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Comment Re:Interesting things in their laptop design... (Score 1) 6

... are that:

- the embedded controller (which handles keyboard, trackpad etc.) is programmable, and source code is available; and

- the trackpad is actually an LCD plus touchscreen, which opens some possibilities such as adding action areas with user-definable effects, or displaying audio level controls.

Dibs on a Space Invaders clone running entirely on the embedded controller. :)

awwww i wanted that one haha. no you're absolutely right, yes the idea is, instead of *guessing* where the trackpad scrollbars are, you *know* there the scrollbars are because you can see them. you can user-select in the main OS whether you want one, two or three mouse buttons... and guess what? they'll appear on the trackpad screen. woooow.

then also yes you can display audio controls (hadn't occurred to me, that one - i like it) but also battery status, even when the main computer card's totally powered down.

the possibilities are huge and it's kinda confusing as to why this hasn't been done before.

anyway - anybody considering patenting it BUGGER OFF - prior art. published. here. and on the arm-netbooks mailing lists. where it's been discussed. a lot. in public. indicating prior art. which cannot be patented. so don't try to deceive your investors. that's called "investor fraud".

Comment Re:Awesome Freedom! (Score 1) 6

Finally a device and electronics paradigm that respects users as human beings instead of seeing them as bacteria-like "consumers".

haha yeah i came across a marketing guy who liked to use the word "Durables" - products that last and don't assume we're pathologically capable of "consuming" our devices. have you tried munching on that circuit board today sir? "mmm, why yes i have: it's soo yummy. i love the way it crunches - reminds me of my ceral breakfasts i used to eat: now i get sooo much more roughage" and how did your MP4 stream taste today, sir? can i get you a side-order of dolby surround-sound whilst you CONSUME that video? like... wtf?? :)

so yeah... thank you for noticing.

Comment what do people expect? (Score 1, Insightful) 321

i'm sorry, but it states clearly in company's articles of incorporation, on penalty of the directors being struck off and imprisoned and/or the shareholders suing them, that they MUST maximise profits, to the absolute pathological exclusion of all else. ... so why is *anybody* surprised at the consequences? what am i missing? this is blindingly obvious to me (to the point where i'm actively doing something about it in the tech sector- see http://crowdsupply.com/eoma68) so why is everyone else simply complaining about the consequences instead of taking action to do something about it? what is it that i don't understand?

Power

NRA Complaint Takes Down 38,000 Websites (vice.com) 565

Sarah Jeong, reporting for Motherboard:38,000 websites hosted by the automated publishing service Surge went down today, after the National Rifle Association sent a legal notice over a parody website created by the Yes Men. A few days ago, the Yes Men released the parody video, "Share the Safety" -- announcing a supposed NRA program to deliver firearms into the hands of those too impoverished to afford guns. The opening frame of the video says "Paid for in part by the National Rifle Association of America with additional support from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation." "Systemic poverty and dumb laws keep the urban poor unable to acquire life-saving firearms," says the video, which is available on YouTube. "That's why we at the NRA are teaming up with Smith & Wesson to share the safety.â The YouTube description includes a link to the "official" website, ShareTheSafety.org.

Submission + - EOMA68 Modular Eco-Computing Project launches on Crowd Supply (crowdsupply.com) 6

lkcl writes: An ambitious project running for the past five years to create eco-conscious cost-saving user-upgradeable computing appliances has just launched on Crowd Supply, with a 15.6in laptop housing and micro-desktop housing, with the first Computer Card in the series using an ultra-low-power Allwinner A20 Dual-Core ARM processor. Two main OSes are currently available: Parabola GNU/Linux-libre which is FSF-Endorsed: RYF Certification is being applied for, and Debian GNU/Linux is also available. The sponsors of the laptop housing — Thinkpenguin — have more about the privacy issues at their blog, Liliputing has an article, and Freedom's Phoenix Radio has a live interview with Ernest Hancock.

Comment how?? (Score 3) 97

the source code of android, albeit under an inappropriate license which encourages closed and proprietary behaviour, into which the linux kernel is "lumped" due to ignorance, is entirely and fully available. copyright law is simple: if the source has been released under a license, it may not be retracted (unless copyright law is changed and changed retroactively). therefore there *is* no way that the code can be "yanked".

however, what *could* happen is that because companies are critically relying on google - trusting them to just keep on rolling out releases that are blindly trusted, huawei and other companies could get themselves into a situation where they have no developers, have no expertise, have no knowledge of how OSes work *at all*, in-house.

in *this* way they could potentially end up over a barrel, so it makes more sense that they are just making sure that they have the programming expertise in-house, not least so that they have people that they can trust to review the source! what amazes me is that they are in effect admitting that they didn't have this expertise in-house before.

Security

New Algorithm Could Help Predict Future ISIS Attacks (thestack.com) 120

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have developed a new algorithm which may help law enforcement agencies predict potential terror attacks. The computer model has a particular focus on the behavioral patterns associated with Islamic State (ISIS) supporters...
For eight months in 2015, the researchers tracked 108,086 individual followers on ISIS-related social media pages, noting that sudden increases in the number of pages "preceded the onset of violence in a way that would not have been detected by looking at social media references to ISIS alone." According to The Stack, the University of Miami team "used a mathematical equation typically applied in physics and chemistry to monitor the development and growth of pro-ISIS groups. 'It was like watching crystals forming. We were able to see how people were materializing around certain social groups; they were discussing and sharing information -- all in real-time... This removes the guess work. With that road map, law enforcement can better navigate what is going on, who is doing what, while state security agencies can better monitor what might be developing,..."

Comment who has the RSA private key? (Score 3, Interesting) 245

there is some empirical evidence - nothing concrete that can be shared publicly - which tends to suggest that the RSA private key that Intel uses is already known and in use. if nothing else, you should not be reassured that there have been no "gagging orders" that come out of the U.S. Government on a regular basis, preventing and prohibiting companies from telling anyone that "yes we have had the NSA knocking on our door and yes we were forced to give them the RSA private key because otherwise they threatened that whoops, it would be really hard to get export licenses for our processors".

this kind of threat by security services is not outside the realm of possibility: it already happens, and i have met someone who was present at a meeting (with GCHQ) in which this type of threat to destabilise their business model was actually made.

there is a really simple solution, here: don't buy systems with intel processors. that assumes of course that people are making systems for sale that don't have intel processors... and that's exactly what i'm doing. i'm not one for complaining *without* actually doing something about it, so if you'd like to sign up for the crowdfunding campaign which will launch very shortly, you can do so here - http://crowdsupply.com/eoma68

Comment Re:Unfair comparison (Score 1) 364

"For instance, the company charges $599 for replacing the display on the iPad Pro tablet. Which sounds insane when you realize that you can almost certainly purchase a new iPad Pro under $700."

Well, on a iPad, the display is everything. So, it is something to expect replacing the display will nearly top the price of the device itself. You pick the most expensive part to compare the brand new one price to the repair. That's not a fair comparison. Almost the rest of the iPad components worth nothing.

from designing eco-conscious products i've had a lot of time to think about this, and the revelation that occurred to me very recently is that "worth" - the monetary value - correlates directly with the amount of environmental damage a product does. even the WEEE (electronic waste disposal) Directive from the EU has to have an effect, as the cost of disposal has to be incorporated by the seller into the price of the product.

basically put, the higher the monetary cost, the higher the environmental cost.

so "it's not a fair comparison" is highly misleading. *it doesn't matter* that it's the highest-cost component: what matters is the monolithic design that causes people to throw away the entire product into landfill.

Not that simple. You can't just suddenly wish a bunch of people smarter. That won't stop the pileup of toxic waste.

but the manufacturers could be smarter... or could they? they're running on the pathological lines of a Corporation (see the first 5 minutes of the documentary "The Corporation"). they cannot do anything other than pathologically maximise profits. but, to their credit, manufacturing efficiency is what allows them to stay in business *at all*. it's just that considering a modular design as a way to reduce environmental e-waste long-term unfortunately equates to reduced income, which means reduced profits, which means they're directly violating the Articles of Incorporation of the company (maximise profits above all other considerations)... and that means that the Directors can be sued by the shareholders, struck off, prosecuted, given a *criminal record* and never permitted to be a Director of a Corporation ever again.

now, whilst this seems rather extreme it's just a plain and simple pathological fact - a logical chain of cause and effect. we allowed Corporations free rein (by supporting them financially by buying products from them), we therefore brought these consequences on ourselves, out of simple ignorance.

having realised what's going on, i've set out to deal with it, and the crowdfunding campaign for the first mass-volume modular computer card products is due to launch very soon. so that people don't feel that this is an "advert" i'll provide two keywords and leave it at that - crowdsupply and eoma68.

to be absolutely honest i'd really very much prefer that there was someone else dealing with this than me, but the fact is that corporations *can't*, for the reasons above. it's going to take changes to the law (to turn all Corporations into US "Benefit Corporations" for example) to get people's attention. but in the meantime, we can at least individually make a conscious decision to take responsibility and do what we can.

Graphics

Wearable 'Backpack PCs' Let You Experience High-End VR On The Go (mashable.com) 47

An anonymous reader writes: Powerful virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful PCs with beefy graphics cards to operate. That means you'll usually be tethered to a PC tower in your home. Well, HP and MSI have announced portable 'backpack PCs' designed to be used with high-end virtual reality headsets. These PC internals are built in a backpack enclosure powered by a large battery pack. The HP Omen X weighs less than 10 pounds and has a battery that's big enough to last for up to one hour of gameplay, but you do have the option of swapping out the batteries for uninterrupted VR. Specs include either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and at least an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 or higher. The MSI Backpack PC features an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 980 graphics, according to the company. The last of the backpack PC trio is the Zotac Mobile VR. The company hasn't released any specs of the product but the company did state in a blog post, "This mobile solution not only removes the bulk of connecting to the large traditional computer towers of old, but also allows the user to roam freely in VR with their undivided attention. This innovative solution includes a system powerful enough to drive VR, and a portable battery pack to keep you going." There is no pricing or availability information as of yet.

Comment Vietnam War study and rats study (Score 3, Insightful) 819

wasn't there an article on slashdot a while back that pointed out that drug-usage is *not* addictive - it's the *circumstances* that people find themselves in which *drives* them towards attempting to "find happiness" in drugs. both that study of rats as well as the study of veterans from the vietnam war showed that the subjects were quotes totally addicted quotes to opiates when they were subjected to horrible conditions, but that the *moment* they were transported to a happier environment, then with a little bit of withdrawal symptoms they kicked the "habit".

in other words, this study is telling us - through correlation NOT causation - that the number of unhappy americans is dramatically increasing. and that we're only just finding this out because of drug-testing.

Crime

Iran Is Arresting Models Who Pose Without Headscarves On Instagram (bbc.com) 375

An anonymous reader writes: The Tehran cybercrimes court said the country has arrested eight people working for online modeling agencies deemed to be "un-Islamic." The women models were arrested for starring in photos on Instagram and elsewhere without wearing their headscarves, which has been required in public since 1979. A total of 170 people have been identified by investigators for being involved in online modeling, including 59 photographers and make-up artists, 58 models and 51 fashion salon managers and designers. The court's prosecutor Javad Babaei announced the the threats on TV, claiming modeling agencies accounted for about 20 percent of posts on Instagram from Iran and that they had been "making and spreading immoral and un-Islamic culture and promiscuity." He added, "We carried out this plan in 2013 with Facebook, and now Instagram is the focus."

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