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Comment Re:Lack of profit is why I killed my projects (Score 2) 208

It started off as a "scratch an itch" sort of project: Rockwell Automation basically threw down the gauntlet when I asked them about Linux support and they responded that communicating with a PLC from Linux was not possible. I proved them completely wrong - first with the PLC5/SLC-500/Pyramid Integrator series, and then once again with the ControlLogix/Micrologix.

Profit wasn't the motive at first, then after I exited the industrial automation industry, it became a burden - a huge burden - to continue to support the packages. I also started to have a change of heart regarding the value of my time. I started off by asking for donations - and got absolutely nothing back. I then took the software off the free ftp server and got a total of 2 sales. Underwhelming to say the least.

As of today, I know personally of 2 different commercial software packages from 2 different software companies that are built on my software - as in sections copied verbatim (no, neither IBM nor SCO are involved there). Do I get so much as a thank you let alone a commission of any sort, nope.

Have I learned, you bet I have. My software packages today are commercial only with no source code available. It's a matter of survival at this point - gotta take care of number one first.

Comment Lack of profit is why I killed my projects (Score 2) 208

I developed a couple of programming libraries for talking to industrial PLCs - Allen Bradley stuff. It started to cost me some pretty significant money to keep up with new hardware releases. The amount of money I made total (gross) was maybe $500. An entry level PLC costs closer to $3000.

So yeah, nobody willing to spend money on my work killed the work right off.

Comment CompuServe circa 1986 (Score 1) 325

I have distinct memories of using the "CB Simulator" chat system on CompuServe back in 1986. This certainly qualifies as a 2-way messaging system.

The Unix "talk" command has to figure in there somewhere too.

SMS messages have been around before 2005 (I am guessing), so that would certainly qualify as one-way messaging. Then again, so would telegrams and email.

Comment How will you know (Score 2, Interesting) 249

OK, since Al Qaeda folk don't exactly have a uniform that is distinguished from the local fashion, how exactly will we know if they are either dead or hiding? If Al Qaeda were to stop fighting tomorrow, would we believe them defeated, or are they just waiting for us to leave so that they can resume their activities?

As much as I hate to say it, we are fighting a war based on ideology and have absolutely no way to know if we have won.

Comment What about the others (Score 1) 101

I am thinking of the Modicons and Allen Bradley PLCs around the world.

On the PLC5 and the SLC-500, security (if set) was generally an afterthought and then normally used to keep factory floor folk out of the PLC. I know because I knew where to find the text-encoded password in the memory dump files.

The ControlLogix was a similar open book - rarely if ever secured. Then again, you could get on the backplane via the ENBT adapter and then talk directly to any card in the system including the SERCOS cards and the ControlNet/DeviceNet/Data Highway cards.

Modicons = what security.

Of course, this was some 10 years ago and things might have improved somewhat since then (not holding my breath though).

And yes, Allen Bradley and Modicon are used in a LOT of critical infrastructure locations.


Seller of Counterfeit Video Games Gets 30 Months 165

wiredmikey writes "The FBI reported this week that Qiang 'Michael' Bi, of Powell, Ohio was sentenced to 30 months in prison for selling more than 35,000 illegally copied computer games over the Internet between 2005 and 2009. According to a statement of facts read during Bi's plea hearing, agents executed a search warrant at Bi's house and found multiple CD duplicators and more than 1,000 printed counterfeit CDs. Some of the CDs were still in the duplicator. During their investigation, agents learned that Bi would buy a single copy of a game, illegally duplicate it and sell the copies on and He also set up a website for customers to download the games they bought. Bi accepted payment through eBay and PayPal accounts in his name and in others' names."

Comment Re:I used to use GEM / Ventura (Score 1) 347

DesqVIEW was useful but really just as a fancy menu / full screen task switcher.

As someone who ran a 4 node BBS on a single 386-40 with 4 high speed nodes (USR Sportsters and Dual Standards) using DesqView and PCBoard, I think your description of "fancy menu / full screen task switcher" is a touch off. DesqView could easily handle running all 4 nodes at once plus an operators console. It was always interesting watching all 4 nodes in operation at once (windowed mode - in text).



TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment Re:Safeguards, product tampering, law enforcement? (Score 1) 274

OK, so here is how they can solve the problem...

Since it is presumed that the Kinect will only "work" with Kinect enabled games, sell the Kinect at it's "discounted" price of $150 or whatever it's current sell price is when purchased with a Kinect enabled game. If the Kinect is sold stand alone (no game bought at the same time), then sell it for $50 more. Of course, you then have to make sure that all the Kinect enabled games are at least $50 to make sure that isn't an advantage route to getting just the Kinect for less.


Comment no thanks (Score 1) 287

This looks to me like the video equivalent of audio compression - squeezing the life out of the media to make it fit within a certain constraint,

Thanks but until the entire chain is HDR, I'll pass.


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