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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Vapula Re:Sorry They're Changing (572 comments)

Except that this driver which disables the clones is only there for less than one month... before you had no way of detecting if the chip was a fake or not... Maybe even FTDI didn't know until recently when they found out that "write-check" weakness...

So, you may have been in business for years, sold hundred of thousand devices with the clone with no way to detect it... until this recent driver update...

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Vapula Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (572 comments)

You should say to the buyer of a 1000$+ 3D Printer that if it's expensive tool stops to work, it's because a 2$ clone of a 3$ chip disabled by a driver update...

Do you open your printer and check the marking on all chips to see if any of them is a counterfeit ?

Don't forget that we are not speaking about a finished product (the 3D printer *IS* genuine) but a very small part inside of it... among many other similar small parts...

And no company is safe when it's about counterfeited components... Do you remind the Capacitor debacle with ASUS motherboards ?

I'm not even sure that refusing to work with a clone would be a valid solution...

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Vapula Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (572 comments)

Their use of FTDI VID/PID is a way of saying "use the same driver than this device" and definitively not representing as an FTDI chip.

On the other way, many of these clones have printings that mimic the one of a genuine FTDI chip (same logo/reference number/...) and THAT is counterfeiting.

But they are free to make a clone, with a different printing, a different reference ("XXCloner CFT232R" for example) exposing the same VID/PID... they won't be authorized to use the USB certified logo (neither would the finished product). But if they are not pretending to be a FT232R from FTDI, it's definitively not counterfeilting.

VID/PID spoofing can't even be said as a way to breach copyright at the driver level as there are free drivers (Linux for example) that use the same VID/PID pair.

You may compare that VID/PID problem with Ethernet addresses... the first 3 bytes make a number assigned to a specific manufacturer. But lmots of hardware allow to change the ethernet address using another vendor number. It's very often seen in routers and Wifi-routers where it allows to show on the WAN port the Ethernet address of some LAN computer.

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Vapula Re: Computer Missues Act 1990 (572 comments)

Except that in their driver, they intentionally wrote the code to brick the clones. It's not accidental but intentional and, AFAIK, THAT makes a huge difference in court.

It's the difference between accidental injuries and murder.

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Vapula Re:Computer Missues Act 1990 (572 comments)

Someone bought a device for their kid... that may be a complete device (toy for example) or one of these wonderful Arduino kits that you may find on EBay (with lots of sensors, components, ... a nice storage box, ...) That don't mean that he does know anything about electronics... My grand-father bought me my Tandy (Radio-Shack) Electronic kit when I was a boy and he didn't know anything about electronics (only basic electric circuits : mains -> switch -> light bulb).

And YOU (or FTDI) expect that he'll understand that if it stops working, it's because of a clone IC when he don't even know what is the difference between a resistor and a capacitor ?

Someone other bought a 800$ 3D printer... and suddently, it stops working because a 3$ chip inside is not a genuine one... And YOU expect that he'll be able to understand the issue and that he won't be angry at YOU for bricking his 800$ tool ???

The damage done to the clone is made intentionnally (doing something knowing that it'll hurt a clone and not affect an official IC is clearly intentionnal)... And the damage is not done to the vendor but to the consumer...

The move is clearly made with the intent to hurt the final (unknowing) consumer and not someone really responsible for the use of a clone. What is destroyed is not only one component but the whole thing it is enclosed into... And given the form factor, it's often beyond possible repair. Most people don't even have a soldering Iron, you except that they have a reflow oven to solder a new SMD part ?

What if Samsung (or Motorola) got a way to disable all radio subsystems in iPhones because iPhone non compliance with their mobile patent portfolio, making suddently all iPhone unable to connect to mobile network ?

about a month ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

Vapula "unlike competitors" ??? (504 comments)

Nothing prevents you to use 3rd party encryption on your Android phone (and I'm not speaking about 3rd party system)... and I seriously doubt that Google will be able to do anything about data crypted by 3rd party system.

On Android, you work on a system of service provider/consumer. Your contact list ? you've an application acting as contact provider and other as contact consumer (reader/writers).... If you want to protect them, nothing prevents you to use a different default contact provider which uses an encrypted container. Same for most of the phone features...

On iPhone, you can only trust Apple's word... like we did when it was about geolocation data...

about 2 months ago
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Judge Lucy Koh Rejects Apple's Quest For Anti-Samsung Injunction

Vapula Patents cited in article (30 comments)

The linked article cite the following patents :
- Auto-correction/completion on keyboard entry...
Il looks quite similar to the autocompletion that you find in some Japanese IME under Linux... which sometimes allow both conversion to kanjis and completion. Auto-correction is quite old on the wordprocessor scene
- transformation of email & phone numbers to link
AFAIK, most forums and webmails already convert email to link for a long long time. As for Phone number, the extension is quite trivial
- slide to unlock
it's mimicking a physical (door) lock... so nothing real new...

Maybe judge Koh has enough of these bogus patents claims and other similar tactics from Apple...

about 3 months ago
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'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget

Vapula Re:It was bound to happen (163 comments)

In Belgium, you have a "certificate of good living and behaving" (approximate translation) that can be requested when you want to get a job.

Teachers (and other people who have to work with children) have to give a special version of that document. At first, it included some (very) invasive background checks (in the neighbourhood for example), now, it has been trimmed down... But if you've been a sex offender (or some other severe criminal records) in the past, you won't get it, even if you've had your records cleaned.

In about any countries, if you want some "top secret" accreditation, I don't think that it matters if your criminal records have been purged or the time has been served...

In these specific situation, there are no right to be forgotten...

Another problem may arise when the offender is minor (less than 18 years)... All records are hidden... I know of some school director (he explained this to me directly, it's not some vague rumor) who got a child put in his school by a court... He didn't know why (records sealed because it was a minor)... Until that guy did it again, in his new school... He was assaulting (sexually) younger children !!! But no way for the school to prevent it as they weren't allowe'd to know in the first place.

So, I think that for criminal offenses, there should NOT be a right to be forgotten... Minor offenses don't make it to the news anyway... Same for bad records related to the profession.

about 4 months ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Vapula Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (379 comments)

Palestinians have an army...

Not regular army but a terrorism/guerilla kind of army...

If you count the prices of the missiles launched at Israel, you'd have enough to get food to most of the Palestinians, to repair most of the buildings, to create medic centers, schools, ...

And they prefer to create martyrs than go to a safe place when Israelian raids come... They want to get the whole world destroying Israel... They want to use US against Israel...

They prefer to choose war, to kill the Jews that are thought about as worse than dogs by the Muslims. Quran and other clearly say "you may not trust a non-muslim"... If you're Christian, better be warned, we are the next target on the list... well, maybe after agnostics...

about 4 months ago
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European Commission Spokesman: Google Removing Link Was "not a Good Judgement"

Vapula Right to be forgotten... (210 comments)

First, I'd point that for many quite common names, you may find several people with same Name+Surname in Europe... sometimes hundred of people sharing the same name. So, what if John Doe A ask to remove some fact about John Doe B ? That's clearly impossible to google to judge about it.

I think that a quick "fix" to the problem would be Right to be cast in oblivion... Google just has to keep (in addition to removal of a specific link) a list of the people who asked to have their name removed and simply refuse any search with these names (no result, people cast into oblivion) with a big message "John Doe asked that links about him were removed from search results".

This would someone backfire to people asking such removal... You want to get a job ? recruiter try to look you up in Google and find that you asked to be removed from search results... and get told about it... that open any awful reason (sex offender ? serious misbehaviour ? other ?) and is likely to rule you out. You're a politician ? no publicity about you (except that "asked to be removed") is clearly worse that one or two old pages on the web about you... and so on...

And, somehow, google is complying : people want info about them removed... and that info is removed... And people get to know about who asked it (to be sure that's it's not an arbitraty removal).

IMHO, list of people who asked some removal SHOULD be public...

about 5 months ago
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UK Seeks To Hold Terrorism Trial In Secret

Vapula Maybe forr once they really have to keep it secret (240 comments)

We are talking about a terrorism trial... There are more than only the defendants at stake.

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist. There probably need some witnesses. And thoses are at a great risk if their identity goes public... Some may be as good as dead !!!

So, yes, it's not nice, there may be doubt about what really happened behind those closed doors... But in this specific situation, it may be needed.

And it's quite better than to have these "potential terrorists" brought to court than to have then killed^H^H^H^H^H^Hhave an accident during their arrest.

about 6 months ago
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Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

Vapula Re:Why Google? (370 comments)

As long as the page still exists, the index points to relevant information : a web page with the given keywords.
IMHO, the most important problem is about the "view page in cache" function which could show the information even after the web page has been removed.

about 6 months ago
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Nintendo Apologizes For Not Allowing Same-Sex Relationships In Life Sim Game

Vapula Re:Kind of understandable from Nintendo (384 comments)

If you take recent studies done to correct population sampling (more than 100000 people, randomly selected), you fall under 5% for LGBT (some studies made on more than 500000 people lead to less than 3%)

In most of these studies, Bisexual account usually for half of the people which leads to 1-2% homosexuals...

Can 1-2% be called an anomaly ?

about 6 months ago
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Nintendo Apologizes For Not Allowing Same-Sex Relationships In Life Sim Game

Vapula Re:Jesus christ (384 comments)

They HAD to program that test, excluding same-sex marriages, because such marriages are illegal in Japan (and in many countries).

Allowing it would have have to be on a country basis... and that'd have required much more work than a single test. Don't forget that english-localized games are send in many more countries than only USA.

And I don't even talk about the nightmare if the two protagonist don't live in the same country and are playing through internet, one in a country where same-sex marriage is allowed and one where it's illegal.

Nintendo choice was the one requiring the less work and presenting the less legal risk.

about 6 months ago
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Nintendo Apologizes For Not Allowing Same-Sex Relationships In Life Sim Game

Vapula Re:First World Problems (384 comments)

LGBT is 1% of Nintendo Buyers.
And most LGBT people won't care/complain...

So, it'll be 1/10000, 1/20000 or even less (don't forget that Nintendo primary commercial targets are children and Japan where same sex union is illegal) who could decide to not buy the game... unlikely to have any impact to Nintendo profitability...

And if Nintendo decides to implement it, it'll require lots of extra-development as they'll have to comply with local laws of some countries (including their own) where same sex union is forbidden. which means lots of extra costs...

And maybe as many (or more) people *not* buying the game because same sex union is allowed in it and they are strongly opposed to it...

about 6 months ago
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Google May Be $1 Billion Behind In Tax Payments To France

Vapula Re:So few (199 comments)

The problem is the Ireland tax loophole. It's abused by Google, Apple, Microsoft and many other.

Politician need to fix it... because the same happen in Belgium, Germany, ...

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

Vapula Re:Eve Online (555 comments)

There is another reason why majority of players is older gamers : in EVE, your character skill is directly linked to real-life time.

To equip the best ships, to be able to make the best items, to get the most from what you mine, ... you need skills... And skills are trained in real-time with ridiculous long training times...

x1 means 4 days for level 5... and it go up to x14 or such which means something like 2 month for the level 5 (and you need to train lower level too... and prerequisite skills...) So, before your character has some decent skill, you need several months (5-6 month at least) and before having serious skills, you need 1 or 2 years of game...

Your activity in game has very little influence on your character development... well, you have to raise your standings by doing some missions, that'll lower taxes and allow you to create jumpclones (unless one of your corp members has a clone vat in his capital ship)... You'll be able to make money... But CCP has formalized the "gold farming" by selling PLEX which can then be traded for 1/2 billion ISK in game...

So, unless you're playing with real life friends, EVE is a very frustrating game...

1 year,22 hours
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Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend

Vapula Re:Feeble minds. (432 comments)

The only thing found on objective testing is in execution of java based benchmarks within browsers. There is nothing comparing it in any meaningful way beyond that.

There are standard phone benchmarks.

Benchmark suppose comparing two phones doing the same thing in same conditions. I suppose OpenGL rendering from native code could apply... Executing native code on one side and Dalvik code on the other is not.

Camera quality is just like audiophile equipment, entirely subjective. No one can agree on what makes a camera good.

There are measures of camera quality. More importantly things like "do pictures blur under situation x" aren't subjective.

Camera quality... like having saphire glass tainting the picture (errrhmmm)... Or good camera resolution (hmmmm)... or good sensor sensitivity accompagned by a good flash system... Saying that the iPhone has a superior camera is a bold affirmation... and probably false.

. Being able to wait two days between charges is not fantastic.

It is for a smartphone

Samsung Galaxy SII, brand new battery, not rooted (so no CPU speed trick), with a power-manager (which turns on/off wifi/2G/3G according to the situation) can last nearly one week before having to be charged... two days you say ???

As long as the criteria is only comparing walled gardens.

Yeah.

Humble Bundle... OK for Android, forget it for iPhone (and other) Most major application exist on both platform... some are specific on ONE... and it happens both way. For example, as a Go Player, I can only play on KGS with an Android Phone... No port to iPhone... (and KGS is probable THE reference for serious Go players, IGS is going junk, Yahoo is a joke, ...)

What does that even mean?

It means it has productivity apps designed for the form factor (phone or tablet) people use with it.

Stop with that non-sense... If you want to do serious productivity work, forget about the phones and even about the tablets... You really need some computer. You can't replace mouse/keyboard and lots of RAM... The smartphones and tablets are meant to CONSUME data, not to create it... The only tablet that comes near to a productivity-ready is the Galaxy Note 10.1 with it's stylus (same technology than Wacom drawing tablets... well... stylus made by Wacom so it's normal)... And even so, it's far from a REAL computer.

There are many free cloud services that don't require you to buy something in order to get it.

For applications. No there aren't. Name 2.

Cloud for application is a joke... you are only meant to CONSUME data so you only have to have a way to DOWNLOAD data... so Dropbox and other are more than enough... and are way more compatible with other equipment (including sharing with people in Windows/Linux world). Cloud without data-sharing is a joke... Even more when you can plug a 32-64Gb SD-card in your phone which exceed whatever cloudstorage that you can have. Your analysis is based on some false premices like "an iPhone is made for productivity"... A smartphone is about being able to read mail (and write SHORT answers), using apps to CONSUME data, having a nice shared calendar (and on that point, Google with it's Google Calendar is way more useful than iPhone) and some little things like that... Try to write a 10-15 pages report on your phone so we can have a good laugh at you !!!

about a year ago
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Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend

Vapula Re:Maybe it's just me, but... (432 comments)

And the number are lessened by the number of OLDER iPhone sold (like the iPhone 5 or the 4S) which are more than probably included in the stats to inflate them...

about a year ago
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Google Blocks YouTube App On Windows Phone (Again)

Vapula Re:Bingo. Typical MS arrogance at work. (629 comments)

Google HAS a running HTML5 implementation of Youtube... it's called www.youtube.com !!!
An it has a running Android/iPhone implementation of Youtube, it's called m.youtube.com !!!

about a year ago

Submissions

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Is windows dooming CS

Vapula Vapula writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Vapula (14703) writes "Back in the old time, we used to have computers like ZX Spectrum, Ti 99/4A, Amstrad CPC and other. With these came a big manual which began by a few pages explaining how to install it and then most of the manual was basically teaching BASIC langage, with every single instruction explained, lots of small examples, ...

Now, when you get a computer, you've a small notice which tells how to install it and that's all... It comes with Microsoft windows installed and no support for programming. Back in MS DOS time, there used to be QBasic (with no documentation in the manual, you had to use the help file) but it was not widely used or promoted.

Those who owned a computer in the old times knew what "programming" meant and if it was meant for them or not. Now, we see lots of people going to CS courses, pretty sure that they are good with computers, without having seen a compiler or interpreter for any computer langage before.

Even Linux don't really help in that purpose. There are lots of programming tools but nothing that push people towards programming. Everything is nicely packaged, no big manual whose 3/4 of content is about programming,...

Shouldn't we make some moves to bring back some (easy) free programming langage with the computer and a big part of the manual teaching how to use it ? (I mean a real programming langage of course, not a point and click programming system)"

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