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The Laws of Physics Trump Traffic Laws 378 378

New submitter HeLLFiRe1151 sends this quote from Physics Central: "Here's a practical application for your physics education: using math to successfully beat a traffic ticket in court. Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist based at the University of California San Diego, did just that to avoid paying a fee for (purportedly) running a stop sign. Krioukov not only proved his innocence, but he also posted a paper detailing his argument online (PDF) on the arXiv server."
Desktops (Apple)

New Targeted Mac OS X Trojan Requires No User Interaction 322 322

An anonymous reader writes "Another Mac OS X Trojan has been spotted in the wild; this one exploits Java vulnerabilities just like the Flashback Trojan. Also just like Flashback, this new Trojan requires no user interaction to infect your Apple Mac. Kaspersky refers to it as 'Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a' while Sophos calls it at 'SX/Sabpab-A.'"

Comment Re:What's the hype? (Score 1) 215 215

The App Store makes almost no money for Apple, as evident by their latest numbers (PDF):

Revenue for Software, Service and Other Sales (including sales from the Mac App Store in addition to sales of other Apple-branded and third-party Mac software and Mac and Internet services.) account for $729M, divided by the $28,270M they made the fourth quarter makes it about 2.6% of their total revenue, this does not account for costs for maintaining the infrastructure and paying for bandwidth. Revenue growth is smaller than for many other categories. However, it does add value to the devices that make up their real income.

Comment Re:can someone explain (Score 1) 83 83

why wind is ever considered over solar? I mean, if the Sun dies, so do we, whereas if the wind stop blowing... no power.

As far as a solar power plant is concerned, the sun 'dies' every evening, and stays 'dead' until sunrise the next day.

Exactly, but as there are some solutions, then we can factor in the fact that peak power demand is usually in the daytime at about 30% more power demanded at noon compared to the low at about three in the morning. Though most (probably all) alternative sources are best when they work in tandem, for example there is likely to be more wind when there is less sun and the other way around.

Comment Re:How much for how much? (Score 1) 83 83

This won't be a problem in practice until/unless wind power reaches around 10% of generation capacity. I hope it will be an issue eventually, but it is far from it at the moment

At that point (>10%) the wind power generators should be spread over a very large area, reducing the probability that the entire installed base of generators will generate a low output at the same time. There are also other things to consider such as the likelihood that calm days will be sunnier days (not always, but often) therefore somewhat increasing the output from solar power. Combined with a smart grid and other sources of electricity such as nuclear and gas and tidal power there you have a recipe for a coal-free future.

There is also the ability to use pumped/stored hydropower combined with wind power to respond to peak demand or a short time when all other sources of at a low.

Comment Re:I don't understand the opposition (Score 1) 249 249

Because in 4 years (see 2016) when the MPEG-LA is forced to make a decision on what to do about H.264, everyone will be at there mercy. So between now and them, if your media support has been flourishing, and suddenly comes to a screeching halt, your market share will as well.

The license (PDF) says on page four:

The first term of the License runs through 2010, but the License will be renewable for successive five-year periods for the life of any Portfolio patent on reasonable terms and conditions which may take into account prevailing market conditions, changes in technological environment and available commercial products at the time, but for the protection of licensees, royalty rates applicable to specific license grants or specific licensed products will not increase by more than ten percent (10%) at each renewal.

Comment Re:Where's the money from? (Score 1) 202 202

Industry Standard and / or proprietary can also be 3rd party extensions and vice versa.

Flash is one of them. 90%+ of the devices connected to the web has has a Flash Player (be it full or mobile). A huge number of multimedia rich websites are Flash based. Facebook uses Flash for its video. A year ago, all major sites use Flash one way or another (be it ads or content).

Flash *IS* an Industry Standard. Every normal user and their mother, and every web designer and their mothers have been using it for the past 10 years.

Is it an multiple vendor agreed upon standard? no.

If you argue Flash isn't Industry Standard, you must also argue that the old VGA port was never industry standard either despite having a 99% penetration rate. IBM threw together some wires and called it a day. A day that everyone used for a few decades up until DVI/HDMI started cropping up.

You are confused about the meaning of Industry Standard. An industry standard is not "something very common", an industry standard is something adhering to a very specific set of rules as specified by a Standards Body such as W3C, VESA, CEN or WSC. While Flash is not an industry standard.

Comment Re:Where's the money from? (Score 1) 202 202

Apparently this is how Apple "stymie industry-standard practices":

Now, from what I can tell, the first part of that story is true – Google and many others have figured out ways to get around Apple’s default settings on Safari in iOS – the only browser that comes with iOS, a browser that, in my experience, has never asked me what kind of privacy settings I wanted, nor did it ask if I wanted to share my data with anyone else (I do, it turns out, for any number of perfectly good reasons). Apple assumes that I agree with Apple’s point of view on “privacy,” which, I must say, is ridiculous on its face, because the idea of a large corporation (Apple is the largest, in fact) determining in advance what I might want to do with my data is pretty much the opposite of “privacy.”

Then again, Apple decided I hated Flash, too, so I shouldn’t be that surprised, right?


I don’t know, but when I bought an iPhone, I didn’t think I was singing up as an active recruit in Apple’s war on the open web. I just thought I was getting “the Internet in my pocket” – which was Apple’s initial marketing pitch for the device. What I didn’t realize was that it was “the Internet, as Apple wishes to understand it, in my pocket.”

Does not make any sense to me. First the author claim that Apple should have actively asked him do define the security settings and because it did not Apple is somehow evil. No operating system ever can actively ask their users to set up everything to a microscopic level, there has to be a default somewhere. It would take days to get through all the settings on my computer. I would say "fuck this" after fifteen minutes of configuring panels where I left almost everything set to the default anyway.

How could Apple agree with your stance on privacy unless you tell Apple your privacy wishes? The author seems to be well versed in computers and smartphones, I am sure he could figure out how to tell Apple how his privacy should be managed.

Then he somehow thinks Flash is an industry standard. This is what Apple allows to run in mobile Safari and disallowing non-standard (arguably proprietary) third party extensions is not really how you stymie industry-standard practices.


Google Offering Cash For Your Cache 152 152

pigrabbitbear writes "The gradual transformation of the web into an ultra-personalized, corporate-owned social space in the cloud has raised more than a few legitimate concerns about data privacy. Google, for obvious reasons, has always been one of the top cheerleaders for this metamorphosis. Touting a fresh new privacy policy that allows data about you from all of their services to coalesce, they've recently been particularly bullish about rendering that increasingly realistic digital portrait of you that lies stuffed away in their servers. It has led us again to question: How much are we comfortable with our machines knowing about us? How much is our privacy really worth? With their new program, Google is now asking those questions quite directly, and preceding them with dollar signs. Are we all on the verge of making our own information age Faustian bargains?"

Labor Activist: Apple May Be Terrible, But All Others Are Worse 218 218

CheerfulMacFanboy writes "Labor Activist Li Qiang wants you to know that the iPhone 4 in his pocket is not an endorsement of Apple's policies, just an acknowledgment that the company is doing a better job of monitoring factory conditions than its peers. The founder of leading advocacy group China Labor Watch (CLW) told us that, though the Cupertino company does more-thorough inspections than competitors, it is responsible for poor working conditions at its suppliers' factories and needs to invest some of its record-breaking profits in improving them. 'Although I know that the iPhone 4 is made at sweat shop factories in China, I still think that this is the only choice, because Apple is actually one of the best. Actually before I made a decision, I compared Apple with other cell phone companies, such as Nokia,' he said through a translator. 'And the conditions in those factories are worse than the ones of Apple.'"

Comment Re:FRAND (Score 1) 120 120

well that was because apple was willing to only pay the fee as if they had done it from the start.. and completely ignore the fact that hey had not licensed it prior to selling products using it.

I agree that that would have been a problem for Apple, however, due to exhaustion because Qualcomm paid Motorola for the chips used by Apple the license was already paid. Then Motorola re-negotiated their bilateral license with Qualcomm and now Motorola wants money from Apple for the time that Qualcomm had already paid, thus trying to get money twice plus some extra.

Comment Re:Hmmm.... (Score 3, Informative) 120 120

for initial negotiated fees i agree.. but for fees applied to a product made by a company that knowingly attempted to doge the isn't.

Me neither, but this link (found in other comments on this article) claims Motorola repeatedly declined payment from Apple.

"History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions." -- Ted Koppel