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Comment Re:not limitless (Score 2) 98

If I gave them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it was strategic: price it high enough to limit the strain on their wireless network, but then similarly not so high that those who would actually use it and need it to be reliable are screwed over. Then sod off anyone who didn't like it. Not that I'd expect them to actually come out and say something like that.

Except it did go down. It completely collapsed under the load.

I understand the need and that if everyone brought their own hotspot that it would be completely useless. But that's not the way to do it. At $200, it sounds like gouging - especially when you consider they actually did active scans for unauthorized WiFi and escorted people out.

The problem is many - first, the price appeared to be gouging. Second, active WiFi scanning - granted, they didn't jam (which was what got the hotels in trouble) but escorted you off the premises so it was technically legal. Third, they could've offered suggestions that people use hard wire (USB) tethers or built-in WWAN modems to achieve connectivity instead of WiFI Most of the people there would be using tablets, laptops, etc, many models of which have WWAN capability either built-in through USB dongles. Or a USB cable to their phones (practically all smartphones allow USB tethering)

Because right now, it appears to be gouging. Which is why the FCC is irked. I'm sure if they simply suggested other methods, politely asked anyone using WiFi to turn it off and use non-WiFi methods, etc.

Yes, a lot of wifi causes problems - Apple has had problems during their keynotes because everyone had their hotspots on, but there are many ways it can be handled without it seeming like pure greed.

Comment Re:not limitless (Score 4, Interesting) 98

$200 per head seems about right on price, if I had to hire some consultants to throw together a network for 3 days, then tear it all down, seems like a bargain

I dunno what prices you've been conned into paying, but that parses as gouging to me.

Consultants aren't necessary; Hofstra already has an IT infrastructure and staff in place. At worst, they'd have to deploy a couple dozen more WAPs and maybe a 24-port switch if you don't already have the ports free -- maybe USD$4000.00 worth of HW. Set up a new SSID for the reporters with a WPA2 login, which lands you on a temporary VLAN and subnet that routes directly to the Internet and nowhere else. Takes maybe a day to set up, and most of that is CS interns/undergrads pulling Cat.6 and placing WAPs/antennas.

After the debate, turn off the SSID, VLAN, and subnet -- you can pull out the WAPs (if you must) at your leisure. Put the HW away; save it for the next big event, or when an endowment arrives for the next building.

How does this justify $200/head? (Seriously; what am I not figuring here?)

Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 1) 202

Probably, but I am reminded of the Microsoft/Stacker lawsuit. Stacker was a company that did on-the-fly disk compression for DOS systems. Microsoft met up with them and went through a lot of due diligence and saw a lot of Stacker's software code as part of a discussion about Microsoft licensing Stacker for the next version of DOS. They did not reach an agreement. Microsoft then incorporated a product in the next version that looked a lot like Stacker. Stacker sued and eventually won, but was already driven out of business by the time everything cleared court.

That was an interesting lawsuit - and I think in the end it was the compression algorithm they used more than anything - I had a beta version fo DOS6 and a legit version of DOS6 and the two wouldn't work together. I called Microsoft Support one day about that and they sent me a disk with a DoubleSpace to DriveSpace conversion utility that converted one format to the other.

Comment off YouTube...? (Score 2) 274

I have to imagine the quality of this music is pretty dismal?

First..on YouTube, so you don't know the source and quality and then ripped to lossy mp3 format, and I'm guessing it isn't likely to be very high quality mp3.

YouTube audio quality at the HD setting (720p/1080p) is 128kbps AAC, which is close to being considered "audibly transparent" (I believe for AAC the bitrate is a little higher for that - 192kbps?). At lower quality settings, the audio quality does go down.

And a lot of it is ripped, so you do start with a good source material.

Comment Re:cookie (Score 1) 217

So in this metaphor, the internet is your hand not the oreo cookie. Should it cost more to glove the hand that delivers the double stuffed oreo?

Well, I get double-stuf Oreos for the same price (and weight) as the regular Oreos. No doubt there are less cookies per bag, but the bag weighs the same and costs the same. And when it's on sale, it's under $2 per bag.

Hell, when it goes on sale, I should be able to buy a ton of cookies and consume them when I need to. So if they want to use this analogy, I should be able to "stock up" on the service when it goes on sale and use it when I need to. Half price for a year? Then I'll buy several years worth of service at half price and use it when it goes up in price.

Comment Mediacom Are Full of Shit (Score 1) 217

Once again, we have an entrenched, meritlessly entitled incumbent trying to get you to pay attention to the wrong thing. In this case, it's an insultingly laughable analogy that any moderately aware shopper will see right through.

To illustrate this, here's a tray of regular Oreos(TM), and here's a similarly sized tray of double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM). And if you were to consider the per-cookie cost, as Mediacom is clearly hoping you will, then yes, double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) cost more than regular Oreos(TM).

But foodstuffs such as cookies are not sold by the cookie. They're sold by unit weight (or unit mass if you want to be pedantic). Considered this way, the per-ounce cost of the regular and double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) is virtually identical (in this case, about $0.26/oz from this retailer). So if Nabisco(TM) has no reason to charge a premium simply because you consume the cookies in larger units, Mediacom has no such reason, either.

So Mediacom are full of shit.

Comment I Knew There Was Something Fishy... (Score 5, Insightful) 162

A couple years ago, I set up a FreeNAS box to solve the problem of, "the file I want to work with is not on the machine in front of me." Once set up, I also wanted a media server so I could watch stuff on the TV in the living room. Many of the comments in the FreeNAS discussion fora spoke well of Plex, which is available for FreeNAS as a plugin jail. So I installed it and gave it a spin.

I immediately knew something was fishy when I tried to connect to the local server, and the login page didn't work. I run Firefox with NoScript installed. I had the local server IP whitelisted, but the page ignored all button clicks. I click on the NoScript icon... And discover that it's trying to pull in boatloads of JavaScript from

"WRONG!" exclaimed I. The whole point of a local media server such as Plex is for all media-serving code and resources to be hosted locally on my server hardware. The moment you start reaching outside the LAN to do anything, you are no longer a local server.

This discovery basically shattered any alleged positive value Plex may have had, since its primary function -- the basis on which it was sold to me -- turned out to be a lie. I promptly uninstalled it.

Now, it seems Plex has dropped the pretense altogether, and are just another disk farm outside my control. Good luck with that, guys; I'm sure you'll be able to beat Apple, Google, and Amazon at that game.

Comment Re:Ah yes... (Score 2) 126

An SQL injection attack is the easiest thing to close the loop on though. It is the low hanging fruit of security. At least start with that... then we can talk encryption...

Or hashing.

SQL injectable website, passwords in plain text...I'm sure there's a third "security best practice" that's not being followed.

I mean, geez, plain text passwords hasn't been in on any "industry best practice" since never. If there's any reason to make yourself completely vulnerable to being sued, this would be it.

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 146

Companies are already restricting selling spare parts and using nonstandad screws and bolts. Apple and Jura for example.

That's a basic intelligence test for repair and preventing warranty fraud, actually. Far too many people go to YouTube and see how to fix something, then actually try to do it, without realizing they don't have the proper tools (no, a butter knife is NOT a screwdriver), or even skill/dexterity to repair (use a tool to lift the flap on the connector - do not rip the cable out or you may tear the cable, rip off the connector, or break both to the point both parts need replacing).

If you're handy enough to go online and buy the proper tools, you probably at least have the necessary skill not to screw it up worse than it already is.

And some of the worst people to deal with are warranty fraudsters. Hell, try denying a warranty claim because the device has water damage. They'll deny it left right and center, ask for managers, etc., even though the device is clearly dripping so much water it's making a huge puddle on the counter that's dripping onto the floor. Nope, it wasn't water damaged!

Comment Re:Do we have to let the winner out of the arena? (Score 1) 53

Kind of boggles my mind that the google thinks they made $22 billion profit on $31 billion revenue from Android. Talk about magic money? Some kind of projection of the effects of Android's success on their stock prices? Already we're dealing with fantasy here.

However, my two primary reactions were sadness and amusement.

The sadness is at the loss of the google's innocence. I used to think they were sincere about the "Don't be evil" thing, but now they are just another giant EVIL company and the corporate motto has become "All your attention are belong to us." I can't decide whether I was a gullible fool or if the transition was just inevitable under the rules of the American business game as encoded into law by the most cheaply bribed politicians.

You have to remember the reason for Google buying Android then.

Remember, iOS just came out and it was doing fairly well. Google was also doing fairly well - the default being Google for everything meant every iPhone user was using Google and making Google a lot of money.

This did concern Google because Google realized that Apple could cut them off from their golden mobile goose egg at any time, so they needed something to ensure that even if Apple did that, they'd still have fingers in the mobile advertising business. And that's where Android comes into play - it was an OS Google acquired in order to secure mobile advertising profits without Apple.

That's why Android is offered with generous terms to OEMs - as long as Google apps come first, Android was practically free, thus locking in Google's grip on mobile.

Submission + - OpenSSL Patches Bug Created by Patch From Last Week

Trailrunner7 writes: Four days after releasing a new version that fixed several security problems, the OpenSSL maintainers have rushed out another version that patches a vulnerability introduced in version 1.1.0a on Sept. 22.

Last week, OpenSSL patched 14 security flaws in various versions of the software, which is the most widely used toolkit for implementing TLS. One of the vulnerabilities fixed in that release was a low-risk bug related to memory allocation in tls_get_message_header.

The problem is, the patch for that vulnerability actually introduced a separate critical bug. The new vulnerability, which is fixed in version 1.1.0b, only affected version 1.1.0a, but it can lead to arbitrary code execution.

Comment Re:How is this different from any university? (Score 1) 327

But there is absolutely no doubt that a college education on average is an economic benefit. The lifetime earning of people with a bachelor's degree are 1.66x that of someone with high school diploma -- again on average. Someone who starts out as a tradesman and ends up with a successful contracting business can do very well for himself, obviously.

Actually, it's not college. Or university. It's any post-secondary education automatically gives you can economic benefit over a high school diploma.

Your skilled tradesman has post-secondary education - in their trade. Be it electrician, plumber, welder, carpenter, etc. There's post-secondary education attached to it. Even the journeyman status is still education - many other professions have a residency or practicum part of the training.

Because the jobs for high school diplomas is very limited - and the supply is wide, so they pay very little. Think janitor or housekeeper, and even then, you're doing minimum wage. There's also retail. All these jobs are unskilled.

Oh yeah, it's possible to make a lot of money as an unskilled labourer - but that's because the job has an element that makes it less appealing - usually a danger element. Crab fishing, say, an industry with a practically 100% injury rate, nasty weather, 60+ hour workdays, etc. But you can easily earn $50K in 3 months. Then there's oilman, working on oil rigs in terrible conditions, but you can get high 5 digits or 6 digits.

But there are plenty of post-secondary education opportunities - college, university, trade school, etc.

Comment site still down? (Score 2, Informative) 141

I just tried the two top links and get:

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at

        The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
        If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
        If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

Comment Re:What I don't understand. (Score 1) 56

What I don't understand is why you are not allowed to air mail a battery by itself in a sealed container, while you are allowed to air mail the same battery inside a device. I am not that familiar with battery technology, but I would expect that a battery connected to a circuit to have additional ways of catching fire compared to a battery by itself. I mean if a fault happens inside the battery you are screwed whether it is in a device or by itself, but AFAIK there are cases where the problems were caused by the electronics connected to the battery, so you get an even higher chance of something going wrong. Maybe they are afraid the density, i.e. shipments with just batteries which would make more batteries per volume than say a shipment of laptops? But still, there would be rules about density then.
What am I missing?

Problem is battery density. If you're sending batteries, the amount is far more dangerous per unit volume than if the battery was in a device.

Shipping lithium batteries in bulk is what caused the downing of a UPS cargo plane a while back which is why they're no longer allowed - one battery caught fire, which then caused other batteries in the same container to catch as well.

Whereas if it was in a laptop, it may destroy the device and the pack, but the density of cells is lower and its less likely to catch more packs on fire.

It's why hoverboards are particularly dangerous - their packs of 10 or 20 cells wrapped tightly together - when one goes off, it will more than likely cause the rest to off as well.

Also, raw lithium and aluminum don't mix - which means the sprayed lithium can damage structural aircraft components as well.

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