Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re:Following a ruling from a Virginia federal cour (Score 1) 90

Because the copyright cartel have bought laws from lawmakers which effectively give them the ability to decide who can use technology and how.

The DHS is now responsible for copyright enforcement, and the US foreign policy on copyright is now being directed by corporate interests.

All of these things have combined to mean that the accusations of corporations are being interpreted (by them, and by the idiot judge in this case) as meaning that they get to decide if a person should be removed from the internet due to being suspected of piracy.

Have you not been paying attention at all? Between the DMCA, the horrible extension of copyright, and the increasing extent to which protecting the profits of multinational corporations has driven US foreign policy ... it's not the media corporations who make such decisions.

Oh, and did we mention they do this with a reduced standard of evidence, no requirement of proof, and little or no recourse for lying? (They can just call it incompetence and suddenly there is no penalty.)

What the copyright people want is a full veto over how all technology is used, and the ability to deny people the ability to use the internet because they say so.

The person paying for the internet service? He has no rights. He has the right to use the internet as long as the media companies haven't accused him of piracy ... in which case, the media companies feel that accusation is sufficient to block further access.

You now live in a world in which probably 25% of all global treaty talks are specifically geared to entrenching into law that copyright owners have increasing powers.

The US has sold out to corporate interests, and then have subsequently championed them globally and foisted them on everyone else, and then used that to strengthen domestic controls.

Honestly, have you slept through all this?

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 198

I forgot to include this. Security cams are a big part of the Internet of things already.

Apparently, they are ironically named as well.


Should I tell you what your reply is going to be before you make it? Right - don't use default passwords. And hopefully the company won't have a support backdoor built in.

Most regular people find passwords a pain in the backside. As well, they aren't always up on security. An inescapable fact, 20 years on. It hardly even qualifies as hacking.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 198

A thermostat is a few switches (heat/cool/fan) and a thermometer. Are you proposing redesigning / replacing home furnaces when simply using a dumb or unconnected thermostat would work just as well?

IoT gurus want everything connected to the internet. Somehow it makes things better. I'll bet that you will be able to send an image of yourself to all your friend's toasters. The basic infrastructure is there, now we will finally be happy when we can do this..... I'm waiting for it to take a toast selfie so I don't have tobe so damned inconvenienced by taking my own meal instagrams I mean what the hell did the Pilgrims do? It's a sin. I mean how did everyone know what they were eating? I mean - I mean.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 198

No. My thermostat has no "off" switch, and a minimum temperature setting that is high enough not to let the pipes freeze. The electronic TRVs likewise have a safeguard against freezing. Now that is fascinating, because that means they know what the outside temperatures are. Something tells me you live an a place that doesn't get below freezing often. But these things do need an on off switch, a fan and a switchover to AC as needed.

Sure, it's still electronics, and someone could have messed with the firmware, or even exploit a weakness in the thermostat by sending weird packets over the Z-Wave network (a wireless network used for home automation) to make it turn the heating off completely.

Wait - I thought you told me this can't happen.

That's far, far less likely to happen than the heater itself breaking down. And because I can monitor things remotely, it is extremely unlikely to happen without me noticing the problem.

Actually, I'm not so certain about those odds. I do also suspect that the system will have to be safety critical https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 198

So buy a connected fridge from a reputable vendor whom you can trust to at least understand the important issues and risks of having an appliance connected to the LAN or Internet. Don't buy a connected fridge at all if you're too worried about this, or feel you can't trust any manufacturer.

Or if we get to the point of having them on everything, like OnStar in GM vehicles, make certain you disable them. And no, not having a subscription does not mean they don't pay attention.

It is fine to be cautious, just don't call anyone who disagrees an idiot, or claim that the introduction of IoT-capable appliances is somehow violating your rights. That's the vibe I am getting from a lot of opponents to HA. The IoT is not evil for the reasons you state; "IoT doesn't steal data, peope do".

Your own vibe is colored a bit by your preconceptions. It's not fearmongering for me to say I won't buy a GM car because I don't like OnStar. Just noting that there are certain aspsect that people might not be thinking about, like their vehicle disabling feature, or cab monitoring feature.

There are implications that a lot of people don't think about. Remember the school in Pennsylvania that was using the school issued laptop cameras to spy on the students? That kind of went away, but I'll bet they got some interesting images of naked students who happened to be underaged. I've always wondered about what Comcast is getting into with their whole house surveillance security systems. They always show mom at work, siling and happy because her teenaged kids are safe at home. I'll bet there are some notsafe for the public images those cameras capture.

And if mom can monitor the kids, from work, or control the thermostats or lights or security system, then its not fearmongering to note that other people can, and naive to assume that they won't try.

Perhaps in the pursuit of pecuniary renumeration, you don't care. And in many respects I don't care either, as long as I am not forced to buy this stuff.

Comment Re:Less service? (Score 1) 348

I don't know how the expected lifetime service cost shakes down; but what the dealership cares about is the margins on the service and maintenance they perform; not the absolute cost.

I would suspect that battery swaps, while they involve a very expensive part, would be pretty unexciting for the dealer. Unless the manufacturer is extraordinarily tight-lipped, the price of the battery will become public knowledge; and the procedure for swapping it out(while it might require equipment that makes DIY impractical, depending on where the battery is located and what needs to be lifted) should be rigidly documented and leave little room for variation in how much labor you can bill for.

Somebody has to do the swap, and presumably they won't do it for free; but there is little room either for value-added expertise(as with problems that require diagnostic work) or just plain sleazy invoice padding(as with problems where the customer doesn't know the cost of the parts, or which parts are necessary, or what the expected labor time is); it's a rigidly scripted drop-in replacement of a single module.

Comment Re:Intended? (Score 1) 325

"Locked down hardware" in the context of personal computers means that you can't use third party hardware.

Um. enlighten me. I've bought much hardware, many peripherals over the years, and haven't had this lockdown issue. Lots of hard drives, had to be formatted differently, but tyhat's hardly exclusive. RAM expansion - pray don't tell me that different RAM modules are an Apple only thing. You see, As a user of both Windows type PCs and Apple PCs, I've bought a lot of hardaware for both.

So aside from say Thunderbolt, what are you talking about? And by the way, I have a normal secondary 27 inch Dell monitor on my Mac that just has a little Thunderbolt adapter.. Looks great. Additional RAM and new hard Drive. All working just fine.

I have 2 USB external hard drives - seem to be working fine for a couple years now. I have USB to serial converters, FTDI at the moment, but I understand that th eprolific chipset has written a proper driver - there was about 6 months after an upgrade ot El Capitan that prolifics weren't supported. I have extension USB hubs - work well, a bluetooth mic/headset that I use often. I have a USB vidccm - works great. I have Thumb drives that just plug right in. It's not like Apple gets their components from another universe. The idea that I have to use some sort of special apple only hardware is ludicrous - I can take most everything off the MAC and plug it into the PC sitting beside it, and it will work.

So that was probably his point; what the words meant literally was also the "point." A better question would have been, "I don't understand your point, can you elaborate?"

Okay, I get it. I don't understand your point, can you elaborate?

Tell me all about the Apple only hardware that cause you fellows such turmoil and umbrage. In fact, the software would be a better example of something being locked down. Just not in my direction. I can run Windows software on My Apple. How's that Mac Software running on the Windows machine? But that doesn't count to you so okay.

At which point it could be explained to you that while you can run different software on Apple's hardware, you can't replace Apple's choice of hardware with third party hardware.

At which point I will very respectfully tell you that you are completely full of shit and have no idea of what you are talking about.

My iMac does have some built in onboard devices. But that only means it is "locked down" in the same manner that any mobo device computer is locked down. My Power Macs have lots of expansion capabilities. And the whole argument is specious I have choices, and the Mac ecosystem can be considered locked down only if the Windows ecosystem can be considered locked down. Tell me please, of the items that I have listed, bought at a local store or online simply does not work - aside from RAM, which if your definition is used, makes many computers "locked down". Any of those devices would fit right in to a Windows or Linux box.

Drives were formatted to Apple except for the thumbs and a transfer hard drive - unless it has changed, My Windows machines won't read Mac formatted disks. So they'd have to be reformatted. But you cannot use that as an example, because you invalidated software.

This is about as stupid a discussion as I've had in here. A metric only car is more locked down than your locked down Mac example.

Comment Re:Intended? (Score 1) 325

For the remaining 99%, Windows is just a tool to run some games, play movies, open IE and watch porn, and to occasionally feed some accounting basic Excel spreadsheets.

My wife, who aside from the porn bit, and she spends some time on facebook, is exactly what you describe.

Your sure? Last time I looked at her browsing history, ... well, let's say there may be some new gadgets in your bedroom's future.


Comment Re:Not too hard (Score 2) 63

If one guy and a sample size of 40 cards can do this with 100% accuracy ... then I assume a better funded and more malicious entity could do it on a FAR larger scale.

I think the fact that it IS so trivial is kind of the point.

You would hope it wouldn't be even possible to predict the next card and that the numbers come from a big pool and should be unrelated. But apparently that's not true.

Comment Holy crap ... (Score 1) 63

He noticed that the replacement card's number appeared to have a relationship with other Amex cards he'd had in the past. Kamkar worked out a formula for how the number was calculated, which matched up to 40 cards and replacement cards shared with him by his friends for his research.

That sounds pretty damned broken to me.

Are these guys not even trying?

Comment Re:Many a young engineer.... (Score 1) 93

You know, I think we need to settle this once and for all ...

Holes are for cows ... You are all cows. Cows say moo. MOOOO! MOOOO! Moo cows MOOOO! Moo say the cows. YOU, er, hole-flowing current-producing COWS!!

And, no, I have no idea what you're talking about, I just think the cow thing is one of the funniest internet memes in years. ;-)

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido