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Comment: Re:Still Evil (Score 1) 195

by jonhainer (#40675287) Attached to: GM Car Owners With OnStar Now Can Be Their Own Rental Agencies

1) Find car you'd like to steal or strip.

2) Social engineer the car to be a part of this "rental agreement".

3) "rent" car using the usual fake ID stuff (or just tell them you're an illegal and they're not allowed to discriminate against you).

4) Drive to steel walled warehouse or just strip the parts you want, after all they have fake ID.

5) Profit!

I am virtually certain GM is not prepared for the security implications of this.

It seems that you don't have a very good idea of how the program works.

First of all, you can't provide fake ID, because to participate as a renter you must present a driver's license to RelayRides. They check with your state's DMV to determine if the license is up to date and if you have a relatively clean driving record before they agree to insure you. Only then will you be able to go on-line and rent someone else's car. It would be very difficult to "fake" this.

GM is simply making OnStar anti-theft protection standard on all of their cars. One feature of this is that the owner can use a smart phone app to unlock the car. So, you must have a valid smartphone account for this to work, again identifying you as the culprit.

If the car is stolen, OnStar's GPS tracking features will be a huge help in locating the car.

I'm not saying that there's no way to spoof the app and make it look like someone else stole the car. I'm just saying, it would take a much more sophisticated approach than you mention.

Comment: USA has HIPAA Privacy Laws (Score 1) 1307

by jonhainer (#35857772) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

In the United States, the hospital as a whole is legally responsible for maintaining the privacy of all patient records. You are asking to open a port that has a very high probability of transmitting patient records (for example patient names, appointment schedule time and exam type) to hand-held devices that are taken off hospital premises and frequently lost, stolen or casually discarded when upgraded. iPhones do not have passwords or encryption turned on by default. Calendars are frequently shared between multiple calendar services like Google and Yahoo.

I think it is completely inappropriate for you to provide this service outside of the enterprise environment in the first place. I believe that your IT group is being excessively lenient allowing you to do it at all.

Comment: Re:Why worry? (Score 1) 353

by jonhainer (#35096128) Attached to: App — the Most Abused Word In Tech?

Because if people can't agree on what a word means, it leads to potential for misunderstandings and fraud. I don't think anyone can define "App" in the way that agrees with how Apple, Google and everyone else is using the word.

Let's try this definition: App is short for "Any computer code that, when applied to a general purpose information system, results in a more specialized application of said system." There, an app is any computer program -- big or small -- single hardware platform or multi-tier.

Comment: Re:Don't Let Avatar Influence Your Statements So M (Score 5, Insightful) 782

by jonhainer (#30643394) Attached to: <em>Avatar</em> Soars Into $1-Billion Territory

A shame that Cameron didn't take a more original story and risk it like Star Wars.

I find it interesting that you should mention this, because I found the parallel between Avatar and Star Wars to be striking. Unlike you, I don't find the plot of the 1977 Star Wars movie to be original at all. It was simply that a farm-boy found a message from a princess who was captured by an evil knight and imprisoned in a dark fortress. With the help of a good knight and a pirate, he frees the princess and destroys the fortress before the dark knight can destroy the village.

That's about the most unoriginal story ever. It's been done over and over again since the middle ages. That's not why I loved Star Wars, however. I loved it because the visual spectacle at the time it was created was unlike anything that I had seen before. (I was only 9 years old in 1977, but still ...) Fighting with laser swords is cool! Fast moving spaceships with rapid fire lasers are cool! It had never been done before. The feeling was electric.

As I was watching Avatar at age 41, I got that same feeling. I felt like I was 9 years old again and seeing something absolutely amazing for the first time. The 3D effects were awkward for about the first 15 minutes of the movie, and then I stopped noticing them. The simply became the experience. The computer animation sequences were ridiculously good -- fantastically detailed. I think you can tell, I loved the movie.

Movies don't always have to be story-telling masterpieces. Sometimes they can just take you out of life for a while and put you on a visual roller-coaster ride. This movie did that more successfully than anything that I've seen in a long, long time.

Comment: Re:ParkMagic and the smart meters are stealing you (Score 1) 863

by jonhainer (#29168759) Attached to: "Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

Yeah, the ParkMagic is a joke. They could just as easily set up the system so that you park, enter your parking space number and press a big red button on the front of the box and a timer starts indicating how long you've parked. You put it in your windshield to let the parking enforcers know that you're paying. When you get back, you press the red button again and only get charged for the amount of time that you were in the space.

If the spot is two-hour parking and your meter reads 2:05, then you get a passing parking enforcer can write you a ticket. If you enter the wrong number for someplace where the parking is cheaper, you can get a ticket. Otherwise, you only pay for what you use.

Instead they make you guess how long you'll be there, knowing that you're either going to guess too much or get a ticket. Come on ... cut us a break.

Comment: Re:Tariffs: enough for 125 years (Score 1) 913

by jonhainer (#27620121) Attached to: To the extent there are taxes, I mostly favor ...

The USA initially ran for a long time (from 1790s thru WWI) without any taxes on citizens, picking up what little money it needed from tariffs.

The USA initially ran for a long time with the following, too:

- Slave labor, non-union labor and child labor. No need for welfare, if people are forced to work for outrageous hours in sub-human conditions to survive.

- Lots of "free" land to the west. No need for welfare, education or unemployment insurance when poor people just leave to go west.

- Isolationist policies and ocean borders with no air travel. No need for an expensive technologically advanced, global military.

- A complete lack of health care. Nothing to spend our health care money on. And no need to spend lots of money on the elderly, because they died 15 years earlier than they do now.

So, once we eliminate the need for a giant miltary (not necessary against Native Americans and Mexicans), social security (people died young), health care (didn't exist), public education and welfare (not necessary, if poor people go west or are exploited by industry), and debt service ... well I guess you really can live off of tariffs only.

Comment: Re:Missing Option: Who cares? (Score 2, Insightful) 1067

by jonhainer (#26333261) Attached to: In the next 12 months, the Middle East will be ...

Bottom Line it really is the fault of the "so called" Palestinians. Palestine was divided by the Brits in the 30s. There is a Palestinian homeland, it's called Jordan.

And there is a home for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole. It's called Oklahoma. The entire state of Oklahoma. Just move there and you'll never need to worry about us displacing you again.

That is, until we displace you again ...

Your code should be more efficient!