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Comments

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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

jandrese Re: Fusion Confusion (259 comments)

I guess it's a good thing after all that Congress killed the Superconducting Supercollider after all then. I mean their main argument was that it wasn't going to have a good ROI because knowledge has no value.

6 hours ago
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51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

jandrese Re:Logged in to email? (109 comments)

It is actually required by law to be there. All phones must be capable of making an emergency call without being unlocked.

7 hours ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

jandrese Re:Bitcoin credibility? (267 comments)

This variation is otherwise known as the "forever game" of Monopoly. Without the money sink of the fines, the game is virtually guaranteed to drag on for hours and hours, thoroughly and completely boring everybody.

2 days ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

jandrese Re: Betteridge (247 comments)

Netflix is better for me on v6 than it is on v4 because my ISP (Fios) does not support v6 so I have to tunnel it out, and the tunnel avoids the congested uplink that Verizon has to Netflix.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

jandrese Re:Never used one (274 comments)

In some ways getting a job is like dating. If you are beautiful you can skip a lot of the bullshit.

Basically, Step 0: Be an expert at an in-demand technology. Step 1: Don't not be an expert at an in-demand technology.

about a week ago
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NVIDIA Tegra K1: First Mobile Chip With Hardware-Accelerated OpenCL

jandrese Re:I've been watching this (52 comments)

I have a Iconia Tab with a Tegra 2, and am pretty pissed at how fast nVidia dropped driver support for the chip. I'm stuck on an ancient version of Android because of it.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

jandrese Re:Exposure to multiple environments and languages (637 comments)

You had mainframe access in school?!? I don't count embedded "OS"es like Cisco's iOS--you are just running an application for configuring the device. It's semantics and I can see the arguments for and against it. When you learn those, you're not really learning the OS so much as just learning the device, it's not especially portable knowledge.

about two weeks ago
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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

jandrese Re:Microsoft (267 comments)

I guess it varies. Unless someone's cell phone is out of service they always get my messages. It's more reliable than SMS for me.

about two weeks ago
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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

jandrese Re:Microsoft (267 comments)

Man I wish. iMessage is the only form of pure IP communication that works reliably with the people I know, but only if they have Apple devices. Skype requires so much effort to set up that its pretty much for special occasions only.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

jandrese Re:Exposure to multiple environments and languages (637 comments)

It's hard to find that many OSes these days. Once you get beyond Windows/Linux (Unix)/MacOS you start talking about a lot of stuff that's basically "Linux but...". I guess if you were particularly generous you could count BSD as a fourth OS, but that's stretching it. It really depends about what you mean when you say you've "learned" an OS. Have you learned how to manage it? How it handles devices and memory under the hood? The interface between the OS and the applications it runs? Or is it just "I know how to log in and do the 'ls' and 'cd' equivalents."?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

jandrese Re:Is your CS degree program really that narrow? (637 comments)

In my classes we tended to learn 1 of each "type" of programming language. So some MIPS assembler (low level), a bunch of C (imperative), some C++ (Object Oriented), some Scheme (Functional), some Prolog (Logical), some SQL (Logical, but data driven). The idea was that the individual details of each language are less important than learning the thought processes behind them.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

jandrese Re:Yes, but no (637 comments)

That's something I would have gone to the Dean of the IS school and talk about, because it's a totally stupid policy and learning SQL is an enormously valuable life skill for any programmer. Either that or go to the Dean of the CS department and convince him that they should have their own "Databases for CS students" class instead. This may he harder as some CS department top brass are displaced mathematicians and have no interest in supporting courses that are "boring tradecraft stuff" and would rather get another theoretical math via computers type course instead.

There are two "optional" CS type courses that every student should take IMHO: Databases and Networks. That's what the world is going to be made of in the future, and we're already making a lot of progress in that area.

about two weeks ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

jandrese Re:But but but but the whole POINT ... (140 comments)

Not with the protocol itself (because you couldn't trust it anyway), but you could implement crypto on top of the bus to avoid that problem. Everybody signs the messages and only accepts messages from approved sources who have signed their messages correctly.

about two weeks ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

jandrese Re:Opinion from industry insider (140 comments)

You don't have to pre-place keys everywhere in the car. You just need all of the asymmetric key exchange to happen when you turn the key. If it takes 50 ms then so be it. Hopefully nobody gets in a high speed collision 45ms after starting their car. After that each component will have negotiated a symmetric key that they can use for the rest of the communication. You can decode a 256bit AES key in a couple of microseconds on even cheap microcontrollers these days.

about two weeks ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

jandrese Re:Opinion from industry insider (140 comments)

I have to imagine that things have changed at least a little bit in 17 years.

I appreciate the theft deterrence aspect of this, but I wonder what it does to the third party parts market. For the key and immobilizer that's fine, but when every single part on the car needs a specific code that is baked into the ECU then repairs start to get tricky.

about two weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

jandrese Re:Good luck with that. (317 comments)

Somehow I doubt that Ford and GM have a way to copy music out of the system. That's just not what those things are designed to do.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

jandrese Re: let it go (170 comments)

Oh, my balls!

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

jandrese Re:Be ready for a lot of frustration (170 comments)

I had a Palm IIIe and the NiMH batteries I used in it lasted roughly a week or two depending on how heavily I used the backlight. But these were the old school NiMH that would be dead after a couple of weeks even when they weren't plugged into anything. Alkaline batteries lasted a crazy long time, like a month or more. I was a pretty heavy user of the device as well, using it to read e-books on the bus every day, playing games, and taking notes.

about three weeks ago
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Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes

jandrese Re:Fast Forward (69 comments)

This reminds me of a story I read a few years ago about a landmine clearing robot that was designed to have its legs blown off and still travel through the minefield.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Help save historic space data

jandrese jandrese writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jandrese writes "The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project has been recovering and digitizing NASA's old images from the Apollo program from dusty old tapes found in a barn. They are using modern techniques on the old data to achieve stunning results from the old material, but have run out of funding and are looking for help. They have a very modest goal of $75,000 and only 5 days left to reach it."
Link to Original Source
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Verizon CEO: US #1 in Broadband; Because I say so

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jandrese writes "Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg went on the record with the Council of Foreign relations to say that the US has far and away the best Broadband in the world, and that the European model has not served its customers nearly as well as the US model. Also how the FCC is making a big mistake if it starts regulating broadband and wireless.

Murray: So on the measures that matter most to you, where does the United States rank in terms of

Seidenberg: One. Not even close.

Seidenberg then goes on to explain how Verizon has laid more fiber than all of the telecom companies in Europe combined, and how Europeans have to carry multiple cell phones if they want to avoid roaming fees. He also promises to go after wireless bandwidth hogs."
Link to Original Source

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1.474 Gigapixel image of the Inagural Address

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jandrese writes "David Bergman used a gigapan Imager to create this stunning 1.474 Gigapixel image of the inaugural address by taking 220 images with his Canon G10 with the robotic mount quickly and precisely aiming the camera for every shot. A fullscreen version of the image viewer is also available. The level of detail is amazing, you can almost read the band's sheet music."
Link to Original Source
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Clear Channel wants to clean up XM/Sirius

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jandrese writes "It seems that Clear Channel's terrestrial stations are tired of the XM and Sirius counterparts being free from the FCC decency guidelines, especially after they are forced to pay $1.75 million in fees. To fix the problem they are asking the FCC to impose additional restrictions on the pending XM and Sirius satellite radio merger. In particular, they want the FCC to apply the over the air decency guidelines to all channels on satellite radio. The worst part is that the FCC has not rejected this idea out of hand."
Link to Original Source
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jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jandrese writes "LONDON (Thomson Financial) — Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc could face a possible lawsuit for failing to include measures to control access to copyrighted material in products such as Vista OS, iTunes and the iPod, two companies have warned.

Media Rights Technologies and BlueBeat.com have issued cease and desist letters to both companies and to Adobe Systems Inc and Real Networks — which produce the Adobe Flash Player and Real Player respectively — for actively avoiding their X1 SeCure Recording Control, which they said is an effective copyright protection system.

I guess DRM companies have gotten so used to suing their customers that suing potential customers seems like a good idea."

Journals

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Why does C not have a heap checking function?

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 6 years ago One of the things that has bothered me from the first day I learned about the Memory Management in C over a decade ago is how there is no apparently method in C for knowing how much memory is allocated behind a pointer that you are passed. I asked my teacher back in the day how we would prevent stuff from running off of the end of a buffer if we can't find out how big a buffer is and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "very carefully". It is no surprise to me that buffer overflows are by far the most common form of exploit on C based languages. The worst part is that a lot of that could be avoided with one simple function:

int heapsize(void* buffer, void** start);

Passed in your target pointer it would set the start pointer to the start of the buffer and return the length of the buffer in bytes. Now you would know exactly where your pointer is and how many bytes are left. Bounds checking suddenly gets really simple and buffer overflows, while not completely a thing of the past (lazy programmers would never check), appear far less often.

The normal argument against this function is "it's your program, you should know how big the buffers are", but frankly in an age of libraries and team coding this is just not true.

The worst part is that C already knows this stuff. It has to or the "free" command would not work. It is just hidden away and impossible to get at for some reason. Even with the many revisions of C over the years, it seems like this is one feature we're never going to get. I wonder why?

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Mkisofs

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 10 years ago Why in the world does mkisofs have such a crummy method for specifing what files you want burned?

In case you don't know, here's how it works, you specify one or more directories after the options to mkisofs like so:
mkisofs options_here directory1 directory2 etc...
If directory1 contains the file foo and directory2 contains the file bar, your CD will have foo and bar on the root. Directory1 and directory2 are gone.

This design is as frustrating as it is stupid. If you want to burn directories like that you either have to create a third directory and temporarily move them in there, or create symlinks in the third directory and turn on the (unreliable) -follow-symlinks option (hope you don't have any symlinks in those directories that you cared about).

The worst part is, the correct interface is trivial to implement. If mkisofs didn't get rid of that last directory, it would work perfectly. Using the above line you would get a CD with directory1 and directory2 at the root. If you want the old behavior, all you would have to do is explicitly glob the files like so:
mkisofs options_here directory1/* directory2/* etc...
Maybe it's time to pull out the source...

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S-Box mod chip

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 11 years ago I've had the S-Box (also called the NeoKey) installed in my PS2 for some time now, and there are a few things I need to get off my chest:

  • Installation: The first problem was that the documentation was wrong. I apparently have the generation 3 PS2, but it has all of the markings of a generation 1 PS2. When I talked to one of the vendors about it, they said that Sony has been doing that to try to thwart the modchip crowd. Ok, they can't do anything about that. What they could do is actually mention that somewhere. I went to at least a dozen different mod sites and none of them had any sort of waring about that whatsoever. Also, they all appear to have copied the instruction pages from a single source, lock stock and barrell. The originals weren't very good though (the pictures were kinda small and fuzzy). Finally, as for the actual process of installation, it was no too bad, except that the PS2 has an incredibly compact PCB, my pencil tip soldering iron was almost too big for that tiny little patch I had to solder on. I'm also not sure if that USB port will ever be usable again (I suspect not). Fortunatly almost nothing on the PS2 uses the USB port.
  • Import/Burned PSx games: The chip works as advertised sometimes, and lets me play DDR on my US PS2, however it is rather flaky, only working about 50% of the time and requiring a reboot the other times. I've found that it works best if you power the PS2 completely off (using the switch in the back) and back on when trying to play an import. It does blink ALL of the time when it is on however, which is rather annoying (fortunatly the light is covered up by the controller plugs).
  • Import/Burned PS2 games: there were some conflicting reports on the sites about support for Ps2 games. Apparently you need a Gameshark, and even then you can only play PS2 games that are burned on CDr. I suppose that would be fine for pirates, but all I really care about are import games. I guess I'll just be playing the PSx imports instead. Also, instead of a Gameshark, I already had a Code Breaker. The Code Breaker is apparently not sufficent, as it does not work. Actaully, I havn't had a gameshark to test with either, so I don't know if it works at all.
  • Final Verdict: If your soldering skills are only so-so, and you only want to play PSx games, and don't mind a bit of a headache in the install procedure, then this is an acceptable modchip. It is also reasonably inexpensive compared to some of the more full featured mods.

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