top Ask Slashdot: Can I Trust Android Rooting Tools?
Here's an idea. If you are uncomfortable with Google and such, eyeing them as a big brother of some sorts and do not want any Google Play Services or anything Google touching the device... you should return that tablet. Buy a Nexus 9, or a used Nexus 10 or Nexus 7 (2013). This may look counter intuitive, however Nexus devices have pretty much some of the strongest following and modding community behind them and since Google releases the full source for these devices, they are the first to get AOSP variant roms such as CyanogenMod, SlimROM, and Paranoid Android. Once you get them, you can easily follow guides on XDA Developers (
http://www.xda-developers.com/ ) to Unlock the bootloader (Via Google released ADB/Fastboot tools), install a custom recovery (I recommend TWRP which is open source as well so you know what you're getting). Then, depending on your level of paranoid, you can sync the AOSP tree from Google itself and build the entire ROM from scratch yourself, or build or download a flashable zip file of any custom ROM such as CyanogenMod, SlimROM, Paranoid Android etc, and then load it onto the device. AOSP based roms such as these DO NOT have Google's Proprietary API's and Google Play Services. Straight Android. Plus, will full open source, you know what's in it. You will still have to deal with the proprietary blobs left in for display, modem, wifi, etc, however it's as close to full control as you can get for Android with a 100% fully functional Android device.
top Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked
These people are animals. Several months ago I had to deal with a situation like this, however it was a family friend's computer. The family a year or two before went through the horrible loss of losing a teenage son. All their photos and documents of their son were all saved on that computer, unfortunately with no backup. All the files were encrypted. Whatever variant I had, it had a different key and random amount in the text file for each folder. It would have been $10,000's to recover everything. THANK GOD someone had the bright idea of storage a old hard drive that was going bad in a drawer and I was able to get through the bad sectors and copy off the year and a half or so old information off it which had the most important documents on it, but they still lost some documents from his funeral, and friends photos that were given to them, and the archive of his Facebook profile they saved before they removed it. I would LOVE for these animals to meet this family face to face and explain to them that it was "Just business".
top The Slow Death of Voice Mail
We recently switched our 15 year old on premise PBX to a Cloud Provider for our ~100 lines across two locations. The new phones have red blinking Voicemail indicators, which the old ones did not. Never did I ever realize how many people just never checked their voicemail or missed call history.
top Watch Comet Siding Spring's Mars Fly-By, Live
Geoff Fox has been narrating many of the live events of Slooh for the last year or so. He's a great guy and very interested in Science, Technology and getting young minds excited in the subject. Geoff - move back to Connecticut! We miss you! With the loss of Mel Goldstein Connecticut no longer has any professional meteorologists or any TV personalities that are really interested in the field and in science overall. All we've had since is the stations hiring a series of attractive woman (not that I'm complaining about that part..) reading a script and giving us the weather, just a ratings thing... not inspiring as you once were on WTNH, and your short stint at FOX61.
top Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista
To rebuttle the "Why not require a dual core?: Part of this, I simply state "Why would you require a dual core?". Single core processor performance has increased over time. I'm sure as hell not shelling out extra money for a incredibly basic system if I don't have to. At my organization we have around 30-40 basic Asus All-In-Ones spanning the last 4-6 years with single core Celerons, Pentiums, and Atom CPU's. These computers boot windows, are attached to a domain, restricted to hell so they can only open up this VERY minimal custom in house program that uses megabytes of memory designed just for our manufacturing process, and aren't rebooted for weeks or months and run 24x7 on 3 shifts. Many are old, physically look gross from wear and tear are starting to act up with hardware problems, so I'm current partially though a $15,000 project to replace every single one with a brand new Asus AIO that you guesed it, have a SINGLE core Celeron CPU. At $400 a pop they do the job. These things would run Windows 10 just fine, because I tested one today, runs without a hitch no problem. Why up the requirements when it does the job?
top Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers
They never seem to call me. I have a clean XP VM all setup ready to go to have them remote into. They do however call my parents (Asking for me by name somehow, my name must be linked with that number). Despite being non-technical, that doesn't prevent my father from screwing with them the old fashioned way. He usually keeps them on the line, saying things like "I already have a Window cleaner, he comes by on Tuesdays and does a good job! Even does the 2nd story windows!" He'll usually tag them along for a good 10 minutes or so. 50/50 change of them ending without incident, the other half they usually scream some swears or insult then hang up. The last time, when he had enough, the scammer asked "What is on your computer screen?" and my father replies "Oh! t's all pictures of naked woman!" The scammer then replied "Oh! That must be your mother! You mother f****er!" then hangs up. They are the ones calling and scamming, and the attitudes these people have are amazing. Some other fun tricks to try is talking in another language. My parents can speak basic French, and occasionally they confuse these scammers, who barley speak English, by talking French and it really throws them off.
top Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'
I can attest to Skype doing this. A friend away moved away for graduate school and we would communicate using Skype, so I started just leaving the desktop application open. My computer is located in my bedroom, with a switch next to it. I woke up like 3am, see the lights FLASHING going all sorts of nuts on my switch, which was weird as I had nothing on my pc open at the time. I check net stat... i see a inbound and outbound connection, one to some SBC DSL user in Atlanta, another to a Comcast user somewhere else, forgot where, but some other state. I kill Skype. BAM, connections close, traffic resumes normal operation. Skype was using my computer as relay service, since I have active UNPN, and the other two client presumably had some sort of firewall blocking direct communication. To this day i tell *EVERYONE* who uses the Desktop app to close it as soon as they're done to prevent this as most home connections now have meters. (Charter's is 250gb/mo for 30mbit, which I hit 150gb+ some months when I was toying around with AOSP and downloading the entire repo a few times after screwing up a VM or something).
top Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive
Medium business with two locations. Each locations houses 3-4 servers, running about 15-20 Virtual Machines on each host. Every essential system is virtualized. Another server, lower specs, but loaded with plain 7200 rpm enterprise class drives (Not 10k RPM drives like the VMHosts) run Microsoft DPM 2012 R2. We have it constantly backing up. Our email and file servers are backed up on the hour or every other hour. All others that are more "set it and forget it" systems that dont change or store changing data are backed up once a day or so. The entire VM. Should a VMHost fail all child VM's can be restored immediately. Likewise I have recovery points going back 2-3 months for our main data drive and email using DPM with regular drives. I can get anything near instantly rather than having to search a tape.
I can see tape would be useful if something was deleted years ago and needed to be recovered. However until then I'm drive only. Likewise all our VMHost servers are RAID5 or RAID6, and even our DPM server is RAID5 so if a drive fails we're okay. If two fail at once.. it's a backup. We also try to mix batches of drives in it as well or add them spaced apart so they have different operating hours and time to replicate if it has to rebuild from a single drive loss. (Why ive been switching our main servers to RAID6, as any weaklings would die sometimes during rebuild of a raid5 array or even raid1 array which leaves out SOL).
top DEFCON's Latest Challenge: Hacking Altruism
Wouldn't want a Bluetooth vulnerability to crash the Ex-VP's heart.....
top Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot
Skynet? This looks awfully like the start of Terminator 3 movie...
top How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
At my previous place of employment (Computer repair workbench) we used to sell new systems. I was there 8 years. Most years I'd do around 100 new systems. Busy years prior to the "Great Recession" I did closer to 200-300 a year (Almost every day multiple new PCs). Anywhere from old budget Sempron builds to $3000 Core2Exreme and i7 Extreme processors with dual and triple SLI.
Not counting Work I probably did a good 4-6 for friends/relatives/friends of friends. Counting my own doesn't count. I
:"assembled" my computer once back in 2000-2001 when I build my first rig, Pentium 4 1.6ghz. Every since then it's been swapping in new video card here, memory there, hard drives / ssd there, motherboard nad CPU here.. new case there.. and has been a continual upgraded system. From a Pentium 4 1.6ghz Intel 845 478 board with 512mb of SD RAM and 80gb hard drive and Radeon 7000 to my current i7 4770K, Z87 Socket 1150, 32GB DDR3 2400, 2x512GB SSD in Raid0 + 4TB storage drive, Radeon R9 290. Once a year I'll throw $400-500 on it to keep it current.
top How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?
Easy. Get a 6 or 8 bay NAS and a bunch of 4TB drives to fill it. Set it up in JBOD. Only local onsite backup solution that's feasible. Keep it powered down and unplugged except when you make periodic backup.
Offsite backup is more complicated, and unfortunately will have to shell out a lot for, and may not be feasible to backup via a throttled home connection upload speed. Around these parts in US most ISP's have 30mbit down, but only 3mbit or 4mbit upload. I'm being "Upgraded" to 60mbit down / 4mbit up next week. The upload to download proportion is ridiculous.
top Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England
This story isn't hardly surprising. After I got past the fact that the outline made it read like they found some long long civilization, and in fact it was just forgotten farm roads from 200 years ago, it's really not that impressive. I also live in Connecticut, less than 45 minutes from this location.. and this is true for most of Connecticut, at least the parts that still have woods left mainly in the Eastern part of the state as well as North West part of the state (where I am). The exact same trails can be found in my own back yard. My backyard consists of a area close to 250 acres or so of wooded area. The entire wooded area is no more than ~150 years old. You can tell by looking at the trees, they're all to young to have been there for more than 100 years. There's all sorts of areas littered with old barbed wire, to which trees have grown around, and old stone walls that have almost fallen apart and are more like a clumping of rocks all lined up than a stone wall. There are also area's where you can clearly tell there used to be trails, in fact we use one to walk between relatives on the other side of our hill and my own house, and a few of the more aged trails as ATV trails. In fact there was even a man made stream, that was diverted from its natural course (to which is has now gone back to) that once flowed a few dozen feet from my house, to which my driveway now follows. Such is not uncommon for all of Connecticut and New England. If you look, you'll find former farm trails and relics everywhere.
top Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating
If it's HP, they could make a block of ice in the antarctic overheat... (Symbolicly of course.. as reality is.. touching it would melt it...and it would actually be very easy...)
top Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating
I work at a local small computer workbench. Not surprised by this at all. It seems most of HP's designs recently all overheat, or are designed to very easily. We see so many HP/Compaq's with damaged motherboards from overheating. Sometimes you can see why, hairballs in the heatsinks. Other times the heat sinks and fans look brand new. Sometimes reflowing the motherboard works, other times a new motherboard is needed, and we've even had time were new motherboards fail from the same thing a year or so later. They're junk and don't design their heatsinks and fans to the correct thermal design power of the CPU and videochipsets they're designed for. Thank god Google won't put up with their lousy designs and pulled it.
top Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware
For this reason and this reason alone is why I will never use a stock-carrier and manufactorer bloated ROM on a Android phone. My Galaxy S4 from AT&T had SO MUCH junk bundled. Even the default Dialer/Contacts app was replaced with this AT&T junk that forced and bugged you to make a account to backup your contacts to AT&T that would cause a 15-20 second lag whenever I opened the contacts app. Add to it the number of bundled AT&T apps and Google Apps that are bundled that I could not remove (Only Disable, and even then they would magically reenable themselves). Even rooting and removing them in some cases were impossible. So that's when I got into Custom Roms. I absolutely love CyanogenMod. I have had it on my phone since a little over a week after owning it with CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) and currently running a custom build of CM10.2 (Android 4.3.1) nightly builds. Phone is SO MUCH faster without bloatware running in the background. And I can pick and choose every app I want. The only downfall is the stock Camera app doesn't work as well as the stock Samsung camera. For which I dual boot my phone with a stock-Samsung based ROM that has all carrier and Samsung crap removed and use it just for taking photos. And I will be running Android 4.4 (CM11) nightly builds as soon as they are released. The current holdup is a updated camera binary blob thats compatible with Android 4.4 as well as 4.4 Compatible releases from Qualcom to make it work. (Which either will will be working fine once the Google Edition Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 firmware image is released, bits can be taken from that to finish it).
top Jetstream Retrofit Illustrates How Close Modern Planes Are To UAVs
Don't mean since Gustave Whitehead first took flight? Not the Wright Bros?
about a year and a half ago
top Cockroaches Evolving To Avoid Roach Motels
I for one welcome our new creepy crawly overlords.
about a year and a half ago
top After Kickstarter Record, Pebble Smartwatch Lands $15M From VCs
I have now owned my Pebble for a month and have been using it with my iPhone 4S the entire time. I absolutely love it. The ability to keep my phone on silent while still seeing text messages, and who's calling without pulling my phone out is great. I backed it back in May 2012 when it was first featured here.
One thing I love about the Pebble is it's usable! The E-Paper display and 7 day battery life got me. I once owned a Fossil Abacus (Look it up) back in 2006. It ran PalmOS 4. Battery like was dismal, a day at best, and it didn't even display the time unless you pressed the button. There was no connectivity, as smart phones were just coming into existence. After a month of use I called it quits because of the dismal battery life, always needing charging. Why I got the pebble is because I already have to charge my iPhone daily, or every other day. I don't want another device I use all the time always needing a charge. I regularly get 6 days battery life on my Pebble, and that's when Low Battery comes on. If i let it go no doubt it would go a full 7 days.
Why I think Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google etc will fail in this market. I believe if any of them got into the SmartWatch market, they would use Full-Color LCD's. This means a dismal 2-3 days of battery. And the average Android and iOS user would want Video's, Songs,and all their favorite Android and iOS apps to work on it, like a tiny iPod Touch. This means battery draining graphics and higher end processors. The Pebble is great in this market because it accepts it's a Watch and a Companion device to a phone, where I dont think Apple and the other big players would try to market it as such.
about a year and a half ago
top What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?
So Google, you're shutting down Google Reader? Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own Web-Based RSS Reader with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the RSS Reader!
I have been a avid Google Reader user for 3-4+ years. I check it every break at work and usually first thing in the morning on my Tablet and at night before I go to bed. Love it. After hearing this, EVERY other web based RSS / Reader site was slammed and down. Then I thought... what if any of those services just randomly *poof* overnight went offline, like Google Reader, but without notice?
Having my own shared server, I looked into PHP / MySQL solutions. So far Tiny Tiny RSS Reader Wins out.
Set up and running in 20 minutes. Being a shared server I couldn't run daemons so I had to use a cron job to have it update the feeds every 10 minutes but it works great so far for the last 12 hours.
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