Posted by Deliverator on 30th August 2006
I don’t often wax on things political on this blog, but was feeling particularly pissed off today. Why? There are many things about Bush’s administration that piss me off, but today really had me boiling. President Bush has shifted the rational and rhetoric for why we went to war against Iraq and our continued presence there once again. It has gone from WMDs to regime change to spreading freedom dust…etc. Whenever the target/rational changes, the administration hits the media with a new set of talking points. I’ve had a hard enough time buying the war in Iraq as part of the war on terror, but now Bush and company has rolled out a new set of talking points couching the war in Iraq as a fight against FASCISM and anyone who is against the war as being similar to those who appeased the Nazis. Thats right, Bush has pulled out the Hitler card. If Godwin’s Law isn’t applicable here, I don’t know where it should apply.
I am the grandson of two veterans of WWII. I am proud of the willingness of my grandfathers to serve their country and recognize what they suffered to fight real fascists. I cannot recall a time in which I have been more offended by the purposeful rhetoric of a political figure. Labelling the war in Iraq as a war against fascism is a horrifically bad analogy, not least of which because many people internationally are comparing OUR actions to those of the fascist powers of WWII. Most shameful, in my mind is that this “rebranding” seems to be timed to coincide with the midterm elections as a way to cast anyone who is against the current war (or at least the absolutely innept way it has been run) as a NAZI APPEASER! WTF! I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past, but I can promise that any politician who decides to ape Bush’s fascism rhetoric will not be getting my vote. Bush’s administration seems more concerned with what they call the war than what they are doing about it and it is getting REALLY old.
Posted in General, Rants and Raves | 1 Comment »
Posted by Deliverator on 27th August 2006
I had dinner with my cousin Carolyn last week. Despite living only a few blocks from each other, I don’t see Carolyn that much, as she is pretty much always working or training. She was tappering off her usual grueling athletic routine a bit (only biking for 4 hours up a mountain pass), in preparation for doing an Ironman. In particular, she was preparing for Ironman Canada, which is being held today in Penticton, British Columbia. For those city dwellers who, like me, only run when being chased by an animal with big teeth (which isn’t often in the city), an Ironman is a kinda super-triathalon where participants swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and to top it all off run a 26.2 mile Marathon. Carolyn completed last year’s Ironman in 13 hours and 33 minutes. Thanks to the miracle of the interweb, you can track her progress here. Looks like she has already finished the swimming and biking and has improved slightly over last year’s time. Go Carolyn!
Carolyn finished her ironman today in 12:15:26, over an hour and a quarter faster than last year’s time. She talked about doing a lot more hill training on her bike, so that the biking didn’t drain her reserves like last year. The extra training really showed off in the Marathon section, where her time improved by over an hour. Way to go Carolyn!
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Posted by Deliverator on 1st August 2006
This evening, I picked my mother up at the airport. She had just been to visit my brother in Cleveland. While there, she picked up a couple more CVS video cameras for me. I love my mother! My excitement was a little tempered when I noticed a “new and improved” sticker on the front of the package. Supposedly, Puredigital is releasing a new version of the CVS camera that counters the new CronusKey unlock method, which has made virtually all Puredigital manufactured products software unlockable once again. I was afraid that my cameras were the new, impossible to unlock type. As it turns out, my fears were unfounded. Both were the recent, but still unlockable, model 230 version. I was able to determine the version by looking through the clear plastic at the bottom of the package. On the bottom of the camera, printed on a sticker is the model number. This may be helpful if you are trying to find a hackable camera still on store shelves, once the new ones hit the stores.
Once the deboxing was accomplished, a quick “nerve pinch” button combo determined that both cameras had the following fw info:
Realm ID = 20
PCB VER: DC-6910 A3
It is interesting to note that the CVS camera now has an internal clock. Could they intend to use the clock in future cryptographic schemes, or is it just present to date stamp the video? From what I know, there is one firmware revision for the model 230 cameras beyond the one on my two newly purchased units. This later firmware revision is also software unlockable using the CronusKey method, so not to worry. So far, if you get any model 230, it should be unlockable. Besides the clock, the new model 230 appears to have a couple other changes. The circuit board design is very different from my fw version 3.62 and 3.70 cameras. It appears to be using a new CPU, a ZORAN ZR36460BGCG Coach 8 processor and now mounts the imaging CCD directly to the board. Video is now encoded at 384×288, versus older models encoded video at true quarter VGA resolution, 320*240. All exterior similarities aside, this is a very different piece of hardware inside the box.
However, Ops .19 when used in conjunction with CronusKey version 1.3 to find the correct challenge/response keypair, will still unlock the camera and perform basic functions like download videos. I haven’t tried messing around with any camera parameters just yet. With the camera’s higher default resolution, I am very curious about playing around with the resolution/bitrate settings to see what quality of video the CCD is really capable of outputting. Anyways, go out and have some mischievous fun with these wonderful little $30 video cameras.
Posted in General, Portable Computing/Gadgets, Tech Stuff | 31 Comments »