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Comments

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Facebook Now Supports Jabber/XMPP

mwilliamson plausible deniability at work (174 comments)

I've been using the pidgin plugin for a while now, but it seems a little flaky. This will be rather nice to have a standards-based protocol. This also means I have plausible deniability now as to whether or not I'm logged into facebook all day. ;-)

more than 4 years ago
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US Congressman Announces Plans To Probe Wikileaks

mwilliamson cleartext unencrypted nation-wide traffic (311 comments)

So what is the big deal? This data was sent out unencrypted from many transmitters all across the nation. It would have been (and still is) very easy to intercept. There is no data security. Those considering it a secure medium have simply been mislead. Congress, as a whole, is rather ignorant of these technical concepts. There are programs that use a soundcard for data capture, but for best results make sure and use the receiver's discriminator output, not the filtered audio out. Google for "POCSAG and FLEX decoding" for all the goodies and software you need to do your own intercepts. -Michael

more than 4 years ago
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First Public White-Space Network Is Alive

mwilliamson Re:Is this statement misleading? (97 comments)

Uh, no. Range is not a function of signal power. It more is a function of the overall signal/noise ratio and the sensitivity of the receiver. This includes noise introduced in the transmitter, natural/other noise, and noise introduced in the receiver. An antenna system with gain can both concentrate and attenuate signals, depending on the directivity and where its pointed.

BTW, I got over 1400 miles out of a little 0.3 watt ham signal, but thats no where near as impressive as Earth still being able to receive signals from Voyager 1 and 2 nearly 10 billion miles away. That's impressive.

-Michael

more than 4 years ago
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Lori Drew Cyberbullying Case Dismissed

mwilliamson glad its not considered terrorism... (408 comments)

Finally a sane ruling. I'm happily surprized a court didn't rule that breaking a website's T.O.S. is an act of domestic terrorism, punishable by loss of citizenship and infinite water boarding at guantanamo followed by an eternity in hell.

more than 5 years ago
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No Windows 7 XP Mode For Sony Vaio Z Owners

mwilliamson Linux BIOS Project? (198 comments)

Can the bios be re-flashed with something more useful?

more than 5 years ago
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Standalone GPS Receivers Going the Way of the Dodo

mwilliamson Re:Speaking from under my tinfoil hat... (422 comments)

The local oscillator in your standalone GPS creates a signal too :-) (albeit very tiny)

more than 5 years ago
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Standalone GPS Receivers Going the Way of the Dodo

mwilliamson Tax Funded GPS...why the hell should we pay? (422 comments)

Never, and I repeat, NEVER agree to pay for GPS "service." You already have in your federal taxes. These ***hole cellphone companies that charge you for GPS are full of themselves. I will never use a phone-based GPS if it costs me a penny extra. Vote with your wallet.

more than 5 years ago
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Social Security Numbers Can Be Guessed

mwilliamson SSN is an IDENTIFIER, not AUTHENTICATOR (268 comments)

Anybody or organization using an SSN as both an identifier and a form of authentication is stupid, irresponsible and should be held accountable 100% for breach of whatever resource they control. The problem is in the "shared secret" type use of a damn 9-digit number, with a few of the digits already known based on state of birth.

Want a list of ssn's for every state? Here's all of them. Have fun.

-Michael

more than 5 years ago
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NASA Requests Help With Von Braun's Notes

mwilliamson Re:Format Suggestion (148 comments)

obviously, bittorrent to distribute the resulting set far and wide.

more than 5 years ago
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NASA Requests Help With Von Braun's Notes

mwilliamson Format Suggestion (148 comments)

group-iv tiff + ASCII, key-value metadata descriptor in XML. Keep it generic.

more than 5 years ago
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New Lithium-Air Battery Delivers 10 Times the Energy Density

mwilliamson Lithium, a limited natural resource? (281 comments)

It seems like this is the holy grail for electric vehicles, and we can finally stop burning dinosaur juice in our little bitty engines and realize the economies of scale of burning dinosaur farts in really big and efficient prime movers. This is all well and good, but how plentiful is lithium, and can it be recycled easily (I suspect yes)? -Michael

more than 5 years ago
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Data Centers Work To Reduce Water Usage

mwilliamson Re:Don't "waste" the heat or the water (225 comments)

Open systems are used because evaporation carries away far more heat than a closed-loop system. To illustrate, the 6-cycle engine (standard 4-stroke + steam stroke) needs no cooling system whatsoever, and only carries about as much water as fuel.

more than 5 years ago
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Data Centers Work To Reduce Water Usage

mwilliamson Another solution. (225 comments)

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=27.605462,-97.306359&spn=0.013139,0.021544&t=h&z=16 Suck in ocean water from one area, blow it out in another. This plant sucks water from the Laguna Madre (the body of water between the Texas coast and Padre Island) then spills the water into the Oso Bay, which is in turn connected to the Corpus Christi bay. This plant is a natural-gas fired plant, but evidently had coal in mind with the docks...cooling water and fuel via the same route.

more than 5 years ago
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Amazon Caves On Kindle 2 Text-To-Speech

mwilliamson Goes to far (370 comments)

Copyright does not give the property holder the right to tell users what color/brand glasses they are allowed to wear when reading a particular title and this is really no different. Amazon/Kindle should stick to their guns and let the end user decide to turn on the TTS engine or not. Besides, most people can read a lot faster than even the fastest discernible speech.

more than 5 years ago
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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner?

mwilliamson Re:Blind Them!!! (311 comments)

Not when the yellow period is shortened to increase the ticket yields, which I've not yet seen myself in my location, but have heard about. I'm not one to advocate running red lights, but if going up against intentionally shortened yellow lights, I say countermeasures are appropriate and justified. If a locale wants to play dirt, this'll shield their dirt.

more than 5 years ago
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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner?

mwilliamson Blind Them!!! (311 comments)

Here's a neat idea. I really want to do the same with my license plate for the stupid redlight cameras in my city, but was thinking a few strong camera strobes with an IR filter set up as a slave flash would work better.

http://www.hacknmod.com/hack/blind-cameras-with-an-infrared-led-hat/

This IR hat hack is cool, but needs to be modified to regulate the current through the LEDs or they'll burn out quickly.

more than 5 years ago
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Space Based Solar Power Within a Decade?

mwilliamson payback period question (371 comments)

I wonder how long a GW satellite would have to operate to capture the amount of energy required to build the PV arrays and the rest of the sattelite, the rectenna, and match the energy consumed in producing and operating the spacecraft used to put it into orbit. Its my understanding that the amount of energy used to create PV arrays is pretty substantial alone...years worth of operation on earth. I hope this is a lot better both in efficiencies creating the modern PV panels, and in capture efficiencies.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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What all can I spell in a mac address?

mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  about 4 years ago

mwilliamson (672411) writes "I guess I'm bored tonight. Someone on facebook started talking about seeing words spelled out in mac addresses, so I got to thinking how many possible English words could be embedded in a mac address.

Creatively querying aspell, I came up with 346 words I also allowed 0 and 1 because, well, they look like o and l.

The following will give the complete list: /usr/bin/strings /usr/lib/aspell-0.60... |... grep -v -i [g-k] | grep -v -i [m-n] | grep -v -i [p-z] | grep -v '*' | tr [A-Z] [a-z] | uniq

More interesting ones (to me anyway) include:
offloaded, accolade, oddball, bobble, baffled, beefed, blob, boldfaced, fable, facade, faded, cocoa, coal, coldblooded, deaf, flooded, loco, lead, and doodad."
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Adobe Flash on Linux -- Why still broken?

mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mwilliamson writes "As I sit reading my morning paper online I still cannot view the embedded videos due to auto-detection of my flash player not working. Every 3 or 4 Youtube videos crashes my browser. I remember sometime back reading that Adobe has a very small development team (possibly only one) working on the Linux port of Flash, then it dawns on me that Flash on Linux is the one major entry barrier controlling acceptance of Linux as a viable operating system on the desktop. No matter how stable, smooth, flashy, efficient and correct Linux runs on a machine, the public will continue to view it as second rate if Flash keeps crashing. This is worst example of being tied down and bound by a crappy 3rd party product in which no Linux distribution has a bit of control over. GNASH is nice, but just isn't there 100%.

I really do have to suspect the source Adobe's motivation to keep Flash on Linux in such a deplorable state."
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Yahoo Hotjobs won't accept OpenOffice .doc files

mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mwilliamson writes "I just submitted the following via Yahoo's HotJobs feedback mechanism. Call me pessimistic, but I suspect this will never be viewed by human eyes. The problem I'm trying to alert Yahoo to is that HotJob's 100kb limitation is blocking the smallest OpenOffice saved .doc files as OpenOffice probably doesn't compress the files the same way.

Here's what I submitted:
The 100kb limit on .doc formatted resumes is preventing those of us who use OpenOffice from being able to upload our .doc resumes as OpenOffice saved .doc files are not compressed in the same manner. Typical short MS-Word files are around 40kb each and short OpenOffice .doc files are just a tad over 100kb each. Please consider changing this limitation to support the open-source community. Additionally, please consider allowing RTF, PDF or even OOXML formats as well."
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mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mwilliamson writes "The FCC is will soon require protocol changes to 802.11a to automatically avoid interference to military and weather RADAR systems using the 5 GHZ spectrum. At best, this will probably require a firmware update on your access points. More information can be found at(PDF): http://www.cisco.com.nyud.net:8080/application/pdf /en/us/guest/products/ps5861/c1244/cdccont_0900aec d801c4a88.pdf

Quoting from this article: "In order to operate in the 5 GHZ bands radios must comply with two features that are part of the 802.11h specification-Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmitter Power Control (TPC). DFS dynamically instructs a transmitter to switch to another channel whenever a particular condition (such as the presence of a radar signal) is met. Prior to transmitting, a device's DFS mechanism monitors its available operating spectrum, listening for a radar signal. If a signal is detected, the channel associated with the radar signal will be vacated or flagged as unavailable for use by the transmitter... [SNIP]...All WLAN products that ship in Canada and the US on or after July 20, 2007 must meet the DFS for FCC requirements.""
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mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mwilliamson writes "I just got a phone call here at work playing back a pre-recorded message stating I hadn't completed filing with Turbotax and gave me a URL to finish. Like many others, I waited until the last night, could not file electronically so had to opt for the paper route. Although I used their system to download the mailable documents, they don't seem to know. Now the funny part...this URL seems to be down, probably due to overload this time evidently generated by their own call center. Bad turbotax! hehe The URL they had given was http://support.turbotax.com/efhelp."
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mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mwilliamson writes "Although I've not found anything that claims to do this, I've decided to ask the Slashdot community if they think it is possible to losslessly compress previously lossy compressed and de-compressed audio into a form roughly the size of the previously compressed audio.

To clarify:
  • Audio file (a) raw audio as recorded
  • lossy compressed file (b), of file (a) (ex. ogg/mp3/wma/aac)
  • uncompressed file (c) as an unpacking of (b) (ex. winamp play to file)
  • recompressed file (d) of file (c)
  • uncompressed file (e) of file (d)
  • sizeof(d) roughly equal sizeof(b)
  • files (e) and (c) bitwise identical
The implications for the anti-DRM movement are obvious, but there are plenty of other reasons to persue this. This would greatly help with the age-old problem of futureproofing your audio without having to have support for every know format under the sun in your media player."

Journals

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mwilliamson mwilliamson writes  |  more than 11 years ago Ok, I'm new to /. I must ask myself how in the hell I got bad Karma. Perhaps it was my cheesy-ass-as-hell 8 bit LED display from a couple months ago...perhaps it was my short replies to recent posts. Sooner or later I'll figure this out and dig myself out of Karma jail. Ain't there a man page for this karma thing?

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