Fuck You Too Sony

If there’s one thing I love it’s technology and gizmos. Because of my bizarre drive to have lots of electronic devices around I ended up buying a PlayStation 3 quite some time back. The feature list of this system is quite long although it’s been getting shorter as the system ages. This is really odd since most systems gain features as they get older. Well one feature I rather enjoyed was the ability to install Linux on the system. Sure it ran in a hypervisor and was gimped for the most part but it gave me the ability to write code for the cell processor and see what made it tick. Well Sony decided to take that away from me as well.

The latest firmware update released today removes the “Install Other OS” feature and removes any currently installed operating system. Of course I would put this off as some kind of April Fool’s prank but information regarding this has been out for a couple of days. And it’s truly bad form to pull an April Fool’s prank before the actual date.

This kind of shit really pisses me off. I realize this is a feature used by very few people but those few of us who used it really enjoyed it. The fact of the matter is one of the reasons I bought a PS3 was for this particular feature as I wanted to play with the cell processor which was all the rave at the time. Yes I paid for this feature and now Sony has decided to take it. Well I could always refuse to install the new firmware but then I can’t use the system for the other reason I own it, gaming. So no matter what Sony is ensuring I lose a feature I paid for.

Well it’s nice to see Sony has decided they no longer want my money. But this is only one piece of my two part rant. That’s right you’re getting two rants for the price of one! The other thing that’s pissing me off are the comments being made by people. For instance user HumanNature on Engadget had this to say:

Totally agreed. I blame Geohot for this mess. No one with a working common sense would not foresee Sony not fixing their security issue with OtherOs. I mean really, did Geohot really think Sony was going to congratulate him and let some other hacker make it easy to install like the PSP? Geohot releasing the exploit is the cause, Sony locking the OtherOs is the effect.

Do people really expect Sony to sit around and let the PS3 end up like the PSP? Like many things in life, it only takes one idiot to abuse something, and everyone will be force to pay the price.

That’s right people are blaming the well known hardware hacker who goes by the handle Geohot. What did Geohot do? Well you can go read his blog. More or less he found a convoluted way to accomplish nothing… yet. But as with all hacks it will eventually lead to bigger and better things.

Either way what he did was awesome. It should be seen as an accomplishment as it required ingenuity and understanding of the hypervisor. It was a good hack and he should be congratulated for figuring it out not blamed for Sony removing the “Install Other OS” capability on the PS3. The bottom line is Sony decided to take their ball and go home instead of fixing the flaw. This is akin to somebody finding an exploit in Windows Media Player and Microsoft reacting by removing Windows Media Player (granted not a horrible thing but I’m bias in my hatred of Windows Media Player).

Either way there seems to be a lot of blame and some hatred going towards Geohot for playing with hardware he owns. That’s the key thing. You don’t rent a PS3, you purchase it. Once you own it you can do anything you want with it. If I want to take mine to the range and blast the shit out of it I very well can because it’s my property. Geohot did what any good geek does, he developed an understanding of the device and decided to utilize that understanding to make the device to more. But the bottom line is this attempt to extend the capabilities of the device have nothing to do with game piracy as Sony claims.

Of course very few people really care about this exploit because few people use the “Install Other OS” feature. So I say the next exploit should focus on the Blu-ray player which people actually use. After all if that gets hacked it could allow the ability to play pirated games and therefore, using Sony’s logic, the Blu-ray drive would have to be disabled. Then people would actually be pissed.

Oh and I’m going to close out by saying fuck you Sony.

I Hate the TSA as Much as Anybody But Come On

OK I hate the TSA just as much as everybody else, possibly more. But after seeing a story on Dvorak Uncensored I have to call bullshit. Let’s see if you can find what’s wrong with this story. The story is titled, “Child rape charge rocks TSA.” Here is the story opener:

A Transportation Security Agency worker who pats down members of the flying public was charged with multiple child sex crimes targeting an underage girl yesterday.

The bust outraged privacy and passenger advocates who say it justifies their fears about Logan International Airport’s full-body scanner.

So what do you think happened? If you answered the TSA agent used his authority to take a child to the back interrogation room and raped the child you would be completely incorrect. Here is what happened (Buried towards the end of the article):

The 14-year-old victim watched a movie at his house, Okeeffe said. She said during the film, he massaged the victim’s thigh and touched her under a blanket, then during the February school vacation the girl stayed at his house with his daughter.

So what’s the point of this article? The huge majority of the article makes a big fuss about the fact that the TSA have naked body scanners attended by agents. It makes a huge fuss about one of these TSA agents being a pedophile. But the fact the perpetrator was a TSA agent is COMPLETELY irrelevant here since everything he did was done at HIS house not the airport. At no point was any evidence brought forth stating he made initial contact with the child at the airport or through his “authority” as a TSA agent. In fact the kid was apparently friends with his daughter. Yes instead of focusing on the crime it’s made into a hit piece about the TSA.

I hate the TSA with a passion. The entire organization is nothing more than security theater run by people given a badge and just enough authority to feel they can toss people around. But this hit piece is fucking stupid. It’s akin to making a hit piece about a police department because on of the officers committed a crime off company time and at his place of residence and didn’t in any way use his position or authority to commit the crime. The fact that a man committed statutory rape and was also a TSA agent are completely irrelevant. Yes the article focuses almost exclusively on the fact the person was a TSA agent and purposely misleads you to believe the crime happened at the airport. Finally the fact that the crime happened at the agent’s house is briefly mentioned in the second to last paragraph. Fuck!

Oh and since I’m on a rant I might as well point out the following bloody obvious:

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said Shanahan had passed two background checks, neither of which picked up any record that would prevent him from getting a job.

That’s right background checks don’t determine if you’re going to commit a crime, only if you have committed a crime and got caught. But Dippity Dipshit says:

“It’s a huge, huge issue,” said Kate Hinni of FlyersrRights.org. “The TSA needs a complete overhaul… If you have a pedophile looking at those naked pictures, they’ve got all your information, it’s a gross violation of their authority…. They should make sure none of them is corrupted in any deviant sexual manner.”

So how in the Hell are those hiring TSA agents suppose to make sure any applicant isn’t corrupted in any deviant sexual manner? Answer me that. What you don’t have an answer? Maybe that’s because it’s fucking impossible. This article is just full of stupidity from start to end.

Dear Microsoft Please Copy Good Features And Ignore Bad Ones

I mentioned earlier this week that Microsoft was eliminating multi-tasking from Windows Phone 7 Series Ultimate Extreme Wordy Name That Makes No Sense. Well the guys over at Engadget have audio recorded proof of no multi-tasking and better yet no copy and paste. It seems Microsoft’s whole idea behind their new phone operating system with a horrible name was to copy everything bad Apple did with the iPhone.

I know I’m a niche users in that I want a phone that allows me to listen to music, download a file from a website, have an open SSH connection to another system, and have an application monitoring wireless traffic but come on. Now Microsoft will allow their own software to multi-task on the device much like Apple allows their included software to multi-task. But lowly third party developers will not be granted such permission from Microsoft.

When did people decide that their smartphones need to be less powerful? Even my Palm Treo 755p can do some basic multi-tasking and Palm OS isn’t even officially capable of multi-tasking. But that’s fine with me since Palm OS was developed back in the day when multi-tasking wasn’t feasible due to the lack of power in handheld devices (The first Palm Pilot had a 16Mhz processor and 128 KB of RAM which was used to both run applications and store them). But phones today have plenty of power on board. WebOS shows multi-tasking on a phone isn’t difficult nor impossible. Android can multi-task as can a Blackberry. We should be looking for more power and functionality in our devices not less.

Also is copy and paste really that difficult? Seriously my Palm OS based PDAs could do that! Even the iPhone can do it now. There are plenty of times where I want to copy an exert from a web page and paste it into a document elsewhere.

Why is it these new fancy phones have less capabilities than my phone released almost three years ago that is based on an operating system (Palm OS 5) released almost eight years ago?

A Proper Response For Disagreeing With a Company

OK before I tell one one store I must tell another so here goes.

For my job I sometimes find myself traveling to strange and interesting locations. I have software on my phone so I can tether it to my laptop and use the data connection. It’s an OK solution but there are two major issues with it. First I have a Treo 755p which is not capable of using full 3G speeds. The second problem is my phone is CDMA meaning when I’m using the data connection I can’t use the actual talking function of my phone.

I figured I’d alleviate both of these issues by picking up one of those wonderful wireless access points that connect the the 3G cellular towers. They’re kind of spendy but I figured I’d get enough use out of it to justify the cost.

So I go to the store and ensure the device has several features I require (Good security on the Wi-Fi part of the device for starters). After that I finally asked what the device would cost without a contract. I understand these companies subsidize their devices and make up the money in locking you into a two-year contract. That’s not a bad thing really and I do understand the early termination fee because of that.

But I don’t like the idea of being locking into a contract for two years. Hence I came up with this crazy idea. I’m willing to pay full price for the device. Simple enough huh? The problem is you can’t do it. Apparently the two-year contract isn’t really for recouping the cost of subsidized devices as I was willing to forgo the subsidized cost and pay the full price. They simply will not sell you the device and service unless you sign the contract.

I told you that so I could get to the point of this post.

The point I want to make here is the proper response. Many people not willing to agree to the cell phone company’s terms would start saying it’s not fair and demand something be done. This something of course would be for the government to get involved and make these two-year lock-in agreements illegal. It would be a very long and fancy crusade about how unfair it is for the big evil cell phone companies to lock poor innocent Americans into these contract.

Obviously that wasn’t my response. So what did I do? I decided not to give the company my money. Unlike so many in the world I don’t feel I’m entitled to make companies play by my rules. If I don’t like the conditions set forth to obtain their product or service I simply don’t purchase their product or service.

It’s an effective solution. I’m dumbfounded by the fact people simply refuse to acknowledge this option. So many clamor to the government to fight the big evil corporations meanwhile not seeing the clear fact that the government itself is a big corporation.

We are not entitled to jack shit. Nobody is entitled to Internet access, health care, a car, or a contract free cellular device. Because I realize that I decided to leave this post here to let people who think differently understand there is an option open, take your money elsewhere.

That is all.

Broadband For Free*

Tam at View From the Porch brings up an article dealing with the recent decision by the United States government to provide broadband for everybody. The article is about a whiny ninny web developer who is crying because she doesn’t have broadband:

Like a photographer without a camera, or a mechanic who doesn’t own a car, Kelli Fields is a webmaster without high-speed Internet access.

By day, the 42-year-old uses a broadband connection at work to update a university’s Web site, which she built and codes from scratch.

But when she goes home at night, the rural Oklahoman struggles with a dial-up Internet connection so slow, she does chores to pass the time while Web sites load. Her high school-age son is so fed up with the glacial pace of their Internet connection that he asks his mom to update his Facebook page from the office.

Let’s look at this shall we. My father is a mechanic and he owns his own shop. I can tell you one thing the government never provided him with a car, tools, hoist, alignment rack, or even a front desk. Likewise I don’t know a single photographer who has a camera purchased for them by the government. But using these examples this story tries to convince you that the government should be providing Ms. Prissy with boradband for her work? Why does a web developer get special treatment?

Oh because she’s in a rural area where she only has dial-up. Let me check if the government will provide tools to an auto shop that’s in a rural area away from any tool shop. Nope. Will the government provide cameras to photographers in locations far away from a camera store? Nope. Hm I guess those situations still remain irrelevant.

Stop running to the government every time you need something. Oh and I love this part:

She could install a satellite and connect to the high-speed Internet, but the installation fee is $300, and she said she can’t afford that right now. She’s been waiting for wired broadband to come to her home for five years, and she holds out some hope that the network will get to her eventually.

She can’t afford $300.00 but wants broadband Internet? How much money does she think it’ll cost to run wired broadband out to her rural house? Here’s a hint, a fucking lot. Of course I’m sure she’s fine with it so long as every tax payer in America is footing the bill and not just her. God this entitlement society pisses me off. And I haven’t even touched on the subject of government provided and therefore controlled Internet access.

* And by free I mean you’re paying for it through your tax dollars.

Political Party Nonsense

I try to avoid talking about politics in a generic term here because it’s a boring topic that only incites anger. But after some berating for not being a member of “The Right Party” I thought I’d drop some note on here. Everybody who knows me eventually learns that I describe myself as a libertarian. Notice the lower case “l” there? Libertarian with a capital “L” is the name of a party while libertarian with a lower case “l” is a political belief.

This is important as I’m not a member of any party. People seem unable to wrap their heads around this concept though. For instance although I’m a libertarian I attended the Republican caucus. Why? Because I want to see Tom Emmers get the candidacy for the Republican party. I work with individuals who agree with my ideals (At least as close to my ideals as I can get but more on that in a minute). I don’t give a wooden nickle if a candidate is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, or even a member of the Communist Party (Granted most of these parties are unlikely to have a candidate I support), if they agree with what I believe I’ll support them.

And this my friends brings us to the Tea Party. Notice the capital letters? Yes I’m not talking about the tea party movement but the various political entities call themselves the Tea Party. I have nothing against these groups but my rant is going to be focused on certain individuals. Many people who have become disenfranchised with the Republican and Libertarian parties have moved to one of the various Tea Parties. I got into a conversation with one of these people a while back. His belief was the Republican party is corrupt (No duh, it’s a political party. They’re all corrupt.) and the Libertarian Party is now evil because they let Bob Barr run as their presidential candidate. That meant he had to jump ship to another party because Odin forbid you actually try to correct the problems in a currently established party.

Well our conversation eventually lead to me being a libertarian. This is the point of the conversation where things turned emotional for him. He got onto a long rant about how the Libertarian Party is corrupt and all real supporters of the Constitution must jump ship and go to the pure and perfect Tea Party. He couldn’t grasp the whole concept of me being a libertarian not a member of the Libertarian Party. It was inconceivable to him that somebody could identify themselves by a political belief instead of political party. And herein lies the problem in my opinion.

Our political system has become about party memberships instead of political beliefs. People will often join a political party because of one strong belief and ignore the fact that party doesn’t agree with any other belief they hold. For example many people join the Republican Party because they believe abortion should be illegal. On the other hand many people join the Democrat Party because they want gay marriage to be legal. In both of these cases the issue mentioned is the primary core belief and they are will to ignore all other party beliefs because, I believe, they are unable to wrap their head around the idea of not being a member of a party. For example using the cases I set forth the person who joined the Republican Party may be in support of gay marriage or against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The person who joined the Democrat Party may be against government controlled health care and labor unions. These individuals are fine with imperfect candidates (Perfect being those who completely agree with your beliefs). There are even people in these parties who are willing for force themselves into believing the rest of the party’s platform so they can be a “full member.”

Then you have the Tea Party members (Once again note the capital letters). Many of the people in these parties are unwilling to accept imperfect candidates. Often times members of the Tea Party were at one time members of the Republican Party, then left to join the Libertarian Party, and finally left for the Tea Party. When prodded why they left X Party they will usually say it’s because of one member who wasn’t perfect. What these people want is in fact impossible. They want to be a member of a party that consists only of people who completely agree with them. In other words they want to be involved in an organization that consists only of themselves. No two people have the exact same ideals hence you can’t have a party consisting only of people who agree with you.

So here comes to point I want to make here. Learn the difference between ideals and political organizations. Realize you don’t have to be a member of any single party. This is the only way you’ll be able to work exclusively with candidates you like. Don’t like the person the Republican Party fielded? That’s OK because you can go vote for the Libertarian Party candidate. Are you angry with who the Democrat Party picked? Then go vote for the Green Party person. Is there an individual running independently that you like? Go support that candidate. For those of you who joined a Tea Party because the other parties are all “evil and corrupted political groups run by special interests” come talk to me in ten years (If your specific Tea Party lasts that long). Chances are you’ll find that at some point during that decade span your Tea Party fielded an “unworthy” candidate and thus you’ll want to jump ship to a new “pure and perfect” political party. Or come join those of us who have no party affiliation and thus have flexibility.

In summary get people who get over the party mindset and start thinking for themselves again. Rant mode disengaged.

Idiocy Astounds Me Once Again

OK I game across a rather disturbing story on Gizmodo. The summary of the story is some kid in Japan burned down the house his mother and him were living in because she threw out a plastic toy. An important thing to note here is his mother and himself were in the house when he set it ablaze. I really shouldn’t say some kid as this idiot was 29 but if you burn down a house because your mother threw out a toy you’re a fucking kid, period. Ironically people always point to Japan as a utopia society who has banned guns and has a low murder rate, they always neglect to mention suicides and stupid shit like this though.

The story isn’t as interesting as the commands on Gizmodo though. What follows is a rant about users on the Internet, hence it has no real value to anybody other than showing how stupid people can be. If you don’t care just do yourself a favor and skip the remainder of this post. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way let us dissect some of this posts, the first one I found extremely stupid was posted by a man named Bokusatsu_Tenshi:

I know there’s no justifying for what the guy did, but if I’m not mistaken, those where GUNPLAS, not “action figures”… which means they were all artisanally hand assembled and probably painted too. So it’s NOT about some dumb collection the guy spend some bucks on, but rather a hobby that probably cost him tons of work and money. So instead of posting prejudicial comments, maybe some of you should think how you would react if someone took something very precious to you, which you spent hours making, and just tossed it out as if it was nothing. People seem to think they are so fucking superior to the guy only because he lives with his mother and collects gunplas…

So he’s asking how would I react if I lived at home and my mother threw away my guns? I’d be pissed, I’d yell, but there is no way I’d burn the fucking house down. Up next we have Dr. Evil Genius:

Let’s see… take something that you hold in high-regard – your most treasured belonging and say… your significant vagina takes it upon herself to just throw your shit out. PLEASE tell me you’re gonna be happy about it. Everyone wants to criticize others over what is important to THEM. I think his reaction was inappropriate but have your girlfriend get your car towed to the Chop Shop and we’ll see how YOU react.

Once again I’m not going to burn her house down. If she had my vehicle towed to the chop shop I can assume the relationship is over otherwise I’d have no idea why she would do that (even then she wouldn’t). At most I may take her to court to get the value of the vehicle back so I could get some wheels. I’d also probably say some words not meant for children, but I do that in normal conversation so it’s nothing out of character. Then we have TheGZeus:

Your mother nags at you constantly your whole life, you probably can’t get a job doing anything that doesn’t make you want to die, and the only thing that makes you happy is the Gundam collection you’ve had since you were a child, and probably spent most of your allowance on. So for many years of your life most of your income goes towards these things, so their value gets inflated. When your mother throws out what is probably worth thousands of dollars, and worth infinitlely more to you and she doesn’t care you fucking SNAP. My dad reset my router accidentally, risking ALOT of data in the process, and he got angry with me for cursing and kicking a box of my own stuff. That data meant nothing to him, but represented hours of work and setup to me.

First of all we’ve all done jobs we’d rather not have. But if you want to survive you need money, and the only way to get money is through theft or work. Most of us prefer work even if the job sucks. And if the only thing you have in life that makes you happy are toys, Hell any object, you’re life is terrible and you should work on fixing it (In other words go out and meet people.). Snapping at your father because he accidentally (we all make mistakes) unplugged your router is rather dumb. No data in transit is irreplaceable. If you are copying a file it still exists on the source machine, if you are downloading something you can always restart the download. If it was a very large download that you’ve been working on for hours or days you should have used a method that can recover from such errors such as BitTorrent. Finally if your mother is your “significant vagina” you need therapy.

The point of this rant is unless your life is in danger via the person taking an inanimate object from you (An armed robber for instance who may just kill you after taking your object anyways) there is no justification for putting another person’s life in jeopardy. If somebody throws up something of importance to you feel free to scream, yell, or even take them to court (I don’t see any reason I could possible take a family member to court over property myself.) but never ever attempt to bring harm to their person. Should I be away from my home and somebody breaks in and steals my stuff I’m not going to bring bodily harm to them if I find them afterwards, I’m calling the police and seeing them in court. A person’s life is more valuable than your stuff, period. It’s sickening to me that some people think otherwise.

As a cultural awareness note I didn’t belittle the kid for living with his mother. In many other countries, especially asian countries, it’s common for elderly parents to move in with their kids when they are no longer capable of being independent. I haven’t a clue if that is the case here so I’m not touching that subject.