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Comment Re:The point (Score 4, Interesting) 532

Australia is unique in that it is an island continent. You can't just drive across the border to get some smokes.

You can fly in with your suitcase full of packs of cigarettes and have them taxed to hell and back in customs, or you can use a boat to go from the northern coast of Australia to PNG / Indonesia, which is not a short trip by any stretch.

Then you have to get your boatload of cigarettes that are boxed in bright, attractive packaging to your customers without arousing suspicion, because every pack of cigarettes in Australia is plain white with pictures of mouth cancer &etc on it by law. So you stuff about and put them all into little baggies, or whaterever, increasing your labour and distribution costs further.

So what will happen is that you'll have a few large black market operators that are regularly picked off by Customs, and black market cigarettes will be hard to come by, and hopefully people will just save themselves the hassle, quit smoking, and drink themselves to death instead with the money they've saved.

Comment Re:Read Only (Score 1) 215

No, ROM chips are manufactured with the data an intrinsic part of the silicon, the chip mask changes for different data. If it's writable once, it's a PROM, not a ROM.

And if it's erasable by UV light it's an EPROM

And if instead of UV light you can use a higher voltage to erase it, it's electrically erasable programmable ROM, or EEPROM.

Which these days is pretty much the same as the generic "flash memory" term that you've used.

So.... where were we again?

Oh yeah, ROM being a poorly chosen misnomer. I disagree.

"ROM" - to the end user, past and present - is software you can't change. The BASIC interpreter on your C64, the section of Android that boots and runs the basic system apps, that package is referred to as a ROM, be it a physical chip with a UV window, or these days the zip file that is sent around and then programmed into your EEPROM on your phone.

If someone gave me an OS/9 ROM for my COCO II, yes, that would be a chip. Someone gives me "Bert's Buttery Smooth Vanilla Marshmallow ROM" for my Nexus, well that's a file that gets loaded to my phone, but essentially it's the same item - the operating system.

Comment O RLY? (Score 4, Informative) 163

So, a house fire traced back to a faulty meter means that they can be 'hacked to literally explode'. Excellent extrapolation there guys.

Smart meters may - or may not - have a relay to control loads on a different tariff than the usual "always on 24/7" one. They may possibly be hacked to turn this relay on - or off, making them a bit of a nuisance.

But explosions? Or house fires even? A bit hard to believe.

Comment Possible solutions (Score 5, Funny) 189

Problem 1 - Lose one earpiece.
Solution 1 - Maybe use a tether of some sort to keep the earpieces together?

Problem 2 - Battery dies
Solution 2 - Maybe have that tether double as a charging lead? You could plug it into some sort of handy port on the phone to keep the batteries charged up.

Problem 3 - Audio sync between earpieces.
Solution 3 - Perhaps shift the audio hardware to the phone, decode the audio there and then transfer simple audio signals down the tether to the earpieces? That might work.

Comment Re:There's more to come... (Score 5, Informative) 454

a voter fraud ring in Indiana.

"the group has submitted about 40,000 registration forms" ... "at least 10 of the group's voter registration forms from Marion and Hendricks counties contained fraudulent information. Local election officials said some of the group's forms were missing key information, such as Social Security numbers and birth dates."

So, 10 out of 40000 had missing info.

I am underwhelmed.

Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 2, Informative) 143

Do you have friends and/or family with Apple products? If so, then this is a window into their little world of seamless messaging, something that is a complete shitshow on Android. Basically, once you've got a person's Apple ID, you can send them a message and it will appear:

On their iPad
On their iPhone - and the backend will switch to SMS if necessary to deliver it, if you're without data.
On their iMac, or whatever their desktop/laptop line is called now.

And they can reply to and follow the complete conversation on any device.

The biggest thing about iMessage is that it's been consistent for years across IOS devices. One consistent messaging interface, compared to Android and it's pile of apps that attempt to substitute for the missing OEM unified messaging app. Here's a few that I can think of off the top of my head :

Messages (and any aftermarket SMS app)
Facebook Messenger

There's no one app that can do messaging via data or SMS across the desktop and phone space. Apple users don't have to deal with this fragmentation. Everyone's got iMessage. And it's pretty damn slick.

Comment Re:No news! (Score 3, Interesting) 95

Every time one of my friends on facebook shares something from some crap aggregator site like "SuperInterestingCoolFunFacts", I go to the little drop-down menu on that post and select "hide all from SuperInterestingCoolFunFacts".

Turns out that most of my friends only get their daily dose of drivel from a few sites, so after a couple of rounds of that the signal to noise ratio improves considerably.

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