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Comment Re:Well, there goes the 4th Amendment again... (Score 4, Informative) 204

Because of 18 USC 1029:

(a) Whoever -
(1) knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses, or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices;
(2) knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics in or uses one or more unauthorized access devices during any one-year period, and by such conduct obtains anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during that period;
(3) knowingly and with intent to defraud possesses fifteen or more devices which are counterfeit or unauthorized access devices;

And yes, things with mag stripes are access devices as defined under this federal law. Having 143 access devices when a normal person may have at most half a dozen does raise concern that the person is committing a violation.

Comment Re:It's scary that they can't figure out the cause (Score 1) 145

Was on a Alaska flight from SEA to SNA yesterday morning and the flight crew did mention the 7's and to keep them turned off at all times, no charging.

That said, I'm not too worried about open flames in a small space on an airliner (see below.) It wasn't that long ago we had smoking-sections and before that, non-smoking sections. (And before that, what the hell are you talking about?)

One note though. I work for a company that makes the cabins for airliners and there is a whole lot of Flammability testing on EVERYTHING. That sticker that says where the flotation device is, reams of paperwork and a page for each individual sticker. I don't think I can name anything that is more tested than an modern airliner. Truly a marvel of engineering. An overhead luggage compartment, designed to be very light, I can pick one up with one arm, will take a static load of over 2 tons just so nothing will come flying out when there's a hard landing.

Interesting side note, we did have one factory blow up (collapsed the roof) when the machine impregnating the non-flammability into cloth didn't get vented correctly.

Comment Re:I confess - I am hurting PC sales (Score 2) 310

I'm lucky, we just did a refresh at work an I have more Core2 and i5 Enterprise HP SFF desktops than I know what to do with. We kept the two dozen or so i7 boxes for ourselves and friends. We gave away to the employees all the Core2 and i5 machines, I still have a two sitting in my car that no one wants. The i7 boxes we loaded with 32GB of RAM and SSD drives to make into ESXi lab boxes.

The Core2 and i5 HP boxes with 12 to 24GB of RAM and Quadro 600 video (that's how we ordered them) are good for another 7 years, at least. But the new corporate overlords wanted us to buy Dell. Put an SSD in any of them (and we did) and you have a box that will load the entire cabin of a 787 in Autocad almost as fast as the Z820 workstaions.

Old boxes are just fine if you put an SSD in them.

Comment Verizon kinda does that (Score 1) 65

A friend at a local seattle community college received a verizon hotspot. Seems the college gave wifi units to every student, with no data caps. Not sure what the agreement was, or how it was included with the student fees, but all the students received them. unlimited verizon wifi hotspots (wow!)

We pay over 150 bux a month for 15gigs on verizon for ours, and these students had unlimited access. Crazy. As theres no high speed data in the rural areas of Washington state, and sat is over subscribed. Waiting or Viasat 2 and 3 to launch, so we can get it.

Comment Right. (Score 1) 168

Rural areas cant handle self driving cars. Rural counties cant afford paved roads, they cant afford to plow or grade dirt and gravel roads. Everyone keeps talking about self driving cars, but that doesnt work I cant see self driving cars for a long time, the practical, the cost, legal areas, and when people drive trucks for decades, its going to be awhile. In the cities, sure, why not. Outside the city, we dont even have Internet except dialup in many places.

Comment Re:No programmers' typeface (Score 3, Insightful) 175

Where I find the problem is in randomly generated passwords. I have a large spreadsheet of VPN passwords for users at work that I had to change the the password column to an OCR font just to make sure I was giving out the correct code.

The original C64 had this issue which was worse on the SX64 with its 5" screen. I went as far as to design a custom font and burn it into the font EPROM.

Comment Re:This is about power, control, and greed... (Score 1) 314

> Power: See above. Put on your tin foil hat, but this is one step in a wave to disrupt and control communication when a "state of emergency" or "martial law" is declared. Just wait.

As I understand it, the US discovered it is WAY easier to control people when they are sedentary (obese due to force feeding them subsidized surplus corn), uneducated (US ranks among the lowest in public education), and easily entertained (reality TV, 24-hour newscrap cycles).

With that in mind: failing to provide communication mechanisms cause panic. Panic is hard to manage. If I was a government intent on controlling the population, I wouldn't do things to disrupt their internet feed or make them feel like they need to "prep". I would keep them week and as dependent on infrastructure as possible. Not maintaining phone lines would work against that.

Plus, the government --already-- controls communication. Everything we transmit is capture, logged, mined and correlated. So there's really nothing to be had from the gov't angle in my mind. I agree with your Greed and Control 1e6% however. Its another way cell companies make billions in the US. Every country I've been to from Europe to SE Asia has better, cheaper, more reliable wireless.

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