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Comments

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FCC Reminds ISPs That They Can Be Fined For Lacking Transparency

gavron Still no jurisdiction (38 comments)

Lots of posters are asking why ISPs are not getting fined... why the FCC hasn't done anything... and nobody's asked the important question: "What CAN the FCC actually do?"

This article by CommLaw (really great outfit that analyzes communication, broadband, ISP, VoIP, and carrier law) puts it in great perspective:
http://www.commlawblog.com/tag...

The FCC is unable to regulate ISPs since they deregulated them and declared them not to be common carriers. The reason that the FCC won't make ISPs be common carriers is (as has been discussed before countless times) the incumbent carriers DON'T WANT the ISPs to get the privileges (and lower rates) of being carriers... so they lobby hard to prevent anyone else from being carriers.

That leaves the FCC in the position of putting out these stupide "reminder memos" because they really have no enforcement actions to take. That's why they've done nothing.

Ehud

about a week ago
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$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn

gavron Wikimedia SCREWED UP (51 comments)

They should have filed a response. ANY response. That locks the case in and makes it impossible for the complainant to withdraw it without consent.
Then they could have filed the SLAPP response.

By delaying (likely to get way too many unnecessary ducks in a row, but that's how lawyers work) they now have lost that opportunity. The complaint will be filed again -- not necessarily in California -- and including elements that can't be dismissed by SLAPP elements.

What a shame.

E

about two weeks ago
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Rightscorp Pushing ISPs To Disconnect Repeat Infringers

gavron DMCA safe harbor irrelevant and hard to get (92 comments)

The real question cleverly ignored by these rights-maximalists is
"Is the ISP/provider responsible for the content posted by others."
As we know, absent *ACTUAL INDUCEMENT TO INFRINGE*
the answer is no. There is no secondary liability to ISPs nor
reponsibility as per the CDA sec 230.

Now if the ISPs *ACTUALLY INDUCE* (see Napster and possibly Mega,
or so USDOJ says), then there is a POSSIBLE liability.
THAT's the only thing providers need to fear, but instead they knee-jerk
take down material.

Note that the DMCA notice is not "DMCA Takedown notice" but rather
"Notice of ***CLAIMED INFRINGEMENT***" (emphasis mine).

A "safe harbor" doesn't mean that a LACK OF A SAFE HARBOR means
instant guilt/civil liability. That is a fact lost on most knee-jerk ISPs.

ISPs should pull up their big-boy shorts and quit taking it in the pants
from every email-script that tells them to take down content because DMCA.

E
my script verifies that this is true under oath and here's my script-copied
pgp signature because dmca.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

gavron FREE app that doesn't exist MAY HAVE less features (214 comments)

So a FREE app (#1) for a small subset of people will soon be replaced by another FREE app (#2) for a small subset of people and the author thinks that #2 will have less features than #`1 but of course it will only affect a small subset of people.

Well tea in China may get expensive next year too.

Don't be beholden to one company, be it Apple, ChinaTeaCo, or anyone. Then you don't have to whine when one app you didn't pay a dollar for FREE app (#1 or #2) you don't feel like wadding up tissues and crying. Man up. Or woman up. Either way quit whining.

Free market. Haven't heard about it? That's where you can go buy things not made by Apple. Then you're not beholden to their stupid movements, bowel or market.

E

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

gavron Re:RTFA (268 comments)

...don't get convicted for it...

If you read the original article... the daily dot says "Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005, the AP added."
If you read the AP article the headline "Former Prisons Chief, Viapro Exec Acquitted" gives you a clue that
the content includes "A federal judge acquitted a former Texas prisons chief and a Canadian businessman..."

Acquitted is LIKE convicted only just the exact opposite.

E

about a month ago
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FAA Bans Delivering Packages With Drones

gavron The FAA lacks jurisdiction (199 comments)

This has been debated before but here's the recap.

An administrative judge ruled in 2013 that the FAA does not have the authority (in other words it has not been given this authority by Congress) to regulate model aircraft including balsa-wood planes, paper-airplanes, radio-controlled (r/c) planes, helicopters, quadcopters, hexacopters, etc. This is established fact. The FAA elected NOT to appeal this.

The FAA has attempted to levy _one_ fine against someone flying a 'drone' (see above for disambiguation with quadcopters, hexacopters, etc. and realize it's the same thing) and THAT was the time the administrative law judge shot them down and hard.

The FAA can write whatever they like in the Federal Register.
Step 1: Get Congress to give them the authority. Until then the FAA lacks jurisdiction*.
Step 2: Get Congress to fund enforcement actions under this authority. Until then the FAA won't [be allowed to] enforce anything.
Step 3: Profit.

Ehud
commercial helicopter pilot
Tucson AZ US

* A previous poster said that "if you can put a piece of paper between it and the ground the FAA has jurisdiction." This is not true. The FAA's jurisdiction comes not from simplistic experiments with tree bark pulp and thin slots, but from the Code of Federal Regulations. It's all in there. Too boring to quote tho.

about a month ago
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BlackBerry Back In Profit

gavron "more profitable" doesn't mean "making a profit" (67 comments)

The slashdot headline says "..Back in Profit." Unfortunately not so.

The original article is informative. Under Chen's leadership Blackberry has
increased their profitability so they are no longer losing so much money.

They are, however, NOT PROFITABLE. Their loss prior to some accounting
tricks (that will make the number worse) is $0.11/shr. That means an
investor holding 1000 shares just lost $110 (if he/she sold them).

While profitability as a measure of how well a company performs is good,
and acknowledging that LOSING MILLIONS is a lot better than LOSING
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS (see e.g. Radio Shack)... Blackberry has a
long long way to go.

The article ends with the two avenues Blackberry is pursuing: hardware and
software (how inventive, right?)
- Hardware: they're going to try and create Internet enabled gadgets. As
Blackberry's core hardware competence has always been its bundled
business services this is a big departure. They fight uphill against
Samsung watches, Apple gizmos, Google's Nest, etc.
- Sofware: They bought the right to allow their product to access the
Amazon Play Store (android apps from Amazon only). The win here
is they prove their product REALLY CAN run android apps. The lose
is that instead of opening it up to the Google Play store (most
android apps) they've allowed a limited (by Amazon) subset of apps,
and most designed to siphon extra $$$ and hand them off to Amazon.
This is something we can expect to see Amazon touting as a win in
it's 10Q.

I wish them well. I was surprised by the headline. BlackBerry is
doing well to reduce loss, and less loss is higher profitability, but
they're still chewing threw their cash and unless they stem and
correct that they will be gone.

E

about a month ago
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BlackBerry Back In Profit

gavron Curious definition of "Profit" (67 comments)

The slashdot headline says "..Back in Profit." Unfortunately not so.

The original article is informative. Under Chen's leadership Blackberry has
increased their profitability so they are no longer losing so much money.

They are, however, NOT PROFITABLE. Their loss prior to some accounting
tricks (that will make the number worse) is $0.11/shr. That means an
investor holding 1000 shares just lost $110 (if he/she sold them).

While profitability as a measure of how well a company performs is good,
and acknowledging that LOSING MILLIONS is a lot better than LOSING
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS (see e.g. Radio Shack)... Blackberry has a
long long way to go.

The article ends with the two avenues Blackberry is pursuing: hardware and
software (how inventive, right?)
- Hardware: they're going to try and create Internet enabled gadgets. As
Blackberry's core hardware competence has always been its bundled
business services this is a big departure. They fight uphill against
Samsung watches, Apple gizmos, Google's Nest, etc.
- Sofware: They bought the right to allow their product to access the
Amazon Play Store (android apps from Amazon only). The win here
is they prove their product REALLY CAN run android apps. The lose
is that instead of opening it up to the Google Play store (most
android apps) they've allowed a limited (by Amazon) subset of apps,
and most designed to siphon extra $$$ and hand them off to Amazon.
This is something we can expect to see Amazon touting as a win in
it's 10Q.

I wish them well. I was surprised by the headline. BlackBerry is
doing well to reduce loss, and less loss is higher profitability, but
they're still chewing threw their cash and unless they stem and
correct that they will be gone.

E

about a month ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

gavron Re:Not true (394 comments)

> not running continuously.

No, I mentioned the AC only runs 20 hours out of the day. That's how it is in Arizona.
Daytime high of 110F. Nighttime low of 78F. We like the bedroom around 72F, so
yes, it runs except when nobody's home but then it has a bit of catchup to do.

The fridge does not run continously, but it faces the same battle. All the heat it puts
out causes the AC to run more. So there's no magic way for the fridge not to run.

My sample size is indeed one and is of no statistical significance. I urged everyone
to get a power meter and join in. Did you?

E

about a month and a half ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

gavron Not true (394 comments)

Number one consumer of electric power: Air conditioning unit. THOUSANDS OF WATTS
Number two consumer of electric power: Refrigerator. HUNDREDS OF WATTS

Cable boxes don't come in number two and they don't consume 35 watts.

So if you're keeping track not only is not "number 2" (a dubious distinction) but its use of electric power is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE below what's chewing up power. In fact, here in Arizona our A/C runs about 20 hours a day. That uses more power per day than the cable box uses in a year. I could ditch cable altogether (I have Comcast so it's a constant thought) and my power bill won't change by 1%.

How do I know? I use a http://www.amazon.com/P3-Inter... kill-a-watt. The cable box draws less than 1 amp (12W) and that's while it's on and it's the big Motorola unit just like the picture in the original article.

Do you like facts and statistics and data upon which to base conclusions? You should get one of these kill-a-watts. They're awesome and they're quickto end stupid discussions that say you should unplug your cable box.

Off to unplug my wifi router. I hear it draws 0.5A.

E

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

gavron The shareholders will be impressed (711 comments)

Everything Tim Cook says in his official capacity reflects what Apple thinks.
That means that if it later comes out HE MADE THE WHOLE THING UP
BASED ENTIRELY ON HIS OPINION and that there are no statistics to
back it up, if the stock goes down, shareholders will sue.

How could he have statistics? Simple. Apple is in a unique position to
have every iPhone purchaser fill out a survey. But... they don't. So
there is no such data. That means any "conclusion" is purely anecdotal
(as in "My buddy said so and my other buddy agreed, yeah Android was
a mistake.") That's not statistically significant, and it's irresponsible for
a CEO of a public company to say so.

Still, whatever helps him sleep at night.

E

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Taking a New Tack On Net Neutrality?

gavron 15,000 is a large class waiting to sue (185 comments)

It's a clever idea (like Comcast wanting Netflix to pay them for what Comcast's own customers pay them already).

Right now you have 15,000 paying customers. They are almost "captive" in the sense that they get Internet service without having to put any effort into it, so they will continue to be customers so long as you treat them fairly.

Your customers pay you to give them access to the whole Internet. If you remove parts of the net until someone else double-pays you for that same service, you'll find yourself on the wrong side of a Judge certifying a class-action suit against you for lots of fun things like breach of contract, tortious interference, and possibly material misrepresentation (not fraud - fraud isn't covered by E&I insurance).

Your safe bet if you wanted to do something this stupid is to give your 15,000 customers FREE Internet with the caveat that some sites may not be reachable unless the other side pays for it. This would be legal, but it won't be financially profitable.

So you can either retain a sustainable model where you're not getting sued, not extorting third parties, and making money, OR you can extort third parties and likely get sued OR you can move to a financially non-sustainable model.

As an IT director I guess your job is to figure out how to implement what the Directors wants. As anyone with half a brain I would recommend they make the selection from the choices above before spending a minute researching firewalls and private-dickhead-networks.

E

about 2 months ago
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Iran Court Summons Mark Zuckerberg For Facebook Privacy Violations

gavron Zuckerberg the Zionist (304 comments)

I'm sure Mr. Zuckerberg is aboard the first American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Tehran.
Oh wait, no Southwest flight goes to Tehran.

Surely he's booked on United Airlines. No, wait, they don't fly to Tehran either.

Looks like NONE of the US carriers go there. Is it because they don't like money? That can't be
right. Is it because they are shareholder driven and their shareholders are all either dirty jews
or clean jews or some combination of clean and dirty jews? That seems unlikely.

OH WAIT, I GOT IT!

IRAN IS A TERRORIST NATION, A SPONSOR OF TERRORIST GROUPS, CALLS THE US
THE GREAT SATAN AND WANTS TO DESTROY US AND ISRAEL TOO AND IS A HOTBED
OF RELIGIOUS CRAP THAT MAKES THE BIBLE BELT AND WASHINGTON DC LOOK LIKE
SECULAR NOOBS.

I guess they won't have Zuckerberg to demonize if he doesn't go there.

Perhaps they'll burn his effigy along with President Obama, the US Flag, and a fake
nuclear wessel.

Ehud
Tucson AZ US

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 With Bing To Sell Cheaper Devices

gavron BING in headlnes is DEAD (124 comments)

Someone please forward the memo to microsoft. They can stop referencing BING as if it's a thing.
It's a DEAD thing.

[click here to have Bing translate this thing lol]

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?

gavron Anybody can write code. Employable people can DOC (309 comments)

I read your list of achievements. Very nice.

In the next few projects focus on
- planning the programming before you do it, so you can explain your design decisions
and the inevitable tradeoffs to prevent people who come after you from trying to "fix"
what isn't broken.
- documenting what you did do so anyone can support your code

If you are fond of saying any of these:
- "Anyone who can read code can see what it does"
- "the obvious doesn't need documenting"
- "there were no tradeoffs"
- one day I will rewrite this to be better ...this would help you understand why you're unemployable.

University education is a good first step to something something complete.
Being a freshman is not a bonus nor a hindrance. Experience with github,
software RCS etc are all good. The keys are making choices before coding,
knowing and being able to explain those choices, and documenting them for
others to take the burdens of support off your inventive shoulders.

E

about 3 months ago
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Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible

gavron Settlement-free peering and transit (227 comments)

These concepts were part of the commercial Internet circa the early 1990s
and were part of the reason CIX was so successful. Then PAIX then others.

In time, Internet exchanges were themselves bogged down and companies
did private peering. Those who connected to like-quantity produders of
content did so for free (settlement-free peering). Those who were unequal
paid for transiting the network (paid transit).

That hasn't changed in 32 years. All that's changed is the up and down of
who provides more traffic where. The dominant player in each interconnection
point ALWAYS demanded transit, and often did so with the "wherever our
two networks meet" even if elsewhere it was not the dominant player.

Comcast could be made to behave, but Netflix blinked and paid them money.
Now others will as well.

This CAN BE FIXED BY REGULATION but not the kind people are thinking
of. No, not net neutrality. Rather the elimination of the cable-company
monopolies on entire swaths of subscribers. Eliminate the government-granted
access to rights-of-way, towers, utility poles, and infrastructure. Let them not
have a "sole franchise" but rather be one of many competing in the market.

Remove Comcast and their ilk from their high post as the monopolistic "owner"
of all these households by fiat, and having to compete to keep them, and instead
of throttling their peerings to make Netflix users (THEIR OWN CUSTOMERS)
suffer... they'll get peering with netflix.

More government regulation doesn't solve a market-driven problem. Removing the
government regulation harming free competition is the key.

E

about 3 months ago
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Bloomberg's Trading Terminals Now Providing Bitcoin Pricing

gavron "invest their holdings" (119 comments)

To "invest" is to put money where value is.

Bitcoin is a concept. It has no value. People can trade, arbitrage, wield, barter, or exchange for it.
It still has no value.

Best fortune to all those making money with Bitcoin. For every one of you someone has lost
an almost equal amount. (originally mined bitcoins loss value 0 but it grows exponentially).

And as for the holdback bitcoins created and untouched -- that's why bitcoin will NEVER be a currency.
"Oh we invented this so we kept some for ourselves." Yeah, do that. And doom the coin.

E

about 3 months ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

gavron Re:No she did not win any lawsuit. (642 comments)

LOL. No, it's not sensible and it goes against dozens of years of legal precedent.
It will be overtuned.

Actors do not have rights to the final work unless they were contractually given it,
none of which ever are.

While in some eutopia it would be great if revenge porn could be stopped, that's
an outlier case.

Imagine if you went to Paris and took a video of yourself at the EIffel Tower, but
some random Parisian who happened to be in the background got your video taken
down. That's not eutopian -- that's distopian.
Best,

E

about 4 months ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

gavron No she did not win any lawsuit. (642 comments)

No. She didn't win a lawsuit. All she "won" was an unconstitutional prior restraint against Youtube (google)
forcing them to remove the segment of the movie she's in.

The actual Kozinski ruling suggests that actors HAVE a copyright in the final work despite decades
of copyright law to the contrary.

Google has appealed. This will be decided back the way it should be (that actors don't magically get
copyright laws).

The case -- in case you want to read the facts instead of making them up -- is Garcia v Google.

E

about 4 months ago
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Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban

gavron ( family guy shop teacher ) (205 comments)

Oh Nos!

This will surely help blackberry survive in the market!

Good job with those patents! Now nobody can have a working keyboard, not their
nonexistent client nor the iPhone people who could have used a Typo.

E

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Time Warner Parting Itself Out

gavron gavron writes  |  about a month and a half ago

gavron (1300111) writes "We all know about TW Cable being acquired by Comcast (subject to regulatory approval) http://corporate.comcast.com/t... but news from today is that their non-cable business is being purchased by Level3 for almost 6 BILLION dollars. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/20... .

What used to be the former "largest media and distribution company ever" (AOL Time Waner) is now nothing more than a garage of pieces being parceled off to the first available bidder. This might be good for consumers, but recently Time Warner (and Comcast) won awards for consumer hatred. http://time.com/106016/comcast..."
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MIT's report on Aaron Swartz is out - MIT claims neutrality

gavron gavron writes  |  1 year,15 hours

gavron (1300111) writes "Mit has released their report on the Aaron Swartz incident. They also include an MD5 fingerprint. Sadly for MIT's great cryptography genius, having the signature on the same page as its reference and the same site as the file means nothing. More on MD5 hashes here. Noted crypto researched Bruce Schneier said MD5 had to go almost ten years ago."
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Nortel Patent Sale gets DoJ Review

gavron gavron writes  |  about 3 years ago

gavron writes "The US Department of Justice will review the Nortel patent sale to the entity formed by Apple, Microsoft, and others.

This is the same sale that the Canadian authorities declined to review because the $4+BN deal was valued by them at less than $750M.

The patents were originally bid $900M by stalking-horse google. It is believed they are to be use against Android and open-source."

Link to Original Source
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ACLU sues DHS over unlawful searches and detention

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "The ACLU has filed suit against DHS for TSA conducting illegal searches and detention. In the instant case it was a Ron Paul staffer with campaign dollars. The suit seeks to address TSA searching anything that has nothing to with increasing security on aircraft and instead doing unlawful 4th amendment violating searches (such as those of laptops, thumbdrives, etc.)

As TSA has more and more work to meet its mandate of only screening half the luggage... the suit suggests the best of use of its resources is to focus on its mandate, not harassing innocent travelers."
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SPRINT tracks its users movements, convo and data

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "SPRINT has a series of commercials where they indicate clearly the contents of the phone and data conversations their customers are having. Here are quotes from one:

"Welcome to the Now network. Right now 379 couples are splitting up, 253 by phone, 42 by email, and 84 by text message. 13,000 people are streaming Pandora on a bus[so they're tracking user too?], 3700 people just found all their friends on Loot. 92 just realized they were in the exact same place. That's happening now..." Etc.

A common carrier has a duty not to snoop on its users' data without a warrant and even more so not to disclose the nature of the contents, even if in aggregate. I know SPRINT wants to pretend that they have a 4G network (whatever _that_ is) but the way to do it is not to disclose the nature of the use of their current network. This is a perfect example of a carrier using confidential data for marketing purposes (or lying and making it up — take your pick, this isn't a Lesley Smith Ethical Problem, it's simple ethics.)

E
P.S. A sample of such commercial is found on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlwBO36OeUQ&feature=PlayList&p=C6266A165E8490AE&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=44"
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UK government offical wants "ratings" for

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ehud Gavron (1300111) writes "The UK's Culture Secretary wants all English-language websites to have a rating to "police the Internet" and "protect the children." The story at http://uk.reuters.com/article/UKNews1/idUKTRE4BQ0KN20081228 starts off:

"LONDON (Reuters) — The kind of ratings used for films could be applied to websites in a bid to better police the Internet and protect children from harmful and offensive material, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said.

Burnham told The Daily Telegraph newspaper, published on Saturday, that the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

"The more we seek international solutions to this stuff — the UK and the U.S. working together — the more that an international norm will set an industry norm," the newspaper reports the Culture Secretary as saying in an interview.""
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Dell Mini 9 GPS "Hack" is a fraud

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "There are plenty of stories on the net about hacking a Dell Mini 9 to have a built in GPS. All of the stories in http://tinyurl.com/3nw3gz reference the same original story at http://tinyurl.com/64doqq .

Having thought this was a great idea, two of us bought the same exact GPS USB dongle, and did the same exact mod to our Mini 9's. Both of our receivers were unable to pick up any satellites. When taken back outside the case and the USB connector put back on, on the outside of the case it works fine. The moral of the story is it does not work inside the Dell Mini 9, and the original story is a put-up job.

Before you read the methodology please note we did this with two different Dell Mini 9's and two different USB dongles (of the same type) with 100% repeatability of the steps below. I encourage any doubters to do the same.

Methodology:
1. Buy the same USB dongle (GT730F). (Done)
2. Hook it up on a USB port and see it work amazingly well. (It does).
3. Connect it as per the instructions in the MyDellMini article above. (Done)
4. Receive... receive... receive... (Narry a satellite to be found).

Troubleshoot:
1. Verify connection. USB has 4 pins. We know that it's responding so +5V and GND are right. That just leaves TX and RX. We know it enumerates on the USB so that validates it for us, but just for those of you who don't know USB handshakes... we're able to see it communicate with us (and tell us no satellites) so TX is good. We tell it to change its baud rate and it does. RX good. Just for good measure we do a bidirectional communication by doing a new ephemeris dump. All is good.
2. Verify that the top of the case has direct access to the sky.
3. Run gpsd -N -D 4 and look for anything strange. Um. It's not seeing any satellites.

Remove:
1. Unsoldered the wires, removed the device.
2. Re-attached the USB connector to the board (that was not fun — nice job ScottH!)
3. Connected it to an external USB port


Retest:
1. Satellites? (Green blinking light says yes have a fix)
2. Software? (Yes, both gpsd+xgps and SkyTraq's GPS Viewer.EXE+wine see birds all around)


False Positive:
A false positive would occur if we THOUGHT there was a problem but there really isn't. In this case it works outside, works inside but does not receive satellites, and works outside the case afterward. The only change is the physical location and USB bus (not relevant under Linux).

This is therefore NOT a false positive.

False Negative:
A false negative would occur if we thought there was NO problem, but there really was. In this case we think there's a problem, and we duplicated it, and we removed all other factors other than physical location and USB bus (again not relevant under Linux).

This is therefore NOT a false negative.

Conclusion
The original author must have a Dell Mini 9 made up of an incredibly different substance than the ones we have, as ours did not allow satellite signals through. Either that or his fu is stronger than any of ours. Don't even ask me how his "video" works.



Ehud"

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