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WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

EmperorOfCanada I have been wondering about WhatsApp (80 comments)

Literally the first time I heard about WhatsApp was when they were sold for 19 billion. This made no sense to me. So I asked my teenage daughters about WhatsApp and they had never heard of it. So I chalked WhatsApp to being the ultimate in hype.

But to stand out and offer end to end encryption where WhatsApp can't read your stuff will be interesting. The question is: "Do we trust them."

5 hours ago
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An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

EmperorOfCanada Re:Mac Pro 2013? (111 comments)

That is what apple thought before the replaced the power supply and nothing changed. Plus it seems to warble at bit when new colourful things appear on the screen. I can't tell if the data coming in might be the source or the GPU making it happen.

3 days ago
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For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

EmperorOfCanada Re:They make me angry (153 comments)

This footage isn't going into a centrally processed DB. So it generally means that there isn't a "Big Data" collection effort.

3 days ago
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For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

EmperorOfCanada Re:They make me angry (153 comments)

Generally this footage is not going into a centrally processed DB (where I live the police don't have them everywhere.)

But I wouldn't live in a city where they are prevalent.

3 days ago
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For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

EmperorOfCanada They make me angry (153 comments)

I was walking in the park this summer and these two arrogant looking douchebags were wearing them. I then realized that I lumped them in with smokers as people who just don't give a crap about other people's rights. I have a right to a pollution free environment, and I have a right to not have my every move tracked by a mega corporation.

So my friend called them glassholes loud enough for them to hear and they didn't even flinch. Obviously not the first person to call them this. When people regularly abuse users of a product then maybe there should be a rethink of the use of that product.

I don't mind someone biking by with their gopro seeing that not every moment is being made available to a faceless corporation. Unless I burst into flames while the gopro person is going by the footage will doubtfully be uploaded. But with any google ass type technology there is a huge chance that some software is able to make a note of my face, place, time, the faces around me, etc. Then this can easily be used to compile a stunningly comprehensive summation of my life. If only 5% of people were wearing them then 1 in 20 people that you pass would be able to note your presence. Without any other information about me that would allow google to compile a map of where I live, where I work, where my friends and family live, who I am in a relationship with, that I have kids, where I shop, where I vacation, everything. Then as this technology gets better it could even start going nuts (and it isn't like google doesn't love more information) and gathering what I wear, what I am buying, etc.

While google glass isn't anywhere near that yet, these things are very close, and why wouldn't google gather this fantastically valuable information. They can swear on a stack of bibles that they won't be evil, but I don't remember ever hearing of google's massive storage being audited. Not to mention that they could use familiar weasel words like "Only collecting meta data."

So I for one am extremely happy to hear that this project is falling flat on its face.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?

EmperorOfCanada Or you could make your own internet (223 comments)

One of the great things about remote himilayan villages is that they have very little Ghz range noise. Thus you could potentially bounce from a few hills your own solar powered shockingly weak Wifi signal using off the shelf parts and bring internet to the village.

You will then be elected king of the village and carried around on a chair until they decide to use your head in a sack for horse polo. Oh wait, I think I might be mixing things up here.

4 days ago
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An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

EmperorOfCanada Mac Pro 2013? (111 comments)

Is this what is whining in the mac pro 2013 desktops?

about a week ago
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Sony To Take On Netflix With Playstation Vue

EmperorOfCanada In other news Sony announces Vue's closing in 2016 (129 comments)

In other news Sony announces Vue's closing in 2016. I have this feeling that they won't be able to leave their 20th century media ideals behind. They will be young, hip, attempt to appeal to millennials but in the end will do stupid things like release the best stuff on BlueRay first. I am also willing to bet that there will be an element of nickel and diming where they have normal, premium, super premium, special event fees, and all kinds of weird location related blackouts.

Basically it will be a bunch of boomer MBAs who have spreadsheets that will "prove" that they can return to the 20th century when the customer had little choice.

Basically think of when Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace. It was on the rocks but they shot it right in the face 5 minutes after buying it. I suspect this one has been shot in the face while still in the womb.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

EmperorOfCanada Re:Compromise combos don't work (219 comments)

I think this is the best reply to my comment. Cost is a huge mark against the surface. Some of the comments are comparing the surface price to that of a macbook air, which would be in the top 5 most desired laptops and one of the more expensive common laptops. This is critical when it appears that its competitor is the chromebook which is generally desirable because it is good enough and cheap as dirt.

Other people talk about this huge imaginary market for powerful laptops when laptop sales are sliding. My point is that most people want to get email, surf the web, and watch videos. Then other comments blah blah about schools and how iPads suck. But schools are a perfect example of content creation which is where tablets suck. But again a chromebook is again good enough.

I would be willing to guess that if you intercepted everyone who was about to buy a laptop that a careful examination of their needs would suggest a chromebook as being sufficient.

Personally I would be willing to guess that the #1 reason that most laptops are rationally purchased is that there is a single application that the person needs that no tablet, chromebook etc can handle. The #2 reason would be gaming. A distant third would be that people actually need the overall power of the machine.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

EmperorOfCanada Compromise combos don't work (219 comments)

Years ago there were two motorcycles that showed up at my local Honda motorcycle dealer. One was the Pacific Coast and I forget the name of the other. The PC was a combination of a racing bike and a touring bike like a goldwing; while the other was a combination of a racing bike and a Harley Davidson. I really wanted a PC as it actually met my unusual needs at the time really nicely but couldn't afford it. But around 3 years went by and the dealership hadn't sold a single one. So they discounted them heavily and sold a few. The rest just sat for around 2 more years and then Honda kicked in for them to do a massive discount. I missed out on the deal but the end result was that they sold the PC for a really good price but basically gave away the other one. My brother managed to buy one for around $1600 when the original price was around $5,000.

Basically while both bikes were perfectly good people either wanted a touring bike or a sport bike; and in the second case wanted a sport bike or a Harley like bike.

Over the years I have seen similar products arrive with much hype but then sort of wither away and die. Go to any hardware store and someone has combined an Axe and something else. Or a screwdriver with a flashlight. Yet go back a year later and these sorts of products are gone only to be replaced with another bunch of doomed combo products. Once in a blue moon something like the Swiss army knife comes along that does combine things well but again it doesn't really replace a good kitchen knife, good scissors, or a good screwdriver it thrives on its portability and the fact that you get so many tools for a fairly low price.

Then there all kinds of similar failures like the El Camino. Basically it won the hearts of movie Latino gangsters and that is about it. Or all those promotional office supplies that try to shoehorn a calculator in. Binders, pens, etc. I don't think I ever did a single calculation on a promotional calculator integrated into some office supply. And sometimes there are those products that won't die. All in one printers. For most people those things just suck. Their drivers ruin machines, none of the features are that good and most people just end up using them as printers. Or TV DVD/VCR players... junk.

The surface is a perfect example of one of these compromise combos. It is a laptop, that is a tablet, that runs windows, that costs a pile of money. When I use my tablet I use it for tablet stuff like playing simple games, surfing the web for specific information, watching videos, but not for programming, writing books, or anything that it would do terribly. But my laptop literally has no games and I don't even watch many videos on it, it is purely for work when I am on the go.

Last Christmas I tried to buy a Chromebook for my mother in law because she needs a lightweight (powerwise) laptop that she can't screw up. She primarily needs it for email. There were a bunch around $250 which would have been perfect had they not been all out of stock. So basically I was viewing the chromebook as a really cheap underpowered laptop; but still a laptop.

So when looking at the surface I just don't see where it fits into a need that customers have. If they need a laptop there are plenty of laptops that are far cheaper than the surface that are only a little bigger. If they want a tablet there are far better tablets for far less money. If they need a powerful laptop then again there are far better laptops for far less money. In fact a good laptop and a good tablet will cost less than a surface.

But then there is a whole other reality. Most people don't really need a laptop or desktop any more. I suspect that this does not apply to most slashdotters but out in the wild most people create very little content and barely need a keyboard; hence the huge demand for large tablet like phones as these are often people's primary interface to the internet. But if they do need to type a bit more than the average bear then they can get an older used laptop or a chromebook for very little money. But if they are power content creators they will have to go to a real laptop (better power for the money) or go all the way to a desktop (way more power period). So I don't really see where the surface fits into this mess?

So I am going to stick with my observation that combo products don't really work and that just like Honda 20 some years ago MS is going to either have to pick a traditional product category or dump the entire concept. But for the small audience of people who have lives that fit the surface perfectly they will be happy with the deep discounts.

about a week ago
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Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

EmperorOfCanada Kaspersky soaking the executives (101 comments)

I hope that Kaspersky manages to cheat these executives out of tons of money based on this nebulous threat.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

EmperorOfCanada Many many flaws (112 comments)

I have noted over time that Amazon has many many flaws. Flaws that would potentially kill any company competing in only the given space of the flaw. But that by throwing the weight of the company behind it these flaws can be hidden. For instance I don't use AWS simply because I can't predict the costs. Also it is supremely complex. GoDaddy made a fortune by bringing easy domain registration and use to the masses. Then companies like linode have nailed virtual machines hosting for the masses. I am not saying that this makes AWS terrible but that why can't they match these other services and market to the masses?

Then I hear horror stories about strange outsourced shipping. Not all their shipping but that they end up dealing with horribly flawed shipping companies who have learned to game the Amazon system for a long time until finally Amazon un-slumbers and eliminates them. Then the horror stories from their warehouses, and the bizarre packaging stories. Their fights with publishers. And on and on.

What I think that Amazon has basically done is get big enough that they are able to pick many industries and say "The emperor has no clothes." and then make a fortune proving it. So the publishing industry has long played games with the printing and distribution of books; silly inefficient games that gave them supreme control. I predict that someday soon Amazon will turn its spotlight onto the textbook industry and voom it will be a twitching bloody mess overnight.

But my other prediction with Amazon is that now they have changed so many different businesses that new nimble companies will figure out what Amazon is doing wrong and do it right in this new world. So that when all is said and done that amazon will leak one area after another where they are dominating now; I suspect that with books they will probably wake up and finally realize that they should remain best at one thing; the original thing.

about two weeks ago
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The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality

EmperorOfCanada Also which languages that beginners choose. (217 comments)

I would say that there are three other critical factors; which languages beginners chose, which languages are rarely used, and potentially even more importantly which languages become the programmer's only language ever.

If someone is new to programming then their programming is probably going to be poor. So certain languages tend to be "gateway" languages such as PHP, Python, VB(in the past), C#, etc. It is doubtful that someone is going to start out their programming career with the C in OpenCL or Haskell.
I have seen many people learn PowerBuilder and never learn anything else, and while they might master powerbuilder they never really master programming. I have also seen the same thing with accountants who master the VB in excel resulting in some of the strangest agglomerations of code I have ever seen.
But also certain languages are sort of throwaway for many programmers such as whatever the language is inside Make scripts; as most programmers that I know have not mastered make and do what they have to do to get things to compile. The same with bash; I have only met a few programmers who truly knew bash. They did what they had to do and ran away after that.

So it would be very difficult to tease out the quality of a language based on these statistics. But regardless of the results the religious zealots who think their language is the very best and that all others are for children won't be swayed by facts anyway.

about two weeks ago
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New GCHQ Chief Says Social Media Aids Terrorists

EmperorOfCanada Lions, tigers, and bears oh my (228 comments)

Paper helps terrorists make plans, maps help them find their way, cars help them get there, air helps them breath, food helps them grow, playing cars stave off their boredom, blah blah blah.

I would say that supporting tinpot dictators in these countries has probably been the #1 factor in creating these guys, with any #2 being such a distant second that it hardly counts. Yet it is these very same "security" agencies that have been patting themselves on the back as they trained and supported the secret police in all these countries. Using terms like "Realpolitik" to justify their actions.

Well sorry, you don't let the serial killer go just because he also runs an after-school program for the kids. Or even if he happens to own an oil well or two.

Plus it wouldn't be social media that the top terrorist dogs use. Those guys would be using couriers running around on motorcycles with cryptic notes. The only people that are using social media that these KGB types are scared of are new peaceful political movements that might organized to create a society that doesn't give them the free hand that they enjoy today and hope for tomorrow. Including movements in countries where they enjoy tight relationships with the corrupt evil regimes that have their boots on the throats of their people now.

Think about how much effort the American security services have spent going after Occupy NY whereas how little effort they have spent going after any police who violated the civil rights of those same protesters. That is the social media they seek to control.

about two weeks ago
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Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

EmperorOfCanada Re:Disney patents a customer free search engine. (164 comments)

Not just copyright violations but even ones where they lost due to fair use such as parody. I suspect that if you had a website, "Disney is destroying the fabric of America" that it wouldn't show up. But that if you had a web site, "Disney is the best place on earth to take your kids." that it would somehow show up during searches for "Soil types of Indonesia."

And yes, the big media companies thought they were on to something when they bought out all the newspapers, radio stations, and television networks. This takeover of media control most certainly is what drove people to finding freedom from control on the internet. The internet would have eventually driven traditional media into the ground but it might have otherwise taken much longer if the demand hadn't been created by their anti-social attempt to control us.

Murdoch must have crapped his pants when his takeover of MySpace almost instantly turned it into a vacant lot.

about two weeks ago
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Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

EmperorOfCanada Disney patents a customer free search engine. (164 comments)

Even if their search engine was slightly better than Google's it will go nowhere. But making it worse for many people isn't going to endear them to anyone. But most importantly they aren't going to endear themselves with the techno savvy crowd who would typically evangelize a new search engine. So my guess is that we will see a handful of Disney shows do horribly shoehorned in product placements for this turd and then it will be quietly shut down.

about two weeks ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

EmperorOfCanada Re:Contrary to Supreme Court, sort of (328 comments)

The Halifax police recently brought assault weapons to a crime scene where some punk was breaking into houses from a canoe. Their excuse was because he had a sword. I am way more nervous about the police wildly shooting with assault weapons than someone who stole a sword. I think the Canadian cops are watching too much C.O.P.S.

There is a great lecture given by a lawyer where he gives some great reasons as to why you should remain 100% silient. That if they ask you an innocent question that you still just say, "I am not answering any questions."

Obviously if they are pulling you over for running a red light you have to answer a few questions like your name, but the moment they start asking where you are going or where you are coming from, clam up. It has nothing to do with the ticket and could potentially give them something to make things worse. The key is to not be rude about it but give them exactly zero information. These people are generally predators and those that aren't end up leaving the police force. I worked for a police commission and can say without hesitation that no part of the "system" works in your favour unless you are a victim and thus can direct them toward someone else they can abuse.

about three weeks ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

EmperorOfCanada Contrary to Supreme Court, sort of (328 comments)

The Supreme Court defended needing a warrant to search a phone based upon the idea that a phone contained so much of a person's life. So the interesting thing here will be how much of a fishing expedition will be allowed, in that the cops would love to look for all crimes instead of evidence to back the one that they got the warrant for.

But where this is sort of funny is that most criminals don't even maintain their right to silence and blah blah about their innocence while the cops lead them down the path to either a confession or a whole lot of information such as why they were there and the relationship with the victim and so on. So to a certain extent I wonder if the cops are sad now that the evidence doesn't just land in their laps anymore.

Where all these privacy features are coming from is not that companies like Apple think that there is a huge market selling phones to criminals and terrorists but that the real criminals are the government types who want to violate all our rights and privacies on a routine basis and that like any sane group of people we want to prevent them from doing just that; thus we seek out products that will block them as a routine and easy feature.

So when the average consumer hears the FBI or the NSA whining that a phone is too secure that average consumer will flock to that device.

about three weeks ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

EmperorOfCanada I hope this blows up in their face. (700 comments)

With any luck some opensource alternative becomes the popular option among people who need this functionality and that companies like MS and Apple simply start to refuse to distribute the malicious drivers. When a company pulls a stunt like FTDI I simply hope that they are out of business before the next 5 years. Genuinely hope.

about a month ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

EmperorOfCanada Story from Soviet Russia (342 comments)

A friend of mine bought Vodka in Soviet Russia and described the process as:

Get in line and at the end of that line tell the person what you would like to order. The give you a ticket for the item.
Get in another line and produce the ticket which you then pay for that item.

Then get into a third line where they will very carefully scrutinize the certified paid ticket and give you your vodka if there is any left.

He said that the time he went that the 3 lines were around 40 minutes each as the counter people were very very slow and methodical.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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Japanese can build their own radiation detectors

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "Here is a DIY radiation detector For those Japanese wondering if radiation levels have gone up that can be made with household supplies: any clear sided container with a flat metal(preferably) lid, some black paint, rubbing alcohol, a can of keyboard air duster, and a flashlight . This won't give an absolute measurement but it will tell you if you are in a hot zone. The radiation leaves trails in the mist and looks very cool. Can't beat a home made Geiger counter in 10 minutes and for less than $20 US."
Link to Original Source
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Cheap cloud diffusion chamber with air duster

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "A 15 year old girl has invented a very cheap and easy way to build your own cloud diffusion chamber; which is a neat way to see various radiation particles leave trails. Radiation such as cosmic rays, background radiation, and any handy radiation sources such as a disassembled smoke detector.
Video"

Link to Original Source
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Avoiding eVoting fraud

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 6 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "I am looking for suggestions on how to prevent the use of eVoting in an upcoming election (Mid Oct.) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The city is going to allow people to vote both online and by telephone. As a security aware software developer I am frightened of the number of ways that an electronic portion of an election can go wrong. For well over a year I have been in contact with a senior city official over this issue supplying her with dozens of examples of eVoting going wrong in the many ways it tends to do so. Obviously security theater has won the day and here we are staring down the barrel of an election with votes recorded at the whim of the company running the evoting. How can this be prevented? Does anyone have any good examples of grassroots efforts that succeeded in preventing the use of electronic voting? Is there any way to force an audit of the code / machines / security / raw data that are involved in this craziness? Minimally can people comment expertly on just how stupid an idea it is to allow voting via the internet and by telephone? Thanks, A very concerned citizen."

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