thewayne: (Default)
"Wave of recent bank-card skimming incidents demonstrate how sophisticated the scam has become. Criminals hid bank card-skimming devices inside gas pumps — in at least one case, even completely replacing the front panel of a pump — in a recent wave of attacks that demonstrate a more sophisticated, insidious method of stealing money from unsuspecting victims filling up their gas tanks. Some 180 gas stations in Utah, from Salt Lake City to Provo, were reportedly found with these skimming devices sitting inside the gas pumps. The scam was first discovered when a California bank's fraud department discovered that multiple bank card victims reporting problems had all used the same gas pump at a 7-Eleven store in Utah."

Usually I use the same gas stations, but if thieves are replacing entire front panels, how are you supposed to notice?
thewayne: (Default)
(and our KFC now has its own WiFi!)

A kerfuffle arose recently over the refund policy on the iTunes store for people who write programs for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Developers get 70% of the sale price, Apple keeps 30%. If you carefully or creatively misread the contract, it looks like, in the event that someone returns an app, Apple charges the developer 100% of the app price, thus raising the concept that a concentrated effort could result in huge charges against small developers.

If the contract is read further or if you actually talk to people who sell apps in the iTunes store, it immediately falls apart. Apple does a chargeback against the developer for the 70% that they received, the person returning the software gets 100% of what they paid, and Apple eats the credit card transaction fees.

So there's no real reason for a kerfuffle. But that didn't prevent lots of joyous rectal haberdashery on Slashdot, resulting in this truly brilliant post:

"After bricking unlocked iPhones, kicking applications off the iPhone store that might even slightly compete with iTunes in the far future, filing a wave of patents on basic well-known computer science and openly sodomising iPhone developers in the city square of Palo Alto, Apple Inc. today filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission declaring that it was openly adopting Evil(tm) as a corporate policy [].

"Fuck it," said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, "we're evil. But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like you'll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!"

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was incensed at the news. "Our evil is better than anyone's evil! No-one sweats the details of evil like Microsoft! Where's your antitrust trial, you polo-necked bozo? We've worked hard on our evil! Our Zune's as evil as an iPod any day! I won't let my kids use a lesser evil! We're going to do an ad about that! I'll be in it! With Jerry Seinfeld! Beat that! Asshole."

"Of course, we're still not evil," said Sergey Brin of Google. "You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, it's not like you're going to use Windows Live Search. Ha! Ha! I'm sorry, that's my 'spreading good cheer' laugh. Really."
thewayne: (Default)
They've switched their submarines to Microsoft Windows.

Talk about a blue screen of death.

I just hope they're totally sealed systems with no available USB ports: the US Army in Iraq has been having a terrible time with viruses and trojans from people bringing in infected flash drives and porn movies.

In fact, the US Navy tried a Windows-based ship a few years back and it was an abject failure. I just hope it doesn't prove to be the same for the Brits.
thewayne: (Default)
This is an attack that the common user of the internet, i.e. you and me, are powerless to do anything about. The DNS system is what allows you to enter and have your page requests go to the IP address If I can compromise the DNS system of your ISP, such as is happening in China right now, I control where resolves to, and I can send your browser to and I'd have a good chance of compromising your computer.

Fun times for running bot farms!
thewayne: (Default)
Which is good, because in about 15 years, it will have lost the data on everyone in England! No more data hoard!

Oh, maybe I read that wrong.
thewayne: (Default)
I saw this on Slashdot yesterday and was amused.

Chewbacca vs. Worf
Death Star vs. Borg Cube
Solo vs. Kirk
Yoda vs. Q
Vader vs. Lore
Stormtrooper vs. Unnamed Redshirt
Jar-Jar vs. Wesley
thewayne: (Default)
"I mourn for the dodo, poor fat flightless bird, extinct since the eighteenth century. I grieve for the great auk, virtually wiped out by zealous Viking huntsmen a thousand years ago and finished off by hungry Greenlanders around 1760. I think the world would be more interesting if such extinct creatures as the moa, the giant ground sloth, the passenger pigeon, and the quagga still moved among us. It surely would be a lively place if we had a few tyrannosaurs or brontosaurs on hand. (Though not in my neighborhood, please.) And I’d find it great fun to watch one of those PBS nature documentaries showing the migratory habits of the woolly mammoth. They’re all gone, though, along with the speckled cormorant, Steller’s sea cow, the Hispaniola hutia, the aurochs, the Irish elk, and all too many other species.

But now comes word that it isn’t just wildlife that can go extinct. The element gallium is in very short supply and the world may well run out of it in just a few years. Indium is threatened too, says Armin Reller, a materials chemist at Germany’s University of Augsburg. He estimates that our planet’s stock of indium will last no more than another decade. All the hafnium will be gone by 2017 also, and another twenty years will see the extinction of zinc. Even copper is an endangered item, since worldwide demand for it is likely to exceed available supplies by the end of the present century."

Scaremongering? Reality? Dunno. And the article continues...
thewayne: (Default)
Huh. The concept is that you're in a personal space when you're out driving, and that you can't help but see the bumper stickers of the car in front of you, and that constitutes an invasion of your personal space. Interesting concept.

I was in a bit of a hurry when I initially read the article and misinterpreted it.

Basically, they're saying that road rage is an expression of terretorialism and that the people with more personalized cars are more likely to get nasty. From the article, "People who had a larger number of personalized items on or in their car were 16% more likely to engage in road rage, the researchers report in the journal Applied Social Psychology."

When I worked for the police department, I walked into the building through the ramp down to the basement through the crime lab. There was a road rage incident in which two cars were shooting at each other, an uninvolved car was struck by multiple bullets and the driver was killed. That car sat in the basement for several days and I Walked past it for as long as it was there, bullet holes, blood, everything.

Sobers you up a bit on many subjects.
thewayne: (Default)
This is the kind of tech that I really like. The article says that you can lay it on top of water for days, pick it up, and it's dry. It also has application for water purification.
thewayne: (Default)
I freely admit that I don't like bananas. Never have, probably never will. Didn't like 'em as a little kid, don't like 'em as an adult.

But that's just me. Lots of people like 'em, and more power to them. (actually, fried plantains are pretty good, I have to admit that)

I did not know that the bananas enjoyed by our grandparents are not the current strain. The older strain, called Gros Michel, is totally extinct. It was wiped out by a blight known as Panama Disease. The current strain pumped into markets by Dole and Chiquita is called Cavendish, it was resistant to Panama Disease.

Notice the word "was".

Apparently Panama Disease is back, and it's attacking Cavendish. This has huge potential for devastation in parts of Africa where it is a major staple of their diet.
thewayne: (Default)
At least, if a UK judge gets his way. So much for me wanting to visit England. Maybe Ireland and Scotland can wiggle out of it and I can visit there.
thewayne: (Default)
This guy got a tour of a Taiwan electronics manufacturer. A surprising amount of work is still done by hand. They are capable of cranking out:

"1.5 million motherboards, 600,000 graphics cards, 300,000 desktop PCs, 20,000 notebooks, 30,000 servers, 20,000 mobile phones, and 100,000 PC chasses, all per month."

Per month.,1205,l=&s=1670&a=209248&po=32,00.asp
thewayne: (Default)
A bunch of insider tips from a former Dell sales associate. It must have hit close to home because Dell sent a take-down notice to his provider, they then retracted it when they realized what a PR nightmare it would have become.

Personally, I don't care for Dell computers. Their servers seem good enough, but I'm not a fan of their desktops or laptops.

And the Slashdot thread:

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