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Comments

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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Nope they are clever (322 comments)

NFC implementations (should) be interoperable unless somebody screwed up implementation to spec; but that promises nothing about compatibility for anything built on top of NFC.

Right now, ISO 7813 mag-stripe cards are nice and standardized; but that only gets you as far as having the reader hardware work. Whether your card will be accepted by a given vendor is an entirely separate matter governed by some ghastly pile of contractual arrangements.

2 days ago
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Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Modern slavery (182 comments)

Ah, that's just because today's ultra-high-density platters require high-coercivity materials in order to adequately maintain the magnetization patterns that store the data. Low coercivity magnetic media just don't work at those densities.

3 days ago
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Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Code Released

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:and also should be worth mentioning (72 comments)

It'll never quite stop being weird that Commander Keen, cartoony platformer, is what the guys behind Doom and Quake were working on in their early days....

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (541 comments)

It is a matter of taste; but the proliferation of 'widescreen' has really made multiple orientation setups more attractive. In particular, the ubiquitous 1920x1080 is cheap as dirt and nice and wide; but actually throws fewer vertical pixels than a nasty old 1280x1024 17' from about 2001. If you read or write a lot of text, or code with reasonably short lines, taking a cheapo 1920x1080 and rotating it gives you a 1080x1920: this is handy because it's still wider than 1024(so even old and horrible programs/layouts generally won't break, since anything that old and horrible probably expects 768 or 1024 pixel wide screens); but provides more vertical resolution than even substantially more expensive monitors in their native orientation.

I prefer my 'primary' monitor to be unrotated; but the amount of vertical resolution you can get for the money, without totally sacrificing width, from a rotated secondary monitor is pretty compelling.

3 days ago
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Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph For Weeks Into Local Communities

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Natural immunity (122 comments)

In this case, you might want to go after the vets before the doctors...

It's not an accident that they were looking at agricultural workers (rather than, say, elementary school teachers, who would be seeing the worst of it from antibiotics-for-the-sniffles patients), nor is it an accident that there are 'livestock-associated' drug resistant strains.

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (541 comments)

Aside from price, which makes accepting multiple monitors rather compelling(you can get physically big ones for relatively small amounts of money, because of TVs; but if you want resolution the cost goes up fast and things really start to misbehave if you go high enough that DP MST or the like is required to drive the thing), it mostly comes down to how good your windowing system is at tiling and how well applications that expect 'full screen' can handle playing with others.

A good window manager makes carving up a single large monitor into chunks suitably sized for your various programs easy and painless. If you are enduring a less obliging one, it can be a fairly ugly business, actually less pleasant than getting some help from multiple physical displays, which are more widely respected even by poorly behaved programs.

That said, the 'two side by side, giant bezel in the middle' configuration is not my favorite. A larger primary screen, with ancillary screens on one or both sides gives you plenty of room for assorted lesser windows; but also avoids annoying bezels in the center of your field of view.

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (541 comments)

You don't choose between workspaces and physical screens, you just have multiple physical screens so that each workspace can be even larger and more pleasant to use...

You do eventually run into diminishing returns; but being able to display more than one monitor worth of stuff simultaneously definitely has its uses, and is something that being able to switch between workspaces, be the transition ever so elegant, cannot replace.

4 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:The real test? (541 comments)

Given that 8 was the "Just because it's called 'Windows' doesn't mean it needs a functional windowing system!" release, It's pretty hard to argue with them.

Maybe some of that works on touchscreen laptops; but 'metro' is a tragicomedy on any monitor configuration worth using.

4 days ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re: Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypas (155 comments)

In addition, Tesla(whether or not you see this as an improvement is a distinct issue, it simply is so) sells cars much more like an enterprise IT hardware vendor sells hardware: at least within the warranty period, there is very much an ongoing interaction between the hardware and the vendor. System health information gets sent directly back, on site techs with specialized parts and firmware get sent out and so on. More traditional car companies are closer to buying a PC: the dealer will offer (often absurdly priced; but available) maintenance; and the vendor may become involved with certain warranty or recall cases; but they are otherwise largely out of the loop, with third parties handling the ongoing interaction with the hardware.

4 days ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re: No standing, no case (155 comments)

Something has to provide coordination and theatre-level intelligence for all deployed Highlander batteries, no?

4 days ago
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Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Nothing to worry about... (139 comments)

We will, of course, run all your errands for you without gathering the data for marketing and other purposes; because doing that would be just too easy...

5 days ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (180 comments)

How is blinding someone with a laser worse than killing or maiming them with a bullet?

The assorted 'laws of war' are heavily leavened by what their framers suspect that they can actually get at least some people to agree to; but the overall theoretical foundation always seems to be an attempt to steer weapons in the direction of "Kills outright, or leaves a wound that, if treated, will heal with comparatively limited permanent damage."

It's not an easy standard to maintain(both in terms of convenience, mass-maiming is a hell of a shock to morale and logistics, and engineering, something that will kill if it hits you as designed will likely cause serious tissue damage and/or amputation if it scores a sub-par hit); but it's not really a terribly strange shared desire, from the perspective of the warring European powers of the 20th century that wrote most of them.

5 days ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

fuzzyfuzzyfungus As a layman... (105 comments)

I'm fairly out of my depth with this stuff, so this is an honest inquiry: how do the magnetic nanoparticles fit into the equation?

I realize that, once coated with a suitably tailored binding protein, the particles will collect whatever target the binding protein was specified for (presumably this could even be tailored, for any target where a suitably tame binding compound is available), and probably fairly efficiently because of the absurd surface area of nanoparticles.

What I don't understand is the necessity of using the nanoparticles. It was my understanding that, outside of seriously immunocompromised victims, T-cells(and possibly other flavors of phagocytes, I'm fuzzy on the details) are extremely adept at engulfing and destroying foreign bodies, including 'clumps' produced by targets bound to the antigens produced by B-cells. This technique appears to be using a synthetic/introduced antigen(which makes sense if the immune system isn't producing the necessary antigen, or not ramping up production fast enough); but it also introduces the nanoparticles so that the antigen clumps can be magnetically scrubbed from the bloodstream, rather than cleaned up by the T Cells.

What is the peculiarity here that would make introducing the novel clump-scrubbing mechanism necessary and worthwhile?

5 days ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (180 comments)

The Protocol contains a loophole large enough to drive a truck through, never mind some photons:

"Article 3 Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate military employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol."

As long as the blinding is a side effect (mitigated by "all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of permanent blindness to unenhanced vision") of a non-blinding purpose(setting things on fire, destroying machine vision/optical sensor gear, 'dazzling', and basically anything else you might feel like using a laser for, it's all legal. That is not exactly fertile ground for any sort of serious arms control, even if lasers weren't comparatively cheap and trivial to build, especially at the modest powers that will really boil your eyeballs but aren't subject to the engineering challenges of aspirational air-defense and antimissile systems.

It gives me no pleasure to say so; blinding is a pretty ugly thing to do; but the Protocol as written is about as effective as forbidding murder; but making it legal to put a bullet through any hat you see, regardless of whether it contains a head or not.

5 days ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:A solution in search of a problem... (326 comments)

It's also an overcomplicated solution. OBD can get pretty nasty if you want access to esoteric stuff or manufacturer proprietary crap; but a basic, bluetooth-capable, OBD dongle that'll report the rough outlines of how a vehicle is being used is quite cheap indeed and not especially complex. I wouldn't necessarily want to try dead-reconing with nothing but that output; but answering "Am I driving right now?" is considerably less demanding.

about a week ago
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US Scientists Predict Long Battle Against Ebola

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:+-2000 deaths? (119 comments)

It's not really polite to say so that bluntly; but the difference is that measles deaths are basically optional(1st world anti-vaxxers) or just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places. By contrast, Ebola is currently just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places; but we've got basically nothing available to do about it if it spreads beyond the usual outbreak sites(yes, unlike the usual outbreak sites, we have limited supplies of high grade medical isolation gear and some interesting experimental drugs; but nobody has enough of the cool tech to deal with an outbreak of nontrivial size, especially if they want their medical and logistical systems to continue handling routine functions and care at the same time).

There are loads of places far less poor and squalid than Liberia and the other oubreak sites; but without any good options on the table it wouldn't take long to run through your supply of isolation wards and fancy positive-pressure protective suits even in the most upmarket first world locations with well regarded research hospitals and such, were the population to be affected.

about a week ago
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Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Horse, meet barn door... (166 comments)

Was she asleep for, oh, the past quarter century? We've put together a neat little system (really an untidy patchwork of them) such that you can't touch something Turing-complete, drive on a substantial percentage of reasonably major roads, or do just about anything involving commerce without it dropping into the gigantic database somewhere and she's freaking out about somebody's little model airplane with a gopro?

It is the case that there are quite a few values of 'somebody' where worrying might be a good idea; but as a relatively petty footnote to the Orwellian world we've already put into operation. Pretending otherwise is clueless at best and actively dishonest at worst.

about a week ago
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HP Buys Cloud Provider, Gets Marten Mickos To Head Its Cloud Division

fuzzyfuzzyfungus What's the angle? (35 comments)

I can understand the interest in the existence of Eucalyptus itself (it's a more or less interface compatible implementation of a bunch of Amazon's heavily used 'cloud' services that you can run stuff on in house or at a non-Amazon 3rd party). Amazon's pricing is crazy aggressive; but sometimes you need to do things in house, want to do things in house, or want to go mixed-strategy(in-house/Amazon for overflow, spread across more than one 3rd party provider, etc, etc.) and in general it's not a good feeling to have a stack of important stuff dependent on a single vendor.

What I find much harder to understand is what HP gains from this, or what I, the hypothetical customer, as supposed to be willing to pay HP to put its name on here.

Is this just more HP flailing, or is there an angle I'm missing? Are there lots of potential customers who won't touch Amazon (perhaps because they have to keep stuff internal); but won't touch Eucalyptus without some giant company selling them a support agreement? If so, since Amazon is off the table, why would they care about Amazon API compatibility? Who is the target here, and why aren't they either DIYing it, paying Amazon's incredibly aggressive prices for the real thing, or using an architecturally different cloud/VM arrangement?

about a week ago
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Hewlett-Packard Pleads Guilty To Bribing Officials in Russia, Poland, and Mexico

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:best to do the time in Poland (110 comments)

Unfortunately, while we have the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, we could really use some work on domestic corrupt practices...

about a week ago
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Chrome OS Can Now Run Android Apps With No Porting Required

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Why not all apps at once? (131 comments)

Even if it were perfect, almost no ChromeOS devices have touchscreens and almost all Android devices do (especially if you count on the ones Google even slightly endorses, not the media-player-mystery-HDMI-dongle stuff). For applications that are basically hobbled by the touchscreen, a keyboard and mouse will be an improvement. For those that are enhanced by, or actively dependent on, it, that will be a bit of a mess no matter how perfect the runtime is.

Unless those proportions change fairly markedly, it probably makes sense for them to start with some popular, mouse and keyboard friendly, applications that don't lean on native ARM blobs much or at all.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Massive DMCA takedown of anti-Scientology videos

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  about 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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