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Comment Re:1960s archives (Score 1) 498

I've got 800bip nine-track tapes from a PDP-10 system from 1969. They're still readable on an HP 88780A SCSI tape drive. There are text files from 1968. The text is all in ASCII, though it's the 1963 standard, which has up-arrow and left-arrow in place of caret and underscore of the 1967 and later standards.

Comment Re:HTC Sense vs Stock Android (Score 1) 165

Having tried Sense on the EVO, and stock Android 2.1 and 2.2 on the Nexus One, I *much* prefer stock Android. HTC, how about giving us an option to completely disable Sense, without having to install third-party firmware builds? On the EVO you can sort of partially disable Sense, but apparently on many other HTC phones you can't even do that.

Comment Open source (Score 3, Insightful) 357

They only give the source to paying customers. But do they prevent those paying customers from redistributing the source? If not, then it really is open source. Nothing about open source requires that owner of the code give it out to everyone, but if there are restrictions on redistribution, it's not open source.

Comment Re:Where's the petition for to praise the decision (Score 1) 282

If the D-STAR transmissions are not intentionally obfuscated, then the parties responsible for manufacturing the D-STAR equipment should be perfectly willing to explain to me how I can decode the transmissions, in sufficient detail that I could myself decode the transmissions. Since they are unwilling to explain that information, it is obvious that the transmissions are in fact obfuscated.

The fact that they will happily sell equipment to decode the transmissions does NOT negate the fact that the transmissions are obfuscated.

Comment Where's the petition for to praise the decision? (Score 4, Interesting) 282

Some of us licensed hams think that allowing a proprietary protocol/codec on the amateur bands is a crock of shit. Where's the petition to praise the decision? (I'm licensed, but I'm not in the EU.)

In the US, I would argue that using D-Star on amateur radio is already illegal, under Title 47 part 97(a)(4). Since the codec is proprietary, and documentation on the encoded format is not available, the use of the code is clearly an attempt to obscure the meaning of the communication from anyone that doesn't buy D-Star equipment that contains the proprietary codec.

Eric Smith

Comment Do most users ignore the app security warnings? (Score 1) 286

I recently wanted a battery monitor app, and I was appalled that most of the apps in the store wanted access to my location, email, text messages, etc. Obviously there's no reason why a battery monitor app needs any of this.

At least Android warns you about that before you install the app; on the iPhone the only warning you ever get is about location. Given how many of these apps seem to have good ratings, I guess most people just don't care.

I tried one battery monitor app that did not present privacy warnings, and it basically worked, but it sucked the battery flat in less than an hour. Apparently it was written to run continuously, rather than periodically. I guess for now you don't get a good battery monitor without giving up your privacy.

The security warnings would be much better if instead of just being warnings, the user had the option to install the app but deny it access to the things you don't want it to use (the way location works on the iPhone).

Comment Re:ordered one a few days ago (Score 1) 463

Based on the specs of the closest off-the-shelf laser from Nichia (probably the same laser die in a different package), it appears that the lowest achievable output will be somewhere between 150 and 300mW, still too high to be used safely as a laser pointer. Nichia makes a 455 nm diode that can run at 5-10 mW, but it costs $3000.

Comment ordered one a few days ago (Score 1) 463

though I'm rather skeptical that they'll really be able to deliver what they've promised.

If they really do, the first thing I'll want to do is take it apart and change the current limiting, to get it down to 5mW, so that it can be used safely as a laser pointer.

I don't need a 1W blue laser, but I haven't found any 5mW blue lasers for under $200.

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