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Comment: byowireless unlimited texting is $15, not $5 (Score 1) 85 85

In considering "unlimited" services, I do realize that byowireless has a $15 unlimited texting plan. However, byowireless is limited to 3g Verizon devices, and the $19 textnow/sprint plan seems a far better deal if you can tolerate the coverage.

It seems that most everyone tries to get the Moto G 3g prepaid Verizon phone onto the 3g mvnos, and this can be rather tricky. The textnow option is a lot less headache.

Comment: tracfone byop (Score 3, Informative) 85 85

Yes, you can bring phones in from other carriers. This capability was greatly expanded with the Page Plus acquisition. I suggest a Verizon 4g device (this is the least expensive path to Verizon service). Verizon devices get triple the value on all purchased pins.

+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 307 307

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Why two videos? For the love of dog, why?! (Score 1) 47 47

That said, I still can't see any good reason for doing this. "Management-imposed restraints" could mean anything.

Well, "management-imposed restraints" doesn't actually answer the question of why, so your question wasn't unreasonable.

Based on the trajectory of Slashdot after the Dice takeover, though, presumably the real answer for "why" is "because our managers are total morons."

Comment: Re:RFCs are not laws (Score 2) 53 53

The market not IETF process decides which protocols will continue to be used going forward.

The market loves when we have formal documents laid down by the Formal Documents People confirming what we've been telling our bosses for years. I would bet large sums of money that some tech, somewhere, just walked out of a meeting happy because he finally has permission to deprecate a long-broken system.

Comment: Re:Actual *real pilots* discussion on another foru (Score 1) 268 268

Sure, and how much does it cost to store the thing, to have it launched, and do whatever else has to be done with a glider? I know powered aircraft are often white elephants in that respect.

Much less than a powered aircraft. Gliders generally disassemble and are stored in trailers; maintenance is limited to the annual inspection, washing/waxing, repairs, replacement of wear components, periodic repacking of your parachute if you wear one, um... I'm sure I'm missing something. One of the big expenses is just non-existent: there's no powerplant to maintain! Launching fees vary widely, but they start at ~$5 for a winch launch. Flights can be as short as 5 minutes or upwards of 5 hours, depending on conditions, endurance, and skill. Insurance isn't free, but it's certainly not prohibitively expensive.

I don't have a day a week to train so I could legally (under the sort of regime being proposed) fly my model aircraft. And they'd cost that same $10k-$20k once all the proposed equipment to do things like respect NOTAMs and restricted areas is put in. Because no one would make such equipment for hobbyists, they'd make it for the commercial market.

Most of the FAA's regulations actually make sense, and the licensing requirements for different categories of aircraft / licenses call for different levels of training - flying an ultralight doesn't even require a license (but the pilots are still responsible for following the rules). I would suspect that a drone rating would be a simple knowledge test, and there would be no practical exam since so much of a drone's flight is automated - it might even be something you could self-study for. Obtaining the required number of flight hours, and otherwise preparing for the practical is what constitutes the lion's share of the time/money needed to get a private/light sport/recreational license - you need to know, for example, what causes stalls and how to recover from them. I suspect the exam would cover things like airspace definitions and rules, right-of-way rules, etc.

Comment: Re:Actual *real pilots* discussion on another foru (Score 1) 268 268

On the contrary, a lot of people want draconian restrictions like mandatory licensing and restrictions on sale of such vehicles.

Perhaps I misspoke. I should have said that I've not heard from anyone who wants this, and I have talked about it with other pilots.

except relatively wealthy ones with a ton of time, like yourself

Your assumptions are showing.

While there are wealthy pilots, most of us are of modest means. My (small) car is paid off so I spend the equivalent of its payment on my hobby during the on season, and that amount will go down once I finish my license. I won't need to buy my own glider outright, but if I do decide to do so, there are perfectly adequate specimens for sale in the $10k-$20k range.

As for time, I fly one day per week - sometimes two, sometimes zero. On the days I do fly, I still have time to mow the lawn, cook dinner, work on household projects, and even watch a movie with family.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.