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Comment Re:00000-00000-00000-00000-00000 heh (Score 2) 354

Windows 95 (original) and Microsoft programs to the time, including Money 97, had a simple MOD 7 program key. So, 000-0000000 worked and so did 000-0000007, but 000-0000006 would give an invalid key error. With Windows 98 they introduced a real key that, IIRC, the formula has not been cracked to this day. (In fact, I remember installing Win98 on a 486DX2/66. Verifying the validity of the install key took 15 seconds on that machine...)

Comment Re:Fine, but what about Pascal? (Score 1) 387

I thought that was the whole point of Windows 3.0 Real Mode - to be able to run Win 2.x programs. Granted, switching between Real and Standard/386 Enhanced modes required exiting Windows and going back in... Now, when Windows 3.1 came out, your friend was screwed---although supposedly some Real Mode programs could run under 3.x Standard & 386 Enhanced Modes (e.g. Word 1.x, Excel 2.x).

Comment Some PS/2 Model Ms don't work with USB... (Score 2) 147

You should be aware that some PS/2 Model M keyboards will not work with a USB-PS/2 adapter. Some keyboards draw too much power (amps?) for some USB-PS/2 adapters, even though both PS/2 and USB are 5v. So, you may replace your Model M with an (older) one and it suddenly won't work with your adapter or will drop at random times. There's no way to tell which adapter-keyboard combination will fail until you try it...

That's why I went with a Unicomp USB clicky keyboard, as they bought the factory & patents from Lexmark... (IBM -> Lexmark -> Unicomp)

Comment We need governmental regulation of IoT security (Score 1) 131

While I'm not a fan of government regulations, they do play an important role in society. For example, car safety is as a result of government regulation. Unfortunately, many non-IoT devices don't get firmware updates. To make matters worse, the devices that manufacturers want to make IoT are often household durable goods (e.g. appliances, thermostats, etc.), that don't get replaced every year.

Personally, I feel that IoT durable good devices devices should get security fixes for 20 years--via regulation. Unwilling to do that? Then don't go IoT...

Comment Re:Commercial air travel is actually pretty green. (Score 1) 280

Except there's one major problem with commercial air travel... With airline consolidation comes a reduced number of direct routes. This is where I think the authors' analysis falls flat. I believe they only considered direct routes in their comparisons. This is how one would travel in a car between cities. But with planes, hubs, and airlines' asinine pricing policies (e.g. I've seen Chicago to NYC direct round trip costing $100 more than Chicago-(Atlanta)-NYC), I think much of the BTU savings is actually negated if they were to take actual travel plans vs. "perceived" ones.

Cities like Cleveland, which used to be a hub for Continental, went from numerous direct flights to most places in the country (and even internationally) to an abysmal few. If you didn't want to fly through a city or wanted to take a direct flight, you used to have MORE choices (e.g. use a different airline) as recently as 5 years ago. So, airline consolidation has made this worse--where if you don't live in a hub city (Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, NYC, etc.), then you are much more likely to not get a direct flight--using more fuel & "BTUs" in the process...

Comment Re:How about this.. (Score 1) 62

Huh? How does a EULA apply here???

First, most people have never heard of "Spokeo", so how would Spokeo have an EULA that applies to the public at-large? What, they claim that an EULA applies to anyone they collected data on?--NO WAY. Second, if an EULA can trump a right provided by Federal law (in this case the Fair Credit Reporting Act, "FCRA"), then the "big 3" credit-reporting Agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) would have used EULAs long ago to stamp out FCRA violation lawsuits & their need to hold accurate data. Finally, if you read the articles, the potential exists where people could sue data aggregators under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for "perceived harm". (After all, the $1000 award in a FCRA lawsuit is statutory). As of right now, data aggregators have little incentive in ensuring their data is correct--beyond making sure that inaccuracies are below a certain level of tolerance to their paying customers. But the harm inaccurate data could cause to you as an individual can be huge...

Submission Supreme Court to consider data aggregation suit against Spokeo

BUL2294 writes: Consumerist and Associated Press are reporting that the Supreme Court has taken up the case of Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins — a case where Spokeo, as a data aggregator, faces legal liability and Fair Credit Reporting Act violations for providing information on Thomas Robins, an individual who has not suffered "a specific harm" directly attributable to the inaccurate data Spokeo collected on him.

From SCOTUSblog: "Robins, who filed a class-action lawsuit, claimed that Spokeo had provided flawed information about him, including that he had more education than he actually did, that he is married although he remains single, and that he was financially better off than he actually was. He said he was unemployed and looking for work, and contended that the inaccurate information would make it more difficult for him to get a job and to get credit and insurance." So, while not suffering a specific harm, the potential for harm based on inaccurate data exists. Companies such as Facebook and Google are closely watching this case, given the potential of billions of dollars of liability for selling inaccurate information on their customers and other people.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 409

If he'd happened to have had the dog with him, and decided to have the dog give the car a once-over, fine.

Actually, NO. Read the ruling at

I'll spare you... Read page 11... Basically SCOTUS is saying that you can't suddenly decide to do your traffic duties "expeditiously" to gain bonus time to do "other things", like a drug dog sniff. If your purpose is to write a ticket, that's it. Rodriguez declined a search, he was detained & searched anyway, and it was outside the scope of writing a traffic ticket (and the usual stuff that goes along with that--drivers license check, proof of insurance, checking for warrants, etc.) Case closed, 6-3.

Submission Comcast's incompetence, lack of broadband competition force homeowner to sell 1

BUL2294 writes: Consumerist has an article about a homeowner in Kitsap County, Washington who is unable to get broadband service. Due to inaccurate broadband availability websites, Comcast's corporate incompetence, CenturyLink's refusal to add new customers in his area, and Washington state's restrictions on municipal broadband, the owner may be left with no option but to sell his house 2 months after he bought it, since he works from home as a software developer.

To add insult to injury, says he has 10 broadband options in his zip code, some of which are not applicable to his address, have exorbitant costs (e.g. wireless), or are for municipal providers that are prevented from doing business with him by state law. Yet, Comcast insists in filings that “the broadband marketplace is more competitive than ever,” which appear to be very carefully chosen words...

Comment Re:Funny thing... (Score 4, Interesting) 229

(IANAL) In Illinois, and likely most other states, if you believe that a crime will take place during the recording of a phone call (and this does likely count as a felony), you can record it without permission of the other party. In addition, you are shielded from prosecution for breaking wiretapping laws & your surreptitiously recorded evidence can be used for prosecution.

Comment Floppies and IDE still have options... (Score 1) 178

The OP is not considering some easy options for his/her IDE & floppy dilemmas...

IDE - Find a USB-IDE enclosure. Sure, nobody makes them anymore, but there are plenty of used ones out there for 3.5" and 2.5" drives. Spend 5 minutes on Craigslist or eBay.
3 1/2" floppy - Seriously? You can pick up a brand new USB 3.5" floppy drive for US$10 on Amazon (and eligible for Prime).
5 1/4" floppy - This one would take a little more effort--buy a FC5025 card, a used 5.25" drive, an old USB enclosure (with a Molex power connector)--if you don't own a desktop PC, put it all together. Or pay someone to do it...

Comment It's worse-Verizon also injects for non-customers! (Score 2) 70

Verizon also injects the UIDH header even for those who aren't Verizon customers--like those of Straight Talk, a reseller that uses Verizon's network.


Because the header is injected at the network level, Verizon can add it to anyone using their towers, even those who aren't Verizon customers. Notably, Verizon appears to inject the X-UIDH header even for customers of Straight Talk, a mobile network reseller (known as a MVNO) that uses Verizon's network. Customers of Straight Talk don't necessarily have a relationship with Verizon.

Comment Great, more items to ransomware! (Score 4, Informative) 252

After reading a few Slashdot articles ago about ransomware, and given what can happen via hacking such devices, the last thing I want is more of my home-based devices going online. The last thing I want is for my IoT thermostat (of which many exist already) to get hacked. I can see the thermostat's screen now...

"We turned your thermostat up to 85 degrees and you can't change it. We want $5000 worth of Bitcoins in 72 hours--or we find out if your furnace perpetually on full-blast will burn your house down. Think we're kidding? We also know that you have an [some brand name] WebOS-based TV (it was easy--the IP address was the same as your thermostat) and an [some brand name] Android-based refrigerator that we also pwned. In 24 hours fridge will be set to 50 degrees spoiling your food, and in 48 hours your TV will be permanently stuck showing random videos from Xtube. So, your only options are to pay us or cut off power to your house--but when it comes back on, we still own your pwned devices! Good luck replacing the devices we pwned but didn't mention here... TIMER: 71:59:59...71:59:58...71:59:57......."

Seriously, I'm not for government regulation in a competitive landscape, but such devices, especially given their manufacturers will abandon writing security updates for them--6 months after the new model comes out, are ticking time bombs... I'm not about to replace my oven, furnace, dryer, refrigerator, thermostat, dishwasher, home security system, TV, toaster, and toilets every 3-5 years because someone thinks such devices should be IoT and wants to gather even more "big data" about me...

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.