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LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

rsborg Forget ads, what about security implications (150 comments)

So this is in effect, a way of bypassing the carriers? If not, then would we need to have Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-mobile branded LTE-Direct spots?

I sure see this as a way for warehouse-like stores like Ikea and Costco to offer cell services and have a captive portal for web users (and potentially voice users as well - ugh).

But what is preventing a rogue actor from setting up their own LTE direct hotspots and MITM-ing a large group's entire communications? Especially if said actor were doing so with tacit approval from the carriers?


Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

rsborg Re:How does the quote go...? (264 comments)

Only a grade A moron arrives in America and says to himself "I have arrived in India!".

Is it really the case, or was this justification for conquest of the new world - I don't think the business world has changed significantly in the past few centuries - we put a new name on some business model, but the underlying goals and direction is the same.

In this case, I can clearly see it as "something to tell the people and our competitors" - if the mission fails, no hint is left that it is the "new world" that was failed, only what others have failed at before (ie, faster route to India). If the mission succeeds... well, again we want exclusive access the plunder and possibilities.

2 days ago

State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

rsborg Re:The "old boys' club" (334 comments)

The law says that a dealer in Iowa can't be the manufacturer. The federal law (should trump Iowa law) says that states can't restrict interstate commerce.

This isn't interstate commerce though.

Iowa says it's illegal for a Californian company to sell to an Iowan buyer. Iowa is violating US law to block these drives and sales.

No, the law says t's illegal for a Californian company to sell to an Iowan buyer _in_Iowa_. ...

Are you sure you understand the interstate commerce? What you're describing sounds exactly like interstate commerce. Are you saying that Iowa could prevent a California-based internet company from selling products over the internet to be delivered in Iowa?

3 days ago

Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

rsborg Re:Laser? Try Gummy Bears (70 comments)

About 10 years ago...

Clearly technology in fingerprint scanners could never have improved since then.

about a week ago

Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

rsborg Re:Law Enforcement (70 comments)

This will likely make life even easier for law enforcement as they can easily get the owner's fingerprints to unlock the device as opposed to a password which requires cooperation from the suspect (or a back door or password cracker).

Exactly - those prints they have on file for you from many years ago should perfectly translate into TouchID-compliant proofs. They likely already stocked up on latex milk and the various things that CCC used.

about a week ago

What To Expect With Windows 9

rsborg Wifi Sense sounds cool (545 comments)

Basically sounds like the OSX keychain, but using your name/credentials/etc to login to public wifi spots automatically - I wonder what kind of coverage they'll have?

Other than that, though - seems like they're de-mobilifying the desktop OS part. Such a waste of money, attention and marketshare - all because Steve wanted to be more like the other Steve.

about two weeks ago

A 16-Year-Old Builds a Device To Convert Breath Into Speech

rsborg Re:IP Stolen (67 comments)

I don't think morse code practical in this case, unless the "speaker" wants to communicate in short words and sentences. Verbal English can consume 2-3 letters at a time, whereas morse code can require up to 3-5 dots/dashes per letter. It's a very slow medium. For example, just saying "No" requires 4 dashes and 1 dot; "yes" requires 3 dashes and 5 dots.

What would you recommend? Morse is well understood and standardized in many contexts like HAM radio. Perhaps an adapter that can the breaths and turn them into phonemes that then get converted into text? A cloud NLP application tying into such a device (simple as querying Google with the output and seeing what it suggests) could result in some very useful (and maybe even tailored) responses.

Just wondering, though, how would backspaces be handled...

about two weeks ago

Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

rsborg And this is why Open Source is goodness (129 comments)

Plenty of time to switch to Firefox. Probably they'll keep offering 32-bit for a while yet, and when they stop a third-party project will come along that will, a la TenFourFox.

All hail open source - Chrome is not (completely) open source, Firefox is. Google doesn't want or care if you want 64bit (or don't want it).

about two weeks ago

Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

rsborg TV used to be a social medium (108 comments)

I posit that the rise of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and the like allowed people to share and discuss about things they actually care about, rather than TV shows or even movies. Hell, I spend more time on /. than watching TV - and I'm increasingly feeling like most of my family is the same (not on /., but you get the picture).

For those who still watch TV, TiVo and Netflix have set the standards too high for many to really give a crap about last century's TV model anymore.

about three weeks ago

California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

rsborg So could this mean EULAs are reined in? (275 comments)

This law applies specifically to consumer goods. How many consumer goods require an NDA to purchase?

Many EULAs contain something that is NDA-like.

Some consumer products even forbid you from publishing performance metrics or the results of comparative performance testing.... if I recall correctly, VMware used to be known for this, specifically.

Maybe this law has *good* unintended consequences?

about three weeks ago

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

rsborg Re:Scan here for a free 'whatever' sucker. (730 comments)

Wasn't the fingerprint scan cracked 45min after it was released last announcement? Is that ample evidence of foolproof authentication?

How feasible was the CCC method of cracking? Has it been reproduced? What was the time investment to perform the cracking - I remember them using a 2400 dpi scanner and latex milk.

about three weeks ago

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

rsborg Re:One day battery life in Apple Watch too? (730 comments)

I would settle for 3 days

I think this is just the 80/20 split. Almost everybody goes home and sleeps almost every night. For the vast majority of cases, taking your watch off to charge it once every three days is no better than taking your watch off to charge it every night. And the tradeoff to get to three days is either a) a battery three times larger, b) a watch that is three times more power efficient, or c) lesser capability. A three day battery life isn't worth the sacrifices you'd have to make to get it.

I don't want to charge a watch every night!!

Why? What's so much better about taking your watch off every three nights instead of every night?

Actually, something that you don't do every day (at the same time) you won't build a habit around. I kept forgetting to charge my Pebble and so didn't use it much for the first few months (well, to be honest, not really until iOS7 and better notification support) - one of the big reasons is I didn't have the habit of charging the device every night. So I'd forget on day 4, then day 6 it would run out of battery and stay unused until the weekend when I'd be like - why TF did i buy this thing?

Now I charge every night. And I use it every day - it helps me not miss calls (phone is always muted b/c meetings) or important texts (did you know that some daycare centers charge like $1/min for being late? If wife can't pick up the kids on time, I better not miss the call/text/voicemail).

about three weeks ago

Dell Demos 5K Display

rsborg Re:Obligatory: Five Blades (204 comments)

You're confusing progress with "progress". There are many of us dying to get higher than 1920x1080 as the standard display types. I recently realised I have had 1200 vertical pixels on my computer display for 14 years now. It's quite sad.

You know you could just tilt your monitor (or use VESA mounts for the mountable ones). I've had my monitors in portrait side-by-side (two towers) at work for several years. Really great way to get very many pixels (roughly 4k, but 4.5:5 ratio - almost square). I only recommend getting good viewing angle screens, however - IPS preferred - as most monitors don't have good vertical angles (which become horizontal - terribly important).

about three weeks ago

Dell Demos 5K Display

rsborg Obligatory: Five Blades (204 comments)

"What part of this don't you understand? If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best fucking razor that ever existed. Comprende? We didn't claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all."

about a month ago

White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

rsborg You think this makes things worse? (75 comments)

improving technology and the use of data across agencies

That is the exact opposite of what we need right now.

The NSA and the security industrial complex don't need stinking laws and the approval of the public to aggregate and track you. They're already doing it. I doubt this role will help them (or hinder them). What integrated data could provide is more effective programs and less paperwork, and possibly more APIs.

Worrying about the CTO "improving things the wrong way" is the same as worrying about sharing your bank password with your spouse while storing your password file in cleartext on a malware infested desktop.

about a month ago

The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

rsborg Re:Salient Argument provided (322 comments)

and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop

No harder than ICBMs.

First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries

Who aren't known for their adherence to treaty. We are extremely fortunate that development of nuclear weapons in the first place is hard enough that our current crop of crazy/unstable countries hasn't been able to develop them. I think it would be a terrible assumption to assume that anyone who does manage to do that, isn't going to try to develop delivery methods with continued disregard for international treaty as well.

The goal of removing nuclear weapons isn't the current lot of crazies that don't have power, but that crazies could get ahold of a currently "sane" country quite easily - including the USA. When power to destroy the world several thousands of times over exists, there will be those that want to use it - to everyone else's detriment.

While we shouldn't remove all the weaponry, removing most of it while keeping what's needed (maybe a bit more than needed) would be a good way to prevent

Then there's the issue of proliferation - the "Back to the Future" argument against stockpiling such atrocities-waiting-to-happen - by limiting nuclear stockpiles, you prevent "broken arrows" and the accompanying terrorist wet dreams.

about a month ago

Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

rsborg s/Autoplay/Autopay/g (131 comments)

Clearly it's a typo - the feature is that you automatically pay more for mobile data. I only wish I was kidding - remember, this is the same "CEO" that openly thought his users were "dumb fucks".

about a month ago

Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

rsborg Shared data plans are a trap (131 comments)

I started a shared data pool plan for my family and my brother's usage was estimated at about 2GB per month. A couple weeks into the billing cycle I checked usage and my brother had used MORE data than the other FIVE of us combined, and was on track to use over 5GB!

I was a bit disappointed originally that I wouldn't get shared data when I switch my extended family over from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint (seriously, all 3 other networks!), but I soon realized this was a huge boon - because T-Mobile doesn't charge overage for data - only steps down when you reach the limit (i.e., data limit is for "fast data" - i.e., LTE or 4G, but the 2G is unlimited). So my post-grad cousin who has erratic data usage doesn't impact my bill or my speeds. My bills never change month to month - been that way for over a year now, and it's an awesome feeling (remember having to try to parse a cell-phone bill wondering why we paid $130 this month and $80 last month for the same line).

Oh, and I'm spending the same on phone bills - except now I have 5 lines where I used to have 3, and all with better data and reception than before.

Lesson: don't trust shared data - it's makes each line on your plan a liability for increased data costs on your entire plan, all possibly due to a rogue app.

about a month ago

Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

rsborg Re: Stagnant electric car sales (157 comments)

If they can get the real range up to 150 or 200 miles it will be vastly easier to own a car like the Leaf as your only car.

This. I commute several days a week nearly 40mi each way. While that is technically within the capabilities of the Leaf, and I do have a charging station at work... the problem comes with the fact that a) if the range drops off from the reasonable estimate (i.e., I drive much faster than 55mph or the car loses range with age) or b) if I don't get a charging spot at my work parking lot, then I'm at risk of being stranded on the highway.

Right now I drive a 10 year old Prius, which does OK for mileage (50mpg average). A Leaf or a Volt seem like lateral upgrades, while a Tesla is exactly what I'm slavering over. I just can't ... justify the cost - my Prius while enviable 10 years ago - is still a souped up econobox type car, but it simply won't die. I fully expect it to last another 5-10 years. Hell, I haven't replaced my original brake pads,

about a month ago

The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

rsborg Salient Argument provided (322 comments)

The argument is at heart "Don't develop these weapons because they will be good at killing people and I personally am not smart enough to come up with a civilan use that doesn't kill people".
It is the kind of idiocy that makes the military industrial complex laugh and call you names.

I think the big issue with these weapons is that they *will* become nuclear payload delivery systems, and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop (not that good defense industry $$ won't be spent trying). First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries and their leaders to exert their will over the rest of the world, while not exactly providing much in terms of benefits to larger, more well nuclear established countries.

Banning this kind of testing isn't new - we did have a nuclear test ban for several decades [1]


about a month ago


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