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Comment iPhones just one affected component (Score 1, Interesting) 127

I realize that was a consumer-level link, but still... I expect better from Slashdot.

There are plenty of other devices out there that are still liable to use 2G that are now effectively bricked. The iPhone is probably the least likely of them to cause a real concern for people. (Though, hell, until 2 years ago my parents were still on 2G PCS phones (not through AT&T though).)

How is rural 3G coverage these days? I remember when the analog shut down happened, there were folks out there who needed lots of repeaters to get anything... Some of whom decided to go back to HAM repeaters to patch into the phone network.

Communications

Ambulances In Sweden Will Be Able To Hijack Car Radios During Emergencies (digitaltrends.com) 160

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Digital Trends: The Swedish government wants to make it impossible to be caught off guard by a speeding ambulance. Sure, their sirens are loud -- but soon they'll be able to take over your car's radio. Swedish students at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a way for emergency vehicles to transit radio signals to warn other vehicles of an approaching truck. It's called the EVAM System, according to Phys.org, and it's designed to send a signal over a specific FM radio band that'll interrupt music or radio and display a test message over the system's tuner display -- so long as the car is equipped with a Radio Data System (RDS). The number of crashes caused by muted sirens is on the rise, Florian Curinga, one of the students working on the project, said. That's because of improved sound insulation in cars. Emergency vehicles in Stockholm will begin testing the system this year. The EVAM System can also predict how far in advance the message needs to be broadcast, depending on traffic speed, according to Phys.org. It may also be helpful in warning drivers about upcoming accidents, the students added. EVAM will work on two-thirds of all vehicles on the road, Curinga said. All drivers need to do is have their radio systems turned on. If a message is broadcast then, they'll see it -- and hear it -- from the tuner.
Government

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence (theverge.com) 785

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence. What this translates to is a reduced sentence for Manning, from 35 years to just over seven years. Since Manning has already served a majority of those years, she is due to be released from federal custody on May 17th. The Verge reports: While serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning leaked more than 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, including video of a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that killed two Reuters employees. In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in the leak and has been held at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth for the past three years. Julian Assange, who has long been sought by U.S. and EU authorities for extradition on Swedish rape charges, had previously pledged to surrender himself to U.S. authorities if Manning was pardoned. Born Bradley Manning, Chelsea announced her gender transition the day after the verdict was handed down. "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female," she said in a statement. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible." Obtaining the resulting medical treatments was extremely difficult for Manning, and was the subject of significant and sustained activism. After a lawsuit, Manning was approved for hormone therapy in 2015. In September 2016, she launched a hunger strike, demanding access to gender reassignment surgery; the military complied five days later.

Comment Re:Welcome to globalization (Score 3, Insightful) 495

I second this. While we're not a third-world country, we aren't the pinnacle of luxury either, and work very hard for what we have. Look at European countries; very few have labor forces that work as many hours/week, and most have substantially more vacation time. Most have substantially lower healthcare costs than Americans, and many luxury things are substantially less expensive (for instance, airfare. I can't fly anywhere from any airport in my home state for less than $700 round trip (Cheyenne, WY to Vegas, NV). I'm too poor to fly anywhere; it would cost two month's wages to fly my family of three somewhere for vacation. According to Bing, a round-trip flight from London to Paris with the same dates is only $140.)
I can't remember the last time I had a vacation that was more than a weekend away. It's been about a decade.
Do we have cheap electronics? Sure, I only paid $100 for my smartphone second-hand on eBay. Walmart sells laptops for under $200. But do we have a luxurious lifestyle? I dunno, my pantry has lots of Mac & Cheese in it. And no, it's not the name brand. My food budget is about $300/month for our family of 3.
Don't tell me American's don't deserve a higher standard of living than we have. I work very hard, live very frugally, and I'm only one missed paycheck away from financial collapse. Life is hard everywhere; it's only the wealthy who think otherwise.

Comment I bought counterfeit Gameboy Advanced Games there (Score 1) 64

I've bought them on Amazon too. I was hoping for a used copy but got a knock-off instead - worked great, the cases are a bit brittle and don't last in a backpack like the real ones do.

I never intentionally bought them counterfeit. I approve of this "certified real" program, but I'm guessing the certified as real guys are still going to be a little higher priced in the end. It's worth it to me.

Earth

2016 Was Second Hottest Year For US In More Than 120 Years of Record Keeping (climatecentral.org) 436

Last year was the second hottest year for the United States in more than 120 years of record keeping, according to the National Climatic Data Center, marking 20 above-average years in a row. While Georgia and Alaska recorded their hottest year, every state had a temperature ranking at least in the top seven. Climate Central reports: The announcement comes a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released the U.S. data, and NASA are expected to announce that 2016 set the record for the hottest year globally. Both the global record and the U.S. near-record are largely attributable to greenhouse gas-driven warming of the planet. In addition to the pervasive warmth over the last year, the U.S. also had to deal with 15 weather and climate disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damage. Together, they totaled more than $46 billion in losses and included several disastrous rain-driven flooding events. These events, along with continued drought, lay bare the challenge for the country to learn how to cope with and prepare for a changing climate, said Deke Arndt, the climate monitoring chief of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. The temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average for 2016, displacing 2015 and ranking only behind 2012, when searing heat waves hit the middle of the country. More notable than the back-to-back second place years, Arndt said, was that 2016 was the 20th consecutive warmer-than-normal year for the U.S. and that the five hottest years for the country have all happened since 1998. Those streaks mirror global trends, with 15 of the 16 hottest years on record occurring in the 21st century and no record cold year globally since 1911.

Comment Re:And I still don't get it. (Score 1) 180

Did I mention I rip my movies too? Kodi is awesome, I can play those back on my phone (at home) my PS3, my desktop, the TV it's plugged into.....

Not exactly the same deal - I do use Netflix (and to a lesser degree Amazon etc...).

The difference is with Netflix I plop my butt on the couch at home and watch something with a mostly (but my ISP still sucks a little) dependable wired connection to the Netflix servers.

On the music side of things I'm in the car, at my desk at work, on my bicycle. When I'm using my phone to stream and I'm not tethered to WiFi I have to pay $10 a GB. Sure I can put my hopes into the generosity of every place I want to listen to music being generous with WiFi, many places have it, I just have to count on them having reasonable back haul that isn't over saturated, getting a password, and that their router doesn't suck unlike that one restaurant I used to eat at that kept it in the kitchen visible on top of a warming rack so it needed rebooting every hour or two due to overheating.

No - not the same thing at all. I am the I.T. guy. When I can't get on WiFi away from home or work I usually can't bitch at anyone else and really expect results. On the other hand if it's at a relatives or in-laws house I'm usually welcome to upgrade them.

It's a matter of mindset and responsibility. When you carry your own music you're saying "I've got this", when you stream music outside of your own domain you're saying "serve me".

Comment And I still don't get it. (Score 1) 180

Maybe it's my work, etc... History but I just can't comprehend the streaming obsession. I'm a sysadmin, and nearly every damned user I have is on Spotify constantly. My wife is on Pandora constantly.

I have a pile of a couple of hundred CD's I've bought over the years I've turned into Oggs and I have digital albums I've bought online and put on my phone, my desktop at home, my desktop at works and everywhere I want my music.

My music works when the Internet is out (which is part of the history I spoke of, I've lived in a seaside shack that lost DSL every time it rained in the past. My music works when I driving in the middle of New Mexico where the FM auto seek just goes in circles and I have 0 bars. My music worked when I worked at the Johnson Space Center in a building that was intentionally shielded in a huge Faraday cage literally built into the outer wall during the cold war to keep Soviet bugs from broadcasting.

I had at least one user who bitched every time time Spotify quit working. I have users that will bitch to upper management if stuff like that doesn't work often enough upper management will tell us to fix it even though it's not company software, not officially authorized to be installed, and has zero to do with getting the job done.

There is nothing preventing these users from bringing music in on their phones and playing it at their desk, nor is there a policy or security apparatus that keeps them from copying a huge load of music files onto their machines.

Why would you leave your music - especially when it's these people who obviously care about it enough to bitch to management - to the whims of bandwidth when you can have it on your own storage that will work even when the powers out as long as your battery holds up?

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