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Reverse Engineering a Missile Launcher Toy's Interface

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the target-that-explosion-and-fire dept.

Toys 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.'"

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118 comments

Legal implications (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856055)

Just as Phil Zimmermann famously had to distribute PGP internationally in print form [amazon.com] to avoid violating munitions laws, wouldn't these guys have to be really careful about their elite missle launching software? If this code makes it to Syria or Iran, we're in for a mildly annoying attack with state of the art styrofoam weaponry.

Re:Legal implications (1)

Chih (1284150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856095)

Iran already has styro nukes. We can't let this tech get into the hands of the terrorists. We'll have to confiscate all models under the guise of national security. Now all you guys have to do is slashdot the site.

Re:Legal implications (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856227)

If only when we had gone into Iraq we thought to raid the coffee counters for any Weapons of Mass Flotation.

Re:DIADS (2, Funny)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857303)

Not such a joke. Look up DIADS, Digital integrated Air Defense (amazingly, not in Wikipedia!). This guy has just hacked the rudiments of Fire Control system. Which is approximately half of a DIADS. The other half being the radar and sensor integration. Which is handled by the many Open projects on sonar and video camera applications. Put them all together, and Our Sandbox Conquering Overlords will have all the tools they need to take them to Playground Domination.

Re:DIADS (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858295)

You are just an alarmist. Counting ticks on microcontrollers is a basic part of any modern CNC(computer numerical control) manufacturing system. Are you saying this software [linuxcnc.org] is a modified air defense software platform?

Re:Legal implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26859223)

Just as Phil Zimmermann famously had to distribute PGP internationally in print form to avoid violating munitions laws, wouldn't these guys have to be really careful about their elite missle launching software? If this code makes it to Syria or Iran, we're in for a mildly annoying attack with state of the art styrofoam weaponry.

I'm just glad they're closing the open source/closed source missile gap. Things were getting scary for open source before these guys' heroic efforts.

C++ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856057)

Haven't they heard that it blows ? Please just use C.

Re:C++ (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857703)

Nah. Haskell for high level stuff, Python for scripting, and Assembler instead of C.

Of course, written to disk with the butterfly-effect technique.

Re:C++ (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26860359)

Oh yeah how do you like Haskell? I know some ML and OCaml, and I've been looking for a functional language to switch to from C/C++. I can't bring myself to switch to a programming language named after a cigarette brand. How is the Haskell support? Is there a decent compiler?

Good work. (5, Funny)

curtinparloe (1477273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856075)

Now you need to incorporate webcam target recognition and create an automated firing application.

You could call it "Skynet".

Re:Good work. (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856151)

Actually, this seems like an almost ideal platform for sentry gun research. It's small, cheap, relatively harmless, can be operated in an office environment, and is probably wildly inaccurate which means that if you can make this work, actually shooting targets with some kind of accurate weapon will be trivial. I'd very much like a sentry gun that would squirt the @#$%@#@ deer with water (at least) when they come to eat the plants on the front porch.

Re:Good work. (4, Insightful)

diskis (221264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856325)

Why go for the complex solution?
A motion sensor connected to a air horn should do the trick.

Re:Good work. (5, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856343)

That sounds fantastic. I'd love to jump out of bed at 3 am wondering where the iceberg is. And I won't need to squirt the deer with water, either; I just sleep on the porch, and when I fucking piss myself I can hose them down, too.

Re:Good work. (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856517)

I'd love to jump out of bed at 3 am wondering where the iceberg is.

      Thanks to global warming, there are no icebergs anymore. Oh, wait-

Re:Good work. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856717)

I'd love to jump out of bed at 3 am wondering where the iceberg is.

      Thanks to global warming, there are no icebergs anymore. Oh, wait-

Shit, an iceberg got him!

Re:Good work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26860243)

I can't wait till global warming kills all these iceberg's once and for all!

Re:Good work. (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858537)

Not to mention false alarms... there's no telling how many other uninteresting types of small furry creatures are going to trigger the sensor.

Re:Good work. (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856339)

Wouldn't an ultrasonic loud speaker be more effective and less likely to miss?

Or perhaps a pop up scarecrow.

Problem is deer are usually smart enough to figure out what is and is not dangerous. If they get squired a few times they'll just assume they're setting off your sprinkler system. And I've seen deer walk right through sprinklers without a care in the world.

Squirting deer... (2, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857893)

It also depends on how hungry a deer is and the relative quality of the food. A stuffed deer can afford to be very, very skittish. One that hasn't eaten it's fill in a couple days/weeks is going to start taking chances - including eating the plants off your back porch, especially if they're tasty to the deer.

That's why we need hunters to actually reduce the deer population. If all everybody does is scare them off, eventually there will be so many deer that the non-scary food sources are exhausted and the deer overcome their fear of the scary things. That or start starving over the winter, which isn't a nice way to go either.

Yes, I do have venison in my freezer...

Re:Squirting deer... (4, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858011)

Personally, I don't see why we need any more justification for shooting deer than how damn good they taste. :)

Re:Good work. (1)

Tycho (11893) | more than 5 years ago | (#26860665)

Perhaps pepper spray sprayed a wide arc would work. Or maybe one could lob miniature tear gas canisters at the deer. Or just use VX nerve gas on them, those deer really do deserve it. If disposing of deer carcasses in order to avoid uncomfortable questions from game wardens, or even disposing of dead wardens is an issue, gas the deer with either Chlorine Trifluoride or Hydrogen Fluoride from lawn sprinklers. The deer will wander off, but will die in a couple of hours. Seal your house well and spraypaint any grass that ends up dying green. Finding a legitimate reason to posses or manufacture any of the above mentioned chemicals is an exercise left to the reader.

Re:Good work. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856435)

Those are already commercially available. Search for motion-activated sprinkler.

Re:Good work. (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856693)

Aren't there more than a few "Paintball turrets" floating around on the 'net that basically do this already? I recall seeing one that was already for sale as a package.

I'd love to have one of these to get rid of the animals that poop in my backyard. Better biodegradable paint than cat shit.

And with a little hacking into an alarm system and replacing paintballs with ball bearings...

"Get the HELL out of my house! You have FIVE seconds to comply. FIVE. FOUR. ONE." *bam* *bam* *bam*

Re:Good work. (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856927)

Wasn't that in a movie with a robot?

Re:Good work. (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857271)

Wasn't that in a movie with a robot?

sigh Robocop.
Motiondetection, bionic arms, waving aluminium foil: wouldn't that scare the animals away?

Re:Good work. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858407)

Yes, but it'd be boring when I put the video up on YouTube.

And as for a counter to home invasion, what do you expect me to do? Hook up a bunch of cardboard cutouts to a model train set?

Re:Good work. (1)

attackc0de (692716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856725)

Increase your venison consumption. Studies show that increased hunting decreases deer trying to each your porch plants. Some good recipes to get you started: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Meat-and-Poultry/Game-Meats/Venison/Main.aspx [allrecipes.com] :P

Re:Good work. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26859437)

Do you have any idea what it costs to get hunting licenses in California? It's cheaper to buy meat.

Re:Good work. (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857219)

I'd very much like a sentry gun that would squirt the @#$%@#@ deer with water (at least) when they come to eat the plants on the front porch.

You can get something like that here [contech-inc.com], although it's just a simple motion sensor rather than an active tracking platform.

Re:Good work. (0, Redundant)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857269)

I'd very much like a sentry gun that would squirt the @#$%@#@ deer with water (at least) when they come to eat the plants on the front porch.

Like this? [contech-inc.com]

Re:Good work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857325)

Perhaps the "Portable Autonomous Sentry" would do the trick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxBa5bQfTGc

Re:Good work. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857773)

Surely your laser isn't so busy keeping squirrels off the bird feeder that it doesn't have time to shoot the occasional deer near the porch.

Re:Good work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858053)

How about creating a new species of giant venus flytraps to eat the deer?

Re:Good work. (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858805)

Go buy yourself a cheap, bulk container of cayenne pepper. Sprinkle liberally on plants. That may deter the deer as well as rabbits, etc).

Re:Good work. (1)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26859519)

Your solution is called a compound bow.

Totally silent and you will solve the problem.

Re:Good work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857489)

Already been done.
http://www.lattimore.id.au/2006/10/24/pymissile-the-python-missile-control-centre/

Done that (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858071)

Get a 'Striker' laser-target-enabled missile launcher ($40, I think). Then get a webcam or IP-enabled camera (I got one of these from Ebay for ~$70).

Use the camera to detect motion and generate a centroid of motion; use the (high-intensity of red) laser-spot to detect where the missile is pointed (again from the camera image), and move the missile to make the centroid and laser-spot coincident.

It's actually pretty trivial, but it looks pretty cool to have people walk into the office and have two missile-launchers automatically track them.

I also have the think-geek big-red-button [thinkgeek.com] box, which I modified to allow the button to control a USB port. Now I can fire the (auto-targetting :) missiles by hitting the big-red-button :)

It's actually only slightly harder to get the system to track two independent targets... The next step is to build in target-recognition by accessing the company's person-directory (we all have pictures)... Don't shoot the VP. Only directors and below are valid targets :)

Simon

Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856103)

Seriously, what kid wants to play a cop when they can play Leader of a Rouge nation bent on sending missiles against their uh, playmates? Attach a diaper to it and you have a playful way to play "Biological Warfare"

Re:Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (1)

paulmac84 (682014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856241)

Leader of a Rouge nation

Our kids want to play at being Communists? Or worse Canadians?

Mein Gott, who will think of the children?

Re:Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856365)

I was thinking of some joke a little more limp-wristed, which is what I always thought when I saw some kid talking about "Rouge Squadron". They fly the pink X-Wings, right?

Re:Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (5, Funny)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856483)

I was thinking of some joke a little more limp-wristed, which is what I always thought when I saw some kid talking about "Rouge Squadron". They fly the pink X-Wings, right?

Pink 5 standing by... And FABULOUS

Re:Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856449)

Blame Canada... Seriously though, I always mix up those two words...

Re:Cops and Robbers or Global Armageddon ? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858595)

Our kids want to play at being Communists? Or worse Canadians?

Nous sommes plutot mauve que rouge voyons.

What happens next.... (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856105)

Nigan: He does fit the profile perfectly. He's intelligent, but an under-achiever; alienated from his parents; has few friends. Classic case for recruitment by the Soviets.

Arthur Cabot: Now what does this say about the state of our country, hmm? I mean have you got any insight as to why a bright boy like this would jeopardize the lives of millions.
[the General rolls his eyes]

Nigan: No sir. He says he does this sort of thing for fun.

Arthur Cabot: What!

Python? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856107)

It's incredibly much easier and faster to do these type of quick scriptable API's in Lua. I have no idea why people want to make it harder than it has to be. Python is certainly one of the easier scripting languages to extend but Lua is even easier and the language is cleaner (plus the VM is tiny).

Re:Python? (5, Informative)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856221)

His python code is here [tippingpoint.com]. It implements a HTTP web server (as well as a command line and direct socket server mode) that directly invokes a DLL to control the unit. And so in the video he can control the thing using the web browser in his cellphone.

All the code is only 283 lines and easy to understand. I don't see anything awkward about it.

In what way exactly would Lua be better at doing that?

Re:Python? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856515)

283 lines for a web-based missile control system? I wonder how that compares to the average defense project.

Re:Python? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856677)

All the code is only 283 lines and easy to understand. I don't see anything awkward about it.

In what way exactly would Lua be better at doing that?

283 lines... plus the Python runtime, including modules to implement the HTTP server.

I could write a one line version of this. I'd just need to put his code into a separate module.

You can't neglect the overhead of the runtime when you deploy something like this. Lua may well be a better choice, although I'd probably go with straight C. And drop a few features--do you really need to put the HTTP server into the Python code?

Re:Python? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858671)

283 lines... plus the Python runtime, including modules to implement the HTTP server.

...plus the various C libraries, video drivers, operating system, etc. Wtf? The point is that 283 lines of new code makes for a web controlled nerfgun where previously there was none.

You can't neglect the overhead of the runtime when you deploy something like this.

Yes, you can.

It's running on his desktop PC, which already has python on it. Just like my PC, which also has java, perl and various other languages sitting around. As far as he's concerned, an extra 9k of python script is all it took to make his pet project happen. And if I had one of those USB nerfguns, that same extra 9k of python would trivially do it for me too: right-click, save, "python ped_missile.py".

although I'd probably go with straight C.

I've been coding in C continuously for 25 years now, from apps to embedded systems. It's a great language for many things, but for this purpose it would be an absolutely idiotic choice. C is good for size and speed, neither of which is an issue for this task.

And drop a few features--do you really need to put the HTTP server into the Python code?

Yes, he does. He wants to be able to control it via a web browser. It's a requirement.

Are you suggesting he install apache and write a CGI script to do it? I thought you were the one worried about deployment costs.

Tell you what, go and implement what he did in probably an afternoon (including the web server interface) using pure Lua instead and then show us how much easier and better it is than the way he did it.

Re:Python? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862873)

283 lines seems a bit too much. The pymissile package, which provides a Python interface to this kind of missile launcher, was released back in 2006. Connecting this up to a web interface shouldn't be more than a dozen lines. Unless you're going to 'reverse engineer' it by using a random proprietary DLL to interface with the missile launcher instead of the well-documented USB control interface...

Resume macho chest thumping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857217)

I hate how [pseudo-]engineers always have to get pissy about some of the stupidest things that most people (rightfully) don't even care about. In this case you have people getting into a genitalia measuring contest via the high/low level language debate. Hey, guess what kids, he used Python. It doesn't make him any less of a programmer.

Then again, it is substantially easier to post on an Internet forum about how awesome you are because you write everything in C, than to actually do it.

Re:Python? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862851)

Actually, in this case, it's easier in Python. Just install the pymissile package on your OS of choice (I saw the USB missile launcher was imported into OpenBSD a few releases ago, and I'm fairly sure Linux and Net/FreeBSD have similar drivers). After doing this, you have a Python interface to your USB missile launcher without having to write a single line of code.

Reverse engineering is fun and all, but I can't help think that it's a bit more of a challenge when you aren't reverse engineering something which has a well-understood and documented interface...

Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856175)

These have been "hacked" for years now. I had one running under linux in my cubicle 4 years ago using a webcam for auto targeting coworkers.

Granted it's a nice step-by-step for newbies.

Re:Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (5, Funny)

woolpert (1442969) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856375)

These have been "hacked" for years now. I had one running under linux in my cubicle 4 years ago using a webcam for auto targeting coworkers.

The code. Put up or shut up, AC.

Re:Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857095)

Parent is referring to this: 2006 to 2009 counts as years:

http://scott.weston.id.au/software/pymissile-20060126/
link is broken, archive.org:
http://web.archive.org/web/20060820072349/http://scott.weston.id.au/software/pymissile-20060126/

So yeah, no need to hack this device.

Re:Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (5, Informative)

kostmo (1136101) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857537)

It's true. http://code.google.com/p/pyrocket/wiki/RelatedWork [google.com] I hacked the thing about a year ago and started this google code project [googlecode.com]. You will be able to apt-get this package in Ubuntu Jaunty.

Re:Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862879)

Reimplementing a BSD licensed package (pymissile) with a more restrictive license (GPLv3)? The Free Software Foundation must be so proud of you...

Re:Hacking somethign that did not need a hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26859441)

http://www.earth.li/~noodles/blog/2006/01/beware-my-study.html

George Carlin (0, Offtopic)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856199)

George Carlin had a few things to say [youtube.com] about missiles.

Re:George Carlin (-1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856217)

But now he is dead, and he is most certainly not "smiling down on us". So who cares if the rockets and the bullets and the bombs are all shaped like dicks?

Re:George Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856337)

Yeah that sure was immature wasn't it Mr... uh... drinkypoo?

The easiset solution I've found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856219)

...is to find an old copy of Missle Command and rename MissleCommand.exe to MissileLauncher.exe.

It also allows you to target with a trackball which is very useful for protecting the house from the neighbor's kids system. Little tyke looks like a red if you know what I'm saying. Damn gingers.

Rememer Robot Wars? (4, Interesting)

anorlunda (311253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856309)

Oh wow. I was one of the enthusiastic fans of Muse Software's Robot Wars for the Apple ][ [mobygames.com]. It sounds to me like Soulskill has invented a way to re-create Robot Wars in a more real and more fun way.

Here's a description of the original game.


Create code for a robot using the provided programing language, limited to 256 lines of code. Test your robot on the test bench by examining the code line by line and determining whether the bot performs as intended. Then put your finished robot in the arena with up to four other bots, set the number of battles, and watch them fight it out in a top-down view. Computer Gaming world had annual contests for several years in which readers could send their bots on disk to participate in the match, with results and prizes reported in the magazine.

Re:Rememer Robot Wars? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856595)

I thought I was the only one that loved this game.

Re:Rememer Robot Wars? (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26861287)

Me and a work mate have a battle every couple of months with Robocode [sourceforge.net]. Winner gets bragging rights.

It is as difficult or as easy as you want to make it. There are also world wide comps with 256 byte codes. Makes you also brush up on your high school trig. Awesome fun.

iPhone this. iPhone that (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856333)

I don't Phone anyone so I stopped reading at "iPhone"

Cheap Toys (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856335)

I watch Woot on pretty much a daily basis and as a result I frequently end up purchasing toys that I really don't need. Most recently I picked up this silly pair of USB Missile Launchers for just under 40$ shipped.

Presumably this is how the guy ended up with an iPhone.

Hiring? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856399)

It must be fun to reverse engineer toys at a computer security company and get paid.

More Granular Implies Poorer Control (-1)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856675)

When something is granular, it is made up of chunks. The opposite of being granular is being continuous, where there are no chunks at all. When something is more granular, the chunks are larger, it has more of the characteristics of being grainy. When it is less granular it is more continuous, less of the characteristics of being grainy. Granular and continuous are antonyms.

What the OP meant is that he achieved more fine grained control. Not more granular control; more granular control would be worse control than the original resolution.

Re:More Granular Implies Poorer Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856971)

granâ...uâ...larâ â[gran-yuh-ler] Show IPA Pronunciation
â"adjective
1. of the nature of granules; grainy.
2. composed of or bearing granules or grains.
3. showing a granulated structure.

So "more granular" can mean "more grainy" or "showing more of a granulated structure." The original was correct.

Re:More Granular Implies Poorer Control (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857139)

If we're going to argue about the meaning of the word...

When something is granular, it is made up of chunks.

When something is granular it is made of granules, or 'grains'. Typically something granular is made of numerous grains that form a larger unit.

When something is more granular, the chunks are larger, it has more of the characteristics of being grainy.

That doesn't really follow. The characteristic of being granular is that it has granules or grains. "More granular" is actually ambiguous.

It could mean: more granules or grains -- ie more of the actual characteristic that makes it granular.
Or it could mean, as you say, larger granules or grains -- ie more pronounced characteristics

Granular and continuous are antonyms.

So? More grains doesn't make it 'more opposite', in fact, the fundamental theorem of calculus is that you can approximate continuity with lots of small discontunities... and if you let the number of discontinuites rise to infinity, their size goes zero and it becomes continuous.

What the OP meant is that he achieved more fine grained control.

Correct. And fine grained is a better way of putting it because its not ambiguous.

Not more granular control; more granular control would be worse control than the original resolution.

More granular control is ambiguous. Although easily understood from the context.

Re:More Granular Implies Poorer Control (0, Redundant)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857875)

More granular control is ambiguous.

No, it is not. It means that the quanta of control are larger.

More granular means more grain like (not more grains), which means the grains are more evident. Because they are ... LARGER. You are making exactly the same mistake as the OP: more granular does not mean there are more grains, but it is more grain-like. For a fixed parameter range more granular means the quanta are larger, and higher resolution means they are smaller.

Granular and continuous are antonyms.

Re:More Granular Implies Poorer Control (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26859323)

No, it is not. It means that the quanta of control are larger.

That's one meaning. Its not the only one.

More granular means more grain like (not more grains)

No. "granular" doesn't mean "grain like". So "more granular" doesn't mean "more 'grain like'"

Granular means "made up of grains"; so "more granular" means "more 'made up of grains'" and that's ambiguous. The more could refer to the number of grains, or it could refer to to more pronounced grains.

Same goes for "spikey". If I tell my stylist I want my hair to be "more spikey" that's ambiguous -- do I want more spikes (more in number), more pointy spikes (more spike pointiness)? or bigger spikes (more spike size)? Any interpretation is reasonable.

More granular means more grain like (not more grains), which means the grains are more evident. Because they are ... LARGER.

Still ambiguous. If I wanted wood with 'more grain', that means more stripes, not fewer larger ones. Or it might mean that I want the same number of stripes but with greater contrast between them. In any case I can't recall ever hearing someone say they want 'more grain' in connection with 'LARGER' stripes.

For a fixed parameter range more granular means the quanta are larger,

No. Its ambiguous. I don't know if you want more grains, or larger grains, or in fact whether you want the same number of grains the same size but with more definition between them.

and higher resolution means they are smaller.

That's correct. "Higher resolution" is unambiguous. "more granular" isn't.

Reverse engineering a proprietary protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857679)

Wouldn't this be against the EULA?

*Warning!* (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26859275)

timestamp:Feb. 14 2009 14:47:32
sender:DOD
return: false

THIS THREAD HAS BEEN LOCKED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.stop
UNITED STATES LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE DISCLOSURE FOR THIS ACTION, AS SAID DISCLOSURE MAY BE A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY.stop
REFER ALL ENQUIRIES REGARDING THIS ACTION TO:stop
http://www.defenselinks.mil/faq/comment.html [defenselinks.mil] stop

end

How about: (1)

caincarter (1465247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26859783)

If you really wanted to be slick, you'd use the webcam to capture where the projectile landed. Then create an algorithm to adjust the targeting system based on previous attacks.

Alternatively (4, Informative)

phoebe (196531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26860397)

You can just download the developers guide from the manufacturer: http://www.dreamcheeky.com/dream/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=102 [dreamcheeky.com]

Re:Alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26861555)

TippingPoint Engineering: Doing things the hard way, and proud of it!

Sheesh. When are the lay offs?

Re:Alternatively (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862925)

The first thing a good developer does when confronted with a new problem is ask 'is there an appropriately-licensed library I can use to solve this?' The answer in this case would be 'yes, pymissile is BSD licensed'. Unfortunately, it's difficult to write an article explaining how great you are for buying some off-the-shelf hardware and used some off-the-shelf software to control it.

For continuos integration servers! (2, Interesting)

ciryon (218518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862849)

I am seriously considering to hook up one of these USB Missile Launchers to our continuos integration server at work. When someone checks in code that doesn't compile or breaks tests the launcher targets the offending developer (using pre-determined login aiming mapping) and fires a couple of rounds at him. That'll certainly increase code quality!

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