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Comment Re:As a TiVo owner, even I look forward to TiVo dy (Score 1) 93

I would probably only know that the second core had finally been enabled for non-UI tasks if I had read an unofficial changelog (because TiVo does not produce one) in an unofficial TiVo forum. I believe you mean here:

I will disregard your underlying message that missing an announcement that never came from TiVo nor actively pursuing an unofficial TiVo forum signifies that one does not actually own a TiVo. That's fanboy behavior. I do, however, congratulate you on your problem-free experience. I don't know how you small minority of users manage it.

Comment As a TiVo owner, even I look forward to TiVo dying (Score 4, Interesting) 93

My latest... no, my last purchase of a TiVo was the Premier with lifetime service. The unit is riddled with bugs.

I never expect them to get the second CPU core enabled. It is short of RAM. It bogs down. It ignores the remote for a while when you sit back down in front of the couch (which I suspect is because the OS swap out the remote control's handler process during a memory shortage). It crashes. It has a bare-bones Netflix interface that likes to crash. The high definition user interface is STILL incomplete, with many screens dropping back down to standard definition. The Amazon Video interface can't do free Prime movies. Only purchases. The non-discrete directional buttons on the remote makes for regular menu selection mistakes. If your Internet connection goes down, your locked out of much of the unit's functionality until you return.

I could go on and on about all the problems with their product. And I see that other people have their own observations. TiVo isn't in the game of producing a product/service that consumers want. We are actually just what they're selling. Collecting eyeballs for add space. And then adding bullet points for new features with minimal functionality and playing the patent race game.

Admittedly, the only good thing to come out of them recently was the iPad TiVo remote control. Nicely done. But then, they weren't doing it for their customers, I'm sure, as much as they were trying to beef up their patent portfolio, probably vs Apple.

If TiVo dies tomorrow, I won't be sad. I'll go back to the cable company's DVR and I'd enjoy it. Having all the pre-paid hardware and service is the only thing keeping me holding on. TiVo once put the customer first, but they lost sight of us. Too bad. These days, TiVo owners don't make great evangelists for their product.

Comment I rooted my Kindle Fire a few days ago (Score 3, Interesting) 103

The instructions were brand new and horribly incomplete at the time, but it was fun to hunt down all of the pieces to the puzzle on an environment I was completely unfamilar with. I was mostly interested in learning more about the Android platform, and also to enable Google's Android Marketplace and other Google apps.

I unrooted the Fire (so that Amazon Video on Demand would continue to work), and used the Marketplace to download a better video player app (MX Video Player) and a number of decent games. I didn't go with the Dolphin browser or the GO Launcher for my defaults. (Not that I'm excited about Amazon's launcher.) So basically, I have what acts like a stock Kindle Fire, except I've got Android Marketplace access. I think that combination makes this a winning device. I'll still purchase from Amazon when it makes sense, but I'll go to Google for selection.

The only significant snag I've seen so far is that the pop-up menu bar onto the Kindle Fire slightly confuses apps by a number of pixels about screen size or placement. Some apps will chop off the top of their app's display. Of course, others will use the bottom of the screen for their own menu bar, leaving you with scant pixels (in landscape mode) to hit their buttons. That, and a few apps like the VLC Direct player seems to get me into situations which lock my Kindle from time to time, so I mostly don't use it.

At least when I download Marketplace apps, I can delete applications now and now worry about them haunting my 'cloud applications' screen forever. If I download Angry Birds Free, and then pay for Angry Birds (and remove the free version), do I really need to see two different Angry Birds icons on my device forever, Amazon? Well, I asked, and you apologized that I couldn't delete it. You hinted that you may allow this in the future, and you gave me a $5 credit for my inconvenience. You're not so bad.

Anyhow, rooting and installing the Amazon Marketplace is a little bit of a bumpy road, but it seems to be totally worth it.

Comment I don't care about SCADA. Vulnerabilities, I do. (Score 3, Insightful) 92

SCADA? I don't care about. Not directly. But the problem is that once the government says, "These aren't vulnerabilities or security holes. These are design issues." The problem is that you've set the example, and other software vendors are going to follow.

Example: "The denial of service attack against your application is not a security vulnerability, it is just a design issue that everything locks up for a while if it gets an incoming packet, and tries to resolve the IP address against its authoritative DNS server while that is DNS server is offline. We only do security fixes on old products / old releases. Sorry."

"Design issue, not a security vulnerability" is not a distinction you want easily drawn. Others will follow a government example if it is an easy out.

Comment Changing their principal rationale to political? (Score 4, Interesting) 1040

Please see their original report and press release. Here are some quotes from the August 5th press release:

"The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy."

"Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. "

Their explanation didn't suddenly switch to political. It was there all along, yet so few pundits chose to focus on it.

Comment The processor that sunk HP's UNIX line (Score 4, Informative) 235

I still remember the day the HP sales/technical team came on-site to give us a presentation. Flashy videos with Carly Fiorina's new vision of the future. And a bright tomorrow with a new CPU line... out with PA-RISC and in with Itanic. Their sales team looked at each other nervously as we expressed our evaluation of the arrangement as a failed vision. It didn't take them long to figure out that dumping their in-house CPU to go with the Itanic would doom them to irrelevancy. And it did.

Now the Itanium itself is sinking from irrelevancy. It took too long. This chip was a disaster. Glad to see it go.

Comment I blame (the lack of) security options (Score 4, Interesting) 350

Google Wave was only useful to me if I could trust 100% of the participants in the Wave. Yes, yes, there is a roll-back to undo damage. Not good enough.

If I had a group of Internet participants, that absolutely wasn't the case. There was no in-between. Either you trusted someone and they could do almost anything, or you didn't. And damage was extremely easy to do. There wasn't anything else that I could find, like moderator pre-approval.

Public groups were too much trouble under Google wave. A group of students collaborating on a private assignment? Not so much.

Comment Re:The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

Support from Garmin support:

--- On Tue, 2/10/09, wrote:

Subject: Re: Disable tracklog RECORDING feature in Garmin Nuvi 255w (KMMxxxxx)

Dear [AtariDatacenter],

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. Unfortunately you will have to clear the trip log manually.

With Best Regards,

Jonathan P
Product Support Specialist
2nd shift-OCC
Garmin International
913-440-8280 (fax) Att: Jonathan P

Original Message Follows:

Form Message
Knowledge Job Ticket:
Knowledge Session Log URL:
Disable tracklog RECORDING feature in Garmin Nuvi 255w
Message Body:
I see that there is a feature to hide the tracklog. There is also a feature to erase the current tracklog. If someone is concerned about privacy, is there a feature on the Garmin Nuvi 255w to make it simply not write the tracklog information out, so it doesn't need to be regularly erased?
On the Road
nuvi Series
nuvi 255W
General Question
Full Name:
[Atari Datacenter]
First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
[my email]
United States

Comment Re:The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

Wow. Lots of poo-pooing. But partially my fault.

A clarification (since there are so many Garmin models): the Garmin Nuvi line is what I had in mind. That would be the line that is aimed at automotive market (which related to the topic). Sample models would be 260, 265, 780, 255, 200, 205, and all the widescreen variants.

There is no way to turn of tracking on these standard automobile models. Someone mentioned the 60csx, which is a handheld unit and not aimed at the automotive market. Same with the GPSmap60csx.

Someone else asked how you convert the hidden garmin log to a useful format. It is an XML file called "Garmin/GPX/current.gpx". An very small sample of (personal) data in my unit. Yes, Google Earth can import the whole file and show you all the recorded trip information.

BTW, if I was a law enforcement officer, or a lawyer, a Garmin Nuvi would be a prime target for a search or subpoena.

(greater/less than symbols changed so that they are not interpret as HTML)

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Comment The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

If you've got a halfway modern Garmin GPS, you have already been collecting the very data that this project is working for. What? Your GPS is logging you without permission? Yes. (Garmin probably got some legalese somewhere to cover their tracks.)

The Garmin GPS has a facility to show/hide your 'trail' (which is based on a time/location log of your travel). I believe it also has an option to reset that log. (Or, at the very least, you could USB mount its storage device and clean out the log file.) But even if you erase the log file, it will automatically repopulate your travel log, with or without your permission. There is no built-in option to prevent this behavior.

In short, a Garmin GPS *is* a GPS tracking device that your willingly put inside of your own vehicle, and is ready to report your travel history at any time.

I have personally verified this information with Garmin's technical support. You cannot disable GPS logging. Could be a plus for this project, though.

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