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VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

OzPeter Re:VMWare is worth the money (256 comments)

After struggling with VirtualBox for a while, I broke down and bought VMWare.

I've never had any real problems with running VBox under OSX. I used to run VMware workstation on a windows laptop, but I always felt that the VMware OSX offerings were a lot less featured than the windows products. That, the VMware workstation licensing costs and the fact that the VBox application is basically the same on Windows and OSX drove me to VBox.

If I had the money lying around I would use VMware, but VBox does the minimum of what I need it to do.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

OzPeter Re:My best guess... (463 comments)

From an economics viewpoint, I'd agree with the wacko talk show host. I don't think the national government shouldn't be in the Telco business.

If the telcos are national, then you need a national level body that can deal with their shit. A bunch of jumped up states aren't going to able to protect the interests of the th national population.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

OzPeter Re:My best guess... (463 comments)

For a lot of stuff, we just get angry if the government spends money to build/repair a bridge.

Yesterday I was listening to a right wing talk show host on the radio who was letting us all know what he thought government should be for, and how the US government was so crap. The first bullet point on his list was "starting wars", the second was "Protecting us from bad guys".

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

OzPeter Re:Population Densi.. stop asking dumb questions! (463 comments)

the economies of scale due to the US population density distribution and having to lay new mediums to connect made it not economical.

This is just total ignorant BS. I have pointed out before that Tokyo has a way smaller population density that NYC, yet Tokyo shits all over NYC for access speed. The market in NYC has a need that is not being fulfilled and lack of population density is not the reason why.

2 days ago
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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

OzPeter Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (367 comments)

Not requiring an "encryption chip" itself shouldn't be something we're proud of

The funny thing is that last year I my latest Amex card came with a chip, and so far the only place that I have actually used it is at Walmart of all places.

And when I did use it, the attendant came running over and tried to convince me that I needed to swipe the card rather than poke into the chip-reading hole - even though when I first swiped it, the POS terminal recognized that I had a chipped card and told me that I needed to poke the card into the chip-reading hole.

2 days ago
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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

OzPeter Re:The mythbusters need to test this now! (367 comments)

The mythbusters need to test this now!

Jamie Wants a Big Boom.

(Heard off-camera after some tests had been performed to see how noteworthy an ATM segment would be)

Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

2 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

OzPeter iPad is a luxury? (297 comments)

How come an iPad is a luxury, but a $700 smart phone isn't?

I make perfectly fine phone calls on my old RAZR 3

2 days ago
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Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc

OzPeter Re:From TFA (211 comments)

So it's actually already been fixed. All that's needed here is for some distributions to push the fix out.

But .. but now it has a CVE number and everything - so it must be scary

3 days ago
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Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

OzPeter Re:"vivaldi" (158 comments)

c'mon guys...we *have* to start coming up with better names for products...

"Vivaldi"

Hey .. don't you know that this is actually the first of a suite of 4 programs .. they'll be one for each season.

3 days ago
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DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US

OzPeter Re:I see what you did there. (152 comments)

And any pretense of the 4th amendment no longer being completely shat upon is pretty much gone.

This was already establish by the 100 mile border zone - which conveniently also covers pretty well all of the US population.

The Constitution in the 100-Mile Border Zone

3 days ago
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DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US

OzPeter And in other news drug smugglers fight back (152 comments)

You can get "trusted traveler" status in order to reduce the time it takes to cross the border. Less checks, faster throughput - what's not to love? Even the drug smugglers love it as they have been targeting such travelers and attaching packets of drugs via magnets to the bottoms of said travelers cars. And to make it really helpful for the smugglers, the DEA used to issue decals for the windshield - thus making it really easy to target the travelers.

Smugglers using unwitting drivers to carry drugs from Mexico

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

Also forgot to mention Kent State

(Damn I wish /. would allow you to add onto posts)

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

In fact we are taught to disobey unlawful orders.

This is getting off-topic, but was the internment of the Japanese-Americans a lawful or unlawful order?

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

I see your M-1 Tank and raise you asymmetrical warfare.

The out-gunned side takes more casualties but always wins in the end...

It all depends if the non-outgunned side cares about pacifying or wiping out the outgunned side. Why did the japs surrender when only a comparatively small number died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? They were outgunned and could have taken on asymmetrical warfare and cause all kinds of hell for the allies.

Anyway, the M-1 was a facetious reference to the fact that the military has an assorted range of larger and more deadly toys than an AR-15

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re:Montreal in October 1970 (308 comments)

The Martial law result of thousands of jailed people because they speak french.

Internment of American-Japanese in the 2nd world war - just because they looked funny.

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

I see your M1 and raise you urban warfare. A personal firearm can go where tanks can't.

B-52 anyone?

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

> I see your AR-15 and raise you an M-1 Tank

Marine infantrymen are trained how to disable tanks. They are aren't armed with much beyond the AR-15.

Aaaaannnd what side of the battle you think they will be on? You know, after having sworn oaths etc, and a command structure that can say "bang! you're dead" for not obeying orders?

Or do you consider that every ex-miltary person has a raging libertarian anti-government hard-on? And want to kill their former squad mates?

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Re: There are still contingency plans (308 comments)

Thus the importance of the second amendment.

I see your AR-15 and raise you an M-1 Tank

4 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

OzPeter Thankfully they didn't number the plans (308 comments)

I would have been more worried if they had ditched the first 8 plans.

Anyway .. there is probably a modern day equivalent kicking around somewhere now.

4 days ago
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Inside Ford's New Silicon Valley Lab

OzPeter Re:Good example of bad use of touch screens (39 comments)

I wish the industry would go back to knobs, dials, and buttons

I generally work in industrial automation and I can assure you that physical controls are still used in a lot of places as primary controls where direct and rapid operator intervention/control is required (EG cranes, steel mills). Only secondary controls get shuffled off onto graphical displays.

This morning I was also lamenting the loss of the analogue volume control from laptops. It used to be that you could dial the volume down before you booted, where as nowadays the volume is stuck at where you left it, until the system is running enough processes that you can use the digital controls to quite it down.

4 days ago

Submissions

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The case for a Federal Robotics Commission

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 4 months ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Ryan Calo (assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and a former research director at The Center for Internet and Society.) has written an interesting piece in which he explores why the US needs a new Federal agency to oversee the use of various types of autonomous robots (cars, drones, surgery, finance etc) slowly being introduced into society. Even if you disagree with his conclusions, this paper certainly makes for some interesting reading."
Link to Original Source
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I am Slashdot

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about a year ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

(please propagate the "I am Slashdot" meme in anyway you can)"
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The Inside Story Of The World's Biggest 'Battery'

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about a year ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "With 24 gigawatt-hours of capacity, the Bath County (Virginia) Hydro Pumped Storage Facility is one giant sized storage battery that is the largest in the world. The Inside Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy talks about its operation, where pumped storage fits into the mix of power generation and the challenges they expect in the future. Also see this youtube video for another overview of the facility.

Disclaimer .. I have nothing to do with any of these websites .. I just drove past the place on the weekend."
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$1b Ghost town to be built in New Mexico

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in the Brisbane Times, construction of a $1b Ghost Town is expected to start in Lea County near Hobbs, New Mexico this year. The town is the brainchild of Pegasus Global Holdings and represents its Center for Innovation, Testing & Evaluation (CITE) and will be modeled after the real town of Rock Hill S.C. From the Brisbane times article:

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars. "The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope," said Brumley (senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings).

Also from the that article:

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $US400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $US1 billion.

"

Link to Original Source
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Robot bird perches on human hand

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and also directly from Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign researchers have demonstrated a robot bird that can fly down and perform a soft landing, such as perching on a human hand. From the the Age's article

"The ability to perform perched landings on a human hand endows our robot with the ability to operate around humans," says Aditya Paranjape, a post-doctoral scholar working on this project. The project is based on Paranjape's PhD thesis and journal articles written with Soon-Jo Chung, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois who is also working on the project."

. Video of the robot performing various landings can be seen on youtube at: First Successful Perching on a Human Hand by a Robotic Bird Airplane"
Link to Original Source

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War driving puts on a uniform

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and from the Press release as a part of National Consumer Fraud week, the Queensland Police are going war driving in order to identify insecure WiFi setups. from the press release "The War Driving Project involves police conducting proactive patrols of residential and commercial areas to identify unprotected connections. Police will follow this up with a letterbox drop in the targeted area with information on how to effectively secure your connection". While some people may like having an open WiFi AP its interesting to see that the Police also feel that "Having WEP encryption is like using a closed screen door as your sole means of security at home. The WPA or WPA2 security encryption is certainly what we would recommend as it offers a high degree of protection""
Link to Original Source
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Re-programming the thermostat

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in WA Today, Tony Fadell of iPod fame has been using Nest Labs to design and build a thermostat that learns how you live in your house by following how you manually change the temperature. Once you have taught it how to behave (How the Nest learning Thermostat learns), it then can schedule temperature changes that suit your lifestyle, and help you cut down on energy costs."
Link to Original Source
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Rent an iPad for inflight entertainment

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Jetstar will be trialling the renting out of pre-loaded iPads as a form of inflight entertainment instead of the the more typical seat back video system. No word in the article on how or if they will handle wi-fi connections, but interestingly it does mention that they will be usable during takeoff and landings — something that will be sure to spark lots of discussion regarding planes and modern electronics."
Link to Original Source
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Volvo demonstrates automated car breaking

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Back in 2009 slashdot ran a story about Volvo working on a crash proof car that used radar and and automated braking (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/01/02/159210/Volvo-Introduces-a-Collision-Proof-Car). Well a few weeks ago they demonstrated their S60 car with full auto braking. One small problem, it rear ended the truck it was meant to avoid. Fortunately (or perhaps smartly) no driver was in the car, so no one was injured. The failure of the demonstration was blamed on "one or more of the car's sensors had been "fried" before the demo, caused by the car maker fast-charging the S60's battery after discovering it was flat.". After seeing that I am not sure which is worse — that Volvo failed to properly run a demonstration of a new technology (and did not have a backup car ready), or that the said technology can easily be damaged without anyone noticing that it no longer works.

[note to editor — yes I deliberately said "breaking" in the title — its a joke, see]"

Link to Original Source
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Airport full body scanners not so secure

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting a story out of Manchester, UK of how an Indian actor claims he was asked to autograph printouts of his full body scans for two female security officers. If true, then this makes a mockery of the official claims that scans will be deleted immediately after they are performed. How long before copies of printouts of celebrities' scans start appearing on websites devoted to security porn?"
Link to Original Source
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Flying cars .. get yours now

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Flying cars (or more rightly "Driving Planes") are just around the corner. The Terrafugia website is hosting several videos detailing some of the test flights performed in the last 6 months. The site also suggests that the initial delivery will be in 2011 — just in time for the end of the world when the Mayan calendar rolls over!"
Link to Original Source
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Ploughing carbon into the ground

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "A wheat farmer in Australia has eliminated adding fertilizer to his crop by the simple process of injecting the cooled diesel exhaust of his modified tractor into ground when the wheat is being sown. In doing so he eliminates releasing carbon into the atmosphere and at the same time saving himself up to $AUD500,000 that would have been required to fertilize his 3900 hectares in the traditional way. Yet the crop yields over the last 2 years are on at least par with his best yields since 2001. The technique was developed by a Canadian, Gary Lewis of Bio Agtive and is currently in trial at 100 farms around the world."
Link to Original Source
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What to do with a free XBox 360 Pro?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last week I won an XBox 360 Pro, however I am not a gamer and after looking at the current MS offerings I am not tempted to become one.

But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying the video through the HDMI port. With that in mind I again looked at MS and saw that they seemed to have positioned the XBox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So once again I did some more research into the XBox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path.

So my question is how should I re-purpose my XBox? is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favourite nephew?"
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Getting better cellphone reception

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I currently have cellphone service with T-mobile and I get great coverage everywhere I go — except for in my own home. Their coverage website indicates that I should get reasonable signal strength at home, but in practice I only get about 1 bar and that can drop to zero depending on which side of the house I am in. This is very annoying given that my cellphone is my work phone. So I have been looking around for solutions to my problem.

Switching to AT&T might be a solution as that way I can keep my GSM phone, but their website also indicates that I should get about the same level of signal strength as I get with T-mobile. I am not too trusting about that, but I will be trying to track down a friend with AT&T and invite them over to see what actual signal strength I can get. My current phone is a Motorola Razr V3, but I am wondering if a newer phone might have better receiver sensitivity. And the third possible solution would be to install a cellphone booster — which is a big unknown.

So I am looking for recommendations/experience with each of these options:
  1. Switching from T-mobile to AT&T
  2. Getting a newer phone
  3. Installing a cellphone booster
"
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Microsoft loses patent case to tune of $US331 mil.

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported Microsoft has lost a patent case relating to copy protection and has had a $US331 million judgement awarded against them. The case was brought by Uniloc, which sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating its patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy. From the article (with my emphasis):



"Richardson's patent, one of many under his name, relates to work he did in the early 1990s and covers a software registrations system that allows software makers to create try-before-you-buy versions of their work.

Once users buy the software they get a registration key that unlocks the full featured version of the software.

Uniloc claimed Richardson showed a copy of his software to Microsoft in 1993 but Microsoft did not license it, instead developing its own almost identical version and incorporating it into its products from 1997 or 1998.

Microsoft said that its system works differently from Uniloc's and that Uniloc's patent was obvious.""
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How should I increase my billing rates?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 6 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last year I formed a company for the sole purpose of sub-contracting to another larger company, and for the last 14 months I have working exclusively for that larger company. At the start of the process I set my contract rates based on the level of salary I wanted, number of hours I wanted to work and additional overheads such as business and health insurance. The number I came up has given me a quite a healthy income, but I have come to realise that I have undervalued myself by a considerable amount. In fact rates double what I currently billing would not be unreasonable in my field of work. As I now know what I am really worth in the market I would have no problem telling a new client what my rates are, but the question is how should I approach my current (and main) client? There is currently no formal contract between myself and them and thus no set rates, I do the work and invoice them, and they pay weekly. So should I just announce to them that as of some date I will be raising my rates to $$, or should I sit down with my main contact and try and feel out their response to a rate increase? And does the lack of a formal contract worry people, and should I use a new contract as the mechanism of increasing rates?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 8 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Age is reporting that Google has set up a group for developing humanitarian projects around the world. Details can be found on Google.org

From the article: "The ambitious founders of Google, the popular search engine company, have set up a philanthropic group, giving it seed money of about $US1 billion and a mandate to tackle poverty, disease and global warming. But unlike most charities, this one will be for-profit, allowing it to fund start-up companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists, and even lobby the US Congress. It will also pay taxes."

So do we like Google again?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 8 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "In light of the Maryland election, Princeton's Centre for Technology Policy has released a paper on the security risks of the Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine. From the summary: "For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates." and "We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab." As a foreigner I can't even begin to understand how the USA can allow such systems to control their elections. It seems the only possibilities are negligence or explicit fraud — and I don't know which is the worst possibility."

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