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Comment: Re:You can bet NSA has the keys (Score 2) 105

by Pentium100 (#46775299) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

What would the govt of some place like Egypt have given for a phone kill switch?

Nothing. All governments have a cellphone kill switch that affects an area.Just turn off the towers in that area and no phone will work. And I doubt that the government would go trough the trouble of identifying the protesters one by one and just disabling their phone (which can be done now, just block the IMEI).

Comment: Re:Bad, Bad idea (Score 1) 105

by Pentium100 (#46775251) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

The idea behind this is that the phone somehow discovers that it was stolen and then bricks itself, deleting all the data. If somebody stole my phone, the thief would not get service (after I notified the police and the provider), but he would still have my data. And.he could rewrite the IMEI to something else to get service.

Comment: Re:Industry-Wide, Hacker Triggers Phone Kill Switc (Score 1) 105

by Pentium100 (#46775231) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

Or, authoritarian governments who don't like protesters organizing trigger the kill switch in a town where an ongoing protest is occurring anyone unlucky enough to be around when it happens no longer has a smartphone and cannot tweet/facebook/etc any longer.

Some protesters could have older phones without the kill switch. So, the more appropriate method is to ask (nicely, or send some guys with guns) the cell service providers to shut down all towers in the required area. This method works on all phones.

Cellphones are short range devices - if the government wants to, it can shut all of them down. Same with the internet.

What you need is a satellite phone and ham radio if you want to evade the government's attempts to silence you, for a while anyway.

Comment: Re:How do these anti DST people deal with life? (Score 1) 310

by Pentium100 (#46445373) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

A lot of people work "normal" 8-17 schedule or similar (9-18 etc), so they tend to go to sleep and get up at a certain wall clock time. Their bodies get so used to this schedule that they might even get up at the same time on weekends without an alarm clock.
Having to go to sleep one hour earlier (later) to wake up one hour earlier (later) throws them out of sync with their natural sleep cycle until the sleep cycle adjusts.

I have a weird sleep schedule (sleep during nights on work days and sleep during days when I do not have to go to work) so DST does not affect me, though I still hate adjusting all the clocks (my car, VCR, etc).

Comment: Re:8XP is what customer want (Score 1) 860

by Pentium100 (#46408545) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

OTOH, people see Win8 UI hate it and not use Win8 despite the better security etc.

I recently installed Windows 7 - because newer games (that I wanted to play, like Bioshock Infinite) require DX10 or 11. I did not install Win8 because I hate the UI and the look of it - if I could have "Windows Classic" theme on Windows 8 (like it is on 7 and 2008), I would have used Windows 8. Yes, I can have Start menu on Win8 (actually I am using ClassicShell on 7 to have the Windows 2000 start menu (with search though)), but I cannot have window edges.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46312409) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

Also - by what mechanism would the filament get thinner?

The metal evaporates. The thin part briefly gets really hot and so it evaporates faster (making it even thinner for the next time).

Pulsing, but not cooling off completely, does not damage the bulb as much as blinking. This is why some disco lights (that use incandescent bulbs) keep the bulbs warm (filament barely red) all the time. That makes the bulbs last longer.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46309983) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

Blinking lightbulbs wear out faster because of the thermal shock and also because the filament does not heat up evenly. The thinner parts of the filament heat up faster and more (because of lower thermal mass and higher resistance), later the heat gets distributed evenly. So, during the warm-up the thinner parts of the filament become even thinner. Slow turn-on circuits reduce the effect.

This was most evident in vacuum tube based computers - if you didn't turn them off, the tubes were more reliably than in a computer that was power cycled a lot.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46309405) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

That is to say, shouldn't it be the lights closest to the middle of the road that are on?

Yes. So, those lights are further from the side of the road (and the ditch near it).

That sounds like a rather odd buzzer feature, though I suppose it does encourage you to double the run-time of your lights.

I guess the "both small lights on" mode was supposed to be used in other times.

I'm kind of surprised they don't blink if they're supposed to be hazard-warning lights. That could give you another 2-3x the battery life as well.

The law probably required constant on lights. Also, blinking adds another relay and shortens the life of the bulb.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46309255) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

Yea, on my car only one side of the parking lights can be turned on at a time (the idea is to turn on the lights on the side of the car that is further from the side of the road) if I want the buzzer to stay silent. I can turn them on on both sides of the car at once, but the buzzer still sounds.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46308215) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

Parking lights should be on when the engine is off (if you leave the car in a dark place).

My car has a buzzer to warn me when I leave the lights on (and remove the key and open the door). I guess they saved a really big relay and also there are times when I might want to leave the lights on. Also, in my country you have to have lights on all the time...

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46303917) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

However, it also puts a load on the battery so if the battery is weak you may have problems starting the car again. And in my country, the conditions to overheat with a properly maintained engine (enough coolant, working pump) are very rare. I guess you can modify the car either way (add or remove that relay), but I think turning off the fan when the ignition is off should be the default.

For some reason Mercedes-Benz though that having a mechanical fan (the speed of which depend on the RPM of the engine) is good enough.

Comment: Re:Electric vs. Gas Powered (Score 1) 305

by Pentium100 (#46301825) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

That is a stupid design just for saving a single relay (that would disconnect the fan if the ignition was off). After all, the engine is off, it will cool down on its own.

At least the fan in my car is mechanically driven by the engine, so when the engine is off the fan does not spin.

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