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Comment Re:Don't want a thinner laptop (Score 1) 120

Still has the cutout, thank goodness. But still sometimes is a bit of a challenge for those with less dexterity to open. I use my fingernail in that cutout.

That's the entire point of the cutout, actually. I'm sure Apple would love to save the step of machining it, but they DO realize it's a required part of the case to make it easier to open.

So no, the cutout's not going anywhere, short of Jony Ive being supreme dictator of the world. (The only alternative would be a button or a slider to unlock, but that has all sorts of design issues).

Anyhow, the biggest problem I see is the keyboard. The MacBook's keyboard already takes a little getting used to, and I know a bunch of people who hate it, but I have to admit for such a low-travel keyboard, it feels pretty good. I've had low-travel keyboards on laptops before and most are genuinely awful - bottoming out way too early, but the MacBook's one feels pretty good - it doesn't feel like I'm bottoming out at all.

Comment Re:I would like a simpler electric car (Score 1) 221

One ECM unit I worked on was a mere 2kb of code

Must be fairly old then, because a modern ICE is full of sensors. You have crankshaft position sensor (to determine where in the stroke cycle everything is), oxygen sensors (not just in the catalytic converter, but incoming), temperature sensors (coolant, air, etc), throttle position sensor, air flow sensor, anti-knock sensors (yes, in a lot of cars that "require" premium gas, regular works just fine), fuel injection system pressure and flow sensors, and dozens more. Then there's the performance tables - both static and dynamic that relate all the sensor data to actual performance numbers including spark advance/retard, valve advance/retard, spark power (the spark is computer controlled, and the power used is to balance plug wear with mixture needs), etc. etc. etc. And the outputs are just as numerous - spark plug (x number of cylinders), fuel injector (x number of cylinders), throttle servo, sdvance/retard valve timing group (it's usually vacuum driven so the computer activates a solenoid), and dozens more outputs including seemingly unrelated ones like alarm (if the alarm is armed, the engine gets no fuel and no spark), starter control, etc.

If you can do all that in 2kb, I'm impressed. I'm certain the performance tables are much larger than that.

Oh yeah, and limp-home mode. A mode where the engine will run to get you unstuck. It's actually a very impressive mode too - you can disable a number of cylinders and the engine will (barely) keep running. It'll be unhappy and be dog slow, but it will run.

Here's an impressive one where a 50 cal is used to shoot through cylinders. And the engine starts right up again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:If the nsa is smart... (Score 1) 43

I've known a few NSA folks and they tend to be incredibly geeky, smart, and sometimes borderline autistic mathematicians, engineers, and linguists. My guess is that this was written by one of those types who couldn't resist having a bit of fun with it, or it was aimed at fellow geeks who would get a laugh out of an otherwise boring document.

The NSA's sole job is basically geekdom. Think about all the work the NSA does - cryptographic, surveillance, analysis, etc. Now realize this work isn't done by managers or executives or people with business degrees.

No, it's done by people with doctorates, masters and bachelor's in science and math. And it's got great gobs or engineers as well. Basically outside of NASA, the NSA is the other government geek heaven

So yes, the documentation the NSA writes internally is probably going to be full of geek references because the whole agency is staffed that way.

Comment Re:custom chips == government backdoors (Score 4, Informative) 50

China already gets powerful multi-core ARM chips at dirt cheap prices, so this isn't a matter of saving money. The only logical reason they would be making custom chips (and so soon) is they are modifying an existing chip and adding a hardware backdoor. With hardware backdoors in every server in china, they can control information much easier and identify dissidents.

Exactly. You might not know it, but the Chinese regulations specify a lot of standards that you must support, only in China. For example, WiFi encryption - WEP and WPA are banned in China - if you want to have WiFI encryptoin, you must use WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure).

WAPI is only used in China and very limited entities have access to the entire standard. And no, WAPI is not part of any standard we recognize - IEEE, ISO, etc.

There are probably dozens of other things that are Chinese only, so if you want to sell your chip in China, you need to support it.

And yes.you can bet there are backdoors.

Comment Re:Never misplaced a 747 around the house. Floatin (Score 2) 335

From what I've seen of airplanes hitting the water at full tilt, getting things to leave them isn't really all that difficult. But, why not take it a step further and design a mechanism to jettison a copy of the black box data and a locator beacon before impact? Say at about 500 ft above ground/water level while on a downward slope at any location not in the vicinity of an airport, per onboard GPS, or immediately upon 'X' G's outside of a survivable impact (rough landing).

They make them. They're called deployable black boxes and they basically eject from the aircraft and float on top of the water. With GPS locator beacon. Typically they're used for military aircraft, but they are used for civilian aviation as well.

Airbus is on board with equipping them, Boeing less so. Boeing's concern centers around accidental deployment - they estimate that there will be 6 or 7 deployments per year.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 64

They're also hopeful on marketing this to parents so that they can have an internet connection available for their kids to watch Netflix or play games on long family trips instead of actually having to ***gasp*** socialize and interact with them.

Basically this. Look at any ad that shows a car having WiFi - it's all about your passengers updating their facebook or playing games while on the move, and kinds playing games or other entertainment/distraction for the family road trip.

Comment Re:Physical vs. Virtual (Score 1) 375

How do you prove you no longer have an eBook? If I buy one and then sell it to someone else on eBay, I'm probably just selling them a copy of my eBook, not my actual copy. What is to stop me from selling my eBook hundreds of times over? There'd need to be some sort of licensing/registration in place where if you sell your copy, you need to transfer the license or copy to the other party. Sounds a lot like DRM.

Considering the DRM was there anyways, well...

And that was one of the big losses of the old Xbone DRM system - yes, it sucked, but it DID allow for reselling games, which is far better than what we have now in the "old way". Sure, you can resell it if you bought the disc, but more and more the stuff is provided virtually - you redeem a code and now the game is locked to your account. (And Microsoft and Sony are promoting this heavily - even going to providing download codes for pre-orders so you can pre-load and play when it unlocks rather than waiting for the store to open or your mail to arrive).

Comment Re:uh, what? (Score 1) 55

Xiaomi is all about the hype. They see themselves as the Chinese Apple. Up to and including their chairman wearing a black turtleneck. Xiaomi's MIUI phone OS looks just like Apple's (and they ripped off GNU code and refused to release their changes). They copy Apple every way they can - in China this isn't seen as pathetic me-tooism, it's seen as clever because you're copying someone who is successful. Xiaomi is notorious for releasing only a small amount of product at launch and providing no other way to buy than at certain times from their official website.

Apple and Google, actually. MIUI wants to be all cloud-based and selling cloud services to you (and you to everyone else). It's basically why they give the software away And at a time when Apple itself is trying to reduce the use of the cloud to reduce the privacy implications (basically iCloud ends up being a really good way to sync files everywhere and collaborate than a resource to mine)

Apple's privacy stance is so annoying to internal researches that they're basically leaving because they can't get Apple to release to their own employees the data Apple collects from other services - like Apple collects the information and refuses to share it beyond what they stated they would do with it. (Many of the speech to text and AI researchers want access to stuff like Siri queries and can't get access to it. Apple even has a rather draconian process for it...).

Comment WHAT is being ranked? (Score 1) 85

So Google has a list of vendors who provide timely OS releases and security updates. Question is, what is the ranking? I mean, a company like Samsung releases hundreds of new phones a year (in 2014, it's 3 phones a week), yet you only really expect updates on one of them (the flagship). So does Samsung get a poor ranking because of the 150 phones they released last year, only one gets security updates? Or out of those 150, only 50 shipped with the latest OS?

I pick Samsung because they're the ones making tons of money on Android, and who not only can ignore the listings, but can probably influence things so they don't have to maintain the hundreds of models they released...

Comment Re:Wow, Osborne Effect much (Score 1) 82

"Smaller Xbox One Coming This Year, More Powerful Xbox One In 2017"

So everyone waits for 2017, right?

Is it hurting Sony right now with their PS4k rumored to come out this year?

In fact, to add to the confusion, it is expected that Sony will keep the PS4 and the PS4k.

Of course, rumors are rumors, and while the PS4k is likely to come out in order to support PS VR, the Xbone rumor may be based off the fact that if Sony does it, Microsoft must, too... even though they don't have a VR headset thing going on.

Comment Re:Misfeature (Score 1) 89

What is âthisâ(TM) in your sentence? CSS? Copying in general? All the page does is use some CSS to move part of the text off-screen where it cannot be seen.
Detecting what is and isn't visible when copying text is a non-trivial task, as is defining what visibility means: obviously when you press Ctrl+A, Ctrl+Ins you want the entire document, even those parts for which you'd need the scrollbar to read them. But what if text is placed in such a way that it's always inside the scrollable region, but outside the visible window client area?

You forgot about Unicode, where one visible character you see can easily consist of 4-5 or more codepoints that get copied as well. There are a few deadly sequences that can screw up your terminal if it's Unicode aware.

Comment Re:Cluelessly Bad Analysis (Score 1) 153

We store programmatically salted hashes of passwords. Reversing those can't even be done with rainbow tables, not without generating a table per salt, which is going to be a long drawn out process.

Salts prevent use of rainbow tables, which helps a little bit. Modern password crackers are dictionary based, with various "twiddles" applied to each word (capitalization, add a number, replace certain characters with numbers, etc). So if the dictionary says "password", the cracker will try "password", "Password", "PASSWORD", "passw0rd", etc.

Since it 's done via GPU, it's hashed quite quickly. and salts just mean you start from source dictionary.

That's why trivial mashing of passwords is easy to crack - the modern dictionary based password cracker tests simple combinations and substitutions already.

And no, it won't get 100% of passwords - but you'll be able to crack probably 30-50% of them within a day with even a smallish dictionary of say, top 100 passwords plus combinations.

Comment Re:Apple has an insane amount of money (Score 1) 214

Take wireless charging, from the last I read, Apple is looking at it for the iPhone 7. I mean, seriously? My Galaxy S4 wirelessly charges. Not to mention the iOS is clunky and not really very nice. I'll give 1 example, I have an iPhone 5s and you can't arrange any given desktop how you want it. Every app icon has to listed from the top and packed up tight from top to bottom. I don't want it that way, I'd like to put the app icons on the screen where I want them (as you can and always have been able to on the Andriod, at least as far back as I started using Android for years). These sorts of slow uptakes in the marketplace might seem trivial and insignificant, but it's also these slow to market changes that killed BlackBerry (i.e. touch screens, virtual keyboards, etc). By the time RIM woke-up, it was too late and they were pushed aside. Just my 2 cents....

Apple prefers practicality to fiddly-ness and "neat-o whiz-bang technology".

Wireless charging, for example, requires you to put the phone over the charger, or within the confines of a small box, and some phones require pretty exact placement to begin charging. This works, but if you're going to fiddle with it, the fiddling with a cable is easier.

Apple is rumored to have partnered with several wireless charging pioneers to provide an area charging capability - so you could put your phone under an iMac and it'll charge there, regardless of orientation or position. Or even if you're just close to it, say working in front of the iMac you check your phone and it's still charging.

As for the icons - you can't rearrange icons in Android. You have 5 "pages" on the home screen to arrange your favorite icons and widgets however you like, but the App Launcher is strictly sorted only. SpringBoard is akin to the App Launcher as it contains every app, not just the ones you explicitly put on the Home Screen (which fills up pretty quick). Some android skins do allow more pages for the default home screen to be more iOS-like, but the default is 5 pages - you have the main page with clock widget and Google apps, and two pages on either side of it.

Comment Re:When I was a kid... (Score 1) 324

Actually, storing cold is an entirely viable strategy. Back in the 1800s, ice would be harvested from frozen ponds in New England, then packed in sawdust and stored in warehouses. That ice was later shipped to many place - the Carribean, the American West, even to India. Keeping ice cold and frozen is just a matter of proper insulation.

There was also the "cold room" which was a well-insulated building that in the winter was filled from floor to ceiling ice harvested form the lake as small blocks. You put your perishables in an adjoining room which was insulated on the outside but not from the ice room. It would keep cold even when it was 30+C outside (mid-80s and higher).

And yes, it kept cold so when it was time to refill it, you have to remove all the leftover ice from the last year so you can fill it with fresh ice.

Comment Re:Legit (Score 1) 82

If Paramount/CBS were smart they make a deal with these guys, throw some money at it and syndicate it. I don't know why Paramount/CBS hold so tightly to this franchise. They should take a page of Disney's handbook and give us fans multiple movies and shows.

They already do. They allow fan fiction and works to be created - provided you don't try to make money off the property (or try to destroy it). This is to be honest one of the more open IP franchises out there.

The problem is, it's a thin grey line separating what CBS/Paramount/Viacom (it's huge corporate mess) consider fan fiction, and what they consider commercial licensing required.

And these guys with their crowdfunding campaign and all that apparently fell foul to that, for they felt it was going commercial. (Note: it would've been fine if they used crowdfunding to raise the licensing costs - it's happened before).

Star Trek is an expensive property - I believe CBS/Paramount/VIacom want at least $55K to even sit down at the table. And that's just to get them together in the room - if they reject your idea they will take that $55k with them. (This is to avoid wasting everyone's time - if you're so sure your product will be a hit, $55k is nothing. If not, you do your due diligence and research to see...)

Chances are, a deal will be struck and they will acquire a license. Depends on what was the objectionable parts - perhaps the fact backers got first dibs at the movie might be the whole sticking point (the fan fiction freedom means it must be available at no cost to everyone, so having people that paid for early access could be seen as commercial activity even if you're giving it away afterwards). In this case, it just means a little bit of the crowdfunding money will probably have to be taken out of production budget and into limited time licensing

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