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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

MECC Re:Next target, please (626 comments)

File/music/movie sharing/listening/watching. Mix and match as needed.

about 4 months ago

Microsoft's Surface RT Was Doomed From Day One

MECC Re:I'm glad (442 comments)

Ironic really. At it's inception, microsoft got in on the paradigm transition from mainframe to desktop computing, albeit not through any real innovation or offering of value. IBM and mainframes are still around and arguably profitable, but not relevant in terms of what drives current trends of innovation - at that point new and interesting directions started coming from the desktop computing world. Think of every thing you do on a desktop computer now, and it's likely something that didn't arise from the IBM/Mainframe computing world. Now things like google glass, new distribution models like hadoop, hyperscale computing, and "cloud" computing (yes I held my nose when typing the "C" word) are arising in a sense from the budding influence of the mobile computing world.

So now the paradigm is shifting to mobile, and MS has missed the boat in almost every definable way. But like IBM, they'll stay around and still be profitable, but they just won't be relevant in terms of new directions in the information landscape. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, no pun intended.

about a year ago

Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions

MECC Kernel Numbering (460 comments)

Why the sudden shift in the numbering scheme to version 3? Isn't consistency more useful than sentiment?

about 2 years ago

Ubuntu Will Now Have Amazon Ads Pre-Installed

MECC Re:I see (646 comments)

Mint has actually done a pretty good job of making Gnome3 work very much like Gnome2. You can run it with a UI called Cinnamon, that's even more like Gnome2.

However, Mint puts their own google search in the browser so when you use the browser's search field, it uses Mint's google search. Still, that beats adware built into the desktop.

If neither Mint nor Amazon/Unity/Ubuntu works and Gnome 3 sucks, try Lubuntu.

about 2 years ago

Patent Troll Sues X-Plane

MECC Re:Errrm what? (214 comments)

Turns out the patent has nothing to do with "things X-Plane has done for decades".

Kind of and kind of not. The patent the troll is claiming has been infringed on is for things others have done for decades - remote license checking:

Section 107 of the patent, which they claim I violated, contains: “107. code for verifying the license data stored on the licensing medium by communicating with a registration authority having verification data.”

The article goes on to point out a few others that have been doing this for decades. HP Openview has been doing it for as long as it has existed. I'm sure scores of others not listed have as well. Honestly, it's been a common practice for decades to be certain.

This is just another example of how software patenting is bad for the industry. Trolls can get patents on nearly anything, then file a lawsuit that while doomed by prior art will cost the victim a lot to show that prior art. Which the Patent office should have found before granting the patent in the first place.

about 2 years ago

Apple Intends To 'Digitally Destroy' Textbook Publishing

MECC Re:Magic (396 comments)

Interestingly, if not ironic, the Preview application lets you annotate PDFs freely, regardless of any 'digital publishing' rights limitations like the adobe reader does. That's the chief reason I use OSX. Its the easiest and best PDF reader/annotator available, and I have a lot of books in PDF format, and I'm still converting the .chm and other ebooks to PDF for just that reason.

If you're using Apple products, that means that you're looking at the world through a very bent straw, and Apple is doing the bending.

No not really. I'm not comfortable with the show "appstore" thing, and if it get's to be draconian I'll dump OSX, but that statement isn't true, unless you really want it to be.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft 'Hut' Opens Outside Seattle Apple Store

MECC Deperately seeking Apple? (262 comments)

Seeing as how ms has lost the most valuable member of their creative team, they must be getting desperate.

more than 2 years ago

Google Loses Bedrock Suit, All Linux May Infringe

MECC Prior Art? (347 comments)

Which portion of the linux kernal supposedly infringes? Does prior ary mean anything here?

more than 3 years ago

Major Outage At the Amazon Web Services

MECC to the cloud! (247 comments)

just like the ad...

more than 3 years ago

Cisco Accused of Orchestrating Engineer's Arrest

MECC Re:As much as I love Cisco gear... (160 comments)

Cisco warranties are strange creature indeed. In order to get a bug fix on warrantied products, you must have a TAC login. In order to have a TAC login, you must have a smartnet contract. Technically, the warranty is a temporary smartnet contract (I've searched their database using the serial # of new equipment under warranty but not smartnet net, not found it, then called cisco and they pull a smartnet contract number up)

Its really messed up, but what it boils down to is that if you want to get a bug fix and you don't have smartnet, you must go through the reseller you bought from - which is not good because it means without any smartnet you are vulnerable to the next thing that arises. No smartnet, no security, warranty notwithstanding.

Of course, if you do have a TAC login, you can get warrantied equipment added to your userid, but its a manual process and annoying at best. You still need a TAC ID from another smartnet contract though.

more than 3 years ago

Cisco Accused of Orchestrating Engineer's Arrest

MECC Re:I have long been annoyed by Cisco business poli (160 comments)

switching packets from NIC 1 to NIC 2

That because cisco has leveraged hardware extensively for just that purpose. It's rare for CPU to get involved in forwarding a frame or packet on a cisco router or switch. That's in part why they're so expensive - its all done in ASICS, and even the memory is hard-wired for bitmasking searches.

more than 3 years ago

Superman Comic Saves Family Home From Foreclosure

MECC Heat vision (217 comments)

My first thought was that it was a comic featuring superman melting a bankster with his heat vision....

more than 4 years ago

Juror Explains Guilty Vote In Terry Childs Case

MECC Everyone managed to lose (537 comments)

What bothers me most about this isn't that childs was found guilty, but what he was found guilty of. Yeah he's guilty of not handing over passwords when asked. Yeah he's guilty of manuvering to avoid giving control of the network at every turn, when clearly he was being asked to do so.

I mean, really if his supervisors crashed the network, I would think that once he gives them passwords they become directly responsible for damages. Particularly since cisco routers and switches can be set up log log admin activity, in come cases command by command, to a remote syslog server, so if something did go wrong, the guilty userid can be determined with no question. So yeah, Childs is guilty. But of a DOS? By stretching the definition of what a DOS is, the instructions from the judge and the ruling here places anyone in charge of anything that could be thought of as a computer service of any kind at considerably more risk, and unnecessarily so. This outcome provides no useful legal precedent due to its stretch of definitions.

more than 4 years ago

Terry Childs Found Guilty

MECC Re:better yet (982 comments)

It would seem that if you define privileged access as a computer service, then denying the passwords would sort constitute a 'denial of service to an authorized user'. However, the language regarding "performs acts which are reasonably necessary to the performance of his or her work assignment" is relevant too.

Giving privileged access to core network equipment to unqualified persons is more than highly dis-recommended and its best practices to avoid this in all situations. In other words, it is reasonable not to give privileged access to people known not to have the qualifications to make changes. I don't know if the fiberWAN was carrying critical services like VoIP for example, but if it was, granting privileged access to anyone who might attempt to make changes could easily, if not likely, cause severe outages. Perhaps in that case, childs' granting of access resulting in outages might not be his fault, but the fault of whoever might try making changes. Maybe. At this point its not clear that network engineers have that protection, and this decision may burden the profession itself with a liability that confers no benefit to either admins or users.

Many Cisco commands take effect immediately, and in many cases access can be lost and widespread outages can easily result from a change that nobody, including cisco, would reasonably expect to cause an outage. Granted, childs painted himself into a bad corner at every opportunity (and in a way, his profession as well), and while he's clearly guilty of withholding information that didn't belong to him, for the question of denial of service to have been decide the way it has conspicuous negative side effects for the entire profession.

Its clear the law was written for those instances when deliberate malicious activity denies access, but this decision so broadens what malicious is such that for professionals managing critical services like networks carrying 911 traffic, a battery of lawyers will be required before anything can be done at all (which is actually not far from the case now - I know network admins who insist on legal waivers from customers for VoIP networks due to 911 liability issues). This obscures what malicious is in a profession already hard for anyone outside the specialty to understand in the first place. Court rulings should clarify such definitions for the precedent set to actually be constructive. This precedent isn't useful at all, and has tremendous potential for abuse.

Yes, childs is partly to blame, but he shares that with the city and the way the court chose to apply this ordinance. Really, nobody won here, but everybody managed to lose.

more than 4 years ago

Still Little To Do About a Bad ISP

MECC Re:Broadband over Powerline (178 comments)

Did BPL ever solve the problem of getting through step-down transformers without the need for some kind of bypass?

more than 4 years ago

When Hacked PCs Self-Destruct

MECC Re:Remember... (418 comments)

Well, if anyone tries to patent the exploding laptop, Dell or Apple will be able to demonstrate prior art.

more than 5 years ago

Storm Causes AT&T Outage Across Midwest

MECC Re:Roaming? (213 comments)

Congress seems to care more about protecting corporate profits and reputation than providing a robust cellular network for its citizens.


more than 5 years ago



RIAA Wins Copyright Case Against MN Woman

MECC MECC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MECC (8478) writes "The RIAA won in its case against Jammie Thomas:

Jurors ordered Jammie Thomas, 30, to pay record companies $220,000 — or $9,250 for each of 24 songs for which the companies sought damages. They could have awarded damages as low as $750 per song.

Link to Original Source

MECC MECC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MECC (8478) writes "Scooby-Doo creator Iwao Takamoto passed away at yesterday at the age of 81. From the article:

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Iwao Takamoto assisted in the designs of some of the biggest animated features and television shows, including "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp" and "The Flintstones."
But it was Takamoto's creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with an adventurous heart, that captivated audiences and endured for generations.

MECC MECC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MECC (8478) writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a way to kill cancer cells without radiation or toxic chemicals. From the article: 'A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.'"

MECC MECC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MECC (8478) writes "New U.S. Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Robert Gates ranks 'cyberterror' right up there with weapons of mass destruction. From the linked article: ""When a teenage hacker in the Philippines overnight can wreak $10 billion in damage to the U.S. economy by implanting a virus, imagine what a sophisticated, well-funded effort to attack the computer base of our economy could accomplish," said Gates." It seems like an act like that might be like a weapon of mass destruction, except for the 'mass destruction' part."

MECC MECC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MECC (8478) writes "Scientists in the UK have applied for permission to create embryos using cow eggs and human DNA, since human eggs have been in short supply. From the article, "The hybrid human-bovine embryos would be used for stem cell research and would not be allowed to develop for more than a few days." Also, "The resulting embryo would be 99.9% human; the only bovine element would be DNA outside the nucleus of the cell.""


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