Friday, January 30, 2009

Road traffic signs hacked - Zombies ahead!

It happened near University of Texas in Austin, USA:
caution zombies ahead
nazi run
the end is near
run for cold climates

The Texas Department of Transportation isn't laughing at the ghoulish warning that appeared on an Austin traffic sign.

Someone altered the digital sign to warn drivers to "run" from the "zombies ahead."

"The end is near!!!!!!!!!" the sign exclaimed. "Caution! Zombies ahead!!!"

"Run for cold climates," the sign instructed motorists.

While some people found it funny, TxDOT says the signs are there to display traffic information.

The department is now trying to figure out who hacked into its digital road sign system.

A quick update on our Monday report about the zombie invasion of Austin: over at the Austin American-Statesman, reporter Katie Petroski is investigating the Nazi zombie invasion story (complete with photos from this blog):

Sign hacker broadcasts zombie warnings

By Katie Petroski | Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 04:10 PM

Someone reprogrammed two city construction road signs near the University of Texas early Monday morning in an attempt to warn Austin of an imminent zombie attack.

Messages that typically alert Lamar Boulevard drivers to a detour for Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard splashed several warnings like “Caution! Zombies Ahead!” and “Nazi Zombies! Run!!!”

As he drove south on Lamar, traffic controller Bruce Jones saw the first sign flash the Nazi zombies message at 6 a.m. and wheeled his truck around for another look. Then he said he noticed that the second sign, directed at northbound drivers, had also been tampered with.

Jones, who has one of only two keys to the locked access panels on the portable signs, said that the hacker broke into the panels on each sign and bypassed the passwords before leaving five different zombie messages and even changing one of the passwords. Jones said he had to wait until 8 a.m. to call the manufacturing company to figure out how to override the hacker’s work. He speculated that the hacker could be a computer genius from UT.

The biggest safety hazard came from drivers slowing down or stopping their car to take pictures, Jones said.

The hacking occurred within weeks of various articles appearing online with descriptions of how to hack into these road signs — which point out that such an act is illegal.

Dennis Crabill, project manager with the Public Works Department, said the access panels are always locked and are not programmed with the default passwords these sites suggest. Short of having a watchman on duty around the clock, he said there is little more the city can do to prevent such vandalism.

“It’s a pretty childish prank,” he said.

Crabill said he is optimistic that MLK Boulevard will be open to two-way traffic again by this weekend, and the detour will no longer be necessary.

No zombies have been seen in the area, and with any luck, Tuesday night’s cold front killed off any undead with ghoulish plans to invade the city.

This story appears to have inspired (re)publication of a bunch of how-to stories, like this one, in case you know of another strategically located sign that needs to be put to proper use...

How many times have you driven by an electronic road sign like one of these?

This is the ADDCO portable sign. Today, you see what is on the inside, and how they are programmed to display important information.


1. The access panel on the sign is generally protected by a small lock, but often are left unprotected. Upon opening the access panel you can see the display electronics.


2. The black control pad is attached by a curly cord, with a keyboard on the face.

3. Programming is as simple as scrolling down the menu selection to “Instant Text”. Type whatever you want to display, Hit Enter to submit. You can now either throw it up on the sign by selecting “Run w/out save” or you can add more pages to it by selecting “Add page”

Austin infects Austen with zombieism?
Be warned, people! The streets of Austin are not the only places you must be on guard lest shambling undead corpses attempt to devour your brains. Now comes word that not even proper British comedy-of-manners novels are safe havens:

Jones, who has one of only two keys to the locked access panels on the portable signs, said that the hacker broke into the panels on each sign and bypassed the passwords before leaving five different zombie messages and even changing one of the passwords. Jones said he had to wait until 8 a.m. to call the manufacturing company to figure out how to override the hacker's work. He speculated that the hacker could be a computer genius from UT. The biggest safety hazard came from drivers slowing down or stopping their car to take pictures, Jones said. The hacking occurred within weeks of various articles appearing online with descriptions of how to hack into these road signs which point out that such an act is illegal. Dennis Crabill, project manager with the Public Works Department, said the access panels are always locked and are not programmed with the default passwords these sites suggest. Short of having a watchman on duty around the clock, he said there is little more the city can do to prevent such vandalism. "It's a pretty childish prank," he said. Crabill said he is optimistic that MLK Boulevard will be open to two-way traffic again by this weekend, and the detour will no longer be necessary. The contractor on the construction project owns the signs. A city spokesperson says the hacked messages were only up for a few hours, until the construction project manager saw them during his morning commute and immediately ordered them to be changed back. "Even thought this may seem amusing to a lot of people, this is really serious and it is a crime and you can be indicted for it and we want to make sure our traffic on the roadways stays safe," said Austin Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley. "It was a locked sign. There was a padlock that was cut and there is a computer inside those signs that is password protected and so they had to break in and hack into the computer to do it so they were pretty determined." This crime is a class C misdemeanor in Texas and Hartley insists it endangers the public. "This is a first for us. We are new to this kind of thing," said Sara Hartley, Public Works spokesperson. Hartley says whoever did this cut the locks to the computer system and hacked in. "While the content of what it was changed to was amusing to a lot of people we want to make sure that people understand it's a public safety hazard," said Hartley. Since the signs are not city property, it's up to the owner, Texas Sterling Construction, to report the incident to police. We spoke to the company's vice-president who says he will most likely not report it since the damage was so minimal.

Officials were quick to take the hooligans to task. "This is really serious, and it is a crime," Sara Hartley, a spokeswoman for the city Public Works Department, told KXAN. "It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," said Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, according to Fox News. The network noted that tampering with road signs is a misdemeanor crime.

AUSTIN, Tex. -- Texas Department of Transportation officials still don't know who hakced into their digital road sign system. State officials say hackers altered signs in Austin earlier this month, warning drivers to run because zombies are ahead. Unfortunately, the zombie apocalypse is coming, and we have a road sign in Austin to thank for the warning. According to this Fox News story, some tricksters hacked into a Texas Department of Transportation road sign on 15th and Lamar in Austin and warned drivers to RUN FOR COLD CLIMATES, ZOMBIES ARE AHEAD.

Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead." AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - Austin drivers making their morning commute were in for a surprise when two road signs on a busy stretch of road were taken over by hackers. The signs near the intersection of Lamar and MLK usually warn drivers about upcoming construction, but Monday morning they warned of' "zombies ahead." Someone reprogrammed two city construction road signs near the University of Texas early Monday morning in an attempt to warn Austin of an imminent zombie attack. As he drove south on Lamar, traffic controller Bruce Jones saw the first sign flash the Nazi zombies message at 6 a.m. and wheeled his truck around for another look. Then he said he noticed that the second sign, directed at northbound drivers, had also been tampered with. Apparently, somebody hacked into a road sign in Austin, Texas and replaced the text to warn drivers that zombies were in the area. Funnier still that they were "Nazi Zombies".

The hackers who did it may know something we don't about the undead. The road signs, which normally warn drivers about traffic conditions, displayed these warnings: " Zombies ahead. the end is near. run for cold climates!" Some signs also warned of Nazi zombies. NBC's Today Show is all over the hacking electronic road signs story, saying officials in Texas are now "scrambling" to protect electronic road signs from the threat of hackers trying to warn us about the hordes of zombies ahead. People of Texas, don't take zombie threats lightly. Each one, no matter how small, must be thoroughly investigated! What if this "hacker" was really just trying to warn you of your impending doom? What if he had just been mauled by a large group of brain-hungry walking dead and this was his last act as one of the living? Texans especially should remember: "A well-regulated zombie defense force, being necessary to keep the security of a state, and the right of the people to blast the heads off of undead scum, shall not be infringed". I saw the signs on Monday and thought they were hilarious Bonus points for being spelled correctly, unlike the current official message on one of the signs which warns of 'triffic' ahead.

Hackers convert road traffic signs into undead alert systems. January 29, 2009 - What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Would you head to the local mall with Ving Rhames or team up with a biker, army vet and cute college girl and try to cure the infection one bullet at a time? Well, motorists driving around the University of Texas got to entertain their undead thoughts a little on Monday morning when two electronic road signs flashed alerts of a impeding zombie attack. Chris Lippincott, director of media relations for the Texas Department of Transportation, confirmed that a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, was hacked into during the early hours of Jan. 19. "It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for," said Lippincott, who saw the sign during his morning commute. "Those signs are deployed for a reason to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure." "It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," he told Texas Dept. of Transportation officials confirm a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street in Austin was hacked into last week.

Fox News is reporting "that a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, was hacked into during the early hours of Jan. 19."''

Austin (TX) - On January 19 during early morning traffic, a programmable road sign in Texas was hacked into. For a few hours on Monday morning in Austin, Texas, it seemed as if the world was coming to an end, as two road signs warned of "Nazi zombies!" KXAN has a full report, but apparently doesnt have any gamers on staff, as it completely missed the Call of Duty: World at War reference. In Austin, Texas, a road sign blaring a warning about zombies was blamed on hackers and dismissed as a harmless prank.'' Do you really believe that?'' I know I don'''t.'' Zombies are out there and they'''re going to come sooner, not later. Commuters on the road in Austin were in for an interesting surprise yesterday morning, as hackers took over two road signs and changed the usual traffic-related messages to warn of zombies instead, according to Austin News.

The $15,000 sign was left with the message, "Zombies Ahead", for several hours before officials could summon a crew to fix the sign. According to, it is not uncommon for these road signs to be left with unlocked external panels, and default firmware passwords. i-hacked stated that, "Programming is as simple as scrolling down the menu selection". You can find the evidence all over the internet. Dustin Coates and Julie Montgomery were among dozens of people who captured road signs flashing, "Caution: zombies ahead, run for cold climates, the end is near!" Signs on both sides of Lamar between MLK and 15th were altered some time Sunday.

Quick, grab the medkits and uzis! The signs, which were in place to alert drivers to a detour, instead contained messages like "Caution! Zombies Ahead" and "Nazi Zombies! Run!!!" for passersby to see. You thought regular zombies were bad, but man, those Nazi zombies are a-holes. Drivers in Austin, Texas, were very relieved when they got the all-clear that there were no more zombies in a construction zone. Because the warning sign said they were just ahead. Most drivers found humor in the prank, but city officials weren't among them. Two city construction road signs near the University of Texas were hacked to display the warnings, reported the Austin American-Statesman. Lippincott said the hacked sign manufactured by IMAGO is owned and operated by the city of Austin. Texas Department of Transportation signs have not been affected, he said. "It is always possible that it could occur, but we attempt to prevent hacking incidents," Lippincott wrote in an e-mail. He declined to comment on security measures to protect the state's signs from hackers. The Texas Department of Transportation isn't laughing at the ghoulish warning that appeared on an Austin traffic sign. The denials are running hot and heavy.'' They begin all the way at the top with Texas Department of Transportation director of public relations Chris Lippincott.'' "It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for," said Lippincott, who saw the sign during his morning commute. "Those signs are deployed for a reason ''' to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure." That'''s exactly what the military wants us to believe.''

Transportation officials in Texas are "scrambling" to stop the " hacking electronic traffic signs " threat. Didn't we tell you not to play with the electronic road signs? This is why we can't have anything nice. The sign is close to the University of Texas at Austin, near Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, and is likely just a college prank by a bunch of EE students. Transportation officials are scrambling in an attempt to prevent this kind of hack from occurring in the future.

Not surprisingly, the hacking occurred at an intersection within a few blocks of the University of Texas at Austin and right down the street from where we used to live. We shared a room with a Computer Science major capable of just such a prank. Being full of bored college students and undergoing perpetual road construction, Austin is a prime target for this kind of pranksterism. The best part of the video is at the end when the reporter mentions the most disturbing part of the story is the existence of websites explaining how to do this sort of hack. We think the most disturbing part is the people who might attack the transients on The Drag thinking they are zombies as opposed to just stoned. The hacked electronic road sign video from the Today Show was apparently based on the "top story" from Austin NBC-affiliate KXAN proves America also has slow news days, though decidedly more entertaining ones. According to a KXAS-TV story, Austin officials weren't too amused by the warning, noting the signs are used to report road conditions and accidents. They are working to find out who hacked the system.

Over the weekend, Austin, TX drivers received some important warnings from their road signs about the impending zombie invasion. Come on, if you don't already have a Zombie Survival Plan, the warning a road sign can give you is too little, too late.

We told you yesterday not to play with the electronic road signs. We're proud of you guys -- mostly because it's the first time we've seen the zombie meme making it to the mainstream media. The city isn't laughing. Hartley says if it would've been one of their signs, whoever did it would be looking at vandalism and tampering with road sign charges which could mean jail time. "The reason we have those signs out to being with is to assist traffic and the public in being safe when they're out on the road. Austin police are investigating the situation, and the vandals could face a Class C misdemeanor charge of tampering with a road sign, Hartley said. It is the first time Hartley said she has had heard of the stunt.

Tampering with portable road signs is illegal and potentially dangerous to drivers. It is a misdemeanor in Texas, with penalties ranging from fines to potential jail time. While it may seem like a harmless prank, tampering with portable road signs is illegal. It's considered a misdemeanor in Texas, with penalties ranging from fines to potential jail time.

While some people found it funny, TxDOT says the signs are there to display traffic information. The department is now trying to figure out who hacked into its digital road sign system. Not many people are going to jack with the signs, so the incidents are going to be low.'' If they try to complicate the security, they might make things difficult and less efficient for road crews (imagine having to maintain a password list for all the road signs''in your city - they would probably end up writing the password in permanant marker on the inside panel anyway).'' Of course, if someone gets hurt or killed because of this and families sue, then things will change.'' Vandals broke off a lock on the sign in central Austin early Monday and then hacked into the computer to change the words, said Sara Hartley, a city spokeswoman. Austin Public Works spokeswoman Sara Hartley said the incident was not initially reported to police, but will be shortly. "This sign was broken into, it was not just a 'walk up and change the sign' kind of thing," Hartley told "This is a new one for us, we've never had it happen before." The person who did it had to cut a padlock and hack into a computer to change the message. "This is really serious, and it is a crime," said Sara Hartley of the public works department.

"The big problem is public safety," said Hartley. "Those signs are out their to help our traffic on the roadway to stay safe and to know what's coming up." Austin News cameras caught many drivers slowing down to read the signs as they approached. Austin, TX appears to be ground zero for the electronic traffic signs hacking threat, as the "top story" on last night's local news demonstrates.

The article quotes a post at about how to hack the signs (Computerworld, i-hacked, and I''do not condone the illegal hacking of anything, and that''includes street signs) and also quotes''the sign manufacturing company as saying that''the signs are "tamper-resistant and equipped with external locks."'' As the story says, "the signs can be easily altered because their instrument panels are frequently left unlocked and their default passwords are not changed." Now on the surface, this is pretty funny.'' It can be dangerous, but it is still funny.'' There is a reason why some say default passwords are a hacker's best friend. I would argue that our pranksters haven't really done an impressive hack until they've either brute forced a non-default password, or figured out a way to route internet traffic through the signs.

Though Austin officials claim that an act of direst hacking was required to tamper with the signs, sign-hackers say that isn't true. Most of these signs, including the ones owned by Sterling, have a default password. According to the blog, some commercial road signs, including those manufactured by IMAGO's ADDCO division, can be easily altered because their instrument panels are frequently left unlocked and their default passwords are not changed. ADDCO Chief Operating Officer Brian Nicholson told that the company is sending out notices to customers on the potentially dangerous security flaw. "It's incumbent upon users to change the default password and secure the sign with a padlock," Nicholson said. "We're having our engineers review this information."

I lamented a while back on my personal blog about default passwords.'' It was inspired by a client who had us doing a security assessment.'' We found a default password on the device that aggregated all of their Internet connections (argh). Now Austin, TX, is feeling the same pain on default passwords, but it is not on anything like their Internet connection.'' No, their problem is with road signs.''

Police in Austin, Texas are looking for some clever hackers. They somehow got into some electronic street signs that were being used for construction warnings. Some hackers in Austin, Texas, decided to warn drivers of something a bit more spooky - zombies. Besides the usual rush hour traffic, commuters in Austin, Texas, Monday also had to deal with reports of an imminent zombie attack.

"Zombies ahead! Run for your lives!" read one altered sign, according to KXAN in Austin. Someone altered the digital sign to warn drivers to "run" from the "zombies ahead."

The information signs in airports are easy targets for hacking remotely too. I don't know why everyone thinks this is funny and doesn't consider for a moment that a kind citizen-or computer genius-may be privy to special insight about a zombie uprising. I sincerely hope the staggering degenerates you see this evening are only drunks from sixth street. City officials speculate that the units were hacked by a local computer expert who broke into the access panels, changed the passwords and then were rerouted the systems to display five different zombie messages. While city officials claimed to FOX News that the tampering could lead to jail time, nobody is going to get in trouble for warning the world about zombies. The city is happy to report that no zombies have since been seen in the area, but did offer up any advice in case next time the warnings turn out to be real: "Shoot 'em in the head".

Abullet in the head will kill a zombie dead. We will need to know this during this dangerous zombie attack. They love to eat the flesh of their victims. Perhaps it was a real warning from Zombies as we were a city that mocked them by having a large "Thriller" zombie video shot in order to break a record. I'm sure the Zombies were miffed by our crappy attempt to mimic them.

I have 38 different strategies for zombie invasion. This hacker is a gamer! The Nazi Zombies are part of a very popular WWII Video Game called Call of Duy World at War. Nazi Zombies is a reference to a game mod found on the Call of Duty 5 video game for the Playstation and Xbox platforms. Anyone who beats the solo game missions is awarded this extra level.

If you finish the game CODWAW a new game is unlocked and is called NAZI ZOMBIES. You kill Nazi Zombies by using different weapons. Wait, let me get this right. They want to find and convict someone on hacking. This is obviously a case of Vandalism. The zombies thing has come about from Call of Duty 5 on xbox. There is a specific level called Nazi Zombies in which the whole goal is to kill the zombies as they attack you. The news won't tell you this yet but i'm sure they will soon.

The Zombie level is unlocked on completion of the game. Nazi Zombies roam and attack you relentlessly, and force you to use teamwork with other online players to defeat them. When zombies really are in the area, we need to be able to take the NAZI zombie threat seriously. To make matters worse, they are NAZI zombies, as you'll see from the video below.

Austin might be full of politician zombies (from the state cemetary for example), but I highly doubt any Nazis are buried around here. That's where zombies come from, right? They rise from their graves. In the meantime, if you're driving in Austin, you can rest assured: There are no zombies ahead.

Some of the websites mention how to alter the message, but don't forget, that's illegal. Am I the only one dismayed that it took the Statesman two days to report this? As trivial as this story isand hilarious!the Statesman's lead-footed response is a microcosm of the problems confronting the mainstream media in today's news marketplace. Thank god I've been stockpiling all these firearms. This is unacceptable behavior. It only desensitizes the public from when there is a real zombie attack. I'''ve seen Return of the Living Dead, I know the story.'' There'''s nothing you can do that will improve traffic conditions more than warning people that there are zombies on the loose, man!'' They have no respect for jaywalking laws or right of way!'' If there are zombies out there, that'''s CRUCIAL information. "Some people find that the content of the sign was amusing but the big problem is public safety. Those signs are out their to help our traffic on the roadway to stay safe," said one driver. Traffic controllers reported that the signs generated substantial safety hazards thanks to drivers slowing down to view the messages and take photos.

Drivers may have gotten a chuckle out of the hacked signs, but city officials are not laughing. The hackers didn't make fixes easy for officials, either. The Dallas Morning News reported that after changing the signs, they changed the passwords, too. There is a computer inside the signs that is password protected. DOT workers said "the hackers had to break in a hack into the computer to do it so they were pretty determined." Construction workers say the signs are usually locked, but the vandals cut through the padlock, and bypassed a password protected computer inside. The pranksters apparently cut the padlocks that guard the computers on each individual sign, the local media reported, and hacked the computer password.

The sign's humorous warning stayed up for several hours before the manufacturer of the computer could reset the password.

Breaking a padlock and bypassing the password to an electronic street sign is a class C misdemeanor in Texas. "I thought it was pretty funny," said University of Texas sophomore Jane Shin, who saw the signs on Lamar Boulevard, in the article. "I thought it was pretty funny," said UT sophomore Jane Shin, who saw the signs while driving down Lamar with friends Sunday night.

Some residents thought it was funny, but officials say the signs are there to display traffic information. The signs have been fixed and officials are searching for those responsible. Officials said the signs are usually locked, but the hackers cut through the padlock. The sign manufacturing company had to be brought in to override the hacker's work.

The hacking occurred within weeks of various articles appearing online with descriptions of how to hack into these road signs -- which point out that such an act is illegal. What do you expect from people who deploy road signs?'' I am not saying road crews are stupid.'' I am saying that they are not thinking that someone is going to hack their signs.'' That is just not their main focus.'' So''will the sign manufacturers do anything to make them more secure?'' Probably not.'' This is simply''a low risk problem.''

Google the words "dots" "message" "sign" and "zombies" for more examples of people modifying the messages. "We wondered who did it." The city of Austin does not own the signs, but they are responsible for the message. Before leaving, the vandals reset the password so the city could not easily change the sign. I really hope they go light on these hackers, just think how much laughter it brought to people who really needed a laugh. The best part of the story though is they were smart enough to change the password when they were done. This really is made my day.

Hacker, whoever you are, I think I love you. This sounds like a job for Roky Erickson. I will not feel safe until Roky emerges and wipes these Zombies from the face of this earth.

Hacking state computers is a class C misdemeanor in Texas. The city says it will consult with the manufacturer to make something like this more difficult in the future. Hartley says the city will discuss more secure safety measures with the manufacturer of the signs. When you change a sign you're actually endangering the public on the roadway," said Hartley.

Texas transportation officials are baffled by a recent science fiction inspired vandal, who was apparently able to hack into a mobile road-sign. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on. This is how a serious threat to humanity gets laughed off? Australia has just seen a resurgence of zombies as a result of the cover-up in Hastings. To this day Hastings locals still claim to know nothing about the 1968 outbreak, during which over a thousand died and special operations brought in choppers to drive the zombies onto French Island, and Catholic priests to bless the water surrounding the island, isolating the threat. Forty years later they resurfaced and stumbled the inner city streets of Melbourne.
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posted by u2r2h at Friday, January 30, 2009 1 comments

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time Crimes (spanish movie)

Hector (Karra Elejalde) is spending a few days in the countryside with his girlfriend, Clara (Candela Fernández), when he sees something that catches his attention while playing with his binoculars. Looking at a nearby house near a wooded area, Hector spies a beautiful woman taking her clothes off, and decides to take a stroll and give her a closer look. However, when he arrives at the house several minutes later, the woman is lying in the grass and appears to either be dead or passed out.

As Hector examines her, he's attacked by a strange man and flees on foot. Hector seeks refuge in a building that turns out to be a research facility owned by a mysterious scientist (Nacho Vigalondo), who gives him a place to hide inside a futuristic closet. However, Hector realizes it was actually a time-travel machine when he emerges a few minutes later and looks out the window to see himself standing over the unconscious woman in the distance.

The blurb for Timecrimes had me interested from the beginning, I mean what film that mentions time travel wouldn't? The fact that it was a non-hollywood film as well was stacked in its favour.

The film turned out to be more than I had hoped and had me thinking about the story and the consequences long after it had finished and I'd left the cinema, the perfect film. Yet at the same time that was one of the problems with it as the more I thought about it the more I worked out how it could all have been different.

Timecrimes, or Los Cronocrímenes in it's native Spanish, tells the story of a man who witnesses what could be a terrible crime by a masked figure...actually I don't want to tell you much more and would prefer that you discover the story for yourself. Suffice to say that the man ends up travelling short distances in time in order to unravel and control events around him.

It's a fascinating idea and one which is explored with a superbly crafted script. It doesn't seem to falter and keeps the pace going with plenty of surprises and tension for the journey.

I found that I was mesmerised by the story and how the man was dealing with events. The script carries quite a few plot threads to it, each layering on top of the other to reveal more of the overall story.

What's particularly fascinating about the way that it's written is it doesn't play on one time frame like many other stories that use time travel. So often we'll see the same event or time period revisited and altered, but with Timecrimes these threads overlap and extend the story on its own time frame as well as delving deeper into the story.

This provides for a fascinating viewpoint for the film, and really does make the story so much more gripping and engaging. It had me drawn to it almost immediately and I could feel the tension rising as the layers were added and drawn out.

Tension and suspense are strong in this story and keeps building each time a new layer is added, I could really feel myself getting more and more wound up as the film progressed.

It also holds some superb reveals within it, not many of which are wholly expected. Unfortunately I found that the twist at the end of the film was quite apparent, but what was good about it was the way it was crafted and developed on screen, this was the strong part of it and not just the reveal itself.

The acting is good, solid and believable for all the performances, and the filming itself is good, very unobtrusive and at times offering something a little clever, like the moment when the man arrives at the glass window.

Another scene I particularly liked is when the man first arrives at the station on the hill, seeing all the screens and clues around the room makes us realise that all is not as it seems. I really liked that moment where the audience are left to gleam their own understanding of events.

There are a few disappointments though, one was pretty early on when a stock horror moment was dragged out and became unbelievably painful. The man trips and falls while being chased and decided to lie down just waiting for the attacker to come. Oh it was overly painful and I was about to tear my hair out, what little I have left anyway.

I know that's minor, but in such a great film it was a real surprise to see such a weak moment in it and it stuck out like a sore thumb.

There's also something that didn't quite fit right with the final layer of the story which sees our main character give in, almost resign himself to the events unfolding around him. The previous drive that he showed in the rest of the story seems gone, he seems beaten.

Here the story and pace seem to back off and lets the tension disperse with as our character hangs back and no longer gets so involved.

With that ending I can't help wondering what actually happened at the end of the second story layer when the story seems to pivot around as the two main characters stand outside the station in the dark. That seems to me to be left hanging, and where the rest of the film explored the idea well and had gone to great pains to explain and connect everything else, following each thread, it suddenly leaves this thread unfinished, and leaving the audience to make up their own minds about events.

That's all very well normally, but at this stage of the film and with the way the story was going, it just doesn't feel quite right.

Also, once I thought about the story for a while after watching it I began to pick holes with it and with the decisions of the main character. I did begin to wonder why the lead didn't make other choices and not get involved in the main instigating incident, especially when he began to understand what was happening.

You know despite all this I still have to say that this is an excellent film. Yes it isn't perfect, but it's dealing with a very thought provoking subject and one where there are no clear answers or decisions. After all, time travel is just in the movies.

Time Crimes is a superbly written, carefully crafted film that contains surprises and tension galore. Very well filmed and acted it delivers a thought provoking thriller and a unique view of time travel that will definitely enthral.

It's really not that obvious for a young and still aspiring writer/director to revolve his long-feature film debut on the hugely complex topic of time traveling, as a failure could immediately affect your credibility as a director and maybe even ruin your further career before it properly started. True, Nacho Vigalondo already received an Oscar nomination in 2005 for one of his short films, so you know he must somehow be talented, but still, to take on subjects like paradoxes and time loops in your first film displays a lot of courage and ambition.

But Vigalondo was right to feel confident, as his script is intelligent, engaging and not nearly as implausible as you'd expect from a Sci-Fi film. When thinking of films about time traveling, you promptly imagine there to be giant laboratories full of machinery with thousands of little buttons and colorful lights (or maybe a DeLorean), macho men in futuristic costumes and endless overlong speeches about scientific theories. The last things you expect to see are normal, identifiable characters in their everyday environments and how they're suddenly and involuntarily involved in Science-Fictionesque situations.

"Timecrimes" introduces Héctor, a middle aged house father with a slight voyeuristic habit. When Héctor spots a naked girl in the woods through his binoculars, he decides to look for her (who wouldn't?) but suddenly he finds himself chased by a madman with an uncanny bandage wrapped around his head and waving around a pair of scissors. Héctor finds shelter in a nearby lab and the technician advises him to hide in a peculiar device filled with liquid. The real problems only just begin when Héctor emerges again. Realizing he traveled back a few hours in time, Héctor witnesses himself running through the woods and painfully also comes to realize who exactly he was running away from.

The plot grows increasingly convoluted with each minute, but strangely enough the film always remains easy to follow and fast-paced. When the whole script is one giant paradox, you also prepare to encounter a lot of plot holes and improbabilities, but the film actually makes sense all the time. There's a more than fair amount of suspense, beautiful photography and atmospheric musical guidance. Karra Elejalde is simply superb in his difficult and unconventional role as Héctor the anti-hero and Barbara Goenaga is . apart from a really great actress . a stunningly ravishing woman. Terrific film.

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, January 27, 2009 0 comments

Saturday, January 24, 2009

alternative money collectibles

Alternative Currency Collectibles

Reunionf An interesting sidebar in the December 20th edition of The Economist made mention of Venezuela's alternative currencies. While alternative currency is in itself a fascinating subject, the part that caught my eye was the off-hand mention that these "circular cardboard tokens," of which there are no less than 10 different types (known as cimarrones), might someday become prized ephemera collectibles. According to the article, "The cimarron, a curious, circular cardboard token illustrated with a picture of a runaway slave, seems destined to end up as a collector's curiosity."

Currency and paper money collectors take note.

I'm a big fan of paper currency ephemera. I've spoken with collectors of paper money, Civil War currency, funny money, and stock certificates. But none of them mentioned Cimarrons. My question to readers of this blog: Is anyone collecting cimarrones as The Economist suggest? If so, please leave a note and tell us about them.

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, January 24, 2009 0 comments

Emulate a Macintosh on a PC

PearPC image for PearPC with full updates to 10.2.8 Jaguar OS X.

3c90x 3Com NIC drivers and configuration.
Very complete descriptions for setting up PearPC on your computer.
Compatible with PearPC on Windows, Linux and Mac (You can't run Jaguar on an Intel Mac without PearPC or QEmu)

The image may be useful for QEmu, or transferring back to a real Mac.

50Gig hard disk compressed and optimized for Sparse file storage.

Please see ReadMe.rtf within for full details.

Thanks to CasseeOSX for the original.

I forgot to mention the user name and password.
UN: "User" PW: "user" though that is made pretty clear by the login hint,
if you should find the need to log in manually.

The "user" password is of course useful for sudo in Terminal too.

PLEASE NOTE: When attempting to open this ISO it will say its corrupted. Its fine, just use it with PearPC. (tested x2!). This has no effect on my install.
I will post DMG2IMG which makes it easy to mount images as there is no dmg support.
Use this iso in pearpc to install OS X on your Linux/Windows PC.
I was going to preinstall but this makes the dl faster. I will preinstall on request! REMEMBER SEED!
Install Directions:
Download the pear pc net package
To start in windows click the 'Start APE in Windows.bat' file.
Now use the RAM and screen resolution and processor your prefer (G4 is best).
Don't choose any network cards yet. Now create your own .img with the New HD Image.
Under image files IDE 0 Master use the newly created .img image. Change auto detect to 'HD Image', for IDE 0 Slave choose the osx10411.iso you have downloaded and choose CD Image!
Once, you install use the RTL8139 network card and your set. For more detailed tutorials:(I like this one.)(This one is sort of the same as above but for XP)
Offical Guide:
A good one for the PearPC Control Panel:
Good wikiHow:

Some tutorials are for Panther but should work all the same.

Welcome to Macintosh OS X
(v10.2.8, Jaguar)

The package you have downloaded includes a hard drive image of Mac OS X 10.2.8 (Jaguar) pre-installed and configured for operation in a PPC system emulator. Primarily this emulator is likely to be PearPC, but systems such as QEmu are also becomming capable of running images such as this one.

The image provided is compressed using GNU bzip2 compressions, since this form is easily accessible from Windows, Mac and Linux systems, as well as many more exotic operating systems. While the commands to extract the original file with GNU tools are quite convoluted the .bz2 can be extracted with WinRAR on Windows systems, or with StuffIt Expander on Macs among many other advanced graphical archive handelers.

The extracted image produces a 50 Gigabyte hard drive image which is already partitioned, and formatted to boot into Jaguar, and optimized both for effeciant compression via bzip2 (or any other compressor you prefere for your own use) and for use with "sparse" files. Consequently, the 50 Gig file can be transmitted at a mere tenth of that size.

A "sparse" file, enables a file to take up far less space on your disk than it's total size, provided much of the space in the file is empty. This means, that with a hard drive image such as this, the file will take up more space on your system the more you use it... up to the complete 50 Gig, but need not occupy anywhere near that amount of space initially.

Sparse files are supported in NT5 and later versions of Windows with the NTFS file system, on Linux e2fs or later, and on MacOS with Mac Extended filesystems HFS+... but none of these OS typically provide an in-built method of producing, or managing such exotic files from the graphical UI. Each have command line programs which are either provided with the OS, or available as seperate downloads, which can do the task. This information, however, is for you to find out. There are two many possibilities to list them all here.

Configuration of PearPC is maintained via a plain text file which is passed to the main executable when it is run. This allows you to keep many configurations of Mac OS X and / or other PPC operating systems on your machine and switch between them just by loading the program with a different configuration file.

Here is a commented version of the configuration I used with this hard drive image.
# The resolution you want to boot in prior to OS startup.
ppc_start_resolution = "640x480x15"
ppc_start_full_screen = 0
# Increase redraw interval if performance is slow, decrease to improve user responsiveness.
redraw_interval_msec = 40
pci_ide0_master_installed = 1
# You can set slave to 0 if you do not wish to use a CD/DVD drive, or second hard drive.
pci_ide0_slave_installed = 1
# pci_ide0_master_image = "/disks/10.2(Jaguar).img"
pci_ide0_master_image = "C:\Disks\10.2(Jaguar).img"
pci_ide0_slave_image = "E:"
pci_ide0_master_type = "hd"
# If you are using a second hard drive image, you should set this to "hd".
pci_ide0_slave_type = "cd"
# Drivers are installed for 3c90x 3Com network card.
pci_3c90x_installed = 1
# Drivers are available for the Realtek rtl8139, but are not provided.
pci_rtl8139_installed = 0
pci_3c90x_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:34"
pci_rtl8139_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:35"
# This configuration grants 1.5 Gigabytes of your system memory to Jaguar.
# The figure is in hexedecimal, so 0x20000000 would be half a gig, 0x10000000 256Meg etc.
memory_size = 0x60000000
# It's best to leave these CPU codes in the file, and comment out all but one.
#cpu_pvr = 0x00088302 #G3
cpu_pvr = 0x000c0000 #G4 generic
#cpu_pvr = 0x000c0201 #G4 traditional
pci_usb_installed = 0
# Strictly speaking the following line should point to your "video.x" file using the full path.
prom_driver_graphic = "video.x"
prom_env_machargs = "" #Possible useful args include -s for single user mode, or -v for verbose diagnostic of boot failers.
prom_env_bootargs = ""
prom_bootmethod = "auto"
key_compose_dialog = "F11"
key_change_cd_0 = "none"
key_toggle_mouse_grab = "F12"
key_toggle_full_screen = "Alt+Return"
nvram_file = "nvram"

The "video.x" file comes as part of the PearPC package and is essentially the BIOS extension for the virtual graphics card.

The "nvram" file will hold various settings which a real Mac holds in it's Non-volatile Random Access Memory, which on older Macs was called Paramitable RAM. This is similar to the CMOS settings on a PC, and is not vital for the operation of the machine, but is required to accurately simulate it.

To get PearPC on the internet, or your local area network with this image you need to set up OpenVPN on your host system, link it to your main TCP-IP NIC, and then configure Jaguar to utilise your network.

To install OpenVPN, check out the downloads at Windows Vista users had better stick to the newer OpenVPN 2.1_rc15 release, and install and configure using "Run as Administrator", as it plays nicer with UAC.

Configure the new "TAP-Win32 Adapter" like this, in the IP V4 settings... use the prefered and alternate DNS servers you have set on your main network adapter, if they are not on DHCP.

In your main LAN connection NIC, open the properties, switch to the sharing tab, tick "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection" and fill in the name of your OpenVPN connection. (I called mine "TAP-VPN" since the name it was given was really not very descriptive)

Since I run a VLAN at home, my router provides DHCP services to each system in the house, and acts as a DNS server. If you run a router on your home network, this will probably be the same for you, and the image may well work out of the box.

If you have to configure Jaguar to work on your network, open "System Preferences" from the dock, select "Network", and change to the 3c905 / 3c90x network connection. Change it to operate manually, and set it as follows:-
Configure IPv4: Manually
IP Address:
Subnet Mask
Default Gateway:
If you have to provide DNS, use the one provided by your ISP... from Windows, this can be found using the "IPConfig" command from an NT command prompt. (That's Start -> Run "cmd.exe")

I hope very much, that this file share is of use to you. I hope you will share it with others, and if you like using Mac OS X, I hope you will acknowlege Apple for their fine work by purchasing a copy (at least, if not a whole Mac). Please bear in mind that this OS was released in August 2002, and thus slightly pre-dates Windows XP. Apple have made many improvements to their OS since then.

I should also like to thank caseeosx from TPB for his share "Mac OS X 10.2 Pre-Installed" on which this is repackaged, and re-distributed version, based on comments left by TPB users, and percieved uses of the share.

Please re-seed for others, my ISP caps uploads.

Bridging for Windows XP/Vista

From PearPC

This guide will allow you to connect to the internet in Mac OS X or PowerPC Linux Distrubutions by using a DHCP IP Address from an external router under Windows XP/Vista.


  • You must be running Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Vista to use Network Bridging.
  • Your PC must not be running the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service. Note: It is now possible to use Internet Connection Sharing together with Network Bridging. For more information, please read the article Network Bridging and ICS for Windows XP/Vista.
  • Your PC or Local Area Network (LAN) must be connected to an External Router that provides a DHCP IP addressing service.
  • The most recent OpenVPN Version.

Installing the OpenVPN Tap Interace

Open the OpenVPN application, and deselect all other options apart from the Tap-Win32 Virtual Ethernet Adapter in the installation menu. If a notice about Windows Driver Signing appears during the installation, click Continue Anyway.

After the installation, a new LAN connection will be installed. It will be named something like "Local Area Connection 2", but you can rename it to anything you like if you so desire.

Creating the Network Bridge

a) In Windows, open Control Panel, and navigate to Network Connections.

b) Hold down the Ctrl (Control) key on your keyboard, and select both your real LAN connection, and the recently installed Tap-Adapter (called something like "Local Area Network 2" if you decided not to rename it). Right-click the Tap-Adapter and select the "Bridge Connections" option.

Wait a few moments and a Network Bridge should be created and activated by Windows. It should be assigned an IP address from your router. If not, check to see that the router has:

i) recognised a new MAC address connecting to it.

ii) a MAC Address Filtering service functioning.

iii) a DHCP IP addressing service enabled.

Configuring the OpenVPN Tap Adapter

a) Open Network Connections as instructed in the previous step. See "Creating the Network Bridge" (above) for the specific instructions.

b) Right-click the Tap-Adapter (making sure not to touch the Network Bridge), and select "Remove from Bridge". Do not configure any options for the Tap-Adapter or Network Bridge.

You should be left with your real LAN connection(s), a Network Bridge, and the Tap-Adapter.

Enabling the Realtek 8139 Network Card

a) Open your PearPC Configuration file.

b) Make sure the following lines are present:

  pci_3c90x_installed = 0
pci_rtl8139_installed = 1
pci_3c90x_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:34"
pci_rtl8139_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:35"

c) Save your configuration file, and close the window.

Note: Mac OS X 10.2 users cannot use use the Realtek 8139 network card. You must use the 3Com 3c90x network card instead. Make sure the following appears in your configuration file:

  pci_3c90x_installed = 1
pci_rtl8139_installed = 0
pci_3c90x_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:34"
pci_rtl8139_mac = "de:ad:ca:fe:12:35"

Troubleshooting: if you get an "Opening TAP connection failed" error, it's because the Windows user running PearPC doesn't have enough privileges to enable the network adapter. You must run PearPC as an Administrator (either using Run as... or by loggin in with an admin user). If you don't have access to an admin account, consider asking your admin to install OpenVPN as a service and enable it for your user.

Starting PearPC and Establishing the Network Bridge

a) Start PearPC via the command line, Package, shortcut, or any other method.

b) Once the client OS (Mac OS X or a PowerPC Linux Distrubution) is displaying the final coloured desktop background (the desktop in Linux, the Finder in Mac OS X), add the Tap-Adapter to the Network Bridge.

Note: Whenever you start PearPC, you will need to add the Tap-Adapter to the Network Bridge. Currently, there is no way to have the Tap-Adapter automatically join the Network Bridge when PearPC is started.

Setting up Mac OS X

Note: Mac OS X 10.2 users must install drivers for the 3Com 3c90x network card before continuing with this tutorial. It is recommended that you use the 'Easy Install Kext Package' from PearPC@Sourceforge.

a) Open System Preferences, and click the Network icon.

b) If a window is displayed and says that a new port has been detected, click OK, and then Apply Now. If a window is not displayed, do not worry. Networking can function perfectly using the Built-in Ethernet device.

c) Open the properties of the installed network card (either the detected NIC or Built-in Ethernet device). Check that the IP address displayed is the same as your LAN IP settings. If it is not, and the address displayed is in the range of 169.254.*.*, then click the "Renew DHCP Release" button. Your LAN IP address should now appear, and remain the same everytime you start Mac OS X.

d) Open the main drive shown on the Finder desktop and open the Applications folder. Now open the Utilities folder, and select "Directory Access". Click the lock to make changes (you need to enter your Mac OS X password here). Hightlight SMB, and select Configure. Set your LAN workgroup here. Press OK, click the lock to prevent unauthorised access, and close all open windows.

e) Open System Preferences, and select the Sharing button. In the "Computer Name" box, change this to something shorter, like "Panther" (without quotes). Note: This step is optional, but necessary if you want to access Mac OS X Shared folders from Windows.

Connecting to the Internet

If you have successly completed the steps listed above, then the rest is simple.

Open Safari or whatever browser you choose to use. The Apple site should immediately begin to load its startup page.


i) Disable any firewalls and check to see if the connection now works. If yes, then create the appropriate firewall rules. Check by restarting PearPC.

ii) Is the IP address of the client within your LAN? After first-time configuration, this should remain the same. If not, click the "Renew DHCP Release" button.

iii) Check your console output. If it shows

 [io/rtl8139]  internal buffer wrapped around

disable your firewall for the time being and restart PearPC, making sure to add the Tap-Adapter when you see the final desktop background appear. If you are able to access your LAN and/or the internet, enable your firewall, and create the appropriate firewall rules.

PearPC and Network Bridging Procedures

After you have finished with PearPC, remember to remove the Tap-Adapter from the Network Bridge, otherwise networking will not be functional when you start PearPC later on.

Connecting to Windows from Mac OS X

a) Open System Preferences, and then select the Sharing button.

b) In the Services tab, tick the box for "Personal File Sharing" and "Windows Sharing".

c) Close the System Preferences window, and return to the Finder (desktop) screen.

d) Select Go from the Finder desktop screen, and choose Network. A window should appear, listing all computers on your LAN. If this occurs, select one of the computer LAN icons and skip ahead to part g). If no computers are listed, continue to the next step, part e).

e) Select Go from the menu bar (Finder desktop screen), and then choose the "Connect to Server" option.

f) In the Server Address box, type in:


If that does not work, try the following:


g) A new window should appear asking you for Network Identification Information. The hostname and workgroup/domain should already be entered for you. If it is not, add this information in the first and second boxes. Type your Windows password (if any) in the final box. If that is not accepted, simply leave the box blank.

Now select which Windows Share you would like to access. The share will have a shortcut displayed on the Finder desktop and in the network browser.

Connecting to Mac OS X from Windows

a) Start PearPC, making sure to bridge the Tap-Adapter when the desktop background appears.

b) Find out the Mac OS X IP address, if you do not already know it. To do this, open System Preferences, and click the Network button. The IP address is displayed in the text information.

c) In Windows, open My Network Places. From the left panel, select "View Workgroup Computers".

d) The Mac OS X computer should show up. Its hostname may be long or strange. This is due to the computer name being too many characters. To change this, edit the name in the Sharing section of System Preferences.

e) Select "Add Network Place" from the left panel. Click Next, Choose Another Location, and type in your Mac OS X IP Address or Hostname, followed by your Mac OS X Username, and public folder name. You should have something like the following:

 \\Mac.OSX.IP.Here\Mac OS X Username\Public

\\Hostname\Mac OS X Username\Public

Note: Entering the hostname instead of the IP address may not work, depending on the Mac OS X Hostname. See part d) to fix this. You may also be asked for your Mac OS X Username and Password. Enter this information as required.

That's it - Now you can access Mac OS X from Windows.

Note: It may be quicker or easier to access Windows Shares from Mac OS X, as sometimes accessing Mac OS X Shared folders and files can cause issues.

Setting up PearPC for Windows

(Last updated around January, 2009)


PearPC emulates a PPC Macintosh (G3 or G4) capable of booting Mac OS X, up to version 10.4 (Tiger).

Setting up the emulator is fun and easy! This is a setup guide for the special “redscorp” builds of PearPC, which is possibly faster and more feature-rich than other versions of the emulator. But before you begin installing, there are a few things that you need to assemble:

  • A copy of Mac OS X. You can use version 10.4 (Tiger) or earlier. You can use an OS X install DVD or CD, or a disk image that you've created or downloaded. The screenshots and instructions in this guide are of 10.4, although other versions are set up in a very similar way.
  • PearPC 0.5pr. This is the “redscorp” release of the emulator from March 29 of 2008. I have added the video driver and the (outdated) documentation from the official version to this archive. Check out this forum thread on for more information or to look for a newer build.
  • This guide uses a special version of the front-end PearPC Control Panel to set up the emulator.
  • A bootable 6 GB disk image.

Dealing with Mac OS X

It is much easier to install OS X on your emulated computer from an .ISO image, rather than from a physical OS X installation disk. In Windows, you can create an .ISO from your physical disk using something like MagicISO. If necessary, you can perhaps download a disk image somewhere. If you download a .TOAST image, just change the extension to .ISO. If you download a .DMG image, try using UltraISO to convert it to ISO.

Getting Started

Download PearPC and the control panel. Extract the emulator and the 6 GB disk image (the latter will take a while). Install the control panel.

Run the control panel. Select “New Configuration File” from the file menu. Click “continue” to begin the configuration setup wizard. On the first wizard screen, click on “browse” to locate your PearPC executable, which is contained in the redscorp archive. Redscorp offers four executables optimized for AMD and Intel processors, and one generic executable. Pick the one that best suits your processor. If you don't know which is best, perhaps consult Wikipedia's entries for SS2 (older processors) and SS3 (slightly newer processors). If you are still not sure which is best for you, maybe try the generic executable.

Your “Primary IDE device” will be the 6 GB disk image. Browse to and select it. The type should be “Hard Drive.”

Finally, assign some RAM to PearPC. The more, the better.

See figure one, below, for a look at this setup screen.

Figure One: Setting up PearPC

Click “continue” to move to the next screen. You don't need to change any of this right now. You might want to increase your resolution a bit, to make it easier to see the OS X installation screens (they might not scale down to fit a 640×480 screen). Make sure that the path to your video driver (video.x) is correct - it is located in the same directory as the redscorp executable. Note that setting a lower video redraw rate will give you smoother mouse movements, but a possibly slower emulation. Experiment with this at a later time if you find it necessary.

See figure two, below, for a look at this setup screen.

Figure Two: Still setting up PearPC

Click “finish” to move to the next screen. Give your configuration file a name and save it somewhere.

You will now be returned to the main control panel screen. You now need to identify your installation disk. Check “CD-ROM device is installed” and then “browse” to locate your ISO image. Finally, hit the green “play” button to boot the emulator.

Figure three: Selecting my installation disk image

Note: You must install your operating system onto the 6 GB disk image linked to at the beginning of the guide. The “create disk image” feature of the PearPC Control Panel will not create disk images that can be booted from. Booting from such a disk image will result in an ” invalid format (filesize isn't a multiple of 516096)” message.

Note: Occasionally, the PearPC Control Panel will return a “Runtime Error 76” and refuse to save or import any config files. If this happens, you must uninstall the control panel, delete the *.ini files remaining in the program directory (they are not removed by the uninstaller) and reinstall the control panel.

Installing Mac OS X

When the PROM boot-loader screen appears boot from the CD-ROM image (see figure four, below).

Figure four: Select the bootable partition

The OS X installer should start to boot. You will first be prompted to select a language. You will then see a splash screen looking something like figure five, below.

Figure five: Getting ready to install Mac OS X

If you are installing on to the bootable disk image linked to at the beginning of the guide, you will not need to partition it. Just follow the on-screen instructions to install OS X. Installation might take from thirty minutes to a couple of hours. to speed this up, you can do a “custom” install without foreign language files or extra printer drivers.

Figure seven: About to install OS X

Figure eight: OS X 10.4 (Tiger)


You're finished! If everything went according to plan, you should be looking at a desktop looking something like figure eight. If you need any help, we run a support forum.

This new boot-dfe has been tested with the retail Leopard DVD and it can boot, install and run Leopard without having to build
a modified DVD.

Infos about hardware:

[OFF]: Vanilla = Original Mac OS X DVD or Mac OS X Installation with running original mach_kernel.

AMD systemz isn't supported.
To use Mac OS X Vanilla DVD needs a Intel "Mac" closer systemz, like a Intel Core processos and Intel Chipset. This is only combination supported by "Vanilla Installz", other processors and chipsets isn't supported by "Mac OS X Vanilla systemz"

As usual, this only works for compatible machines(that means you still can't boot a vanilla system on AMD, they need specialised patches).

You *can* boot and install retail on any SSE2 or better Intel pre-Core architecture systems, but you wont be using the vanilla kernel. See below for link

This is how it's done: you burn an ISO (which has the bootloader on it) to a CD/DVD, after it gets to the boot
prompt, you press ESC or ENTER and it prompts for a new BOOT DEVICE, you swap the BOOT CD/DVD with the LEO Retail DVD, you press
enter and it shows you the name of the bootable partition from the DVD, you press enter and Leo starts to load.

Quick resume about "oh, what to do now?"

#1 - Burn .iso on a CD;
#2 - Boot this CD;
#3 - When Darwin prompt appear, eject CD and put Mac OS X Leopard Retail DVD;
#4 - Press enter (or -v and enter...wherever...)
#5 - After install, boot using CD boot again and install .kext needed...and usual files.
#6 - Done!

If you had problems, need advice, and other help type, go here:

Boot Retail Leo and Vanilla installs on Intel SSE2 and better - Boot 132 on pre-Core !, It is possible to boot the retail Leo DVD on Pentium 4-class CPUs:

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, January 24, 2009 0 comments

VEGETABLES have antibiotics from farm animals
January 6, 2009

Worried about Antibiotics in Your Beef? Vegetables May Be No Better

New studies show vegetables like lettuce and potatoes--even organic ones--may carry antibiotics

By Matthew Cimitile

For half a century, meat producers have fed antibiotics to farm animals to increase their growth and stave off infections. Now scientists have discovered that those drugs are sprouting up in unexpected places: Vegetables such as corn, potatoes and lettuce absorb antibiotics when grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure, according to tests conducted at the University of Minnesota.

Today, close to 70 percent of all antibiotics and related drugs used in the United States are routinely fed to cattle, pigs and poultry, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Although this practice sustains a growing demand for meat, it also generates public health fears associated with the expanding presence of antibiotics in the food chain.

People have long been exposed to antibiotics in meat and milk. Now, the new research shows that they also may beingesting them from vegetables, perhaps even ones grown on organic farms.

The Minnesota researchers planted corn, green onion and cabbage in manure-treated soil in 2005 to evaluate the environmental impacts of feeding antibiotics to livestock. Six weeks later, the crops were analyzed and found to absorb chlortetracycline, a drug widely used to treat diseases in livestock. In another study two years later, corn, lettuce and potato were planted in soil treated with liquid hog manure. They, too, accumulated concentrations of an antibiotic, named Sulfamethazine, also commonly used in livestock.

As the amount of antibiotics in the soil increased, so too did the levels taken up by the corn, potatoes and other plants.

"Around 90 percent of these drugs that are administered to animals end up being excreted either as urine or manure," said Holly Dolliver, a member of the Minnesota research team and now a professor of crop and soil sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. "A vast majority of that manure is then used as an important input for 9.2 million hectares of (U.S.) agricultural land."

Manure, widely used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer, adds nutrients that help plants grow. It is often used in organic farming.

The scientists found that although their crops were only propagated in greenhouses for six weeks--far less than a normal growing season--antibiotics were absorbed readily into their leaves. If grown for a full season, drugs most likely would find their way into parts of plants that humans eat, said Dolliver.

Less than 0.1 percent of antibiotics applied to soil were absorbed into the corn, lettuce and other plants. Though a tiny amount, health implications for people consuming such small, cumulative doses are largely unknown.

"The antibiotic accumulation in plants is just another negative consequence of our animal agriculture industry and not surprising given the quantity fed to livestock," said Steve Roach, public health program director for the non-profit Food Animal Concerns Trust.

For highly processed plants such as corn, the drugs would most likely be removed, added Dolliver. But many food crops such as spinach and lettuce are not processed, only washed, allowing antibiotics to remain.

"Nobody particularly eats corn or soybean directly," said Satish Gupta, a University of Minnesota professor of soil science and study leader. "But there are crops I am much more worried about, like cabbage and lettuce, because these are leaves we eat directly and consume raw."

One finding that particularly worries food scientists is the accumulation of antibiotics within potato tubers. Tubers are an enlarged, underground stem that uptake and store nutrients from the soil. In crops like potatoes, carrots and radishes, it is the part humans eat.

"Since these tubers and root crops are in direct contact with the soil they may show a greater propensity for [antibiotic] uptake," said Gupta.

Health officials fear that eating vegetables and meat laced with drugs meant to treat infections can promote resistant strains of bacteria in food and the environment.

Roach said "the clearest public health implication" from treating livestock with antibiotics is the development of resistant bacteria that reduces the effectiveness of human medicine. Past studies have shown overuse of antibiotics reduces their ability to cure infections. Over time, certain antibiotics are rendered ineffective.

Scientists believe antibiotics also may have contributed to the explosive rise in asthma and allergies in children over the last 20 years. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, following 448 children from birth for seven years, reported that children who received antibiotics within their first six months had a higher risk of developing allergies and asthma.

Such health concerns led the European Union in 2006 to ban antibiotic use as feed additives for promoting livestock growth. But in the United States, nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics per year, up from 16 million in the mid 1980s, are given to healthy animals for agriculture purposes, according to a 2000 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Livestock producers contend that the spread of resistant strains of bacteria stems from the overuse of all medicines to treat infectious diseases in both humans and animals. Removal of antibiotics, they say, would only lead to increased disease in animals and reduction in food safety.

Tainted manure can impact more than just the soil. Once applied to the land, antibiotics can infiltrate water supplies as it seeps through the soil into aquifers or spills into surface water due to runoff, explained Dolliver.

"The other thing to remember is that the field is not a sterile environment. Mice, rabbit and foxes traverse farmland while other animals graze, all with the potential to become vectors for the resistant bacteria organisms and spread it throughout different animal populations," said Pat Millner, a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist based in Maryland.

The presence of antibiotics within the food chain is likely to increase as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has permitted greater use of controversial drugs on farm animals. For example, this past October, the FDA dropped plans to halt use of cefquinome, a potent antibiotic, after it said in July it would push against its use in animals.

Even if a product has the USDA organic label, it still can harbor traces of antibiotics, Gupta said. While there are restrictions on use of raw manure in U.S. organic farming because of concern over bacteria, no such rules are in place regarding antibiotics or hormones. Not all organic growers use manure with antibiotics, but many do, said Gupta.

High-temperature composting of manure, designed to kill pathogens, is required for crops certified under the USDA label. That could eliminate some antibiotics. But growers are not required to check for the drugs. "We urgently need to find some way to put guidelines in place on organic food regarding these chemicals," Gupta said.

Gupta said all growers should be told that composting can help. Composting decays piles of food or manure as microbes decompose organic matter using oxygen to survive, grow and reproduce. Heating up the material creates conditions conducive for bacteria to break down antibiotics and pathogens.

A pilot study by USDA scientists in Maryland added straw to a beef cattle manure pile, heating up the dense material while allowing spaces for air to penetrate. The higher temperatures sped up the decaying process of harmful substances.

"The process happens very rapidly, in this study it took about 10 days," said Millner. "This is not too surprising since antibiotics are not a thermally stable chemical compound."

In another study, the same researchers who discovered the uptake of antibiotics by plants tested four of these drugs to determine how effective composting would be in reducing harmful chemicals in turkey manure. After 25 days using a combination of natural heat generated by microbial activity, three of the four antibiotics broke down under the high energy conditions created, said Dolliver.

Composting reduced concentrations of some antibiotics by up to 99 percent. "These findings suggest manure management can be an important strategy for reducing the overall impact for these compounds making their way into the environment," said Dolliver.

Many questions still remain. Currently, projects are underway to grow crops for a full season in antibiotic laced manure, to grow them in fields rather than greenhouses and to analyze the concentrations and locations of the antibiotics within the plants. Researchers also want to determine which antibiotics are more likely to be picked up, which plants are more prone to uptake, what composting methods are most effective in reducing harmful material in manure and what antibiotics may be resistant to composting.

There are serious societal implications regarding the discoveries already made and the questions yet to be answered, Gupta concluded. "We are a chemical society and humans are the main user of pharmaceutical products," said Gupta. "We need a better understanding of what takes place when chemicals are applied to sources of food and must be more vigilant about regulating what we use to grow food and what we put in our bodies."

This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, January 24, 2009 0 comments

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama says - Cookie Monster did 911 - or he is dead

The hamster runs on his exercise wheel, powering the shredder, which shreds a document and provides the hamster with a bed of clean litter to sleep on.

As Barack Obama approaches the helm of the American ship of state, he is facing many challenges.

Just as she was being born at the dawn of her journey into history, the American nation is poised on the brink of a new beginning. In those revolutionary times, America faced a roiling sea of danger, uncertainty and trepidation. Today, after more than two centuries of venture, America moves forward beyond and away from the final and most tragic acts of the second Bush presidency.

The American journey has been filled with triumph and tragedy. Triumph over the bonds of colonialism transformed into the tragedy of slavery, Manifest Destiny and the genocide of Native Americans followed by Civil War. Abolition began to right the wrongs of slavery, but America careened forward into the excesses of the Gilded Age and the arrogance of her Imperialist Presidency that extended her empire to the islands of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

The Roosevelts expanded the American vision to encompass economic justice, environmental preservation and the duty to deliver peace beyond our borders. At the same time, American philosophers advocated the virtue of selfishness, the goodness of greed and the siren song of supply side trickle down economic miracles, while Martin Luther King, Jr. marched to the beat of a different drummer to demand the fulfillment of civil rights for our black brothers and sisters.

In an ancient scenario, the culture of greed infiltrated the American defense establishment and commandeered the ship of state to instigate conflicts and to impose its will by force. American power came into conflict with competing ideologies promising a better and more just society through cooperation rather than competition. For more than three-quarters of a century, America has moved forward toward its promise of freedom for all her people: freedom of speech; freedom of religion; freedom from want and freedom from fear.


The elites will tell us that the Cookie Monster did 911.

As Barack Obama approaches the dais to take his oath of office, he is focused on delivering the four freedoms to all Americans. Each of FDR’s four freedoms is in danger in America today. Freedom of speech was curtailed in pursuit of solidarity against the Axis of Evil in the War on Terror. Freedom of religion is under threat as Muslims are treated like criminals and terrorists. Freedom from want is on its deathbed, for millions of Americans have been expelled from their homes, banished from their workplaces and shunned by their employers. Freedom from fear has vanished, as Americans are convulsed in a paroxysm of panic apprehensive about their financial security and in fear for their very lives.

Denture ice cube trays

These look especially good in a fizzy drink, served in a short, clear glass...

Barack Obama faces an insurmountable Himalaya of fear. In its face, Obama brings a message of hope for change. Obama erases fear with the promise of hope. Now he must turn to the people of America and deliver the four freedoms they have been promised.

Obama faces anxiety over the economy. While there are differences of opinion about what must be done and what must not be done, Obama has few choices. Obama’s errant predecessor capitulated to the demands of his capitalist coterie for massive federal bailouts of financial institutions. With the bloated banking system now in bankruptcy, the calls for government regulation from Wall Street and the Federal Reserve will herald the beginning of state capitalism, a propagandistic oxymoron for a socialized banking system. While the incomes of financiers, bankers and others will shrivel, the confidence of the American people will be restored. The new American banking system will resemble a vast public utility, where salaries are strictly limited and profits are regulated.

But, the American people fear for their very lives today. Faced with the rapacious appetite for corporate profit that no population of any other industrialized nation faces, Americans spend more than twice what citizens of other democracies spend for their healthcare. In order to restore the freedom from fear, Obama must deliver a better system for healthcare that will be nothing less than revolutionary for it must delete the profitability of illness, injury and disease from the national vocabulary. The people of America are suffering through a stupefying crescendo of ghoulish greed that is pervasive thoughout the healthcare industry. Obama believes that healthcare is a human right that government must deliver to a free people to ensure that they do not experience fears for their own lives.

But, Americans fear for more than their financial futures and their health, they fear for their very existence under threat from those who would destroy the fabric of our society – the terrorists. Bush launched his War on Terror to galvanize political support for a Gotterdammerung of Islamist terrorists. In the process, Bush triggered a massive avalanche of fear within America that has led to two immoral and counterproductive wars in Asia. America’s standing in the world has been toppled from the top of a tall column. For the world at large, the Statue of Liberty has lost all meaning. America’s prestige has morphed into a global loathing of the stars and stripes. In 2008, America has become the most feared and hated nation on earth.
Like no other president before him, Obama faces a global challenge to America’s faltering leadership. To address the global challenge, Obama must replace opprobrium with trust and restore equilibrium with peace. American Muslims must be freed from the burdens of ostracism, stereotyping and the prison of Guantanamo. But, the closure of Guantanamo will be only the first step. The American prison population has inflated beyond all sense of reason. Alone among all other nations, America imprisons one out of every one hundred of its citizens. For shame, more American prisoners are from the black and tan minorities rather than from the white majority. The American prison-industrial complex has transformed the land of the free into a police state where minorities are incarcerated for misdemeanors while whites go free for felonies. Obama must right this terrible wrong that tarnishes America’s luster in the eyes of the world.

Even more importantly, Obama must forge a new foreign policy that does not genuflect to the Pentagon and resort to military interventions and wars to enforce American power by the simplsitic application of force -- for force has failed America in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. In the Information Age, hard power is indeed outmoded, outdated, obsolete and counterproductive. Soft power is now the only instrument available for forging ahead on the global seas of commerce, ecology and culture.

Obama’s global challenges are manifold, but none more difficult than in the Middle East. In recent days, hard power inflicted pain and destruction in the Arab-Israeli conflict. America’s involvement in the Middle East has not delivered peace or security of the freedom from fear to the peoples of the Middle East. Since the Camp David Accords and the Oslo Agreement, the Middle East has devolved into conflict and crisis. Under George W. Bush, American policy made the insufferable situation worse by launching the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and unwise favoritism in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nowhere does Obama face a more difficult challenge than in the Middle East, but in challenge therein resides opportunity – a unique opportunity to redefine America’s vision in the eyes of the world.

On Wednesday, the 21st of January 2009, Barack Obama will enter the Oval Office where he will wield the power of the American nation. On that date, the world will judge him for the priorities he engages from the very outset of his presidency.

While he has promised America that he will order the cessation of torture, the withdrawal from Iraq, the final phase of the war in Afghanistan and the restructuring of American involvement with the Arab-Israeli conflict, Obama’s global reputation will be cast in the flames of the forge.

In that moment and in the others rapidly to come, we shall learn the extent and the tenor of the change Obama will bring – not only to America but to the tiny planet where he will be the most powerful leader in world history, a leader for all peoples – for better or worse -- and it is indeed quite difficult to imagine how he might be worse than George W. Bush.

President Obama, the time is now ripe. Bring on all the changes you have promised from sea to shining sea and from nation unto nation – you must now bring peace unto all the nations of the earth. We, Americans who summoned and supported you are waiting; the nations are gazing intently upon you. Amaze us.
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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, January 20, 2009 0 comments