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Comment Oh good, more contention. (Score 5, Interesting) 170

The 2.4 Ghz spectrum was opened up for general use because it has relatively poor long distance characteristics thanks to it being absorbed strongly by water. This lead to an explosion of use in the band where your average apartment building has dozens of devices competing for the spectrum. And now cell companies are coming full circle and stomping all over it themselves. Maybe the government could take the hint that maybe another ISM band or two would be highly welcome. Maybe they could skip selling off spectrum for billions of dollars to enormous companies and instead open it up the way they did the 2.4 Ghz band? Spectrum seems a bit over regulated at the moment, there's barely any room for entities that aren't massive corporations with billions of dollars to do anything.

Over regulation is stifling innovation.

Comment Re:No mention of price points? (Score 1) 58

Yep, it's pretty much as expected. AUS$25 for a 4GB data cap, going up to AUS$95 for 40GB, although you have to use more than half of that at night.

It is nice to see that they offer some personal hosting space. And that they're still running it off of the 1998 machine they originally set up for it with the 1GB HDD so they can only give people 25MB of space. You don't see those much anymore.

No IPv6 support is a bummer too. If you are launching a bird in 2015, the service should support IPv6.

Comment Re: An interesting option (Score 1) 149

To be fair, the biosphere project was a bit of a joke. They were high on lofty ideals, but short on expertise and funding. The real reason we have not built a self-sustaining self-contained ecosystem is because it has been unnecessary.

If we wanted to start building a permanent moon base today, we could do it. We have the technology. But it would be catastrophically expensive and there would be little for the people to do once they got there. Ideas about building spaceships on the moon are utter fantasy at this point.

Comment Re:Door Sensors (Score 1) 323

Historically Gull Wing doors have been a maintenance headache, and this is Tesla's first attempt at making them. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they release a different version of the X in a couple of years with more traditional doors after these prove to be problematic. They do look super cool though.

Comment Re:Single line of code? (Score 5, Interesting) 618

Supposedly the "cheat mode" is an extension of the "testing mode", where the car knows it is running on a Dyno because one set of wheels is turning at a high RPM and the other set are stationary. For a car with traction control this is normally a freakout event so they have to check for it and make sure not to go crazy just because the machine is strapped into a test harness. Once you have the otherwise required detection code in there, adding a single line to fully open the EGR valve when in that mode would be a piece of cake.

Comment Re:Ask the NSA (Score 3, Interesting) 122

Attacks on TOR invariably work through good old social engineering or browser hacks. I have yet to see an article where someone was successfully tracked through TOR itself instead of some out of band attack. TOR itself isn't the problem, it's the users.

TOR can't help you if you run some random executable that some random guy on the drug trading message board asked you to run. Believe it or not, this is apparently a very common way for the FBI to catch TOR users, simply asking them to run a Trojan.

TOR hasn't failed, but it is not a magic bullet either. It is but one piece of a security system.

Comment Will it be followed by a robot cleanup crew? (Score 1) 112

Trash collection is notoriously messy. There are few standards that people have to follow with packing their trash can and place it on the curb. Even if they do follow directions, there are a lot of factors to account for. This is a hard problem for robots, and they're going to get it wrong sometimes. Are they going to include a cleanup robot that will follow the truck and pick up any messes?

Comment Re:Innovation: first != successful (Score 1) 92

Sometimes products are just ahead of their time. This certainly looks like a case of a gadget being released before the technology was ready. Symptoms generally include excessively high price points that make the technology too expensive for mass market audiences. This is why you often see sour grapes from people who go "massive hit X wasn't even first, they were the knockoff imitators!", not realizing that the original product was bad simply because it was too expensive to be practical.

Comment Re:Game controllers (Score 1) 281

My experience is that an el random USB gamepad gets mapped as a HID when you plug it in. It seems to generally work, but since I prefer KB/Mouse I don't use it a lot. If your gamepad has unusual features (macro buttons, touchscreen, etc...) those are less likely to work, but buttons and analog sticks seem to be pretty reliable.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T