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Comments

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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Ad coffee (113 comments)

I suspect that offering a nice, soothing, lumbar puncture to drain that pesky adenosine will be medically unhelpful; but lead to a sharp reduction in the number of employees nodding off while you can see them...

yesterday
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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Shape up, science! (113 comments)

This is supposed to be the future! Why do I need 'sleep' to clear this adenosine from my brain when swarms of nanites in my bloodstream could be doing it instead? So much for progress.

yesterday
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US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (236 comments)

Unfortunately, while not false (in the most obvious case, informants have a way of winding up dead if you are too obvious about their existence); your justification leaves two major issues unaddressed:

1. The government is not refusing to divulge the specific reasons and evidence that led to a particular person being added to the list(which quite plausibly might reveal specific informants, bugged computers, etc. and would likely merit an in camera review or something). They are refusing to divulge the general criteria and possible methods by which anyone could end up on the list. It's the difference between "Tell me exactly who ratted out Big Vinnie" and "What constitutes 'Racketeering' for the purposes of the US criminal code". One is a potential operational risk. The other is 'rule of law'.

2. The 'no fly list' is a bullshit twilight category without obvious protective value. Apparently there are people (and lots of them) so dangerous that they cannot be allowed on a passenger aircraft, even with some sort of enhanced screening; but so safe that apparently no other measures need be taken. It's a combination of state harassment(not being able to fly is a pretty big deal if you travel much) and absurd magical thinking. Too dangerous to fly; but safe enough to do basically anything else? Seriously? Why would that category even exist? Hijacking an airplane with a pointy object shouldn't work anymore(if we finished upgrading the doors), and anyone who can get bombs, firearms, or toxins doesn't need a plane to cause trouble.

The refusal to even outline how you fall into such a category, or why such a category exists, is a profound mockery of the notion of rule of law. No, not every specific detail of how every piece of evidence is gathered can be safely revealed; but that isn't the story here.

yesterday
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For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Seriously? (73 comments)

In fairness, have you ever seen a car seat that a horseshoe crab would find comfortable?

yesterday
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Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Interesting. (125 comments)

One doesn't have to see the value in stuff that isn't immediately applicable R&D(and I'm not here to debate the point, do as you will); but if you are OK with the concept of such research this actually seems like a pretty good idea:

The question of how and why ideas, 'culture', religions, new scientific hypotheses, etc. are transmitted and compete with one another is really a very long standing one. A lot of the historical study emphasizes 'elite' culture and theory(mostly because everything else was oral record only, and that doesn't keep well; but written works sometimes survive) or religious(high frequency of literacy, and proselytizing is a technology of considerable interest to contemporary religions); but there is also study of popular culture, folk mythologies, what the middle and lower classes were reading and watching(once that became common), and so on.

Cultural transmission is a very solid social science topic, and internet memes have the dual virtues of both potentially being novel(they might actually follow some traditional propagation pattern, might be something new, either way would be interesting to know) and being amenable to large-scale analysis because the internet is just so conveniently searchable and heavily cached in various places. You don't have to like the entire field; but this research project seems like a perfectly reasonable exercise.

2 days ago
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Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:interesting case.... (75 comments)

You wouldn't even need to be having production issues. As with most vendors, Nvidia has a bunch of options for sale and the nicer ones cost more. Even if you have the capability to stuff boards with the nicer chips just as easily as the cheap ones, a bit of fraud will do wonders for your BoM costs.

2 days ago
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Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:interesting case.... (75 comments)

It would be interesting for an intermediary to be involved since producing/obtaining correctly faked GPUs is a comparatively specialized task. Not rocket science, pick the cheapest Nvidia silicon that is close enough to not react horribly to drivers expecting the real thing, tamper with the identifying portions of the firmware, replace any packaging, stickers, or other labels; but it's hardly the old 'purchase thing from best buy, return brick in the box' scam.

This doesn't mean that it isn't one of the intermediaries; but if it is they are working with considerably more sophistication than the 'fell off the truck' level of supply chain skimming.

2 days ago
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Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Oblig. (62 comments)

"Ve...haf vays... of making you valk...'

2 days ago
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Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re: multi-drive RV tolerance?? (314 comments)

This doesn't apply to four post gear or anything that gets too toasty; but the fact that a lot of music related hardware is rackmount and has to survive roadies and touring makes rack hardware surprisingly attractive for mobile use. If the job is too big for a laptop and small enough for half depth hardware, just check out the local music supply place and pick out a nice portable rack. Quite sturdy and shock resistant, usually at least offers a front door that clips on well enough that you can ship it, available in a variety of heights(and typically stackable unless you go for a wheeled one). A very convenient overlap.

3 days ago
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Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (314 comments)

I doubt it would be trivial: you can sacrifice capacity for some speed by reducing the amount of platter area you use(and thus how far back and forth the read/write head assembly needs to move); but RPM is still a serious constraint, and bumping that tends to get rather costly. 15k RPM has been the effective ceiling for years, and while increases in data density improve best-case read and write speeds they have no effect on how long you have to wait for a given chunk of disk to finish its rotation and come back under the read head.

It also doesn't help that SSDs are aggressively moving into the high speed area. If you applied the engineering tricks used in ultracentrifuges you could probably build a damn fast HDD; but doing so for less than the price of a really nice SSD would be a great deal more challenging.

3 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Bad Planning (194 comments)

New Hampshire runs a very similar operation. I've never quite understood why a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die" lets The Man control their booze supply; but I imagine that the indirect tax of a state liquor monopoly is more popular than some direct tax levied elsewhere.

4 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Security (194 comments)

Between manufacturer avarice and customer stupidity I hold out very little hope; but it would warm my cold, black, shriveled, heart if somebody would standardize a key-fill interface (like the DS-101/DS-102 devices that the DoD has for connection to U-229 ports on communications gear and other things that need crypto keys; but actually remotely suitable for end users, unlike those systems) for dealing with this class of problems...

Right now, it seems like everything is either "Oh, totally wide open, maybe papered over with some pitiful little obfuscation attempt" or "So damn much asymmetric key crypto that you'll need to beg the vendor for permission to do anything"; but options are very, very, thin on the ground if you want something as secure as a mothership-bound lockdown device; but obedient to your crypto keys, not the ones burned in at the factory.

It's like the 'secure boot' controversy that erupted a while back. "Well, you can have Microsoft's keys and protection against certain types of OS tampering, or you can turn it off entirely(x86 only other restrictions may apply); but set your own root of trust? Ha!"

4 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:For that price (194 comments)

It's insane that it isn't easier to re-key/re-pair with a replacement device; but I suspect that it is otherwise very much for the best to move some functions to the iPod.

Apple has spent a Lot of money designing iDevices and perfecting them over multiple generations. Hard to say how much; but it's a large number. Conveniently for you, they'll sell 'em to you in quantities of 1 for a only a modest premium over production cost.

In an ideal world, the prosthesis would require no 'interface' at all(your arm doesn't, after all); but if it does, a company specializing in prosthetics doesn't have a prayer of delivering an interface device nearly as good as an iDevice or Android unit for less than they could just buy one and develop the necessary software on top of it. (In practice, they'd probably be lucky to develop something substantially worse for three powers of ten more, if they tried it.)

If it turns out that timing-critical control and feedback loop stuff is being done over bluetooth, by an 'app', somebody needs a hell of a beating; but if it's just a UI/Configuration/etc. interface using an off-the-shelf device is extremely logical.

4 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Bad Planning (194 comments)

It tends to be discouraged, out of concern that states aren't very good at it, or that they might be inclined to use their other powers to make themselves more competitive; but there isn't anything architecturally precluding a state from earning money. They can have employees, own and operate R&D and production facilities, sell products, same as a company.

There are reasons to discourage that, and have them focus on things that the private sector can't do or does poorly; but those are pragmatic considerations, not fundamental obstacles.

4 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Hmmm ... (194 comments)

I'd be totally unsurprised by incredibly bad design; but that incredibly bad design would also tend to make it relatively trivial to access whatever memory holds the UID or key used to establish the pairing and blank or rewrite it to establish a new pairing with a new device. Probably not in the owner's manual; but likely something that an EE undergrad could do with access to a few hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of borrowed test equipment and a congratulatory couple of six-packs. Definitely for less than replacing the hardware.

Design that is both appallingly ill thought out and too ironclad to subvert would be fairly surprising. Now, if it were a prosthetic eye, and needed to appease the MPAA when handling Premium Content, I'd be more concerned...

4 days ago
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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:I seem to remember... (273 comments)

Given the work they've put into having clients for most things, and broad 3rd party integration, they probably have some room to overcharge for small amounts of space (sure, you could just go shove S3 buckets yourself; but we've already done the integration work for you...); but they seem strangely overconfident about their ability to set prices for larger blocks of storage that just emphasize the discrepancy in per GB price.

That may actually be part of how Google and Amazon and Apple are hitting them hard now: DropBox offers a reasonably compelling deal if you don't need too much space. Sure, it costs too much per GB; but it's all nicely wrapped up and integrated with the programs you use, and life is just too short to go tinkering or comparison shopping to save a small amount. However, Google, Amazon, and Apple will all give you a modest amount of storage for nothing, as part of their respective plans to sell stuff, achieve platform dominance, or whatever. That obviously cuts the knees out from under DropBox's formerly cushy margins on small accounts; and, as you say, their price/GB has always been sufficiently high that they really start to look bad if you need nontrivial amounts of storage(which nobody will give you for free; but which players like Amazon will sell impressively close to cost).

4 days ago
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Iceland Stands Down On Travel Alert: From Orange To Red and Back Again

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:OMG (29 comments)

I suspect that, aside from the high costs (and even higher PR costs) of air crashes, the way most contemporary flights are scheduled makes maximum-granularity/low-predictability information less valuable than lower granularity and higher predictability.

As much as you wouldn't guess it from a trip to Baggage Claim, mass market air travel is very much a 'just in time' operation. Every minute an aircraft spends sitting on the ground and waiting for something is money lost. Every minute one spends circling around and waiting for a landing slot is even more money lost. Customers who miss connecting flights are either foregone sales, pissed off, or people that unexpectedly need to be crammed onto later flights. Airplanes themselves have connections to make. After doing one route, the plane is almost certainly scheduled for a deeply cursory cleaning and another destination.

In such an environment, you do want timely alerts of unexpected emergencies(since the cost of having to replace multiple glassed engines, or an entire airplane and passengers is really bad); but the value of unexpected or unreliable good news is much less obvious unless it can be slotted neatly into an overall schedule that would survive if the news is bad(which definitely could happen, if a landing slot can be arranged to suit, learning that a flight will be faster and burn less fuel than expected would be good news; but not necessarily news you could bet the scheduling of the flight's next leg on).

5 days ago
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Aussie Airlines To Allow Uninterrupted Mobile Use During Flights

fuzzyfuzzyfungus This will end well... (51 comments)

It should take approximately no time at all for this to become an abject illustration of the adage that "Hell is other people". Definitely going to go well.

5 days ago
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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Dropbox use AWS (273 comments)

Even if MS and Google aren't willing to lose money on storage(they certainly are in the short term; but as a long game that strategy will not sell well), it isn't terribly obvious why repackaging AWS should be a particularly sustainable niche.

There is room(and dropbox exploited it) for the outfit that makes using AWS trivial and bodges together clients for OSes that allow fairly low level integration and 'app' integration for those that don't; but that's a goal where reaching 'adequate' is not a terribly high barrier to entry and where it isn't obvious what novel features one can add to continue justifying one's profit.

Once there are multiple players who have adequate client integration available what remains but to sell on price?

5 days ago
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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:I seem to remember... (273 comments)

There is at least an argument to be made if one looks at how much...encouragement...the platform vendors, especially on the mobile side, provide to use their own blessed and proprietary 'cloud' service; depending on how closely controlled the OS is the advantage of being the platform-blessed option can be fairly substantial.

However, TFS seems to be worked up about the fact that the price/GB of deeply undistinguished storage has cratered over time. Yes, yes it has. Advances in disk density and datacenter operations have sharply reduced the absolute cost, and unless your service offers something really cool, or an airtight SLA, or some other nice feature, why wouldn't your margins reflect the fact that you provide a commodity?

5 days ago

Submissions

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Massive DMCA takedown of anti-Scientology videos

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) writes "The EFF reports that an entity by the name of American Rights Counsel LLC issued a massive number of DMCA takedown notices against youtube videos critical of Scientology. No word yet on who American Rights Counsel LLC is, or is working for, but I think we can all guess."
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1975 Wavemate Jupiter II Schematics

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) writes "I've been forced to clean up my underground lair and I have unearthed a number of historical curiosities. Most notably a Wavemate Jupiter II computer, floppy disk peripheral, and full schematics. I've hit google and there seems to be almost no information about these things or the people who made them. Any chance that somebody here was connected to that system's history? Would people be interested in the documents if I were to digitize them?"

Journals

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WaveMate Jupiter II and Parts: Who wants some?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 5 years ago So, a while back, I got my hands on a Wavemate Jupiter II. Vintage 1975, wire-wrap cardcage construction in a 4u rackmount case. Unfortunately, I am now moving, and don't have the space or time to hang onto this rather charming object.

I feel really bad throwing away a computer older than I am, so I'm looking for a good home for it. System includes the Jupiter II, the external dual 8 inch floppy drive, and a whole bunch of system schematics and documentation. Both pieces of hardware power up; but only one of the power supplies is good(the power supplies are interchangeable). It is heavy and probably a bit fragile, so local(Boston, MA area) pickup would be best.

If you are interested, leave a comment. If you know anybody who might be interested, have them leave a comment. If you aren't local; but are just that interested, we might be able to work some sort of shipping out, though it isn't my preference(a "no Nigerian princes who need my help to get US 20 Million out of the country" rule is naturally in effect).

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