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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Walter White Google-like? (207 comments)

A "Google-like" search engine? Does that mean they are serving ads to the law enforcement agencies that use it?

3 days ago

William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Walter White Re:Why 80% (278 comments)

... some President or intelligence chief ...

I doubt that "some President" would be wielding this power. It is much more likely that he would be the subject of the power. First off, the agency would be loathe to be controlled by an external political agent. Secondly, it seems like it would be more useful to have a disposable puppet in charge rather than put one of their own in such a highly visible and yet temporary position. After all, their normal MO is to work in the shadows.

about a month and a half ago

Android Wear Is Here

Walter White Re:Instead of buying a phone every three years... (129 comments)

There are three broad categories of watch people these days: ...

Consider a fourth category, though likely not as broad as what you have already listed. That would be athletes and fitness buffs who obsess over the statistics of our training activities. We regularly wear huge GPS enabled watches that track our activities and statistics. The more popular brands include Garmin devices and if you have ever had the "pleasure" of using anything designed by Garmin's UI team you can imagine how excited some of us are to have an alternative. A cell phone with a watch peripheral would be a great combo. In my particular case, I perspire heavily when I run so I have to carry my cell phone in a zip lock bag, making it awkward to get to. Having a display on my wrist would be a significant usability factor. At ~$200US the watches are priced competitively with the stand alone units.

The only reason I have not ordered one is that I'm waiting to see how the Moto 360 stacks up against these two.

about 2 months ago

$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Walter White Re:Lets list other free energy communication scams (448 comments)

I didn't check your link. I just wanted to let you know that when I was a kid, I had a crystal radio that produced sound in the earphone solely off the energy captured in the RF received. It had no batteries or external power source.

about 2 months ago

Fish-Eating Spiders More Common Than Thought

Walter White Appropriate comment? (39 comments)

Can't think of much. Maybe this:

What has eight legs and a fish?

A Spider!

... How about this.

Moe: What is big and hairy and has eight legs?

Joe: I don't know, what?

Moe: I don't know either, but it's on your shoulder and it has a fish!

Note to self: Don't quit day job.

about 2 months ago

US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

Walter White Re:Dear federal government: GTFO (216 comments)

Your point would be better taken if you (and I mean the generic you, not you specifically) did not risk others lives by the actions that you take. I'd be perfectly happy to let you do whatever you wish in your vehicle but when a mistake on your part can kill me, then I'm happy to have the government interfere with your ability to do so.

about 2 months ago

Mad Cow Disease Blamed For Patient's Death In Texas

Walter White Prions in the brain? (132 comments)

And woe betide any zombies who eat his brain!

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

Walter White Re:Law of Leaky Abstractions (352 comments)

Someone pointed that one out to me when I started working on a framework to manage timers, digital I/O and so on on the Arduino platform. Apparently Joel feels that abstractions are not useful because they cannot be perfect. He points out that stream sockets hide the errors in network transport by 'guaranteeing' packet delivery order and retransmiting dropped packets but cannot mask the problem when the cable is pulled. So what? If someone needs to read this to understand that the network is not going to work when the cable is disconnected, they're probably in the wrong business.

about 3 months ago

In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

Walter White for nerds.. (405 comments)

Golf is dying because it's boring and pointless.

As an avid fisherman I hope to see the popularity of golf grow.

about 4 months ago

Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Walter White Re:Just one more reason (258 comments)

Come on, I refuse to believe that these entities are actively working to put more people in prison for no good reason. ...
I think it's more likely that private prisons advocate for more prison time, etc. That would be the American thing to do :)

Are you suggesting that money is not a good reason?

  Prison operation is now private and they want to grow the business.

about 4 months ago

OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

Walter White Re:Anyone know if there are regression tests? (304 comments)

... Does anyone know how good their test coverage is?

Not obvious to me if by "their" you mean OpenSSL or OpenBSD (*) but it seems to me the answer is "not sufficient." I'm sure it will be enhanced to cover Heartbleed.

(*) OpenSSL, OpenBSD ... phrased that way it sounds like a match made in heaven! ;)

about 4 months ago

The Best Way To Watch the "Blood Moon" Tonight

Walter White Re:Trollolololol! (146 comments)

What annoys me is that this is happening on a weeknight. Seriously??? Can't anyone think this sort of thing through??? ...

Very poor planning IMO. Whereas we had temps in the 80s a couple days ago it is presently 27F when the eclipse seems to be at totality. Oh well, at least I got to see it and capture some crude images before the clouds moved back in.

about 4 months ago

Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: How We're Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers

Walter White Re:It's not the thing... (90 comments)

There are faster, cheaper boards than the Pi.

Can you suggest any? My google-fu is not up to the task...

about 5 months ago

Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

Walter White Re:H2 drive (147 comments)

Why not Hydrogen? Must utility generators are hydrogen cooled due to hydrogen's low viscosity and high thermal conductivity.

about 5 months ago

Dropbox's New Policy of Scanning Files For DMCA Issues

Walter White Re:Two solutions (Encrypt or leave) (243 comments)

That said most apps work if you say No. I wouldn't call it an unnecessary request to ask for permission.

On Android you cannot install the app if you say no. The question is asked during installation or update.

about 5 months ago

Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Walter White Re:Not long (520 comments)

AFAIK I have Comcast and Netflix. Most of the time when I watch Netflix it wavers between 280SD and 480SD. On a good day I get 720HD. On a bad day - which is all too frequent - I get 240SD. Anything from 280SD and below looks like crap on a modern HDTV.

And yet, at the same time I can run a bandwidth test which shows I get great bandwidth (, local test server.)

I suppose the bottleneck could be beyond the portion of the network between my home and the local server. Or Comcast is throttling Netflix. Either way, Comcast has a vested interest in not solving the problem.

about 6 months ago

Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

Walter White Re:Motorcycles! (664 comments)

Does it have an automatic transmission, and if not does it have clutch by wire?

Automatic transmissions are common (perhaps universal) on scooters and have been used on motorcycles in the past. The newest BMWs have ability to shift without pulling the clutch lever or reducing the throttle. From "The BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro, available as a factory option, represents a world first for production motorcycle manufacture. It enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve in the proper load and rpm speed ranges while riding."

about 6 months ago

Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

Walter White Re:Motorcycles! (664 comments)

No software. No seat belts. No automatic..anything.

You'd have to restrict that to old motorcycles. My '98 has ABS and fuel injection, both of which used programmed electronics. Newer bikes include systems such as CAN Bus, traction control, fly by wire throttles and more. Except for things like air bags, seat belts and bumpers, motorcycles use a lot of technology found in automobiles.

about 6 months ago



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