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Comments

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Secretive Funding Fuels Ongoing Net Neutrality Astroturfing Controversy

raymorris that and govt enforced monopolies. FTTH reduces co (46 comments)

Startup costs are certainly significant, though in certain areas over builders (competitors) have been able to install new fiber networks at a cost lower than incumbent is spending tearing out the legacy network and replacing it. Where the incumbent has copper, that gives them little advantage competing for fiber service.

The other side of the problem is that in most areas the local government has given the incumbent a franchise - a legally protected monopoly. It's tough to build a competing network when it's illegal to either attach lines to the existing poles or install new poles in the right of way.

To some extant, this is government outlawing the direct effect of what they outlawed previously. Where competition is legally allowed, like some parts of the Austin area, competition exists and customers get better service then elsewhere.

6 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

raymorris "FTDI drivers may be distributed in any form" (490 comments)

FTDI's download page says:

"FTDI drivers may be distributed in any form as long as license information is not modified."

The owner of the device simply plugs it in. Windows then automatically loads the FTDI driver based on the information that _FTDI_ gave them. Microsoft and FTDI decided to load the FTDI driver for that device. So how exactly is the user "using unlicensed software illegally"?

The manufacturer of the comms chip did precisely the same thing FTDI did - manufacture a chip with a compatible USB ID. Exactly which law gives FTDI exclusive use of that number, and makes it illegal to build a compatible device?

7 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

raymorris not the fault of the driver if the driver (490 comments)

> It's not the fault of the driver if ... the driver tells the hardware to do a write, and the hardware does

How do you figure that what the driver does isn't the fault of the driver?

The driver gives instructions that tell the hardware to self destruct. The hardware faithfully follows the instructions.

It would be different if the instructions were to do something useful, but the clone instead destroyed itself. There is no innocent purpose for this sequence of instructions.

12 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

raymorris The code has no legitimate use, does nothing on FT (490 comments)

They explicitly wrote code that intentionally bricks the connected device. It takes advantage of a bug/ implementation detail such that it does NOTHING on a FTDI device. Because it doesn't do anything at all on a genuine FTDI device, there is no innocent reason for FTDI to put it in their driver.

If the code did something useful on an FTDI device but broke counterfeit devices, that could be accidental. That's not the case, though - the code never does anything good, it only breaks things.

13 hours ago
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Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

raymorris Privacy? This is the ID and BODY SCAN line (165 comments)

Certainly I don't want them to know I have a cell phone, that would be an invasion of my privacy while I wait in line for my NAKED BODY SCAN, right after I hand them my government-issued ID. There are privacy invasions happening there, but they aren't wifi related.

yesterday
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

raymorris Again $115/month is average. You ARE the rich (289 comments)

> Your attitude is the root cause of the ever increasing divide between the rich and the rest in the US.

The rich in the rest _IN_THE_US_. That's a hoot. 75% of Americans make over $2,000 / month. That's seventeen times as much as the average person makes. You're fabulously wealthy, yet whining because your two cars are Toyotas and not Ferraris. What a spoiled brat.

> Do you want to be a member of the lower strata of society with no upward mobility and no ability to change your status?

Let's have a look at upward mobility. My dad grew up in a shack with a dirt floor. Five people in one room. Sunday was meat day; they always tried to get a rabbit or something to have be able to have meat once a week. There's no way they could afford meat most days, but they managed to be able to have it once a week. Forty years later, my dad took his kids on the corporate jet. He was a vice president of an oil company, whose job involved working with crown Prince (now king) Abdullah. That's upward mobility. He didn't go from dirt poor to corporate jets by whining about "rich people". He got rich by working his ass off doing what rich people do.

2 days ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

raymorris I did the first part for you. Savinki $405/month (289 comments)

I chose your random location for you, using random.org to generate latitude and longitude. You're going to Savinki, Ukraine, where the average income is $405 / month. You'll get to meet some nice Russians while you're there. Enjoy your trip.

2 days ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

raymorris holy cr*p look out the window. You'll be so happy (289 comments)

"cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s"

Ho-ly crap. This must have been by the most spoiled, self-centered, self-indulging, entitled little spoiled brat in California. You have no idea what life is like for 99.99% of the world, do you? Here's a clue - your housekeeper may well be a "one percenter". The other 99% (aka almost everyone) doesn't have Netflix and they don't have a computer. They have a small plot where they try to grow enough food to eat, and they have a need for shoes - not they want another $250 pair of Nikes, they have no shoes.

If 170 mbps just isn't enough for you and you're crying about it, you're seriously in need of some perspective. Go live like an average human for two weeks. Seriously, you need to go into your dad's reading room, spin the globe, and without looking stop it and put your finger in a random place. Get a big map of that country an toss a dart at the map to hit a random place. Then go there. Not to the nearest big city that you've heard of at a charity ball, but to the exact place where dart hit. Go there and find the closest person working. Do their work with them for two hours, then ask where is the NEAREST place you can rent a room. Not the nicest place, the nearest place. Don't reject the room just because it doesn't have a toilet, you're going to live like the average human for two weeks. When you get back, 170 Mbps will be more than enough. After you live like an average person for two weeks, your life back home will be so.awesome you'll never complainabout anything again.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

raymorris You're doing it wrong. Requirements list! (104 comments)

> How would you convince them to abandon their plan to dive into project management and use an existing solution?

I wouldn't. Pushing for "your" solution rather than the right solution is being a fan, not a professional.
I would instead work with them to come up with a list of requirements. Note that that a requirements document is needed in order to do either correctly - to either build or buy, you need to know what features the solution needs to have. Applying a "checkbox" style to the list might be a good idea, to visually emphasize that the right solution is that one that checks off all of these needs.

Then with the requirements list in hand, you look at each option - the existing one, off-the-shelf solutions, and a schedule / quote to build a a custom solution.
If an off-the-shelf solution meets al of the requirements, you show them that - here's the list of 20 things we figured out you need, and this solution checks off all 20 boxes. If no off-the-shelf solution can check off all of the boxes, you ask if any of them can be customized to check off all of the boxes. If not, you must either build custom or revise your requirements.

This process will find the right solution, rather than convincing them to do it your way, against their better judgement. Remember, there's at least 50/50 chance that you're wrong. The other people are just as likely to be right as you are. Listing the requirements as a checklist will answer the question, in a clear, convincing way.

I once asked a couple of friends who'd heard me argue a proposal whether they thought I had done a good job arguing my view. They surprised me when they answered by shrugging and saying "well, you were right. I don't think you did a god or bad job of convincing us, it just became clear that your view is correct." When you present a clear set of facts showing which way is right, you don't need to "convince" anyone to do it "your way", you've simply demonstrated which way is in fact the right way to go.

3 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

raymorris fax? wtf autocorrect? (123 comments)

That subject line should say DAC, not FAX.

3 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

raymorris yes, upgraded to FAX like 1970s Unix (123 comments)

Indeed it has improved considerably. The basic security model went from "don't show other people's files unless you click the C: drive" to actually denying access to other people's files. Currently it has what has traditionally been considered a decent model, discretionary access control very similar to the classic Unix model.

On the other hand, Unix used that model in the 1970s. Linux moved to a more secure mandatory access control model ten years ago, around the same time that Windows was finally getting DAC. The weaker model is also the simpler and more convenient model, so this doesn't necessarily make Linux BETTER, it's more secure, but less simple and convenient. Choose your own priorities.

3 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

raymorris is not are (123 comments)

* Redundant. Windows is always easily breakable.

I've got to disagree with that one, unless you refer to Microsoft Windows then sure I agree with that :)

I did say Windows IS, not Windows ARE. :) Lexan windows are pretty tough, and the front door windows of some cars are tough, with the ability to bend a bit rather than break. On YouTube there is a funny video of a reporter trying to break a car window with a hammer.

3 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

raymorris I've said that, but Master lock and demolition saw (123 comments)

I've said that same thing before. I happen to BE competent professional in certain security matters, so that affects my point of view.

On the other hand, the most popular locks, Kwikset and Master lock, are obviously not designed to be secure against a knowledgeable or determined advesary. They are designed to discourage your neighbor from casually getting into your stuff, and that's pretty clear from looking at the product and feeling how lightweight it is. Maybe that's what people want most of the time - a lock sufficient to make it rather inconvenient for the average person to walk in, not something that's going to keep the locksmith out when you lose your key.

At the other end of the spectrum, for $10,000 you can buy a heavy duty safe made of steel and concrete. For $32, I can rent a demolition saw designed to cut through concrete and steel. Since physical security costs about 300 times as much as breaking it costs, perhaps the primary goal is to not be low-hanging fruit. I've watched a car burglar go from car to car, stealing stuff from the ones that were unlocked. He skipped the locked ones, which all had very breakable windows.*

* Redundant. Windows is always easily breakable.

3 days ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

raymorris exactly. arithmetic (340 comments)

Exactly, that's precisely what the majority of stoned people at Burning Man will say. Of course, that's because they aren't so good at arithmetic and even worse at history. Since 1967, when the census bureau began tracking it, there has been exactly one instance of real median income falling over any five year period. That's the last five years. Every other period in American history has seen median incomes are increase. It's just these last five years that Damon republican in the Whitehouse has fucked it all up.

Your parents and grandparents actually worked, hard, in the heat, to afford an 800 square foot home. Today's young leftist mooches live in their parent's 800 square foot basement, working part time and complaining about how tough it is.

    Get off my lawn - or mow it. The Mexican who came to my door unable to speak English couple of years ago pushing a broken down mower now arrives in a $30,000 dually. Because he worked for it.

4 days ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

raymorris this. Selling goods efficiently is business,nhippy (340 comments)

It's not just programmers that think in terms of effincident please processes, in fact I'd say that's more the domain of the business person. You can get a degree in how to most effectively and efficiently run an operation to deliver goods to customers, that's called a mba. MBAs, and MBA style thinking about efficient process, is not popular with the burning man crowd.

4 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

raymorris pdf mentions a couple of things (57 comments)

The pdf linked in the article mentions a few points. The following is my understanding of what they said. It doesn't represent my opinion.

    The commenters generally agreed that patent trolling isn't currently a big problem in Canada. Canadian companies are affected more by US trolls, because the Canadian system already handles it pretty well. Therefore "don't fix it if it ain't broke". Any change will have good and bad consequences, and Canada doesn't need much good consequences.

Universities were given as an example of institutions which do real, valuable research and development, but don't manufacture products. They license their technology, so they are non-practicing entities. How do you legally distinguish a research institution and a company who licenses the results of that work vs a troll?

I happen to know that the vast majority of trolling is done by four companies. Hundreds of thousands of people have patents. The challenge is to target those four needles in a very large haystack. When you're targeting a needle in a haystack, and want to destroy the needle (troll) without harming the hay (inventors etc) you want to use precision tools.

4 days ago
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The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

raymorris true that. We Americans have it combined, so (200 comments)

Good (or pedantic?) point. Since I come from a country where the head of state, head of government, and head crook are the same office, I tend to think of all national heads as "head of state".

4 days ago
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The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

raymorris sports, yes indeed (200 comments)

Yeah the same thing bugs me when watching football (handegg ). I get excited for half second when the announcer says Manning just set a record, then goes on to say it's the record for most completed passes in the first quarter of a home game in Denver against a team with a winning record on the road. Wtf.

4 days ago

Submissions

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ask - what do you think caused the NSA to start collecting so much data?

raymorris raymorris writes  |  about 10 months ago

raymorris (2726007) writes "Many people believe that the NSA collects far too much data, violating the privacy rights of the very citizens the NSA is supposed to protect. How did we get here? What specific structural or cultural changes can be identified that led some to believe it is okay to engage in this sort of broad dragnet surveillance as opposed to getting specific court orders for specific suspects?

Many people simply assign the blame to the opposite political party, which doesn't get very far in solving the problem and ensuring it doesn't happen again. Can we look at specific, identifiable factors and show exactly how they directly caused the intelligence community to get off track? For example, precisely which sections of which laws are being used to justify these programs, and what caused those laws to be passed? Is the surveillance directly authorized by law, or do the justifications require "creative" interpretation of the law?

In order to avoid getting into yet another fruitless political flame war and keep the discussion factually focused, please provide citations where possible."

Link to Original Source
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Linux based drone copter goes mainstream, fully hackable with HD for under $300

raymorris raymorris writes  |  about 2 years ago

raymorris writes "The recently released AR.Drone 2.0, running Linux 2.6 brings hackable drones mainstream at under $300. The wifi controlled drone copter running open source software includes a 1Ghz processor, an HD video camera, and a second downward facing camera onboard."
Link to Original Source

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