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Comment Re:What's the frequency Kenneth? (Score 2) 263

I'm sorry. I assumed 'beat it into parts' was hyperbole. Just what exactly are you planning on using to beat it into parts? Assuming the hard drive is reasonably secured you aren't going to be 'long gone' by the time security shows up. You're still going to be smashing it trying to get at the hard drive when they show up. Sure, you know what a hard drive looks like, but in which of the battleship grey 1/4" tempered steel boxes is it in? Going to grab them all? Well, if I were to design the system I would probably have a lot of that stuff attached together with some pretty thick and heavy duty cable, the kind you use to keep people from stealing stuff, so you're going to have to haul a significant portion of the 300 lbs robot with you and then hope it doesn't have any sort of lo-jack system.

And incidentally, while you are doing all of this you are still in a parking garage being monitored by other cameras. How are you getting it out of there? Loading it up in your truck? Would that be the one that had its license plate visible when you drove into the garage? And that's the same one you plan on using to drive out of the garage after the alert goes off? Gee. I wonder where the human guards should go to head you off.

This isn't meant to be a statement of 'it's impossible! You will never do it!' I am sure all of these hurdles can eventually be surmounted. What it is meant to be is a statement of 'that's probably more work than you're thinking'.

Remember, to each and every complex problem there is inevitably a simple and easy answer, and it is usually wrong.

Comment Re:What's the frequency Kenneth? (Score 1) 263

It's always funny how people jump to 'just hack it'. How do you plan to do that? What protocols is it receiving? What if the camera and microphone can't be turned off remotely but have to be turned off by a physical switch behind a locked access panel? And even if you do turn it off what happens when the server stops receiving transmissions? You're going to send a loop of old footage? Well, a lot of digital footage includes timestamps so the server will probably spot that in a second. Planning on forging your own footage? Let's hope the transmissions aren't digitally signed since you can give up on getting the key until you've been able to completely disassemble the robot.

And if you've got enough skill to do all of this why the Hell are you stealing cars from Uber? Go hack into some banks or something and make some real money.

Now I'm not actually saying the robot has all these protections. I've honestly got no idea what it's got and I would bet money that Knightscope is employing at least a bit of security through obscurity so they won't tell people everything they are doing to protect it. All I'm saying is that is that the idea of 'hack it instead' is largely a Hollywood contrivance. It isn't that it is impossible. It's just that it isn't something that happens because some 19 year old starts pounding on the keys of his keyboard while text scrolls up his screen. It's a lot of work.

Comment Re:Can't do stairs (Score 1) 263

Anyone can 'get away' from the robot. It has no ability to stop them. All it does is roam around, take pictures, and call for help.

In a lot of ways it isn't much more than a roaming camera with some smart abilities for generating alerts so that people don't need to monitor it.

Running up a flight of stairs doesn't really impede that. Given that the robot is designed to chase off criminals even if you run up the stairs it's done its job.

Comment Re:3d already gives me motion sickness (Score 2) 92

Actually, properly done a motion harness -should- decrease motion sickness in most cases. VR motion sickness tends to be caused by your eyes disagreeing with your inner ear with respect to motion and orientation and such. As a result a 3-degrees of motion or 6-degree of motion harness has a strong potential to reduce the motion sickness.

I use terms like 'should' and 'strong potential' because this assumes that the software is all doing its job properly. Obviously if when you turn right in VR the harness lags half a second and then turns you left then it would probably exacerbate the problem rather than reduce it.

Comment Re:Pi reliability (Score 2, Interesting) 97

Not to be pedantic, but if the issue is that the SDcard dies that is probably more of an issue of the SDcard than the PI. I say 'probably' because it is possible for a machine to be hammering the SDCard and kill it a lot quicker but neither of my RPi's seem to do that as a normal part of operations. Of course I'm using a pair of RPi 2 and the RPi B+ might be different. Also, your specific usage could be such that you're doing a lot more access of the SDCard than I am (although since I'm running a database that is getting updates about every 30 seconds my guess is the only usage case where you are hammering the card more than I am over a sustained period is because of a programming error).

Comment Re:finally?? (Score 2) 97

Perfect example. For what you want to do it's 'better'. However, for my project I need to connect a NrF24L01 radio to it. This is necessary because my arduino based sensors are powered by a pair of AA batteries. If I used the GL.iNet networking I would probably have to make my sensors ESP8266 baded and transmit the data via WiFi. This would use 6-8x the amount of power over what the NrF24L01 uses and I would need to buy a WiFi access point if I didn't already have one (although that's last part is probably not much of an issue for most of us).

While the GL.iNet has better networking capabilities the RPi 2 has a quad core CPU running at 900 MHz instead of 400 MHz. Since I store the data to a SQL database and then use JPGraph to convert it to images on the web pages that I use to view the data summary the CPU is a bigger issue for me. And for $13 more I have a device that can be repurposed into a media center at a later date if I find another solution to use as a reciever/database/webserver.

Which isn't to say that the GL.iNet is a bad device. If I want to build a portable TOR modem it would be a much better choice than the RPi. 'Better' all comes down to what you are doing.

Communications

Gmail Now Rejects Emails With Misleading Combinations of Unicode Characters 79

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it is implementing a new effort to thwart spammers and scammers: the open standard known as Unicode Consortium's "Highly Restricted" specification. In short, Gmail now rejects emails from domains that use what the Unicode community has identified as potentially misleading combinations of letters. The news today follows Google's announcement last week that Gmail has gained support for accented and non-Latin characters. The company is clearly okay with international domains, as long as they aren't abused to trick its users.

Comment Re:Traitors to the American Dream (Score 1) 393

I don't like it because I think that it is an illustration of a broken system. It's like someone in a race who is throwing things to tangle up the other people's feet. Yes, they represent their people but that doesn't necessarily excuse their actions. It merely explains them.

Their actions are no more righteous than if the people of their districts directly voted to put obstructions in the way of SpaceX in order to protect their own interests. I only raised the issue of who they represent because the claim was made that they were not representing the American people (which is true).

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 393

Yeah. Like I said, he's not completely powerless. It is simply that the office has less power than Congress' (though again, it isn't divided up). I didn't really mean to turn this into a major discussion of Presidential power. It was more an answer to 'why do people listen to Congress?'. Because we have to.

Comment Re:Traitors to the American Dream (Score 1) 393

At the risk of defending them (because really, I don't like these guys any more than you do), the are representatives of the people -who elected them-. That means the people in their district, so protecting businesses that bring money to those districts (and thus to the people they represent) isn't -completely- without merit.

Please note that I'm not advocating that they protect those businesses at the expense of their people by loosening regulations or anything like that. I'm just saying that in -this instance- some argument can be made that they are protecting and representing their people, at least in the short run, and it is almost impossible for anyone to get elected appealing to people on the grounds of 'yes, this is going to cost you money, but in fifty years from now you children will really benefit'.

This kind of action is more a symptom of what needs to be fixed than an illness in and of itself. Unfortunately going the other way and creating a system where representatives only look at the big picture instead of their smaller constituent group causes its own problems.

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 393

. . .more importantly why is anyone listening to people from a division of government with a 16%!!!!! approval rating. . .

Because crappy approval rating or not they are still the legislative branch of our government. That means that they are the ones who actually make the laws. The President only has the power to execute laws and other decisions of Congress* and the Supreme Court only has the power to interpret those laws (part of that power, however, means they could decide a law violates the Constitution and is unenforcable, but in such a case they are still interpreting law).

Congress actually has much more power than the President. The thing is that the power is divided up between 535 people so the office of the President is still more powerful than any one of them.

*The President does also hold a few other powers such as Veto but pretty much all of these powers can be overridden by Congress.

Comment Re:Magnetic strip? (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Audio tape is sequential access, not random access. The same thing with the magnetic strip. Usually this isn't a problem because the magnetic strip on your card contains a very small amount of information so it is quick to read the entire sequence but if you had to sequentially load just 16k of information from a tape it could take some time.

Ask anyone who had a home computer before floppy disks became available.

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