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Comment: How about sane warnings? (Score 1) 314

by mcrbids (#49598809) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

As it is now, you are not notified of security issues when you have no security whatsoever. HTTP sites should be given a dire, red warning because they represent the least secure position online. An SSL site with an expired certificate is far more desirable than an HTTP website.

Green should represent proper SSL certificates, as it does now.

But there's one more problem with SSL/HTTPS sites that nobody talks about: the fake SSL certificate. Your browser *probably* trust a multitude of SSL certificate vendors, and *any* of them can issue a certificate for *any* domain.

So there are literally hundreds of SSL certificate vendors that could issue a cert for google.com or whatever, and you wouldn't know. If the NSA offered a bit of $$ to a commonly trusted (but otherwise unheard of) certificate vendor to issue a few certificates to be used discreetly....

See the problem?

If I go to Thawte or RapidSSL to get a cert, I should have the ability to publish my vendor of choice, and nobody else's certificates should be considered trustworthy. Similarly, I should be able to publish revoked certificates the same way.

Why hasn't this already been done?

Comment: Re:Good (Score 5, Insightful) 123

by nmb3000 (#49597873) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

Nobody should be required to buy into loss leaders or other pricing schemes like this.

And now they're taking a page out of the BSA's lawyer playbook with this "lost revenue" crap. Just because someone could have bought a $500 ticket from NY to SLC doesn't mean that $100 was stolen from United because they bought a $400 ticket that was NY to LA with a layover in SLC.

And then there's airline pricing in general. I always have a hard time feeling sorry for the airlines, but when the price of oil (the biggest expense for them) dropped like a rock end of last year, did the airlines lower ticket prices or remove fuel surcharges? Nope.

Big companies like airlines have used obscure and convoluted pricing schemes for decades as a way to screw over the average customer. Seeing them get thrown back into their faces isn't illegal -- it's a sweet dose of justice.

Comment: Re:Or maybe support an Open Source option? (Score 1) 35

by mcrbids (#49574451) Attached to: RealTek SDK Introduces Vulnerability In Some Routers

By spec, wireless N, up to 300 Mbit.

In practice, I've gone through 4 different routers, and so far, this one has come out on top. It has two decent antennas which may be some of that difference, to be fair.

My house was (over)built in the 1970s with 3/4" sheet rock, making each room almost like a Faraday cage - getting wifi signal *at all* from two rooms over is spotty at best. In my bedroom (2 doors away from the hotspot) I see about 15-20 Mbits, but in the same room I see up to ~ 40 Mbits for torrents. (50 Mbit connection, shared)

Oh, and it being open source, I'm gonna bank on its code quality being a bit better...

Comment: Or maybe support an Open Source option? (Score 2) 35

by mcrbids (#49573799) Attached to: RealTek SDK Introduces Vulnerability In Some Routers

You could do that, or you could buy a router pre-configured with OSS from the factory. It's not even expensive at ~ $50.

I bought a similar model about a year ago, and its large antennas and decent range/speed make it the best router I've yet had. If it's not even more expensive, why not support a vendor that supports (more) secure, Open Source solutions?

I have no relationship with this vendor other than being a happy customer

Comment: Re:Pinto (Score 1) 247

by mcrbids (#49566571) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Nope. Poor breaking behaviour doesn't cause crashes, people not keeping a safe distance causes crashes.

Nope. What causes crashes is hunks of metal ramming into other hunks of metal. It would be complicated except that it's not. We choose to ascribe "cause" to other events that precede the ramming behavior, but it's really arbitrary.

For example, it's widely understood that driving cars is *dangerous* and yet we don't ascribe standard risk factors for *driving at all*.

Skiing is inherently dangerous. In order to use a ski slope, I have to acknowledge this risk. Why aren't car manufacturers covered with a similar legal conract?

Comment: Re:So, Microsoft is a social leech! (Score 1) 103

by mcrbids (#49553419) Attached to: Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

Except in this case, the patent is for the use of VFAT, which is a very specific file system format that even Microsoft doesn't use much anymore, but is commonly understood by their systems.

There is no reason, for example, why Microsoft couldn't implement an open file system like EXT4 or UFS and update all their operating systems to recognize it, except that it would mitigate the value of their VFAT patents. So they don't bother.

I remember reading that they make more money on their patents from Android vendors than they make *gross* from their Windows Mobile sales.

Comment: Not just IOS (Score 2) 484

by mcrbids (#49553317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

I have a Moto Razr Maxx HD, now working on its 3rd year. It's been basically perfect. I reboot it perhaps once every few months, and half of those reboots are due to an OTA OS upgrade.

With it's amazing battery life, and durable, sturdy case, it's a phone that feels like a "partner" that doesn't leave me hanging and even when I'm really putting the screws to it, (EG: on trips) it's "just there" for me.

It is no longer a "flagship" phone, it's not the fastest phone, and it doesn't have the biggest/brightest screen any more, but it's still a very, very good balance for a phone that I probably won't be replacing until it actually dies.

My only honest complaint is that its bluetooth reception seems weak. I use $20 wired headphones as a result.

Comment: Re:Dell, HP, Panasonic (Score 5, Informative) 417

by mcrbids (#49540887) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

How is Dell a laugh?

I write this on a gorgeous Dell Precision M3800 that has it all: powerful i7 processor, space for lots of RAM (16 GB), dual SSD bays, gorgeous 4K screen, and all in a lightweight, svelte case that rivals a Macbook Air in appearance and feel.

Oh, did I mention Linux compatibility? Ubuntu is officially supported. (My fave distro, Fedora runs without issue - literally load and forget)

Not sure what you're looking for in a PC manufacturer, but for Slashbots, isn't this pretty much it?

Medicine

New Sampling Device Promises To Make Blood Tests Needle-Free 34

Posted by timothy
from the dracula's-little-friend dept.
Zothecula writes: Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job.

Comment: Re:Specced too low, weird form factor (Score 1) 174

by mcrbids (#49530083) Attached to: Intel 'Compute Stick' PC-Over-HDMI Dongle Launched, Tested

Honestly, the 'compute stick' makes zero sense for a TV-mounted device. It is far better to just go with a chrome cast stick or an AppleTV for airplay and using a pad or cell in your hand to control it if you want to throw a display up on the TV. Otherwise you will be fumbling around with a horrible remote or you have to throw together a bluetooth keyboard (etc...) and it just won't be a fun or convenient experience.

I have such a stick on my TV, and it works great! It's *not* an ideal general computing device, but it is pretty much ideal for a Smart TV thingie.

As far as input devices, we use either a bluetooth Logitech keyboard/touchpad device, or a "flying mouse" remote. Both work rather well. If you haven't one, you should check out a "flying mouse" remote on Amazon for under $20 and work by waving your hand. It's really easy and rather intuitive once you get past a 1 minute introduction. Oh, and it contains a full QWERTY keyboard too.

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