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Comment: $13K is the Only Obstacle (Score 0) 232

by bill_mcgonigle (#49550645) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

I'm poised to install a $4K backup generator in the next few months. I don't live in a region where I can force my neighbors to pay for my tech goodies, and the $9K difference doesn't get paid for on any kind of time horizon that outpaces even a basic interest rate.

The generator also has a near-infinite runtime, in the case of a bad storm. However, it needs more maintenance, so if there were price-parity I might opt for the battery.

Give it another five years and that just might be feasible - good for Musk for getting this ball rolling, and kudos to the early adopters who take it in the pocket to promote the technology.

Comment: Re:Public Shaming the Red Chinese ? (Score 2) 47

by bill_mcgonigle (#49549111) Attached to: Github DDoS Attack As Seen By Google

And even with the 'cannon' in China, do we know who lit the fuse?

Almost certainly the same people who arranged for NXDOMAIN on a few weeks back. They really hate that there are open source anti-censorship tools on there.

They had to stop breaking DNS for github since most of China's Internet developers couldn't get any work done anymore.

That Chinese developers are freely using a California hosting service which has benefits to everybody in the world, and everybody recognizes that the "damage" here is government, it actually gives me a bit of hope. People do prefer to cooperate on all things, until a few sociopaths get a set of keys.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 292

I'm not entirely sure you're not trolling, but I'll bite anyway.

The US Constitution states that the purpose of copyright is "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", artists and inventors may be granted a (temporary, limited) exclusive right to their work. Anytime copyright comes up among my group of friends (who include a large number of writers, musicians, and graphical artists, in addition to programmers) copyright is a fairly contentious issue. I tend to like to argue the position that any "common", mass produced work that is unavailable for public purchase for longer than one year has outlived its' salable value and should lose copyright protection. (This is particularly true in the age of digital distribution, where "shelf space" is a non-issue.) Fine art (where only one copy of the item ever gets created) clearly requires a different definition for copyright term, but for the things which usually are referenced in these debates online -- CDs, mass market books, newsclippings, etc. -- a strictly limited term is far more beneficial to keeping works available to the public.

Comment: Re: Figures (Score 2, Insightful) 358

by bill_mcgonigle (#49537843) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

It seems unlikely that development support of XP is more costly than the revenue generated by XP users. And Apple has plenty of cash. But this may still be shrewd - let's see if there's a bump in Mac sales this quarter. These users represent existing Apple customers running an OS that Microsoft abandoned. They don't need to know about how fast Apple abandons hardware, but to be fair Apple does upgrades pretty nicely. They can blame MS and gain the customer, all by hosing said customer. Devious and clever.

Comment: Re: This is not good... (Score 2) 254

by bill_mcgonigle (#49536535) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

That's not how cancer works. Cancerous cells are constantly arising and being killed by the immune system. Let's assume that eating healthy food reduces the incidence of metastatic cancer. Then it is preventing cancer in many instances. To claim that it prevents all run-away cancer processes would be a stronger claim with a much higher bar to meet.


POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990 127

Posted by timothy
from the you-only-said-not-to-use-123456 dept.
mask.of.sanity writes: Fraud fighters David Byrne and Charles Henderson say one of the world's largest Point of Sale systems vendors has been slapping the same default passwords – 166816 – on its kit since 1990. Worse still: about 90 per cent of customers are still using the password. Fraudsters would need physical access to the PoS in question to exploit it by opening a panel using a paperclip. But such physical PoS attacks are not uncommon and are child's play for malicious staff. Criminals won't pause before popping and unlocking. The enraged pair badged the unnamed PoS vendor by its other acronym labelling it 'Piece of S***t.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 301

by bill_mcgonigle (#49526541) Attached to: Futures Trader Arrested For Causing 2010 'Flash Crash'

Who was actually harmed by this crash? A bunch of wall street speculators running computer programs to trade faster than regular people. Who gives a shit. If anything, it exposes the vulnerability so it can be fixed.

Wall Street (and The City) give a shit, and they own the governments. This is exactly how the system is set up to work for them.

Guess who gave more money to candidate Obama than every other candidate combined ever, at the time? Your clue letters are 'G' and 'S'.

And, of course they all bet big on both horses, so they're covered no matter how a given race turns out.

Comment: Re:It's not surprising (Score 1) 129

by bill_mcgonigle (#49526527) Attached to: YouTube Going Dark On Older Devices

Just being a standard doesn't stop obsoletion. Wireless shows you that. Within days of actually being ratified as a standard, the next wireless standard is in the works and people start pushing our pre-N or pre-AC products.

Yet you can still configure an -AC AP to allow -b devices to connect to it. B-only devices were last made in, what, 2001? It's limiting, and sometimes not the default, but real standards usually try to incorporate backwards-compatibility if they can.

Comment: Re:It's not surprising (Score 1) 129

by bill_mcgonigle (#49526515) Attached to: YouTube Going Dark On Older Devices

Can you imagine the uproar if older HDTV tuners suddenly stopped working with new broadcasts?

Odds are some "smart" TV's are losing YouTube, or will with the next change. By the end of their 20-year life-expectancy, most of those things will only be able to play HDTV and HDMI. The ones that aren't bricked by malicious malware by then, anyway.

There might even be some that lose functions before the warranty runs out - is the manufacturer liable for firmware updates to maintain functionality?

Google's clearly going to externalize all the costs of reacquisition and recycling - it's not established what obligations, if any, they have when they offer a product and refuse to support it for a "reasonable" time. I'm just surprised with that with a Google of money, it's not worth it to them to hire a guy to keep the old API working, so that those eyeballs don't migrate to other services. If Youtube fails and Hulu keeps working, it would be an error to assume that people will just go buy a new TV to keep up with YouTube - they will substitute other services in most cases.

Comment: Re:Found in small town, CA? (Score 3, Interesting) 81

There aren't even any 3G towers that I know of.

Seriously? A good chunk of the existing phone base can't even do 4G - prepaid is still largely 3G-only phones, which are still sold new today. It would be very rare to have 4G-only coverage areas in a town.

However, if you never go anywhere and have really good 4G coverage, setting your phone to 4G-only may well be a good workaround to reduce your chance of an intercept.

Comment: Re:Correction: 4,300 times (Score 1) 81

The article states that the earlier figure was incorrect; the Baltimore police actually used it 4,300 times, not 25,000 times.

It's still a big enough number that they must have full-time staff dedicated to these illegal searches. No wonder B'more has so many problems with dropped calls.

Comment: Re: Here's a better idea (Score 1) 669

Wannabe central planners think they have all the answers.

Here's a crazy idea - stop artificial price fixing of water and let the stupid uses become unprofitable through millions of decisions by people who know about their own business.

"Oh, no," they say, "we know better. Even though they created this mess with that attitude.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.