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* Posts by Daniel B.

2688 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Vodafone confirms Egypt lock-down

Daniel B.
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Boffin

CB and Walkie Talkies

I suppose that Egyptian protesters will now have to turn to another tech, one that we used to use a lot before the advent of mobile phones: CB Ham Radio and Walkie Talkies.

IIRC even 20 years ago we used these in a similar way IRC was used; chatting with random people. Some people would actually relay messages for other people, say XKC1 tries to locate YZX1, but they aren't in direct range. FOF3 is within XKC1's range, DOH8 is within FOF3's and YZX1's range ... so XKC1 would relay to FOF3, FOF3 to DOH8, DOH8 to YZX1. Geeze, that sounds like our modern Internet, doesn't it?

I'm pretty sure that people could do this, and CBs don't depend on a centralized infrastructure...

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Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers

Daniel B.
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Troll

@AC replying to Octopoid

"Out of the 20 "must have" games you mentioned in your post 13 of them are sequels, and 3rd or 4th sequels at that. To any non-Sony fanboy that's pretty fucking pathetic."

AS pathetic as having a console that owes its mere existance to one single game? If it hadn't been for Halo, the Original Xbox would have gone the way of the 3D0 and the Apple Pippin. And it still is the #1 reason to own an XBox360, that and Gears of War.

As much as I hate Sony for pulling the 3.21 "remove OtherOS" bait-and-switch, I would rather buy another PS3 to be able to play games released after April 1, 2010 than purchase a 360. Barring the Linux brouhaha, Sony actually lets you stick a bog-standard HDD in your PS3, while MS will make you buy an overpriced "Xbox HDD".

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Nice that you rewrote history there

No rewriting ... in fact Hotz did that because Sony decided to take away that option in the PS3 Slim. IIRC he was mostly trying to get OtherOS capabilities in the Slim as well, and unlocking the HW restrictions in all PS3s initially. He didn't actually gun for piracy.

The fail0verflow dudes even explained this in the CCC conference.

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Microsoft insists autistic Xboxer is a cheat

Daniel B.
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Microsoft FAIL

How is this possible? I haven't lost any PS3/PSN trophies, or even heard of Sony doing such a thing. So why should MS do such a thing? I thought Achievements/Points were more of a "dick wavering measure unit", in which case MS shouldn't even worry if someone earns points faster or not.

Good riddance, Zdenek would do well with cancelling XBL service. Paying for "online gaming" already sounds like pimping off gamers, but resetting achievements on a paid service?

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Oracle eases Java's Oracle big-boy bias

Daniel B.
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Boffin

J2EE/Java EE

It seems to be the only language that has actually bothered to implement an interesting business logic framework. I haven't seen anything like Seesion Beans (EJB) in any other language, not even the Java-wannabe child from Microsoft called C#.

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Mexican army interdicts dope-slinging catapult

Daniel B.
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Coat

Naming FAIL for Spanish speakers

"US National Guard operatives at the Naco Border Patrol Station"

Reading this made me giggle. If you don't get it, search the meaning of "Naco" in Mexican Spanish and you'll get the joke!

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Facebook flick up for 8 Oscars, King's Speech for 12

Daniel B.
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Mind Screw

That would be a better definition for Inception. Probably.

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Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'

Daniel B.
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Go

So

$10k for iTunes store.

It IS a con after all!!!

Though I would probably go down the "make 10 apps for $999" route.

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Gates, Woz, and the last 2,000 years of computing

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Colossus

Yes, I've mentioned Colossus a couple of times after learning from it thanks to me studying about the history of Crypto. That and the parallel discovery of the asymmetric key by both the RSA/DHM teams and the GCHQ dudes are quite the story; the British inventions aren't well known because, well, they were military stuff and thus were shrouded behind secrecy.

However, I would expect for a Computing Museum to add these references once they went public!

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Duke Nukem Forever release date revealed

Daniel B.
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Go

Re: Duke who?

My 14 year old stepson showed me the DNF thingy as "look, this game looks cool, it comes out next year!" and then wondered why I was laughing my ass off. Then I explained that the previous game came out before he was even born!

He later read the entire story in one of those "Worst Video Game Failures Ever" articles, chronicling the worst FAILs in the industry, including the infamous E.T. game.

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Daniel B.
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Happy

Duke3d

I still have my original Duke Nukem 3D disc. In fact, we found it last weekend, and I'm planning on installing it on my stepson's PC so he can learn what the hell everyone's talking about.

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NY bomb scare bank worker 'evacuates self'

Daniel B.
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Happy

Ah yes.

This would be the reason why I have an "EVACUATION ROUTE" sign pointing to the bathroom. It's the age-old joke, especially because "Ruta de Evacuacion" (Evacuation Route) is the mandated signage for er... escape routes.

It also doesn't help that the bathroom in my office is at the stairs, so every "Evacuation route" sign also points to the bathroom!

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Publisher takes swipe at StarCraft II game mod

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Generations

Not a new thing. Back in 1998 we had "Generations", a Quake 2 mod that allowed you to play the Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake guys with their respective levels and items. Can't remember if it was Activision or id Software themselves who came hard down on them; the problem seemed to be with the Quake 1 stuff more than the previous games.

But it is worthy to note that DooM 3 wasn't even in their sights, at least not until the next millenium. :P

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Daniel B.
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Phobos Lab

One of those structures looks eerily similar to Phobos Lab.

I'm off to change all Demon sprites to Hydralisks!

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Apple tightens screws on hardware hackers

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Easy solution

Pass a law making it illegal to make non-user-serviceable devices, anywhere. The only reasons I've seen for non-user-serviceable labels are for stuff that can give nasty electrical shocks (like CRTs) or stuff that gets ruined by opening it (like HDDs). Those should keep the wacky screws, but the rest of it is pointless.

Soldered RAM should be a jailable offense as well.

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Brazilian cult condemns USB

Daniel B.
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The "evil" Trident

With a lot of imagination, it would look like that "evil trident" used in Satanic imagery.

... except the three "prongs" should be about the same size, all end in a triangle point, and also be crooked in an angle to one side.

That's like calling all Swastikas the Nazi Swastika. Oh wait...

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New Taser made to take down angry bears, moose

Daniel B.
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BOFH-approved

Somehow, when I've seen both this one and the NX edition, the BOFH comes into mind...

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WikiLeaks accused of tapping P2P for secret docs

Daniel B.
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Boffin

So

What were those documents doing on a P2P network to begin with? Seems like someone installed P2P clients in restricted PCs...

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Games sales slip in 2010

Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Crap games

Some games are kinda good... but my current year's share of games amounts to:

- inFAMOUS

- Bioshock

- Bioshock 2

- Fallout 3

You'll probably notice that only Bioshock 2 came out this year. And Fallout 3 is one of the few games left that have a good story, and isn't oriented to the ADD Halo-playing crowd. Bioshock 2 does have a decent story, but it is mostly told via diaries. True RPGs seem to have gone away, now all games seem to be CoD: MW or Halo clones. :(

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Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

Daniel B.
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Boffin

@Craiggy

Actually they are kind of controlling the centrifuges. The Siemens WinCC manages the PLC's that are actually controlling the centrifuges; the Stuxnet worm takes over WinCC and uses it to alter the Step7 code on the PLCs. Sneaky sabotage!

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Mozilla slings out 9th beta for Firefox 4

Daniel B.
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Not Chrome

I stopped using Chrome when they stopped showing http://

Hiding stuff from users is a stupid thing to do.

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Linux ecosystem spins around Red Hat

Daniel B.
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Happy

RedHat FTW

Red Hat was the distro that brought me into the Linux world, back in the RHL 5.0 days when getting Linux to install, or even boot up into the graphical interface was an adventure. I remember griping when they killed the official Red Hat Linux distro, but not on grounds of RH "pimping" Linux, but because they killed the cheap alternative of the supported Red Hat Linux option vs. RHEL. Many said that nobody would ever use SuSE or Fedora ever again; however RHEL is now pretty well established in the enterprise market, as well as SuSE though the latter one has been losing market.

But it is nice to see RedHat sailing on, it was the first one to prove that you could actually make money out of Linux and Open Source stuff in general.

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Gamers raid medical server to host Call of Duty

Daniel B.
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Alert

Wot? Laggy?

"Scandinavian gamers/hackers wouldn't use an American server, the ping would easily be up in the hundreds of milliseconds. That may not sound like much latency to non-gamers, but it would be laughed at as unusable and pointless by gamers."

WHAT?!?! IIRC, the official definition of an LPB was < 200ms ping rates. When did 100 start to classify as "high ping"? Granted, something like 450-500 would brand you an HPB even in the old days of dialup, but associating three-digits to "high ping" is an exaggeration.

Oh well, I'm off to fire up QuakeWorld ;)

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Spain grovels to penguins over 'Linux' anti-terror plot

Daniel B.
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Surname Snafu

That's the same reason why some US-based stuff I receive insists on using my mother's surname as my "surname" instead of either the first one ro both of them. I actually like bearing both of them, otherwise I would have the same name as my father!

There are some fun cases, when someone's first or second surname are a composite one, and the person has three names:

Given Name: Maria Alicia Norma

Surname 1: Lopez Velarde

Surname 2: del Palomar

Full Name: Maria Alicia Norma Lopez Velarde del Palomar

Guess why I have to use varchar(50) for those fields when setting up databases...

PS: Latin American countries will do hideos things with their male population, putting them FEMALE names like "Maria" or "Guadalupe". Ow!

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Daniel B.
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Linux

Naming

"Penguin lovers have been known to complain about things that are ultimately of no consequence whatsoever."

Like calling Linux "GNU/Linux". It's just a matter of time that the terminology nazis complain that it should've been called Operation GNU/Linux, blah blah blah.

Anyway, it does seem kinda weird to call a counterterrorism operation 'Linux'. Does that mean they're going to go after MS after they clamp down on ETA?

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Microsoft's Novell patent cartel dodges German regulators

Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Bad News Indeed

"Backed by Apple, Oracle, and EMC as well as Microsoft, CPTN is spending $450m to buy a bag of Novell patents."

That sounds like the Evil Corp League of America. Don't know about EMC, but Apple, Oracle and Microsoft will happily engage in mass source-closing movements to bully their propietary stuff as the only option. This is indeed very bad.

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Sony sues PlayStation 3 'hackers'

Daniel B.
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Boffin

OtherOS

"Or lastly, they could just reimplement the "Other OS" option, the removal of which seems to have caused this hacking crusade in the first place. Especially as I doubt they have a leg to stand on by suing these people."

Yes. I'm pretty sure that fail0ver and other real hackers will simply stand down if they re-enable OtherOS ... which is the reason they started hacking at the PS3 in the first place!

@Bedroom Coders: You fail at crypto even more than Sony. The math involved in cracking the PS3 is not trivial, breaking asymmetric keys isn't trivial, and getting yourself into the CCC isn't something that "skreept keedz" would be able to do. GeoHot did basically take the fail0verflow tools and do some cheap jailbreaking, but it wouldn't have been possible without fail0ver's research. In fact I don't have a good opinion of him, as he actually enabled piracy in the PS3, which the fail0ver crew *didn't* do because they didn't want to enable pirates, only restore OtherOS functionality.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

The Update Method

The "PSN Update" isn't done by SSL. In fact, it is a crappy txt file that says which is the latest FW version, and gives the link to download the latest FW. Any skilled IT person could simply set up his own "PSN Update" server and point it to a custom FW file. It just won't be possible to stop these things.

If anything else fails, the hardware flashing mechanism will work. The ROM keys were compromised.

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Daniel B.
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FAIL

As a paying customer...

"As for annoyed paying customers, I doubt the removal of OtherOS affected many people at all. Certainly legit customers shouldn't be annoyed by Sony going after crackers."

yet the OtherOS removal pissed off the kind of people that were skilled enough to crack the PS3. It's as stupid as that dude who wanted to burn Korans in the US. You're asking for it.

As for me? I was one of those "rare" dudes who buys PS3 games *and* uses the PS3 Linux for research purposes. If you don't know the difference between CellBE and craptel x86, you're too dumb to even argue the 'buy a PC' FUD. We were hit by OtherOS removal precisely because we *do* play games, but we can't because updating will kill Linux support.

Really. Is someone playing games *and* running Linux too much of a stretch??

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Daniel B.
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Happy

Not homebrew, Linux

I don't give a flying fudge about homebrew. I do care about Linux on the PS3 though. Give me that and I'm happy.

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Daniel B.
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Sheesh

Because GeoHot just had to put the Piracy into the Linux-enabling hack, Sony can flog the "Piracy!" Flag on this one. Why the hell did he do that? Just enable Linux dammit!

I do hope that the defense pulls up that they did it because of OtherOS's loss... it might probably help the other class-action suit out there.

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Top CEOs agree: US is down the crapper

Daniel B.
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FAIL

Jocks vs. Nerds

Geeze, maybe the problem is that US High Schools are more concerned about churning out sports jocks while good students are just cannon fodder for jockies to kick around?

At least that part of Farenheit 451 does seem to be prophetic. It should be *nerds* the ones being seen as heroes, not the jackass who puts down 5 touchdowns and loves to beat the living shit out of weaklings.

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Apple 4 Verizon. True

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

CDMA

Yup. CDMA doesn't require a SIM, which is why CDMA carriers tend to use this to their advantage, locking down their handsets pretty hard.

At least our own CDMA carrier in Mexico has deployed a GSM network and put out the iPhone on that one, so there won't be any portability issues over here. :D

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Verizon to sell iPhone 4 this month

Daniel B.
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Re: Verizon?

Problem with that scenario: Verizon is CDMA, it doesn't have a SIM card at all!

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PlayStation 3 code signing cracked

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Cell Processor

Yes, indeed the PC will usually be superior to most consoles; and on some accounts, it is still the case. The thing is that the PS3 carries a new kind of processor, the CellBE, that has a new kind of architecture suitable for heavy number-crunching. So while the specs on a PS3 are definitely inferior to a standard PC (256MB RAM? Ha!), the processor itself outruns most current-generation x86 crapcessors.

So while you won't see much interest on Wii Linux or Xbox running Linux; there is a large interest on the PS3 thingy just because of that processor. I don't really care much about homebrew, but I did enjoy tinkering around with the different programming model for the CellBE.

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Daniel B.
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No fix for this

The key that was exposed is part of the ROM. The only fix they can do now is changing hardware stuff on the PS3 itself. EPIC FAIL.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

@DrXym

Before the OtherOS removal, the only ones interested in cracking the PS3 were trying to get pirated games to run on the PS3. The "run Linux in my toaster" crowd was uninterested, and incidentally this crowd is usually the one that actually gets the impossible stuff don, like porting Android to the iPhone. While a PS3 crack could have eventually happened, it would've taken far more time if the PS3-Linux crew hadn't been involved, up to the point that the fail0ver team didn't care about cracking PS3s until Sony removed OtherOS.

It is also interesting to note that when they release these juicy bits of code, it will NOT allow pirated games to run. They don't want pirated games, they want Linux and have enabled a way to run Linux *without* automatically compromising the GameOS at the same time, which was the case with the earlier USB trick. And it will probably remain that way, as a run-Linux/no-piracy jailbreak won't run afoul of the DMCA. :)

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Is this really a surprise?

Up until April 1, 2010, the most talented hackers & coders didn't give a shit about PS3 restrictions, as most of the legal reasons for jailbreaking the PS3 were covered by the standard firmware: running Linux, running games from other regions.

Then Sony decided to piss off that group, thinking "geeze, they got like 1% of all the PS3 market. We can tell them to go fuck themselves and nobody will care!" And to a certain degree, they were right: most people were suckered by the "security reasons" that Sony gave them and called those who wanted to run Linux pirates or "xbots".

Sony simply didn't realize that the pissed-off userbase might be a low % of PS3 users, but they are also the ones that have enough expertise to pull off something like this. I really wish that Sony were to re-enable Linux not only on the fat ones, but on the slim ones as well.

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World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

Daniel B.
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Re: recession

Problem with your theory: 3D movies aren't a 2009/10 thing, they've been done as far back as the 50's, and they've failed over and over and over. The last 3D craze came in the 80's with Jaws 3D, Elm Street 3D & co. It has crashed and burned even without our current choices.

Also, those improvements are actually good: would you really prefer soundless, black & white movies? Though Color had been available for quite some time before WW2. There's a critically panned movie back in its time that used it to great effect, maybe you've even heard of it. It's called "Wizard of Oz".

Hell, even Chaplin monkeyed around with sound: Some small parts of Modern Times had sound bits in a couple of scenes.

3D will probably be worth it, but currently few directors are actually good at that. 3D doesn't have to suck, but I don't think its a need-to-have thing yet. The few good 3D movies out there usually come with the red/blue glasses, no need for 3DTVs yet.

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Daniel B.
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Re: TV plateau

Agreed, TV tech didn't improve after color TV. Most of the "improvements" were on the devices themselves, like remote control or display tech; most of the latter thanks to stuff used on embedded devices or computers (LCD?) at least until HDTV came out. 3DTV isn't hot, and is useless for most stuff except for videogames. I hate watching sports so that use isn't in my list, and consoles can probably manage 3D wothout the need of a 3D TV.

One thing that annoys me is the bunch of people that turn on the TV but don't actually *watch* TV. There's a device that works for you, it's called "radio". Thanks to these guys, some Latin American channels have dropped original language audio for crappy Spanish dubs. Want to listen stuff, use a radio! What's the use of an HDTV if you aren't going to watch it?

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2010: The year open source went invisible

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Needs clarification

"IE is still head and shoulders above any single competitor."

I had the impression that their sharehold had dropped under 60%, probably will go under 50% in the near future. They aren't the almighty overlord at least with IE, and FF or Chrome might take over the browser lead in the near future.

Granted, home PCs rarely run Linux. Most mobile/appliance computing devices run Linux, but mainstream stuff hasn't adopted Linux yet. Smartbooks were going to do that, but then Jobs had to come with his iPad and shat all over the market. :(

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Microsoft's Office nagware dead in icy water

Daniel B.
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Flame

Upgrade to unusability!

Get smacked with the Ribbon. That's the main reason for which I am *not* upgrading at all. I'll keep my Office 2003 because I hate that piece of shit interface!

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Gawker tech boss admits site security was crap

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Hash-ish

DES is an encryption algorithm indeed... crackable by 5 year old kids using 10 year old hardware. Yet you would be terrified to know how many organizations use it to "secure" passwords and such sensitive things.

Then there's that stupid idea called 3DES, which seems to be the cheap VPN standard, and is also used in some SSL connections. I keep myself away from anything bearing the "DES" name.

Now that I think about it, DES is probably as "secure" as a bad hashing algorithm...

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Mexico mounts ROBOTIC ALIEN INVASION of US back yard

Daniel B.
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Joke

Xmas shopping

Hm... given that this happened in El Paso, I wonder if the "mission" was actually:

- Checking out which Mexican citizens are doing their Xmas shopping spree in El Paso, so they get a "surprise search" at the border, or

- Sending the bot to do *their* shopping spree. Do Bots have Credit Cards as well?

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World of Warcraft bot ban ticks off world of critics

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Legalese

"The article above hints that people modding games may have a stake in this - I don't agree. Botting isn't about modding, it's about unattended play, bypassing much of the games experience and required effort and it can ruin it for other gamers."

Problem is that the specific wording in this ruling means that it opens up the possibility to slam modders with DMCA violations as well. Diablo file editors, those playing SAMP or Multi-Theft Auto (GTA San Andreas was given a modkiller patch after the Hot Coffee incident), Doom 1 & 2 modders (I think Quake was the first one that officially supported modding) and others. Because this ruling means that any editing to any game code == DMCA violation.

As if the DMCA wasn't bad enough!

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Daniel B.
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Alert

@Chad H.

"Thereisnocowlevel, etc are intended functions of the software put there by the developers, claiming using these would be illegal is as ridiculous as claiming you can no longer use space to open doors in doom. These people changed the game to cheat."

I also mentioned the Diablo character editor thingy. IIRC, that one isn't an official Blizzard tool, it was a hack-thingy that allowed to create or edit characters to give them stuff like extra levels, abilities, inventory stuff. That one might probably fall under the DMCA violation according to this rule. Take in mind that Diablo is playable online, and the gameplay style is kind of MMO-ish. I also forgot to mention the FSGS thingy that allows you to use a custom Battle.net server instead of the Blizzard one. Very useful for LAN parties w/o internet access :)

Blizzard does have the right to boot/ban cheaters from their servers; after all, it is their service and I fully agree with that. It is the method which Blizzard is using to enforce this that I find as DMCA creep.

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David Attenborough dino doc shows limits of 3D TV

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Yup

Best movie to use 3D: Avatar.

Besides that, the one thing that does tempt me to get into the 3D bandwagon is Gran Turismo 5, that one supports 3D.

And you *don't* need a 3D TV, it seems!

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Windows 7 really was some girl's idea, rules ASA

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Potshots at Mac

Now, it would've been comical for someone to complain about the (thankfully) discontinued "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ads because the snobbish bastard was clearly not a fruity PC*, and the other guy was clearly not a PC.

* They're both IBM-compatible PCs running x86 hardware. The only difference is the software and the outer look!

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'Blitzer' railgun already 'tactically relevant', boasts maker

Daniel B.
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Pirate

Somalia Pirate Repellant

If they were to fit one of these babies onto a tanker? One shot from this should take care of any pirate ship. And at a 200 mile range, it would also be a good patrol weapon!

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FBI 'planted backdoor' in OpenBSD

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Theo de Raadt in facepalm

Maybe he'll stop dissing Linux as a "cheap hackjob" now that his BSD distro has been outed as "0wned by the FBI".

Of course, I wonder if other OSen have similar things? Isn't it supposed that the open source process would catch these kind of things?

Hey wait, someone tried to sabotage the Linux kernel a couple of years ago. It was found in the version control before it was released to the public... so probably OpenBSD's process isn't as good as they claim it to be.

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