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Comment Re:Kids these days (Score 1) 109

My mail server doesn't even accept imap connections, only imaps. That is one of the measures I took almost without thinking years ago when I set it up. Why even still support unencrypted imap? No good reason for that. The imap port is even closed in the firewall.

When connecting to a hotspot I prefer it to be an encrypted over-the-air connection (WPA-PSK for example), but that is often not available. Starbuck's et.al. don't do that, it's easier to connect without. No password. Just an activation code (hard enough) to get your 30 mins free wifi. That connection is unencrypted, a sniffer could probably see that I connect to my mail server or to slashdot.org or whatever (encryption won't stop that part unless you go for a VPN), but not my passwords as that's over encrypted connections.

The focus is now also on the free WiFi access points, but how about the other two dozen or so connecting points between me and the Slashdot server just to post this rambling? Are they secure? Can I even know whether they are secure, I mean, hello NSA!

Comment Re:BREAKING NEWS (Score 1) 109

Incidentally, a lot of "security" consultants use this trick.....they set up a fake wireless access point in an office, and when a lot of people accidentally connect to it, thy sniff some passwords.

Indeed they do expose a serious security risk: browsers (or other software) sending login credentials in plain text over an untrusted connection (which is ANY connection on the Internet, except maybe a patch cable between your laptop and the server you try to connect to).

Comment Re:Something off the rails (Score 1) 115

Last time I checked for my phone (and that was pretty recent) all adblockers required root access to even work. That requirement is for most people enough to put them off (even for me and I'm far more tech savvy than average). Installing an ad blocker for a web browser is a lot easier, but it's not the browser I use much on my phone, it's the apps, and that's where the ads annoy me most.

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 2) 115

You're not the only one. I don't use my phone much to browse the web, but I do play games and those flashing ads (preferably between the image and its negative for maximum contrast) are really annoying, totally distracting.

It's not the ads that drive me to use an ad blocker. I don't mind ads, I know websites and games need to get their revenue somehow.

It's the flashing bits on a web page that are very distracting, it's the pop-up ads that block my view of what I want to read (those apparently unblockable "sign up for our newsletter" ones are also a constant source of irritation), it's the pop-unders that are almost as irritating, it's the floaters that move around and ask you to chase them down before you can start reading what you came for, it's the flashing and moving banners above the game I'm trying to concentrate on.

Incidentally, ad blockers take away all those annoyances. That they take away the ads as well, that's collateral damage. I don't mind ads not being there.

Comment Re:Maybe Tesla SHOULD be blamed for this? (Score 1) 166

If slamming on the brakes causes an accident (almost certainly a rear-end collision - something that appears to far more prevalent in the US than other parts of the world considering anecdotal evidence on /.), it simply means that the people behind it were either keeping insufficient distance or not paying attention or both. Both those issues would be solved with an autopilot, and even more so a way for cars to broadcast a "I'm braking!" kind of warning to other nearby vehicles.

Comment Re:I like this idea (Score 1) 56

car crashes can now be handled like air crashes, so rare that each one can be meticulously analyzed to pick apart how the system failed.

The fact that only a tiny, tiny fraction of all the cars on the road has this function, and the fact that it is something very new, is definitely helping.

Now if all cars would have just this autopilot crashes would occur much more frequently - even if still far less than the current rate. Then they're probably becoming so common again, like crashes with regular cars nowadays, that you won't hear about it except in the form of end-of-year statistics, or the occasional really bad one.

Comment Re:Maybe Tesla SHOULD be blamed for this? (Score 1) 166

This is interesting... although I don't think the technology is ready for something like this. Consider the thought experiment of having to select one of two options, where in one you die and in the other you kill somebody else, for instance: you're going on the highway, and ahead of you, blocking all the lanes, are different subjects, and hitting anyone will kill them. What should the autopilot do?

Simple: slam on the brakes and come to a full stop as soon as possible. Autopilot will be at least a second faster than any human in this, lessening whatever impact. Maybe the accident can not be fully prevented, but that one extra second of braking can make a huge difference, including that between life and death.

Comment Maybe Tesla SHOULD be blamed for this? (Score 1) 166

According to TFS, Elon Musk believes if the autopilot was active it would have prevented this accident from happening.

So let's just take his word for that. Driver makes an error and causes a crash that autopilot would have prevented, while driving a car that has the autopilot function installed and in good working order but the driver decided to operate the car fully manually.

We have cars with technologies like traction control, anti-lock braking, assisted braking/steering options, there are various collision prevention options - technologies that are active at all times, and the driver may not even have the option to switch it off. Now there is an accident which autopilot could have prevented, but it didn't.

Should autopilot, even when disabled by the driver and not actively driving the car, always be alert and step in to prevent these accidents? And - as direct follow up - could or even should we blame Tesla for not leaving autopilot in standby acting as a driver's assistant?

Comment Navigation in space - how do they do it? (Score 1) 77

A very impressive feat it is, putting that spacecraft into a very well defined orbit around this planet. But what I am wondering is how do they know where the thing really is? Just like catching up with that comet, the Rosetta mission. Sending a tiny craft out in space so far out you can't see it, to catch up with an equally invisible comet (invisible from earth for the first part of the mission at least).

It's too small to see from earth. There is no GPS system or so at Jupiter. No trees, no landmarks - they did it blind, without visible light camera. There is not even a well defined surface for radar to bounce off and determine an actual height.

Can anyone give a simple explanation on how this works?

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