* Posts by Daniel B.

3161 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Death by iPod: beware the zombie trance

Daniel B.
Alert

Noise-reducing earbuds aren't an excuse.

I happen to have the kind of in-ear headphones (earphones?) that reduce noise to a point where you can't really hear anything. When I'm in the subway, or in the bus, I have no problem with this. If anything, it also makes the subway ride bearable, as I can't hear the loud jackasses who sell pirated CDs on the train; they carry portable amps with their "music" cranked all the way up to 11!

However, if I'm on the street, the first thing I do is to take out one of the earbuds, and turn down the volume. This is common sense, and anyone who doesn't do this is just waiting for a Darwin Award.

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Energizer bunny hits iPhone, BlackBerry - wirelessly

Daniel B.

as useless as the PowerMat

I've seen a crapload of PowerMat commercials. I fail to see the convenience of these gimmicks, as they take longer to charge, and it involves adding some weird extension to my handset(s). I've got 4 cellphones that need charging (3 of them are Blackberries) and I yet have to find a good reason why this would be good for me.

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Apple Ping unfriends meanie Facebook

Daniel B.
FAIL

Umm...

Isn't Apple the one that started with the dumbed-down paradigm? Their design goal has always been for its OS and devices to be used by even the dumbest user. So it is in fact the Windows OS the one that has recently dumbed down everything, and not the other way.

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Daniel B.
Pirate

Subs

I suppose that submarines will have to use another term for their active sonar thingies as well...

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It's alive! Duke Nukem Forever breaks out of vapour trail

Daniel B.

It will kinda kill some of the jokes, though.

DNF will actually be released before everyone's transitioned to IPv6.

But then again, Starcraft 2 actually got released before DNF.

The really good joke is that there's a pretty good chance that most current-gen console owners have never, ever heard about Duke Nukem.

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Chrome celebrates second b-day with sixth release

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

They aren't giving a flying fudge on that, though.

There was a biiig thread complaining on that:

http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=41467

and basically, Google's telling complainers to go have recursive intercourse. They don't seem to be so bright with user input, remember Buzz?

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General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

Daniel B.
Boffin

ICE

Aren't the ICE and TGV trains running on full leccy engines all the way? There are quite a bunch of those doing 300+ km distances on those. The power requirements would probably go down if you factor in the MagLevs like Transrapid, where the linear motor is more energy-efficient than the mechanical one.

Of course, this model works on trains, but it doesn't work with EVs because they can't be currently plugged in to a catenary or third rail like the regular trains do. Cars thus require to haul with big-ass batteries that take a lot of time to recharge. Flow batteries, maybe?

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Daniel B.
Boffin

Flat-friendliness

And this is my main gripe with all full EVs. Living in flats means that you can't just plug the thing in. This has discouraged me from buying most EV prospects; hybrids do interest me more, but they are too bloody expensive!

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Daniel B.

Flow batteries?

Wouldn't it be better to just use flow batteries? That would reduce the "charging" to a simple "electrolyte change" at the station. That should work as similar as filling up the gas tank today. Is this truly hard to implement?

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AOL goes soul-searching with Google in 5-year deal

Daniel B.

AOL

Used to say that they were the #1 ISP in the USA. Charging by the hour, and at very expensive rates at that... *using dialup*. No wonder that when broadband came, everyone left in droves.

Now they're largely forgotten.

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Jobs takes swing at Google over Android activations

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Which is still doctoring numbers.

Android is only sold as a phone, and while there are some tablets out there, I think that Google isn't counting those. You can't really say that you have the upper hand on cellphones if a good chunk of your devices aren't really cellphones, can you? It isn't quite the case with the BluRay/HD-DVD wars where the HDDVD camp didn't count PS3s, even though they were perfectly capable of playing movies. The iTouch and the iPad *can't* make real, cellphone calls. Those are competing in another, different market where the Nokia "Internet Tablets" and the Tablet PCs roam.

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US loses last chance for free wireless

Daniel B.
Boffin

Legal liability

"The legal framework is such that people are liable for other people's traffic on their routers."

That is why my WiFi AP is set up all the way to WPA2-AES. I don't want the cops knocking in my door because some freetard downloaded kiddie porn, or some drug dealer organized a hit using my "free" wifi. Even with this, I set up my home network in such a way that the wireless network is in a separate subnet, so I can simply firewall it so that they remain separate, or simply block everyone except the "authorized users".

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Open source PS3 hack code posted

Daniel B.
Boffin

But the real question is....

... will it allow me to enable OtherOS?

If it doesn't, I'm not interested.

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NZ woman pays motorised tribute to A RYAN 1

Daniel B.

50KILA

Might have not got the 50 (the guys explained what 50 meant with the 18750 plate discussion) but "KILA" is gangsta rap for "Killer".

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Lock up your Crackberries

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

Mexico City: Crackberry Zone

Same over here. Most "first smartphone" buyers have been buying into the Blackberry appeal; it seems that the idea of a cellphone-based IM system (Blackberry Messenger) has a big appeal over here. The iPhone being much more expensive than even the priciest BB might be another reason...

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Daniel B.
Boffin

Aready does?

"Why don't the Lock Screens for smart phones have a space where the owner could provide his contact information (alternate landline telephone number, e-mail)."

My Blackberry does this. It has a configurable lock screen message for "Owner Name" and "brief message", which are shown every time the phone's locked. While I didn't put my home phone or address, a quick search on the whitepages can give them my home number. Or even better, they could go to a Customer Service center for my carrier and get them to send the handset to me.

However, I think I'll stick my email on the screen, so that anyone can send me an e-mail telling me they have my phone. That is, of course, assuming that the person who found it wants to give it back. Whoever nicked my Bold 9000 clearly wasn't interested in giving it back.

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Sony Oz mod chip dongle ban hearing delayed

Daniel B.

OtherOS, indeed.

"yes, this does not bring back OtherOS."

This is why this dongle doesn't interest me at all. I don't want to engage in piracy at all, but I do want my frickin' OtherOS back. However, I do not wish Sony to be harmed as the competition (MS XBOX 360) has an even worse customer disservice record. At least Sony isn't pimping console owners for online play, charging extra for wireless controllers or banning third-party accessories. Yes, I'm still mad at them for killing OtherOS, but I hate MS even more!

I do hope that Sony realizes that by killing OtherOS, they only pissed off the hacking community enough to make them take a shot and actually try to crack the PS3's security. Its been 5 months since the infamous 3.21 firmware came out, more than enough time for a dedicated team to start churning out these cracks.

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AMD to dump ATI brand

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Who did they ask?

I know that ATI at least sounds like "nVidia's Competition". AMD sounds more like "those guys who make x86/64 chips that aren't Intel", so the brand isn't directly related to GPUs. It would look like VW-branded power tools ... yeah, they do good cars, but it isn't quite their market.

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Iron-on armpit BO stench-filters 'ideal for modern lifestyle'

Daniel B.

Actually, sweat stinks

People who have some dietary habits, or smokers, will have a distinct unpleaseant odor. Heavy drinking will also cause smelly sweat as well, and if the drinking stuff was of dubious quality, the smell will be unbearable.

That said, "right now" stink from a hard day's work is much more bearable than "yesterday's stink". That particular brand of stink will be more pungent, and noticable from even a couple of metres away. To those gits, TAKE A SHOWER!

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Drunken employee pops cap in server

Daniel B.
Joke

How to kill a process

Hey, this guy finally found out the true multi-platform implementation of kill -9 -1!

I got reminded of an incident with our campus enrolling system and a load of TIMEOUT messages. It lead us to start quoting Pulp Fiction, and damn, those lines might have even been the actual dialog:

Drunken Master: Where are you from?

Server: [Operation timeout]

DM: Do you speak english in Timeout?

S: [Timeout]

DM: Say TIMEOUT again! I dare you! I double dare you motherf***er! SAY TIMEOUT AGAIN!

S: [Timeout]

>BANG BANG BANG BANG<

And thus, the $100K server dies....

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Pentagon confirms attack breached classified network

Daniel B.
FAIL

MLF, Multiple Levels of FAIL

There's a large amount of smelly stuff here. How the hell would a military computer run Windows at all? But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The military is supposed to use NIPRNet and SIPRNet, for "regular" stuff and classified stuff respectively. These networks are practically separate from the civilian internet, which means that this malware probably exposed a huge hole in these networks. WTF?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRNet

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BBC adopts El Reg units

Daniel B.
Happy

Looking at the wrong place

It's on the first picture's footnote. :)

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Java lobby lowers Android and iPhone defenses

Daniel B.
Boffin

Better to just go down the RIM road

The Blackberry OS is much easier for software development; while it is Java ME, the RIM framework expands and fills in all the Java ME gaps. This will probably be Oracle's main Java Mobile income source, as it is the only one where the platform isn't sucking. Android ... well, if Oracle can get them in line (instead of destroying them), that might be a cash cow as well.

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Take-Two Interactive loses fight for Bioshock.com

Daniel B.

English 101

[Bracketed] words are used when doing direct quotes to change words, or add extra words on a direct quote. This is done because usually the quote might refer to something that is not in the text, so you have to add that context for the quote to have any meaning at all. For example, you can have the following paragraph:

Andrew Ryan built Rapture as an Ayn Randian utopia. By 1960, it had been ravaged by civil war, while he remained locked down inside his own office.

If I want to do a direct quote from this, I would have to do it this way:

"By 1960, [Rapture] had been ravaged by civil war, [...]"

As you can see, I substituted it for Rapture.

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Daniel B.
Coat

Cayman Islands

It's probably Ryan. Maybe Rapture is somewhere near Cayman Islands?

Mine's the one with the bathysphere key and the Big Daddy doll.

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Secret X-37B space plane lost by sat-spotters for 2 weeks

Daniel B.
Megaphone

Learn your geography

There are 5 continents (six, if you count Antartica) in the world, which explains why there are 5 rings in the Olympics logo.

America

Asia

Africa

Europe

Oceania

Anything smaller is usually referred as regions or "subcontinents". Like North America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia...

Unfortunately, the USA chose to have a really long name, and "UnitedStatesian" sounds too long & ugly, so they took the "American" moniker for themselves. The perversion of this causes the Monroe Doctrine "America for the Americans" even more funny; its original intent was that the Triple Entente didn't interfere with the new American countries, the double entendre has been that the US wanted to take over the entire American continent.

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Tools and rules buffed for Microsoft's iPhone challenger

Daniel B.

AppWorld

Blackberry also has the AppWorld, Android has the Marketplace. While I know that some rooted Android handsets can run cracked versions of apps, the BB doesn't have this problem. The advantage on their quasi-open model is that you can sell on the AppWorld, or simply sell it anywhere else if you want to. This gave me the advantage of buying apps even when AppWorld wasn't selling me apps; Mexico was a "free app only" region until recently.

While I can't attest for AppWorld figures, I do know that a couple of apps sell really well, even outside of the AppWorld store.

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Halo: Reach leaked to net 3 weeks before release

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

I can make my own Halo game.

Just make a basic level design, 1 room.

Then copy and paste the stoopid design over and over and over ... voila! A new Halo game!

Really, the game's probably one of the worst FPSs I've ever seen, gameplay-wise and level design-wise. Doom 3 might have suffered from the "can't wield weapon and use flashlight at the same time", but Halo has a worse problem: "Only 2 weapons on you, dude!". That, and the life system sucks ass. Co-op sucks even MORE.

These idiots deserve jail time, if not for piracy, at least for bad taste on games.

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Scottish skies clear of giant vulture menace

Daniel B.
Joke

Even if it's a female..

... the name should've worked pretty well for airplanes.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!

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Google dubs Oracle suit 'attack on Java community'

Daniel B.

BlackBerry's approach

RIM stuck with J2ME, but their approach was to simply extend J2ME with their own framework, which adds all that lost functionality. Android could've done this, but they didn't. They didn't really forsee the consequences of doing this if Sun ever got bought out by a less flexible entity.

Maybe Google should've gobbled down Sun, instead of Oracle. But now it's too late for them!

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Daniel B.
Alert

Death of Java actually the worst possible outcome.

I'd rather have Java live on. The only real alternative is MS's .NET, and that means that MS would take over the server industry as well. No thanks.

The one beast I would love to see die a horrible death is that monstrosity called Visual Basic. Now that is a technology that should have never been born at all!

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Trojan-ridden warning system implicated in Spanair crash

Daniel B.
Boffin

It's actually correct to bash Windows-usage this time.

In fact, this totally applies this time. Windows has never been designed to run in stuff requiring real-time responses, and as a matter of fact, plain vanilla Linux isn't designed for that either. Fortunately, this might give a good warning to those idiots who insist on putting Desktop OSen in real-time hardware.

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Unhackable PS3 finally jailbroken, video claims

Daniel B.
Troll

Highlander doesn't know computer thingys

Do you know what the Cell BE processor is?

Do you know what RISC is? Or what it means?

Do you know the difference between PPE, SPE, little-endian and big-endian, RISC and CISC, 32 and 64 bit? Or anything about architectures?

If you knew that, you wouldn't be trolling with retarded comments like "stop whining and use a PC". You would know why the USAF bought a boatload of PS3s to use as a supercomputer.

Removal of features is a no-no, which is why there's actually a class-action lawsuit being made against Sony for this exact reason (if you are a real Reg reader, you should know this already) because if I can't use the PSN, I can't use my PS3 as intended. But this also applies to use of OtherOS.

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Daniel B.
Troll

O RLY?

"I've probably been working in technology longer than you've been able to eat solid food."

And yet, you can't distinguish the CellBE hardware from a plain craptel x86 or amd64 architecture. You're on an IT-related publication. You can't bullshit the people over here, and you've probably been rebuffed by someone who has been working in technology longer than *you* have been able to eat solid food.

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Daniel B.
Flame

Modchip/CFW != piracy != theft

There is a good reason why copying games is called 'piracy' and not 'theft'. That is because Theft involves depriving someone from something while you are gaining that something for yourself. If I copy your DVD collection, I will be hit by some of the copyright infringement lawsuits, but this will be a lengthy dick-wavering trial that will eventually lead to some kind of settlement. If I *steal* the aforementioned DVD collection, I'm pretty sure the plods will be knocking my door and I'll be in jail real quick.

That said, this hack must be really fueled by the hordes of those "nonexistant" PS3 owners who play games on their PS3s and also ran Linux on them, that is until Sony killed OtherOS support. Ever noticed how nobody had been able to crack the PS3 until now? Even GeoHot's "hack" involved a stroke of sheer luck, and that one wasn't able to run pirated games. AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO THAT, EITHER. Before OtherOS was slaughtered, there was no real reason to hack the PS3.

Thanks to Sony's idiocy, I'm stuck with 3.15 on my fat PS3, as I can't let go of my Linux install. Sadly for Sony, I haven't been able to buy online games, and I'm pretty much screwed because the new games will definitely need the newer firmware versions to run. So no new games, either. Ironically, I'm not really interested in this jailbreak, as the thing I want isn't offered here: the OtherOS Hypervisor.

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Daniel B.
Troll

Still trolling, Highlander?

Work for one of the *AAs?

Depriving a publisher of revenue is bad, but it still isn't theft. Stealing the physical disc from a store *is* theft, as the store will actually lose that unit, which it had paid for. It will need to buy a replacement for that stolen thingy. Also, that cost trickles down other paths; the DVD might have cost chump change, but the transportation, marketing, and full production costs are higher.

There is a reason for copyright infringement laws, and why it is treated differently than theft. There is a fixed cost of production associated to a certain product, which Marx explains in his well-known "Capital" book. In the case of software development, this goes a little blurry; and in the case of the gaming industry, the formula changes drastically. Afer a huge cost of initial development, marketing campaigns and such, the finished product is simply either copied into masses of BluRays (physical game purchase) or downloaded by the end-user by means of digital download sales. The cost of MFG is fixed, the cost of digital distribution would be also pegged to the server upkeep + internet pipes. It will soon reach a point where the game will have given the publisher a 100% ROI, and every single game they sell after that will be pure profits. And given that the "production" costs involved are just the copying in physical or digital download formats, the surplus products will be self-sustaining as well. So once the publisher has reached this point, the copyright infringement will not affect them as much as piracy during the initial sales phase.

An illegal copy will deprive them of revenue, but it won't cost them the MFG costs (low as they might be) either. Therefore, it isn't theft.

And all of this, again, is a moot point as you're basing your trolling upon the fact that piracy is the only motivator for using CFW. OtherOS is one reason, PS2 emulation another one, region unlocking is another one. Though PS3 games aren't region-locked; but PS2 and PS1 are still regionlocked.

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Daniel B.
FAIL

SONY FAIL

This is what happens when you piss off the "not-so-small" tech-savvy consumer population. It is worth mentioning that this happened about 4 months after Sony killed off OtherOS support. I'd bet that the modhackers suddenly got an influx of hackers joining them because of the whole OtherOS blockage; Sony's idiocy in fact enabled the hackers to start caring about hacking the firmware. Way to go Sony!

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US gov proves ISPs lie about bandwidth

Daniel B.
FAIL

Dark fiber

After the dot-com bubble burst, there was a lot of talk about how the comms industry had overshot the bandwidth requirements we had, and that a lot of that extra fiber wasn't being used at all. So when the burst came, the masses said that the net was good for another 20 years, and a bunch of that "extra bandwidth" went dark.

So, what about now? I would think that it is only a matter of lighting up that fiber, isn't it? Or were those naysayers of 10 years ago just full of shit?

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Yahoo! begins Bingification in North America

Daniel B.

Naming Fail

I don't hate Bing because it's MS, I hate Bing because the name sounds stupid. Bing only reminds me of either a local ice-cream franchise, or Bing Crosby. Oh well, at least it sounds much better than 'LIVE SEARCH'...

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Short passwords 'hopelessly inadequate', say boffins

Daniel B.
Boffin

two of 'em, actually

There's the one that Bruce Schneier made, but I can't remember what it was called. I have a Blackberry, which has a "Password Locker" app; these are stored under a separate key from the one used for the rest of the BB, so you get a password for the app itself, and the crypto's pretty strong. I put there all my zillion passwords, and it's pretty good to date. Backing up also helps in case my BB ever gets stolen :)

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George Lucas names Star Wars Blu-ray release date

Daniel B.
Unhappy

Don't forget...

Greedo shoots first!

This nonsense is as stupid as Spielberg's switch on E.T., changing shotguns into walkie-talkies. Geeze!

1
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ARM server chip startup gets big backers

Daniel B.
Go

Bring it on!

A non-x86 arch is what we should be using, and that should've happened years, if not a decade ago. x86, even in 64-bit mode, is a steaming pile of crap. Intel basically won because Windows won the OS wars, and Windows ran on x86. Had RISC OS or MacOS (Classic) won back then, we would all be running RISC machines, maybe even true 64-bit by now.

I wish these guys good luck .. maybe, just maybe they might take on two goliaths at the same time: Intel *and* Microsoft. Go David Go!

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Ten unlikely iPhone insurance claims

Daniel B.
Alert

I've seen worse

Leaving a laptop in the ground. Not just any ground, but right behind the rear wheel of an SUV. The girl that did this forgot about the laptop... untilshe backed up and a horrible CRUNCH made her remember where her laptop was.

Incredibly, that IBM ThinkPad actually survived with only a cracked monitor. Now that's heavy-duty hardware!

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Google, boffins crack Rubik's Cube mystery

Daniel B.
Boffin

Redacting error, maybe?

Given that I haven't been able to solve a Rubik cube after a zillion moves, I somehow doubt that 20 is the *maximum* number of moves needed to solve it. Would it rather be the *minimum* number of moves the one that has been calculated?

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India threatens BlackBerry ban

Daniel B.
Boffin

Blackberries do secure as the default option.

The thing is that Blackberries not only do the crypto by default, they do it so that even the common user with a BIS account will have all the data encrypted, and coming out at a point where the local government is unable to snoop upon. Setting up Exchange or (insert mail server) with SSL/TLS or VPNs isn't something a common user can do, but BB offers this out of the box.

Also, the BBs have Content Protection, which means all the stuff in the handset itself is encrypted, so this makes it hard to get the info from the handset itself as well. AFAIK, other smartphones don't have these options, so even if you use VPNs, the cops can still dump all your flash memory and get what they're looking for.

Anyway, all this government bitching is sending out a clear message: Blackberries are so secure that governments can't tap them. That's got to be a good selling point for companies deploying smartphones. Now, if BES could work with something other than Exchange/Domino...

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Hands on with RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800

Daniel B.

No service

I use both BB Maps and Google Maps. I like BB Maps because it actually tells me at what speed I'm moving, and the aforementioned "NO SIGNAL" situation. It was nice to see where I am, even when I was crossing an area with no coverage. I also like that BB Maps actually does support directions in Mexico City, while Google Maps doesn't (even when they have all the street info!). Of course, there's a small problem with BB Maps ... it doesn't know which of the streets are one-way.

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Facebook bug spills name and pic for all 500 million users

Daniel B.
Happy

It was a good idea, then.

My surname in FB is mangled precisely because of privacy issues.

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Germany bans BlackBerrys and iPhones on snooping fears

Daniel B.
Boffin

Secure

"Every smart phone OS has the same issues BTW. The only way to minimize the possibility of attack is to lock the phone down. Toss out the marketplace, google apps, twitter, facebook etc. mandate VPN only internet, force web browsing through a proxy, disable the camera & GPS, harden security settings etc."

The Blackberry does this when you use BES. And the hoi polloi BIS also does the encrypted network; the only concern that the German gov't is showing is that the traffic comes out unencrypted in another country, and that that country might be snooping on that endpoint.

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Microsoft digs Macs in back-to-school ads

Daniel B.
Troll

StarCraft 2

There. You got a good reason why I should keep my PC. Of course, I could have a Mac, but I won't as long as Jobs is in the helm, or at least Jobs with his current attitude.

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Google, Verizon offer net neutrality proposal

Daniel B.
Boffin

Comcast didn't just "cock up"

They specifically said that they were doing 'traffic shaping' and went as far as equating their forging of RST packets with 'busy signals'. In reality, what they were doing was altering the packet traffic, sending bogus RST packets which in fact is more like 'cutting the phone line' instead of 'busy signal'. I think that behaviour is even considered illegal as it is interfering with comms, probably a federal crime as well.

Traffic shaping and QoS may be bad, but what Comcast was doing was outright evil.

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