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Comment: Re:Nope they are clever (Score 4, Informative) 299

by tlhIngan (#47936811) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

And Google isn't? I thought Android won? Face it, they don't bother with talking to anyone, they just expect them to come to them to beg working with them because they are so fucking awesome. And if they do, they abandon them after a couple of years because Google refocuses.

The problem with Google's implementation is that Google wants to be the payment provider. This is "better" in some ways because it means more flexible funding schemes (Apple requires Visa, MasterCard or American Expess). However, it has a major downside - Google is now a major participant in your transactiona because the retailer charges Google, and Google charges your payment provider, so now Google gets the details of your transaction, which depending on the retailer can include what item you actually bought.

The other downside is it means Google has to work with every payment system out there to get them to accept Google Wallet as a valid payment mechanism.

Apple's method means it works anywhere that accepts contactless Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards. Because Apple Pay appears to the retailer as a regular credit card so retailers have to do zero effort. Google Wallet makes it so they have to sign up with new payment providers and all that to specially take Google Wallet.

Use Apple Pay and Apple doesn't know about the transaction as it's a more standard credit card transaction that's handled between banks.

As for NFC restricted to Apple Pay? That's iOS 8. It most likely means the APIs for it are far from stable and/or Apple doesn't have a good way of handling events in NFC under the current security architecture. iOS9 can easily change it.

it's just like TouchID - last year it was only for bypassing the PIN and for iTunes purchases. In iOS8 it's allowed to be used for third party authentication in apps. You can bet iOS9 will have NFC APIs for app use.

Comment: Re:Same old (Score 1) 117

by tlhIngan (#47936679) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

Seems like once or twice a year, People discover phase encoding. Promises of narrow bandwidth and high transmission rate are so tempting.
And just to really get people excited, you can give the signal another "twist", and another, and another - "HEY! It looks like we can achieve infinite bandwidth!!"

Or... how people keep trying to outwit Shannon.

And they fail (after all, that theorem states the maximum achievable data rate using any kind of whimsical encoding you can dream up including ideal given a bandwidth limited channel and a SNR). We can go lower than it (and often do) but it's the theoretical maximum and it hasn't been proven wrong yet.

All that a new encoding or modulation scheme gets you is closer to the maximum.

And it's dependent on SNR - 2.5m in a basement is quite a bit different if you extend it to 5m because your signal is going to get attenuated some. (schemes like beamforming and MIMO get around it - beamforming to increase SNR, and MIMO to increase the number of channels available).

Comment: Re:Flash and Silverlight (Score 2) 59

by tlhIngan (#47936579) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

With a Linux desktop you don't need to know more about computers than a typical Windows user yet have a safer environment.

Not really.

Most malware these days are of the "honor virus" kind - user wants to do X, and they google how to do X. Some YouTube video comes up and says you need to install packages A, B, C, then use A to do D, E, F, use B to do G, H, I, and then C will help you do X. Bingo!

What the video did NOT say was D and E require setting your password to "password" or that C is a daemon you run as root, and can kill it after. So now you have your password set as password (they didn't tell you to reset it back), and an unnecessary root-running daemon.

Linux is no safer, to be honest. Because you can easily tell a user to do "sudo rm -rf --no-preserve-root /", enter their password and then do a bunch of other stuff.

Hell, since UAC times, most malware runs in userspace, and you have full access to the user's event queue.

Comment: Re:NoScript (Score 2) 36

by tlhIngan (#47931961) Attached to: eBay Redirect Attack Puts Buyers' Credentials At Risk

It would be much easier to use NoScript if web sites stopped requiring JavaScript or at least stopped using scripts hosted on other web sites.

And stopped hosting content on their own websites on other domains.

I mean, is there a real advantage that amazon's images are hosted on amazon-images.com rather than amazon.com? Or static eBay stuff on ebaystatic.com ? (And nevermind Google's 1e100.net).

Is there some distinct advantage, or is it a case of "IT won't get us what we need, so we set up an alternate website on our own dime" ?

I mean, amazon-images.com vs. images.amazon.com, or ebaystatic.com vs. static.ebay.com ? I know domains are basically free, but still...

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 3, Interesting) 96

by tlhIngan (#47931915) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

All that experience can be accumulated hundreds of times faster in digital where you can see immediate results. Tomorrow's experts will be more expert than yesterday's experts, just as the 20th century saw huge leaps in athletic performance such as running and swimming races, weight lifting records, etc. There are also thousands of artists today that equal the top handful of masters of old times, it simply isn't acknowledge because it is subjective, and appreciation is inherently relative, in the same way people love 60's sports cars even though they are actually slow and poor-handling.

Actually, there's something to be said about the "old way". Where it took days from when you took your photo to when you got it back.

It meant you had to work at your shot - you had to compose it perfectly, get the exposure right and all the other stuff. Then click the frame.

If you were good, you didn't take extra shots "just in case". You knew that after waiting the few days for the photo to come back, it'll be good.

Today's digital camera? Just click away mindlessly until it comes out right. Trial and error. Just snap snap snap. You know the drill - after that trip you come back with 10,000 snaps, and then filter out through the whole lot to find the few that are keepers. Because the rest would be garbage.

Which approach is better? Hard to tell. Though truth be told, equipment actually doesn't matter. National Geographic photographers have intentionally gone on trips equipped with nothing more than an iPhone and still take stunning photos using nothing more than the default camera app.

Comment: Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 1) 202

by tlhIngan (#47930449) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

That drive me up the wall. Why have an entry level phone? the manufacturing costs between 16 and 64 is tiny. Why support some many phone types? just make 1 64GB phone.

And I ask the in earnest. What data support the cost of different lines vs/ the cost of all of them being 64GB?

it's really all about segmentation and choice (or lack thereof).

16GB is not enough, but it's there to give you a nice price point to hook a customer in. Then you can explain to them would you want more space - 4 times as much for just $100 to go from 16 to 64.

And remember, back when it as 16/32/64, people complained about the $100 increments as being too profit-making going from 16 to 32.

At least 16/64/128 seems to offer more "value" for the $100.

And yes, consumer studies have shown that splitting the lines like this makes the middle choice far more likely - i.e., given the choice, people would chose the 64GB model - it's not a lot more money over the 16GB, but it offers a reasonably amount of space.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 2) 108

by tlhIngan (#47927779) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

and if you really want to feel safe, dont think about how they work long high tempo hours outdoors for an average of 9 bucks an hour (typical low wage physical labor job).

Pilots don't have it much better either - starting wages are only around $20K or so after graduating and spending easily twice that learning to fly. The "sweet life" is getting the six figure salary and left seat on heavy metal on routes that are convenient for you, but it can take 10-20 years to get that far, while for the most part, when you start out it's shit routes at shit times for basically shit pay. And don't talk about airline mergers - when your pay is related to number of years AT THE COMPANY (and not experience), there's generally huge fights as to how people are ranked in seniority. And yes, it could easily mean pay cuts.

Hell, until recent FAA rule changes (that have yet to be rolled out in other countries), your "duty day" doesn't start until you basically start prepping for a flight. It doesn't matter that to get to your flight you had to ride standby and commute 4+ hours waking up at 3AM for a 1PM flight and having your day end at 1AM the next day because you had a few layover hours.

A few air disasters later traceable to pilot fatigue has caused the FAA to change the rules on duty day calculations.

So your flight might still be "legal" with respect to duty day requirements for that airline, but the pilot could easily be pushing 20 hours awake.

Comment: Re:Does not depend on country. Stupid is all over. (Score 1) 227

by tlhIngan (#47927597) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I'd say Apple was like that during the Jobs era - Jobs' tantrums are rather famous, and he's one of the assholes that got stuff done.

Maybe his RDF helped couch that fear into a positive by turning into energy to move you forward (Jobs hated behind handed crap, especially if he knew you could do better so your fear of handing him crap made you a better coder by raising your expectations).

Maybe.

All we know now is since Tim Cook knows he can't be an asshole and get stuff done, FDD has relaxed somewhat.

Comment: Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (Score 1) 264

by tlhIngan (#47927499) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Indeed, you are being judged by the clothes you wear. This is something I had to learn back in high school when I had to go for my first job interview. It is all about the first impression and regardless of what you know, it will be formed before you even speak. It is tragic that regardless of what you know, it is how you look like that makes the most difference :-(.

Alas, that is human nature and there is no changing that. At some point one has to give up on idealism and just accept that certain realities of society are just not-nogotiable. I guess developers are one unique group that can get away with since they can work from home and avoid seeing clients.

Depends on the developer. Some like the self-employed or entrepreneurial must have suits at the ready because you must communicate a "professional" appearance to a client if you want their business.

Developers who really want to be locked away from customers do exist, but they're generally locked away and forgotten about - treated no better than common factory workers where dress code is more optional. Those who interface with customers often have to dress "better" - maybe not a full suit, but a shirt, pants or slacks and maybe even a tie. Basically just one position above t-shirt and shorts.

Though apparently some social studies have come to a conclusion that you ARE what you wear - people were given a lab coat and asked to perform some puzzles. When they were told the coat was a painter's coat, they performed OK. When they were told it was a doctor's coat, they performed measurably better.

There's also a cultural issue - in many cultures, a suit is standard attire and not wearing one puts you in an automatic lower social class, which can be problematic if you want to be treated as an equal. Likewise, there are many instances where a suit is just a collection of clothes that make people in general "look good" and where if your job doesn't have you getting dirty, you're expected to wear it.

Comment: Re:My Guess (Score 2, Informative) 184

SpaceX will make $2.6 Billion do way cooler stuff than $4.2 Billion to Boeing. SpaceX is a young, hungry company that is on the forefront of multiple industries. Boeing, while still a great company, is older an no doubt bogged down in more levels of bureaucracy.

Perhaps. I suppose one reason is that SpaceX will be doing a very cutting edge design with little baggage to hold it back. Boeing will do a much more conservative design.

Then the two will be compared to each other to see how well they compare and to basically foster competition to make both designs better or lead to a Boeing-SpaceX collaboration to take the best parts of both.

Either way, it's a great decision to go both ways because SpaceX will do things Boeing will never think of, while Boeing will do things that SpaceX never even considered.

Comment: Re:Mixed units (Score 3, Informative) 63

by tlhIngan (#47921799) Attached to: Micron Releases 16nm-Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming

Stupid Slashdot can't even display UTF8 correctly. That was supposed to read "16um".

Thanks for nothing, "nerds" website. We're in 2014, get with the damn program instead of fucking about with your stupid beta layout.

/. displays Unicode just fine. And it has for over a decade.

The problem was back then people were abusing that functionality to screw with everything. If you google "site:slashdot.org erocS" that gives hints of what people were doing. If you don't get what that string is, try "5:erocS".

As a result, /. implemented a Unicode whitelist because they keep adding all sorts of stuff to Unicode.

Comment: Re:False Headline (Score 2) 190

by tlhIngan (#47920905) Attached to: Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

He said they cannot read iMessage and FaceTime, and they are not reading your email. That is a very important distinction. It might be one he was hoping you would miss, and you did miss it, but he did not say they can't access your email.

It makes sense really because he'd be lying if he said he can't access your email.

Because using me.com or icloud.com email? Well damn, that's standard email and I'm fairly certain even if Apple uses SSL, it's standard IMAP or POP protocols, and it's delivered to Apple in plaintext unless you externally encrypt.

Because if Apple could come up with a way to handle email that comes in plaintext and somehow fail to be able to read it, then it's a technology Apple could make money on selling to privacy advocates.

iMessage/FaceTime are Apple-designed and encrypted with user keys and other stuff. It's possible to design a protocol where Apple couldn't recover it even under threat of contempt because at no time is it in plaintext at Apple.

But email? Anyone who sais they can't read it is lying, not just Apple. Short of applying encryption on your message, as far as Apple is concerned, SMTP delivers messages in the clear, optionally wrapped in encryption just for transport. But forwarding it on to the right mailbox etc., it's plain text.

Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 1) 319

by tlhIngan (#47920793) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

I haven't bought music through iTunes yet, so I'm hardly an expert, but it seems to me that if I were to PURCHASE music through a DOWNLOAD service, I would want to "download new purchases". It seems, then, that this would be the normal and expected setting - unless perhaps one expects to purchase on cell data service and then download later on wifi? in which case it would seem the better solution would be an option in the service to only download big files while connected on wifi, but I know Apple doesn't seem to care about little things like how much you spend (after all, you bought an Apple product, you want coolness!)

Well, there are two things.

First, there's a global "allow downloads over 3G" flag that's unset by default because well, you may not want to use your data connection.

Second, there's a "download purchases" flag that's dependent on iCloud.

The first controls whether or not you want to use your data connection for immediate download. So if you buy an app/book/tv show/movie/song, and you're on 3G, then it will queue it up for download later. If it's set, it will immediately download it.

The second is when you buy same SOMEWHERE ELSE. So if you use iTunes on your PC and buy an album, then all devices with the flag set (it's unset by default) will also automatically download the album and you'll have it at the ready. So you can buy a song/album/tv show/movie/book on your PC, take your device and it'll be there if the flag is set (and if it can download it - wifi or if enabled, 3G. After all, if you disallow 3G downloads, it would be a bug to download over 3G).

What happened here is Apple marked it as "purchased" and people who had the auto-download flag set started automatically downloading the album (over WiFi or if configured, 3G). And then complained because it worked as advertised.

Apple couldn't push it to you or force you to download it. They just marked it as if you bought it already. And that was something all download services have - they could add/remove stuff from your purchased list.

The only way Apple "pushed" it is if you had auto-download enabled in which case it worked as advertised - you "bought" the album "somewhere else" and it dutifully saw that it needs to get it.

The flag is off by default because you could easily find a smaller device filled full of purchases of anything.

Comment: Re:Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 3, Informative) 93

by tlhIngan (#47920609) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

As an embedded-systems guy, I'd _love_ to have a Unix-like where I could schedule events that were guaranteed-by-design to fire within some deadline of when they were scheduled. Then I could host my once-per-kHz hardware service routines on the same processor that was also running my device's web-server.

Minix's microkernel architecture seems like an ideal fit for that kind of use case. If there are any Minix devs reading this thread, how easy would it be for me to make a system like that using Minix?

Your requirements mean you want a Real Time operating system - one that guarantees execution of a interrupt or other thing within a fixed deadline.

If your deadline is a do-or-die thing, you have a hard-real-time requirement (i.e., it's a failure if you're late, period). if your deadline is more of a "well, please try not to, but under exceptional cases you can be a bit late" then it's firm real-time, and if it's "well, try not to be late, but it's OK if you are" then it's a soft real-time requirement.

(Note: general purpose OSes often do run tasks that do have hard or soft realtime requirements. E.g., responding to a keyboard is generally a soft-to-firm realtime requirement - the user types something and generally expects a prompt response or the system will seem "slow". A hard realtime requirement would be playing back audio where failure to prepare a new block of audio results in a pop/skip/burp of the audio. Or back in the old days, burning a CD. If you didn't keep the buffers full, you'd be out a disc).

Of course, a RTOS guarantees the deadline regardless of load.

And there are a few that are POSIX compliant - QNX for one. There's also RTLinux which runs Linux as a general task within a realtime framework. I'm not sure if RedHat still maintains it, but eCos was an RTOS as well.

And yes, RTOSes are capable of that - handling a 1kHz process plus a webserver at general processing - the RTOS knows it needs to service that task at 1kHz and will pre-empt the webserver as required.

Time sharing: The use of many people by the computer.

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