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Comment: Are We Talking Like Princeton? (Score 1) 432

by hellwig (#36400254) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Support In Universities?

Doesn't Princeton lock-down their network tighter than a frogs asshole? If I'm not mistaken, recent news reports suggest that Princeton blocked all Android devices from their wireless network due to a bug that prevents Android devices from properly releasing assigned IPs after they expire. I believe Princeton also blocked iOS devices for a similar reason further back in history, before Apple fixed the bug. So, unless these news reports are mistaken, clearly some institutions DO block-out devices based on the OS they run. Maybe it's automatic, or maybe it's rather manual. Even if you have to call-in to the IT department and request they add your MAC address to a white-list and specify which OS you run at the same time, lying and connecting a Linux machine is a pretty stupid reason to get expelled from college.

That said, I'd have to imagine that if any IT department DID limit the wireless network to only Windows machines, this would be a clear indication that the head of the IT department was somehow getting kickbacks from a regional license vendor. The reason to allow Linux on your network is clear, it's Free. Except for private colleges (like Princeton), most colleges don't have the extra money to afford huge numbers of licenses for the thousands of computers they have sprawled around campus (even with site-license and educational institution discounts). At my alma mater, even most of the computers that did have Windows could also dual-boot to Linux (Redhat was the flavor of choice at the time). The only exceptions were department-run labs (like the Mac lab run by the C.S. department, and the engineering lab run by the E.E. department).

And no, I don't buy in to Microsoft's whole "Linux is more expensive than Windows" argument, especially at a college where most of the IT staff consists of students employed via work-study (assuming this isn't some arts-only institution).

Comment: Re:Standards not Monkey Antics? (Score 1) 254

by hellwig (#36250386) Attached to: Experts Say Gestural Interfaces Are a Step Backwards In Usability

No, I did not RTFA, who does that anyway? My point was, you have people like Tesla and people like Edison. Some people are fine sitting in a lab, working through the equations, conducting actual experiments (and now days, computer simulations), making sure something is worked-out thoroughly. Meanwhile, guys like Edison are out in the field, creating products that either succeed or fail. Using those experiences to improve their previous products until they have a more refined product. Sure, Tesla's A/C wins-out in the end, but if I recall, it's GE that's one of the top companies in the world.

And who says someone else's research is free? What about current advances in gestural interfaces? Doesn't Apple own patents covering multi-touch gesturing? Seems to me that Apple's existing research has hindered the cell-phone industry, because now anyone who wants to implement anything similar (based on Apple's research or their own), has to pay Apple. So until we do something about the patent system, people have two options: Try to come up with a novel approach to doing something, or pay out the nose to whoever did the research before you.

Hell, the summary at the end of the article points out how Nielsen himself holds 79 U.S. patents. Seems to me, if someone wants to benefit from his research, they're going to have to pay him. Therefore, his whole article can be boiled down to this: People aren't licensing his patents, instead they're coming up with their own way of doing things. Nielsen apparently feels that less money in his pocket is a step backwards.

Comment: Standards not Monkey Antics? (Score 1) 254

by hellwig (#36246958) Attached to: Experts Say Gestural Interfaces Are a Step Backwards In Usability
I thought with the title, it would be a social study about how gesturing at a computer like an ape instead of sitting down and calmly telling your equipment what to do (via text or speech) is a major steps backwards for humanity. How can people not realize that every new technology will go through a phase where everyone implements their own idea before the industry settles on a few good ideas?

Comment: Re:Android (Score 2, Insightful) 321

by hellwig (#36213538) Attached to: Rooted Devices Blocked From Android Movie Market

What? They aren't blacklisting websites or even blocking third-party apps. They are simply blocking rooted phones from their movie store. Are you going to start complaining that WP7 and iOS phones can't connect to their store either?

Google is not saying what you can and cannot do with your phone. Google is saying what you can and cannot do with their movie marketplace, there's a BIG difference there. How dare Google dictate what people can and can't do with Google's movie store? You ever heard of the old "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?" Google is saying if you use a rooted phone, you don't get access to their marketplace. Google and/or the studios are a little worried that people with rooted phones might find a way to steal movies. If you don't agree with the paranoia, you shop elsewhere. It's similar to how some stores don't let kids in groups of more than 2 enter, or allow you to bring in a backpack or large bag, they don't want you shoplifting. Also similar to how certain businesses post signs about not allowing weapons (even though the constitution allows you to own those weapons). They aren't saying you can't own a gun, they're saying you can't take it into their store, THEIR property. Google doesn't want rooted phones in THEIR store, and that's their right. Trust me, keeping out a few teenagers (some of whom just might have been planning to steal stuff anyway) doesn't hurt a store's business, and the maybe 10% of rooted android devices out there won't be missed by Google either.

Comment: Re:Human after all! (Score 2, Interesting) 537

by hellwig (#36127526) Attached to: Porn Reportedly Found At Bin Laden Compound

That's not really the point or what he's arguing. The presumption of innocence is something we give to our worst, our very, very, very worst, most obviously guilty criminals. It was also something tribunals gave to the Nazis, some of the very worst criminals in all of world history. It is a bedrock prinicple of Western society. But we didn't give it here.

The tribunals only gave that to the Nazi's the Allies didn't kill during the war. If you forget, America is still at war (with Terror, not sure how we can battle and abstract concept, but hey). Therefore, Bin Laden was a war combatant, and assuming he didn't surrender (do you think he would have?), the American soldiers who shot him were under no obligation to read him his rights and take him, unharmed, into custody.

Why? Well, we still don't know all the details. But if he resisted in a way where he couldn't be subdued, they sure haven't told us. It looks, from the information we do have, that he was simply assassinated, without due process of any kind.

Wait a minute, so you're saying it was wrong to shoot Bin Laden because he didn't get his day in court, but you're only saying this because you assume that Seal Team 6 went into that compound guns-a-blazing shooting everything in sight without cause? What about their day in court, what about assuming they are innocent until proven guilty? Sure, I bet Osama was just sitting at a desk, dutifully reciting the Quran from memory, probably knitting his mother a sweater when some mean ole American came in and double-tapped him in the forehead, just like all us gun-owning American's would do to anyone given the opportunity.

I know American's do a lot of shit to earn a bad reputation, but for your anti-American sentiment to be so strong that you would actually support Bin Laden rather than admit that America might have done the right thing in this instance is disgusting. And if you're an American, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Comment: Wouldn't this method... (Score 1) 132

by hellwig (#36109132) Attached to: Apple Patents Keyboard That Knows What You'll Type
Wouldn't this method require everyone to be a practiced touch-typist? I mean, in order for the keyboard to predict where your fingers are going, wouldn't YOU have to know where your fingers are going? Too many people these days hunt and peck. Obviously there are people who scrape the letters off their Dvorak Simplified keyboards just to screw with others, but I imagine people interested in Apple products might not be so disciplined. Especially if those same people have gotten used to typing on an iPhone or iPad.

Comment: Re:Uninformed Rant, or Sony Apologist? (Score 4, Insightful) 185

by hellwig (#36060148) Attached to: Is the Gaming Industry Moving Online Too Fast?
And yet, it took only 4 years for Microsoft to shut-down their MSN Music service. This should be the point of the article (in my opinion). However, the OP loses ground when he talks about companies like Nintendo deciding Online isn't worth it. I think consumers will decide Online isn't worth it, especially if Sony can just shut down the actual game servers when the next iteration of their console comes out. And no, it's not paranoia, remember, Microsoft shutdown all Multiplayer servers for the original X-Box.

Sure, I have a lot invested in my Steam games, and I hope if Valve ever shuts down their servers I can at least backup my games and play in "offline mode", but we'll have to wait and see. However, as opposed to a console, my PC is still useful even if Steam does go down. If future consoles play online-only, when those servers DO go down, the consoles will be worthless, regardless of how hard you blow into them. Will the manufacturers price the consoles and games accordingly? Doubtful, not as long as there's profit to be made.

Comment: Re:Fundementally broken system (Score 2) 251

by hellwig (#35995176) Attached to: Sony: 10 Million Credit Cards May Have Been Exposed
My Visa credit card has a "ShopSafe" feature which does almost exactly what you suggest here. ShopSafe lets me create unique credit card numbers that are tied to my real account. These numers are only good at a single retailer (once one merchant has put a charge on the card, the card will be denied to any other merchant, but the same merchant can re-charge in the future). Additionally, I can set the expiration date (1 month from now is great for one-time purchases) and I can set a maximum dollar limit ($20 sounds good when I'm buying $19.99 worth of product). If the number hasn't expired or been exhausted, you can increase the limit or change the expiration date. I don't purchase anything on line with my real credit card number anymore.

Problem is, this seems to be limited to the bank. My card was originally through MBNA, who was bought by BankofAmerica. My wife's visa (through Wells Fargo), has no such option.

An additional option would be to buy gift cards (my Wii has never known my credit card number), or even Visa gift cards (which do have a fee associated, but accomplish roughly the same goal as ShopSafe).

Comment: Re:think again? u aint thunk yet (Score 1) 520

by hellwig (#35969456) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Leave My Router Open?

Absolute bullshit. I don't think you understand what "innocent until proven guilty" means. They might be able to take you to trial (and should not even be able to do that, based on an IP!!) but it is not "your responsibility" to prove anything. It is, most emphatically, their responsibility to do any proving.

I'm sorry, are you saying that because of "innocent until proven guilty", it's not in your own best interest to present a defense? No, I shouldn't have said "legally", you are right. However, if I was arrested, I would work my damn hardest to prove I wasn't guilty, even if the prosecution presents a piss-poor case trying to prove I am guilty. The prosecution isn't going to make YOUR case for you. They will simply say "Joe Schmoe was registered for that IP address at the time the content was illegally downloaded". YOU will have to be the one to say "Joe Schmoe used an un-secured router. Joe Schmoe had no evidence of kiddie porn on any of his computers." You will have to provide the reasonable doubt, the prosecution doesn't do that for you.

Like I said, the COURTS assume you are innocent, doesn't stop the police, doesn't stop the district attorney.

Here is a better analogy: stolen goods were tracked back to your neighborhood. The police storm your home (and those of all the neighbors) looking for them. Did they have probably cause? Hell, no.

Your analogy lacks on key aspect. The police KNOW that specific IP address was assigned to YOUR account when the illegal actions occurred. To adjust your analogy, lets say someone shipped a bunch of illegal goods to your home address. You're darn right they'd have probably cause. They know for a fact that illegal goods were delivered to your house. Do they know that YOU ordered them? No, but you do own that house, and are responsible for what goes on there. No, you can't stop people from mailing shit to your house, and the law says you aren't responsible for people using your unsecured router to access illegal content, but that certainly doesn't mean that when your router WAS used, they don't have probably cause to tear your life apart.

But like I said elsewhere, if you aren't worried, then by all means, don't bother trying to protect yourself. If the magical force field provided by what is "right, just, and moral" is going to protect you when some asshole assistant D.A. trying to make a name for themselves orders the county sheriff to raid your house at 3AM, keep on trucking. The sheriff doesn't even have to apologize when they shoot your dog, it attacked them as they were legally serving a search warrant, even if that search warrant doesn't turn up any evidence against you (and no, I'm not making that part up either, happens all the time).

Comment: Re:think again? u aint thunk yet (Score 1) 520

by hellwig (#35969240) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Leave My Router Open?
Who said anything about movie tickets or a dinner receipt. Lets say two hobos enter your house while you're sleeping (someone forgot to lock the back door). They fight, one grabs a knife and stabs the other (he's wearing hobo gloves, no fingerprints). You wake up, call the cops, report a mysterious dead body in your house.

"But officer, I was asleep the hole time and would never stab a hobo, honest!" That's going to be your defense? Meanwhile, the cops ask all your friends and family, neighbors, etc.. if they saw anything, heard anything. If you've been stressed out at work lately, had a history of drinking, etc..? In the end, they'll show you were recently demoted at work. The only fingerprints on the knife were yours. There were no signs of forced entry. Nothing else was taken from the house. You think they won't arrest you? And even if they don't, you think you'll just recover from that intrusion into your life?

Yes, this is all hyperbole. My point is, would the comfort in knowing you didn't break the law make up for that whole process? You'd have no recourse to sue them for anything, especially if they never arrest you. Everyone at work, your neighbors, your friends, they'll start to wonder. Like hell if you'll be able to take your kids to the local park ("That's that person that killed that hobo/downloaded all that kiddie porn."). Your life will be ruined.

Yes, the few people who read these articles online will know the truth. You think your neighbor is going to know anything other than the fact that they were asked a bunch of questions about your behavior around their kids recently? If you could live with that, by all means, leave your router unsecured.

Comment: Re:Can't lift, too heavy ... (Score 1) 84

by hellwig (#35968052) Attached to: Inside Google's Secret Employee Hackerspace
Oh, ignorance exposed, run away!!!

I admit, I've never used one, that's why I thought about mentioning it. My public high school could afford oscilloscopes, metal lathes, even vertical milling machines and a blast furnace. That Googlers are getting excited over MIG (metal inert gas, didn't even have to Google that) welders and screw drivers is sort of humorous, that's all.

Comment: Re:think again? u aint thunk yet (Score 2) 520

by hellwig (#35967912) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Leave My Router Open?
The fact that the law protects service providers doesn't give you back your dignity or any time you lost sitting in a jail cell or any money you spent on a lawyer defending yourself. Remember, your name isn't AT&T or Comcast, the law has no idea that you were not the one downloading the illegal material. If you open your router up, it is your legal responsibility to prove, should something arise, that it was no one in your house that performed the illegal actions. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't mean they can't arrest you and send you to trial. The courts must assume you are innocent. The police and district attorney think you are guilty, or they wouldn't arrest you in the first place.

If a dead body shows up in your house with a kitchen knife sticking out it's neck, the police are going to arrest you. Now, if it is later revealed that two vagrants broke into your house intent on robbing the place, and one stabbed the other over a dispute, then yes, you will be let go. However, that does not mean the police or district attorney acted inappropriately in any manner whatsoever. You aren't owed an apology, much less monetary damages.

This is, unfortunately, how all justice works. Think about murder or robbery. Even if the guilty party goes to jail, you aren't getting back your loved ones or lost property (and yeah, you can sue, but not every murderer is OJ Simpson). You can't rely on the law to protect you. The law only deals with crimes (or in this case, "non-crimes"), after the fact, it can't prevent something from happening. Just because the DMCA says service providers are protected, doesn't mean you won't sit in jail (or have to mortgage your house for bail) until its proven that you were in fact just a service provider in this one instance.

Comment: Re:Kinda figures. (Score 1) 194

by hellwig (#35967416) Attached to: iPhone 3G and iOS4 Lack Chemistry
First off, let me say I don't own any Apple products and never will. However, I feel inclined to point out that Apple did NOT deliver a sub-par experience on the older, 3G device. Apple did not release iOS4 for the 2G and 3G models (the summary says you have to jailbreak the device to install iOS4). Therefore, Apple simply released newer software that it knew the older device could not handle, and chose not to release it for that hardware. Nothing says that every release of software must support every device ever made. I doubt the Apple Newton could run iOS1 (ignoring obvious architecture differences), does that mean Apple is trying to purposefully make the performance of the Newton so bad that people will have to upgrade to an iPad2? How dare Apple not support Apple iie users with the latest OSX!!!!

Now, if the summary had been: "iPhone 3G runs iOS4 perfectly!!!", then I would agree that Apple was withholding iOS4 from the 3G model to force customers to upgrade to a 3GS or 4G (yes, it was once called 4G). But since the summary basically says "Boy, was I an idiot for trying to run iOS4 on my crappy iPhone 3G", then I don't really see how you can blame Apple for this.

There are many things you can condemn Apple for (pick just about anything having to do with their iTunes Appstore), but this isn't really a problem.

Comment: Re:Can't lift, too heavy ... (Score 1) 84

by hellwig (#35965924) Attached to: Inside Google's Secret Employee Hackerspace
Seriously. If you really want this equipment, and are proficient enough to use it, you own it, or have access to it through, say, a coop. Vertical metal milling equipment, a blast furnace, gimme something I can't afford or fit in my garage. Oohh, how about a fancy C&C machine, mill me out some sweet rims for my Sonata!

Only the most skilled need apply? Accepted after a year in woodshop at a local highschool? My god, these really are computer-only nerds, aren't they? I knew of this breed starting in high school. They know only one thing, and that's typing crap into a terminal. Actually using your hands for manual labor is dirty and too hard. Hell, I took a year of wood shop in middle school (still got the tables I built). I took TWO years of metal shop in high school (still got a 40-gallon fish tank sitting on another table I welded together). Built my mom a cutting-board island that's sitting in her kitchen (stripped the maple top myself). Point is, this would definitely be a nice perk, but the benefits seems overstated to me. The only true benefit is that the materials are probably free.

Comment: Re:There's a big difference, though (Score 5, Interesting) 333

by hellwig (#35938882) Attached to: Netflix Subscriber Base Eclipses Comcast's
Here Here.

As I like to point out, for $8/mo not only can Netflix afford to pay the content providers for their content, it can also pay it's own internet bills. Yet supposedly for $45+/mo, local ISPs can't seem to provide enough internet access to home users. Every byte home users pay to download Netflix paid to upload. And if Netflix gets some sort of "bulk deal" on bandwidth (yeah, I don't know how that would work either), you'd think actual ISPs like AT&T and Comcast could get a better deal, yet all the ISPs do is complain about bandwidth and put download limits in place.

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

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