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Comment Re:Copyright (Score 4, Informative) 165

I wonder if this is even legal?

It's technically legal to produce the basic bricks, since the applicable patents expired in 1989. As for trademarked Lego properties (like the mini-figures, for example) or any which are covered by more recent patents, you can still get away with it as long as you're only producing toys for personal use, and make no attempt to sell them.

But back to the OP's topic: The feasibility of making Lego compatible bricks with cheap 3D printers isn't actually the only question that you're going to have to face; you also need to take into account materials cost. Sure, the "Ultimaker 3D Printer" itself is quite expensive at US $2K -- but even if you gave up on cheaper options and decided to cough up that chunk of change, you also have to keep in mind that the plastic filament to feed the beast also costs money, to the tune of $20 to $80 per spool, depending upon what you're doing. On top of that, not every "printed" component comes out quite right... so you're likely to blow plenty of cash on ultimately wasted filament. Mind you, there are also so many other really cool things you could do with a 3D printer, besides making Lego bricks... but those things will just require that much more filament, and ultimately accomplish the opposite of your stated goal, that of saving money.

So the bottom line is, if you're going to get into 3D printing at all, you really need to do it "for the love of the game" as they say, not to save money. If all you want is cheaper Lego compatible bricks... then you'll probably be better off in the long run just buying generic brand bricks.

Comment Re:Conflicting goals (Score 1) 172

The majority of users will never go that far. ...

By the simple act of reading Slashdot, you've already placed yourself in the minority of users who are more likely to go that far. Know your audience; I specifically tailored my comment to this audience. But let's come back around to that at the end. First, I'd like to address this:

... So if you are going to do such a thing, first go over the fine print. Also be sure that you not want to use the service anywhere else, as that would make you a hypocrite. ...

This is a judgement call. Personally, I don't think you can assume that someone is a hypocrite just because they take measures to reclaim the internet connection they paid for, even if that person does take advantage of the service outside of their home network. I offered an example of a Superbowl party next door, but there could easily be any number of other justifications for taking such actions, perhaps even including paranoia over the previously mentioned copyright/porn issues.

But take this scenario as alternative example: Your next door neighbor and you both have Comcast. Your neighbor is a heavy BitTorrent user, and routinely saturates his own connection to the point where it's entirely unusable for anything else. You happen to know this because you were sipping tea on your back deck, and overheard him griping to his best bud over brews in his backyard, about how annoying it is that he can't play online games without first killing all of his torrents... and his bud advises him to just shift that torrent traffic over to a neighbor's WiFi connection. You sit silently out of sight as they go back inside, but you're actually fuming, and thinking to yourself, "Wait... that's me! WTF?!?"

The following day, your connection totally craps out... so he presumably followed his bud's advice. And being the intelligent Slashdot reading geek that you are, you promptly secure your network. Nothing at all hypocritical about it.

Or, to rephrase your earlier statement: the majority of users (even Slashdot reading geeks) will never go that far -- unless an adverse situation arises. Personally, I'm currently not affected by this issue, as I have Verizon FiOS, and (to my knowledge) Verizon has not yet implemented such a feature... but if I ever do find myself in such an adverse situation, you can bet that I won't feel the least bit guilty about cutting off access to whoever is leaching off of my connection.

Comment Re:Conflicting goals (Score 5, Informative) 172

How will ISPs help enforce copyright laws if they don't know who is using your router?

Wouldn't that be a problem when your neighbor has child pr0n on his box?

These are both misunderstandings based upon Juniper's misuse of the term "public wifi hotspot". These hotspots are not usually public, strictly speaking; they are only accessible to other customers of the internet provider, and each of those users have to log into the hotspot with their carrier provided account in order to use it. Thus, their network activity can (theoretically) be tracked back to them, based upon their login credentials.

Another concern often voiced is the notion of random people taking up all of your bandwidth: This is addressed by the simple fact that the providers are all perfectly capable of serving significantly more bandwidth then the (insert-your bandwidth limit here) that you're paying for. However, what that doesn't address is collisions and QoS measures... so one or more customers of your provider, all connecting through your router for some weird reason, (such as a Superbowl party at your neighbor's house, for example) could theoretically establish so many simultaneous connections, as to make it seem like they've saturated all of your bandwidth... when really, they've just maxed out the thread count on the router. The solution to this scenario is not entirely intuitive -- but there is indeed a solution:

First, don't assume that you can trust the configuration software on the provider's router. If they've decided that they want to use their hardware as a hotspot, they'll eventually figure out how to leave "public" access turned on, even if you attempt to turn wifi off entirely. So instead, just disconnect the wifi antenna from the provider's router. If the antenna is internal or otherwise cannot be physically disconnected, then just Faraday cage the heck out of that thing, with multiple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and cardboard. Once you've verified that no wireless signals can reach the provider's router, you can safely configure (and properly secure) your own personal router, on the inside of your network.

Comment Pro Tip... (Score 1) 66

It is actually possible to delete an app without deleting the associated data -- it's just not particularly user friendly, as it requires a full device backup-and-restore operation. In short: perform a backup of all device data to a computer* (as opposed to iCloud). Then, find the synced copy of the problematic app binary on your computer -- likely, buried somewhere within the iTunes Media folder. Delete that binary from your computer -- but not from the iOS device -- perform a full wipe of the iOS device, and restore from the backup you just made. iTunes will be unable to reinstall the app itself for you, but it will restore the data associated with that app. Then, simply re-download a fresh copy of the app from the App Store, and you should be good-to-go, with no data loss.

* Note that I've only personally tested this procedure on a Mac; it's possible that some steps are slightly different on Windows based computers.

Comment Re:Jailbreak == security vulnerability (Score 1) 69

Except this particular vulnerability has precisely nothing to do with jailbreaking. To the contrary, it's a flaw with Apple's own way for enterprise customers to install unapproved apps. ...

While your first sentence is reasonable, (but strictly speaking, does not actually negate anything I said, aside from implying a minimization of the relevancy of my comment) your second sentence is technically incorrect: The enterprise certs are working exactly as they were intended. The real issue is that a malicious entity happened to obtain access to such certs. So the questions are: How did they obtain the certs? And how can Apple prevent future compromises of this nature?

If we apply Hanlon's Razor, I'd think it's a pretty good bet that the malicious entity simply signed up for the developer program, themselves. Thus, the easiest way that Apple could stop that from happening in the future is to increase developer fees, which would unfortunately also have the negative side effect of locking out smaller iOS developers entirely. Finding the threshold at which malicious entity interest is minimized, while also minimizing the discouragement of legitimate small developers, is obviously a calculated balancing act... but will never be entirely foolproof. The fact that this kind of malicious act has only been reported this once suggests that Apple has a pretty clear idea of what they're doing.

In any case, it seems pretty clear that Apple has already revoked the certs and suspended the developer account in question, so this particular hack is effectively in the clean-up phase now.

(The rest of your response just sounds to me like the usual soapbox "Apple bad! Big business bad! They're all out to get the little guy!" commentary, so I seriously doubt that anything I could say is going to dissuade you from your point of view. Suffice to say, we'll just have to agree to disagree.)

Comment Jailbreak == security vulnerability (Score 4, Insightful) 69

Every now and then, I read a comment from someone about how Apple must "hate" the jailbreakers, because they keep closing off the flaws which make jailbreaks possible. The reality -- as effectively demonstrated in this instance -- is that the flaws which allow jailbreaks also just happen to open your phone up to malware. Apple is far more concerned with what a malicious entity might do to their customer base through these flaws, then with what the jailbreakers are doing to their own phones. Would, that more people understood this.

Comment Doing it wrong... (Score 1) 51

... Now they are launching a Kickstarter campaign because they need a bigger space.

No, they don't need a "bigger" space; they just need to recreate themselves within the worlds which they celebrate. That is to say, create a virtual museum using the Unreal Engine, and then release it on every platform that supports UE. You'd be guaranteed to increase your audience dramatically.

To wit: eat your own dog food, as they say.

Comment Re:So, they invented... (Score 1) 96

There actually is a market for such devices in the real world. ...

While you may be correct on that minor point, you skipped over my primary point entirely: If the government had a need for such things, then the tech almost certainly already exists in some form, as the idea has itself existed for decades in fictional representations. And we're not talking about Star Trek futuristic technologies here, either; it wouldn't be terribly difficult to literally pack small amounts of plastic explosives alongside (or even inside) the microchips in those critical technologies that you mentioned. So why did the PARC researchers need to investigate this topic in the first place? Unless they're just trying to build a better mouse trap...

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