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Comment: More security theater? (Score 3, Insightful) 683

by janoc (#47398571) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

I do wonder how this is going to stop someone from smuggling an explosive on board. It is vastly easier to conceal some nasty payload inside of a bulky laptop than inside of a battery. And it could still even work as a laptop - a brick of a plastic explosive the size of a disk drive or a secondary battery would be enough to cause a huge problem on board, without preventing the laptop from booting up and working.

And that is still assuming someone would actually want to bother with this - the guy with explosive underpants certainly didn't need a working battery ...

Mind boggling stupidity.

Comment: Cyveillance (Score 5, Interesting) 349

by janoc (#47384477) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Oh that DMCA was issued by Cyveillance - the incompetent company Hollywood and music labels hired for policing P&P by string matching filenames and then carpet bombing service providers with DMCA requests, even though the content was not infringing at all. I bet they simply crawled Github for Qualcomm copyright notices, something that is often left in source code, even though it was relicensed long time ago already. Unfortunately, their bot is not that smart.

Some references:


These bozos are known and someone at Qualcomm should get fired for hiring them. This is going to backfire at Qualcomm in a spectacular way, IMO.

Comment: Ubisoft & PC? How is this news? (Score 3, Insightful) 215

by janoc (#47270099) Attached to: Was <em>Watch Dogs</em> For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

How does this surprise anyone? After Ubisoft CEO calling PC users "pirates" (, always-on DRM required on PC, Ubisoft changing focus to consoles because of piracy (,6152.html) and more and more of similar vibe coming out of the Montreal's company over the recent years. They don't give a crap about PC and ideally they wouldn't publish for it all if they could, as it is only an extra expense and liability for their piracy obsessed CEO.

They are obviously crippling their PC titles to both push people away from the platform towards the consoles and to not undermine the sales of their console versions at the same time, because PC can outperform the consoles without too much hassle. If the PC version looked significantly better, the console players would cry foul, having paid the same money but getting inferior product. If everything looks like the same crap, players will not think about it twice.

Any PC gamer still buying Ubisoft's stuff is a masochist.

Comment: Re:Wrong tool for the job, IMO (Score 1) 172

by janoc (#47228795) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Actually, it is being sold in reverse - you buy the DS1074Z for e.g. $500 and you get the basic scope as specced + some 50 hours of demo of extra features that would normally drive the cost to those $1500 if you buy all of them. You try whether you like them and if you do, you pay for the options (or use a keygen - Rigols were hacked long time ago).

However, if you are buying one of these from a shady dealer somewhere at a hamfest being sold out of a car boot and without doing your homework, you get what you pay for. I want the thing to have at least calibration and warranty, so I buy it from a proper dealer - that's where I have got mine from a month ago (for ~500 EUR, VAT included: ).

Comment: Re:Wrong tool for the job, IMO (Score 1) 172

by janoc (#47228747) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Actually the new DS1074Z is $500 bucks now (got one recently), the -S version with the built-in sig gen is $800. The old DS1052E is still being sold for about $400 new, but the DS1074Z is a much better deal - 4 channels, much faster waveform update, larger sample memory, intensity graded display, etc. It is more comparable to the 2000 series than the old DS1000 one.

I think it is pretty comparable with the low end Agilents also (which are actually rebadged Rigols sold for higher price - Rigol is OEM for Agilent).

The Agilent 2000 series is a higher class instrument, then you are in the $2000+ price category.

Comment: Re:Wrong tool for the job, IMO (Score 1) 172

by janoc (#47228721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

I have actually owned DS1052E, that one is not sw upgradable, no hidden surprises there. DS1074Z is on my desk today and you get something like 50 hours of usage from some advanced things like I2C/SPI decoding and triggering or double sample memory. Buying those options is not very expensive neither, but then there is also if you want.

Comment: Wrong tool for the job, IMO (Score 4, Informative) 172

by janoc (#47224941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

If you are an electronics teacher, you should know better. The PC-based scopes and the various "DSO Nano" clones are universally crap and none fits into your budget anyway.

Your students would be vastly better served by buying a used analog scope, those could be obtained on eBay and similar places for a song these days. A used Tektronix or Hameg scope will beat the pants off of any PC-based toy and, more importantly, the student will actually learn and understand how the instrument works and what is being measured, because there are no "magic buttons" to push.

If the student has a bit larger budget, then the Rigol DS1052E or the newer DS1074Z is a really hard to beat value. There are also Siglents or Attens for the budget conscious, but both brands tend to suffer from poor manufacturing quality and the price is not really much lower than the Rigols.

Forget spectrum analyzer - there is no decent one for less than $1000 on the market. Digital scopes can do FFT, that helps in a pinch, otherwise the student can always record the data from something like the Rigols above and do a proper spectrum analysis on the PC, e.g. using Matlab or some other tool.

Comment: Re:Not illegal (Score 1) 218

by janoc (#47078043) Attached to: Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

It could pretty well be illegal in Europe. Many EU countries have laws banning this sort of tactics as the abuse of the "market power". If you have more than a certain percentage of the market, you are treated as a quasi-monopoly and restrictions apply. These laws are mostly targeted at various retail chains that have abusive terms in their supplier contracts, but it is only a matter of time before this gets applied to Amazon, Google and similar.

Comment: Wrong priorities and self-inflicted wounds (Score 2) 111

by janoc (#47006993) Attached to: Game Industry Fights Rising Development Costs

The problem is that the industry is spending the money on wrong things - massive marketing, shiny graphics, motion capture for animation ... Unfortunately, most of that is extremely expensive and laborious. I really don't need my next stupid shooter game to have motion captured animations of every monster done by AAA Hollywood mocap specialists at several thousands of $/hour.

And as the "next gen" has to be bigger, better, shinier than the "last gen", the costs spiral out of control. Another consequence of this blockbuster mentality is that only few innovative "AAA" games get made, because nobody wants to take risks with such budgets - but how many times can you redo Doom?

It is possible to make and release games cheaper, even big titles (just look at the Witcher series). The companies and publishers need to start to work smarter, not just pour more money at the problem. However, when the most complex AI in games are finite state machines and motion capture is considered as "AI" (true quote from one major studio exec), every bit of content is hand modelled, textured and baked instead of some sort of automation or more clever game design, when the "next gen" game innovation stops with rendering more nose hair and dirty pores (or bigger boobs) of the main protagonist than the "last gen", then I am really sceptical ...

Oh and cut out the middle men and stop reinventing the wheel for the sake of greed (Origin by EA anyone?). You will cut your expenses by a factor of 2 right there.

Comment: Re:Digikey is expensive (Score 2) 138

by janoc (#46961625) Attached to: A 32-bit Development System For $2

Good luck trying to get these in Europe. They are pretty much unobtanium, because nobody stocks them or they sell these only to companies (Farnell), with a huge shipping and handling markup (Digikey, Mouser, Farnell) or they simply don't carry the DIP version at all (RadioSpares).

It is way easier to buy one of the QFP packages - they are both cheaper, more available and with more pins. And either get it pre-soldered on a breakout board or buy a simple QFP to DIP adapter on eBay (or make your own).

+ - Intentional backdoor in consumer routers found->

Submitted by janoc
janoc (699997) writes "Eloi Vanderbeken from Synacktiv has identified an intentional backdoor in a module by Sercomm used by major router manufacturers (Cisco, Linksys, Netgear ...). The backdoor was ostensibly fixed — by obfuscating it and making it harder to access.

The original report is here (pdf)

And yeah, there is an exploit available ..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:They will take it seriously (Score 2) 54

by janoc (#46780153) Attached to: The Dismal State of SATCOM Security

Which is happening routinely. Many older birds don't require any authentication nor anything - they simply retransmit whatever they hear on one frequency on another one: http://spectregroup.wordpress....

And those are US NAVY (!!!) satellites!

Doing that with Iridium or Inmarsat hardware is a bit more complex, because the protocols are mostly digital, but not impossible neither.

Comment: OSS security debate (Score 3, Interesting) 54

by janoc (#46780107) Attached to: The Dismal State of SATCOM Security

Wasn't it just yesterday that someone has posted a flamebait summary about the Heartbleed bug changing the "Open source is safer" discussion?

This is a great evidence of what happens when you rely on security by obscurity in proprietary software. Nobody is forced to fix things, sloppy coding is the norm and there are backdoors galore ...

Unfortunately, the bad guys laugh, the vendors play ostrich with the heads in sand and everyone else is suffering the consequences ...

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer