Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Maybe it's for the same reason (Score 1) 184

by craighansen (#49258781) Attached to: Why Apple Won't Adopt a Wireless Charging Standard

I'm not defending the insane assortment of completely unnecessary sizes of barrel connectors. I'd agree that it's all horseshit - it would only make some sense if the sizes were related to the voltage, such as one size for 5v, one size for 12V, one size for 29V, etc. It's hard to imagine that manufacturers really get big money out of continually changing power connectors and battery pack designs - it never takes very long for ebay & amazon to start selling third party supplies and batteries. My personal bugaboo is how far laptops need to be torn apart to replace these connectors - and - stiff connectors that seem designed to stick out just perfectly far enough and stiff enough to maximally damage the receptacle.

In any case, two conductive contacts ought to be enough for any small or mobile device's power and data needs, and neither is there any no good justification having distinct connectors for networks, disk drives, displays and accessories. USB is among the most phenomical kludges of all time, with all the different connectors, profiles, and adapters - and Apple, as well as HP, and others have gunked it up with all manner of proprietary kludges to negotiate high power charging. The USB-C "standard" connector actually has 24 teeny little pins, doubled up from 12 just so the connector can be rotated 180 degrees. I really don't think it's a step forward to use a 24-pin connector to power a laptop.

Comment: Re:Maybe it's for the same reason (Score 1) 184

by craighansen (#49257557) Attached to: Why Apple Won't Adopt a Wireless Charging Standard

One connector is enough when the data is wireless. And it seems like you already got started on the insane assortment of completely unnecessary sizes of barrel connectors just by mentioning them.

If you insist on data being passed over a connector, packets of serial data could be passed over the power connector by modulating the power of the supply or the impedance of the device. Think of POE.

Comment: Re:Maybe it's for the same reason (Score 1) 184

by craighansen (#49257185) Attached to: Why Apple Won't Adopt a Wireless Charging Standard

There are more than TWO orientations. A simple cylindrical connector could allow "any" orientation (OK, any orientation that's pointing in the right general direction.), in the manner of almost every non-Apple laptop power connector and pre-USB cellphones.

Especially now that there's all number of wireless data connections, going back to a simple "retro" power connector should be easier than any connector that has to handle both power and data.

Comment: Keep hard drives outside of your circle of trust. (Score 1) 324

by craighansen (#49161447) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

If you cannot audit the source code of the hard drive firmware, you must keep hard drives outside of your circle of trust. That means that all hard drive traffic should be encrypted with keys not available to the hard drive. Digital signatures and time stamps can also be employed to ensure that the drive isn't utilizing replay attacks or swapping blocks around. As a bonus, this protects against failures in the transmission path, in even stronger ways than ZFS uses checksums. And remember, once you're out, you're out. There's no coming back.

Comment: Re:Seiki (Score 2) 330

by craighansen (#49040085) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Affordable Large HD/UHD/4K "Stupid" Screens?

I've got some Seiki 4k TVs, and I'd agree that their good for the money and have minimal features like the OP asked for. The 39" and 55" work out of the box perfectly with the HDMI port on an Apple MacBookPro.

There's one glaring problem I've had though, and that's with the built-in sound. The volume control responds to almost any input on a Charter cable box remote, usually by raising the volume. I have to keep punching it back down as I use the remote. Since the OP doesn't want sound, it might be OK for him, though the on-screen volume display would pop up, and if you didn't block the sound input on HDMI, it might start blaring if you didn't open it up and disconnect the speakers.
You could cover the IR input, except that I think it powers up in the OFF state, needing the remote to turn it on.

Comment: Re:Double Irish (Score 1) 825

It also means that foreign goverments can tax income at 19% at no further cost to the corporation, making it politically simple to raise taxes to that level.
That helps create a level playing field - if every government taxed income at 19%, there'd be no further incentive for US corporations to pretend their income is earned abroad. It also means that foreign companies can't offer "incentives" to move business overseas, as taxing income below 19% doesn't reduce the business's tax.

There's a huge side effect of the Foreign Tax Credit. Because foreign taxes are completely deductible, there's no incentive for payers of foreign taxes to try to minimize the tax paid. It effectively means that it's up to the IRS to police foreign tax deductions to make sure corporations (and personal taxpayers) are paying only as much foreign tax as they have to. Every dollar in foreign tax collected is a dollar less for the Federal Treasury.

Comment: Re:Deflate-gate? (Score 1) 239

by craighansen (#48953641) Attached to: NFL Asks Columbia University For Help With Deflate-Gate

If you're Republican-oriented, tired of having every scandal called back to Watergate, you can always use the alternate name: "BallGhazi"

How do you measure your balls?
            If they stick a pin into the football to measure the pressure, it'll let out a little air each time.
            If they measure at a lower temperature than when the ball was inflated, they'll get a lower pressure.

How do you blow up your balls?
          Compressing air raises the temperature, so putting recently-compressed air, such as running a pump output directly into the football, will inflate with hot air. The pressure will decrease as the gas cools.
            If you bubble the compressed air through a water tank before running it into the football, you can put water vapor into the football, and if the vapor condenses inside the ball as the gas cools, the pressure will further decrease because water vapor of much less dense than liquid water.
            If you inflate from an storage tank at hight pressure and ambient temperature, you can get the opposite effect, because expanding the gas inside the football will cool the gas, making the pressure increase as the gas warms back to ambient.
            If you inflate with hydrogen, you make them just a smidge lighter, but also use a gas that'll diffuse through the rubber and leather a little faster.

How do you treat your balls?
            If you rub your balls, as for roughing up the surface, the fricton will warm the balls, temporarily raising the pressure at the time of inflation and initial pressure checks.
            If you ream out the inflation hole, you can make it gape open a little, leaking air at a slow rate.
            If you keep your balls warm before each pressure check, you can more easily pass the test, then let them cool down for the play.

So, if you fill your balls all hot and sweaty, you can pass the tests and have a nice soft balls to play with later. If the NFL doesn't update their standards, soon all the teams will figure this out. To avoid this, they should be inflating their balls from a big tank at ambient temperature and relatively low pressure.

If the NFL specifies the gas mix, a minimum tank size and maximum tank pressure there won't be such ability to cheat.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure