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Comment: Re:They've reinvented CB radio! (Score 1) 140

by complete loony (#48026043) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

Full disclosure, that's not an accident, you'll find my email address all through the Serval Project's commit logs on github.

If this mentality of allowing P2P communications with phone radios becomes pervasive, then the Serval Project has been successful. Even if we don't get credit for the idea.

But I fear that this solution will still need a nearby LTE tower to manage the spectrum. I also doubt that 3rd party developers will have access to the underlying API's.

Comment: Re:They've reinvented CB radio! (Score 1) 140

by complete loony (#48025129) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

"... carriers will control ..."

I highly doubt there will be an exposed API at the application layer, without paying the carrier in some fashion. You would still be using the carrier's licensed spectrum and they'll be heavily involved in the process.

I haven't found any information about how access to the spectrum is managed, or if this Direct mode can work without a nearby tower.

Pity, as this is exactly what applications like the Serval would like to use for long range / low power communications.

Comment: Objective-C, hands down (Score 5, Informative) 310

by tyme (#48006841) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Swift is still a very immature language, with lots of bugs in the compiler, rough support in the debugger and IDE, and the syntax isn't even set in stone yet (don't expect the syntax to settle down before Swift 2.0, probably some time in late 2015 if not 2016). There are a number of things that you still can't do in Swift (e.g. providing a callback function for APIs that expect a C function pointer), and you'll just spend a lot more time hitting your head against walls than writing working code. On top of this there are many more resources available for learning Objective-C than there are for Swift, and the pitfalls and corner cases are better understood for Objective-C than they are for Swift. As a bonus most of your instincts honed on C will carry over to Objective-C (while they are likely to lead you astray in Swift).

Swift is a really exciting language, and fun to play around with, but it's not ready for production work (yet). It will get there, but in the mean time you should stick with the established tools, which means Objective-C for iOS and Mac OS X app development.

Comment: Re:Test string here: (Score 1) 399

by steelfood (#47989525) Attached to: Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

That's a test of bash specifically. If you want to see how vulnurable your system could potentially be, change bash to sh. Since all sorts of things will spawn shells for some purpose or another, any of them is an attack vector.

Most Linux distros (except Ubuntu and derivatives, and more recent Debian) will be vulnurable because sh symlinks to bash. But for non-Linux *NIX systems like BSD, this may or may not be true.

Patch anyway, but if you've got a vulnurable public-facing system, you may want to go over your firewall logs as well.

Comment: Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1) 590

by steelfood (#47988083) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

Based on their source of data, I question whether the numbers have been adjusted for experience, years of service, and qualification.

Teaching is largely a unionized job. In a union, compensation is more or less set in stone based on years of service and certain qualification criteria (degree, etc.). There's not much wiggle room. Administration is a bit different, as is higher education teaching, but for K-12, I'd imagine the difference in salary is not related to discrimination whether conscious or subconscious.

Comment: Re:Black holes are real, we observe them all the t (Score 1) 356

by steelfood (#47987441) Attached to: Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

If you want to talk about wild, black holes are about as wild as they get. Collapse of matter into a singularity that not even light can escape? Seriously? I mean, there's some wacky stuff out there. But there's nothing quite as crazy as the singularity, which is 0 and +/- infinity all wrapped up into one thing.

It is a much less crazy universe without black holes. Occam's razor however, so far has favored it, in the same way that it's favored dark matter. That's all.

Comment: Re:Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away (Score 1) 275

by steelfood (#47977823) Attached to: CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Replace "white people" with active and retired military servicemen and women, and it's pretty much reality.

They do a lot of infectious disease combat testing on our troops. It probably started out of necessity, and that's still the excuse, but it evolved into just treating our soldiers as an easy supply of ideal human test subjects. Makes you wonder if those troops they're sending over were exactly for this purpose.

Comment: Re:Solution (Score 1) 405

Quite impossible. If I privately sold you a LP record for $20 cash, how is the IRS going to trace that? Or what if we traded, a LP worth $20 fair market for a LaserDisc worth $15 fair market? They can't track these kinds of transactions now, and they won't be able to no matter what. Tax evasion would skyrocket if you go to a use/sales tax.

Income tax is actually pretty good. What's bad are the complex web of deductable items. A non-discriminatory revenue tax, with no write offs, would be perfect. And if you work for someone other than yourself, you wouldn't even have to file your taxes every year. Your company would just file it for you. The IRS would calculate and deduct automatically so that if you worked multiple jobs and had multiple sources of income, it would all be accounted for. And that would be the end of all that April 15th headache.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach