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Comment Re:Which is cool... (Score 1) 76

You should be well aware, that the movie industry is opposed to that, and make sure this isn't allowed in their license.

It is supposably to stop illegal sharing of the data. But I think it is more to keep the honest honest approach. Having a file you obtained legally sitting on your PC ready to be copied and shared with your friend who would share it with their friend...

While currently the person would actually have to go to the darknet to get the pirated version.

Submission + - Maryland Hobbyist Suing the FAA over Drone Registry

jenningsthecat writes: Maryland drone builder and attorney John Taylor, who in January took the FAA to court over its drone registry program, is now receiving financial help with his suit from DC DUG, the D.C. area Drone User Group. In his Petitoner's Brief, (PDF), Taylor maintains that "(f)or the first century of American aviation and beyond, the federal government made no attempt whatsoever to regulate recreational model aircraft", and that "(t)he FAA seeks to revise history when it argues its failure to register model aircraft, or otherwise treat them in any manner as ‘aircraft,’ in the past was the exercise of an ‘enforcement discretion'"

As of this writing I have been unable to find any news on the progress of the suit beyond its having been filed.

Comment Re:No return trips? (Score 4, Funny) 394

Instead of the ambition to send people in giant ships to Mars, how about the ambition to fix the God damned space ships he's got now that regularly fail to get into LEO?

Good idea! You should call up Musk and suggest that to him, I bet he never thought of that.

Internet commenters save the day again!

Comment Someone just got ripped off (Score 2) 141

I've seen the commercial offerings that claim you need to tune the antennas. They seem to have gone a step further and have a dedicated tech for "detecting interference". At best it is a hotspot management tool, usually it's expensive snake oil. Especially on a small area like this, a good set of APs should be able to handle the "load" and have enough power to handle other APs, especially the weak phone ones.

Submission + - Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law? (

schwit1 writes: The host of the first presidential debate on Monday night, Hofstra University in New York, may have broken the law and could be in line for a huge fine.

Reporters at the event were appalled to find that among the heavily marked-up items they were offered – $150 to rent a lamp, anyone? – was a $200 charge for a "secure wireless internet connection."

Worse than the clear effort to price-gouge people trying to file stories, however, was the fact that the university decided that only its wireless access points were allowed to be used, and even sent someone around with a Wi-Fi signal detector apparently threatening to throw out anyone who was using an "unauthorized" access point.

That action – effectively shutting down people's ability to use their own internet connection in order to force them to use a paid-for service – was ruled illegal in 2014 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a landmark ruling against Marriott Hotels.

Comment No scathing reply here, but I think you're wrong. (Score 1) 228

Higher fuel prices mean people drive a little bit less. (You start phasing out the unnecessary stuff, and encourage people to be a little more efficient about the trips they do make.) But that's the low-hanging fruit that doesn't really have a huge impact. People who are short on money already behave this way because even $2/gallon gas gets expensive. You can buy a couple of meals for what you pay to fill your tank one time.

And the "urban sprawl" you refer to is, IMO, a thing with just as many benefits as downsides. There's MUCH more to it than just worrying about logistics of how close to a job someone lives.

For example, look at the water shortage challenges happening in some places on the West Coast. That's basically a distribution issue caused by having too many people interested in trying to live all packed in to relatively small areas. Or look at some of the challenges with garbage in places like New York City. The people who decide they don't want to live in the "big city" help spread out the impact we have on our geography and natural resources. And as someone pointed out above - it has the effect of keeping housing prices down too. When you get a big concentration of people in one city, there's too much competition for housing and costs skyrocket for rent as well as home ownership.

There's nothing wrong with or unsustainable about the "American dream" as it traditionally existed. If you extend that to building a McMansion with a number of large rooms you rarely use but keep paying to heat and cool anyway -- that's a different situation. But for our family of 6, finding an older 2 story home with 4 bedrooms and a 2 car garage was exactly what we needed. This, in turn, allows my wife's mother to live with us instead of the popular theme today of pushing our elders off to some retirement community or nursing home to live out their remaining days ....

Comment Re:Bandiwidth is *free* fallacy.. (Score 1) 224

Sure, but when they can make a change that big and still be profitable, it does say a lot about how much economic rent they have been collecting all these years. (The word rapacious comes to mind).

It also reveals that everything they ever said about needing the caps to manage network load was just a pack of lies. It lends a lot of credence to the theory that the caps were more about leveraging a monopoly to keep the likes of Hulu and Netflix out than they were about network management.

Compared to what they have been charging, bandwidth must be damned close to free.

Submission + - What is employers obsession with programming languages? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Just got off the phone with a recruiter for a company and the lady asked if I had 3-4 years C++ and 3-4 years Java experience. Okay, so first off, C++ and Java are two different programming languages used for two completely different purposes.

C++ being used mainly for low-level platform specific programming and Java being platform independent. My response was I programmed in C++ throughout college, but haven't worked any jobs specifically writing C++ and I've had Java experience in past jobs, but mostly used C# which was similar.

She said, "Oh well we are only looking for those two languages so thanks anyways". Is it just me or is this absolutely insane? It's like wanting to hire a mechanic who has 3-4 years experience working with just 1978 ford trucks. I mean really? How did we get to this point as engineers?

As any developer worth their weight in salt can attest, the languages are so similar it's kind of difficult to distinguish between them looking at syntax alone and if you've got a computer science background or equiv what's it really matter if the underlying OOP concepts are the same.

Is this just a result of incompetent managers and ignorant recruiters or as engineers have we set ourselves up by succumbing to a label such as Java Engineer or C# Programmer.

Should I just say yes, and move forward with the interview? I mean, I could probably answer most C++/Java programming questions unless they are truly looking for people who spend all their time memorizing specific libraries or API's which in my opinion is insane. I equate that to trying to memorize a phone book. You can but why would you want to?

Not only is it frustrating as a job candidate, but it seems to really be limiting your hiring pool to a small few who by chance happen to work in a couple different programming languages over the course of their career. How do most of you handle this sort of thing?

Comment Too little, too late .... (Score 4, Insightful) 59

I'll be *very* surprised if this catches on.
There are plenty of people trying to sell corporate IM solutions -- and Facebook is a late entrant in this category.

We adopted Slack and I had my doubts, initially, that it was even going to amount to much for our company. But it's proven itself to be pretty handy, largely because they gave a lot of ability to link up notifications and error messages from other applications to it, and everything put into Slack is persistent. (I can go back in a search and find a troubleshooting tip or a web URL that a co-worker mentioned months ago, if I need to.) Plus, it's cross-platform compatible with clients that work well on our iPads and iPhones, Windows PCs, Macs, etc.

Still, we're finding ourselves in a situation where we've got an IM client built into our VoIP phone system's control panel on our computers, and Slack for our departmental communications, plus all of our Mac and Windows users long ago standardizing on using AOL's AIM messenger (linkable to Apple iMessages on the Mac) and publishing a directory of all of our employee's IM names in there. We're pretty saturated on corporate chat clients.

Facebook has a relatively poor reputation in the workplace anyway, though. People consider it a time-waster and a site needing to be blocked in some instances.

Submission + - Dark matter detection to go ultra sensitive with LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) (

hypnosec writes: The US Department of Energy has given a green light to the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector ever built — LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ). The dark matter detector, has received an approval for the scope, cost and schedule. LZ is named for the merger of two dark matter detection experiments: the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) and the UK-based ZonEd Proportional scintillation in Liquid Noble gases experiment (ZEPLIN). LUX, a smaller liquid xenon-based underground experiment at SURF will be dismantled to make way for the new project.

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