* Posts by Daniel B.

3141 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

iPad forces operators to shave their SIMs

Daniel B.
Boffin

You didn't read the article?

"MicroSIM is the smallest size currently available. It supports additional address book features, better security and a few other API enhancements *out of the box*"

So, you didn't read the part about the "new features" being available on USIM chips, micro or not? IIRC, the only difference between "mini" and "micro" is the excess plastic surrounding the actual chip, hence the ability to "hack" a normal USIM card into a "microSIM" slot. You're just cutting the useless plastic.

"Apple have a track record of popularising new interfaces and technologies. They did it with USB, with Firewire, with multitouch... and they were (in)famously the first computer manufacturer to drop the 3.5" floppy drive."

... and they were also the first ones in using SCSI as a HDD standard, first to jump into RISC/PowerPC, first in using 3.5" floppies instead of the 5.25" with the Macintosh ... all of these improvements were lost in favor of cheap crap by switching to IDE and x86.

I doubt USB was made popular by Mac, Firewire was better but it didn't quite take off, and dropping the 3.5" floppy *when they did it* was kind of stupid, as pendrives weren't that popular back then.

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Daniel B.
Boffin

The difference is just a bunch of plastic.

If you have a miniSIM that conforms to the USIM standard, the only difference is the plastic around the SIM. It is the chip itself the one that would be detected by the iPad. :)

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Microscope-wielding boffins crack cordless phone crypto

Daniel B.
Boffin

Yeah, right.

RSA is still secure 30+ years after its conception, the only thing that makes it "weak" is its dependence on key length. IDEA is also quite old, and is still considered secure. Most of the cracked algorithms are usually the ones that were half-baked, short-sighted and propietary. DECT falls into this category.

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iPhone vulnerable to remote attack on SSL

Daniel B.
Boffin

Erm

You realize it is the *iPhone* the one doing this? The one that the Mactards insist is flawless, and doesn't have any of those "your system is insecure" malware vectors???

As an even greater insult, the "verified" config comes from Apple Computer, which is easy to register as thanks to Apple ditching its original name: "Apple Computer". If they still had that one, the guy who got the legit SSL cert wouldn't have been able to do so. Of course, this also makes you wonder how would a CA not realize that someone asking for "Apple Computer" might be phishing.

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Facebook re-write takes PHP to an enterprise past

Daniel B.
Boffin

At last!

My main problem with most scripting languages is that I believe that interpreted languages add unnecessary overhead on the CPU that could be spent executing instructions, especially in a production environment where code is changed once a week but executed a zillion times between code changes. It isn't like I'm about to change my code every time I run it!

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Obama scraps Constellation moon mission

Daniel B.
Boffin

And yet...

the Space Shuttle still had some reuseable parts. Constellation was basically stepping backwards and using the shitty 60's tech "just bigger". They didn't even try to do something like the DynoSoar or any similar reuseable spaceplane.

Hell, they even ignored DIRECT, which had a lower cost than the Ares thingies they've just cancelled.

At least I hope that this means NASA will actually work in a real spaceship instead of "use once and discard" toys.

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Scott McNealy signs off in style

Daniel B.
Happy

Sun's potshots at MS

I still miss that "Jacques Cousteau" commercial where he dies because his scuba equipment uses Windows NT. "Ze last thing he saw vas not the blue of the sea, but the Blue Screen of Death."

I'm going to miss these guys.

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Boffin calculates pi to 2.7 trillion digits

Daniel B.
Boffin

Ah, the calculator jokes...

I miss 'em, as I've been using dot-matrix graphical calculators such as the TI-83 and TI-89 since high school.

Then again, I can actually type stuff on those calcs as well... :)

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Sarko gets crypto mobe after BlackBerry ban

Daniel B.
Boffin

That pic doesn't look like it has a keyboard...

Smartphones are all about the QWERTY keyboards. T9 is fugly for constant typing!

IIRC, I think that Obama was going to get one of NSA's own secure smartphones for the "really secure" stuff. Can't remember the name for that thing, though.

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Homemade airship prang closes highway in Oklahoma

Daniel B.
Happy

UP

I was half expecting this geezer to claim he's going down to South America.

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Today is not New Year's Eve - or the end of the decade

Daniel B.
Boffin

Hell yeah!

It is bad enough for the Julian/Gregorian calendar to omit a year 0, but to have numpties claiming that decades follow the same retarded rules? Geeze!

I follow my dates by the ISO standard, which means I assume a year zero, so do the astronomers, and so should you! :)

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High-speed Chinese train kicks French, Japanese butt

Daniel B.
Boffin

That would be...

... because the "CRH2" is really a rebadged Shinkansen, and the "CRH3" is really a Siemens Velaro train. Hey, at least they actually bought them, unlike that blatant Transrapid-ripoff they tried to pull off years ago with stolen German tech. It looks like the Chinese gov't is playing nice now :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Railways_CRH2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Railways_CRH3

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Monty launches frantic 'save MySQL' web campaign

Daniel B.
Boffin

Too late, indeed!

Amen! I'd also add that tis is the same Monty who decided to make MyISAM a transactionless engine, polluting the minds of those who followed "the MySQL way" and were duped into thinking that such things as transactions aren't necessary. Their insistance on the fact that such things like transactions or referential integrity weren't needed, added with the aforementioned expensive licensing were the key factors on making me go back to PostgreSQL.

I'm more concerned on the future for SPARC than MySQL. All the smart opensourcers should've already moved to PostgreSQL by now!

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Fancy a lottery win? Smoke dried vulture brains

Daniel B.
Dead Vulture

I see dead Vultures...

Articles like this make me miss the 'dead vulture' icon ... which would be totally appropiate for this one.

Does wanting vulture brains make one a zombie? Coz zombies want braaaaains!

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iPhone worms can create mobile botnets

Daniel B.

So it is a worm!

Even security experts designate it as a worm. The fanboi's are put to rest on the "it isn't a worm" argument.

That said, it does seem to be the "stupid worm", that meaning you're stupid enough to leave a default password on your phone. Kinda like leaving your Nokia with 12345 as the security code...

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Design firm sues Microsoft over Bing trademark

Daniel B.
Joke

Ice cream!

Join in a Mexican Ice Cream chain on the lawsuits. It's called Bing as well!

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A decade to forget - how Microsoft lost its mojo

Daniel B.
Boffin

Fixing the 0-unaware cultures

I follow the ISO standard:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601#Years

I think astronomers and scientists don't like timescales jumping numbers. Thus, Christ was born on Dec. 25, 0000 and centuries begin on 00's, not 01's. Anyway, decades are referred as the 70's, 80's, 90's ... which implies that the decades themselves go 70-79, 80-89 ... I'd doubt the mathematical abilities of anyone claiming that 1990 is part of "the eighties", century-beginning-offsetting notwithstanding.

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Daniel B.
Thumb Up

Pretty much employable!

I've been able to boast that I actively refuse jobs that have even a whiff of MS technology in the horizon, and still land good jobs. In fact, knowing UNIX, Linux and Java seems to land me *better paid jobs*, mostly because VB brainless coding monkeys swarm the market, so VB programmers are seen as trash, while Java devs have better reputations.

The only people who claim that MS "owns" the IT market are those who aren't in IT. UNIX still leads the server market, and most of the big orgs use either UNIX or mainframey stuff like Tandem NonStop or the IBM fridges. :)

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BlackBerry outage blankets North America

Daniel B.
Happy

Not all of North America

Here in Mexico, my BB never stopped getting emails. Or at least, not in normal hours ... I doubt I'd ever be in a hurry to get e-mail at 2 am. Anyway, the only "delayed" email I see was one sent at 3am which arrived at 4am. All those chain-letters and social networking site "updates" still arrived on time.

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Critics aim to sink Titanic ice cubes

Daniel B.

Oooh the Challenger!

I bought a toy Space Shuttle sometime circa 1985. It was the "Challenger". Years later I found out that after the Challenger blew up, the toy was being sold as the "Discovery" now. That would make my "Challenger" toy a rare item it seems ... which might explain why it got stolen from my mum's house. Arrrrgh!

Anyway ... comparing "Titanic sinking" with 9/11 isn't quite in the same league. Titanic was an accident, mainly because of an arrogant attitude on the "unsinkable boat" idea. 9/11 was a terrorist attack.

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PS3 hardware still losing Sony money, claims analyst

Daniel B.
Boffin

Quick solution

Sell a $500 Slim with OtherOS support, so all the geeks can buy an unsubsidized Linux-capable PS3!!! :)

I really, really want x86 to be displaced ....

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Adware touts $1 bribe to prospective zombies

Daniel B.
Happy

AllAdvantage

Hm... though that one was fairly harmless, the only thing it did was to analyze hour browsing behavior and show relevant ads in the Viewbar I had docked in the bottom of the screen. In fact, I don't remember it being much of a resource hog at all!

Also, AllAdvantage gave much more than $1 to users... then again, you had to accumulate a big chunk of "usage hours" to get any money. And thus, MyAdvantage was born... ;)

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Acer Aspire 5738DZG 3D 15.6in notebook

Daniel B.
Boffin

Stereoscopic 3D?

Would this be the infamous "3D" laptop that used some kind of "stereoscopic" effect to make the 3D illusion?

Ah yes, it is listed in one of the "worst tech" lists: http://www.pcworld.com/article/125772-6/the_25_worst_tech_products_of_all_time.html

At least this one doesn't require crossing your eyes.

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'We must all stop washing to save the planet'

Daniel B.
Boffin

Space Solar?

Maybe it's time to get our "space-based" solar energy by now. After all, SimCity 2000 promised me I would have one by 2020... and it seems it will be the case!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10408897-54.html?refresh=1259948006200

That, and Fusion would be the solution for energy stuff. Nuclear's fine as well, but after Chernobyl most ppl seem to be terrified by those.

As for washing, well, I'd complain more about people using their washing machines at half load, but at full water marks. Eek!

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Dongles pricey and pointless, says Bluetooth SIG

Daniel B.
Boffin

At least...

you didn't get someone like my mom. She bought the "wireless DSL" package (which means they supply you with a DSL router with WiFi) and called me a week later asking why she couldn't get online from my grandparents' home. Somehow she thought that the "wireless" part meant "city-wide coverage". Sheesh!

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Motorola's banana-mutilation ad disses iPhone

Daniel B.
Happy

Moto did have nice phones

I also wonder, someone saying that Moto's phones have always been shite must have been using cellphones from times no earlier than 2000. Maybe even sooner.

My 1998 StarTAC was by far the best analog cellphone ever... ok, second only to my Ericcson, the model which I always forget its number or whatever, the one that appeared on Eraser (used by the Governator when he dials the "run away" signal.) The later 120t was also one of the best digital-era cellphones, and those would even span the early 2000s decade.

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Daniel B.
Boffin

@stefan 5

Erm, I have the dosh to buy an iPhone. However, I don't like to spend my money on shite, which is the reason I'm buying a BlackBerry Bold instead. And yes, I've used an iPhone... I like touchscreens for screen stuff, but I'd rather have an actual keyboard for typing.

Anyway, the ad hits the right target... the iPhone is a "girly phone" for people who can't be arsed with tech stuff. The Droid is targeted to those who do care about their tech, and all those geeky guys who want to install whatever they want on their phones (ok, those guys might go for an N900 instead). It is punching the very thing that has driven Apple so far: "classy princess vs. regular guy". Though they change "regular" for "macho". Nice thing they did there!

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Pig plague alert: Avoid missionary position

Daniel B.
Alert

Damn right!

Doggie style is much more comfortable, it also reduces the risk of me getting my manhood fractured. OW!

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Spyware threat haunts squeaky-clean iPhones

Daniel B.
Jobs Horns

Already happened

One iPhone game maker has already used this to pimp out personal info from the iPhone, using Apple's API. Looks like the iBone has no security sandbox at all!

I'll keep my BlackBerry, thank-you-very-much.

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Taliban attack Brit troops with explosive donkey

Daniel B.
Coat

Shouldn't they be Exploding Sheep?

It was Concrete Donkey and Exploding Sheep, not Exploding Donkey and ... erm... wait... no sheep?

Oh dear! I'm not playing Worms, am I?

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iPhone conquers half the (smartphone) world

Daniel B.
Boffin

BlackBerry fields forever...

I keep hearing about the iPhone mopping up the smartphone market with the competition, yet I haven't seen the mythic hoards of iPhones in the street. In fact, only 2 coworkers have iPhones... wait, make it 1, because the other one is in fact a dual-SIM hiPhone. However, what I have seen a lot these days are either blackberries (both the Curve/Bold models and the skinny Pearls), the Samsung Messenger (builtin wifi, pre-installed MSN Messenger, and QWERTY physical keyboard for your chatting pleasure), some Palms and a lot of iPAQs.

The iTouch would be more successful, though; it seems that the look & feel works fine for those who want an iPod, but sucks for those who want a phone.

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Microsoft stands tall over Xbox Live lawsuit threat

Daniel B.
Go

It isn't the Live Banning...

I'll have to use a Clinton-ish phrase to rub it in:

"It's the CORRUPTED SAVEGAMES, stupid!"

MS didn't just stop at banning "hacked" consoles, it went even further and shat over legally-bought licenses, corrupted all savegames *and* crippled basic XBox functionality. It is basically similar to WGA corrupting all your files because you're using a "pirated" Windows.

Thanks to this, even those who *did* mod their consoles for playing pirated games have a legal standing; MS purposely vandalized their personal data. I wish 'em modders luck!

Also, I'd bet this goes down as bad PR for MS, while the PS3 stands well in this matter...

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US Navy electromagnetic mass-driver commences tests

Daniel B.
Happy

Some good chuckles...

The steam catapult is a Brit invention ... however, it can't be used in the new Royal Navy's carriers!

I'm looking forward to seeing this deployed ... and it would also be nice to see something similar used to put stuff into space!

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Top 500 supers - rise of the Linux quad-cores

Daniel B.

Shame

that most of those in the top500 are x86/x64 iron. I would've expected some Cell-based HPC to outrun 'em!!! Of course, it could be that no-one has actually built one large enough to compete ... ahhh the ole "2 oxen vs. 1024 chickens" that good ole Cray talked about.

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Appeal Court: Mod chips infringe game copyright after all

Daniel B.
Boffin

OMG my games are doing illegal stuff!

Hm... my MGS4 game does an "install" for each act. That means that part of the game is copied to the PS3's HDD, which according to this judge, is a copyright violation. Meh.

Anyway ... I'd like to thank this idiot ruling, as it means that anyone who wants to play overseas games ... will buy a PS3, which doesn't have region-locking. Hell, Sony gave everyone what they wanted: copy protection for the developers, cheap Blu-Rays for the masses, OtherOS for the geeks (though they didn't include those in PS3Slim), and removing region-locking for the overseas game purchasing dudes. Thus there is no motivation to actually do a modchip except for illegal purposes; though Sony's "idea" of dropping OtherOS might actually make the geek crowd want one for the PS3 Slim. Oh well...

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Time Warner names day for AOL spin-off

Daniel B.
Flame

AOL sucked even before the merger

I remember them veeery well. There's a reason www.aolsucks.org *still* exists. Their "free" trials required you to give 'em your credit card, and cancelling would be extremely difficult. They also charged $40/month for what was basically dialup services, even when real broadband started to charge $40/month as well.

AOL might have had good ideas on other areas, but they were the dumb man's ISP, and not only in the "internet n00bz" sense. They can burn in hell!

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Hotmail imposes tracking cookies for logout

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Hotmail

Yes, some of us still use Hotmail. And a zillion users still have Hotmail accounts, if only because of MSN Messenger. I shifted most of my email stuff to Gmail, as MS took too much time realizing that 2Mb was a laughable size for an inbox. Even when they started giving out 250Mb inboxes, it still reeked of stupidity; they restricted it to US accounts while any John Doe could open up a Yahoo or Gmail account.

By the time Hotmail started offering 2Gb inboxes, Hotmail was forgotten. If it weren't for MSN Messenger, it would already have gone dead, just like Geocities.

Anyway, cookies to log out? Stooooopid.

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Windows XP on netbooks to lose life support?

Daniel B.
FAIL

I can't avoid laughing at this statement...

"It's application compatibly and familiarly with Office or music applications, and hardware compatibility that Paterson believes will help Windows 7 Home Premium hold its own against Linux - a classic Microsoft argument and one that's partly prevailed on desktops and laptops."

... the same familiarity that has put off users from "upgrading" to MacOS-wannabe Vista, and made power users cringe at the Office 2007 Ribbon. If anything, they've successfully opened up that possibility for either Linux or MacOSX ... in fact, if MacOS X were not locked to Macs, they would've already taken over the Windows market.

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Ringback tones outselling ring tones

Daniel B.

Fortunately, it hasn't catched up here

It has been toted as "cool!" since at least 2007, however I've had only two mobiles playing these "ringback" tones on me. It was one of those corny pop-songs (and I'd like to note that it was the SAME frickin' song for both numbers!) which annoyed me to hell. I use the dialling tones to avoid getting sent to voicemail, and people using these screw up my count!

Also, it seems that these "ringback tones" (marketing over here calls 'em "while you answer tones") are all "choose from these tones", and you can't put up your own. Sad, as I'd like the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" ringback tone. Though I think that would be better to have as my actual ringtone.

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Robot negotiator ends tense Colorado siege

Daniel B.
Terminator

ED 209 sans guns?

Because everyone knows what happened with that...

"YOU HAVE 20 SECONDS TO COMPLY"

....

"I AM NOW AUTHORIZED TO USE LETHAL FORCE" ... "Oh ****, no guns!"

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Microsoft boots modders off Xbox Live

Daniel B.
FAIL

corrupting savegames

According to some sources, MS isn't just banning the modded xboxen from Live. They're trashing all functionality, the media live center *and* corrupting *every* *single* savegame you've got. That would be the equivalent of WGA overwriting all your files because you have a "non-original" Windows. I'm pretty sure that's highly illegal, and I'd expect MS to get slammed by lawsuits for this.

Oh well, good thing I bought a PS3. ;)

BTW, the "turn 360 degrees" was awesome. Has anybody here seen Last Action Hero?

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Samsung plans Symbian-free future

Daniel B.
Boffin

QT

I actually like this multi-platform GUI environment. It has been the only C++ GUI that I've found easy to learn and use, and was my main platform before I took on Java.

Development for BlackBerry OS is with Java, so it doesn't look weird. WinMo is C#/:NET I suppose (whoever still uses VB should be shot on sight) and I suppose that the Linux-based offers are C++ based (especially those using QT) so it isn't too hard to learn on these ones.

iPhone requires that Smalltalk-wannabe ObjC, but then again, some devs have actually started learning that as well, but the learning curve might be steep for those used to C-like languages.

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Apple passes Nokia, scares Nintendo

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

Yeah, right.

Of course Apple has passed Nokia. An iPhone is much more expensive than your standard Nokia handset, especially the cheap ones which are Nokia's strong product. As the article pointed out, it isn't winning Nokia on number of mobiles, but on gross sales.

I doubt Nintendo has any worries from the iPhone; real gamers will stick to the DS or the PSP, and as other commenters have pointed out, Mario, Resident Evil and similar games are unthinkable without real buttons. In fact, I'd rather play on an N-Gage ;)

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Security firm chokes sprawling spam botnet

Daniel B.
Thumb Up

0wn3d

The term "0wned" totally applies to this one!

I do wonder how nobody had thought of this one before. Having the botnet executable in your hands means that you can find out any possible C&C server, as the bonet "client" has to find one to properly function.

In fact, I'm thinking about setting up a VM and try to get "botted", just for the kicks. No real harm would be done, as my ISP blocks port 25; the botnet won't be able to send any crap.

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Legless woman falls onto Boston train tracks

Daniel B.
Alert

Jumpin' Gigawatts!

In part to save energy, and also to lower the fatality rate of would-be suicide jumpers (or legless drunken ladies) the electrified rail doesn't operate at max power 'till the train is near. She's pretty damn lucky that the spark occured while the train wasn't too near, but ouch!

Don't drink & tube, seems to be the moral?

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Spain cuts off 3m pre-pay mobiles

Daniel B.
Big Brother

I'm about to see this soon over here...

... as a similar law passed this April in Mexico. The difference is that the cut-off day has been widely publicized. If you buy a new PAYG or enter a new contract, you have to ID yourself and register. If you're an existing customer, well, you can register via SMS giving some personal details. (Of course, there is a possibility for abuse here, as the stuff you get asked for is full name and DOB.) The thing you actually register is your SIM card, and/or the cell number itself in case you're one of the poor sods stuck on CDMA networks.

Oh, and it is similarly easy to UNregister your cellphone, so you can do precisely that when you sell the handset. Second-hand mobile markets are strong over here, so this was an important thing to have.

I still don't trust my government, but it is either registering, or no mobile at all.

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VMware virtually crashes Windows 7 desktop party

Daniel B.
Boffin

Virtualization

VM's usually come into need with Windows environments ... because MS wants you to use a zillion servers to do what other OSen suffice with two. I've been told that I can't achieve real DR capabilities if I don't have *three* DC's running! Then comes SQL Clustering ... add two machines ... IIS needs to be in another one ... blah blah ... and some clusterized apps don't play well with non-clusterized apps. So the need to virtualize becomes critical.

Other stuff I've seen is the development servers problem. It is much easier to just buy one Blade with tons of RAM, hook it up to the SAN and give it gobs o' storage. Then you set up as many dev servers as you want, thus freeing up your budget for the actual production servers, while meeting dev and QA server needs.

I do agree, however, that instead of a zillion "desktop PC" VMs, you could just solve that with a much cheaper solution involving a Win2003/2008 Server with a zillion Terminal Services CALs ... which might be even cheaper than going the VM way. Especially when you can just slap Linux on the PCs and make 'em run rdesktop at boot time. Whoopee!!

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World's first iPhone worm Rickrolls angry fanbois

Daniel B.
Troll

My God, it's full of trolls...

Leave it to Macbois to say that a self-replicating program isn't a worm.

The trolls abound these waters...

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Sony to bring Risk to the big screen

Daniel B.

CollegeHumor won them

They already have a trailer for MINESWEEPER: THE MOVIE.

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Controversial email blocklist SORBS sold

Daniel B.
Thumb Down

SORBS overblocked me

SORBS has an ugly "fuck you" policy for spamlisting. I found myself inside one of their listed IP blocks, and found out that they do not honor or maintain any kind of blacklists. This of course means that the only way to get "unblocked" is to pay their $50 fine to unblock the entire netblock I reside in, or wait for SORBS to auto-delist the block. The first option would obviously not work, as whoever's actually spamming on said block will keep on spamming, and get the whole block to get listed again; and the second one, well, I doubt the spammers will cease to spam.

Thanks to this policy, I've discouraged SORBS whenever I can. In these days of colocation and IPv4 address shortages, I can't really decide on who's going to be my IP neighbor.

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