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Comment I saw a rig like this in 2005 (Score 1) 25

When I was shooting Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in Tokyo, in winter of 2005, I saw a rig a lot like this. I was walking down a street, and saw a van with four cameras, four LIDARs, and two GPS sensors on the top. I asked a man working on it what it was, and he said "Oh! Are you engineer?" and I confessed that I was just a movie-maker. But, nevertheless, they showed me everything in the van, and said that the point was developing 3D models of all the streets in Tokyo. At the time, it wasn't for self-driving cars though -- they wanted to build 3D in-car maps for navigation. The team of engineers was from a university in Tokyo; although I don't recall which one.

Comment Government? Is that really the issue? (Score 2) 55

While in the past, I agree that people were correct to hold the government accountable for this kind of surveillance, it isn't the biggest issue today. Huge amounts of information are gathered by companies about everybody on the 'net, and shared between them without any limitations. You don't want the government to see your email? Ok, fine -- but Google's incredibly powerful AI team doesn't just see your email -- it *understands* your email. Google can, and does, use that knowledge in any number of ways; and ways that will get more diverse (and perverse?) in the future.

In the not too distant future, I believe that companies like Google and Facebook will become more politically powerful than 99% of the governments in the world. Facebook was going to launch a satellite today to allow everybody in Africa to use Facebook; although somehow the rocket that was going to launch that satellite blew up. My belief is that Facebook wants to get information about everybody on the planet, and will do whatever it takes to do that.

Governments? Come on, that's not the threat.

Comment Re:Translation: (Score 1) 203

When publishes a slightly negative rumour of an upcoming Apple product, everyone is like "Apple are such visionaries, removing buttons and speakers are such brilliance and wow, I'm going to cream myself over this for months".

You must have missed the headphone jack palava where the internet went on a near meltdown over the completely unsubstantiated and unconfirmed rumour that Apple were going to drop the headphone jack.

If iPhone 7 comes with a headphone jack, then several hundred of megabytes of wailing and screeching will have been written for absolutely no point.

Comment Annoyances (Score 1) 95

My two biggest complaints about Facebook is that I cannot get my stories ordered by time to be remembered and that it insists on telling me when a friend of mine does something to one of their friends - who, in the majority of cases, I don't know and don't care about.

News in my feed is pretty low down my list of gripes.

Comment Re:Unsustainable pricing on high tech gadgets (Score 4, Insightful) 115

The BOM for an iPhone 6 is around $242 and that doesn't take into account the costs for developing and maintaining the software, tooling, R&D, packaging and the 101 other things that go into building and launching a phone. All of which need to be amortised over the lifetime of the phone - as developing, testing and then deploying an update to a bunch of 2+ old phones isn't free.

(although many Android manufacturers have found that it can be free if they simply don't bother with pesky updates)

The only way it would be "more like $100" is if you pulled that figure out of your butt.

Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 53

First, DES is 56 bit (near enough 60). Triple DES as per first mode (the authorised standard) is 168 bits. The article fails to distinguish, implying the authors are just a little bit naff. 3DES seems to be quite safe, as long as not used in DES emulation mode. And who the hell emulates a mode that was broken in the 80s?

Second, Blowfish was replaced by TwoFish, ThreeFish and Speck. Skein, an entrant to the DES3 challenge, makes use of ThreeFish.

Third, the Wikipedia page states it has been known for a long time that weak keys are bad. This particular attack, though, is a birthday attack. You can find all the ciphers vulnerable or free that you should be using. Anything not on the list is something you are solely responsible for.

In other words, this information is about as useful as telling up that Model T Fords weren't good at cornering at highway speeds. Below are some links, I can't be buggered to HTML-ify them.

I do not trust most encryption software these days, but that's because programmers these days are sloppy and arrogant.

Comment Re:Slashdot has popup ads with data:text/html;base (Score 1) 204

Third time this week. I'm reading through slashdot comments on my mobile and get a popup ad with a "data:text/html;base64" url.

Ignoring the pop-up, I'm not sure why you willingly subject yourself to that torture.

Go install Avantslash on your server and read Slashdot on your phone that way.

Not only will your eyes thank you for it - but your data cap will too.

Comment Re:GPS = Hot! Not something I want. (Score 1) 159

For sports activities, my wife acquired a TomTom GPS watch (including pulse measuring). I regularly wear it for running, and never noticed it getting hot. Same goes for my Samsung android phone, I never noticed it heating up more than usual when GPS is active. I'd guess that implementation on the iPhone is less than optimal, or there's another reason for it getting hot.

I run with an iPhone 6 (and RunKeeper) for about an hour and it doesn't get hot. Sounds like something is broken.

Comment Re:I can buy that (Score 1) 254

And this is where the "learn to code" stuff is going. There are a lot of processes out there ripe for automation. Small and mid sized businesses are still being run by manual processes. I've shown multiple people that Excel can sort. (Yes, they were sorting by hand).

In my old company we used to have secretaries who would email people the day before they had a meeting room booking to check to see if they still needed it. It turned out that a lot of meetings were actually being moved/cancelled and people were forgetting to delete the room booking.

What pained me the most was that with a couple of hours of coding they could have had something which would have automated the vast majority of that work, allowing the secretaries to get on with doing something less mundane.

Comment Re:I really don't understand this drone applicatio (Score 3, Insightful) 43

My believe is that they intend to fly hundreds of these. If you have 100 tethers from 0 to 60,000 ft or so, I believe that you would have many aircraft accidents. Recall that the British used tethered balloons to protect themselves from German air raids. There is no way that you could see those tethers while flying, until you were very close to them -- then it would be too late to avoid.

There are a dozen or so tethered balloons around the border of the US now, so far there have been no incidents that I know of -- but the border is a place where pilots are very observant. Also, the balloons are only at about 10,000 ft or so, so most planes are far higher.

Comment Re:That doesn't work because... (Score 1) 159

You can't change the angle at which the scene is rendered by interpolating between frames.

It's not the raw framerate. It's that the scene your viewing has to match where you're looking that quickly or you get motion sick.

While the parent is Anonymous coward, please rate him up, as that is correct.

Comment Overpriced (Score 1) 48

It's probably the best attempt I've seen at increasing the iPhone's available storage (yeah, yeah, we know that Apple should allow microSD - you don't need to say it), but it seems rather overpriced.

Considering that cards from Sandisk are around $12 (32GB), $20 (64GB) and $40 (128GB) and considering $40-$45 for a case, then you should be looking at $55, $65 or $85.

Better yet, it should just have been sold as an empty shell of a case with a microSD slot for you to fill - although I appreciate that the profit margins on such a thing wouldn't have been quite so healthy.

Comment The question was settled in the 1970s. Just don't (Score 2) 103

Why must you record my phone calls?
Are you planning a bootleg LP?
Said you've been threatened by gangsters
Now it's you that's threatening me
Can't fight corruption with con tricks
They use the law to commit crime
And I dread, dread to think what the future will bring
When we're living in gangster time

Comment This is why... (Score 1) 621 want something akin to Mondo cards, only with all the knowledge that has been developed since on contactless payments and strong access security. Once you have cards that require no network, no central bank and no other external dependencies beyond the communications protocol, there is nothing that rogue officials can do to confiscate your money.

For those not aware of the history of cashless societies, Mondo had tamper-proof strongly encrypted cards that could act like cash. You could transfer money between cards. There was no risk of anyone setting the card to a prior state as any attempt to break into the device destroyed it. This did mean only one vendor made the cards, but we've come a ways since then. The Orange Book and EAL standards cover tamper-proofing and unauthorised writes to memory. Other standards cover application software design and protocol design. All you need is for card vendors to get certified against the general standards, financial transaction standards and the standards specific to some open specification. Vendors can then get encryption keys signed by such a standards verification body. So it would be a procedure similar to the old Level 3 SSL certificates but with all the extra verification layers you'd expect from the FAA or DoD.

You now have cashless, bankless, networkless anonymous financial activity on par with the Shadowrun fictional series, only a good deal more secure still and without having to physically transfer objects. Contactless transfers using unlicensed spectrum at very low power would require the sender to be in range of the intended receiver and to press some keys. That's it. Same sort of range as a key fob. Communication would be by encrypted link, using an authenticating + validating mode to prevent MitM attacks or other attempts at altering transactions.

What could the cops do? Well, they could confiscate any device they didn't recognise. That might not go down too well, though. They could confiscate the card, but as you can do wireless card-to-card transfers with this scheme, there's no guarantee they'd have confiscated any actual money by doing so. They can't determine if you did or didn't, except with the access code. It's not a computer, per se, as it doesn't need to be Turing Complete, and it's not an account, so there's no law on the books that requires that access be given.

Because the device complies with international banking laws and the PCI processing regulations, it would be legal to use such a card. It would be an authorized, licensed financial transaction processor between brick-and-mortar financial institutions, it's merely using the older networking method of store-and-forward with packet fragmentation and fragment reassembly. All perfectly legit operations. Because PCI governs logging, the device is compliant with all tax evasion and money laundering laws. There aren't any laws saying anyone has to actually access that information, the only laws that currently exist merely require that they can if authorized for a lawful need. Let the Feds figure out how to deal with that without making impossible demands of traveller's cheques and cashier's cheques, which can also be used as money equivalents.

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