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Comment: I'm skeptical (Score 3, Informative) 298

by fewnorms (#47066541) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

These particles, stored in a vacuum, react to the Earth's magnetic field.

... it's secure too—the technology is apparently interference-proof.

I work for a company that deals with inertial navigation systems, specifically systems based on mechanical gyroscopes. The reason we use gyroscopes is because testing, running, and updating our tools for the last 30 years has shown us that we are inherently more precise than a magnetic measurement tool that measures the Earth's (local) magnetic field. Contrary to our tools, a magnetic measurement device is easily influenced by outside interference. Events like variations in the solar wind, such as solar flares, can easily interfere with the local magnetic field, which in turn changes your measurement of the field. Of course you can compensate for this with a lot of math, but even then those tools are still not as accurate as the tools we provide. I'd really like to know how they solved that problem, if they actually did.

Comment: Re:So, time to scrap TSA/airport security checks (Score 1) 208

by fewnorms (#45444799) Attached to: Object Lessons: Evan Booth's Post-Checkpoint Airport Weapons
Yeah they do. Every time I buy something post-security at an airport, I have to show my boarding pass, which then gets scanned. So, whatever it is that I bought is now tied to me via my boarding pass. They know. If and how they process this information is a totally different matter.

Comment: Re:Why not Houston? (Score 1) 128

by fewnorms (#43403985) Attached to: Google Fiber's Austin, Texas Rollout Confirmed

I remember hearing that public transit or even biking was near impossible in houston due likely to gas and car companies' influence.

Well, that's not entirely true. There's been huge improvements for bikers in general by the upgrades and construction of miles and miles of bike trails. Here's some more info on those trails. You can get from most suburbs all the way to Downtown by staying on (nicely maintained) trails these days, which is pretty nice.
Now as far as public transport is concerned, you're somewhat correct in terms of the quality not being very high, nor extensive. We have one measly light rail track, but completely focused on connecting downtown Houston with the very close-by Medical Center. Apparently they're looking at adding a second route at the moment.
However, don't forget that in a city as sprawling as Houston, connecting suburbs is a nightmare. We're spread out over roughly 600 square miles. That's a LOT of land to cover for any kind of public transportation. Cars are a daily part of life in a city like this. No car almost equals no job nor social life around here.

Firefox

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cycle-is-nearly-complete dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bending-the-rules dept.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

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