US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks
So old, simple, basic is not secure or reliable? The opposite is often true.
It's not antiquated if it works and gets the job done. It might lack features. It might not be the newest. That can be a good thing.
Imagine you have a light you want to turn on and off. You have two ways of doing this: one is a simple switch. You flip it, and electrical contacts come together. Flip it again, they move apart. There is no software, no operating system, no storage.
The other option is a "smart control module" which has a solid state relay that is triggered by a software-defined interface. You can turn the light on and off by giving it voice commands or you can go onto a web interface which lets you send commands to the module via wifi.
Which one of these light switches is more likely to not work properly? Which one presents a security risk? The one that is century old technology or the cutting edge one?
To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution
When it says "We must own the means of distribution" is actually means "The government." The government may be of the people and may be influenced by the people, but it is not the people. This is a representative democracy, and it is imperfect. The government does things that most people dislike all the time. Simply put: We are not the government.
Right now, internet infrastructure is controlled by a limited number of companies. The internet backbones, for example, being extremely critical, are run by companies like Verizon, Quest AT&T, GTE.
Admittedly, that's a bad thing. But it would be even worse to monopolize them under government control. Then you have one and only one party running it and zero incentive to do so well.
Yes, the government is responsible for roads and bridges. That might explain why there have been a deadly bridge collapses in the past years. I mean, the roads in general are not monuments to excellent maintenance and management.
If you actually want to fix it, you need to increase competition, not decrease it. Allow more parties to more easily get into the market. But this is made very difficult by the regulatory structure... By the government. Yes, the government. Partially because they are being heavily lobbied by the existing network operators, but that's the thing about government: it does not tend to make fair decisions when there is a lot of money involved. It's inherently corrupt. 'Tis the nature of the beast.
JetBlue Launches Satellite-Based Inflight Wi-Fi
Yes, it has impressive speed. The unfortunate thing is that it's laggy. That's inherent to satellite internet. Very poor ping times are a result of the signal traveling to the satellite and back.
Big downloads and streaming usually works well, but website surfing can be annoying because the browser has to wait after it requests to download every element for the data to be transferred. This can be made much less noticeable by pre-fetching some of the content before the last element is downloaded and by caching things like DNS communications.
But for real time stuff like video conferencing, VOIP and gaming there is not much that can be done.
I suppose it would depend on whether you will be doing that on a flight.
The Science of Human-Robot Love
Uh... I actually met the dude once in an airport and shook his hand, just because it was interesting to meet him. I didn't do anything rude like blow up about the Vietnam War or anything, and he was nice enough and all.
I just can't see why anyone would want to lock lips with him. Sorry. It seems very unappealing.
China Begins Using New Global Positioning Satellites
Yes. The US GPS system has never been the only game in town. If they want to add their own, fine, go ahead. I'd love to have more navigational systems that are publicly avaliable so that receivers could be more reliable and acurate. The European system is not going to be fully functional for some time. The Russian Glonas system has global coverage but is not nearly as acurate as the US system in most cases, but they are upgrading it now. They only started coming out consumer-level with combined GPS/Glonass systems a few years ago. If the EU, China and maybe india get in on this, we'll only have better navigation
2012 and the Technology Blahs
The thing about innovation is that it is, by definition, innovative, which means it's new and has not been done before. Hence, nobody sees it coming, because if they did, they would make it themselves.
I predict that in the next few years a product will come along which will change our lives, be enormously successful financially, spawn a whole subculture, become a cultural meme, result in a slew of spinoff products and accessories and make some people very rich. I should add that I don't actually know what this product may be, because if I did, I'd be patenting and selling it right now. However, it will happen, as it always has and will continue. Nobody will see it until it is here and then it will seem obvious.
This is as stupid as saying "I don't think there will be any surprises this coming year." There will be surprises, but if I knew what they were, they would not be surprising.
Who 'Owns' the Google Driverless Car IP?
Products are constantly being produced (including software products) that draw on previous research and development by other entities. These can include any number of research groups and organizations: Universities, government, private companies etc.
The iPhone's Siri is a recent example. It uses research from DARPA and from various universities as well as earlier work by apple and by various researchers in plain speech command. Actually, most software products are not entirely independently developed with zero previous research or concepts going into them.
So why is this any different?
If Google put together the end product then they own it. They own the final software. The only question is whether there are aspects of it which require royalties or licensing to third parties. Of course, this is not an uncommon thing to have with software. You might not even realize it, but when you buy a piece of software, there are often portions of it that are licensed from third parties, such as codecs, file format types and even interface elements.
It's an issue for Google's legal department. I'm sure they can handle it.
Lightning Strike KOs Amazon, Microsoft EuroClouds
This is what is known as "cloud to cloud lightning"
Ask Slashdot: Overcoming Convention Hall Wi-Fi Interference?
It's likely there's a lot of wifi and other traffic going around. You can probably overcome it with enough gain on the antennas. Directional antennas are best. You can send a beam out that is much higher power than the standard antennas that come with the router. You can go all the way up to dish-style antennas but that is probably going to be rather large and probably overkill.
If you can place routers and access points at multiple locations that would help too.
My advice would be this: Get multiple antennas and connect each to an independent router. Have them arranged in a circle to give full coverage - one facing north, one south, one east and one west etc, OR even do 8 in a circle. Make sure the beam width is good for this application. You can also add some dedicated (possibly even higher gain) antennas to cover areas of importance (like one pointed at a balcony area, one pointed toward the entrance area etc.
I'd recommend some good Yagi or directional panel antennas.
You can also put high gain external wifi antennas on the client side, like using high gain USB wifi adapters. That works okay for laptops, but for things like ipods, that is probably too cumbersome, so more focus on the infrastructure side.
Amplifiers can work too, but don't expect them to make the difference alone. Antennas matter more and amplifiers will boost your output signal but won't make as big a difference with the return signal. So I'd say use amplifiers but also lots of high gain antennas.
Oh, and this may, by the way, make it harder for others to get a good signal from their own wifi, but that's not your problem.
And a couple of important things to remember:
Trying to outpower everyone else's network may come down to being a pissing contest, but that doesn't mean you can't win.
Brute force works. If it doesn't work, that means you're not using enough of it.
FOX To Host New Cosmos
It's not a big deal. Fox is a media company with very broad focus. They air sports, The Simpsons and Family Guy (both of which took some shots at Fox News) and plenty of other things. Fox is part of Newscorp, which admittedly has some pretty conservative-leaning news coverage on their Fox News Channel, but that's not exactly the same as Fox. There's some level of independence to the station management. More importantly, for a major network, ratings are more important than ideology.
I expect it will be good. It won't have Carl Sagan. It won't be the same. Style will probably be different to some extent. It will be a new take, but with the same name.
I expect it will be good because I know Dr. Tyson and he's really about the perfect choice for this. He's a big skeptic and won't let it degenerate to anything less than inspiring and very science savvy content. He's the perfect man for the job.
Mysterious Object Found In Seabed
Pff... the damn thing is 300 feet down. Why hasn't someone just gone down and taken a look-see? That's not super-deep by technical diving standards. Of course, if they don't want to send anyone down, they could also drop a tethered camera or something. It just isn't that far down, really.
Radio Energy Harvested With Inkjet-Printed Antenna
No, no it can't. The power density of ambient RF energy is nowhere near enough to run even the basic circuitry of a phone. Sorry.
Researchers Expose Tracking Service That Can't Be Dodged
There are always ways. It only depends on how much effort you want to put into it. You could use proxy servers to mask IP and change them frequently or even jump from one free wifi hotspot to another. You could repeatedly purge all your cache, cookies, history etc after every site you visit. You could use multiple computers. You could write scripts to send your browser clicking thousands of links and visiting thousands of pages to obscure the actual surfing behavior.
If worst comes to worst, you could travel across the country, nomadically roaming between random libraries, public internet terminals and wifi hotspots, each time using a different browser, operating system and site logins. Or you could just start using paper to get your information again.
Microsoft Says Reinstall Overkill In Removing Rootkit
Reinstalling windows is probably the number 1 general purpose repair option for most software-based problems. As someone who has been fixing computers for a long time, I can tell you that if there is a problem with windows and it's not obvious at first glance, more often than not, it will save a lot of time to just back up the data you want to keep and reinstall windows. Whether or not you need to do a full-blown reformat is another thing, which of course, takes a bit longer.
Reinstalling windows is the equivalent of "try moving the antennas around" was on an old tv with bad reception - it's the first thing you try and it usually solves the problem.
Army Psy Ops Units Targeted American Senators
Psy Ops requires your subject to have a reasonably developed brain and functioning mind. US Senators lack this and therefore would be immune to this type of thing. The Army should have known better.
Creative Uses For Extra Drive Bays?
Check out some of the removable hard drive readers on this site:
They have SATA readers that do not even need a caddy. You can just pop a "naked" sata drive in and read it. These days drives have gotten so cheap (and many of us have so many extra ones lying around) that they can be used as removable storage. They have IDE drive readers too. Usually the drive needs to be mounted in a caddy for those. Of course, IDE hard drives are more or less obsolete, but some of us still have a pile of them that are still perfectly good.
Of course you can add extra ports too. USB hubs, firewire ports etc etc. If you want a lot of configuration, check out this site: http://frontx.com/
You can build your own combination of USB, Firewire, audio, video and other ports. It's always handy to have some extra USB ports and also it's nice to have things like a headphone port or even something like an ethernet port or a video-in port.
Finally, extra drive bays are great for adding additional information displays to your computer. There are a number of LCD, LED and VFD displays out there. The VFD displays look pretty nice. They can display anything you want - stuff like CPU load, system temperatures and upload/download speeds. They can also display RSS feeds or, if you use the PC for media it can display song titles, video file names or television channel information.
Here are some examples:
Last Roll of Kodachrome Processed
This may be the last roll manufactured, but it may well not be the last out there waiting for processing. It is not terribly unusual for old exposed film to be found unprocessed and occasionally, when processed it reveals something of great importance. The photography teacher where I went to high school had bought some vintage camera equipment at a flea market and discovered an exposed film roll in it, which, when developed, turned out to be images taken by a World War II air crew of a B-25.
This is not entirely unique. George Mallory's body was discovered in 1999 on Mount Everest. There is great speculation as to whether he reached the summit before Sir Edmund Hillary, but died coming back. He had brought a camera with him, which may still hold the evidence of whether he had reached the summit. It was not found on the body, but it is believed it may have been carried by his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, whose body has not yet been found. If the camera is ever found and the film has remained intact it could put to rest the debate.
There are other examples of "found films" such as photographs from S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 discovered decades later.
While these examples were not Kodachrome, there are likely undeveloped Kodachrome films still waiting to be discovered. If Kodachrome processing is ended and the techniques and equipment are lost, then it will be impossible to recover the images of a "found film," regardless of how important they may be. Someone could find negatives clearly showing the grassy knoll area at the very moment of the Kennedy Assassination. Someone may find film taken of the Hindenburg the moment that flames erupted from the tail area (something not captured on any known film). Someone may well find any number of other photos or movies of extreme historical importance. However, if they are on Kodachrome, we will never know what is lost.
Infants Ingest 77 Times the Safe Level of Dioxin
The reason nobody starves and the average person does not need to spend most of their disposable income feeding themselves. A lot of people are overweight, but given the alternative, it ain't so bad.
If you think they're "low quality" you might want to actually look at the safety record and the general quality versus both history and less industrial areas of the world.
MIT Says Natural Gas Best To Lower Carbon Emissions
This is ridiculous. Look at the report and every step of the way it's unabashedly pro-gas as being the next wonderful thing. It doesn't stop to consider that gas prices are highly volatile, that most gas is now imported from Canada and glosses over the difficulties inherent to "unconventional sources" of gas.
it makes the claim that natural gas is perfect for making renewable energy feasible. At best, that's an oversimplification. At worst, it's a way of getting gas generation without anyone objecting to the economic issues, supply problems (which it makes seem non-existent) or other issues.
It completely ignores nuclear energy, writing it off as "too expensive" with little or no actual accounting for the real costs of both building and operating nuclear plants. It presumes the cost of nuclear energy will remain the same, never going into the fact that new reactor technology is being developed. Yet, at the same time, it grants natural gas the benefit of the possibility of improved technology. It never considers the cost breakdown of nuclear and the fact that regulatory changes can dramatically impact the overall cost.
It proposes increased CNG use while ignoring the energy density and transportation issues.
You would think, based on this, that natural gas is the be-all, end-all of fuels and is damn near perfect in every way. While it is lower carbon than coal, and slightly lower than oil, this is absolutely not the case. Effectively, this focuses on only the best aspects of gas and only the worst of nuclear and every other energy source. it uses the best case for gas and worst case for all others
Now, this should not surprise anyone: the major funding for this came almost entirely from the gas industry, who has recently been using heavy PR to cultivate a much "greener" image than it really is entitled to. The major funding and supporting agency is "The American Clean Skies Foundation." This foundation is funded almost exclusively by Chesapeake Energy corporation - one of the largest natural gas producers in the US. YES, THAT'S RIGHT - THIS WAS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY A GAS COMPANY
Mysterious Radio Station UVB-76 Goes Offline
Er.. I've got a shortwave receiver somewhere that I can dig out, but currently no antenna at my current residence so... anyone else checked this?
I noticed the link on this is to the site "Above top secret" which is not a very reliable source of information.
DrBuzzo has no journal entries.