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Comment Re:Loving my $20 Xiaomi mi fit band (Score 1) 359

Replying to my own comment -- how does this relate to the Apple watch ? It sort of makes me think about getting the watch -- except that this device does everything I'd want an Apple watch for -- and it does it better. Not only is $20 super cheap, but Xiaomi seems capture the "Apple ethos" in the way that Apple used to -- before they became a snotty status symbol.

Comment Loving my $20 Xiaomi mi fit band (Score 1) 359

The Apple watch hype last year got me interested in fitness tracking, but I wasn't sure I wanted something on my wrist, and I wasn't going to spend $500 to test the idea. Then I saw the $20 Xiaomi Mi Fit on DX. Got one for the wife, to sync with her iPhone, one for me, to sync with Android. It tracks activity, sleep, and even "deep sleep" and the battery goes about 10 days between charges. Vibrates for calls and texts when my phone is on mute. The wife loves the colored band I got her. I wear mine all of time and love it. Comparing my wife's activity with mine was nice. My wife quit wearing hers after a month. She says the capsule popped out of the band a few times during her work. If think the real reason is that it shows she doesn't work as hard as I do ;)

Comment Why I'm standardizing on the Raspberry Pi (Score 1) 148

I've been on something of a roll setting up Raspberry Pi's as something of a family IoT cloud.
While it's probably not (yet) completely secure from hackers like the NSA, I do have a lot of confidence in Debian/Raspbian linux. With 7 million RPi's sold and lots of volunteers working on it, I expect it will be getting security updates for a long time.

I've got nice simple Python fabric scripts that I run from my laptop to keep everything up-to-date, setup ssh keys, firewalls, knockd, motion webcams, temperature and humidity sensors and private MQTT brokers and loggers.

Its not all foolproof yet -- but I'm learning a lot, and expect to open source it.

Comment Space Elevator (Score 2) 111

Most of us on slashdot will probably agree that "Economics, Energy, Carbon and Climate" are all one big problem that needs more investment. But the devil is in the details of how to do it.

I'm not an expert on this subject like Henson, but IMHO a space elevator seems just as close to being technically viable as space plane powered by a ground-based laser and microwave power beamed to earth.

Not only that -- a space elevator would be much cleaner and the cables might even be able to double as power transmission lines.
And -- since all the good tethering points are in the third world (the equator) it would be a big solution to economic disparities too.

Why does Henson's article not consider the possibility of a space elevator ?

Comment Money not required in my Utopia (Score 1) 265

Looking back at it, one of the things I loved most about the ORIGINAL (i.e. Captain Kirk) Star Trek was that money was never an issue with anything that they did. Their world was a vision of a perfect Marxist utopia, where everyone contributed according to their abilities and received according to their needs. Leadership was earned by merit and respect.

That show is a testament to the attitudes of the 1960's, when the competing ideologies of Communism and Capitalism made everyone at least try to pretend that they were aiming for the good of all humanity.

Alas, that all changed with the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union, et al.
Star Trek "The Next Generation" talked about credits regularly, although it didn't subvert the "good of humanity" theme too much.
Then, with Star Trek "Deep Space Nine", the show took a dive with the rest of American society, and glorified pure Capitalist greed with the Ferengi et al.
I hate that show.

Maybe now, with our *real* planet facing *real* environmental annihilation -- could we please quit talking about money and talk about humanity again ?

Comment Re:I am outraged! (Score 1) 464

I agree, way too little -- but that just proves that blackmail must have been involved.
The cash is just enough to provide the NSA "cover" for their blackmail when their actions were discovered (now).

Considering that RSA and all of its executives had been targets of the NSA for years --
it would be very surprising it they didn't get some dirt on someone at RSA.

Comment Re:God needed? (Score 1) 337

The "time arrow" is just as much a part of existence as matter, energy, the spatial dimensions, and the laws of physics.
The "creation" that you speak of can be at the end of our time line.
The day that we completely explain our universe, may be the day that we create it.
We can be our own god. (or think that we are ;)

Oh -- and Godel's theory doesn't apply because the Universe contains multiple sets of uncountable infinity.
That's a beautiful idea . . .
In order to exist . . . the Universe *MUST* be uncountably infinite.

Comment Re:4D or 3D? (Score 1) 337

I was thinking about that 2D hologram theory too. Your idea makes me start to think that maybe all of the "big bang black hole math" actually boils down to nothing -- and -- we're just in a cycle of 3D big bangs/big crunches.

The math makes me hopeful that intelligent creatures like us might be able to holographically survive into the next cycle !

Submission + - Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys? 9

vik writes: The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?

Comment Just send them lots of gas masks (Score 1) 454

If chemical weapons really was the issue -- we should just make lots and lots of gas masks and gas alarms for the people there. We could probably get most of them out of storage somewhere. These can be LEGALLY sent to Syria as humanitarian aid. Virtually everyone in Israel has a gas mask. The cost of 10 or 20 million masks for the people of Syria would be much less than the cost of any military strike.

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