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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

hankwang Normal listening level (324 comments)

I think we need to resort to specifying listening volumes in dB(A) levels, since I can't imagine driving even a bad headphone to distortion levels at what I call 'normal listening volume'. For me, that's probably around 70 dBA, "normal speech at 3 ft".

2 days ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

hankwang Re:lol (324 comments)

"The problem with Bose has always been that they only sound "acceptably okay" at relatively low volumes, they tend to massively distort at what I would consider a normal listening volume. [...] especially if you'll be using them in very noisy environments"

Cranking up the volume to drown out envoronmental noise sounds like a good pathway towards a hearing aid by the time you're 50 years old.

There have been occasions that I actually asked co-travelers on the train to lower their volume because I could hear their hip hop beat over my own music that was playing through my own noise-isolating headphones. I suspect that those people are already semi-deaf...

2 days ago
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Despite Patent Settlement, Apple Pulls Bose Merchandise From Its Stores

hankwang Re:lol (324 comments)

"I use some fairly cheap Sennheiser in-ear monitors on aircraft now. The isolation is better than any noise cancelling headphones can ever hope to achieve"

What model? I have cx-300-2 noise-isolating earbuds, which I'd call fairly cheap at around EUR 35, but I wouldn't say they perform better than bose/beats noise cancelling headphones. Whatever else I see in a quick Google is several hundred dollars.

2 days ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

hankwang Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

You are probably the only one in the world who uses that definition of 'exponential'. The exponential function has the property exp(x+1)=2.7*exp(x), which is completely analogous to your geometric series.

4 days ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

hankwang Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

"the ebola death curve is exponential. Production and distribution of vaccines, and of antibodies by transfusion, is at best geometric."

Geometric is essentially the same as exponential. The only difference is that geometric is in discrete steps and exponential can also describe fractional steps. So, what did you really mean here?

about a week ago
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My resting heart rate:

hankwang Re: 0 if dead, more if alive. (169 comments)

Resting and waking heart rate are often confused

It would have been helpful if you explained the difference. Google is not very helpful for "waking heart rate", but "resting heart rate" seems to be the one that you have when you wake up in the morning.

about a month ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

hankwang Re:complete sensationalist bullshit (294 comments)

It seems that I don't have a clue what you're trying to say. In lactose-tolerant people, lactose is broken down by enzymes produced by the human body, and the reaction product is absorbed. Lactose-intolerant people don't produce that enzyme. What specifically mutated bacteria that take care of the lactose in a benign or less pleasant way are you referring to? And what statement exactly do you wish to have a reference for?

about a month ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

hankwang Re:complete sensationalist bullshit (294 comments)

What I was trying to say: if the intestine does not absorb nearly all the carbohydrates that are in the food, you will get sick. Since people don't get sick (bloating, flatulence, etc.) all the time from their normal diet, it must mean that the intestine absorbs nearly everything in their diet.

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

hankwang Keeping it cheap and low-energy (287 comments)

I was using an old netbook (Atom N270) as a home media server, keeping it running Ubuntu Desktop 9.something. But it was too much of a pain to maintain: keeping it on mains power for a year seems to break the battery-charge-level monitoring, which makes the internal battery useless as a UPS. Too many processes insisted on writing to files every 5 minutes, which was spinning up the hard disk all the time. Also, it got uncomfortably hot with the lid closed all the time.

So I got a second-hand thin client (Via 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB internal flash drive, 1 GB RAM, gigabit ethernet) for 75 euros, installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 and a USB hard disk that has a auto spin-down feature. The 1 GiB "SSD" turned out to be too small for OS and log files, so I augmented it with a 4 GB USB thumb drive, while cursing that it is very hard to find one that performs well on lots of small writes (With 4 kB random block write tests, the throughput of most sticks is less than 0.01 MB/s). This thing takes about 13 W of power while idle (26 euros/year at our rates) and last time I looked, there are no alternatives on the market that have comparable horsepower for much less watts. The server hosts media files (MiniDLNA) and backups (snapshots) of the various computers/tablets/phones. Once or twice a year, I sync the disk with an external USB drive. If my house goes up in flames, all will be gone.

Since my media storage is mostly audio, a 1 TB drive is plenty. When I read here from people that have 40 TB of storage in NAS arrays, I wonder what they are hoarding. At 5 GB per hour of video, that's 8000 hours!

Ubuntu 12.04 server sucks for a headless server. I think it was waiting for a keypress after an unclean boot. (There was a comment on a forum of a guy who had to drive 100 miles to a datacenter to attach a keyboard and press Enter). That one was solved, but now it just hangs during filesystem checking at boot time - some bad boot-order dependency.

Network: ethernet in living room (A/V center) and work room (desktop/printer); wifi elsewhere. Visitors get the wifi password. Non-media file transfers and backups are always over ssh. (It t1urns out that the gigabit ethernet was overkill; the VIA CPU can barely saturate a 100 Mbps ethernet line, with the faster SSH cipher (arcfour).

about a month ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

hankwang Re:complete sensationalist bullshit (294 comments)

"your body isn't absorbing every calorie you put into it. Your body absorbs until it has what it needs"

Consider what happens if a lactose-intolerant person drinks a glass or two of milk: about 25 g of carbohydrates that their body can't absorb. It will lead to flatulence and diarrhea as a result of gut bacteria feasting on those unused calories and the inability of the body to extract water effectively from a sugar solution.

The fact that this is an abnormal response shows that the normal thing is to absorb every calorie.

about a month ago
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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

hankwang Re:Decaf makes some sense (228 comments)

"I don't know if the plant really needs the caffeine for something else"

I've been told that it's basically an insecticide. Arabica plants contain less caffeine than robusta plants, and are therefore more sensitive to pests. Naturally caffeine-free plants would be a pain to cultivate.

about a month and a half ago
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ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

hankwang Re:Why do people use internal TLDs? (101 comments)

" I always just use split horizon DNS, and put everything under the corporate domain name, thus eliminating the problem."

I have something like that at home, a registered domain name example.com and a portion *.home.example.com that was only resolvable from my lan.

Then, a few months back, I upgraded to the new Linux Mint LTS, which did all queries simultaneously to my ISP (fallback DNS) and my LAN DNS, using the first response. Sometimes the ISP was faster, resulting in 'nonexistent host' errors.

It took me an hour to figure out what was wrong and how to repair it (networkmanager.conf, disable dnsmasq). Sigh. I wasn't the first to have this problem. The devs didn't really see the problem. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubu...

about 2 months ago
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"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

hankwang Re:Do I need to be concerned about this? (205 comments)

"If anything plugged into it that had storage on it ... It also got you immediately perp-walked out of the building and freshly unemployed," Nice opportunity to get rid of a co-worker when he's away for a bathroom break...

about 3 months ago
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How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

hankwang Re:Meh (90 comments)

"you could run it repeatedly on a data source until you were down to a single bit."

That's why you need two distinct compression algorithms. Sometimes one will work better, sometimes the other. While repeatedly compressing, don't forget to write down in which sequence you need to apply the decompression. I believe this can compress abitrary data down to zero bits, if you are patient enough.

about 3 months ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

hankwang Re:OR (579 comments)

"Advanced driving courses teach vehicle dynamics, skid control, proper reactionary techniques to road hazards, proactive hazard evaluation, and so on; they cost $300 here, and you can go all the way to $1500 for driving/racing combined classes"

That's cheap. Here in Netherlands, a regular driving license will cost you around 30 hours(*) of instruction, plus 10 or so hours to study the traffic rules in all kinds of edge cases, and about 1500 euros for instruction, theory exam, and driving exam. It doesn't include skid control.

Traffic fatalities (per capita) are a factor 3 lower in Netherlands and Germany, compared to the US.

(*) it took me more like 75 hours of instruction and considerably more money... started at later age and generally bad body coordination/multitasking....

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails

hankwang Re:It looks like a response to anti spam laws (145 comments)

From TFA (2nd link): "Your CEO, and each officer, may be fined up to $1,000,000"

Now that's refreshing! Corporate misbehavior resulting in personal fines for the management. I could think of a few more cases where that would be a good idea.

about 4 months ago
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Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

hankwang Re:How much reduced sleep is tied to long commutes (710 comments)

"I know people who are losing two hours of their life a day commuting each way, "

I commute well over 2 hours, 4 days per week. I don't see it as lost time. I'm reading slashdot and other sites in the train like now (plenty of space since I travel after the peak hours). In addition, 15 km of cycling per day, which is my only exercise. Fortunately the climate over here allows cycling.

But the idea of driving a car for 2 h/day horrifies me...

about 4 months ago
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Latin America Exhausts IPv4 Addresses

hankwang Re:If we're not going to switch, charge per ip (197 comments)

"just start charging per ip $1 per ip per year should be sufficient"

And who should benefit from the $4B/yr revenue? The American government because ICANN is in the US?

about 4 months ago
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The Major Theoretical Blunders That Held Back Progress In Modern Astronomy

hankwang Re:Earth is flat? (129 comments)

OK, replace "scientific community" by "anyone literate and educated".

There are well known midieval symbols for a sperical earth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The notion of a spherical earth dates from around 400 B.C.

about 5 months ago
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Questionable Patents From MakerBot

hankwang Re:Oblig Prior Art Question (56 comments)

When a patent is filed, I believe the USPTO keeps it confidential for a long time (a year?) until it is well along in process, to avoid revealing its secrets long before the patent is decided.

In the standard procedure, the application is kept secret for 18 months; then the application is published; the USPTO will then wait another year or so (depending on the back log it could be much more) before deciding whether or not to grant the patent. In this time slot between publication and decision, competitors could point out relevant prior art to USPTO, which would affect the decision.

In the US system, one can also file a provisional patent application and wait 12 months before filing the final application, which will essentially stretch the confidential period from 18 to 30 months. This was the case here. The final application can differ from the provisional application (errors corrected, more examples provided, reworded claims, etc.). In case of relevant prior art that was published between the provisional and final application, the provisional application will count.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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EU fines TV makers for 1.47 billion euro

hankwang hankwang writes  |  about 2 years 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:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-07/lg-said-to-face-eu-fines-with-philips-panasonic-for-cartel.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/05/us-eu-cartel-crt-idUSBRE8B40EK20121205
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57557212-92/philips-lg-samsung-others-hit-with-eu-antitrust-fine/"

Link to Original Source
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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."
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Dutch hotels must register as ISPs

hankwang hankwang writes  |  about 4 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
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Online-Banking Trojan Stole Money From Belgians

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 4 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
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Doubled yield for bio-fuel from waste

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 4 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
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Microsoft's ethical guidelines

hankwang hankwang writes  |  about 6 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?"
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Zero-day exploit in PDF with Adobe Reader

hankwang hankwang writes  |  more than 7 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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