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Comment Re:Mesh network in Montreal (Score 1) 124

I wonder if you guys have put any bandwidth preservation measures in place in case of a natural disaster than limits connectivity between the mesh and the outside. I'm thinking if a giant mutant beaver takes out a dam that fries nearby telcos, you don't want somebody on a Skype video chat using up the lone remaining Pringle can-to-mountain top link. But then, that's more of an issue for the Project Byzantium use cases than yours I guess.

PS -- please tell me you didn't create 68 slashdot accounts just to get that UID.

The Military

Submission + - Nuclear Truckers Haul Warheads Across US

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "As you weave through interstate traffic, you're unlikely to notice a plain-looking Peterbilt tractor-trailer and have no idea that inside the cab an armed federal agent operates a host of electronic countermeasures to keep outsiders from accessing his heavily armored cargo: a nuclear warhead. Adam Weinstein writes that the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) employs nearly 600 couriers to move bombs, weapon components, radioactive metals for research, and fuel for Navy ships and submarines between a variety of labs, reactors and military bases. Hiding nukes in plain sight, and rolling them through major metropolitan centers raises a slew of security and environmental concerns, from theft to terrorist attack to radioactive spills. "Any time you put nuclear weapons and materials on the highway, you create security risks," says Tom Clements, a nuclear security watchdog for Friends of the Earth. For security, cabs are fitted with custom composite armor and lightweight armored glass, a redundant communications systems that link the convoys to a monitoring center in Albuquerque, and the driver has the ability to disable the truck so it can't be moved or opened. The OST hires military veterans, particularly ex-special-operations forces (PDF), who are trained in close-quarters battle, tactical shooting, physical fitness, and shifting smoothly through the gears of a tractor-trailer. But accidents happen. In 1996, a driver flipped his trailer on a two-lane Nebraska hill road after a freak ice storm, sending authorities scrambling to secure its payload of two nuclear bombs and in 2003, two trucks operated by private contractors had rollover accidents in Montana and Tennessee while hauling uranium hexafluoride, a compound use to enrich reactor and bomb fuel."

Comment Re:It doesn't do all that much. (Score 1) 58

Since we're already talking about cars, I'll have to resort to a phone analogy.

The smartphone equivalent is that "all" this does is provide an API for smartphone apps to access GPS location, tilt sensor data, and battery SOC and drain rate. But really that's pretty huge in itself, it's enough to enable search based on location (be that Yelp, Opentable, or just Bing). It's enough to create crowd-sourced traffic maps, and it might even be enough to do Slashdot style moderation of nearby drivers.

But yeah I'd like the diagnostic info (much of which is going to be model-specific) and even more I'd like to write to the CAN bus to control non-critical stuff. And of course as an app writer I'll want to secretly upload your address book to my servers so I can sell it to information brokers and download targeted advertising. Oops did I say that out loud?

Comment Can I finally implement the de-smellerator? (Score 1) 58

My first app would switch to recirculating air whenever I go near one of the local sewage treatment plants or enter a tunnel. (Or any rectangle I can define via a pair of GPS coordinates, and of course the smell map will be a downloadable crowd-sourced database.) Upon exiting the smelly zone the vent mode returns to whatever it was set to prior. Right now I have a subroutine running on base-brain to handle this task which works well for the frequently travelled areas. But if I forget when driving near that feed lot on I-5, I'm stuck with cow-shit air for *miles*.

So can openxc control things like the air vents? I'm thinking of the Prius which has a recirc button the steering wheel as well as the dash, so it's probably possible to plug into a bus somewhere.


Submission + - SPAM: The Artist's Team - How Open Are They to a New Rea

An anonymous reader writes: Lately, a lot of performing and recording artists are experiencing difficulties (to put it mildly) with their voices. It is very sad, but it is the fact.

We're hearing a lot about bleeding vocal cords, laryngitis, polyps, nodes and nodules in Artists' throats. Some also have dysphonia and some, acid reflux, separately or along with the aforementioned diagnoses.

Now what...?

The artist is in distress, the management and record company are in loss of millions of dollars!

How to remedy the situation like that?

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google deploys IPv6 for internal network (

alphadogg writes: In a project that has taken longer than company engineers anticipated, Google is rolling out IPv6 across its entire internal employee network. Google network engineer Irena Nikolova discussed the company-wide implementation at the Usenix Large Installation System Administration conference, being held this week in Boston. From the experience, Google has learned that an IPv6 migration involves more than just updating the software and hardware. For early adopters, it requires a lot of work with vendors to get them to fix buggy and still-unfinished code. "We should not expect something to work just because it is declared supported," the paper accompanying the presentation concluded.

Submission + - Microsoft releases beta of Offline Windows Defende (

TheGoodNamesWereGone writes: Microsoft has released a beta of an offline version of its Windows Defender product, for those instances where the computer is just so unbelievably infected that it can't go online or access security website. Prior to this, techies cleaning up infected PCs would have to use Ultimate Boot CD or something similar, but creating those disks and keeping them updated could be something of a chore. Offline Windows Defender comes in 32 and 64 bit flavors. Will this be a help to people like me who are always cleaning diseased PCs?

Comment Re:GM "protocols following the crash" would not he (Score 2) 225

No, you've confused the instructions for first responders with the instructions for the dealerships doing post-crash repairs.
Per a post elsewhere:

The Volt service manual documents what should be done to inspect the high voltage systems following a collision in Volume 2, section 11, page 332. After a collision as severe as in the side-impact crash test, the battery pack should be removed from the vehicle.

Still it's a good thing NHTSA is looking into this (while not picking solely on GM). After the Toyota unintended acceleration issue the US auto safety regulators looked bad because they appeared to have not paid attention to the early warning signs, and that ended up being bad for the regulator, the regulatee, and the consumers. Even if this turns out to be a total non-problem, it will help debunk fear-mongering against EV technology. IMHO.

Comment Re:So why do I trust the notaries? (Score 1) 127

    1) you could choose a notary run by someone you trust
    2) you could UN-choose a notary if you stop trusting it
    3) you can delegate the above to your browser maker or a plugin maker you trust, and not worry about it, just like you already do with the CA system. But *they* can do #s 1 and 2.

With the CA system you don't have have that flexibility in any practical sense.

Comment Re:NO: its the corruption of taking future earning (Score 1) 917

It doesn't cost $23M/year to attend college only because banks don't expect students to repay a $24M/yr loan. However you'll notice that med students pay a lot closer to $23M/year than history PhD students.

The vast majority of students aren't saying "gee, $20K/year is too much, but I'm all in at $19.5K". They are simply applying for loans at whatever the cost, and if they get them they're in. It's a different twist on the free market dynamic you're imagining. The price is tied to what is lendable, which is determined by the banks based on how much of a students future expected earnings they believe they can grab. Schools are happy to go along for that ride.

As an aside on the relationship of school price to the actual cost of education, schools will claim (and feel) the need to pay competitive salaries to high level administrators and profs in demand. This is partly how the max the bank will lend is ultimately laundered into the "cost of education".

It's still greed all the way down.

Comment NO: its the corruption of taking future earnings (Score 1) 917

When large segments give up on college the prices will go down. They can only be as high as they are because people are willing to borrow (and others to lend) large amounts of money to pay for them.

This is the key misunderstanding here. It's not a "free market" question. It's ultimately a question of the same corruption that has infected other segments of our system. No matter how many students attend, all of them will have their future earnings taken. Tuitions will not drop in proportion to attendance, they will only rise or fall in proportion to the expected future earnings of their students.

Schools expect you will earn money, so they justify higher tuitions (which they then spend profligately on salaries and expansion projects while monetizing every aspect of the "academic" process). Banks expect you will earn money, so they lend in proportion. The banks and the schools have rigged the game.

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