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Comment: Re:Older Car Radios... (Score 1) 190 190

Well...it *might* be that your radio used an IF (intermediate frequency) to decode the AM or FM encoding...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

This signal is sufficiently high in frequency that it actually 'leaks' outside the radio - and, I suppose, might be picked up by a radio in a nearby car. But the IF's frequency isn't close to where you're tuning...so I'm not sure this completely explains the story.

(In Britain, there is a television licence you're supposed to pay to operate a TV receiver - and at one time the government used "Television Detector Vans" that drove around to houses that didn't have a TV license and picked up the IF frequencies that televisions inadvertently send out...allegedly, they could tell which room the TV was in - AND which channel you were watching - so the IF frequency must be different for different radio channels.)

I dunno - this is one of those stories that sounds kinda OK in theory - but I really doubt it would work in practice.

Comment: Re:brute force the unlock code on car stereo (Score 2) 190 190

I heard you could fix that issue by putting the stereo into the freezer for a while. Allegedly this takes the memory chip down below it's minimum operating temperature and erases it so the stereo boots up with factory defaults. Never tried it myself, but it's a trick that car stereo thieves are known to use.

Comment: Paperclip saves fairground ride. (Score 5, Funny) 190 190

I was working on one of those gigantic 'motion theatre' fairground rides:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

This was back in the era of 286 PC's - running DOS. The software was suffering timing issues and we really needed a hardware timer interrupt - but DOS already stole all but one of them - and we simply didn't have enough.

I needed a *roughly* 1kHz interrupt to monitor some ride function or other (I forget exactly what) - so I came up with the idea of putting a bent paperclip between the RxD and TxD lines of the RS232 port and using the serial port interrupt. I'd send a character out through the serial port - and at 9600 baud, with one stop bit and one start bit the character took ~1/960'th of a second to arrive back in the serial port chip...at which point it triggered an interrupt - and I could send another byte out to make it happen again.

We used paperclips on a couple of machines as an emergency hack - but later versions used a 'dongle' plug that went into the RS232 port with a wire soldered across those two pins)...this plug was named the HPE..."Hardware Paperclip Emulator".

Comment: I used to see that all the time (Score 5, Interesting) 242 242

Before NMCI came along, I was tasked with taking over a mapping application for the Navy and discovered the app was sending admin credentials in clear text in the URL string. Instead being of grateful I found the obvious sloppy coding they accused me of trying to pad my billing with make work and blaming the previous programmer. When I explained their application was crap and a giant security hole they would say, "Well, it works for us."

So I totally understand how apps like that make it online.

Comment: Re:It's that time... (Score 1) 319 319

The loss of life is never acceptable; that aside, but after working for a european business I would not be surprised to hear, "The most efficent thing to have happened is that the worker should have not been in the way in the first place."

"3 Laws Safe" sounds pretty good these days.

Comment: Re:Goodness (Score 1) 296 296

Perhaps all of that was an attempt to motivate at least a lukewarm response to the obviously coming problem so people wouldn't end up running around with their hair on fire later.

Oh I get that, I'm just saying that years of teeth-gnashing and arm-flailing has had pretty much the opposite of the desired effect.

This has been pitched as a dire and urgent danger for ages. The IPv4 address exhaustion problem Wikipedia article is nearly nine years old, for crying out loud.

This will get sorted out like pretty much every single other technical capacity issue gets sorted out: once the pain and cost of not acting becomes prohibitive, people will act, and it will cease to be an issue.

Comment: However Shall We Figure This Out? (Score 1) 319 319

This it perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparkling debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Folks, there exists an entire and oft maligned profession that is dedicated to figuring just this sort of thing out.

This isn't some big unsolved existential question. It's a fairly dry exercise in interpreting and applying precedent in new ways. Humans are actually reasonably good at sorting out how to deal with the legalities of new things.

Comment: Re:Shocker... (Score 2) 273 273

A segment of the population has views that are different from the average of the entire population.

You don't get a "view" on conclusions that are supported by an overwhelming weight of facts and data. You are also not entitled to a "view" that comes from a coordinated and deliberate effort to mislead by news outlets with a political agenda.

It boils down to the simple reality that one side of the debate thinks they're entitled to their own facts.

Comment: It's their business model. (Score 3, Informative) 307 307

When you expect to get most of your revenue from selling apps in the iStore - it's essential that people are unable to get apps for free via fancy web pages.

Hence, iPhone doesn't support WebGL for doing fancy 3D graphics on a web page - if it did, people would write cool games in HTML/JavaScript/WebGL and monetize them directly without having Apple take 30% of the revenue and "approve" their product.

Is this because Apple can't support WebGL? Hell no! The browser actually DOES contain code for WebGL, but it's disabled...UNLESS your web site signs up to display Apple-provided advertising banners...in which case, WebGL works great!

Safari uses the exact same core rending software ("WebKit") as Chrome - so it can trivially support everything that Chrome supports - it's really just a matter of Apple deciding to deliberately cripple the browser to prevent people from providing apps for free.

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker

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