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L.A. School District's 30,000 iPads May Come With Free Lock-In

ArghBlarg iPad educational software is crap beyond grade 3 (232 comments)

... my wife is a teacher and her high school decided all teachers must have and use iPads. She teaches horticulture and the apps in the Apple store are all for preschoolers, maybe grade 3 max. She found one or two BBC interactive documentaries with David Attenborough but that's it. Everything else is babysitting software.

Almost (not total) waste of money, and they're laying off teachers because they don't have enough funds.

Training for the iPads? Two two-hour sessions for the staff. That's it.

I second the thoughts by others that this is a bad way to spend all-too-sparse funds in the educational system.

about a year and a half ago

Confirmed: CBS News Reporter's Computer Compromised

ArghBlarg Re:What data? (176 comments)

You mean "meta-data". :p

about a year and a half ago

USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

ArghBlarg Re:Someone start a defense fund (955 comments)

I sincerely wish I could add my vote to this petition but I'm Canadian.

Not that living in Canada means I, and everyone I know, probably hasn't been swept up in this sweeping surveillance. I'm sure all of our traffic is being hoovered up just the same.

about a year and a half ago

US Mining Data Directly From 9 Silicon Valley Companies

ArghBlarg Since 2007 hmm? Glad that helped stop Boston Bomb (404 comments)

Oh wait, it didn't.
So don't let any government official of bureaucrat use the excuse governments need this "... to stop terrorism", ever again.

about a year and a half ago

Google Rolling Out Gmail Redesign

ArghBlarg Re:false positive rate (303 comments)

I've been seeing the spam filters in my gmail really break down over the last few months, to the point where I'm working on a Hashcash gadget to generate stamps and backend app script to auto-flag emails with stamps.

I have the stamp generator google sidebar gadget working, and am working on refining the back-end script. I'll try to get something published soon via the Google App Store. Of course to be useful lots of people need to adopt Hashcash and use it send each other mail.

about a year and a half ago

Seti Live Website To Crowdsource the Search For Alien Life

ArghBlarg Re:Design of life (90 comments)

Wow, you've never heard of the Miller-Urey experiments, or considered that local entropy can decrease, so long as the entropy in the surroundings increases to match? There are a raft of real-world phenomena where molecules spontaneously self-organize given some energy gradient.

Ah, why am I bothering, if you can look up everything, if you're actually willing. The onus isn't on everyone else to prove some invisible sky-man doesn't exist...

more than 2 years ago

Turning Attackers' Tools Against Them

ArghBlarg Re:walled garden version for the rest of us? (75 comments)

Haven't they already taken the first step with compulsory driver signing in their 64-bit OSes? I hear there's a registry hack to disable it... for now. But MS would -love- it to be mandatory, they've been laying the foundations since the original "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" days haven't they? I don't keep up to date on all this stuff so maybe it's not so true anymore.

more than 4 years ago

Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral?

ArghBlarg Re:Bad, Bad Idea (495 comments)

... probably true (the part about the post being intended for India). However, the company then deserves whatever it gets. Last company I worked for had the bright idea of outsourcing to Wipro. Ended up costing them far more than they bargained for. That company would lie through its teeth about the skills of its 'consultants' and 'programmers'. I had trouble feeling sorry for my company, as they'd instituted a hiring freeze in the US and Canadian offices in order to try and save money outsourcing. The lost productivity cleaning up after the outsourced peoples' mess obliterated any savings they had hoped to get.

more than 4 years ago

BP Knew of Deepwater Horizon Problems 11 Months Ago

ArghBlarg Re:President Obama (438 comments)

IANAL of course, but it's pretty common knowledge that corporations in the US are considered 'persons', and as such, truly heinous crimes such as this should merit the corporate equivalent of the 'death penalty' -- revocation of their corporate charter to operate in the U.S. and dissolution/seizing of all U.S.-based assets. So there -is- basis in law for it.

Of course this power has almost never, from what I've read, been used. Which means corporations are actually -more- than people, being immortal, immensely rich 'people' who are in all practical senses above the law.

more than 4 years ago

Linux Not Quite Ready For New 4K-Sector Drives

ArghBlarg Re:if vista/win7 really do support this correctly. (258 comments)

I see it rather as an indictment against closed-source OSes, if XP turns out to be incompatible with these new drives and MS never releases a patch to add support. People will need to upgrade for no good reason to one of MS's new operating systems. People should not have to deal with a complete upheaval of their tested and true systems due to a small hardware change such as this.

I can imagine MS is quietly chuckling with glee to itself, if this issue becomes a deal-breaker for machines still running XP.

more than 4 years ago

Tiny ARM-Based Sensor System Makes Battery Replacement Obsolete

ArghBlarg Re:So let me see if I get this straight (96 comments)

I wonder why they couldn't integrate a supercapacitor rather than a battery -- while their capacity is less, they charge nearly instantaneously and have no memory. Then the lifetime would be even longer, perhaps over a decade if no extreme temperature variations were present. The things are designed for short bursts between sleeps, so a supercap could be suitable.

more than 4 years ago

Fujitsu Readies Lawsuit Over "iPad" Name

ArghBlarg Re:Double trademark trolls! (367 comments)

Yeah well Apple also stomped all over "OS-9" (google 'microware' or 'radisys' if you haven't heard of it). The OS-9 operating system dated back to oh, 1981 or so.. but some butthead judge decided, when Microware objected to Apple's then-latest release, that since Apple was, well, -Apple-, there couldn't -possibly- be any confusion.. even though anyone on usenet's comp.os.os9 was already sick and tired of Mac fanboys posting newbie mac questions there thinking it was a Mac forum; even though OS-9 and Mac OS 9 were both operating systems.. for 68k (and, at that time, PowerPC) processors.. gee, totally different markets. /s

about 5 years ago

Firefox Disables Microsoft .NET Addon

ArghBlarg Re:Inconsistent logic (448 comments)

Hear, hear! The Firefox team did the right thing. MS needs to play by the rules of any third-party applications with which it wants to interact. They should have used the 'front door' when installing their plugin, and had proper versioning information. They should live with the consequences of their backhanded install procedure, just like anyone else.

more than 5 years ago

Merck Created Phony Peer-Review Medical Journal

ArghBlarg Re:Holy crap. (213 comments)

You know what, it's great that some people you know were helped by Vioxx. That's honestly great.

But that in *no* way excuses the fact that, due to the drug company's *blatant lies* about the possible effects that it may have, some other people you DON'T know, may have FRICKING DIED from Vioxx.

But hey, if the people who were baldly deceived by drug companies' LIES and died/suffered as a result were all people YOU DIDN'T KNOW PERSONALLY, then that's totally OK I guess.

The fact the company had to make a whole FAKE JOURNAL up to shove their product says volumes about how much confidence they really had about the product.

more than 5 years ago

Open Source Killing Commercial Developer Tools

ArghBlarg Re:and piracy killed music (742 comments)

You speak as though you're expecting support and free bugfixes from the commercial vendor.

Granted, some vendors do offer this, but you must evaluate the vendor on a case-by-case basis. I'm working with a rather expensive SDK at my current job, which I won't name (it has the words 'Open' and 'TV' in it); I've filed a few bugs, and the response nearly every time has been "Oh yeah, that's a bug; it'll be fixed in the new version'. Which we'll have to pay for. And our company is considering upgrading to a completely new version of their platform, so those bugfixes won't be relevant for the next release anyway. So what's the point of their support really, if the fix is just to pay for a whole new version every few years?

Do you really think a used car vendor's going to give you a warranty for $8000 worth in repairs for a $5000 car? That doesn't sound too realistic either.

more than 6 years ago



ArghBlarg ArghBlarg writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ArghBlarg (79067) writes "Browsing for Compactflash specs, I came across an interesting paper detailing the use of forensics techniques similar to the groove/scratch analysis used to link a bullet to a gun. In this case, the scratches and wear marks on the contacts of your SmartMedia or SD card could be used to determine which devices it was plugged into. Imagine a whistleblower sending information to a journalist via an SD card, and having it traced back to them by matching the card to the PC or camera on which the data originated."


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