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Comment Re:And the cycle begins anew (Score 1) 81

There aren't any 'management controls' to speak of on the modem firmware.

Pretty sure Comcast has a remote management interface so they can turn on and off that Xfinity Wifi access point. Or so you can customize your Wifi access point via an app on your phone.

Your telecom/ISP may not have full access to any hardware you own, but there's still hardware you rent, and publishing the source of the firmware for that is something I doubt they would want.

Comment Re:And the cycle begins anew (Score 1) 81

What grade of problem is high enough to warrant a fee? It responds to pings and can be DDoS'd? It's SMB client has a vulnerability that lets anyone on the LAN access an attached drive? What about people who don't update their firmware? What about older devices that are no longer supported?

The problem is that almost everything is going to have some sort of a security problem at some point, so where is the line drawn?

Comment And the cycle begins anew (Score 2) 81

Cue renewed calls for auditable firmware.
Cue those calls continuing to fall on deaf ears.

I mean, let's face it, barring something cataclysmic this just ain't going to happen.

Arguably there are trade secrets contained within the firmware, which could be exploited by competitors. Motorola wouldn't want Xoom to find out that a commonly used algorithm for dealing with DOCSIS comms is in fact less efficient than another one they dug up, nullifying their competitive edge. And likewise D-Link wouldn't want you to find out that there's a critical problem with their router that can't be fixed in firmware. So they're going to fight this.

Auditable firmware would also expose management controls used by telecoms and ISPs. This would expose their capabilities, and how they work. People wouldn't just know how far reaching these controls are, but also how limited they are. It could raise the specter or nefarious people reverse engineering access to those controls, and doing things they aren't supposed to do. So they're going to fight it too.

Then there are legislative bodies. Auditable firmware could not only expose any backdoors that are currently in use, but expose any they try to implement in the future. So they're going to do what politicians do best and try to sweep the whole thing under the rug.

This leaves us, thankfully, with at least one ally: The FCC, who have said they will not be blocking the use of third party firmware on wireless devices, so at least we can still retreat to open sourced firmware wherever possible, instead of relying on others to open up code for us.

Comment Re:"TV series" (Score 1) 438

I think it loses the ability to call itself a "TV series" when it refuses to air over a conventional method for getting television into your home... Just sayin'.

How come? Consider the source of the word "television," tele meaning from a distance, and vision being to view something. The show is still being presented to a large audience over a great geographic distance, you're still viewing something remotely from where it's produced. Only the technology behind it has changed, moving from radio frequencies over the air to radio frequencies over a coaxial cable, and now to pulses of light over fiber.

I love Trek, but I hope this flops so CBS will know their service is lame.

In what way is it "lame"? Shows cost money to produce, and that money has to come from somewhere. Consider that a lot of scripted prime time shows cost in the $3-4 million range to produce. You'd need 3-4 million people to chip in a buck to cover the cost of a show, but consider how many shows CBS is running and how many shows people watch. Scorpion, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, NCIS and its two spin-offs, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Code Black, CSI and CSI: Cyber, Extant, Limitless, Hawaii Five-O, Madam Secretary, Elementary, The Mentalist, Mom, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest, Stalker, Supergirl, Life in Pieces, Criminal Minds, and the pending Angel from Hell, plus a few more. That's a lot of money, and considering that ads on the web don't snatch nearly the same kind of value as ads from OTA/MSO grab they have to make up the deficit somewhere.

So that's $6/mo to cover the production of more than twenty five different scripted television shows (not to mention the cost of licensing NCAA games, game shows, news programs, and reality shows). Assuming an average run of 25 episodes per season for each show, and a 12 month run, that's 12 per episode that CBS is getting to cover the cost of production of everything, advertising/promotion, and bandwidth for streaming. Even if you only watch three shows, you're paying 96 per episode which is cheaper than the going rate on iTunes, Amazon Prime or Google Play.

Comment Re:Ob (Score 1) 438

Just the movies. TOS was enjoyable, TNG was enjoyable, DS9 eventually became enjoyable, but Voyager was spotty throughout (maybe 40-50% of the episodes not being totally cringe inducing), and Enterprise had some good arcs.

The Prime-verse series just degraded over time, as the core crew that contributed to the best parts of the earlier series just drifted away. TNG was a clean break from TOS, but the fact that they still had some of the original writers and Gene behind it meant it still had some roots in the series before it. Same story with DS9, carrying over a lot of the iconic writers. Voyager was where we saw them drift away and the franchise was never the same after that.

Comment Long overdue (Score 1) 113

About freaking time. Software has always been ATI/AMD's biggest problem, and the Catalyst Control Center at this point is ancient and awful. They've just been tacking new stuff on to it, kludging together something for each successive release to try and keep up with Nvidia, but making it worse each time. All they're doing here is integrating the Gaming Evolved Experience features into the software for manually controlling the GPU. It's to simplify things for the majority of people who wouldn't know the difference between Anti-Aliasing and Ambient Occlusion. The Game Manager is no big deal. They've been trying to do that for a little bit, but Nvidia has been mopping the floor in that department with the GeForce Experience. It's just optimal settings for people who don't have the know-how to hand optimize games, which is probably the majority of PC gamers; not the PC gaming enthusiasts who know what they're doing, but people who buy a PC and play games on it. I also don't get why people are so bent out of shape about the "social integration." That's been a part of the Radeon software ever since AMD bought up Raptr. Chances are they'll roll in support for Twitch or YouTube or something, too. Streaming gameplay has become such an enormous thing that they'd be foolish not to get in there, because Lord knows Nvidia isn't, but Microsoft is (see: Xbox One streaming). If you don't like it, don't use it. Same thing I do with the Nvidia equivalent.

Comment Re:You cannot succeed (Score 1) 57

So if your grandma gets hacked we should sue her and throw her in jail?

If your grandma swerved across three lanes and caused a traffic accident because she never went in for the manufacturer recall to fix the malfunctioning rear view mirror she'd certainly at least get a talking to. If you knew about the problem with the mirror you'd probably talk with her about how important it is to get it fixed before she causes a problem too.

How about we hold Microsoft accountable for the shitty fucking security in their operating system?

That's the real problem here.

No, the problem is that Microsoft issues fixes for their security problems, but people don't want to stop using their computer long enough to install them. That's how we ended up with Windows 8 forcing people to reboot to install updates, and Windows 10 making it more difficult to turn that system off. People bitch and moan about it, and in some cases go out of their way to disable it. A Google search for "Windows 10 Automatic Update" has the first two results as instructions on how to disable it, even Forbes has a write-up on how to disable it.

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Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. -- Ambrose Bierce