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Comment: Not a new idea (Score 1) 161

by Steve Florkey (#38005194) Attached to: Ballistic Clipboard Holds Papers, Stops Bullets
These guys use a fabric composite; that's probably more effective than the Safariland Ballistic Clipboard made of 3/8" Lexan back in the 70's. I had one. It was big and a bit awkward -- about the size of this one. And the Lexan wasn't expected to be effective against supersonic bullets like 9mm, .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum. This Kevlar sandwich should be more effective and may be a bit lighter, but it still requires another hand. How does it integrate with a flashlight? A good cop will keep his/her weapon hand free -- just in case. At night the other hand will be holding a light. If they want to make a real winner they will incorporate a good LED light with the control(s) where the left hand is holding the clipboard. The hard part will be to make the light control simple and intuitive without accidental on (or off) events. Did they do any research on the name? Did they even offer a deal for the name to Ballistic Clipboard, LLC?

Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent 98

Posted by timothy
from the plus-one-invitation dept.
"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."

Zoe's Tale 109 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
stoolpigeon writes "John Scalzi, the author of Hugo Award-nominated science fiction novel Old Man's War, has built what started as a story serialized in his blog into a series of full novels and short stories. The latest installment in the OMW universe, Zoe's Tale, is quite a departure from the previous three books. It is the first of Scalzi's sci-fi novels written intentionally as young adult fiction. In a move that I am sure will continue to fuel Scalzi/Heinlein comparisons, Zoe is a precocious young woman thrust into a world of adventure and danger. In just three years Scalzi has built an impressive resume as an author of fiction, and Zoe's Tale will be no small part of what looks to be an influential and outstanding career." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.

Cell Chip Coming To the PC Via a PCI Express Card 164

Posted by timothy
from the buy-one-for-every-prisoner dept.
arcticstoat writes with an excerpt from Custom PC: "After developing a brand new CPU architecture from the ground-up, you'd expect that Toshiba, Sony and IBM would have more uses for the Cell architecture than the PlayStation 3, and Toshiba has been quick to make use of the architecture's HD video transcoding abilities in its new Qosimo laptops. However, Leadtek is now taking Toshiba's efforts a step further by putting the chip onto a PCI-E card for desktop PCs. The WinFast PxVC1100 is based on Toshiba's SpursEngine SE1000 processor, which is a cut-down version of the Cell chip. The SpursEngine chip features four SPEs (synergistic processing elements) based on 128-bit RISC cores, along with H.264 and MPEG-2 codecs, but it doesn't contain its own CPU as the chip in the PS3 does. The chip is capable of encoding and decoding H.264, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video streams in hardware."

Schneier On Scareware Vendor Lawsuits 148

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-what-about-the-car-warranty-robot-who-calls-every-day dept.
Bruce Schneier's blog says "This is good: Microsoft Corp. and the state of Washington this week filed lawsuits against a slew of 'scareware' purveyors, scam artists who use fake security alerts to frighten consumers into paying for worthless computer security software. "

Man Uses Remote Logon To Help Find Laptop Thief 251 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the cyber-bloodhound dept.
After his computer was stolen, Jose Caceres used a remote access program to log on every day and watch it being used. The laptop was stolen on Sept. 4, when he left it on top of his car while carrying other things into his home. "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn," Caceres said. "I couldn't get any information about him." Last week the thief messed up and registered on a web site with his name and address. Jose alerted the police, who arrested a suspect a few hours later. The moral of the story: never go to a porn site where you have to register.

Toshiba Battery Charges In 10 Minutes 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-the-lights-dim dept.
Slatterz writes "Toshiba has unveiled a battery prototype that offers a 90 percent charge capacity in just 10 minutes. The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCIB) is capable of handling 5,000 to 6,000 recharge cycles, compared to the typical 500 offered by standard lithium-ion batteries. The new battery is composed of a durable material that offers a high level of thermal stability and prevents overheating."

How Big Should My Swap Partition Be? 900

Posted by timothy
from the wait-until-ram-is-infinite-then-double-it dept.

For the last 10 years, I have been asking people more knowledgeable than I, "How big should my swap be?" and the answer has always been "Just set it to twice your RAM and forget about it." In the old days, it wasn't much to think about — 128 megs of RAM means 256 megs of swap. Now that I have 4 gigs of RAM in my laptop, I find myself wondering, "Is 8 gigs of swap really necessary?" How much swap does the average desktop user really need? Does the whole "twice your RAM" rule still apply? If so, for how much longer will it likely apply? Or will it always apply? Or have I been consistently misinformed over the last 10 years?

Comment: Fire the Lawyers (Score 1) 227

by Steve Florkey (#22130854) Attached to: Geekonomics
The reference to Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed" is a good one -- both ways.

Giving them both their due, neither cars nor software are perfect. Both could stand improvement. I don't see anything in this world that couldn't use a little improvement.

On the other hand, "Unsave at Any Speed" unfairly characterized Chevrolette's Corvair as poorly designed when the real problem was that many Corvair owners took no responsibility for routine maintenance. The Corvair has been called the poor man's Porche because it was a well balanced car that would perform well if its tires were properly inflated.

In the same way, much of today's software is amazingly good, especially considering the cost to acquire FLOSS. Most of the software used by people who use /. can be updated at regular intervals (like keeping the tires inflated), and most of us take advantage of those updates to keep our systems clean.

Joe Sixpack wants to surf his p0rn; he doesn't want to "waste time" with those pesky software updates. If his tires run flat he'll just buy new ones. Now let him go where he wants to go!

When was the last time we held car manufacturers liable for damage caused by potholes? Do we expect car manufacturers to keep us safe from the consequences of driving over nails or off a clif?

Yes, everything could stand some improvement, especially those silly shrink-wrap or click-wrap license agreements. I still don't see how the software that is not guaranteed to do anything useful has to be treated like the crown jewels. But that does not seem to be the focus of "Geekonomics." Let's work on reducing the targets for malware while we thank those who provide the software that works as well as it does.

DSL Gateways to Fight Piracy by Marking Video 337

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the movie-dna-testing dept.
Stony Stevenson wrote with an article about home gateway devices being set up to identify video pirates. The article reads: "Home gateway manufacturer Thomson SA plans to incorporate video watermarking technology into future set-top boxes and other video devices. The watermarks, unique to each device, will make it possible for investigators to identify the source of pirated videos. By letting consumers know the watermarks are there, even if they can't see them, Thomson hopes to discourage piracy without putting up obstacles to activities widely considered fair use, such as copying video for use on another device in the home or while traveling to work."

+ - DVD CCA Challenges DVD Ripping in Court Monday

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Kaleidescape will finally have its day in court Monday to fight the DVD CCA. The licensor of the CSS encryption scheme for DVDs is suing the manufacturer of video servers, claiming that its products enable the unauthorized copying of protected DVDs. In a twist, the DVD CCA — commonly known as the voice of Hollywood — wants the trial closed to the public, claiming that CSS, which was broken in 1999 by a 15-year-old and spread widely on the Internet, is still a trade secret.

Make it right before you make it faster.