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Software

Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-invented-the-for-loop dept.
An anonymous reader writes Qualcomm has forced GitHub to remove over 100 repositories due to "unauthorized publication, disclosure, and copying of highly sensitive, confidential, trade secret, and copyright-protected documents." Among the repositories taken down were for CyanogenMod and Sony Xperia. The issue though is that these "highly sensitive" and "confidential" files are Linux kernel code and reference/sample code files that can be easily found elsewhere, including the Android kernel, but GitHub has complied with Qualcomm's DMCA request.
Businesses

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM" 769

Posted by samzenpus
from the pirate-coffee-is-the-best-coffee dept.
FuzzNugget writes "Apparently seeking to lock competitors out of the burgeoning single-serve coffee market, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the popular Keurig coffee machines, will make their new machines work with licensed pods only. GMCR's CEO confirmed this in a statement: 'The much-anticipated ‘Keurig 2.0’ single-cup brewing system with ‘interactive readability’ (that doesn’t work with unlicensed/copycat pods) will offer such “game-changing functionality” that consumers - and unlicensed players - will want to switch.'"
DRM

Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July 304

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the remember-when-sharing-books-was-normal dept.
Nate the greatest writes "Whether it's EA and SimCity, the Sony rootkit scandal, or Ubisoft, we've all read numerous stories about companies using DRM in stupid ways that harm their customers, and now we can add Adobe to the list. Adobe has just announced a new timeline for adoption of their recently launched 'hardened' DRM, and it's going to take your breath away. In a video posted to Youtube, Adobe reps have stated that Adobe expects all of their ebook partners to start adopting the new DRM in March. This is the same DRM that was launched only a few weeks ago and is already causing problems, but that hasn't stopped Adobe. They also expect all the stores that use Adobe's DRM to sell ebooks (as well as the ebook app and ebook reader developers) to have fully adopted the new ebook DRM by July 2014. That's when Adobe plans to end support for the old DRM (which everyone is using now). Given the dozens and dozens of different ebook readers released over the past few years, including models from companies that have gone under, this is going to present a significant problem for a lot of readers. Few, if any, will be updated in time to meet Adobe's deadline, and that's going to leave many readers unable to buy DRMed ebooks."

Comment: All of these concerns would be moot with DC. (Score 1) 579

by fishnuts (#45798399) Attached to: Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy

(Note, this is more of a stream of consciousness than an actual comment, so I apologize in advance if this sounds ADD-ish)

Get rid of the bulky, loud transformers and phase shifting coils and cap banks. Run -12KVDC to -20KVDC over the residential feeder lines down to neighborhood-located equipment with switchmode buck converters to give -240VDC and -120VDC to homes via their usual 3 mains wires, and a fourth wire for homes who wish to feed power back into the local grid via switchmode boost converters. The power transformer boxes on the corner of every block will contain high-frequency switching equipment and a few batteries (for keeping the block lit during upstream switching events and outages) instead of 2000-pounds of copper and laminated steel. The neighborhood substations will have their giant transformers and oil-filled breakers and phase compensating equipment replaced with IGBT-based switch stacks and intelligent converters that quickly compensate for changing load and back-feed conditions completely silently. Managing connections between substations and the high voltage grid will be an order of magnitude simpler and safer when all you have to worry about is matching the voltages within a few percent and measuring static currents after connections are made, rather than comparing frequency, phase angles, and power factors. With today's "modern" AC grids, you're liable to blow fuses/breakers/transformers if you connect two independently-fed parts of the grid together without first matching phases and frequency.

I know it's just too late for the change from AC to DC in the home to be practical. The biggest, most power-hungry devices just don't have an "upgrade path" to DC: Air conditioning and refrigeration compressors, fan/blower motors, fluorescent lights would all need complete replacement with DC-compatible equivalents. It would have been better if appliance manufacturers had designed their devices to be run off either types of mains from the start... Large, high-torque brushless DC motors are quite cheap now, and switchmode power supplies are now smaller and cheaper than 60HZ AC power transformers, and many of them will actually work equally well being fed by 120-240VDC.

Comment: Transfer switches, batteries, and inverters, oh my (Score 1) 579

by fishnuts (#45791879) Attached to: Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy

Automatic transfer switches eliminate any danger of locally generated power being fed back into the grid if there's any sort of danger in connecting the two. The electric company would only have to tell home owners to employ transfer switches in order to stay connected to the grid (with the only side effect being that they can't contribute excess power back to the grid)

My local utility company actually employs smart meters that can monitor both grid-side and home-side circuits for dangerous conditions in cases where there's a grid-tie inverter in the home. The smart meter instantly disconnects the home from the grid if there's an excessive surge in current being fed back into the grid (by analyzing the voltages, transfer current, and phase angles of both sides). The same meters also communicate with the utility company over a combination RF and powerline-based data transmissions, eliminating the need for guys to be dispatched monthly to read everyones meters.

In other news, you can buy a good charge controller, a 50KWh bank of deep-cycle batteries, a 2KW inverter for lights and outlets, and a 12-KW inverter for air conditioning, all for about $12K. This setup can run A/C for 5 hours a day and your only reliance on the grid would be to top-off the batteries on dark days.

If you have the means to get off the grid, by all means, you should, because most electric companies don't care about anything but profits.

Comment: Does DJB insist that the library ... (Score 3, Insightful) 140

Does DJB insist that his crypto library gets installed under /var/lib? He's always insisted that his qmail binaries get installed under /var/qmail, and had everyone I know in the unix admin/engineering field shaking their heads, knowing that having executables and libraries on the /var filesystem is retarded and dangerous.

Medicine

Artificial Blood Made In Romania 232

Posted by timothy
from the high-demand-in-local-market dept.
First time accepted submitter calinduca writes "Artificial blood that could one day be used in humans without side effects has been created by scientists in Romania. The blood contains water and salts along with a protein known as hemerythrin which is extracted from sea worms. Researchers from Babe-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, hope it could help end blood supply shortages and prevent infections through donations." Wikipedia's entry on hemerythrin explains its unusual oxygen binding mechanism.

Comment: Re:damn philanthropists (Score 4, Insightful) 406

by fishnuts (#45256505) Attached to: A Look at the Koch Brothers Dark-Money Network

Regarding your statement, "But this is typical of the Progressives, they don't mind when it is THEIR guy mucking up the politics."

It's typical of _everyone_ in politics, _everyone_ in the media, and _everyone_ with an agenda. Don't blame just one party when _everyone_ is doing it. It's human nature to deny the guilt of yourself and the people you associate with when the goal is to discredit or disarm a group with opposing views.

Comment: At what scope of time or size of output data? (Score 4, Insightful) 240

by fishnuts (#45128427) Attached to: Linux RNG May Be Insecure After All

At what scope/scale of time or range of values does it really matter if a PRNG is robust?
A PRNG seeded by a computer's interrupt count, process activity, and sampled I/O traffic (such as audio input, fan speed sensors, keyboard/mouse input, which I believe is a common seeding method) is determined to be sufficiently robust if only polled once a second, or for only 8 bits of resolution, exactly how much less robust does it get if you poll the PRNG say, 1 million times per second, or in a tight loop? Does it get more or less robust when the PRNG is asked for a larger or smaller bit field?

Unless I'm mistaken, the point is moot when the only cost of having a sufficiently robust PRNG is to wait for more entropy to be provided by its seeds or to use a larger modulus for its output, both rather trivial in the practical world of computing.

Comment: Re: Shoot first (Score 0) 871

by fishnuts (#45063335) Attached to: Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

Spoken like a true Libertarian. I'm surprised you didn't pull "authoritarian", "fascist", or "statist" out of your hat.

Society prospers when individuals work towards the prosperity of the societal unit, as well as their own being. When you stop caring about the greater good, what good are you to your country?

Would you rather just be an isolationist and give the rest of the world the finger?

IOS

Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7 663

Posted by timothy
from the there-there's-smoke dept.
beltsbear writes "Your formerly working clone Lightning cable could stop working with the latest iOS update. Previously the beta version allowed these cables to charge with a warning message but the final release actually stops many cables from working. Apples Lightning connector system is locked with authentication chips that can verify if a cable is authorized by Apple. Many users with clone cables are now without the ability to charge their iPhones."

Comment: Re:How close to 100% is the Windows 7 percentage? (Score 4, Insightful) 246

by fishnuts (#44845285) Attached to: Majority of Enterprise Customers Finally 'Migrating Away From Windows XP'

As an IT manager who oversees deployment and maintenance of about 60 desktops and laptops, some of which are shared among multiple employees, consistency in OS availability for the end user is key. We upgrade one or two machines per month, and we started using Windows 7 three years ago, so about 15 systems still run XP. We're not touching 8.1 until there are no more XP systems on our network, AND people show interest in actually using 8.1, AND at least one service pack has been released to address outstanding issues since its public release, AND we discover a way to disable the "Tiles" start screen. Supporting systems with two different desktop interfaces is a serious pain in the ass, especially for non-technical users. So far, only two people have shown interest in using Windows 8 (techie geek types), and the vast majority of our employees are averse to changing their OS at all.

I've had to customize Windows 7 a bit to make it "comfortable" for the lowest common denominator: Long-time XP/2000 users.

Communications

Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't 771

Posted by timothy
from the land-of-the-free dept.
clorkster writes to note the following explanation posted to the front page of encrypted email provider Lavabit: "'I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.' No doubt this has much to do with Snowden's use of the provider."

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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