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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

_merlin Re:Hmmm .... (110 comments)

Because you can see the doors being operated out the windows of the departure lounges as the ground crew load and unload baggage.

yesterday
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Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?

_merlin Re:The good news is (128 comments)

All fuel injectors for gasoline-powered road cars (mechanical injectors were used in racing for a while and were used for many years in diesel engines) are controlled by an ECU.

That's not quite true. There were mechanical fuel injection systems for petrol cars, e.g. the Lucas system in some of the Triumphs. They weren't known for being particularly reliable - EMP resistance would be the least of your worries.

yesterday
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

_merlin Re:NFC isn't used for just payment (319 comments)

Yes, S-beam is great. The phones exchange some information, set up a one-time WiFi Direct connection and transfer the file. No messing with Bluetooth pairing or any crap like that, authentication is provided by proximity.

2 days ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

_merlin Re:Too Late for Aus (319 comments)

US NFC payment system is apparently completely incompatible with the systems used in the rest of the world. The US system emulates swiping the magstrip while the European and Australian systems use some kind of PKI challenge/response.

2 days ago
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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

_merlin Re:Hmmm .... (110 comments)

I fly on 737-800 all the time and they definitely have outward-opening cargo doors.

2 days ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

_merlin Re:I have a method (124 comments)

If it's patented, you're compelled to publish your method. Are you confusing patents with trade secrets?

5 days ago
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Amazon Is Killing Off Its Free P2P Money-Transfer Service WebPay On October 13

_merlin Re:Guess I'll have to use google wallet or paypal (34 comments)

I can send money from my GMail account.

Well I don't know whether the Amazon one worked outside the US, but the Google one definitely doesn't. But given a choice between Google and Amazon, I'd take Amazon. I find them slightly less intrusive and pervasive.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

_merlin Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

Yeah, but very basic functionality like actually being able to type your name if you happen to be Japanese requires you to install the OS, then get a combination of strangely-named packages like ibus, im-chooser, anthy, some font packages, etc. and then screw around getting it configured. None of this is documented clearly. Windows or OSX lets you choose a language from a list at install time. Which do you think is easier?

Device drivers are another issue. Linux is simpler if there's a driver in the kernel tree and it works adequately. If there isn't, then it's far more trouble than Windows to find a driver and get it to work. Also, drivers often lack functionality on Linux. For example the Wacom tablet drivers aren't adequately configurable. There are some options in obscure text files that you need root to edit, but there's no simple way to switch mapping on-the-fly or reconfigure your buttons per application. This is all dead easy on OSX or Windows.

Linux may be easier for you, but there are far more use cases than "person with no exotic hardware speaking a language using Latin script".

about a week ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

_merlin Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

It definitely doesn't just work if you need Japanese language support. You need to find the necessary packages, install them, configure ibus... Seriously it's a nightmare. On Windows or OSX you just choose it from the dropdown during installation. Every time I do a distro upgrade I have to go through this stupid pain-in-the-arse procedure again, trying to work out exactly which packages I need with no help from any documentation.

about a week ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

_merlin Re:No (280 comments)

Ubuntu server is an oxymoron ;)

about two weeks ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

_merlin Re:Fairly often, but nothing serious: (231 comments)

You know, I liked the Amiga. But it was a machine of such contradictions. It had preemptive multitasking, but no isolated application heaps. So if an app didn't clean up properly, memory leaked not just until you closed the app, but until the machine restarted. And if an app crashed, all its allocated memory leaked until you restarted. Even the Mac had isolated application heaps from day one. As cool as the graphics system was, it just about impossible to deliver a much-needed new generation without breaking compatibility with everything. They really painted themselves into a corner there. Even things like the filesystem that made DMA read/write impractical. It had so much baggage to work around right from the start.

about two weeks ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

_merlin Re:Fairly often, but nothing serious: (231 comments)

Nah, seriously, rampant piracy on the Amiga drove developers away and killed the platform. The IBM PC had businesses paying for site licesnses, which more than made up for widespread piracy by home users. Apple had their cult following who were paying for the big-name Adobe, Aldus and Macromedia packages, andfor some reason actually paying money for shareware as well. But there was just no money in developing for Amiga because no-one ever paid for software.

about two weeks ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

_merlin Re:Fairly often, but nothing serious: (231 comments)

lol people like you are what killed the Amiga. no-one wanted to make Amiga software because everyone pirated it. without software a platform dies.

about two weeks ago
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Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

_merlin Re:must me false (230 comments)

No they can't. They invoke a SUID binary that always runs as root to do the password change. That means an exploit in the SUID password change tool could potentially do anything the root user has permission to do.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

_merlin Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (187 comments)

There's an offline mode that's available in Europe where the card verifies the PIN entered on the terminal. This mode has been shown to be vulnerable to compromised hardware as response for a valid PIN is predictable. The cards in Australia are incapable of verifying the PIN at all - you can set or change your PIN for many cards using an online service without the card present.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

_merlin Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (187 comments)

US is really that backwards? And I thought the "offline mode" in Europe where the card verifies the PIN was bad enough.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

_merlin Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (187 comments)

We have NFC credit cards in Australia now. They don't seem to have caused a big uptick in fraud. Also, the worst you could do from a distance (assuming you could communicate with the card for long enough) would be to process a payment of up to $100 - you can't actually copy the card.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

_merlin Re:NGH (187 comments)

Coin is going to be dead in the water as soon as US requires chip cards. The whole point of chip cards is that the key never leaves the chip and it can't be copied. They talk about supporting it in the future but can't elaborate on a plan, as they don't have one. They also have blatant misinformation about "chip and sign" on their site. "Chip and sign" uses the ICC chip to verify card presence, but you sign the receipt rather than entering a PIN. The Coin people claim you still use the magnetic strip, but that just plain isn't true.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

_merlin Re:So it's like Google Wallet? (187 comments)

Samsung's latest phones do NFC payment in Australia. There's no reason it couldn't work, besides vendor apathy.

about three weeks ago
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New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste

_merlin Re:What else can they do? (191 comments)

The early prototype fast neutron reactors in the UK had issues with handling of the coolants, and are proving very expensive to decommission. Irradiated light metals coating the insides of pipes are difficult to deal with apparently. It's probably nothing that couldn't be solved with additional R&D, but how long before it actually pays off? The UK gave up on it before getting to a viable level.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Journals

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Reinventing myself as a troll

_merlin _merlin writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I keep having these thoughts of reinventing myself as a troll. I could try to make first posts, and join the GNAA, and post goatse links and ASCII art, and flame Mac users and other stuff like that.

But then I'd lose karma, and I'd start out at -1, so no-one would see my trolling, anyway, and if I did post something worthwhile, no-one would see that, either.

I could make another account, just for trolling, but that stinks of effort. Oh well, I guess I'll just stay my boring self.

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