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Comment I live in Chicago, and you HAVE IT WRONG... (Score 2) 200

So, if you actually bothered to look into the laws of Illinois, you'd find that a school zone sign says the following:


No flashing lights indicating when (e.g. in Ohio, it's a school zone when the MPH is lit and the yellow lights are flashing), and so on. To add to the confusion, good luck finding "regular" (non-school zone) signs in Chicago. Supposedly that's 30 MPH when no sign is present, but unlike the suburbs, they don't have that info on signs at the city border...

To add, back in the early 80s, due to the confusion over this sign, a state attorney general put out some guidance saying that a police officer needs to see a "student" (e.g. a child under 18) within eyeshot, when school is in session. These speed cameras don't do that. (Of course, state law could be changed to have times or flashing lights, but that hasn't happened). Then, Rahm & the camera companies wanted to put wide-angle lenses to see what "children" could be found, but then parents started filing lawsuits about faceless red-light camera companies taking pictures of their children, for the benefit of the camera companies. (Not sure what happened with that...)

To add, about a year ago, a lawyer filed a class action on these cameras, because people got school zone speed camera tickets on a Sunday evening in July...

So, sooner or later, a court will rule against the city, and quite badly... Heck, refunds are already happening en masse...

Submission + - Copyright Office rules on DRM circumvention in cars, devices, video games. 1

BUL2294 writes: Consumerist is reporting that the U.S. Library of Congress' Copyright Office has published their newest rules regarding DRM circumvention. Much to the chagrin of car makers & agricultural vehicle manufacturers, DRM circumvention, with the exception of telmatics ("black box") and entertainment systems, and anything that would run afoul of DOT or EPA regulations, is now allowed for "diagnosis, repair or lawful modification of a vehicle function". In addition, jailbreaking is now extended to tablets, wearables, and smart TVs, but not to single-purpose devices like e-readers. An exemption has been carved out for security researchers to hack cars, voting machines, and medical devices--as long as that device is not being used for its purpose & is in an isolated environment. Finally, owners of abandoned video games that require server authentication (where such authentication is no longer available) may also circumvent DRM. DRM circumvention is NOT allowed for jailbreaking gaming systems & e-readers, and does not allow for "format-shifting" (e.g. moving e-books from one platform to another).

The full text of the new rules, is available here, and will be published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2015.

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...

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato