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Comment: Re:welcome to the big time (Score 1) 193

by tech10171968 (#46405429) Attached to: F-Secure: Android Accounted For 97% of All Mobile Malware In 2013

Have you never asked yourself why Android is getting all of these attacks, but you rarely (if ever) hear anything about Debian/Ubuntu/Red Hat/Arch/Slackware/whatever distro suffering the same fate? Are they not Linux OS's, too? In fact, I think it's Dalvik that's getting exploited rather than the kernel itself; I could be wrong but that's pretty much the biggest difference I see between the vanilla-variety distro and Android. I will admit that your point about running strange code from untrusted sources is 100% correct - that's going to eventually bite you in the ass regardless of the OS you're running.

TL;DR - If we're talking attack vectors then it might be helpful to remember that GNU/Linux != Dalvik/Linux

Comment: This is VERY common in the trucking industry... (Score 1) 1103

Trucking firms in the U.S., especially the larger companies, have handled payroll in this fashion for years. You get a card issued from ComData, TCH or some similar company. Not only does the card hold your paycheck (similar to a bank card with direct deposit but without the account), it's also necessary for refueling at most major truck stops (don't worry; the diesel doesn't come out of your paycheck, the card's just for authorization and tracking purposes). You can also get an advance of a limited amount toward your next paycheck. It sort of works like a combination fuel card/debit card and can be quite convenient.

The big problem with all this, of course, is that the fees for checking your balance or withdrawing money from an ATM can be ridiculously high; I've personally seen some people spend up to a quarter of their checks on transaction fees alone (I'm truly not making that up). That's why a smart driver will immediately opt for direct deposit into his own bank account; you have no choice as far as accepting the company's card (you need it for refueling) but you don't have to volunteer for the repeated ass-raping you receive for actually using it for your own finances. Shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but some of these drivers "need help". Seriously.

Comment: Re:Treaties (Score 4, Informative) 154

by tech10171968 (#42286099) Attached to: US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

FTFA: "Some countries at the table, however, have submitted proposals that would also give the UN some power when it comes to Internet regulation, which the U.S. and other countries oppose. Ambassador Kramer has been speaking out against the Internet component of the treaty since before the conference started on Dec. 3, but more than a week later, they are still included in a draft that's on the table."

Maybe you missed that part. Seems the countries opposing this (no, not just the "evil" US) are doing so precisely because no one actually "owns" the internet as it stands now. The second we allow a governing body, *ANY* governing body, to do so is the second we start seeing people get censored by tin-pot dictators wishing to cover up the evidence while committing all sorts of atrocities against their own people - and, yes, that goes for the US as well. If you look at quite a few of the countries who back this treaty (China and Russia are two of them), it's easy to come up with a list of folks who'd love nothing more than to narrow down the avenues through which information gets out, and for some pretty nefarious reasons.

I think the only reason you were modded "+5 Insightful" was because of your anti-American rant, not due to actual logic.

Comment: Re:Some Suggestions (Score 1) 208

1) Lots of natural light, ideally a corner room with lots of windows. You'll also need at least one of those magnifying lamps.

2) Deep benches, at least forty inches, this is because your test equipment will take up at least a foot of space at the rear.

3) Lots and lots of mains sockets, you'll never have enough. Wire the power through a residual current circuit breaker and a big red emergency stop switch. Make sure your family and other people around know where that emergency switch is.

4) Four channel scope, signal generator, lab power supply (0-40V 5A) with a couple of channels, a second fixed power supply with 12V, 5V and 3.3V outputs and a bench multimeter. DON'T buy cheap, it's better to get a good second hand unit than a piece of cheap Far-East test gear. I like Hameg but I know that opinions will differ here.

5) Anti-static mat and wrist strap.

6) Lots and lots of storage for parts, as with mains sockets you'll never have enough storage.

7) Decent tools, as with the test equipment don't buy cheap. I'm still using some tools that I bought twenty years ago.

8) A set of drawers underneath your workbench for storing your tools. The plastic inserts that go inside kitchen drawers will help keep things in order.

9) A burglar alarm and a lock on your workshop door. All this lot is expensive and you don't want it to vanish and reappear on Ebay.

10) Air conditioning and/or heating depending on your location. Equipment calibration will drift in temperature extremes and the standard of your work will suffer.

Ganty

The anti-static mat (floor and desk) and wriststraps are often overlooked but are of extereme importance. Nothing puts a damper on your day like frying an expensive IC because you didn't take basic precautions.

Also, look into getting some good ventilation in your workshop; between the chemicals you're using to clean circuit boards and the soldering/desoldering you'll be doing, there's going to be a lot of fumes around your workbench.

Comment: Re:Advice from a trucker (Score 1) 365

by tech10171968 (#41232991) Attached to: Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

Programmed yourself?

What's the current cpm in the industry? I haven't driven in four years, but from the ads I hear on XMRadio and on the backs of trucks, wages have been stagnant.

The software's not my invention; a Google search will turn up the names of several manufacturers for logbook apps (even the iPhone/iPad had one!) Yeah, wages haven't really moved since you were in the truck; this fact, plus the new CSA rules making it harder for a trucker to actually stay eligible, means that a driver shortage is looming in our future (some say it's already here).

Comment: Re:Advice from a trucker (Score 1) 365

by tech10171968 (#41221099) Attached to: Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

The low rent version of 'spam in a can'. My brother referred to my truck as 'a prison cell on wheels'. Who do you drive for? Last I was driving, only Werner had an approved electronic/computer log. I think USX was brewing up something.

I drive for USA Truck, but the logbook software was my idea.

Comment: Advice from a trucker (Score 5, Informative) 365

by tech10171968 (#41212505) Attached to: Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

I'm not an RV'er but, since the economy chased me out of my Unix sysadmin gig, I resorted to putting food on the table by becoming a freight jockey (it was also a nice change of pace). When you're on the road for 26 days out of the month (as well as single with no children) shelling out rent for an apartment is kind of a moot point, so I literally live in the truck. Wifi on the road is really no big deal anymore, especially since most major truck stops, hotels, and even quite a few interstate rest areas now have hotspots.

That being said, there are a few things I do to make online life a little easier for a road warrior:

(1) As I already mentioned, many of your typical diesel stops are going to have wifi but the network can get pretty crowded at times. Some of the best times to use wifi at these facilities is 9 am to 5 pm, when most of your competition is going to be on the road instead of hogging up the bandwidth.

(2) The signal coverage in the places can also be a little spotty: one corner of the lot may have wonderful signal strength but another can absolutely suck. If you can, park so that you can have a clear line of sight to the building in which the antenna is located. Also, try not to put the fuel islands between you and the building if it can be helped; you can go from a really good connection to being knocked offline because somebody's Peterbilt pulled in to the fuel lane at the wrong time.

(3) Many of the wifi hotspots in these stops are managed with OpenDNS and certain websites will be blocked (namely, anything having to do with torrents).

(4) Wifi obviously won't be available everywhere you stop. If you often find yourself in the middle of nowhere (like me) then consider getting something like Verizon's MiFi or Fivespot devices. Verizon's plans seem to be better for heavy users but, if all you do is surf or check email, then there are probably cheaper plans around.

(5) One of the best investments I've made was a wifi repeater with an externally-mounted antenna. A typical trailer is about 13'6" (4.5 meters) in height; when all the diesel jockeys park it for the night there's going to be a awful lot of metal for your signal to try to get through.

(6) I often use my laptop for trip planning as well as keeping my DOT logs via an approved logbook application, so my machine is often running while I'm driving (but I do keep both hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road). Don't know about RV's but trucks bounce around a lot; as you can imagine, this repeated shock-testing can't be very good for the condition of your laptop. If you're going to be doing something similar then I highly suggest getting a laptop stand which bolts to the seat (the seats are usually equipped with "air-ride" shock absorbers and can greatly reduce the constant jarring experienced while driving).

Comment: Re:Where's the Work? (Score 1) 348

by tech10171968 (#38246968) Attached to: MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

The speed limit is the maximum allowed speed, but if the vehicle or external factors make that speed dangerous, you really shouldn't be driving that fast when, for instance, approaching an intersection.

Sorry, still doesn't explain shortened yellow-light times. And thanks for the lesson, but I'm pretty sure I know that already; I log about 100K to 120K miles each year. How long would it take you to reach that level of practice, 10 years (considering the average motorist drives about 15,000 miles per year - the average trucker does close to that in a month)?

Comment: Re:Where's the Work? (Score 1) 348

by tech10171968 (#38246944) Attached to: MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

The reason that trunk front brakes in the USA have been historically weak is that the drivers disable them to save money on brake and tire wear. The new rules will simply require them to discontinue this dangerous practice.

And where are you getting this information? Disabling brakes has nothing to do with this: it's more of a matter of physics, actually. Remember, we are talking about a vehicle that weighs 40 tons when fully loaded. It's going to take some distance to stop something with that much mass. Also, nobody disables their brakes; what you are hearing about is drivers using the trolley brake (which is a lever-operated brake on the dash and operates the trailer brakes only).

Comment: Re:Where's the Work? (Score 5, Interesting) 348

by tech10171968 (#38229158) Attached to: MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

...As for the 15% error, did anyone consider cargo?...

THANK YOU!!! As an economic refugee of the "Great Recession", I ended up driving a tractor-trailer for a living - and wound up learning a few things along the way. One interesting fact I've learned is that a fully loaded (80,000 lbs) semi moving at 55 mph can take up to 300 ft to come to a complete stop (think about that next time you want to "brake-check" a truck...). I have, unfortunately, run across traffic lights in which the yellow phase was, for some strange reason, really short- even if the the semi is traveling the legal speed limit. This is not a situation you want to be in: your choices often boil down to:


(1) Stand on the brake in order to not run the impending red light (remember that 300-foot stopping distance? By the time you get stopped, your trailer in squarely in the middle of the intersection. And that's if you don't jackknife and end up wiping out 5 or 6 cars along the way).

(2) Run the light (Yes, it's going to be red by the time you hit it, meaning you will almost certainly incur the wrath of any red-light camera or nearby cop - but see option 1 for the alternative scenario)


This is probably the number two reason I try to avoid surface streets when possible (reason number one being the preponderance of infrastructure not exactly designed with a 75-ft long, nearly 14-ft high vehicle in mind). I figure any traffic engineer worth his salt is going to take these factors into consideration; a failure to do so is going to inevitably invite the occurance of an 18-wheeled clusterfuck and all that comes with it (major property damage, potential loss of life, etc).

Comment: Re:The hiss is where it hides (Score 4, Insightful) 849

by tech10171968 (#30139430) Attached to: Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?
This could also have something to do with the way a lot of albums are mixed these days. Unfortunately, it seems that many studios are compressing the hell out of the music; I guess it has more to do with music industry execs thinking that their acts need to be louder to keep from being drowned out on the radio by the competition (who are also compressing their music into oblivion). I'm no audiophile but I abhor the practice; it has the effect of making the music come out of the speakers like a 747 on full throttle.

The bandwidth "ceiling" also has the deplorable effect of not giving the tracks room to "breath"; certain otherwise audible higher frequencies can get "lost in the sauce" (listen to an older recording and you'll hear the difference). The result is often akin to the difference between quietly closing a door and slamming it.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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