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Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Disgusting! (79 comments)

It's repulsive the sort of tactics that commie chinamen will stoop to, putting backdoors into their products like that. Why, here in America, those are 'features' that you consent to by opening the package, as documented on page 46 of the EULA, as interpreted in mandatory binding arbitration by the company's legal team! It must suck to live in such a benighted, unfree, country, where your cellphone is probably spying on you and may well come preloaded with malware...

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Well, shit. (596 comments)

Now, I'm no optimist on the imminent-coming-of-strong-AI; but this I do know: The University of Chicago does not specialize in producing lefty-pinko-economists. They have departments with a much stronger liberal bent; but econ sure as hell isn't one of them. It's pretty much the altar of Milton Friedman, the school that made the 'Chicago boys' of Latin American, um, repute. If the UofC says that robots are screwing the proletariat, I'm going to err on the side of caution and suspect that the proletariat is screwed...

yesterday
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:OK (87 comments)

That's actually one of the impressive things about the brain: despite its complexity it is resilient enough that the medical literature is full of (sometimes literal) banging on the brain with a hammer that ends up being nonlethal and having some sort of interesting effect.

2 days ago
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:How about electronic drugs? (87 comments)

It's definitely a consideration, the question is whether it's a giant downside, or the absurdly amazing upside:

If your neurology-fu is good enough, you should be able to produce a stimulus of essentially unimaginable desirability. After all, while we (currently) have to do various things in order to experience pleasure, 'pleasure' is something that the brain does, not something we absorb from a wife, 2.5 children, and a golden retriever in the suburbs.

If you could bring to bear all the available apparatus devoted to the experience of 'pleasure' you could skip all the grind and go right to the reward.

Aside from the practical problems of getting people to work when they could be experiencing timeless ultimate bliss, I suspect that this prospect will strike many as somehow creepy or dishonest.

On the other hand, what innovation could possibly contribute more to the happiness of mankind than a direct supply of dis-intermediated happiness, delivered fresh and pure right to the brain?

2 days ago
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Go figure (311 comments)

Huh, growing crops in a desert is not such a great idea, isn't it?

At the prices the people growing the crops pay for that water, you bet it is. Now, about how those prices are made...

2 days ago
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Stimulation via Content? (87 comments)

Be sure to put your EOL directives in order: an awful lot of people die in their own shit; but with substantially less happy expressions, as it is.

2 days ago
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Umm, why? (87 comments)

If you are going to directly stimulate the brain, why bother with the 'entertainment'? We bother with that because our direct means of stimulating the appropriate brain regions are not exactly ready for prime time on health and safety grounds.

There might be some affect states that we can't reach without both electrical and chemical stimuli; but if you are even approaching that level you certainly won't be paying much attention to your environment.

2 days ago
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Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Ah, all better! (76 comments)

So, in a predictable (honestly, surprising they made it to this market cap without doing it already) part of the maturation process; Uber is claiming that they'll rein in discretionary access to personal information by their frat-bro-asshole management, and instead put full database access to all the data ever in the hands of their advertising and customer analytics weasels.

That's the unpleasant flip side to a story like this. Yes, as it happens, Uber has some of the most punchable management shitweasels one could ask for. The very idea of one of them using 'god view' on you makes you want to take a hot shower and scrub yourself until the uncleanness is gone. However, while opportunistic assholerly is repulsive, it is also unsystematic. Once they grow up a bit, and put those data into the hands of solid, value-rational, systematic, people who aim to squeeze every drop of value out of it, then you are really screwed.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

fuzzyfuzzyfungus A matter of procedure... (136 comments)

Surely there is some analog to 'extradition' for search warrants, isn't there?

The idea that any nation you happen to have a presence in can demand something you have in any other nation seems like an obviously dangerous shortcut to most-abusive-common-denominator law; but being able to black-hole anything just by shifting the VM across the border presents its own problems.

Is there actually no such instrument, and this sort of thing somehow hasn't come up enough to be settled, or did the Fed prosecutors just demand first and try tact later because they aren't exactly lacking for arrogance(or, in fairness, lacking for reasons to be arrogant, given how often they get away with it)?

2 days ago
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Sony Pictures Leak Reveals Quashed Plan To Upload Phony Torrents

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Well, obviously... (130 comments)

Why get your hands dirty with that sort of thing when there are so many contractors in the world?

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:good question (109 comments)

True, I was assuming a copy of Visual Studio and the various other windows dev trimmings included in "exactly as MS would have recommended". You can make do with less than that; but it won't make your life any easier. In any event, doing an OS-level port is going to be somewhere between brutal and impossible, so either going native with your win32 skills, or going 'native' by using the device as an SSH/VNC display mechanism is the option of preference.

3 days ago
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SpaceX Set To Create 300 New US Jobs and Expand Facilities

fuzzyfuzzyfungus So... (43 comments)

Is this the local-chamber-of-commerce estimate for 'job creation', to be totted out when whoring for subsidies, or the actually shows up in the 'help wanted' section number?

I have nothing against SpaceX in particular; but it is not exactly a secret that "Will create(or, sometimes, if you are a horrible human being 'grow') eleventy-zillion jobs!!!" is the earliest and most ubiquitous claim for any and all plans looking for tax breaks and zoning variances. Hell, when assorted professional sports teams are demanding that taxpayers build their stadiums because, um, reasons, they invariably manage to produce numbers alleging that a few janitorial and hot-dog seller positions will somehow be god's gift to the local economy, and totally worth the several hundred million dollars.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:good question (109 comments)

Unfortunately, while such devices are undeniably cool(and I don't covet several or anything), they are a minority among 'Pocket PC' devices. The questioner mentions Windows Mobile 5/6, which (while they do support x86, see HP's thin client lines among numerous other embedded uses) are late enough that ARM and the occasional other non-x86 had pretty much entirely annihilated the DOS/x86-based minature PCs.

Now, a 3-600MHz ARM might be as fast, if a DOSbox port is available, as the HP you mention; but that style of 'Pocket PC' died some years before what TFA is about. Sadly.

4 days ago
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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Growing Isolation (157 comments)

Oh, I'd be the last to argue for Putin being a nice guy, or not having KGB-filled visions of a rebuilt Soviet Empire; my point was just about the economic/intelligence strategy at play, though.

As best I can see, the treatment of foreign web companies is a somewhat less polished version of the Chinese one(and, given how closely tied the economy and state budget are to oil prices, probably something they'd be wise to turn into a more polished version of the Chinese model sooner rather than later).

In military terms, Russia is more saber and less rattle than China(China does have some questionably-acquired territories and disputed islands and things; but all are either old enough that only idealistic college students still talk about them, or new; but haven't gone hot), with a greater willingness to actively invade nearbye former soviet republics; but somewhat less enthusiasm for tech demos of mysteriously-similar-but-cheaper-and-possibly-actually-on-time next-gen weapons systems.

4 days ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:So much for his career (160 comments)

He'll never be employed to engage in shady illegal practices after throwing his employer under the bus like this.

It's a good day.

He's just lucky that he's on this side of the pond. That kind of disloyalty to The Company might cause you to commit an unfortunate suicide over at Foxconn...

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Back in the day... (109 comments)

Man, a Micro Drive. Cheap flash has made those irrelevant; but I still admire their sheer beauty. All the 'I can't believe this possibly works, especially when they let it out of a lab and let an idiot like me bump it around' value of a mechanical HDD with a head floating on a cushion of air so thin that a speck of dust could ruin it; but on the scale of a nice mechanical watch movement, all crammed into a power envelope that a device expecting an normal CF card wouldn't choke on.

I'd be hard pressed to find a use for one these days; but damn, those things are impressive.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Mobile is where progress is happening now (109 comments)

A device from 8 years ago is ancient. Just let it go. If you want to play with it for a sense of nostalgia, don't let me stop you, but don't foist that trash on anyone else.

Pocket PCs happen to be a fairly bad case; but some old gear actually ages quite well, for certain purposes. I absolutely loved my Visor Edge with Weasel Reader and I can't even count how many books I read on that thing before Kindles were available, and back when they still cost a small fortune. Nice and portable, too.

Also, you can have my '92 Model M when you pry it from my cold, dead, hands, assuming you brought enough backup to keep me from bludgeoning you to death with it.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:good question (109 comments)

The situation is really pretty dire. Even back when PocketPC devices were in their 'best case' period for hobbyist tinkering(ie. fairly current, available either new or nice and cheap used), the Linux ports were rough.

The onboard flash was usually eccentric enough that you could only run Linux from CF or SD, some devices you still had to boot to WinCE every time and use a program that did some clever memory twiddling to kick the device over to Linux(something like the DOS Linux loaders that had their uses back in the day, though I'm not nearly qualified to discuss the details; but the concept and use were similar).

Peripheral support(especially graphics) was also generally atrocious, makes today's proprietary-blobs-for-one-antique-android-version mobile GPU situation look like some kind of Stallman Valhalla. With the right witchcraft, some models could at least display stuff on screen, some 'ran linux' in the sense that a linux kernel running on the device could be made to chat over the USB dock or a serial header; but not much else.

Since that time, the sites, documentation, writeups, tools, and projects have substantially rotted. With the hardware supply dwindling and Android devices cheap and common(or expensive and fairly classy, if you prefer) virtually all the developer, tinkerer, power-user, and other useful people have moved on. At best, you might still be able to dig up copies of files and docs that aren't just broken links; but that's about it.

WinCE software (while that has its own limitations, like being WinCE software) is actually likely to be markedly less painful. It's not exactly still on the market; but the value of used/new-old-stock/not-yet-linkrotted/etc. WinCE software is close to zero, so you can probably score some with sufficient scrounging. Plus, while MS certainly doesn't give a damn about supporting you anymore, 2005-2007 wasn't all that long ago, so you can probably get a full WinCE dev environment, exactly as MS would have recommended, with nothing more than a bit of piracy and an XP VM with USB passthrough.

Lest this all seem doom-and-gloom; I do have one useful recommendation: Pocket Putty. Exactly what it sounds like. Everyone's favorite Windows SSH client; but for Pocket PC. There's also a VNC Viewer. Never could find any X11.

At this point, pretty close to useless as standalone devices(and yes, the batteries are probably shot in any case, Li-ion is born to die); but between Putty and VNC you might actually be able to get some nice little 'dashboard' style display screens tethered to a more capable computer(possibly even use them as 'heads' for the routers, NASes, etc. that run Linux properly and have USB ports; but don't have graphics output: even something with no physical graphics hardware can, if it has the RAM, run xvnc, which would allow you to use a pocket PC with VNC client as a 'monitor'. Not something you'd want to do video playback on; but a nice little bandwidth graph, or some alerts or something? Sounds fun.

(Also, you mentioned SIRFStar III GPS units: you didn't say if those were built in, CF/SDIO expansion, or some proprietary 'cradle' thing: in any case those are very, very, well supported by practically everything, common, reasonably well regarded, spit NEMA strings over something that looks like a serial port, sometimes 3.3v, sometimes 5v, sometimes actual RS-232, sometimes USBTTY. Assuming that you can crack them out of their packaging and get the pinout right before you fry something, you should be able to use SIRFStar IIIs with damned near anything, with at most a serial level converter or suitable USB/serial adapter. Even if you have to junk the Pocket PCs, those might be handy to have.)

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:So what are laws for? (122 comments)

This is the Harper regime we are talking about. Did you need any additional hints?

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

You don't...exactly...strike me as somebody who would use marxist economic formulations; but a considerable majority of CS workers are kidding themselves if they think that they map to anything other than 'proletariat' or 'petite bourgeoisie' in a marxist economic formulation.

Obviously, if you reject such a thing entirely that doesn't much matter; but the point remains in that context.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Massive DMCA takedown of anti-Scientology videos

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 6 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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