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Experts Say Hitching a Ride In an Airliner's Wheel Well Is Not a Good Idea

stepho-wrs Re:units (235 comments)

Likewise, I find Fahrenheit confusing every time I visit the US. 15-30C is comfortable (I live near a desert), 45C is try not to move weather (2 weeks in January) and 5C is wear a jacket weather. I can remember 100F only because I know it is body temperature (approx 37/38C). When visiting the US I usually make a little lookup table on a scrap of paper to convert between C and F.

2 days ago
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Remote ATM Attack Uses SMS To Dispense Cash

stepho-wrs encrypted (150 comments)

ATM's make heavy use of encryption. Sensitive data (eg customer PIN) is encrypted so that you can not decode it. Unencrypted data is not sensitive (eg the dollar amount of the transaction). Each packet sent to the bank host is digitally signed. Each packet received from the host is also checked for its digital signature. The digital signatures have the time as part of the generation algorithm, so replay attacks don't work. If you monitored traffic on that cable then you would get a log of who took out money, the account number, the amount, the time and possibly how much was left in their account. You would get similar information by ransacking the receipt bin. If you tried to inject or replay packets in either direction then they would be rejected. I used to design EFTPOS credit card terminals. We designed them with the understanding that malicious people would be listening to everything on the cable and they would be trying to inject malicious data at every opportunity. Note that the cable might be ethernet, phone (ie modem), X.25, serial or a handful of less common types but the above applies to all of them. The worst you could really do is to cut that cable and deny the service to the customers.

about a month ago
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

stepho-wrs not worse (335 comments)

He said the Model S was in cat A (better, more expensive).
It's the **Leaf** that he said was in Cat D (worse, more expensive).

about 2 months ago
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US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year

stepho-wrs Not a problem. (197 comments)

Only a problem in countries where the government censors and restricts the public. We're talking about the US, so ..... oh, nevermind.

about 2 months ago
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New 360-Degree Video Capture Method Unveiled

stepho-wrs No blind spots (58 comments)

No blind spots - until a glitch disables your goggles... :)

about 2 months ago
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Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

stepho-wrs Re:Um, nice, but not so fast (734 comments)

Home solar works better with a utility using hydro.
The utility allows the water in the high dam to fall down into the low dam, generating electricity using turbines.
Ideally your solar could be used to pump some of that water from the low dam back to the high dam.
At night time, the water can flow down again.
The two dams become a huge battery.

I believe many utilities already do this in reverse.
Average day time power is provided by gas/oil/coal/etc to cover slightly less than peak.
At night time, when user demand is lower, the excess power is used to pump the water up to the high dam.
Back in daytime again, the peak demand is provided by allowing the water to go down again through turbines.
Thus the gas/oil/coal/etc generators can be smaller as the production of electricity is spread across the entire 24 hours instead of at peak time.

about 3 months ago
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Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office

stepho-wrs Re:I like the open plan (314 comments)

Wow, an 8 metre by 8 metre cube? Can I send you my resume?

about 3 months ago
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Google Launches Android Automotive Consortium

stepho-wrs Re:QNX (117 comments)

2014 will be the year of Linux on the dashboard...

about 4 months ago
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Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

stepho-wrs Re:Okay...nice and all... (368 comments)

Wankel apex seals are the equivalent of piston rings - ie a chunk of metal/ceramic that fills the gap between the piston/rotor and the chamber wall.

about 4 months ago
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Tesla Model S Battery Drain Issue Fixed

stepho-wrs Re:And, Folks, stay tuned.. (239 comments)

Surely the clock wouldn't flash anything at all if it was off...

about 4 months ago
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Richard Branson 'Determined To Start a Population On Mars'

stepho-wrs Re:Food? (266 comments)

er, I thought you brought the can opener...

about a year and a half ago
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xkcd's 13-Gigapixel Webcomic

stepho-wrs Re:is it funny? (193 comments)

Maybe the whales are a reference to "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".

about a year and a half ago
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Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought

stepho-wrs Re:But then, a slight solar wind... (867 comments)

So many Star Trek comments and nobody picked up "the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe".
V'ger was Voyager 6 but even so...

about a year and a half ago
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Chip and Pin "Weakness" Exposed By Cambridge Researchers

stepho-wrs Re:Never trust security through obscurity (133 comments)

A personal PIN number is what you enter into an automatic ATM machine or an electronic EFT terminal.

about a year and a half ago
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Chip and Pin "Weakness" Exposed By Cambridge Researchers

stepho-wrs Re:Never trust security through obscurity (133 comments)

It means smart cards (typically embedded in credit/debit cards) that have a chip on the card.
You enter your PIN into the payment terminal at a store and it uses the PIN to form part of the key used for comms with the card.

Whereas magnetic credit cards and PINs (er, I mean personal PIN numbers) have been used since the 1960s without a chip on the card.

about a year and a half ago
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Amazon Now Discounting HarperCollins EBooks

stepho-wrs Re:Good for Whom? (136 comments)

Didn't Standard Oil do this?
New competitor comes to town and S.O. drops the price of oil below cost.
New competitor is still trying to recoup his start-up costs and can not discount his oil as much.
Customers buy from S.O. because it's cheaper.
New competitor goes out of business.
S.O. puts the price up high enough to recover the losses from the low price period.
Customers continue to buy from S.O. because there is no other option.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Are Operating System Version Names So Absurd?

stepho-wrs Re:Personally, I like year based versions (460 comments)

In the southern hemisphere Dec 1986 was summertime. It would have been the only one with the correct name as far as we Australians are concerned.

about a year and a half ago

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