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Comments

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Philip K Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" to be produced by Ridley Scott

TechForensics About time! (1 comments)

About time the motion-picture media really started to look at the rich, rich work of PKD. Though he may have had temporal lobe epilepsy with consequent hypergraphia, he managed to put down some of his own mind's fascinating dreamlike states. Whatever made him unique, we're lucky to have had him. The Man in the High Castle is one of his more grounded stories; a good first chance to get the reader to know him without anything too exotic to frighten him off. (I am reminded of Baudelaire's piece in Paris Spleen, "The Dog and the Scent Bottle", in which he asserts the public should never be given "delicate perfumes to infuriate them".) What I wouldn't give to see The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" in the cinema!

2 days ago
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Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

TechForensics As Easy to See Through as Glass (132 comments)

Hmmmm.... Let's see... Snowden embarrasses NSA using Tails; suddenly tails has scary "vulnerabilities"; a new company / entity on the scene says it will make everything nice.

What's the likely truth here? Snowden embarrassed NSA using Tails; NSA plants disinformation campaign to the exent of "vulnerabilities"; the new company / entity is an NSA puppet that will give you a new Tails every bit as reliable as the new TrueCrypt.

First grade simple so it's not suspected until..... (complete the sentence).

What do YOU think?

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

TechForensics The SmartWatch is here to stay (427 comments)

I already have a smartwatch, but if I didn't these would be the reasons today I would get one:
(These are all real, existing apps.)

App that ..sends slow-scan video to watch from phone or takes and displays pictures ..sends nav screen to watch ..can display forecast, barometric pressure, wind direction and velocity ..gets full weather report ..lets you activate watch features based on a value on the internet e.g. **buy alert** goog is at $450
or "new post on your blog", etc. ..lets you know your phone needs charging ..keeps you on-time with buzzing alarms ..(maybe not yet) tells you if your flight is on time ..displays your track as you wander around hoping to wander back

about a month ago
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Full 3D on Your LCD with $5. Glasses?

TechForensics OK (1 comments)

Apparently I'm just a dummy.

1 year,18 days
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Lawyer Sues Apple For His Own Porn Addiction

TechForensics I wonder... (1 comments)

...if he named Siri as a co-respondent?

1 year,18 days
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MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

TechForensics Re:Lo-Tek Solution (353 comments)

So I'll wait for the check to clear. You have the $ before you provide service.

BTW if MC and VISA are out, *all* of these services will take checks. Checks are better than nothing!

1 year,26 days
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MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

TechForensics Re:Lo-Tek Solution (353 comments)

Or actual CASH sent by registered mail. Even if you get ripped off 10% of the time you're ahead.

The recipients could also appoint dozens or hundreds of private citizens to accept payments for them. Let them cut off one and two can spring up in its place.

CitiBank and MBNA may THINK they own the payments systems, Let's show them just how essential they are.

Too many ways around them to even think of all of them.

Yawn.

1 year,26 days
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MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

TechForensics Lo-Tek Solution (353 comments)

What's the big deal? Pay by check! What's a week or two to save your rights?

1 year,27 days
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The Strange History of Apple and FlatWorld

TechForensics That Lawyer will not be a lawyer much longer. (89 comments)

IAAL and I can tell you Mr. McAleese will not be a member of the bar much longer. As attorney offenses go, this is toxic / nuclear.

This case will disappear quickly now that the real party-in-interest is revealed.

about a year ago
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Adobe Creative Suite Going Subscription-Only

TechForensics Adobe's Move No Worry for Pirates (658 comments)

If Adobe did this to convert pirates to payers, boy did they screw up.

Crackers will just crack the bit that says "paid up this month" instead of cracking activation. Activation is not the only thing that can be cracked!

When this becomes obvious, Adobe will suffer and shrink to a less important company.

Adobe, beware the wages of greed!

about a year ago
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Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

TechForensics book scanning technology improvements (648 comments)

This comment is coming in kind of late, so no doubt it will be little seen, but everyone seems to be overlooking that it will take only a slight improvement of book scanning technology to let everyone with a paper book duplicate it as an e-book. Let the publishers try to offer their product by license only; left them try to evade the first sale doctrine; it just won't work. When you can buy a $300 scanner that will turn the pages of your book and produce either PDFs or an optically character recognized file, this whole issue is just going to go away.

about a year ago
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Scientists Develop Chocolate That Won't Melt At High Temperatures

TechForensics Re:Unless you have a high fever, chewing crayons (161 comments)

Well, if you got this chocolate to your body temperature in your mouth, is there any reason why your saliva still wouldn't *dissolve* it?

about a year and a half ago
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Hugo Awards Live Stream Cut By Copyright Enforcement Bot

TechForensics Re:usteam isn't responding. (393 comments)

I wonder if they could be gotten for breach of contract.

That's what class actions were invented for. But republican legislators have cut back the situations in which class actions can be filed. If enough disgrunted fans agree they can hire a lawyer to check if class action is possible. If it is and they file one, companies like Worldcon could learn to be just as afraid of consumers as they are of Big Media.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

TechForensics Re:R.A. Lafferty (1130 comments)

Wonderful story of his, The Configuration of the North Shore.

about 2 years ago
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"Open Source" Drug Development Company Launched

TechForensics Hallelujah (140 comments)

An idea whose time as come. What a shame no one thought of it, or could make a credible beginning of it, sooner.

Open-source pharmaceuticals. It boggles the mind, but the overwhelming impression is of goodness, rectitude, unselfishness, and light.

If this works we should all thank God, or whomever we believe we owe.

more than 2 years ago
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US Research Open Access In Peril

TechForensics Re:dufus decisions (237 comments)

FUCK ALL THESE GREEDY BASTARDS. Everywhere you turn there is anticonsumerism. It's just an extension of the copyright wars. What can we withhold for money? If "information wants to be free", what is taking so long? Why don't we squash power grabs when we see them happening? Why don't we have the clout to do it or the will to try?

Sickening.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Ideal High School Computer Lab?

TechForensics What is makeup of users' group? (268 comments)

How many students at one time, what career track (mostly)? Slackers or hackers? Important to know.

more than 2 years ago
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RIAA Lawyer Complains DMCA May Need Revamp

TechForensics Tragedy (303 comments)

"Basically they are complaining the the DMCA makes them responsible for policing their own content at their expense."

                My God, how can this be America?

more than 2 years ago
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RIAA Lawyer Complains DMCA May Need Revamp

TechForensics Yes, so? (303 comments)

Yes, so?

more than 2 years ago
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US ISPs, Big Content Reaching Antipiracy Agreement

TechForensics Isn't using a proxy and encryption one answer? (342 comments)

Is there anyone who thinks these ISP warnings can't be kept from triggering by judicious proxy use and encrypted traffic? Or is deep-packed inspection good enough to identify P2P traffic? Even if it could, it surely couldn't determine the copyright status of the stream.

I was going to remark that we would surely see services like Tor and FreeNet grow exponentially in response, but what's wrong with a good old simple non-US proxy service plus traffic encryption? At least when we're talking about cyber-locker repositories if not bittorrent.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: After TrueCrypt

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  5 days ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "(Resubmitted because was not identified as "Ask Slashdot"

We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been compromised.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA–hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main or important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered tainted. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother. (Would it not be possible for the NSA to create a second TrueCrypt that has the same hash value as the original?)

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?"

Link to Original Source
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Is encryption for the public now a myth?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  about a week ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?"
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ASK SLASHHas encryption for the public been defeated?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  about a week ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?"
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Lexmark loses Supreme Court case; can be sued by ink cartridge remanufacturers

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  about 3 months ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "Lexmark, the hardest-working-to-make-printing-more-expensive manufacturer, lost a round yesterday in the US Supreme Court, which held that ink cartridge remanufacturers can sue for the "I'm A Genuine Lexmark Cartridge" microchip tomfoolery used for years to block remanufactured cartridges on copyright (of the chip) grounds. Lexmark had a consumer program to induce consumers to return their empty cartridges to Lexmark, and a self-destructing authenticity chip to make double sure the reman guys couldn't get it. Handed a stinging defeat in the US Supreme Court, will LEXMARK finally "get it"?"
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Limited Electric Computing?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  about 6 months ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "Limited Electric Computing

In my fifth decade of computing, having thought for some years I'm pretty well equipped to handle whatever comes my way, I realize I'm wholly ignorant about what for some users may be the most important question they have about computing. We have about five PCs in our house, and my wife came forward with a fairly large electric bill and said she wanted to know what part of it was due to running our computers 24 seven and whether buying a lower energy consumption machine or machines might pay for itself in year or so at current electric rates.

I've heard of the "Kill-a-Watt" device, but frankly I'm too old and arthritic to go climbing down among all of our machines. All I want to know are our very best bets for lowest energy consumption cost for our machines, considering that we don't want to wait for reboot upon each seating.

None of our systems does anything but Internet, Excel, and Word processing (with the exception of mine, which does everything, but I'm not really wondering about that.) I build systems easily so I just want to know what processors, monitors and motherboards drink the least juice? I believe I'll set our systems up with normal flatscreen monitors, keyboards and mice. Most of the people in my house need Windows. Is there some wall wart or mini-form factor PC I can buy off the shelf, or should I assemble the best combination of processor, motherboard and monitor? I'm willing to consider large-screen laptops if those would prevent a significant construction project. Of course, we'll have to have a small, always-on solid state file server, to be built out of something like one SSD and a network card.

Limited electric computing – what are the best ideas by Slashdot?"
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Full 3D on Your LCD with $5. Glasses?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  1 year,24 days

TechForensics (944258) writes "I was floored when I was looking for anaglyph (red-blue) 3D movie trailers and found one, supposedly 3D, with no colors. "Must be one of the polarized ones", I thought, which we all know an ordinary LCD cannot display, right? Just for giggles I slipped on a pair of Real-D glasses from my seeing Spider Man, and my jaw just about hit the floor. I had full 3D, POLARIZED 3D, in the preview of a Real-D IMAX feature (Disney's Christmas Carol) — on my PC monitor, a Gateway model LP2424 (nothing special).

Is real 3D on our TVs at home as easy as buying, or borrowing, a $5. pair of glasses? How can what I saw be?

Here's the link to the trailer, which will be Slashdotted so fast I hope someone can pull it down and host it. The link is http://www.break.com/video/ugc/a-christmas-carol-2009-trailer-1307860

Just what is going on here? This is not supposed to be technically possible, as many slashdotters are going to know. Maybe they can set me straight-- The best I can figure is I'm simply wrong and the movie is unusually vivid with infinite depth-of field so it FOOLS me that it's 3D. But I found many other copies of this trailer that did not exhibit the behavior. But.. this solitary ONE does.

Am I just a dummy or is there something here?"
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What is the morality of pirating an OS?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 2 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "A recent query on a popular file sharing site asked simply, what percentage of operating system installations are pirated? One of the more lucid (and surely provocative) opinions held as follows. Have we ever really hashed this out on Slashdot? What are the rights of the people under a government that allows something close to “the 99 percent” to be crushed under the weight of favored corporations?

'In my view the people have the right of taxation in themselves, a right superior to the right of the government (which is only their representative) to tax. If the people, as a mass, feel corporate preferences leading to unreasonable accumulations of money and power (the RIAA and MPAA have influenced and nearly yoked us with international treaties), then the people have the right to tax these entities by setting aside a proportion of their profits by free distribution of their product. This is not even illegal in spirit, for the people have the right to change the laws, and on issues where the groundswell is overwhelming, have the moral right to nullify laws which time will inevitably erode to nothing. Now, the question was what percentage of OS installations are sanctioned by the manufacturer and how many not. That is impossible to know, particularly if we confine our interest to the US (because it is easy to see more people in China have pirated Windows than even *exist* in the United States). We do know, however, that Microsoft is one of the world's most profitable and powerful corporations, so in a sense we can answer the question by saying there are not enough "illegitimate" copies of their software in use to matter. Which is the same as saying an insignificant percentage, even if you and everyone you know have such copies.'

So – what do we really think? (Link to original source requires signup but post is quoted in full above.)"

Link to Original Source
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USTR: Evasive reply to Sen. Wyden re ACTA

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "U. S. Ambassador Ron Kirk, the US representative to the ACTA negotiations and currently the White House's Trade Representative, has posted responses to a letter of inquiry sent by Senator Wyden. The response manages to evade forthright answers to almost every question; for instance in answer # 6 where it assures limiting measures to those permitted by US Law without addressing how the potential treaty may change the obligations of US law. Yes, it really is as bad as you thought, and the US is really the nation with private citizens' interests least at heart."
Link to Original Source
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Chilling Orwellian Surveillance Tech Arrives

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "KDDI, one of Japan's largest phone companies, has introduced a mobile phone with accelerometer sensors so sensitive that they can report back on the employees' exact movements, differentiating between actions performed such as scrubbing, sweeping, walking, or emptying the trash. Here is a new tether-- 24 / 7 surveillance in service of the corporate overlord. Employees "gifted" with these phones may never relax again. What can be done to stop the proliferation of this kind of monitoring?"
Link to Original Source
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Real Networks pays $4.5 million in DVD Copy Case

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes ""It's no surprise that the major studios are still suing the pants off anyone it's practicable to clobber: Witness the company who produced RealDVD Copying Software having to shell out $4.5 million to end litigation against it. Seems pretty heavy for a company that sold less than 3,000 copies of the software in question. Seattle-based Real Networks has also agreed to a permanent injunction barring it from selling the RealDVD software.""
Link to Original Source
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Windows 7 Update Breaks Firefox

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "Apparently since an update last month, Windows 7 Firefox users have been experiencing numerous blue screen crashes when using Firefox, even if the browser is running in a clean installation. I personally experienced a blue screen crash every ten minutes and went looking for a fix. The good news is that verifier.exe (which stresses and tests your drivers) finally got the OS to say there were "Compatibility problems with Firefox" and to recommend running it in XP SP2 compatibility mode. So far, testing has not produced another blue screen."
Link to Original Source
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Cable Companies Restrict Olympics on Net

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "NBC won't let you see replays on the NBC site unless your cable operator
gets a cut.

In a slap in the face to all netizens who expect Cable programming
interests to be distinct from those of their ISP, visitors to the NBC
website wanting to see replays of Olympic events get the following
message:

"You have selected a premium video (e.g. live stream or full-event
replay). Please follow the simple process below to view this free
content and ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE TRIP
and other GREAT PRIZES!

To begin this ONE-TIME ONLY process, please identify your HOME cable, satellite or IPTV provider.

NOTE: This is required ONLY for viewing live competition & full-event replays on NBCOlympics.com during the Vancouver Games.

(List of providers)

If your cable, satellite or IPTV provider is NOT listed above, then it's not in partnership with NBC Olympics. Don't worry though, you ALREADY CAN VIEW hundreds of video clips such as athlete features and Torino highlights, and you will have access to event highlights during the Vancouver Games. Click here to watch video now."

Apparently a subscription to MSNBC or CNBC is de rigeur. That is not free if you do not have
a "premium cable package".

What's going on here? Are we to see more of this kind of thing?"
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Android now tetherable using Verizon and PdaNET

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TechForensics (944258) writes "Just days in the wake of its announcement that tethering is not supported with the new Motorola Droid phone, Verizon is to learn that the free PdaNET software can circumvent existing technical measures imposed as obstacles. At least until the Big V figures out how to disable the app, if possible."
Link to Original Source
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Draconian DRM revealed in Windows 7

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TechForensics writes "A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobberred a nagging registration screen by replacing a .dll with a hacked version. That's not so much a surprise, but what WAS a surprise: Noting that Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to stealthily insert themselves in your firewall exception list. Further, that the OS is crippled towards allowing large software vendors to penetrate your machine. Even further, that that crippling is responsible for disabling of a program based on a modified .dll. Remote attestation, anyone? And then finding that the OS even after reboot has locked you out of your own Local Settings folder; has denied you permission to move or delete the modified DLL; and refuses to allow the replacement of the Local Settings folder after it is unlocked with Unlocker to move it to the Desktop for examination (where it also denies you entry to your own folder). Setting permissions to "allow everyone" was disabled! Re media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC are gone if the program originated on your PC. The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). Under XP you could select "Stereo Mix" or similar under audio recording inputs and nicely capture any program then playing. Microsoft appears to be pandering to Big Music for its own reasons unrelated to consumer satisfaction. This may be the tip of the iceberg. Something *really nasty* is lurking under the surface of Win7. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a device so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to experimenting with a second sound card or computer just to record from online sources, or boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files. (You never seem to know in Windows 7 when the "Access Denied" message is going to strike.) It is certainly beginning to be crystal clear why the coming WinFS will not be a good thing for userland, and a Very Good Thing for Microsoft and its partners."
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CraigsList and eBay in Court

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TechForensics writes "Why did eBay sue CraigsList in a Delaware court? eBay alleges that CraigsList is "unfairly discriminating" against it as a minority shareholder in CraigsList. More specifically it accuses CraigsList of holding meetings to which eBay was not invited to plan strategies to dump eBay's investment, which Craigslist claims in a countersuit was made for the sole purpose of ripping off trade secrets. It should be interesting to follow this one."
Link to Original Source
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How Can We Save XP?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TechForensics writes "When Microsoft stops selling XP entirely, even to OEMs, it appears there will be no legal way to get XP to use on a new computer. This may not be a problem for folks who bought a full retail package and who may reinstall on new machines ad infinitum, but for those of us who WILL not give up XP anytime soon, and who run only OEM (or in some cases unauthorized) versions of the software, is there any really good answer? Microsoft should not have the right to prevent home and business customers from keeping one or more Windows XP machines, replacing old with new as needed, to preserve their large investments in legacy software and to preserve file compatibilities-- or to stay comfortably in the past until their own needs prompt upgrades. Sure, MS argues you knew you bought only a license, but when severe hardships never anticipated by customers result, something must be done. Maybe under Obama's administration we can get legislation preserving the public's right to buy and use discontinued software, but that's pie-in-the-sky. What can we do *now* to keep XP available for our use long-term, and the use of others, consumers and businesses alike?"
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Suggestion for the slashdot editors

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TechForensics writes "Sorry, this is not a story; it is a suggestion to (is it possible?) improve Slashdot. Though I have been on /. for years I still don't know how to send a message directly to the editors.

I noticed in a recent story several /.ers who were also skydivers sort of got in touch. I thought, wow, there can't be many of those (though I am one), but wow, they might have a lot in common and really hit it off. The same could be true for other /.ers who share an outside interest.

My idea is simply to create sigs (special interest groups) within /. (not in such a way as to fragment the user base) but maybe just a link to click to add your name to a list of members interested. Members could see the names and perhaps email addresses of other members-- this might facilitate the creation of special interest mail lists, let people know who they might want to add as friends, etc. Ideally (and this is farfetched because it would probably be a pain to program) there could be a clickable icon beside member names which, if clicked, would present all member posts on a single page. (Yes, I know there are objections to / problems with that.)

But the idea of letting members join SIGS that may have mail lists, and making it apparent there are sigs that can be easily joined, has the happy possibility of creating friends across TWO strong interests. Would that not be A Good Thing.

Regards,

Leon Malinofsky"
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When IT has to support AOL

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TechForensics writes "As a sysadmin for a small company (about 25 users) I am well-paid and happy-- except The Boss uses AOL, has always used AOL, will never change from AOL, and that's the end of that tune. The problem is that AOL is *always* mucking up on him-- trivial stuff to me, but obviously not to him. If I can't solve his AOL problems I lose reliability in his eyes (never good). I have tried to become competent in solving his AOL problems (version 9.1), but there's always something-- when he pastes text into a new email window, his cursor is now at the bottom instead of the top. Major issue, crash priority, high stakes. Likewise he used to be able to open attachments to AOL emails by double-clicking them at the bottom of the mail window, and now when he double-clicks the Download Manager appears and he dislikes the extra step of having to download before he opens. ( ! ) When told CTRL-HOME leaps the cursor topside, he complains of the extra key-clicks to do something he does 200 times per day. Reinstalling Windows and AOL only gets you so far-- if you install AOL on a fresh Windows XP disk, there is the Devil's own time making sure his OLD saved emails appear in the new installation. The method the AOL "expert" provided on the phone resulted in multiple mailboxes that did not sort or index and the boss hated that.

Now, since AOL can't answer these questions (I have spent *so* much time in Live Chat only to have scripted and inapplicable "help" sent my way), I have to ask. What does the poor IT slob do? I'm even willing to hire and pay a consultant if I can find a *real* AOL expert. But do they exist? They don't man the helplines at AOL!"
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Western Digital "Restricted" Hard Drive -

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TechForensics writes "Massive error. The drive does nothing to restrict the file types it shares. The drive is SOLD WITH A SUBSCRIPTION to an online service that indexes and facilitates your files for sharing. (MioNET.) It is the ONLINE SERVICE that will not display .avi files etc. to others on the net.

This is SUBSCRIPTION RELATED, has NOTHING to do with WD's hardware. Boy do we owe them an apology.

TechForensics"

Link to Original Source
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AG Gonzales : "attempted" piracy should be

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 7 years ago

TechForensics writes "Gonzales: It's time to punish 'attempted' piracy

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9736941-7.html?ta g=nefd.only

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales created quite a stir last month when he called for an aggressive rewrite of criminal copyright laws, including prison time for "attempted" copyright infringement, life behind bars for pirated software use, and more expansive wiretap authority in piracy investigations.

If anyone doubted his seriousness about that dramatic plan, look no further than the text of a speech the official delivered in Seattle on Wednesday. See http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2007/ag_speech_07 0627.html"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Draconian Behavior in Windows 7

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 5 years ago

A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobberred a nagging registration screen by replacing a .dll with a hacked version. That's not so much a surprise, but what WAS a surprise: Noting that Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to stealthily insert themselves in your firewall exception list. Further, that the OS is crippled towards allowing large software vendors to penetrate your machine. Even further, that that crippling is responsible for disabling of a program based on a modified .dll. Remote attestation, anyone? And then finding that the OS even after reboot has locked you out of your own Local Settings folder; has denied you permission to move or delete the modified DLL; and refuses to allow the replacement of the Local Settings folder after it is unlocked with Unlocker to move it to the Desktop for examination (where it also denies you entry to your own folder). Setting permissions to "allow everyone" is disabled!

This may be the tip of the iceberg. Something *really nasty* is lurking under the surface of Win7. Locking your own files away from you is a device so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files. (You never seem to know in Windows 7 when the "Access Denied" message is going to strike.) It is certainly beginning to be crystal clear why the coming WinFS will not be a good thing for userland, and a Very Good Thing for Microsoft and its partners.

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Have mp3s ruined our appreciation of music?

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I always wondered why I never enjoyed listening to my favorite music played from an mp3 file on my computer. I guess I was just thinking that as I got older, my youthful passions were fading.

Long ago, I had decided that at least I ought to preserve my LP collection (about 400 records, mostly classical). Then last week, I finally got around to installing the FLAC codec on my machines and the project began. Listening to the music as it was encoded (live from my turntable) was an entrancing, emotional experience as I remembered. What's more, so was listening to the music played back from a FLAC-encoded digital file.

So I did an A/B comparison of the same music from mp3 and from FLAC. I could distinctly hear the comparative dullness and lack of airiness in the mp3s. Then I started berating myself. How could I have been so blind (or maybe deaf is the better word) for so long? How could I not have noticed the difference? Probably I put it down to listening on small computer speakers rather than my expensive stereo.

But I was wrong. Mp3 has been important and useful, and music on computers and music-to-go could not so easily exist without it, but for me-- it stole away my enjoyment of music for over ten years.

I'm not bitter, however. Now I get to hear it "fresh"-- all over again. If you have been subsisting on mp3s, maybe it would mean something to you to try conversion of your CDs and LPs to files encoded with a lossless codec.

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Verizon Wireless blocking Google Directory Assistance

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 6 years ago It seems that Verizon likes to enhance revenue by making sure their cellphone users have to use Verizon's fee-per-call directory assistance service. A number of times over the past month I have tried to send a text message to 46645 (googl) with a name and address. Normally this gets you a text message back with the phone listing for about five cents. Lately text messages to this number simply don't work. Anyone else with similar experience?

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IQ in action

TechForensics TechForensics writes  |  more than 8 years ago After five years of trying to find the right lapboard for my keyboard and mouse, as I recline in style in my office chair, and after finding them all so cumbersome I gave up, locked the chair upright, and suffered, I found out my optical mouse can rest on top of my pants leg and move and work very well there. Is there some kind of IQ award I get for this? Duh.

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