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Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 61 61

As a pilot, I cannot agree more. Some of the cockpit controls out there are downright obnoxious, especially for rotary wing.

I have a friend who is a Harrier jet pilot, and I have heard some horror stories on landing those on aircraft carriers.

Usually, we are told what *not* to do, and so unless explicitly forbidden (e.g., do not do X before this time), we will assume it will be alright. This is clearly an engineering and a documentation/training failure.

It's easy to blame the pilot, but if anything, he's a tragic victim of poor design.

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 1) 142 142

I've never had a keyboard phone fail

A beer spilled on my Treo 650, killing a couple of keys. I was able to buy a replacement keyboard off a random eBay seller and swap it in without much trouble (after which the phone was as good as new), but it was an annoyance all the same.

I suspect a newer touchscreen phone would've been less vulnerable to that kind of failure. Can't say that I've tested the theory yet, even though I usually have a beer in one hand and my phone in the other (to log the beer) whenever a beerfest is on.

Comment The hardware "ecosystem" depends on crap software (Score 3, Interesting) 276 276

I run a P4 3.8GHz single core system as my main desktop, even though I do development with it. Switching to a newer Core i5 system will make it run 10 times as fast, but as the runtime on my huge (tuned) code base is under 5 minutes already, it really won't save me *that* much time compared to *editing* the code. It will save on build time, which is a boon to me, but even that savings is only due to the nature of my build process -- I do full instead of incremental builds.

I do plan on buying a new machine in a few months when I've saved the money, but my main point is that the hardware we use has been "good enough" for a good decade. It is the crappy software the people shovel out that drives hardware upgrades nowadays, not the actual need for faster hardware.

So it is to the hardware manufacturer's benefit that as much software as possible be absolutely incompetently written crap so that people will buy the latest shiny-shiny because their old one is "too slow."

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 0) 491 491

Agree 100%.

The definition of "conspiracy" is: two or more people hiding their actions from one or more other people. (Like: surprise party; or, the mafia.)

Thus, if the government "classifies" something, it is a conspiracy by definition! They (one or more people) are hiding their actions from the public (one or more people).

So it's no stretch to say government conspires. Does government classify? Yes. Thus, government conspires.

Comment Blame the users: here's why (Score 2) 120 120

As usual, I prefer to blame the victims (us).

On a desktop personal computer, it would never occur to you to think "Oh, I just assume I'll get software maintenance from my ISP," and if anyone ever actually said that then you would point your finger at them and laugh and their over-the-top stupidity.

But change the form factor of the personal computer to handheld and suddenly we don't do the pointing and laughing. On the very face of it, it's JUST AS STUPID. So WTF?

Users are not exercising their common sense. They simply aren't. You can make excuses for not using common sense and explain why we did this very obviously stupid thing, but don't pretend it's not happening. Every morning you're getting up and putting a "kick me" sign on your back. You know that you're doing it and you know what consequences will invariably flow from it.

"I don't have any other signs to put on my back! All the signs on the market say 'kick me!'"

"Just because I wear a 'kick me' sign that doesn't mean anyone really has license to kick me! They shouldn't be doing that to me!"

Ok, go on and say those things. You even have some valid points, and the things you're saying might even be technically correct. But that doesn't mean you don't sound stupid, because you don't have not getting kicked in your requirements! WTF, people?!

Stop thinking of handhelds as some weird special case where ALL your experiences with software maintenance magically don't apply! THAT'S STUPID! So yeah, I'm a victim-blamer. You know when you buy your PC from your ISP or from a manufacturer who has a history of preventing maintenance, what's going to happen. And when people pretend they don't know the invariable consequences of buying PCs from ISPs, the stupidity takes on a flavor of dishonesty. Mmmm, yum!

Technology

Currently Quantum Computers Might Be Where Rockets Were At the Time of Goddard 103 103

schwit1 writes: If quantum computing is at the Goddard level that would be a good thing for quantum computing. This means that the major fundamental breakthrough that would put them over the top was in hand and merely a lot of investment, engineering and scaling was needed. The goal of being able to solve NP-hard or NP-Complete problems with quantum computers is similar to being able to travel to the moon, mars or deeper into space with rockets. Conventional flight could not achieve those goals because of the lack of atmosphere in space. Current computing seems like they are very limited in being able to tackle NP-hard and NP Complete problems. Although clever work in advanced mathematics and approximations can give answers that are close on a case by case basis.
Security

Air-Gapped Computer Hacked (Again) 79 79

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from Ben Gurion University managed to extract GSM signals from air gapped computers using only a simple cellphone. According to Yuval Elovici, head of the University’s Cyber Security Research Center, the air gap exploit works because of the fundamental way that computers put out low levels of electromagnetic radiation. The attack requires both the targeted computer and the mobile phone to have malware installed on them. Once the malware has been installed on the targeted computer, the attack exploits the natural capabilities of each device to exfiltrate data using electromagnetic radiation.
Security

Hacker Set To Demonstrate 60 Second Brinks Safe Hack At DEFCON 145 145

darthcamaro writes: Ok so we know that Chrysler cars will be hacked at Black Hat, Android will be hacked at DEFCON with Stagefright, and now word has come out that a pair of security researchers plan on bringing a Brinks safe onstage at DEFCON to demonstrate how it can be digitally hacked. No this isn't some kind of lockpick, but rather a digital hack, abusing the safe's exposed USB port. And oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that the new safe is running Windows XP either.
Open Source

Project IceStorm Passes Another Milestone: Building a CPU 102 102

beckman101 writes: FPGAs — specialized, high speed chips with large arrays of configurable logic — are usually highly proprietary. Anyone who has used one is familiar with the buggy and node-locked accompanying tools that FPGA manufacturers provide. Project IceStorm aims to change that by reverse-engineering some Lattice FPGAs to produce an open-source toolchain, and today it passed a milestone. The J1 open-source CPU is building under IceStorm, and running on real hardware. The result is a fairly puny microcontroller, but possibly the world's most open one.
NASA

Voyager's Golden Record For Aliens Now Available On SoundCloud 56 56

An anonymous reader writes: For years you've been able to listen to the sounds recorded on the golden records carried by the twin Voyager spacecraft online but NASA just made it a bit easier. The orginization just uploaded the recordings to SoundCloud. Now you can listen to a continuous stream of clips instead of clicking back and forth to hear the different tracks.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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