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Researchers Discover SS7 Flaw, Allowing Total Access To Any Cell Phone, Anywhere

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Hardware Security (69 comments)

Your friend is most likely lying. The phones in the switch (specifically for QC) would only hear one side of the conversation. If you hear both sides, there was an echo issue (and the conversation wouldn't continue between the two parties).

If the speaker was connected to a local loop, then it would hear both sides. (While I agree it should not have been connected to a local loop, I would not be surprised if (occassionally) it was.)

Phones designed for use with traditional land lines have echo-suppression circuits. As do the equipment at the switching office. This was done to avoid the cost of a third wire and because using either earth or electrical ground was too noisy.

An old design: http://www.epanorama.net/circu...

A somewhat modern design: http://www.epanorama.net/circu...

Also, very early telephone designs did not have echo suppression. I have one that one of my grandmothers bought at an auction (a certificate of legal sale was included with the phone). In theory, it is compatible with the current land line system, though I have never tried it. It is very similar to this: http://oldphoneman.com/images/...

4 hours ago
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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Great. More touchscreens. (232 comments)

Nothing like saying "You have a tape player, that is what you have, that is what you get, you can't upgrade"

Actually, I got that when I bought my current car, new, from the dealer. I got the version with the 4 cyl engine and the "comfort option package". When I asked to upgrade the CD-only radio to one with both CD and tape, I was told that that was only available for versions with the 6 cyl engine. I then said "Well, you have replacement units for service, why not just "service" my radio by replacing it with the better unit?" They said the OEM does not allow them to do that.

Admittedly, it would have cost more than buying an FM adapter (which I did) to use with a portable tape player, but would have been a lot less hassle.

about a week ago
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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:No (545 comments)

Note, that employers can deduct hours from your vacation pool for less than either 8 hours a day worked, or 40 hours a week, can't remember which, but they can't dock your pay if you are exempt

Many of the people I know who work for other companies are exempt from overtime pay, but do get docked pay for less than 40 hours per week (or 80 hours per 2 weeks). Vacation time is only used for pre-arranged (and approved) time off. Sick hours are only used when they call in sick - before their normal start time.

For me, the time short goes against my "sick hours" before it goes against my vacation hours.

about two weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:No, it's not even possible (181 comments)

unthinking acceptance of whatever we are told by professors, "science advisors", and people in white coats carrying clipboards.

Unfortunately, a large and growing number of people have gone to the opposite extreme - unthinking rejection. And not just of science, but intelligence in general. How long before the "Examination Day" scenario is upon us? (http://education.ky.gov/school/documents/examination%20day%20by%20henry%20seslar.docx)

about two weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:No, it's not even possible (181 comments)

i doubt we will create true ai in my lifetime

Doesn't have to be "true AI" to be very disruptive - or to create problems for us carbon based intelligences.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:It could be worse (247 comments)

My employer's office has far too few conference rooms for face-to-face meetings. Instead, the company has an internal VOIP/XMPP server. (Though for a meeting with 4 or less people, we often just use our cubicles.) We have VOIP phones on our desks, though easier to use PC VOIP app.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Every 30 days. (247 comments)

The PCs my employer issues to its workers have "smart card" readers built in, but they (a) they require cards with contacts (which our standard badges don't have and (b) (according to the security dept) cards that are compatible with both the PCs and the door lock system are very expensive. As such, the company only issue those cards to the finance and HR depts (and the execs and their assistants).

Of course, to prevent anyone in possession of one of these cards from being able to log in, passwords would still be needed. (Not that our security dept seems to care that anyone with a badge can get in the office (granted, a worker who looses their card will report the loss, but it might be hours (or days) before the loss is noticed))

about two weeks ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (247 comments)

The preamble outlines the purposes for which the constitution was established.

Seems to me that, in recent history, the government has been failing to meet those purposes.

about a month ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (247 comments)

It's easier to get mad and shake your fist than write a check.

For any given value of "it", "it" is not important until the lack of "it" because a problem. Therefore, the money won't be allocated proactively.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Why would you teach kids to program computers? (107 comments)

You will also condemn them to a professional life of being under perpetual pressure to overwork, perpetual blame for failing to do the impossible, and perpetual threat of being outsourced. ... Do you kids a favor and send them to get an MBA or license to practice law instead.

Every MBA and lawyer I know is very overworked and expected to do the impossible daily. While the lawyers might be a lesser risk of being outsourced, most of the MBAs tell me they are quite afraid of being outsourced.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (107 comments)

Otherwise, they will just sit around eating junk food and watching a screen all day, and yes I know this is slashdot.

My daughter did quite well at keeping a balance on her own. My girlfriend and I certainly had a lot of input to our daughter's schedule, but she was the one driving it, not us. She actively pursued out door and social activities, as well as solo activities. Though she tried various junk foods, her preferred snacks were/are "finger friendly" fruits and vegetables (and, sometimes, premium chocolate). She watched very little TV, though did use a computer a lot (mostly for homework, some programming and a little gaming).

I think the kids who watch a screen all day are the ones whose parents are too afraid to let them do anything else.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Check point starvation (107 comments)

I think the only thing my kids ever did at that age for 75 minutes without a break is sleep.

Do you mean like sit (mostly) still for 75+ minutes doing problems in "work books"? The public elementary school my nephew attended required that most days for its first through fifth grade students (ages 6 through 10/11). (The school day was typically lecture/demo/group discussions from 8 am to 11:30 am, with a restroom break around 9:45. Then lunch, Then a review from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm, followed by a restroom break. Finally, quiet study from 1:30 pm to 3 pm.)

(Additional restroom breaks were allowed, but strongly discouraged.)

about a month ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

UnderCoverPenguin Re:510kph is airliner speed? (419 comments)

You are usually required to have cleared security about 30 minutes before the flight on domestic flights.

In the US, the TSA is working to bring this to train and bus stations.

about a month ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

UnderCoverPenguin Re:The providers (127 comments)

Why should the providers shoulder this burden? They're not marketing, charging for, or making the content available. It's ridiculous. And invasive.

Actually, the major providers also own some of the content producers. Comcast owns NBC/Universal, Time-Warner owns Warner Brothers, etc. As such, the providers want to prioritize their subsidiaries' content.

about a month ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:They ARE a utility. (706 comments)

The only reason he airline industry is not a natural monopoly is because of the massive public infrastructure provided by the US Government FAA in public use airports and related flight control infrastructure. In every meaningful sense, an airport solves the "last mile problem" for airplanes. Why wouldn't we expect a similar investment in the "last mile problem" for Internet Service?

There have been attempts to do exactly that. But, the big providers devised ways to quash or undermine those efforts. Examples:

A town (in Minnesota, I think) had begged the various providers to provide broad band, but the providers declined. So, the town embarked on a project to build a hub with a fiber cable to each home and business. The town's residents voted to approve a millage to raise the funds needed. Then one of the big providers, in an effort to block the project, sued the town. (The provider also built its own last mile network in the town - despite having previously refused - rendering the project moot.)

The residents of another town, elsewhere, formed a co-op to build a similar hub with a fiber-cable to each member of the co-op - paid for by the members of the co-op, so each member owned his/her cable and a share of the hub. When the co-op invited providers to start signing up customers, the providers demanded that each subscriber sign over ownership of his/her cable to the provider (in exchange for a small monthly credit, for several years, to the original property owner - if the property was sold, the new owner did not receive the remaining credit).

about a month ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Ted Cruz is Already Attacking Net Neutrality (706 comments)

Curiously, they're all content producers who would directly benefit from the regulation, and not content "distributor"... I wonder why...

Except that the distributors also produce content (Comcast/Xfinity owns NBC/Universal, Time-Warner owns Warner Brothers, etc). As such the "distributors" want to prioritize their own content.

about a month ago
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Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:iMessage isn't bad... (136 comments)

If Apple could get their head out of the sand and create a unified protocol with Google and whoever is left in the smartphone OS field (BlackBerry?, Mozilla?), it would be fantastic.

I don't know about Blackberry or Mozilla, but Google supports XMPP messaging with at least several different messaging apps (and Linux/OSX/Windows programs). But even Google has some features that only work with its messaging app.

about a month ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

UnderCoverPenguin Re:If we can use quantum fluctuations (429 comments)

Also, what happens if one of these quantum fluctuations happens inside our universe and reaches the threshold of viability?

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Citizen Science: Who makes the rules?

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  about a year ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "At MakeZine, David Lang talks about the some of the legal issues around a planned, amature science "expedition", as well as some other amature science projects.

In the not too distant past, most science was amature. Over the past 20 or so years, society has been making it harder for amatures to do real science despite the technical costs falling. With the recent upswing of the "maker movement", amature science has seen an increase as well, but is running into an assortment of legal issues.(An exception is astronomy, where amatures continue to play important roles. Of course, astronomy doesn't involve chemicals or other (currently) "scary stuff".)

Can amature science make a come-back? Or are the legal obsicles too entrenched?"
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Review: Sintel

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 4 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "Last night, I watched Sintel (sintel.org). Technically, it was a beautiful showcase for Blender. The models and animations were very well done. The fight and chase scenes were excellent. I think the movie can stand on its own among professionally made short movies of similar style and genre. Story-wise, the plot was weak and predictable. Also, the end of the final fight was too bleak and disturbing for the likely audience. Spoiler: I think the ending would have been better if the woman had been killed by the dragon. Unfortunately, I don't have the skill needed to re-do the ending myself."
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Stage 1 works perfectly, Stage 2 fails to seperate

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 6 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "In the 3rd launch of Falcon 1 (http://spacex.com), the first stage, with the latest version of the Merlin engine, works perfectly. Unfortunately, the second stage failed to separate. (http://www.spacex.com/updates.php) Hopefully it was only a minor setback, despite the huge cost."

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