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Comment: Re:Simple. Don't. (Score 1) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44531927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
That GPG plug-in worked fine as long as you didn't use Exchange. However most companies do use exchange, and therefor that plugin became useless. That windows skin example is moot. I use the default windows skin as well. Why? Not because I especially like how it looks. But simply because I don't care about it. It looks good enough. As long as it doesn't look like Windows 3.11, why should I spend time on changing the skin? Why should I care about that? I prefer changing things like using the SysInternals Process Explorer, Notepad++ etc. Scripting with python... Things that actually make my life easier. A GUI skin? Not on my todo list.

Comment: Re:Simple. Don't. (Score 1) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44531875) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
I'm not allowed to go into details, but I've been around the block, having worked as an engineer in oil&gas, finance, electricity utility and now waste recycling, so I kinda do know what I'm talking about. Nowhere did they use PGP or any email encryption scheme. You'd be surprised how much information goes back and forth via unsecured email. And yes, US Health care uses something like PGP but only since that's made mandatory by law not too long ago. Can't comment on law offices though.
And no, these are not statements made by someone who doesn't know how to use a computer.

Comment: Simple. Don't. (Score 2) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44529193) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
I'm sorry to say, but the simple fact of the matter is that PGP/GPG isn't used anywhere in corporate life. Not even in banking-related companies.
For one, people don't perceive email as something that can easily be snooped, and if they do they'll think it's something like a chance encounter as if it's a regular piece of mail where you have to be at a certain point at a certain time to be able to snatch the mail, plus have to have a reasonable idea what you're looking for as a mail thief.
Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, it's a f'ing drag to use. It's not easy to install. It's not easy to set up, and it's far from user friendly on a day to day basis.

Besides the fact that email encryption isn't commonplace, as long as you aren't sending you pin number or medical data on a regular basis (daily), why bother to be honest. You'll get a stamp as "that weird guy" if you start about PGP etc, and that'll last. If you want to send it securely, just wrap it in an encrypted container, like a ZIP or RAR file and phone them the password.

Comment: Re:How? (Score 2) 204

by Xiph1980 (#43885665) Attached to: WY Teen Cut From Science Fair For Entering Too Many
In what universe is nuclear energy free energy? There's no such thing as free energy. There's such a thing as usable energy, and as you say he might not even have reached that point:

Granted I get that this kid probably didn't exceed the energy output needed to make this plausible, <snip>

Nuclear energy generation isn't something "magical" or especially difficult per sé. What makes it difficult, is the containment you need to prevent radiation from escaping and measures put in place to prevent the reaction from going out of control (something you also need by the way for conventional power sources) and I seriously doubt that he got hold of such pure radioactive materials that a runaway reaction was any danger. Anyway, all you do for the rest is replacing the heat source of burning wood, coal, oil or anything chemical / mechanical with a radioactive source of heat. The rest of the system, whether that be a peltier pad, stirling engine or steam turbine is pretty much the same.
Now, about that "free energy" you mentioned... As I said, there's no such thing. There's only usable/functional/however-you-wanna-name-it energy, i.e. where you gain more energy from the reaction than you expel to mine and collect the materials and to start and monitor the reaction. Wood is an easy example of that. Takes relatively little energy to chop down a tree, and you gain a lot when you burn it in a fireplace.

Comment: Re:A few things to watch out for (Score 2) 235

by Xiph1980 (#43772145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wiring Home Furniture?
Not quite. The skin effect isn't really noticeable at 60Hz yet, unless you use really thick wire for high voltage / high current applications. That's why they use 2, 3 or 4-bundles in high voltage power transmission lines, instead of a bigger cable.
Also, stranded wires are generally to prevent metal fatigue, and due to the fact that the individual strands aren't insulated, act as a lower capacity solid core conductor as there are holes inbetween the individual strands if you look at it from a cross-section. As long as you're not flexing the cable too much during or after installation, there's absolutely no need to use the much more expensive stranded wire.

Neither the skin-effect or the proximity effect are any real issue here. Heat is much more important to take care of. e.g. add a fused plug to prevent overcurrents in the wire, and test how hot a wire gets with all that upholstery, because with enough insulation you could overheat a wire even on only one-tenth of its current rating. When in doubt, install the cables in a tube or hose or anything, and force air through it. Just a tiny bit of moving air will make a lot of difference.

+ - further slide into commerce by

Submitted by Xiph1980
Xiph1980 (944189) writes "As a long-time user of I just received an email from them:

Starting now, if you would like to maintain your free Dyn account, you must log into your account once a month. Failure to do so will result in expiration and loss of your hostname. This activity helps us eliminate hostnames that are no longer needed and/or dormant. Note that an update client will not suffice for this monthly login.

We understand that the possibility of resulting service interruptions may be frustrating, so we are offering a one-time transition upgrade to VIP status (Dyn Pro) for just $10 USD. Under this status, login will not be required and service will remain uninterrupted for an entire year. used to be a company that "played nice" for these kinds of things, and it still is a company that has a lot of nice features for corporations that can pay the fees, but they are definitely sliding in the home user aspect. Granted, $10 per year isn't that much, but still...
Are there any decent alternatives out there?"

Comment: Re:I have a Galaxy Note (Score 2) 320

by Xiph1980 (#43033173) Attached to: Smartphone Screen Real Estate: How Big Is Big Enough?
Hmm, I think current smartphones are far too big.
I'd kill for a nicely sized 3.5" android phone like the HTC Rhyme, but then with the innards of a current smartphone, e.g. "high" resolution screen (minimally apple's 960x640), dual- or quad-core snapdragon, good battery life (minimally 2 days high usage), and bonus if it's a core android system, so nexus style, rootable, no proprietary stuff nor bloatware. Extra props if it has that water-proofing those new sony phones have.
I don't really care about phones being 7.5mm thin, I don't mind having a few millimeters extra if that means I actually have a battery worth its salt, because realistically you don't really notice those two millimeters extra during usage. It's just a bragging thing between producers really. It's not like phones nowadays are the refrigerator models of ye olden days.

If anything like that is thrown on the market, I'd buy it. Got a SGS2 now, but it's just a bit too large for my taste, and I doubt I'm the only one that thinks this.
I really wonder why the producers don't offer real choice, instead of having 200 small and underpowered devices, and 10 oversized and nicely powered devices.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]