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Sprint Details Shift To LTE

tachyonflow Re:And nothing of value was lost (183 comments)

It's the same here in the Denver area -- no coverage at the airport or in certain key corridors (like the Boulder Turnpike). Although speeds seem quite good the few times when I can get a strong signal. The WiMAX signal just happens to be excellent here at my home, the one place where I don't need it. ;)

about 3 years ago

Real-Time Text Over Jabber/XMPP/Google Talk

tachyonflow Re:files (106 comments)

I looked into this recently. It seems there are plenty of methods in XMPP for sending files in our modern mess of NATs. However, IM clients haven't necessarily kept up with the XMPP standards. The libpurple based clients (Pidgin, Adium, etc.) in particular seem to be stuck with the XMPP of several years ago. I've had better luck sending files with Psi, but that client is kind of clunky. Anyway, I suspect that file transfer is considered to be a solved problem from the point of view of the XMPP standard itself.

more than 3 years ago

Last Available IPv4 Blocks Allocated

tachyonflow Re:Why can't we go after legacy space? (312 comments)

Personally, I don't think it would matter much. Networks have had 15 years to roll out IPv6. A few more months will just buy us a few months of additional procrastination, and then we'll be back in the same situation. I think it's better to go ahead and get it over with.

more than 2 years ago

Obama Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority

tachyonflow Re:Consider the source and discount the propaganda (646 comments)

The original story seems to be from the New York Times. Fox News and the other news sites all seem to be referencing the NYT article.

more than 4 years ago

Obama Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority

tachyonflow Re:CHANGE!! (646 comments)

I think it's this bullet point, mentioned in the New York Times article, that has people concerned:

"Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception."

more than 4 years ago

Google Gives the US Government Access To Gmail

tachyonflow Re:PGP? (445 comments)

This is an excellent question. I'd love to see this happen, but I think the obstacles boil down to the following:

  • People don't care.
  • People aren't going to do extra work or incur any additional inconvenience for extra security. (Unless they get burned, at which point they become true believers...)
  • Mail User Agent (MUA) vendors target the 98% of people who don't need security, don't want security, are oblivious to risks and think their mail is already secure, or think that governments and criminals will always magically be able to hack the encryption (thanks to Hollywood).
  • Effective use of encrypted mail for day-to-day use requires a network of enabled participants. Getting all your recipients to agree to use encrypted mail would be just as challenging as trying to get all your friends to switch to your preferred instant messaging service.
  • Providing real security is hard, and encouraging the use of encrypted mail without considering the considerable challenges of securing endpoints may provide a false sense of security. Until common operating systems become sufficiently secure, it's a hassle to find a safe place to store your keys, or a safe terminal from which to enter your passphrase.

These are not insurmountable challenges. I think over time we could could make this happen. It won't be easy or happen quickly, though.

more than 4 years ago

How Do You Measure a Game's Worth?

tachyonflow Re:Dollars per hour is exactly backwards (188 comments)

Yes... The dollars/hour metric seems to be for people who are trying to solve the problem of having too many spare hours on their hands which need filling with something or another. I can't say I have that problem. I like your formula a lot better.

more than 4 years ago

The FBI Wants To Know About Your IT Skills

tachyonflow Re:Am I missing something? (211 comments)

Yeah, from what I can tell, this is a completely benign move to make a public-private partnership operate more effectively, and doesn't affect anyone except the volunteers. I'm as suspicious of the government as any of us, and I can see how the wording leads some people to think "Oh noes! Nightwatch!". If the FBI started asking InfraGard members to inform on their co-workers or used InfraGard to establish some sort of hiring favoritism, then we'd have reason to be worried. People working together to achieve a common goal is nothing to worry about, though. Let's save our energy for when the government is actually screwing us.

The problem is, with all the bureaucracy and legal requirements for proposing such information collection, it's hard for these government types to not come across as sounding vaguely sinister.

more than 4 years ago

Service Oriented Architecture With Java

tachyonflow Re:Java! (110 comments)

Microcode is slow and useless. I only arrange logic gates by hand. (Check out my fancy new word processor, coming in January 2490!)

more than 4 years ago

Computer-Based System To Crack Down On Casino Card Counters

tachyonflow Re:Everyone "counts" cards, or not? (597 comments)

I agree.

I'm actually offended by the notion that a mental process could be considered cheating in a game that is supposed to have at least some element of skill. It seems that most of the engineer-centric Slashdot crowd agrees. However, I have had people try to tell me that counting cards in your head is indeed cheating. I suspect that to much of the world outside of Slashdot, such mental exercises seem like mystical voodoo.

about 5 years ago

Alabama Wages War Against the Perfect Weed

tachyonflow Re:I live in Alabama (360 comments)

I lived in Birmingham back in '96. It always seemed to me that there were some forms of nature that were actually *more* dense in the big city than in the smaller rural towns -- like roaches. At least, in the corner of Southside that I lived in. It's sad to hear that downtown still becomes a ghost town after 5pm.

I got a kick out of your colorful description of nature constantly encroaching on man. I felt the same way when I was growing up in the South. Feel free to visit Colorado sometime; I've found it to be radically different. Being outside is actually enjoyable here.

more than 5 years ago

First Graphics Game Written On/For a 16-Bit Home PC

tachyonflow Re:What I learned from my TRS-80 MC-10 (159 comments)

My first computer was also an MC-10! (You, me, and maybe ten others, heh...) My realization came when I was typing in a text adventure game from the back of a book, and got the dreaded "out of memory" error. :)

I hear you about needing a new computer... the 5GB of memory in this Mac Pro starts feeling tight after running a few Firefox, Eclipse, and VMWare processes...

more than 5 years ago

Think-Tank Warns of Internet "Brownouts" Starting Next Year

tachyonflow What's that sound? (445 comments)

Sounds like that wolf crying again...

Seriously, I've been hearing that long distance bandwidth is plentiful, it's just the last mile that is the limiting factor.

more than 5 years ago

Carbonite Stacks the Deck With 5-Star Reviews

tachyonflow Re:I don't believe that (197 comments)

Yeah, I've noticed that, too. B2B relationships between large companies with a lot at stake can be surprisingly and refreshingly honest. It's the companies selling products and services to end users that you have to watch out for, heh.

more than 5 years ago

How the City Hurts Your Brain

tachyonflow Re:Just visit Manhattan (439 comments)

I've lived in a lot of places (although not New York or Texas), and I think every place certainly has its pros and cons. Many times, I think that places could learn a lot from each other and whittle down the cons while boosting the pros. However, if I suggested that my previous city had an idea that my current city could benefit from, I imagine people would think I'm just suffering from this "the old grass was greener" mindset, even if I'm not at all suggesting any sort of overall superiority.

So, I'm wondering how cross-pollination of ideas between cities can happen without sounding like an ass.

more than 5 years ago

Denver Couple Unveils Homemade Service Robot

tachyonflow Re:FAAAAAKKKEE (140 comments)

I saw a demonstration of Basil earlier this month at the event mentioned in the article, and the Gundersons explained some of the technology and what they are trying to accomplish.

There is nothing special about the sonar -- it's just a simple low-bitrate input scheme. The Gundersons are focusing on solving the problems of environment perception by focusing on a cognitive model instead of throwing horsepower at interpreting the input in fine detail, as computer vision or perhaps some sort of advanced sonar would. The robot manages an internal model of its environment, and compares the input to its expectations instead of continually trying to reconstruct a scene. Perhaps it distinguishes a chair from a person with clues (a chair doesn't move on its own, for instance).

more than 5 years ago

Python 3.0 Released

tachyonflow Python 3000! Halting State, anyone? (357 comments)

Man, all this time I thought "Python 3000" was just a fictional, futuristic-sounding version of Python that Charles Stross made up for his book Halting State. In Stross's world set in 2018, Python 3000 is one of the dominant languages used for distributed peer-to-peer networks running on cellphone nodes. (FWIW, I blogged about this briefly here.)

more than 5 years ago


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