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Comments

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Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice

Auroch Re:I, for one, welcome... (444 comments)

Well actually I do, it's great to have an alternative voice and hopefully this will bring more understanding and humanity to the news.

Unfortunately, the simple fact of having an "alternative voice" does nothing to further understanding or humanity. To be directly beneficial, you must have something worthwhile to add with that voice, and it should be clear of bias and misdirection. As I understand it, Al-Jazeera is as biased and controversial as both the left- and right- leaning institutions already in place, and I fail to see how an additional news network adds anything beneficial to the conversation. Simply having another viewpoint isn't fundamentally more (or less) useful simply because it is different.

Whether or not Al-Jazeera is going to be beneficial remains to be seen - but more is not always better (or worse), and different is not always good (or bad).

about a year ago
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Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice

Auroch This would have been news ... (444 comments)

After all, a non American involved in US broadcasting is clearly beyond the pale.

The only people this will upset are the talking-heads journalists and folks who are too old (or too uninformed) to realize that the internet "does" TV.

about a year ago
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Facebook Gives Free Voice Calls a Trial Run in Canada

Auroch Re:Lack of direction? (98 comments)

Does Facebook even have any sense of direction towards monetizing their platform?

Facebook (unlike many other products) has focused on delivering a scalable platform and pleasing user experience. While the web has been around for awhile, there is no standardized business plan for social media. Each "successful" platform has grown (or not) based on a unique combination.

I'm happy with their attempts to monetize - especially considering the more obnoxious attempts are easily ignored with adblock and/or noscript.

about a year ago
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Facebook Gives Free Voice Calls a Trial Run in Canada

Auroch Re:Lack of direction? (98 comments)

I tried VOIP on android over wifi once, it was terrible... almost unusable.

I believe you're lacking adequate data points. I've tried it several times and found that the quality of the call is directly related to the quality of the connection.

about a year ago
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Facebook Gives Free Voice Calls a Trial Run in Canada

Auroch Re:The Catch Is Obvious (98 comments)

Mobile data costs so much more than phone minutes these days, people probably won't save anything.

While this might be an attempt to troll the canadian population regarding the high price of mobile communications, I'm quite happy with my $40/month unlimited nation-wide calling and data. It's not free, but it's quite reasonable.

Although, why I'd need VoIP when I've already got unlimited minutes and decent coverage, I can't imagine ...

about a year ago
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Facebook Gives Free Voice Calls a Trial Run in Canada

Auroch Re:Lack of direction? (98 comments)

Since Skype is already available on Android and iOS, and brought with it a sizable existing customer base and mindshare built up over some years,..

Yes, but this is "Mom" friendly. And (un)fortunately, I already see many 12-and-13 year old kids using cell phones (paid by their parents) before they've learned cell phone etiquette. Now they don't need either a plan or software/VoIP knowhow - just a wifi connection.

This might be news, but I'm not convinced this is progress.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Over 500 Used DIMMs?

Auroch Re:PCs for Kids (291 comments)

No, but they can reduce their tax burden while gaining some control over where their resources help the community.

Right, so they can upgrade for a cost far below full price, because they make enough money to have the taxable portion of their income reduced.

Someone making substantially less couldn't do that, since they couldn't deduct from their income tax ... but probably couldn't afford to buy it in the first place.

In other words? I just disproved my initial statement - yes, they CAN upgrade for free, if they didn't depreciate the value of the ram.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Ideas For a Geek Remodel?

Auroch Re:Ethernet! (372 comments)

Lots and lots of Ethernet ports. Wireless is insufficient for the True Geek.

Well, it's not a bad idea. The wiring can be done in a way that you can thread other things when ethernet is no longer fast enough.

Though, if you're going to do that - why not send all the cords to a central part in the house, and install a command centre there? You can use it to re-direct connections, spy on internet usage, selectively disable (or re-route) certain wires ...

about a year and a half ago
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What To Do With Those First Generation Photo Frames?

Auroch Re:Why choose to be unhappy? (146 comments)

I thought this was Slashdot. This should be the home of people hacking devices and breathing new life into them.

... Sorry, not since 2004 and the release of the ipod mini. Here, we praise the almighty apple, and their policies of less-than-user-repairable designs.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

Auroch Re:Signal isn't chaning, the noise floor is (615 comments)

PLEASE STOP OFFERING THIS ADVICE.

Increasing your WAP broadcast power does nothing to improve signal in the other direction, so while it will make your mobile devices show more bars, it won't actually improve network performance. TCP doesn't work unless a host can both send and receive (packets need to be ACKed), so even if the client receives further away from the WAP, it'll stop getting new packets if it can't notify the sender that those packets were received.

All that really happens when you increase broadcast power is an increase in interference with neighboring WAPs, which tends to lead other people to the conclusion that they also need to increase broadcast power in order to overcome the interference that you created.

... so you're suggesting you turn up the power on BOTH ends?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

Auroch Re:Several causes, but a few that spring to mind.. (615 comments)

1. slow burnout of emitter gear due to thermal degradation (yes, clock chips and transistors get hot, as do solder tracks and joints). Thermal runaway can occur if a solder joint fails and arcs, or overvoltage causes signal tracks to vapourise. 2. ionising radiation, particularly on unshielded components such as antenna conductors (I've seen something like this occur on an externally mounted amateur radio antenna: the sunward side of the antenna completely degraded, the result being that the only signals received (or sent) were on the shadow side). 3. component quality on consumer gear is not as stringent as it could be. Components can and do fail, and considering the number of components in a lot of consumer gear, it's a wonder any of it actually leaves the factory. 4. the noise floor of several years ago was far, far lower than it is now. The ERP of newer gear is (by design or by necessity) higher than older gear as more and more transmitters have to share the band. As a result, the signal quality taking a dive may be at least partly illusory. The equipment may actually be perfectly fine. 5. parasitic structures in semiconductor packages may be the catalyst for failure, either immediate or delayed. Such structures may be as small as a single atom of chlorine embedded in a crystal of germanium - innocuous at first (undetectable, even), but over time and use, that contamination will alter the chemistry of the semiconductor, possibly causing it to bond with the package material and rendering it useless. This might not even be an issue in high powered gear like regulators but in something like a microprocessor, it's a showstopper.

No facts, please. We're all happy complaining about signals, noise, and the general decline of the human race.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

Auroch Re:Other Observations? (615 comments)

Please name names

Ummm, AC router 1 and 4 are acting up. AC router 3 is posting on slashdot using my account, I believe it is running some 3rd party happyOS...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

Auroch Re:analog transistors age (615 comments)

Please see sgt_doom's explanation . . .

but ..., this is sgt_doom's post, and so this is his explanation ... so ... do you propose it's signal degradation due to recursivity?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Securing a Windows Laptop, For the Windows Newbie?

Auroch Re:Simple (503 comments)

Install Microsoft Security Essentials and forget about it.

It hogs the CPU and makes the disk thrash like a Dickensian schoolmaster. So even if it misses any malware or viruses they won't have time to do anything nasty.

So, you're saying he should just install windowsME or vista?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Securing a Windows Laptop, For the Windows Newbie?

Auroch Re:Well, do it, but... (503 comments)

While I agree it's better to avoid the whore than to wear the condom, but if you know you're going to visit the whore anyway better suit up.

Birthday Suit UP! Also, MSSE is decent.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do SSDs Die?

Auroch Re:Flash SSD has Write Limitations so... (510 comments)

From what I understand, SSD die because of "write-burnout" if they are FLASH based and from what I understand the majority of SSDs are flashed based now. So while I haven't actually had a drive fail on me, I assume that I would be able to still read data off a failing drive and restore it, making it an ideal failure path. I did a google search and found a good article on the issue: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/data-recovered-failed-ssd/

Which is why you can do the same from a failed usb flash drive?

It's a nice theory, but it's highly dependent on the controller.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do SSDs Die?

Auroch Re:They shrink (510 comments)

The drives will shrink down to nothing. I believe that the drive controller considers a sector dead after 100,000 writes.

Filesystems, generally speaking, aren't resilient to the underlying disk geometry changing after they've been laid down. There's reserved space to replace bad cells as they start to die, but the disk won't shrink. Eventually, though, you get parts of the disk dying in an unrecoverable way and the drive is toast.

Yup, I had a 2nd gen kingston die. Ever had a flash drive go bad? Unless you buy one with a decent controller (sandforce, intel) then you'll have the same experience when your ssd dies.

about a year and a half ago
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A Suicide Goes Viral On the Internet

Auroch Re:Calm before the hyperbole (566 comments)

My understanding from the apology was that there WAS a 5 second delay, and the guy in charge of The Button didnt press it in the 5 second time.

That's a nice job to have. How bad at your job do you need to be to mess it up?

about a year and a half ago
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A Suicide Goes Viral On the Internet

Auroch Re:Calm before the hyperbole (566 comments)

Why is it okay to show Bear Grylls mudering animals needlessly?

Because they're animals, not people.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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More changes leads to less change, will the USA follow?

Auroch Auroch writes  |  about 2 years ago

Auroch writes "A drop in the bucket for the cash economy, or something more? In the latest federal budget, the government will be instructing the bank of canada to eliminate the circulation of the penny. Canada has decided to finally rid itself of the penny. Following the example of Australia (and Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Mexico, as well as New zealand, to name a few), Canada will be reducing the penny to collector-only status, much like the 50 cent coin. Will the USA be next?

Anti-penny legislation has been around for several years, and the US mint is already sitting on millions of un-used and un-issued dollar coins. As the average use of the coin increases, the average cost-per-use decreases — so the cost of creating the coins is generally thought to be recovered through circulation. But if neither pennies nor dollars see much circulation, we may soon see a penny-less society in the USA. Perhaps this shift could lead to bitcoins (or another online currency) start to gain mainstream traction."

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