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Comments

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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

Albanach Re:Advocates and Proponents only? (111 comments)

Is it really that difficult to come up with a chip of write once memory, so that when the IMEI is programmed it can never be altered? Better still if it could be incorporated into the CPU or a similar part that would be unfeasibly difficult to remove. Is there any good reason that the IMEI can be reprogrammed?

13 hours ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Albanach No advocating banning guns (1279 comments)

It might be helpful to note that he's not proposing a ban on gun ownership, rather that the individual states should be allowed to regulate such ownership more than is currently allowed.

yesterday
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Heartbleed Disclosure Timeline Revealed

Albanach Re:"Independent" discovery? (62 comments)

Not necessarily. It may be that the bug was known to others and that Google and Codenomicon were both monitoring channels used by more nefarious types. Both organizations may have independently 'discovered' the bug after each becoming aware that an exploit existed without having full details of the exploit.

2 days ago
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Bill Would End US Govt's Sale of Already-Available Technical Papers To Itself

Albanach Scrap librarians too? (32 comments)

You'd think that all they do is sell papers, when in fact they collect and organize them.

Anyone that does serious research will have used specialist librarians before. Just because the data is out there and available, doesn't mean you're going to find it. Even if you do find it, it doesn't mean your search was efficient.

Of course the bill has a catchy name - Let Me Google That For You Act - but the author(s) don't understand that their proposal is to shut down The Google, not encourage its use.

5 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Albanach Re:PBA Cards (324 comments)

You can always take the 'just stick to the speed limit' approach. It's also pretty effective for avoiding tickets.

5 days ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Albanach Re:Whatever you may think ... (444 comments)

Well pretty much anyone can start a lawsuit. But what damages are they suing for? Reimbursement of the purchase price?

If you're using it, you're agreeing to the license:

  * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE OpenSSL PROJECT ``AS IS'' AND ANY
  * EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
  * IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
  * PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE OpenSSL PROJECT OR
  * ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
  * SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT
  * NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES;
  * LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
  * HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT,
  * STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE)
  * ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED
  * OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Now I am not a lawyer, and there are always folk looking for an opportunity to sue, but the license terms surely set them off on a bad start.

about a week ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

Albanach Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (319 comments)

Doesn't free enterprise also include the freedom to enter contracts. If your contract with your landlord says you cannot sublet, are you arguing that the contract should be unenforceable?

As for the tax, we rely on a number of services that are paid for through taxes. It's fine to object to the bedroom tax, many hotel owners do. It's less fine to opt out of taxation.

about two weeks ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

Albanach Re:Chromecast? (117 comments)

Are you sure your sister has a chromecast? As others say, you don't need to keep anything open on your phone or tablet.

It would be different if she was casting a tab from a chrome browser on a laptop, or if you in fact have a Miracast dongle, also supported by Google as a way of streaming, but which would need you to keep the app open. Certainly that can be a pain, but again it's not Chromecast - indeed Chromecast seems designed to solve this major problem of Miracast (or Apple's airplay).

about two weeks ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Albanach Re:Instantly fired. (824 comments)

I imagine the developers at Mozilla who are willing to make these comments are the sort of folk who would be unemployed for approximately half an hour. If they start laying off developers for these comments, there will be recruiters parking RVs in Mountain View, waiting for them.

about three weeks ago
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Google Now Arrives In Chrome For Windows and Mac

Albanach Re:Hmm. (74 comments)

Google now incorporates things such as your search history and your emails to provided a customized start page.

So if Google knows you live in Atlanta, GA it will show you the weather for Atlanta. If you have a flight booked to San Francisco, you will also see the weather for your destination and confirmation of whether your flight is on time - this happens automatically if the flight confirmation went to your gmail account.

If you search for an address or store on your desktop computer, Google Now on your phone will be aware of this and will offer directions. If you have an appointment at your Dentist in your Google Calendar, your phone will remind you, letting you know what time you need to leave to arrive on time taking into account current traffic conditions.

about three weeks ago
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Google Now Arrives In Chrome For Windows and Mac

Albanach Re:Google Now scares the living (74 comments)

It's a fair point, but at least Google gives you the means to turn this off. Also, you're getting something you can place a value on in return, so you can make a reasoned decision as to whether location services are a price worth paying.

All the same data is, however, still available to the government. And there's no off switch there.

about three weeks ago
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How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

Albanach Re:Flight recorder (491 comments)

Well, if you're looking for something that measures perhaps a couple of meters at best, and you're in a plane, high up and traveling at a cruising speed of 400 knots, it's pretty easy to miss something.

If you're in a submarine or a surface ship traveling at about 20 knots, with listening gear that requires you only have to be within 10 miles of the black box to hear its pings, I'd imagine that location process is comparatively straightforward and pretty quick if you can start close enough

about three weeks ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

Albanach Re: Bad summary (206 comments)

Tl;dr : You must be batshit crazy to think that was legitimate without a court order. But hey, MS said so. Must be true then. Facepalm

So, you say they can't do it without a court order, but don't seem to address their statement that they cannot get a court order.

So what exactly is your proposal in these circumstances?

about three weeks ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Re: Three thoughts... (436 comments)

Okay, so the $100 begin doesn't work. REI have a $300 one that uses iridium with global coverage pour to pole. $50 per month for ten minute location updates.

Even considering the lie data capacity of iridium, I think it could handle ten minute location updates from the few thousand jets in the air at any one time.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Re:Three thoughts... (436 comments)

At 35,000 feet on a jumbo jet, you're usually above the bad weather. If bad weather does appear, most pilots will fly around it.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Re:Three thoughts... (436 comments)

Surely the transmission range to a satellite is the same when you're at 35,000 feet whether or not you're above water? REI will sell you a satellite beacon that can ping your coordinates as often as every 2.5 minutes and costs less than $100 with a $99 per year subscription fee for the Immersat service.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Re:Tracking (436 comments)

But the price tags are also differet my several orders of magnitude.

A GPS tracking device that broadcasts its location via satellite costs $100 plus a small monthly subscription. Obviously that isn't going to have cleared all the regulations for avionics, but it still shows the hardware cost is minimal and there's no need to rely upon cellular networks. Indeed the plane in question was already broadcasting hourly to the irridium network. So that bit of the hardware already exists.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Re:Three thoughts... (436 comments)

Which is a fair point, but it could still broadcast it's GPS location and altitude every five minutes. If I rent a $20,000 dollar car from Hertz it lets them know where I am with their car. Why airlines let planes costing hundreds of millions fly around the globe absent similar technology is surely a little strange?

about a month ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

Albanach Suicide By Jet Plane (436 comments)

If you want to commit suicide, why not ditch the plane straight down? Why would you plot a course somewhere into the middle of the Indian Ocean?

If you didn't want it to look like suicide, why not ditch into rural China? There has to be some way a professional pilot could make it look more accidental.

about a month ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Albanach Re:Surely... (983 comments)

If his data is legitimate, legally aquired media, he has hard copies anyway

You do realize that some people create their own data?

about a month ago

Submissions

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E-ink reader for academic papers

Albanach Albanach writes  |  about 2 months ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Recently, I purchased an e-ink Kindle. I like real paper books, but I’m reading lots of academic papers. The Kindle is a nice way to carry and read them, and I went through several documents, highlighting important passages. Now I learn that there is no supported way to actually get a highlighted personal document back off of the Kindle with the highlights intact. I don’t need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines — there are other things the Kindle can and will be used for. What I would like to know is whether there’s another e-ink reader that DOES let you add your own documents, then highlight them and export the altered document. Or does someone know of a way to achieve this using the Kindle itself?"
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WW2 pigeon code decrypted by Canadian?

Albanach Albanach writes  |  about a year ago

Albanach (527650) writes "At the start of November Slashdot reported the discovery of a code, thought to be from the second world war, found attached to the leg of a pigeon skeleton located in an English chimney. Now a Canadian by the name of Gord Young claims to have deciphered the message in less than 20 minutes. He believes that the message is comprised mostly of acronyms."
Link to Original Source
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Options for FOSS remote support software?

Albanach Albanach writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Albanach (527650) writes "I'm sure I'm not alone in being asked to help friends and family with computer issues. These folk typically run Windows (everything from XP onward) or OS X (typically 10.4 onward). Naturally, desktop sharing is often much easier than trying to talk the other end through various steps. I've found free sites like join.me but they don't work with OS X 10.4, neither does the Chrome plugin. I'd also prefer not to compromise security by using a third party in the middle of the connection. Is there a good, free solution I can run on my linux box that supports old and new clients that run Windows, OS X and possibly linux? I'd love it if the users could simply bring their systems up to date, but that doesn't solve the third party issue and it's not easy when it requires a non-trivial RAM upgrade on a Mac Mini."
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Apple ban security expert for exposing iOS flaw

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Reuters is reporting that Apple has expelled Charlie Miller, a researcher with Accuvant Labs and highly regarded cybersecurity expert from its iOS developers' programs. The move comes after he publicly demonstrated a flaw in its iOS operating system. Miller disclosed that he had figured out a way to build apps that can secretly download other programs that are capable of stealing data, sending text messages or destroying information. After disclosing the flaw via YouTube, Apple retaliated by banning Miller from the developer program for at least one year."
Link to Original Source
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Open source for severe weather warnings?

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Tornadoes have caused devastating loss of life in the United States this year. While I'm fortunate to be unaffected, I was wondering whether open source technology can help distribute severe weather warnings. While large companies can use commercial products to alert staff, tools like asterisk should allow small and medium businesses to send phone and text alerts to staff. The challenge is getting warnings in timely fashion. The National Weather Service provides XML data, however the update frequency of every few minutes could be too slow for an event like a tornado. The obvious source seems to be receiving alerts in real time from the NWS weather radio. Unfortunately I have been unable to find an open source solution that can process an audio stream, reading the SANE header and allowing for an automated response. Have any /. readers tackled this problem at work or at home?"
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What happens when an App Store app has a bug.

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Many software developers have grown accustomed to the release early and often model of software development. However, deploying rapid updates is not possible when your application first needs approval by Apple. At the weekend Friendly, one of the iPad's most popular Facebook clients, and the #9 top grossing app of 2010 was upgraded. Either as a result of this, or as a result of changes made by Facebook, users were left with a broken App. The developers claim they submitted a fixed version for approval on Saturday. They told their 3 million Facebook followers on Sunday that Apple had promised to prioritize the approval. The App has still not been approved, leaving customers with a useless App. Does Apple's slow approval process demand a return to an older model of development with longer testing phases?"
Link to Original Source
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Successful compromise of quantum encryption

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Nature magazine is reporting that, by utilizing lasers, Norwgian 'hackers' have successfully cracked their encryption keys in a quantum encryption solution, yet left no trace of the hack. Vadim Makarov who with colleagues from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim carried out the exploit is quoted saying 'Our hack gave 100% knowledge of the key, with zero disturbance to the system.' He describes the technique as exploiting 'a purely technological loophole that turns a quantum cryptographic system into a classical system, without anyone noticing.'"
Link to Original Source
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State of Virginia experiencing computer problems

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "The State of Virginia has entered the third day of ongoing computer problems, blamed on 230 crashed servers. State offices have, amongst other things, been unable to issue new driving licenses and been unable to process new jobless claims. The State has outsourced much of its IT provision to Northrop Grumman in a $2bn deal that was criticized by auditors for poor service. That deal was rewritten with the State pledging increased funds in return for improved service."
Link to Original Source
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Wikileaks to publish remaining Afghan documents

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange has been quoted by the Associated Press as stating "the organization is preparing to release the remaining secret Afghan war documents". According to Assange, they are halfway through processing the remaining 15,000 files as they 'comb through' the files to ensure lives are not placed at risk."
Link to Original Source
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Regulators consider Apple antitrust probe

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Apple's recent decision requiring developers use Apple tools when coding for the iPhone and iPad has drawn the attention of Government regulators, The Reuters news agency reports that regulators in the United States are now considering an antitrust investigation into the restriction. Reuters quote David Balto, a former FTC policy director as saying "What they're (Apple) doing is clearly anticompetitive ... They want one superhighway and they're the tollkeeper on that superhighway.""
Link to Original Source
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US cell phone plans amongst world's most expensive

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "An OECD report published today has shown moderate cell phone users in the United States are paying some of the highest rates in the world. Average US plans cost $52.99 per month compared to an average of $10.95 in Finland. The full report is available only to subscribers, however Excel sheets of the raw data are available to download."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft confirm job cuts

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "In a widely anticipated move Microsoft have today confirmed an immediate cull of 1,400 staff, with up to 5,000 positions to go over the next eighteen months. Microsoft are blaming the rise of netbooks and the slump in the global economy for their current woes. The jobs being cut appear to be across the company with cuts in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon UK remove Spore reviews

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "Following up to yesterday's story that anti-DRM campaigners had posted numerous one-star reviews of Spore, someone seems to be feeling the pain. Amazon UK have responded by removing all reviews of the game. For now at least, the reviews on Amazon's US site remain. 1300+ one-star reviews and less than a hundred for two to five stars combined. Perhaps the reaction of Amazon UK is because the mainstream media have picked up on the story, with articles from the BBC and Financial Times. The big US news outlets seem slower to react."
Link to Original Source
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Best Western lose details on 8 million customers

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Albanach writes "Scotland's Sunday Herald newspaper has an exclusive report that the Best Western hotel chain has lost the personal details of each and every guest who has stayed at any of its 1300 hotels in the past 12 months. This amounts to details on 8 million customers and includes information such as name, address, credit card details and employment details. The data even includes future booking details, causing speculation that homes could be targeted for burglary when it's anticipated they will be unoccupied. A Best Western spokesperson is quoted as saying "Best Western took immediate action to disable the compromised log-in account in question. We are currently in the process of working with our credit card partners to ensure that all relevant procedural standards are met, and that the interests of our guests are protected,""
Link to Original Source
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Intel face antitrust investigation

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "The New York Times is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation of Intel. Subpoenas have already been issued to Intel, AMD and unnamed computer manufacturers. The decision to launch an investigation marks a u-turn for the FTC and follows the appointment of new FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic."
Link to Original Source
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EU Commissioner proposes 95 year copyright

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "The European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market has today proposed extending the copyright term for musical recordings to 95 years. He also wishes to investigate options for new levies on blank discs, data storage and music and video players to compensate artists and copyright holders for 'legal copying when listeners burn an extra version of an album to play one at home and one in the car.'"
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Microsoft bid to buy Yahoo!

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Albanach writes "Microsoft have written to the Yahoo! board offering to buy the company for $44.6bn, an increase of 62% above Yahoo's closing price on Thursday.

The BBC report this is not the first time Microsoft have expressed interest in Yahoo!, having made an approach a year ago that was rebuffed.

There's more coverage from CNN while Reuters report on the fact clearance will likely be required from the European Commission. Slashdot previously discussed Yahoo's acquisition of Zimbra the Exchange alternative for $350m. Could Microsoft be allowed to buy what is possibly the most prominent Exchange alternative on the market?"
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BBC iPlayer to stream for Linux & Mac users

Albanach Albanach writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Albanach (527650) writes "The BBC has confirmed that television shows available to download for Windows users within the UK will be available to Linux and Mac users by the year end. The BBC has signed a deal with adobe to make streaming versions of these programmes available using Flash. While the BBC have not ruled out a download and watch later version for Linux and mac users, they state "It comes down to cost per person and reach at the end of the day"."
Link to Original Source

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