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New Cars Vulnerable To Wireless Theft

bill_kress How do they bypass the steering wheel lock? (280 comments)

Are they making cars without steering-wheel locks requiring physical keys now? I thought it was federal law that you couldn't do that--but maybe that was just an assumption.

I have remote door locks and remote start, but getting into the car isn't that hard anyway (Brick authorized entry works as well as it always has)--getting past the steering wheel lock requires SOME kind of solution...

about 4 years ago

Gamers Abandoning DS, PSP In Favor of Smartphones

bill_kress I was a heavy DS user, now iPhone (305 comments)

Why would anyone continue to use a device with physical $30 cartridges when they could be downloading $0.99 games without end (and often with free previews)?

Sure the DS games are deeper, but not 30 times deeper! Maybe 3x better in most cases.

As though that wouldn't be enough, my DS isn't a GPS or a phone and doesn't have internet connectivity in most cases (or a usable browser), all of which I'd need to have around as well.

I've got a few hundred $ in cartridges sitting around if anyone wants 'em (Actually, I probably have spent more in games for the DS than I would for a new iPod touch or maybe even an iPad)

more than 4 years ago

Mystery Missile Launched Near LA

bill_kress Imagine if this was not a US launch... (858 comments)

Pretty obviously something the government knows about--otherwise with our current level of paranoia the number of bricks being shit would already be visible on google maps.

more than 4 years ago

MS Adds Security Suite To Update Service, Antivirus Rival Objects

bill_kress Seen this before (324 comments)

I remember a similar discussion when Microsoft added a TCP/IP stack to windows, the vendors like Winsock were really upset.

I'm not sure if I see a difference here, but anyone who used TCP/IP before it was added into the OS knows now what the correct choice was.

more than 4 years ago

IE6 Addiction Inhibits Windows 7 Migrations

bill_kress Lock-In (470 comments)

It works, bitches!

more than 4 years ago

DOS Emulator In and Out of App Store

bill_kress Re:Yup (338 comments)

There you go mistaking a dedicated device for a generic computing platform.

Silly, you fell right into Apple's hands--thinking just what they wanted you to think, you are even holding the iPhone to a higher standard than other phones (which generally have a significantly more strict policy--few if any phones have been as open pre Android).

Next thing you know you'll be saying the iPad sucks for not being a general-purpose computer, something it was never intended to be. It's a web appliance that happens to allow you to run a pretty wide variety of applications, kind of like a router or cable box.

Well, no, my router is actually more of a general purpose computer than the iPad/iPhone since I can compile arbitrary apps, load them at will onto my router, share them with others and sell them without the approval of any third party.

Once you see it that way, hating the iProducts is pretty pointless, you either want what they have to offer or you don't, not what you think a Computing platform should offer.

more than 4 years ago

Bredolab Botnet Taken Down

bill_kress Re:Don't use made up words (187 comments)

All words are made up. Some have just been around longer than others. If we didn't make up words we'd still be calling everything "Uhhg"--well no that would be making up a word.

Making up words is a critical part of adapting our language to accurately reflect new concepts. You will occasionally see variation (Viruses vs Virii perhaps?) and eventually one will die out due to disuse and become quaint, the other will eventually make it into dictionaries--but neither is wrong. Calling them "Compuhurtthingies" isn't really wrong either, but it's not likely to be as widely recognized by the average person (Which is actually pretty important in a news story).

more than 4 years ago

Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030

bill_kress Additional "earths" won't help (738 comments)

Even if something existed as close as the moon but with the resources of the earth, it wouldn't help.

I don't know the latest figures, but I'd guess you could march the human population of the earth into the sea 10 abreast for ever and the population would still grow due to births outnumbering deaths.

So you can't lift those people off the planet, and bringing stuff back will only help for a while (if at all, it's not really practical to run up and down the gravity well with any significant amount of stuff.

Essentially without cutting births down to about .001% of their current rate, we're kinda screwed--and I don't see that happening voluntarily.

Funny how people come up with observations like this but are so reluctant to follow them to their clear, obvious conclusion (or believe that conclusion when it's presented to them). Humans are funny.

more than 4 years ago

The Hackintosh Guide

bill_kress Re:PPC vs Intel suspend/resume (453 comments)

The New version is doing the suspend/hibernate thing I mentioned in my post you were replying to--that's why it whirrs for a few seconds after you close the lid.

I think that can be disabled if you don't like it.

more than 4 years ago

Can Apps Really Damage a Cellular Network?

bill_kress Yes, very possible (309 comments)

I'm kind of surprised they have opened up the networks as much as they have. When you look at these things, the terms "Bailing Wire" and "Bubble Gum" come quickly to mind. The only thing that keeps them from exploding and killing everyone in the area is the fact that they are very rigorously tested for a very specific and limited set of inputs.

Most of the technology has roots in the long-gone past and it evolves slower (and costs more) than you can imagine.

Honestly, most large systems are like this. As they open them up for traffic they are having to re-engineer huge parts of their networks to handle untrusted data/signals.

Think of what Kevin Mitnick could do with a few sounds over a normal telephone line. These guys do NOT think about security or reliability until they are forced to--but then I do have to admit that they integrate what they learned, redesign and rebuild. They are good at remembering stuff and once they have failed they generally won't fail that way again. "Evolution" has served them pretty well so far, but it's going to be hard to defeat when people start getting more inroads into their equipment.

more than 4 years ago

Cybercriminals Shifting To Bugat

bill_kress Re:According to Symantec, Windows only (48 comments)

It's interesting that Windows Vista was on that list but not Windows 7. Did they finally improve things a little?

more than 4 years ago

The Hackintosh Guide

bill_kress Re:It's not "the" guide (453 comments)

Just my personal experience.

I've never had a PC laptop that suspended/resumed nicely. If you see people walking around their office with their PC lids open, this is why. Around here, suspend/resume/dock/undock are the leading cause of windows crashes and hardware failure (all dells, but I've literally NEVER seen a windows PC suspend and resume correctly over the long-haul). On top of that, hibernate is a complete fail.

The mac, however, is fantastic. I can close the lid and leave it sitting there for a whole day then still open it and it is ready to type before I have the lid fully open. I honestly can't tell you how valuable this simple feature is, you have to experience it.

Also, when you close it, the light stays on solid for about 10 seconds before going out. What it's doing is dumping the contents of ram to disk--then it goes into "Suspend". The thing is, Hibernate is "Auto" and "More Magic". Nobody knows this unless they have had to use it, but if you yank the battery from a suspended mac then replace it and turn it on, it resumes to where you were, magically reverting to a Hibernate you didn't even know you had!

Now, I thought this was all because of OSX, but after buying my mac I put windows on a Bootcamp partition and loaded the Bootcamp drivers. My WINDOWS partition now acts a lot like the Mac. It has a pretty darn reliable and quick suspend/resume!

Honestly I can't tell you if the difference is hardware or software, but if I was going to get a new windows laptop PC and had any choice in the matter, I'd get mac hardware and either dual boot or run Windows in a VM.

more than 4 years ago

Spammers Using Soft Hyphen To Hide Malicious URLs

bill_kress Re:H3rb41 V14gr4? (162 comments)

Since I didn't see anyone mention it I'll take the chance you weren't just making a joke and give you the answer:

The point of the character substutitions / "Leet speek" is exactly the same as the URL mangling they are talking about here--getting around spam filters. When the spam filters know to search for anything with "Viagra" in it, you just change that to V1agra, problem solved. The next week go with V1@gra.

The people buy this stuff are likely not to mind.

more than 4 years ago

Against Apple, Ballmer Floats Microsoft Merger With Adobe

bill_kress Interesting (520 comments)

I've always hated adobe. Adobe reader is the one thing throughout history that has been able to crash my browser. It's like they don't have a clue how to write a good program (Less offensively, I'd guess that they have no fear wiring too deeply into the OS where perhaps they should). Before acrobat, ATM for Windows was one of the most destabilizing pieces of software around, so I already kind of had an attitude about them.

Then came Flash. Holy cow they started to give Adobe a run for their money when it came to the ability to crash browsers at will and they added something new into the mix--they could eat a CPU like nobody's business. Luckily they merged--I don't like it when my hate becomes defocused.

A low-lying dislike underneath all this has been Microsoft. I don't find them as annoying as the other two--I think MS has a HUGE job and takes on too much. Lately though I've been avoiding windows--mostly because of the swiss-cheese security (I refuse to use a credit card on any windows PC--I'm fairly sure they are all infected with some kind of rootkit)

Anyway, since I've moved all my home PCs to either Linux or OSX, I would really appreciate it if Microsoft would do me the favor of once more refocusing my hate back into a single horrifying but somewhat avoidable target.

more than 4 years ago

Flat Pay Prompts 1 In 3 In IT To Consider Jump

bill_kress Re:As the economy improves??? (608 comments)

Very off topic, but wouldn't you think that someone spending that much on a military campaign without raising taxes would have some ramifications? To NOT blame Bush would be a new level of blinders. This HAD to happen.

I'm not disagreeing that they are all corrupt, but such massive failures as the huge deficit spending increase and allowing our corporate overlords to run rampant is significantly more dangerous--not recognizing that is shortsignted at best (Criminal may be more accurate)

more than 4 years ago

Tech CEOs Tell US Gov't How To Cut Deficit By $1 Trillion

bill_kress Re:This will never see the light of day (311 comments)

If being on slashdot isn't information's equivalent of "The light of day", I don't know what is.

more than 4 years ago

OpenOffice.org Declares Independence From Oracle, Becomes LibreOffice

bill_kress I was wrong about Java... (648 comments)

I was one of the people who would have preferred Java stay in the hands of Sun, I didn't think they had any reason to go open source. I thought (and honestly still think) that most of the people who were upset that Java wasn't open source were simply trying to find anything they could to bitch about and wouldn't switch to Java even once it was open source. Honestly I don't think many did switch after it was opened up.

Now, though, I'm really glad it was done. I haven't really been impressed with anything Oracle has done since buying Sun. At least Java can do the same thing Open Office did if it has to. It might be harder because the Java name is more critical (being "Java" has actual meaning) and I think Oracle still controls that, but at least there IS a way out if need be.

more than 4 years ago

Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

bill_kress Re:Aptitude (769 comments)

In the navy that box was labeled "PFM" and almost always contained the CPU and anything else more complicated than a resistor.

more than 4 years ago

WikiLeaks Set To Release Unpublished Iraq War Docs

bill_kress Re:I like the concept, not the implementation (411 comments)

Can you suggest any workable alternative? I'm sure they would be open to anything that might work, but in the history of the world I don't think we've had any program this successful at exposing the stuff that the most powerful governments of the time are trying to cover up.

more than 4 years ago

India Now Wants Access To Google and Skype

bill_kress The responses so far are really interesting (366 comments)

My first thought is "This is no different than what America has been doing for decades now--but as I read it I can't believe that so many people are striking out at India over this as though they were the first to try it. If you are going to get mad at someone, why are you ignoring the people that are currently using and abusing this exact data--not only as it goes in and out of our own country but as many others as we can get our hands on as well.

You think ANY data gets in or out of Iraq that we don't record and analyze inside and out? Afghanistan? Hell, I'd be surprised if our government doesn't already have (and use) all the data going in and out of India!

more than 3 years ago



bill_kress bill_kress writes  |  more than 8 years ago

bill_kress (99356) writes "According to Reuters, television studios are finally trying to target DVR viewers:

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ e=technologyNews&storyid=2006-09-15T151459Z_01_L15 517211_RTRUKOC_0_US-MEDIA-FX-PVR.xml&WTmodLoc=News Art-R2-Today-11

The effort, however, seems rather backwards — They are extending the same exact image across the entire 30 second commercial so that TIVO Viewers will be forced to view at least one frame. Wouldn't it be better to add value to the viewing experience instead?

I don't know how many TV shows use the "Vanity Card" (I only know of one); this is an entire screen of generally interesting text shown for less than a second at the end of every "Two and a half Men" episode (http://www.chucklorre.com/). My wife and I alwyas rewind and pause the page to read it because it's new, different and interesting.

My advice to TV studios/advertising producers.

If you really want your spot to be seen by TIVO viewers, buy a 10-15 second spot instead of 30 and use the extra money to produce a decent graphic novel. In 10 seconds you should get as many full screen pages of content as you could ever want (300 frames if my fps math is correct — can that be right?). Either place your adds in the storyline or have them stand alone in sidebars or on their own pages. Across the top or bottom, the entire time, have a banner show a URL so non-tivo viewers can go to the web and get the same content.

Why hasn't anyone tried this?"


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