Monday, January 31, 2011
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 (Virgin Mobile) USED extras - eBay (item 290529390365 end time Feb-07-11 09:37:48 PST)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Dear Geeks That Work for PayPal:
I don't know if you people are lazy, or stupid, or simply use cost benefit analysis before you fix the stupidest dumbest fucking things that plague your platform. Somebody came up with an amazing idea: let's add two-factor authentication, and the sonofabitch works just right. I have used your two-factor mechanism with SMS on no less than two carriers, and the VIP token application in iPhone, Blackberry and Android and they all do the job perfectly.
The problem is that you have external apps that rely on authenticating with PayPal, and these apps can't handle the two-factor authentication.
The first this happened it was with the older version of Blackberry App Word. I assumed that this was the BBAW programmers not implementing the mechanism correctly. It is so fucking stupid that you are expected to open the login window from BBAW, type your password, then switch to the VIP app to get a token, then switch back, append that to the end of the password, and manage to send the login request before the token expires (tokens last 30 seconds).
Good luck with that. Eventually some kind soul at RIM decided to allow other payment methods, which meant I was able to purchase my first BBAW app many months after I had owned a Blackberry device. Dumbasses.
That was a long time ago. But tonight it happened to me again, the same exact fucking thing, and this time it happened with an app PROVIDED BY PAYPAL. How the fuck am I expected to believe that PayPal can't have proper two-factor authentication on their own Android app without resorting to appending the fucking token to the end of the fucking password? Are we expected to believe that the people that built this Android app were not given access to the people that write and maintain the API that handles these requests? What the fuck happened here?
Worse, can't the fucking PayPal app for Android detect that VIP is installed and read the fucking token from it? How hard can this be? I imagine there's no reason that this can't work in iPhone and Blackberry devices too.
I have been using an Android phone for a little over 24 hours, and I already noticed that apps can easily trigger dependency downloads if not present. When I installed Barcode Scanner it told me I needed Google Shopper. One click and I was presented with the install page for Google Shopper. Two clicks and I was done. I didn't even need to restart the application, it KNEW that the dependency had been met. If something as mundane as a barcode scanner can figure out this kind of thing, how come a huge company like PayPal can't do something similar?
Hell, PayPal allows automated messaging. If your phone is registered it will take commands. Can't this app trigger an SMS request to send a token if the phone is authorized?
Cloud storage means that, rather than just keeping your save game data on your PlayStation 3's hard drive, users will be given the option to upload their saves remotely to a server. The advantage of this is that not only does it save the user space on their hard drive, but since it's tied to a PlayStation Network account, it can be pulled down to different consoles whenever and wherever the user desires.A couple updates from now Sony will announce that multiplayer-enabled gaming must rely on this cloud mechanism, which is the beginning of the end for any efforts to exploit the firmware. A couple updates after that, all games will at the very least dump a digital signature of save files to this cloud, so good luck trying to edit a save game.
This is not about right or wrong, it just bothers me that none of the news outlets reporting on this is trying to extrapolate what this kind of mechanism means beyond the obvious insurance against the console dying. You wouldn't even need the whole save file in order to perform this kind of control, all that has to happen is for the game itself to generate a signature for each save file and send it to Sony's cloud. Try to run a saved game with a signature that doesn't match (which means the saved game was not generated by a trusted app) and the game won't work online. And you would not be able to fake the signatures.
At least that's how I would do it.
- Report: PS3 getting cloud saving in firmware update 3.60 (joystiq.com)
- Next PS3 update rumored to add 'Online Saving' for PlayStation Plus users (engadget.com)
- Cloud Storage on the PS3 with FW 3.60 (techie-buzz.com)
Saturday, January 29, 2011
|The dots are used for the unlock pattern, which after very little time becomes instinctive, much easier than having to remember a password.|
|The new phone is slightly longer and narrower than my Blackberry 8530. The back cover is as flimsy.|
|The Samsung Intercept is of course thicker since it has a slide-out keyboard.|
|I haven't measured them, but the new keyboard feels at least twice as wide as the one in the Blackberry. The only problem is that due to the USB port being on the top of the phone, and I am a lefty, it is really damn hard for me to type if I am charging the phone. I imagine right handed people have the same kind of trouble with a slider phone that has the USB plug in the bottom of the phone. I didn't clean the screen of the Samsung on purpose to demonstrate how it is as horrible as the iPhone when it comes to attracting smudges.|
|This is one of those stupid things that somehow aren't standard in every damn cell phone: a tiny mirror under the lens, designed to help people take self portraits.|
Battery sucks, which is to be expected since I had every bell and whistle turned on. I have extra batteries on order already, and we got a car charger today which should give us more flexibility if we insist on keeping things like WiFi and GPS enabled all the time.
- Can't remove the microSD unless I unmount it through a menu. This was never needed in the Blackberry.
- Almost impossible to eject the microSD unless you have fingernails or really really tiny fingers.
- No home or return keys in the slide-out keyboard.
- The instructions booklet doesn't have an icon dictionary. I eventually figured out most of these, but still, pain in the ass.
- Very hard to pull down the notifications drawer if you have fat fingers.
- Every fucking time I am typing something with the slide-out keyboard I'll hit the volume button at least once. I don't know if I am grabbing the damn thing wrong, but I do it every damn time.
- I managed to freeze it once, and I was worried that the only hard reset available would wipe the thing clean. The fix? Remove the battery and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. I found a lot of people online bitching about this.
- Why is there a touch pad controller in this phone? This is a touch screen, the whole UI can be controlled by touch, do I really need a touch pad like on the Blackberry 8530?
Samsung Intercept Android Phone | Virgin Mobile
Friday, January 28, 2011
First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Fort Jackson, SC, to Highlight Intersection of Childhood Obesity and Military Readiness | The White House
This is actually one of the chow halls at my Army Basic Training regiment, the 2nd Battalion of the 39th Infantry. That flag is probably covering the tray conveyor window.
How do I know? Look at the chairs, our motto is: AAA-O, Anything, Anytime, Anywhere -- Bar Nothing. When we were in basic training most of us were annoyed by having to use it as a greeting (TRIPLE A OH SIR) but years later I looked into it and learned two things that made me change my mind about it:
- AAA-O is recognized as a Special Unit Designation, which means that not only it is official, but it can only be used by the 39th Infantry Regiment.
- Truth being stranger than fiction, the Germans in WWII were so impressed with the 39th that they assumed AAA-O designated shock troops and they had expected the Allied landings to be spearheaded by troops sporting the AAA-O on their helmets.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Kindle Books Now Outselling Paperbacks at Amazon: "In a statement, CEO Jeff Bezos said, “Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected – and it’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales.”
The company adds that for 2010, it sold 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperback books, and “three times as many Kindle books as hardcovers.” Those numbers don’t include free Kindle books, making the numbers all the more significant."
Good news for Amazon, mass publishers and independent publishers that sell for the Kindle platform. Really bad news for anyone that makes a living peddling dead trees.
- Kindle Books Now Outselling Paperbacks at Amazon (mashable.com)
This is also one of the very first times I have actually seen the HDR feature in my camera work anywhere close to what Sony promises.
- Wet snow blankets Northeast as storm gains momentum (reuters.com)
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Out of 8 games suggested, 3 had been already sold back to Amazon through their trade-in program. The fourth game that I highlighted was purchased from Amazon under the same account that received the email. Two of the highlighted games had been originally purchased through the same account that received the email.
A "civilian" would go "well, how the hell are they supposed to account for THAT" but this being Amazon, I am sure that it is possible for them to add purchased and traded items as exclusion criteria to the queries used to mine for our emails. I am 49% sure that everyone received the same list of games, but these being so popular maybe it would had been a better idea to refine the criteria a bit more.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite: "hessian writes 'As technology advances, the rewards to cleverness increase. Computers have hugely increased the availability of information, raising the demand for those sharp enough to make sense of it. In 1991 the average wage for a male American worker with a bachelor's degree was 2.5 times that of a high-school drop-out; now the ratio is 3. Cognitive skills are at a premium, and they are unevenly distributed.'"
- The rise and rise of the cognitive elite (economist.com)
- The Cognitive Elite (lukeford.net)
- Migraine-Related Lesions Not Linked to Cognitive Problems (somebodyhealme.dianalee.net)
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I just finished installing the last part of my birthday present (at least according to Ivette), a dual monitor stand for my company-issued 23" screen and the 24" screen I scored last week (the first part of the birthday present). The photo is shot too wide, which distorts the position of the right monitor, in reality it is aligned perfectly with the left one.
- A: I put a round metal plate above the clamp to spread some of the load on the top surface of the desk (F). This was not needed underneath since there is a metal frame available to handle the load. The desk can take the aggregated load with no issue whatsoever, but I felt nervous about clamping 50 or so pounds of load over less than 16 square inches of plastic.
- B: Verizon-issued FIOS router.
- C: Comcrap PVR, about to get ditched unless Comcrap starts showing me some love. I am not kidding, you assholes are one phone call away from losing my TV account to Verizon FIOS TV.
- D: Dell work laptop on e-stand/e-port replicator combo. This combination is priceless, I really love it.
- E: I can't figure out how the hell to remove the bottom post from that monitor, and no, it's not in the manual.
- F: The ~$80 wonder desk. It is actually a 6 feet long banquet table, a metal frame and legs with a composite tabletop. It is AWESOME, and it cost just $80 on sale at Office Depot.
As for desk space, I think I now have at least twice as much surface area available, since neither monitor has a footprint.
Now I have to convince myself that there is absolutely no way in hell I can get away with hanging my 46" HDTV (used 99% of the time for Xbox 360) above these two monitors.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The system arrived today, and it came with this little doodad:
This little pod is a combination of:
- Power switch
- Headphone jack extension
- Microphone jack extension
- Volume knob
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?: "jammag writes "A project manager describes facing an upset senior developer who learned that a new hire — a fresh college grad — would be making 30 percent more than him. The reason: the new grad knew a hot emerging technology that a client wanted. Yes, the senior coder was majorly pissed off. But with the constant upheaval in new technology, this situation is almost unavoidable — or is it? And at any rate, is it fair?"
I am a bit amused that when I saw this my first reaction was not about the price of so much Starbuck's coffee, or the need. I guess that since I am now a bit older and wiser, my mind just went into overdrive with things like:
- How much would you end up hurting your stomach lining by drinking so much strong coffee in one sitting?
- Can anyone drink the whole thing before it goes cold?
- How come it doesn't have a handle? Wouldn't it be too heavy?
- What about the sleeve? Isn't this against Starbucks' mandate to be douche bags about being a green company? Will they charge companies to advertise in this much bigger sleeve?
- How come the logos say Starbucks Coffee? Did the logo redesign got canned already?
- Have the efficiency experts taken into account caffeine rage across the country as caffeine fiends wait extra because of the two douche bags ahead of the line that ordered the trenta half decaf four extra shot goat milk vanilla latte with unicorn fart sprinkles?
- Do these people even know what happens when a caffeine fiend is made to wait longer than usual for his coffee?
- Have [insert car brand that douche bag hipsters drive] been told to produce cup holder inserts as needed so their douche bag hipster customers can safely drive with these things in the car? Notice I am only mentioning douche bag hipster car brands, all other cars in the US are already compatible with cups as big as a big gulp.
- How long before somebody discloses that "trenta" probably means "thirty" and not something more obscure/cool/whatever?
- Trenta: Starbucks expands rollout of its 31-ounce drink (chron.com)
- The New Starbucks Trenta Cup Is Bigger Than Your Stomach [Excess] (gizmodo.com)
- Hmm, Starbucks - Goodbye Venti ... (q-ontech.blogspot.com)
Monday, January 17, 2011
I’m totally fine, but goodbye for now: "
No doubt you’ve seen the news. For obvious reasons I won’t be blogging here anymore, though I will leave the archives up. I hope you’ll pray to whatever God you believe in, and heap endless scorn and abuse on the first goddamn hack that dares to try snooping around to find out what’s wrong. I mean it. No staking out the hospital, no asking around among my friends. No calling doctors and asking them to speculate on what might be going on. Anyone who does that is lower than dog shit stuck to a shoe, and I hope that when you see stories like that — because you will — you use their comment strings to express your outrage for being the kind of scumbags who would put their own hunger for unique visitors and pageviews ahead of a man’s right to privacy.
Katie says she will be keeping a list. So, consider yourselves warned.
For now, peace out. Much love. Namaste."
This is how Fake Steve announced that Real Steve is taking a leave of absence due to medical reasons as of today. What is brilliant about this is he gets some mileage out of it, without directly exploiting whatever is wrong with Steve Jobs. Too bad a lot of people are simply going to go ahead and do the exact opposite.
We wish Steve a speedy recovery so he can go back to creating annoyingly expensive products that give us an excuse to complain about Apple.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
- It shows the package on time. Of course it does! And when there's an exception for whatever reason, it will probably say "NEW arrival date is .... and still show it in time."
- "By end of day" is bullshit because it lets UPS cut down on their workforce and force the remaining drivers in the route to work longer hours. I haven't received a FEDEX package after 5 in almost a year, but UPS keeps showing up as late as 9:00 PM, which is a really long fucking stretch of the "End of day" statement.
- "Updated" timestamp is a placebo. Of course it will always show a current date/time, just don't expect UPS to poll their database every time you reload the page. Their tracking system is either queued, so you won't get up to date tracking information until the next batch, or they'll queue the website queries itself to avoid users bringing down the whole system by the constant reloading.
- "You asked for it, we delivered" is almost a cruel joke at the expense of all of us held hostage by this bullshit.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Should Employees Buy Their Own Computers?: "Local ID10T writes
'Data security vs. productivity. We have all heard the arguments. Most of us use some of our personal equipment for work, but is it a good idea? 'You are at work. Your computer is five years old, runs Windows XP. Your company phone has a tiny screen and doesn't know what the internet is. Idling at home is a snazzy, super-fast laptop, and your own smartphone is barred from accessing work e-mail. There's a reason for that: IT provisioning is an expensive business. Companies can struggle to keep up with the constant rate of technological change. The devices employees have at home and in their pockets are often far more powerful than those provided for them. So what if you let your staff use their own equipment?' Companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Kraft, Citrix, and global law firm SNR Denton seem to think it's a decent idea.'
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
- Navy Integrity Vs. Tradition: Should Capt. Honors be Fired Over Videos? (politicsdaily.com)
- Pentagon Won't Intercede in Lewd Navy Video Case -- for Now (politicsdaily.com)
- Navy video: Sack officer behind lewd broadcast on warship, demand campaigners (dailymail.co.uk)
- Navy to Probe Lewd Video Scandal (foxnews.com)
- US Navy to probe lewd videos shown to carrier crew (philly.com)