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Build Your Own 135TB RAID6 Storage Pod For $7,384

tomz16 Re:The price is too high.. (239 comments)

Nope, not at all... $2,000 is actually really cheap IMHO. Try to find a way to connect 68 drives cheaply (RAID cards and SATA multiplier backplanes are both pretty expensive). Don't forget that you also need a custom case, motherboard, ram, cpu, PS, and cooling for everything.

more than 3 years ago
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The Wi-Fi Hacking Neighbor From Hell

tomz16 Re:2 weeks for a WEP? (584 comments)

No, it does not "block brute force attacks"... If you are using WEP 64-bit you are *very* vulnerable regardless of what magical bullshit the marketing people put into your little router's brochure.

#1) Nobody seriously attacking 64-bit WEP is going to try an online brute-force attack of the key. This scheme so stupid and the key space so large that it has never been seriously proposed AFAIK. There are much easier and more effective ways of getting your key in minutes (vs. centuries)!

#2) Even if some idiot did try to brute-force the key, and your router indeed has some kind of additional "lockout", they would only have to change their adapters MAC every 10 tries.

more than 3 years ago
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The Wi-Fi Hacking Neighbor From Hell

tomz16 Re:2 weeks for a WEP? (584 comments)

That is not how it works... Your router cannot "block" someone from collecting IVs. Once they have enough they can calculate the correct key.

more than 3 years ago
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DOJ: We Can Force You To Decrypt That Laptop

tomz16 Re:Unfortunately.... (887 comments)

Disagree....

The authorities are trying to sidestep the issue by claiming they don't need to know the password... they just need her to unlock the laptop for them. While I believe this alone is a direct violation of the fifth amendment, there is a much more subtle distinction here...

If the defendant demonstrates knowledge of the password (e.g. unlocking the laptop for authorities) she also automatically incriminates herself as having been in control of that laptop and the encrypted data on it. This type of self-incrimination is EXACTLY what the fifth amendment is designed to protect. In other words, if you place the defendant on the stand and ask "Is this your encrypted data on this laptop?", she can plead the fifth. If you jail her for contempt until she incriminates herself by decrypting the laptop you've taken that fifth amendment right away from her!

Furthermore, what happens in cases where the laptop legitimately doesn't belong to the defendant, or they legitimately cannot decrypt it? What would prevent me from hiding an encrypted laptop in my arch-enemies house, anonymously phoning in a terrorist plot, and then watching them rot in jail indefinitely for contempt of court. THIS is why the fifth amendment exists! The founding fathers knew that you could not have a just legal system if a court can arbitrarily punish you for failing to assist them in prosecuting you!

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

tomz16 Re:Tethering, bah. (302 comments)

And another thought. By going to these metered plans, they are quite clearly violating the 'rates' they are selling you. You can't say "4G speeds!" without diving the 'cap' by one month. That's your 'actual' rate and far far below what they are claiming they provide you.

Why not!? You most certainly can quote the maxmimum burst speed and the total transfer as two separate quantities (total data cap and maximum data rate). They are two completely unrelated quantities with different units! Every other tiered data provider on the planet does it. (e.g. comcast has a 250GB cap while allowing a maximum rate that would exceed that cap if used continuously.... AT&T has had very similar wireless tiered data pricing for the past year. You can colocate a server on a GigE port with only 1TB of transfer, etc. etc. etc. )

It isn't ambiguous, misleading, or dishonest as long as both quantities are available to the purchaser (i.e. up to 4G LTE speeds when network and wireless conditions allow for it, 2GB maximum transfer per month). Furthermore, a burstable solution serves end users better in most applications. In this case, I'd rather be able to burst to 30mbits when I NEED to load that youtube cat video rather than being rate limited to 6 kilobits per second 24/7 (2 GB / 30 days -> kilobits per second).

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

tomz16 Re:Tethering, bah. (302 comments)

The billing cycle is evenly distributed on verizon wireless (I suspect it had something to do with paper billing)... Mine starts on the 8th of the month.

more than 3 years ago
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Open Source Alternative To Dropbox?

tomz16 Re:ownCloud or Wuala (482 comments)

I've wondered about this as well... My guess as to how they implement this :

The content is encrypted with a key, stored along with the content. This key is encrypted with your password. (e.g. similar to HDD encryption)
When you make something public your client changes the password protecting the encryption key on that content to something specified by the Wuala public web server.

This implementation :
- prevents your password from ever leaving your computer
- prevents the content from having to be re-encrypted or re-uploaded when you choose to make it public.. you just have to re-upload the newly encrypted key (a few bytes).

more than 3 years ago
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Matlab Integrates GPU Support For UberMath Computation

tomz16 Re:Old news (89 comments)

2010b did not include GPU array indexing support (among other things), making it fairly worthless for anything moderately complex.
2011a DOES do indexing on GPU arrays. It works very well in my experience so far.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Support Forums Suggest Malware Explosion

tomz16 Re:Protect users from themselves? (455 comments)

The OS wouldn't write anything the application demands, but only what the user requests, i.e. the app provides a blob of data that the user then can drag&drop around.

To put it all in Unix terms:

"cat" is your load dialog and can read files, provided by your OS
"tee" is your save dialog and can write files, provided by your OS
the app is a filter in between that can't do anything to the system other then read from stdin and write to stdout

cat your_file | potentially_evil_app | tee your_file

This would allow you to read any file on your system, work with it and save it to any file you want. The potentially evil application would have no access to anything, it is the user who would control where the data from the app goes, not the app, it wouldn't even know about it.

Thanks for the clarification. I understand your proposal a lot better now. The problem is that in your system, every single time a file was opened for reading/writing the user would have to slosh through an open/save dialog box provided by the OS. This includes intermediate files, temporary files, preferences, multiple output files, etc. etc. etc. Furthermore, in your system you would never be able to automate this dialog box without losing the security benefits. I'm sure that there's a way to cut down on the amount of individual files than an application needs to access, but advanced workflows would still need access to multiple files simultaneously. Security always has to be balanced against usability (e.g. an isolated computer in a locked room is very secure... but not very usable). While your proposal would make trojans more difficult, it's a far more cumbersome system for both programmers and end users than the current state of affairs.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Support Forums Suggest Malware Explosion

tomz16 Re:Protect users from themselves? (455 comments)

They haven't, at least not in any meaningful way that would help isolation. Currently a filedialog only gives the application a filename, which still requires the app to have full filesystem access. What it should do is provide the application with the file data, that way there would be no need for filesystem access, while still allowing the user to open any file he wants with the application.

That makes absolutely no sense... the OS cannot possible understand every single file format that every single one of your applications will ever want to write... that means the OS would just blindly have to write anything your application demands. Your application can still instruct the OS to destroy a file by overwriting it with 0's, or writing a nasty virus, etc. etc.... How is this any different than the current way of doing things (i.e. file dialog returns filename/path for the app to write... app uses std file calls to write the file. Permissions are managed by filesystem).

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Support Forums Suggest Malware Explosion

tomz16 Re:Not A Virus (455 comments)

Contrast this to almost anyone nontechnical getting stung by compromised Windows systems, and even taking in account the smaller Mac market share, it shows that OS X is more secure in this regard.

No, it does not... Viruses are a free market game where you have to follow the money... THE ONLY thing this shows is that the cost-benefit calculus for virus writers still places Windows at the top...

OSX users ascribe to this bizarre mythos that Apple hired infallible superhuman programmers while Microsoft had cavemen banging rocks together... resulting in OSX being magically more "secure" than Windows. In reality, every i-device has been jailbroken to hell and OSX machines are consistently the first to go down first in the Pwn2Own competition. Any of those attack vectors used to win the competition *could* have been equally used to write a successful virus. This is further supported by the fact that Apple routinely releases security updates. If their OS was invulnerable, there would be no need to patch it! Any one of those critical vulnerabilities *could have* at one point been used to hack your Mac! The *only* reason it wasn't is because nobody bothered to take the opportunity. Think it through!

There is NO SUCH THING as a secure operating system. Privilege elevation works identically in both Windows 7 and OSX (i.e. both have identical potential to be infected by a trojan). Critical security updates are periodically issued for both systems, so we know that they both have their share of fresh attack vectors. The *ONLY* reason that OSX machines aren't routinely exploited is because the market forces haven't *yet* tipped the cost-benefit to virus writers away from Windows!

P.S. Windows is fairly battle hardened compared to OSX and includes several advanced security features (e.g. ASLR) that are not yet fully implemented on OSX. The Barbarians have been at Microsoft's gates for a long time... it is foolish to believe that OSX will fare any better as it becomes a juicier target!

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Wedding Photos Result In Polygamy Arrest In Michigan

tomz16 Re:I don't get it (267 comments)

3: Legal protection. The only person who is absolutely prohibited from testifying against you in court is your spouse. (Ok, not "absolutely", but provided it's not a domestic crime, it's pretty high. Higher than lawyers or doctors or priests.)

Careful with the wording... Change "prohibited" to "compelled" and you may have something closer to the truth. Your spouse can still *choose* to testify against you.

more than 3 years ago
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AT&T To Acquire T-Mobile From Deutsche Telekom

tomz16 Re:Why would your quality of service drop? (748 comments)

Additionally, T-Mobile and AT&T don't use the same spectrum for 3G which means that anybody who had a phone for the T-Mobile network suddenly won't be getting 3G.

Yeah... makes perfect sense to me. As soon as the merger is finalized AT&T will stop using spectrum worth billions of dollars just so that they can chase away the revenue from former t-mobile customers that they paid $39 billion to acquire.

The sky is falling as well...

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon iPhone Is Now Jailbreakable

tomz16 Re:The risk on verizon... (165 comments)

Is that your ESN will get banned and your phone is pretty much a pda unless your can get another cdma provider (sprint/us cellular/cricket etc) to activate the phone...

Based on what?

This isn't the first phone that can be "jailbroken" or "hacked". People have been loading custom firmware onto windows mobile and android devices for a while now. AFAIK, verizon has never blacklisted any ESN for software modifications to the phone. In fact, as far as I know, the only phones with banned ESNs are those reported as stolen, unpaid, or damaged w/ insurance payout.

Furthermore, the exact same thing exists in GSM. A carrier can definitely blacklist an IMEI. (AFAIK no carrier in the US actually does this).

more than 3 years ago
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Dell Releases Ubuntu-Powered Cloud Servers

tomz16 Re:Failed (94 comments)

Wow... this just seriously went way over your head if you are suggesting "ownCloud" as a superior replacement for UEC. I read the description for "ownCloud" and it's some kind of central file storage/sharing software. Not even the same type of product as UEC/Eucalyptus.

The difference :

- You would use ownCloud to share the latest Justin Bieber mp3s with your peeps.

- You would use UEC to build out a corporate cloud computing solution comparable/compatible with Amazon EC2 that you would then use to make bags full of money with which to buy a bigger yacht.

more than 3 years ago
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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

tomz16 Re:Sue Them (845 comments)

The function which the screwed FASTENERS are for is.... wait for it.... FASTENING the device together.

Their function is not "to allow hobbyists or owners to disassemble the device". That's just not part of the purpose of the fasteners.

The gymnastics people go through to defend Apple never ceases to amaze me. I'll play along...

The utility of a fastener is derived from fastening. A necessary operation on a fastener before it is useful is therefore... wait for it... the ability to fucking fasten it.

A torx/phillips/hex, etc. screw is compatible with billions of existing tools on the planet. The proprietary apple ones are not (purely by intentional design). They are therefore an inferior substitute with an unbelievably transparent purpose and not "equivalent" in function in any sense of the word.

To summarize :

A torx/philips screws' primary function is to fasten.

The primary function of the new Apple Pentolobular is to screw you! (out of the $2 it will cost to get your lead-based imitation Pentalobular screwdriver kit shipped from China)

more than 3 years ago
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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

tomz16 Re:Thieves (845 comments)

No "repair" involves taking a malfunctioning original part and replacing it with an equivalent (or better) part. Replacement is replacement. The difference is the reason.

I had to read that a few times... it made less sense every time I read it.

What is not clear is Apple's reason for replacing the screws. My best guess is that these screws are going into products that are still under warranty like the iPhone4 so that Apple can detect tampering.

The screws themselves are incapable of detecting tampering. Warranty/moisture stickers are much better suited for the purpose of denying warranty claims.

These are ONLY there to push you towards apple service and dissuade you from opening the device yourself (regardless of warranty status).

To fix your analogy, you can take your car into any shop however if you want warranty repairs, you have to take it to an authorized service center. If the dealership detects tampering, you'll be out of luck because the warranty clearly specifies that you take it to an authorized service center and you didn't

That isn't how warranties work in the United States after 1975... The burden is on the manufacturer to prove that your "tampering" directly led to the failure of the component being warrantied. It is still "wise" to have the car serviced only at an authorized dealer with only OEM parts during warranty but by no means necessary to maintaining your warranty coverage.

Furthermore, we aren't necessarily talking about in-warranty repairs here. It is obvious that during the 1-year warranty period repairs are best handled by apple (it's cheapest/safest). However once out of warranty the device may still need to be serviced (battery, broken screen, etc.). This is where Apple has raised the bar. They have taken your phone, which had perfectly functioning phillips screws, and intentionally replaced them with (inferior) proprietary screws in an (admittedly futile) attempt to lock you into their service center.

It's still a completely dick move, and I can't imagine why you are defending them so vehemently.

more than 3 years ago
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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

tomz16 Re:Sue Them (845 comments)

Your definition of equivalence differs from mine then...

The new screws are not equivalent to the old screws. The abundance of mass-manufactured philips/torx screws/tools, the lack of tangible benefit for the customer, and the scarcity of drivers for these new screws makes them grossly inferior.

Additionally, our legal system does recognize intent as an element of finding fact. There is no sound technical reason why Apple replaced perfectly functional philips screws with these new screws during warranty repair. Their only motivation was to lock you out of your own device.

more than 3 years ago
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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

tomz16 Re:Thieves (845 comments)

So when you take your car into any repair shop and they replace parts especially, screws or bolts, you'll scream theft as well? Maybe you didn't want for Apple to replace certain parts but calling it "theft" is a bit extreme especially when you sent the product in for servicing in the first place.

Calling it theft is indeed extreme (and incorrect).... but your analogy is also very poor...

"Replacement" involves taking a malfunctioning original part and replacing it with an equivalent (or better) part.

Apple is taking perfectly functioning phillips screws and replacing them with proprietary screws with the sole purpose of keeping anyone else from servicing the device (i.e. they weren't replacing a faulty screw with new stock). It doesn't matter how effective this measure will actually be (i.e. there are undoubtedly hundreds of moulds being poured in China right now), but it's still a scummy thing to do.

To fix your analogy, it would be the same as taking your car to the repair shop and finding that they have replaced bolts on your car (even good ones unrelated to the repair) with their own proprietary bolts... to which only that repair shop had the bits... Sure you could order the correct bit from china for a few dollars next month, and they haven't techincally "stolen" anything physical... but they have caused you inconvenience (in future repairs) and to an extent deprived you of the ability to repair the car yourself or choose an alternate repair facility.... that definitely opens them up to a civil suite.

more than 3 years ago
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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

tomz16 Re:Thieves (845 comments)

Not if you agree to it in the service agreement they make you sign.

Yes, but you can't just arbitrarily add things to an agreement for warranty service after the device has been sold. If that were true, you could sell a product with a warranty and then put all sorts of crazy things in the subsequent service agreement (e.g. a clause requiring payment for services/parts)

The legal question now becomes whether Apple can refuse warranty service if you don't agree to this new portion of the service agreement.

- The iDevice was initially marketed and sold as having a manufacturers warranty.
- The terms of this warranty (at the time of sale) definitely did NOT include anything about Apple's right to lock you out of your own device with proprietary screws upon warranty service.

Given that the workaround is a $2 screwdriver shipped from China and that the damages in dispute involve a $0.01 screw, it's really not worth anyone's time or money to figure this out...

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Crysis "DX10" features unlocked in XP

tomz16 tomz16 writes  |  about 7 years ago

tomz16 (992375) writes "Crysis has been touted by many as the first true DX10 game, offering an unmatched visual experience exclusively on DirectX 10 capable Windows Vista systems. Unfortunately, a nosy meddler recently found that you can unlock the highest "vista-exclusive" detail settings in the DX9 Crysis demo by simply editing a configuration file. The result is yet another game that runs faster and looks virtually indistinguishable on Windows XP! Let's just hope Crytek doesn't "fix" this little oversight in the full release of the game."
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