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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Anonymous Freak Re:Sooo many devices and appliances (260 comments)

Yeah, you'd think I ran a small datacenter...

(And while I do like to joke that to friends, I don't actually.)

A couple machines running multiple VMs don't help the count, either.

about two weeks ago

Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Anonymous Freak Re:I worked for Dell back then (391 comments)

But the Humpty-Dumpty sense is the best sense!

And, of course, you are completely correct. I should have used i.e., not AKA.

It was a dumb Americansism-abused-grammar mistake. I shall claim "it was written half past midnight in a sleepy stupor" as my excuse. :-P I am normally a spelling/grammar pedant; this just shows that even OCD grammarians screw up once in a while. (In general, if my spelling or grammar is incorrect, it's on purpose for humorous effect.)

about three weeks ago

Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video)

Anonymous Freak Re:Not the first, just the most egotistical. (116 comments)

agora was. I know because I had it. I know because a friend and I convinced Alan Batie (the owner/operator) to install a SLIP daemon in 1987.

Many years later, I worked at Intel, and looked up Alan. I had to introduce myself to the man that, to me, "gave me the Internet." He remembered me. (Or my user name, anyway.) I was more flattered by that at the time than if a sports star or president had told me they remembered me.

about three weeks ago

Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Anonymous Freak Re:I worked for Dell back then (391 comments)

If you read, he supplied more computers than Dell and Gateway combined....... Before 1993.

While both Dell and Gateway existed since the '80s, neither were international powerhouses until the mid-90s. I'm sure both HP and IBM were blowing this guy out of the water in Ireland.

I mean, I sold more cell phones worldwide in 2006 than Apple and Google combined, for crying out loud! (AKA: I sold one.)

about three weeks ago

Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video)

Anonymous Freak Re:more like 1987 (116 comments)

Yeah, not the first. There were multiple public ISPs in Portland in 1989. PDxs, agora, Teleport...

One is still around, nearly 30 years later - Raindrop Laboratories still has its "vintage" mid '90s web page, too. (It has been around since 1985.)

about a month ago

My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Anonymous Freak "Most recent"? Too new to know. (278 comments)

My most recent have been the new low-cost LEDs. I only bought my first batch about six months ago. I have been replacing CFLs as they fail, so only have four LED bulbs in service at the moment - ranging from about a week to 6 months in service.

The oldest in-service has been on continuously for the full 6 months. (It's the "basement night-light" on a ceiling mount that doesn't have an off switch. It's a 6-watt LED / "40 Watt equivalent".)

My earliest batches of compact fluorescent bulbs were terrible. The newer (2005+) batches are just starting to fail.

about 2 months ago

The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Anonymous Freak Independent acquisition: free (196 comments)

I bought a used lamp for $25 that came with two bulbs in it. But previous to that, the last time I acquired a light bulb separate from a device, it was free through my local utility's "order a free package of energy efficiency items!" program. It included two standard-base CFL bulbs, two candelabra base bulbs (ironically between ordering and getting delivery, we had replaced the last candelabra-bulb fixture in the house,) plus a low-flow water faucet attachment, and a couple other things I'm forgetting.

I am now down to just one spare bulb left, and it's a nasty incandescent. Going to have to head to Home Depot for some cheap LED bulbs soon.

about a month ago

Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

Anonymous Freak Won't go away, just stay niche. (355 comments)

USB is the "mainstream, use for anything" connector. USB SS+ with type-C and 100 W power delivery makes it even moreso.

Thunderbolt is external PCI Express. Over long distances with optical cabling. Yes, there are few places in which TB is better than USB SS+, but in those places, USB SS+ can't compete - at all.

Need a 20 Gb/s connection to your storage array in the next room over? USB SS+ can't do that. Need an effectively-zero-latency connection to an external sound/video editing rig? Yeah, PCIe is your format, over Thunderbolt.

And don't expect Thunderbolt to sit still, either. While USB has plans to increase speed, so does TB. TB has PCIe3 coming up, and other improvements.

No, I never expect Thunderbolt to become even as mainstream as FireWire was, but it most certainly won't just go away, either.

about 4 months ago

Why Disney Can't Give Us High-Def Star Wars Where Han Shoots First

Anonymous Freak It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (210 comments)

First implies an order.

An order implies there is more than one.

Han doesn't shoot *FIRST*, Han shoots.

There is no "first," because there is no "second."

There is no "second" because Greedo doesn't shoot at all.

Stop with "Han shoots first" - start with "Greedo never shoots".

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Anonymous Freak Re:Easier or harder to steal a car? (865 comments)

Hell, one of the reasons the Prius is more reliable is its replacement of ultra-complex electronic transmission with an ultra-simple mechanical planetary transmission!

about 4 months ago

How Much Data Plan Bandwidth Is Wasted By DRM?

Anonymous Freak No, you're trying to stream when you shouldn't. (200 comments)

Amazon and iTunes both allow DRM-laden *DOWNLOADED* movies. No, it's not "unlimited watch for a monthly price," but it's not DRM's fault. You're picking a completely different delivery mechanism.

about 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 7 months ago

Valve Offers Free Subscription To Debian Developers: Paying It Forward

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


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 7 months ago

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 " 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 7 months ago



sgi declares bankruptcy, to be sold to Rackable.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 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


Special Effects master Stan Winston dead.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 6 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



Last Journal entry was "first month on iPhone" - so might as well do "first week back"

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  about three weeks ago

And I mean it. I have now been using an original iPhone (aka "iPhone 2G") for a week as my primary personal cell phone.

I got a work phone that satisfied 99% of my usage, but I've had my personal cell phone number since 1997, having ported it between carriers numerous times. I passed my personal phone down to my daughter (who had an old iPhone 3G that she basically used as an out-of-date iPod touch that we activated for her 9th birthday as "emergency cell phone".) She was ecstatic about the upgrade.

But there was one problem: my plan had been to port my long-owned personal number to Google Voice, and just have it ring my work cell (and use the Google apps for text messaging on it.) But for some reason, Google Voice says my number can't be ported. (Maybe I've ported it too many times? It's on T-Mobile right now, which is the carrier I started on (when it was VoiceStream Wireless.) Well, with the port-to-Google shot down, I realized I would still need SOMETHING to send/receive text messages to people who have that as my primary number. (I forwarded my voice calls to my work phone.) So, what better than a little nostalgia? Dug out the old original iPhone - purchased launch day 2007 on a lark. I wasn't planning on getting one, I was just visiting my crazy friend who had waited in line over night right before the store opened - and he offered to let me "take his second". (Apple Stores were allowing you to buy up to two phones. He only wanted one, and he didn't want to be accused of letting me cut in line, so he just bought it and immediately sold it to me.)

I had the battery replaced a few years ago, when my daughter was using IT as an "obsolete iPod touch", but then nearly immediately put it in to storage as she got upgraded to the retired-from-my-use iPhone 3G. It is in nearly flawless physical condition (a slight ding in the Aluminum case on the side directly opposite the mute slider is all.) I loaded up Whited00r, a Jailbroken custom firmware that visually and functionally emulates iOS 7. That gave me a modern look and feel, plus most of the under-the-covers useful features (MMS, which Apple never officially supported on the original iPhone, etc.) Loaded up Twitter and Facebook, for LOLs. They still work just fine.

Yes, EDGE is slow, but it's passable for MMS, Facebook, and Twitter. All in all, it works reasonably well, even 7 years on.

I also dug out my official Apple Bluetooth Headset, but the battery has long since had its day - it lasts about 3 hours of STANDBY time, which means I only turn it on for my morning and evening commutes. (And really, since my phone number is forwarded to my work phone, and my work phone pairs to my speakerphone, it's only for making outbound calls to people who wouldn't recognize, or I don't want to have, my work number.)

It's kind of funny, because when I got my first smartphone (a Symbian S60 device,) I thought "wow, I might do more 'not talking on it as a phone' on this than using it as a phone!" Yet going back to the iPhone, I find I'm using it more for talking and texting than anything else. Although there have been a couple times that I have used IT for web browsing, Facebook, or Twitter over my work phone - just because I could.


One Month on iPhone.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 7 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.


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.)


Who are you, and what are you doing?

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 9 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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