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Comment Re:YES (Score 1) 313

Next on TED-Ed: Is water wet?

Every flight I've been on recently has been overbooked. A half hour before boarding they start asking for volunteers to be bumped to the next flight in exchange for a voucher.

And ever since they started with the checked-bag fees, the overhead bins have been overfull and the flight is late taking off because they have to tag and gate-check excess bags for free.

Comment Re:Interesting ... but not things I use much (Score 1) 375

There's a lot to be said about that theme. You can customize freaking everything about it, every color it uses, the width and font of every element. Today you get what, one color choice and maybe an option to change one font. Anything more and you need difficult-to-create themes and hacked theme DLLs.

Comment Re:Canon's Diffractive Optics taken to a new level (Score 1) 60

No. As I understand it, a Fresnel lens works exactly the same as a normal lens, no smaller-than-wavelength metamaterial structures involved. You merely take lateral slices of a normal lens and collapse them to form concentric rings. A Fresnel lens does not give a better image than an equivalent conventional lens. It just reduces the thickness and mass required.

You can use a millimeter thick Fresnel lens to do what would normally need a very thick and heavy conventional lens.

Comment Re:Because 1/0 != 0? (Score 1) 1067

Exception yes, NaN no. NaNs suck. An exception takes you right to the problem, or close to it. NaN spreads over your variables like kudzu, since any calculation involving it results in NaN. Sure it tells you there's a problem, but by the time you see it, half your variables are NaN and you're left trying to figure out where it came from.

Comment Educational Purposes (Score 1) 68

They said it's for educational purposes. The point isn't performance -- you're not getting that from RasPis. The point is either to train people on supercomputer programming or to test supercomputer programs on smaller data sets without using time on a real, expensive supercomputer.

I could see building a smaller scale one of these myself as a way to learn MPI.

Comment Re:Overblown Hyperbole (Score 1) 107

Bluetooth (depending how they implement pairing), CD and synced Android device sound like viable attack vectors. None of them are instant remote control with no action by the owner, but they're all quite usable.

Bluetooth: If it makes you enter a code displayed on the other device to pair, that's more secure. But if the car just displays something like "$DEVICENAME Do you want to pair with this device? [Yes] [No]", it's not really. Either someone will habitually click yes, or can be enticed to through careful choice of the device name.

CD: Pretty straightforward. Hand your enemy a CD when he's about to get into his car. Tell him it's a song, lecture or whatever you wanted him to listen to. CD goes in, malicious file does its thing, car crashes. Sure you could sabotage the car itself, but what car crash investigator is going to think to check the CD that was playing for custom-made viruses?

Paired Android device: Similar deal, but even better. Trick them into installing an app modified to contain malware. They'll have their app and be none the wiser. The malware lets you see when and where he's driving (GPS+accelerometer), and you can then interactively take control of the car when you please. Better still, the malware could erase itself from the phone just after the crash, so even if they think to check for that sort of thing, there will be nothing to find.

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