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Comment: Re:Internet of Stupidity (Score 2) 45

by Animats (#48042005) Attached to: Factory IoT Saves Intel $9 Million

This story has pretty much nothing to do with the "Internet of Things" they are trying to sell us.

Right. It's ordinary industrial automation. It's also strange that Intel would have CPU testers that weren't networked and reporting to some machine aggregating statistics and looking for process variance. It's pretty much routine in factories today to network the machines. That's been going on since the 1980s.

The Mitsubishi C Controller mentioned is just a CPU board packaged as a Mitsubishi Electric industrial automation module for convenient mounting in industrial automation cabinets. "It includes two Ethernet ports, an RS232 port, a USB port, a CompactFlash card slot and a 7-segment display for debugging and diagnostics. The (Intel Atom) CPU comes with the Wind River VXWorks real time operating system pre-installed." It's programmed in C.

Comment: Re:now aren't you glad, Obama voters?? (Score 1) 488

by Tablizer (#48041529) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

I agree that Mr. O flunks civil liberties as much as Bush (and probably Mitt), but there are other categories to consider besides civil liberties. I wish there were federal issue votes on the ballot for this kind of thing, similar to some States' "propositions". That way we don't have to lump bunches of different issues into:

Please select one:
[_] Jerk A
[_] Jerk B


iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
First time accepted submitter Kexel writes Security researchers have claimed to discover the first Apple iOS Trojan attack in a move to thwart the communications of pro-democracy Hong Kong activists. From the article: "The malicious software, known as Xsser, is capable of stealing text messages, photos, call logs, passwords and other data from Apple mobile devices, researchers with Lacoon Mobile Security said on Tuesday. They uncovered the spyware while investigating similar malware for Google Inc's Android operating system last week that also targeted Hong Kong protesters. Anonymous attackers spread the Android spyware via WhatsApp, sending malicious links to download the program, according to Lacoon. It is unclear how iOS devices get infected with Xsser, which is not disguised as an app."

Comment: Re:depends on circumstance (Score 1) 497

by fyngyrz (#48039091) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

Confident? I'm just stating the obvious. There can be life on planets. It can be intelligent. It can go to space.

I don't need confidence to make those observations; even a vague awareness of the world around me suffices.

And I fail to see what my intelligence has to do with any of it. These very simple facts wouldn't change any regardless if I was Einstein or a drooling idiot.

Your comment is downright strange.

Comment: Cotton is a big culprit (Score 1) 144

by l2718 (#48038029) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry

Cotton is an extremely water-intensive crop. Until quite recently it was pushed on developing economies as an "export crop" for industrialized agriculture, replacing local food prodcution. This has generally been a disaster. For water-poor countries, growing cotton for export amounts to exporting expensive water to water-rich countires.

Diverting water for agriculture simply makes no sense. It is cheaper and more efficient to import the end product.

Comment: Re:Give it a few weeks (Score 1) 839

by jc42 (#48036965) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Dealing only in KPH is sufficiently hard for someone like myself raised with MPH that even if i switch my GPS / speedometer to KPH, I still have to do the mental conversion back into MPH to get a feeling for "how fast is that".

A couple of weeks of driving in a KPH based country and you'd get over it. It just takes a little experience is all.

So what's with all these people estimating weeks to learn such things? I remember years back, when I took my first trip to the UK, and people talked about the weeks it'd take to learn to drive on the left side of the road. I found that, by the time I'd got a few blocks from the airport, maybe 5 minutes, I'd already stopped consciously thinking about it, and just drove like the others around me. Similarly with the speedometer the rest of the world; all it took was matching the numbers on the highways signs to the numbers on the dial, which worked right from the start, and felt natural after a few minutes.

The only real difficulty I've found with such things is learning the words in a different language. I've found that that can actually take a few weeks, though the vocabulary on traffic signs is generally so limited that it's not all that difficult a task. But I haven't seriously tried learning the terminology on signs in China or Japan yet. That might be a bit more of a challenge than, say, Finnish or Russian road signs. ;-)

Comment: Re:And many, many more (Score 1) 839

by jc42 (#48036639) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

But in my country, we order beer as a half-pint or a pint, and everyone knows what they're getting.

So which country do you live in, where this is true? Here in the US, and across the Pond in the UK, the stated size of a beer glass is usually the capacity to the brim, but the amount in the glass is less than that. Off and on, there has been a bit of a fuss over this shorting in both countries, and there have even been laws passed outlawing the practice, to little avail. If you're living in a country where beer is measured in ounces or pints, you're almost certainly getting short measure in any bar or restaurant. It's only likely to be accurate if they're using the sort of glass with a visible "fill line", and those are not common.

So where do you live, that you get the advertised measure in glasses of beer (or other drinkables)? Curious readers want to know ...

(We might note that it is obviously silly to require that drinking glasses be full to the brim. That would mean slippery floors from the spilling as the glasses are carried to the table. But that doesn't justify lying about the amount that you're delivering to the customer. It just means that glasses should be made slightly oversized, preferably with a fill line near the top. ;-)

Comment: Re:FP? (Score 1) 839

by jc42 (#48036271) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Also lumber. Everyone knows a 2 by 4, but say that in metric. That'll probably be easy to fix though.

Yeah, maybe, but we also know that this is an obvious case where vendors are legally permitted to defraud the customers by giving short measure. ;-) A 2x4 is nowhere near 2 or 4 inches in actual size. In general, the US measures used with lumber are wrong and useless when trying to build something with any precision. It'd be a lot more useful to switch over to the actual measure of thickness. Giving it in mm would be a good idea, so the buyer doesn't have to bring along a tape measure to make sure he's getting the size he needs.

And yes, I do routinely cut wood to within an accuracy of 1 mm. Calling a piece a "2 by 4" is OK for informal purposes, I suppose, but in addition, the store should be required to display the actual measurements in mm. If I think it's going to need some serious sanding, I can take that into account myself.

Comment: Re:depends on circumstance (Score 1) 497

by fyngyrz (#48033927) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

My worldview wouldn't change a whit.

We're already aware of life on a planet. That's what we are. Us, and cats, and dogs, and everything else living here. As humans, we're already aware of the great diversity of life even sourced from just the one planet. Likewise, the range of intelligence. Life, intelligence, on some planet? Spacecraft? Interest in exploring? Nothing groundbreaking there. Not a thing. Already known facts. It happens; we've watched it happen.

So, another case? Ok. Interesting? Sure. Absolutely. But already a 100% fit with what we know. The whole shebang is going to be about things to learn in the areas of culture and technology. Just specifics. The rest, we already knew.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang