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Comment Won't work in most rooms (Score 1) 197

I've heard Dolby's positional audio, being driven from a game, in the Dolby Labs screening room in San Francisco. It sounds great. You can hear people sneaking up behind you in the game. You can hear someone walking around you. There's a real sense of presence.

That's in a room built, at a cost of millions, as a demo for Dolby's audio technology. The room is on a separate foundation from the rest of the building, with an inner set of vibration isolated walls. The room acoustics are very good; you don't need a microphone when giving a talk there. The walls and ceiling conceal speakers everywhere, and the room with the amps and processors looks like a small server farm.

You're not going to get that in Joe Sixpack's living room. You might get close to it in some high end home theater installations, the ones that look like small movie theaters and are used for no other purpose. It's a niche market.

Comment Re:Duh. (Score 1) 235

As I said, IPS and DLP devices are routinely used to MITM SSL connections. There's not much point having some stupidly expensive firewall setup at the edge of your corporate network if all its takes for malware to get in is Joe from Accounts opening his GMail and running cute_kitty_photoz.exe.

Typically, the volume of data transmitted through these kinds of links makes comprehensive long-term recording and storage prohibitively expensive. However, logging everything normally sent over plain-text, human-speed communications channels such as e-mail or IM is quite achievable, as is logging a complete traffic stream identified by some trigger.

Incidentally, these devices are often used precisely because they allow you to control and limit your liability. For example, it's easier to argue you're in compliance with regulations like HIPAA or PCI-DSS if you can demonstrate reliably that traffic leaving your network was scanned and nothing fitting certain suspicious patterns was sent. A simpler but no less significant consideration is the damage any large organisation could suffer if malware did somehow get into their network.

Comment Re:im a music mixer in hollywood... (Score 3, Interesting) 197

What I'd like to hear is an orchestra recording which mics each instrument and gives each of them a channel. It'd be interesting to see how well Atmos can recreate the sound stage of a full orchestra.

If it can't do that properly, then it's a useless fad, because that's just presenting a "static" sound image, not a moving one. I have a strong suspicion it relies on moving sounds to mask the fact that it's not very accurate about positioning them.

Comment Re:Too much surplus (Score 2) 264

If we have this much surplus, clearly we're buying too much. I know that if I find myself giving away cans of green beans, I make sure I don't buy a whole pallet the next time I'm at Costco.

Not necessarily. Following 9/11, the U.S. began two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq under the Bush administration. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. has withdrawn from Iraq, wound down operations in Afghanistan, and begun to reduce the size of the army. As a result there is going to be a lot of equipment that simply isn't needed anymore; if we're not longer engaged in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq for example, we don't need all those MRAP vehicles anymore. So what do you do with all this crap? One solution is to give it to the local police, but as we seen if you arm them with the tools of an occupying military force, they start acting like one. Another would be to give it to the Iraqis and Afghans or whatever regime we're trying to prop up this week... but as we've seen in Iraq, these weapons have a way of changing hands and now we've got ISIS militants armed with M-16s and driving humvees.

It seems logical to try to find a use for all this material but arguably giving people weaponry tends to fuel conflict. We saw something similar happen after the end of the Cold War. The USSR and Warsaw Pact countries produced millions of AK-47s with the idea that they could hand them out to peasants in case they ever got in a fight with NATO. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, you had all these extra guns nobody needed. Enterprising people figured you could make a lot of money flying them into conflict zones in places like Africa, fueling civil wars and militias.

Eisenhower said that war was humanity hanging on a cross of iron- that "every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." But its worse than that- those billions of dollars spent after 9/11 in the name of defending our freedoms are not just stolen from the American people, but are now being used to oppress them and spy on them.

Comment It's so fashionable to hate China (Score 2) 93

I find it absolutely hilarious the way everyone disparages Chinese manufacturing while 95% of all electronics, clothing, and gadgetry is made in China or other asian countries.

Scariest of all are the ill-informed masses who think that IBM, HP, Dell, etc. actually make any of their own parts any more. They're US companies in name only.

Wake up. Globalization has already happened.

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 1) 116

Genetic mutation is at the very core of Darwinian evolution. Surely, while many of these mutations will be bad and cause reduced lifespans for the individuals affected, SOME portion of these mutations must surely be positive (random mutation) leading to better survival chances and small hops forward in evolution. Every nuclear "disaster" like this should cause many individuals to die-off prematurely (not affecting evolution at all unless some were quite unique) not have any effect on some individuals, and cause "positive" mutations in some small number of individuals (which might not otherwise have naturally occurred and which will now be passed-on to offspring)

What's the problem as long as this did not affect a significant population of an endangered species?

I have one word for you: Godzilla.

Comment Re:Population declines (Score 1) 116

Perhaps you can inform yourself how to secure an oil tank against leakage in case of a flood. It is surprisingly simlle, a no brainer in fact.

Of course. Perfectly simple. Perfectly simple to secure a 10,000 gallon tank of diesel oil in the face of a 20 foot high cascade of water and debris capable of knocking entire buildings off their foundations. And that after a magnitude 9 earthquake. Totally simple.

Surprised I am to find that wee bits of assorted chemicals were dumped into the environment after the disaster. Most surprised.

No brainer, indeed.

Comment Re:Why do they have this data in the first place? (Score 1) 27

Chip and PIN cards don't work at most U.S. retailers today, but as of October 2015 the Payment Card Industry has scheduled a change to the contracts to in what is being called the "liability shift". It means that whoever has the least security in the payment chain will be held liable for non-payment or fraud for the charges incurred. So if Home Depot doesn't accept a chip card, and your bank's card has a chip on it, then Home Depot will be liable because their system is the least secure. Or if Home Depot's systems are able to accept the chip cards, but your bank's card doesn't have a chip, then your bank will be liable. This penalty is a huge financial incentive for both retailers and banks to upgrade the security of their systems to fully support Chip and PIN by that date so they don't get left holding the bag.

Once Chip and PIN systems are deployed to most places, they will begin requiring the removal of mag stripes. That's when the final pieces of security will kick in, and account number theft will be essentially eliminated.

Comment Re:Duh. (Score 1) 235

They don't have to block SSL, they just have to MITM the connection if they need to analyse or log the traffic. IPS and DLP devices that can do this for all the major protocols have been available to professional sysadmins for some time. If you access the Internet from a company device at an organisation that is either very large or working in a particularly sensitive field, there is a good chance your traffic is already being processed in this way.

If you want some communications to be private from your employer, use your own device, not a company-administered one. It's really as simple as that these days.

Comment Re:No shit. All cable content is crap these days. (Score 1) 85

And this is what's wrong with our countries today. People all over the world fight and die for the right to hear and see news other than the officially approved ones, but we can't be assed to spend 10 minutes of our time to actually execute that right.

Maybe we'll only start to miss it once it's gone.

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