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Comment Agreed... (Score 1) 424

I bet you could craft a local, static HTML page which would present you with a search box into which you could type your search. You could then wrap each term in quotes and send the whole thing off to google.

You could also make a second text entry box when you want the entire string to be quoted.

Yes, you can always add quotes manually, but that's tedious.

I wonder if Firefox has an extension which provides a 'literal google' search option?

Comment Re:Card skimmers (Score 2) 106

I've always wondered about skimming using nothing more than a high speed camera and a zoom lens. I'm guessing you could point a camera at a gas station card reader from 200' away and read the entire back of the card as it goes in and out.

I look like a nutcase when I use my credit card in public for this very reason. Sadly it's easy to get a misread when you're awkwardly trying to shield both sides of the card with your hands.

Comment Craptop... (Score 1) 558

HP Pavillion DV6700

Core2 Duo T5850 @ 2.16GHz
GeForce 8400 GS 256MB
4GB RAM
512GB SSD - Samsung Evo
Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24"W Monitor
Ergotron monitor arm
StandDesk adjustable desk
Microsoft Natural Wireless 7000 Keyboard & Mouse

Fast enough not to upgrade. Used it on the road doing software consulting but for most of the last 7 years it has functioned as my desktop. I keep thinking of upgrading, but haven't found a compelling reason to yet.

Comment Why wait for robots... (Score 2) 17

Why not just create a telepresence robot that, say, let's grandma wash dishes and fold laundry for the kids who live 2,000 miles away? You don't have to wait for fancy AI - just low-latency video and control channels. Maybe it sounds like a way to enslave the elderly, but my mom would go nuts at the chance to help out her kids.

Comment Re: $30 (Score 1) 515

> But for traveling along the northeast corridor

NYC to Philly is 97 miles according to Google maps.

LA to SF is 381 miles according to Google maps.

CA is not the northeast.

I now have TSA precheck. I can fly SWA last minute to SJC and be there in 2 hours for $250(last minute fare). Why the hell would I want to ride a train?

The high speed rail in CA is going through some expensive real estate. There's no way it'll be going full speed for the full journey.

Take a look at the new Oakland Bay Bridge for a clue as to how high speed rail is going to go in CA.

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 1) 114

Are you kidding?

Yes, some, usually large, companies have very competent engineering teams doing embedded work. Often, they're some of the smartest guys around(although IMHO the Verilog guys are smarter on average...YMMV). Then there are hoardes of engineers around them who do most of the integration, grunt work, bug fixing, etc. Their work is usually not thoroughly inspected by the smart guys.

Then you have the thousands of small companies doing embedded development. They usually have one guy who is somewhat competent but needs to be fluent in everything from hardware bringup to adding a web configuration dialog. These are the guys that do things like try to stick ubuntu on their ARM board. These guys usually do not have a very comprehensive view of security, and even if they did they don't have the time or the budget to do it right.

If I had a nickle for every company I've worked for who just wanted to integrate off the shelf(usually FOSS) components together and ship it as soon as it was barely functional...

Comment No surprise... (Score 5, Informative) 114

Most embedded guys are batting out of their league and don't have a clue when it comes to security... and I say that as an embedded guy who often has to do exactly that to get the product out.

Most embedded development I've done is far from 'software engineering' - it's whack and hack until the tests pass(often because you loosened the testing requirements).

Comment hmm (Score 1) 152

this is old news and we've known about it for years. There are also commercial companies that run similar networks.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, but where were you guys 4-5 years ago when we first found out about this shit? Not enough people cared then and not enough people care now.

Like we talked about the last time this was in the news, the data is public and there isn't anything you can do about it. The best response is to set up your own network to monitor the government and see how they like it. Imagine how fast they'd try to ban you(like the cops are trying to do with Waze now).

Comment Really? (Score 1) 236

Seems like it would be easy(given a military budget anyway) to take one out once you detect it. Lasers should be safe in an urban environment given a tracking system that is robust enough. If you still wanted to use a projectile, you could go with something like dry ice and just send a projectile sized appropriately for the distance you need to shoot. If you miss, it melts before it causes too much collateral damage. Hell, even a 'net gun' or something like it could take out a modern drone.

If the smart folks in the US military industrial complex can't figure this out then I'm more worried about that than any terrorist conspiracy. I'm sure they can, however, they just need a few billion thrown at them first.

Comment Re:And on the plus side... (Score 1) 330

No, that's not desert. CA has deserts, but most of the state is not a desert and certainly coastal southern california and the southern san jaquin valley are not deserts. They may be dry, but they ain't deserts.

I always cringe when I see stories about CA water conditions because they bring out comments like yours that try to redefine the meanings of words like desert and drought.

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