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Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750

The problem isn't just the iPad. It's the whole question of tablet computing. Touch works on phone because it frees up space. It means you can get a decent size screen because you're not sacrificing space for the UI. But it is a compromise (albeit an acceptable one).

Once you go beyond pocket size, you're into competing with laptops. I know people think they'll walk around like Picard, but walking and touching a screen doesn't work like that.

For me, even the "sitting in front of a PC using Slashdot" doesn't work. A laptop gives me a hinge and a keyboard. I neither have to hold it up, nor crick my neck.

Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750

Except that the iPhone was technically shit, apart from its nice interface. Technically I think the iPad looks like a nice device again simply for the interface. I couldn't really see myself using it because I'd be taking 10 times longer to post to slashdot in my evenings like I'm doing just now.. but for simple browsing, facebook use, media viewing and maybe some light gaming I can see the iPad being pretty popular. There are a lot of wealthy casual users out there. Not saying it will be a great success, but Apple are gaining a lot of momentum and halo effect business with the iPod and iPhone. I wouldn't bet against it anyway.

Despite knowing myself that I would never have a use for it, I still want one just because it's the sort of device I've always wanted to have since seeing datapads on TNG. A jailbroken iPad would be one fun geek toy.

Data Storage

Windows 7 Hard Drive and SSD Performance Analyzed 248

bigwophh writes "Despite the fact that Windows 7 is based on many of the same core elements as Vista, Microsoft claims it is a different sort of animal and that it should be looked at in a fresh, new light, especially in terms of performance. With that in mind, this article looks at how various types of disks perform under Windows 7, both the traditional platter-based variety and newer solid state disks. Disk performance between Vista and Win7 is compared using a hard drive and an SSD. SSD performance with and without TRIM enabled is tested. Application performance is also tested on a variety of drives. Looking at the performance data, it seems MS has succeeded in improving Windows 7 disk performance, particularly with regard to solid state drives."
Image

Burglar Nabbed By Backup Program 98

Bruce Perens writes "A Berkeley, California, burglar engineered his own arrest, and that of his girlfriend, when he stole a laptop and used it as his personal computer. He didn't realize that the laptop had an automatic backup program, and that the photos he took were being copied to his victim's backup repository. Berkeley police recognized him, and his location, from the photos."
Television

Rabbit Ears To Stage a Comeback Thanks To DTV 265

Jeffrey Breen writes "Like Monty Python's Killer Rabbit, cheap indoor antennas seem harmless to satellite and cable providers. But with the digital TV transition in the US, rabbit ears can suddenly provide digital-perfect pictures, many more channels, and even on-screen program guides. Already feeling pressure as suddenly budget-conscious consumers shed premium channels, providers must now get creative to protect their low-end as well."
Hardware Hacking

Reverse Engineering a Missile Launcher Toy's Interface 118

nitro writes "A fairly in-depth technical report by the security researchers at TippingPoint was released on how to reverse engineer the proprietary protocol for controlling a USB missile-launching toy system. They develop an iPhone application to control the device. 'The hardware is coupled with a simple GUI controller written in Delphi (MissileLauncher.exe) and a USB Human Interface Device (HID) interface written in C++ (USBHID.dll). The toys lost their allure within minutes of harassing my team with a barrage of soft missile shots. That same night I thought I would be able to extend the fun factor by coding up a programmatic interface to the launchers in Python. ... One interesting thing is that we have a lot more granular control of the turret movement now than we did with the original GUI. I wrote two simple loops to count the number of possible horizontal and vertical ticks and the results were 947 horizontal and 91 vertical versus 54 and 10 from the original GUI respectively. Granular control allows you to slowly and quietly reposition the turret for stealthy attacks.'"
Security

Hiding a Rootkit In System Management Mode 119

Sniper223 notes a PC World article on a new kind of rootkit recently developed by researchers, which will be demoed at Black Hat in August. The rootkit runs in System Management Mode, a longtime feature of x86 architecture that allows for code to run in a locked part of memory. It is said to be harder to detect, potentially, than VM-based rootkits. The article notes that the technique is unlikely to lead to widespread expoitation: "Being divorced from the operating system makes the SMM rootkit stealthy, but it also means that hackers have to write this driver code expressly for the system they are attacking."
Bug

The 25-Year-Old BSD Bug 213

sproketboy writes with news that a developer named Marc Balmer has recently fixed a bug in a bit of BSD code which is roughly 25 years old. In addition to the OSnews summary, you can read Balmer's comments and a technical description of the bug. "This code will not work as expected when seeking to the second entry of a block where the first has been deleted: seekdir() calls readdir() which happily skips the first entry (it has inode set to zero), and advance to the second entry. When the user now calls readdir() to read the directory entry to which he just seekdir()ed, he does not get the second entry but the third. Much to my surprise I not only found this problem in all other BSDs or BSD derived systems like Mac OS X, but also in very old BSD versions. I first checked 4.4BSD Lite 2, and Otto confirmed it is also in 4.2BSD. The bug has been around for roughly 25 years or more."

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