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Comment: Interesting. (Score 4, Interesting) 87

One doesn't have to see the value in stuff that isn't immediately applicable R&D(and I'm not here to debate the point, do as you will); but if you are OK with the concept of such research this actually seems like a pretty good idea:

The question of how and why ideas, 'culture', religions, new scientific hypotheses, etc. are transmitted and compete with one another is really a very long standing one. A lot of the historical study emphasizes 'elite' culture and theory(mostly because everything else was oral record only, and that doesn't keep well; but written works sometimes survive) or religious(high frequency of literacy, and proselytizing is a technology of considerable interest to contemporary religions); but there is also study of popular culture, folk mythologies, what the middle and lower classes were reading and watching(once that became common), and so on.

Cultural transmission is a very solid social science topic, and internet memes have the dual virtues of both potentially being novel(they might actually follow some traditional propagation pattern, might be something new, either way would be interesting to know) and being amenable to large-scale analysis because the internet is just so conveniently searchable and heavily cached in various places. You don't have to like the entire field; but this research project seems like a perfectly reasonable exercise.

Comment: Re:interesting case.... (Score 1) 51

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47772783) Attached to: Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany
You wouldn't even need to be having production issues. As with most vendors, Nvidia has a bunch of options for sale and the nicer ones cost more. Even if you have the capability to stuff boards with the nicer chips just as easily as the cheap ones, a bit of fraud will do wonders for your BoM costs.

Comment: Re:interesting case.... (Score 2) 51

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47772773) Attached to: Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany
It would be interesting for an intermediary to be involved since producing/obtaining correctly faked GPUs is a comparatively specialized task. Not rocket science, pick the cheapest Nvidia silicon that is close enough to not react horribly to drivers expecting the real thing, tamper with the identifying portions of the firmware, replace any packaging, stickers, or other labels; but it's hardly the old 'purchase thing from best buy, return brick in the box' scam.

This doesn't mean that it isn't one of the intermediaries; but if it is they are working with considerably more sophistication than the 'fell off the truck' level of supply chain skimming.

Comment: Re: multi-drive RV tolerance?? (Score 2) 297

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47764401) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive
This doesn't apply to four post gear or anything that gets too toasty; but the fact that a lot of music related hardware is rackmount and has to survive roadies and touring makes rack hardware surprisingly attractive for mobile use. If the job is too big for a laptop and small enough for half depth hardware, just check out the local music supply place and pick out a nice portable rack. Quite sturdy and shock resistant, usually at least offers a front door that clips on well enough that you can ship it, available in a variety of heights(and typically stackable unless you go for a wheeled one). A very convenient overlap.

Comment: Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (Score 2) 297

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47762237) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive
I doubt it would be trivial: you can sacrifice capacity for some speed by reducing the amount of platter area you use(and thus how far back and forth the read/write head assembly needs to move); but RPM is still a serious constraint, and bumping that tends to get rather costly. 15k RPM has been the effective ceiling for years, and while increases in data density improve best-case read and write speeds they have no effect on how long you have to wait for a given chunk of disk to finish its rotation and come back under the read head.

It also doesn't help that SSDs are aggressively moving into the high speed area. If you applied the engineering tricks used in ultracentrifuges you could probably build a damn fast HDD; but doing so for less than the price of a really nice SSD would be a great deal more challenging.

Comment: Re:Security (Score 1) 192

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47756155) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
Between manufacturer avarice and customer stupidity I hold out very little hope; but it would warm my cold, black, shriveled, heart if somebody would standardize a key-fill interface (like the DS-101/DS-102 devices that the DoD has for connection to U-229 ports on communications gear and other things that need crypto keys; but actually remotely suitable for end users, unlike those systems) for dealing with this class of problems...

Right now, it seems like everything is either "Oh, totally wide open, maybe papered over with some pitiful little obfuscation attempt" or "So damn much asymmetric key crypto that you'll need to beg the vendor for permission to do anything"; but options are very, very, thin on the ground if you want something as secure as a mothership-bound lockdown device; but obedient to your crypto keys, not the ones burned in at the factory.

It's like the 'secure boot' controversy that erupted a while back. "Well, you can have Microsoft's keys and protection against certain types of OS tampering, or you can turn it off entirely(x86 only other restrictions may apply); but set your own root of trust? Ha!"

Comment: Re:For that price (Score 1) 192

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47756059) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
It's insane that it isn't easier to re-key/re-pair with a replacement device; but I suspect that it is otherwise very much for the best to move some functions to the iPod.

Apple has spent a Lot of money designing iDevices and perfecting them over multiple generations. Hard to say how much; but it's a large number. Conveniently for you, they'll sell 'em to you in quantities of 1 for a only a modest premium over production cost.

In an ideal world, the prosthesis would require no 'interface' at all(your arm doesn't, after all); but if it does, a company specializing in prosthetics doesn't have a prayer of delivering an interface device nearly as good as an iDevice or Android unit for less than they could just buy one and develop the necessary software on top of it. (In practice, they'd probably be lucky to develop something substantially worse for three powers of ten more, if they tried it.)

If it turns out that timing-critical control and feedback loop stuff is being done over bluetooth, by an 'app', somebody needs a hell of a beating; but if it's just a UI/Configuration/etc. interface using an off-the-shelf device is extremely logical.

Comment: Re:Bad Planning (Score 2) 192

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47755935) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
It tends to be discouraged, out of concern that states aren't very good at it, or that they might be inclined to use their other powers to make themselves more competitive; but there isn't anything architecturally precluding a state from earning money. They can have employees, own and operate R&D and production facilities, sell products, same as a company.

There are reasons to discourage that, and have them focus on things that the private sector can't do or does poorly; but those are pragmatic considerations, not fundamental obstacles.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 2) 192

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47755865) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
I'd be totally unsurprised by incredibly bad design; but that incredibly bad design would also tend to make it relatively trivial to access whatever memory holds the UID or key used to establish the pairing and blank or rewrite it to establish a new pairing with a new device. Probably not in the owner's manual; but likely something that an EE undergrad could do with access to a few hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of borrowed test equipment and a congratulatory couple of six-packs. Definitely for less than replacing the hardware.

Design that is both appallingly ill thought out and too ironclad to subvert would be fairly surprising. Now, if it were a prosthetic eye, and needed to appease the MPAA when handling Premium Content, I'd be more concerned...

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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