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Comment Re:'learn chinese' (Score 1) 562

When I took some time to become fammiliar with Mandarin, main goals were:

1. By understanding their grammar I am much better in understanding them speaking English.

2. Using few sentencies helps break some barriers when meeting Chinese.

3. It is fun to learn something new.

Now... A bit later all three goals are OK, it is first time I tried to learn non-indoeuropean language,
and point 3 definitily justifies time spend.


Comment Tex and ASCIIDOC (Score 2) 37

When I saw "book source", latex was expected.
(As I am incompetent artist, I seek latex book sources to take something consistent for my projects)

No, it is done in ASCIIDOC - yet another book making program.

While TeX and LaTeX are old, they are still excellent tools for the job.
What makes alternatives better? What can not be done properly by TeX?


Comment Aleady happened (in Russia) (Score 1) 337

A year ago italians drove robot cars from Beograd to Shanghai.
In small russian city, policeman tried yo issue ticket to driver-less car,
while they were preparing for some show in the main city square.

Ticket was not issued: maybe policeman was impressed by several italians talking to him (in italian, not russian),
or he just could not find how to fill up the forms...

Nice article about the trip:
VIAC: An Out of Ordinary Experiment - Computer Engineering Group


Comment How about tetraplegic? (Score 1) 138

It happened to my friend. No hands, no legs.

First we fixed phone: after some research with Android (not really Linux) we ended up
with 5 year old bluetooth car installation: the only one where you can make calls without
any keys, just sound.

Computer is next: some tests were made using joystick (manipulated by head movement)
installed on wheelchair. Not really fun.
There are some expensive monitors with build in infrared cameras tracking eye movement.

Any experience on Linux desktop? Any advice what works?



Submission + - Neighborhood wide Wifi 4

benthurston27 writes: I was thinking of a scheme where everyone in my neighborhood with a wifi router would be given a username and password that would be valid to use any of the routers in the neighborhood. Does anyone have any experience with setting something like this up? I feel the username and password for each user is a must because of the risks in liability of just leaving a router completely open and someone downloading something illegal with no way of knowing who it was. Also for catching bandwidth hogs, etc.. Does this sound possible? Are devices even smart enough to switch from router to router without it being a hassle?

Submission + - Shortest useful program

s52d writes: Hi!
My favorite short program (app?) is "again.com" used in CP/M.
It's length is 0 bytes.
The sole purpose: start again program already loaded into RAM.

How about today? Are there some short programs that are run often?

Submission + - Congressman meets streisand effect (firstpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Despite getting a quick injunction against news media. Indian congressman Abhishek Manu Singhvi was found playing wack-a-mole with the social media as he tired to suppress a video showing him receiving sexual favor's in return for elevating a female lawyer to a Judge post

The cat-and-mouse game continued all night with netizens repeatedly posting the video on YouTube and uploading bit torrent files on file sharing platforms, from where they can be downloaded. As of this morning, there are websites that are streaming the video as embeds. Feisty commentators on Twitter have been posting links and mocking Singhvi all night quote source.

Singhvi's response to the episode was "Obviously, an organised gang has been purposely used by motivated interests to concertedly use the social sites for sensationalism and permanent damage. Remember, this can happen to anyone and if this lawlessness is allowed to continue as it is, we will all be consumed shortly,"

CurrentlySinghvi's colleague and friend Kapil Sibbal is busy (since last year protest against corruption) trying to prevent this lawlessness by censoring facebook, twitter and google

Singhvi's driver,The originator of the video said "Plaintiffs(i.e. Mr Singhvi) have assured me that the dispute between me and the plaintiffs now stands settled amicably and that they shall not take any legal action including seeking any damages in any police station or any court of law in present or in future against me and withdraw the compliant/FIR (first information report) no 102/12 against me made by the plaintiffs,"

Mr. Lal may later realize that while Mr Singhvi may not take any legal action the possibility of illegal action as taken by his fellow congressman is wide open


Submission + - Billionaires and polymaths to unveil a plan to mine asteroids. (wsj.com)

dumuzi writes: A team including Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt (Google), James Cameron (Director), Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut), Ross Perot Jr. (son of Ross Perot), Chris Lewicki (NASA Mars mission manager), and Peter Diamandis (X-Prize) from a new company called Planatary Resources are expected to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids. A study by NASA released April 2nd claims a robotic mission could capture a 500 ton asteroid and bring it to orbit the moon for $2.6 billion. The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold. But with many raw materials on Earth expected to run out in 50-60 years perhaps now is the right time to invest in this project.
The Military

Submission + - US Journalists Targeted by Pentagon Propaganda Contractors (usatoday.com)

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort. Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. "I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility," Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption.

Submission + - 30 Years of the TRS-80 Model 100 (thepowerbase.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An interview with John R Hogerhuis, one of the key players in the still suprisingly active community for the TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer.

As the Model 100 approaches its 30th birthday, John talks about what has kept the machine popular for so long, current software and hardware work that is keeping it relevant, and what modern developers could learn from spending some on a computer from 1983.

Comment Overreaction? (Score 1) 67

Yes, GSM system needs to know the cell you are using during a call.
This seems to be known issue: How come phone exchange knows with whom I am talking?
It seems a bit silly to me, really. If cell is not known, connection can not be established.

On top of it: GSM is TDMA system, so it measures distance to the terminal in cca 550m steps.
It is called Timing Advance, it is needed in order to allign all incomming frames on cell receiver.

Now... Somebody looks at Abis (protocol between cell and Base Station Controller).
You can see measurement reports: with a cell, distance, measurement reports you can guess
approximate terminal location during a call. If you have enough neighbour cells.

They overlooked two minor details:
- you do not know whom you locate
- you have to monitor all possible cells
In fact, you have to double complete operator infrastructure: not an easy task.

On top of it: more and more GSM (BSS) is using IP as transport between cell and system,
especially if collocated with HSPA+ or LTE. IPsec is used on this interfaces.

Even operators, who need this data during system tuning and debugging, have problems to get it.
Special test SIM cards, protocol probes after SGW etc are used. Normally, such tests are prepred
and executed on selected cells: getting all data history for all users is beyond reach of most operators.

It is much easier to get my location using different methods, like asking me politely ;-)


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