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Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 2, Insightful) 35

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 110

by MightyYar (#49192049) Attached to: Ultra-Low Power Radio Transceiver Enables Truly Wireless Earbuds

It's the difference between sitting in a car and going for a test-drive.

Don't you mean going for an "audition" in the car?

You really don't see why this sounds pretentious? Probably everyone here has test-driven a car. Even a crappy car costs more than the most expensive headphones. Headphones - little speakers that go on your head. You test them. They can only do one thing, so when you say you tested them, it is unambiguous. "Audition" is some marketer's invention, and your use of it can sound either pretentious or it can make you sound gullible. It's definitely not the appropriate word to use if you aren't looking for odd reactions from people uninfluenced by audiophile marketing.

Comment: Re:How does stingray connect to the wider network? (Score 2) 81

And to do that, they act as a man in the middle, also known as a repeater.

That said, this still doesn't explain how they're registering themselves on the local network. THAT is probably one of the things that's "national security" -- especially as this appears to be that "golden key" that they want for other kinds of encrypted data.

And of course, THAT means that anyone who is operating outside the law can use the exact same techniques to intercept cellular data.

Comment: Re:There might be hope for a decent adaptation (Score 2) 317

by Teancum (#49186947) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

The Number of the Beast is a horrible introduction to Heinlein, and is sort of the last in a long line of books about Lazarus Long. It purposely went into a fictional tangent of multiverses where literally anything could happen, and it was written as though it could. It was basically written for the hardcore fans of his other books to tie together multiple characters and wrap up dangling storylines as a capstone book to his entire collection. It would be like watching a TV series final episode that has been running for many years, and you trying to make sense of what was going on when it was the very first episode you ever watched.

No wonder you couldn't figure it out.

Of books I'd recommend, "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" and "The Man Who Sold the Moon" are much more approachable and don't contain characters from other books (although Harriman does show up in some other books too). "Friday" is one of his more recent books that IMHO is pretty good too, but was written in the "Dirty Old Man" stage of his career none the less.

If you absolutely don't want to take on Heinlein or feel like not reading any other books of his, I'd then suggest reading some Isaac Asimov... especially the Foundation Series. Unfortunately those stories do need to be read in order though.

Comment: Re: There might be hope for a decent adaptation (Score 2) 317

by Teancum (#49186861) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

All of that meant that he completely missed the story in the book itself. It would be like telling the story of the Lord of the Rings from the viewpoint of Sauron and making it very sympathetic to his viewpoint too, portraying Gandalf as a stupid idiot sent to torment him. I could use other examples, but at least Peter Jackson was a fan of the Tolkein books. Verhoeven hated the political philosophies of Heinlein and didn't even really bother trying to finish the book itself before finishing the screenplay.

The point here is that "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is likely to become the same kind of crap that misses what it could become if it was made by a genuine fan of the author and book. The adaptation, while perhaps a bit funny, misses some of the key undertones of the book and what actually sets it apart from an ordinary story.

I only hope that a real Heinlein fan will eventually do his books justice. The only film that has done his stories justice is "Destination: Moon", and that is partly because Heinlein himself was on set for much of the film shoot as a technical adviser.

Comment: Re:I'll be rich! (Score 1) 61

by Teancum (#49186815) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

In fairness to Blue Origin, the "Do X" happens to be "Make a rocket launch, rise up to a substantial height, and bring the rocket safely back to the Earth in one piece".

Blue Origin has done that, although the "great height" is debatable. Their New Shepherd test flight is impressive engineering, although watching the Falcon 9 test article fly in Texas is IMHO far more impressive. SpaceX flying a rocket into space (the 1st stage actually gets past the Kármán line even though it doesn't get to orbital velocities) and bringing it back to the ground safely is definitely much, much more impressive. They haven't had the rocket return successfully mainly because of pretty lousy weather in the North Atlantic Ocean on the last several launches, including one storm that nearly destroyed the barge. 30 foot swells overwhelmed the stabilizers trying to keep the barge flat and level.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 252

by cpt kangarooski (#49186121) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Then you fall into the second category. Or you're just ignorant.

Well, I'm a copyright lawyer, so I doubt I'm "completely and totally ignorant of the law." Have you considered the possibility that your analysis is wrong?

Since we're talking about works that haven't been around long enough to have their copyrights expire, that's totally irrelevant.

Just thought I'd mention it, since you did make a rather broad statement suggesting that works cannot enter the public domain unless deliberately placed there by the copyright holder. While copyright holders can put works into the public domain, it's not true that that is the only way for works to enter the public domain.

"Um, no. That would not be the scenes a faire doctrine."

The scenes a faire doctrine, which I don't have to google for, thanks, permits people to copy without fear of infringement, stock elements from works, which are typical, if not indispensible, for works that have a particular setting, genre, theme, etc.

In this case, where you have a show about teenagers fighting monsters with martial arts and giant robots, it would not infringe if you had a five person team, each member of which had personalities as described above, and where the members of the team were color-coded. It's simply expected of the genre, and therefore fair game, even if you copied it from another copyrighted work.

Now if the specific thing you copied was a very detailed example, and you kept all the details, you might then have a problem. So it depends on how much Power Rangers embellished on this standard device, if they did, and if so, how much of that embellishment, if any, was used in this case.

If you disagree as to my explanation, please feel free to actually say what you think the scenes a faire doctrine is.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 252

by cpt kangarooski (#49186033) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I didn't say Disney's Peter Pan. I was talking about JM Barrie's Peter Pan, which Disney's Peter Pan is based on.

A new version of Peter Pan, based on Barrie's, could still tarnish the character well enough (if done right, and if widely published) so as to harm Disney's Peter Pan merely by association. But it would be lawful to do this. Disney's copyright on their version of Peter Pan does not extend to stopping other people from making their own derivatives of Barrie's work, even if they're very unwholesome derivatives.

Comment: Re:Wow, (Score 1) 61

by Teancum (#49185601) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

It could be treated as a defensive patent. Basically saying that the whole concept of patents stink, but as a necessary evil since they do exist we should try to get a bunch of patents anyway to make sure our competitors don't sue us into the ground with patent lawsuits of their own. It becomes a massive patent war where you can charge back with your own patents, or go after trolls because you not only have prior art but have prior patents that should have been cited by any subsequent patent claims.

Prior art is one thing, but a prior patent takes precedence like none other in federal court. For that matter, a prior patent is useful even if it has expired.

Comment: Re:Why can't they fairly negotiate? (Score 1) 61

by Teancum (#49185579) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

"I don't want to hear about it. It's guaranteed to be invalid on the basis of obviousness, but if they get lucky in court and I've actually read or even heard about that specific patent they'll be able to take us to the cleaners."

This is one of the aspects of the whole concept of a patent that to me invalidates why patents even have a right to exist. The purpose of a patent, according to the U.S. Constitution, is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Art". I fail to see how the current system even attempts to secure that goal if engineers are basically prohibited from even hearing and talking about various patents.

Comment: Re:International waters (Score 1) 61

by Teancum (#49185377) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

SpaceX keep changing their mind, it seems, as to if they will continue to use the barge after they get FAA-AST clearance to land on the landing pad at KSC. It appears as though they want to keep the option available for either super heavy launches that push the fuel envelope, like what can happen with the GEO launch that just happened, or for trying to recover the Falcon Heavy central core (which will be quite far down range when it finally does stage separation).

For many launches though, they do plan on eventually going back to the original launch site if possible. On the other hand, there are two barges that SpaceX is using, with one on each coast at the moment (the west coast one being kept near Los Angeles when not recovering rockets from Vandenberg).

Comment: Re:So... (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by Teancum (#49185121) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

Those who support the patent system claim that their purpose is to disclose all of the information that somebody "skilled in the art" (aka somebody trained in that specific engineering field with credentials, degrees, or some other recognition of competence) can take the information disclosed in the patent and be able to duplicate the invention.

In former times, the USPTO actually required either a copy of the invention or a working model to demonstrate the concept. Thousands of these models can still be found floating around the USPTO building, including some funny perpetual motion machines that have been tried before. The working models at least forced the patent developer to show that the idea was physically possible.

I might even buy this argument, assuming that it was possible with the patent application and supporting documents to be able to treat the USPTO as a sort of archive of technological knowledge. Unfortunately, as you sort of point out, it doesn't do any of that, nor is there any way for an engineer to be able to dig through the stacks of patent applications of years past to try and come up with some interesting ideas for future products or even simply to figure out how something worked, like the Saturn F1 engine (or something comparable from 50+ years ago).

The current patent database is a waste of paper, time, and effort beyond a way for large companies to grind into the dust any small company that can't afford the patenting process. It is IMHO the single best thing to shut down small business development and kill job creation in general. I have to presume those are goals for politicians who support the patent process?

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 124

by swillden (#49182821) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Getting No-Reboot Patching

If someone gains root, they can swap out the on-disk boot image that contains the kernel, and wait for someone else to reboot it as part of normal maintenance.

Assuming there isn't something that prevents the boot image from being replaced. See my other, more extensive, comment in this thread.

Comment: Re: Classic? (Score 1) 394

Or, you can just agree on implementation.

See, the thing about a real object oriented language is that you define your objects, and then they only work in one manner. This means that if you're working on a project, you create your requirements documentation, and then define your core objects to match that. And then everyone who touches that code is forced to do things the same way, or else redefine the objects (which is a no-no).

The "strict procedural language pretending to be object oriented" approach is what gives unreadable code, as you end up with everyone being allowed to do whatever they want, and there's no real object model in place to constrain that.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 3, Informative) 124

by swillden (#49181487) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Getting No-Reboot Patching

But what you're saying is that rebooting is somehow a magic cure-all that guarantees the system isn't infected somehow

Don't be condescending. I'm not saying rebooting is a magic anything.

Whether or not this matters depends on the threat model and why the attacker is interested in patching the kernel. For example, one purpose would be to disable other kernel security features, such as SELinux, or dm-verity. Most SELinux rules are configured and the configuration can be altered by root, but some are compiled into the kernel and can only be modified by modifying the kernel. Altering the persistent kernel image may not be possible for a variety of reasons (read-only media, SecureBoot, etc.). In addition, in security-sensitive and mission-critical contexts an unexpected reboot may well be noticed.

I don't understand your assertion about SecureBoot. Are you referring to some known vulnerability of some particular secure boot system? Given a decent implementation of secure/verified boot, an attacker should not be able to convince the system to boot a modified kernel image, which means that run-time modification of the kernel is the only option if the attacker needs to bypass some kernel security enforcement.

In general, the security model of a high-security Linux system assumes that the kernel is more trustworthy than root. The ability for root to modify the running kernel invalidates this assumption, which most definitely is a security issue.

In the context of a system without mandatory access controls there may not be any reason to care, since once an attacker has obtained root there probably isn't any limit to what he can do.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen