their intent wasn't contrary to the stated purpose.

I will have to settle on "Bill Murray"ing US $5 bills for now.

Comment: Re:You keep using that word.... (Score 1) 266

by Kjella (#49183731) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

Apple now has 20% of the market and 90% of the profits. Measuring units is a bit like counting songs published on Spotify while ignoring the number of plays. For both those numbers to be true Apple must be making about 40 times more profit per sale than Android.

Comment: Remembering Nimoy this way is illogical. (Score 5, Informative) 120

by hey! (#49183661) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

His family has requested that donations be made in his memory to one of the following charities

Everychild Foundation http://everychildfoundation.or...
P.O. Box 1808
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Foundation http://www.copdfoundation.org/
20 F Street NW, Suite 200-A
Washington, D.C. 20001

Beit T’Shuvah Treatment Center http://www.beittshuvah.org/tre...
8831 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Bay-Nimoy Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel of Hollywood http://www.tiohnurseryschool.o...
7300 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Source: http://www.startrek.com/articl...

Robotics

Drones Underwater, Drones on Wheels (Video) 15

Posted by Roblimo
from the drones-above-and-drones-below dept.
Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems seems to be primarily in the business of selling aerial 'copter drones ranging in price from sub-$100 up into $1000s. But there they were at the 2015 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), showing off a submarine drone and a wheeled drone. These products don't seem to be on the company's website or even on their Facebook page quite yet. Jon McBride, the person manning their CES booth, told Timothy these products would be around soon, as in February. But it looks like a bit of extra patience is in order, although you can contact Jon through the company's Facebook page (his suggestion) if you have an urgent need for an underwater or wheeled drone for your business or government agency -- or even just for fun.

Comment: Re:The obvious solution (Score 1) 52

by hey! (#49183073) Attached to: US Air Traffic Control System Is Riddled With Vulnerabilities

How it was initially deployed is known only to its makers, but Stuxnet was designed to enter an isolated facility on a USB drive. Once on the LAN it would propagate to other computers, and potentially to other networks via an infected laptop, which is how it ended upon the Internet.

You can use your imagination as to how they got the USB into the target facility. It might have been as simple as dropping the USB stick in the parking lot of a vendor, but given the resources needed to create the worm itself you can't rule out some kind of black bag job or human asset.

Comment: Re:The obvious solution (Score 1) 52

by hey! (#49182649) Attached to: US Air Traffic Control System Is Riddled With Vulnerabilities

I really don't see that as a the most vulnerable point. Not by a long shot. Tapping a digital fiber link wouldn't be like US submarines tapping Soviet analog telephone cables. The data on the link can be encrypted and authenticated at either end such that it's not really practical to modify or impersonate without the kind of assets in the organization that would make an inside job a lot simpler.

The real problem is human factors. Air-gapping sensitive systems is a sound idea in principle but in practice it often fails because it's too cumbersome for users who then undermine the system. And Stuxnet showed that it's possible for a sufficiently advanced opponent to target systems of the far side of an air gap.

So the problem is with the notion that separate parallel systems separated from the outside world are a "simple" solution. They're a potential solution, but if you want to have confidence in that solution there's a lot of work analyzing and policing the behavior of the people who use, maintain, and produce the equipment.

Comment: Don't really see a downside (Score 1) 163

by Kjella (#49182085) Attached to: Will you be using a mobile payment system?

I use chip-and-pin today, do I really care if the "chip" ends up being a smart watch or cell phone? Not really. I just wouldn't allow it to pay without confirmation. On my own device I wouldn't mind using a fingerprint scanner instead of PIN either, just swipe my watch and push the "pay" button/scanner and I'm done. I have two debit cards today, I'm honestly not sure what the code on the second one is because I never use it.

Comment: Re:mandatory treadmill tests (Score 2) 124

by Austerity Empowers (#49181077) Attached to: Treadmill Performance Predicts Mortality

I assure you, in my line of work not only does HR not want care about your long term viability, it sure as hell doesn't want you taking time off work* to be at the gym. They'll happily juice your husk until it can no longer serve the shareholder and toss it out in the new Environmentally Friendly (TM) Compost Heap. Given the endless legions of unemployed and the opportunity to tap the limitless H1-B market, they're guaranteed to have employees!

*By time off work I mean any point in a 24 hour day.

Comment: Re:Hey Roblimo: Make a "loser edit" autobiography! (Score 2) 138

by mrchaotica (#49179919) Attached to: Technology's Legacy: the 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All

The job of an editor is NOT to just present stories that go along with the group-think of the day. We have Faux News and their ilk for that. Also, if they edit submissions too much "for clarity" the submitter will complain that's not what they wrote. So what are you going to do?

Well, would it be too much to ask for them to fix the typos and make sure the links work?

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