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Comment Re:Usually the case (Score 4, Interesting) 128

Nope, apparently they do give you the decryption key, once you pay. If word of mouth was that it doesn't help to pay, then a lot less people would pay the ransom.

So this guy is destroying a very lucrative business model for some very evil people. It will probably not end well for him.

Comment Re:Bad news for them (Score 1) 129

By the title of the paper -- A Faster Cutting Plane Method and its Implications for Combinatorial and Convex Optimization -- I would say that they are not trying to provide a truly general optimization algorithm, but one that is specific to combinatorial and convex optimization. Hence, the NFL theorem is not violated.

TFA headline gives the impression that they would be talking about a truly general algorithm, but this is actually a manifestation of the "No Competent Editor" theorem.

Comment Re:Its all in the taxes and incentives. (Score 4, Insightful) 211

Nope. A negative price of electricity is not a sign that electricity is going to be cheap on average. On the contrary, it is a sign of poor infrastructure and heavy dependence on fossil fuel. (Coal and oil fired plants are expensive to take off-line, which is why the price of energy fluctuates wildly when the wind changes.) With better infrastructure and more hydro power, the price would not have fluctuated into negative, but would have been lower on average.

Comment Re:This sort of thing will be a problem (Score 3, Insightful) 122

Exactly. Why would anyone spend $60 on electronics that (only) stops self-driving cars? If you need to stop cars for legitimate reasons, then a "stop" sign is sufficient. Self-driving cars are programmed to stop in a safe way when they encounter one of those (as are human drivers). If you want to stop cars because you're an asshole, then any reasonably large object will work on both self-driving and human-driven cars.

Comment Re:They should know better (Score 1) 99

Something that is questionable is you would still need a way to kill your angular momentum otherwise as you wind yourself down to land your angular velocity will increase.

If the spacecraft trajectory intersects that of the comet, then the angular momentum is zero.

This will not be the case exactly, because then the spacecraft would crash into the comet, but the distance doesn't have to be very large either. The resulting angular momentum would be relatively easy to eliminate using a conventional thruster when the tether is at maximum length. The fuel usage would be a very small fraction of what would have been required to rendez-vous without the tether.

If not in a hurry, then it would also be possible to utilize the torque created by the gradient in the gravitational field of the sun (while changing the distance between comet and spacecraft to control the it). No fuel required.

Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 1) 346

An android phone is essentially a computer in itself. You don't need to tether it to a second computer to use a lot of bandwidth. You can share its screen with a TV or a projector to stream movies, or even connect a hard-drive (using USB OTG) and download "linux distributions" via bit-torrent on it. T-mobile have no way of knowing who is tethering and who is simply using a lot of data on the phone. (Well, actually they could easily find out by deep-packet inspection, and maybe they are doing that. I bet the fine print in their contract says they are allowed to.)

Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 4, Insightful) 346

Common sense says that nothing can be advertised as unlimited, because nothing on Earth is unlimited.

No, it doesn't. "Unlimited" has a very well-defined meaning that is obvious for most people. "Unlimited" usage of a 6 Mbit connection means that you can use the full 6 Mbit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (This works out to about 2 TB/mo.)

Obviously, this is bad for the network, which is why offering an "unlimited" wireless plan is an incredibly stupid idea. But that is what T-mobile did. Blaming their customers for their own mistake and calling them "thieves" is pretty low.

Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 5, Informative) 346

TFA abbreviates the quote from T-Mobile CEO John Legere. Here it is in full:

"Marketing thought we could call it 'unlimited', because that would sell. But then engineering pointed out that our network couldn't support that kind of load. So we had legal work out deals with the handset manufacturers so that the phone would limit data usage anyway. That way, we could call it 'unlimited', but in reality, it would be limited; Clever eh? But our customers noticed, and are downloading apps that hide their tether usage, rooting their phones, writing code to mask their activity, etc. It's all their fault. I mean, obviously we have the right to lie to our customers, and put whatever software we want on their phones. But now they are changing that software! They are thieves I tell you. THIEVES!"

Comment Re:Transcript Please (Score 2) 38

Didn't watch the video either, but according to TFS it tells you how to build your own, and that's not hard to figure out:

* Go to Google and type in "900 MHz ethernet extender", click on one of the ads an buy one.
* Connect it to a wireless router, and set the router to "bridge" mode.
* Congratulations, you now have a ProxyHam
* ...
* Profit!

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.