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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

corsec67 Split last-mile from ISP (135 comments)

The only real solution is to split the last-mile provider from the ISP, and make the last-mile provider a utility.

Competition in the last-mile is infeasable, but connecting customers at a CO to the internet is a much more competition-friendly possibility.

about 2 months ago

Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

corsec67 Re:Legalities (301 comments)

The copyright status of the video is separate from needing a model release to use the video in a non-editorial context.

If they claim they are "news", then they would have an editorial context exemption.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

corsec67 Re:I'll take that bait (613 comments)

Yep, "National Fuck with the Clocks" Day (Which is of course twice a year) needs to just go away.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

corsec67 Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

Or use Gmail with an email client and IMAP.

And, an ISP that blocks email?

about 4 months ago

Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please Don't Buy Our Electric Car

corsec67 Re:Raise the Price (462 comments)

That also fails to include the electricity costs, which would push the time to break even out even further.

about 8 months ago

The New York Times Has Lessons For Others Making the Slow Transition To Digital

corsec67 Re:Does not apply to most papers (67 comments)

We could call this the "Associated Press".

Someone should get on this...

about a year ago

New Standard For Website Authentication Proposed: SQRL (Secure QR Login)

corsec67 Re:What problem? (234 comments)

More than that, this is also vulerable to a MitM relay kind of attack, similar to a phishing page that looks like the original login page. This is made worse in that a smartphone can't automatically verify that the computer is on the correct domain before authorizing the page displaying the authentication page.

This results in a similar situation to your 'untrusted terminal' scenario, where the bad guys have a valid login to your account and can do what they want with that session.

Possibly even let you also use that session so that you don't get suspicious.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout To Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?

corsec67 TrulyErgonomic (Mechanical, Ergonomic) (165 comments)


Unfortunately, this isn't a layout so much as a rather expensive, different kind of keyboard. But this is an ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches, so it feels better than all of the rubber dome switch-based keyboard out there.

Enter, backspace, and tab are moved to the middile of the keyboard, which changes how necessary the pinkies are.

about 2 years ago

Three Mile Island Shuts Down After Pump Failure

corsec67 Re:No redundancy (247 comments)

But then what about the reliability of that backup hardware, especially if it isn't subject to the same kinds of loads as the primary?

At a certain point, "Shut everything down (safely)" is cheaper than having more redundant valvles, pumps, pipes, and more tubes in a series.

It is like RAID 1: you are more likely to have some kind of hard drive failure, but that hard drive failure is more likely to be recoverable.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: A Cheap US Cellphone Plan With an Unlocked Phone?

corsec67 Re:t-mobile (288 comments)

That depends in where you are, of course.

My experience in Colorado is that I get full HSPA+ in most parts f Denver, but in any city in the mountains, I get 2G at most.

I have had great reception in Boston, New York, Portland, etc.

more than 2 years ago

New DRM-Free Label Announced

corsec67 Re:DRM-free Should be the DEFAULT (90 comments)

Being able to strip the DRM is not the same as receiving a DRM free file from the vendor.

more than 2 years ago

Cherry MX Mechanical Keyboard Switches Compared

corsec67 "Truly Ergonomic" : Ergonomic with Cherry MX Brown (223 comments)

The Truly Ergonomic Keyboard is a smaller ergonomic keyboard that currently only comes with Cherry MX Brown switches.

There are other, larger, keybards like the Maltron or Kinesis that are ergonomic with mechanical switches, but they tend to be enormous, while the "Truly Ergonomic" is similar in size to the "Happy Hacker" keyboard.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Sex Party May Sue Google Over Ad Refusal

corsec67 Re:porn party? (183 comments)

Two 17-year olds taking pictures of themselves having sex would be considered "child porn", even if the actual sex act was legal.

more than 2 years ago

Some Hotspot Operators Secretly Intercept, Insert Ads In Web Pages

corsec67 Re:No. (273 comments)

So, I can make a TOS that you agree to which allows me to violate the copyright of CNN.com and send that to you?

more than 2 years ago

My PC use accounts for __% of my computing time

corsec67 Re:I'm assuming PC/Laptop versus Smartphone/tablet (296 comments)

Does that change when in a hotel room with the computer?

Since my work computer is most often in my office, that changes what is appropriate more than what device I am using. Of course, being the IT department doesn't hurt...

more than 2 years ago

Using Crowdsourcing To Design More Accessible Elections

corsec67 Dead Counts as Disability? (147 comments)

Any attempt at making voting more accessible should not make the election process easier to tamper with.

For example, have a machine print a voted ballot, and the human-readable parts of that ballot are what are counted.

Imagine a virus that manipulated databases, but only took effect on election day. That would certainly effect systems where the votes are only stored as digital data.

more than 2 years ago

Christmas Always On Sunday? Researchers Propose New Calendar

corsec67 13-Month Perpetual Calendar Better? (725 comments)

I always liked the New Earth Calendar: 13 identical months that start on the same day of week, Monday, and have the same number of days, and are all 4 weeks long. (With a leap week to keep days and dates synchronized)

The calendar in this article still has months that vary, start on different days, and really isn't significantly better than what we have now.

more than 3 years ago

RIM Changes Stance On PlayBook's Android Support

corsec67 Re:Not a good start (112 comments)

No, I don't think that this limitation is about that, but more about an app app that has multiple launchers.

You can register an "intent" as a , which is an activity that is started from the Android launcher. And it seems more reasonable to have a restriction of only one of these.

So, no "Game" and "Settings" icons in the launcher.

more than 3 years ago

English Teenager Invents a Better Doorbell

corsec67 UPS Rings Doorbells? (363 comments)

I have had extremely good luck with UPS, but most peoples complaints are that the delivery driver doesn't even attempt to ring the doorbell, and drives off.

more than 3 years ago



Amazon releases Kindle

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

corsec67 writes "Amazon has released Kindle, and it appears that the preview pictures from a previous story were correct, with the full keyboard below the screen on this e-book reader. The price is $399.00, and most of the books are $9.99. Ebooks can be downloaded via EVDO, so e-books can be downloaded in areas that aren't served by wifi."



Prepaid Cellphone, In Japan

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I got a cell phone in Japan. A prepaid model, without any kind of contract, since I do not know how long I will be here. (I will talk about prices in yen, since that is what I paid, but a yen is about $0.01, 1 cent. NOT 0.01 CENTS, Verizon)

Even though I was going prepaid, and would thus be buying the cell phone outright, (¥5,000), I had to provide an ID, proof of my registration with city hall, have an alternate phone number, and jump through several hoops there.

The phone (Softbank 730SC) is definitely only worth ¥5000, with a 1.5 Mpix camera, no internet access, games, or anything like that. It does have several tools, like a unit conversion that is essential for translating American to ... any other language, including International English. It doesn't have an English dictionary even though it can be set to display menus in English. The Japanese dictionary is very nice, where once the first word is entered, the rest of the sentence can sometimes be auto-completed.

The way that the Softbank prepaid phone works is that I pay for a ¥3000 card for 2 months of service. Minutes are ¥90 each, so that is about 30 minutes for 2 months, which would be useless if Softbank didn't provide SMS/Email.

Incoming calls are free, so if someone else has a contract phone they can cheaply call me, and I don't pay anything to get a phone call.

SMS/Email is the main point of a Softbank prepaid phone. ¥300 a month out of that ¥3000 card for unlimited SMS, and emails up to about 30KiB. Sending, receiving, it is all unlimited. Pictures from the phone, to the phone, big stuff, all unlimited for ¥300 a month out of what I have to pay to keep the line live.

So, in Japan, on Softbank, for ¥1500/month, I have a phone with free SMS/Email, incoming calls, and horribly expensive outgoing calls. All without a contract.


Nerdy Mothers Day

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

For mothers day, instead of mailing a card from Japan to my parents in Colorado, I just SSHed into their computer, and printed a picture of me on their color laser printer, and then called my mom and told her to look in the printer.

That was basically my first thought on how to get a letter to appear in their house, which is in retrospect incredibly nerdy. I love how Linux makes it very easy to use remote computers like you are sitting at them.


VoIP for free calling aross the world

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  about 6 years ago

This is about setting up VoIP for over the internet calls, and not using Asterisk with a local PSTN connection, although all of the phones I talk about here, soft and hard, I think would work with Asterisk.

My sister sent me an email asking if we could use Skype to talk for free, since she was using up too many of her minutes on her cell phone talking to our mom. I didn't want to recommend Skype since there are a bunch of issues with their service, it being proprietary, making computers into servers without authorization, and not making AMD64 versions of their software.

The solution that I came up with is to use SIP with Ekiga.net. The SIP clients we use are Twinkle for Linux and X-Lite for other OSs. Sign up for an account on Ekiga.net, and then enter those details into your SIP client. You may need to set the stun server to stun.ekiga.net if you are behind a NAT or router. In X-Lite, for other people to be able to see if you are online or not, you have to add them or their domain (ekiga.net in this case) to the privacy rules list and "Allow status updates", since the default in X-Lite is to deny status queries.

On a softphone, you really should use a headset instead of a built-in mic and the computer speakers, I use the PS2 Logitech headset which has good support under Linux.

Codecs are where the black magic of VoIP comes in. Since everyone has a different internet connection with different limits, the codec that works for one person may not work at all for another person. Add in the limited support some SIP clients have for codecs, and it can be a real mess. My sisters Time Warner Basic Cable upload is so limited we can't use the default and well supported G.711 (which is uncompressed and uses 64kbits/second plus IP overhead), so we have to use GSM, which uses 13kbits/second plus IP overhead. GSM is an older codec, so something like G.726 or Speex might give better quality. Speex in the wideband and ultrawideband versions have twice and four times as many samples per second as a standard telephone (G.711, 8000 samples/second), so they would sound better than a regular telephone if the network bandwidth isn't an issue.

I configured my softphone(Twinkle) to use the following codecs, in order of preference from most to least: GSM, G.726 32 kbps, G.711 A-law.

If you want a hardware phone, you can use something like a Snom 300, which supports dialing to a regular phone or to a sip address which looks like an email address (username@examle.com). There are adapters that take an ethernet connection and convert that to a regular phone adapter, like a Linksys PAP2T, but you don't have any kind of display on the phone itself. Codec support is definitely an issue on hardphones or adapters, but these might be better for giving to someone else to be able to call you.

Ekiga.net provides some useful phone numbers for checking your setup, but they all use G.711 A-law, so if your network upload is less than 128kbps, it will not work for you. 500@ekiga.net is an echo test, to check that your transmit and receive work, and to check latency. 520@ekiga.net hangs up quickly and then you get a call from 500@ekiga.net, to see if you can get phone calls. Ekiga.net has more info about the conference rooms, of which there are 10,000 that can be pin protected.

Calling a PSTN phone number is provided by DiamondCard.us, where you pay a per-minute fee for calls and a fixed rate to get a phone number that other people can call.


Corsec67's crazy tax rewrite

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This is my (quite crazy compared to what we have) tax rewrite for the US. It is inspired in part by Ron Paul.

My solution is to pass a constitutional amendment that prevents the federal government from collecting any fees, taxes, donations, or seized goods from any citizen. Also in that amendment would be a provision that income may not be taxed by any state, county, or other local government.

A sales tax is specifically allowed, as the primary method for states and governments to get money.

Revenue for the federal government would be provided by the state governments alone, with some specifications for how much each state pays, whether that is by population, a percentage of that state's revenue, or such. Aside from certain declarations of emergency by a state, federal monies would also not be allowed to benefit a state or other local government.

And that is the plan. It is very revolutionary, and quite different from what we have now.

Gone is the IRS, along with the huge accounting businesses that have sprung up to help people to interpret that crazy tax code. Also, the federal government would not be able to take money from people in a state and then hold that money hostage pending that state from passing certain kinds of laws (55 speed limit, 21 drinking age, 0.08% BAC to name a few).

The government has to get money somehow, and a sales tax by the state and other local governments is all that is left. This would mean that it doesn't matter where your income comes from, nor does the government at any level need to know. Nor do citizens that don't run a business have to even collect and remit to the government any taxes at all, since the current sales tax infrastructure would take care of that.


1.3E6 to 1 Time Lapse

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I have already talked about my long term time-lapse project, but now almost 6 months later, I have... 14 seconds of video.

I chose 22:00 UTC (4PM during "daylight saving[sic] time") for my latest video which is August 2007 through March 2008.

It took 217 days to make that video, and the output is 14 seconds at 15 fps. I think the effect is pretty cool, especially with the tiny tree "dancing" in the snow.

Here is what the camera that made that video looks like, and here is a high quality picture of what the camera can see

My other camera had problems in November, so it will be about 4 more months before I can get a useful picture from that camera.

Reflections on this project: the amount of light from day to day is very variable, with clouds and other atmospheric disturbances meaning that there is a "flicker" to the movie. But, without clouds there wouldn't be that cool snow to fall and melt. Spring might be really cool with the grass going green and then brown in summer. The 6mm f/1.8(fixed) lens isn't very good at this, I would like to stop down to about f/4 or so to prevent those blown highlights during the day. My other camera that is outside has major problems with freezing and changing the focus/focal length of the lens due to the thermal expansion of the housings. The Tamron 2.8-12 f/1.4 zoom that I originally had was horrible at this because it is a varifocal design, but the Pentax 12mm f/1.2 is a bit better.

Because of this project I know quite a bit about wifi and making it stable, as trying to send data over a failing wifi link does bad things. Directional antennas, power adjustments, using Tomato on my routers, singal losses over cables, and ping all are useful in keeping the packets going smoothly.


Ubuntu Rocks

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I have a HP dv2000t that I got for running Linux. I made sure all of the hardware was supported in Linux easily, with the Intel wifi card, Intel integrated graphics, etc...

I originally installed Gentoo, and after the 3 days of compiling my system, it worked fairly well. Getting wifi and the 1280x800 screen to work took a bit of configuration, but no big problems.

One year later, I accidentally upgraded libexpat while trying to compile Wine, and promptly broke almost everything that was installed.

I tried to fix it, and then decided to install Ubuntu. Aside from some problems burning the CDs, it booted up quickly and recognized everything I needed, including the screen resolution, wifi, the trackpad and scrolling zone, etc... Plus, no need to spend a week compiling everything and then configuring and installing the kernel.

One thing I always do when I set up a Linux box is to make /home a separate partition, so that I can easily swap out the operating system when it gets really messed up.

Gentoo is good if your goal is to learn Linux, Ubuntu is good if your goal is to use Linux.


Pure electric voting is as reliable as the space it occupies

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  about 7 years ago

One thing I expected around the 2004 election was a virus/worm that randomly changed the values in Access databases. Don't change the schema, don't delete rows, just change the values that was in there. Not changing the schema and not deleting stuff would make it relatively unnoticeable for as long as possible.

If it used a 0-day exploit, and had a way to get through NATs (piggy back on a website request or something), then you couldn't trust any tallies or votes done on anything that touched the internet.

Imagine the havoc that would ensue if it was found out the next day that any elections that were voted on using electronic voting machines were void, and had to be done again? that would make 2000 seem like a small problem.

Too many people think "the computer said X, and computers can't lie" forget that computers get most of their information from humans, and if a human says they don't lie, they are lying.


DRM-Free Upconverting DVD player

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

When I got my 720p LCD TV, I went looking for a new DVD player to go with it. I wanted: 720p over component video, and if possible as little DRM as possible. I found that no players sold in the US were allowed to do anything over 480p over component video if the disc had macrovision. However, Helios Labs, with their North American office in Canada, was selling the h2000 and the h4000. They both are region-free, up-converting (720p/1080i for the h2000 and 1080p for the h4000) over Component, VGA, and of course HDMI. The good news is that the HDMI port doesn't have any HDCP, so there aren't any compatibility issues with TVs.

The best feature, which I have quite come to love: Both players ignore the User operation prohibition flag, so I can skip through almost any "FBI Warning" or other logo screens, and get to the movie faster. Imagine that, something that actually does what you want, and doesn't cater to the MAFIAA.

I like my H2000 so much that I am not going to get a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player until Helios Labs makes one.


Time-Lapse Photography Project

corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I set up a couple of webcams, one in my office, and one on a pole near my house. My initial idea was to take the picture from noon every day for a year and make that in to a very long-term time-lapse movie. To do that, I save the picture from both webcams every 5 min, and then upload it to my websites every half-hour, using a little cron script written in ruby.

As it turns out, 8:00 in the morning is much more interesting, at least in the meadow. I don't know yet for Fourmile, since it hasn't been up for very long. Too bad I will not really know for a few months, but that is the way this project is. For now I have a couple video up on those sites, with 1 being 8:00 in the morning for August and September, in the meadow.



corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I am doing the homework for all of my CS classes at college on my PS2.

With the linux kit, not a commercial game...


corsec67 corsec67 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Configuring PS2 linux to display windows on a Windows XP computer is fun. XMMS on an XP box is pretty cool, and eliminates the need for a SOG monitor. My monitor used to do SOG, but then somewhere in the display chain it broke.

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