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Comment So what do you do when.. (Score 1) 231

So what do you do when the pager goes off.
Do you run and find a pay phone?
Do you reach into your pocket for your cell phone?

What do you plan to do when the customer captures your cell phone number
and just calls you back?

A pager does have value because the coverage was nearly universal.
They are reliable.
A classic pager just displays numbers to call back or pre-shared code numbers.
The day I got a text/message pager that could give me a message "All OK" in contrast
to a call back number that was run to find a phone leash was like being released from
chains. It still took years to retrain managers and customers to send status hints in
contrast to a summons in the dark.

Mostly get a modern phone with a lot of battery life.
Car chargers are important to have.
Get a spare battery strategy.

Coverage... all cell coverage is not equal. Cell coverage has gaps that pager service does not.
One AC was right... pagers do not transmit so might be allowed inside when smartphones are not.
Camera... most repair folk now photograph the device serial number, make and model.
Some places prohibit cameras...

Political campaigns have gotten very automated and a smart phone will allow the party
to help you do what they want. The political tools allow a canvasser to know the registration
and names of folk behind the door at any address even geolocation with GPS. Vans driving
voters to the ballot places are able to pass over individuals registered for the 'other' party.

Make a list of the details and go shopping.

Comment Re: Nexus aren't satisfactory (Score 1) 180

The thing about MicroSD is that internal storage is cheap(ish) to upgrade now, and cloud storages are becoming increasingly bigger for cheaper

Not sufficient.... Cloud storage does mirroring well enough and
works up to the capacity of the phone's storage.

As soon as the content on the cloud gets larger and shared
software management becomes a royal pain. Cloud storage
management just sucks for phones.

The important point about uSD cards is storage is a cash
cow and the cow will kick ya in the head if you put its
udder in too tight a clamp.

Kick some udder phones...

Comment Re:LOL, what? (Score 1) 699

Not that UEFI isn't catastrophically broken, but .....

Good golly, WTF.... If true, Call the FBI and the Department of Homeland security.

Recall the stuxnet attack. This tells me that because there is a requirement for user space
writing of files a bad boy virus could do it on demand. Any time any place any ....

Viruses have been known to lurk for a long time only to activate much later. A vulnerability
like this is serious and worse exists to protect systems from attack.

Both windows and linux are apparently vulnerable. These machines need to be excluded
from deployment in government, hospitals, banks, -- we are not talking about a painful
reload of the OS and data from backups this is hardware. Both costly and difficult
to deliver. Older hardware is out of production so this flaw mandates updates that may
not be able to use peripherals like DRAM, Drives, network hardware...

WTF.... if true this is a global risk.

Comment Re:To refine the question, with subquestions (Score 3, Informative) 261

This is getting harder and harder to do.

If you do want to make progress invest in a Raspberry Pi
and a WiFi USB thing. Perhaps two....

Run the Pi and the laptop network hardwired together.
Have the Pi connect to the WiFi of the coffee shop.
A Pi can run a decent firewall and Squid proxy with one of many Linux
distro packages. It is easy to reload the uSD card with a clean
OS install. It is easy to remove the uSD card and inspect the
system for anomalies.

The second one... Install it as a VPN access point at your home network
connection. The Pi in your home and the Pi in the coffee shop can contain
shared secrets for a secure link that is harder to man in the middle attack.

There are cooperating groups sharing curated lists of addresses and host
domains that the Pi at home can slurp up and maintain.

The mobile Pi WiFi USB thing can be replaced for ten bucks and
some can have their MAC address randomized to look like yet
another iPhone.

I would love to see a product packaged like the Airport Express
that would manage a firewall and VPN.

It is also important to explore VM. A virtual machine
can operate as a sacrificial OS. Copy the image
start it, get work done, stop it and trash it.

This is astoundingly difficult to do correctly.

Comment Re:Not the Calories fault? (Score 1) 425

Read the article; they explain really well why it is broken. A synopsis:

1) We don't actually get the same amount of energy from food as burning that food does. ....
It makes for a very inexact measure when applied to people.

I just did some math.
I could get fat as heck by eating raw (paleo) unpolished
diamonds over and over and over.

Dr. Google tells me:
for the combustion of 12 grams of carbon to 44 grams of carbon dioxide:
Diamond (1). - 93,240 calories; Diamond (2). - 94.650 calories; Natural graphite - 93,560 calories;

Clearly I do not need to eat that much diamond... about 5 ct per gram, 5ct at the large meal
of the day for +7000 calories.

Comment Someone needs to cross check. (Score 1) 442

Law enforcement exists under some rather specific laws.
This sounds like a structural conflict of interest in favor of a specific company
and may prove sufficiently illegal to be interesting again here on /.

Years ago a drill sergeant would shout "Jump Up"
Then would shout "Give me twenty you did it wrong".

After about 150 pushups he mentioned that he did not
tell us to come down yet. At that point we hurt ....
but did not die.

Some laws have consequences that violate other laws and
or the constitution (charter) of the city, county, state or nation.

This is an obvious thing to do -- it is not obvious that the actions,
contracts and cash flow are legal. Lacking checks and balances
these processes could be lethal and judgements as a result
should eliminate the value and "profit" of the program and could
make the authors of an illegal contract liable to the point of conspiracy
to __full_in_blank__.

An officer may serve a valid court order or judgement but this
does not appear to be so processed.

Comment The bear went over the mountain. (Score 1) 2

The bear went over the mountain.

This is the new golden age of astronomy.
Space and ground based tools have so improved in my lifetime that
almost all the old answers have been revised and many new questions
have been shaped.

Space exploration and astrophysics advances have been turned back
at the earth and are allowing us to understand our place and impact
on this blue marble.

Now what do I do with that 6" mirror I hand ground and polished?... way back when.

Comment Yes... it is turtles all the way down. (Score 1) 78

Yes it is possible (and often preferable) to learn in a pure software emulated

Start with turtle graphics. While old school this is where many have started
their programming journey.

Simulators that model real systems are critical to the design and maintenance
of all manner of real world systems. This is what many video games are...
i.e. they are simulators of real or imaginary systems.

Modern graphics invites a 3D turtle graphics environment where ants
can place blocks and build bridges to navigate turtles over.

Yes a Raspberry Pi is a wonderful learning tool.
It is possible to explore almost any programming language you can name.
And yes there is a Turtle Graphics application set.

The big value of a SBC like the Raspberry Pi is all the levels are open enough
for any level of software tinkering and they are easy to recover if your hacking
adventure steps on the OS. The logic of the Raspberry Pi is low voltage
but it is very easy to add LEDs for small change. A current limiting resistor and
an LED cost small change. The schematics of the Raspberry Pi shows how the
onboard LEDs have been interfaced.

Look at QEMU -- it is a very interesting simulator and tool kit.

Big powerful robots are expensive but the simulation
tool set is a necessary layer that any robotics project will need.
Without a good simulation expensive hardware becomes expensive junk.

And if you make and document your progress there are individuals and companies that
will fund a project in areas lacking schools, funding and infrastructure.

Comment There be dragons... (Score 1) 1

This is another version of "SWATing" that needs to be nipped in the bud.

Seriously this is dangerous and the authors of "find my _____" need to be put on
notice that negligence reaches out to and becomes "negligent homicide" should
someone innocent die in a SWAT raid.

Further based on who knew what when this can also place officers executing assertions of
lost property at risk of "negligent _____" and acting as per departmental policy
allows all those that manage departmental policy to be pulled into the litigation.

Back to the authors of "Find my _____" and "who knew what when" negligent homicide
might be the the least of their worries. Conspiracy to assault unknown "John Do" with
knowledge and intent to allow lethal actions crosses to the line and becomes
conspiracy to commit murder.

This stuff is dangerous. Some laws appear to shield bad actors from liability
but not against fraud, negligence and malice.

Comment So where to start. (Score 1) 346

Such projects need to start someplace.

So by golly get started.
Any large producer or distribution company should see this %% of
improvement as a way to increase market and sidestep a lot of carbon
regulation. North-South routes seem to be a good place to start.

Any simulation can be constrained to a data subset and
optimizations rerun. Compare the results and overlay to
see which paths are shared solutions.

Any 5% solution that is part of a net +75% solution would
be a place to start.

For what it is worth this has been presented as an improvement
about once every 3 or 7 years as the presidential/ congressional
elections come due.

I want to dismiss this as foo but there are real gains to make
by improving distribution including the last mile.

Me I am installing LED lamps one or two at a time as needed.
They are getting better and less expensive...

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