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Comment Re:Moral authority (Score 4, Informative) 547

Yes. This particular incident comes from the fact that the majority of people (according to polls) do agree that equality is a good thing and that gay people should be allowed to marry and adopt children.

However, the church disagrees, and because they have a government-given monopoly on defining marriage, there's a bit of a crisis now.

(You can kind of get a marriage-like thing from the government, but it's legally not the same thing.)

Comment Re:It's True. (Score 1) 239

Do not forget the EHB - Extra Halfbrite Mode, in which you have 32 colors (5 bitplanes) and then a sixth bit which halves the colour intensity, so that you get 64 colors, though you can only choose freely 32 of them.

I wrote an image processing program which had fairly good RGB -> HAM & HAM8 conversion routines. If someone's curious to see how that is managed in practice, the code is here (GPL):

Histogram conversion:
https://svn.ecyrd.com/repos/PPT/trunk/palette.c

Palette mapping:
https://svn.ecyrd.com/repos/PPT/trunk/colormap.c

Comment Re:Useless (Score 1) 76

But once you learn Qt, you can use the same skillset and nearly the same toolchain to target Mac, Windows, Linux DESKTOPS in addition to Symbian, Meego/Maemo and Windows Mobile. So you can release a few slots from your memory like Carbon or Microsoft classes to learn Qt ;-)

Comment Re:... for a given antenna and receiver sensitivit (Score 3, Informative) 35

Yes, but e.g. ISO 14443 RFID passive responses (e.g. the ones used in ICAO-specified RFID passports and paypass cards) very quickly go below ambient background noise, in effect limiting even the theoretical range to 1-2 m for all but most exotic radio-noise free environments.

Passive RFID is only half-radio, really. ;-)

Security

Submission + - Hack breaks WPA in about a minute (yahoo.com) 2

Death Metal writes: "Computer scientists in Japan say they've developed a way to break the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in about one minute.

The attack gives hackers a way to read encrypted traffic sent between computers and certain types of routers that use the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption system. The attack was developed by Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University and Masakatu Morii of Kobe University, who plan to discuss further details at a technical conference set for Sept. 25 in Hiroshima."

Operating Systems

Submission + - Nokia releases Linux handset (nokia.com)

galaxy writes: "Nokia releases their first Linux mobile handset, the N900. The handset is based on the latest release of Maemo, the Nokia mobile Linux platform, and includes e.g. GSM and 3G access (with HSPA, giving datarates of up to 10Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink on suitable networks), WLAN, Bluetooth, camera, assisted GPS and, most importantly, a touchscreen complemented by a hardware QWERTY under a slider. The beast is powered by anARM Cortex-A8 processor at 600 MHz, has PowerVR SGX with OpenGL ES 2.0 support, 32GB internal memory etc."

Comment Re:Arbitrary (Score 1) 354

SMSs can be concatenated to form bigger SMSs. I routinely send SMS messages of more than 140 characters, but am obviously charged for multiple SMS messages in that case. However, neither the sender nor recipient notice this aside from a small counter in the top-hand corner of my Nokia phone which says how many SMS messages it takes to carry it.

Twitter's 140 char limit is fairly arbitrary, as evidenced by the likes of Brightkite, Facebook and other ublogging services.

Comment Re:Tinfoil is the answer. Seriously! (Score 1) 251

Yes, correct. Some of the passports out there already provide ATR randomization providing random anticollision IDs for each query, so there's no unique data which can be used to identify the passport.

Unfortunately this is not widely used yet, though in all honesty, following your cell phone IMEI or Bluetooth code is far easier than trying to read the passport anticol id - you need a really large and expensive infrastructure in order to have any sort of massive tracking capability for this near field RFID...

Comment Re:Bring out the T I N F O I L ! (Score 1) 251

There are multiple technologies, all called RFID. Some of them have very short range (like the ISO 14443 used in the passports, also known as NFC), which has pretty much a maximum distance of one metre (due to the coupling it uses).

However, there are other technologies which allow far longer reading range - such as the one used in these inconveniently named "passport cards". The EZPass cards can be read from the range of several metres fairly easily.

Don't confuse these "far field" and "near field" RFID technologies. They are physically quite different beasts.

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