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Comment: Re:Children. (Score 1) 217

by Technician (#48195667) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Facebook has been loosing active membership because of the threat to privacy and those who will use your ID in ways against you. Law enforcement is often percieved as another threat, not safety. This hits their revenue stream as chat rooms are replaced with Snapchat and alternatives.

A common perception is a chatroom of 13 year old girls is mostly older guys pretending to be 13 year old girls. This reputation is hurting revenue.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 2) 372

by Technician (#48195529) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

GPS logs do a great job. An NMEA log showing time stamped location, position, speed, etc of the trip is pretty solid evidence in court. To further question the camera's data,, these are often included in upscale dashcams. GPS log is easly compaired to the video log where speed time distance between known landmarks such as crosswalks is solid evidence.

A judge throwing out evidence to protect revenue risks a youtube and social media revolt when the video is posted online. Anti speed camera folks eat those stories for lunch. This is why very few are posted.

Buy a dashcam with GPS and make shure you were not speeding. It's pretty good proof in court.

Comment: Re: Are any of them able to use the Skype network? (Score 4, Informative) 282

by Technician (#48177393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

Yes, but not in a very graceful fashion. The one I use on occasoion is as a SIP provider. You can Google the proceedure to use the Skype/SIP gateway.

In a nutshell, the gateway is like dialing 9 on a PBX and outside callers needing to use an automated attendant to reach an extension, so you need to educate your Skype contacts on how to use it.

The cumbersome interface uses a Skype proxy for outgoing calls where the caller is as the caller, and to call in from Skype, you add the poxy as a contact, then when connecting to the proxy, the caller is sent a text that needs to be replyed to with the "SIP extension" you are calling, so it does not support Skype directly. The caller needs two pieces of information to contact you, the Skype to ippi friend, then your sip user ID. For example if I used my slashdot handle, which I don't, my SIP address would be The Skype caller would need to call the gateway Skype2ippi and then respond to the automated text and enter technician to ring my SIP phone.

Outgoing calls are simpler. I enter the full gateway/skype string into the speed dial settings on IPPI, so to call one of my friends, I just pick up the phone and speed dial them. IPPI speed dialer uses 2 digit speed dialing so you can save 99 contacts.

This works great with either a SIP softphone, or a hardware device such as an ATA and analog phone or an IP phone such as one of the Grandstream models.

The service does not provide video, only an audio connection.

Comment: Size vs resolution (Score 2) 213

by Technician (#48110655) Attached to: NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

Like a photo flare or photo of a smoke cloud, this is a single time event sample as far as I can tell. Was there an industrial or transportation accident? Many tests for hydrocarbons are cross sensitive, such as a sensor for Propane will detect gasoline, natural gas, butane, etc. What sensor is used, what is the sample time, what else is it sensitive to, and were there any significant accidents or releases in the area recently? If it was from the soil, soil based sampling should have seen this concentration long ago in gas exploration.

Comment: Re:Self check out (Score 1) 236

by Technician (#48102047) Attached to: Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

I found the self check out is used by LOWER priced grocers as a way to cut costs and offer lower prices. Supermarkets without self checkout are often much more expensive to provide that personal touch. Natures, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc are examples of upscale markets without self checkout. Walmart appears to be the exception in haveing no self checkout and offering lower prices. Communities have a beef with the low rates they pay their staff, but they do have paid staff instead of self check out.

Comment: Outsourced then automated example (Score 1) 236

by Technician (#48101965) Attached to: Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

A good example of first being outsourced and then automated is telemarketing.

The low level lead generation has been replaced by robocalls. This blight on the phone system makes automated calls very inexpensive for the caller and more expensive for the receiver both in call plan time usage (unless unlimited) and resources (time) of the receiver.

If left unchecked, my phone will go to an automated auto attendant instead of being answered for non white list callers.

It's a sad day when you need a spam filter on your phone to sort your calls for you. The cost is real calls are delayed costing everyone time. I hope robocalls are outlawed soon except for op in, such as appointment reminders.

Comment: Repairs are often bottlenecks (Score 2) 38

by Technician (#48064533) Attached to: Snowflake-Shaped Networks Are Easiest To Mend

Often the reapair is on smaller lower capacity branches that can not handle the load. On a network, this results in slow connections. On a power grid this results in cascading failures of the alternate routes. This is what blacked out the East Coast of the US some years ago. A major line failed shifting the load to smaller lines unable to sustain the load. This resulted in a large area ripping free of the rest of the grid as none of the smaller route could carry the load.

Comment: Apple did us a favor (Score 3, Interesting) 135

by Technician (#48059447) Attached to: Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

i for one am glad Apple took this course of action. It made it abundantly clear that DRM is a failed business plan. Between the Mini Disk MO player/recorder with serial copy protection and then iTunes with copy protection, they left a void that quickly became filled with alternatives with much higher compatabiliy. DRM simply meant incompatability to many as the Mini Disk was incompatible with desktop music production. It gave way to simple recordable CD's. DAT tape, competing company, with mandated DRM was knifed in the cradle. In my life I have only seen one DAT tape recorder, but neve any tapes for it. It was pretty much a dead format due to DRM.

The huge public awareness of DRM and incompatibility was presented to the public with iTunes and it's incompatibility with everything else. DVD player could play MP3 CD's and DVD's. In dash car stereos began to support MP3 CD's and some play MP3's on a thumb drive. A few supported an iPod dock, but none could directy play Apple DRM content which made the public aware of the problem.

Apple finally had to support non DRM industry compatability to stay alive.

Thank you Apple for educating the large portion of the public. DRM on music is mostly a thing of the past.

Comment: Re:Gigantic and growing! (Score 1) 209

by amRadioHed (#48023051) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

Playing with a baseball is not the same as playing baseball. Baseball is a specific game, a baseball is a specific piece of equipment. You can play baseball without a baseball, and you can play with a baseball without playing baseball. So unless legos is a particular activity that you use your legos to play, than saying "play legos" doesn't really make sense.

Comment: Re:Define A Toy (Score 2) 209

by Technician (#48013837) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

In my case I have at least a ton of toys. A motorhome counts, so does the solar panel I put on it as I built my own controller. Add in my test equipment and tools that I don't use for employment, my musical insturments, stage lighting and sound equipment I use for weddings and other socail gatherings, etc.

I spend a lot of time playing, so I have toys beyond the internet.

Computers I guess would include annimated Christmas lights, VOIP toys such as integrating a Grandstream phone wiht Google Voice, Talk, Skype, etc, MIDI, recording studio such as Ardour, Audacity, digital photography, etc. Lots of toys. Some I guess could be written off as continuing education, but it's mostly toys.

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982