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Google To Take On Apple's CarPlay

Que_Ball Answer: Both (126 comments)

Why would it have to be exclusive?

Car makers can simply support both protocols in their built in systems and whatever device you bring just pairs up with it.

Why would an automaker want to exclude potential customers by only supporting one method or the other is the question you need to ask.  Unless Apple or Google is subsidising the cost of the car they just want to make the most attractive package possible and sell more cars.

about a month and a half ago
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GoDaddy Files For $100 Million IPO

Que_Ball Never use them except when below cost (110 comments)

Personally I avoid using Godaddy unless there is one of those sales where they are selling domain registration or transfers at below cost.

I have registered a fair number of domains with them at the $1 to $5 price points you can sometimes get and when a decent coupon for transfer comes up from someone better like Namecheap I transfer them away.  Godaddy looses money on the deal.  I might transfer those domains back into godaddy on another below cost transfer deal but I just transfer it back out again if I find another deal or if the renewal is approaching.  I have never paid them the normal cost of renewal.  Every time I have done any business with them it's below the approximately $7.85 cost they are paying to the central registry.

So if you advocate a boycott of Godaddy that's fine.  But if you want to hurt them even more then take advantage of their below cost coupons when you can and actually cost the company money but remember to transfer those domains away again when you can.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Beautiful Network Cable Trays?

Que_Ball Industrial look get industrial looking cable trays (250 comments)

You can get really nice industrial cable trays.  Mount them high enough that they aren't immediately noticeable but they maintain that industrial and exposed look.

The good ones are powder coated so you can get a colour of your choice to match the office.

Use a tool called a cable comb when you are running the cables to put the cables into very straight and neat bundles.

Here is the manufacturer of a good quality system for cable trays:
http://wiremaidusa.com/
(they have many resellers.  Your cabling contractor likely deals with a supplier who can get this)

Here is the cable comb tool for making straightened bundles of cables that look neat in they tray:
http://www.acomtools.com/

If you want something more enclosed then you can go to full conduit installation using metal pipes.  The pipes can then be painted to match your ceiling colour.

about 8 months ago
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Bad Connections Dog Google's Mountain View Wi-Fi Network

Que_Ball Re:The solution (144 comments)

Would it shock anyone to know I actually did this reboot to a malfunctioning public Wifi base station recently and it worked?

I had a client moving into a new commercial location where the local cable company (Shaw) has one of their public Wi-Fi terminals installed.

They did not have their own network connection yet (booked for a few days later) so we just joined their computer to the public network but it was horrible. The connection showed moderate to high packet loss which was strange because the base station was in the roof a few feet away. Even doing a ping test to first hop (the base station) was showing the packet loss problem. Increasing the packet size on the ping tests showed the problem was got worse as you increased the packets so anything that wanted a sustained download and not small little transactions was suffering worse effects.

So I went into the back, found the power injector for the base station and cut the power. Plugged it back in, and after the reboot it was working well. No more packet loss, and a usable connection.

Maybe Shaw needs to update the firmware on these Cisco base stations they are using.

about a year ago
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Scientists Breed Big-Brained Guppies To Demonstrate Evolution's Trade-Offs

Que_Ball Yuppie guppies (121 comments)

The large brained fish decided to focus on their careers instead of settling down to raise a family.

 

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data Storage Highway Robbery?

Que_Ball EDI VAN charges ~$0.50 per KC (1000 characters) (168 comments)

Back when EDI (Electronic data interchange) was new it was often described as each transaction costing "similar to a long distance fax" back in the days when long distance was expensive. Was about $1.50 per transaction.

They measure the data in KC (kilo characters). Typical pricing back when it was popular was $0.50 per KC in early 90's plus many other fees. (could have been more when it first came out)

For a small company you would make a dialup connection to a VAN (Value Added Network) to submit a transaction and check for new transaction responses. Larger companies would have a permanent X25 network connection to the VAN which would have it's own monthly connection fees and data fees but was faster and near instant. There are still legacy users of these EDI VAN networks who have not shifted to the Internet versions of the EDI standards. Hopefully they renegotiated their rates at some point and didn't just let their contract auto-renew all these years.

SMS is easily the most expensive current communication on a per MB basis in common use today and it gets more expensive as providers tend to increase the rates on SMS and not lower them. $0.25 per message domestic, $0.60 per roaming message on Telus.

about a year and a half ago
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Experts Warn About Security Flaws In Airline Boarding Passes

Que_Ball Re:Obvious High Risk (199 comments)

I was randomly selected for the SSS tag on my boarding pass. It was great. We were in Phoenix and the regular screening line was massive, at least an hour long. The "special" line had about 10 people in it. We zipped right through. Would have needed to skip lunch if we were in the regular line.

We noticed the letters on the pass too before entering the lines so I guess they have not really cared about this "issue" in the past.

I think the special screening is more of a quality control measure on the regular screening guys than it's a real boost to security.

about 2 years ago
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"Secure" Shorter .uk Internet Domain Proposed

Que_Ball Re:Like .ca for Canada? (87 comments)

It was possible to register the same name with a different province but the original owner would have to give you written permission first so it was less likely to occur. I can find a few examples where two different companies did get their provincial level domain and now one of them has claimed the second level domain. But it's very rare. Most of the time if another company wanted to register the domain in their province and the system told them it was unavailable they wouldn't pursue it further and try to get permission, they would just pick something else.

So yes, owning mydomain.ab.ca used to mean that the system would not allow anyone else to register mydomain.bc.ca or mydomain.ca. They used to require proof that your corporation was registered nationwide before they would let you use the second level national domain but they would reserve all variations on second and third levels of your domain name automatically. When the system switched to putting all domains at the second level then most of those provincial domain name owners got their second level name registered. They can keep the historical old one and keep paying for it or let it expire and only keep the second level version. There was no discount or extra costs for second or third level domains. They never tried to kick up the costs to register the second level domains.

Maybe the UK could handle their second level domains the same way? I mean they still get the extra money from people who decide to keep both versions but at least they are not raising the pricing.

about 2 years ago
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Accelerator Driven Treatment of Nuclear Waste

Que_Ball Re:Thorium reactors? (226 comments)

Primary reason is the many billions of dollars of development needed to figure it all out.

There is no design for a "working commercial thorium reactors". It's all just bits and pieces of theory, and experimental reactors that only answered some of the questions.

It's a possible technology, just not an actual technology. Kind of like the guy at NASA who recently got into the news for a pen and paper proposal of how warp speed might be possible. We are still a long way from building interstellar spaceships. Just like we are long way from building a Thorium salt reactor that works and is economically viable.

about 2 years ago
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Accelerator Driven Treatment of Nuclear Waste

Que_Ball That's the long term plan for the industry (226 comments)

Yes. Spent fuel has always been considered a long term asset by the nuclear industry. People in that industry believe that as mining the raw ore becomes more expensive and the technology for reprocessing the spent fuel becomes better it starts to become a more valuable source of future fuel.

The industry would be very different if the governments did not push the technology towards weapons production. The reactor designs we have are all old and they are designed in a way that facilitates the production of plutonium. If the research into other reactor and fuel designs that did not have as many dangerous byproducts were pursued it would be a safer industry today.

The most promising alternative is and was to use Thorium fuelled reactors instead of uranium. There is the potential for far safer reactor designs and far less hazardous waste when using that type of fuel. The USA took a relatively short look at this but then they stopped since they could not also produce weapons from these reactors and at the time it was all about the bomb. But from what I have read they will likely become a technology that becomes more interesting over time as it's capable of using depleted uranium along with the Thorium as a way to use up that spent fuel that's hanging around.

It should be obvious though there are significant challenges to getting the theory into a practical design. All those research reactor projects back in the 50's that gave engineers and scientists the knowledge to build the current reactors would need similar efforts to develop the technology for these alternative fuels and reprocessing technologies. It's starting to happen but in China and India where they have not lost their love for nuclear power yet.

about 2 years ago
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Why Your IT Spending Is About To Hit the Wall

Que_Ball Re:Rest Assured (301 comments)

Oh, you noticed they effectively doubled the price of SQL server on April 1 too?

Yeah, they went from pricing based on how many CPU's were in the server to how many cores are on those chips. But the price only remains the same if you have 4 cores in the server yet brand new machines genrally have 8 core CPU's now so it's twice the price now compared to last month for a new server. Microsoft says that the average CPU in the field has 4 CPU's but the average server is a few years old and when it is time to replace it you need to spend twice as much.

more than 2 years ago
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Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy?

Que_Ball Re:A practical matter (467 comments)

And if you're not in one of the states that explicitly grants exemptions, don't just go ahead expecting that you'll win the legal battle.

Good advice. I would suggest the outcome will depend on if the outside project is related in any way to the job you do. If it can be argued that your knowledge required to complete the project was acquired as a result of your employment or a result of training your received at work then things may not be resolved in your favour.

more than 2 years ago
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Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab Won't Get Android 4.0

Que_Ball Re:No *official* port. (333 comments)

Hardware issue on Galaxy S. No software fix possible. Using a GPS test app you can only see a small number of satellites in most conditions. Unless you are sitting out in a wide open field on a nice day when there are no sources of interference nearby or high solar activity it will not lock on.

Even the windows in a car will attenuate the GPS signal enough to give you poor performance. Turn it off is the best advice I can give. It will only serve to lower your battery life and frustrate you.

more than 2 years ago
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'Free' Games Dominate Top-Grossing Game List On App Store

Que_Ball Setup parental controls now (161 comments)

Even if you leave every other setting unlocked you should go in and setup parental controls on your device to block in app purchasing. Do it now before you head out to the restaurant and you load up something to keep the kids amused not realizing that because you just finished downloading it your itunes account is still unlocked and the kids can buy whatever they want without a password for the next few minutes.

Even if you don't have kids of your own, you might be out with friends or family that do and your generous act of amusing the kids turns expensive.

more than 2 years ago
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Computer Opens Unmanned Store For Holiday

Que_Ball More would have paid if checkouts didn't lock (333 comments)

So I infer from the description that if those first customers did not lock up all the checkouts by scanning in Alcohol perhaps more of the later customers could have also paid for their purchases.

more than 3 years ago
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How has your opinion on the safety of nuclear power changed after the events in Japan?

Que_Ball Re:Irresponsible Journalism (1148 comments)

CBC radio may have redeemed themselves today with guests who seemed to have a deep technical understanding of the hazards and problems being faced at the moment. Sometimes you need to extend the timeframe a bit over multiple shows to get a more complete picture. The "other side" may not have been well represented in the particular program you listened to but they may not have had access to anyone sufficiently expert enough to fill that time slot. I'm sure they did not have any concious intention to skew their coverage but with news just like most other things you have to work with what you have available at the time and revise the story as more information becomes available.

more than 3 years ago
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Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

Que_Ball No Internet during lecture? (804 comments)

Way back when I was in University and long before using a laptop in class became popular I was doing it on an Apple Duo 230.

It worked well for me then but it had only a single purpose during the lecture and that was for note taking. There was no wireless Internet, no peer to peer networking, and very few distractions loaded on that machine.

I would advocate that professors and students start the year off with a few minutes discussion this. Perhaps the best advice would be to institute a rule of airplane mode on, silent mode on and only accepted activity is note taking during lecture time. If the are doing a study session or discussion where Internet access actually becomes a benefit (lookup information that adds to the discussion) then perhaps the instructor would then explicitly announce to students they can go an lookup the information and turn on the wireless at those time. But the default behavior should be wireless off, class notes and materials loaded only in class.

more than 3 years ago
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Lawsuit Shows Dell Hid Extent of Computer Flaws

Que_Ball Re:Issue only with Dell USA ? (272 comments)

I have to post a big Me too on this one. Never an argument, or a crazy request to reinstall software or try pointless remedies.

Nowhere near as many systems as you but exactly the same response. They fixed units that failed, took me about 1-2 minutes on the phone to go over the details and the rest of the time was just waiting for them to fill out the dispatch forms.

more than 3 years ago
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Muscle Mice

Que_Ball Re:Possible professional sports abuse? (116 comments)

I predict they won't even wait for this to be perfected.

Someone in a third world country is likely brewing up a batch of stem cells in their "lab" as we speak.

Maybe they will have it ready in time for London. Weight lifting, you were a sport once. Now it's just magic show where everyone wonders how they make the trick work.

more than 3 years ago
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Windows Phone Permanently Modifies MicroSD Cards, Warns Samsung

Que_Ball Re:Permanently modified? (426 comments)

The SD Card can be locked to a specific device using a password.

example:
http://www.embeddedarm.com/software/arm-linux-sdcard-security.php

An SD card can be locked using a password, or it can be set to permanent write protected mode.

Also the manufacturer of an SD card may not include the secure features in their cards (which would probably mean it wouldn't work on these phones)

From the linked article:
Technologic Systems has developed a Linux application named "sdlock" which can be used to manipulate SD card hardware-enforced password locks and set the card's permanent write-protect feature. Using a password protected SD card is a great way to ensure software security and/or to make sure your TS-7000 SBC based product cannot be used in an unintended matter once deployed. This utility is only available for the TS-7300 and TS-7400 products, which are configured with the TS-SDBOOT firmware.
Some of the possibilities include:
                Password protecting SD Cards
                Set the SBC to boot only locked SD Cards
                Set the SD Card readable only on a specific SBC
                Checksum verification of bootable SD Cards
                Make an SD Card permanently write-protected
How To Use It
Usage and command line help for this command:
$ sdlock –help
Usage: sdlock [OPTION] ...
Controls SD card lock and permanent write-protect features.
General options:
-p, --password=PASS Use PASS as password
-c, --clear Remove password lock
-s, --set Set password lock
-u, --unlock Unlock temporarily
-e, --erase Erase entire device (clears password)
-w, --wprot Enable permanent write protect
-h, --help This help

more than 3 years ago

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