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Comment Re:Thin sucks (Score 2) 120

I'm 50 years old and have owned 3.5mm jack devices for about 40 of those years, starting with a Radio Shack pocket AM/FM radio, a good half dozen or more Walkman-style cassette players, most iPhone models, 3 iPods, and various PCs and laptops. Possibly 2 dozen devices added up.

I think I've had problems with 1-2 of the cassette Walkman devices and the headphone jacks getting static problems, but the others have been fine and never developed problems. The Walkmans mostly likely became problems because they just got used hard, jammed into pockets with stress on the jacks.

But I also wouldn't write off general improvements in construction of the jacks since then. We call it the 3.5mm jack like it hasn't changed, but over time everything about it has probably improved. Superior metallurgy means superior contacts with more durable spring force, more resistance to corrosion, engineering improvements in mounting such as tighter, closer tolerance mounting resulting in strain transferred to the housing and not the PCB.

IMHO, Bluetooth hasn't improved at all other than perhaps slightly on the audio quality side. Pairing is still a PITA, source devices are prone to wandering and shifting to other devices -- I've lost connections on my phone when the headphones in my car were still on, causing my phone to shift to my car headset despite me actively using a headset in the house.

Then there's Bluetooth's general limitations -- I've yet to see simultaneous pairing with a BT headset where you can get simultaneous mixed audio from two devices -- ie, why can't I pair my PC and phone at the same time and get audio from both in my headphones at the same time? Why do I have to fuck around disabling BT on one to shift the device to the other?

Comment Was Already Approved For "Generic" Tier Rebates? (Score 2) 160

As much fun as it is to use Mylan as a punching bag these days, there's a final point in the Ars article that leads me to think this is hardly in the bag for the Feds.

The question of whether Mylan had misclassified EpiPens came up during a recent Congressional hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, defending the company's prices at the hearing, stood by the classification. She noted that EpiPen was classified as a generic before Mylan bought the drug in 2007.

And if that's true - that Medicare was already applying the âoenon-innovator multiple sourceâ rebate schedule to the EpiPen back in 2007 - then that makes this case a lot murkier. The Feds would then have to make a case as to why the drug can and should be reclassified at the higher âoesingle sourceâ tier. It's clear that in practice the EpiPen is a single source device, but the conflict at the heart of this is one of bureaucracy and not medical practices; the Feds would need to justify both the higher rate now, and why they're not culpable for approving the lower rate in the first place.

Given how long that this is going on, I suspect that this isn't an easy case to prove, otherwise the Feds would have done it already. Instead it's probably being brought back up now to either apply additional pressure to Mylan, or to strike while the political iron is hot.

Comment Re:Some time back. . . (Score 1) 109

The problem is that Amazon has separate feedback mechanisms for the product and the seller. And in the case of the former, they commingle all the product reviews together regardless of the seller. No matter if you buy a roll of tape from Amazon, Bob's Warehouse (fulfilled by Amazon), or Alice's Emporium (self fulfilled), the product review will be listed for all. So Amazon isn't wrong about negative seller feedback in a product review being unhelpful. The problem is that seller feedback isn't very obvious to buyers.

Comment How secure is Apple itself? (Score 3, Insightful) 32

Given the FBI complaining about its encryption, this bug bounty, etc, the general impression (and yes, it might be wrong) is that the iOS platform is pretty secure.

So how secure is Apple in terms of physical security, employee security, etc?

You would think the next level of attack would be the HQ itself -- getting somebody inside, either secret agent style or compromising an Apple employee somehow.

Are people who work on iOS device security watched 24/7 by security themselves? Do they work in some kind of high security vault? Is the guy pushing the mail cart actually a deep cover FSB agent?

If you work for Apple on iOS security do you think twice when some pretty girl at the bar starts talking to you, especially if she says her name is Natasha?

Comment Re:Is this proof (Score 1) 32

Is this proof of iOS's security or does this correlate with the value of the holders of the iPhones?

It's both. Apple has apparently hardened devices that are popular with high value targets to the point where remote exploits are now costly to obtain. The market is factoring in both of these properties.

Comment Re:Hey! (Score 1) 70

Sure. I use one of these, with this firmware, making it a cute little self-contained Linux box with both a HTML GUI and a command-line interface that is as complete as you want to make it. (I've got a build environment on mine, just because I can.)

802.11ac, dual-core 800MHz ARM, 256MB of RAM and 128MB of flash (all of which are complete overkill for this application), along with multiple USB ports for plugging in random goodies.

Comment Re:Most rich people's houses aren't in very... (Score 1) 314

The only real long-term survival platform is an isolated farm where you can grow your own food.

Nomadic is fine, but the cannibals they encountered on their trip would have eaten even the homeless guy with the shopping cart.

And nomadic has certain risks -- uncertain access to food or water, crossing paths with other dangerous nomads, crossing into territory held by hostiles, exposure to weather and so on.

It's amusing to think about survivalism but really, things go south without a community structure pretty fast. Even a very isolated bunker has a limited timeline without access to outside resources -- 5 years, 10 at the outside for a large quantity of food stuffs amenable to long term storage? This also assumes you have no energy needs, dependence on anything that might wear out or need repairs unless you have multiple replacements which don't age in storage.

I suppose someone could treat a bunker like a long-haul space ship and provide it with a nuclear power source, a water recycling system, air filtration and the necessary parts and replacement equipment to keep it running but even that becomes a challenge past a certain timeline and requires extensive skills and a large community, and the community itself can become a liability as people aren't totally dependable.

Comment Re:Most rich people's houses aren't in very... (Score 1) 314

Well, what you really want is a the starship Enterprise...

Obviously a nuclear powered submarine would be impossible even for Paul Allen money.

But even if Elon Musk designed a submarine, a submarine is simply too complex of a marine system to realistically manage (outside of the short-duration tethered submersibles used for finding wrecks).

A sub-surface habitat is an interesting idea, but I think the systems involved with air production and circulation would be too complex and the entire thing would be too dependent on energy.

A surface vessel has the advantages of access to wind and solar and it's not hard to imagine a system of fold-out solar panels and fold-up wind turbines to keep a large battery array charged for long-endurance anchorages. Diesel power would only be used to move the vessel to avoid serious storms or seek different anchorages.

Comment Re:Most rich people's houses aren't in very... (Score 4, Insightful) 314

The problem with a conventional yacht is they're fuel pigs. I'd wager Allen's yacht runs a high powered generator continuously to maintain the internal electrical systems, ventilation, and so forth even when docked unless docked at a location where you could get an industrial grade shore power feed.

What I'm thinking of is more along the lines of a more purpose-built boat that would require much less continuous electrical power and what it needed could be taken from wind, solar or even wave generation from deployed buoys. Tesla-type Li battery storage for nights or periods of poor weather, although in a marine environment with wind turbines some kind of power could always be generated.

I could see a solar panel system that would fold out from the sides when at anchor, as well as wind turbines that could be folded down along with fixed panels for supplemental power when the boat was in motion. The folding stuff would be folded in poor weather or in transit and deployed as weather conditions allowed. With enough solar panels, you might even be able to provide air conditioning for smaller interior spaces during sunlight hours.

The idea would be the ability to have long-duration self-sustaining electric power at anchor. Firing the engines would be done only when you needed to move and the engines sized for minimal fuel consumption -- there's a lot of recreation trawlers with top speeds of 9-10 knots off single engines capable of a few thousand mile ranges on full fuel tanks.

Comment Re:Hey! (Score 1) 70

In this lesser Slashdot that we have these days (wherein I don't even see anyone saying "just use an old box for pfsense and be done"), I'll second Asus.

The stock firmware is allegedly built upon OpenWRT, and for those that like Tomato-USB/Shibby, they're generally all well-supported.

I have had many small networks that would have fallen over (and indeed, were actively falling-over), which were absolutely saved by proper QoS rules in Shibby's builds of Tomato-USB.

For the home-gamer: Multiple massive torrents, voip, and Netflix, Youtube, general web browsing and email, and low-latency gaming on the same absolutely-saturated cheap last-mile pipe? Easily handled, and all work fine.

Comment Re:Most rich people's houses aren't in very... (Score 4, Interesting) 314

I would think a superior solution to a fixed bunker would be some kind of specialized boat designed for long endurance. Wind turbines, fold out solar panels for electric power. Water could be supplied by marine water makers. Food supplies could be supplemented by fishing.

Simply being out on the water gets you away from the most common threats. Maybe there are mobile pirates you have to worry about, but there will always be fewer of them than roving mobs of people with cutting torches.

If you were super rich, why not look into retrofitting an oil drilling platform into a sea bunker?

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 4, Interesting) 314

Whether Obama has been merely thoughtful and cautious or actually indecisive and passive is something that can be debated, but whatever it is it has created something of an impression that he lacks an appearance of decisiveness and strong leadership.

I kind of wish he had made some bold moves, even if they weren't necessarily the most ideal moves, simply to demonstrate he was moving forward and not settling for a status quo ante.

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