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Comments

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Accessing One's Own Metadata

sgunhouse Unlisted? (94 comments)

I have to conclude from the supposed difficulty that they store the metadata without noting which numbers are unlisted. Or more correctly, were unlisted at the time, since that status may change.

about two weeks ago
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The flying car I'd like in my garage first:

sgunhouse Re:Delorean (151 comments)

That was my first choice as well

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

sgunhouse Securitty? (575 comments)

Postponing the obvious quote for the moment, the question with any backdoor is what's to keep the bad guys from finding it. (Okay ... the other bad guys. Picky, picky.) If something is known to have a backdoor, the hackers will do whatever it takes to find it. Breaking in to some manufacturer's system, bribing someone, or just brute force - once they find it, they know what it is on all similar systems. If anyone has a backdoor then the supposed protection is meaningless.

The quote? Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin

about three weeks ago
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My toy collection is ...

sgunhouse Toys? (209 comments)

Do devices count? Are calculators toys? Cars (other than some old beater you go to work and/or shopping with) or other vehicles? Firearms? Geometric (as in, solid) puzzles? While I do have a collection of the latter, I play with the others more often ... so are the puzzles not toys?

about three weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

sgunhouse Ironic, isn't it (981 comments)

The name Algebra originally comes from Arabic, and likewise we owe the number zero to them. Fact is, they taught us the math of the ancient Greeks. And now they don't want it?

about a month ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

sgunhouse Re:Unusual in a huge system ... (211 comments)

For some definitions of likely and usual anyway. In probability, "unlikely" generally has a specific meaning defined in the paper, hence "not unlikely" is not necessarily likely. Probably not unique anyway.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

sgunhouse Grief? (729 comments)

Does it have to be grief? One of the strangest features of XBasic is ragged arrays. It's sort of somewhere between a linked list and an array, as long as the types match you can access it as an array (as in, arrayname[x,y,z] ).

Full disclosure: since all the other official developers seem to have run off, I'm technically the lead developer at this point.

about a month and a half ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

sgunhouse Missing option (455 comments)

There are times when recording would be bad. They can't offer a potential witness anonymity if they are recording everything, can they?

about a month and a half ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

sgunhouse Mars (246 comments)

Really, I'd like to explore another planet ... but that's not going to happen.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

sgunhouse Hackers (435 comments)

Safeties can be bypassed. No doubt there will eventually (if these things get off the ground) be some sort of hacker toolkit developed to allow either the owner or the equivalent of "script kiddies" to make the car do whatever they feel like. Just like rooting you phone and installing Cyanogenmod. It'll happen no matter what the FBI says - but hopefully require physical access. If the FBI/NSA try to get their own ... well, let's call it a rootkit, where they could override the software remotely even if it was hacked ... then anyone else will be able to as well. Someone will sell the secret to the Russian mafia or whoever, and all the criminals will have it.

The FBI's concerns may be valid, but are moot - just use a human driver.

about 3 months ago
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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

sgunhouse Funny (89 comments)

I gather that "remote areas" somehow excludes deserts? Amazing ...

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

sgunhouse Fantasy v. Reality (381 comments)

I do wear a watch, and can see uses for a smart watch - but almost all the stuff listed in the summary would be excluded! Music? Requires headphones or speakers, better to leave it on the phone. Pictures? Um ... how? Are you planning to use the screen as the viewer and thus have the lens wear the clasp would be? Sensor has to go with the lens ... seems it would be too prone to damage. GPS could work - already seen watches with a built-in compass, but navigation is probably a bad idea (small screen, and sound/voice would be better with headphones again). What watches are mostly for is telling time, so how about a watch that can sync with your schedule to remind you of appointments? A watch could reasonably display small amounts of text (like addresses or tweets) but input is rather limited - currently. Hmm ... install enough motion sensors that the watch could track your hand on a virtual keyboard or virtual mouse? But that's only one hand - and not even individual fingers - so would require some training to get it to work right. Looks like we'd better just stick to time and leave most of the "smart" stuff for the phones.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

sgunhouse Oscilloscope (172 comments)

Back in what has to qualify as the computer stone age, a high school Biology teacher I worked with got a bunch of A/D converters and wired them to his networked C-64s, I wrote the software myself. We were measuring the acceleration of gravity (okay, not a Biology experiment, but he saw it in a magazine and wanted to try it himself) and graphing student's heartbeats and so on - in 1986. So really, the oscilloscope part is trivial. Might even be able to use the existing A/D and DSP from the sound card, if you can figure out how to feed your signal to the Mic. input. (Yes, 1986 - the school board wanted him to upgrade to PC XTs, he preferred to use what he had. When they saw what we did with those old C-64s, all they could do was scratch their heads.)

about 4 months ago
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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

sgunhouse Second? (611 comments)

Favorite? KDE (though the old version was slightly better) Second? Enlightenment.

When I look for a desktop, I expect a basic set of tools to come with it, and design consistency between said tools. KDE seems best in terms of tools (aka desktop accessories if you prefer). Gnome's tools seem like they are chosen by committee, rather than actually designed for that environment.

And yes, desktop environments should include Windows and Macintosh OSX as options.

about 5 months ago
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Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable

sgunhouse Re:Roger Penrose (426 comments)

Sorry, didn't realize I wasn't logged in.

about 5 months ago
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Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws

sgunhouse Re:Bill specifically about Glass is a bad idea... (226 comments)

And ... can Google Glass be used as a HUD? That is, when driving it shows you pertinent information to your driving. If your "digital devices" law bans GPSs then it may be counterproductive.

As long as a company - in this case Google, but any company - can show how their product assists the driver rather than distracting the driver, there really shouldn't be an issue. There will of course be states that want to ban HUDs, but the public will straighten them out over time. So go ahead, Google, convince us that Google Glass will actually help the driver ...

about 8 months ago
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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

sgunhouse Re:Missing alternative (587 comments)

My first computer was an RCA VIP (1802 processor - like an ELF) with 2KB, later expanded to 8KB. Mind you, 1 "page" (0.25K) was devoted to the video display. This netbook has 2GB, so I'm ... well really 1.048,576 times as much. I doubt anyone has exactly 1,000,000 times as much ...

about a year ago
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Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of XboxOne.com

sgunhouse Re:Xbox One? Oh my! (381 comments)

Use HTML entities? Hmm ... maybe not, 4π didn't render properly.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of XboxOne.com

sgunhouse Re:Xbox One? Oh my! (381 comments)

I always wondered why Ad-Aware never checked for that name (it was owned by ADAware, an ADA software site, when I looked at it several years ago). Apparently those two didn't arrive at amicable terms ... last I saw, ADAware had a link to a different ad blocker on their site.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

sgunhouse Recovery? (397 comments)

The question is ... if the user changes their mind, how easy is it to recover.

I help out with an online forum, we get requests every day from people who requested to delete their accounts and then changed their mind. (Okay, not every day ... but too often.) This isn't something the user can do themselves, one of the administrators has to go into the backups to find the data.

Conversely, we do have a legal requirement to delete user data upon proper request, we can't just make this option unavailable.

So the option is there and is fairly hard to find (I've never used it myself and can't say how hard it is to actually use), that's the best we can do.

about a year ago

Submissions

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NSA datamining Verizon records

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  about a year ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired has a story up, originally from the Guardian apparently, about an order for Verizon to turn over 3 months worth of call data to the NSA starting back in April and ending on July 19th. While the data does not include actual subscriber names and addresses, it does include both the originating and receiving phone numbers and various other "metadata" (not including actual conversations).

Strangely, the article says the warrant was granted to the FBI and not the NSA ..."

Link to Original Source
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Drug-sniffing dog = Unlawful Search?

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  about 2 years ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired is running an article on a Supreme Court challenge (well, actually two of them) to the use of drug-sniffing dogs. The first case discussed involved Florida police using a drug-sniffing dog as a basis for searching a suspected drug dealer's home. The court in Florida excluded the evidence obtained from the search, saying a warrant should be required for that sort of use of a dog.

Personally, I agree — police have no right to parade a dog around on private property on a "fishing expedition", same as they need a warrant to use a thermal imaging device to search for grow houses. I have no use for recreational drugs, but they had better have a warrant if they want to bring a dog onto my property."

Link to Original Source
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Airborne prions prove lethal in mice studies

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  more than 3 years ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired has a story up on the lethality of airborne prions. It should be noted that prions (which cause "mad cow disease" and similar disorders) are not normally airborne and take a long time to kill the infected animal, but so far are 100% lethal if something else doesn't kill the animal first. So they are not likely to be useful as a biological weapon (my first thought when reading their headline), but another safety precaution to consider."
Link to Original Source
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NSA releases historical documents on TEMPEST

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sgunhouse writes "Wired's Threat Level has a piece on a recently-declassified document on the history of TEMPEST (the technology used to read computers from across the street and such). Okay, not much on the tech itself, but interesting read."
Link to Original Source

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