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Comment: Re:Not Again (Score 2) 247

by FxChiP (#37294532) Attached to: Android Tricorder Killed By CBS

I have two problems with what you're saying:

1.) Moonblink's Tricorder app was neither made nor intended to divert profits or attention away from the Star Trek franchise/collection of works. In fact, it was written in homage to the series, and it's really hard to imagine how it could even unintentionally harm CBS in any way, shape or form, especially given that the app (and the part of Star Trek it's emulating) is fairly trivial. It was basically harmless. CBS squelching it seems more out of spite or misguided self-preservation than anything else.
2.) What if CBS doesn't make a Tricorder app -- or doesn't even intend to? If CBS can't produce or deliver something which a lot of people enjoy (or so it seems), and a fan of the franchise can and does, why should CBS actively prevent the fan from doing so? If they can't do it (and don't even want to), no one can? That seems awfully childish. Especially considering -- and I'm repeating myself here -- the Tricorder app posed absolutely no threat to the brand, and may have even earned it a tiny bit of recognition. It never purported to be official, authentic, or representative of CBS in any way, shape or form (actually, I think it purported to not represent CBS at all).

This isn't piracy. This is an original creation that bore a mere cosmetic resemblance to certain elements of a fictional universe and was not released for a profit -- additionally, its source code is freely and publicly available. There was no real or even potential harm being done to CBS, Star Trek, or anything related, as far as I can see. Why should CBS be acting against things that do it no harm? Is there something I'm missing?

Comment: Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (Score 5, Informative) 258

by FxChiP (#37083674) Attached to: After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

I'm disproving myself:

1.) Cell phone service was not disrupted directly following the shooting. (Which would have been worse!)
2.) The shooting I'm thinking of is Oscar Grant III, which was two years ago and probably resolved by this point.

I apologize, I flew off without actually knowing what the hell was going on, instead extrapolating from the admittedly limited information and summaries I was seeing on Twitter and taking in the wrong order and the wrong way. I was totally desynched from the truth. My fault.

Comment: Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (Score 1) 258

by FxChiP (#37083540) Attached to: After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

1) BART has no obligation to assist them in doing so. BART had every right to turn off their equipment. Do these protesters expect to have the police drive them to the protest as well?

There's a difference between the police not driving you to the demonstration area of the protest and the supervisor (or, rather, controlling entity) of the police actively suppressing the release of information regarding the death of an unarmed man that their officer was responsible for.

2) If the protesters are interfering with mass transit, they're just being assholes. Yes, it's sad that someone got killed. No, this doesn't mean that tens of thousands of people should have their schedules fucked around with.

The fact that this is such a big deal in the first place shows that these aren't real protesters anyway. They're just a bunch of spoiled SF kids thinking they're activists. Real activists wouldn't let something like not having internet access during the protest get in their way.

It wasn't a protest being suppressed, it was footage and details of a man's death with suspicious causes. Both of those *did* later surface around the internet, but not nearly as quickly as they could have or possibly should have, directly because of BART's suppressive action.

Furthermore, on a personal level, I'd have to say it's a grave injustice that details of a man's death at the hands of security personnel and its coverup at the hands of their employer "isn't worth" the potential, minor inconvenience of a large group of people that happen to use the employer's service, the greatest length of time of which should be 5 to 20 minutes. From what I've heard, people were also unable to contact emergency services during that time (but other comments I've seen have led me to believe that may not have been true).

Please prove me wrong if I have any of the details incorrect; I'd love to hear more.

Comment: Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (Score 2) 258

by FxChiP (#37083510) Attached to: After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest
It isn't that a protest couldn't happen, it's that BART security were responsible for the death of an unarmed man (who, in fact, was being held on the ground when he died), and no one could have posted anything on the internet or anything while the BART cell network lockdown was in effect. Videos did later get posted when the people recording got internet access, but the simple fact that BART tried to cover up a deadly use of force (however limited their coverup was or could possibly have been) against a man who was essentially defenseless is absolutely inexcusable.

Comment: Re:Linux support (Score 1) 214

by FxChiP (#36876726) Attached to: Blockbuster Trying To Woo Disgruntled Netflix Customers

But if you are not willing to come even a little bit forward (like, accepting DRM or closed binaries) don't cry about it when companies don't want to support it.

The problem is that DRM is actually totally backwards, and closed binaries will eventually wind up breaking with lack of vendor support or in really subtle ways as the libraries they depend on change, grow, update and improve -- although if the vendor is sufficiently proactive in their development process, the latter need not be true. However, DRM simply doesn't do what it's intended to do, and instead winds up harming the consumer by imposing largely artificial restrictions on them that pirates -- you know, the ones that DRM is supposed to prevent in the first place -- just don't have. What you wind up with, then, is media that is substantially and fundamentally broken in silly and stupid ways to harm the consumer who paid good money to enjoy their content legally vs. the criminal who paid absolutely nothing to enjoy the same content as they wish in any form they want it!

Comment: Re:aaaand... (Score 1) 281

by FxChiP (#36797482) Attached to: iOS 4.3.4 Prevents Hacking and Jailbreaking

A point of correction, if anyone's interested:

There are two flaws in the bootloader for all the pre-iPad2 devices. They are commonly referred to by the names of the exploits against them, SHAtter and GreenPois0n. These will not ever be patched by Apple, they are too low level. This means that every iDevice before the iPad2 has a jailbreak for life.

Greenpois0n is the name of the tool that utilizes the exploit which is actually called "limera1n", coined by the exploit's discoverer and first implementer, geohot. These are exploits that have been found in the *mask* bootROM for all iDevices preceding the iPad 2; the code at that level has actually been permanently burned in and, in fact, cannot be changed. This is by design to preserve the first step in Apple's "chain of trust" loading.

Comment: Re:aaaand... (Score 1) 281

by FxChiP (#36797462) Attached to: iOS 4.3.4 Prevents Hacking and Jailbreaking

You seem to see the iPhone as a PC in phone form. I think most see it as a phone with some extra features, or at least an appliance of some sort. ... It's not necessarily "evil" for an appliance-style device to be locked down - it all depends on the end user.

The iPhone 4 has a 1 GHz A5 (ARM) CPU, 512 MB of RAM or so, wifi, bluetooth, and is capable of installing and running applications i.e. code written for the device -- and, on top of all that, multitasking it. It is, at its core, a computing device pretending to be an "appliance" as you call it. However, I don't believe that the presentation of a thing (like the iPhone presenting as an appliance) should necessarily define its entire purpose and utility, especially when it is capable of being and doing far more than it "appears" able to. For example, I'm fairly certain it has more than enough hardware power to be productively used as a wireless network penetration tester -- and the only thing standing between its user and that particular use is Apple's walled garden, and the fact that they don't want to allow the user the low-level control required for such a purpose. It could also be an ultra-low-power server or proxy with a built-in UPS, for example. Truth be told, there's not a whole lot that *can't* be done with it, but marginalizing it as an "appliance" and using that as an excuse to wrest control of a computing device away from the user seems like a really good way to squander some incredible opportunities and possibilities.

That's not even beginning to get into the fact that the OS running on the phone is, itself, a heavily-modified and cut-down UNIX. In short, I don't see how an iPhone couldn't or shouldn't be thought of as a personal computing device, unless you're really willing to give up all of the benefits such a device would entail in such a form factor.

Comment: Re:Cannot know for sure (Score 1) 187

by FxChiP (#36171420) Attached to: The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS

Ob.answer: Since this is a license for the use of the software, you can simply choose not to use the software. Thus, it can be terminated.

I'm not actually sure about how the Nintendo 3DS specifically works, but many devices made in this manner (PS3, iPhone, etc) have hardware (or somehow unmodifiable firmware e.g. the mask ROM for the iPhone bootrom) that enforces a requirement for a cryptographic signature on the software that is to be run on the hardware, making the hardware effectively useless without signed software whose agreement you *must* accept in order to use the software (and, effectively, the device) at all. Because it could be considered an anti-circumvention measure in the U.S., as well, the DMCA makes reverse engineering such a scheme kind of murky (unless, of course, you're trying to write interoperable software...). This would require the purchaser (or someone, at least) to hack the device before they can opt-out of the license agreement and use alternative software.

In essence, it is almost illegal to opt out of software licenses now if they're tied to a device that won't accept any other software.

Security

+ - Comodo hacker allegedly worked solo ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A solo Iranian hacker on Saturday claimed responsibility for stealing multiple SSL certificates belonging to some of the Web's biggest sites, including Google, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo.

Early reaction from security experts was mixed, with some believing the hacker's claim, while others were dubious.

ComodoHacker alleged that he had gained full access to InstantSSL.it, the Italian arm of Comodo's InstantSLL certificate selling service, then decompiled a DLL file he found on its server to uncover the reseller account's username and password.

Robert Graham, the CEO of Errata Security, believes ComodoHacker is telling a straight story.

But Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer of Helsinki-based F-Secure, sounded skeptical.
"Do we really believe that a lone hacker gets into a [certificate authority], can generate any cert he wants...and goes after login.live.com instead of paypal.com?" asked Hypponen on Twitter."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 'Artificial leaf' can power households cheaply->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy — development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 758

Awesome. I never want to work for you. I've got several friends, and they're good friends, but they're retards. They are C purists, and like to write everything in more low level languages because it's "leet". They have lots of knowledge about C, understand some amazingly complex concepts, but get them to implement something simple, and they're going to write everything from scratch. Why? Because that's the kind of person who isn't used to using all this other code. Isn't used to finding other libraries, or just re-using someone else's code.

As a 'purist' myself, I have to ask -- are they retards simply because they'd write as much from scratch as they can? To be honest, it really depends on what you're implementing and how much time you have, but I, personally, also have an aversion to using other peoples' libraries and frameworks because that's one more thing I'm going to have to keep track of in the long run, and it's also potentially lots and lots of code that I may never use because I just need this one little nice function they've got. Plus, it keeps me from learning how, exactly, they do it. To (ab)use an old, frequently-quoted metaphor, I am not content with merely being given a fish.

Don't other frameworks potentially have IP issues or other attached issues (like the article states, using Microsoft's platform means your code's tied to Microsoft and requires licenses, etc.) as well? There seem to be a lot of questions like that attached to the Using Of Other Peoples' Code that seems to be much vaunted (with good reason, I will grant, because it really can save time).

Really, my biggest fear with using other frameworks has got to be atrophy -- the "use it or lose it" kind of factor. I'm probably unrealistically afraid that once I start using other peoples' libraries, frameworks, code, etc. that I'm going to be dependent on it and unable (or, at least, less able) to go outside of what can be done with that framework. Which is what the writer of the article is talking about as well. Realistically, since I know it, I probably won't forget it, but I still don't want to be tied down or "married" (as it were) to that framework.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.

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