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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

storkus Actually read the book! (141 comments)

Can't remember if I got it from a used book store or old public library stock; unlike some of his other stuff, I found this a lot more approachable (maybe because of that editing?). I can see why the BBC might reject it, dealing with Nazis running everything, but syfy? Must require too much thought for them.

Blade Runner is my favorite movie of all time--it and the original Matrix are one of the very few movies I can watch again and again. I love almost everything that Ridley does (maybe YOU hated Prometheus, but I didn't mind) and majorly look forward to this!

2 days ago

Docker 1.0 Released

storkus Security considerations and other-than-Linux? (88 comments)

The quality of comments on are are further proof of how far downhill /. has fallen. It's just depressing.

A couple questions pop to mind:

1. Security--how do containers, whether LXC/Docker, Jails, etc compare to true virtualization? For example, pfSense strongly argues against using virtualization in production machines not only for being slower, but for possible security risks--and a container would be even less secure than that. As an extreme scenario, what's to keep one Docker program from messing with another Docker program running under the same Docker Engine instance?

2. Will Docker only support LXC/Linux only or will it expand to support jails and such? The ability to support multiple OS containers with Docker sounds like it could be INSANELY useful!

about 1 month ago

Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

storkus Compare bands and devices (259 comments)

First, someone mentioned their Verizon phone wouldn't work in Africa: this is no surprise, as Verizon uses CDMA, which is found only in islands outside of N. America. See:

Second, here is Wikipedia's list of bands since no one bothered to include it:

and an alternative source:

Now, for a list of phones, a quick search found this article:
    This phone doesn't support 600-700 MHz LTE, but I don't think that's being deployed much yet in Europe, anyway (though it's coming). And, of course, the mention of the latest Apples.

Personally, I think it's a miracle that EE's are able to squeeze in as many bands as they have (650-928 MHz and 1710-2600 MHz with a gap or two PLUS 2450 MHz WiFi and Bluetooth) and still have usable sensitivity and selectivity. This is more than just SDR at work.

about 2 months ago

Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

storkus What's old is new again: Teledesic (170 comments)

It's about friggin' time.

Oh, yeah, and there are plenty of people even "in the middle of nowhere", as city-slickers like to say from their Starbucks. How many people "in the middle of nowhere" up in the Arctic can't get anything but unreliable and VERY expensive satellite. And what about down in Antarctic where the options are slow-but-reliable bonded Iridium or fast-but-unreliable NOAA wobblesat (don't remember which one exactly).

We *NEED* a polar-LEO data satellite system that can be accessed from individual users (like Hughesnet, etc) versus just from telcos and ISPs (O3b, etc). Neither fiber nor terrestrial microwave can reach everywhere, and in some places is forbidden by environmental law: satellite can work in this case.

about 2 months ago

Quad Lasers Deliver Fast, Earth-Based Internet To the Moon

storkus What are they using for a detector? (131 comments)

Incoming power at the satellite is stated as a nanowatt. I'm pretty sure this puts it way below the threshold of most, if not all, solid state optical detectors. I'm thinking some kind of FAST photomultiplier tube, but I really have no idea. Any thoughts?

Think of using something like this to transmit terrestrially through air of many miles/kilometers distance RELIABLY rather than the one or (if you're lucky) two you get today: it would be a godsend and could replace a LOT of metro microwave (depending on which city and its local climate, of course) without having to lay fiber. Its the unlicensed holy grail, really.

about 2 months ago

Discrete Logarithm Problem Partly Solved -- Time To Drop Some Crypto Methods?

storkus Re:Is Diffie Hellman at risk? (114 comments)

I'm guessing Schneier et al won't have a chance to analyze and reply until next week, but this is so important, who knows?

It also occurred to me that, since the mess with the NSA broke out, I have not seen anything about Suite B being modified--everything in there is still officially supported for "State Secrets". I keep wondering if we're missing something there...

about 2 months ago

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

storkus Re: GPS problems? (522 comments)

Your GNSS primer has quite a few errors--except for calling them GNSS instead of using GPS like Kleenex, like most reporters do. :)

1a. GPS long in the tooth: not at all. From the Wikipedia article, the next phase (III-A) is already approved and just needs to be built; 7 more from the previous phase still need to be completed and launched as the older birds die. And the math doesn't change over 30 years, only the corrections.

1b. Didn't notice this until after I wrote the above: Wikipedia has an entire article on the next GPS generation:

2. GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, and the newer Chinese Beidou expansion that's apparently been renamed Compass are all worldwide systems. The former three use medium earth orbit (MEO), but not polar so there's reduced or eliminated polar coverage (mainly above the (ant)arctic circles; Compass/Beidou uses both GEO and MEO. Also, I know first-hand that GLONASS works just fine here in Arizona as my Samsung Galaxy Note II with its SIRF dual-system chip receives it with no flags for inaccuracy compared to GPS.

3. "Planned Errors": This is Selective Availability and hasn't been used since the 90's.

4. Beidou/Compass' build-out vs GALILEO's: China's is happening, according to Wikipedia, unlike GALILEO, where the latest announcement is a pair of birds delivered to the Guyana spaceport and STILL no ETA to full deployment...

about 3 months ago

Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

storkus Anonymous (and whoever else) will get in trouble.. (180 comments)

...because they're too greedy. Let's go down the list of what I've read here so far:

1a. CB radio: this band, 11 meters, was formerly an amateur radio band and was taken away to make the CB band. It became the total morass it is now when they stopped licensing it.

1b. This also shows what happens to a band in the absence of regulation and licensing. You can get away with this in the ISM portions of the microwave bands due to the massive propagation losses; this was originally the thought for using 11 meters for the CB band, but they didn't factor in amps. giant antennas, and especially ionospheric propagation: hence the need for "CB" bands up in the UHF range (aka GMRS/FRS/etc).

2. You "free band" too much and start interfering with people who actually care, and you'll find out how fast they come after you. This largely depends on what country you are in and what band. As an example, ask the Brazilian guy who was on US military frequencies in NYC, or the people regularly busted for jamming or at least operating on police frequencies.

3. As pointed out repeatedly, this has already been invented both by hams and commercially.

4. Encryption on amateur radio bands is explicitly banned in most countries including the USA and Canada; strangely, this doesn't seem to exist in the ITU regs. I'm sure the thought on this is that Amateur Radio must not be used for business or as a replacement for other communications except in emergencies; also Amateurs regularly communicate with foreign countries, so everyone wants to be able to listen to them. If you look at the preamble of the relevant section of the law, the part about "fostering goodwill" would be inherently violated with encryption. Remember, everyone getting so gung-ho with EMCOMM is a relatively recent phenomena, and the primary purposes have always been experimentation such. It's sad that newer people to the hobby and even the national organizations like ARRL/CRRL/JARL/RSGB/etc seem to have forgotten this.

5. All nations' regulations follow (more or less) the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulations as a guideline, though every nation usually makes changes. As long as these changes don't impact other countries, it doesn't matter much. I believe this is part of the reason the world is organized into 3 regions: Europe, Africa, and the old USSR and its satellites are Region 1, the New World including Greenland is Region 2, and the rest of Asia and Oceania is Region 3.

Oh, and just to drive home the interference point, I had to jump on ARRL's web site and these were on the front page:

about 3 months ago

LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

storkus Wikipedia entry on Mantle (192 comments)

Mantle is a low-level API specification developed by AMD as an alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL, primarily for use on the PC platform.

Emphasis mine. I can't be the only one seeing this as a bad strategy (versus pushing this into Openxx).

about 6 months ago

It's Official: Registrars Cannot Hold Domains Hostage Without a Court Order

storkus I don't understand /. here (112 comments)

You villify the MPAA/RIAA mafiaa, agree with Voltaire on defending the right to free speech, hate NSA and RSA,


you say that EasyDNS is in the wrong here?!? I don't get it. I just don't. Regardless that the defendant here was another registrar rather than the City of London itself, the question remains the same: can a police department authorize the seizure of property without so much as a court order? If so, why not do away with the courts altogether since police agencies now play the roles of judge, jury, and executioner?

For me, EasyDNS has earned a customer when it comes time for me to renew my domain. And while I'm only one, I know that, as this news spreads, I won't be the only one.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?

storkus Re:The Wrong Question (213 comments)

This! Mod parent way up! The question isn't whether your [insert endpoint here] is safe, but if the intermediate points are. Even if your own router is safe, what about the one upstream? I've assumed for a long time (way before Snowden) that all electronic communications are monitored, and when you realize that, and the insane difficulty of getting around that monitoring, you kind of give up. You have to decide what is important enough to secure from a worthy (non script-kiddie) adversary and versus letting them see what kind of pr0n you like. IMHO this has been the reality for years (probably before 9/11 thanks to CALEA and friends), but it took Snowden to wake most people up to the fact.

Now securing your own machine, that's whole other level: again, how secure to do need it to be? I'm *HOPING* that keeping the browser cache clean/disabled, using Linux and FF and shutting down the browser when accessing bank account info and such is enough to keep the CC guys from getting my info; OTOH, if you're doing something that the intelligence agencies (regardless of country) is interested in, your only real hope is to use the the 100% open software/firmware like the FSF advocated, and (of course) even then there's no guarantee the hardware doesn't have a compromise or some CIA/FBI/whatever spy doesn't physically attack your machine when you're not looking (which is normal if you're actually under investigation).

As others have pointed out, its you versus agencies with BILLIONS of US$ (or equivalent) funding: you can resist, but if they really want you, you have no chance of winning: think the end of Half Life when Freeman refuses--that's what you face, proverbially.

tl;dr YOU ARE SCREWED, and your barely computer-literate family and friends have probably already been pwned and not even know it.

about 7 months ago

JetBlue Launches Satellite-Based Inflight Wi-Fi

storkus Service is Viasat AKA Wildblue (79 comments)

I remember reading this a year ago or so when the home service launched, but I guess /. missed it. This kind of portable/mobile use is being heavily marketed for homeland security, SNG (Satellite News Gathering), and other high-end markets, while they continue to give the middle finger to RVers, truckers, etc--I guess the home system is locked to the spotbeam its activated on so you can't roam outside it, unlike HughesNet. Personally, I'd love their little portable flyaway system, but at a price of $20k or so, oh well.

about 8 months ago

Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It

storkus Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (208 comments)

Umm...the !Doctorow options (1,2,4) are not mutually exclusive; in fact, I'm convinced we have been in a Corporatocracy for a while, which controls us through the "utopia where the people are bribed into apathy/foolishness" (courtesy of MPAA/RIAA mafia + youtube and friends), and the "Totalitarian states in constant war" is right around the corner--hell, you can see THAT just in the other comments here!

about 8 months ago

How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

storkus Re:Phony Optical Disc Archive (267 comments)

Replying to myself: as if the drive prices weren't expensive enough, the prices for media are totally, well, consistent with Sony:

1.2TB rewritable $270 from B&H Photo:
1.5TB WORM $280 from B&H Photo:

And to top it all off, here's the obligatory DRM:

To help content creation professionals manage their metadata and improve workflow efficiency, Sony has developed the Optical Disc Archive Content Manager, which is a software application (license) bundled with each drive.

about 8 months ago

How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

storkus Re:Phony Optical Disc Archive (267 comments)

You didn't look too hard at the ODA specs. For starters, everyone here is talking AT LEAST 100 megaBYTES per second of bandwidth on and off the media SUSTAINED.

Now look at Phony's ODA: 35-50 megaBITS per second--MAX (it is a disk, after all). Connection is USB-3. Target machines are winblows and mac, no mention of Linux or any kind of server environment at all.

Time to fill a full 1.5TB 12 disk cartridge: 48 hours (2 days) at 50 Mbps, 72 hours (3 days) at 35 Mbps.

It was a joke when it was introduced, and an even bigger joke now:

Not funny enough? Here is more hilarity (the prices):

about 8 months ago

How Microwave Transmission Is Linking Financial Centers At Near-Light Speed

storkus Mod parent up: it's called VELOCITY FACTOR, folks! (236 comments)

For some place that's supposed to be for nerds who, unlike me, finished college, this discussion is embarrassing. Parent post and 1 or 2 other posts have it right, and this is something that every radio guy knows as well.

Wikipedia references:
More general discussion with heavy math:
The reason for it all:
This is straight from the horse's mouth:

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

storkus Pricing, the real world, etc (175 comments)

First, I have no affiliation with these people, but they sell worldwide and actually show pricing for real VSAT, not crappy HughesNet, Viasat, Starband, etc:

Second, almost all satellite internet is from GEO orbit, as everyone has said, with massive latency; reducing contention is done with spot beams, but the catch is that, if you're not in the spot beam, you're out of luck: this is especially true of the new Ka-band services (Viasat-1, Gen-4 Hughesnet, and probably more coming). And since ALL of these are on Ku or Ka band, unless you can afford a big dish, you can expect rain fade much of the time.

Third, up until recently we had a Ku-band Hughesnet connection here at work for our extranet. It sucked. BIG TIME. I have to echo what everyone else says: do not get satellite internet unless you have NO OTHER CHOICE!

Last, there are the slow-speed alternatives: Inmarsat is also in GEO, but much slower and more expensive; in exchange, you get portability (no dish, just one of those suitcase antennas). Then there's Iridium (2400 bps) and Global(aka Local)Star (9600 bps--no kilo!), which are only useful for e-mail without attachments or text browsing with Lynx (and even then it'll be slow): these are in LEO (Low Earth Orbit), but at these speeds from the 1980's, you won't notice the latency gain. :(

Hope this helps, Mike

about 9 months ago

OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900

storkus Re:Non-free parts include (111 comments)

Certification from the relevant national authority is absolutely required for *ANYTHING* capable of transmitting RF. For something that connects to a public network, there are additional certifications besides just the basic RF ones. I still remember back in the old days, if you took your AMPS handset into Canada, you had to have it registered at Canadian customs; this was eventually dropped, but I don't know if it was due to complaints, drowning in workload, or what.

However, I disagree about FOSS firmware based on the very existance of all the 802.11 and Bluetooth drivers in our favorite operating systems: this was a real concern for them, but the wrath of the world's governments has not come down on them since, for example, MadWiFi was open-sourced. Cellular Radiotelephone networks present a special case, not because of the RF, but due to the authentication requirements to prevent toll fraud.
Besides this, individual network operators also check out devices to be sure they behave on their networks before they commit to carrying them (for GSM).

One last thing, though: at least here in the USA, much of our GSM will disappear in 2016 when AT&T shuts down that network; T-Mobile USA has not given a date yet. Unfortunately, WCDMA--much less LTE in its various forms--is heavily patented worldwide, so getting a legal FOSS implementation of it is probably impossible at this time, so certs would be the least of your trouble: do you really want the likes of Qualcomm suing you into oblivion?

about 9 months ago



Samsung is region-locking all handsets manufactured since July 2013

storkus storkus writes  |  about 10 months ago

storkus (179708) writes "According to numerous sources, Samsung has been doing Hollyweird-style region locking on all its handsets manufactured since July 2013: it was first noticed on the Galaxy Note 3, but has since been discovered on other devices that are sufficiently new. There are now cracks available to (partially?) bypass it, but the big question is, "Why?" Samsung has partially back-tracked, but so far they have not given a real answer. Between the benchmark debacle, Galaxy Gear's poor reviews, and now this, will you be looking for something different this time around? (I know I will.)"
Link to Original Source

Extremetech author defends making phone unlocking illegal, implies DMCA good

storkus storkus writes  |  about a year ago

storkus (179708) writes "I don't know if he's trolling, and you can accuse me of trolling if you want, but this piece really got under my skin, and judging by the comments, plenty of other people's as well, so I thought I'd submit it to /. A particular quote: "...I’m also all for homebrew — assuming it isn’t used to pirate software.""
Link to Original Source

Confirmed: MHD is source of sun's corona superheating

storkus storkus writes  |  about a year and a half ago

storkus (179708) writes "Magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) has been suspected for a while as reason why the sun's corona is millions of degrees while the surface is only thousands. Northumbria University has now apparently confirmed this using a custom telescope."
Link to Original Source

MafIAA Surrogate vs MEGA and friends

storkus storkus writes  |  about a year and a half ago

storkus (179708) writes "ArsTechnica is relaying the story from TorrentFreak about and its head Robert King, where they claim 4 out of 10 MEGA resellers on PayPal have been forced to stop processing payments through the service. They also mention that other services are also being targeted, with Hotfile being specifically mentioned.

The big question in my mind: how to we stop Robert King and friends?"

Link to Original Source

Student Who Sued Over RFID School Requirement Loses Case

storkus storkus writes  |  about a year and a half ago

storkus (179708) writes "Andrea Hernandez, who sued on religious grounds that an RFID neck ID required to be work while on school grounds equated to "The Mark of the Beast", has lost her case. Slashdot has discussed this twice previously, with the temporary injunction and the original story. The relevant line:

"The accommodation offered by the district is not only reasonable it removes plaintiff's religious objection from legal scrutiny all together" (.pdf) U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote.


Link to Original Source

State Department Redacts Wikileaks Cables

storkus storkus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

storkus (179708) writes "Straight from Bruce Schneier's blog. I can't come up with a better summary so I'll just directly quote Bruce:

The ACLU filed a FOIA request for a bunch of cables that Wikileaks had already released complete versions of. This is what happened:

        The agency released redacted versions of 11 and withheld the other 12 in full.

        The five excerpts below show the government's selective and self-serving decisions to withhold information. Because the leaked versions of these cables have already been widely distributed, the redacted releases provide unique insight into the government's selective decisions to hide information from the American public."

Link to Original Source


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