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Patents

Submission + - Android faces new lawsuit (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Google's Dalvik virtual machine, which runs Java applications in Android phones, is under fire again, this time in a lawsuit filed by Gemalto. Gemalto, which makes smart cards and SIM card security technologies, has sued Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Gemalto alleges that Dalvik uses Gemalto's Java Card technology, which lets Java applications run on smart cards."
Networking

Submission + - Closing in on 1Gbps using DSL (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "DSL vendors are using a variety of methods such as bonding several copper lines, creating virtual ones and using advanced noise cancellation to increase broadband over copper to several hundred megabits per second. At the Broadband World Forum in Paris, Nokia Siemens Networks became the latest vendor to brag about its copper prowess. It can now transmit speeds of up to 825M bps over a distance of 400 meters."
Transportation

Submission + - Can Smarter Red Lights Increase Fuel Efficiency? (greencarreports.com)

thecarchik writes: Denso has modeled the next iterations of a "smart traffic light" system. It would use messaging between vehicles and the traffic-light controller to let the light make better decisions about when to change, to maximize overall vehicle throughput. And that, in turn would reduce the number of minutes cars spent idling at traffic lights, cutting their emissions and their fuel usage. In other words, cutting red-light time helps you go green. Denso's proposed system uses short-range wireless transmitters (think your WiFi router) in cars and elements of the road infrastructure. The field is broadly known as V2V (for vehicle to vehicle) communications.
The Military

Submission + - Power Failure Shuts Down 50 US Nuclear Missiles (theatlantic.com)

Pickens writes: "The Atlantic reports that a power failure at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming took 50 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), one-ninth of the U.S. missile stockpile, temporarily offline on Saturday. The 90th Missile Wing, headquartered there, controls 150 Minuteman III's. According to people briefed on what happened, a squadron of ICBMs suddenly dropped down into what's known as "LF Down" status, meaning that the missileers in their bunkers could no longer communicate with the missiles themselves. LF Down status also means that various security protocols built into the missile delivery system, like intrusion alarms and warhead separation alarms, were offline. The cause of the failure remains unknown, although it is suspected to be a breach of underground cables deep beneath the base, according to a senior military official."
AMD

Submission + - State of graphics drivers on Linux? (slashdot.org)

frambris writes: It seems that wherever I look, people recommends getting a computer with an nVidia GPU because their drivers, although binary blob, do work pretty well. Now I am looking for a new laptop and the one the has caught my eye is the HP Envy 17" (good CPU, two hard drive bays, slot-in Blu-Ray drive and backlit keyboard). I like everything about it except that it has not got a nVidia GPU, it has instead an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850. I have struggled with ATI proprietary drivers before and got it working sometimes.

How are the ATI drivers today? Both the proprietary and opensource one(s?)?

I use Fedora 64-bit.

Comment Re:In FreeMarket America ... (Score 1) 494

You're talking as if the CRA forced banks to open the flood gates and hand out loans to anyone who asked for it. This may be what the banks did, but it was not what the law was designed or intended for.

The CRA was designed to keep banks from arbitrarily rejecting loans just because the applicant happened to be from an area deemed low-income/high-risk. The only forcing the CRA does is make banks specifically assess an individual applicant's borrowing ability. The approval/denial process is still left to the banks. There is no provision requiring banks to make high-risk loans it knows will end in a loss. There isn't even a set standard for judging a bank's compliance; it's based entirely on a bank's specific location and capacity.

And I notice in your reply you completely glossed over the part where I mention the majority of the subprime loans made weren't regulated by the CRA.

The banks could have enforced income verification.

The banks could have approved loans for amounts congruent with the applicant's income, rather than whatever the applicant asked for.

The banks could have continued to require down payments.

I'm not saying people didn't play a part, but they weren't the ones holding the purse strings. And no, there wasn't a law forcing the banks to hand out money they knew it would never get back. That is simply not true.

I'm sure the banks knew they were making crap loans too. But you're assuming the greed in people wanting the "American Dream" is greater than the greed of an industry whose sole purpose is making money. What is ridiculous is thinking that an industry filled entirely with people who want to make as much money as possible wouldn't go for the chance to make huge, fast profits.

Comment Re:Time to revert back to the 1790-1922 laws (Score 1) 290

I'd like to see a study done on books, music, movies, etc that graphs out how much money they make each year after their release. My guess is that 95% (if not more) of the money is made in the first 5 years. After that, money made on most works likely plummets each year until it brings in a bare trickle of funds. Yes, some works (e.g. the original Star Wars movies) continue to make tons of cash decades after they were released, but I'm betting those are few and far between. We definitely shouldn't shape copyright law to protect 2% of works which are still making money thus locking the 98% of works which aren't from going into the public domain.

Comment Of Course Viruses Contribute to our DNA (Score 1) 478

We should expect viruses to be a large source of our genetic material, simply because they have access to it. Viruses are all about penetrating into DNA and modifying it. If the host subsequently reproduces, those modifications could be passed on. Each such modification could: * Be useless junk dna * Be generally useful. Does it matter where good ideas come from? * Be harmful, maybe even make descendants more susceptible to attack from the original virus. * Allow descendants to better identify and defend against that attacker, AKA counterintelligence.

Comment Re:Unexpected results (Score 1) 582

Will you please suggest some geographical areas where that ratio is significantly better? Preferably with programmer jobs available. I might consider relocating.

Also, what would you think is a reasonable house cost / income ratio, and where do you get that figure?

Please don't read any sarcasm into these questions, I'm asking out of sheer practical interest.

Comment Re:How do you cover an arrow... (Score 1) 839

In Indiana, Most of our Arrow lights are in this configuration or they are part of their own turn lane. Again, if you mistake what the light means you aren't paying attention because the placement of the light itself means something.

At any rate, most of the comments are spot on. If a driver is paying attention the the situation then they should be okay unless they are a total newby to the area or they are in a state of panic.

Comment Re:More power is nice, but has everyone forgotten. (Score 1) 323

I concur. Why have a huge box when you can have a little portable machine that is barely slower than a desktop? After over 20 years of strictly owning desktops, I bought a notebook and can't imagine why I never did earlier. Cost was certainly a factor, but now notebooks are damned cheap with lots of sub $1000 machines with decent specs. I went cheap and got an Acer Aspire 14" and the size and weight are pretty nice. 3gb RAM, 2ghz dual core athlon turion with cores from the latest phenom and hypertransport 3 for like $500 and a nvidia 9100m that will at least play some decent 3d games really kind of made it a nice machine. No crappy intel gma here. At this point the only thing I wish it had was a discrete video card, but seing as how the 9100M is at least pretty equivalent to an 8400GS, its a whole lot better the aging radeon 9250 PCI I used for years was. Don't think it will play oblivion all that well, but any games up to 2005-2006 run pretty good. Not bad for an integrated chipset. After 6 months this machine has been super stable, though virtualbox doesn't seem to play when I try to use both cores in a VM, but I'm suspecting it is how my bios implements AMD-V though, and probably not anything with the virtualbox code, though it is one of the things they keep tweaking for stability looking at the changelogs Turning off IO APIC seems to make things nice and stable.

Comment Re:Everyone forgets VMware server (Score 1) 289

Oh and another one:

I am a long time user and customer of VMWare products. But for my desktop virtualisation (and more and more non system critical servers) i am moving to virtualbox, why?

My host system is linux and Virtualbox is compiling the needed kernel modules through the package manager automagically on updates, i have to do this for vmware server by hand, every fucking time. And this is often, since i prefer patched servers so new kernels are going ins ASAP.

Cheers,
-S

Comment Re:you're always going to have noise (Score 1) 1019

My department's director came into my office the other day. After I took my headphones off to find out what he was yammering on about, he remarked that I needed to stop wearing my "noise-cancelling headphones" (they're old-school over-the-ear radio-shack classic headphones). I wanted to say something to the effect of how well they'd been working.

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