Comments

Re: Wrong (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Grsecurity stops issuing public patches, citing trademark abuse on 2015-09-10 20:38 (#M2M2)

The GPL's own website talks about the current version, v3
Nope. Here's the archived page from back in 2001, before anybody started working on GPLv3:

https://web.archive.org/web/20011214143230/http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#CanDeveloperThirdParty
The GPL's own website has a vested interest in promoting the GPL.
They have a vested interest in spreading accurate information about the GPL.
The GPL's own website is not trained in the law.
Are you seriously claiming the FSF and GNU organization don't have ANY LAWYERS working for them? Several of their high-ranking board members are working lawyers.

Too self-promotional (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Apple launches new iPhones, iPad, Apple Watch at its 2015 event on 2015-09-10 11:52 (#M0VX)

Summaries should be reasonably detached and impartial, not puffy & promotional. i.e.:

"the most advanced"
"a powerful new dimension"
"a revolutionary experience"

If you'd like to try resubmitting with a different source that isn't copying Apple's PR, it should be a decent story.

Re: Where did the comments go? (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Grsecurity stops issuing public patches, citing trademark abuse on 2015-09-10 02:06 (#KZGE)

What above posts?
He's just copy/pasting his comments from other threads, and elsewhere all over the internet, including what look like IRC logs, and generally just arguing with imaginary people about things nobody said. If the missing other posts are the only thing he's said that confuses you, you're doing better than I.

Re: Where did the comments go? (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Grsecurity stops issuing public patches, citing trademark abuse on 2015-09-09 08:15 (#KW4Z)

Spengler announced he is closing grsecurity
No he isn't doing that at all. The summary states this fact quite clearly.
it's ok to distribute copies of his work for a fee, as long as the source code is published isn't it? He is not publishing the source code. He is keeping it closed, except to people who pay
The GPLv2 has NEVER required source code be "published". It only requires that any recipient of "object code" also be able to receive the source code, and you "may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients" meaning they could redistribute it further.

This is in the FAQ for anyone who spent a few seconds to look for it:
* http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

"the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL."

"The GPL gives him permission to make and redistribute copies of the program if and when he chooses to do so. He also has the right not to redistribute the program, when that is what he chooses."

"You can charge people a fee to get a copy from you. You can't require people to pay you when they get a copy from someone else."

etc. etc.
licenses can be revoked at any time by the rights holder
The GPL is not revocable:
* http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2006062204552163
* http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#CanDeveloperThirdParty
There's no 'no-revocation' clause. This is why the GPLv3 had to be drafted.
US law doesn't allow revocation, unless explicitly specified in license, which the GPLv2 does NOT. See sources above.

The FSF explained why they needed GPLv3 (patent deals, Tivoization, DRM, etc.), and NOWHERE did they list revocation as being an issue:
* https://www.gnu.org/licenses/rms-why-gplv3.html
You ever wonder why the FSF requires all copyrights to be assigned to them in their projects.
No, because they've explained why... "successful enforcement depends on having the cooperation of all authors."
* https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.html
the rights holders never intended that someone may close a derivative work
Your repeated assertions of bad faith are both incredibly lazy and utterly insane, as the GPLv2 explicitly allows modifications & derivatives, explicitly allows you to "charge a fee", and nowhere claims you must make your modified version PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. Stop pretending to be a lawyer who has any clue what he is talking about, when you're clearly unwilling to do the slightest work to investigate the validity of your own unsupported claims. I won't be bothering, again.

At least you managed to avoid blaming Debian or women for any of this...

Re: Analysis (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Grsecurity stops issuing public patches, citing trademark abuse on 2015-09-08 17:40 (#KTE5)

Your use of the ENTER key instead of a PERIOD just makes a huge mess. I've never been a big fan of the /. lameness filter, but it does stop lots of such bad behavior.
Spengler announced he is closing grsecurity
No he isn't doing that at all. The summary states this fact quite clearly.
it's ok to distribute copies of his work for a fee, as long as the source code is published isn't it? He is not publishing the source code. He is keeping it closed, except to people who pay
The GPLv2 has NEVER required source code be "published". It only requires that any recipient of "object code" also be able to receive the source code, and you "may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients" meaning they could redistribute it further.

This is in the FAQ for anyone who spent a few seconds to look for it:
* http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

"the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL."

"The GPL gives him permission to make and redistribute copies of the program if and when he chooses to do so. He also has the right not to redistribute the program, when that is what he chooses."

"You can charge people a fee to get a copy from you. You can't require people to pay you when they get a copy from someone else."

etc. etc.
licenses can be revoked at any time by the rights holder
The GPL is not revocable:
* http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2006062204552163
the rights holders never intended that someone may close a derivative work
Your repeated assertions of bad faith are both incredibly lazy and utterly insane, as the GPLv2 explicitly allows modifications & derivatives, explicitly allows you to "charge a fee", and nowhere claims you must make your modified version PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. Stop pretending to be a lawyer who has any clue what he is talking about, when you're clearly unwilling to do the slightest work to investigate the validity of your own unsupported claims.

At least you managed to avoid blaming Debian or women for any of this...

Re: Ban: good. Name-and-shame: better. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Wikipedia bans hundreds more paid editor accounts and deletes affected articles on 2015-09-06 15:51 (#KKY7)

No, Citizendium hasn't turned-out well. Whatever the reason... lack of publicity, early policy mistakes, second-mover disadvantage, etc., it's not going to challenge Wikipedia on equal terms. I do, however, whole-heartedly agree with their detailed tirade on why Wikipedia sucks, and firmly believe Wikipedia must either get saner policies or is going to implode and fall apart at some point.

Re: Maybe they can crack down on high text message users next... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in T-Mobile cracks down on unauthorized tethering on "unlimited" data plans on 2015-09-06 15:41 (#KKXA)

The cell networks would be designed very differently, and much less expensive to deploy and maintain, if they only needed SMS. Look at trusty old alphanumeric pagers for an example. They wouldn't be able to offer all their service for free, but awfully cheap. Without all the other services, their billing and support costs would be vastly lower, bandwidth needs vastly lower, etc. They could make it a very, very inexpensive service.

Re: Story fixed. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in GRSecurity Linux Kernel patch to end public accessability of stable patches. on 2015-09-06 05:06 (#KJS3)

Previous attempt didn't endorse their claim either. It's still very poorly written, barely saying what gr secure is, what they're doing, and why.

Re: Maybe they can crack down on high text message users next... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in T-Mobile cracks down on unauthorized tethering on "unlimited" data plans on 2015-09-05 09:52 (#KGT0)

Yes, 2TB on mobile. John Legere should send the guy a cake or something as a "Thank You" present, because that one single extreme case makes him able to claim he's not the bad guy here. For all we know, the other 2,999 users he plans to ban might only be using 8GB of data every month. He didn't bother to get into specifics about the rest of them. And even if they are all far over the limits, these are just the ones he's "starting with", so sooner or later, he'll get to those users, too.

Re: Maybe they can crack down on high text message users next... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in T-Mobile cracks down on unauthorized tethering on "unlimited" data plans on 2015-09-05 09:41 (#KGSE)

Data limits on cellular phones is a fantasy just like per-TXT and per-MMS charges were. They are holding onto it, and people hate it...but unlimited data is what customers demand.
I don't demand unlimited cellular data... not at all. I can spend most of my time on WiFi and use hardly any cellular data. Instead, I would much rather have lower monthly fees. I know I'm not alone, as many MVNOs (like Republic Wireless) that offer a cheap plan with no data allowance, find those plans overwhelmingly popular with their customers... I, however, would like to have some small amount of cellular data to use.

Back when plans charged fees per-SMS (text message), I just didn't send many of those. I recently switched from a plan with free MMS to one that charges, so I just don't use MMS anymore. Now that it's all about data, I'm happy to cash-in on cheap cell plans with unlimited talk/text/etc., and just be careful to keep my cellular data usage extremely low.

Pay-per-SMS plans were ridiculous, because they were nearly free to the telco. But it makes perfect sense that data usage dominates the costs of current cellular providers, and it is inherently a constrained resource that needs to be limited.

They should know better (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in NASA to 'lasso' a comet to hitchhike across the solar system on 2015-09-04 01:53 (#KAT0)

Unfortunately, it seems the NASA scientists made one fatal mistake... They didn't bother to read the opinions of Anonymous Cowards on the internet, who just last year throughly explained why the idea "makes no sense", and flies in the face of "basic orbital mechanics".

https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3880&cid=92923

On the plus side, I do appreciate CNET calling me "someone as smart as a rocket scientist" for having conceived the idea quite some time ago.

Re: All of the above (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-09-04 01:50 (#KCPY)

It is... You can give points to ALL of the options, if you like.

Re: Ban: good. Name-and-shame: better. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Wikipedia bans hundreds more paid editor accounts and deletes affected articles on 2015-09-03 00:07 (#K8AX)

That's a tricky problem.

Re: Ban: good. Name-and-shame: better. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Wikipedia bans hundreds more paid editor accounts and deletes affected articles on 2015-09-02 21:54 (#K8JV)

It isn't just paid editing firms they have to worry about. Wikipedia's policies, in general, are entirely untenable, requiring overwhelming force of numbers that just can't be sustained.

Citizendium did a better job than I can, explaining why Wikipedia doesn't work:

* no coherent narrative
* disconnected grab-bags of factoids
* degraded by minor ill-judged tweaks
* intelligent laymen are often mistaken
* "squaters" always win
* blatant and shameless levels of bias
* Vandalism is a headache
* part anarchy, part mob rule
* disputes sometimes go on interminably
etc.
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/CZ:Why_Citizendium%3F

Re: simple (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in More than half of Australians training for soon-extinct careers on 2015-09-02 20:53 (#K8DB)

The best career is to become a plumber, firefighter, etc.
The need for plumbers has been greatly reduced by technology, already. Pipes are designed better and need less maintenance. Clogs can be resolved by chemicals anybody can pour down their sinks. etc. And contractors in general are being undercut by illegal immigrants who will work for less money. If the money is the same, I'd much rather flip burgers than have to travel all over to job sites, work outdoors in the weather, risk serious injuries or death from the power tools, septic fumes, etc.
You can also choose to become a politician or a judge
"Judge" is not a career path. There are no judge schools. You have to be nominated to be a judge, and generally you must be a lawyer, first. Being a successful politician, similarly, requires a lot of luck.

Lousy press coverage (Score: 2, Insightful)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in T-Mobile cracks down on unauthorized tethering on "unlimited" data plans on 2015-09-02 20:42 (#K8C4)

For once, CNN deserves some credit. They were the only source I could find that wasn't incredibly biased and doubling-down on T-Mobile's side, ranting about these evil hackers who are supposedly stealing service.

The NYT blog at least mentioned that 'unlimited' is supposed to mean something. Once T-Mobile goes after this group of excessive users, what's to stop them from lowering the bar and going after more folks using less, until they've successfully kicked all their less-profitable customers?

Re: patches (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in GRSecurity Linux Kernel patch to end public accessability of stable patches. on 2015-09-02 02:00 (#K5A1)

Patches are necessarily derivative code, so covered by the license.

However the GPL never said you have to make your code freely available to the public. It's just that once you give it out, you can't stop anyone else from redistributing it, if they want to.

Re: Story selection (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-09-01 02:08 (#K1Q3)

Try not to get too worked up. It's still a numbers game... Even with 99% accuracy, that's still going to be several not so good articles per year. It's strange the way some interesting stories turn out as poor summaries, and sometimes press releases do end up as pretty good stories. It's not easy to quickly introduce everyone to a topic and explain why it might matter to them (and nothing is always interesting to everyone).

Everyone can help... with more submissions, it's less tempting to publish the so-so stories, and you havent exactly submitted much yourself.

Re: Story selection (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-08-31 07:16 (#JYVX)

I do try to submit good stories to the pipe
Thanks. We need 'em.
not duplicating /. or SN if possible.
I've never been concerned about that. While I'd never want to copy /. or SN stories, we certainly don't want this community to be left-out just because somebody else mentioned the topic first (poorly). Furthermore, I've found it very interesting to compare how the different sister sites cover the same stories (when that occasionally happens), with Pipedot always having a vastly more accurate and in-depth write-up.

Re: Story selection (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-08-31 07:10 (#JYVQ)

I started making the profile page more summary-like. Example: http://bryan.pipedot.org/profile/
Looks good, but you definitely need to make the "Recent Comments" section a LOT larger (only 10?!).

Re: Story selection (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-08-29 09:55 (#JT8Y)

Your kudos makes it sound far too much like I'm dying...

Do you know something I don't?

Re: Troll (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in "Bring your own device" failing to live up to its promise on 2015-08-28 23:02 (#JS0Q)

There was no link to any content for that blurb.
Umm, what? Go read the court filing yourself: http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Intermexcomplaint.pdf
Why not just leave the device at work/home/on the moon while you're not working?
Because she had to be able to receive calls from clients after-hours. She was a salesman after all. Leaving her phone somewhere (or shutting it off) would have been far more disruptive than just removing the app in-question. I don't see why you think that would be fine with everyone (she would have gotten fired even more quickly).

Story selection (Score: 3, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Why I Love Pipedot on 2015-08-28 11:55 (#JQF2)

I completely gave up and quit Slashdot, then later SoylentNews, because of poor story selection. Before giving-up on discussion sites all together, I tried Pipedot, and found higher standards. If it had gone differently, I wouldn't be here, and over the past year, Pipedot might have been very much dead.

The reasons why are many... You can mod-down users spouting trash, but not front-page stories (or their editors). It has cascading effects, as well... When a story is trash, nearly all the comments on it will be ripping it apart, while anything about the subject gets lost in the noise. And the kinds of stories a site gets greatly influences the community of readers and contributors... It was the technical focus that gave Slashdot its audience and high-quality contributors, while it was likely the politics and other trash that have driven its decline.

While the site has some good features, it's got plenty of bad ones, too. Replies are still sent as a link in a bare-bones e-mail. Some things you can do under stories you can't do under direct comment links (like moderation). There's no nice user-summary page that shows your comments, moderation, reply counts, and submissions. Instead that info is spread across multiple info pages, harder to get at and therefor less useful. Pipedot works, and quite well, mostly because it's still small. Things like the RSS Comments Feed are great, but would be nearly worthless on a bigger site.

Re: Give it a name and people will watch (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in 2015 may be remembered as the most severe El Nino ever on 2015-08-28 00:54 (#JP3J)

The problem isn't with the wysiwyg editor. It's pipedot bug #51:

http://bugs.pipedot.org/view.php?id=51

You can also see this thread:

https://pipedot.org/comment/9XH9

Re: Troll (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in "Bring your own device" failing to live up to its promise on 2015-08-28 00:43 (#JP2K)

Sounds like she's a suer. Turn the damn device off on your own time and/or don't carry it with you. It's company issued...
I'd say she's got a good case.
Intermex forced Arias and other employees to install Xora on their smartphones and told them they needed to keep their phones on all day, every day.
http://morallowground.com/2015/05/13/myrna-arias-claims-intermex-fired-her-for-deleting-gps-tracker-on-work-phone/

Re: Great (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Major Android remote-access vulnerability is now being exploited on 2015-08-28 00:20 (#JP17)

Here's your app:
* https://towelroot.com/

Re: When they're all the same . . . (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Firefox aims to simplify cross-browser Extension development on 2015-08-27 21:17 (#JNMF)

Yes, Opera had tabs first, but they behaved nothing like the tabs Firefox created.

"Opera's tabs behave like 'mini windows' within the browser meaning you can drag them out of the browser, drag them back in and also minimise them and restore them within the browser"
http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/Firefox_vs_Opera#Tabbed_Browsing

What's more, I don't think Opera invented that at all, since applications like Microsoft Office managed multiple open documents the same way (just without the ever-present tab bar), long before Opera:
* http://www.studmed.ru/docs/static/2/f/0/a/7/2f0a7d1d089.png

Since my desktop manages multiple browser windows just fine, I saw absolutely no benefit to Opera's tabs. Opera also cycled through tabs in most-recent-viewed order. So open a handful of new tabs (in the background) from a page, visit the first one and close it, and you go back to the last page you viewed, not all the new tabs you just opened. Again, absolutely no better than how my desktop window manager handles multiple browser windows.

When Mozilla (later Firefox) came out with tabs that when closed took you left-to-right or right-to-left (not through your history) in 2001-2002, Opera copied the feature in 2003.

The old-fashioned tab bar at the bottom:
* http://www.estudiologos.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Opera_6.0.png

While the new (Firefox-style) tabs were at the top:
* http://g1.idg.pl/ftp/pc/opera72.jpg

Back in Opera 6.0, at start-up, you could choose between single-window mode (classic tabs), or multiple-windows "SDI/MDI mode". Then for Opera 7.0, they offered tabs in the SDI mode as well:

"New MDI/SDI combination gives users the best of two worlds by allowing surfing in both MDI or SDI, with tabs (or even a combination) without restarting Opera"
http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/700/

And the tabs on the SDI interface windows behaved like Firefox's tabs (no overlapping windows, cycling left-to-right, etc.), not like Opera's MDI tabs always did.

And incidentally, Opera wasn't even the first web browser with tabs, either. It was beaten by NetCaptor by about 3 years.

Re: Article picture (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in "Bring your own device" failing to live up to its promise on 2015-08-27 06:50 (#JK5J)

Fixed. I thought it was a bit of a toss-up at the time, but I guess we're just as well-off without it.

Worst article image... EVER (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in 2015 may be remembered as the most severe El Nino ever on 2015-08-27 06:45 (#JK4M)

If you'll forgive me, I just have to take a moment to point out how absolutely HORRIBLE the image for this article is... I can't remember seeing anything worse. It looks like a negative photo of a mushroom cloud. Or perhaps somebody broke a bottle of jam on the floor a car wash? It's just plain AWFUL.

Am I wrong? Is somebody here able to glean some useful information from that image?

Anybody else got a better description of our acid-fueled cloud-watching photograph?

Re: When they're all the same . . . (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Firefox aims to simplify cross-browser Extension development on 2015-08-26 21:17 (#JJ3R)

And really most of the best browser UI ideas started with opera.
Opera had some good ideas, but they usually managed to do them entirely the wrong way. Meanwhile, Firefox might have borrowed some rough concepts, but they fixed them in the process, so they were actually useful. Look back to when Firefox added tabbed browsing, and shortly after, Opera soon after added a second, entirely different method of tabs you could choose to use instead...

Some goes for the notification bar. It was taken from IE, but it didn't do much of anything useful there. After that, IE copied back the improved design from Firefox.

Unfortunately, their more recent changes (wholesale copying Chrome's UI) have been downhill all the way.

Plus, after Google banished all ad-blockers from the Play Store, Firefox became the only Android browser to take a stand and keep their ad blocking features, while all others cowered and dropped the feature. Ironically, mobile is where ad blocking is the most beneficial, and now it's the hardest place to do it. It's also one of just a few that allow you to change the built-in search engine to something other than Google.

Re: Make up my mind (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in 2015 may be remembered as the most severe El Nino ever on 2015-08-26 20:52 (#JJ2D)

Actually, they say all the El Nino rain will barely help. El Nino mostly brings rain to Southern California, which only has about 1/3rd the surface-water infrastructure as Northern California. Hence the aqueducts that span the state. What California really needs is lots of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains. If El Nino makes this a warmer winter, resulting in less snowpack, California will be worse-off, not better.

http://ca.gov/drought/topstory/top-story-45.html

Re: Microsoft does not get to be my big brother (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Windows 10 can detect and disable pirated games and modified peripherals on 2015-08-25 20:52 (#JEN9)

HDCP Strippers (for about $15 now) have been around for quite a while:

http://www.amazon.com/HDMI-1x2-3D-splitter/dp/B003UYOEMI/

It's a feature included in HDMI/DVI capture devices, which is about the only way of DVRing highdef cable/satellite broadcasts.

Just like DVDs, the cryptographic security wasn't all that well-designed.

Re: Finally some sense (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Australian court says no to copyright trolls on 2015-08-25 20:45 (#JEM6)

Australia is saying there will be no actual penalty for copyright infringement, so everyone might as well pirate everything
We're only talking about an INVOICE sent to accused copyright infringers, and can also include "damages relating to costs of acquiring the subscriber’s information". The ruling doesn't apply if the copyright holder chooses to follow through within the legal system and sue everyone. That would sufficiently deter copyright infringers, but is not nearly as profitable of a business model for the lawyers.

Even if you consider the Australian system a bit too easy on copyright infringers, it's still infinitely more reasonable than the heavy handed US copyright laws that enable copyright-trolls.

The situation is even more lenient in Canada due to their blank-media levy, yet the world hasn't fallen apart.

Re: FFS (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in 'Voodoo' Hackers: Stealing Secrets From Snowden's Favorite OS Is Easier Than You'd Think on 2015-08-24 21:05 (#JB8Z)

Credit goes too, to groups like Intel, who have steadily increased the 'power' and 'utility' of the BIOS to the point where it is now a fun attack vector.
Actually, the only thing that changed to make rootkits in firmware practical, is the size of the EEPROM. Back when your CMOS was 64K, there wasn't a lot of room to hide very advanced malicious code in there. Now that there's multiple megabytes to work with, there's plenty of room to store that code. You'd have these problems whether firmware got more advanced, or not. Even the simplest firmware can be modified to boot other (malicious) code first.

Requiring firmware to be cryptographically signed could solve the problem... as well as a jumper on the board that disables firmware updates. OEMs just need to be encouraged to care enough to do something... Right now, they don't.

Could be an improvement (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Firefox aims to simplify cross-browser Extension development on 2015-08-24 20:54 (#JB7E)

One of the nuisances of Firefox has been incompatible extensions across browser versions. Upgrade right away, and you might not find your extensions available for the new version. Stay with an older version (like perhaps the ESR) and you don't get upgraded versions of the extension, which is a problem when sites like YouTube change and break things...

If this move means developers don't need to make changes to their extensions for compatibility with successive versions of Firefox all the time, it could have positive effects on the ecosystem. But of-course that's only after the initial, sudden drop-off this is sure to cause.

Like everyone else, I also hate how Firefox is turning into Chrome, but that's from a UI and performance (on lower-end systems) perspective. They can turn the back-end into Chrome/WebKit for all I care, as long as the performance improves, the old Navigator UI hangs around, and the extensions keep working.

Re: don't scoff at my landline (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in FCC voting on rules for abandonment of copper phone landlines on 2015-08-24 20:39 (#JB6S)

VoIP is usually pretty good. Over a slower internet connection to a 3rd party, the service might not always be great, but VoIP directly from your cable/telco can have higher quality audio than copper phone lines, and with very little latency.

There's work on higher-quality cell calls with "HD Voice" (and VoLTE). You'll still have more latency than any kind of land-line, but the sound quality can be far better than traditional cell calls.

Re: Solar panel recommended (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in FCC voting on rules for abandonment of copper phone landlines on 2015-08-23 05:10 (#J6GD)

"LECs and CMRS providers should maintain emergency backup power for a minimum of 24 hours for assets inside central offices and eight hours for cell sites, remote switches and digital loop carrier system remote terminals that are normally powered from local AC commercial power."

That may not sound like much, but that's just the legally required minimum. Many have generators which can keep them running indefinitely:

http://www.king5.com/story/money/2015/08/17/secret-verizon-bunker-keeps-phones---crisis/31882671/

The FCC keeps threatening to require generator backup with days of fuel for all cell towers, but hasn't followed-through on it.

Re: Solar panel recommended (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in FCC voting on rules for abandonment of copper phone landlines on 2015-08-22 10:46 (#J4QH)

Since hurricane Katrina, the FCC has required all cell sites to have backup power. http://www.njslom.org/FCC-07-177A1.pdf

Cells can potentially be more reliable than landlines... When one goes out, your phone can ramp up its power to reach a more distant one. Or at worst, you can get up higher or walk down the street until you get a signal. But to reach that point requires the FCC to take things a few steps further than they are currently willing to.

Re: What about if the cost is free? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Residential energy efficiency improvements twice the cost of benefits on 2015-08-22 01:07 (#J3WG)

they cost more because of the exotic materials they contain rather than it being a function of the difficulty of refining them.
You don't pay the platinum an extra fee for its star power... You pay the mining operation, because they have to move tons and tons of ore to get sufficient quantities of platinum, then refining operation because it takes a lot of chemicals, electrical and mechanical processes to separate it out. There will be some with operating costs lower than the current spot price of platinum, but many that are barely breaking-even.
The labor mostly goes to the workmen with a much smaller amount for any transportation costs.
The workmen aren't taking your money and putting it in a sofa, they're spending it on many things which have a big carbon footprint of their own. And if you could get it done with half the labor, for half the price, you'd be encouraging only half the footprint.
These would be things who's price would fluctuate at nearly the global oil price.
Oil is only for mobile energy usage like transportation. You aren't saving any oil by insulating your home or buying more-efficient appliances.

And it's not at all true that commodities will fluctuate with global prices at all. In fact energy prices are often very, very localized. See: Alcoa plants in Iceland.

Anyhow, I've made the case as clearly as I can. You're free to disbelieve it if you choose.

Solar panel recommended (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in FCC voting on rules for abandonment of copper phone landlines on 2015-08-21 20:53 (#J3DA)

For anybody without a landline, a cheap solar panel is a good investment.

You can use it to charge your cell phone (with any 12V car charger), or to charge your FIOS/U-Verse/cable-modem battery (requires in-line diode). And even without a ($40!) battery, you can use the panel for power directly, but only during daylight hours. It's equally useful to charge flashlight and radio batteries...

You just have to be careful about duty cycle with solar. In winter, with just 8 hours of low-angle sunlight, possibly over-cast weather, you might only get a very small amount of power from it. So be sure to always significantly over-spec.

Re: What about if the cost is free? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Residential energy efficiency improvements twice the cost of benefits on 2015-08-21 20:42 (#J3C5)

Things like labor, materials and IP rights are also major impacts in cost for items.
I've concede IP rights, but that's a corner case, not too significant in this area. Labor and materials both emit waste, and the amount of money you spend on them strictly limits just how much waste they can generate.

I don't claim it always matches up perfectly, but it's still usually a pretty good proxy.

Re: Hardware keyboards, security, customer support (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Blackberry "Venice" Android slider phone rumors grow louder on 2015-08-21 18:44 (#J32Z)

The physical keyboard on a mobile phone is never going to be big (in my opinion)
The downfall of tablets and the rise of Chromebooks seems to be directly related to keyboards, so they seem to be of significant importance.
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the keys will actually be very small and that doesn't suit a lot of people.
I don't see what alternative you are proposing. Phones are small therefore people... shouldn't ever type on them...?

Also, we had this discussion a few months ago: http://pipedot.org/3NZG

Re: What about if the cost is free? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Residential energy efficiency improvements twice the cost of benefits on 2015-08-21 18:32 (#J324)

He's not talking about money, but energy.
Money is often a good proxy for energy used. It's not as if home insulation is produced with zero CO2 footprint. Contractors driving to your home burn plenty of fuel. etc.
But if anther goal is C02 reduction, then for some people with enough disposable income and that care enough about such things then the amount of C02 released is also important potentially more so.
Except the cost of the carbon is ~1/8th the cost of the retrofit, so other methods of eliminating CO2 with that money could be vastly more effective.

Also, either you're overly concerned with diatomic carbon, or else someone has covertly swapped your O (oh) key with your 0 (zero) key. However, I do give you full credit for consistency...
I told him to call me when they had the high efficiency ones. I probably won't save the amount of extra money it costs
You might be lucky and break-even... Sometimes appliances last far longer than projected, and energy prices have been known to suddenly and unexpectedly spike.

Re: What about if the cost is free? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Residential energy efficiency improvements twice the cost of benefits on 2015-08-20 19:35 (#HZWN)

The study is saying the government should stop paying for such programs.
it's only wasting money and the energy needed to do the upgrade, which I'm sure is offset by the energy saved.
The study says otherwise, claiming only half the invested money is returned in energy savings.

All of the above... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in I'd like to see some innovation in: on 2015-08-17 19:12 (#HNES)

Home heating/cooling/management tech - Heat-pumps are coming along nicely, but are still too rare and much too expensive at the low-end. I can get a window A/C unit for maybe $120, and could install it BACKWARDS with some small modifications (power source and thermostat), but it's rare to find a unit that does heating and cooling under $600... Most anything cheaper than that is "supplemental heat", which means they just jammed a space-heater (coils) inside a window A/C unit.
Cheapest real heat-pump I've found is: This $470 Frigidaire FFRH0822R1.

TV/Radio/Movies - The advance of technology is causing fundamental shifts we can just start to see now, but it will take some time to shake-out. Lower cost of production, lower costs of delivery, and more outlets for distribution are going to have huge effects. I'm glad there's plenty of pretty good older content out there now, to bridge the gap as everybody tries to figure it out.

Communications - I think we've got that covered. Remember back when ham was popular as an alternative to astronomically expensive international phone calls? Now a $20 cell phone can jump on WiFi and make free international phone calls to and from anywhere in the world.

Govt issues (record keeping, healthcare) - Everybody hates taxes, and the code is due for a massive overhaul to make the super-rich pay a fair percentage, and make the amount owed a far simpler formula that eliminates the hours and billions spent on accountants. But there's nothing innovative in that, just proper governance. In general, I get nervous when the government starts "innovating"... The NSA has gotten far too "innovative" in recent years for my taste.

Public transportation systems - I anxiously await Futurama-style people-mover tubes. However, self-driving cars combined with all-electric propulsion could be pretty efficient, quicker and very comfortable. Just imagine a self-driving motorhome with batteries and rooftop solar panels... You could just wake-up, still at home, but in a new city every day.

Banking systems - We're starting to see things like micro-loans, pay-by-cell phone, etc. But "innovation" to them, is just more sneaky ways to get more money out of unsuspecting people. I'd rather they didn't "innovate" like that much if at all...

Safety/Security, incl. 'anti-terrorism' - We're a small step away from everybody recording everything that happens, everywhere, all the time. It will become considerably harder to get away with any crimes. Combined with everyone's whereabouts at all times of day/night being on-record at the phone company, law enforcement seems to have a big change looming.

Education - Technology doesn't help without a change in culture. Forcing students to read Moby Dick on a tablet won't make it any more relevant to kid's lives, today. Huge amounts of money were spent to get TVs and VCRs in every classroom, only to be used to watch Hollywood films when the teacher feels like taking a break. Meanwhile, students are forced to read famous plays, be told about world events that happened on-camera, read about physics/biology/chemistry when video would get so much more across more quickly, etc., etc. And more recently, lots of money spent on computers that are largely off-limits to students, locked-down to the point that they might just as well be replaced with electronic typewriters or word processors. The system would be better served to use that money on teacher salaries, and migrate away from mostly attendance-based grading.

Re: Additional sensors for dynamic HVAC (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in I'd like to see some innovation in: on 2015-08-17 18:29 (#HNAH)

do you have any links on how to splice up a HVAC to multiple zones?
You might be happy with very cheap, minimal effort battery & timer-controlled "vent-misers":

http://www.amazon.com/Vent-Miser-91667-BR-Programmable-Energy-6-Inches/dp/B000WAA8XM/

For the basic (manually adjusted) dampers, you can see the first segment of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8jM9z3scQk

And the last 5 minutes of this one:

https://youtu.be/UPbjM08DGZY?t=18m23s

For an automatic zoning retrofit, it's easiest to find one of the forced-air zoning retrofit kits like the Honeywell TrueZone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G7ZOsNGBJU

Though you can really do the same thing by buying a few line-level thermostats and motorized dampers, separately instead of depending on their expensive and advanced multi-zone thermostat systems that are part of the kit.

The high-tech pneumatic retrofit options might be easier to install (and therefore worth the extra expense) in some situations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2EJLhZ939A

http://www.retrozone.com/Catalog/retrofit.htm

Well, at least that should be enough to get you started.

Re: Additional sensors for dynamic HVAC (Score: 2, Insightful)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in I'd like to see some innovation in: on 2015-08-17 17:00 (#HN2R)

A system of thermostats that all talk to each other and wirelessly control floor vents.
Maybe I misunderstand your idea, but it sounds like you want an ultra-high-tech system that can be more easily solved by an inexpensive low-tech one. Much like those smartphone controlled LED lights, when a switch or motion-sensor does the job just as well...

It's very easy and not too expensive to slice-up a home HVAC system into multiple zones that work independently. You can have a fairly low-tech (possibly wireless) thermostats in several rooms, if you so desire, controlling the damper for that zone. What's more, inexpensive mini-split systems are naturally zoned this way, too.

And that's more-expensive and more complex than most homes need... A wireless thermostat that can be put in the coldest or warmest room of the house is cheap, and basic mechanical dampers can be used to reduce the airflow in other rooms/zones which heat/cool more quickly.

Re: oh, fox... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Apollo 14 astronaut claims peace-loving aliens prevented 'nuclear war' on Earth on 2015-08-16 14:46 (#HHWW)

fox is a terrible source to redistribute
Would you prefer RT, TheBlaze, Telegraph, Newsmax, Press Examiner, Daily Mail, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Techworm, Gizmodo, or Yahoo News?

https://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=dTPTvX_VR45a17Mx4pUk47-AZAc9M&ned=us

Re: aw man (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Return of the flip phone on 2015-08-12 20:37 (#H74Y)

Yes, it looks like you can still get pagers, but they appear to be just as expensive as full cell-phone service:

* http://www.pagersonline.com/

* http://www.npr.org/2012/07/18/156956159/are-pagers-obsolete

Re: What's really driving this? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Will ATSC 3.0 make your TV useless after 2017? on 2015-08-11 07:37 (#H1QS)

The switch to digital has also multiplied the number of channels available by approximately a factor of 3X. Most major stations now have multiple sub-channel showing films (ThisTV/Movies/GetTV/Grit/Escape) older TV shows (LAFF/AntennaTV/MeTV/Cozi/Retrotv/PBJ/Buzzr/Heroes&Icons/Decades), kids shows (Qubo/PBS Kids) various others (Create/LivWell/IonLife/MHz WorldView/NHK), and more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_over-the-air_television_networks#Table_of_broadcast_networks

OTA TV is now a lot like cable TV was in the early days... Best picture available, big selection of better-ish content, lots of groups trying to break-in and innovate, etc.
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