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Comment Best drivers (Score 1) 35

Currently on linux, modern AMD cards have the "best-of-both-world" driver support.

Nvidia currently only produce closed-source drivers.
(Nouveau is exclusively the work of reverse engineering. Recieving nearly no support from Nvidia, except for the occasional patch to enable modesetting)

AMD provides a hybrid stack:
- they develop an kernel module (amdgpu) which is available up-stream. (i.e.: new versions of the kernel feature it out of the box).

above this, you have two choices:

- AMDGPU-Pro, the closed source drivers (which are the modern day equivalent of the user-space portion of Catalyst).
Nowadays, they seem pretty stable, run games without bugs, and because they require a module which is already in mainstream kernel, they do work even with the latest kernel update. (unlike nvidia's driver which need the nvidia.ko some adaptation in case of variation of the kernel API).

- RadeonSI, the opensource back-end to the Mesa driver.
These are devloped by people of whom some are on AMD's payroll (i.e.: AMD doesn't only provide information, but even salaries for opensource development)
With the Polaris, the driver was available at release day, and has a decent performance compared to the closed source one, and runs lots of games.

That's quite some achievement compared with the early "fglrx" that was buggy as hell, and that's quite some engagement for the opensource community.

As a Linux user, I actually like more the ADM driver situation.

Comment SHA-1 probably... (Score 1) 30

You have to use a UNIQUE SALT for every password and then have a WORK FACTOR of some large number (use the bcrypt library).

Yup, a slow and hard to brute force hash would have been good (other example: PBKDF2, Scrypt and the latest competition winner Argon2)

Saddly people are still using SHA-1 as a password hash (a hash function designed purposedly to be fast and simple, which has the advantage of being able to be useful even on small hardware like smart cards - but is easy to brute force on dedicated hardware (GPU, FPGA) as proven by bitcoin's proof-of-work system, and it there a bad solution for *password* hashing)

Public key based authentication is even better, but I have it seen rarely used outside of the professional word.

Two-factor is another alternative, and at least that one is seeing come consumer usage...

Comment EULA ; Opensource clients (Score 1) 74

If you read the fine print in the EULA, Microsoft is willing to help law enforcement wherever it is required by local laws.
And if you believe the log of the AppArmor jail you linux client is running in, it's a really badly designed, badly behaving application.

On the other hand, the mix of JSON and XML used by Web Skype has been reverse engineered, plug-ins are availabe for libpurple (thus for Pidgin, Adium, Telepathy, etc.) so you can set-up your own end-to-end encryption layer over skype (e.g.: OTR) if both end points support it.

And unlike the case with WhatsApp, Microsoft doesn't seem interested in fighting such 3rd party clients.
(Even their own latest linux beta client uses the web skype interface, apparently).

Comment Google Talk (Score 1) 74

as another exemple:

Google Talk is available over XMPP.
And if both endpoints use OTR, you can get end-to-end encryption (e.g.: Jitsi on one side, and Adium - Mac OS X's Pidgin cousin - on the other)

Note that some of the more advanced feature that are only available in Google Hangout are not available on the Google Talk interface (offline message. and "who has read what" status).


Saddly Facebook's XMPP gateway has been shut down (you need to use a plugin compatible with FB Messenger, which is not available on all chat clients, only in Pidgin)
Saddly WhatsApp is in a holy crusade against 3rd party client so you're completely out of luck.

TFA's web skype has also a plugin for pidgin.

Comment Jitsi (in addition to Pidgin). (Score 1) 74

In addition to the afore mentioned Pidgin, there is also Jitsi.

It, too, can connect to XMPP (e.g.: Google Mail. Or a private server) and SIP.
It, too, uses OTR to guarantee end-to-end encryption over the chat channel.

It is multi platform, available on Linux, Windows, Mac and Android (as far as I know, either pidgin itselfs, or other software using its libpurple library are also available on nearly any platform you would want).

Jitsi can in addition place encrypted call, using ZRTP (as far as I know, Pidgin currently only supports clear calls).

On the other hand Pidgin has many more plugins (e.g.: the JSON and XML interfaces used by Facebook messaging App, by web skype, by Steam Mobile, etc.)
And yup, that means that you can overlay end-to-end encryption over skype, as long as both end points support it (e.g.: Pidgin + OTR + WebSkype plugin)
(does anyone know if there are browser plugins a la Mailveloppe that work to add OTR to web chats ?)

Comment Worse: Destroy standarts (Score 2) 55

The situation is even worse:

They are in the process of destroying standards.

At some point in the past, Facebook used to have a XMPP gateway into their chat system. You could use it with (e.g.: Pidgin) and have the chat into your desktop computer (or phone if your smartphone supports XMPP, etc).

But eventually, Facebook dropped their XMPP support.

(Luckily for 3rd party support, pidgin developers have reverse engineered their JSON and XML based protocol used by the android application. So you can still use pidgin and any other application supporting libpurple plugins. But it's NOT a standard
And at least the Facebook company seems to be happy with this situation and let the pidgin dev continue their work).

WhatsApp is even worse. It *started* as a variant of XMPP/Jabber, then got progressively weirder (mainly, they use a different type of authentication protocole, and use a binary representation + phrase book to compress common XML structure to make it a binary ML).
These modification to the basic XMPP Jabber have been reverse engineered... ...but WhatsApp (even after the acquisition by Facebook) seem to be on a cursade to sue as many developpers of alternative clients as possible, and to prevent any development by kick-banning any detected alternative clients and perma-banning the corresponding GSM number. (e.g.: see the complains around WhatsUp alternative client for Sailfish OS).

And they are now further alienating their user base by forcing everybody to use only exclusively the Android or the iOS version.
By the end of the year, all other version (BlackBerry, Nokia, etc.) will be dropped, and their user left without any chance.
I undestand that they would like to concentrate effort on only the 2 most frequent platforms, which probably cover ~90% of their user base, but even it they don't develop an app, they could have left some API (e.g.: an XMPP gateway like facebook used to use before throwing it away) so that the "left behind" could at least use native 3rd party apps.

Comment Senility in apes (Score 4, Interesting) 321

The thing is, in evolutionary terms the genes that kill you before procreation are actively selected against; yet those that kill you just as reliably later in life are passed on.

Well not exactly.
The prevalence of senility in all the other apes (except humans) begs to differ.

I'm not saying that Richard Dawkins is wrong, I'm just saying that he's simplifying a little bit for the purpose of an explanation, but reality always more complex in the tiny details.

The thing is, we human have invented one peculiar concept: the grandmother.

In most other species of apes, individuals don't serve a purpose once they're past their reproductive age. On the countrary, they are using up valuable resources that might be put to better use by the young and the individual that still reproduce (in the same pack/tribe/etc.)
Thus in most other species of apes, senile degenerescence seems to be actually the norm.
Past a certain age (not far from the end of reproductive life) most apes turn senile rather quickly.

There's a small advantage if individuals don't live too long after they stop reproducing, because it leaves more food for the younger individuals of the pack/tribe (individuals who share the same genetic mix - being the same extended family - and thus this is the special form of 'sacrifice' which might actually get selected for. Unlike 'lemmings suicide' urban legend). A gene leading to such situation will be selected for, because it leads to an increased number of individual carrying a copy of the gene, by optimising which individual keep reproducing.

Compare the situation with humans:
disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, vascular dementia, Huntington's and other neurodegenerative and senile diseases are *diseases*. I.e.: special conditions that only affect a small proportion of the population.
Most individual go through their later years *without suffering* from any of the above (in stark contrast of the remaining apes).
Why so? Grand mothers (and grand parents in general).
In human specie individual who are past their reproductive age will help raising the youngest generation (their grand children and grand nephews).
They take care of the youngs and, once language has been developped, they can also pass their knowledge by telling stories giving explanations...
Even if an individual isn't reproducing anymore, and even if an individual isn't in their prime anymore, these individuals are *still* very valuable for the pack/tribe.
Thus there's a very light incentive to select for individual who can stay functionnal in their late years. Even if they don't directly pass copies of their own genes anymore, they do help indirectly the survival of the rest of the pack/tribe and thus helps indirectly that the extended family grows (which shares genes with them).
(it's similar to the type of indirect help that you see in a beehive/anthill. Most individual are infertile worker. But because they are all very closely related, by helping they increase the survival chance of other individuals carrying the same genes even without reproducing.)

So if you have children at 40 (disregarding the complications and risks) it's likely that they won't inherit genes that are likely to kill them in their 30s. Thus the population in western "1st world" countries is aging, having children later and this may also be a contributing factor to the phenomenon.

Also the *reason* while parents decide to have children later in life also plays a role.
Most of such parent usually decide to reproduce later in life because of *career* reasons: They want to be in a better paying position to be better able to afford the children.
This has the direct effect on the availability of healthcare and eraly diagnostics.

But has again a very slight effect on the family structure.
Chance are high that both parent will try to get back to their highly paid position after the birth, and thus grand parents might also again play a very slight role.
Thus families where the +65 y.o. are in better shape are a tiny bit better than families where the children are only raised by hired nannies.

Again the effect is very small and doesn't explain everything.
(lower pollution, lower man-made military-origin radioactivity, more elders trying to keep in shape with exercice and balanced diets also play roles on the overall effect)
But the fact that we as a specie have relied more on grand parents might explain a bit.

Comment translation (Score 1) 136

If you use perfectly up to date maps, that means you need some data transmission to get updates to the maps.

If you use cellular data to get the updates, you're in to a recieve a surprise on your phone bill if the car decides to pick a neighouring antena which is considered as roaming.
(Can happen a lot in a region like Europe, where there are a lot of small different countries.
You can often be close to the border, and the strongest signal picked by the car's computer might be on ther other side of the border and incure roaming fee to downlaod the update.
Obviously won't happen in a big city in the middle of the country like Paris in France, but is a very frequent occurence in a big city like Geneva which is Swiss, but almost entirely surrounded by France)

Comment Night time (Score 1) 136

You could do your scouting at night to determine where traffic lights are. Probably would make the problem much easier.

Counter example 1:

~15 years ago, when I was in the US in Florida, they used to shut down traffic lights at night when the streets were empty anyway (to save power ? to avoid people waiting needlessly at a red light on an empty crossing ?)
In the rare occurence when two car meet, you're supposed to following the usual yielding rules.

There's simply no traffic light to see at night.

Counter example 2:
Here around (Switzerland) most traffic light are adaptive. (change color only when there's someone waiting).
During night time, when there isn't much traffic, you'll only ever see green light, as traffic light adapts to the lone car travelling around so you don't need to wait needlessly on a red light in front of an empty crossing.
You'll only get a red light in the rare occurence when there's another car coming and the system decides you'll be the one waiting (or the other car will get the red light if the system decides otherwise).

By night time, you'll only ever pick green color, which might a little bit confuse the system depending on how it works.

Comment Nope. (Score 1) 290

because the blind spots are covered by the mirrors when they are properly aimed.


The better you aim your mirror the more you *reduce* the blind spot.
But there's no guarantee that you'll eliminate them. There might still be missing spots.

That why turning the head is still mandatory in driving codes across most jurisdiction.

That's why thing like BLIS camera, sideway pointing sonars, etc. are nice safety nets in case the human driver missed something or forgot to turn the head altogether.

Comment Different purpose (Score 1) 290

Each solution has a different purpose.

The small mirror relies on being perfectly aligned so no blind spot is left between normal field of view, main mirror's image and mini-mirror's image.
It could fail. But it could be also a reminder to the driver to turn their head if the image isn't clear.

Turning the head works perfectly, as long as the driver remember to do it.

BLIS is an extra safety net in case the driver forgot to turn the head (it's mandatory in law, but no human is infallible), by blinking a "you're missing something!" warning.

Comment Fail-safe (Score 1) 290

Hopefully the things are designed to 'fail safe': that is, the system always says "danger" unless there's an all-clear signal. No signal, not safe.

Yup. The thing is exactly designed this way.
If the camera gets blind (e.g.: because the sun is directly shining into it and it can't see much, or if the camera len is dirty) the warning start to blink fast constantly
(until, e.g.: you clean up the dirty len).

This way if the sensor goes away you're forced to always check.

You *ARE* always forced to check by driving laws.
The system here is present as a security in case the driver forgets (no human is 100% infallible)

Comment Become standard (Score 1) 265

Collision avoidance technology are becoming more widespread over time.

What used to be only available on high range Volvos and Mercedes has now trickled down and even the smaller and cheaper VW Up! have LIDARs used for "City Safety" (=automatic brake to avoid collision with pedestrians and with other vehicle at in-city speed ranges) as a standard option.

And that is the car currently available as the cheapest option of the fleet of some car-sharing companies.

It *is* getting affordable.

(Well for a certain category of affordable. More likely in european cities here around. Not sure about you, US).

Comment LIDAR instead (Plz, Tesla !) (Score 1) 136

A little radar could go a long way in helping with collision avoidance.

Actually they have a long range radar pointing around the car.
And short range sonars around the car.
But they are mounted low (as in any other car) and not correctly distinguish a object that is close and high.
(Like the trailer).

Dual camera, by the simple reason of using stereoscopic correlation, can correctly pinpoint anything in 3D space, instead of relying on simple inference from quick projection or using motion cues.
(Similar to what is done by most japanese brands and some mercedes)


As it is self-illuminating and infra-red, that would help tremendously in bad lighting conditions and fog.
(Also detect precise 3D shapes, when the images from the camera pair is to bad to be correlated).

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