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Monday, August 2, 2010

Where I Stood (Pocketburgers edit) by Missy Higgins

Where I Stood (Pocketburgers edit) by Missy Higgins

55 Ways to Be the Parking Lot Jerk

Anybody who's ever driven has experienced the parking-lot asshole. He's the guy who parks his $40,000 car like it cost him $4,000,000. He's the guy who rams his Dodge Neon into the 5 feet of space left to the side of your well-parked car. Everyone hates a parking-lot asshole, and these are 55 examples of just how bad they can get.

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1988-89 Detroit Pistons are the most hated team in NBA history


The Germans call it schadenfreude, it means "pleasure derived from others' misfortunes" and outside of your favorite team or player winning something, it's one of the best things about being a fan. Sure, it's kind of silly to actively root against someone or something, but it's also irresistable. Hating other teams is a natural and occasionally fulfilling part of sports.

Some teams are hated more than others. Some teams just get so far under everyone's skin that they become the team everyone loves to hate, driving away casual fans in droves. Eventually, only the team's die-hards remain, leaving them to fight an us-against-the-world battle for respect. And according to Sports Illustrated, one NBA team in the 60 year history of the league stands head and shoulders above all other basketball teams — the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons.

Between the joy of Magic and the majesty of Michael was the dark and frightening rise of the Bad Boys. They threw hip checks like the Red Wings and were as mean as any boxer in Kronk Gym. Outside the state of Michigan, you wanted these guys in handcuffs. Never has an NBA team been so easy to detest, what with Rick Mahorn throwing forearms, Dennis Rodman elbows and Bill Laimbeer fits. (Somewhere, Laimbeer is probably still whining to the refs). Worst thing about them? They were a great basketball team. For all their roughhousing, the Pistons could light up the scoreboard with anyone -- Isiah Thomas flashing that sneaky grin as he beat you off the dribble, Joe Dumars locking up opponents and knocking down threes, Vinnie (Microwave) Johnson throwing in jumpers from everywhere. Fact is, the Pistons helped end two dynasties (Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics) and delayed the start of a third (Michael Jordan's Bulls). They were bullies in basketball togs, but they could play.

Gross. Get out of here, Detroit Pistons, with your punching, kneeing and general jerkishness. Congratulations on your championship, but you are a very annoying team that people only like when they are trying to illustrate how soft today's NBA is. P.S. Your shorts are way too short and your star point guard eventually became a terrible general manager. Burn.

The Pistons finished second overall on SI's list, besting the 1993-94 New York Knicks who came in 7th. Also included are the 2000-01 Trailblazers (21) and this coming season's iteration of the Miami Heat (25), which might climb a few notches in the next year. The 2004 men's Olympic team also cracked the list (20), which isn't surprising considering that team featured both Allen Iverson(notes) and Stephon Marbury(notes).

All things considered, I'd say Sports Illustrated made a fine choice for the most hated team in NBA history. It's hard to argue against a team that everyone but Detroit fans hated. However, I'd dock them a few points since people look back fondly on their rugged defense and team attitude. Personally, I'd vote for those 93-94 Knicks who were wholly unpleasant. From their sweaty superstar to their black shoes and white socks look, everything about that team was no fun. Well, the fact that they had a guy named "Herb" was pretty cool for a 10-year-old, but other than that, nothing.

Hacker snoops on GSM cell phones in demo

Intercepts mobile-phone data on the GSM networks used by AT&T and T-Mobile

By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

Despite concerns that federal authorities might fine or arrest him, hacker Chris Paget went ahead with a live demonstration of mobile phone interception at the Defcon hacking conference Saturday.

Using several thousand dollars worth of equipment, Paget was able to intercept mobile-phone data on the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks used by AT&T and T-Mobile. He did this using a home-made system he calls an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher.

Within minutes of activating his IMSI catcher in test mode, Paget had 30 phones connected to the system. Then, with a few keystrokes, he quickly configured the device to spoof an AT&T cell tower.

"As far as your cell phones are concerned I am now indistinguishable from AT&T," he said. He predicted that every AT&T device in the room would connect to his tower, within the next half hour.

Cell phone interception is illegal in the U.S. And while the U.S. Federal Communications Commission had raised questions about his talk, Paget believes that his demonstration was legal because his device was operating in the 900MHz band used by Ham radio devices. Coincidentally, that 900MHz band is used by GSM devices in Europe "As far as your cell pones are concerned I am a European radio transmitter."

Not all GSM devices will connect to Paget's IMSI catcher, however. Quad band phones will connect, but U.S. phones that do not support this 900MHz band will not, he said.

By the end of the demo, Paget actually had fewer phones connected to the network -- just 17 -- something he was at a loss to explain. He said that it was possible that he had mistyped the AT&T network ID and that phones were rejecting his system because of the typo.

Android and iPhone systems would connect, however, he said. "In my experience it's generally the iPhones that connect most easily," he said. "It's actually been the bane of my existence trying to keep the damned iPhones away."

People connected to Paget's system would get a warning message, but they could dial out as normal, but anyone trying to call them would go straight to voicemail.

Paget didn't record or play back any calls, but he could have. His IMSI catcher can get around cell phone encryption by simply telling the connecting phones to drop encryption. "If I decide not to enable encryption I just disable it," he said. "It's that simple."

Earlier this week, it wasn't clear that Paget's talk would go ahead. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) got in touch with Paget Friday morning to express concern and inform him of relevant federal regulations, he said.

The agency raised concerns that Paget's device might transmit over licensed frequencies and that he might unlawfully intercept mobile-phone calls.

On Friday, FCC spokesman Eric Bash said the agency doesn't comment on the legality of specific matters until it fully investigates and takes enforcement action.

(Nancy Gohring in Seattle contributed to this report.)

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is

Slow Motion Destruction

Slow Motion Destruction - Watch more Funny Videos

360 Panorama does instant, awesome panoramas

by Josh Lowensohn

Shooting panoramic photos with a mobile phone can be difficult. Often it requires doing all the work in a software app when you get back from wherever you are, as well as trying to make sure that the phone's camera does not change its white balance or exposure between shots.

Occipital, the creators of the popular RedLaser scanning app (which wassold to eBay last month) have a new iPhone app debuting on Friday called 360 Panorama, which is attempting to change that. For $2.99, users can simply move their phone from left to right to capture a photo panorama. The end result is a single, panoramic photo that requires zero post-processing.

360 Panorama app

To use the app, users just hold their iPhone and move from side to side, capturing the area around them.

(Credit: Screenshots by Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

Behind the scenes the app is actually using the iPhone's video camera, which means that users will need a 3GS or the newer iPhone 4 to use it. The app also takes advantage of the iPhone 4's gyroscope hardware to help judge how quickly you're rotating, so it can figure out what needs to be captured and where you've already been. As it records imagery, it stitches together an image based on your movement, which you can see and track to make any angle corrections. Some modern day point and shoot cameras like Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-W370 are able to do the same thing, though with a larger end result.

Size and distortions are ultimately the two things that limit this app from being as useful as proper photo stitching software. The images it spits out are quite small when compared with the still shots your camera takes. You can see this in the two sample photos I've embedded below (click on each to see it in full size):

A panorama of downtown SF.

A demo shot taken in downtown San Francisco. Normally this would take several shots, but 360 Panorama is able to capture it all at once.

(Credit: Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

And a full 360 of an interior:

A 360 panoramic.

A 360 degree shot taken from inside CNET. (click to see in its original size)

(Credit: Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
The larger problem is the distortion, which Occipital co-founder Vikas Reddy told me is made worse in indoor situations. His team is working on ways to make it better in a future release, but in the meantime shooting outdoors provides for a much smoother and less jaggy experience. Being in the urban jungle of downtown San Francisco, I wasn't able to fully test how well it would work on something like rolling hills or a forest, but as you can see from the shots above it does a fine job until you hit perfectly straight lines where the software is forced to make a stitch by guesswork.

These issues aside, 360 Panorama is an incredibly neat, and genuinely useful app. It may have no business taking over the job of a good crisp, and low distortion still image, but if you want to quickly capture an incredible amount of detail of the world around you, it's tough to beat.

If you want to see how it works while using it, you can see it in the company's demo video below:

iPhone users can also check out OutmanTech's Video Panorama app ($1.99) and Boinx's You Gotta See This ($1.99), both of which work with the same basic principle.

Stem cells grow replacement joints in rabbits

Rabbits were able to regrow a leg joint using their own stem cells, say scientists exploring the cells' potential to replace artificial joints in human patients.

Researchers removed the forelimb thigh joint from 10 rabbits and then coaxed the animals' stem cells to regenerate the bone and cartilage .

It’s the first time an entire joint surface has been regenerated with return of functions including weight bearing and locomotion, said study author Professor Jeremy Mao of Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

The experiment is described in Thursday's online issue of the journal The Lancet.

For the study, Mao and his colleagues removed the limbs from 10 rabbits that then received an artificial limb-shaped skeleton soaked in growth factors to attract bone and cartilage stem cells.

Another 10 rabbits received the limb implant without the growth factor, known as growth factor beta-3, but they were not able to move as well as the animals in the first group, the researchers reported.

Three other rabbits whose joints were surgically damaged and not repaired had a permanent limp.

The findings represent a proof of principle for patients who need a knee, shoulder, hip or knee joint regenerated, the researchers said, noting that scientific and regulatory issues remain.

Bioreactor 'renaissance'

Human patients may also have other conditions and medications that could affect the regeneration of their joints, which the animal models did not face.

Since humans use two legs rather than four like rabbits, people might need to be on bed rest for longer periods than the animals.

In a journal editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Patrick Warnke, a stem cell researcher and plastic surgeon at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia, described the work as "a renaissance of use of the host as a bioreactor."

But he added not all patients would be able to regenerate tissues the same way, such as elderly people with diabetes who might benefit from standard metal joint replacement.

The recovery period of immobility while the joint regenerates would also be risky, Warnke said.

Warnke suggested cultivating the joint replacement inside a patient's muscle joint and then transplanting it to where needed to reduce regeneration time.

Metal joints last about 10 to 15 years. Demand for replacement joints is expected to grow as the population ages.

The study was funded by New York State Stem Cell Science and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

90 Kills in 90 Minutes

Saw director reveals the gruesome details of his latest screenplay.

July 30, 2010

Not much has been said about Darren Lynn Bousman's latest bloodfest 90, but the famed Saw director has recently revealed some of the film's splattering details.

According to, the premise is pretty basic: 90 kills in 90 minutes. The movie isn't in real time, but the story follows a wrongfully convicted man who has spent some time in prison. Upon his release, he decides to get his revenge on the hotshot detective who put him behind bars, but instead of killing the man himself, he goes on a bloody rampage by killing one person for each of the detective's convictions.

To keep track of the 90 kills, the murderer is said to acquire a tally counter that he'll use to click in every man he downs. There will have to be some mass kills to accommodate the movie's brief running time, but Bousman assures that there'll be plenty of one-on-ones to keep you satisfied too.

Unfortunately for now, 90 remains just a script, but Bousman plans for a 3D presentation if and when the film moves into production.

iPhone 4 Jailbreak with JailbreakMe 2.0 [How To]


The anticipated iPhone 4 jailbreak has been released as JailbreakMe 2.0. The wait is finally over and iPhone 4 can be jailbroken on iOS 4.0 or iOS 4.0.1. JailbreakMe is actually all in one solution for iPhone 4 3GS 3GS and iPod Touch 3G 2G along with iPad. Any iPhone on 4.0 or 4.0.1 iOS can be jailbroken using JailbreakMe 2.0. Any iPod Touch 4.0 can be jailbroken untethered irrespective of MC Models while iPad 3.2.1 jailbreak is also possible.

iPhone4 Jailbreakme iPhone 4 Jailbreak with JailbreakMe 2.0 [How To]Caution: It is recommended to synchronize and backup your data using iTunes before employing JailbreakMe 2.0. After you have successfully executed JailbreakMe 2.0, you should save SHSH Blobs to avoid future loss in case you update to a new firmware.

The following tutorial will aid you to carry out iPhone 4 Jailbreak with JailbreakMe 2.0.

Function 1: There are two possible firmware that are installed on iPhone 4 either iOS4 or iOS 4.0.1. JailbreakMe 2.0s both iOS4 and iOS 4.0.1.

Function 2: Visit on your iPhone 4.

Function 3: Follow the instructions on website for iPhone 4 Jailbreak.

Function 4: Let JailbreakMe 2.0 do the assigned duty and wait till it flaunts a message of Success.

Function 5: Gosh! You have a jailbroken iPhone 4 running on iOS4 or iOS 4.0.1.

For Unlockers: Bear in mind that JailbreakMe 2.0 is not an unlock for iPhone 4 rather it is iPhone 4 Jailbreak. To unlock iPhone 4 on 4.0 or 4.0.1 iOS, ultrasn0w 0.94 will be out.

If you are a 3GS user, you can follow the guide Jailbreak iPhone 3GS 4.0 while iPod Touch users should abide by this Jailbreak iPod Touch 4.0. Besides, the guide Jailbreak iPad 3.2.1 is also up.

iOS4 Download

iOS 4.0.1 Download

Update: The issues regarding FaceTime and MMS have been Fixed.

Yellow lobster caught in Bay, one in 30 million

By: Peter Lord

Journal photo / Ruben W. Perez

Denny Ingram shows off a yellow lobster he caught last week in Narragansett Bay.

When Denny Ingram hauled one of his lobster pots in Narragansett Bay's East Passage last week, he found one lobster unlike any he had ever seen. It was golden on top and bright yellow on the sides.

"I thought, holy cow, this is unusual. And no one else around here has ever seen anything like it either," said Ingram.

Yellow lobsters are rare, but not unheard of. When one was brought ashore in Massachusetts last year, several experts said its coloration came from a gene carried by both parents that occurs in about one in 30 million lobsters.

The same figure was cited when a yellow lobster was brought ashore in Maine in 2006.

Slightly more common are blue lobsters. The Audubon Education Center in Bristol has one in its tidal pool that was caught in Narragansett Bay. It replaces another blue lobster that was caught in the Bay in 2003.

"The first blue lobster got too big - about a pound and three quarters - so we released it back into the Bay," said Anne Dimonti, director of the center. "Now we're on our second one and its doing wonderfully."

She said she did some research on lobsters with unusual colors and found estimates varied widely. For blue lobsters, she said estimates ranged from one in a million to one in 20 million. She thinks one in 4 million seemed to be the most cited figure.

"Being born a blue lobster is not so rare; what's rare is surviving into adulthood as a blue lobster," Dimonti said. "When you're a bright blue baby lobster walking around on the ocean bottom, somebody is going to pick you off very quickly."

Lobster shells are colored with blue, yellow and red pigments, so genetic variations are expected.

These have been stressful times for local lobstermen. Shell disease is damaging large percentages of their catch. Prices are down. Expenses are up. And recently biologists for a regional regulatory agency recommended a five year moratorium on lobster fishing because they said lobster populations were in trouble.

Lobstermen insisted their catches are fine. The agency postponed any action and ordered further studies.

Ingram plans to keep his unusual lobster on display at the fishermen's co-op at the State Pier in Newport, where 22 shellfishermen sell their catches of lobsters and crabs to the public. Its hours are 1 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

The lobster is about a pound and a quarter, he said.

"A perfect little male."

Later, he expects to donate it to an aquarium.

Dimonti said lobsters are so territorial the yellow lobster would fight with the blue one if it was added to the Audubon Society's tidal pool. She said some bigger aquariums might have room for such an unusual animal.

Snooki from 'Jersey Shore' hits cops with expletive-filled rant during her arrest

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi gave Seaside Heights cops a piece of her mind.
Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi gave Seaside Heights cops a piece of her mind.

Snooki is her own No. 1 fan.

"Jersey Shore" star Nicole (Snooki) Polizzi reckons Seaside Heights residents should feel lucky to have her parading around their turf wearing skimpy outfits, downing shots and causing a scene.

"I'm the best thing in this town," she arrogantly declared after cops busted her for being a drunk nuisance Friday, according to an insider.

"She was bad-mouthing everyone who walked by her [in the police stationhouse]. She was saying 'I'm a star, you can't do this to me.'"

Snooki unleashed a boozed-up, expletive-filled rant after being arrested for disorderly conduct, and attempted to use her new-found fame as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card.

"You can't tell me what to do - I'm Snooki," she yelled at officers, according to witnesses. "Do you know who I am? I'm f------ Snooki. You can't do this to me. I'm f------ Snooki. You guys are going to be sorry for this. Release me!"

Not surprisingly, her harsh language didn't do the trick.

The pint-sized reality TV star was hauled away from the Jersey shore boardwalk in cuffs Friday as her oversized shades slid down her nose. A photo of her looking dishevelled with mascara running down her face while in custody also surfaced yesterday, as locals took stock of her unruly behavior and lashed out at the reality show cast.

"It's embarrassing," said Peter Smith, 39. "I've seen them every day and night for the last two weeks, and they've been terrible. They were even trying to charge $100 to have a photo with them the other night."

"They've no class," said John Ciallella, 54. "As an Italian-American, it's offensive. I guess it's drumming business up, but is it the kind of business we want here?"

Saturday night, Snooki headed to a sex toy store with new cast member Dina Nicole. Inside the Love Shack - which sells adult videos and DVDs, candles, oils, adult novelties and sexy lingerie - Snooki and Nicole giggled and playfully spanked each other with some of the items before leaving with X-rated popsicles.

"They were very, very nice," a clerk who identified herself as Brandie said. "They bought a lot of stuff."

"They were all-American girls," said Kim, another clerk, adding that the pair was accompanied by a security guard who looked like A-Rod.

On Friday, Snooki had been boozing with pals in bars along the beach and was spotted drinking tequila shots and Long Island iced teas by lunchtime.

Wearing a red and black T-shirt with the word "SLUT" across the chest, she fell off a bicycle, crawled drunkenly on the beach and tried to shove a man showering by the boardwalk before she was arrested.

She headed back to the boardwalk Saturday night, cutting to the front of the line to get on an amusement ride.

People waiting in line yelled "Hurry up, Snooki! Hurry up!" as an MTV camera crew filmed it all.