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Comments

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Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

craighansen Re:Shrug. (155 comments)

Drones had better learn to deal with traffic, too.

about two weeks ago
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Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

craighansen Recycleable? (198 comments)

Carbon fiber itself is just as recycleable as bamboo fiber. However bamboo, once combined with epoxy, it's just as unrecycleable and toxic as carbon fiber. I've got several ASUS bamboo laptops, where bamboo was used instead of plastic for a portion of the case. It was marketed as better for the environment, but to me it was just more esthetically pleasing than plastic. The bamboo components held up better than the hinges and the electronics.

about 2 months ago
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Quad Lasers Deliver Fast, Earth-Based Internet To the Moon

craighansen Obsolete Article (131 comments)

Readers here should know that LADEE was crashed into the moon more than a month ago. Yes, NASA did research on laser communication using LADEE, but reporting it in present tense is misleading. (...and the last Slashdot article on LADEE incorrectly reported where it crashed.) Previous Slashdot articles already reported the laser communication research.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

craighansen Re:Brain stem strokes and recovery... (552 comments)

As a person who has been in two ski accidents where I've sustained serious injury (but no head injury), and recently having suffered an unrelated concussion, I would second CaptainLard's view. We all play the odds in life, and the odds of being injured by a ski helmet are seriously outweighed by the the odds of being protected by one. If the AC has some insight into improving the design of ski helmets - that could be all to the good, but I wouldn't condone going without a helmet.

For the Brain-stem stroke AC above, I'd hope you can provide a useful response to how helmets can be improved; I imagine that a larger rear cut-out might have prevented the issue you had, though if the flexion of the neck was severe, that itself could have been the cause of your injury, rather than the helmet. Helmet designs vary lots, and we don't know what type you had.

For the original poster (cablepokerface) I can only offer my condolences and advise patience as there's reason to expect that her condition can improve with time and treatment. Please ignore the insensitive idiots that jump to negative conclusions.

about 2 months ago
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

craighansen Re:Just one detail they've overlooked (355 comments)

My Garmin seems to have stopped showing ads entirely. Perhaps there aren't enough 265WT still turned on to make it worthwhile selling ads for it.

about 2 months ago
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

craighansen Re:FG (355 comments)

Sure. Right. As if no company would think of putting the newly minted ad revenue in their own pocket instead of mine.

about 2 months ago
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The Lithuanian Mob Was Smuggling Cigarettes Into Russia With a Drone

craighansen So much for the "Secure Fence" (81 comments)

The US-Mexico border is nearly 2000 miles, and the estimate for complying with the "Secure Fence Act of 2006" which builds 700 miles of fence, at $4.1Billion, greater than the budget for the Border Patrol ($3.6Billion). Attempts to extend this to a complete fence have failed multiple times in Congress.

At that rate a complete fence would cost at least $12Billion, and it would be completely useless against drug-smuggling drones that could probably be built for less than a thousand dollars, that could fly lower than radar coverage as for the "Virtual Fence," and would not be easily traceable to the origin or destination of the flights.

Drones that could carry humans would probably cost just a little more. Right now, about 500 migrants per year die crossing the US-Mexico border - drones could most probably be safer than that, but it's hard to speculate what safety features human smugglers would employ in illegal drones.

about 2 months ago
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Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

craighansen Re:GPL release that Sun did might seem to apply... (303 comments)

Not accurate. In order to implement "Full" Java, Oracle wants you to certify it with them, then you can have a "free" license. Not the same as not purchasing a license.

about 3 months ago
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Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

craighansen Re:Oh PJ, where art thou? (303 comments)

Reading the appellate review, I think you've got a good summary of this decision. Particular attention needs to be given to the fair use issue; the decision clearly states that while the copyrightability analysis wrongly incorporates attention to Google's desire for compatibility, that concern may be very much relevant to the fair use analysis. Since this is a decision that Affirms in part, Reverses in part, and Remands - all this goes back to the trial court, which could follow this decision and still end up in roughly the same place - minimal damages to Oracle. Alternatively, if the fair use issues go against Google (and they could, given that the entire interface files were copied verbatim, the use is for comercial purposes, and that Oracle was attempting to license Java into the smartphone market at the time), it could eventualy be A Big Deal.

There's a lot of attention given to the RangeCheck function - IMHO there aren't very many ways to write this function, and even if you write it differently, the compiler ought to optimize it into essentially the same object code. It's a function that checks three things and throws three exceptions. You could change "if (a [lt] b)" to "if (b [gt] a)", [sorry, but [lt] and [gt] characters would make it look like HTML] but if you change the order of the checks, you'd throw the exceptions in a different order - that would change the function of the code. Code that attempted to parse the exceptions thrown by the RangeCheck function would see a difference if you reordered the checks or if you changed the strings in the exceptions. So, using the Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison test, there's really nothing that is expression versus "idea."

about 3 months ago
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Applying Pavlovian Psychology to Password Management

craighansen Re:No one will guess... (288 comments)

Sure, and it's nice that you can type "echo -n password | md5sum" to a shell if you forget the hex. But it might be better to keep your password secret, unless you intend to google "No one will guess... site:it.slashdot.org" to retrieve it in the future. You might as well tell everyone that a great password is "correct horse battery staple" - no one would guess THAT - and it's easier for a human brain to remember than xkcd.com/936/

about 3 months ago
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LADEE Probe Ends Its Mission On the Far Side Of the Moon

craighansen Correction to summary: impact was on near-side (25 comments)

I have it on good authority that the LADEE Probe did not impact on the far-side of the moon, though that's what was intended (for reasons of safety to historical sites). According to team member, it actually impacted on the near-side, close to the end of it's traversal of the near side and close to the near-side-far-side boundary (and because it was a full moon, near the terminus, which is the "day/night" boundary). Because it was close to the end of the near-side traversal, they waited until it would have returned to the near-side after the far-side traversal to "officially" call it.

about 3 months ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

craighansen Re:Doesn't matter if it gets funded. (157 comments)

"Imagine, stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you'll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you'll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles."

Fight Club - yeah, I'm talking 'bout it. Whatchu gotta rule or sompthin'?

about 3 months ago
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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

craighansen Re:Parking fees. (163 comments)

...and the guy with the $15 lot doesn't have to work so hard for their money. In theory, the operator could stay in bed until he gets a wake-up call from the guy with the $5 lot, who he could pay $5 for the call. The $5 guy would have every incentive to call just when his lot is filling up, so he could go home. Now consider this (It'll blow your mind for sure...), the $5 guy and the $15 guy could be the same f**king guy! We've just invented variable pricing!

about 3 months ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

craighansen Re:Ummm, what about the delivery drones? (218 comments)

Yep - that's about the logic I was expecting - if he was flying just for "hobby and recreation" it would be OK, but because he's doing it for a beneficial purpose, it doesn't qualify for that automatic exemption. I noticed that the FAA letter said it didn't matter whether he was flying line-of-sight or not.

about 3 months ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

craighansen Re:Ummm, what about the delivery drones? (218 comments)

Under the regulations (or lack of regulations) under which this guy is being shut down, drone package delivery would certainly be considered a commercial activity and ruled to be illegal. Amazon's drone program is clearly dependent upon a change of regulation to be viable.

I'm not at all clear how this is to be considered a commercial activity. It isn't commerce in the sense of money changing hands between the service provider and the beneficial recepient. It isn't commerce in the sense of operating for profit. The only basis I can imagine is that it's because it has a _purpose_, it's not just flying around for the f**k of it. Consequently, if it has a beneficial purpose, it has a reason to be allowed, and therefore it needs to be ruled illegal, so that it won't get in the way of having the FAA make whatever regulations they please. It's my tax dollars being wasted in the worst way.

about 3 months ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

craighansen Dirt Simple (273 comments)

A five hour wait to exit is not the problem. The problem is a five hour traffic scrum, with cars inching forward and jockeying for position all the time. The "solution" is to bring the scrum to a control point that oscillates between open and closed with a large period, so that traffic comes to a complete stop and people can relax for while, shut off engines, take a pee break, switch cars with a friend, and so forth. Then open the control point, everyone gets back in the cars and the scrum resumes. Since the exit is 1000 cars per hour, it's sufficient to have an oscillating control point that can pass 2000 cars per hour with a 50% duty cycle - or 4000 cars per hour with a 25% duty cycle.

I've not been to BM, but I ski, and this is what naturally happens on Highway 80 when there's heavy snow and multiple spin-outs.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

craighansen XKB Specification is the problem!? (266 comments)

Reading the bug report commentary, it appears there's an error in the specification: http://www.x.org/docs/XKB/XKBp... that Peter Hutterer propagated into the code. The specification should be fixed as well as the code. Peter's comments about the change also discuss a null-pointer dereference problem - I'm not clear how that is related to the change - and therefore whether reverting the change is the complete solution.

The specification appears to be dated 1997-12-15, so all this is blowback from 16-year-old specification error.

Having seen plenty of serious bugs sitting unfixed in bug reports for years and years, I don't think the problem of enormous bugfix latency is particularly related to or limited to acccessibility issues.

about 4 months ago
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New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

craighansen Re:Link to Detailed Account: Anyone Know Air Route (227 comments)

Bzzt. http://i1.minus.com/iPcccu2MDL... does not show the factual location of the pings. Read the caption. It shows "Examples" of pings that could have given the tracks that the NTSB released. The actual location of the pings has not been publicly released, even though the ping data must have strongly influenced the NTSB tracks that have been published. This image from minus.com was drawn by Scott Henderson, who has explained that the pings shown in the diagram were drawn to illustrate the process that the NTSB presumably employed. This artifice got some strong negative reactions, such as http://willyloman.wordpress.co...

Knowing the actual ping locations, particularly the 3:11 and 4:11 pings, could help clarify when the turn to the south took place and better pin down the complete track.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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SEC alleges Bitcoin Savings & Trust is a ponzi scheme

craighansen craighansen writes  |  1 year,2 days

craighansen (744648) writes "According to the complaint http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2013/comp-pr2013-132.pdf During 2011-2012, Trendon Shavers, operating under the user-name pirateat40, collected investments of over 700,000 Bitcoin from at least 66 "investors" with a valuation of $4.5M with the promise of at much as 7% weekly returns. These "investors" received about 500,000 Bitcoins in returns, so on average, they're probably much better-off than investors in Madoff's scheme.

Nevertheless, with the rising value of Bitcoins, the $4.5M investments would be worth $65M at recent pricing if they had actually been left in Bitcoins, which approximates the 1% per day returns that the scheme promised."

Link to Original Source
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ATM-enabled 'gone in 60 seconds' casino heist

craighansen craighansen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

craighansen (744648) writes "ATM machines specifically marketed for providing casino spending money in 60 seconds were the key to an million-dollar gone-in-60-seconds bank fraud. According to the FBI press release, defendant Ara Keshishyan and 13 co-conspirators opened accounts at Citibank with small initial deposits, and multiple withdrawals were made nearly simultaneously at ATM machines in several casinos in California and Nevada. They allegedly used much of the proceeds to gamble and enjoy casino "comps." According to another article, Citibank found the breach, closed the loophole, and notified law enforcement authorities. Because the were transactions below $10,000, in addition to the bank fraud and conspiracy charges, they got charged with "conspiracy to illegally structure financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine." A previous on-line journal named this caper Ocean's 14, even though Danny Ocean isn't among the list of defendants."

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