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Comment Re: Which of the 3 do you have an issue with and w (Score 2) 104

Do you create software? Have you read a software patent?

Anyone who has done both will know that software patents, as the grandparent post said, are completely worthless to someone creating a working implementation of software which would be covered under the patent. Software patents describe a concept. They do not provide the details of a working implementation (because there is no working implementation) that would allow one to re-create the software.

Comment Re: Not Impressed (Score 3, Interesting) 37

I'm posting this on my 2013 LTE Nexus 7. Tablet that's still small enough to fit in a pocket. Can run everything I use it for. Looked into replacements when the orientation sensor stopped working and there was nothing comparable on the market.

Was able to fix the sensor by reseating a cable. Still running 4.4.4 due to horror stories of the 5 update on the LTE Nexus. Recently Google docs started crashing with an error in the logs from ART about some docs clipboard class failing compile time verification. Switching back to Dalvik fixed that, perhaps Google is now releasing apps that crash when using ART on KitKat?

Comment Gmane is the only way to reply to messages on list (Score 4, Informative) 39

I do lots of Linux development. Often I'll find kernel patch that's not in the mainline kernel yet, or was just recently added, that has some issues with it. With gmane I can browse the original discussion threads about the patch, import them into evolution, and then reply to one of the messages. And get the proper in-reply-to headers on my email, cc the proper groups and people, etc. I don't have the original thread in my inbox because I'm not subscribed to 200 different lists that I save all the messages from. But gmane is.

None of the other list archives (which aren't as good as gmane anyway) allow you do this.

Comment Fermi's Paradox (Score 5, Interesting) 349

All Intelligent life is doomed, not just humans.

Given the size and age of the galaxy, there should be intelligent life on many planets and it should have been there for a very long time. Long enough that we should have detected evidence of it. But that hasn't happened. Unless estimates of the age, size, or number of planets in the Milky Way are vastly overstated, and no new knowledge suggests anything of the kind, then there really is one other likely cause: Advanced intelligent civilizations don't last for millions of years.

If it was possible, then it would have happened, and it hasn't.

Which really isn't all that surprising. The last few thousand years have been an exponential orgy of consumption. Not just fossil fuels, but phosphate deposits for fertilizers, reachable metal ores, ocean fish stocks, forest products, etc. It's all going to run out, and then what? And what happens if any disaster, including the inevitable and unavoidable ones like a meteor impact or super-volcanism, sets our technology back even a few hundred years? How do you frack for oil with 1700s technology? How do you build a nuclear reactor with no copper? How do you made food production efficient enough that everyone isn't dedicated to it without phosphates?

Human technological advancement was a one time deal. Once it's stops, that's it for this planet, never again.

Comment Re:Not that surprised (Score 1) 76

The DVRs are remotely managed. New software updates go out on a regular basis. So, yes the libraries are updated years after deployment.

The kernel, not so much. They use broadcom chips and broadcom isn't exactly the best at supporting linux. You have to use one of their kernels since they don't upstream anything and they don't update the kernels themselves.

Comment Not that surprised (Score 4, Interesting) 76

I used to work for Arris. But we did the DVR software, which was originally a different company than the people doing the cable modems. The DVR software is a lot more secure than this. There still a PWOD protected technician interface, the DVRs are remotely managed device, but it doesn't let you do anything that would compromise the software. I'd be interested in seeing how someone would hack it. It shouldn't be possible to get a root shell.

Someone did want to allow the player to pair over wifi automatically to the gateway by having the WPA2-PSK be derived from the device ID. I tried to stress what a terrible idea that was but those were people in a different division who didn't need to listen to me.

Comment Re:It's IBM's fault. Everyone copied the PC. (Score 4, Informative) 698

That's just not true!

The IBM PC-AT keyboard, circa 1984, has control as a large key above shift and to the left of the 'A' key, in its proper place. Alt is below shift. There are no right-hand alt or control keys and caps-lock is off on the right side below shift where the right control key is now. There was a large gap between the spaceback and caps-lock, since there was no right alt or windows key.

The PC-XT keyboard, circa 1981, had the same layout of control-shift-alt in the proper order on the left. The caps-lock key was on the far upper-right corner, above the numeric keypad.

It wasn't until the 101 key model M that IBM messed up and placed the caps lock key in the incorrect location above shift and next to 'A'.

Is there really no one else here who remebers typing away on the original PC keyboard, with the control key in the proper location, the giant plus key, break on the scroll lock key and printscreen on the dedicated '*' key?

Comment Re:Flashable? (Score 1) 123

If enough people want to hack it you can. There is nothing designed to help you flash it, but not a lot was done to actively stop it. The built in reflash system using a USB mass storage device is protected. Uses openssl. I didn't write that part so I don't know the details that well but I have this feeling it could be hacked with only a moderate level of 1337 skillz.

If you open it up, there is nothing stopping you from reprogramming the flash chips.

Comment It's not Debian based (Score 5, Informative) 123

It's custom. I should know, as it's largely designed by me. I worked for Delphi who was the OEM that made the radios for GM. They didn't have any Linux experience, so I was hired for this project. They had lots of talented engineers who experience with VxWorks, QNX, uITRON, etc., but not POSIX/Linux. So I got them up to speed on Linux, helped designed the base OS, and made the Linux system work. I was told the Linux based software generated around $2 billion in sales. Then I got laid off.

It's based on Freescale's LTIB, which I also worked on when I worked for them. But, it's highly customized. Freescale hasn't really maintained LTIB for some time, despite continuing to use it as the base for their BSPs. Something like Debian is much too bloated for what the radios are expected to work it. The same system is used for the simpler non-touch radios in other GM vehicles. It's an ARM9 based iMX25, running at I think 380 MHz, with 32 MB of RAM. The framebuffer comes out of the RAM too. I managed to get it to boot from power on (or rather CAN bus wakeup pulse) through u-boot, through the kernel startup, to system startup and daemons running and have userspace application code start in around 250 ms. Getting the backup camera working in <1 second is an important requirement. The ARM9 as a VIVT cache, which forces a cache flush on each context switch, making it quite slow. If one used udev like a normal Linux distro, it takes something like 3 seconds just for udev to populate /dev on system startup. So obviously udev is out.

The radios are not designed to let you easily root or put different software on. However, stopping someone who has physical access to the radio from hacking it wasn't a very high priority. By default LTIB gives you a blank password root account and a telnet daemon configured to allow root logins! I got rid of that and made it ssh only. I don't know if the final production firmware still has ssh running or not. The iMX53 processor used in the CUE system doesn't have secure boot like some other iMX processors. Freescale's iMX line is actually composed of multiple utterly different families of ARM based SoCs based on different IP. So you can easily hack it with a flash programmer.

I don't know of any easter eggs.... GM isn't the kind of company that would look kindly on that. However, unless someone managed to fix it, you can lockup the DVD player with the "Justice League: Starcrossed" DVD a few minutes in. After the alien ship shoots at some jets. It's not the DVD player, but the video overlay on the iMX53 that has locked up.

Comment Re:Tracphone (Score 1) 246

I'm using tracfone too, since it's the cheapest I could find for minimal usage. The minutes are pretty cheap ( 10 cents), they don't expire, and the minimum monthly average you need to spend to keep you phone active is really low. But the SIMs and phones are locked. You can't use a normal SIM in a tracfone or a tracfone SIM in a normal phone. You can't even move tracfone SIMs between tracfones. The phone locks itself to the SIM it's first paired with.

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