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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

hankwang Re:More money does not always buy better things. (170 comments)

"The $150 Formica counter top at my rented flat and my mother's 30-year-old granite one beg to differ."

Last time I was looking into kitchen hardware, the salesman warned me that natural granite is a bit porous and tends to get stained irreversibly from, say, wine spills, and that you have to re-impregnate it regularly. Not something I want in my kitchen. On the other hand, all synthetic counter tops, including granite-look composites, are not guaranteed to handle hot pans. I ended up not buying a new kitchen...

1 hour ago

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

hankwang Re:Useless (184 comments)

"you can walk around outdoors without electric lights even when there's no moon."

I doubt that you can do that comfortably if there are trees blocking the little star light that's available or if it's a bad road surface combined with you not wearing rugged boots.

Apart from that, especially women don't feel comfortable going around in dark places where they perceive that there can be rapists hiding in the dark.

about a week ago

British Domain Registrar Offers 'No Transfer Fees,' Charges Transfer Fee

hankwang Re:Typical corporation bullshit (77 comments)

I believe that in the EU, consumers have a legal right to terminate a contract without additional costs, within 1 month if being informed of a change in the terms.

about two weeks ago

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

hankwang Re:Yes (496 comments)

I wonder about dynamic range, too, although the dynamic range of a dusty mirror and an additional two glass surfaces of the side window may not be that good either.

But why is parallax relevant?

about three weeks ago

Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

hankwang Re:13 deaths? (518 comments)

Cars would probably be a lot safer if they were made more simply, and they didn't change the design ever 2 or 3 years. Stick with time tested designs and get all the bugs out and you'd end up with a car that was reliable and safe.

That is a strong assertion. Can you back that up? Over the years, cars have become safer both for the people inside and other road users (well, the latter probably doesn't really hold for SUV monsters), and also got much better fuel economy. A lot of that you can't achieve by debugging an existing design. Think of aerodynamics and crumple zones, which are integrated into the entire car design. Over here (Netherlands), the minimum age and frequency for mandatory technical inspections of old cars have been relaxed over the years, apparently because of the increase in durability.

about three weeks ago

I prefer my peppers ...

hankwang Re:SHU (285 comments)

Who the hell actually knows the SHU of the food they eat?

Very few; at most they know what is written on the label or on some website. The standard (American Spice Trade Association) way is that Scoville heat units are a measure for the concentration of capsaicin in chili peppers, in terms of dry weight. Dry weight is about 10% of the fresh weight of chilis. For chili sauce, they rarely specify whether the Scoville rating is in terms of "wet" weight of the sauce, or on a dry weight basis - leave alone what the water content is of those sauces.

And especially for super hot chilis (Bhut Jolokia and so on), the numbers reported are for one particularly hot batch. That doesn't tell much abouw how much heat an average specimen, grown under average conditions, will get you, but you can be pretty sure that it will be less than the batch that was tested with the aim of getting into the Guiness book of records.

about three weeks ago

I prefer my peppers ...

hankwang Re:Depends on the dish (285 comments)

Protip: When the recipe says to use gloves and eye protection, use gloves and eye protection. Even if you think you're a big shot chilihead because you just ate some of your hot peppers the day before.

My experience is that the desensitization to capsaicin from eating chilis regularly is mostly body-wide, although I give you that the pain threshold differs from place to place. I have touched freshly cut chilis (including Trinidad Moruga Scorpions, which were the world record hottest) with my fingers without issues. Peeing nowadays mostly hurts from the capsaicin dissolved in the urine, not from what's left on my fingers. :-)

But the first time I handled hot chilis, the toilet visit was a bit more painful...

about three weeks ago

I prefer my peppers ...

hankwang Re:best pepper? (285 comments)

"Pure Capsaicin. We use it to make the curry as hot as we need to" says the chef with an evil grin.

Pure capsaicin is a solid that does not dissolve in water, so this does not sound very plausible to me.

about three weeks ago

Remote ATM Attack Uses SMS To Dispense Cash

hankwang Re:Physical access? (150 comments)

"So, this method requires quite a bit of physical access to the ATM. "

I did once peek over the shoulders of a guy servicing one of those in-store ATMs (i.e., one that looks like a stand-alpne cabinet, not one that's integrated into a wall). Apparently, it's not all that tightly locked down, hardware-wise. The guy told me that only the compartment that contains the banknotes and the counting mechanism have heavy physical security, and that he couldn't access that part. That was why he was allowed to service the machine by himself, in the middle of a busy store.

about a month ago

New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

hankwang Re:Black box radio beacon ? (227 comments)

"they already have such beacons which ping for 30 days after activation. Why are they not picking any of that? "


Typical detection range is 5 km. Say the plane can be in a 2000x2000 sq km area. Then you have to search in a search path that is 200x2000=400,000 km long. That's 10x around the earth and will take a while.

And the ocean is 4 km deep once you're well away from land; because of the vertical distance you have less horizontal range.

about a month ago

Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube Puzzle In 3.253 Seconds

hankwang Re:Hah (60 comments)

Taking off stickers? Just flip one corner or edge piece and you will have an unsolvable cube.

about a month ago

EU Project Aims To Switch Data Centers To Second Hand Car Batteries

hankwang Re: Great (87 comments)

"you can only extract 20% of their capacity from them before you damage the battery by sulfating the plates."

You're confusing two issues, I think. Sulfation happens if a lead acid battery is kept in a (partially) discharged state for too long (weeks). That will happen with deep-cycle batteries as well.

The issue with starter batteries is that the plates are thin and tend to crumble during a deep discharge, when a large fraction of the lead plate is electrochemically converted.

about a month ago

Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

hankwang Re: Combined with the ringing phones ? (382 comments)

"individual phones actually *poll* towers every few seconds"

I highly doubt that. A 2G gsm phone left next to an audio cable will only generate the familiar "bidibip" noise once an hour or so. I assume it does that in response to an "are you still there" request from the tower.

The radio transmitter in a cellphone is about one watt. For battery lifetime, you really don't want the transmitter to activate every few seconds.

about a month ago

The New PHP

hankwang Re:Not sure what you're talking about (254 comments)

"WIth a VM you have to install, maintain, patch and monitor everything yourself"

My experience with shared hosting is that they change system configuration all the time without informing me and thereby breaking my scripts. Never have that problem with a VM, but I admit that setting up a VM with dns, apache tweaks, iptables, and so on, is a major effort for someone who doesn't do that for a living, like me. But after that it's very little maintenance.

By the way, the site in my sig runs on shared hosting, including perl CGI and ssh, for EUR 7.95/yr. Cheaper than my time in figuring out how to setup multi-domain email in CentOS on my VM. But I had to tweak my scripts to deal with the peculiarities of this hoster and live error logs only available via directadmin...

about a month and a half ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

hankwang Re:Seriously? (166 comments)

front wheel drive for bikes in any sort of slippery conditions is dangerous because of the amount of acceleration from electric motors.

One would think that this problem solves itself because the motor uses friction with the front tire. Under slippery conditions, the motor has little traction as well.

about a month and a half ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

hankwang Re:But, it is illegal (166 comments)

But this box DOES have lights, as the ilustration clearly shows.

I hope the inventor knows what he is doing regarding the lights. Designing headlights such that they are usable and at the same time don't dazzle oncoming traffic is not entirely trivial.

about a month and a half ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

hankwang Re:NYC legal electric motorcycle? (166 comments)

the NYC law I wonder how it'd handle an electric bicycle that uses some sort of strain sensor to decide how much 'assist' to give the rider. IE you could set it to 100% and it'd try to match the power the user is putting into the bike

Well, it says: "motor that is capable of propelling the device without human power", so that should be legal. Here in the Netherlands, e-bikes have such a strain sensor; I think it measures strain near the back-wheel axis. And it is for legal reasons -- otherwise they would count as a moped and need a license plate and liability insurance.

By the way, e-bikes are getting rather popular in Netherlands, despite our lack of hills and bike-friendly temperatures. Still feels weird to be taken over at a considerable speed difference by an old lady sitting upright catching wind, with bags of groceries.

about a month and a half ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

hankwang Re:useless in the wet, too (166 comments)

Build your own rims. It's surprisingly easy.

Does that include asymmetrically spoked rims (back wheel with derailleur gears)?

about a month and a half ago

Customer: Dell Denies Speaker Repair Under Warranty, Blames VLC

hankwang Re:Cinema speakers can be damaged too (526 comments)

You would think that cinema speakers ... would be impervious to damage but some movies occasionally overdrive the speakers to a point that the drivers are damaged. ... there was 7 seconds of high pitched buzzing on reel 4 that could destroy the speakers.

A big difference is that those are speakers with separate woofers and tweeters. A typical audio signal has the vast majority of the acoustic signal in the low frequencies, so a loudspeaker capable of handling 100 W could have 90 W for the woofer and 10 W for the tweeter. If you send a maximum-amplitude high-pitched sound to the speaker, it will fry the voice coils in the tweeters. (I've had this happen when I tried to check whether I could hear up to 20 kHz from my loudspeakers ....)

One could wonder why tweeters are not fused, though. Apparently this is not trivial.

Anyway, laptop speakers are most likely a single driver for the whole frequency range, so tweeter overloading is not an issue.

about 2 months ago



EU fines TV makers for 1.47 billion euro

hankwang hankwang writes  |  about a year ago

hankwang (413283) writes "The European commission fined a number manufacturers for pricing fixing of cathode ray tubes in the period between 1996 and 2005. The total fine was EUR 1.47 billion (USD 1.92 billion), for Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI, and three other firms. According to the European Commission: "For almost 10 years, the cartelists carried out the most harmful anti-competitive practices including price fixing, market sharing, customer allocation, capacity and output coordination and exchanges of commercial sensitive information. The cartelists also monitored the implementation, including auditing compliance with the capacity restrictions by plant visits in the case of the computer monitor tubes cartel. "

Other news sources:

Link to Original Source

One million web pages attacked by lilupophilupop S

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hankwang (413283) writes "The Internet Storm Center reported that one million web pages have been attacked by a the Lilupophilupop SQL injection and contain a malicious javascript link. Affected sites can be found using a a Google search query. See also the technical details of the SQL injection. The attack is directed to sites running ASP or ColdFusion with an MSSQL back end. The payload of the javascript leads, via redirects and obfuscated javascript, to a fake download page for Adobe Flash and antivirus software."

Dutch hotels must register as ISPs

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hankwang (413283) writes "The Dutch telecommunications authority OPTA has announced that Dutch hotels must register as internet providers (Original version in Dutch) because that is what they formally are according to Dutch laws. It is well possible that once hotels are officially internet providers, they will also have to abide the European regulations on data retention and make efforts to link email headers and other data traffic to individual hotel guests. Could this also happen in other European countries? This is probably not likely to lead to a more widespread adoption of free WiFi services in hotels."
Link to Original Source

Online-Banking Trojan Stole Money From Belgians

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hankwang (413283) writes "The Belgian authorities uncovered an international network of online banking fraud, which has been going on since 2007. (Story in Dutch and Google translation). The fraud targeted customers of several major banks, which used supposedly secure two-factor systems that required the customer to generate authorization codes from transaction information (random code and amount or recipient's account number) that is manually keyed into a cryptographic device (Flash demo from one of the banks, Manufacturer's website). Trojan horses that were planted onto the victim's computer would generate a fake error message and requested to re-enter authorization codes. This way, amounts up to €4,000 were transferred to foreign bank accounts.

The worrying part is that many cases were never reported to the police, with the bank preferring to refund the money to the victim rather than risking their reputation. The extent of this type of fraud is unclear."

Link to Original Source

Doubled yield for bio-fuel from waste

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hankwang (413283) writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor 2 compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft's ethical guidelines

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hankwang writes "Did you know that Microsoft has ethical guidelines? Think of how "Microsoft did not make any payments to foreign government officials" while lobbying for OOXML, and how "Microsoft conducts its business in compliance with laws to designed to promote fair competition" every time they suppressed competitors. In their Corporate Citizenship sction, they discuss how the customer-focused approach creates products that work well with those of competitors and open-source solutions. So all the reverse-engineering by Samba and OpenOffice.org developers wasn't really necessary. It makes one wonder how people got all those weird ideas about the ethical company Microsoft?"

Zero-day exploit in PDF with Adobe Reader

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hankwang (413283) writes "Security researcher Petko Petkov, who is known for his recent discovery of a vulnerability with Quicktime in Firefox, claims to have discovered an exploit that allows arbitrary code execution when a maliciously crafted PDF document is opened in any version of Adobe Reader. Petkov did not disclose any technical details other than a video, but claims on his blog that Adobe has acknowledged the vulnerability. If this exploit goes wild, it could cause some serious problems, as PDFs are usually automatically opened from web browsers and widely used and trusted by corporate users. See also Petkov's original blog post [Coral cache]."
Link to Original Source


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