top Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services
Grey beards? So what of us who remember them as nerdshack.com? Before the great rebrand?
But yeah, on the topic, I go out of my way now to not store data on US servers, nor do business with US based companies. It is rather hard in the IT world, but slowly and steadily I'm making progress on it.
top Royal Mail Pilots 3D Printing Service
I don't know, it sounds somewhat interesting for me. You see, In London, space is expensive. I barely have the space in my tiny flat for a desk, bed and TV. Even having the computers on overnight is annoying because I can hear the fans when I try to sleep.
Much as I would like a 3D printer, I don't have the space for it. Nor could I deal with the noise (and most likely smell) while it spends hours printing.
The only hackerspace is clear across the city for me, so it isn't really convenient to go there to use their 3D printer. The idea that I can send a STL file to Royal mail, and get the printed part back in the mail after a week or so is actually not a bad idea. Especially if (due to their ability to have larger capital expendeture) they go for one of the proper 3D printers, that are normally out of reach of mortals.
We have to see what they come up with, and if it would suit my needs, but the idea ain't that far fetched.
top Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard
For a long time I used to something similar. All ports that were not in use on my firewall would redirect to a port on an old Toshiba T4800CT: 486 with 8MB of RAM and 500mb disk, running linux kernel 2.0.
It would run nethack on that port, so anyone who would try a connect scan would end up in nethack. Probably confused a bunch of people, and if someone managed to break through that, would be interesting to see what they would make of it.
top Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS
The irony of your statement, is that the whole reason Russia is planning on going their own way, is because the US does not plan to renew the station come 2020, but rather deorbit it (the US have been saying so since 2009 at least). As some of the Russian modules are going up in 2017, they would be barely 3 years old when the US wants to burn it all up. And these modules are not cheap to build or send up there.
Additionally, the Chinese had to build their own space station precisely because the US did not want them on the ISS. Russians had no problem with their participation.
So from Russias point of view, come 2020, detaching their modules, letting the US burn up its part of the ISS, and then forming a new station seems like a smart decision. Those modules would have 20 more years left in them at least.
Plus, with the US no longer involved, they can invite the Chinese and the Europeans to join them if they so desire, for an ISS2.
So in many ways what you wrote was perfectly correct, just replace "Russia" with "USA" to get to reality
top Study: There's a Wi-Fi Hotspot For Every 150 People In the World
That has been possible since (at the very least) the first consumer Wifi APs (802.11b).
Try it yourself, take two access points, stick them on the same network, set the same ESSID/password/etc... and then connect with Wifi, if you turn one or the other AP off, your wifi client will seamlessly switch over to the other. TCP sessions will continue unaffected (except a minor packet loss blip sometimes)
The reason that these company provided "wifi hotspots" don't do that is deliberate. With the replacement of community wifi hotspots with corporate wifi hotspots, we've taken quite a few steps back, in exchange for the ability to track, meter and bill wifi usage.
If for example, you convinced your entire neighborhood to set up a WiFI AP with the same details, and a VPN connection to a single network between them all, you could all walk around the neighborhood and be handed over from AP to AP without even noticing.
I know, because that is how we did it back when we set up a wifi community in our area.
about a month and a half ago
top Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)
Well, unfortunately it is hard to get hold of electronic components from the 30s-40s. There was a surge in the 90's to 00's, when a lot of ex-USSR stock was sold. Nixie tubes, valves, analogue meters, old WWII equipment. The lot. As the USSR stayed with bakelite far longer than the NATO pact, you have a more items available that used it, over a greater year range.
And yeah, there was a renaissance at the time, as people built nixie clocks, displays, and did all sorts of nice things with the neon tubes and valves.
Unfortunately the ex-USSR sources has dried up, and now those parts are expensive, so unless you are a collector, you don't really pay those prices.
Stempunk does not have this problem, because quite frankly, it is mostly sticking pieces of brass and leather on an item to give it that "period look", and an appreciation of mechanics (steam engines, pistons, linkages, etc...). Nothing that is beyond a hobby machine shop (brass turning is comparatively easy), so people can make new parts that look period, but aren't ludicrously expensive. .
That is harder to do with electronic components, at least for now.
Although I'd say that the closest thing you are referring to would be called "Diesel punk", as the stage after steam punk, and deals with the inter-war period.
top One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner
Funnily enough, I'm starting more and more to complain that I have to purchase/order from actual machines, rather than people.
Like the supermarket self checkout machines. In theory, great idea, you don't have to wait in line, just go to a machine, scan items and pay.
In practice, the machines get confused, conk out, or just refuse to accept what you scan more than 50% of the time. At which point you have to sit there like a lemon and wait 10 minutes for the one human to come to your aid and do it properly (after they are done helping everyone else with their faulty machines).
It ends up being cheaper for the supermarket (because they don't have to pay wages, health deduction, admin overhead, etc...), but more expensive for me in time, which is far more important to me. I don't even get a discount in prices, they just get more profit. In some places they got rid of the cashiers completely. Just a bunch of machines, with a single mall security guard to prevent theft/cheating.
. So now, I always avoid the automated machines when I can, and deal with an actual person. Not only do I help keep them employed, I get a better, faster, more pleasent, and more reliable experience in the end.
top Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"
Because Saddam had the audacity to consider not selling oil in US Dollars?
See back in 2000:
It is all about the economy, as always, and the US likes being the worlds reserve currency. Without it that massive $trillions_of_debt would cause them far more burden than they are currently suffering. Being the reserve currency is the main reason why the US can run such deficits and not go bankrupt.
top Nearly 700 Genetic Factors Found To Influence Human Adult Height
Where are all these tall women? 6ft is about 1.83m! As a >6ft Man, almost all the women (>95%) I meet are under 6ft, the majority are around 5ft, and quite a lot are smaller. So unless you spend all your time hanging around womens basketball teams, I call bs quite frankly.
Yes, humans are getting taller, but I don't think we are at the majority of women being >6ft, or anywhere near it.
top Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"
Well, I know France and Russia were key in supporting the American independence movement which overthrew the British government, so there is some historic precedent for those two at least
Not sure what Canada's history with the US is in this sphere, but I think at the time they were still a British colony.
top World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet
Until either the car doesn't start because it has no 3G signal to "Authorize" it. You know, because only thives/criminals would want to bypass the tracking signal. In fact I suspect one of the first uses of this technology will be for alarm/immobalisers.
And of course, the 3G module is part of a SoC that sits in the ECU, so you can't even work around it withot ripping out the ECU, and with that everything else connected to it.
So you might be able to do it, but it will get harder, and more expensive to do, and chances are you will end up breaking laws which will have repurcussions.
Relying on your wits to outsmart an organised group of people is hard, and you only have to slip up once for them to get you.
Far better to nip the problem in the bud, and not reach the point where you need such radical action in the first place.
top Exxon and Russian Operation Discovers Oil Field Larger Than the Gulf of Mexico
there isnt much of a used electric market out there right now.
You know, I was thinking about this lately, and tbh, I don't think there will ever be a used market for electric cars. Not with current technology at least.
A used IC car can generally keep running with standard maintenance for about 20-30 years. Engines are ruggedly simple. especially the old ones, and while the total HP may go down with time (unless the engine is rebuilt, which isn't too expensive in my experience). The range will stay more or less the same. Essentially engines are not consumable, the fuel is.
Not so with the electric cars. In a nutshell, an electric car is nothing more than some motors, attached to a battery pack via some electronics. The battery pack is essentially a consumable item, and makes up the bulk of the cost of the car.
While the motors should last as long as the engine, and the electronics can be replaced with second-hand working ones, chances are the original battery won't hold much charge 5-10 years down the line, and while when new, the manufacturer can do things like offer battery swaps as a part of the warranty, that rarely applies to second hand cars.
Buying a second hand electric car that needs 70% of its original value spent on a new battery makes no sense economically. The car would only be only 30% cheaper than new, but with worn out interior, body, etc...
I suspect that cars will become luxury items in the future. The rich will own cars, be it new electrics or classic IC exotics. Everyone else will not have a car at all, and will rent one by the hour when needed.
top Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough
The anomaly here is South America; why is the population not growing there also?
Hmm, looking here:
It would seem that South America is growing, just not particularly fast. Roughly the same speed as China. Africa and India you are correct on.
top Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?
Yeah, until they turn around and make using those cars on public roads illegal.
You know, they are unsafe/thinkofthechildren/onlycriminalsusethem/youhavenothingtohide/etc...
Or, just insurance companies will refuse to insure you. Here in the UK they are already making it harder and harder to own cars that are pre-90's. I can imagine it becoming even harder in future, until they become something you can only take on a trailer to show off at classic car shows.
top What To Expect With Windows 9
You just need to buy the right
top Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative
Sounds a bit like my experience maintaing perl infrastructure. We had to have like, 4 different versions of perl5, with their own module set, because each one had subtle changes that would break some library, or some other piece of code, or not run as expected. What a PITA.
Maintaining two (or even three) versions of Python is bliss in comparison. We only had to maintain two versions: 2.7, and 3.
So yeah, neither Python nor perl are really robust, although IMO Python is more robust than perl.
I don't know, if you want rock solid single standard languagel, I really can't; think of one. COBOL perhaps, along with Forth and LISP come to mind. C suffers from lots of "undefined" behaviour which is compiler dependent, but at least the standard syntax doesn't really change often.
top UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013
Nah, people are exhaling pretty much as much as they did 20 years ago. Just that there is quite a few more of them now
top John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter
Also, to point out, it was open sourced a while ago, and has been improved and has quite a vibrant community behind it:
I played the original when I was young, and was happy to see it still exists, and is still a lot of fun to play. Plus works flawlessly on Linux
top Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team
Based on what I've read (and talked to Egyptians). the closest original descendents of the Egyptians that built those pyramids are the modern day Coptic Christians (whose numbers in Egypt are ever dwindling nowadays). Via their trade with Byzantium and other other Christian nations at the time, the Pharoes and their subjects converted slowly over to Christianity.
The muslims are a result of the Arab hoards that invaded and laid waste to the area back in the day. Once their conquest was done they settled and now are the dominant people there. They have little to do with the original Egyptians and their civilization.
top Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car
Yes, but airplanes cost in excess of 30 million USD. For that amount you can justify the high costs in testing, triplicate redundancy, and hiring code auditors, security auditors, every cable accounted for EM interference, etc.., etc...
You really think that your average car will have that level of redundancy and checks? Hell, the only reason airplanes have it is because it is mandated by the flight authorities. An Airbus or Boeing would not get type approval if they didn't produce certificates, and signed documents from all involved, that all the unit tests/audits were done, and passed successfully.
You really think automakers will do the same? It would drive the cost up immensly, and unless forced to, I suspect you will find most of the code will be a lousy hack-job done by the lowest bidder somewhere on the Indian subcontinent, a bit like most built-in car tech.
The only place this hasn't been the case is the ECU/EMU's. This is:
a) The only people who can do the job are competent already (very rarely can you find cheap, good, embedded programmers.)
b) the ECU/EMU controls fuel efficiency, and emissions, which the car has to pass to be allowed to be sold. Incentive to get it right c) It is a very simple problem, relatively. Control of fuel/ignition timing, and power output/throttle control. d) the project isn't very big (a few K of data/code). e) It doesn't change much. It only gets refined with time (like the IC engine, which, as a concept is about 100 years old).
Also, the whole point of a driverless car is that you would be able to ignore the driving, and just go do what you want. However that level of sophistication has not even been reached in airplanes. Airplane autopilots, despite being around for decades, and generally dealing with a 3D space , in which 99% of it is air, still have software glitches/unexpected situations. That is why airlines still have highly trained people sitting at the controls at all times, paying attention and ready to make corrections if necessary.
I don't think a normal "driver" in a self driving car, will want to sit there and stare at everything around them, making sure the computer is doing the right thing. If you can't disconnect, and be a passenger, then you might as well be driving. Just as much effort, slightly higher risk of error, and you don't end up bored to death.
On the flip side, I don't think they can make a pure driverless car, just because driving is really complicated, and requires the ability to think ahead, and not just react to immediete events. Something AI is not yet able to do. You could make self-driving only roads, which area designed to not confuse the AI, and make everything work reliably. However then you've just really reinvented trains, with roads instead of rail.
The only place where I could see a self driving car working at all is on Motorways, due to their predictable, linear nature, no pedestrians and other obstacles, and clearly defined rules.