Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Silly season much (Score 1) 84

by Safety Cap (#47444365) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction

Who says you can't have a second child after you sold the first one?

Peasant Han: "Honest officer! Our child was sold into slavery over a year ago!"

Officer Zau kicks over the wood stove, lifts open a patch of the tile floor and shines his light into the darkness below. A dozen eyes shine back.

Officer Zau (screaming): Zui cha. Chaqu. Yongyuan!

Officer Zau unholsters her Type 15 pistol, takes aim at Han and puts her finger on the trigger.

(fade to black)

Comment: A scary idea, if true (Score 1) 7

by Safety Cap (#47443969) Attached to: Trying to remember a conspiracy theory

I recall an old Science Fiction story along the same lines, back in the early 80s.

The protagonist was a young man in a third-world middle-eastern shitehole. He was tired of war, of losing friends and families, when he had a revelation: the "Blue Hats" (UN) were neutral, so if he joined their "army" he'd be relatively safe and wouldn't have to fight any more.

So, he obtains a discarded steel pot and paints it blue. Reveling in his newfound "immunity," he convinces his friends and neighbors to do the same. Even the other side starts doing it until everyone is a Blue Hat -- and peace breaks out for the first time in living memory.

I forget how it ended, but the gist was that the First-World was using the Third-World as a "live culture" of warfare, to keep the former's own troops trained and budgets justified. The old sides were eventually convinced to go back to fighting one another.

United States

NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the for-our-eyes-only dept.
AHuxley (892839) writes "The Desk reports on a FOIA request covering "... all e-mails sent by Edward Snowden" and the NSA's refusal to release all documents. "The National Security Agency has acknowledged it retains a record of e-mail communications from former contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, but says those records are exempt from public disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act. In a letter responding to a June 27 FOIA request from The Desk, the NSA’s chief FOIA officer Pamela Phillips wrote that while the agency has retained records related to Snowden’s employment as a contractor, they are being withheld from public examination because, among other things, releasing the records 'could interfere with law enforcement proceedings, could cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, could reveal the identities of confidential sources or would reveal law enforcement techniques and procedures.' Other records are being withheld because those documents were 'also found to be currently and properly classifiedand remains classified TOP SECRET, SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL.' The letter marks the first time the NSA has publicly acknowledged retaining communication and employment records related to Snowden’s time as a contractor."

Comment: Want and Have (Score 4, Interesting) 339

by CrankyFool (#47440111) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

I have a Pebble -- until recently, a Kickstarter-edition one, though it malfunctioned and the company quite helpfully replaced it.

I originally got it as a geek toy, a whim, but it turned out to be hugely useful for me, given my constraints and work circumstances. Largely, this came down to three factors:

I manage people, and at least at my current company that means that the vast majority of my time is spent in meetings. Having a Pebble on which to see what messages I'm receiving (just for text messages, not FB or email) means I can know when someone's texted me (a rare, but potentially important, occasion) and be able to see what I got without having to reach for my phone in my pocket; it also means that because being able to see the message doesn't necessitate using the tool with which I respond, that I'm less likely to respond immediately, which makes the process less disruptive to the people I'm in meetings with;

I used to miss meetings often because I'd get in the middle of something (or another meeting) and forget to check where I next need to go. My phone quickly vibrating in my pocket was easy to miss. But my watch vibrating? For me, it's unmissable, and it makes me much more aware of where I need to go next.

The other factor that's made a huge difference is not work-related. Being able to control music on my phone via my watch is a trivial improvement when I work out, but it's made another issue basically go away: The "What the hell did I do with my phone?" problem. If I can't find my phone these days, calling it doesn't necessarily work -- it's typically in quiet mode -- but using my Pebble to get some music playing on it, and increasing the volume, is usually immediately helpful in figuring out where the phone is.

You could, of course, argue that these three factors are not, or should not, be relevant to the average geek -- maybe you don't have as many meetings, or are more disciplined about checking your calendar. And God knows we all found our phones before we could remotely start them playing music. But it's been very helpful to me.

Comment: Re:USB DACs (Score 1) 486

Personally, I use built-in audio. It really IS good enough for most purposes - I have never been dissatisfied with the quality of my laptop DAC.

My original point was that cheap USB audio (those under $10) are crap, and most people who just want to improve the sound, and CAN tell the difference, don't need the fancy DSP stuff.

I want to Sweetwater's web site. They have a bunch of brands of USB audio interfaces in the $100 range from such brands as Alesis, PreSonus, Yamaha, and M-Audio. Behringer even makes $30 ones, but reviews are mixed. Still, if you need line-in on a laptop, that is the cheapest way. If you ARE into sound and music, you can get even mixers with audio interfaces built-in. Alesis even makes some rather nice studio monitors (speakers) with a USB interface.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 170

by harrkev (#47436269) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't think the materials science is there to deal with forming/deforming a projectile on the order of 300,000 rpm (presuming a 1:7 twist & 3,000 fps).

Piezo actuators should have no problems working at up high tens of KHz, and even up in the hundreds. Peizo elements are used in tweeters, where they have to react up to at least 20 KHz, in the right range for this project. Piezos do not have much distance that they can travel, but at that speed, you might not need much distance. All you really need is a little paddle that can stick out an slow the bullet down on one side.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 170

by harrkev (#47436233) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

And here's a clue for you. NO one over there wants peace at all, ever.

Sorry, but many Muslims are taught to hate Jews from a very young age:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

There are other examples, but this is the most famous one that I could think of.

From what I understand (and I know many American Jews who have visited Israel), the Jews pretty much just want to be left alone.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 2) 170

by harrkev (#47434677) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

You got it. Lasers are cheap... electronics are cheap... batteries are cheap... spoofing is cheap.

Really, as an engineer, I can imagine two ways for this thing to work, and it depends on if the projectile spins. Typically, bullets spin so that they act as gyroscopes -- always pointing the same direction (YouTube has videos of guys firing pistols into ice -- ice stops bullet which just sits there and spins like a top).

If the projectile spins, you can, in theory, guide it with a single fin that can extend or retract. You could not use a standard camera as such, because you are spinning wildly. Assume 2000 FPS bullets -- if you want to shoot a mile, you need at least this much. Also assume a 1-in-12 twist (real twists are in the range of 1-in-7 to 1-in-14, depending on shape and weights of bullet). That means that the bullet is spinning with a approximate rotation of 2 KHz. I doubt that you could have an effective regular camera spinning like that and still work. A better way would be to have a linear sensor (a line camera) that looks forward and to the side. This could operate. When you see a bright stop, see how far it is from the center. More off-center = kick your fin a bit more. This is simple and straightforward. However, since the bullet is spinning and you do not know when the camera will cross the laser, you probably need to keep the laser on full time. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish this, but should be easily spoofed. You could maybe put a crypto on the laser signal by changing the intensity of the signal without turning it off, but it would have to be a much lower frequency than 2 KHz because that is your effective sample rate. If you assume 500 Hz signal (four-times oversampling), you would only get about 500 bits of data before you hit your target (assuming a target 2000 feet away). Is that enough to actually apply crypto? I am not sure...

On the other hand, if the bullet is NOT spinning, you can use a regular camera and regular fins to control it. In that case, it is entirely reasonable to embed some sort of cryptographic modulation on the signal. In any case, the existence of a 2-D sensor makes the bullet more expensive, and increases the amount of processing that needs to be done. It should, however, be more feasible to put crypto, but at greater cost.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 3, Insightful) 170

by harrkev (#47434367) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy.

Off topic, I admit, but this reminds me of the current Isreal/Hamaas conflict. Just launch simple, dumb, and cheap unguided rockets from the Gaza Strip. Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1, Interesting) 170

by harrkev (#47434329) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Actually, this should not be scary at all! You just need to figure out the frequency and modulation of the laser used. Then, just make sure that you have such a laser pointed at the guy beside you. You are suddenly safe from snipers! Just make sure that you do not like the guy beside you.

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

Comment: Re:Why 80% (Score 1) 273

by harrkev (#47433621) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Hey, Obama promised "Hope and Change." Isn't that what we have here? Admittedly, Bush started this -- probably. Or maybe he inherited the seeds from Clinton or earlier -- who knows how far back this trail goes? But Obama has had almost 6 years to fix things. Instead, under his watch, things have gotten worse.

In Obama's defense, I do not know if Romney would have done things any differently, but I suspect we would probably still be here even if he had won.

Privacy

William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls 273

Posted by Soulskill
from the must-use-a-good-compression-algorithm dept.
stephendavion sends a report at The Guardian about remarks from whistleblower William Binney, who left the NSA after its move toward overreaching surveillance following the September 11th attacks. Binney says, "At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the U.S. The NSA lies about what it stores." He added, "The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control, but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone." One of Binney's biggest concerns about government-led surveillance is its lack of oversight: "The FISA court has only the government’s point of view. There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for U.S. domestic audiences and you can double that globally."

User hostile.

Working...