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Old cellphones, in my household ...

stevenm86 Secret option G (171 comments)

For sale on eBay, with flappy bird preinstalled.

about 8 months ago

The Math of Gamification

stevenm86 But ultimately, what difference does it make? (36 comments)

That's all well and good.. but we could do even better by abandoning the whole foursquare concept entirely and just going places for the hell of it. Not everything in life needs to be turned into a badge or achievement. I am surprised that the whole "checking in" concent limped on this long considering its clunkiness and "tacked on" factor.

about 10 months ago

WRT virtualization:

stevenm86 Netflix. (196 comments)

Because compholio has video tearing like nobody's business.

about a year ago

Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

stevenm86 Re:$39 BILLION!? (367 comments)

Not so. Not all 3G phones support all the bands. For instance, there is an AT&T and a T-Mo version of the Nexus One, and a mismatched phone/carrier will allow you to access only 2 of the 3 bands.

more than 3 years ago

IBM Patents Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Movies

stevenm86 Prior Art (187 comments)

I believe it was called "Survive the Outbreak." Original site is down, but youtube has a copy. It is also one of the only two legitimate, non-obnoxious uses of youtube annotations I have seen.

more than 4 years ago

This Is Apple's Next iPhone

stevenm86 Odd thing about the HW teardown - the rest of it (492 comments)

Shennanigans regarding Engadget vs Gizmodo (bar in Redwood City vs bar in Cupertino) aside, there is an interesting question left:
Where is the rest of the hardware teardown? All we are given is a single photo of a ribbon cable inside the phone, but none of
the shots of the chipset, PCBs, layout, etc.

More interesting still is the fact that the one (uninteresting) photo of the disassembly is named open13.jpg, implying that there
was an entire series of these shots, including juicy things like the processor, etc.

Why are these photos missing? Careless omission, or is something else going on here?

Just my $0.02.

more than 4 years ago

Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available

stevenm86 Scam site is google-ranked higher than google's. (291 comments)

Well... It appears that the first google hit for 'chrome add-ons' links to
This site is made to look like google's, but is LITTERED WITH ADS. The whois information reveals it's a third-party site.
The OFFICIAL chrome add-on site also does list an AdBlock extension, but something is fishy about it. When trying to install it, Chrome warns that "this extension is trying to access your data on" What the hell?

We'll see if and how Google will try to combat these issues...

more than 4 years ago

Apple Patents "Enforceable" Ad Viewing On Devices

stevenm86 Silver lining, or nuke it from orbit? (439 comments)

Would apple seriously ever consider USING such a thing? It would be most terrible. But of course, apple is so obsessed with its image that I doubt they would ever employ this technology.
Of course, having a patent on this atrocious god-awful piece of work will effectively prevent other, less image-conscious vendors from doing similar things, which might mean (could it be?) less intrusive advertising on other platforms.

more than 4 years ago

Circuit Board Design For a Small Startup?

stevenm86 Learn Eagle (262 comments)

Get Eagle. It's free and there are a lot of part libraries out there. It's quite backward, but you will soon learn that most electronics CAD tools are. I guess there isn't all THAT much overlap between ECE and HCI people... Have Eagle produce a Gerber file and then send it off to your favorite board house. Happy routing :)

more than 5 years ago

Do We Need a New Internet?

stevenm86 Re:I can has Multiprotocol Label Switching? (690 comments)

In a connection-oriented system, it is easier to provide QoS (guaranteed bandwidth, delay, etc) because the routers know which packet belongs to which flow. Thus, the routers can maintain per-flow bookkeeping, and drop any packets from a connection that is exceeding its allocated bandwidth. At the same time, the network is told the amount of requested bandwidth per connection ahead of time. Since each router knows its available bandwidth (and the bandwidth reserved so far), each router can definitely answer whether or not it can support X amount of extra bandwidth. This way, a proper path can be negotiated through the network, at connection time, such that every node along the way can handle the requested bandwidth, delay, jitter, etc.

As for security, knowing your path to someone else isn't the issue. The issue is being able to manipulate that path (and others) at will. There are a number of hijacking, redirection, man-in-the-middle, etc attacks that rely on issues within the way IP packets are routed. In a circuit-switched system, like MPLS, the control plane basically lives in its own separate world and is essentially decoupled from the data plane (like with the phone network). That is, forwarding decisions are made based on an extra attribute connected to every packet (the so-called label ID) and not on some user-accessible field within the data itself. The only time that the user has access to this attribute is when specifying the "connection ID" associated with each outgoing packet, but that is strictly an agreement between the user and his serving router and has little relation to the upstream label tables.

more than 5 years ago

Do We Need a New Internet?

stevenm86 Re:I can has Multiprotocol Label Switching? (690 comments)

Well, of course we need to specify the destination address. In the MPLS case, we would signal the router serving us that we wish to talk to a certain address, and the router would send back a label ID that corresponds to that connection. (While the destination addresses are global, the label IDs can be reused per pair of devices, but that is besides the point). At this point, the path is set up and cannot really be "messed with" and you reference it by the label ID.
The security benefit is that the routing mechanism is invisible to the end user. He needs to specify the destination and the rest of the connection is up to the network.
Of course, the other benefits are efficiency and traffic engineering. With the network being aware of the actual connections (unlike with TCP, where packets are essentially disjoint from a router's point of view), it is relatively easy to provide features like bandwidth reservation, QoS guarantees, etc. And the actual switching process for circuit switching is a lot more efficient. It is far easier for a router to perform a label lookup and then push/pop/swap labels than it is to carry out the longest prefix match lookup. In fact, such technology is already used internally by some ISPs, but it is not available globally or end-to-end.

more than 5 years ago

Do We Need a New Internet?

stevenm86 Re:I can has Multiprotocol Label Switching? (690 comments)

How is that vague and meaningless? One of the issues is that users are able to exercise direct control over the network through the same "port" which is used to send data. Sure, you would have to send some messages to set up a connection to your destination, but that control action should be done by the network, as it sees fit, instead of letting the user set the source and destination addresses on every packet. The user should be able to ask the network to set up a connection and then send data, and the network handles all the internal operations. Going back to the phone analogy, are you able to pick up the phone and make a call to someone while faking your own phone number? No. Are you able to place a call to and directly manipulate telephone switching equipment? Not since decades ago. Are you able to hijack someone's conversation, or force a specific path for your phone call? I don't think so.
The original design of the internet did not anticipate the need for isolated control, management, and data planes. There was just no reason to do it back then. But with 30 years of development and growth, things have changed...

more than 5 years ago

Do We Need a New Internet?

stevenm86 I can has Multiprotocol Label Switching? (690 comments)

There has been some talk about separating the control plane from the data plane (ie, packet header from data). The phone network had its share of unsecurities when they were using in-band signalling, but since the two planes were separated, phones became far more secure. The same technique can be applied to the data network. If we separate the control information from the actual user data, we may achieve better security, as it would thwart any attempts to mess with the packet header, redirection attacks, prefix hijacks, or any of that other garbage. And the technology already exists. Look at MPLS- your computer can signal the upstream equipment to set up a connection to a specific address, and all you have to do is send forward data with the given label ID. The technology is already being used to route traffic within ISPs, but the security benefits of it won't really materialize until it's pushed out to the user level. Of course, good luck getting everyone switched over.

more than 5 years ago

Chu's Final Breakthrough Before Taking Office

stevenm86 Re:Not "final" (233 comments)

Thank you sir. It is the first thing I hit ^F for when this page loaded.

more than 5 years ago

How Mobile Phones Work Behind the Scenes

stevenm86 Re:GPS uses signal strength? (220 comments)

That doesn't quite constitute using (overall) signal strength, and neither is it the primary location method. Yes, it is possible to use the carrier phase information as well as the L2 carrier phase (and L1/L2 discrepancy) to get a more accurate fix, but this information is only used to adjust the TDOAs of the PRN signals and compensate for varying ionospheric delays. Signal strength of each satellite is much more affected by random low clouds and even the receiver's immediate environment, than by distance from the satellite. In fact, if your receiver provides an SNR readout for each satellite, you can get an idea about just how dramatically these values are affected by, say, a tree that partially obscures a portion of the sky.

about 6 years ago

Inexpensive USB LCD With Linux Drivers For LCDproc

stevenm86 Oh for cryin out loud (121 comments)

$50?? Come ON.

A random HD44780 LCD - $10 on Sparkfin
PIC18F4550 - Free sample from Microchip
20MHz crystal - $0.05
USB connector - Free if you splice one of the billion cables that comes with all of your stuff
A piece of perfboard to build it on - $3 at radioshack
Building it all yourself - Priceless

more than 6 years ago



10th Annual AUV Competition Results

stevenm86 stevenm86 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevenm86 writes "The results for the 10th annual Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) underwater robotics competition are in, with the University of Florida taking first place once again. The competition required a robotic submarine to autonomously complete an underwater obstacle course. Some other teams' standings are surprising, to say the least. Check out the websites and papers for some cool and unusual designs. One team (University of Maryland) was probably first to run their robot on a waterproofed Mac Mini, and they didn't do half bad."
Link to Original Source


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