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Comment DIY Smart Homes Often Dump, Never Simple (Score 1) 248

FTFY

Seriously, he "taped off the regular switches"? This is because he was setting it up himself, and not getting the actual smart switches to go with his smart relays, dimmers and sockets. The DIY stuff isn't for everyone. If you want a smart home without doing stuff yourself, DIY is not for you. It's kind of in the name.

There shouldn't be a dumb switch in a smart house. It should be a neat, programmable switch which your *CERTIFIED ELECTRICIAN AND SMART HOUSE INSTALLER* has set up to turn off all the lights in your house when you press it upon exit.

Comment Conflict of interest (Score 1) 224

So your patent is in your own field of work. Let's say it's an algorithm for doing X. Now, your new employer asks you to solve problem Y, which involves doing X. They might not even know it does, but it does, and they did after all hire you because you're an expert on that that subject, as stated on your application. Are you then going to knowingly make an algorithm worse than your patented one to avoid license issues?

Comment Re:Your phone is not a trusted device (Score 1) 164

Cameras share downsides of mobile devices (small, can be lost or stolen) and none of the upsides (No lock screens or encrypted file systems) ... where even long since deleted pictures can be recovered easily years after the fact

True, except it's a lot more convenient to zero the storage of a camera than to wipe your phone's SD card, and while people tend to carry pictures around on their phones for years, I've never met anyone doing that with their actual cameras.

I also agree Cyanogenmod is great. Too bad it doesn't support my phone well yet :(

Comment That's not a solution (Score 1) 164

Using a dumb phone is not a solution. Everything a dumb phone does, by which I mean mainly messaging and phone calls, can be monitored anyway, as well as the location of the phone, by triangulation. All this means is that you lose features with implied privacy issues by going from a smart to a dumb phone, but are left with the remaining features that also have privacy issues.

Comment Your phone is not a trusted device (Score 4, Insightful) 164

It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter if you turn on mobile data as long as that is under the control of the phone's operating system, and it doesn't matter if you pay attention to your cell phone bill, as traffic to and from specific government servers is likely exempt from the monthly traffic calculations just as the provider's own servers are likely to be. It doesn't matter if you monitor your wireless network, since questionable transmissions are likely to only go through mobile data, as that's harder to monitor.

While you may be able to test this with your own base station, the phone might also detect that it's not on an official network and therefore not do anything, but that's probably taking it a bit far.

While you could switch to a "dumb" phone, those are of course also trackable, and your conversations and messages can still be monitored, so I don't see any real gain there.

Myself, I carry a phone with me all the time, but I simply do not treat it as a secure device. If you want to take private pictures with your girlfriend, for instance, your phone is not the camera you want to use. End of story.

Comment Re:Focus on your local encryption method first (Score 2) 200

Parent needs voting up. With EncFS, you can even use the reverse function, in case you like your local files unencrypted for some reason, to get an encrypted "view" of the files and sync that. You can mount a remote Windows machine's drive, for instance, get an encrypted view of said drive and sync that to the cloud. Also, check out Jottacloud if you have a Windows machine available. I don't think their "unlimited storage" deal can be beaten.

Comment Re:Words Mean Something (Score 1) 84

Don't forget the various subsets of "cloud computing".
If you have a "personal cloud", you actually do, at least least in part, control the computers. From the definition I got from Microsoft Norway, it pretty much just means your server room uses virtual machines in a dynamic way with lots of automation.

Comment It's for experienced users (Score 1) 228

Every time someone new pops by #yourfavoritedistro on irc.freenode.net, they have to learn how to pose a question on IRC.

This includes figuring out what is relevant, what is not relevant, when to include a pastebin link with logs, config files and such, the exact command the user is typing, the expected output, the actual output and often also an explanation of the higher goal in case a whole different approach could be suggested.

New users also have issues with using needless abbreviations line "u" and "plz" and use the enter key as punctuation, making it very hard to follow their broken up sentences in crowded channels. Once you stop doing that and put your entire question in one message, don't make assumptions, paste your command and output exactly, the amount of help you can get from friendly voulenteers is nothing short of astonishing.

I know, it's a lot, but you get used to it, and it's great!

Comment Re:Safe trip? (Score 1) 251

To say something is "inexplicable", you first have to prove it is so. Otherwise I am very uncomfortable with you calling it that. I am much more comfortable with "we haven't figured that one out yet" and am willing to live my life either not having that information, or helping to figure it out, depending on what the information is. Deciding on one's own that something is "inexplicable" is a pointless activity and is probably detrimental to progress.

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas." - Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"

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