Forgot your password?

Comment: They only had no idea because they didn't look (Score 1) 653

by jcrb (#46526951) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

If you go to the USPTO trademark search and put in "multimeter and yellow" the FIRST result is a Fluke yellow multimeter.

If you are in the business of making multimeters and claim you have never heard of Fluke or seen one you are clearly full of it.

Company caught clearly knocking off other company's product tries to play the "trademark laws is bad, boo hoo" card.

Not impressed

Comment: Re:Wasn't this a movie? (Score 1) 237

by jcrb (#46129307) Attached to: Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

No you misunderstand the nature of recovering data from a HDD. It s not that the data from the 49th overwrite could be recovered, it is that the data from the 1st write might be recoverable. How is it that the data from the 1st write could be recovered but the data from the most recent couldn't be? Because if the 1st write sits for a long time then 1 that was written to the drive when over written by a 0 becomes not a 0 but a 0.1 or the 0 overwritten by a 1 becomes a 0.9 not a 1. so while the drive itself is not going to be able to recover anything if you just write 0's to the whole drive, someone with better equipment that is prepared to read the drive over and over may be able to sift out the 0's and the 0.1's as if they were 0's and 1's. So by randomly writing 0s and 1s back and forth you give all the bits a randomized amount of magnetism and make it unrecoverable.

So if the disk had one set of data stored on it for an extended period of time and then you wrote a new set of data there would be a period of time where you could 0 the drive and potentially recover the first set of data, so at most you could say the drive contains somewhat less than 2X its rated capacity, with great difficulty.

Comment: Think of the children!!!!! (Score 1) 22

by jcrb (#46126005) Attached to: Meet the MOSS Modular Robots (Video)

I'm sure the government will step in and protect us from these products just as they did with Buckyballs.

Buckyballs were sold as adult office toys and the Consumer Product Safety Commission still felt the need to save the children from swallowing the ball magnets. Given that these say they are for ages 8 and up I don't think they stand a chance... which is sad because they certainly look like they could be a lot of fun.

Clearly what they need to do is include an "Emergency Extraction Super Magnet Rescue Tool" (that is too big to swallow) with each set along with a DVD copy of the movie Fortress, and print "Rescue Tool Instructional Video" on the DVD, and then they should be good to go.

Comment: Sadly (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by jcrb (#46090411) Attached to: Congressmen Say Clapper Lied To Congress, Ask Obama To Remove Him

It's not a "lie" if they aren't convicted, and even then for most people it will still be a "misstatement".

The win at all costs nature that American politics have turned into as of late have made seeing just how blatant a lie you can get away with part of the game rather than something to be avoided.

Asking nicely for his removal will accomplish nothing at all. Either go for conviction or don't bother. Saying "he's not nice and we don't like him anymore" is not going do anything other than cause the administration to chuckle.

Comment: "Modernizing" museums is a blight on the world (Score 5, Insightful) 99

by jcrb (#46072627) Attached to: Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future

One of my most favorite museums in the world used to be the Science Museum in London, then I visited it and discovered the steam engine in the entrance doesn't run, the ship model gallery has been sent to storage never to be seen again to be replaced with a gift shop, I couldn't find the working Babbage engine section, in fact basically every display I wanted to see was gone and replaced by junk.

These so called "modernized" displays are nothing better than what you could read online, I want to go to a museum to see *actual* history, not to see a cartoon representation of a simplified version of history that assumes I am a moron.

I think the curators of science/technology museums need to view themselves in the same way as curators of art museums do, their purpose is to display the "art" not to tell me about the art with pretty cartoons after they ship the art to the storage warehouse.

Comment: Re:Why so much butthurt? (Score 1) 399

by jcrb (#45775035) Attached to: Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

Can't imagine what makes you think I am British.

You presume I have no personal experience, you believe that because you have been in prison that your experience speaks to the behavior of the average convict, yet you even admit that they behave better inside than outside and yet it is the out side we talk about.

As for giving a mother advice on child birth without being female, You do know that the vast majority of OBGYN doctors are male right? So the vast majority of women who give birth do so with the advice of men.

I thank you for a wonderful post demonstrating the danger of observational bias in forming peoples belief systems.

Comment: Re:Why so much butthurt? (Score 1) 399

by jcrb (#45770967) Attached to: Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

This is daft, the hardened prison inmate is almost 100% certain to view you as prey and to happily exploit your trust. Your understanding of people is simply backward, the convict *will* fuck with you if he wants to, you need not "give him a reason to". Your average church goer on the other hand almost certainly needs to be given a reason to care about you. You may not find acceptable the things that would cause the church goer to take an interest in you. But if you believe that as long as you do nothing to attract their attention you are safe from the average convict you are dangerously deluded.

+ - Big Brother Blinded - Smog blocks Survelliance Cameras->

Submitted by Cliff Stoll
Cliff Stoll (242915) writes "Perils of dystopia: To the Chinese central government, the smog that blankets the country is not just a health hazard, it's a threat to national security.

Last month visibility in Harbin dropped to below three metres because of heavy smog. On days like these, no surveillance camera can see through the thick layers of particles, say scientists and engineers.

Existing technology, such as infrared imaging, can help cameras see through fog or smoke at a certain level, but the smog in some Chinese cities is a different story. The particles are so many and so solid, they block light almost as effectively as a brick wall."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Well thought out dissertation! (Score 3, Informative) 204

by Cliff Stoll (#45121789) Attached to: Billion Year Storage Media

Excellent thesis and a most delightful dedication!

    A few salient points from this thesis, for the Slashdot crowd:
    - Accumulation: knowing what to keep and what to toss
    - Distribution: where/how to keep copies
    - Digital stewardship: maintaining objects isn't enough ... you must properly catalog things
    - Long term access means more than just saving bits ... they must be properly rendered

Convolved on this are problems with copyright, fair use, payment for archives, orphaned collections...

Then there's the cost of creating and maintaining a long term digital repository.
Librarians have done a terrific job with our printed archives. Who will become our digital librarians?

Comment: So I had breakfast with Steve Stasiukonis once.... (Score 1) 139

by jcrb (#45107143) Attached to: Stealing Silicon Valley

Just happened to be staying in the same hotel and I don't recall what started us off but some how we struck up a conversation and he wound up telling me some great stories.

The story about the guy in the FexEx box is even better than the article makes out. Since they couldn't actually ship a person via FedEx for many reasons, the box had to seem to come from the right location which would have meant putting it on a plane, and what not. So to make it all look right Steve got himself a real FedEx uniform and put FexEx stickers on the side of a van and even had one of those scanner guns the delivery people used and pretended to be a FedEx delivery person in order to drop off their "package". As I recall he even picked up all their out going FexEx packages and dropped them off at the local FedEx center to fully make the deception work.

It was one of my more interesting random conversations, at some point they should write a book about this stuff, he had lots more stories than just this one. But yeah basically if someone really wants to get inside your building and steal your stuff badly enough they will.


Bypassing US GPS Limits For Active Guided Rockets 126

Posted by timothy
from the use-for-good-not-for-evil dept.
Kristian von Bengtson writes with a link to a short guest post at Wired with an explanation of how his amateur rocket organization Copenhagen Suborbitals managed to obtain GPS receivers without U.S. military limits for getting accurate GPS information at altitude. Mostly, the answer is in recent relaxations of the rules themselves, but it was apparently still challenging to obtain non-limited GPS hardware. "I expect they only got the OK to create this software modification for us," von Bengston writes, "since we are clearly a peaceful organization with not sinister objectives – and also in a very limited number of units. Basically removing the limits is a matter of getting into the hardware changing the code or get the manufacturers to do it. Needless to say, diplomacy and trust is the key to unlock this."

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon