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Comment: Re:Missing features. (Score 1) 217

by jaa101 (#49490587) Attached to: Google Sunsetting Old Version of Google Maps

You haven't done much navigating have you? Nautical miles remain very much the standard for both aircraft and ships. It's because a minute of arc (a sixtieth of a degree) equals a nautical mile on the earth's surface ... and that's not going to change. 21600 (nautical miles around the equator) is a much nicer number than 40000 (kilometres around the earth via the poles) anyway.

For aircraft, altitude is still always reported in feet, presumably because changing would inevitably cost lives during the transition.

Comment: Re:Missing features. (Score 3, Interesting) 217

by jaa101 (#49485873) Attached to: Google Sunsetting Old Version of Google Maps

But you can't choose the distance units any more. It defaults to where you are or you can say you're in the US and it will show you miles or you can say you're in Australia and you'll get kilometres, &c. Too bad if you want nautical miles, which the old version allowed you to select, along with many other units.

Comment: Re:So what is the answer? (Score 1) 106

by jaa101 (#49482269) Attached to: In New Zealand, a Legal Battle Looms Over Streaming TV

Yes, data are data, but I don't see how a law making it illegal for you to obtain content that has been geo-blocked would break the Internet. The law wouldn't have to talk at all about technical details and they could catch people by following the money more easily than by following the bytes. More practically, it would make it hard for service providers in the jurisdiction to offer services to work around geo-blocking, making the case that started this thread open-and-shut.

As for the content providers grey-marketing their content, that's (currently) a contractual issue between them and their suppliers. New Zealand has historically been very pro-consumer-choice; explicitly allowing region-free DVD players so that people could grey-market the discs. If you're going to try stopping streaming suppliers, don't forget to also have Amazon stop shipping media (including books) internationally.

Comment: Re:So what is the answer? (Score 1) 106

by jaa101 (#49476691) Attached to: In New Zealand, a Legal Battle Looms Over Streaming TV

VPNs are perfectly legal. Proxy servers are legal. Using a different DNS server is legal. These things cannot be outlawed.

Maybe these things cannot be outlawed in the US, due to your strong constitutional rights to free speech, but they certainly could be in many other countries. Even in the US I believe there are limits on distributing ways to defeat copyright protection mechanisms. I'm not saying this is right, just that it's naïve to think this couldn't be legislated and upheld in many jurisdictions.

Comment: Taser-Proof Clothing at Last (Score 4, Interesting) 44

by jaa101 (#49402019) Attached to: New Yarn Conducts Electricity

This is just what we need to wear to taser-proof ourselves. The conductive fibres should be able to short out the high voltage more effectively than our bodies. We might get a little burned---I'm not sure how much power (as opposed to voltage) tasers put out---but I suspect that's going to be preferable to the alternative electrocuting effects. I guess if it works the police will ban it the same as bullet-proof vests.

Comment: Re:Defective by design. (Score 1) 222

by jaa101 (#48891457) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

By using different protocol numbers in the IP headers, the designers of these protocols [...] made them harder to support, because routers have to explicitly know how to handle those nonstandard protocol numbers.

How do nonstandard protocol numbers make it harder for routers to route the packet? You have the destination IP: just forward the packet already. Oh, you want to be a firewall and block selected traffic or even do deep packet inspection? That's not routing.

+ - China Cuts Off Some VPNs 1

Submitted by jaa101
jaa101 writes: The Register (UK) and the Global Times (China) report Foreign VPN service unavailable in China. A quote sourced to "one of the founders of an overseas website which monitors the Internet in China" claimed The Great Firewall is blocking the VPN on the protocol level. It means that the firewall does not need to identify each VPN provider and block its IP addresses. Rather, it can spot VPN traffic during transit and block it. An upgrade of the Great Firewall of China is blamed and China appears to be backing the need for the move to maintain cyberspace sovereignty.

Comment: Re:Inevitible (Score 1) 151

by jaa101 (#48844127) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone

Yes, anti-personnel is the danger. I wouldn't be surprised if the secret service don't already jam potential drone control frequencies for their high-value people. The real danger is with autonomous drones that use GPS or, worse, are smart enough to do without it. These things could be a poor man's mini cruise missile.

Comment: Kessler Syndrome Alert (Score 3, Interesting) 123

That many satellites could tip us over the space junk critical mass threshold. If a spacecraft is hit by something it tends to send debris flying everywhere. Some of the pieces can then hit other spacecraft causing more debris. Once you have enough spacecraft in orbit -- critical mass -- the chain reaction sustains itself long enough to destroying many spacecraft in the same orbital region. It's called the Kessler syndrome.

Comment: Re:illegal taxi:$100 Obstruction of justice: jail (Score 1) 299

by jaa101 (#48817563) Attached to: Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

The contract wouldn't be between Uber and the government. The contract would be between Uber and the private individual who also happens to be a transport inspector, not even a police officer. Remember, it's a sting operation so they're not going to register as a government department. It's not so clear to me that this would fail in a civil case. Are there laws voiding contract terms that impede government officials in their duties? Lawyers anywhere?

I think $2000 would be a better number for Uber to try since it would be much more likely to be under the limit of a government-issued credit card but still more than the fine. They could be more subtle by making the passenger responsible for any financial consequences of their actions during the ride. That looks more innocuous but, with the right legal phraseology, could still cover transport inspectors' fines. But, as correctly noted, this is the way to get new legislation.

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