How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture
You're stil going to get to the same place at the same time as the other passengers.
Not in the same shape though.
It might not impact you much if you are going to one conference, but if you fly to multiple destinations within a week, it will build up. Your back/joint pain, stress level, lack of sleep will show. It might mean that you will save 5k on the boarding passes of your exec but then pay millions for the bad decision she makes.
It doesn't have to be multiple flights. Just one is enough - let's say you book a meeting a couple of hours after the plane lands, on a flight from Seattle to say, Singapore. That's a 19 hour flight.
I can tell you most people (ignoring jet lag) would need a day or so to recuperate and such. You really want said exec worrying about that pain in the back when discussing the finer points of a contract? Or being unable to sleep except in fits, completely dead tired and having to negotiate?
And sometimes schedule demands make the extra layaway day impossible. Enough so that companies that do send their employees on long transcontinental flights often allow the upgrade - a fit and refreshed individual is able to get to work immediately, versus wasting a day of hotel, salary, expenses, etc., just to save the plane ticket.
Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android
There's no "app" for screenshots because it's built into Android itself, and has been since 4.0 (which was released many years ago). It's volume down + power button. Just Google for "Android screenshot".
And until late last year, you could get brand new Android phones with Gingerbread on them. Even older than ICS.
Assuming users all have ICS+ phones is not a safe assumption. At least Gingerbread users are unlikely to be accessing the Google Play store, so developers don't need to concentrate on it anymore. (The Google Play survey only covers phones that accessed the Play Store the past 2 weeks or so, so those ancient phones are not something developers need to worry about).
TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA
This is a classic solved problem in computer science: chose an algorithm that you can support in the generation of machines you plan to deploy, even if it's slow in the lab.
Yeah, and now computers are so fast, that the encryption is suspect.
Think about it - GSM has been around for 20 years and its encryption has been hacked.for the past half-decade, if not more. And why? Because back then, the encryption was pretty much unbreakable with equipment of the day and implementable on hardware available at the time. These days the computers are much faster and encryption hardware available that easily breaks it in real time.
TCP/IP is what, 30 years old now? Any encryption it specifies as mandatory would be equivalent to plain text now.
Fun Fact: OSI is actually a networking stack. It's not just the 7 layers you see on a networking chart. It was actually a real to life stack. And in the 80s, government computers were specifying OSI networking capability as a requirement.
So why didn't it succeed, and why is the only artifact we have that 7 layer model? Well, TCP/IP was written by a few scrappy people at DARPA. OSI was a consortium of dozens of companies all trying to get their own piece of the pie. Naturally, OSI's design by committee really lead nowhere as companies fought to have their own thing in the stack.
In other words, TCP was "good enough" and out there and working. OSI was complex and growing and being fought over. It got so bad that the OSI group imploded on itself. And TCP kept on trucking.
GameSpy Multiplayer Shutting Down, Affecting Hundreds of Games
No matter who it is, how long it has been around, or what the service is... if it is a cloud service it will one day go away.
Actually, it's not just the cloud, it's Real Life(tm) too.
That coffeeshop you buy your java brew from may decide one day to stop serving it at all. Or it may close up shop. Or it may change owners and molest the brew to something vile and undrinkable.
The Cloud is not much different than anything else. Your favorite store might change hands, close down, stop offering the goods you want, etc.
Anything you buy from others is subject to shutdown. While unlikely, your ISP might decide to close up shop and stop providing internet service to you. Or your colo provider may not be able to renew its lease and have to shut down.
Yes, some of these companies have been around a long time, but remember they're survivors - thousands of other companies have came and went.
The oldest company in North America is the Hudson Bay Company (now a Canadian department store, formerly a fur trading business). Doesn't mean it'll be around tomorrow, and for every company that's been in business for 340+ years, millions of others have been started, closed and so forth.
Cloud companies are just the same - another service that can be here today, gone tomorrow.
Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours
Newer phones have location chipsets that support both GPS and GLONASS. Do they figure out automatically that the GLONASS information is bad and switch to using GPS exclusively?
Given GLONASS is really only complete above the Russian Federation and spotty everywhere outside it, a dumb navigation chip would use GPS outside of Russia and GPS/GLONASS inside because it can't acquire a complete GLONASS lock outside.
A smarter chip may use whatever GLONASS satellites it does see to aid in reception, and the error would probably result in the software rejecting it as a whacked out satellite. (It happens on GPS as well - sometimes they screw up so the receivers know to discard the data received from a malfunctioning satellite). In this case, it would've seen the GLONASS was returning a nonsensical result and mark it as a bad satellite.
I've noticed much increased performance since I upgraded to a phone that uses both systems, especially in cities with a lot of tall buildings like NYC and Chicago.
Most likely your phone can properly extract the GPS data from the phone network via assisted GPS. In this case, you only need to see one satellite and the cell tower supplies the other satellite information.
Also, your new phone may have more sensitive electronics and more often than not, its wifi supports location assistance using wifi triangulation.
All that would combine to give you much faster acquisition than just pure GPS alone.
Both Google and Apple support WiFi location - Google is probably more question-response, while Apple sends you information and then a bit more to cache to lighten server loads. (That cache was the cause of the whole "iOS is tracking me" deal way back in IOS 4 because everyone believed Apple was getting the location data and stuffing it in the file, instead of what really happened in that Apple send more data for the cache in your phone to save data.
Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?
It will work well enough until NoScript becomes prevalent enough that sites will realize that all they need to do is host the advertising/tracking scripts on their own domain.
Which is better than the alternative, which is all your information is sent straight to Google. Because now if the ad is hosted locally, there's less correlation between a particular user and the websites they visit.
Right now, visit /. and say, reddit, and Google gets pings from your browser on both sites. Via cookies and other mechanisms, Google can conclude you are the same user (especially if you're logged into Google when you visit both sites). But if /;. hosted the ads, and reddit hosted the ads, then it would take both sites to share their logs with each other and even then it's hard to conclusively determine if it's the same user, since cookies shared with /. are not available to reddit except through an external third party site (like say, Google).
So if the information gets siloed, it's a lot harder to positively track you. After all, with NAT, it could be you're hitting /. while someone else hits reddit. While if it's right now, Google can easily say it was you that visited both because you logged into Google, or Google Ads/DoubleClick/etc tracked the cookie you have.
Bunnie Huang's Novena Open Source Laptop Launches Via Crowd Supply
Commercial hardware assembly is hard - not to mention that since you're selling something you take on a bunch of liability as far as product quality goes regardless.
it's actually quite easy. So easy actually.
If you want to talk about contract manufacturers, they're more than happy to assemble your hardware for you - including going from parts to finished product in the box (most CMs offer pick and place at a minimum, testing as an option, and final packaging and assembly as an option after there).
CMs are well used to small runs (you almost always go local for that as the big CMs like Foxconn and Flextronics are meant for dealing in the 10,000 quantity to millions), and they're very helpful in guiding you through the build process and ensuring everything is there.
What CMs will not do is redesign your product to make it easier to manufacture - if your product requires a million steps to assemble, they'll do the million steps (and charge accordingly). Which is why most designs go through another design pass called "Design for Manufacture" which seeks to redo the design taking into account what mass manufacture needs - sort of like replacing fiddly cable assemblies with flex or ribbon cables, switching out dozens of boards to a single PCB, simplifying the case design so it auto-aligns the board and components within, etc.
Computer hardware assembly is a little more scattered, but given the number of whitebox PCs made in little mom and pop computer shops these days, also not a big deal.
Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"
That "pepsi consultant" can go eat shit and die - if he or she thinks he/she can push geeks to do whatever he/she likes.
Well, if the event was sponsored by Pepsi, yes. That's generally one of the conditions for sponsorship.
Otherwise the event will probably either not happen because there are no funds to organize it, some other sponsor is found (to which one has to follow THEIR rules), or some other form of fundraising is determined.
It's why sites like Wikipedia don't do advertising - because they refuse to abide by any sort of rules a sponsor might want to impose, and while it's possible there are few who are willing to sponsor anyways, the numbers are far fewer, and the money small enough that it's not worth the bother.
The fallout from this will likely be minimal unless Pepsi sponsors a large number of them - generally the event there is dead, but others will remain unaffected.
Plenty of blame to go around - Pepsi for being so demanding, the organizers for not reading the contract close enough to see what restrictions on sponsorship were, and developers for not asking questions about the sponsorship (and probably letting the "cool, I'm on TV!" factor play an excessively large rule)
Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds
What it really sounds like is the State of Vermont & the NRC made some poor assumptions about decommissioning costs and didn't require the operator to set aside enough money over the last 42 years.
Irrational public opinion has nothing to do with this, even if Entergy wasn't shutting the plant down because of profitability concerns.
No, it's not the NRC or Vermont's fault. The plant was life-extended another 20 years. Entergy however sees it as uneconomic, so they applied to Vermont and the NRC to approve an early shutdown.
The decommissioning fund was expected to grow another 20 years to be sufficient, but since the plant was closed early, it doesn't have enough money.
Entergy is 100% at fault here because they want to close it early.
It's really along the lines of you saving for retirement until you're 65, then at 45 declaring you want to retire early. Well, your retirement fund (decommissioning fund) was planned out for you retiring at 65, not 45, so now there's going to be a shortfall, obviously.
Should the taxpayer be forced to fund your retirement because you decided to retire early and your savings are short?
No, because it's purely a choice to do it early - you could very well continue to work until 65 and realize your retirement plans, just like you could operate the power plant until it's time to close it down, contributing to the decommissioning fund the extra few years.
Especially since circumstances like cheap natural gas aren't sudden overnight events - natural gas prices have been falling for over a decade or so after peaking.
Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?
How many diseases are there where the chances of getting it can be increased or the symptoms worsened by psychosomatic influence, yet which CANNOT be prevented or mitigated with advance knowledge? Not a hypothetical question, I honestly don't know.
Probably every psychosomatic disease out there. It doesn't matter what disease, just knowing the symptoms will often produce symptoms of the disease, even if the person doesn't have it.
Like WiFi radiation "poisoning" (substitute smart meter, cellphone, etc). Advanced knowledge tends to bring out the symptoms, and for all the testing available post symptoms, it's impossible to distinguish (as far as tests go, the people reporting "radiation sickness" really ARE sick!). Only a true double blind test can reveal it's really psychosomatic.
Subversion Project Migrates To Git
Apple seriously uses Outlook Exchange for their mail servers, though.
[Archer]You can just say "Exchange"[/Archer]
And the iCloud is stored on Azure. The whole "Onion or Reality" test can be difficult in tech these days.
Well, given Apple's not exactly a well known entity in the MTA market, or in the cloud computing market, I don't see the big deal that they're using Exchange and Azure.
They're both good products run by people who know what they're doing. At least, know more than Apple on those topics. And neither is something Apple wants to get in and support directly. I mean, yes they could do it, but I suspect that Microsoft simply does it better and probably more securely than Apple on their own.
Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Where's the flood of April First stories? Do I have the date wrong? Is the lack of them the joke? Am I not getting the jokes?
That is the prank.
Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory
What society really needs to do is admit that some people are simply unfit to be in control of a vehicle and deny them a license.
What does this have to do with the fact that rear cameras help eliminate one of the biggest blind spots in modern vehicles?
Sure, if you drive a small car, it's not a big deal (you only have to worry about kids and toys that are really short). But given the rather massive blind spots present in American's most favorite of vehicles, the SUV, it's rather essential.
And from the driver's seat, looking out the rear window, a tall SUV has one HELLUVA big reversing blind spot. Especially with the C pillars and everything else.
Nevermind pickups or other vehicles.
DVRs Used To Attack Synology Disk Stations and Mine Bitcoin
This suggests that this malware has been around for a long time, dating from back when it was worth mining Bitcoins with a low end CPU. Three or four years maybe.
Uh, why is CPU mining pointless today? Because the returns are so low?
Yes, the returns are very low. However, they're non-zero. So if you can find a pile of computing devices that you can use for FREE, even if you only earn 0.001 BTC a day, that's still a positive ROI for you.
Now couple that with millions of PCs, routers, DVRs, etc., and suddenly 0.001 BTC per day per device on average is not too shabby anymore. Even 0.000001 BTC still makes it worthwhile.
Remember, the cost of the equipment, electricity, etc is FREE to the miner.
Hell, there are plugins to Unity (the game engine) that does Bitcoin mining for developers to release free-to-play games, as well. (Presumably for both computers and mobile devices, so no, the game is not heating the CPU because its got awesome graphics and play, but because it's mining behind your back).
The ROI of CPU mining is high when the I is low
Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video
Look at Koh's previous decisions against Samsung. Denying perfectly good evidence, ignoring serious problems with jurors, and now this. It makes sense in that light.
What selective memory. Koh has ruled against Apple many times as well. Of course, Apple haters generally tend to ignore that inconvenient fact. It's just selective bias taking place.
Of course, it also doesn't help that Samsung's lawyers tend to be inept and miss long-held deadlines for a lot of things. Or that Samsung's lawyers have revealed to Samsung executives protected (i.e., lawyer's eyes only) information.
So Koh also rules for Apple because she herself gets annoyed at the tricks Samsung plays in her courtroom.
Lets see how might the video not be biased. Oh, it has laptops and desktops from various manufacturers, *INCLUDING* Apple.
Samsung's problem is well, their products are generic looking. Apple decided to go away from beige boxes and design some rather unique looking items.
It's no wonder Samsung objects, because their products look like every other object out there in every way, while Apple, due to Jony Ive, manages to stick out. (Which is why Apple is Apple - their designs are generally such that they aren't generic, but noticeable).
Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents
The biggest problem here isn't the question of software patents. It's patents on things that are obvious, or are an obvious progression from something that's already common (eg. taking the manual process of balancing a checkbook and having a computer perform the exact same steps). It's just that software is the field where it's taken root the most, I think because people treat computers as some sort of magic that transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Actually, you know, in the 19th century, the patent lawsuits were flying even more vigorously than they are now. In fact, in the field, it got so bad that it was impossible to create the device.
No, it wasn't a matter of licensing, but a matter that you couldn't build it because the patents were so broad and even worse, they overlapped! And no one was licensing to competitors, so everyone was suing everyone else. And yes, we had NPEs (non-practicing entities, aka trolls) as well.
The device? The sewing machine. Everyone was suing everyone else, and patents were granted that were overlapping. So if you managed to license one, someone else with the exact same thing would sue you. Heck, the only real difference was back then, the inventors held onto their patents and did a lot of the suing.
The end of the 19th century nearly brought a halt to the sewing machine. Until the companies got together and simply bought up every patent around from everyone. Literally buying the peace.
Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion
Remote wiping is already possible. What they want is centralized control over the functionality for governing purposes. We're not idiots. Well... not all of us.
Possible, but doesn't' prevent resale. And the same ability to remote wipe can be used to remote kill like how Apple does it.
Someone steals your cellphone, you remote wipe. However ,that someone has a wiped cellphone they can fence to someone for a hundred bucks, still, while you're out the cost of a replacement.
On iOS, you remote wipe, that device is useless. You can fence it for parts, and I'm sure iFixit and others will gladly accept it, but they don't pay too much for non-functional hardware.
Effectively, it's completely useless to steal a cellphone because it can't be used - you can't even use it as an iPod Touch or anything that just merely lacks cellular functionality (say with IMEI blocks). Pretty much the value of an iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch (with iOS7) is $0. Because once wiped, they're nothing more than a pretty piece of aluminum-wrapped glass.
Any idiot who buys a stolen iOS device will find out shortly that they got scammed.
And even Apple refuses to help you until you can convince a court to force them to unlock it.
Right now, steal someone's Galaxy S4 or Nexus 5, and you have a nifty Android phone that still works. Sure the user's data is gone, but you picked it up for $100 off contract. Which makes them still lucrative to thieves who can make an easy $100 off it.
What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble
It must work stand-alone: if I'm lugging my phone around with me why would I want a miniscule third-rate smart-watch?
If you're "lugging" your phone around you probably need to update your phone.
Sorry, wrong. Modern phones are pretty damn big, which is probably why smartwatches exist to begin with.
People want big screens, but then they try to use them and realize that they're completely impractical for anything other than a mobile entertainment device. As a mobile communications device, unless you're sitting down, they're impossible to use.
I tried. My friend got a Nexus 5. First thing I did was the usual way I use my phone - single handledly. It was a disaster - even with relatively huge hands, I can't reach all 4 corners. And Android (and iOS, for that matter) doesn't have guidelines that say you should put all the UI controls on one corner of the screen for single handed use. So the inability to use it single handed means I can't use it while I'm out and about without finding a spot to put down my things so I can use both hands to use the phone.
The smartwatch came out from this inability to quickly answer phone calls or do text messages while on the go because you need both hands to use the @()#&%@ phone.
Of course, Samsung likes to mock the fact that the iPhone screens are small, without mentioning that their phones are completely useless for single handled on-the-go mobile use.
Then again, I suppose it's a good way to do snatch and grabs - with a user's hands concentrating on the phone, that shoulder purse or murse is a much more attractive target, since it'll take a good 4-5 seconds for the ex-owner to deal with their phone.
Samsung SSD 840 EVO MSATA Tested
The best part of using SSD's? You learn to make your backups religiously, because they will die and they will die fast. I have some very long-lived SSD's in production (SLC) but each one that I've had fail (I have a stack of about 20 on my workbench which may or may not go back for 'lifetime warranty' claims - do I really want replacements of crappy SSD's?) has gone from perfect to unreadable in minutes.
The main reason why SSDs fail is due to sudden power loss causing a massive corruption of the FTL tables. It's why some come with capacitors - so they can sync the on-media tables with what's in the RAM cache on sudden power loss. There are mitigation techniques that are possible as well that allow for sudden power down without losing data. In fact, the modern SSD is faster than the interface it's on, so compromising performance for data safety is doable.
After all, once you're around 500MB/sec, you can't go faster. If the flat out rate is 750MB/sec, no one will see it, so give up 33% of that speed for data safety so you'll still see 500MB/sec at the interface.
As for your pile of dead drives - chances are a good chunk o them, if they've still got life in them, can be used. Their tables are corrupt, so you should try a ATA Secure Erase (in anything but a Lenovo system - go figure, but Lenovos do strange things). We've used it to recover an SSD in a dropped laptop that shattered to a million bits (which was on and doing stuff).
Most good SSDs respond to typical power down commands as a request to sync data - i.e., when a hard disk is issued the spindown command prior to system turn off, it syncs the cache to the platters, parks the heads, and shuts down. Doing so is far safer on the hard drive than a straight power down (less mechanical wear - a sudden powerdown switches all the platter spinning energy into the voice coils, which flings the heads to the parking area violently. It's why a soft spindown rating on a hard disk may be 50,000+ load/unload cycles, while a emergency spindown is only 10,000 or less).
Likewise, smart SSDs do the same thing - they see a spindown command and use it as an opportunity to sync the tables to media, and then report to the host that they're ready to be turned off.
We used the hdparm method of sending the ATA Secure Erase command to the drive, it works, takes about 5 minutes and recovers and SSD to the condition it was in before failure. The only thing is that previous wear doesn't reset (of course), but the drive is still as reliable as it was brand new - just because the tables were corrupted once doesn't impact a thing after a secure erase - it's basically used to recreate brand new tables.
Samsung SSD 840 EVO MSATA Tested
Judging by this, the speed is about the same as other comparable SATA III SSD's, with a little bit of a boost but nothing dramatic.
You know what the problem is? SATA3 is too damn slow. Yes, a modern SSD has hit the SATA3 bandwidth limit of 6Gbps.
The interface is now the bottleneck - something that hasn't happened in disk storage systems for a long time - it took SSDs to actually saturate a SATA3 link with a single drive, and SATA3 was created with SSDs in mind. And we've hit the limit again, far before SATA4 is even a draft.
It's why we're having PCIe SSDs that easily get 750MB/sec reads and writes.
IOPS is where we can improve.