* Posts by Daniel Ballado-Torres

185 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2007


This emergency alert has been cancelled by Hotmail

Daniel Ballado-Torres
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Back in '96, I used our ISP account for email. I didn't trust "free" email, because of reasons that actually ended up being true (either they'd dissappear or turn into pay-for services) though Hotmail did live on. Plus, back then most services would not like "free email" accounts for validation, and I think that rule still stands to this day.

Currently, I use free mail because it is more likely to use that for a long time than ISP or work emails, that usually change every 2 years.

As for emergency messaging, email sucks for that, but SMS is a fairly reliable medium for that; my current job uses that for "critical" announcements. There's nothing like getting "CICS CRASH: SERVICES DOWN" on a Friday night. Ow.

Kiddie coders embrace Facebook as new-age dev platform

Daniel Ballado-Torres
IT Angle

Facebook 'apps'

Facebook "API"s have as much in common with APIs as an ant to a whale. Same for Facebook "applications".

Social graphs, well they might do the thing, but Facebook? I wonder if that means that soon enough MySpace and hi5 will cash in and now try to be "enterprise platforms". Too bad lots of kiddies think they're "kewl" because they can do "applications" with JavaScript. I just hope those into CompSys Engineering don't get infected with these hyped "platforms".

Meanwhile, I'll keep climbing the IT evolutionary ladder, as I know C, Java, some Perl and basically REAL programming languages, and REAL development platforms.

Will Bungie jump from Microsoft?

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Bungie saved MS

Actually, though I liked Bungie's earlier creations, I don't exactly like them now because they are responsible for the Xbox survival. The damned box was a joke even before the thing was released; I remember people joking on "duuuuuude, I dont want a BSOD right when I'm about to kill the final boss duuuuuude!!". That, coupled with gigantic controllers, and the dominance of PSX and PS2 made it a sure failure; even the PSX was getting more sales.

Then came Halo, which blew away the minds of many PC gamers (FPS were not really a console seller) who ran and bought Xboxen to play the game. Thus the dying console had a revival.

Without Halo, the Xbox would have gone the way of the Apple Pippin, 3d0 and such brethren.

Blokey atmos drives women away from sci/tech

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Girls & geeks

I've heard a lot of the stereotype of "few engineering girls, those that are there are pretty and dumb or smart and ugly". I've seen pretty and smart enough out there. Back in high school there was a girl who was pretty, smart and was able to use her HP-49GX for complex calculations on the fly, *in RPN mode*. I mean, she was quicker mentally converting algebraic to RPN while feeding all this to the calculator, than me only inputting algebraic on my TI-83. 0wned. Also, she was one of the elite group of HS students that actually knew UNIX.

Anyway, male/female boffins may get along as long as conversations keep in a common theme: OS, programming, and most computer-related or comp culture related. I despise football (except during World Cups) so I tend to avoid that; but the one time I was really, really annoyed was during a 2 *hour* conversation about Saint Seiya. I just don't like that damned cartoon, drop it already!!!

Unfortunately, there is a tendency of male "geeks" also being into anime, and not always the kind that girls would be interested in. That matter by itself may act as a deterrent. Not only for girls, though.

I wish we had more boffinesses...

3Com - a company built on ether

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Well, my 33.6k USR *internal* modem (circa 1995) didn't fail me until some freak motherboard short-circuit stuck it into "off-hook" mode. (Caused by a bad motherboard, in case you're wondering).

But it was a full modem anyway; I did have some problems under Linux but that was because I had set it in Plug and Play mode. I put the jumper back on to "COM3" and was happily using it with Linux, no drivers required.

When my dad gave away the last PC that the modem was on (1999), I was deprived of Linux dial-up until 2002, when one of that PC's successors came with a POS Conexant modem. However, that modem had Linux driver support, and so I was able to dialup again.

Currently, it is easier for me to use my *cell phone* as a modem than any of those POS "modems" that come with laptops.

MasterCard customers hit by system failure

Daniel Ballado-Torres

There are some things money can't buy...

Romantic dinner: $60

Expensive Champagne: $100

Having to leg it because your MasterCard was declined and you're out of cash: PRICELESS

There are some things money can't buy

Everything else ... remember to carry cash!

Hugo Chavez rails against teen Bulgarian airbags

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Hm... not exactly "coming-of-age", it is some kind of weird Latin American tradition I haven't been able to pin, but the "Quinceañera" tradition (15 years, that is) is widespread everywhere. And yeah, 15 is too young for implants. I had never heard of something like that. Ow.

I'd support banning implants under 18, that isn't old enough ... they are still developing their boobies! Wouldn't implants actually interfere with this process??

Hm... and Lester seems to have seen "Bananas" recently ;)

What's 77.1 x 850? Don't ask Excel 2007

Daniel Ballado-Torres

bits and bytes

"Yeah, it's 2^16-1 (or just plain -1 in 16-bit), but why on earth does that matter?"

It is also the max row number (65,536) in Excel. I'd say it is well... kind of curious that happens, it might mean your "floating point" ops are being done in 16-bit int operations.

While most of the world+dog has moved to 32-bit and 64-bit long ago. Not all decimal ops are done as floating ops, because of the potential of misrepresentation (do a small C program, store .2, printf the value, you'll see what I mean) so many financial software and databases use the concept of a "fixed-point datatype" that is nothing more than an integer with a "decimal point" fixed on a qty of digits. So say, the int is 496043, but set with 2 decimal points, the actual number is 4960.43

Now I wonder why would 2^16-1 show 100,000 ... looks like I'm better off doing my own software and using BigInteger for calculations. ;)

Vanessa Hudgens net smut: your children are at risk

Daniel Ballado-Torres

That's nothing

Nah, those pics are too friendly. Real porn? From the same lame "reality show" or whatever that thing is called, search for "Chachi" Telesco, the Argentinian star for High School Musical who did get the boot.

Her scandal was better: a 6 minute rumpy-pumpy video, Kazaa-quality style. She didn't get the benefit of "private home video" either, she got sacked real fast. Oh, and the video claims the dude she's with is her cousin.

Now *that's* porn!

Venezuela to shift clocks half an hour

Daniel Ballado-Torres


DST sucks in zones where sunlight barely changes. Venezuela is right inside the tropical zone, very close to the equator, so I thought this article was about trashing DST. Which I would definitely support.

I live in Mexico City, so DST means I have to go to work in the dark when I get the early-bird shift. Most people are against DST, as a good part of the country is inside the "tropical zone", thus having no significant sunlight changes. And with Mexico City commuter times, that means you will be doing lots of things in the dark, waking up at 5am; defeating DST purposes.

The only reason DST was established in 1995 was to sync clocks with the US for merely economic reasons. Any other arguments are pure bollocks.

Google sued for 'crimes against humanity'

Daniel Ballado-Torres


"55378008 Surely? :)"

Hey, that looks like a valid phone number in Mexico City! You're going to get so sued!

Heh. Really, I've never seen a lawsuit written in hand, and oh my! The handwriting is worse than mine ... could this be just one of those cases of lawsuit as protest on frivolous lawsuits? Like that dude suing God?

Now if these go through, I'm suing Chris Rock for brain damage caused for watching Pootie Tang, $10bn in damages. ;)

FBI redefines length of century

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Can we add 1908+100, kids?

centennial and 100th birthday is 100 years after. That is, if birthdate was in 1908, 100th birthday is in 2008.

Maybe confused with that crap about centuries starting in '01 years? That's because dumb people (almost) 2007 years ago didn't know about, or use the number 0. Then you have historians back then screwing up and eating away 0 AD so "historic time" doesn't equate with "astronomic time", "ISO time" or any other mathematically useful date system.

So basically the century rollover is in '01 because first century was 1-100 instead of 0-99, not because of freaky counting. Oh, and that is because you're counting from the first day of first year, to last day of last year. Move over the "start pointer" one day, and you would get 0-100 or 1-101. ;)

Peruvian 'meteorite' strike provokes noxious gas attack

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Re: Hurling rocks at us?

Somehow, there were two things coming to my mind after reading this article. Well, three.

1 - War of the Worlds (the novel, and the 2006 movie which is closer to the novel): I'd watch out if the meteor's unscrewing. Could the gas be the "Black Smoke" ???

2 - I wonder if it came from Klendathu. (Starship Troopers)

3 - Close encounters of the 3rd kind: Because of those toxic fumes ...

Left-handeders finally unlock the closet, researchers find

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Ah, so apparently we are more ... or as somebody else said, we're allowed to use our left hand. Still, even with "Lefty" scissors and other stuff, there are some things that really irk me:

- Joysticks: It seems that "hand-neutral" sticks are gone, the last one my dad bought is clearly right-handed and I have to use it in awkward forms!

- "Half-length desk" school chairs: You must know what I'm talking about. Instead of doing a large desk on the chair, they do it half, so you have a small space for your notebook and armrest... except it's on the right, useless to me. In college, there was supposed to be an even number of lefty and righty chairs, but usually the lefty chairs were gone or plundered by "I got here first, screw the other ones!".

- Scissors: In my brief time living in the US, I had access to lefty scissors. Too bad here in Mexico that is not common, so I've had to use scissors in some mighty awkward ways...

Curiously, apart from mice, one thing I do get handy on is using the shift-stick in standard transmission vehicles. Though I can know the answer for that; I can just go to the UK and learn to drive on "the other side". Hey, I might even be a better driver over there ;)

Arctic sea ice loosens grip on Northwest Passage

Daniel Ballado-Torres

North Pole

That black spot would be to hide an ultra-secret site all right: it's Santa's workshop! Show it and then all the naughty kids will know where to go kick some reindeer butt when they don't get anything next Christmas!

Vista attacked by 13-year-old virus

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Ah... old virii

Now THOSE were real mean virus-machines, not the lame-a$$ "virii" made in VB, VBScript, ActiveX and similar crapveloment, taking advantage of an ill-concieved development model. C and assembly, taking over the MBR's! Though I didn't know that I could boot my Stoned PC by getting ... ahem... stoned.

Protection from old virii is what made me ditch McAffee way back in 1994 (coincidence?), as it was able to remove NATAS, but good ole DIR II trashed the damned AV. *sigh* How I miss the good old times when virii were actually intelligent and (sometimes) humorous, instead of trying to sell me v1@gr4, showing porn popups or phishing stuff from my PC.

SCO files for US bankruptcy protection

Daniel Ballado-Torres

SCO never lost its way

They only sold SCO Unix and rebranded as Tarantella. The "SCO" that has just died was previously known as Caldera. Which I'd say, did produce Caldera OpenLinux but dissappeared it when it went berserk against IBM/Linux. i wonder if the Tarantella team had second thoughts when Caldera started doing that with what they had sold them... not just because of what they did, but because it spelt ceartain death for SCO Unixware itself. Ow.

Kind of like leaving your baby to the wolves...

Quantum computing spectre looms over ecommerce

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Now QC is something I'd rather live without, as I would be out of a job: IT Security in a Banking Institution (guess what we use), and it would certainly collapse *everything* I could make a decent job in. Not to mention it would make possible for any kind of public-key crypto to be cracked. Most security depends on public-key, this would bring that crashing down.

It doesn't crack symmetric ciphers, though; but key distribution is usually done with public-key stuff. Ow.

PC superstore unhinged by Linux

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Hm... reminds me of yesterday's situation with a friend of mine. He was having trouble with the DSL modem, and called the ISP to get the thing working. He bluffed his way through the "Windows" setup (he was running Linux) and even smoked up an "Error" message for the guys. They fiddled with the line, and the modem started working! Just as he was about to hang, he told them "HA HA, I was using Linux!". The "huh?" from the tech support guys before he hung up was priceless.

Who said the internet was getting boring?

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Isn't that Netlog?

Isn't that thing called Netlog after a name change some time ago?? aaah no, that was Facebox. Whatever, they're all the same crap to me.

Pre-Yahoo! Geocities was as close to a "virtual community" as it got, with all of those neighborhood concepts and such. Livejournal was doing the blogging stuff eons before those dudes in MySpace turned the thing into a freak show. And social "networks" were pioneered by hi5, for all I know. None of these appear in the social networking craze hype of these days.

In my opinion, social networking sites have grown too much, too annoying to be useful for anything anymore; even my friends have told me that hi5 was a "nice idea" but that it sucked when everyone else started to do the same.

Sad thing is that now even Youtube is jumping on the Social Networking bandwagon... now you don't just read other sad people's musings, you WATCH them musing on screen!

A US CERT reminder: The net is an insecure place

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Obviously, you haven't used mainframes: at least one System/360 developer told me that because of early implementations on the card-stack readers, there was no such thing as an EOF, so programmers used something like DATE=31/12/1999 as a placeholder for EOF. Programming passes on, and though nobody uses punched cards, the code for that management stuck on. Guess when they started getting problems...

Of course, OpenVMS, the VAXen and pretty much all UNIX systems use calendar systems unaffected by the Y2K "bug". But even then, sloppy programming did some hilarious stuff like making software show dates like 1/1/100 and such.

So finally, yes some stuff didn't break w/o patches, some did, most stuff got patched anyway. Just don't assume Y2K was all hype, some critical systems did have this problem.

Oh, and cookies are something that do need to be fixed, but that would have to be either going into full SSL on everything using sessions, or cooking up a new protocol, a stateful one unlike HTTP. ;)

Walkman completes Sony conspiracy to hammer iTunes

Daniel Ballado-Torres


@Kenny Millar:

"When I saw it's user interface and features, I said to myself why were Nokia, Sony, Motorola not doing this 10 years ago?"

Because there was no such thing as an "mp3" format 10 years ago! And cellphones were, well, cellphones. Even stuff like "digital cellphones", "SMS" and even "Caller ID" were either premiums or nonexistant. Back then I was using my Ericsson, which had 4 "ringtones": Low, Med, High, Mixed. The most high-tech phone I remember back then might be the StarTAC. Flash cards were 20 *megabyte* on the high-end. When were you born? The whole mp3 revolution started somewhere around mid-1998: I remember it clearly because it was when I also got my first laptop (well, my own laptop, that is) and found a use for the 3Gb HD bestowed on my Fujitsu Lifebook.

Fast forward to now, I am happy with my W300i (damn I look like a SE walking commercial!) which has an iPod-ish interface (on the music selection, that is; now that was true innovation on the iPod), I can dump lots of mp3 on it by using it as if it were a Flash drive, no weird software required. IIRC, Windows Media Player has some nifty "sync" feature that basically does the same that iTunes does, but with *any* removable device. (just don't use the transcoder, it changes everything to wma!)

Oh, and well, I've noticed lately that there are a hell of a lot SonyEriccson's out there, it looks like the W series has sucsessfully revived the Walkman brand. My own W300 seems to be as common as the old Nokia 5120, back in the day...

Dell's Linux sleight of hand

Daniel Ballado-Torres

It might be the name...

Maybe Dell thinks that, well, the average Joe would wonder what is that strange African nation doing in the OS options. Frankly, "Ubuntu" might sound nice in Africa, but it is a poor naming option for a worldwide distribution.

Kind of like Linus Torvalds originally naming his OS "Freax"... he changed it to "Linux" instead, and the name's catched on the media; even RedHat and SuSE have been able to do it. That said, Ubuntu does seem to be the most user-friendly distro out there, though I've been able to trick "mortal users" into using Fedora Core 6 without them realizing it isn't Windows. (The Firefox culture helps, so they don't find out that IE is missing at first.)

Dell laptop burns in China

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Ladies and Gentlemen...

I present you the Ford Pinto of the 21st Century: The DELL LAPTOP. Exploding on a desk near you!

Boffins develop quantum-computer building block

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Re: What is it with quantum computers?

As a cryptography-literate IT person, it is extremely relevant. A quantum computer would be able to render *all* RSA-like cyphers breakable. That's something you may know as Public-Key Cryptography. If not, maybe as SSL, or those neat https:// sites, they all use PKI. If quantum computing (REAL QC, I mean) becomes a reality, kiss all your current security goodbye.

This is more credible than the D-Wave claim on a "quantum computer" that is really slower than a common one. And it is theoretically appliable to FTL communications! ;) Though personally, I'd go for the FTL comms and not have Quantum Computing ... losing any useable crypto forever is a spooky enough idea to give me nightmares. Oh yeah, there is Quantum Crypto but that has a huge price tag with it, *and* it only works between two *physical* links.

Quantum Computing == DOOM for the Internet as an e-business place.

Virgin rocket-ship terminal revealed

Daniel Ballado-Torres

New Mexico...

Are they planning on putting this spaceport anywhere near Rosswell?? Might even name it Area 52 ;)

IronKey 1GB secure USB Flash drive

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Hardcore Crypto?

Unlike some "secure" memories I've seen, this one actually looks like a good thing. Too bad it is only sold in the USA ... and might stay that way because of their export restrictions; so either we get a crippled version, or nothing at all.

Better gadget battery-level readouts in pipeline

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Battery memory

Hm... at least my HP Pavilion laptop battery suffered from the same evil, my solution was to use Linux, as Windows Power management would insist on shutting down at 5% no matter what I put on the settings. Which sucked when the battery started to die on me: I had about half an hour of actual charge, but XP insisted on hibernating.

Of course, now that charge is in the order of 10 minutes ... or less. APIC shows me only two values: 100% or 0%.

iPhone tops smartphone market

Daniel Ballado-Torres


"smartphones have a distinct baseband CPU to deal with the cellphone network, and another CPU - the application processor - running the OS and applications."

Nope. Symbian OS can run both stuff on the same chip, and its the advantage this OS has :)

That said, if the iPhone is a smartphone, then my SonyEriccson W300i is an über-smartphone. Why? Because I can *develop* *actual* *applications* on it. Even if it is Java MIDP.

I do think Java might count as a programmable API; it gives me access to almost everything in the phone, even Bluetooth, OBEX, GPRS/CSD and some other nifty features I haven't tested yet.

HTML/Javascript, on the other hand, is not a *real* programming language. Guess who's stuck without a (publicly accessible) programmable API. Symbian has an open standards API for development, and hell, even Micro$oft has a fairly decent API on Windows Mobile.

A smartphone's advantage over "featurephones" and "dumbphones" are business-oriented applications that *gasp* actually aid you to do your job. I doubt video and mp3 playback counts as a "productivity increasing" task...

I wonder how would these stats look like if they segregate corporate buyers from personal buyers. I'd bet most of those "smartphone sales" were to individuals ...

Texas Instruments stands out with 3D TV

Daniel Ballado-Torres

3D Imax

@Gersam: The main thing I find disappointing about IMAX is that it is mostly utter crap that gets to show on IMAX. African documentaries? Mexican documentaries? If I want to watch a documentary, I'll watch the BBC. Only two of these really took advantage on the IMAX: one about the Space Station, and another one about F1 racing. (Watching an F1 car gunning 300+ km/h on first-person view in 3D really, really takes the cake).

Still, the best examples I've seen on 3D usually involve the red/green glasses, and they do look like true 3D. Though this invention looks like it would do a Pokemon on people (read: seizures from excessive flickering).

Am I the only one noticing that the proposed 3DTV runs at exactly the double of the normal US frequency? (60Hz*2)

Venezuela plans crackdown on bloody silly names

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Might as well ban badly written names as well

Damn, good thing that is, I wish we had some similar law. Even worse when the names are badly written: Wuendy, Jhonatan, Selina (with an i instead of e), or some other aberrations.

Not to mention some based on ugly unknown saints: Telesforo, Crisoforo, Crisostomo; and well some parents that must hate their children, like one of my mom's former colleagues that was called "Don Juan". Yes, "Don" was part of his name. Ouch.

Note to future parents: Do *not* use soap-opera names for your children, especially if the name's too corny; and more even if it is a foreign name prone to jokes. Example: "Dennis" is a standard male name in English, but not in Spanish, where the "Denisse" name is more common. Guess what happens when someone's called Dennis...

NBC to Apple: 'You're fired!'

Daniel Ballado-Torres

I am not affected by this.

I would say that I'd side on Apple on this one, because US$2 is already TOO MUCH for my liking, and anything above that is just stupid.

But, alas, I am not able to buy from iTunes. Not supported in my country. Why the hell would anybody open up a "global store" and then bar the "global" part of the store?? This only makes sense in stuff like PayPal, where I am able to withdraw money into a domestic account, thus requiring the banking infrastructure for that. Buying with a CC is international.

That said, I also think that 99 cents USD is too high for a song, especially because it is DRM'd. Allofmp3 nabbed the perfect pricing scheme, at least for the Mexican average salary (about 500 USD/month) and low enough to qualify in my book as "casual spending". iTunes is basically 1-1 on the actual release.

NIN Year Zero: 18 bucks.

iTunes Year Zero, 16 tracks @ 99 cents: 16 bucks.

theoretical Allofmp3 Year Zero: 1.50 (or something like that)

Your standard "pirated" 300 MP3 CD sold in Mexico City's Metro: 10 MXN (about 80 US cents)

so allofmp3 was the only one that was actually competitive on those terms. Even if I don't agree on the iTunes overpricing, I disagree even more on studios trying to up even MORE the outrageous pricing.

Wii named fastest-selling console in UK history

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Games, games, games ...

It doesn't matter how much überspecs the box has, the games are what ultimately lead the battle. The N64 went down in flames because Nintendo was stubborn on using cartridges, which alienated the big players; and because of a feud with SquareSoft, Final Fantasy 7 was made for the PlayStation instead.

Cue gamers buying PSX en masse.

Though it wasn't only Squaresoft; Capcom, SNK, Konami and others released their games on the Playstation, ensuring that the console would cover a lot of the gaming market. Even when I just don't dig the Final Fanasy games, well, I did get the Resident Evil series, Metal Gear Solid and others. And for a lower price than N64 games, too. Also, as someone else remarked, some of these games were not even "bleeding-edge graphics": FF7 was impressive for its FMV's, but the game itself used pre-rendered shots, similar to Resident Evil. Xenogears used sprites that looked like Playmobile toys for the characters! Castlevania SOTN was basically a souped-up side-scroller reminiscent of the SNES Super Metroid; the list goes on and on.

While I root for the PS3, I have to admit that the Wii Dragonball Z fighting game was much more friendly to use than *any* fighting game: I no longer have to learn awkard movements (double backwards circle, while pressing 6 buttons with both hands and my nose). For the first time in 15 YEARS I was able to 0wn most of my opponents, who rely on controller movements dating "that fighter game" so popular in the early-90's... you know, the one about street fighting? ;)

Aussie scam artist rides bank computer glitch to $9m overdraft

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Isn't that Spanish? ;)

IIRC, banks that SNAFU on deposits, for example, later "correct" the situation by disappearing the offending transaction. In case you have withdrawn the money, then you would automatically would be incurring in an overdraft. Which is not the same as stealing, though...

Yahoo! battered by second ActiveX vulnerability

Daniel Ballado-Torres


Yahoo! doesn't! learn!

Lesson! is! stop! using! activeX!

eBay hard drive spills out governor's campaign documents

Daniel Ballado-Torres


An IT bloke that doesn't know about PGP? Sheesh, 60 bucks and you get full HD crypto. Or go for the free version and wipe the stuff.

Hell, even badblocks has the "aggressive pattern check" that basically does a datawipe on the thing! There's no excuse on this blooper, not even "my wife sold my sooper sekrit harddrive".

Of course, you can wipe data the hard way: lotsa magnets, rubber mallets or a hammer. Do it the BOFH way ;)

Gear6 satiates hungry apps with 500GB RAM monster

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Nice but...

Have they thought about a small thing: blackouts.

If RAM loses power, all your data goes poof. NAND Flash memories and such at least have some kind of persistence, RAM doesn't. Ow.

Thieves swipe biker's prosthetic hand

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Arm Robbers

Are these thieves the same ones from Nigeria? You know, those "Arm Robbers" that left my friend without money and with diminished English skills in Lagos?

Wii tops US July console sales chart

Daniel Ballado-Torres


... that the PSP isn't exactly a best-seller, but it still kicks Xbox's arse, which means Xbox360 is definitely losing ground, as the PS3 has jumped up since the price cut. Plus, the really good games are to be released this Christmas season, so a possible surge on PS3 sales isn't too far fetched. Though I do think the Wii will still be "the king", as it outnumbers for much both PS3's and Xboxen.

As for me, I'll buy the PS3 ... when MGS4 comes out. No need to buy a console w/o games I'd play right now...

AT&T turns screws on iPhone unlocker

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Time Zones

Maybe AT&T called at "work hours", forgetting the UK is +5/+7 hours ahead of their local time? I wouldn't be the least surprised, the US thinks the world turns around them and everyone should do things "the American way". (Oh, and they took an entire continent's name as their country's "name" but that is another gripe for another day).

Anyway, somehow I doubt AT&T would care about a UK firm unlocking iPhones; too far away and useless as they don't serve mobile comms in the UK. ;)

Yahoo! Unveils! New! Mail! Service!

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Not really gmail wannabe

Actually, IIRC Yahoo mail was the first one to offer something over 5 Mb; the inbox was 100 Mb around the time Gmail announced its 1Gb. This was on the time Hotmail insisted on keeping measly 2Mb, and most free services were around that limit.

Hotmail, by the way, alienated U.S. users by only upping them to 250, and non-USA users even more by NOT giving them anything at all, remaining with 2Mb. By the time they pulled their heads off their asses, most had switched to Gmail. Hotmail's now 5Gb, but most people still with Hotmail accounts only use it for MSN Messenger.

And Yahoo! well... I don't even have that much of a contactlist there ...

BioShockers delivered from DRM hell

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Half-Life 2, anybody?

At least these dudes are going to supply a "removing tool" for licensing. I remember reading somewhere that a dad was pi**ed off b/c his kid installed HL2 on his brother's machine, but couldn't install it later on his own machine, *even if the damned game was uninstalled on the other one*. Sierra basically told them "you're screwed".

That's the main reason I have not bought that game.

Broadband over power turns on both sides of the Atlantic

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Mains Broadband

Ever since this Power Line Controller stuff started springing up, I've been tempted to do a BOFH and ask people to "test" PLC capabilities with the traditional etherkiller:


Now that Ethernet-over-mains is technically possible, at least someone might fall for it.

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Mains Broadband

Ever since this Power Line Controller stuff started springing up, I've been tempted to do a BOFH and ask people to "test" PLC capabilities with the traditional etherkiller:


Now that Ethernet-over-mains is technically possible, at least someone might fall for it.

Teen sticks Xbox 360 power supply in bowl of water

Daniel Ballado-Torres


"We all knew that you should never use electrical weapons whilst swimming, unless you also had a handy pentagram."

If you had 10 cells remaining, you could safely use the Lightning Gun, with 100 health and no pentagram. ;)

Even though pure water is not conductive, tap water and such has some concentration of salts that are highly conductive; that is why we have the notion of water being conductive. I wonder what kind of "tips" did the teen find to dip a *connected* PSU in water (bags aren't that watertight).

I'd prefer going for Liquid Nitrogen. Now THAT'S some liquid cooling!!!

Channel 4 cans Celebrity Big Brother

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Its the 'C' in CBB

The _original_ idea of BB was to see a dozen of lonely souls interact when locked in a confined area, while being watched 24/7. It was watching 'dudes like us', basically.

Put in Celebrities, and you just struck out the 'dudes like us' statement. The Mexican equivalent to CBB (Big Brother VIP) was basically the reason the whole thing went down in flames. Fortunately, it seems that Mexican TV has (as always) overexploited the "reality show" format that the whole genre is going down. Thank God for bad management...

Sun boots workstation roots in favor of JAVA ticker

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Re: Guilt by association

Want bad code? Look at Visual Basic. *That's* bad. Java / J2EE is much, much better on that, in fact so good that good ole Billy Gates copied it over and branded it as .net, which is j2ee for retards.

As for Sun changing its ticker ... sad. As much as they are defined a lot by Java, SUNW looks better for a ticker. :(

Broadbandit nabbed in Wi-Fi bust

Daniel Ballado-Torres

Wi-Fi 0wnage @ Black Hat

... and that's the main reason I have switched to https://gmail.com since reading that article. Mind you, I already have taken measures to avoid someone tapping on my wi-fi; not only 128-bit WEP, but also using an SSH tunnel and pumping all my http(s) traffic through that tunnel (that goes to my squid proxy on the other end).

Except my https://gmail.com practice applies to even my wired access too. Wi-Fi may be the easiest way to leak information, but there is a reason we use SSL for anything involving money...

Sun slots transactional memory into Rock

Daniel Ballado-Torres


If you don't roll back the registers, you could have weird stuff happening with the rolled back code, as it may be dependent on the values such registers had when execution started. If you've played with assembly, you know what I'm talking about ;)

That chef analogy got me laughing. I just imagined: "Waiter, the chef rolled back my soup. It's cold!"

Pirated Simpsons movie traced to phone

Daniel Ballado-Torres

40 minute adverts?

Holy cow, where does this happen?? I need to know so I never ever go there! Over here it is about 15 minutes on adverts, tops. Fortunately, some of the best movies I can watch without annoying brats, as the Mexican rating system has no equivalent to the US "R" (which is "over 17" but allows under-17ers if they go with their parents). So any "C"-rated movie (18+) will have no steenkin' brats.

Plus, we also have something like the "Gold Class" stuff someone mentioned: "VIP screens" or something like that, though that would be about MXN 75 (about US$7) instead of my usual US$4 on regular screens. Most screens are really comfortable over here; my only complaint would be the farkin extortionate prices for any snack in the cinema.

As for home-vs-cinema, I prefer cinema, watching movies in crappy TV formats just doesn't cut it for me. Then again, I have a cineplex with VIP screens and IMAX facilites within walking distance... aahh the benefit of living in Mexico City ;)

As for comparing movie piracy to land theft, well, that doesn't even equate morally. Theft *deprives* someone while someone else gains/profits from the action. Movie piracy doesn't deprive anyone, and (at least over here) doesn't diminish sales, as freeloaders or pirate movie buyers can't dosh out the money to legally buy DVD's anyway.

Then again, maybe local culture helps, as someone buying "original stuff" is usually mocked upon for wasting money on something they can buy for much less or download for free.