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Comment: Re:Cree FTW (Score 1) 196

by SIGBUS (#47376257) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Last fall, I switched my front and back porch lights from CFL to the Cree 60W-equivalent soft white LED bulbs. It was nice to have full light output on even the coldest winter days, and the light looks so much like an incandescent that it would be easy to think it really was (except for that little dark spot at the tip of the bulb). As a bonus, they use less electricity than even the CFLs (13W for the CFL, 9.5 for the LED).

Inside the house, though, I still have a bunch of CFLs to work through before I switch them over. I mainly wanted the full brightness at low temperatures for the outdoor lights.

Comment: How about a higher-spec F3 instead? (Score 1) 198

by SIGBUS (#47347927) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

I've been running LG's F3 for a while, and there are things I love about it, and other things that I hate.

The good: Incredible battery life (can get two days with moderate use and still have battery to spare), slim design that can easily be operated with one hand, reasonably fast CPU, bright IPS display, good RF performance, and LTE. Also, it has a replaceable battery and a MicroSD slot.

The bad: That MicroSD slot is needed, because there's less than 1.3 GB of internal storage, and there's only 1 GB of RAM. Fortunately, Firefox allows you to move it to the SD card, otherwise I wouldn't be able to run it.

Suggestion: take the F3, and add more RAM and internal flash. A quad-core CPU would be nice, but isn't really necessary.

That being said, in spite of the overkill display, the G3 at least has brought back the replaceable battery and the MicroSD slot, which went missing on the G2.

Transportation

Facial Recognition Might Be Coming To Your Car 131

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-how-does-it-fail? dept.
cartechboy writes What if you got into your car and you had to authenticate that it was you behind the wheel? That might be what's coming in the near future as Ford's working with Intel to bring facial recognition to the car. The idea would be to improve safety and in-car tech with this system which is being called Project Mobil. When someone enters a Project Mobil-equipped car the system uses front-facing cameras to authenticate the driver. If the driver can't be authenticated it'll send a photo to the vehicle owner's phone asking for permission for this person to drive the vehicle. Once identified, the car can then automatically adjust certain settings to the driver's preference. This could also theoretically allow parents to control how loud their kids listen to the music while driving, how fast they can drive, and even simply monitor them driving. Obviously this NSA-like surveillance tech is a bit creepy on some levels, but there could be a lot of terrific applications for it. While only an experiment, don't be surprised if your dashboard stares back at you eventually.
Youtube

Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed 364

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-way-or-the-highway dept.
Sockatume writes: In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days.
China

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year 431

Posted by timothy
from the but-will-they-be-reliable-like-american-cars dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Made In China." It's a sticker we all know too well here in the U.S., and yet, it seems not everything we buy is made in China. To date, there haven't been Chinese-built cars in the U.S., but we keep hearing they are coming. Now it seems it's about to become a reality, as Chinese-built Volvos will be arriving in the U.S. as early as 2015. The first model to arrive will be the S60L. The payoff for Volvo if it manages to convince buyers that its cars built in China are just as good as those currently built in Europe is vast. Not only will it save on production costs, but it will help buffer against exchange rate fluctuations. Volvo's planning to make China a manufacturing hub, and that makes sense since it's now owned by Chinese parent company Geely. But will Chinese-built cars be just as good as European-built cars, and will consumers be able to tell the difference?

Comment: Re:All the improvements could want except... (Score 3, Insightful) 136

by SIGBUS (#47194957) Attached to: Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S

What he hasn't done yet is created a compelling alternative to the gas-powered car. The Tesla has a very clear niche where it might be practical if cash were no object: private garages and long, regular commutes of 50-100 miles: long enough to make you want to travel in a luxurious car, short enough to fall comfortably within the Tesla's range, home-based so you can recharge overnight.

Exactly. It's an executive car - but that's a good place to start. Advance the technology and make it available to the early adopters to get the ball rolling. The biggest single obstacle to making long-range electric cars available to the masses is the price of the battery pack. The reason a Nissan Leaf is relatively affordable is that it doesn't have the huge battery pack needed for long range.

Now that Tesla has taken care of building the cars, and the charger network is expanding, it's on to scaling up the battery production, and that's where the upcoming Tesla/Panasonic battery factories step in. Aside from reducing battery costs and increasing production for the cars, they should be useful as storage for charging stations as well.

I know there's a lot of impatience (I want my electric car NOW, and Superchargers on every corner!), but starting a car company from the ground up isn't easy, especially when you're taking over a century of auto industry tradition and standing it on its head. I'm glad to see the progress that's already been made, even if it's still a long time before I could afford to go electric.

America needs more businessmen like Elon Musk and fewer like Donald Trump.

China

China May Build an Undersea Train To America 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-drill-through-the-planet's-crust dept.
New submitter howtokilltime sends this news from the Washington Post: "China is planning to build a train line that would, in theory, connect Beijing to the United States. According to a report in the Beijing Times, citing an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the country's northeast, thread through eastern Siberia and cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska."
Security

Samsung 'Smart' Camera Easily Hackable 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-generous-definitions-of-the-word-smart dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The op-co.de blog has a post about the incredibly poor job Samsung did securing its new NX300 'smart camera.' One of the camera's primary features is that it can join Wi-Fi networks — this lets it upload photos, but it also lets you use your smartphone to access the photos on the camera directly. You can also connect with NFC. Unfortunately, the way they set it up is extremely insecure. First, there's an NFC tag that tells the camera where to download the app, and also the name of the access point set up by the camera. 'The tag is writable, so a malicious user can easily 'hack' your camera by rewriting its tag to download some evil app, or to open nasty links in your web browser, merely by touching it with an NFC-enabled smartphone.' Things aren't much better with Wi-Fi — a simple port scan reveals that the camera is running an unprotected X server (running Enlightenment). When the camera checks for new firmware, it helpfully reports your physical location. Its software also sets up unencrypted access points."

Comment: Re:Foobar2000 for Linux (Score 1) 87

by SIGBUS (#46821925) Attached to: Groove Basin: Quest For the Ultimate Music Player

Foobar2000 runs perfectly under WINE on Linux and OS X. I have been using it for years without any problems. So far, the only flaw I have found is that it does not find new music placed into your media folder after it finishes scanning for new files during start-up, so you have to restart the thing to help it find music just added.

For values of "perfectly" that include pops, clicks, distortion, and lack of 24-bit support, in my experience.

AT&T

AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-buy-the-cow-when-you-can-pretend-you-have-a-cow dept.
Yesterday AT&T announced it would examine 100 cities and municipalities in the U.S., including 21 metropolitan areas, for introduction of gigabit fiber. Taken on its face, the announcement is the company's response to Google Fiber. But many were quick to note AT&T has promised nothing. Karl Bode at DSLReports went so far as to call AT&T's announcement a giant bluff. "Ever since Google Fiber came on the scene, AT&T's response has been highly theatrical in nature. What AT&T would have the press and public believe is that they're engaged in a massive new deployment of fiber to the home service. What's actually happening is that AT&T is upgrading a few high-end developments where fiber was already in the ground (these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and pretending it's a serious expansion of fixed-line broadband. It's not. At the same time AT&T is promising a massive expansion in fixed line broadband, they're telling investors they aren't spending much money on the initiative, because they aren't. AT&T's focus is on more profitable wireless. 'Gigapower' is a show pony designed to help the company pretend they're not being outmaneuvered in their core business by a search engine company."
Transportation

Experts Say Hitching a Ride In an Airliner's Wheel Well Is Not a Good Idea 239

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-forget-your-jacket dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Hasani Gittens reports that as miraculous as it was that a 16-year-old California boy was able to hitch a ride from San Jose to Hawaii and survive, it isn't the first time a wheel-well stowaway has lived to tell about it. The FAA says that since 1947 there have been 105 people who have tried to surreptitiously travel in plane landing gear — with a survival rate of about 25 percent. But agency adds that the actual numbers are probably higher, as some survivors may have escaped unnoticed, and bodies could fall into the ocean undetected. Except for the occasional happy ending, hiding in the landing gear of a aircraft as it soars miles above the Earth is generally a losing proposition. According to an FAA/Wright State University study titled 'Survival at High Altitudes: Wheel-Well Passengers,' at 20,000 feet the temperature experienced by a stowaway would be -13 F, at 30,000 it would be -45 in the wheel well — and at 40,000 feet, the mercury plunges to a deadly -85 F (PDF). 'You're dealing with an incredibly harsh environment,' says aviation and security expert Anthony Roman. 'Temperatures can reach -50 F, and oxygen levels there are barely sustainable for life.' Even if a strong-bodied individual is lucky enough to stand the cold and the lack of oxygen, there's still the issue of falling out of the plane. 'It's almost impossible not to get thrown out when the gear opens,' says Roman.

So how do the lucky one-in-four survive? The answer, surprisingly, is that a few factors of human physiology are at play: As the aircraft climbs, the body enters a state of hypoxia—that is, it lacks oxygen—and the person passes out. At the same time, the frigid temperatures cause a state of hypothermia, which preserves the nervous system. 'It's similar to a young kid who falls to the bottom of an icy lake," says Roman. "and two hours later he survives, because he was so cold.'"
Crime

New 'Google' For the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy 156

Posted by timothy
from the and-you'd-trust-this-because dept.
First time accepted submitter turkeydance (1266624) writes "The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online. Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site."

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