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Made-In-Nigeria Smart Cards To Extend Financial Services To the Poor

klubar Financial stability, trustworthy commerce... (40 comments)

A functioning economy with commerce is part of the solution. One of the functions of banks, beside a more secure place to hold your cash, is to use the deposits to make loans that allow businesses to develop. Businesses generate jobs, wages and more infrastructure. All which help develop civil and functioning societies. Although far from a complete success, take a look at how Rwanda has developed post civil war.

I not sure that this particular company will not suffer the fate of other attempts, but the concept of providing banking to otherwise unbanked is a good idea.

2 days ago

Linux Controls a Gasoline Engine With Machine Learning

klubar I don't get why you would need this in production (89 comments)

On a production engine, the specs of every unit will be identical (to machining tolerances .001 in). So once you solve the problem just encode the parameters in the controller and you can use something much less powerful (and more reliable). For solving the problem, use whatever high-power equipment you'd like. Attach a hundred sensors and throw a supercomputer at it. Even better, rather than "machine learning" (aka, we don't understand it, we will let the computer tweak it until it gets better), simulate the physics and solve the equations for a complete solution.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

klubar Re:Does the processing power need to be there? (202 comments)

The real question is what is your budget? At the very high end, you could get a custom machined box for the heat sinks and customized components. You could also actually pay someone to calculate the thermodynamics and heat flows. As others have stated, detailed specs (application, requirements, budget, timeline, quantity) are really a requirement.

I'm guessing that there are military, aircraft solutions that fit the bill (but might require you to drop $10K on the system. It seems to me that the requirements for satellites are at least as stringent -- and repair isn't an option.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?

klubar Hire an electrician who has done it before... (279 comments)

Even in an old house, an electrician who is experienced with the local construction can run CAT6 cable. At the same time, the electrician can put in power outlets where you really want them and add any (electrical) switches that are inconveniently placed. Maybe you'd like a couple of outside outlets and to upgrade some of the lighting at the same time

Figure about 2 days of an electrician + a helper at most; maybe $1,500 or $2,000. Consider it part of the purchase price of the house.

Wiring is really a well-solved science, and there are professionals (or trades people) who know how to do it.

If you can afford the house, hire some.

about 4 months ago

Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

klubar It's probably good enough (185 comments)

Like all technology, it's really about what you are trying to protect. For most people and applications HTTPS is probably enough, if you're protecting multi-billion dollar transactions or infrastructure then you should use something stronger. Think of it like door locks -- all are flawed, but it's not worth spending $1 million on security to protect a $300,000 house.

I'm reasonably satisfied with the level of protection from HTTPS for my twitter posts and even banking.

As an aside, is the Microsoft HTTPS implementation any better? It seems like only open source and Apple have been implicated in the HTTPSgate scandal.

about 4 months ago

Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars?

klubar Mythbusters tested landing an airplane (437 comments)

Mythbusters (almost as accurate as wikipedia) tested the myth of an untrained pilot landing a plane with coaching from the ground. They concluded it was "plausable".

But their second go-round with coaching assistance from an air traffic officer was much smoother sailing. Though the coach wasn't inside the simulator with Jamie and Adam, he was able to point out the gauges and controls and how to use them to correctly maneuver the plane. After being talked through how to steer and land step-by-step, Jamie and Adam each brought their imaginary planes safely to the ground, leading the MythBusters to rule this one "plausible" for someone actually flying the friendly skies. And at the end of the show, they said had they used the automation available, it would have been much easier....

see: http://www.discovery.com/tv-sh...

about 8 months ago

How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

klubar BCD is used in accounting (100 comments)

Actually BCD was (is) mostly used for accounting application where rounding isn't acceptable. Scientists mostly use floating point where the rounding doesn't matter. For those who want a COBOL example PIC 9(6)V99 could well be stored and calculated as BCD arithmetic and would retain 8 digits of precision.

about 10 months ago

Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop

klubar Seems about right for a cop on private detail (235 comments)

The $100/hour seems about right for what utilities and others pay for a cop on private detail. The officer gets some of that in overtime, the city gets the rest as "profit" and overhead. $200k/year for a trained, licensed cop seems in the ballpark once you take into effect training, equipment, benefits, hiring and other costs. Your $75K/year PHP programmer probably costs the company $150K/year once you add in benefits, recruiting, real estate and training.

about a year ago

Mystery Rock 'Appears' In Front of Mars Rover

klubar Re:I know what this is!!!! (112 comments)

I'd bet it's a jelly donut. If it's about the size of a jelly donut, it's probably a jelly donut. Not a good time to speed as there's probably a cop nearby.

1 year,9 days

Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

klubar Re:Sounds like a joke (365 comments)

Actually you have your choice (these and many more). Probably with all of these gates you could solve almost any problem:
Bill Gates (Chairman of Microsoft)
Melinda Gates (American philanthropist)
Robert Gates (Former Defense Secretary)Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers Tight End)
Brent Gates (American professional baseball player)
Clyde Gates (New York Jets Wide Receiver)
Lionel Gates (American professional football player)servants[edit]
Artemus Gates (American financier and Undersecretary of the Navy)'

1 year,17 days

CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

klubar I believe it's: " reved up like a deuce" (295 comments)

...blinded by the light reved up like a deuce. A "deuce" is slang for a street rod which probably didn't have laser headlights. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_B_(1932)#Deuce_coupe)

I hate to think how much these BMW laser headlights will cost to replace after a minor fender bender. I remember when all the headlights were the standard round ones and probably cost $20 or $30 to replace. Even cheap headlights are in the hundreds of dollars now... the current BMW headlight is probably $1000.

Now you kids get off my lawn.

1 year,21 days

Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

klubar Previous name for cloud... (308 comments)

I believe the earlier name for "cloud services" was timesharing. The 70's called and want their VM370/TSO back.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

klubar Look into retrospect (285 comments)

You might look into retrospect (http://retrospect.com/). The have clients for macs and PC (and some flavors of Linux) and it's pretty easy to use. You can back up remotely (on schedule or on demand) and could restore locally of the hard drive. You & your neighbor can also back up locally onto a 2nd hard drive. The program has been around for 20+ years, it's reasonably price and the support is slightly above average. They have a free trial.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Cloud Service On a Budget?

klubar Re:Sounds like... (121 comments)

I have to agree that the host/server/bandwidth costs should be a relatively small factor on your calculation. Reliability, security and responsiveness really should be more important. The difference between top tier and bottom tier hosting/cloud is probably no more than a factor of 2 -- you can easily burn thru that savings with a couple of hours of downtime or a hosting vendor screw up.

If cost is really important, I'd get it working first at a top tier vendor and then overtime try to squeeze out costs--either negotiating a better rate (based on your volume) or switching to a lower cost vendor.

Alternative, why not just buy more bandwidth to your location. The bandwidth costs should be relatively low compared to the overall project costs. Also, this will provide you with office redundancy (at least at some level).

Too often in trying to save money, people focus on the wrong part of the problem.

about a year ago

Dark Day In the AWS Cloud: Big Name Sites Go Down

klubar Best week ever for sys admins (182 comments)

I have to say with all of the big names having problems recently this has been one of the best weeks ever for the lowly corporate sys admin. Now if the company's email, file or web server--or even the coffee machine goes down, they can point to the big names that also have problems. It's great to be able to say that even at companies like Amazon, Google or Microsoft with all of their talents their servers also have problems. It's the greatest excuse ever for tripping over the power cord. And if that doesn't work, you can always blame the NSA for the typo in your email or the late TPS reports.

Thanks everyone and happy SysAdmin day! (which isn't today, but due to the unexpected outage is running late)

about a year and a half ago

Dark Day In the AWS Cloud: Big Name Sites Go Down

klubar Re:Realistically (182 comments)

How up time is calculated is one of the really weaselly ways that companies set up SLAs. Some companies don't start counting downtime until it's reported, others require a minimum threshold of downtime before it counts, others define available in somewhat meaningless terms (e.g., server up, but network down doesn't count).

about a year and a half ago

How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

klubar Re:Micro USB connectors (238 comments)

Somewhat OT, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of third-party sources to repair micro USB connectors. I don't know if it was a manufacturing issue, but the micro USB went on my Samsung & HTC at about the same time. For around $30 to $40 each, I was able to get them repaired.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Updates MacBooks and Mac Pro Desktop With Haswell, "Unified Thermal Core"

klubar Re: Not Upgradeable? (464 comments)

As long as what you want isn't iSCSI, FCoE or 10gig either.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Shows Off New iOS 7, Mac OS X At WWDC

klubar Re: Tubular in 1984? (607 comments)

I'm waiting for someone to announce a rack mount kit for a tubular computer case. Actually, anyone who needs cheap computing horsepower probably isn't buying mac computers. These are targeted at the single-shingle video producers and others for whom a single "work station" is fine. At the high end, all of the disk is iSCSI or something similar so TB doesn't matter.

about a year and a half ago

Keyless Remote Entry For Cars May Have Been Cracked

klubar Re:Seems an unnecessary feature (398 comments)

At least on the Prius once the car is running even if you move the key fob out of range, the car keeps running (actually a good safety feature as you wouldn't want the car to shutdown on a key fob failure.) On the Prius (and maybe other Toyotas), there is a metal key for mechanically unlocking the driver's side door and a electronic slot for starting the car. You can use the electronic slot if the key fob batter is completely dead so I suspect it's a passive NFC device. There is also a mode that you can disable the active detection feature and always have to use the dashboard slot. Other models probably have similar features.

about a year and a half ago



End of an era: After a 30 year run, IBM drops support for Lotus 1-2-3

klubar klubar writes  |  about 4 months ago

klubar (591384) writes "Although it has been fading for years, the final death knell came recently for the iconic Lotus 1-2-3. In many ways, Lotus 1-2-3 launched the PC era (and ensured the Apple II success), and once was a serious competitor for Excel (and prior to that Multiplan and VisiCalc). Although I doubt if anyone is creating new Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets, I'm sure there are spreadsheets still being used who trace their origin to Lotus 1-2-3, and even Office 2013 still has some functions and key compatibility with Lotus 1-2-3. Oh, how far the mighty have fallen."
Link to Original Source

Thieves found Citigroup site an easy entry

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 3 years ago

klubar (591384) writes "After logging in, theives used a simple GET replacement to switch among Citibank credit card accounts. Anyone with a simple browser sniffer (fiddler tools, and many others) can see the URL strings. This one appears to be even easier as it was in the URL string. You think that they would have checked for such a rookie mistake and put in better security. It's also interesting that it took so long to discover."
Link to Original Source

1 in 3 SysAdmins snoop on colleagues

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

klubar writes "According to a a recent survey One in three IT staff snoops on colleagues. Survey: Abuses include salary details, personal emails, meeting minutes.

U.S. information security company Cyber-Ark surveyed 300 senior IT professionals, and found that one-third admitted to secretly snooping, while 47 percent said they had accessed information that was not relevant to their role.

Makes you wonder about the other 2 out of 3. Did they lie on the survey or really don't snoop?"

Link to Original Source

Apple accuses teens "reverse shoplifting"

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

klubar (591384) writes "According to The Register four teens were detained and photographed by an Apple store after they downloaded a third-party application to an iPhone demo unit.

I guess this could be called reverse shoplifting as they left something behind in a store.

Presumably, Apple wants to ensure that their iPhones are pristine for demo. Although Apple denies it, I wonder if these teens claim they are banned for life from Apple stores — if they are really bad, they will never be able to purchase Apple products ever. Stuck with Vista or Linux for life!"

Hand-held lie detector being deployed for US

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

klubar (591384) writes "From the article: New anti-terror weapon: Hand-held lie detector; U.S. troops in Afghanistan first to get new device; 'red' means you're lying

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The Pentagon will issue hand-held lie detectors this month to U.S. Army soldiers in Afghanistan, pushing to the battlefront a century-old debate over the accuracy of the polygraph.

The Defense Department says the portable device isn't perfect, but is accurate enough to save American lives by screening local police officers, interpreters and allied forces for access to U.S. military bases, and by helping narrow the list of suspects after a roadside bombing. The device has already been tried in Iraq and is expected to be deployed there as well. "We're not promising perfection — we've been very careful in that," said Donald Krapohl, special assistant to the director at the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment, the midwife for the new device. "What we are promising is that, if it's properly used, it will improve over what they are currently doing."

— Presumably this device will fall into civilian hands soon. Expect to see it with every police department and PHB. Imagine what it can do for sales people."

Link to Original Source

Sony charges for removing bloatware

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

klubar writes "Sony (along with other vendors) has offered the option of not getting bloatware for an additional $50. In some ways, Sony is at least being (partially) honest in that they explicitly price the removal. Other vendors hide the cost by wrapping bloatware free versions into specific models (for example, Dell's Vostos and Optiplex) don't have much bloatware, but are not exactly identical to an equivalent model.

They're not be completely honest by implying that they "remove" the bloatware. I'm sure they have a bloatware-free image that they apply before shipping

Does anyone know how much the vendors actually get for installing various trial versions?

Also, there is some danger of one man's bloatware being another's convenience. For example is pre-installing Adobe Acrobat and Flash bloatware or value? How about Google toolbar? And on down the line... IE? iTunes?

And, Macs aren't exactly bloatware free. Quicktime is a trial version with a nag screen to upgrade. Macs come with trial versions of Office (how much does Microsoft pay for that) and Omni outliner.

For more details see: Sony charges $50 to remove laptop bloatware"

Flaming iPods in Japan

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 6 years ago

klubar writes "Japan investigates possible iPod defect One of the popular digital music players reportedly shot out sparks

In the exploding laptop category, it looks like we may need to add fire-starting ipods.

The Apple response is probably easy...just buy a new one... ipods are disposable items.

The scoop: is at Japan investigates possible iPod defect"

Digital 'smiley face' turns 25 :-)

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

klubar writes "Another milestone of online communications has been reached. The smiley turns 25 according Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman who says he was the first to use three keystrokes :-). It's sad that emotional icons, known as emoticons have replaced clear writing to communicate. Soon, we'll all go back to cave paintings (but they will be digital and in high resolution).

The inventor said "But it's always possible that someone else had the same idea — it's a simple and obvious idea, after all.", but at least he didn't try to patent the concept as one would do now."

Link to Original Source

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

klubar writes "John Backus, whose development of the Fortran programming language in the 1950s changed how people interacted with computers and paved the way for modern software, has died. He was 82.

The development of fortran launched many a computer science career. Although it has been superceeded by more modern languages, Fortan is still dear to many older CS majors. There is probably a surprising amount of Fortan 4 code still kicking around.

See more"

klubar klubar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

klubar writes "Newsweek recently interviewed Bill Gates on why Vista makes a difference. His answers on why upgrade, Microsoft future, Vista security and innovation are interesting — and surprisingly well reasoned.

He points out that Microsoft has had a number of major releases since Windows XP (as this is a consumer-oriented interview, he doesn't mention the business releases, like Server 2003, SQL, etc.) He also claims that Vista is highly secure and the underpinning is better than that of the Mac. The interview also addresses who is copying who (always a gray area) with the claim that many of the OSX ideas were develped first at Microsoft. He also claims that "security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.".

As an aside, based on a quick preview of Vista and Office 2007, I'm impressed. Both of them together really makes XP with Office 2003 and the OSX look dated."


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