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Comment: Re:Socialism (Score 1) 105

While you are correct, I defy you to come up with an example of a form of government (that has been in use) that doesn't/didn't lead to authoritarianism.

In the US it took less than 10 years (see "The Whiskey Rebellion"). The only thing that slowed down the process was the existence of an "open border" along the west. Closed borders foster authroitarianism, whatever the form of government.

Actually, I believe that there ARE forms of government that don't necessarily drift towards authoritarianism, but they would all have the characteristic that desiring power didn't increase your chance of getting it.

Comment: Re:A lot of it about. (Score 1) 259

by HiThere (#49350765) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

Unfortunately, bankruptcy law allows, and often requires, companies to break a lot of promises. I'm no lawyer, and all I know about bankruptcy law I learned from GrokLaw, but it has all kinds of wierd little "kludges" designed to allow the maximum amount of money to be pulled out of a corpse...usually for the benefit of the lawyers, as they get paid even before the creditors.


Is the Apple Watch a Useful Medical Device? (Video) 47

Posted by Roblimo
from the all-we-want-is-for-you-to-be-happy-happy-happy dept.
Let's kill the suspense right away by answering the title question, 'Probably not.' For one thing, according to interviewee Alfred Poor, the Apple Watch is in no way linked to the Apple Research Kit. Dr. Poor is editor of the Health Tech Insider website, so he follows this kind of thing more carefully than most people. And the Apple watch is not the only device mentioned in this video (or transcript, if you prefer reading to listening). If you want to ruminate about the possibility of direct mind control, for instance, you need to know about the Thync, whose vendor calls it 'A groundbreaking wearable device that enables you to shift your state of mind in minutes.' They say it 'induces on-demand shifts in energy, calm, or focus.' It even has a 'pleasure' setting. Crank that to 11 and you might happily spend your days prone, being fed by a drip and emptied by a catheter, moving only when an attendant turns you over to keep bedsores from developing -- not that you'll care if they do -- as you spend the rest of your life in an artificially-induced joyful stupor.

Comment: Good luck on the geoblocking (Score 1) 135

As long as the media companies can sell the rights to their product to individual companies in other nations, you will never see an end to geoblocking. It's part of the business model of making profit from as many opportunities as possible.

Why would CTV here in Canada pay for the rights to broadcast "Gotham" if Canadians could just watch the internet streams from the US directly? Why would the BBC pay for the rights to broadcast CTV's "Orphan Black" if British citizens could just watch the CTV streams from Canada for free?

It's all about the money, and the "cost" of piracy is a pittance compared to the profits they earn with the current model.

Comment: Be careful of the term "terrorist attack" (Score 4, Insightful) 721

by msobkow (#49343869) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

The fact that no attack occured gives the talking heads leeway to claim there was no "terrorist attack." That does not mean the fellow flying the plane at the time didn't have sympathies for terrorists or had been outright radicalized.

They also hate calling something a "terrorist attack" if there isn't a pre-announced political message for the reasons behind the attack.

Myself, I have a feeling they're going to learn a few things about him during the investigation that they'd rather were not true.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 160

by adolf (#49341963) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

Ummm well, that kinda depends on what you consider "cracked open". It took years to get it to boot and run something not designed to run on it. If you talk about, say, reading data on the system, that would not have taken years. Also, I have no idea how many people were working to crack PS3, I guess not that many, and the one who succeeded was some kid(no offence to smart kids, they are the ones who have time to work on things like cracking PS3 for fun) ? Just saying if the crackers had been people who had worked on such systems before the time might have been way shorter.

You know, I normally don't reply to ACs for a variety of reasons. I even have AC reply notification emails directed to /dev/null. I only see AC replies if I go looking for them, and I seldom do that. If you (or anyone else) wants to actually conduct discourse with me, please log in first.

It took years for the PS3 to be a general-purpose computer, outside of the (revoked, crippled) Linux environment.

Of course, a real impetus on a game console is piracy / copyright-infringment / making trial-ware out of pay-ware / running backups instead of originals. My own PS1 has a hardware mod chip that I installed myself, not to run Linux on the thing, but to make it run whatever the fuck I feel like -- even if it is a CD-R backup of a game that I've bought.

My original Xbox had a similar mod, though it was entirely done in software/firmware.

I have a hacked PS3. It required no soldering.

And it took *years* for this to happen. By then, the space-heater/radiator systems in TFS will have been supplanted with better ones. And with the current ease with which whole-disk and end-to-end network encryption is performed, I really don't see a clear-and-present security issue for companies using such machines as back-end database servers (indeed, perhaps the most available backup DB servers they have, on average -- with abilities to go live).

The PS1 hack happened without armed guards. It simply emulated a plain-to-the-eye barcode on the disc, and since the system itself had no on-board storage that was perfectly adequate to enable it to do whatever.

The Xbox hack was a buffer overflow using a saved game (I used 007), which allowed the Pentium-based machine to do the user's bidding: It booted a custom OS upon loading of a magical save-game. (wherein save-game itself was just a thing downloaded from the internet, stubbed onto an Xbox memory card using a special windows driver and a magic USB driver, and loaded into a memory card plugged into an official Xbox controller plugged into any run-of-the-mill PC, using a cheap big-box-store Mad Catz extension cable as a USB adapter and a soldering iron and/or a crimping tool to make the mismatched connectors mate.)

Those were all quick hacks, on the order of short weeks or months, with clear and present outcomes in terms of piracy.

The PS3 hack took *years* of fuckery to establish itself, and took such tomfoolery and even decapping chips (which was as-yet largely unheard of in such circles...) to make happen. And PS3 piracy still doesn't seem to be rampant, and backups are still hard to do.

But anyway, AC, my point stands: The PS3 took years to crack, and it was a much bigger crack than just reading a MySQL DB off of an unencrypted HD, or taking control of the system that provides heat for your house (==you're getting paid for). The former is simple with physical access (and most certainly isn't something that someone would install on a server intended for in a common abode these days), the latter is readily identifiable and actionable with failure and latency heuristics.

Truecrypt, OpenVPN == win.

Good bye again, AC. And good luck for getting "free" heat from the third-party servers installed in your house if you get them to do your bidding instead of their proprietors', or of 0wning them and taking the data for yourself. The very best you'll by fucking with them will be to break them so that they generate negative revenue for yourself, as they draw power and don't generate expected results.

You're better off plugging a big resistor into the wall: I think we call these "space heaters," and there is no contract required.

Comment: Re:How is this new? (Score 1) 172

> You turn it over, half the bottle dumps onto your food.

Insightful? REALLY? I didn't read that they're making the ketchup thinner or removing the small hole in the end of the cap. The article shows a glass ketchup bottle, true, but the other bottles shown are the more common squeezable plastic kind. The last time I used a glass ketchup bottle was maybe 10 years ago in a restaurant.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll