Ask Slashdot: College Club Fundraising On the Fly?
In a particular case like this, it may be possible for much of the transport work to be done by volunteers from the local ham community.
I think that's probably a good way to go - hams generally love to help others, especially other hams. And nothing's better than helping emergency preparedness either.
Put the call out, and earmark some money for beer and pizza and stuff at the end and you may find that you'll have lots of help - not to pay for the transport, but to actually do it. And I'm sure lots of hams would love to have the chance to actually put up a tower or to learn how to put one up (a good skill to have).
Heck, have workshops as well - turn this not into a "let's get a tower" event but into a whole community involvement and relations thing. After all, you'll get curious onlookers wondering what's going on. It's the perfect time to also do outreach and explain what ham radio is about, what they're good for, and why in an emergency it's good to know a few of 'em.
Top E-commerce Sites Fail To Protect Users From Stupid Passwords
users dont like registration dialogs. Enforcing good passwords will make users stop the registration process and go away. And a compromised user account is the users problem, not the companies. That is current management thinking.
Well, the first question I have is... why?
I mean, I run into websites that declared themselves so important that the password HAD to be complex. Which is great, except I only accessed it once every few months, and ended up clicking "Forgot Password" anyways because they wouldn't accept a simple one.
No, all the site had were software downloads.
So really - it's another case of "web site is SOOOOOOOOOOO IMPORTANT!" syndrome where the website believes it's the be-all-end-all of websites and wants everyone to use a strong password. User sees it as just a web site that they don't care much about and wants to use a simple crappy one, because well, who really cares?
This is especially true if it's a one-off purchase. I mean, I run into many places that require you to register so you can buy from them. Except that the product I bought was all I needed and all I was going to need. So now I have to create an account and come up with a strong password that I'll never bother using again?
Canada & Korea Show Trade Treaties Can Skip Copyright Rule Changes
Face it, the only country that keeps pushing for IP protections is the largest IP producer of them all - the United States. If the US was involved in the trade talks, IP would've been on the table.
But between South Korea and Canada? Both aren't really well known heavy IP producers - sure there are plenty of content produced, but it's but a tiny part of the economies, and people don't generally associate various IP products with Canada. Think of movies, you think Hollywood. Etc. The US is all about exporting its culture through IP products.
After all, what's there to protect? Samsung can steal the latest design for the Blackberry for what anyone really cares about. Unless you orient your keys a certain way, that is.
Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles
They should not take a good article and edit it to be more positive for them or their employers, but if something is missing they should add it.
Unfortunately, such editing is extremely common, especially around times of great discussion. Usually what happens are things like "Controversies" get edited down or completely deleted. Then someone puts it back, and then a PR editor removes it again and the edit war continues.
It's been shown a lot of those edits have been done by people associated with the page - be it a company wanting to remove "black marks" and legal troubles from their page, to people removing controversial opinions or negative information.
If it turns out donors are doing it to appear more positive by removing negative listings in their page, and they're getting away with it without confrontation, that is the worrying trend. Because normally someone challenges removal of negative information and the section gets locked down.
Stanford Bioengineer Develops a 50-cent Paper Microscope
To me, the most impressive part is that he claims they have very accurate focusing. I believe he said "micron" focusing. I'm not sure how that works, but the paper is cut to a very accurate shape (the video showed some sort of computer-controlled cutter, it might even have been a laser cutter).
The device being used to "draw" the lines *and* cut the paper in the video is an Epilog laser engraver. Hint: Not cheap (5-digit USD range).
If you're making high-five-digit numbers of these microscopes - and the test run itself is into that range - that only raises the cost from $0.50 to $1.50.
Or, you go for the traditional printing press which you can use a standard offset print with die-cut and die-mark techniques. At 50,000 copies, this is an extremely cost-efficient way of making the things, uses no special technology (printing presses and die cutters are readily available at your bulk print shop).
We traditionally use them to produce the fancy boxes you see for packaging of products - boxes, displays, etc.
That's what makes this cool - there's no real fancy technology needed, and aside from minor setup costs, it's really, really, really efficient. The printers can even remove the excess paper, leaving you with just the cut out parts (though if you go this way, they can even nest the pieces so you can use a sheet roll of cardboard with very little waste).
Why use fancy laser cutters and such when the technology and means to mass produce them cheaply already exists?
How Engineers Are Building a Power Station At the South Pole
The temperature is irrelevant (except perhaps for oils to grease the ball bearings, so I assume they use bearings that don't need grease).
One of the interesting things is how things interact. If the wind dies down during the summer and picks up during the winter, the motion of the turbines itself generates friction, even with bearings. Depending on how things are, such friction may be enough to keep the grease in a usable temperature range so it's kept at more or less the same temperature year round.
University of Cambridge Develops Potentially More Secure Password Storage System
How do I log in to my account from a new device? What if I'm travelling and I don't have my computer with me, how do I use an internet cafe?
As you always would - with your username and password.
What these guys propose doing is server side - you enter a password, the server hashes it, it's sent to the box which signs it, then the resulting hash is spit back out and stored in the database. When you log in, you provide the password, it's hashed by the server, send to the box, and the resulting signed hash is compared with the stored hash.
The reason for this is to make breaches of websites that much less useful - if the attackers get the database, they won't have the HMAC key so they can't really run through and crack the hashes. The website can regenerate a new HMAC key and force everyone to recreate their passwords (which can be the same) and they'll end up different in the database again because they are signed with the new key.
Since the key never leaves the hardware box, it's impossible to extract it when you're grabbing the user database.
The big problem is, well, it protects the user with less benefit and more cost tot he website in question, meaning few, if any, would actually implement it because the benefits go solely to the user.
Ask Slashdot: How Can I Prepare For the Theft of My Android Phone?
Android is the same in that respect. With either OS, the attacker can open the device and read out the flash directly, however.
In the other areas you mention Android needs to improve.
Nope, Starting with the iPhone 3GS, the flash is encrypted. The encryption key used is encrypted with a per-device key that's known only by the device (and I guess, Apple). If you do a remote wipe, the encrypted key is deleted (making the data inaccessible), and a new key is created. The device then encrypts that key with the device key and puts it in flash.
This is why iPhone and iPhone 3G take several hours to wipe, while every iPhone since the 3GS onwards only takes seconds. As a result, the flash is always encrypted and removing it gets you nothing if you don't know the device key to recover the media key. (AFAIK, the device key is only known to hardware - software cannot access it, other than commanding the device key be loaded into the key cache RAM at a certain index).
Android also has the ability to encrypt the flash (starting with 4.0 I think) - you have to enable it though - by default it's off. I believe it uses a form of TrueCrypt so it takes about an hour to encrypt the flash, and it cannot be disabled unless you reflash the device.
Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty
Yes. And where that all that snow come from? It came from precipitation (rain/snow) from water held up in the clouds in storm systems. Where did the water in those clouds come from? It all evaporated into the sky from the water in the Pacific Ocean.
At least that's what they taught me about the water cycle back in the 70's. Do they not teach this in school anymore? Is the next argument from these geniuses that we can solve this problem by irrigating crops with Brawndo?
The problem is not the water itself, is that freshwater is a very limited resource. Water is not limited - 2/3rds of the surface is covered in it. Freshwater is very limited though - under 1% of water is fresh and usable for growing, drinking, etc. A lot of it is in various lakes - Russia has a very deep lake along the Trans-Siberian Railroad that's all freshwater and considered the world's largest supply. The Great Lakes make up another huge chunk of it as well.
The problem is again one of distribution - for those areas don't typically grow or raise much food, while areas like California raise a lot but also are in drought conditions.
So no, the water is not lost, but climate change and such is leading to desertification and loss of prime agricultural land, and having to bring in water from elsewhere is energy-intensive.
WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up
This suprises you somehow? A landline provides a lot more bandwidth without any worries of signal interferance from walls or other radio sources. The switches were also analog, no need for converting analog sound into digital bits, compressing and then sending them in discreete packets.
Analog phone service sounds better than digital landline - because it was all analog and very little filtering happened. Then in the mid-70's or so AT&T was switching to digital systems. They did research (heavily) into finding out what bandwidth they could limit to and still have intelligible speech, which was decided that the good chunk of human vocalizations exist below 4kHz or so.
This gave rise to the 8KHz sampling with 8 bits (or a 64kbps channel), uncompressed. Which is why our phone systems use 64kbps channel allocations. (56k modems were derived from the fact that every 8th byte or so, a bit was robbed from the audio and used for control purposes. Since you could never tell when this happened, they assumed you only had a 7-bit channel).
Of course, that voice is carried at a full 64kbps. GSM and other digital mobile telephony only really have datarates of 4kbps or lower, necessitating use of highly compressed, highly distorting codecs meant to get the most out of every bit - and let the brain do a lot of the error correction and such (speech has low enough entropy that the powerful organic audio processor running rather advanced wet software can do very good forward error correction to extract out what is being said, despite all the distortion).
Of course, with 3G and LTE and such, codecs are available that let you use more bandwidth to get higher audio quality, but like all things, it requires both ends to support it.
Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"?
Well if you read any of the articles, there is no real information or than the contention that pressure from Google has delayed the release of this tablet.
Thing is, the pieces are all there.
First, the OHA agreement (which you must sign in order to get Google Apps, including Google Play) prohibit releasing "Android compatible" devices. It's a blanket ban, too - sign the agreement and you CANNOT release anything Android compatible anymore. If you're someone wanting to release an AOSP phone alongside your Google version? You can't.
Second, Google has already reminded OEMs of that obligation and blocked the launch of the Aliyun phone. Rather emphatically, too, forcing the sudden cancellation of the launch event and release at the last minute.
Android is Free alright. However, sign the OHA agreement and you're really Google's bitch. The ironic part is that this comes from the freedom Android provides.
It all stems from the success of the Kindle - prior to that, well, any Android device not running the Google Market was pretty worthless. But with the Kindle, well, there's suddenly a very compelling piece of Android hardware NOT tied to Google, and that Google cannot exert control over.it. Amazon now has control over the entire thing, and the Amazon App Store is considered to be third most lucrative (by money - first is Blackberry, second (close behind) is Apple, third (with about half as much as Apple) is Amazon. Google Play is a very, very, very distant way back (probably anywhere from a tenth to a fifth of Amazon)).
Basically the OHA agreements are used to "lock up" Android OEMs so Amazon can't use them for design help or manufacturing, etc.
20 Freescale Semiconductor Employees On Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight
Granted, it has been a while since I worked for the part of Motorola that became Freescale, but I am fairly certain there were rules against the maximum number of employees that could take any one flight. I think it was 2 for executives and 6 or 8 for regular employees. Situations like this, rare as they are, was the reason. I wonder if Freescale still has those rules and ignored them, or didn't copy them over.
Most likely it was scrapped - plane crashes being rare things, it's easier and cheaper to book a single flight for everyone. I mean, that could mean booking easily 4-5 flights for something that probably only happens once a year or less, and the chances of that flight being "the one" is so low that the added expense isn't worth the cost.
Planes are highly reliable pieces of equipment, much more so than even just 30+ years ago. We understand risks much better, and airspace is generally well controlled and monitored. So that policy might've been necessary back in the days, but these days, it's so unlikely that the company would rather save the money.
Just this time, unfortunately, they lost the bet.
Pffff. I flew into KL a few weeks ago and I gotta say security was ridiculous. My plane had to stop to refuel and about five times before landing they warn you over the air that if you have any drugs on you when they land you'll be executed (the plane WAS from Amsterdam). Everyone had to disembark (and we weren't allowed to take any baggage). Then through metal detector + xray + pat down for everyone. Seemed a tad overkill for a plane refueling. I mean, I get security before entering a plane, but landing midlfight and asking everyone to disembark for another security screening?!?!?!?
Well, technically, the plane is in Malaysia and they'll treat even a fuel stopover as entering the country.
And Singapore and Malaysia are pretty much drug free - they execute anyone carrying any drugs. Zero tolerance - get caught and it's to the firing squad. Very quick, swift justice. You might get a few extra days with some consular assistance.
They treat drug smuggling very seriously. Every vehicle passing through gets inspected.
Autodesk Says It's Killing Softimage Development, Support
Is SoftImage responsible for all the incredibly unrealistic inertia and gravity models we've seen in EVERY film that ever used CGI? Why is nobody talking about this? Why was Gollum in LOTR so realistic when motionless, but as soon as he jumped off a ledge, his CGI nature was instantly revealed, due to the unrealistic inertia and gravity models?
No, practically all CGI is motion captured - actors in suits covered in reflective balls act out the actions.
The "unrealistic" nature of the motion and gravity is almost always because the actor is under the influence of real gravity and has real inertia - you cannot tell a 150 lb actor to act like someone who weighs 50lbs because of inertia and gravity effects are different. If you map the motions directly, it'll act heavier and slower. if you try to make ti more nimble and speed it up, well, it looks more fake.
Accurately simulating inertia and gravity is very difficult in hand animation and very tedious, and it still has the potential to look wrong. Motion capture lets you be far more fluid and be done in a much shorter period of time, and in general the action looks less animated and more realistic.
Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen Say Google Data Now Protected From Gov't Spying
Sure, the data might be safe from a government's prying eyes, but will it be safe from a government who kindly asks for the data, with the company acquiescing between it wants to maintain its lucrative business links with the authorities?
No, all Google did was protect the data against FREE access.
Remember Google's in the business of selling user information. Government access for free isn't in the business plan. So they closed the loophole that allowed it.
Now the government needs to pay for it. Like everyone else. Yes, the same information the government asks for is probably for sale by Google freely on the open market. You just have to pay for it.
Portal 2 Incompatible With SELinux
Sounds like it is compiling it's own audio filters. Many of these drivers allow individual audio effects like echo, reverberation) to be chained together to form a complex pipeline. To get optimum performance the driver would compile these directly into assembler.
Exactly. There's a ton of work required to play a sound. It's not just calling an API to play a file - that's good for simple games, but modern games with multichannel audio require a LOT of calculations. Sounds are played in a 3D volume, with walls and other reflective surfaces in it and a "multichannel microphone" is used to record the audio and send it out to the actual speakers. This lets you position the audio anywhere (e.g., a gunshot will be played from the muzzle) and the audio effects be calculated based on available geometry and surface reflections.
Oh yeah, let's not forget that you're going to want to process 64+ sounds simultaneously. One will be used for music playback, while others are just individual sound effects, of which many may be playing at once - footsteps, narration, other audio tracks, sound effects that loop, etc.
Then there's programmatic audio - where the track is altered and played dynamically. Easiest way is to compile down some audio processing and call it through some function pointers periodically.
Audio ain't easy.
Glamor, X11's OpenGL-Based 2D Acceleration Driver, Is Becoming Useful
I dunno, I always get a big belly laugh whenever I log into something and see that horrible 1980s B&W X11 desktop, complete with ugly 'X' cursor.
Don't forget the stipple pattern background!
Physics Forum At Fermilab Bans Powerpoint
An effective slide show should not:
Be primary source of information
Exceed 7 words on 4 lines
Contain unrelated graphs and images
Discourage discussion of the slides contents
This is my example of an effective powerpoint slide. This slide while only containing 22 words should probably take a few minutes to talk about. A powerpoint of maybe 10 slides for me often ends up being about an hour long. I build in a degree of Q/A and questions directed to the audience to keep them engaged and interested in the content. A presentation should be a discussion and not a group reading exercise. Clearly these scientists are great at science, but terrible at sharing it if they can't use a slide show effectively.
Two other points
- The rate of slides shown should be approximately one per minute or slower. A presentation going for 10 minutes must max out at 10 slides. (Yes, 7 words on 4 lines on a slide to last one minute is challenging, but doable).
- Generally, use only for short presentations.
The real problem with powerpoint and slide-heavy presentations is it turns into a glorified low-motion TV. People end up tuning out and become really passive and the information starts to fly over their heads because they're really like watching a live taping of a TV show and become a part of the studio audience blindly following orders.
It's great if that's your point - you just want to present something to a passive audience (e.g., keynote speeches to show off new products, etc) where interaction is minimal, beyond "oooh"s and "ahhh"s.
But when a transferral of knowledge is required, interaction is a necessity, and passive TV watching does not lead to effective learning. There were many studies done to show the retention of information is only around 10% or so with slides. Interaction is required to fix the knowledge in the mind.
Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad
I was recently the Fiduciary, or executor, or an estate where an iPad was involved. I sent a letter, as the Fiduciary, along with my appointment papers, requesting the password, in order that a proper value of the iPod could be determined, which included the data on the iPad. Apple refused. I immediately made an appointment with the Judge of the Probate, and explained the situation. She immediately sent a letter to Apple, demanding that they supply or clear the password, or be charged with contempt of court. They sent the password. Thankfully, this is not a large area, population-wise, that this could be handled quickly. I can only imagine how difficult it could be in a large city.
And guess what? Apple is demanding that in this case!. You went to the Probate Court, the judge sent a letter to Apple (presumably confirming that the deceased owned that specific iPad and all that and to release details on the account).
And Apple complied.
In this case, the family is complaining they have to go to court to get a court order to get Apple to unlock it. No surprise, you ran into the same problem, which is why you went to the Court to see the judge.
In other words, Apple is following the same procedure with this family as what you did - the Court issued an order demanding release of the account information. Apple complied. This family didn't, and Apple requested that they get the Court to do so.
And yes, Apple is absolved or all liability should it turn out said iPad was stolen - it meant someone lied to the Court under oath and committed perjury, which generally is far worse than the few hundred bucks you get for the iPad.
Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox
If they charge to add Firefox, will they give a refund for leaving off Windows?
Yes they will. However, because the cost of the Windows license is less than the amount of sponsorship your computer gets from all the preloaded software (i.e., crapware), the price of your PC rises.
Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad
Did she bequeath the iPad or the apps/data on the iPad and the iTunes account to go with it? I'm pretty sure that even if the device is locked, that you can still do a factory reset on it and then have access to the iPad. Granted you would lose all the apps and data on the device, but you would still have the device to use as you wish.
If she bequeathed the iTunes account, then the account email and password should have been in the will or related documents, if not, then it's reasonable to assume she just left the hardware which you can reset and then have full use of.
No, it was just the iPad.
The problem is that since iOS7, Apple implemented a kill switch called "Activation Lock" in an attempt to slow down the theft of the devices - with it, the owner can remotely wipe the device, and more importantly, that device cannot be used by anyone else, thus ensuring that any stolen iPads, iPhones, etc. are rendered worthless.
What likely happened is just that - the iPad got locked and is right now, effectively worthless.
Of course, Apple has to be careful too - they can't really offer a way to unlock those devices because it's really a backdoor to Activation Lock and a way for criminals to well, steal your device and then cry to Apple to unlock it saying it belonged to their parents so they could resell it as more than just scrap.
It's really one of those catch-22 situations - Apple can't contact the original owner to verify if that iPad really belongs to them and they're not just some criminal looking to change their $0 iPad into a $400 iPad on the stolen goods market. And they can't just take those documents because well, the family could come back again next week with another stolen iPad and do the same thing.
And no, Activation Lock is practically impossible to defeat - if you reset it, it'll ask for the Apple ID credentials before you can proceed. If you get an unlocked one and try to restore it (with Find my iThing on), iTunes refuses to do it until you turn it off (which requires the password). If you force DFU and reload, it won't work until you re=login again, etc.
It's one of those things - what can Apple do? Remember the goal is to make the illegally acquired resale value zero because a user buying it can't do anything with it. And any way for Apple to help this family can be exploited (hell, do you KNOW that the iPad they got bequeathed wasn't stolen?). Apple requiring a court order basically means the courts will have to ascertain the identity of everyone and be enough of a pain that even a thief probably won't go through that effort. Certainly not one who wants to be identified should the iThing really be stolen.
They may have a chain of evidence though - the store receipt where the iPad was purchased on a credit card, a credit card bill with the charge on it and the billing name and address which can be compared against their Apple ID account, a death certificate with the same name and address on it, a will with the same name and address, and the iPad, whose serial number will match that on the receipt. Woe be to those who bought it at a store who doesn't record serial numbers, though!