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Comment Re:How do you define "malicious"? (Score 1) 165

How do you define the word "malicious"?

I think you have to be setting out to cause harm in order for it to count as malicious. As such, I would concede that GNOME made a mistake, but I would think it hyperbolic to say that they that GNOME 3 is malicious.

I think if you want to call something malicious, you have to have set out in the first case with intentions to subvert the user's sovereignty over their own property. Install something I didn't ask for and would have specifically rejected? Malicious. Make it difficult to opt out? Malicious. Report my local drive searches that are none of your business? Malicious. Lock me out of content I bought? Malicious. Bloat my phone with a bunch of apps I can't install? Malicious. Make a dumb-ass design mistake? Dumb-assed, but not malicious.

To conflate bad design with malice dilutes the discussion of things that genuinely are malicious -- that genuinely mean us harm.

Comment Re:The frog is boiling (Score 2) 217

I have two thoughts about this:

First, I find it worrisome, but not as much as when it impacts the non-game software world, i.e. the world of operating systems and productivity software, stuff that either is something everyone uses, or people use to make money, or both. What do you do if your job depends on your computer booting, which it refuses to do?

Second, I don't know if you have noticed or not, but some software companies (Microsoft, for instance) don't even try to hide the fact that there is nothing in the box, because .; . . there is no box. If you buy software from a bricks-and-mortar these days, you often just get a card with a nonce printed on it under a scratch-off spot. You scratch off the spot, go to a specified website, enter the nonce, and your software downloads.

Comment Re:This doesn't seem unusual. (Score 1) 152

(usually only PR or execs can do it)

Truth. Interestingly enough, this makes it very easy to tell the official story from the unofficial, when there has been an incident of some sort. All you have to do to filter (or filter out) the official story is grep for a pattern like /tak(ing|es) .* seriously/. Try it! It works surprisingly well.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 368

Just exactly how do they propose 'taking out' a drone?

There is at least one case where a drone was taken out by a fire hose at a house fire. The troubling thing in that case, though, is that a firefighter took his hose off of the fire to take out a drone that was far enough away as not to be causing any real problem. The fire department ended up replacing the drone.

Comment Re:Easily replicated with an SDR... (Score 2) 138

Part 15 reads almost the same for 900 MHz as for 2.4 GHz: You can use 1W if you are doing one of three things.

Thing 1 is to send a direct-sequenced spread spectrum signal (not in this case)

Thing 2 is to send a frequency-hopping spread spectrum signal, with a maximum dwell time of 400ms and a minimum of 50 channels in your spreading sequence (again, not the case here)

Thing 3 is to send a digital signal of at least 500 kHz RF bandwidth (which is likely to be the case here)

Additionally, there are bonuses for using good antennas (the FCC seems to want to encourage this). You do need to reduce your transmit power if you have a gainful antenna, but you only have to reduce power by 1dB for every 3dBi of antenna gain. For example, using a 3dBi antenna (for instance, a 5/8 wave) would double the strength of your transmitted signal, but would require you to turn down your transmitter power by 1 dB, making it roughly 800 mW rather than 1W. Put this together, and you get an effective radiated power (ERP) of ~ 1.6W.

In a more extreme case, imagine using a 24dBi directional antenna: You get a 2^8 boost in your signal from the antenna, and only have to cut your power by 8dB. Actual transmitter power ends up at 160mW, but the boost from the antenna gives you an ERP of ~40W.

Dinosaurs aren't extinct. They've just learned to hide in the trees.