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Comment Windows vs. Linux vs. Andriod vs. IOS (Score 1) 352

I use terminal emulators on most popular platforms (excluding MacOS) and I have not yet found a perfect one. Windows has lots of good choices such as Hercules, PuTTY, Procomm, TeraTerm, uCon. The one real advantage that some of these have over anything available for Linux is the ability to throttle data being transmitted (such as an X-modem upload of a flash memory image). Another important feature missing from many of the Linux offerings is the ability to display serial line data as hex-ascii in realtime. Many embedded systems lack deep FIFOs or even interrupts so they will drop characters if the rate is too high. I have not seen a viable terminal program for Linux that handles this well. Aside from the built-in "cu", Linux has some pretty good offerings with Minicom and Kermit. Android has a built-in terminal which does a pretty good job. ConnectBot and SSHDroid are my favorite client/server. Sometimes I use SwiFTP to fill in the gaps. (Of course the GUI offerings such as ES File Explorer are good too.) IOS has limited offerings, but with the lack of serial ports I mainly just need SSH/FTP. SSH-Terminal does a very good job and even supports (some of) the X11 protocols. (For GUI I like Files Connect.)

Comment Yes, but can you trust your compiler tool chain? (Score 1) 130

This only works if Debian can guarantee the integrity of the development tool chain. See this >30 year old talk/paper by Ken Thompson describing the problem. Once inserted, the malware is persistent and invisible. Re-compiling your compiler and applications from known-good versions doesn't help.

Comment Perspective (Score 4, Insightful) 134

When considering whether or not it should be okay for the US government to have backdoor access to any device, one should also consider whether other governments should also have that same access. The answer shouldn't depend upon which government you support.

One should also remember that government employees with privileged access are people, and people can misuse the access they have.

We should recognize that the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution was created to prevent this exact scenario. Law abiding people encrypt sensitive information to protect it from misuse by criminals, but the information can be misused by ANYONE with access.

Dividing a backdoor key between multiple parties simply creates a requirement that all parties agree to access the information before it can be accessed. It doesn't guarantee that the access will be lawful.

Comment Re:Go Dell (Score 2) 385

I think you meant to say E6440 not E6400. The E6400 is an ancient Core2Duo machine and is sadly underpowered. I recently bought a E6440 and replaced the 500GB (hybrid) drive with a 1TB Samsung EVO Pro (850). I also bumped the RAM up to 16GB. It's a very snappy lightweight machine. If a real workhorse is needed, get an M4800. Those are great as long as you aren't carrying them around much. I've still got a E6400, but I rarely use it anymore. My E6440 is a great portable machine. I've traveled with my M4800, but it's a real boat anchor.

I have Ubuntu Linux on all of the above mentioned Dell laptops and the only issue I've encountered is lack of networking capability (both WiFi and Ethernet) while using 12.04 on the M4800. This can be fixed by loading a newer kernel (3.13 instead of 3.2). The newer kernel is directly available from the Ubuntu repo, but obviously you need a network to do that. A quick workaround to get the networking going is to use a USB-to-Ethernet adapter for access to the repo. There are no issues with 14.04. Dell is still shipping 12.04 (they haven't upgraded their standard image to 14.04 yet), but their version of 12.04 includes the Dell patches to make everything work.

Comment Already in use elsewhere (such as Gig Ethernet) (Score 4, Informative) 47

The (copper) Gigabit Ethernet PHY transmits and receives simultaneously on four wire pairs. It accomplishes this with a hybrid that subtracts the transmitted signal from the one being received. Last year some newer WiFi access points debuted that could do the same thing with RF. (Gigabit Ethernet is technically RF too because each of the four wire pairs operate at around 125MHz. WiFi access points operate in the 2.4GHz and 5.4GHz bands.)

Comment A solution to a down interface (Score 1) 80

High Availability (HA) is not an option for many Linux users (or to me for my home systems) so I use iproute2 (which is built into all common Linux distributions). With a few simple rules, one can make outbound traffic go out on the interface that it is associated with. For example: I could have multiple DNS A records for a host (using either single or multiple network interfaces) and have that host respond to client requests via the same interface on which they arrive.

Iproute2 has worked out very well for me for a quite a long time and I have no need to run any additional routing daemons.

Comment Re:awesome! (Score 1) 135


How will this rig differ from HackRF One? (I bought two of those last year.) I see that one of the goals is to get FCC type accepted so I guess it will probably have better filtering to reduce QRM. (HackRF doesn't have much of anything.) The HackRF goes from 30MHz to 6GHz with 20MHz of bandwidth and has an 8-bit ADC/DAC.

I'm also curious what one would use to operate an SDR transceiver. I haven't found any suitables application that make it easy to transmit with the HackRF. There are plenty of SDR receiver apps, but nothing that makes transmitting easy. Do you know of anything?

Best regards,

Jeff N6TPN

Comment The system is mostly okay (Score 2) 183

The problem is that federal prosecutors are appointed by the executive branch (DOJ, but the under the president) and are selected for, and instructed to pursue the political agenda of their superiors. Each prosecutor also has their own political agenda. The prosecutor that went after Swartz (Carmen Ortiez) has a reputation for this sort of thing. The best way to fix the system would be coming up with some non-partisan method to select/appoint/elect the prosecutors and perhaps even the attorney general. The way things are right now the president is nearly immune from any legal oversight, but can bring the full wrath of the USDOJ upon his/her enemies. I don't claim to have a solution, but perhaps if we moved DOJ under the control of the SCOTUS things might improve somewhat.

Comment Re:Ain't freedom a bitch... (Score 5, Interesting) 551

You've made a good point, and I want to emphasize that the LLVM License *IS* an open source license, it's just not as restrictive as the GPLv3 license in terms of how the software can be used. RMS wants software to be free, but GPLv2 is more free than GPLv3 because GPLv2 has fewer restrictions on how the software can be used. RMS is marginalizing himself with his crusade against commercial software.

Comment Re:Really Neat (Score 1) 139

All of the experiments you cite relate to slowing down light as it passes through some medium other than a vacuum (such as a bose-einstein condensate). AFAIK nobody (until now) has ever been able to slow down light as it travels through a vacuum.

Comment Re:Heh (Score 1) 786

Excellent observation! However, it's likely that those who immediately recognize "swiftboating" as a bad thing are the same ones who will come to Mann's defence. It's even funnier that the Wikipedia page referenced above says that the political action committee (Swift Boat Vetrans for Truth) was "discredited", but it does not provide any details other than a reference to a Newsweek opinion piece. I sense a Wikipedia edit war coming soon...

2 pints = 1 Cavort