* Posts by Daniel B.

3134 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Russian crackers spread nuclear panic

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Re: Errrrr.... different...

"While opposition to such things is fair enough, surely this passes WAY beyond what anyone might think a "reasonable protest"?"

You mean like Greenpeace "protests"? It is either some radical anti-nuke group, some really bad taste prank, or some kind of "social experiment" to see how the masses react to such a thing.

Last weekend a chain-mail went around the 'net where the drugdealer cartels supposedly imposed a "curfew" in Juarez City, Mexico; stating that anyone on the streets would be killed, and it would be the bloodiest weekend in history. Guess what: nothing happened. But it does sound more like "terrorism" in its original meaning: get people to live in terror. Such a prank stating "NUCULAR MELTDOWN, D00D!" sounds like that, especially in a country that's near the site of the worst nuclear accident in human history.

The vulture died of iodine overdose.

0
0

Handset sales drop for first time in mobe history

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Alert

Mid-range

Hm... even if I am now a Blackberry owner, I used to go for the mid-range ones. The SonyEriccson W300 is good enough for what I wanted: mp3, radio, bluetooth, camera, and it uses m2 memory sticks (so I can up the storage capacity if I want). When I was originally searching for a replacement, it seemed like SonyEriccson decided to go all "high-end" and none of the snazzy new models convinced me. There was nothing like my ole W300 out there, and I wasn't about to sign an 18-month contract just to get... another W300.

So I went for the Blackberry 8300, as it had at least an unlimited data plan. SonyEriccson lost because it thought I wanted a non-clamshell phone with dozens of stuff I don't want, and a handset that looks shiny enough to get mugged for.* And given the entire mobile range, it seems like people are shifting back to the "simple, but works" handsets. Luddites would do well with the Motorola F3... but using it for SMS is really, really ugly. If that thing had a good display for SMS reading, that would be the phone of choice for a lot of people, I'm sure.

* There's been a rise in muggings with the sole purpose of stealing mobiles over here. So "shiny handsets" rate low on my scale, as I don't want to pay more to *increase* the probability of me being mugged over a stupid phone.

0
0

UK to outlaw cartoons of child sexual abuse

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Manga?

I think by "Manga" they're actually referring to "Hentai", aren't they?

Plus, if anything, "cartoon underage sex" might even ban V for Vendetta as well: Evey's offering her "services" at the beginning of the graphic novel, and she's 16!

Its just as stupid as the "Extreme Porn" law, and as someone else already mentioned, some manga/hentai publications have already dodged the bullet. Example: one of the Bleach characters is a 400-year-old "death god", who happens to roam the "mortal world" as a 16-ish schoolgirl. Any "hentai" version would simply claim its a 400 y/o character, not 16 y/o. Bleh.

0
0

ID fraudsters soak the rich

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Why don't I feel sorry?

Ah, true, they're stealing the rich.

But then, wouldn't those statistics be wrong? Everyone knows its Nottingham where the rich people are robbed ;)

0
0

Japanese children warned off mobiles

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Internet bullying...

Actually, some of this "cyber-bullying" can be truly damaging, even more than actual bullying. One highschool girl got "cyberbullied" or whatever in her last semester; her ex-boyfriend sent a spoofed e-mail posing as her, saying "my phone is X, I like to f**k on the first date" and adding her *actual* nude photos. To the entire school. Of course, he could've easily spread the photos on the whole school by himself (which wouldn't require the Internet) but it was easier, and more far-reaching to do it through the internet.

At least with old-school bullying, you can solve it the old-fashioned way: fight back and beat the **** out of the bully 'till he learns not to mess with you again.

As for voice-only phones ... given the 5-to-1 value of SMS-voice costs, I tend to disagree with that. Much cheaper to text than to actually call and spend 10x to convey something as simple as "Going out, meet you in Tacubaya Sta. 8 o'clock sharp. Kisses!" or mere informative stuff like "I've just sent you the package" or whatever.

Mobiles for kids - As soon as your kid starts wandering solo, that's the right time to give him a mobile. That would be sometime around age 12, right after entering secondary school. I got my first mobile at age 15, but that was because *no one in the family had one before* except my dad. My sister got hers when she was 13.

0
0

Bluetooth finally reaches ten (years, not users)

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

LAN Access Profile

Hm... the LAN Access service is basically the only way I'm able to transparently use my W300 handset as a GPRS modem without resorting to arcane setups and *99# numbers that just don't seem to work with my carrier. Just fire up the LAN access service, and there you go! Instant mobile access ;) however, my Blackberry has no such support.

I would've liked to see something akin to "Bluetooth SMS" by default on all Bluetooth-enabled phones, as it would be an interesting feature, given how many people have their bluetooth turned on. Oh well...

I haven't done the "earphone Bluetooth" yet, and might not do it for fear of the "bluejacking". Then again, my Blackberry does have a "disable phone calls from BT devices" option.

0
0

National Grid computers locked-down in outage cock-up

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Oh god...

"One source claimed that Active Directory (AD) clusters on the energy giant’s Windows 2003-based server were deleted late last Tuesday. "

So they're using Windows there. I hope they're not using it to actually *run* the power grid!

Then again, back in 1993 one hydro powerplant went offline here in Mexico, taking down power in *nine states*. Why did it go offline? Lightning struck one critical piece of equipment. Oops!!!

0
0

Climate profs 'can't recommend' enormo-space-parasol

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

@John Latham

"If the sunshade was constructed as a giant solar collector and beamed the energy back to earth using frikkin laser beams, we'd solve both global warming and energy supply at once. The "sunshade deathstar" could double as a great "defensive" tool against the rebel alliance (sorry, Axis of Evil)."

Oh no, we need the full Dyson sphere around the sun to get a sunny deathstar ray!

Mine's the one with the XKCD strip.

0
0

3 told to cut rates

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

The Great Leap Backwards?

Oh yeah, pay to receive. Great idea ... NOT.

We used to have the same system as the US over here, but COFETEL (kind of like the Mexican Ofcom) implemented the termination fee system, known as "caller-pays" since 1998. It was only local until 2006, when they switched it to nationwide. So, while we do still have the same area codes as the geographical city the phone's based in, we do have to dial 044 prefix for local mobiles, 045 for long-distance mobiles.

There you have it. Now the only way you pay to receive is when you're outside your home city. Funny how a "developing country" seems to be more up to date on mobile rates than the US. Oh well, maybe its a telecom thing: we use E1/E3's instead of T1/T3's, so it might be natural we stick to the European standard for termination fees.

0
0

Can't decide how to vote? Publicwhip.org will tell you

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

@Marvin the Martian

True. Just like in Mexico, we have three main parties, and a zillion "small parties", of which some of them insist they are the TRUE LEFT, yeah right. If you add up all the votes those parties got in the 2006 "elections", it is large enough to have actually tipped the balance in those elections. Voting for them for president/governor is just a waste of time, though voting them for "diputado" or senator does help a bit.

And that's here, where we don't have that funky "electoral college" system. In the US, it is simply stupid to vote anything other than Democrat, as even if the independent dudes do manage to have a considerable support on one state, it is basically stolen by whoever "wins" the EC votes. Oh, I know I should've said Democrat *or Republican*, but given Bush II's record, you'd have to be infinitely stupid to still vote Republican.

The UK seems to have a similar problem, except there is no election-ruining EC system in place. :)

0
0

Unmanned Aerial Manhood outrage at Kasparov rally

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Helicockter

Now someone seems to have been playing too much Second Life, and decided to do it in real-life! Or were they just trying to be a d*ck?

Black helicopter, because it would've made a larger err.... "model".

0
0

Privacy? Forget it. Sell your brain and desires to the highest bidder

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

Now I get it!!

amanfromMars is actually warping the AdSense machine!!! With his postings, the adsense system picks up so much words it starts to screw up the ads it serves!!!

I remember reading many years ago about "intelligent fridges" that would tell you "Hey dude! You're low on milk! BUY MORE! BUY MORE!" Even better was that coupling this with RFID would give stuff like "Duuuude!!! Yoour milk's rotten! Expiration date was last week!!!".

Mix in these old (ca. 2000?) ideas with Web 2.0 and Phorm, and you'll end up getting "You're low on milk, do you want me to order Borden 100% Top-Quality Milk?"

Or one I'd find hilarious: "You're almost out of Pepsi. Do you want to restock?" *click yes* "Thank you. Ordering 4 liters of Coca-Cola Zero. Coca-Cola, official sponsor for the IntelliFridge 2.0"

0
0

Stungun shootout in Colorado leaves slowest man standing

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Who Shot First

Greedo!

Oh wait, wrong version, this is the *enhanced* Geroge Lucas version. Oops!

0
0

'Hacker Safe' leader defrauded investors, prosecutors say

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Oliphant?

I suppose that his company was a 'White Oliphant' then...

Mine's the one with the LoTR reference.

0
0

'Secure' PayPal page is... you guessed it

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

Yeeipes!

Ok dudes, stop messing with timelines... two people have messed with space-time and now both IE3 and Outlook Express have born in 2007 instead of 1996/97???

Mine's the one with the DeLorean's keys...

0
0

World economy group gives IPv6 big push

Daniel B.
Silver badge

IPv6 still undeployed

I've always wondered why haven't we already done the "Great Leap Forward" into IPv6. Maybe it is that IPv6 is more complex than IPv4; as those addys look mighty ugly with being 16-bit hex numbers separated by :s like 7348:3fca:31ad:... but the need IS there. Funny thing is that most OS already support IPv6, and I think recent Cisco equipment also has IPv6 support.

NAT's a cheap solution, and while it does have its uses, I absolutely HATE ISP's that give end-users non-routeable addys. However, with IPv6 I'd like to see extremely cheap IP spaces, as we would be able to.

0
0

Outback hack suspect denied bail

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Oh, I think I get it...

In Soviet Russia, Macintosh hacks YOU!!!

It is the first time I see a Mac hacking systems. Was this a PowerPC Mac, or one of the evil Intel ones? ;)

0
0

Koreans tout standard for US mobile TV

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Mini-TV

... so I am to watch microTV? No thanks. However, "mobile TV" does make sense if you got a PSP, and are stuck in a long commute in public transportation systems.

But on a standard cellphone display? I doubt it.

0
0

Billg bigs up SharePoint and Touch Wall

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Deja vu

Hey, I think a saw this somewhere ...

oh yes. My university has one, you know, they're called "smartboards". The only innovation in this one is multitouch. Yeah, right.

0
0

Swiss birdman in Alpine backpack-jetplane stunt flight

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Screaming Fist

So now I know where those flying cyberwarriors got their gear from...

Just remind Rossy to make these wings EMP-resistant. ;)

0
0

HP leaves Dell with an EDS-shaped hole

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: RE: better known as Crap Pack

"Where would HP be without the Proliant line of servers? HPs X86 gear sucked compared to Compaq's business line."

Maybe actually cranking out more PA-RISC servers that actually perform better, like the HP 9000 series.

0
0

Apple okay with Safari 'carpet bombing' vuln for now

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Alert

Ask before you download

You mean, this browser downloads anything without asking? Even Firefox, that has its annoying "download all to Desktop" 'feature' by default, will ask you if you want to download. Basic rule since the advent of the web browser.

Having first-time-run checks may be nice, but I could easily see this as a potential DoS attack: a malicious page could do an infinite loop that makes Safari download craploads of files 'till the harddisk fills up. Thanks to JavaScript, this might even happen background, and the user wouldn't realize it until its too late...

0
0

Developing world buoys up software pirates

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Gates Horns

In Mexico...

I am surprised Mexico isn't one of the "top countries with pirated software". Pirated stuff is so common, it kind of has blended with the culture, as you can see with tons of "Aypo" players (if you read that out loud in Spanish, it sounds like "iPo"), businessmen carrying "Monlblanc" pens and the massive pirate music CD market that put P2P "illegal downloads" statistics to shame... taking in mind that this CD market actually *profits* from it. (I remember distinctly that "piracy" was *selling* duplicated CDs for a profit. P2P doesn't fit there, does it?)

Thing is, most tech stuff is actually more expensive than in the US, sometimes being even 200% higher; and this effect is also seen in software. Mix that and piracy culture, surprise! Most people I know have either a pirated Windows XP copy, or pirated MS Office. With $300 price tags on software, and basically $500/month average income for *entire families* nationwide, you aren't going to spend those amounts on what basically has become a commodity.

Actually, people who buy *original* software (non-pirate) for personal/home use are usually called some equivalent of "paytards", as the mindset is "Why pay $300 for something you can get for $1?".

I'm all for stricter piracy controls ... 'coz that means we'll be switching pretty fast to non-Windows platforms! ;)

0
0

Google kills Anonymous AdSense account

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

The sleeper has awakened!

I must drink beer.

Beer is the mind-killer.

Beer is the little death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my beer.

I wil permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it is has gone past I wil turn the inner eye to see it's path.

When the beer has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

As your new Kwisatz Haderach, I will cease melange shipments to the Co$. ;)

0
0

How to rescue Java from the men in suits

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Flame

Entity Beans

"Rod Johnson in March cited the creation of Entity Beans - a type of Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) that was part of the JCP's Java Enterprise Edition spec - as setting back the cause of object-relational mapping by six years and for causing billions in wasted investment."

How about 4 years of knowledge gone into the toilet because the EJB 3.0 spec trashed the entire Entity Bean spec?? I found the EntityBean encapsulation a nice feature, and seamlessly working with the entire Session Bean transaction manager. This weird "Entity Class" and "Java Persistence Manager" stuff borked all this, and now I can't even use .setRollbackOnly() on the TransactionManager!!! Aaaagh!!!

Now I have to re-learn *everything*, and don't have the time to do it. Fortunately, my current job's on WebLogic 8.1, so we're still in good old J2EE 1.4, EJB 2.1 specs.

0
0

Next Ubuntu LTS in 2010, unless Linuxes synchronize

Daniel B.
Silver badge

X11

As annoyed as I might be with failing X configs, I for one wouldn't ditch X. The problem resides in that when it correctly detects your config, it'll work fine. When it doesn't, prepare for a living HELL. I had these issues with Xfree86 back in 1999, my Fujitsu Lifebook 200 had a video chipset that XFree didn't like. It took me 1 year of waiting untill one XFree86 update gave me the correct drivers.

My current setup was easier, as nVidia has made "self-extracting executable installers" which do everything for you ... but they are command-line installers, *and* require kernel-source or whatever that pkg is called in your different distros. (Done it in Ubuntu, and Fedora 6.) I think that at least in nVidia's case, they've done very well on making the X experience easier on the user.

Too bad not everyone's as good on that, yet.

0
0

Bulletproof quantum crypto dinged by implementation weakness

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Quantum Crypto

I still don't really grasp on QC protocols. Basically, you send KeyLength+X bits from Alice to Bob, then Bob takes X bits at random, and cross-checks the value of said bits with Alice. If most of these are ok, then the bits (minus the ones used to verify) will be used as the encryption key.

Except you can't really guarantee that the other bits did go through, as it is an entirely random occurrence on both sending and receiving. Of course, if there are too many failures in checking, you would know that (probably) someone's tapping in the conversation.

Anyway, unlike current crypto systems, QC actually requires you to have a physical medium (fiber) running directly from sender to receiver. Kind of prohibitive for standard e-commerce, isn't it?

0
0

Icahn builds Yahoo! stake

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Money over enterprise health

As the AC pointed out, Icahn is a destroyer of companies. Thanks to his wankfest, BEA got 0wned by Oracle. I think my beloved WebLogic's going down...

AC got it spot on, basically "shareholder value" matters more than the actual companies' health these days. "Shareholder value" killed Computer City under CompUSA's hands, I wonder if those shareholders even care about all those people losing their jobs because of "shareholder value". Nice projects get axed because of takeovers/mergers, companies die, but all is well and fine as long as shareholders get their money. If the company tries to actually stand up and look for whats best for the COMPANY ... they get sued by stupid shareholders, like Yahoo! or BEA last year.

The entire "public company" system seems to be like that old Dilbert strip I once read: "The company would steal our organs during our sleep and sell them in the black market if it was profitable enough!". Pretty much sums up how it works.

0
0

Romanian and Turkish scientists turn circuit boards into oil

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Recycling!

Well, while paper *initial* production is taxing to the environment, recycling paper isn't that much of a polluting industry. My dad used to be a consultor at a newspaper recycling plant about 15 years ago, and the only reason the process was complicated was because of oil-based ink being hard to remove. Someone had an idea about vegetable-based ink, and when they ran the tests on the plant, the paper came fully clean after only the hydrapulper phase. Talk about savings!!!

Plastic recycling does make sense, as it would help us on the other kind of oil dependency: polymer production. Especially taking in mind this techno-frenzy world we live in, where most gadgets go to the trashcan in 3 years, tops.

0
0

Adaptec makes low-end RAID gear ROC hard

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Raid5???

Good thing: they ditched the stupid software RAID, or "fakeraid" as they call them in some places. I hope more manufacturers take this path instead of doing the same stupid Winmodem fiasco all over again.

Bad thing: This thingy doesn't support RAID 5. Which means I'll have to pass on this one :(

0
0

SMS costs more than using Hubble Space Telescope

Daniel B.
Silver badge

SMS

Heh. I did the calculations, and even here in Mexico the rate translates to roughly 5p (well, 4.9p actually), in local currency that's MXN $1.

However, most PAYG schemes charge MXN $4.50/minute for local calls (22p) so guess what: most people usually prefer sending one or two SMS for quick stuff. Those of us with contracts usually get local calls at SMS pricing (MXN $1/minute) however, so those of us who did go into contract usually talk more. Of course, my Blackberry service includes free unlimited data transfer (as long as I don't use the APN though) so I use even more email and IM's for most communication. Of course, this only works if the other dude has a BB or is near a computer ...

Anyway, SMS do have their use. And as some other user mentioned, it is less invasive than an actual phone call.

0
0

Touchscreen BlackBerry 'Thunder' to storm to market in Q3?

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Wahoo!!!

Ok, I really don't care about touchscreen ... but this one means the BB can fight on even ground with the iPhone! w00t!!!

Even if I dislike the Jobsphere and the current state of Apple, I do agree that the iPhone seems to have sent handset manufacturers into an innovation spree. I just hope that the 9000's will be available when my contract finishes.... which will be 'till July 2009. Plenty of time! :)

0
0

Facebook CTO logs out

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

10k servers?!?!

Ok, I remember seeing a fairly large site for a financial institution attending something like 10 million users. How many servers, you might say? about 40. Ok, add in the mainframe boxen, but still, 40 servers for 10 million users.

According to that measure, Facebook should have 2,500 MILLION users (or 2.5 US Billions), which would make like half the Earth's population. Mind you, I don't think there are that many people hooked up to the Internet, even less likely to be logged on Facebook.

Then again, these "10 thousand servers" might just be 10,000 486 DX2's strapped together! ;)

0
0

DVD smut malware blights US forces in Iraq

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

@AC

Oh. You just reminded me of the olden days of everyone copying Prince of Persia from floppy to floppy back in school. Some unfortunate kid got his floppy infected with NATAS, and because of the floppy-copy stuff, it quickly spread to almost everyone's PC, including mine.

The NATAS+Prince of Persia case was so common nationwide (Mexico) that it was sometimes referred as "the Prince [of Persia] curse".

Change "floppy" to "DVD" and "Prince of Persia" to "porn" and I think you have your case. :)

0
0

Google-Yahoo! collects some strange enemies

Daniel B.
Silver badge

You'll pry my Yahoo out of my cold, dead hands

Really. I'd rather see a Google-Yahoo deal than let Microsopht take over Yahoo!. I think Google understands this, and would prefer to have its rival healthy than having to confront its archnemesis fused with Yahoo!

0
0

Mounties taser bed-ridden octagenarian

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Turn down the O2

Why didn't they think of this first? Obviously the old guy would've passed out, so they would remove the knife from the guy. Easier, and you avoid a potential heart attack, dude!

That said, somebody with a knife IS a threat, especially if he's delusional. If you think old people don't have the strength, I refer you to that voicemail recording of a dude narrating the events concerning a car crash, one idiot guy, and 4 old women...

The vulture got tasered by the plod.

0
0

Apple to announce handheld games console at WWDC?

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Apple gaming console?

Hm... where have I heard this before??? Oh yes, the Apple Pippin. It died an even bloodier death than the 3d0.

The Mac used to have tons of games: Dark Castle, Populous, SimCity and the other Sim-somethings come into mind, and even PC games like Wolfenstein 3D and Descent had their Mac ports which were superior than their PC counterparts. For one, Descent had full 640x480 resolution, while PC version looked like Doom. Somewhere along the line though, Apple lost that advantage, so now it's basically down to id Software and those who didn't buy into DirectX.

Given that mobile gaming has already its fair share penetration by the Nintendo DS and the PSP, I just can't find where to fit an iGameboy in. The "high-priced, overfeatured" slot's been taken by the PSP already. Apple doing a mobile games device makes as much sense as Sony releasing the PSPphone.

0
0

Web cam images undo MacBook thieves

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

LogMeInGoingToMyPC

I just have to wonder why are there people stupid enough to buy stuff that does things that your OS *already does*. If you've got Windows XP or any win200X Server version, you've already got Remote Desktop / RDP. No need for Log Me In or Go To My WC. If you don't want to do the OS way, VNC has been doing this, *for free*. Really, what is the "big advantage" on these programs?

That said, looks like these thieves were very stupid. Anyone intelligent enough would assume the laptop's got a tracker on it, just waiting for you to go online. Software doing this goes back to 1998, maybe even before that.

0
0

RIM pitches 'power user' tri-band HSDPA BlackBerry

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Combating the iPhone

Well, I for one would really appreciate being able to do things like custom playlists, as my current BB 8300 is uncapable of doing this. Business men sometimes also listen music, you know ;)

If anything, adding up snazzy features might actually reclaim possible iPhone buyers from the management area, who might judge the products more by form than function.

All RIM needs to do is add a little more spin, with the catchphrase: "we do everything the iPhone does, AND we do run Java!" ;)

0
0

Sage sees flat US market

Daniel B.
Silver badge

MS "free" accounting software?

I think you're talking about Money, and that would make as much sense as having Access as a corporate DBMS.

Here in Mexico, two local software companies have competing products for most accounting / inventory stuff solutions, and those are the ones that basically eat up the SMB market, *not* Microsoft. So at least in the Mexican market, Microsoft isn't even there; SMB's go the SAE or ContPAQ way, or jump up to high-end stuff like SAP R/3 or other full ERP solutions.

0
0

Extreme porn bill gets final reading

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Tetragrammaton Council

All your porn has been rated EC-10! CONDEMNED!

Surely basing some "extreme porn" system on the Catholic Church Prohibition Index sounds a lot like it, doesn't it?

Report all sense-offenders! Take your Prozium!

0
0

Nvidia paid the right amount for 3dfx, court affirms

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Vooooodoooooo

Ah, my mom's older PC still has a 3dfx Voodoo3 installed. It also may be the only one capable of running glquake, as the gl versions insist on searching Glide libs which I sadly no longer have. :(

Back in those days, I distinctly remember playing online with my dialup connection, I suppose I would've been an LPB by those standards had I had my current 1Mbps connection...

0
0

Id Dooms gamers to new shoot-'em-up sequel

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Doom4!!

Ooooh yes, now THIS is what I've been waiting for! In fact, my current box and geForce 7600GT card were bought with Doom3 in mind. 'Twas DOOM the one that made me spend hours on my good ole 486 (and then my first Pentium) on hours at end. Began with the shareware version (the one that still had the swastika layout in e1m4), then bought Doom2, and finally that Doom Ultimate pack (Doom1 + 4th episode). I acknowledge Phobos Lab (e1m5) as the first level that truly inspired fear... everything so dark...

By the way, I recognize that screenshot, that would be Deimos Anomaly (e2m1).

Mine's the one with the BFG9000

0
0

Canadian toddler dies after VOIP 911 call

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Some reasons you should have a landline

I just didn't expand on what I posted previously, about having a PSTN line for actual emergency calls. Here are some reasons that basically are being overlooked:

- VoIP requires always-on equipment, powered on, to provide the datalink to the Internet. If you have a blackout, tough luck. PSTN line always has 60VDC running, so it will work unless the line itself is down (or the telco's down), in which case you're already out of luck anyway.

- VoIP will go down if your internet link goes down. Would you place your trust on your ISP not going down when you really really need to call 911? In fact, VoIP opens up a very nice weakness as someone planning on assaulting you in your home would only need to orchestrate a DoS attack on your IP, and wham! Your "phone" is jammed.

- Natural disasters. The power grid is usually the first one to go down, and because of reasons I already addressed, you're VoIP would already be down.

About some 3 years ago, my landline worked in a strange way; the telco installed an antenna on my bldg's roof, pointing to one of their radio stations. This would connect to an endpoint box at my apartment, where I could plug in a normal PSTN/POTS phone. The box required power, but precisely because of this, the box also had an 8 hour emergency battery in case the power went down. That's redundancy right there.

Bottom line: If you want to do VoIP, do it, but just don't entirely ditch the landline, as it may save you in these life-threatening situations.

@GSM Emergency phones: Is 999 actually routed in the UK GSM network as a "normal" number? I can dial 080 or 066 (emergency numbers over here) on my cellphone, and they get the "emergency number" treatment (i.e. can dial even when the handset's locked, free of charge).

0
0
Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

You pay what you get

Thing is, I prefer to have landline+DSL than having broadband+VoIP because of these reasons. VoIP might be very nice for cheap calls, but for real emergencies you don't want to have a botched 911 redirect. Even worse would be that your internet link's down, or DDoS'd, or otherwise b0rked by "traffic shaping".

Landlines tend to be available most of the time, instantly, and without any kind of latency. Too bad a toddler had to pay the price for this oversight.

And anyway, as some others have mentioned, how the hell were these dudes being billed? Ok, maybe they had one of those "charge my credit card automatically" schemes, but didn't they notice the lack of bills??? Looks like these guys themselves are responsible for neglecting stuff like this.

0
0

Air France pilot in white-knuckle near miss

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Kids in the cockpit

Nice to see that Air France still lets kids in the cockpit. I have somewhere in my childhood albums a photo of the 767's cockpit while it was boarding @ Dallas. That must've been 1987 or something.

One of the most fun things a kid can see while on a 4+ hour flight is, well, how the plane actually *works*. Sadly, post-9/11 attitudes have banished these activities.

Back to the topic, hm... as someone else pointed out, swerving left, then right, would return the plane on course; though it might leave them a little bit to the left. However, me thinks that this near-hit would have been there even if the pilot had not done his stunt?

0
0

Dope-crazed Canadians sledgehammer iPhone

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Like the consoles?

Reminded me somewhat of the dudes who bashed a PS3 with a sledgehammer outside a game store, then did the same with the Wii... which was even MORE fun, as they did it while wearing Mario & Luigi costumes. It made that look like Smash Bros. for real!

Anyway, I doubt this one beats the Blendtec iPhone vid!!

0
0

Rogue MP3 Trojan streaks across P2P networks

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Fair rights use

"I guess you must not live in the US or Canada as taping music off any radio station is a violation of the law"

Um... as far as I remember, it isn't. VCR taping and radio taping is perfectly covered by fair-use rights law, which was fought back in the 80's when VCRs became popular.

Trouble is when you try to rip CD to mp3, or copy your legally-owned DVD. Thats where DMCA steps in.

0
0

What did happen to all those London mayoral votes?

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Voting, fraud & observers

My oh my, so many things:

- Transparent ballot boxes: We have those here, so the procedure is to fold your ballot and insert it this way.

- Electronic voting: Given the 2006 mayhem, I doubt anyone would trust it. However, one of the manual voting premises (you can recount) was shot down during our own 2006 election, arguing "legal reasons"; oh so similar to the US's 2000 "election". So maybe manual voting isn't everything... and would you really trust a Windows voting machine?

- Observers: We need 'em, but not just during counting, but also during actual voting. Mexican history shows that most traditional election fraud took place on the poll sites, which is the reason the votes are now counted on-site. (Ironically, one of the 2006 controversies were that the tally count certs did not match the actual vote count!)

Oh well, at least it seems that the UK has a better electoral system... :)

0
0

Yahoo! shareholders thump Yang in the fiduciaries

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Flame

Retarded Shareholders

This is exactly the case that shows why there is something wrong with "Capitalism". I don't see many people killing themselves because they'll earn more money by dying, but it seems like companies are legally obliged to do exactly this if it increases the share value.

I assure you that the reason these shareholders were happy about a Microsopht takeover was because they'd short sell the entire Yahoo! stock as soon as it went up. Then they'd sail off with their boatload of plundered earnings while Yahoo is ripped apart by MS.

As some have pointed out, the shares are already above the pre-Microhoo offer, so if they are so whiny they should sell stock and stop whining. See, investing in the stock market is kind of gambling; the board of directors should be able to decide what's best for THE COMPANY, not for some dudes shouting "Show me the money!". Oh well...

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017