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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator" ??! on: January 29, 2015, 08:47:34 PM
What about kiddie pr0n?

But does that actually fall under the umbrella of "free speech" ?

Free speech + freedom of expression.

In fact the only thing really wrong about it is the fact that it is produced by the victimization of another person who either is not old enough to give consent, or simply has chosen not to. That fact alone is the one solid handle you can get on it to make it illegal in the way it is. Its illegal because it violates somebody else's rights.

That's just how it works. When you start assigning guaranteed rights to people, people almost always find usage cases that the majority will not ever agree is acceptable and will seek to do something about even if it means that the expected rights are no longer inalienable.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: January 28, 2015, 09:28:42 PM
That was cute.

Coinbase ran a nice moon rocket countdown time that led to several hours of buying and price-pumping in bitcoin, that came to an abrupt trend reversal the moment it reached zero.

And what can I say? I made bank on that selling seconds before the zero expecting the hype bubble to burst.

Today it is very nearly back to where it was last week, with rumors circulating of another major exchange hack.

At the same time the charts suggest that a major upward or downward movement is imminent, but it remains unknown which direction it is going to move.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: January 16, 2015, 04:16:39 PM
Pretty much. They know if they keep bringing it up and hammering it over and over, eventually people will get tired of saying no and let it pass.

And when it does, god help us all.

The people sponsoring this thing need to be removed from authority as soon as practical.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ideas that will change society on: January 16, 2015, 04:13:27 PM
Idea: Have devices in emergency vehicles that can change red traffic lights to green... for the direction they are headed or the lane they are in.

Already exists, and gets used more often than not.

While the normal flashing lights do get noticed, in areas with a lot of traffic sometimes there is no way to clear a path for oncoming emergency vehicles.

Triggering the light to change in advance allows that traffic to get moving again so it can clear the way for the emergency vehicle.

Idea:  Invent a cell-phone-signal-blocker for a sunvisor or dashboard.  Maybe with a 10 yard radius.

This could save some lives, help prevent some road-rage and make people pull off the road to talk.   smiley

Been done. It plugs into the car, and interacts with a software feature in the phone to disable most of the phone's functionality. Currently it is being marketted towards parents of teen and young adult drivers, and includes features like speed and location monitoring so that not only does it disallow cellphone use while driving but it also makes sure that a young driver is driving safely.

Check this out. It even comes with an insurance discount. https://www.esurance.com/drive-safe

This doesn't actually jam the signals, it simply uses bluetooth to communicate with app on the phone to disable sections of the phone's functionality.

Pretty much if you can think of it, someone has already made a product of it. And if not, you shouldn't talk about it online. Instead you should quietly develop and market a product and make a fortune from it.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: home automation on: January 14, 2015, 09:28:15 PM
The town gets mad if you put goats on your lawn to keep the grass short.

They get just as mad if you don't mow it at all.

Clearly this is a conspiracy to sell more lawn mowers and greatly increase greenhouse emissions between fuel-burning noisy lawnmowers and the fact that freshly cut grass is apparently HORRIBLE about emissions. There's been quite a few studies about that.

I've actually been building a little bit towards home automation though, purely for the sake of convenience.

Everything of course still retains hard mechanical overrides such as the ever reliable off switch that physically interrupts the power supply, but at the same time outside of emergency situations it is really nice to be able to configure household equipment to suit the situation without having to actually adjust each piece of equipment.

And its all energy efficient too, taking advantage of recent improvements in microprocessor technology to push the controller power consumption down to extremely tiny amounts, paired with energy-efficient appliances and lighting because lets face it I'm cheap when it comes to paying companies that I think are trying to screw people.

6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 06:22:57 PM
I see you learned a few things about how websites work Tao.  Lot of people don't realize just how much info you can pick out of someone's web setup just by poking around at information that is already public in order to make everything run smoothly.

There's a good chance that the hack site went down because supporters of the original site are upset about what happened and either attacked it directly to try and kill it, or because you literally saw the transition taking place and they didn't do it right- it resulted in a period where the DNS was pointed to an IP that no longer had a server under it.

This whole situation is downright sad, and just a solid reminder that there are some really bad people out there.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Can anyone help break "router block"? on: January 05, 2015, 11:56:57 AM
I'd recommend the Netgear WNDR3700v4 (Make sure the package identifies it as a v4) or the Netgear WNDR4300.

You reflash these to OpenWRT, and then you have a surprisingly powerful and capable router which offers complete control of what network configuration you wnat to have. I've got one at home for my own use, and 2 of them at work all configured like this solid as a rock.

Changing from the factory firmware to OpenWRT on those two models is only different from a normal firmware upgrade in that you have to do a couple extra power cycle steps afterward.

Even on the factory firmware those two models are based on some downright powerful hardware among consumer-grade routers, having 128MB of ram in them where most routers only have 16-32MB. Having the extra ram makes it a lot less likely to grind to a crawl under high traffic, and also gives it the capability to run advanced configurations like what you need.

Tomato is also a decent alternative to the factory firmware, but I've heard from quite a few people that it has become weak in development and isn't as reliably supported. There are a number of forks of Tomato that are kept up to date by other groups.

DD-WRT on the other hand has gone quite far downhill, between the move to 'premium features' and poor management practices. I would not recommend it unless you have an older device that can use the older versions of it from when it was progressing well.

Most of the builtin firmware offers very restrictive controls, or even none at all. You'd get a lot better value using OpenWRT on a decent quality hardware.

As for brands, Netgear is usually decent while D-link is quite good when you can find it. Linksys has a handful of good units in a flood of junk, and Belkin has never made a good product outside of USB adapters and cables.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: For better security, maybe it's time to abandon e-mail? on: December 22, 2014, 01:03:35 PM
A secret is safe with three, if two are dead. This is the only thing that struck me regarding the Sony/Email fiasco.

The message format/fact that it was an Email is IMO irrelevant. Because... If there exists a document, that contains damning/damaging information - that you have within your power the option of destroying with impunity - what the hell did you save it for?!?

This to me is a people problem.

Its also a legal problem. Strictly speaking you are required by law to keep record somewhere somehow of all company internal written communications as much as is practical. At least in my understanding of business law anyway- I've seen quite a few cases where the courts order a company to present such.

Thus they were legally obligated to keep that information on record becase on the off chance they got investigated, it could be held as evidence in the courtroom and whoever was involved would be effectively screwed by the discovery of its contents.

All that happened here was that a hacker simply did without proper warrants what a courtroom could order if it suspected illegal activity happening under Sony's roof.

Even if it had been a message carried over the bitcoin blockchain, a hacker could have compromised the private key of an endpoint and still leaked that same message.

Just the nature of the beast- if it is connected to the internet, it is with certainty hackable.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: For better security, maybe it's time to abandon e-mail? on: December 22, 2014, 07:59:20 AM
Text messaging is just as insecure though, and ultimately no communications of that type is ever going to be secure because you can always compromise the device or compromise the server processing that information in order to see it anyway.

Probably the only thing I've seen out there remotely close to being secure and of similar functionality to email is in fact bitcoin, which allows you to attach a text message to a transaction that is encrypted as it is carried by the blockchain and is only viewable by the intended recipient.

But people are already worried about blockchain bloat, if you attached email's traffic volume to the blockchain the storage requirements would increase exponentially.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: December 21, 2014, 02:42:48 AM
German bureaucracy is pragmatic - and ironic, but honest with it:
German Government Refuses FOI Request By Pointing Out Document Already Leaked | Techdirt
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
rom the well-played dept

Freedom of information requests are a powerful way of finding out things that governments would rather not reveal. As a result, requests are often refused on a variety of grounds, some more ridiculous than others. The Netzpolitik blog points us to a rather unusual case concerning a request by the politician Malte Spitz for a letter from the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery to members of a commission investigating intelligence matters. The request was refused on the grounds that the document was already freely available (original in German):
    The information you requested may be obtained free of charge on the Internet by anyone, in a reasonable manner. The letter from the Chief of the Federal Chancellery, Federal Minister Peter Altmaier, to the chairman of the first committee of inquiry of the 18th legislature, Professor Dr. Sensburg, is publicly available and published in full at the following link:


The Netzpolitik link included there leads to an article that a few weeks earlier had not only leaked the document requested by Spitz, but also noted wryly that the letter from Altmaier threatens anyone leaking documents with legal action.
The German bureaucracy should be applauded for taking the adult view that once a document is leaked, it is publicly -- and officially -- available. This contrasts with the childish attempts by the British government to pretend that Snowden's leaks never happened, and its refusal even to pronounce the name of some of the surveillance programs he revealed.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

I have to disagree with their refusal to comply on the grounds that it already leaked. This becomes a means of defeating freedom of information requests.

To exploit this, they accidentally on purpose leak a fake version of the document that is either censored or contains a different message than the actual message being requested.

Compliance should be required anyway as per the law, and since it already apparently leaked they should have no problems in doing so because people already know what it should say.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: imagine future life on: December 20, 2014, 01:14:47 PM
No because there will be already a diet pill!!!  tongue

No there won't. There is too much money in selling crackpot weight loss products and questionably effective workout equipment for anyone who actually does succeed in producing the miracle weight loss product to actually get anywhere.

Also the body is far too varied. What works for some people does nothing for others, that's why most of the weight loss pills out there are so hilariously ineffective outside of an isolated handful of people that were in the test group.

And not only do those droids fetch groceries for you to enjoy in a savory roasted salad with pineapple ham glaze because the computer tried to turn what you ordered into a diet version and produced a mangled mess, but they also bring back your utility bills and the lease invoice for that equipment which is slowly but surely bankrupting you and forcing you to live on fast food.

Perhaps at some point in the future when we can take a line from Star Trek and accurately replicate a thanksgiving feast we could enjoy such benefits, but the way things stand right now we are headed straight for a dystopia and the luxuries of technology people dream about will be the death of our species.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 17, 2014, 12:01:41 PM
That clear-cut divide in bitcoin's community is quite obvious too, and it extends all the way down to the altcoins where new features are born. Some people see the future, and are working hard to keep crypto honest and enjoyable so that it can be for anyone. Other people are strictly business- and they are not afraid of fraud and criminal acts to get what they want.

I'm on the side of it where I see what could become one of the biggest economical overhauls since Fiat currency was invented. Bitcoin is a solution to many problems that exist in existing currency infrastructure. But it introduces complications of its own, not all of which are easily solved.

Right now the biggest thing hindering bitcoin is the fact that its greatest selling point is also its own worst enemy - its decentralized architecture.  There is a sort of fundamental human need to blame somebody else when things go wrong. With Fiat currency, you can blame the banks or blame the government, or invent some imaginary conspiracy group to blame when the usual suspects don't fit the bill.

The lack of a central authority in bitcoin means that if it implodes there is nobody to blame but the userbase in general for it. That's a downright scary thought to a lot of people on almost every level of thought. The fact that they might have to actually be responsible for their own actions, because if they mess up they can't blame someone else to cover it up. And with the bitcoin blockchain being a public record of all transactions, your mistake is not only your own fault but everyone can see that you made that mistake and it will never be forgotten.

That makes things really scary for people who only know the basic concepts of bitcoin.

Then you get advertising like a recent Master Card campaign calling out 'trust issues' with bitcoin, even though I would gladly put more faith in the algorithms and mass-validation system bitcoin utilizes than the proprietary, exploitable, and politically corrupt system in use by Mastercard and the other major processors. But to someone not familiar enough with bitcoin to laugh at such claims, this is a very scary idea and effectively a FUD campaign to discourage people from using bitcoin.

I think 2015 is going to be very exciting for Crypto, but right now my long positions in bitcoin are all in the red due to the recent price drop. Kinda not amused.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 13, 2014, 09:03:27 AM
I'm more concerned with its value dropping than its mainstream increasing. Cripes it's down to $350 USD now ...(that shit's making me nervous)... They need to dropkick it back up to at least the 500's..

I doubt it will continue.

Right now the market is once again being manipulated, as bulls and bears battle it out with the charts as the scoreboard.

Eventually when the people playing with it have met their quotas, it will go sky high again and take everyone with it. There's enough actual usage for it now to keep it from dissappearing in any kind of hurry, and the economics of supply and demand should guide it once the big money people stop messing around.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: production salt-water pwrd car on: December 09, 2014, 03:05:05 PM
Its not sea salt. Or anything remotely common or cheap.

Its an exotic chemical salt that makes this work, and the article grossly understates this fact.

Though it is certainly one of the more interesting energy solutions, its not going to be cheap or widespread unless the method of making the salt solution it consumes can be done on the cheap and has no lasting environmental consequences if it is spilled.

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Spoilers Are Fun !! on: December 09, 2014, 12:56:00 PM
Reload that machine with Windows 7 64-bit home premium or professional, and use either Chrome or Firefox.

Without even changing the hardware, you'll experience computing like never before.

Though it probably would be worth considering a new build. Something in the Haswell family from Intel with 8-16GB of ram and 64-bit Windows 7. Windows 8 is not recommended for desktops unless you are building for a kid who is used to smarphones, and Windows (9) 10 is probably going to be a disaster.

Telling someone to reload their machine with a different operating system doesn't seem like the desired solution to a particular software problem that's just emergent.

It is indeed far from ideal- but in this case there's a good chance he's facing a compatibility problem.

I've got a number of Windows XP machines still in use in an industrial setting, and I've noticed that recently a growing number of sites have dropped compatibility for that version of internet explorer. Upgrading to Windows 7 should let you regain the performance of a newly installed OS, while at the same time bringing compatibility up to where the software he wants to use will probably run right again.

Windows 8 is internally similar to Windows 7, but where the past few Windows versions have required a 'housebreaking' period of sorts where you get everything arranged the way you want and get used to its interfaces, Windows 8 has the the most involved learning curve because the UI is so different. It is possible to install third party addons that bring back the layout people are used to (circa 1995 after all), but this still is time consuming and results in a machine that has been customized and could become harder to troubleshoot later on.

With any luck Windows 10 will go back to having the traditional layout as the default, but I am not counting on it. Microsoft has delivered disappointments year after year, and the only reason I still install their stuff on any machine is compatibility with what people what to do. Every few years I try using Linux instead, and its always the compatibility headache that sends me back to Windows.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Spoilers Are Fun !! on: December 09, 2014, 12:03:45 PM
Reload that machine with Windows 7 64-bit home premium or professional, and use either Chrome or Firefox.

Without even changing the hardware, you'll experience computing like never before.

Though it probably would be worth considering a new build. Something in the Haswell family from Intel with 8-16GB of ram and 64-bit Windows 7. Windows 8 is not recommended for desktops unless you are building for a kid who is used to smarphones, and Windows (9) 10 is probably going to be a disaster.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Target/K-mart remove GTA V from shelves - new petition to ban Super Mario Bros on: December 06, 2014, 09:16:00 AM
They're doing it wrong.

These petitions should instead be banning consoles in general as an enabling technology to allow violence and crime into the household without an easy means of parental control- becase lets face it most parents have no clue how to enable that feature and most kids know how to bypass it completely.

No consoles = no violent immoral games to run on them.

Then all they have to do is properly lock down their PC so that the kid can't install software on it, and the parents have complete control and the ability to install only christian-approved brainwashing games like so many have done.

Oh and last night on Imgur, I saw a petition to ban the bible from being sold in stores for promoting violent crime, sexism, and incest. From the same line of thought that got GTA-V banned.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sponsor me! 100 miles in 10 Days for Charity on: December 05, 2014, 11:53:12 AM
10 miles x 10 days in a row?
That sounds crazy.  I'm going to donate but i'd still feel better if you didn't try to complete it if it risks injury.

I've hiked 15 miles in a single day while carrying 80+lb of gear. Didn't even take me all day to do, I had it covered in perhaps 5 hours.

If you've practiced for this and have the right equipment along with friends along the way in case anything goes wrong, its perfectly safe and can be a lie-changing experience to do.

He's got plenty of time- at a typical human running speed in the 8-12 MPH range it probably won't be much more than 2 hours a day of travelling sustained for the 10 days.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Where do you buy your printer ink? on: November 23, 2014, 01:56:43 PM
Laser printers are the better all around deal in my experience.

The up front prices have dropped considerably- and while the cartridges are more costly they also last a great deal longer- both in page yield and not having a shelf life like ink does.

Many inkjet printers sold today it is literally cheaper to replace the whole printer after the sample cartridges are used up, because the replacement cartridges cost more than the whole printer did. And if you don't use your printer very often, the ink dries up and is wasted.

I've got a Cannon inkjet as well after going HP for years. Every time I need to print something with it, I have to buy new ink cartridges because going years in between has allowed them to dry up and be ruined. Next time I need to use it I'll probably just buy a HP laserjet, that way it doesn't have that dry ink issue and at the same time I can use it for making custom PCBs as well.

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hard Drive SMART Stats - from the BackBlaze Blog on: November 20, 2014, 09:54:38 PM
Because the drive had not run out of spare sectors, and was able to remap 100% of them to spare areas.

I've salvaged quite a few 'bad' devices that way, simply overwriting them repeatedly a few times to brute force trigger the remapping sequence.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Still weird: The mouse is more accurate than a finger on: November 19, 2014, 11:27:55 AM
Question: Is it possible with current Win XP tech to create TWO mice pointers, color coded? Then you leave one up near the top for that stuff, the other does regular stuff? I'm guessing not, but then I wouldn't have guessed virtual desktops either! (Or any of a million other things!)

Seen it, but not using two locally-attached mice. Some of the remote control and conferencing software I've worked with has two visually-different mouse pointers present during a remote session. One is the standard-issue Windows default mouse, which is controlled by the local user operating the mouse like normal.

The other cursor was a different shape and color, and controlled by the person on the remote end of the session. This cursor could operate the computer's controls as easily as the local user cursor could, but usually during a session was simply used as a pointer to indicate where the local user should click due to latency of the remote link making it tricky to doubleclick.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Still weird: The mouse is more accurate than a finger on: November 18, 2014, 06:11:49 PM
It because the size of the fingertip is far larger than the size of a mouse cursor- and you can quickly and efficiently adjust a cursor down to being only a single pixel in size where it can be quickly and accurately aligned by eye using an on-screen grid.

Touchpads you can touch of course, but the finger is rather big and awkward. That's why we have tweezers and pliers for precise stuff, and why devices were using a stylus for a time before touch-friendly UIs were really developed very far.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worm's neurons mapped, simulated in robot on: November 18, 2014, 08:01:47 AM
So they're finally succeeding in something I had tried to do 10 years ago- simulating a neuron map to see if it would imitate the behavior of what it was copied from.

At the time I had no way of obtaining source maps to use, but I was able to create an array of neurons that would interact with each other. Unfortunately there were only two conditions I could recognize- comatose, and seizure.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please recommend a Canadian domain name registrar to me on: November 15, 2014, 02:35:12 PM
Worth noting- even if you are on a non-US registrar, the big .com .net .org etc TLDs are still managed by US-owned Verisign, and through that route they can simply seize your domain name if you offend.

You need to go to one of the less common TLDs for your domain name with a non-US and prefferably Asian or middle eastern owned domain registration agency in order to avoid American bullying practices when it comes to domain and site seizures.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Speed record by a rocket-bicycle on: November 15, 2014, 10:11:27 AM
Its not really a bicycle though with an engine like that- he couldn't possibly pedal it at that speed with any kind of efect.

No, its really a motorcycle built out of a bicycle frame. One that probably should not be street legal.
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