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William Kempf wkempf
  • Fake cellular towers found spying on calls, texts, in USA

     Nothing really new in that article. The map indicates where "towers" were found by the CryptoPhone. It doesn't say that the physical towers are located there (hard to word this so it makes sense). Each one of those pins could be a location where a backpack sized box was placed on top of the tallest building in the area. No FCC or FAA violations. If you watch the video @blowdart posted you'll see this demonstrated with a rig that is 100% legal (so the presenter claims) so long as the operator has a HAM radio license.

    I'm not claiming any of this is good and that we shouldn't be concerned and investigating. But the idea that somehow giant towers have been erected just so the government can spy on us sounds like a massive over reach based only on what we do know.

    There's towers and there's "towers". :)

  • Fake cellular towers found spying on calls, texts, in USA

    You know that gigantic FM radio tower regulated by the FCC with lights mandated by the FAA? Here's the equivalent in a device that costs around $10 and is a couple of inches in size: http://www.amazon.com/Patuoxun-Transmitter-Adapter-Galaxsy-Charger/dp/B00GLPG03Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409857476&sr=8-1&keywords=fm+transmitter. The only practical difference between this and the tower is the distance in which it can transmit. Cell towers are more sophisticated, but not overly much. I know nothing about them, but it's easy to believe boxes exist that are small enough to fit in your pack back that can act as a cell tower within a fairly large radius that could be detected by these CryptoPhones.

  • Fake cellular towers found spying on calls, texts, in USA

    The article is calling them "cell towers", but I believe what @blowdart is saying is that much smaller devices, like the stingray, can appear to cell phones to be a cell tower. The CryptoPhone just detects fake "towers", it doesn't somehow actually verify that it is a physical tower. I know nothing about this other than what I've just Googled, but I presume these devices are small enough to fit in a backpack and cheap enough to build or buy for hackers to play with them. I can imagine military bases utilizing such devices to try and locate possible terrorist activity in or around the base. Whether such practice is legal or a good idea is certainly up to debate, but it doesn't sound like it's a concerted effort on the part of the government to snoop on its citizens.

  • new info around Midori team

    @felix9, you don't post often enough. You really should start a tech blog for this stuff where you could make money on your scoops. I look forward to every time you post on here.

  • Why do some programmers write code this way?

    Such bad terminology used. What's meant by synchronous and asynchronous? Each of those calls are made asynchronously, but they are made one after the other in a synchronous fashion. Probably not necessary and you could improve things by not awaiting until all of the calls have been made. Regardless, nothing "blocks" here. We don't see the rest of the code, but I'd assume the View is displayed with no data until after the ViewModel is finally populated by all of these async calls. It would be far better to make these calls internally in the ViewModel. Regardless, one would hope that the UI is reporting we're busy during all of this.

    Several bad practices all in a single statement. Gotta love it.

  • The Windows Desktop is dead

    Microsoft demoed windowed metro apps at //Build, so I'd say it's a bit more than rumor.

  • The Windows Desktop is dead

     "There is no middle ground between devices that have the Modern UI and devices that have the desktop. You either have the desktop or you have the Modern UI, you cannot have both. As reported around a month ago, the Start Menu for desktop users in Windows Threshold can 'act' like a full screen Start Menu however, meaning if you want that functionality you can have it on the desktop. This will be helpful for devices like the Surface Pro 3."

    Hugely stupid. It may make sense to remove the start screen for obviously desktop devices (though I do know a number of non-techie people who like the start screen on desktop computers). However, for hybrid devices it makes no sense to not support both. Full screen or not, a start menu desktop approach would stink when using a Surface Pro as a tablet/consumption device. I use my Pro for both scenarios, and appreciate Win8 as it is today for enabling me to efficiently do either. Make a hard distinction in the OS here will kill hybrid devices like the Surface Pro.

  • I dont find the App store that bad what about the rest of the Niners Community

    I'm not trying to make excuses, because it is bad and there is a bunch of crap and worse that I wish Microsoft would weed out before ever accepting into the store, but, the article is also very slanted.

    The very first thing they complain about is a search for VLC. I do the same in the Google Play Store and I get roughly 250 hits. Granted, some are only remotely related to VLC, but plenty of them are VLC apps. While most are free, there's definitely some you have to pay for. There's plenty of hits for Firefox as well, though I don't see any that charge you, and obviously none of them will be glorified desktop installers. 7-zip had tons of hits, including pay for apps. None of them will install desktop versions or include bloatware (I assume this claim means the app had to install a desktop application). That would be something unique to this platform, and is bad. That sort of thing absolutely has to be eliminated from the store. But there's claims (I've not substantiated) that the other stores suffer from similar issues such as malware apps.

    I want a clean store. And it would be nice if Microsoft could do a better job than the others. But, claims that they are doing worse seem either unprovable or at least questionable to me. More importantly, the actual differences seem to be minor... all the stores are bad.

  • What is the future for Microsoft C++ UI technology?

    @kettch: Can you link any of these sites? I've not run across this rumor and I'd love to read about it. A quick search doesn't find anything for me.

  • What is the future for Microsoft C++ UI technology?

    Having 4 dialects of Xaml (WPF, Silverlight, Silverlight for Phone and WinRT), just on the UI side (Xaml is also used for other things), is crazy. What's crazier is the newer the dialect, the fewer features. We're going backwards. Fast. So, if we do unify, I hope we do so intelligently. Yeah, there are features, like triggers, that have simpler/better replacements, like VisualStateManager. I can live with "losing" those features. But no ICommandSource? No custom markup extensions? No binding validation? I could go on and on. :(