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Comment Again with the Internet fridge (Score 1) 178

What is this, the third time someone tries this? Last time we used to joke about Internet-connected toasters and fridges was around late 90s and the dotcom boom? Then again in the mid-2000s?

While I do believe that tracking your food intake can be beneficial, I am not sure this particular implementation will be for the benefit of the consumer. Regardless, computer vision seems a bit overkill for this. A smartphone app with barcode reader and a small scale should be enough, the trick is getting it streamlined.

Comment The Lysine Contingency (Score 1) 144

I think you ment to say "Life will find a way"; nevertheless this rings similar to the story in the book and film where the animals were engineered to be dependent on lysine:

In the original novel animals had already escaped from the island before the events of the first movie. The attack on the little girl in "The Lost World" movie adaptation didn't take place on "Site B" in the book but in the surrounding area, before the incident. In the closing chapters of the first novel, sightings of animals in the outside world are reported exclusively in areas where lysine-rich feed is available, implying that "life found a way" around the engineered obstacle. As a matter of fact, lysine IS used in the feed for livestock to control growth.

Comment OpenWRT on DIR-645 (Score 2) 86

I couldn't agree more. Just replaced my old WRT54GL router with a dirt-cheap D-Link DIR-645 that was on clearance sale. Just checked that it could run OpenWRT before I bought it. Works like a dream with my USB 3G dongle, have had it for 3 months now. The original firmware would not even support modems, forcing you up to more expensive models despite the hardware being more than capable.
You can easily flash back the original firmware if you need to return it for warranty purposes. Most routers run U-Boot these days, it has never been easier to get a top-notch router for pennies. This is why we need the freedom to tinker!

Comment Thanks for the clip! (Score 1) 97

I thought you were refering to the crappy online video service, used by Channel Awesome and Angry Video Game Nerd back in the day. I just assumed they had done some short, rapid-fire video embedding that caused an outrage. I had no idea that there was a Max Headroom series, let alone one with so much good 80's sci-fi-cheesiness!

Captcha: 'embeds'

Comment Johnny Mnemonic (Score 2) 32

My first thought when I saw this headline was the 1995 B-grade sci-fi movie "Johnny Mnemonic":

It features a cyber-augmented dolphin, allegedly able to "cut through hard encryption like butter". At this point, it all falls into place. This is the start of a long-term plan for the government to finally crack the iPhones. And encryption. All of it. Everywhere. The TRANSLTR computer from Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress" just wasn't the right solution. But Internet of Things, cybernetics and magic animals (unicorns, dolphins etc.)? It can not fail!

Comment RAW format, encryption (Score 1) 229

I could not read TFA since it was in Japanese. From's pages:

About Prime Photos:

In addition to the unlimited photo storage, you will also receive 5 GB of free storage space that can be used to store videos and files we canâ(TM)t recognize as photos.
Certain photo formats are excluded. For more information, go to Cloud Drive Photos & Videos File Requirements.

So apparently they decide what is a photo. Myself I'd not trust a third party to not degrade the quality; I'd opt for encrypted container with photos INSIDE it. The same page also restricts this to "personal use":

Prime Photos is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use it in connection with a professional photography business or other commercial service.

Personally I think that sucks. By comparision, my VPS provider gives me a very cheap VPS which I can use for whatever purpose I want as long as I do not break any laws or disrupt other users. They price based on performance and bandwidth; not arbitrarily created market segmentations.

Cloud Drive Photos & Videos File Requirements:

Photos and videos you upload through your web browser on the Cloud Drive website must be 2GB in size or less.
File and folder names must contain less than 255 characters, and cannot include the incompatible characters listed below.

They list common supported formats; this includes RAW. And they do mention encryption:

For photos: JPEG, BMP, PNG and most TIFF files (these files typically have the .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .png or .tiff extensions). In addition, some RAW format photos can also be viewed. For more information, go to About RAW Photo Files.
For videos: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, MTS, MPG, ASF, WMV, Flash and OGG.
Note: The unlimited photos storage benefit for Prime members only applies to files recognized as photo files. Photo files that have been encrypted before they're uploaded will count against your storage quota.

About RAW Photo Files:

Nikon (NEF files) - Nikon D1, Nikon D1X, Nikon D4, Nikon Coolpix A, Nikon E5700, Nikon AW1, Nikon D800, Nikon D50, Nikon D610
Canon (CR2 Files**) - Canon 5D, Canon 1D, Canon 1D MarkIIN, Canon Rebel SL1, Canon 60D, Canon 5D MarkIII, Canon 1D MarkIV
**While Cloud Drive recognizes these files as photos, some of the information associated the file (like the time and date the photo was taken) may not be recognized.
Sony (ARW files) - Sony A7, Sony A7R, Sony A6000, Sony NEX-5T, Sony NEX-3N, Sony NEX-6

I doubt RAW format pictures can be compressed lossily? Does anyone know this for a fact?

Comment Fixing smartphone screens (Score 1) 220

Dropped my Moto G 2nd gen and got a hairline crack. Still works, only slightly annoying. I do not understand why we can't just use hardened plexiglass instead of this heavy, brittle glass crap. My old Nokia 5230 had plexiglass and did not get scratched, despite actually coming apart several times because of the abuse.

The LCD is intact, but the digitizer is bonded to the front glass and the LCD is glued to the glass. So the entire unit needs to be replaced unless I am prepared to break out the heat gun. The same is true for my Nexus 7 (2012) unit.

My proposal to extend life for mobile units is simple: Get rid of the glass, this saves weight and makes the units more rugged. Then switch to a touch technology that does not require any digitizer panel.

I recently interviewed at Pronode Technologies AB in Sweden. They and their sister company Neonode makes input devices based on optical sensing that does not require you to actually touch the surface.
They created smartphones with this technology back in 2005:

This would allow for far easier sourcing of parts and maintenance of the units, bringing down both retail price and service costs.

Comment Nvidia baseband source code was available (Score 4, Informative) 27

The exploit is not in the baseband; it is a local socket on the phone accessible by apps with no special privileges (as far as I can tell).

Phil Zimmerman gave a talk on the Blackphone at Defcon 22:
DEF CON 22 How To Get Phone Companies To Just Say No To Wiretapping

I have transcribed this from the time 26:10 in the video:
26:10 Question from audience member:
        Hi, so traditional phones are dependant on the baseband processor,
        which has a whole lot of flaws depending on the protocols that they
        are using. What are you doing to mitigate baseband processor factors?

        Yeah, that is a good question. We had a meeting at Nvidia, because
        Nvidia makes the chipsets that we are using for Blackphone.
        And Nvidia had apparently aquired a company a while back that
        made a baseband processor. It was built around a software defined

        And I asked them that questiom; Can we do an independant security
        review for the for firmware for the baseband processor.
        And they said they would be open to that.

        In fact, they were delighted to have a customer expressing interest
        in really taking a close look at their baseband processor;
        no other customer had ever brought up the question before.

        You know, no other customer is as obsessive over it as we are.

I guess they should have spent some time looking at their own stuff rather than other people's code in this case.

Comment Sweden has negative interest rates (Score 1) 440

Sweden currntly has a negative interest rate. The Swedish central bank's interest rate is currently at -0.35% and has been for quite a while. This has never happened before in history. It is not passed on to savings accounts yet, but they are all at 0% interest.

The effects so far has been a booming real estate market, fueled by deductable mortgage interest payments, deductable costs for home improvement and a removal of real estate taxes. Spending on the mortgage interest deduction alone outstrips the nation's total defense spending, and that is at the present low-rate interest environment.

According to this report from our central bank, aggregate debt quotient for a Swedish citizen is now 170%, 315% for someone with a mortgage:

And by official calculations we have negative or no inflation, owning to the fact that our inflation figure apparently includes the effects of the mortgage deduction. Which is weird because not everyone has a mortgage.

We also have no rules regulating the amortization of loans.

Comment Partnerships (Score 1) 181

I am not familiar with all the fine details of the US broadband market but as a carrier I have two distinct advantages: I always know who the consumer (identity, location, full map of all traffic limited only by the cost of DPI equipment) and everyone has to go through me to get to the customer.

This means I could just charge streaming services for access to my customer base; I assume legislation prevents this. Instead I would use the whitelist to steer my customers towards certain services online and demand some non-monetary payment in return. Like having these services quietly accepting me injecting my own HTTP banner ads into the web pages as they enter my network. I can then monetize these augmented by all the identity and geolocation data I have. I could even integrate payment, one-click-shopping etc!

And I all I would ask in return is the silent consent of my whitelisted partners.

Comment Noise pollution (Score 1) 211

There are drawbacks of increased speed even if accidents can be cut to zero, such as increased gas usage. This can be solved by moving to electric vehicles, possibly running off power rails on the highways etc.

However, in urban areas speed is major factor for noise generation.
I personally live next to a major road where vehicles go past at 70+ km/h and the noise is very bothersome. It hovers around 60-65 dBA, peaks at at 75 when someone with a case of lead foot powers by. The majority of the noise is simply from the tires moving on the road surface and wind drag. You usually don't hear the engine unless it is a motorbike.

This is a small city and the road is a between a normal road and a highway, not that much traffic but very annoying. I have lived in larger cities, and despite more traffic around the clock it is less bothersome because the speed and hence noise is much lower. I actually have to wear headphones or ear plugs quite a lot because of it.

Current regulations in Sweden states that noise levels must not exceed 55 dBA at the outer wall of residential areas.

Comment Improvement, not problem (Score 1) 342

It will become your problem once more and more of the sites on which you rely make the decision to "charge membership" or "starve and close your website".

He might prefer paying in cash than with his privacy; then this change is not a problem but rather an improvement. You could argue that the walling-off approach would reserve important content for rich people, but then it is the seller's fault who fails to extract money from his visitors in a proportional manner. Rather than walling off the content you could use the "tip jar" already mentioned. It works for some people. I do not belive in limiting ones audience, I believe it to be counterproductive.

I wonder: How could an online whiteboard or browser game work without JavaScript?

They would not. They are a required for that kind of interaction. Displaying static text however, does not. It is either really bad web engineering or intentional degradation. Both of these lowers the value of your content for me, as it requires me to jump through hoops to selectively enable content on your site. Unless you offer something truly unique, I will go elsewhere. It is called competition.

Comment Fair use exception for research purposes? (Score 4, Insightful) 204

My understanding is that a lot of scientific work are funded via public money, yet the copyright gets assigned to private entities. In the context of copying vs. 'taking', their behavior is closer to 'taking' than what the researchers are doing. Simply because they prevent access to it by others.

If viewed as a public "investment", limiting access to the knowledge actually reduces the "payback" by not spreading the findings to anyone who wants it. This in turn probably lowers overall quality by having fewer (and perhaps less qualified) people examining the findings.

The above arguments hinges on it being publically funded research.

Personally I value that the researchers are more interested in spreading knowledge and solving real problems than adhering to something as byzantine and riduculus as the current copyright laws. "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" was their stated purpose; when they are clearly retarding progress what is the solution? Reform them? Or get your work done, for the benefit of all of humanity?

Maybe at the very least we need an exception, like fair use for scientific purposes?

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