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Comments

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USB Reversable Cable Images Emerge

Anonymous Freak Reversible is better - see loose FireWire cables. (208 comments)

FireWire is a keyed-connector. That doesn't prevent them from being plugged in backward. As I have done on more than one occasion where the socket was "loose", allowing the keying to not work, allowing the plug to be plugged in backward.

Which promptly puts up to 45 Watts of power into the data pins.

Which tends to fry the device.

Cables that can't be plugged in wrong because there IS NO "wrong" are best - just plug it in. Don't worry about how you're plugging it in, if it seems like it will fit, it's good.

about three weeks ago
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How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

Anonymous Freak Will never be "big" as long as it takes effort. (202 comments)

VirtualBoy, Sony's head mounted displays from the late '90s/early '00s, Oculus Rift - they all have the problem that they are something that separates you from reality, rather than replacing it.

We won't have "virtual reality" become truly mainstream/big until we have something either "full-immersion dedicated room" like the Star Trek holodeck or "so personal you don't even notice you're wearing it" like VR contact lenses. Until then, it will be the ultimate niche-within-a-niche. And the holodeck idea will be a destination, with only the rare person having one in their house. (See true "home theater" rooms now - they're still really rare.)

about three weeks ago
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I prefer my peppers ...

Anonymous Freak Bingo. (285 comments)

I can handle hot (yes, I've tried a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion,) but it's not "enjoyable" to have a hot pepper solely due to hotness, either on its own or in a dish.

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion wasn't bad - it actually had a nice, almost sweet taste at first before the hotness kicked in. But by and large, "hot for hotness sake" isn't good. I don't like Sriracha, it's "just hot" with no good taste to it. I like mild peppers to just eat plain/raw, and I do like some dishes spicy-hot, but there needs to be *TASTE* with it.

Note that I only tried a small piece of the Scorpion. My wife and a few friends did a "pepper challenge" (eat a whole pepper, chewing thoroughly, then don't drink/eat anything else for at least five minutes.) I knew I picked the right wife. She barely even broke a sweat. The other woman participating was sweating heavily, and obviously working hard to avoid showing pain. The man who participated was hilarious - he kept saying he was dying, turned bright red, saying "kill me, kill me now..." etc. At one point he burped toward one of the bystanders, and the bystander had to go wash his eyes out - saying it felt like he had just been pepper sprayed! (And he would know.)

about three weeks ago
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F-Secure: Android Accounted For 97% of All Mobile Malware In 2013

Anonymous Freak The only "open" platform left... (193 comments)

As others have said, the walled gardens are *EXTREMELY* safe. iOS App Store and Google Play are both *VERY* safe.

Jailbroken iPhones are targets, but most people concerned with open platforms are on Android - and sadly Google has gotten people used to "going off-reservation" for some apps. (Is Kindle Market available to install direct from Google Play yet? Or do you still need to root and side-load?)

Symbian is effectively dead (the former leader of malware,) and Palm is all but buried at this point. Not sure about CrackBerry's ecosystem. Microsoft's is basically as safe as Apple's.

That leaves Android as the only reasonable target for malware. Sort of like how in the '80s, Macintosh was the primary target for viruses, as it was the most likely to be networked - then as Windows got internet-connected, it became the prime target.

about a month and a half ago
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AOL Reverses Course On 401K Match; CEO Apologizes

Anonymous Freak Re: Socialism isn't what you think it is. (123 comments)

I think you need to research how government-mandated insurance works... The government doesn't make a dime off the insurance companies. And socializing would mean the exact OPPOSITE of what you claim - socializing would make the GOVERNMENT own the liabilities, and the PEOPLE own the profits.

Note: I'm not saying that socialism is good - mostly because "pure" socialism has never happened. Nor has "pure" communism. Every country that claimed to be communist ended up as a dictatorship under the veneer of communism. Pure socialism and pure communism are always doomed to fail because people are inherently greedy - corrupting the systems.

Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek is as close to "pure communism" that has ever been portrayed. And like in Star Trek: we couldn't handle that system at present. (I don't think we ever will.)

about 2 months ago
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Valve Offers Free Subscription To Debian Developers: Paying It Forward

Anonymous Freak Re:So only a small subset of people get this (205 comments)

WHINE WHINE WHINE I DIDN'T GET ANY WHINE WHINE WHINE

This is news because it is someone giving free stuff to open source developers!

Solely as a thank you for being developers that helped them succeed.

about 3 months ago
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Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites.

Anonymous Freak Re:Why? (247 comments)

Wow. Troll? No - truth.

Go ahead and play politics - but if your mission is "...to empower a global volunteer community to collect and develop the world's knowledge and to make it available to everyone for free, for any purpose." then to me "make it available to everyone" is primary take away.

"Make available to everyone" means *MAKE AVAILABLE*. They're not the Free Software Foundation. They're not GNU, they're not even Creative Commons. Their mission is to make the information available to as many people as possible. To me, this means that supporting closed FORMATS for open INFORMATION gets to the maximum number of people.

They also specifically call out that they are about "free content" - notably SEPARATING it from "open content". The part of the content they care about is the freedom of the CONTENT itself. Public Domain, CC-licensed, etc. The mission of Wikimedia doesn't mention supporting OPEN content as a priority. And that is as it should be!

about 3 months ago
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Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites.

Anonymous Freak Re:WTF? (247 comments)

Yes - it's called "most people don't care what their computer or mobile phone runs - they just want things to work when they click/tap them."

When a kid in middle school, working on a Windows XP computer that the district can't afford to replace, and can barely afford to (under)pay an IT staff to maintain, accesses Wikipedia to do research for a report, and can't view the video because IE doesn't support Ogg, that kid gives up on Wikipedia.

When a grandma, working on her iPhone, tries to watch a short video about a topic she's interested in, and can't, she gives up on Wikipedia.

You're absolutely right - it is wrong. And Wikimedia stubbornly sticking to "free only!" doesn't fix it. Even a giant "YOU NEED AN OPEN PLATFORM TO VIEW THIS - CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE!" when you try to view a video will only scare people away, not get them to move to open platforms.

about 3 months ago
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Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites.

Anonymous Freak Best option - insufferable self-righteousness gone (247 comments)

If the kerfuffle over this has one positive outcome - it will be the insufferable, ridiculously self-righteous Wikimedia users leaving en masse and making Wikimedia a much nicer place to contribute again...

about 3 months ago
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A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

Anonymous Freak Re:Second post (261 comments)

Y'all are wusses. ROT-1053 or nothing.

1 year,22 days
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Over the Antarctic, the Smallest Ozone Hole In a Decade

Anonymous Freak Re:cfr's and treaty (174 comments)

You're right, the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs,) only affect the USA, and had no impact on the ozone layer (well, except the one banning CFCs, see below.)

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs,) on the other hand, have had a scientifically-demonstrated effect on the ozone layer, and have been banned essentially world-wide since 1994.

about a year ago
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When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

Anonymous Freak Depends on how you define "landline". (329 comments)

If you mean "a NANP-numbered phone line that uses a conventional RJ-11-connected telephone to a jack in the wall of a domicile," then yesterday.

But it's connected to a VOIP box that goes through my internet connection...

For a personal POTS/PSTN-connected line, I'd have to go back to 1999. I've only had cellular and VOIP since then. Even when I've had DSL since then, I haven't had a personal POTS line. I did have a POTS business line running to my home until 2010, although the number was forwarded 99% of the time; I think I only ever used the phone when power and internet were both down during storms.

about a year ago
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The status of Java on my machine:

Anonymous Freak Enabled - I support a Java-based app. (201 comments)

But it's an app that completely locks down Java, using it's own locked-down bundled JRE. We don't allow any Java apps/applets other than the ones signed by us to run from our JRE.

about a year ago
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Controlling Linux Using an Android Phone As Mouse, Keyboard, and Gamepad

Anonymous Freak Re:Congratulations (93 comments)

Yup, I've used similar on my phone (and before that, my Palm device,) to control my HTPC for a decade now.

While it's nice to have something truly built-in on both sides, rather than my current solution, a kb/mouse VNC client on the phone and a VNC server on the HTPC, it's still rather unnecessary to make a big deal.

about 2 years ago
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Another Death in the Cloud As Apple Kills Off iWork

Anonymous Freak Re:WTH? (134 comments)

Not to mention that it's really only the iWork name that is going away.

The same basic functionality will continue, only branded as iCloud, and presumably new versions of the iWork apps are about to come out that work with the new iCloud implementation.

about 2 years ago
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I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

Anonymous Freak Re:Bike Commute tips: (566 comments)

For non-motorized bicycles it is likely legal in many places that simply do not address bicycles.

For motorized motorcycles, yeah, California is one of the only places. (And it always freaks me out when someone does it when I'm driving in CA...) I know that I've seen motorcycle riders do it in CA to pass stopped traffic as well as while moving.

In Portland, at least, for bicycles, it is legal both stopped and moving.

about 2 years ago
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Facebook Says Your Email Is @Facebook

Anonymous Freak Good. Easier to ignore their spam... (346 comments)

Now every time they turn email notifications back on that I don't want, it won't go to one of the email addresses I ever check... (It was already linked to my 'spam attractor' email that I only check once a week.)

about 2 years ago
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I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

Anonymous Freak Re:Bike Commute tips: (566 comments)

It's a small bag. It detaches easily to be carried with you when you lock the bike up. Look up "seat post bag" for many varieties.

In my case, I am lucky enough to have a work with a locking bike parking cage (and all us cyclists know each other and trust each other, so we generally leave accessories on the bikes - although most aren't naive enough to leave the BIKES unlocked,) so I just leave it on. Plus, in my case, the tools and cash (two $2.50 bus passes plus a $5,) aren't expensive enough to worry about someone stealing most places I park it. If I park it somewhere that I *WOULD* worry about it, I take it with.

about 2 years ago
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I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

Anonymous Freak Re:Bike Commute tips: (566 comments)

As I said, It's a 7 mile commute that, depending on direction, either starts at about 200 feet elevation, or about sea level, and crosses a 450 foot elevation hill. It's doable, yes, but is a *LOOOONG* walk at night in the Winter in the rain. (And some stretches of it have just a bike lane, no sidewalk.)

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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sgi declares bankruptcy, to be sold to Rackable.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  about 5 years ago

Anonymous Freak (16973) writes "In what could possibly be the last story to get the "Silicon Graphics" tag here on Slashdot; sgi has announced that they are going to be acquired by Rackable Systems for a paltry $25 million.

From the press release:

"We have been working very hard to strengthen our company, and today, we've taken another big step in that direction," stated Robert "Bo" Ewald, CEO of Silicon Graphics. "This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for Silicon Graphics' customers, partners and employees, who can all benefit from the emerging stronger company with better technologies, products and markets reach."

April Fools joke? Your guess is as good as mine."
Link to Original Source

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Special Effects master Stan Winston dead.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Anonymous Freak (16973) writes "From The Associated Press:

Hollywood special-effects maestro Stan Winston has died at age 62. The Oscar-winning visual effects artist died at his home Sunday evening surrounded by family after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.


And from Fangoria:

Variety confirmed details about the death last night of makeup and FX master Stan Winston at age 62. Winston succumbed to multiple myeloma, which he'd been fighting for seven years, at his home, surrounded by family.


Stan Winston was responsible for some of the most iconic special effects in the industry, from Aliens to Jurassic Park to Iron Man. His incredible ability to bring some of the most fantastic visions to life will be missed."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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One Month on iPhone.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Well, it's been a full month since the iPhone's release, and here is as good a place as any to post my impressions...

Yes, I had activation issues. Took 12-ish hours to activate. No instant gratification for me. Since then, the only major network issue was the EDGE network going down on the first weekday after the iPhone launch (I have another entry on that.)

For ease of use, it's excellent. Better than a Palm, better than a Windows Mobile, way better than a Symbian S60 smartphone (which I swore by before this.) I have no ease of use complaints at all.

For underlying usability, lack of Flash and Java is annoying, but not a deal breaker. I haven't had a single website that I've wanted to go to that just wouldn't work. One complaint is the fact that .mp3 and .wav files aren't supported either in email or web. I get my home and work voicemails emailed to me in these two formats, and I can't listen to them on the iPhone. Google Maps could *REALLY* use the ability to easily change a start, middle, or end point by dragging (the way you can on the web version,) for easier re-routing. Especially with traffic. Yesterday I mapped a route that had me going on 15 miles of red freeways, and I had no way to reroute. I had to just play it by ear and figure out a new route on my own, entering an intersection as a 'start' point while stopped at a red light on my newly chosen route. One goofy aspect is that you can turn the iPhone on its side either direction while web browsing, even while playing videos on the web, but you HAVE to rotate it counterclockwise for YouTube or iPod videos. It would be nice to have the choice.

Stability is a well-documented problem. Safari crashes once or twice a day for me, in about 2-4 hours of Safari use per day. And early on, I discovered that if you leave the iPhone 'on' for too long, it starts to become unresponsive. (After about a week of not turning it off, I had an issue where after I slid the 'unlock slider', then typed in my code, I would need to hit the Home button for it to actually get beyond the code entry screen.)

Of course, there are some other features lacking, that are rumored to be coming soon in a software update. I figure I'll give it until Leopard comes out on the desktop to complain about the lack of those features (Notes don't sync to anything on the desktop, no MMS or AIM, etc.)

Overall, it's been great, with just a few minor nitpicks.

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EDGE network down nationwide. iPhone to blame.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ah... AT&T apparently didn't know what they were getting in to. Not only are the activation issues still going strong, but now (the first weekday since iPhone's release,) but now there are nationwide issues with their EDGE network. I am one of those experiencing the problem, and have been since 9:00 AM (Pacific) this morning. My iPhone says it has an EDGE connection (the little blue 'E',) but I get no data flowing. I called AT&T support, and was told it is down nationwide, with no estimated time to be back up. The agent basically blamed all their problems on the iPhone. That they hadn't prepared properly for all the demand of both activation, and data network use, that the iPhone would introduce.

Ah, you'd think AT&T would have had plenty of time to prepare. I mean, with all the hype, how could they *NOT* have anticipated this much demand? They should have prepared for every single iPhone that has been manufactured to be activated and actively on EDGE at 7:00 PM Hawaiian time on Friday. (i.e. A total sellout nationwide, with everyone activating within one hour of purchase.)

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Who are you, and what are you doing?

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Alright, well... I seem to have been generating a lot of flames recently, so I might as well try to explain myself.

I'm a geek. No, really, it's on my business card. I've been 'playing' with computers since 1984; both PC and Mac. I'm a fan of technology in general, and like the Macintosh because of it's well-executed implementations of various technologies. I am not a Microsoft-hater. I admire Linux, and know my way around a command line well enough to not get into serious trouble. (Or at least fix it when I do.)

I own a Prius. Not because it's 'hip', not because I think it will save me money, but because I like the underlying idea. That a car doesn't have to compromise to be environmentally friendly. And I like to support companies that do "the right thing."

I'm a 'Liberal Republican'. No, it's really not an oxymoron. I support low taxes, little government interference, and a balanced budget. I do *NOT* support the infringement of individual liberties, or government-sponsored religion. I am pro-death (death penalty, abortion, assisted suicide.) I am for 'gay marriage'. (Although I would prefer to see the government get out of 'marriage' altogether, and make ALL government-sanctioned unions simply 'civil unions', and let churches be the only organizations to use the word marriage.) Keep your morals out of my bedroom, and keep the government out of my business.

Any questions?

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