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Comment: Re:I have no idea (Score 1) 32

by mlts (#48677971) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...

Battery life varies so much on what I'm doing... if it is just sitting there idle, I'm sure it will reach its advertised battery life. If it is cranking away at a game or has a VM or two chugging along [1], then all bets are off.

The ironic thing is that Linux suspends without issue. OS X, no problems. However, it seems that with Windows, half the time it suspends... it just doesn't wake up and pretty much needs a reboot. Of course, hibernating works well, but that adds a good amount of time as the machine dumps its RAM to disk.

[1]: I use virtual machines for Web browsing, and do my banking in a separate VM than my other stuff. This has worked decently well in limiting what a compromised browser or add-on can accomplish, assuming it gets past the ad blocking extensions and click to play.


Lizard Squad Targets Tor 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the reasons-"torget"-should-be-a-word dept.
mrspoonsi tips news that Lizard Squad, the hacker group who knocked Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network offline on Christmas morning, has now turned its attention to Tor. After tweeting that they were targeting a Tor-related zero-day flaw, the group is now in control of 3,000 exit nodes — almost half of them. "If one group is controlling the majority of the nodes, it could be able to eavesdrop on a substantial number of vulnerable users. Which means Lizard Squad could gain the power to track Tor users if it infiltrates enough of the network."

Comment: Re:Perler Bead Sorting? (Score 1) 78

by mlts (#48677209) Attached to: High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone Brain

This is overall a good exercise.

For example, finding out if it is easier to just pull one color and have everything drop in an assorted bin versus sorting everything out by known colors and having a reject bin for something that the machine can't figure out. After that, maybe have the machine do another sort operation, so if it sorts correctly 99% of the time, a few sorts later will reduce the occurrence of the wrong color to an acceptably small margin.

This is the stuff that engineering is made of, and would be a good way to get kids started down that path.

Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 3, Insightful) 133

Discreet mathematique are the basis for computing

Not at the semiconductor junction level.

You are confusing computing with computers. Indeed, a "computer" used to be a human being implementing algorithms with a mechanical adding machine, and then were tube-based electrical systems, and in the future may use something wholely other than semiconductors; computing, however, remains the same. A bubble sort is still a bubbble sort.

PlayStation (Games)

Why Lizard Squad Took Down PSN and Xbox Live On Christmas Day 315

Posted by samzenpus
from the ruining-it-for-everybody dept.
DroidJason1 writes Early Christmas morning, hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for taking down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for hours. This affected those who had received new Xbox One or PS4 consoles, preventing them from playing online. So why did they do it? According to an exclusive interview with Lizard Squad, it had to do with convincing companies to improve their security — the hard way. "Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies' inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result."
PlayStation (Games)

Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack 159

Posted by timothy
from the no-fun-for-you dept.
mrspoonsi writes Both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network [were] down this morning, apparently due to a denial-of-service attack. The notorious hacking group Lizard Squad — which already carried out earlier attacks on Microsoft and Sony — has claimed responsibility on Twitter for these latest outages. While the group's role in all of this remains unconfirmed, it's worth noting that the group threatened last week to take down Xbox Live and PSN, according to Business Insider. And again, Lizard Squad has already proven it can successfully pull off such attacks, not to mention other malicious pranks.

Whatever the cause, the timing is obviously terrible: Plenty of people surely received one of the two consoles as Christmas presents today, while many more gamers would have happily spent the afternoon in front of the TV. In the meantime, both Sony and Microsoft have acknowledged the problem, with Sony issuing a tweet and Microsoft posting a message on its support website: "We're working to address this as quickly as we possibly can," reads its status website. "Thanks for your patience, Xbox members." In an email, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment further or say when the company expects to restore service. We've also asked Sony to comment and will update this post if and when it does.
The Xbox Live status page says service remains "limited," and the Playstation Network is listed as offline.

Comment: Re:Not hard to fix... just up the ante... (Score 2) 113

by mlts (#48669099) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

All and all, it is interesting watching the 3D printer market evolve. Other than the issue of currency copying when color inkjets became cheap, there has been no DRM or demand for it linked to documents. Ink cartridges, yes, but not actual preventing of documents being copied.

Other markets, not so lucky. For example, all the fighting and wrangling about MP3s, which resulted in casualties (for example, Diamond won... but that was a Pyrrhic victory.) Video pretty much was a victory for the DRM brigade [1].

3D printing looks like it is going the way of 2D printing, except for this "OMG, GUNS!" drivel [2]. I don't see an RIAA-like entity pushing a SDMI initiative for 3D printing, nor do I see an interest by the Powers That Be in forcing signed documents (which is actually astounding... I would have been almost certain that there would be some type of standardized DRM system by now, similar to how CarveWright DRM protects their software from computer to encrypted memory cartridge to the actual device.)

Now, when 3D metal printing gets widespread and inexpensive, the ability to make sintered Iconel items will be quite useful, as opposed to plastic pieces which have limited uses. For example, one make of RV door handle has had issues with breaking. If just the part that breaks is replaced with a high grade sintered Iconel, it would help immensely.

[1]: A victory as in one in the US either has DRM encumbered tracks, DRM encumbered media, or technically violates the DMCA in de-DRMing stuff like DVDs.

[2]: I have never understood the insane overreaction about 3D printed guns. One could carve out the same thing out of a chunk of plastic, mold something out of clay and fire it in a kiln, whittle it out of wood, or many other ways to make a unsafe, unstable zip-gun, that it is pointless. In countries where guns are banned, ammo is banned as well, so making a .22 LR firearm in Japan or England is pointless... because there are no .22 rounds to be found in that neck of the woods [3]. Of course, there is the fact that in other areas of the world, real guns are likely less trouble to find and procure than a computer, a 3D printer, a good amount of filament, and trying to cobble together a prototype which likely will go kaboom in the hand, rather than bang, out the barrel.

[3]: Technically, there are no .22 rounds to be found in this part of Texas either... but that is due to the insatiable demand, not a ban.

Comment: Re:Going for cop's gun drastically escalates situa (Score 1) 359

by Mr. Slippery (#48667159) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Brown was shot because he escalated the situation to a "high risk arrest" by going for the cop's gun. Period.

We have no evidence that Brown was trying to take Wilson's gun, only the word of a cop who's been caught lying before. Cops know that "he was going for my gun" are magic words to justify themselves when they commit murders.

And of course it's irrevelvant whether Brown tried to get control of Wilson's gun earlier in the confrontation. Brown was not trying to do so when he was murdered, he was (according to the majority of witness testimony) attempting to surender.


De-escalating the Android Patent War 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-bilk-the-USPTO-together dept.
In 2011, a consortium formed from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and others spent $4.5 billion acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio, which contained a great deal of ammunition that could be used against Android. That threat has now been reduced. Today, 4,000 of the patents were purchased by a corporation called RPX, which has licensing agreements from Google, Cisco, and dozens more companies. [RPX is] a company that collects a bunch of patents with the goal of using those patents for member companies for defensive purposes. Even though RPX has generally been "good," the business model basically lives because of patent trolling. Its very existence is because of all the patent trolling and abuse out there. In this case, though, it's making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million. While that article points out that this is considerably less than the $4.5 billion Microsoft and Apple paid originally, again, this is only 4,000 of the 6,000 patents, and you have to assume the 2,000 the other companies kept were the really valuable patents. In short, this is basically Google and Cisco (with some help from a few others) licensing these patents to stop the majority of the lawsuits -- while also making sure that others can pay in as well should they feel threatened. Of course, Microsoft, Apple and the others still have control over the really good patents they kept for themselves, rather than give to Rockstar. And the whole thing does nothing for innovation other than shift around some money.

Comment: Re:Except that they have no debts (Score 2, Interesting) 263

by mlts (#48663421) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

Actually, it has been a good month for the US, other than the DPRK fiasco:

1: Cuba opening up (assuming Congress lifts the trade embargo) is only going to improve the economy of both places. The Cold War-era foreign policies that were in place in the US past had to get tossed. This isn't a defeat... it is a move forward. Calling it a "defeat" would be calling the fact that a good number of nukes were removed from service as part of a treaty, a "defeat".

2: The CIA torture reports were a festering boil, and it had to be lanced sooner or later, and now was probably one of the better times. The fact that it was made public and made known that this is not how the US handles itself these days is quite important. It only goes up from here. The days of torture are behind now.

As for Russia, they are down, but definitely not out. If push came to shove and China didn't lend money, the US would. The reason is that Putin is nowhere near a saint, but a power vacuum in the largest country in the world is the stuff of nightmares. If Russia collapsed, every single country in the world would either be going for a part of that carcass or jumping in the fray to keep their enemies from doing that.

Overall, Russia will emerge stronger. The low oil/gas prices are quite temporary. The profit may be less this quarter... but give it six months to a year, plus one incident in the Middle East... and oil will be back up to $150 a barrel and stay there for good. People know this, and nobody here in the US is going out and buying SUVs due to these temporary low prices. Solar might have slowed down slightly, but it is still progressing, mainly because virtually everyone knows that high gas prices will be back eventually.

Lord of the Rings

Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy 347

Posted by Soulskill
from the things-you'll-pay-for-even-though-you-know-you'll-hate dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The final chapter to Peter Jackson's series of films based on The Hobbit debuted last week, and the reviews haven't been kind. Ars Technica just posted theirs, and it highlights all the problems with Battle of the Five Armies, a two-hour and twenty-four minute film based on only 72 pages of the book. Quoting: "The battles in Battle of the Five Armies are deadly boring, bereft of suspense, excessively padded, and predictable to the point of being contemptuous of the audience. Suspense is attempted mostly by a series of last-minute saves and switches. ... There are other problems. Everyone in this movie takes themselves way too seriously, which makes them even harder to sympathize with. Peter Jackson leans way too hard on voice modulation to make characters seem menacing or powerful. The movie's tone is still way out of step with the book's tone. ... There's one big thing that doomed these movies from the outset — the fiscally smart but artistically bankrupt decision to make a single, shortish children's novel into three feature-length prequel films." Other review titles: "Peter Jackson Must Be Stopped," "The Phantom Menace of Middle Earth," and "Lots of Fighting, Not Much Hobbit."

Line Printer paper is strongest at the perforations.