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Federal Smartphone Kill-Switch Legislation Proposed

batistuta Simple (173 comments)

Wait until this legislation is approved, and measure again in 5 years whether gun point mugging has been reduced. Problem is, hackers and criminals will find overnight a way to circumvent this protection. So in the end, we won't be able to measure anything.

about 6 months ago
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Dead Reckoning For Your Car Eliminates GPS Dead Zones

batistuta Re:Dead reckoning technology is very old (151 comments)

You are correct. Particularly dead reckoning based on stars has been used for centuries for navigating across oceans. I was referring mainly to computer-based dead reckoning, which involves quantifying the error of your estimation based on a mathematical model, and how modern dead reckoning works.

about 6 months ago
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How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap

batistuta The different buses... (109 comments)

Most cars have a high speed CAN, for all functions needing messages at a rate of about 10 or 20 ms like Abs, engine, etc. There is also a low speed CAN, which is used for things like heating, and low rate signals of about 100 and 200 ms. The advantage of low speed CAN is that it can be put into low power and use it to wake up devices, like a wake up on LAN. I Then there is the LIN bus. This is a low speed, single wire cheap bus. It is used for things like wipers. These are the basic three buses.

Cars like BMW and Mercedes have two or three high speed CAN, a MOST bus for entertainment, and a flexray for safety critical applications. Other manufacturers use TTP instead of flexray, but the safety and timing is in both cases the main reason for not using CAN throughout.

Cars are also slowly rolling out Ethernet, mostly due to the high speed and low cost.

All buses are connected to each other in one way or the other via dedicated gateways. These gateways are usually not pure network gateways, but standard ECUs used for vehicle functions, also serving as gateways.

Then there are internal buses. For example some controllers include multiple ECUs connected via SPI or similar. The engine ECU is almost always connected to the CAN bus because it requires a lot of information from other systems, such as speed, gas pedal input, etc. The actual firing of the sparks is very time critical, and this is after done via a dedicated TPU controller, integrated as a sub core in the engine ECU (take a look at the MPC555 documentation), connected to the main ECU via an internal bus.

The point is that no one gives a Shit if you Fuck up your car by plugging something to one of the vehicle buses. From the OEM perspective, the car must be non hackable from the outside, but once you are in, it's your problem.

about 7 months ago
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How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap

batistuta No, you can't send. (109 comments)

I spend a little more, I can get a full CAN-bus connection and actually *send* information and control things.

No, you can't send over CAN this way, at least not without risking messing up the core structure of your network. Most nodes in vehicle CAN send messages periodically. Each message type has a unique id, and sending two messages with the same id at the same time can result in collisions. But even if these don't collide, they will get overwritten right after by the next real message. If the inconsistencies are bad enough, the safety fuses will catch them and shut the system down. Any respected automotive OEM implements such mechanisms. I In CAN it's not possible to intercept messages and perform a MIM attack, unless you hack into a gateway like LIN or flexray to CAN.

I work with for the automobile industry and quite honestly, I'm sick of reading this type of articles where people gain physical access to the OBD or vehicle bus, including the respective network databases, and claim to have hacked a car. It is like saying that a house is insecure because you can break into it, turn on the stove, and cause a fire with it.

If you can hack the car from the outside, give me a call. But don't pretend to be a hacker by exploiting things that were never meant to be protected. We are encoding things that we care about and if the CAN is not encoded, is because we don't care about you fucking up the bus communication. On the contrary, we will most likely end up crashing your car and buying a new one.

about 7 months ago
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Dead Reckoning For Your Car Eliminates GPS Dead Zones

batistuta Dead reckoning technology is very old (151 comments)

Dead reckoning technology is actually very old. It has been used to guide missiles, submarines, and of course cars for decades even before the GPS was invented. It is the technology used by sailors before they had GPS as well. The idea is simple and complex at the same time: use some specific known reference, guess what's happening in the absence of reference, and recalibrate once a new reference becomes available again . References can be the sun, stars, towns, or GPS itself.

In car dead reckoning, in contrary to what the article says, you typically don't use acceleration sensors. You typically use vehicle speed and yaw rate sensor. This gives you enough information to determine whether you've turned, and where you are along the road. If you can safely assume that you are following the road on your digital map, this is actually quite accurate. It becomes tricky if you are airborne and free to fly around, but also possible.

The nice thing about GPS is that the kalman filter used to compute your position and velocity can be easily extended to include additional sensors such as yaw rate and speed, available on any modern vehicles CAN bus. The only trick is to have the navigation system hooked into the vehicle, and this is one of the main advantage of built-in systems (the other being driver assistance functions taking advantage of map data for enhanced functionality)

I think there were some navigation systems manufactures trying to achieve similar results by adding accelerometers to the receivers. Since people usually use these devices to follow a guided route, a yaw rate sensor to detect turns is not essential, and detecting stop conditions in urban canyons or tunnels can be detected via accelerometers.

The possibilities are endless and they have been used forever in the navigation industry. The article is extremely misleading by claiming that this is new, or hasn't been done before. Nevertheless a cool technology.

about 7 months ago
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MS Handed NSA Access To Encrypted Chat & Email

batistuta not me (379 comments)

With all respect, I don't want to stop hearing these news. Because I want *confirmation* of every single thing that the US has done against people's freedom. I don't want to be considered a tinfoil hat paranoid anymore. I want proof, so no one can neglect later, about how fascist he US has become. And just because it was suspected, it doesn't mean that it is ok and we can just keep going with our lives as if nothing had happened. I want to see people resign, and I want to see people get spit at publicly, and ideally --even if it's never gonna happen-- I'd like to see people going to jail not only for having violated the most basic human rights, but for trying to brainwash the uneducated into believing that this is the correct approach to protect US's national security.

about a year ago
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Dennis Tito's 2018 Mars Mission To Be Manned

batistuta What if she gets pregnant? (233 comments)

Seriously. On a 501-day trip, intercourse will happen at some point. If it gets too wild, she could get pregnant. And having a baby in the middle of such a mission will be a major catastrophee. They should really make sure that the two humans in this mission are sterile. I don't see it worth of taking any chances.

about a year ago
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Cisco Exits the Consumer Market, Sells Linksys To Belkin

batistuta fixing the error (284 comments)

> "Belkin says it plans to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of the transaction,"

Belkin says it really sucks to have to maintain the Linksys brand and offer support for Linksys products, but the law requires this at least for the guarantee period, so they will have to comply. What happens afterward is, as always, not a topic for a spokeperson. That would be something worth saying, and it's against the rules of a spokeperson, who never say anything useful or that we don't know already."

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

batistuta shopping and credit card (550 comments)

Make sure to play a game where she can buy add-ons using her credit card, do on-line shopping, and dress up figures like Miis or something.

about a year and a half ago
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Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?

batistuta screw movies (436 comments)

I've stopped going to theaters the day that a single ticket (in Germany where I live) starting costing 9 Euros. About 15 Euros if the movie lasts more than two and half hours. All was in favour for home theater, which was more comfortable, cheaper, and convenient. But when my old big CRT screen died two years ago, I also stopped watching movies and TV at home altogether. Why?

- DVD are not HD. Blue rays cost about 25 Euros in Germany. All with the classical FBI don't pirate message crap and unskippable commercials for old movies, as a mean of thanking you for buying the film
- Open channels suck really big time. It is basically Christian TV and buy-your-crappy-as-seen-on-TV channels
- Cable TV already charges you for non-HD crap. If you want, then pay more for HD crap
- Things start to become watchable after folding about 50-60 Euros per month. But you need to use *their* receiver if you want to record movies that you can keep for just one day. Have fun with 3 remote controls by you couch, and explaining your wife *every time* how to use it, while she laughs at you. Oh, and you can't skip commercials for the *paid* channels.
- Pay more if you want 3D movies.
- Google Movies: in Germany, they cost like a DVD and *only* come with German tone. So let me get this straight: Google sells you something that cost as a 10-year old technology. They benefit from the digital era by cutting cost, but they don't transfer a single cent to you. In return, they give you a cripple experience much worse than the old one. No original tone, no subtitles, no director comments, and usually worse quality. No thanks.

In short, I'm sick of these new technologies that are only meant to give more profits to media producers, and they don't care at all about what the customer wants. I vote with my money, by not having a TV anymore, and spending more time outside with my family. It was tough for the first 6 months, but now I don't miss it at all, really. And my kids don't even know what they are *missing*.

about a year and a half ago
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It's Hard For Techies Over 40 To Stay Relevant, Says SAP Lab Director

batistuta This explains (441 comments)

This explains why SAP is such a horrendous piece of crap. And if you are gonna say that I'm trolling, please first go and use it yourself.
My request to this asshole: please get someone *above* 40, someone with more than 20 years of experience behind his back in GUI design and software ergonomics and code optimization, so that he can fix what your cheap workforce has pulled out of its butt.

about 2 years ago
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One Step Toward a Babel Fish: Real-Time Voice Translation For Phones

batistuta Learning New Languages (131 comments)

Anyone who believes that machines can replace learning a language has clearly never left his country or spent more than a week abroad. There are technical and cultural issues that render such statements nonsense.

Technical:
- you need to speak like another machine for these systems to recognize what you say. Start putting some accent (like the different Latin-Spanish versions), or dialects (like in Germany or China), slang, and the model breaks quickly.
- no system is able to mix languages. And you need this. It is common to mix languages with certain words, street names, person names, etc. from other languages.
- street language. Even if the sound recognition were perfect, no machine translator can possibly translate what you hear on the street.

Cultural:
- go to a sales meeting and you are trying to sell your business services to a customer using your voice as translation. Your competitor speaks the language fluently, using idioms and other tricks. Guess who gets the deal.
- pick-up a girl in Italy using a phone/voice translation and I will aplaud you.
- attend university abroad using your tech-device.
- tell a Joke to your phone, hoping that its translation will make your foreign friends laugh.

the list is endless. So is this a good invention? Yes. Will it work? Maybe in the future for some limited purposes. Will it replace learning languages? Heck no.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Explaining Version Control To Non-Technical People?

batistuta Do it by analogy (383 comments)

just say that we use version control to do what we want:

- using Git/Mercurial is like walking naked on the beach
- using svn is walking naked at home
- using Clear Case is going through airport scanning and being detained 30 min for having a nail cutter, followed by anal examination
- using Visual Source Safe is terrorism. It's lie having your balls hit repeatedly, by something like the door of a submarine.

about 2 years ago
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Verizon-Branded iPhone 5 Ships Unlocked, Works With Other Networks

batistuta Re:All Phones Ship Unlocked (100 comments)

In Europe it is common for people to get contracts to just subsidise the phone, but not the data and calls. You often hear people saying "I've bought my high-end phone for 50 Euros", but then pay 20 Euros per month on 24 hour contract, and 40 cents/minute and 20c/SMS. So it is not like in the US that you only get a full package. You can also get full packages in Europe, but once again this is not the rule.

A more economical approach at the moment, at least in Germany, is to buy your own phone at full price and use pre-paid. It is funny, but pre-paid is way cheaper than the contracts and you are not tight to a carrier for two years. This is for me crucial because ALL carriers claim that you can't use your phone for VoIP, and sometimes even for IM. None of them block them that I know (I think the European Laws would hunt them), but I don't wanna have my Whatsapp block one day and be stucked with 12 more months to go.

You can also get pretty good deals for full packages through your employer. If you can live with 24 month contracts, these are sometimes better then pre-paid+full priced phone deals.

about 2 years ago
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Android Hacked Via NFC On the Samsung Galaxy S 3

batistuta Re:to be fair (198 comments)

you also need to have NFC enabled on your Galaxy for this to work.

No, you don't. If you take a minute to RTFA you'll see this:

The attack isn’t limited to NFC though; it can also be abused via other attack vectors, such as malicious websites or email attachments.

Yes, you do. What you are describing is a different way to accomplish the attack. As an end user, I don't care if the underlying exploit is similar, I only care about how I can be affected by it. This leads to the next point.

They chose to use NFC for the novelty effect.

No, they've chosen NFC because now more phones have it, but mostly because it allows accomplishing the attack without any user intervention at all. People could avoid getting hacked from visiting malicious websites, simply by limiting themselves to trusted sites. Most people only frequent their usual places. But the NFC is a hidden vector that many users are not even aware of.

As I've mentioned in my first post, I could live with an NFC or browser vulnerability, but not with a tethering one. Other people will think the opposite. At the end of the day, these news make wish you didn't depend on your cell phone so much, because there are always security holes in there.

I find it funny when automotive industry push to connect their cars to the network, as if they could do any better.

about 2 years ago
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Android Hacked Via NFC On the Samsung Galaxy S 3

batistuta to be fair (198 comments)

you also need to have NFC enabled on your Galaxy for this to work. NFC is enabled by default, sure. But it can be disabled easily. I also find myself living happily without NFC, but not without tethering, which I use daily during my bus commute.

So my point is that both vulnerabilities suck, and which one sucks the most depends solely on your use-case. There is no point in saying that one device is more secure than the other, both Apple and Google seem to suck big time here. You should not store any sensitive data on your phone.

about 2 years ago
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The Problems With Online Math Classes

batistuta Re:exactly! (285 comments)

As I've posted above, you have a valid point and I won't argue whether this was fair or not. What I was trying to convey is that if teachers are gonna grade like computers without a human factor in there, then I might as well just take online classes for a fraction of the price.

about 2 years ago
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The Problems With Online Math Classes

batistuta Re:exactly! (285 comments)

All valid points. And I'm not arguing either that I didn't deserve that D, I'm trying to not judge myself here. What I'm arguing is that if the human/fuzzy/sensitive factor can't be used for teaching, then you can replace teachers with computers. So my point here is: either be different from a computer, or let me take online classes from home for a fraction of the price.

about 2 years ago
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Germany's Former First Lady Sues Google

batistuta WTF are you talking about? (164 comments)

everyone in Argentina is proud about the Hand of God. It showed two things:
- If he wanted, Maradona was able to fool the referee and make fun of the brits, despite them having stolen their island shortly before.
- If he wanted, Maradona could just a few minutes later make one of the best goals in history. Of course the brits don't acknowledge it and just whine about the first one.

I don't wanna mix technology, sports, and politics here. I just wanted to point out that no one in Argentina is ashamed of the hand of god.

about 2 years ago
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The Problems With Online Math Classes

batistuta exactly! (285 comments)

Mod parent up, he's key on. I remember an issue with a professor in one of my C++ classes, which happened to include a large programming project. The project took about four weeks of intensive programming, and I was really proud of the quality of my code, comments, structure, etc. Only problem was that in one section we had to determine the actual type of an object using dynamic_cast after having received a base type object. We had like 10 derived objects and I've used copy paste to make life easier, but forgot to modify one entry with the appropriate type. That is, ONE word was wrong. My mistake failed in one of their tests (which I didn't have in advance), which cascaded four output missmatches. This ONE word cost me 40 points out of 100, ending up with a D for this project. One word, lots of effort. I've talked to the professor and his answer was a lame "if I fix your grade, I need to fix everyone's".

When I was a TA during grad school, I always looked at the work flow. If a student made a mistake in part (a) of a problem, I didn't simply give him zero points for parts (b) (c) and (d) that used it as a base. Instead, I've assumed that part (a) was right and looked at the process. It took me more time to grade, sure. But it is fair and if a teacher can't contribute with some human touch, let's just replace them with computers.

about 2 years ago

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