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Comment: Wikipedia entry on Mantle (Score 1) 192

by storkus (#46115731) Attached to: LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

Mantle is a low-level API specification developed by AMD as an alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL, primarily for use on the PC platform.

Emphasis mine. I can't be the only one seeing this as a bad strategy (versus pushing this into Openxx).

Comment: I don't understand /. here (Score 1) 112

You villify the MPAA/RIAA mafiaa, agree with Voltaire on defending the right to free speech, hate NSA and RSA,


you say that EasyDNS is in the wrong here?!? I don't get it. I just don't. Regardless that the defendant here was another registrar rather than the City of London itself, the question remains the same: can a police department authorize the seizure of property without so much as a court order? If so, why not do away with the courts altogether since police agencies now play the roles of judge, jury, and executioner?

For me, EasyDNS has earned a customer when it comes time for me to renew my domain. And while I'm only one, I know that, as this news spreads, I won't be the only one.

Comment: Re:The Wrong Question (Score 2) 213

by storkus (#45757157) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?

This! Mod parent way up! The question isn't whether your [insert endpoint here] is safe, but if the intermediate points are. Even if your own router is safe, what about the one upstream? I've assumed for a long time (way before Snowden) that all electronic communications are monitored, and when you realize that, and the insane difficulty of getting around that monitoring, you kind of give up. You have to decide what is important enough to secure from a worthy (non script-kiddie) adversary and versus letting them see what kind of pr0n you like. IMHO this has been the reality for years (probably before 9/11 thanks to CALEA and friends), but it took Snowden to wake most people up to the fact.

Now securing your own machine, that's whole other level: again, how secure to do need it to be? I'm *HOPING* that keeping the browser cache clean/disabled, using Linux and FF and shutting down the browser when accessing bank account info and such is enough to keep the CC guys from getting my info; OTOH, if you're doing something that the intelligence agencies (regardless of country) is interested in, your only real hope is to use the the 100% open software/firmware like the FSF advocated, and (of course) even then there's no guarantee the hardware doesn't have a compromise or some CIA/FBI/whatever spy doesn't physically attack your machine when you're not looking (which is normal if you're actually under investigation).

As others have pointed out, its you versus agencies with BILLIONS of US$ (or equivalent) funding: you can resist, but if they really want you, you have no chance of winning: think the end of Half Life when Freeman refuses--that's what you face, proverbially.

tl;dr YOU ARE SCREWED, and your barely computer-literate family and friends have probably already been pwned and not even know it.

Comment: Service is Viasat AKA Wildblue (Score 2) 79

by storkus (#45678817) Attached to: JetBlue Launches Satellite-Based Inflight Wi-Fi

I remember reading this a year ago or so when the home service launched, but I guess /. missed it. This kind of portable/mobile use is being heavily marketed for homeland security, SNG (Satellite News Gathering), and other high-end markets, while they continue to give the middle finger to RVers, truckers, etc--I guess the home system is locked to the spotbeam its activated on so you can't roam outside it, unlike HughesNet. Personally, I'd love their little portable flyaway system, but at a price of $20k or so, oh well.

Comment: Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (Score 1) 208

by storkus (#45669275) Attached to: Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It

Umm...the !Doctorow options (1,2,4) are not mutually exclusive; in fact, I'm convinced we have been in a Corporatocracy for a while, which controls us through the "utopia where the people are bribed into apathy/foolishness" (courtesy of MPAA/RIAA mafia + youtube and friends), and the "Totalitarian states in constant war" is right around the corner--hell, you can see THAT just in the other comments here!

Comment: Re:Phony Optical Disc Archive (Score 1) 267

by storkus (#45580723) Attached to: How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

Replying to myself: as if the drive prices weren't expensive enough, the prices for media are totally, well, consistent with Sony:

1.2TB rewritable $270 from B&H Photo:
1.5TB WORM $280 from B&H Photo:

And to top it all off, here's the obligatory DRM:

To help content creation professionals manage their metadata and improve workflow efficiency, Sony has developed the Optical Disc Archive Content Manager, which is a software application (license) bundled with each drive.

Comment: Re:Phony Optical Disc Archive (Score 1) 267

by storkus (#45580675) Attached to: How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

You didn't look too hard at the ODA specs. For starters, everyone here is talking AT LEAST 100 megaBYTES per second of bandwidth on and off the media SUSTAINED.

Now look at Phony's ODA: 35-50 megaBITS per second--MAX (it is a disk, after all). Connection is USB-3. Target machines are winblows and mac, no mention of Linux or any kind of server environment at all.

Time to fill a full 1.5TB 12 disk cartridge: 48 hours (2 days) at 50 Mbps, 72 hours (3 days) at 35 Mbps.

It was a joke when it was introduced, and an even bigger joke now:

Not funny enough? Here is more hilarity (the prices):

Comment: Mod parent up: it's called VELOCITY FACTOR, folks! (Score 3, Informative) 236

For some place that's supposed to be for nerds who, unlike me, finished college, this discussion is embarrassing. Parent post and 1 or 2 other posts have it right, and this is something that every radio guy knows as well.

Wikipedia references:
More general discussion with heavy math:
The reason for it all:
This is straight from the horse's mouth:

Comment: Pricing, the real world, etc (Score 1) 175

by storkus (#45333487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

First, I have no affiliation with these people, but they sell worldwide and actually show pricing for real VSAT, not crappy HughesNet, Viasat, Starband, etc:

Second, almost all satellite internet is from GEO orbit, as everyone has said, with massive latency; reducing contention is done with spot beams, but the catch is that, if you're not in the spot beam, you're out of luck: this is especially true of the new Ka-band services (Viasat-1, Gen-4 Hughesnet, and probably more coming). And since ALL of these are on Ku or Ka band, unless you can afford a big dish, you can expect rain fade much of the time.

Third, up until recently we had a Ku-band Hughesnet connection here at work for our extranet. It sucked. BIG TIME. I have to echo what everyone else says: do not get satellite internet unless you have NO OTHER CHOICE!

Last, there are the slow-speed alternatives: Inmarsat is also in GEO, but much slower and more expensive; in exchange, you get portability (no dish, just one of those suitcase antennas). Then there's Iridium (2400 bps) and Global(aka Local)Star (9600 bps--no kilo!), which are only useful for e-mail without attachments or text browsing with Lynx (and even then it'll be slow): these are in LEO (Low Earth Orbit), but at these speeds from the 1980's, you won't notice the latency gain. :(

Hope this helps, Mike

Comment: Re:Non-free parts include (Score 2) 111

by storkus (#45315339) Attached to: OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900

Certification from the relevant national authority is absolutely required for *ANYTHING* capable of transmitting RF. For something that connects to a public network, there are additional certifications besides just the basic RF ones. I still remember back in the old days, if you took your AMPS handset into Canada, you had to have it registered at Canadian customs; this was eventually dropped, but I don't know if it was due to complaints, drowning in workload, or what.

However, I disagree about FOSS firmware based on the very existance of all the 802.11 and Bluetooth drivers in our favorite operating systems: this was a real concern for them, but the wrath of the world's governments has not come down on them since, for example, MadWiFi was open-sourced. Cellular Radiotelephone networks present a special case, not because of the RF, but due to the authentication requirements to prevent toll fraud.
Besides this, individual network operators also check out devices to be sure they behave on their networks before they commit to carrying them (for GSM).

One last thing, though: at least here in the USA, much of our GSM will disappear in 2016 when AT&T shuts down that network; T-Mobile USA has not given a date yet. Unfortunately, WCDMA--much less LTE in its various forms--is heavily patented worldwide, so getting a legal FOSS implementation of it is probably impossible at this time, so certs would be the least of your trouble: do you really want the likes of Qualcomm suing you into oblivion?

+ - Samsung is region-locking all handsets manufactured since July 2013->

Submitted by storkus
storkus (179708) writes "According to numerous sources, Samsung has been doing Hollyweird-style region locking on all its handsets manufactured since July 2013: it was first noticed on the Galaxy Note 3, but has since been discovered on other devices that are sufficiently new. There are now cracks available to (partially?) bypass it, but the big question is, "Why?" Samsung has partially back-tracked, but so far they have not given a real answer. Between the benchmark debacle, Galaxy Gear's poor reviews, and now this, will you be looking for something different this time around? (I know I will.)"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Every Day (Score 1) 410

by storkus (#44881039) Attached to: The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

As pointed out by others, the fax machine and ATM are modems I use now and then, but there's one that none of you caught that I use every day here at work (and a lot of places I shop): the credit card terminal. Like ATM's, they've been available for a while in IP versions, but there are a lot of dial-up ones around, including the one in our motel.

Comment: One word, er, acronym: LORAN (Score 2) 86

by storkus (#44528559) Attached to: Air Force Space Fence Being Shut Down

Remember what happened to it: instead of upgrading it to provide near-GNSS accuracy, they killed it, eliminating the only terrestrial nav/pos system outside of major airports and air traffic lanes. If we have another Carrington-size solar event or someone decides to deploy their satellite-killer missles/satellites/sharks-with-lasers/whatever, WE HAVE NO SAFETY NET for nav/pos as well as network synchronization!

They've already proven once they're willing to sacrifice the country's safety against outside forces (while simultaneously building up their off-, er, defensive capabilities against their own citizenry), so what makes you think they won't do it again?

Comment: Re:Define open source (Score 3, Informative) 86

by storkus (#44145479) Attached to: XenServer 6.2 Is Now Fully Open Source

Mod parent up: I searched for almost 15 minutes trying to find the exact "free software" license it was changed to, and failed. But, boy, finding how to use XenControl (which runs on winblows only, BTW) to "license" your server (apparently that's what Citrix calls a support contract now) is very easy; oh, and this "license" is per socket now rather than per machine.

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai