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Comment: Archimedes says "No". (Score 1) 154

by Thomas Miconi (#46752447) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

When the material sciences are to the point where a lightweight container can sustain Earth atmospheric pressure from crushing down on it, we'll have a practical way to take off vertically without prompting your neighbours to invest in surface to air missiles when you crank the engine on one of these in the morning on your daily commute.

Except that the density of air is ~ 1.2kg/m^3, so to produce 100 kg of lift (average weight of an adult male American: 90kg) you'd need a balloon with a volume of 100/1.2 = 83.333.. m^3.

If your balloon is a sphere, the diameter should be 2 * (83.333 / (4*pi/3))^(1/3) = 5.42 meters. Google tells me that's about 18 feet.

I suppose it would be feasible for recreational activities. Commuting into a city? Don't think so.

Comment: Re:Only in America... (Score 1) 303

Don't worry. In the confusion, Quebec was suddenly taken over by mysterious groups of men armed with baguettes and wearing berets over their balaclavas.

The French foreign minister denied any knowledge of these incidents, though the interview was cut short when journalists asked about the provenance of the bits of poutine that were still hanging from his chin.

Comment: Re:Problem with Kickstarter (Score 1) 535

by Thomas Miconi (#46579057) Attached to: Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Kickstarter has always been very clear that your money didn't bring you any equity in the business. There is a very good reason for that: by the time Kickstarter was launched, soliciting investment from the general public for specific ventures was quite simply illegal. Crowd-funded investment was only made legal by the 2012 JOBS act.

If you really want to get equity from the businesses you sponsor, you can go to WeFunder or other sites. Kickstarter is not and has never been, and has been pretty explicit about it from day one.

+ - Ask Slashdot: How can I prepare for the Theft of my Android Phone? 5

Submitted by Adam Jorgensen
Adam Jorgensen (1302989) writes "Last week my 4-week old Moto G phone was stolen while getting onto the train at Salt River in Cape Town, South Africa. That in itself is no big deal. Cellphone theft is a huge problem here in South Africa and I've had at least two previous cellphones stolen. The big deal this time, for me at least, was that this was the first time I've lost an Android phone to theft.

When I actually sat down and through about it, losing a fully configured Android phone is actually a big deal as it provides ready access to all kinds of accounts, including ones Google account. This could potentially allow the thief to engage in all kinds of malicious behaviour, some of which could have major implications beyond the scope of the theft.

Luckily for me it seems that the thief did the usual thing: Dumped the sim card, wiped the phone and switched it off. It's probably had it's IMEI changed by now and been sold on to some oblivious punter, possibly some oblivious punter in another country.

Still, the potential for serious issue is making me have second thoughts about replacing the phone with anything capable of doing much more than calling.

My question is this: Are there any serious solutions out there for Android that secure against theft?

By serious I mean solutions that go beyond the laughably easy to defeat "Find My Phone" and "Remote Wipe" options provided at present. Presently I'm thinking along the lines of:
  • Full encryption of phone contents
  • Some kind of "Travel Safe" mode that would lock the phone down and trigger a full wipe of not unlocked correctly (Including wiping the phone on next boot if not unlocked before being switched off/running out of battery).

So, any ideas?"

Comment: Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (Score 3, Interesting) 98

by GigsVT (#46324183) Attached to: Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay

A studio enforcing their copyright against personal-use downloads might be a somewhat crappy and ill-advised practice, but it's not "trolling". To me if you were going to call something "copyright trolling" it would be more like using copyright letters to silence people, aka SLAPP, not using copyright the way it was intended, to prevent people other than the owner from making copies of the entire media as a substitute to buying it from the media holder.

Comment: Re:I saw faster screening at Orlando (Score 2, Interesting) 163

by GigsVT (#46324077) Attached to: Speedier Screening May Be Coming To an Airport Near You

Ignoring the general stupidity of many TSA practices, and that this is an artificial market created by government inefficiency, what's so fundamentally wrong with paying more to get through faster?

If your money is worth more than your time, you'll wait, if your time is worth more than your money, you'll pay. That's a fundamental decision every time you say something like "I'll pay someone to change my oil because I don't want to spend 20 minutes and get dirty doing it myself", or "I'll eat out so I don't have to cook". Time/money/value decisions are something you make dozens of every day.

Comment: TSA Speed (Score 2) 163

by GigsVT (#46324011) Attached to: Speedier Screening May Be Coming To an Airport Near You

I was once at an airport, I think it was LAS... people were all piled up in a clusterfuck right after of the entrance to TSA where they check IDs, even though there was about a mile of Disneyland spiral queue that was not being used. A helpful TSA agent started to open up the spiral queue, and was actually rebuked by a superior because "that's not the way they do things", and everyone that went in the queue had to rejoin the mosh pit of people.

And then they closed two of the four open screening lanes because "it wasn't busy enough to justify having that many open". We had to literally jog across the airport to catch our flight after being stuck in that mess for 50+ minutes.

I'm not sure it would take new technology to fix the TSA, just some people running the show that don't have their head up their ass.

Comment: Re:I suppose, but (Score 1) 149

by GigsVT (#46276717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

Someone who knows PHP and Javascript really well is not a common thing. If you do go the web route, focus on the JS more than the server side, since that's where things are actually happening these days. Learn how to write JS that doesn't leak DOM nodes or memory (for god's sake, please). Half the JS libraries out there leak like a sieve.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.