Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords
I've encountered a camera that actively uses UPnP (Gateway profile) to ask the router to forward port 80 to itself and also connects to a Chinese dynamic DNS service as a bonus by default. While you can disable the dynamic DNS setting, you have no say in the UPnP thing.
These cameras are so badly thought out that they crash when a different UPnP device on your network responds.
But hey, they're cheap. You find them on Alibaba (the guys with the big IPO).
Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line
This one? It sounds awesome just by reading the project description.
Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line
I can say I have. I couldn't wrap my head around RPM, but I didn't try that hard. Debs on the other hand are easy as pie. It takes me about 5 minutes to refresh my memory on dh_make (man dh_make), then create a deb using dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b -us -uc (if you actually want signatures it still doesn't get much harder). No pain in the ass at all, royal or otherwise.
Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
Unless there's a reduced rate for the loaf of bread, the tax man won't really care. But you're the one in trouble if you need to give the car back for whatever reason, because hey, you didn't pay anything for it. And we don't do returns on the loaf of bread - or, let's say, something more durable: a special shell from the seaside. If anything, the tax man might take an interest in you for capital gains (about 20K?) if you ever sell the car on. I don't think it would qualify as chattels.
Also, the situation isn't anywhere near your analogy. In this case it's a 20K car with a free loaf of bread (that you can give back, but you only get 0.00, since the bread only comes with the car and has no market value by itself).
Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
You're making good points up to here:
I'm all for open source on widely-used software (e.g. the OS, TCP/IP stack, web server, etc). But going completely open source eliminates the market forces which allow users to tell developers what they want in the software. What you end up with is a tyranny by the developers which is very slow to respond to user likes/dislikes (VLC eventually let users change the mouse wheel function). Modifying copyright as I've suggested results in more of a middle ground, where market forces are preserved, but pricing control is not completely up to the content creator.
The first page ends like this: "Your patch is welcome..." from the tyrant. They could always go the Apple way and never respond, ever... And if your bug gets fixed, good for you. If not... /dev/null is your conversation partner.
I've been skimming over page 2, and it's a pissing contest. Apparently the change was done in "next version", but the version in question (0.9) was left unchanged because of this one user. The markings were there: just fork it and backport it, or wait for the next version.
But that's not the point I want to make. The point is that's what you get when you deal with the developers directly instead of a PR department (because there isn't any). I've experienced this outside software too: you never, ever, talk to the operators of your ISP. You talk to PR, and they forward your complaints to the admins, and their responses/actions back to you. I was a customer for a very tiny ISP (one admin, two servers, one sales guy, no PR). They would offer support over chat, and the admin would get on the line himself. Discussions would easily escalate to be indistinguishable from what I've just read in that VLC thread. Customers think they'll get a better deal if they raise their tone, and don't give a fuck about reason. I managed to get myself a "free Internet" deal by volunteering to do the PR for them, since I was on chat all the time anyway, and I had the knowledge, and didn't mind the experience. Customer attitudes differed, because they were aware I had no real power, and my role was to massage their "fuck you" filled complaints into something the admin and company owners could read without getting grief.
You can get tyranny with closed source and large companies just fine, but for some reason that's OK?
Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
That's actually a bad example, since a beer drinking club purchases beer from the market and it shows up on it's invoices, just like the OEMs.
Apple is like a beer drinking club that brews its own beer and has costs associated with doing that, from raw materials to labor costs. Not sure what the difference between those two clubs is regarding how they resell the beer to their customer.
You can be a member of the beer drinking club without drinking any of the beer. The cost is exactly the same to you, irrespective of how much the club is paying for the development of the beer. The beer is available for free, should you want it, and you have the right membership card to show at the bar.
OEMs might be able to circumvent the Italian ruling, now that I think about it, if they offer software-less hardware for exactly the same price as if you had the most basic version of Windows pre-installed (the one that won't let you change the wallpaper - Windows Starter Edition? because it's not illegal to take the piss, it's only bad for business when customers realise the quality of the offering), but anything above the basic offering can still be declined and refunded if not specifically ordered.
Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
Where the money to fund the giveaway comes from is irrelevant. Only how much you sell it for, given that you can shake hands on the sale.
Where does the money come from for the development of Linux and its userland? Linus, Red Hat, their friends, surely spend money/time to develop the things. Yet there's no refund for the software if I sell you a laptop with an unwanted Linux distro pre-installed, even if I charge you 1000% markup. It's your own fault you're paying me the stupid markup, not mine. The difference that Apple write OS X themselves doesn't change this.
In Apple's case, the shaking of hands on the software depends on the licensing terms, which say "we're giving you OS X for nothing, but the catch is you may only install it on our hardware" or some such. And if Apple is forced to prove this, they can always add this to their lineup: "Mac without OS, optional OS disc available for $0" for the same price as the Macs with pre-installed OS X. If that doesn't drive the point home, I don't know what does.
So, if MS want to circumvent the Italian ruling, they have to start selling overpriced hardware with free Windows (I suggest the name "Surface" :D). And kick every OEM out there in the nuts in the process. You can see MS can't do this overnight without kicking themselves in the nuts as well.
Preferred smartphone screen size?
I started with the HTC Wildfire (the ARMv6 sans FPU one). I thought that was fitting my hand nicely. A friend had the Samsung Galaxy S (no number suffix) and I thought it was a bit big for my taste. At some point I bought a Samsung Galaxy S from eBay, since my friend was very proud of his (only to tell me that he was experiencing the same 3-4 day crash cycle and other funny stuff that I was just discovering, but failed to mention it when he was bragging about how great the phone was). I got used to it, then I picked up my Wildfire. All of a sudden the Galaxy S was normal and the Wildfire was tiny. After a while I got myself the spanking new LG G2 (after being burned by Samsung on many fronts, not just smartphones, and after seeing that I wasn't part of a small crowd on the Internet when it comes to them). This one has yet a larger screen. I'm perfectly happy with its size, although I can't one handedly reach the far corner in diagonal. Now the Galaxy S feels small. But the Wildfire feels puny (I still have it).
It's like when you're a kid and you grow up. At first, adults are huge. Teenagers are big. You're Wildfire sized. As time goes by you grow and become a teenager, and the kids are small, adults are big. And you fully grow up and kids are these little people. And yet you never questioned the transition while you went through it.
I held an iPhone 6 Plus recently. It felt big, but for some strange reason it wasn't uncomfortable at all. When it comes to screen size I usually aim for the thing to be big enough to display readable things, but still fit my trouser pocket and not bother me when I sit in my car. Because of this, I think my LG G2 is spot on. Any larger and I may need some of those regularly-in-and-out-of-prison pants some people wear :) So no iPhone 6 Plus for me, thanks. My iPad mini does the job fine, and it goes in my backpack when I don't need it, but there are people who just want a 2-in-1 phonelet solution.
Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily
One thing that goes away with the Kindle is the ability to use your fingers as temporary bookmarks while you flip pages back and forth to look something up. Advanced book users might use several of these bookmarks at one point if the information is spread across chapters. Even the simple "partially turn page to see what's on the other side without losing focus of the current page" isn't working.
Yet I still bought a Kindle (Paperwhite), because books aren't very readable in the dark, and I find myself switching away from the book (to Facebook, news-site-I-fancy-reading-now, jeu-de-l'heure) on a multi-purpose tablet. Haven't tried learning with it though. I use it to put myself to sleep :)
Correcting Killer Architecture
Well, people keep asking for their flying cars, and now that they got them, thanks to that building in Leeds, they're upset?
Extracting Audio From Visual Information
This is what I instantly thought of: Eagle Eye. The scene with the soundproof room.
EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog
When you can't make new stuff anymore, rent out what you have accumulated. Money has to circulate or it's pointless. This isn't criticism (just look how "well" the alternatives went). It's an observation. I'm sure somebody smarter than me wrote a book on the topic at least a century ago :) but rent, subscriptions and planned obsolescence are pretty much the same thing. Services (as opposed to manufacturing) are probably in the same ballpark. With everything pretty much already invented, we need _something_ to churn all that cash which is our sole reason to live :)
Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs
What exactly do they say to you if your ISP didn't agree to pay that fee? "We tried to bleed your ISP dry and they refused, so if you want to watch this site you have to switch to an ISP in our approved list"?
BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones
Just because developers don't have enough headaches to deal with, I'll go patent a circular screen with a polar coordinate system to access the pixels. :) And I'll find a way to stick 26 letter keys and 10 digit keys around it, and give it a shape that will make it fly as well as a frisbee too. Still not sure if to go overboard by making it squishy too so since it can fly when thrown your dog should be able to bring it back and have it still work.
You heard it here first folks! :D
Google Reader: One Year Later
While everybody else is busy missing the point and showing off their favourite alternatives (I'm happy with Feedly BTW), there's a different data point I took out of TFS:
15 million users and 24,000 paying customers
That section alone is what interests me: the ratio of paying customers to total users. That's because I'm green enough in the field of business that I have no clue at all about these things, not even as anecdotes.
I don't usually read BI (because my perception of them is that they're BS, even though I don't have enough data points to support my perception), but this one made for an interesting article. From the article I got this other data point: If all 24,000 customers pay at least $45 per year, that means Feedly and its 12 employees are generating more than $1 million per year. and the fact that they were pushed near profitability. Nowhere does it say they are actually profitable. It's a good read for anybody who thinks of starting anything up and want their motivation, hopes and dreams crushed by hard reality numbers :)
Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?
This article asks for a rant, so here you go:
I got into this by luck. Otherwise I might have been just the run of the mill awkward person :) My mom found an ad in the paper. A school was looking for students to start 5th year on a computer programming curriculum, and entry was test-based. You had to pass a maths and a literature test on subjects that a 4th grader should be knowing.
I hadn't seen a computer until I started school in September, but there was a book that was recommended, and I got that during the summer holiday. With no computer, just with pen and paper, I went through the book, and it just went in. I had a void in my brain that gladly sucked it all in. The I about forgot it all when I sat in front of a Spectrum clone and didn't realise I had a power button to press on the monitor to turn it on.
Ever since, I've been attracted to the field. I was 11 when I started. Being awkward helped a bit. I was never competitive, so I rarely played any games that others could play, so if it was a game, it had to be a text-based adventure. Nobody would play those, and I'd get my ass kicked in any others, so I avoided those. The guys kicking my ass in games weren't really that good at programming the computers, so hey, while you guys are busy playing games, I'll try this little algorithm I saw in a book and see what it does and try to understand it. I spent my PE classes in the computer lab instead. Things moved on, we got PCs, we moved from BASIC to Turbo Pascal, and it was still great. I dabbled with assembly language, but never got experienced with it. I picked it up a few times, but never got past flinging a few registers and some data on the stack. I don't regret it though. I learned other cool things.
I'm glad I didn't jump straight into C, as in Pascal you have a real string type that you don't care about, but in C you have a... convention... And if anything, when you start to learn programming numbers and strings are what you play with first. These days people are started in C, which I think is plain mad. Back then Python wasn't on the horizon. Nowadays, if you don't start newbies on Python as their first ever language you need to be shot. Python is the new BASIC in my view. What I like about Python is that "batteries included" thing. Want to have a taste with something? import thing_that_does_what_you_want_to_play_with. You'll study what that does later. Play time is now. Some purists may consider this to be ass backwards, but come on: to get interest, you have to play with it first, then study the boring bits. And study the boring bits in locally ordered random sequence. Sequential order can only put you off and make you hate the thing. And by FSM don't start people in Java or C#! You can put that in a follow up class, after your students know WTF to do with a computer in terms of programming.
Nowadays I'm abusing the hell out of Bash, but only because I got really good at it, hated Perl, didn't actually get properly acquainted with Python until recently, and I have serious aversion of using PHP to write console tools.
Of course, as you might imagine for a Slashdot reader, my social life is absolutely devoid of content :) I don't like it that way anymore, but if I let go I have no idea what to do next. It's like you either do this full-life, or you don't. If I cut down, I just feel that I'd write OpenSSL-style code instead, and I'm not at ease with the idea at all. The fact that I work in a very tiny company that relies on me probably doesn't help. This paragraph is probably good material for an "Ask Slashdot" article: "How do you cut down and get a life?". I know it's a viable proposition for an article after reading the comments on the "Parenting rewires male brains" article. Either everyone there was masterfully trolling, or I've been doing everything wrong in my life so far. I'm yet to see what I can do to fix that, but I have to, as I'm 31 now, and I don't want to become Larry Laffer (he is 40 in the game).
Oh, and I think I'll be getting my first downmods ever. But do as you like. /RANT
FCC Chairman Will Reportedly Revise Broadband Proposal
It dawned on me how they could work a fast lane within net neutrality rules. They don't even need to change anything.
It goes like this: Hey, we're douchebags and like to bleed our customers dry for slow Internet. We do this by overselling our transit capacity. But, if you want our customers to be able to use your service, our peering prices are $100/MB/month.
That's why Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue I guess. But should peering be a net neutrality issue? On the Internet, different pathways have different speeds. Your LAN and ISP network are usually a lot faster than general Internet access, and nobody said Netflix can't pay a premium to plug straight into your LAN.
In Romania you get gigabit links within RDS - a nationwide ISP, and if you run Linux, you're in luck because they peer with RoEdu (the Romanian education network), who mirror a lot of stuff, and that peer is fast as lightning if RDS is your provider. But mirrors who are in the country but not peered get Internet speeds - which are still faster than what I generally get in the UK mind.
UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates
If piracy is actually a problem, this may be as effective as the TV detection vans they (used to?) have roaming around, supposedly able to detect if you're watching live TV without paying the TV licence (which makes you a criminal in the UK). Apparently the high tech of those vans is... a list of people who don't have a licence. Nobody knows if they have a remote listening device like in spy movies that they point at your window, and apparently they don't even bother sending the vans out these days - they just tell you they do, and it's just as effective.
Using that logic, just the appearance of threats can get most people to comply with the law, or demands from the law that you don't have to comply with (like in "can I search your car please?"). Since an IP address doesn't identify a person, that's pretty much all they can do: send educational material, which makes people think "we are watching you", which makes them subscribe to Netflix and give up on 0-day TV shows (freshly ripped off the air).
I'd like to see "piracy" and "loss" numbers a year after people start getting these letters. My belief is that the piracy numbers will go down, but the revenue of content creators will not follow suit.
Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?
I'm curious: did you have fonts in there that were not part of msttcorefonts?
Apple Reportedly In Talks With Comcast For Separate Apple Streaming Path
I'm not sure if I'm reading it right, but it feels like:
1. Get dedicated wires laid down by Comcast for you;
2. Start with Apple-only services on your new national network that Comcast gladly laid down for you;
3. A bit later, start offering general Internet services through your brand new national network that Comcast can't take away from you no matter how much they scream in horror;
4. Be ahead of Google Fiber in term of reach, since Comcast were so helpful in helping you compete with them;
Did I miss anything?