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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

Mal-2 Packet radio (60 comments)

And how, way I ask, does packet radio not accomplish the same thing, across considerably larger distances than a peer-to-peer mesh network? The mesh isn't useless, but at some point it still needs to connect to some place with proper connectivity. This may not be within the range of the Internet of Things. Given the right band and the right gear, radio will be considerably slower but also considerably further-reaching. Otherwise I see no substantial use for the IoT that satellites don't already solve.

about a week ago

Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf

Mal-2 Can you hear me now? (76 comments)

We don't give a shit.

(This should have been the Verizon ad all along.)

about a week ago

Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

Mal-2 Re:Hard to get excited. (129 comments)

Most videos (at least those linked to from meme-based image sites) are stored in GIF format...

While I don't disagree that the storing videos in GIF format is incredibly inefficient (and annoying), I somehow don't think that "meme-based image sites" are actually a significant fraction of internet bandwidth use compared to websites that use more standard video formats.

Not to mention that our poster child for "meme-based image sites" now supports webm, and the format has become incredibly popular there.

about two weeks ago

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners

Mal-2 Re: The Moral? (93 comments)

Sounds like to me a prime opportunity to re-open one, and tout "american or canadian made" with "staff from inside the country" along with "rigorous QC."

Of course! Because we all know no American agency would place backdoors or malware in a product, right?

about three weeks ago

The Oatmeal Convinces Elon Musk To Donate $1 Million To Tesla Museum

Mal-2 Re:There's already a Tesla museum, in Belgrade. (78 comments)

Tesla's tower would have done nothing useful, although with 200KW at 20KHz going in, it probably could have lit up fluorescent lamps and gas tubes for some distance around. Since the location is now surrounded by a housing subdivision, rebuilding the tower and powering it up would annoy the neighbors.

It wouldn't have done what he envisioned, but it could well have proven to be the worlds' first VLF radio station. I'm sure it would have crossed his mind to modulate the transmitted power at some point, and any receiving equipment on the other end could easily have demodulated this into an audible tone. Other people were already playing with radio, including modulating it with audio frequencies, but even if the idea wasn't original, it could have provided a viable product for Tesla to market and sell. It would have been accidentally useful, but that's exactly the sort of break Tesla could have used.

about three weeks ago

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

Mal-2 Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (139 comments)

After 17 years of continuous Dvorak use, I'd dare say my brain defaults to Dvorak, but specifically to where the keys fall relative to the fingers used to press them, not where they actually ARE. Thus, when the form factor changes, such as with a thumb board, I'm starting all over again.

As for the one-handed thing, QWERTY is moderately left-hand biased, which is actually an advantage when the right hand keeps going to the mouse. Also Dvorak is designed with alternation in mind for both speed and comfort, causing one-handed coverage to become a game of Giant Steps.

about three weeks ago

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

Mal-2 Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (139 comments)

Listen to the words of the serpent I shall not!

For in my visions I have seen The Answer... and it is spelt thus:


As much as I swear by Dvorak, it's not particularly well suited for thumb-boarding. (Also, not related to Blackberry style keyboards, but it's MUCH worse than QWERTY when it comes to trying to type with one hand on a temporary basis.)

about three weeks ago

TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Mal-2 Re:Christmas is coming early this year (702 comments)

Quite difficult. C4 has a density of 1.6 gm/cc. So 500g of C4 would occupy 300cc. That is more than half the volume of my laptop, including the case. I would have to strip out the battery, and circuit board. I don't see any way to do that, and have it still work.

I do. Fit in an Aspire One mainboard and battery instead, freeing up the other half of the case for nefarious purposes. Stick in a Raspberry Pi. It doesn't have to be useful, just look functional. You're going to blow it up anyhow.

Of course, said C4 would still be readily detectable by residue and scent, so this isn't a particularly good idea, but it's certainly within the bounds of plausibility.

about three weeks ago

New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Mal-2 Re:Tits and swords (153 comments)

Tits & Dragons.

Better known as Daenerys Targaryen.

about three weeks ago

Researchers Develop New Way To Steal Passwords Using Google Glass

Mal-2 Re:I've always thought (116 comments)

If you're doing it by muscle memory, you can do it with your hand covered. Problem solved.

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Takes Down Domains

Mal-2 Re:Sue them for all they're worth (495 comments)

I did not bail on No-IP, and within 24 hours they had made unaffected domains available for use as alternates. One of them happened to be, which is a quite valid description of what I'm doing with it. Now they've gotten all of their domains back, my old one is working again, and the new one remains in place for the places I've gone and changed it. No-IP wants to know what they can do to retain our good will, and I said, "Please let me renew both subdomains with one captcha, since I didn't want to have two in the first place. Also, if you could increase the time between keepalive captchas, that would be great." That's all they need to keep me happy, and neither one should cost very much at all.

about a month ago

Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

Mal-2 We're back to Desert Storm thinking. (242 comments)

"You're either with us or against us."

If that's still official policy, then let the chips fall where they may when I say (yet again) -- I am against the government that claims to represent me.

about a month ago

Microsoft Takes Down Domains

Mal-2 Re:Legal Precedent? (495 comments)

Most people I know that use no-ip are people setting up their own minecraft servers its not a hotbed of criminal activivty like MS claims.

For the record, this is exactly what I do with it as well. I sent out messages to some users, but I don't have other means of contact for a lot of them so they're shit out of luck. Also, if my IP address changes (the whole point of using dynamic DNS), they won't know what it is until I send out another message -- and first, I'd have to know.

This is really like saying that because criminals use cars to transport drugs, all cars will be seized until they can be inspected.

about a month ago

Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

Mal-2 Re:Google should talk with Tesla (236 comments)

Google might want to look toward Mazda then instead. They always seem to be a little bit cash-strapped, and their Skyactiv-G engines really are poised to change the game. About the only thing wrong with them is their need for free-flowing exhaust systems, which makes them harder to fit into smaller engine bays. (Not impossible, merely harder.)

about a month ago

Seattle Gets Takeout By Amazon

Mal-2 Re:First Word (of mouth) (61 comments)

I'm sorry Mister Ebert, but you are disqualified anyhow, on the grounds that you are compensated for your reviews.

about a month ago

Seattle Gets Takeout By Amazon

Mal-2 First Word (of mouth) (61 comments)

It still does involve actual mouths. You have to open yours to taste the food to review it.

about a month ago

The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

Mal-2 Re:Not EA's fault. (208 comments)

I think it's been a long standing policy to push forward on optimisation and game refinement at the expence of stability. Which does work for a lot of teams and seems to be standard practice in Sweedish studios, which can be inferred by looking at games like Magica, Goat Simulator or even to a lesser extent Minecraft. You cannot blame EA for this.

It's a fair bit different when you pay $15 for a game that is announced as still being in alpha (or $20/beta, or to a lesser extent, even $25/release) when it comes to tolerating bugs. Paying $60 for a game, and then being forced to buy content on top of it, certainly makes any remaining problems a lot less acceptable. Also, Minecraft has always had an emphasis on privately owned servers that cost nothing to set up, meaning that I'm not the least bit concerned they might "turn off the lights" some day.

about a month ago

Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

Mal-2 Re:Good luck with that (340 comments)

They also cloned the Z80, the 8086, the Casio pocket computer, HP calculators, the Apple ][... it wasn't all big iron. Some of it went beyond cloning, to support the Cyrillic character set where it otherwise wouldn't. Aside from the fundamental mistake of using the "metric inch", thus making it impossible to mix and match parts with Western ones, they actually did a reasonably good job on most of it. Some of it still works.

about a month ago


Mal-2 hasn't submitted any stories.



It's time to send Congress home.

Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  about 2 years ago

Hello, Washington? It's the 21st Century calling. You're less important than you thought.

There is no reason why all 535 members of Congress need to live and work in Washington, DC, disconnected from their constituency. There is also no reason why Representatives should spend upwards of a quarter of each term campaigning and commuting -- or worse yet, ignoring votes entirely. It's time Congress came home to us, the People.

My proposal is simple, and it needs just three words. Let Congress telecommute.

The benefits of this would be enormous, and the costs minimal -- except to the lobbyists, who currently find it quite convenient that they can bend everyone's ear since they're all in one place at one time. Each Congressman should have to live and have an office in the District he or she represents. This office could be owned by the Federal government, as that would certainly simplify matters whenever the seat changes hands, but it is not strictly necessary for this idea to work. All that is necessary is a data link back to Washington. The original concept of Congress centered around 18th century communications -- that is, Pony Express at best. In theory, we could have sent Congress home when the telegraph came into vogue, but that's understandably a bit impersonal. The earliest this idea would have been practical is when the telephone system allowed for 435 people to be on the same line at once -- which had happened by the 1960s at the latest. Still a bit impersonal, even if they could watch proceedings on TV and phone in their comments and votes.

But what's the excuse now? If there is anyone representing a district that has no reasonable data access, then they can be exempted to live in a nearby district that has such provisions. They'll still be a lot more accessible to their constituency than they are now. It will also mean a lot more to people when their Representative lives a couple miles away (as will generally be the case in urban districts) rather than a couple thousand miles away. The fact that they aren't going to talk to their Representative on any given day is irrelevant, what's important is that they feel like they CAN.

Senators should probably operate from the state capitol, unless they REALLY don't like each other. (It happens!) Or, they should live wherever they choose, within the state they represent, and furnish an office and data connection at their own expense if they prefer.


Nietzschecraft confirms: God is dead

Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  more than 5 years ago It is now official. Nietzschecraft confirms: God is dead

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered religious community when IDC confirmed that God's market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all worshippers. Coming on the heels of a recent Nietzschecraft survey which plainly states that God has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. God is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Altar Boy comprehensive plooking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Randi to predict God's future. The hand writing is on the wall: God faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for God because God is dead. Things are looking very bad for God. As many of us are already aware, God continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

JHVH-God is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core followers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time JHVH-God followers L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: JHVH-God is dead.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

AllahGod leader Muhammad states that there are 7000 worshippers of AllahGod. How many followers of JHVH-God are there? Let's see. The number of AllahGod versus JHVH-God posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 JHVH-God worshippers. Jah posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of JHVH-God posts. Therefore there are about 700 worshippers of Jah. A recent article put JHVH-God at about 80 percent of the God market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 JHVH-God worshippers. This is consistent with the number of JHVH-God Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, JHVH-God went out of business and was taken over by Baha'iullah who sell another troubled religion. Now Baha'iullah is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that God has steadily declined in market share. God is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If God is to survive at all it will be among religious dilettante dabblers. God continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, God is dead.

Fact: God is dead


Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

This is /. I'm not ashamed of it, and I'm not proud of it. The whole thing is not an issue to me, it's irrelevant, and I see no reason why my reading /. should be dragged into the discussion at all! The fact that we've been massacred personally for thousands of years is neither here nor there, so can we at least agree on one thing -- namely, not to waste our time discussing whether to post to /. or not.

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