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Comment Re:We need a new right... (Score 1) 205

I'm sick of being a product.. I mean, ok the old model of Television and Radio where you the viewer gets something of value (the programming/entertainment) without directly paying for it, then it's a reasonable tradeoff that it's paid for by advertising

When TV first started becoming popular, the actors felt that they were being /invited/ into other peoples homes, and to act rudely would bring about mobs and pitchforks. Actual pitchforks!

However, when you're paying for a train fare, you've paid for the transit... it's not like you're given the option of "pay full price to not be subjected to adversising, or get a discount for being advertised to"

Cable TV was initially sold as "Television with a monthly fee, so you won't need to ever see another commercial again". Notice the amount of ads on cable TV these days?
I don't believe for a second those greedy bastards won't rush as fast as possible to ads with over-charging you at the same time.

(Insert Futurama - Lightspeed Briefs spot here)

Comment It's a cookie mixer (Score 4, Interesting) 177

I'd thought of doing that as part of one of my browser add-ons, but it has problems. The general idea is that you send your cookies to a central site which sends them out to others to confuse tracking. As the article says, "The Vortex system will build a database of cookies gathered by players." So you've traded multiple limited data collection systems for one central one. There are a number of obvious ways that can backfire.

Just turn off third party cookies. Or run Abine's Do Not Track Me.

Comment Re:Hooray! (Score 1) 120

The situation where there are no movies to watch because everything is ether in 3d or in the shittiest corner screens is slightly disappointing.

True. A big problem with what passes for 3D movies rely on hitting you in the face with 3D effects. All "3D" movies seem to have to have a roller coaster scene or equivalent. It's not cool any more, just annoying.

Cameron did a nice job with "Avatar". He figured out how to use 3D with restraint. At no point in Avatar is anything placed in front of the screen plane. In everything in Disney Crap 3D, the 3D is in your face.

There are things that can still be done. Cameron wants higher frame rates, for those big slow pans over high-detail backgrounds he likes don't have any visible strobing effects. He also points out that going to 4K resolution is meaningless after the first few rows in the theater, where nobody sits anyway.


Why Are Japanese Men Refusing To Leave Their Rooms? 770

fantomas writes "The BBC reports on the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori: young people, mainly men, who are holed up in rooms in their parents' houses, refusing to go out and engage with society. 'A conservative estimate of the number of people now affected is 200,000, but a 2010 survey for the Japanese Cabinet Office came back with a much higher figure - 700,000. Since sufferers are by definition hidden away, Saito himself places the figure higher still, at around one million. The average age of hikikomori also seems to have risen over the last two decades. Before it was 21 — now it is 32.' Why is this happening? And is it a global phenomenon or something purely due to Japanese culture? (We're all familiar with the standing slashdot joke of the geek in their mom's basement, for example.)"

Comment Re:Where is the service? (Score 1) 133

I've had taxi drivers tell me they didn't want to go where I wanted to go. They're taxi drivers not slaves.

Maybe they think there'll be a bad traffic jam where I'm going and they won't make as much money. Or they're finishing their shift soon and want to be in a different area when they do. Or they want to head to another area which they think will make them more money.

Comment Re:Ouch! (Score 1) 330

Not only that, but if the airlines are sharing more than e.g. the last 4 digits of the credit card info, they're probably in violation of PCI (Payment Card Industry) regs and could have their ability to take payments that way suspended.

That would be a lovely data stream for identity thieves to intercept.

Comment Special situation only (Score 1) 24

This is a solution to a very special problem - one program with cryptographic code running in a VM, and a hostile program running in the same VM. There are some crypto algorithms which can be broken if you can submit keys to them, and watch how long they run or what cache misses they make. This is very tough to do in the real world.

It also comes up for crypto modules which do DRM for content owners. There, an attacker can watch the signals and interfere with the operation of the crypto unit to slowly extract its internal keys. That's a real threat to DRM systems.

This isn't for general purpose computing.

Comment Doing it the hard way (Score 4, Interesting) 280

A 79-cent plastic water pistol filled with cyanide* is even more lethal, and just as easy to get past security.

Sure, the assassin will likely die from the cyanide too, but what are the odds of him surviving long with a one-shot gun anyway?

*(and sealed to prevent premature leakage; substitute other poison of your choice)

Comment Extruder-type 3D printing just sucks (Score 4, Informative) 185

Extruder-based machines aren't a very good technology. The fundamental problem is that you're trying to weld a hot thing to a cold thing. Welding metals that way produces flawed joints, and soldering that way produces cold solder joints. Heating the build platform helps a little, but once you've built something of any height, the heater is too far from the action. Some of the machines have better temperature control of the build area than others, but they're all rather flaky. TechShop has tried four different brands, and they range from mediocre (Replicator2 ) to useless (the Up).

The UV polymerization machines seem to work quite well. The high-end machines produce consistent results and don't need to be watched while running. They're still slow, though. The Form1 printer may get there, if they ever really ship the thing in quantity. The ship date has slipped from April 2013 to October 2013, even though their Kickstarter funding was way oversubscribed. They also charge $149/liter for their custom resin. (I suspect that resin for 3D printers is going to be a similar racket as ink for inkjet printers. The stuff isn't inherently expensive; a slightly different formulation is routinely used for making printing plates, where it costs about a quarter of the price.)

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After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.