* Posts by Daniel B.

3161 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Stuxnet worm can reinfect PCs even after disinfection

Daniel B.
Boffin

No shit

Step7 files are the actual PLC programming files. Now I'm even more worried ... does this mean that the PLC programming may have been in fact tampered? This is serious. Really serious.

If anything, this might prompt Siemens to move all PLC-manipulating software to non-Windows platforms, probably QNX. Linux would be nice, but I'm kinda paranoid when the software is managing stuff where errors are in the "oops-I-did-a-Chernobyl" category.

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0

BlackBerry tablet boots from 'floppy disk OS'

Daniel B.
Boffin

Interix Subsystem

It actually works pretty well. I suppose that the MS XENIX knowledge base didn't evaporate, or that some MS people actually know how to do POSIX. It also seems to do a better job of doing POSIX than Cygwin, but for some reason most people seem to disdain "Services for Unix" and use Cygwin instead.

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HP won't license WebOS, says exec

Daniel B.
Unhappy

Palm's mistake...

It wasn't the OS licensing, it was splitting off PalmSource and then have PalmSource to sit on the OS instead fo updating it. Then some genius decided to switch the Palm handsets to WinMo ... and the Palm devices became "just another WinMo device". webOS came out too late to save 'em.

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RIM unveils The BlackPad BlackBerry PlayBook

Daniel B.

BB OS

The BlackBerry OS & platform is much more open than the Apple ecosystem. And while RIM has the AppWorld app store, it isn't the only place to purchase BB apps. An open platform, even if the OS is fairly closed, will definitely attract developers. Those who are already in the BB ecosystem will probably be enticed to buy one of these as well, and contrary to what the iPhans would like to believe, RIM still holds the #2 spot worldwide, #1 in the US and has expanded down to the midrange markets.

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Mystery lingers over stealthy Stuxnet infection

Daniel B.
Black Helicopters

Conspiracy theorists' motherlode

"In addition to exploiting four zero-day vulnerabilities, Stuxnet also used two valid certificates (from Realtek and JMicron) and rootlet-style technology, factors that helped the malware stay under the radar for much longer than might normally be the case."

Either RSA has been broken, or some intelligence agency gave a hand in acquiring the private keys. Either way, this ain't the job of your average malware writer. Tinfoil hats, on!

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Coders tip Google Android for eclipse of the Steve

Daniel B.
Boffin

Walled garden

Apple's insistance on keeping iOS as a walled garden is hurting the iOS market share. Most of the iPhone and Android owners don't have a smartphone because they want a smartphone... they want a cool touchscreen device. In this matter, the Android handsets are cheaper than the iThing, and someone searching for a "touchy thingy" won't care about the OS and will go for the cheaper device. The ones that do care have been annoyed by Jobs' attitude with locking down the OS; the devs are pissed off because what's cool today may be banned tomorrow.

Those who really need a beefed-up smartphone will actually be looking at BlackBerry, that other closed ecosystem that in fact manages to be more open than Apple. The Torch will probably keep their customer base with them, as it features the one thing that the iGadget lacks: a QWERTY keyboard. I would really wish for the newer iterations of Symbian and Meego to have some impact (even webOS), but I have my doubts on those platforms.

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The BSA's fading twentieth-century piracy fight

Daniel B.
Pirate

Good on some points, bad on others

As others have pointed out, the "copyright infringement == theft" is a fallacy is most frowned upon by those who know the difference. It ain't the same, precisely because of the points that have been stated here, like the fallacy of assuming "$1 pirated copy == $1 lost sale". In the software world, this ratio is even higher than in the music/movie industry, as you can't just get an "open-source Metallica" song but software is mostly replaceable.

Open sourcey stuff would gain the upper hand if piracy were to dissappear, so I wonder if that is the main reason for which Windows is still crackable. Specialized software like AutoCAD is pretty hard to crack, and some stuff even uses physical dongles as a hardware piracy prevention device. But Windows? Anyone can get a cracked copy of the latest Windows & Office without much tech skills, so the Linux vs. Windows arguments will usually fall out because "geeze, Windows is free d00d!" While piracy might fall on other types of software, me thinks that OS-related piracy will remain being high, if only to keep the MS monopoly in its place.

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How do you copy 60m files?

Daniel B.
Boffin

SFU

Easier: Use Services For Unix, that one uses an Interix subsystem to run all your UNIXy stuff.

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Daniel B.
Happy

Yes!

You did read the article, did you? Richcopy is not only mentioned, it was the only tool that worked under Windows for Trevor.

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Daniel B.
Boffin

SFU tools?

Most people over here were recommending cp over Cygwin; while Cygwin is a nice tool for home PCs, I have never understood why everyone flocks to Cygwin when MS has actually implemented a POSIX-compliant subsystem on Windows with better perfomance than Cygwin. That said:

I would recommend doing the cp trick with Services For Unix installed. If both servers have SFU, you can actually enable NFS shares on the destination, nfsmount on the source, and copy all the 60m files using cp, all the stuff will go through NFS instead of CIFS. I haven't checked the permissions, but this method will probably preserve the file ACLs as well!

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Oracle preps Google and Microsoft Office challenger

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

Right on!

"no more AJAX tools, which a lot of suffering programmers will pray for you for the rest of their lives because they don't have to program in AJAX any more."

Yes, please ... an actual programming network instead of hacking away HTML and JavaScript to further levels, doing stuff that it was never intended to do in the first place.

OTOH, we really should be making real apps instead of webifying real apps. Hm...

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RIM's iPad rival 'arrives next week'

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

QNX. Nice.

IIRC, QNX also has a Qt-based GUI thingy, which means you can do GUI apps with relative ease. Good choice for RIM; not sure about switching their OS for a QNX-based one, but then again, given the trouble with BB OS's memory management on devices < 256Mb, it is probably needed. I gotta see this device...

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Oracle to webify mobile Java against Android

Daniel B.
Boffin

Fix ME

Looks like Oracle is trying to bolt on stuff that should've been in Java ME from the start. They should actually fix the rest of Java ME and put in all the stuff that ME is lacking, like easy Calendar manipulation methods. BlackBerry had to extend ME as it was useless by itself, and it is probably the reason why Google used Harmony for Android in the first place! FIX ME, ORACLE!

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Bill would let feds block pirate websites worldwide

Daniel B.
Black Helicopters

So that's why

So that's why Anonymous targeted them as well. I wonder how this would play out in reality; the DoJ has already landed in hot water when a Kentucky judge ruled that a non-US-based domain name could be seized by a US state. Taking over a domain name owned by someone not in the US is something that will definitely unleash a legal and diplomatic firestorm.

I hope that legislators aren't as stupid to pass this thing, and/or Obama to veto this stupid bill. Hell, even Bush blocked the previous one...

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Thieves jam key-fob lock signals in mystery car thefts

Daniel B.
Boffin

Ford Fiesta and some others

There are a couple of cars that have the "driver key lock" alarm mechanism. I've seen a couple of recent models carry the thing as well. Judging by the quantity of remote-controlled alarms that have gone into "retard mode" where the alarm goes off, and anything I do won't disengage the alarm, I'm betting that this is probably becoming the preferred method of anti-theft system.

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Steve Jobs chops student hack down to size

Daniel B.
FAIL

Journalism...

... is everything about going to the source, not just plagiarizing some second-hand article from Engadget, which ripped off some CNET article, which ripped it off from the BBC and such. The student actually did what every journalist should do: go to the source. Most PR departments will have some kind of answer, even if it's a canned statement. Hell, *I* was able to get McDonalds' PR department to answer one of my inquiries.

A company that can't be arsed to answer is a company that will treat their customers in the same manner. Apple has somehow managed to keep on looking "cool" despite having this rude attitude towards inquiries.

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Google ops czar condemns multi-core extremists

Daniel B.

Cray rises from the grave?

I thought this was pretty much common knowledge, as Cray himself explained that it is better to have 2 oxen than 1024 chickens pulling your stuff. The entire supercomputing industry didn't heed his warning and went down the parallelizing fury. This means that instead of having specialized processors, most of today's "supercomputers" are nothing more than heaps of inefficient x86 chips. Alas, the 1024 chickens that Cray warned us about.

However, more specialized hardware like the CellBE does have real advantages on multi-processing. I think that Google is actually looking for IBM iron, not Craptel/AMD stuff.

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Twitter airport bomb joker loses second job

Daniel B.

Optimus Prime

"Bonkers. If I wear a t-shirt saying "I hate you" will I get arrested too?"

Maybe not, but if you're wearing a Transformers T-Shirt, you will be. Especially if you're in Terminal 5.

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BOFH: Die, Robot

Daniel B.
Happy

Return of the Killer Bot?

I was expecting Simon to either morph it into a real cattleprod-toting Security Bot, or bringing out *this* from the Basement for an epic battle:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/11/21/the_killer_bofh_bot/

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Intel eats crow on software RAID

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Not again!

This means more fakeraids. STOP THIS NONSENSE. It's as idiotic as the Winmodems of 10 years ago. It's bad, and should not be encouraged!

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Blizzard issues fatwa against Starcraft II cheaters

Daniel B.

Slight problem

The game will refuse to work without a B.net connection. Well, there is offline mode, but I'm not sure if that one works on an unlimited basis. IIRC, most of these type of games need the server connection to properly work!

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Daniel B.

... in the US

Here in Mexico, the version sold in stores is a $300 MXN (about $25 USD) 6-month Starcraft Edition. That is, it will "expire" in 6 months, and you can buy it for another 6 months at the $300MXN price tag, or pay USD $60 for the unlimited game.

The Asia region has actually gone for 3-day, 7-day, 30-day Starcraft licenses as well.

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Vue denies cinema phone ban plan

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

If you're distracted by someone texting...

... you're not watching the movie at all. Unless the bloke raises his phone way above his eye level, I can't really be annoyed by that.

Also, it seems you do not have any kind of emergencies at all, do you? I keep my phone on vibrate mode, so that I can check who's calling, or recieve texts. Emergency situations will usually mean that I have to answer NOW NOW NOW either in text or in the phone itself. The latter situation will make me move outside the screen, so I don't distract anyone else.

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RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Daniel B.

Probably defective unit?

I have had no problems with my WiFi on both the ole Bold 9000 and the 9700. Ditto with the 8220 (PearlFlip); the one thing that I did get annoyed with is the behavior in 4.6 where it won't stick to one SSID, so if I have 'monkeynet' and 'dorknet' in range, it will jump between these networks unless I disable one of those networks. BB 5.0 fixes this by adding a "select only one network" option, which eliminates this problem.

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Coalition pledges free appeals for filesharers

Daniel B.
Boffin

Anything short of WPA2-AES is insecure by today's standards

and yet, some devices won't play well with the AES mode. Hell, some don't even support WPA2; I had to forego one of my older wirless cards because it couldn't do anything other than WEP.

Even with the WPA2-AES setting, I have separated the wireless network on a different subnet, and it will probably be firewalled in the near future. Anything actually secure (say, RADIUS or other stuff) won't really play well with embedded devices. Unfortunately, most of the wireless thingies we put on the WiFi network are usually embedded devices...

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Big Blue Sam disses HP, lauds Ellison

Daniel B.
Boffin

Right about HP's lack of R&D

But probably not just Hurd's fault. The death of PA-RISC was really the end of true HP iron; that death knell came when HP started promoting the Itanic boxes. Really sad, because the HP9000's are a fine piece of hardware; unfortunately HP decided to sell its soul to Intel. Oh well...

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Crypto weakness leaves online banking apps open to attack

Daniel B.
Boffin

Switching cyphers?

That's "security by obscurity", and depending on that isn't secure at all.

I know about the "encrypted tickets", though I only use them for session identification. No real loss if someone decrypts a cookie; the really sensitive stuff I send using an AES128-encrypted message, signed with a RSA-2048 key and the secret AES key is also encrypted with RSA-2048. So the "secure transfer" stuff is actually secure, but that's because I take an extra security step instead of using MS' "secure tickets". Meh.

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Microsoft shields Russia's refuseniks from police harassment

Daniel B.
Joke

Time for a Yakov Smirnoff...

In Russia, Piracy comes to YOU!!!!

In America, you buy Microsoft products. In Russia, Microsoft buys YOU!!!

1
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Veteran spam suit troll plaintiff calls it quits

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

So what?

These guys were pimping off spammers ... and they got reamed? Yeah, probably because they aren't patent trolls or MAFIAA trolls. Sad to see this ruling, because "trolling spammers" seems to be bad, but "trolling real inventors" seems to be good.

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Microsoft's man in Nokia: he's all business

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

Android would overtake Blackberry?

Android as 2nd place worldwide ... that would mean not only jumping over iOS, but also the Blackberry share. Now that's impressive, given that the BB OS market share is still twice the iOS share. Even then, Symbian is still big in the smartphone market; its market share is still pretty high, last I checked Symbian had a 40%+ piece of the pie. So Gartner's 2014 prediction isn't far-fetched ... but Android leapfrogging RIM this year is kinda far-fetched. However, this prediction also means that iOS isn't going to be anywhere near the top three by then.

Now if Android does pull off that prediction ... the smartphone market is going to get very interesting.

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2 CPUS 1 CUPP

Daniel B.
Unhappy

Jobs killed that for you. :(

I think you want a smartbook, which is basically an ARM based netbook.... oh wait, the iPad killed those developments. Damn you Apple!!!

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Nintendo hails Super Mario's silver anniversary

Daniel B.
Happy

Waiting for a 1-UP doodle...

Google fail! :(

Though Donkey Kong did have Mario, called "Jumpman" back then. The first "real" Mario appearance is in the mostly forgotten "Mario Bros" game ... the one involving turtles getting turned upside down and a big POW thingy in the middle. "Super Mario Bros" is much more known because it was the first side-scroller; in this sense "Super Mario Bros" has a similar story to "Street Fighter 2" ... where few people remember, or even played the original Street Fighter.

So yeah, for most people, Mario just turned 25. Those who played the obscure Mario Bros. will peg Mario's age at 27. :)

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Cinema chain bans laptops, tablets

Daniel B.

Secure lockers?

Some places have some kind of "secure lockers", where you just choose an empty one (the key is in the slot), chuck your stuff in, put in a coin, close & lock the thing and take the key with you. So nobody can open it 'till you return with your key. If cinemas offer this option, I would see no problem in just chucking in my laptop/iDevice/whatever. I would want to have my phone on me, though ... there is the odd chance that someone calling me would be doing so for an emergency, that's why I put my Blackberry on vibrating/silent mode.

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Smartbook done to death by Apple iPad

Daniel B.
Boffin

I want a smartbook, though.

The format has the things I actually want:

- It's a netbook, but it isn't a shitty x86-based crapware. It's ARM!

- It can have a real OS, either Nokia's experimental MeeGo or some Linux flavor.

- It isn't locked-down by anyone.

Unfortunately, they took too much time to release 'em and the iPad does seem to have stolen the thunder of these devices. However, I also think that there is still market for smartbooks; I really hope they do pick up, as they would take over both Intel and MS.

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'Hyperbolic map' of the internet will save it from COLLAPSE

Daniel B.

Oh the irony

Caída means "fall" in Spanish; and it is usually used to refer to system outages. "Se cayó mi internet" (my internet went down), "se cayó el servidor" (the sever went down), "el sistema está caído" (the system is down) ... it does bring some chuckles to read that acronym.

About the hyperbolic routing ... all this time I thought that the real problem with the internet was the lack of redundant links, such that a boat slashing an underwater fiber cable will leave a whole continent offline. Whoops!

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Robots capable of 'deceiving humans' built by crazed boffins

Daniel B.
Terminator

Did they name them?

I think they've just invented the Decepticons.

I'll begin to worry when the Second Variety starts rolling into production. Now that is something I would definitely fear...

2
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Nokia's new boss is Microsoft man

Daniel B.

Oh dear

You're younger than Linux? Now I truly feel old. The only OSes still in use that are older than me must be OS/360, VMS, Tandem NonStop and the original AT&T UNIX. Even the "modern" OS/400 and OS/390 (now z/OS) are younger than me. The one OS that seems to be about my age is DOS.

That said, I agree that "switching to Android" is as lame as Palm switching to Windows. That basically killed them. I can only hope that MeeGo does get some major improvements, or that Symbian gets a good face-lift. I find the current breed of mobile OSes lacking; I've basically stuck with Blackberry OS because it's secure, but it is confined to Blackberries.

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World's only real flying car in price hikes, further delays

Daniel B.
Flame

Yeeowch

You mean the flying buggy that sometimes takes off, and never lands ... but actually crashes. The Transition doesn't seem to have that problem, but the 150kg limit does seem to be a show stopper. I weigh 79 kilos, which means I'd have to fly with someone under 70kg or fly solo.

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ARM flexes muscles with fivefold performance boost

Daniel B.
Coat

Oh my.

You have now stuck into my mind a "Process Thunderdome"

"TWO PIDS IN, ONE PID OUT"

Mine's the one with the MFP badge.

2
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Apple: third-party iOS dev tools OK after all

Daniel B.
Jobs Horns

I found an Apple-shaped troll

I doubt that the sudden antitrust stuff slammed at Apple was a simple coincidence. It came right after Jobs started his anti-semit^Wanti-Flash crusade. Of course, they couldn't keep banning Flash and at the same time, allowing other devkits to generate iPhone apps. If Jobs had banned those other tools, there's a good chance that all those app devs would've flocked to other platforms, like Android.

It is probably not under the "monopolistic practice" per se, but "unfair competition" might be the issue here.

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BlackBerry World hits 10K apps

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

BB World 2.0 is actually good

One of the good things about it is that I can actually purchase the apps now. It used to be that Mexico was a "free apps only" region, but now I can purchase the apps, though it does seem to be the case of PayPal being required. However, that might be me not being in the US.

Some of the apps are pretty good, I've even purchased a few of 'em. Their sales model is also different; you pay ain initial fee for releasing apps, but whatever sales you get, they go 100% to you, instead of the 70/30 split. Of course, this could be because RIM already benefits from the BIS/BES service contracts and thus has no need to pimp the AppStore. Then again, neither does Apple, but Apple loves to pimp everyone.

Anyway... the few apps I've purchased have been pretty useful. I've also noticed that ever since the AppWorld came out, the number of BB apps have increased. That's pretty good!

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iOS 4.1 out today, iPhone hackers say

Daniel B.
Joke

It's a trap!

That phrase must be attached to a picture of Admiral Ackbar to have the intended effect!

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Brits don't want in-flight calling

Daniel B.

Roaming charges

The extortionate roaming bills will mean that the regular yappers won't be yapping on their mobiles anyway.

Actually, I'm much more annoyed by frickin' crying babies on flights. The human brain is hard-wired to respond to those, so a baby crying will wake you up, and won't let you sleep. Arrrgh!

3
0

Eric Schmidt warns Berliners: 'We know where you are'

Daniel B.
Happy

Ve know vere you are

As everyvun knows, ze phraze should be said vith a German accent, ja?

The excuse of not knowing the particular German background must be at most 20 years old. I may have been a kid when 'der Mauer' went down, but I still know how bad the Stasi were. It is probably because of that that Germans have pretty good privacy laws over there.

1
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'Copyright troll' seeks $150,000 from republican candidate

Daniel B.

Mixed feelings

As much as I love watching Repubs getting bit by the same big-corps they claim to "protect", I really wish that they counter-sue with a RICO lawsuit. This is mob-like behaviour, and should be treated as such.

0
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Oz pedestrians fall to 'Death by iPod'

Daniel B.

Earplug headphones

Walkmans used the big headphones, which didn't do much about ambient noise. The first in-ear headphones didn't do much about that as well... but some of the newer mp3 player inear headphones actually work as earplugs, blocking most ambient noise. Those are the "zombie trance" guys.

And yes, I did have a Walkman, but I didn't have the noise-blocking headphones.

0
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Sony updates PS3 system software

Daniel B.
Boffin

Been there, done that...

The original method was pretty much naive; the PS3 would check a predefined URL which gives back a txt file, saying which is the "current" version, which is the "mandatory" minimum version, and a link to the latest firmware. Clever users did a "bypass" on this, pointing DNS to a fake server giving the old txt file; it allowed us to keep using 3.15 on PSN. Sony did something though; after 3 weeks, one of those weird hex-numbered errors started appearing. We suppose Sony added some additional FW checking stuff server-side.

so yeah, those monkeying with the USB dongle are going to be left out in the cold, in a similar manner we OtherOS dudes were left out.

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Judge extends Oz PS3 mod dongle ban

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Doubt it.

3.21 only had "removing OtherOS" as its "must-have feature", which led to many PS3 owners calling it a downgrade. The only FW update you'll see will be the one blocking this vector, or another vector; it won't magically bring on new features. And you'll have to upgrade, as the PSN doesn't allow you to connect with older FW; their FW-checking stuff was beefed up after the whole 3.21 fiasco.

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Daniel B.
Unhappy

Freetards vs. Homebrew+OtherOS

Most of the driving forces behind cracking the PS3 were enticed to do so after OtherOS was killed. Unfortunately, once these guys cracked it, the freeloaders immediately use the acquired skills enable piracy on the device, under the guise of 'backups'. This is a load of bull, as the PS3 already installs a good portion of the game on the HDD, so the BluRay disc isn't used as much, so there isn't that big a risk of BR scratching.

And *still* no way to get OtherOS back. That should've been the main goal, if this toy had enabled that, it would've given them legal standing to not only keep on the sales, but probably force Sony to re-enable OtherOS on future firmware updates. But noooooo... they wanted free games. While I think that the "piracy == theft" argument is pretty much flawed, I do not condone piracy.

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German kiddies punted porn-projecting pens

Daniel B.

You broke my Sarcasm detector!

I hope.

Hitler went after the Commies, as anyone who has read about the Richstag fire and the NSDAP's rise to power should know. The party was called the "National Socialist" party, but it was actually a counter-socialist party to begin with, and with Hitler it became something truly evil.

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