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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

Tmack Single-ride exact price ticket? (240 comments)

More so than the efficiencies, unless you went through the trouble of getting an exactly priced BART ticket for that single trip, you will be swapping tickets that potentially still have more cash value on them. Most commuters have switched to using Clipper card (rfid based pre-payment system) which works well for BART but is a craptastic company to deal with and is setup horridly on the other transit lines (Caltrain specifically). Simply the time I save not having to stand in line to buy a paper ticket at a machine, reduced to the exact ride price (look it up on the fare chart, hit buttons many times to reduce the default $20 ticket to the exact price if its credit, or spend time counting out change to feed the thing) each trip and instead just swipe my wallet over the turnstile and walk through is worth more than any potential saving, if I even happen to ride a route that has this arbitrage opportunity (doubtful).

about 7 months ago

Tesla Fires and Firestorms: Let's Breathe and Review Some Car Fire Math

Tmack Let them hype all they want (264 comments)

Makes the stock cheaper for me to buy. Once they figure it out and it recovers, $$$


about 10 months ago

SF Airport Officials Make Citizen Arrests of Internet Rideshare Drivers

Tmack Re:Well (510 comments)

Sure, but the devil is in the details. WHERE do they park? Cabs must park somewhere visible where anyone can see them, a public space on public property, but these other "things", can be anywhere, in a private parking lot, or somewhere else equally privately owned.


How does that matter? The Uber driver could be (and has been a few times I have scheduled a pickup for a 3am flight from SFO) at home in bed. They are only providing a ride from point A to point B for customer X, after customer X contacts Uber to schedule the ride (ie: a Chartered trip). They are not soliciting rides directly, which is THE differentiator between Uber/Lyft/etc and a Taxi service. Once that charter is completed, they could go on to their next assignment or go home. Taxis circle hoping to get either a dispatch or someone flagging them down on the street.


about a year ago

When Your Data Absolutely, Positively has to be Destroyed (Video)

Tmack Re:This is not for us. (295 comments)

You missed the part where they sell a drive crusher too... drives a wedge down the middle of the drive, or puts lots of holes in an SSD, up to 2 at a time.


about a year and a half ago

When Your Data Absolutely, Positively has to be Destroyed (Video)

Tmack Re:Value? (295 comments)

Ask yourself, is it worth it for a bank, gmail, the FBI to invest $9k (or more, for the higher-end device), or risk $X0,000 * $NumberOfCustomers in legal fees and triage and incident response if a bad drive were to escape into the wild? I can guarantee you a single investment of $9k is a no-brainer and is dirt cheap compared to any incident response for stolen data. Not sure what "simpler methods" exist than: 1. insert drive, 2. ??? 3. drive is dead/data gone. When you have to get rid of multiple drives a week, things like this are a must-have.


about a year and a half ago

When Your Data Absolutely, Positively has to be Destroyed (Video)

Tmack Re:Greed and waste (295 comments)

Those fills of random bits work real well when the drive fails and can no longer be accessed.... A motivated entity could possibly recover the bits still on chip/disc, its up to the organization to decide how to dispose of the drive and if its worth their/their clients' interest in making sure the data is not recoverable. I wouldn't want my bank to simply toss a bad drive out in the normal garbage.... -T

about a year and a half ago

The Leap Second Is Here! Are Your Systems Ready?

Tmack The explanation, kill the messenger (284 comments)

Described here (w/dump):

Simple version:
"dont kill the messenger" except when the messenger is going to kill you. Its printk sending notice that the leap second happened that deadlocks against the timer doing the leap second (both vying for xtime_lock). Call it a "feature" of the NTP code. Hence the "turn off NTPD" workaround, if NTP doesnt get notified it should implement the leap second from somewhere upstream, it wont notify about it to the kernel, and the printk shouldnt happen.


more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source Multi-User Password Management?

Tmack GPG (198 comments)

As many others above have posted, though none got any mod points for (yet)...

Its free, opensource (GNU), widely available as a standard package to most platforms, etc. You create a password file, encrypt with gpg, then sign it with each user's key that should have access to it (requires all users to have proper gpg keys setup). When someone leaves, you revoke their key from the file and they can no longer get to it, without having to do much else. If thats too complicated, just do a basic crypt (gpg -c) and share that password around. Then if someone leaves just decrypt and re-encrypt with a new password.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: A Cheap, DIY Home Security and Surveillance System?

Tmack Re:Been there, done that.. Here's your plan. (508 comments)


Then go to, or I think they're also at now. There you can get cameras, and the video balun's to make it simple to use cat 5 to run your cameras. A camera is about $20 for a decent night vision one, and the balun set (8 baluns to run 4 cameras) were about $25.


You forgot the step where you wait a month or four for the dx cameras to ship from HongKong....


more than 2 years ago

Congress Capitulates To TSA; Refuses To Let Bruce Schneier Testify

Tmack Re:What kind of congress is that? (435 comments)

4th amendment "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Can some one point to the airport exclusion? Or where congress amended the constitution to allow this?

They simply changed the interpretation of "unreasonable". After all you may be a terrorist, citizen.

No, its simple congressional logic: that since you are flying on a commercial airliner, and terrorists have flown on and blownup/crashed commercial airliners, you must be a terrorist, therefore probable cause exists to search you with overpriced gadgets that serve to slow down the lines of passengers (unless you pay them more $$ to bypass them) and not detect any of the things the manufacturers promised they would, but find everything else that could make them run your bag through multiple times... while said manufacturer, and their share holders (coincidentally people that helped construct/pass the bills making this mess happen) is raking in taxpayer $$.........


more than 2 years ago

Pirate Bay To Offer Physical Item Downloads

Tmack Re:Bad idea (343 comments)

The output of the 3d printers will be made of a completely different substance than the specialized car parts. The different substance will likely have different heat and pressure tolerances, different tensile strength, and so on. It probably won't work, and could cause damage.

Maybe, but they would make a great pattern to build a mold so that the part could be reproduced with the proper materials.


more than 2 years ago

White House Petition To Investigate Dodd For Bribery

Tmack Re:Yeah, I'm an AC - so what. (596 comments)

In the past 5 minutes there have been no additional signatures.

13,801 to go.

Apparently I'm not the only /. who doesn't trust the government enough to "Create an Account" at this point.

Created one, but can't sign in cause the sign-in form rarely shows up (flash?). grrr


more than 2 years ago

Gecko-Inspired Tape Can Be Reused Thousands of Times

Tmack Greptile? (95 comments)

I just removed similar tape from my bike handlebars cause it was worn out. Granted, it wasn't on the same nano scale, but the tape I used has small hairlike nubs on it that aid in grip, especially when used in conjunction with gloves also having the greptile material on them. Now it seems it is only being used for golf gloves and grips. Worked amazingly well..


more than 2 years ago

EPIC Files For Rehearing In Body Scanner Case

Tmack Re:Public safety should be the priority (95 comments)

Calcium carbide, in rock form would work, just add water and you get acetylene gas. If you keep that contained and mixed with the proper amount of air before igniting, yeh, it makes a bright flash and loud boom. On a plane though, the rocks take a while to bubble away into the gas, and it smells very strongly of onions. Also, you need a very large amount to do anything serious, on the order of several large garbage bags full (caver rating scale: 2bagger, 3bagger...), stuff very unlikely to go unnoticed. Otherwise you get about the equivalent of a flash-bang.

The rocks are small and look like small bits of concrete, but can be crushed between your fingers. You have to keep them super dry or they start to emit gas just from the atmospheric moisture, which is easily smelled, and would probably show up on the airport screener's volatiles sniffer (I assume the xray machines have these built in these days, tho I have seen some of the wipe-pad ones still around). Otherwise they would blend in with a handful of normal gravel.


about 3 years ago

Can Google Save Us From Slow Internet

Tmack Dalton Kick started it... (240 comments)

Dalton (your smaller neighbor about 30mi south), and specifically Dalton Utilities, got that all kick started. It was building out massive infrastructure to fuel the booming carpet industry of the late 80's-90's (most millionaires per-capita prior to the dot-com boom), strung fiber along with the new lines, mainly for daq/scada at first, but launched into more general access starting in 2000 when they started installing fiber everywhere. Now they have Optilink, which has up to 2.5Gbps (graph shows 10gbps) though their offerings to the public list only 20mbps. Also independent of the ILECs (GTE/alltel/bellsouth or whatever it is now), and also running phones and TV with the internet service.


about 3 years ago

California DNA Collection Law Struck Down

Tmack Re: How does this differ from fingerprints (192 comments)

Except that once you've been arrested they can run your DNA profile against all unsolved cases. Hooray for false positives!

And they dont for fingerprints?? (Which have a much higher false-positive rate)


more than 3 years ago

San Francisco Considers Ban On All Pet Sales

Tmack Re:circumcised pets as toys with a happy meal? (733 comments)

Add to that list:

  • plastic bags
  • Sitting
  • Lying down
  • Segway scooters
  • Sales of cigarettes in pharmacies
  • Soda
  • The Yellow Pages
  • Bottled Water
  • Gay Marriage
  • Most guns
  • Advertisements with guns
  • irradiated food
  • Smoking in public (parks, on the sidewalk, etc) or in communal housing (ie: apartments)
  • Styrofoam
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • De-clawing cats
  • Grasshopper Tacos

*Yes, some are state-level, and some (like bottled water and soda) are for government establishments/schools only, and I think the handgun ban got overturned by the NRA as did DC's, and some are just other proposals. Im glad to see our elected officials using their time so effectively to give us the best supernanny city around!

more than 3 years ago

US ISPs, Big Content Reaching Antipiracy Agreement

Tmack Wait, didnt the recent FCC neutrality regulation.. (342 comments)

... expressly FORBID any ISP from mucking with traffic flowing through their tubez aside from normal routing/management activity? Wouldn't blocking all but the top 200 websites from consumers be a direct "ha Im shitting on your face!" violation? Those suing the FCC to block that regulation were promising nothing like this would happen, they were not that evil, yet here it is!


more than 3 years ago



Java 6 is EOL'd by Oracle

Tmack Tmack writes  |  about a year ago

Tmack (593755) writes "Not completely unexpected, Java6 has reached EOL. This tidbit shows up in Oracle's Java6 FAQ page, recommending everyone update to Java7:

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates
Oracle no longer posts updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. All Java 6 releases up to and including 6u45 have been moved to the Java Archive on the Oracle Technology Network, where they will remain available but not receive further updates. Oracle recommends that users migrate to Java 7 in order to continue receiving public updates and security enhancements.

Apple just pushed its update 16 which is Java6u51, likely to be one of their last Java6 updates."


Leapsecond is here! Are your systems ready or going to crash?

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tmack (593755) writes "The last time we had a leapsecond, sysadmins were taken a bit by surprise when a random smattering of systems locked up (including Slashdot itself) due to a kernel bug causing a race condition specific to the way leapseconds are handled/notified by ntp. The vulnerable kernel versions (prior to 2.6.29) are still common amongst older versions of popular distributions (Debian Lenny, RHEL/Centos 5) and embeded/black-box style appliances (Switches, load balancers, spam filters/email gateways, NAS devices, etc). Several vendors have released patches and bulletins about the possibility of a repeat of last time. Are you/your team/company ready? Are you upgraded or are you going to bypass this by simply turning off NTP for the weekend?"
Link to Original Source

Airplane based Laser weapon test fired

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tmack (593755) writes "Boeing has tested its "ATL" (Advanced Tactical Laser) weapon earlier this month, acquiring and firing on a ground target from the air. It is a modified C-130H, outfitted with an oxygen-iodine laser weighing in around 12000lbs operating in the hundred-kilowatt range. The article mentions its use as having "plausible deniability" since it can be fired from long distances, silently, and invisibly. A picture is included that shows an attack plan on a convoy, showing the scary accuracy of this weapon: being able to pick off the antennas of the vehicles, destroy their tires, and even disable the guns in the soldiers hands without causing extensive collateral damage. Included also is a graphic description of the expected results of firing it on an "insurgent.""
Link to Original Source

Wiimote as multi-touch display controller

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tmack (593755) writes "While hard-hacks with the Wiimote is somewhat Old News, this particular implementation is quite interesting. Using the infrared camera on the 'mote, pens with LED's instead of ink, and an LCD projector, Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University has created some software to use them as a cheap (relatively speaking) multi-touch display. Any surface you can project onto becomes an interactive multi-touch display, as demonstrated in the video in the page linked above. He has the software available for download from his website, along with some other neat projects."
Link to Original Source

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Tmack (593755) writes "The BBC has posted an article about their research into deflector shield technology:

British scientists are planning to see whether a Star Trek-style deflector shield could be built to protect astronauts from radiation. They argue that magnetic shields could be deployed around spacecraft and on the surfaces of planets to deflect harmful energised particles.

Complete with an awesome graphic representation of their idea."



Wow, havent written here in a while

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 7 years ago Just noticed. Thought I should, and now I have..


Atlanta flooded

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 9 years ago And my back yard did too. The creek actually took over my woods and made it halfway to my house, though the house is up a decent hill from there. Anyway, I now have a beach in my backyard, the water washed a bunch of sand onto the ground. Got lots of pics and even a movie of it. Only thing it really damaged was from the heavy rain itself washing the topsoil and grass I just planted this spring off into the woods. Guess its time to make some drains and gutters for the driveway.


My House

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 9 years ago My house...I closed only 10 days ago yet it already feels like a month and a half. Most of it was remoddeled by the guy that sold it, but there is still plenty of stuff for me to take care of. First things first, Im getting some stuff from from that contest I won. A whole house surge protector being the top priority, then some leviton switches and some new wall plates for networking and my stereo equipment. Wall mounted speaker mounts will probably be purchased as well (dont need my bose sitting on the end tables anymore). Last night I installed the dishwasher (first one this house has ever had), took until about 1am to get most of the dripping compression joints to stop dripping and actually test run the washer. No Gas yet, but that should be turned on soon, and they blew enough insulation into the attic to keep the house really temperate even without the system running at all. Anyway, good bit of work still ahead to get it done, but its getting there.


I won! I won! YAY!

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 9 years ago Yes, I won a contest....

Since my first visits to my gandmother's house, I have been intreagued by home automation. The reason I mention my grandmother's is because her house had control panels for all the lights in the house in several locations around the house (ala low-voltage relay controlled lighting systems). My grandfather built it in the late 40's, probably one of the first having that feature. While growing up, one of the fun things to do at her house was play on the control panels, turning random lights on and off in the house.

Then I got interested in computers. Being able to control things through my computer began to interest me, and I read many pages on the newly formed "World Wide Web" about this very activity. I never got around to doing much more than just reading about it, as I was more taken up in the whole College thing. Swimming took most of my time, studying most of the rest. My first computer was a lowly 386sx/33 with all of 8MB ram, in a world where the Pentiums had just broken 100Mhz. To gain speed and make use of the campus network, I wiped windoze from my 60MB MFM drive and installed Slackware Linux with XWindows. This worked wonderfully with 6Mb of space left for my files, up until I tried to add a math co-processor and successfully let the smoke out. I had to fall back to an older 16Mhz machine that used Dips for ram. I had read a bunch about using the various states of the parallel port to control relays and trigger other stuff, but never got a chance to try it out.

After 4 years living on campus at GaTech, I finally moved into a house next to campus. Being an old (1940-50's) mill house, it had been added to and remoddled, changing the floorplan significantly to accomidate the bathroom and new bedroom (originally just 4 rooms, bathroom outside). This change in the floorplan resulted in the light switch for my room being located in the middle of a wall, nowhere near either door. Having this inconvinience of tripping over whatever mess I had piled on the floor at the time, I was excited on a trip to the Home Depot where I came across a few X10 components on the discount rack. My first true home automation purchase, mainly to have a switch near the door (and at my bed) to simply turn the lights off. I came home that day with an X10 light switch to replace the standard one with, a Timer/Alarmclock, and an appliance module. That night I was turning my room light on and off and dimming it from my bed.

Later that week while looking up this x10 stuff I had just bought on the web, I found the X10 giveaway promotion, where for about $7 I got the firecracker computer controller, a wireless remote and reciever unit and an extra appliance module. Now with the capability to control things wirelessly I started to really get into it. My collection of X10 started to grow, with a homedirector kit I bought online to add another computer controller, and this one could monitor the lines for x10 signals. I also got a camera kit in an attempt to setup a security system. With some quick CGI scripting, a VGA card that had video input, and a little patience, I got stuff working. I could watch several areas of my house, turn lamps on and off, and control my aquarium lights from my cellphone, and any computer on the internet.

So that is how I got started, where I will go is something else. I am in the process of getting my own house, which I will undoubtedly be re-wire and otherwise setup for more automation. To help in this indeavor, a few months ago I entered a contest hosted by, an online retailer dealing in automation products. The contest was simple: "describe something you would like to see automated". I first thought about being able to have control of a hottub, have it turn on and get up to temperature while you drive home, so you dont have to wait on it once you get there. My friend had just acquired one himself, and waiting on it to heatup took forever. Looking around, I found that this had basically been done already. Then I thought about bathtubs.

I ride bikes alot. Mostly mountain bikes, but I ride my roadbike during the week. After a ride I like to relax and wind down with a nice bubble bath (yeh, sounds girly, but they do make me feel better). That got me thinking about an automated tub. Like the hottub idea, it would let you start the tub from the automation system. It would let you set the tub to draw you a bath, set the temp of the water, add bubbles/salts, possibly even start the jets (if its a jet tub) from anywhere you can access your home automation system. Seemed simple enough, and there are even showers out there already that let you set the temp via a touch pad, just nothing tied into an automation system. I typed up the idea that night and sent it in for the contest figuring if it didnt win at least I tried.

Well, the other day I got a few phone calls from California. Seems my idea won the contest. Yippy. Now I have a little extra $$ to spend on outfitting my new house. I get the honor of my entry being featured on the website and in their next print catalogue as well.


Generic required subjectb blahblahblah

Tmack Tmack writes  |  more than 10 years ago So Ive been reading and posting on /. for a while now but have never used any of this other stuff in my user profile section, until today. I got a little bored from werk (as usual) so I figured I would write something in my journal. Well here it is, my first journal entry on /. woo hoo. Pure excitement, kinda like waiting on my sprint phone to connect to the "wireless web" so I can view a "short mail". It has always bugged me how long it takes the damn thing to connect, and that I even have to connect in the first place to send/receive messages, and that because it connects, Im getting charged $0.14/KB to download SPAM (well, only 1 has been SPAM so far, but I wont be supprised when more show up). I smell a lawsuit waiting to happen if that continues. Anyway, back to work, got a button that needs to be clicked.

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