* Posts by Michael Hitchins

15 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

Google's Wi-Fi snoop nabbed passwords and emails

Michael Hitchins

people still believe in hiding SSID's?

then they are just re-broadcast by the clients in probe messages, whereever the client goes...

and WEP is better than nothing, if by better you mean false sense of security that is hacked in seconds and is really only overhead on wifi - unless you technically challenged neighbours and 'hackers' about.

MAC address filtering is redundant if you have a good WPA2 setup, PSK or otherwise. Its easy to spoof a MAC address after all...

So tip of the day - use WPA2 properly with a good key or certs and be happy and safe out there...

Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers

Michael Hitchins

missing the VLK point

your post sounds like you're trolling MS. Maybe the government department that looks after all your schools is utterly incompetent, or you have some wacky per school management idea designed to utterly break the benefits of volume purchasing at any level, but I do doubt it.

If your education department doesnt have a contract with MS to supply software I'd be amazed, and looking to quickly fire the CTO and put someone who has a clue in his place. I'd rather imagine there are contracts in place, maybe not run as full on as the West Australian system that I know oh so well, but instead your school is going it alone for one reason or another.

Any large education organisation can get very flexible licensing from MS, and this includes downgrade and upgrade rights if the price is right. Such a license would allow you to use a VLK to install any computer with any copy of a MS OS installed on them. This would happily cover your HomePrem to Pro7 upgrade or a downgrade to WinXP Pro.

I'm guessing this is in place for you, as MS are keenly interested in getting into every school ever and this system gives them 2 sales and gives you an appealing level of flexibility. What I see from your post however is a lot of strange waffle about site licensing, and it leads me to believe whoever chose to go down this path did so either misinformed or rather deliberately to troll MS.

VLK can be issued for 10 or more PCs. This should be considered just a fact, really. You dont need to declare anything to get them, or buy a site full, just order the amount you want. You'll get the education discount if you're in education, but, and its a big but, unless you're a tiny self supporting education centre you'll find the loverly MS rep on the other end of the phone will point out you have already got an organisation-wide license if you actually ask.

Lastly of course without a VLK of some description imaging your new toys would be hell on earth, dealing with activating OEM or retail keys and having individual keys per PC... I doubt any tech went down this path, but if they did they are either hugely incompetent or really trying to show 'how evil MS are' by doing the most convoluted setup possible.

I'd consider raising this via school management personally. I wouldnt want to see that much coin pissed away like that, but thats me

Great Australian Firewall to censor online games

Michael Hitchins


i know this useless fertilizer sack acting as a politician was winning the excellence in stupidity awards, tugging at the 'think of the children' line to push his backwards orwellian agenda, but this one seems to be stupid even for him.

This should make it plain and clear that this project isnt just aimed at the blackest of black websites, but also as a tool for whatever might upset the senator and his cronies. Just because you cant classify something doesnt mean its illegal, and with more games being aimed at adults this oversight is going to only get worse. Hopefully this gets traction in the mainstream press around here so people know its stupid we cant classify the games and how totally stupid it is to let a senator be involved in controlling the internet.

Also, online games generally say that the experience and rating may change online, and seeing how people act in something like WoW, is the senator going to turn on that too? If anything that would be a good counter fud argument, alas WoW players might not be so useful as protesters as you'd have trouble peeling them away from their precious game haha

Aussies get gov-backed uber-broadband

Michael Hitchins

whingers about outdated systems

although it depends on factors like quality of fibre and distance its pretty clear fibre has a better life span than copper. assuming OM4 it should be ok up to 10gbit, they obviously aim for lower because nothing in the national backbone could currently handle a neighbourhood hooked up at 100mbit let alone faster. upgrading the core and the links out will be a big issue wouldnt you think?

i just hope they abandon this stupid usage billing system and bill flat rates for speed instead. let people buy in at mbit chunks so if they dont want it all they dont need to pay for it, whereas those that want it all can pay a flat rate for however mbits they want. could you imagine one of telstra's 300MB plans on a 100mbit connection? you'd blink and it'd be gone, where then they'd start billing you $16 a gig over... usage billing surely is only a byproduct of over-contention by stacking on too many customers onto your dslams and shouldnt be the same issue with this network, down with usage billing

Ad-supported webcam border surveillance hits Texas

Michael Hitchins

aussie entertainment?

they only said they are watching it down at the pub, didnt say they were dobbing anyone in.

though i dont know if there would be enough high jinx in the feed to be worth watching in the first place, still better than the recycled big brother sing star dance crap we get on tv when the footies not on

Bittorrent declares war on VoIP, gamers

Michael Hitchins

unlimited internet vs contention vs download caps

in Australia telstra pioneered tiered bandwidth and traffic plans, which are now the norm here. Why this doesnt exist elsewhere has me a little baffled, if the ISP is being charged by the gigabyte why arent the customers?

Ok I dont get why backbone providers are charging volume based tarrifs but if you charge customers that you will get a reduced load on the network, and you wont be overselling yourself so easily, surely win-win?

That way you get people who want high speed, high volume plans paying for it, and everyone inbetween can pick a plan that suits them. The only catch is some unscrupulous ISP's have high speed low volume plans with a nice $15/Gigabyte over and above charge that can easily catch out the unaware.

My ISP shapes the line speed to 128kbits/64kbits per sec down and up once we reach our qutoa, but, when we have had a reason to use more than our quota, or just need full line speed even when we have accidently smashed the quota we have happily paid $6/GB for this 'overuse'.

So we pay some $90 a month for 24/6mbit speeds with 20GB peak, 40GB off peak, with shaping as standard when we hit quota. This seems plenty for us and we rarely have any latency problems - none if you count traffic only within the state - telstra seem like a much bigger problem than how our ISP has set up their DSLAM's, and have never had any issue pulling all of our allocated bandwidth.

So why isnt this the norm elsewhere? are all the freetards too used to paying for a high contention 'unlimited' service for half what I pay over here? Anyone marketing an 'unlimited' plan over here is assumed by the technical masses to have a contention ratio well and above usable and steer clear. Why this cant be done in the US and UK seems to be an attitude problem with users, offset with greedy business practices that ensure a bad time for the paying customer. My ISP would never throttle types of traffic because the outcry would cost them far too much, users know what they pay for.

of course it would be nice if the plans in general were cheaper, but when the government of the day sells the national phone system asset to the free market and loses control of regulation, giving the new monopoly telco the ability to charge what they want for local loop and backhaul link access - services that were largely government subsidised to set them up, all under the guise of this is what they need to do (to make money for shareholders). Of course we cant have cheap internet. backhaul from DSLAMs to the ISP make free traffic agreements between ISPs (in WA at least) impossible, all from the billing over the price of backhaul.

still, better that than thottled, high latency crap like others get stuck with.

Down the Digital River, into the heart of download darkness

Michael Hitchins

dont people read

the article said it wasnt talking about techies getting ripped off, and comments are being shot off left right and center about how this isnt the target audience for this rant.

gee, you think. most people here would use tpb to get a second (if not first) copy of the software. he is addressing joe the user who doesnt know he's being ripped off. just like his examples about a mechanic upselling something you dont need when you get the car serviced. if you are being offered something you dont need but dont know any better, and the company is playing on that gullability, well you're getting ripped off - its simple.

sorry that some people would prefer companies dont rip off the plebs. compassion isnt everyones strong suite

and i dont mind the language at all. its nice to see someone with a different style

Study spanks Adobe Flash for abuses of power

Michael Hitchins
Paris Hilton

its a joke right?

researching what web browsing load is the greenest? what if i run SETI@home in the background, does that mean im using too much power? seems like a study in pointlessness, if you only use your pc for browsing get a low power one and it wont matter, right?

real men use real pcs with multitasking OS so they can do more than load flash banners, im guessing. maybe they should study how much power utorrent uses as it melts the internet

eh, and i'll just browse in the dark, i suppose

Nissan to debut anti-prang tech next week

Michael Hitchins

Re: Good to see...

Motorcyclists for sure but trying to slip pedestrians and cyclists especially in as road users, how cunning. I dont know if cyclists in the UK pay the appropriate road taxes but they dont here and I think they should be banned from roads. Especially when there's a cycleway right next to the road. For some reason wearing body hugging lycra or whatever the hell it is makes these people feel entitled to use the road Im paying for, I wouldnt feel so pissed off if they got far enough off the road to let you pass but they act like they have some sort of right. Im sure they'll be included in collision control but you'd only need to be on the look out for them in car parks if they werent being a bunch of pricks.

luckily my nissan is 19 years old and if I dont want anti-skid control for example I can just pull the fuse. wonderful thing simplicity

Volt is 'go' for Oz as charging-point deal unveiled

Michael Hitchins
IT Angle

(dont) forget perth

looks like the infrastructure isnt coming to the other side of the country. i guess thats ok tho, sounds like a bit of a sham to me with the locked in provider, and im sure the distances involved outside of Perth wouldnt promote the car either - coming from the person who doesnt know the specs of the car at all.

and who'd want to drive a small car from holden anyway? look like a tool haha.

Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP

Michael Hitchins
Gates Halo

Microsofts just being greedy

Since each country/state is different I'm sure YMMV, but here in west Australia, the education dept. have a licensing agreement with microsoft for their wares. This includes 'upgrade ability' so i have previously upgraded pc's shipped with 98 to XP pro, and now XP home to XP pro and I've been doing it legally for free as part of the agreement. I also get Office 2003 and now 2007 for free (though my copy of 2007 still hasnt arrived, they arent an organised lot their SAR) to install on the PC's, as well at Encarta, or now MS student i believe now. on top of that I get heavily discounted licenses for Server, Exchange ($145AUD for std edition, not too bad), free CALs and their other fancy bits, and its all pretty nice and affordable to run MS at schools. So the other week, I looked into getting new media shipped, office 2007 and vista since I figure its about time, and school holidays coming up mean I can do a lot of imaging. This is where I find out, MS have decided that Vista wont be part of the deal, and I'm paying more per volume licensed PC for Vista than I am for exchange! After recovering from the choking shock of having to pay for it, I just laughed, since for me, thats the final nail in the Vista coffin. I have no idea why they wouldn't want the kids to see how 'wonderful' it is, unless they forgot about how indoctrination works and are just trying to recover costs from the lack of sales elsewhere. I wonder what happens when the PC's I buy are preinstalled with Vista :P

Phoenix hijacks Windows boot with instant-on

Michael Hitchins

re: More nostalgia...

i still remember writing loops that would draw out crazy spiral patterns like a spirograph

i bet there's some bloatware windows version of logo nowadays, isnt there?

Manhunt, mods and maddened mothers

Michael Hitchins

Re: No.

so the bit where you *have* to fiddle with the game files to get the content doesnt count as a mod? you say that its completely legit that it was sealed off and required modification to get the stuff you saw?

you should tell microsoft that people that fiddle with the activiation files arent doing anything bad either. I mean sure its sealed off but its completely legit to fiddle with it to get what you want, right?

the excuse that you didnt have to create the content just unlock it and that means the developers wanted you to see it is flawed in the extreme. You are still bypassing a system put in place to prevent you doing something. Even if the bypass is trivial you are still bypassing something.

If it was a lock on a fence and it just happened to be easy for you to pick it doesnt mean you were entitled to just waltz on through and do as you please. Every system is penetratable, it doesnt mean it was intended or right.

Unimpressed Sheilas mock boy racers' todgers

Michael Hitchins

Re: Jon Tocker

I was referring to where I live, where we have one international drag strip, on national raceway, one circuit and skidpad driver training facility and one ordinary old raceway. Thats for an estimated population of 2 million people, in a state that covers 2.5 million square kilometers. Thats enough to fit the UK (where i assume your viewpoint is from) in over ten times! I quoted the figured I have to pay to get on the track, something I know as a volunteer official and trying to practice drift racer. While in the UK you might have a lot of facilities developed due to a larger population and better planning we dont. Yet we are the ones getting these ads shown to us from our tax money. ( well to be fair we have different ads being run here in WA, but they are of a similar calibre).

While the drags do run weekly 'open' events (though you cant run your street car if it goes too quick, 130mph terminal speed or 10.99 seconds and under, though it is your street car...) which are popular and I believe have curbed street racing, what I have said about the tracks stands true. The fact that they are booked out 6 months + in advance and require large sums of cash to get an event together limit things a bit. Every track event run at our only 'good' track requires you to purchase a CAMS license and a track membership, good for 1 year, so there is another $300.

So the average hoon boy racer needs to have some spare cash and a club thats well organised over here to get on the track. Or at least for drifting they could rock up to the once a month practice days, join the over subscribed queues and for their $55 get maybe 15 minutes on track, if they dont get kicked off because they came off too many times in one group of laps. good way to spend from 6 to 10pm on a friday night if you like to watch drift at least. The professionals have their own lane they get cycled through and generally get twice as much track time as boy racer, at least they are showy.

The skid pan at the other facility is reserved for motokhana and some instructor led driver training and is strictly bookings only. They are even more strict about who gets to go on their circuit. Booking the pad and doing something other than motorkhana can lead to getting kicked out, depending on the staff on the day, luckily though they arent breathing down your neck about CAMS.

Now if you just want to have some fun, maybe practice slides or do whatever else it is you want to do on the street you cant (big shock, not everyones wants to race competitvely on the track, seriously... you claim they dont turn up, maybe they dont share the passion for prim and proper racing, they might want to have fun). Free form driving will get you kicked out of any track facility here and I bet it would there too. Most arguments about facilities seem to think that everyone wants a track and to go really fast around it because thats what the professionals do. That isnt what everyone wants to do, maybe they want to test their car, do some burnouts or challenge a friend to some cornering.

My suggestion would be to lay down some big sections of tarmac interlinked together to form a circuit or seperate for people as required. Then have fee per hour use then go here is a section of tarmac, go for it. Gets them off the street and saves innocent lives. I can think of plenty of reasons why this wouldnt happen though, and that I find is really disappointing. Its the kind of facility that mimics what they do now and just moves it off the street. It would be almost equivilant to you pay to use this section of tarmac and you are free of persecution, that is all the payment gives you and as far as the owners responsibilies go.

Of course reading your post you might be complaining about the kids who cruise around playing doof doof and generally doing the stop start drive around in a group thing. I wouldnt exactly call their behaviour hooning or dangerous, just funny. Naturally you wont see them on any track but if you put a car park off the facility i mentioned maybe they'd all congregate there :P

Michael Hitchins

youtube replies are funnier

The official ad is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hWxU_ICoHM - and the replies are entertaining and at least should be seen just for a laugh. Also while you're there look at the 'heaven and hell' ads, there’s 3 of them in a series. I thought that was better really.

Reading the comments here, its interesting. Everyone thinks that people doing this on the street are pin pricks endangering lives for their amusement, but it misses a critical question, why are they doing it on the streets in the first place? Maybe they could spend the money on providing more facilities to do it off the streets rather than bitch about the drivers who do it the only places they can.

For us at least its $600/hr plus $60 miscellaneous fees per track outing for say drifting, and then limited to during the week only availability... you pretty much limit most working people to the streets or nothing, and historically prohibition has never worked - and the argument against it has been they shouldn’t do it just because you don’t like it, or cite safety concerns when more accidents are primarily caused by inattention rather than 'hero' driving let alone actual 'track like' driving.

Speeding is a factor in a lot of crashes, but if you're being inattentive it suggests you're not paying attention to your speed either... Don’t blame speed just because its bundled with most crashes, its like saying just because computers where involved in every computer virus the computer is the problem. Its selective and surely peddled because you can quantify and therefore fine people for it, unlike the more dangerous behaviours.

The idea of getting this behaviour off the street, I support it. Their methodology however I believe is flawed in the extreme and until they stop peddling ads and provide facilities the streets will be the status quo.