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Comment Re:Why would /. focus on OSX problems?... (Score 0, Troll) 204

Well you will notice that he didn't thank Apple for fixing this in their system did he? According to TFA the amount of Linux users affected is so small he didn't bother to graph them and, as others have mentioned, switching to a new version of Opera is a heck of a lot easier then switching to a new version of OS X, especially given Apple charges users for upgrades, even security/bug fixes. IMHO Apple users will end up with the bigger issues to face.

Comment Re:I have a few other wishes at that (Score 1) 874

Hmm, point taken and well made, but I should have mentioned that neither Hoshi nor Data seem to press more than one button at a time when using that "keyboard". So chorded it obviously isn't.

Besides, really, do you expect the kind of directors for whom computers explode when they crash, to actually know about chorded input? That kind of thing is still niche even among nerds like us.

Comment Re:They are wrong (Score 1) 508

So - you are assuming that space science is solely NASA then?

No. They're just the lion's share. My view is that for space science, they probably outweigh the rest of the planet, including the DoD's expenditures on space science.

What about developing the engineering and technological means to allow for long stays on the moon? Spend 5-10 years researching astronaut safety, building materials, biospheres, ecological and environmental surveys for using natural resources - then go to the moon for extended stays of weeks and months? Using this technology to then go to Mars? It is the choice of where to put the limited funds for the next 5 years, 10 years... where will it be of the most use?

Personally, I'd rather the US's budget were reduced by a factor of two or three. Elimination of NASA funding as a side effect would be acceptable. But since it isn't going to happen, yes, with the proviso that extended stays mean stays of years, not weeks or months. Unmanned space science missions should take advantage of well known economies of scale (such as reuse of technology and standardized components, building more probes at a time to spread out development costs, and missions that favor smaller, more frequent launches over larger, less frequent launches. And such research should support US economic needs, such as figuring out how to make money from activities and resources in space.

Comment Yes, we are (Score 1) 118

I'm in the industry and can tell you we are VERY weak. There are relatively simple meathods an attacker could take out nearly everything inside the US. Here's a pretty simple meathod: 1. Hack several PBX's (happens all the time. Most companies don't secure them at all) 2. compile a list of every Tech support number in the US. I happened to have such a list as do most people that work for ISPs. Customer calls you, the problem is someone elses, so you transfer them. It's good to have a list. 3. Setup the PBXs to ghost call your list of numbers repeatedly. It's really easy to setup and you can hit hundreds of numbers per minute. Filling up every support que of every company, basically crippling their support infrastructure. You could even easilly get a list of all their internal numbers to. Usually they are in convenient blocks like 555-555-0001 through 9999. Start hitting all their internals as well. Companies like Cisco, HP, Dell, AT&T, everything would be completely unable to recieve phone calls. 4. Start what ever attack you want. ISPs would be completely unable to respond.

Comment Re:I disagree (Score 0, Troll) 643

I've replaced the batteries and screens in iPhones and iPods with no problem, those where the "closed" devices of the last 8 years. Give it a couple weeks and people will be doing the same thing to iPads.

The iPad/iPhone/Zune/Nexus One aren't computers, they are PDAs and honestly since the Newton came out PDAs generally just aren't as storage and memory upgradable or flexible as a laptop or desktop.

Just last month I swapped out my hard disk in a MacBook Pro 5,3 and right after that had to work inside our newer HP laptop. Guess what? The MacBook was easier to get into and work on than the HP.

I've also replaced every conceivable part in MacBooks, iBooks, Powerbooks and iMacs along with every Apple "Pro" desktop of the last 15 years. I ran my Power Mac G3 233 MHz at 292 MHz for years before swapping out CPUs to get it all the way to 466 before I retired it, so don't blather on that Apple products are "locked down" because they aren't.

Comment Re:Sick of elitists (Score 1) 177

In the case of MS, it's two things. First, nobody but nerds cares about any of this.

Among nerds, it's rage that normal people don't care. So instead of letting the market work it out, they know people won't change their buying habits so they attack the "problem" with an authoritative approach. Can't make people buy what they (nerds) see as "better"? Then get the government to force MS to change.

Comment Re:Time must have changed. (Score 5, Insightful) 276

The status quo is a powerful thing. Once something Just Is people start treating it as a baseline.

More specifically, though, is complaining about information asymmetry at all unreasonable? If the black box is present, why shouldn't I object to the fact that I, the owner of the vehicle, have no access to its contents; but those who have more power than I do do? There are substantial virtues to privacy and substantial virtues to transparency(in certain contexts); but asymmetric transparency is basically the worst of both worlds.

Comment Re:Mr Toyota-san, Tear down this Interface! (Score 5, Insightful) 276

I'm not entirely clear on how not having access to one of the computers in a piece of my property, or even knowing exactly what it does, protects my privacy...

Some sort of scheme for compulsory(or even many flavors of "optional") collection of black box data would, indeed, be a huge privacy violation; but that isn't the proposal.

This is a system embedded in the car, to which you need physical access to connect. Anybody who could get to that box could plant a GPS+accelerometer bug on your car considerably more easily. Documentation for reading the black box would give the owner of the system more control and information(and, who knows, maybe even let third party mechanics break the dealer grip on certain services) without notable privacy implications.

Comment Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (Score 1) 461

But is that the way they present it? Surely they would claim that the product is the physical media, packaging and a license to use the software?

Despite what off-the-shelf software sellers want you to believe, you don't need a license to use software (in the US, anyway). However, you may need a license to use the online service. If the software doesn't work without the online service, then it's not a matter of first sale doctrine, it's a matter of false adverstising or breach of contract.

Comment Re:I Don't Think This Was Well Thought Out (Score 1) 787

Should we try to change the climate so that we can return N. America back to its natural, under ice state? Should we try to return the Earth to it's glorious molten past? Should we try our best to strip the atmosphere of all oxygen so to usher in the return of Methanite bacteria?

No, because none of those are beneficial to humanity today.

Oh, I dont know, one of them might not be such a bad idea... =P


US House Limits Constituent Emails 581

Plechazunga passes along this note from The Hill: "The House is limiting e-mails from the public to prevent its websites from crashing due to the enormous amount of mail being submitted on the financial bailout bill. As a result, some constituents may get a 'try back at a later time' response if they use the House website to e-mail their lawmakers about the bill defeated in the House on Monday in a 205-228 vote."

WiMax Is Finally Coming — Here's How It Performs 112

GMGruman writes "Carriers have promised WiMax networks for years. But will they deliver the goods, or be slow like many early 3G networks or patchy in coverage like the metro Wi-Fi attempts in most cities? This hands-on review looks at a nearly-WiMax deployment (technically, OFDM) in Reno, testing its speeds and reach, as a measure of what Sprint and Clearwire will deliver in their joint WiMax rollouts starting next month. The good news is that this time, the carrier promises look to be delivered on."

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.