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Apple WWDC: iOS 5, Lion, iCloud

simp itunes match: 25 dollar insurance..??? (662 comments)

So for a 25 dollar "insurance" fee I can match all the mp3s that I can find op my harddisk to songs in the itunes cloud and then those (legal) itunes songs will be downloaded to all my devices? That's an offer that I can't refuse.

And won't the music industry go apeshit over this?

more than 3 years ago

Internet Explorer Use Slips Below 55%

simp Excellent! (104 comments)

A bit of competition is always good. That way nobody falls asleep and we will see regular updates with new features. The obvious problem is of-course feature bloat: I predict that in the year 2016 all browsers, Firefox 27, Chrome 27 and IE 32, will be so filled with useless junk that a lone, angry, nerd will create a new lean&mean browser, with just one feature: render standard compliant HTML7 pages with 100% accuracy.

According to Wikipedia a Phoenix can rise from the ashes again and again. The future will be the same as the past...

more than 3 years ago

Google Videos Going Offline; Time To Grab What You Want

simp Re:Oh no! (131 comments)

"This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

Thanks for the notice EMI. Next time I want to buy audio/video content I will make sure to block you too. Just returning the favor...

more than 3 years ago

New York Times Reports US and Israel Behind Stuxnet

simp Re:Siemens vs. Idaho Lab (406 comments)

Actually almost all process control vendors participate to some extent with National Lab. Nothing secret about it, go to the webpage and sign up for a 5 day red team/blue team session on how to hack scada equipment.:

If you are a process controller vendor and you haven't sent your security staff to Idaho then you are out of the game. Because the rest of the process control world will break into your systems while laughing their asses off.

more than 3 years ago

Google Give Searchers 'Instant Previews' of Result Pages

simp Re:-1 Please No! (252 comments)

And they store the on/off switch in a cookie, not with your normal google account settings. So each time cookies are cleared in a webbrowser you have to set it again. Very annoying.

more than 3 years ago

Stuxnet Worm Claimed To Be Devastating In Iran

simp Re:No hefty consultation fees needed (390 comments)

It's a bit late in the thread to reply but anyway...

Stuxnet is special in the fact that it indeed does propagate to the Siemens PLC itself. It has specialized code that will run inside the PLC even if the Windows configuration host is cleaned. And even scarier: the code in the PLC seems to be well hidden so that even a experienced engineer will not see it.

more than 3 years ago

Stuxnet Attacks Used 4 Windows Zero-Day Exploits

simp All these vulnerabilities.. (67 comments)

All these neat day0 exploits wasted to get into an industrial control system. The numbers of those systems are only in the thousands, they could have taken control over millions of normal Windows PCs. Who-ever designed this must have been really determined to get data out of those Siemens controllers. Wouldn't it be easier just to bribe a local operator into getting the info?

Or did they want to create their own bot-net of Scada systems? Then you can brag that you can shutdown a country at the touch of a button.

about 4 years ago

Average Cellphone Data Usage Is 145.8 MB Per Month

simp so little? (107 comments)

That's on average less then 5MB per day. If I read a few 400 comment threads on slashdot or fark I already have to download that much html. What are these people doing with their phones?

more than 4 years ago

Google Releases Chrome 5.0 For Win/Mac/Linux

simp Sidebars? (347 comments)

Does Chrome now support a bookmark sidebar? With the wide-screen TFTs everywhere these days a bookmark sidebar has become a must-have for me. I cannot stand bookmark pull-down menus. And to make things worse Chrome has put the default Bookmark menu in the upper- right hand corner of the screen, which for some reason is a place of the screen where my cursor never is.

more than 4 years ago

Chinese Researcher Says US Power Grid Is Vulnerable, Strategist Overreacts

simp Every power grid can be vulnerable (203 comments)

If you want to build a power grid in country X right now, take a look at the vendors that supply the products. Then take a look a the vendors that supplied the products 10 or 20 years ago. The same dozen or so of vendors supply all the equipment from control room automation to the actual hardware to make and distribute power to everybody everywhere in the world.
If the US power grid can be hacked then so can most other power grids because you will find the same equipment and software over and over again.
It's a bit like the good old MAD during the cold war: sure you can hack my power grid, but I can also hack yours...

more than 4 years ago

Toyota Acceleration and Embedded System Bugs

simp Re:Help me benefit from media hype (499 comments)

careful with that line of reasoning. The gear shift has no mechanical linkage to the actual gearbox. So when you shift to neutral you just send an electronic command to the gearbox computer to change to N. And the sometimes the gearbox will ignore that and NOT switch to neutral. This was originally done by design to protect the engine and gearbox under specific circumstances (full load and high rpms).

more than 4 years ago

US Youth Have Serious Mental Health Issues

simp What about Europe and Asia? (818 comments)

Does anybody have the numbers for EU and Asia? For some reason I'm not seeing the same stories here in the EU. Personally I think that in the US there is a real drive to get everybody who shows a bit of a problem directly on heavy medication instead of dealing with it while they grow up.

more than 4 years ago

WPA Encryption Cracked In 60 Seconds

simp The rat race continues.. (322 comments)

The question is can anything be secure in the long term if an attacker can monitor the conversation between alice and bob 24/7? Sometimes a bit of obscurity can go a long way. Good luck trying to sniff my shielded network cables. Yes, I've heard the tempest stories but I'm jumping to the conclusion that those techniques are only available to big $$ governements institutions and are not used by the random drive-by hacker (yet..)

about 5 years ago

Offshore Drilling Rigs Vulnerable To Hackers

simp The real problem is OPC... (116 comments)

These days everybody runs on Windows XP. No problem there; XP machines can be made secure. The real problem is this quote from the report: "We have performed penetration testing on OPC, which is a central component in process control systems on oil installations.". OPC protocol is based on DCOM. And most people want to do DCOM via a network to remote platforms. That is where the problems start. DCOM is horrible. There are solutions: Matrikon makes a good tunneler program for example, other SCADA and DCS vendors also do tunneling of OPC via safer methods than DCOM over a wide area network.

Conclusion: the report has some good points, the summary in the above link is FUD.

Disclaimer: I work with DCS's (also on remote oil platforms) for a living...

about 5 years ago

Preview the Office 2007 Ribbon-Like UI Floated For OpenOffice.Org

simp Youtube to the rescue (617 comments)

For anyone that has an interest in understanding why the evil empire introduced the ribbon look at this video (and the next 8 segments..) . As it turns out Microsoft did think about the problem of stuffing more and more options into menus and came to the conclusion that they could not continue any longer this way.

Personally I think that the OO menu's are a little bit better organized so there is no need to go to a ribbon style yet. Except to imitate MS and that is not a good enough reason.

more than 5 years ago

Outlook Inertia the Main Factor Holding Business From Google Apps

simp Give me an alternative... (394 comments)

I've got 10 years of emails in .pst files. I use that as my personal knowledge base. Copernic desktop search is used for indexing those emails, it kicks all the other search tools in the balls. X1, MS desktop search, Google desktop, they are all not quite there yet.
The Outlook calendar function is also vital but can be migrated to something else much more easily. Not so the emails. Until I have something with which I can migrate my emails into a more sensible format than pst files and have a kick-ass search tool Outlook is not going anywhere.

more than 5 years ago

ZigBee Pro, the New Home Automation Standard?

simp Re:lack of vision. (170 comments)

Not industrial grade, a bit scaled down for home use. But it has to last much longer than an average personal computer. I expect my fridge to last 15 years, the water boiler at least 20, the wall sockets and wiring in the house will probably last 50 years.

Right now 99% of all home automation equipment are gadgets. Yes they do work for the first 1 or 2 years, but after that? Who knows...

And then you are stuck with a not-quite working semi-autonomous robot house that will make bad decisions based on wrong sensor inputs. And there are enough bad Hollywood movies on that subject already.

more than 5 years ago

ZigBee Pro, the New Home Automation Standard?

simp lack of vision. (170 comments)

As someone who earns his money in industrial automation it amazes me how limited these home automation firms think. They want me to buy multiple sensors each with only one I/O point on them??? They want me to buy plastic toy-like stuff that breaks if you push the contact a few thousand times? And then there is the matter of future-proofing: in 5 years time nobody will be able to read the sensors anymore that you bought because "everybody" is on the new standard. What about spare parts for existing stuff, are they expecting me to rewire the house each time they come up with a new platform? Not a chance.

Then there is software: Windows XP, maybe with .net, was a valid choice for building the interface when the company designed it a few years ago but I expect my light switch to last at least 25 years.

These days you can run an oil refinery with a touch of a button and keep it running for 20 years with available spare parts. And you can get data in & out of that system in any format you want. Show me the same on a scaled down version for my home and I'll start installing it...

more than 5 years ago

Disney-Hulu Deal Is Ominous For YouTube

simp Hulu? What is that? (133 comments)

I'm from Europe..... As long as the Hulu world is limited to the US I will have to limit myself to a certain site in Sweden. Arrr mateys, set sail for some ISO island where the DVD bounty is hidden!!

more than 5 years ago


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