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Submission + - Chrome Version 53 Introduces Web Bluetooth

jenningsthecat writes: From Hackaday.com comes the news that the latest version of Chrome includes trial support for Web Bluetooth. According to Hackaday, "JavaScript code, served to your browser, can now connect directly to your Bluetooth LE (BTLE) devices". The article goes on to discuss the pros and (significant) cons of this development.

Yikes! The IOT continues to spread its tentacles, and the possibility of retaining some small vestige of personal privacy diminishes by the second.

Submission + - Sweden Takes On the Economics of Disposability

jenningsthecat writes: The Swedish government is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to encouraging the repair of stuff that would otherwise be thrown away, according to both The Guardian and Fast Company

The country's Social Democrat and Green party coalition have submitted proposals to Parliament that would reduce the VAT on bicycle, clothing, and shoe repairs from 25% to 12%. Also proposed is an income tax deduction equalling half the labour cost of repairing household appliances. According to The Guardian, "the incentives are part of a shift in government focus from reducing carbon emissions produced domestically to reducing emissions tied to goods produced elsewhere." Per Bolund, Sweden's Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs, is quoted as saying "the policy also tied in with international trends around reduced consumption and crafts, such as the “maker movement” and the sharing economy, both of which have strong followings in Sweden.

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 4, Insightful) 47

Well which one is it? It's like I don't do understand it!

Well, I'll be the first to risk Flamebait mods by saying it: this summary reads as though it was written by someone whose first language was Hindi or something similar. If you read the following sections aloud in the common stereotype of an Indian accent you'll immediately know what I mean:

"their privacy and those of other billion plus users"
"reneging from its original promise"
"approached Delhi High Court"
"the bench of chief justice"
"must delete data of users"
"who are opt out of privacy policy changes"

Comment What a fucktard (Score 2, Insightful) 847

Palmer Luckey: "You can't fight the American elite without serious firepower. They will outspend you and destroy you by any and all means."

Gee, with a net worth of $700M, you yourself are in danger of being a member of the elite you profess to despise but secretly long to join.

It must truly suck to be a member of the 'nouveau nouveau riche', when the 'nouveau riche' won't even give you the time of day, let alone take you seriously, and I feel for you - NOT. The fact that you have to resort to shitposting to gain any audience at all probably has nothing to do with the newness of your wealth. I'm sure it has everything to do with the fact that you're an ignorant, whiny, petulant brat who can afford a seat at the 'grownup table' but who can't act or talk like an adult. (Come to think of it, that makes you the PERFECT Trump shill). If you ever grow up to the point where trolling, bitching, and crowing give way to reasoned, thoughtful discourse, (but I'm not holding my breath), then maybe you'll be taken seriously. Until then, STFU - adults are trying to have a conversation, and we don't need mini-Trump butting in when Big Trump is already making rude noises and sticking his tongue out at us.

Comment Re:They've already tacitly admitted the breach (Score 1) 169

I'm curious, how exactly did they prompt you?

After entering user name and password there is a screen that says "Make sure your account is secure! To secure your account, change your password and update your mobile number", followed by a large blue button with "Yes, secure my account" and small grey text below that saying "I'll secure my account later". Clicking on the latter asks for a mobile number, (hell no), and then proceeds to the Yahoo main page, from whence I click on the email link. Clicking on the former presents the usual two-field password entry, then proceeds to the mobile number prompt when matching new passwords are entered.

The behaviour I see may be different from what others see - I don't allow JS to run when I'm on Yahoo. Their email interface sucks, but it actually sucks a little less when it can't do all the cutesy client-side crap their code-monkeys thought was good design. When I have to attach files I enable JS, then quickly disable it again.

Comment Re:They've already tacitly admitted the breach (Score 1) 169

Two years ago was when the breach happened. Ergo, prompting a mandatory password change was the breach notification.

I just checked again, on a third Yahoo account I had almost forgotten about, and the password change is NOT mandatory. There may be a time-limited or login-limited period after which they force a password change, but for all I know users may be able to keep their compromised passwords until Yahoo implodes.

Comment They've already tacitly admitted the breach (Score 3, Interesting) 169

Just recently I was prompted to change passwords on my two Yahoo accounts. I've had both for about 10 years and this is the first time I've seen this, so yeah, they're visibly doing something about it. Unfortunately, they waited an unacceptably long time, and they still weren't forcing the password change. That's not surprising, given that it's Yahoo, but it's still kinda disappointing.

Comment Re:No? (Score 2) 352

He complained that he reported stuff but nothing happened... It doesn't sound like he exhausted all of his options to legally raise attention.

He may have felt, (and possibly rightly so), that further attempts to "legally raise attention" would have marked him for some undesirable and dangerous 'special attention' of his own, while at the same time utterly failing to right the wrongs he was witnessing.

Somewhere along the way, he agreed to not disclose info and follow the process and precautions laid out.

That sounds rather like a contract. If the agency he worked for failed to materially disclose that he might be witness to the ongoing and institutionalized breaking of laws and/or the violation of the Constitution, then it strikes me that said contract was probably null and void. Hell, forget even contract law - any promises made to a criminal are entirely inconsequential when it comes to bringing said criminal to justice and/or surviving criminal intents and actions.

Third, if he truly believed what he was doing was right, then stick around and face the consequences. Hell, plead guilty and convince a jury you should get off.

The government says Snowden would receive a ‘fair’ no jury military trial in a secret location. So no, no opportunity there to be tried before a jury. That sounds a lot like a kangaroo court to me.

I have friends who were deployed, who (at least they firmly believe) were put in harms way and lost men directly because of the info Snowden released. These guys are more courageous and less selfish than any of the political scum running and people like them are the reason we can worry about phone call metadata collection instead of being shot if we disagree with the government.

I believe they are courageous and unselfish. But aren't they ultimately in the service of those 'political scum' you're talking about?

Comment Here's a thought (Score 1) 166

How about making electronics stuff that, you know, lasts? And that can be economically repaired? Why don't we, as a culture, forego the latest bit of shiny in favour of, I dunno, 4-or-5-year-old devices that still do what they're needed to do, even if they're slightly slower, slightly bigger or smaller, and a bit lower in resolution? And while we're at it, let's make it fucking illegal to sell products whose batteries can't be easily and readily replaced by the user.

The three R's of conservation are, in descending order of preference, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. We should make the first one the highest priority, followed closely by the second. If we're relying heavily on the third to save our asses from environmental destruction and material depletion, we've already failed. If we're tossing items into landfill when they contain precious metals and non-renewable petroleum products, (not to mention all the energy that went into making those items, from raw material to finished products), then we're committing a crime against the Earth and its future inhabitants. But hey, it's all good, because voodoo economics has almost totally removed environmental damage and resource depletion as cost factors in production, and my, those bonuses are going to be really sweet this year.

We've made a god of the giant Ponzi scheme we call the economy, and we're scared shitless of even acknowledging to ourselves, (much less pointing out to each other), that not only does this emperor have no clothes, he's on fucking life support, and we're mortgaging our descendants' lives to keep him going.

My apologies for the mixed metaphors.

Comment Re:Don't rush to conclusion (Score 1) 84

It's easy to bash the incumbents but let's not just hand the keys to the city over to Google just yet.

Don't think of it as handing the keys to the city over to Google. Rather, see it for what it is - mandating the transfer of the keys from AT&T and Comcast over to Google. And after all, the municipality owns said utility poles, so it's their decision. Besides, as much as I hate and distrust Google, I don't believe they would do anything during their work on the poles to purposely disrupt AT&T or Comcast service. But I can certainly see AT&T and Comcast putting the screws to Google in any way possible, including 'accidental sabotage'.

Comment Re:bad inductor selection (Score 1) 196

I would guess they chose an inductor too small and it is vibrating.

Or, it could just be a fault in the hardware or firmware that controls audio - maybe it's just yer average digital noise coming right of the speaker. Plugging in those old earbuds you have lying around would help with the troubleshooting effort. Oh, wait...

Comment Re:No no no. (Score 1) 271

... they produce more distortion... They do not sound better, given $X spent on whatever, presuming some reasonable amount of tech is returned per dollar.

This is simply not true; in fact, it's a line of BS almost as bad as the one that says thousand dollar cables will make your system sound magical. (BTW, something you hear is not necessarily true just because it's said by a bunch of engineers bathed in the fountain of 'knowledge' passed on by an earlier generation of engineers whose conclusions were 'helped' by marketing requirements).

First, let's look at the metric known as THD; it is calculated as the ratio between the total power of all harmonics and the power of the fundamental. It assumes that all harmonics are equal in their detrimental effects on the final sound. However, we've known since the 50's that: 1) odd-order harmonics are more audible, and more objectionable, than even-order harmonics; 2) audibility and objectionability of harmonics increases as the order increases. In fact, the best audio engineers of the day, (such as the BBC's D.E.L. Shorter), proposed that THD be calculated based on the square, or even the cube, of the order of the harmonic. They were overruled, probably because the amplifier manufacturers of the day had turned to push-pull pentode designs with lots of NFB; these had many more odd-order and high-order harmonics than earlier triode designs, and the unweighted THD calcs made them look better on paper.

Why does this matter? Well, first, negative feedback obtains lower THD figures at the expense of creating more high-order harmonics - the total power in the harmonics is decreased, but the number of measurable harmonics, (and they, or at least their effects, are audible, as it turns out), increases. Second, negative feedback can increase the number of odd-order harmonics, depending on the feedback scheme and the amplifier topology. What does this have to do with tube VS transistor? In short, triode vacuum tubes, (the 'triode' part is important), have far greater intrinsic linearity than any semiconductor device. (Intrinsic linearity is a measure of the device's distortion in a circuit that has no negative feedback). The best directly heated triode power amplifiers can obtain percent THD figures in the low single-digits without the use of any negative feedback. That means that they can avoid excessive odd-order and higher-order harmonics to an extent that no transistor amplifier can - transistor amps simply require too much NFB.

For a better view of this that is both broader and deeper than my explanation above, see Lynn Olson's excellent explanations here, and here

As for tubes' fragility: although they wear out and can break, they are also more likely to survive EMP's, solar flares, lightning strikes, and power-line surges... ;-)

Comment Re:Massive sense of entitlement (Score 1, Troll) 387

You're not entitled to be able to use third party ink cartridges in a printer. The printer manufacturer doesn't have to modify the firmware or hardware in a printer because you're too cheap to pay for quality ink cartridges. Why does everyone have such a sense of entitlement these days? I'm getting really tired of millennials and everyone else deciding they can act just as entitled as the millennials. This is ridiculous. If you don't want to pay for ink cartridges, don't buy the printer.

Hmmm... smells like a troll. A really ripe, rotten, shitty smelling troll. An anonymous troll! A cowardly troll... Apparently NOT young enough to be a millennial, yet still living in Mom's basement. Crawl up the stairs, you overgrown little boy - Mommy's calling you, and it's bath time.

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