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Comment Re:Fire (Score 1) 203

Exactly, The article is grossly over-reacting, or the hotel management is. The key locks in the invididual doors are simply battery-operated and have absolutely no connection to any other system whatsoever. They are simply pre-programmed with a hardcoded ID. The key cards inserted must match this id, and the time, and that will open the door. Programming of the key happens at the reception, and that's where this hotel was clearly vulnerable, probably by connecting it to the internet. When this system is compromised, hotel staff is no longer able to write to the key cards, which is disastrous enough for them to cave in to the blackmailers.

Anyone in a hotel room can, at any time, open the door however. You'll never get systems passed by fire safety rules if they didn't.

Here's a manual of such a system: http://www.elock2u.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Hotel-Lock-System-Manual.pdf

Comment Re:There are videos here? (Score 1) 403

My initial reaction when your company gobbled up slashdot was: Oh shit, that's the final nail in the coffin. In a year it will be a vehicle for ads, only occasionally visited by those who once enjoyed the site. But.. so far it seems like you're making a serious attempt at making it actually better. I hope it will be a continuing genuine trend.

Submission + - If You Registered Your Drone with the FAA, Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye (reason.com)

SonicSpike writes: Are you a law-abiding drone owner who registered your unmanned aerial vehicle with the federal government? Congratulations! Total strangers can now find your name, address, and lots of stuff about your fun toy in a public, searchable database!

Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that virtually everyone who owns a drone (a drone's a drone, no matter how small, it seems) would have to register their flying computers for $5 a pop with the federal government. The penalty for failing to register: civil fines of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for three years.

Reason's Scott Shackford has written about the failure of the FAA to actually convince most people to register their drones.

And thank goodness for that incompetence, since it will offset this latest revelation of incompetence: The 300,000 entries in the federal UAV registry are public, searchable, and downloadable, despite claims by the feds to the contrary, Engadget reports.

Submission + - Maru turns Android smartphones into portable PCs

An anonymous reader writes: Maru has announced the launch of a new Android-based operating system that bridges the divide between mobile and desktop computing, empowering smartphone users to carry a complete desktop system in their pockets. Maru runs a custom build of Android on the go, spinning up a lightweight Debian Linux based desktop environment when plugged into an HDMI screen. The phone and desktop systems run independently, so you can take a call and work on your big screen at the same time. According to the website, you can "set up a portable development environment (GCC and Python are included out of the box)...or even run a webserver--it's really up to you." A beta ROM is now available for the Nexus 5.

Comment Get a Commodore 64 instead (Score 2) 69

If privacy is that much of a concern, use something simple to understand and produce, while still reaping the benefits of digital word processing. Like a commodore 64. Very limited functionality compared to modern computers, but still more than adequate enough to do basic word processing. It's a giant step up from using a type writer, where you cannot even correct a simple typo without having to resort to physical correction.

You could even go one step further and use something simple like a device that doesn't have a general purpose processor, but is hardwired to only do 1 task. Older serial terminals from the 70's like the of-vi-fame ADM-3a were built using nothing but simple TTL logic chips. Try writing a virus for that.

Of course, the one thing this does not fix is social engineering.

Comment Re:Turn Them Off (Score 2) 125

I just can't wrap my head around this. I've been using virtual desktops for about 20 years now, and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. If I see others struggle with their giant set of apps and windows using the next best thing (expose-like), I wonder why virtual desktops never have managed to break through. It maps so wonderfully well in my head.

Maybe I should explain just how I just them exactly. The most important thing for me is absolute addressing of workspaces. Don't think of them as 'going to the next or previous one (or worse, a grid). No, think of it as "My browser is on tab 4", "My chat client and music client are on tab 5". "My editor/IDE is on tab 1", etc. This makes switching between contexts insanely fast and completely painless. You don't need to hunt&pick with your mouse, scroll through lists, etc.

Furthermore, I have dedicated buttons to switch to each workspace (I use about 5-6 on average, 8 max). I use the numerical keypad for that, by pressing 1..0 to switch to one. This is the nicest and quickest way to switch. Nowadays everybody and their dog works on their laptop directly, and when I do, I do resort to 'scrolling' (ctrl + left/right). I still think of them in terms of absolute positions though, but since the desktops I work on are all close to each other, even this method is pretty quick and still easier than hunt&click.

With 'my' method, I can easily manage many different applications simultaneously, it doesn't burden my mind the least bit.

Comment Re:If you ride a bike... (Score 1) 696

Yup, act as if everyone is purposefully out there to kill you. Still no guarantees, but it will greatly improve your chances of not getting hit. As someone who bikes in NYC, I am amazed by the stunts many bikers pull off, such as passing cars/cabs that are standing still at high speed, drive through red lights at great speed without barely looking and scaring the shit out of peds, swerving narrowly through traffic leaving no room at all for corrections. Going in the wrong way, at night, with no light whatsoever. The ER must be full of them and their victims. Just fucking take it easy, it barely saves you more than a minute.

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