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Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope

frinkster Re:So? (93 comments)

Basically an app can ask for permissions for the gyro only (if it even needs to) and be recording conversation.

Yeah, that's the thing. You don't need permissions for the gyro on Android and iOS, so any and all of the apps that you have on your phone or tablet could be using the gyro and you wouldn't know, except for an anomalous battery drain.

Sure, but on iOS an app is suspended when you are on a phone call unless the app has used the system APIs to enable background execution. There are only a small number of background execution modes and your app must declare which it plans to use. When it comes to location-based background execution (the most likely use of the gyro), your app still gets suspended. The system wakes it up periodically and sends location updates to a function in your app and then gives the app a small time window for that function to return an expected value. It is very much a discrete task-based multitasking system - completely different than normal desktop machines. Good sometimes. Bad sometimes.


Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

frinkster Re:Defeats the purpose (229 comments)

Yes, I agree completely. I do kind of hate coming back from vacation to a huge inbox, but on the other hand, I do things like emailing someone saying, "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

If you are using Outlook/Exchange, you can simply schedule a delivery date/time for the email. It's one of the not-too-hard-to-find buttons on the "Options" ribbon called "Delay Delivery". It's actually less work than typing "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

2 days ago

Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

frinkster Re:Defeats the purpose (229 comments)

They aren't things I expect them to handle when they get back. It's more along the lines of "X broke while you were gone. We did Y to fix it. Here's the status on Y." Otherwise, they're going to encounter Y a month from now and go "wtf is this Y thing?" and we'll have to explain that Y happened while they were skiing in the Swiss Alps but we didn't bother CCing them on the plans for it.

You're doing it wrong, for exactly the reason you are sending CCs to people that are out of the office. By the way, what happens if you hire a new person, or an existing employee starts working on your team? Does someone on the team need to go back and re-send all those emails that document the product you are working on? Because maybe they need to know this kind of stuff - if someone that is on vacation needs to know what you did in the past, new team members do too. Have you been organizing your emails over the years? How long will it take you to get that stuff sent out - how much of your current work will be delayed while you accomplish this extremely important task?

3 days ago

Microsoft Surface Drowning?

frinkster Re:Too much cheap hardware out there (337 comments)

Sure a Surface RT could work in education, even a Surface Pro 3 could work even better in education. But let's face it, education will buy a $150 Chromebook before a $1000 Surface Pro 3. Education will make due with a less useful device for that difference in change. Then Microsoft works with PC makers to create these Windows 8/ Bing OS machines to compete with the likes of Chromebook's for $250.

The Chromebook in education is a lot more than just a $150 laptop. It's a whole suite of apps and services, and all Google asks in return is to data mine the students for the rest of their lives.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Surface Drowning?

frinkster Re:Can I run a Hackintosh distro? (337 comments)

Of course you can run VMWare on the Surface Pro 3. The Core i5 has all the Intel virtualization technologies so you could go further than just VMWare if you wanted.

I needed a Windows machine for remote work and got the new 3. I find it to be a very nice machine. Not at all perfect, but I am quite impressed. And I have found that it has nearly replaced my iPad as an eBook reader. The large (for a tablet) 3:2 screen is fantastic for reading.

OneNote is a bit odd though. You get the touch-enabled version installed out of the box, which is great. But if you install Office on the machine, you then get OneNote 2013 as well. When you press the stylus button to instantly bring up OneNote, you get the touch-enabled version. But it seems that at other times, you are not quite sure which version will load. However, they are interoperable and they save the files in the same location, so it really doesn't matter which one loads. It's just odd, that's all. Maybe the next version of Office will combine the two versions.

about two weeks ago

Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

frinkster Re:Too much bullshit (140 comments)

I bought a 99 Volvo S80 and it has the fancy auto dimming rear view mirror. The car was used so of course expensive mirror no longer dims. You can't even swap out a junked mirror because of the address bullshit. You have to keep the circuitry from your mirror and swap only the mirror itself. Otherwise you need the dealer software to reprogram the main computer.

Did you bother asking the dealership what the cost to reprogram was? It might have been very inexpensive or even free.

My local Volvo dealership plugs the cars into the computer and runs diagnostics and software updates as a matter of course (no charge) any time you bring the car in for service. Their labor rates are competitive with independent mechanics and they offer a free shuttle to/from work, so I just have my maintenance done there. They clearly want repeat customers (they need repeat customers) and in my opinion are doing quite well at it. I've had a number of German and Japanese cars and prefer the Volvo approach. I'm not interested in fancy drinks in the fancy waiting room - A) I take my coffee black, thank you very much, and B) don't really want to spend my free time in a waiting room.

about two weeks ago

Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

frinkster Re:Solved problem (32 comments)

Easier to follow Exxon's example and dump tons of dispersant into your oil spill, and watch the globs disappear from plain sight.

How this got moderated as Interesting I have no idea - I found it to be quite funny.

But the truth is that that industrial corporations are very sensitive to economics. Crude oil is very valuable and dispersant is very expensive. Any product that allows them to recover the oil economically will be used extensively.

The environmental movement really advanced when people started explaining to corporations that pollution was nothing more than raw inputs that they paid for and are now throwing away. A lot of industrial companies have entire divisions dedicated to selling products produced with what used to be stuff they threw out or paid someone to dispose of.

about a month and a half ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

frinkster Re:Similar bug in iOS (349 comments)

I have experienced a similar bug in my iOS devices. Everytime they do a small update to iOS, you're required to redownload the entire operating system, separately for each device you own.

As others have mentioned, the full download occurs only if you update via iTunes and not on the devices themselves.

However, if you buy the OS X Server app from the App Store, it includes a "caching server" that provides a local cache for all Apple downloadable content. It's US$20, so that's a big bummer. But you only have to buy it once and if you have to pay for all that extra bandwidth it might be worthwhile, not to mention all the other "features" you get with the Server app.

I'd like to see Apple make the server app free - it's reasonable to keep it a separate app - or if not, to roll the caching feature into a future iTunes release.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

frinkster Re:graduate certificates (149 comments)

The education industry, meaning colleges and universities, need a way to "add on" additional skill emphasis to degrees without requiring whole new degrees.

They are called graduate certificates. You take a couple of graduate level courses, and you get a graduate certificate. Often, you can get a certificate while you are on the path towards a masters.

Yes, absolutely. I live in Chicago so both Northwestern and U of Chicago have these programs. They are outstanding. And expensive. Generally, expect about $1000-1500 for a 3-4 month class that meets once a week. They are a large profit center for the universities, but that is a good thing - you are paying a lot for a good experience and they are delivering a good experience. Real professors that have received high marks for teaching ability. Books that are the standard for that subject matter. Quality course content, etc.

The networking opportunities are unreal - each class will have accomplished but curious and friendly people from a wide variety of companies and industries. The type of person that looks down on anyone without a masters degree is off getting a masters degree and the type of person that feels that they have already finished their education is at home watching TV. The people in these classes are the ones you want to meet. Mid-level or so and definitely going places.

about 6 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

frinkster Re: Government Regulation?? (385 comments)

ever priced updating the firmware in your car outside of the warranty period?

Oil changes at my local Volvo dealership are cheaper than the independent shop down the street (and I live in a high rise so I can't exactly change the oil myself). Any time a car comes into the service garage at that dealer they hook it up to the computer which runs a diagnostic scan and then pushes all software updates that are available. Why not - it makes for happy customers and doesn't cost them a dime.

about 6 months ago

Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?

frinkster Re:nginx is replacing apache (303 comments)

Nginx instances are rapidly replacing apache setups , so this should be IIS vs Nginx

If you push a Node.js application to Azure, Microsoft uses IIS to serve the static files while Node.js uses Nginx for its http module.

How does that get counted? What about all the instances of Nginx serving as a load balancer in front of a set of Apache servers?

about 7 months ago

Google Sells Motorola Mobility To Lenovo For $2.91 Billion

frinkster Silicon Valley (172 comments)

Silicon Valley sure knows how to rake in the cash hand over fist, but has absolutely no clue what to do with it once they have it.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

frinkster Re:iTunes and Apple TV (420 comments)

I've built several systems to do just what the OP wanted and was never really satisfied with the quality of the product, then I was given a free Apple TV, so I played with Airplay and iTunes and got it working very easily.

I've since purchased 2 more Apple TVs for other rooms in my home.

It turned out to be the easiest way for doing what I wanted, and the interface has a professional look and feel that I don't think other solutions gave me. Now that it's set up, all I do is drag media (only pre-req is movies have to be run through Handbrake first) over to iTunes, perhaps change the media type to "movie" instead of "home movie", and I'm done.

Yeah, I've traded off my geek cred by using Apple and will probably be modded down by the anti-apple crowd, but I found this to be the best solution to the challenge outlined in the OP, so I'm sharing.

Many years ago I tired of the frustration of getting a Linux-based solution to work well. Not just working, but working well - easy, looked nice, not having to reconfigure everything any time a library/software update on the Ubuntu box occurred, etc. I bought the 2nd gen Apple TV and have never looked back.

I fully believe that today there must be other solutions that work well, but I'm happy enough with the Apple TV that it's not worth the time trying anything else. There is no need to feel that you are trading in geek cred - you have a solution that works and it gives you the time to tackle other geeky problems.

about 7 months ago

The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

frinkster Re:What about all the new jobs in the "digital" ag (674 comments)

In theory, businesses would have to hire twice the people to cover 40hrs worth of shifts

They don't have to hire twice the people, but they have a strong incentive to hire more people - and the incentive heavily favors the employees who are giving up more of their time than they need to give up.

about 7 months ago

The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

frinkster Re:What about all the new jobs in the "digital" ag (674 comments)

The only solution, really, is some sort of socialist system, with higher taxes for the high-earners so that everyone has a fair share of the increased productivity.

This is not the only solution - although you are right that we need to give more people a share in the economy. Our society needs to recognize that highly productive people work too much and would be happier if the worked less and earned less. Yes, one of the world's elite business schools says that productive people work too much.

We have become much more productive—output per hour worked increased more than fourfold between 1950 and 2012... In the United States, the average working year went from 1,963 hours in 1950 to 1,790 hours last year, a drop of less than 10%.

Research shows that highly productive people would be far happier (and still have plenty of economic security) if they worked fewer hours. If the amount of work to do doesn't change, the economy has room for more workers.

I think that a better solution to taxation changes is for the government to change employment law - no more exemptions for overtime. All employees should receive overtime pay if they work more than X number of hours in a week. Period. The X number of hours should be indexed to productivity measures so that it changes in step with the productivity levels of our economy.

about 7 months ago

Bill Gates Plays Secret Santa To Reddit User

frinkster Re:Hahaha (118 comments)

Of course, his saving grace is he didn't see fit to punish her with a Surface, at least.

Yes, MS screwed up the original Surface sales projections so badly that their corrected sales projections (and thus manufacturing capacity) for the Surface 2 are so low that they cannot meet demand. Have you been under a rock? This has been in all the financial press as a huge negative for their revenue and profit numbers.

So... Bill Gates isn't going to be giving away some device when there is a line of people waiting to buy it.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?

frinkster Re:30 years? (629 comments)

Those figures are a load of bullshit...(y)ou just try feeding a teenage boy on less than $1,000 a year.

The linked wikipedia entry that you are calling bullshit allocates ~$2500 per year for food for a middle class teenager. You may want to pay a bit more attention.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

frinkster Re:My problem... (477 comments)

I'm in the same boat as you. I have the same year MBP as you, but I have the 15" and I went out of my way to get a matte screen on it. And THOSE are no longer available, which is MY biggest problem. Those retina screens are all glossy.

I have the early-2011 15" MBP and paid for the matte upgrade as well as the higher resolution screen (standard was 1440 x 900 and the optional is 1680 x 1050).

I just recently purchased the 15" rMBP and while I would prefer matte instead of glossy, I'm never going back. The display is just that good. I'll be sure to ask for a premium price when I sell the old MBP. It's nice to know that it is in demand.

about 9 months ago

Apple 27-inch iMac With Intel's Haswell Inside Tested

frinkster Re: They are still damn overpriced (241 comments)

It does.

Get yourself a Mini-DisplayPort cable and press a keyboard combination. Your 27" iMac just turned into a 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Display for another box that has DisplayPort output.

Sometimes Apple fails to properly advertise some nice features, such as this. Target Display Mode actually makes me more likely to buy an iMac the next time I need to buy a computer. If it can work with my wife's ThinkPad and an Intel NUC running Linux, I'm sold.

I have used Target Disk Mode on a few Apple laptops in the past, which was also a very nice feature.

about 10 months ago

Google Testing Banner Ads On Select Search Results

frinkster Re:That doesn't make any sense (185 comments)

The linked article has a follow-on FAQ that you can click over to. That answers the question.

It's protection money. If Southwest Airlines buys the ad, Google won't put other advertising up. If they don't, any other advertiser is welcome to pay Google money to put up a text ad above the search result.

about 10 months ago



Convicts on the run better stay off Facebook

frinkster frinkster writes  |  more than 4 years ago

frinkster (149158) writes "It's time to make an addition to the list of things you should not post on Facebook: According to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith, Luebke's Facebook saga began the evening of St. Patrick's Day. "Mr. Luebke broke custody at about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17," Smith said. A mere 18 minutes later, there was an important news update on his Facebook page. "On da run!" The entry amazed many of his 526 Facebook friends, some of whom may actually know the guy. To properly capture the emotion of it all, I've decided not to clean up the spelling. "Waaaat u better not be," wrote Gina, two minutes later. "JOOOEEE YOUR SO DUUUMMBBB!!!!!!" chimed in Danielle. To be fair, the Illinois Department of Corrections will not confirm or deny how they tracked him down about 6 hours later."
Link to Original Source

frinkster frinkster writes  |  more than 7 years ago

frinkster (149158) writes "MINI USA has placed interactive billboards in 4 US cities (Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco) and invited a few hundred MINI owners in those cities to join their targeted "advertisement" pilot program. The owners sign up on MINI's website and receive an RFID keyfob in the mail. When that MINI owner drives by the billboard, a targeted message appears. What sort of messages will be shown? Well, that's where the fun comes in. Each owner tells MINI what to show when they drive by, such as "Jim, you are one sexy beast" or "nice to see you finally out of your mother's basement, Joe." If the pilot program is successful, MINI plans to put up more billboards in more cities and allow every MINI owner to participate. MINI swears that no personal information in contained in the keyfobs and that all communication between the owner and user is subject to their privacy policy and thus the program is completely safe, but how well will they keep their billboard logs away from the prying eyes of local law enforcement or private detectives? And what are they doing to prevent "hackers" from changing the personal messages to insults, such as "Nice to see you finally emerge from your mother's basement"?"


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