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Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 3, Interesting) 89

Your friend is most likely lying. The phones in the switch (specifically for QC) would only hear one side of the conversation. If you hear both sides, there was an echo issue (and the conversation wouldn't continue between the two parties).

If the speaker was connected to a local loop, then it would hear both sides. (While I agree it should not have been connected to a local loop, I would not be surprised if (occassionally) it was.)

Phones designed for use with traditional land lines have echo-suppression circuits. As do the equipment at the switching office. This was done to avoid the cost of a third wire and because using either earth or electrical ground was too noisy.

An old design: http://www.epanorama.net/circu...

A somewhat modern design: http://www.epanorama.net/circu...

Also, very early telephone designs did not have echo suppression. I have one that one of my grandmothers bought at an auction (a certificate of legal sale was included with the phone). In theory, it is compatible with the current land line system, though I have never tried it. It is very similar to this: http://oldphoneman.com/images/...

Comment: Re:Great. More touchscreens. (Score 1) 233

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48583889) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

Nothing like saying "You have a tape player, that is what you have, that is what you get, you can't upgrade"

Actually, I got that when I bought my current car, new, from the dealer. I got the version with the 4 cyl engine and the "comfort option package". When I asked to upgrade the CD-only radio to one with both CD and tape, I was told that that was only available for versions with the 6 cyl engine. I then said "Well, you have replacement units for service, why not just "service" my radio by replacing it with the better unit?" They said the OEM does not allow them to do that.

Admittedly, it would have cost more than buying an FM adapter (which I did) to use with a portable tape player, but would have been a lot less hassle.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 545

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48535175) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

Note, that employers can deduct hours from your vacation pool for less than either 8 hours a day worked, or 40 hours a week, can't remember which, but they can't dock your pay if you are exempt

Many of the people I know who work for other companies are exempt from overtime pay, but do get docked pay for less than 40 hours per week (or 80 hours per 2 weeks). Vacation time is only used for pre-arranged (and approved) time off. Sick hours are only used when they call in sick - before their normal start time.

For me, the time short goes against my "sick hours" before it goes against my vacation hours.

Comment: Re:No, it's not even possible (Score 1) 181

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48532997) Attached to: Do you worry about the singularity?

unthinking acceptance of whatever we are told by professors, "science advisors", and people in white coats carrying clipboards.

Unfortunately, a large and growing number of people have gone to the opposite extreme - unthinking rejection. And not just of science, but intelligence in general. How long before the "Examination Day" scenario is upon us? (http://education.ky.gov/school/documents/examination%20day%20by%20henry%20seslar.docx)

Comment: Re:It could be worse (Score 1) 247

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48527631) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

My employer's office has far too few conference rooms for face-to-face meetings. Instead, the company has an internal VOIP/XMPP server. (Though for a meeting with 4 or less people, we often just use our cubicles.) We have VOIP phones on our desks, though easier to use PC VOIP app.

Comment: Re:Every 30 days. (Score 1) 247

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48527491) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

The PCs my employer issues to its workers have "smart card" readers built in, but they (a) they require cards with contacts (which our standard badges don't have and (b) (according to the security dept) cards that are compatible with both the PCs and the door lock system are very expensive. As such, the company only issue those cards to the finance and HR depts (and the execs and their assistants).

Of course, to prevent anyone in possession of one of these cards from being able to log in, passwords would still be needed. (Not that our security dept seems to care that anyone with a badge can get in the office (granted, a worker who looses their card will report the loss, but it might be hours (or days) before the loss is noticed))

Comment: Re:Why would you teach kids to program computers? (Score 1) 107

You will also condemn them to a professional life of being under perpetual pressure to overwork, perpetual blame for failing to do the impossible, and perpetual threat of being outsourced. ... Do you kids a favor and send them to get an MBA or license to practice law instead.

Every MBA and lawyer I know is very overworked and expected to do the impossible daily. While the lawyers might be a lesser risk of being outsourced, most of the MBAs tell me they are quite afraid of being outsourced.

Comment: Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (Score 1) 107

Otherwise, they will just sit around eating junk food and watching a screen all day, and yes I know this is slashdot.

My daughter did quite well at keeping a balance on her own. My girlfriend and I certainly had a lot of input to our daughter's schedule, but she was the one driving it, not us. She actively pursued out door and social activities, as well as solo activities. Though she tried various junk foods, her preferred snacks were/are "finger friendly" fruits and vegetables (and, sometimes, premium chocolate). She watched very little TV, though did use a computer a lot (mostly for homework, some programming and a little gaming).

I think the kids who watch a screen all day are the ones whose parents are too afraid to let them do anything else.

Comment: Re:Check point starvation (Score 1) 107

I think the only thing my kids ever did at that age for 75 minutes without a break is sleep.

Do you mean like sit (mostly) still for 75+ minutes doing problems in "work books"? The public elementary school my nephew attended required that most days for its first through fifth grade students (ages 6 through 10/11). (The school day was typically lecture/demo/group discussions from 8 am to 11:30 am, with a restroom break around 9:45. Then lunch, Then a review from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm, followed by a restroom break. Finally, quiet study from 1:30 pm to 3 pm.)

(Additional restroom breaks were allowed, but strongly discouraged.)

Comment: Re:The providers (Score 4, Informative) 127

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48364971) Attached to: FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

Why should the providers shoulder this burden? They're not marketing, charging for, or making the content available. It's ridiculous. And invasive.

Actually, the major providers also own some of the content producers. Comcast owns NBC/Universal, Time-Warner owns Warner Brothers, etc. As such, the providers want to prioritize their subsidiaries' content.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!