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Comment There IS a decent way to use a smartphone... (Score 1) 508

I have to mildly disagree with point 6 - it's maybe not QUITE $20, but you can assemble a few components which will make a decent Android phone into something resembling a desktop.

First you need a Miracast dongle - they're available as low as $10-$15 on eBay, though the cheaper you go, the worse the performance can be (they all use the same chipset but some skimp on the antenna...). Second, get a microUSB OTG hub so you can plug in a commodity mouse and keyboard. Third, download Google Docs or get free MS-Office.

Assembly: Plug Miracast into HDMI input of old monitor (or use $5 HDMI-DVI adapter). Plug peripherals into hub and hub into phone.

And that's about it.

I did a lot of product research on these components during the first half of this year, intending to turn it into a pocket-sized product with a custom case and everything, before dropping the project due to lack of time. So I've bought half a dozen kinds of dongle, as well as virtually every folding Bluetooth keyboard on the market (none worked well enough to be worth it for me) and about half the pocketsized Bluetooth mice, and I've done a lot of testing.

Of course this depends a certain amount on the performance of your phone (Miracast does put a load on the CPU) and the availability of monitors and keyboards. But more and more offices are offering docking stations for roving/traveling employees' laptops, which was my intended target market.

As for underprivileged students, my own kids use 4-5 year old desktop PCs my employer gives away for free and every time they get an upgrade, their old ones go to our school for the less-privileged. I just gave away a Core2Quad Dell with 4GB RAM and a 320gig HD, monitor, and color inkjet, with Windows 7 Pro. Because that's what my office was giving away LAST YEAR...

Comment Re:Mdisk - advertised to last 100 years (Score 1) 174

MO-DISC (or Milleniata) discs are what I use for offline storage. They're not THAT expensive - I only do a backup onto them once per year (Time Machine to an onsite server for everyday), and so far my wife's annual output of photos and video can be coaxed to fit onto a box of 10 DVDs, for roughly $35-40ish

I put 'em in a fire-resistant waterproof portable safe hidden elsewhere on the property, and consider myself safe from lightning/flood, theft and a few similar gotchas. I originally had a plan to put a wee server in at a friend's house several km away, and do reciprocal backups that way. But it's only recently that the bandwidth for that has been affordable (in Australia) and the above solution makes me feel safe enough that I haven't gotten around to it.

I don't need them to last 100 years, I just don't want to be surprised by bad DVD+R dye or whatever in 3-5 years as has been the case with other types of burned discs. I've never been able to get a straight answer on how long burned DVDs can be expected to last, but the MO-Disc people claim 1,000 years and I'll be happy with 2% of that.

If DVD readers go away in a decade, they won't go away WITHOUT WARNING - I'll have time to move data onto holographic crystals or whatever replaces them. After all, we can still buy floppy drives and VHS tape decks and vinyl record turntables... Plus I can also put everything we've done onto a 500GB drive and toss that into the fire safe, while I'm at it.

I've been doing this for a few years now and so far all the earlier stuff remains readable when I pull 'em out every first-week-of-January...

Comment Re:Statistics without control group? (Score 2) 706

I did some basic stats on this.

There are in Canada about 11 suicides per 100,000 people per year. The Ashley Madison list contains 33 million names. So, on an average year with 33 million random people there are over 3,600 suicides, equating to 10 per day (based on Canadian stats)

So these 2 are well within normal expected rates of suicide for this size of a group. Unless I've bollocked up my stats somewhere in which case please tell me.

Comment Wait a moment... (Score 1, Insightful) 213

So, you put a video online that someone else made, onto a service that someone else pays the bandwidth fees for and you're bitching because you aren't getting any money from it?

What exactly do you think your ten minutes of time in downloading the video from one place and uploading it to another are worth?

Submission What is the real resolution of the Lytro Illum camera? Answer: Not much

jolyonr writes: The Lytro Illum light field camera has been around for a while now but only just fell to a price I could justify. I was impressed that they claimed it would be able to export 4 megapixel images after processing the light field image. Not surprisingly they weren't as sharp as I would have hoped. In fact, they were clearly heavily interpolated. So, I started to investigate what the real resolution of the Lytro Illum is, because other than "40 Megaray" there's no real description of it anywhere.

It turns out the true resolution is tiny — 0.4 megapixels at best. And it seems the Illum carries a 40 megapixel 1" sensor — meaning there is a 100:1 ratio of sensor resolution to light field resolution.

We would need a 400 megapixel sensor to get a true 4 megapixel image out of a light field camera. Is this really the future of photography?

More details here:

Comment Re:Have you dug into the cameras a bit? (Score 2) 134

I have (and still use) several Foscam standard-def cameras, but I've had a lot of trouble with HD (720p) models from Foscam and others. Can't find any which don't require ActiveX - not only for streaming, but for SETUP.

I can't give them my WiFi password without being able to run their proprietary plugin, necessarily on a Windows machine, to access the web interface. And even when I use a Windows machine and go through the process, I to end up with repeated failures.

I'm sure it must be working for someone out there, but I documented my experiences thoroughly (tried all browsers, OSX/Linux/WinXP/Win7, etc) and encountered nothing but a broad spectrum of errors.

Once they're set up, apps like tinyCam Monitor Pro (consider this a plug, it's great) can do everything you need. So if ActiveX is your only barrier, just use it for the setup stage.

Comment "advanced and complex techniques" (Score 1, Insightful) 181

Such as "shooting in portrait"

Well.. sorry to say this but this particular advanced and complex technique has been used by every idiot with a smartphone recording videos for years.

Also... 6k video scaled up isn't 8k. it's 6k video with some random pixels thrown in for marketing reasons.

Comment Slightly connected.... (Score 1) 152

This reminds me of a question I had about securing a linux server.

We all know it's quite good practice to move the SSH connection from port 22 to some arbitrary high port. But of course if attacker finds nothing on port 22 he's just going to start port scanning until he gets it.

Way better would be for port 22 to respond as a valid SSH server but to reject ALL username and password combinations EVEN THE CORRECT ONES.

Only drawback I can see is when I forget I moved the SSH port and get confused when my password doesn't work. But apart from that...

This seems so obvious that I am sure something already exists to do this. Sadly my primitive google-fu didn't find it.


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