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Comment Re:Good old days (Score 3, Interesting) 82

Our version of the sophisticated training system was a C=64 with a fake M16 and Duck Hunt-like light pen raster sensing device for learning how to shoot better (probably not a bad thing given that we were air traffic controllers and support).

I thought I was unique in being the only soldier with an Amiga 500 in his barracks room, given that the demographics of the typical enlisted back then were quite a bit different than (how I imagine them) now.

Comment Re:Ouch (Score 1) 227

VW's a global enterprise. Who's to say the engineers that wrote it weren’t American, Indian, or Chinese? They may not even be VW employees – maybe the specific work was outsourced, or part of a Tier 1 supplier contract. And in any of these cases, it could be an agency employee who was given a specific task. I’m not sure we can really know unless an insider tells us.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 596

In the spirit of advocacy for the Devil, one of the issues that I had with my 1985 Ford Escort was the throttle position sensor. Luckily applying 100% torque to a 1.6L, 70 HP engine only produces 119 Nm of torque (vs. over 900 Nm for the Tesla). Hmmm... weight, about 1000 kg vs about 2200 kg, still a pretty big difference. I'd rather have the bad TPS in a 1985 Escort than at 2016 Model S.

Certainly in 1985 the TPS position probably wasn't logged. Mass market fuel injection for cheap cars was still in its infancy, and the signal probably went directly to the throttle body, maybe via detour to the ECM (if there was one). The Tesla, though, is obviously logging, but I wonder at what frequency? If the frequency is fast enough, then we can observe the curve of the TPS as the driver engaged it, i.e., how fast was it pressed. If it's just a flaky TPS, then we might see an instantaneous change. If the sampling frequency is too low, though, we won't be able to distinguish them.

Comment Re:One showstopper (Score 1) 566

you will need some little box to convert the existing cable into a slimmer one which in turn would end with a slimmer connector.

So, kind of like my MacBook Pro. RJ45 to a cable with a small, thin, Lightning connector (USB on pre-Lightning Macs).

I'm happy with this solution for the laptop, but this would just be stupid for all of the HTPC's (Minis) and my iMacs.

Comment Re:FHSS (Score 3, Interesting) 122

It's been a long time since I was involved with Army radar and encrypted communications (in my case, merely humble air traffic control equipment), but the article intrigued me enough to do a very quick lookup. This article isn't very technical, but I can see how it's not simple spread-spectrum radio.

Remember that the information conveyed by radar microwaves is limited; we're primarily interested in reflections (this is "primary radar"; "secondary" radar actually does transmit information; IFF is a type of secondary radar). For a simple radar we know the radar echoes are ours because they come back to our own dish, and match the frequency that we transmitted. They're also incredibly easy to jam.

Frequency hopping on its own makes things harder to jam because the frequencies change in a cryptographic pattern. They can still be jammed if your broadcast a lot of noise over the entire spectrum, but then you limit your own communications. If you can detect the point source, though, you can broadcast a point source over the entire spectrum and still jam them.

What I think I understand about this is that it’s not merely frequency hopping, but the signal modulation is encrypted in a way to evade detection. With a receiver I can detect a typical radar’s 3.4 Ghz signal at -200db (numbers are made up), even if spread across the spectrum, because I know what a 3.4 GHz square wave looks like against the background noise, even if it only appears intermittently on the narrow frequency I’m scanning.

I could try to modulate the signal a different way; maybe a sawtooth, maybe a sine, but a repeating, predictable signal is observable, even with frequency hopping. However if I broadcast noise (and my receiver knows the noise’ pattern), then any listening equipment shouldn’t be able to pick out my microwave pattern from the background.

Comment Re:Thanks for confirming it (Score 1) 77

View source. You'll see a single line of Javascript when this bullshit happens. So far in all cases, reloading the page fixes it.

This is especially infuriating, though, when trying to use a search engine. When I'm not using a VPN I usually use Bing because it actually works. When these ads pop up they actually make Bing unusable. Their shitty Javascript interferes.

Comment Re:Not news? (Score 3, Interesting) 77

China Unicom on my phone is pretty good at not making it obvious that they're tampering with my traffic. They're also pretty friendly to VPNs running on my phone.

China Telecom, though, provides my home fiber service, and I've been getting their ads for years and years, including on my own sites! Calling and complaining about it has never had any effect. Unfortunately China Telecom is getting better and better at detecting and taking down VPNs, meaning that I can't leave my router-based VPN running all the time.

The fact that these ads are served over Bing makes me wonder why Microsoft doesn't get involved...

And, yeah, Bing is crap (for what I search for), but at least it works when the VPN isn't connecting.

Comment I thought all large companies did this (Score 1) 172

My company solicits PAC donations, too. I never really thought it was a big deal and assumed that all large companies did the same.

Companies aren't allowed to contribute to PACs, after all, and those of use that work in companies are all kind of in the same boat. In my case maybe I want my company to hire lobbyist to oppose the required use of some type of 1200 MPa material in, say, mirror mounting brackets where there's no engineering justification.

If my company's PAC were evil, then I'd think twice. Barring that, though, when my industry succeeds, I succeed.

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