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Comment Re:This just in... (Score 4, Interesting) 160

Heh, unless you work for a GM dealership, you have NO idea how bad GM is at IT. Their dealer-side website still does not officially support anything other than IE8. Business reporting relies on ActiveX integration with Excel, and only works properly with Excel 2000 and 2003. It can be made to work under 2007, but they don't support anything higher. Parts of the service-related workbenches still use VBScript. It used to be accessible only over a super-slow satellite link, but they changed that a few years ago, thank god.

To be fair, though, Toyota's web back-end, Dealer Daily, is even worse. IE-only, accessible only through a dedicated T1 which may not be used for anything else (but which you still pay full price for, of course). Blank page under anything other than IE.

Come to think of it, a lot of dealership stuff is locked on IE. Dealertrack (intentionally locks out non-IE browsers), Dealersocket CRM (featured-limited under non-IE browsers). ADP is the biggest supplier of dealership management software in the US and most of their stuff is entirely reliant on IE.

It's a pathetic state of affairs.

Comment Re:Brute-forcing the lock code (Score 1) 239

That was the point. It's not hard. I'm a general IT guy and I was able to do it easily. These PDs are saying they need Apple's help bypassing lock codes. Not just passwords, but lock codes like the one I bruteforced with free tools in a few hours. That they claim to need Apple's help for that is ridiculous.

Comment Brute-forcing the lock code (Score 5, Informative) 239

Brute-forcing an iPhone's lock code is relatively trivial with freely available tools. This puts the device in DFU mode, so "Erase device on X unlock attempts" doesn't take effect. That version of the tools only bruteforces lockcodes, but there's no theoretical reason you couldn't try at least a dictionary attack on a password, too. Since it's also possible to dump the hardware key and a complete (encrypted) image, I imagine an offline attack on the image is possible, too. You wouldn't have to rely on the relatively slow hardware in the iPhone.

Using those tools I have successfully bruteforced the 4-digit lockcode to an iDevice running 6.0.2, and that's with no prior experience with or knowledge of iOS. I even used an emulated Mac to compile the necessary firmware patch. And that's just what I was able to do in with a few hours of fiddling. There are people who do this for a living, and tools dedicated specifically to extracting data from mobile devices. Are these PDs really saying they can't get into devices with simple lock codes?

Comment Re:I'll take a third option... (Score 1) 376

I do this, and I thoroughly enjoy it. It will end pretty soon, though, once the cable conglomerates get any semblance of network neutrality off the table. Then they'll just make up some excuse to block or throttle Netflix, Hulu, and the rest. In fact, they don't even have to get involved in the whole NN debate; the data caps they impose will soon make it financially unfeasible to continue streaming any service other than their own, which will be overpriced and offer a poorer selection.

Comment Re:Something not mentioned - (Score 4, Informative) 156

The goal here is not to see any living organisms there as a portal to the past. It is to see any organisms who have manged to survive in an airless, water-filled lake buried under 3 miles of ice for millions of years. It is fairly likely that, if there are any living organisms there, they're going to have evolved in some pretty interesting ways.

Comment Re:Make it idiot-proof... (Score 4, Interesting) 181

"Never disbelieve the user" is right. One of my early tech support calls (many moons ago) was from a guy who claimed his computer rebooted every time he flushed his toilet.

Yeah. I figured he was yanking my chain, but you can't just hang up on people, so after humoring him for a few minutes we actually set up a tech visit.

We fixed him up, at least temporarily, by installing a UPS for his system.

He lived way out in the boonies and used well water and a septic tank. Turns out when he flushed, not only did his computer reboot, but his lights flickered for a moment, too. Flushing the toilet activated some power-hungry pump in his water system, and the draw was browning out his computer.

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