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Comment Re:BBS (Score 1) 181

Most of the early boards I called were Renegade, one was WWIV, one was Telegard.

Then I discovered a board running Excelsior! and the rest quickly faded. Inherently multi-line, and supported inter-system links, so I was calling one Excelsior! BBS with 6 lines, and one of them was a dedicated linking line to another board the next city over (still a local call, but itself was local to different folks) with 12 lines, and that was linked to yet another with 8, and everyone could communicate. It was... phenomenally addictive. My grades reflected that.

Comment Re:BBS (Score 1) 181

> both sides of the disk were coated with media.

Yup. Some single-sided drives used only the top surface, and some used only the bottom, but the "single-sided" disks didn't specify which systems they were intended for, ergo both sides must've been usable!

I have a box full of those notch punches in the basement. One of these days I'm gonna go to VCFMW and hand 'em out like candy. :)

Comment Re:This explains it all (Score 1) 395

The tower doesn't need to know your location for that to happen.

Actually in CDMA, they do, to get the timing-advance that allows soft-handoff to work. It's down to tens of nanoseconds to make the chips line up when they're received at your location, and that means the trilateration accuracy is down to tens of feet.

Also, all modern standards are based on CDMA for the air-interface portion, because it's so efficient.

Look up any of the hyphenated terms if you care to learn more.

Crime

Mars Rover Code Used For Cyber-Espionage Malware 78

An anonymous reader writes: Two open-source libraries used in the Mars Rover software have been integrated in the source code of a malware family (nicknamed Rover) used as part of a cyber-espionage campaign against the Indian government (Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan). The two libraries are OpenCV and OpenAL, two libraries for processing image and audio information. As such, the Rover malware can take screenshots, record video and audio.

Comment This is called "cable mining" in the telephone biz (Score 1) 169

And Ma Bell has been doing it for a century. Cable rack in the central offices gets crowded after just a few decades, otherwise.

There's precedent, there are specialized tools and procedures for error reduction, and worldwide there are at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people with lots of experience in this very specific field.

Comment Blind folks still use cassette tape quite a lot. (Score 5, Interesting) 169

You can feel the weight balance to tell how much of the tape is on one reel versus the other. You can rewind and fastforward by gut-feeling, with no display. Every operation of the player is tactile, and there are no hidden options menus, touchscreens, or any of that crap.

Power

Company Extends Alkaline Battery Life With Voltage Booster 243

New submitter ttsai writes: Batteroo is a Silicon Valley company preparing to release its Batteriser product in September. The Batteriser is a small sleeve that fits around alkaline batteries to boost the voltage to 1.5V. This means that batteries that would otherwise be thrown into the trash when the voltage dips to 1.3V or 1.4V could be used until the unboosted voltage reaches 0.6V, extending the useful life of a battery 8x, according to the company. This product has the potential to reduce the number of batteries in landfills as well as increasing the time between replacing batteries. The expected price of the sleeve is $10 for a pack of 4 sleeves.
Encryption

Tor Project Aims To Eclipse US Government Funding 53

An anonymous reader writes Developed by the U.S. Navy and the recipient of millions of dollars of government grants, the Tor Project is now aiming to ween itself off dependence of U.S. government funds "including setting a goal of 50 percent non-U.S. government funding by 2016." The initiative comes after months of discussion over what some vocal critics deemed a contradiction in funding and purpose.

Comment So, we've already paid experts to plan this... (Score 1) 352

And it's pretty cool:
The integrated space plan is an update of the document originally drawn up in the 1980s, and has been variously rediscovered since.

It's a long-view look at where we need to go and what we need to get there. In the 1980s, commercial spaceflight was envisioned somewhat differently than it's happened, and robotics have gotten way more capable, so the refresh is definitely needed.

Cellphones

Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners 220

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word that Samsung is hopping on the metal case and rounded corners design bandwagon. From the article: Samsung says a metal frame and curved corners give the Galaxy Alpha a "sophisticated" look. The South Korean company describes the Galaxy Alpha as representing a "new design approach". The firm has previously been criticised for the plastic feel of its handsets at a time when other firms have opted to use materials marketed as having a "premium" feel. Samsung Electronics saw a 20% year-on-year drop in its last quarter's profit. The phone features 2G of RAM, a 4.7" AMOLED display, and either an 8-core Exynos 5 or 4-core Snapdragon 801.

Comment Helped diagnose an allergic reaction, too! (Score 1) 47

After popping a bunch of benadryl and being satisfied that my condition wasn't worsening, I elected to make a regular appointment with my GP instead of going to Emergency.

I decided to take a few photos of the skin rash before it went away, which allowed the doctor (three days later, when I was totally fine again) to quickly identify that it was indeed an allergic reaction, and based on where it appeared, the subsequent interview helped diagnose the cause. Worked great!

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