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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

CastrTroy Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (132 comments)

Personally, I don't own a car, and I know a few other people who don't own them as well. Between walking, bikes, public transit, taxis, delivery services, and rental cars, all my(and their) transportation needs are met, at a much lower TCO than owning a private car.

1 hour ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

CastrTroy Re:Go (273 comments)

Most people's knowledge of chess (mine included) only go as far as how the pieces move, and don't even touch on things like strategy as far as how to win the game. Even more complex moves like castling and en passant capturing using a pawn are beyond a lot of people's skill level.

6 hours ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

CastrTroy Re:Of Course They Do! (120 comments)

Exactly. And the limitations of an OS can very much determine how an application can perform and what it can do. With Windows tablets, both RT and Pro, any application that can read files can automatically read shard network folders and OneDrive, because it's been abstracted away properly from the application.

Contrast that with Android and iOS, where this functionality isn't abstracted away from the application, and any application that wants to access a network drive or the default cloud drive (Google Drive and Apple Cloud) has to implement the functionality themselves. iOS doesn't even present a traditional file system to the application which drastically changes how programs interact with data.

Android and iOS both (in stock configuration) don't allow mutliple applications on the screen at the same time, which limits how applications can behave. On a Windows tablet, the mail client will open links in a second window, leaving the user able to interact with both the page which has been opened, and the email client the same time. You can kind of emulate that with a part of the mail application that loads the web page, but that page doesn't get saved in your browser history, because it's not the actual browser that the user would normally use.

7 hours ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

CastrTroy Re:here's a pic (128 comments)

Yes. And compare that to a tractor from 100 years ago. There's way more difference between the two tractors and 2 cars that are as far apart in the timeline.

yesterday
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Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

CastrTroy Re:The utility/need/desire exists (107 comments)

You might think a plane would be nice, but cars have their advantages too. Being on land means you can handle bad weather much better in a car than in a plane. Also, having a mechanical breakdown is less dangerous in a car than in a plane. Cars can usually carry much more cargo in their car too. You can tow a trailer if you really want. Most personal planes have very little room for luggage, and don't allow for a lot of extra weight. Along the same lines, most personal planes don't have a lot of room for oversize people. Sure you could design a with the intention of carrying extra weight and larger passengers, but then you need a bigger engine, which becomes less efficient and is quite wasteful when you only have a single passenger.

about a week ago
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Twitter Reports 23 Million Users Are Actually Bots

CastrTroy Re:Hmm? (84 comments)

Exactly. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with the general idea of bots on twitter. Many of the bots will be of low quality, but so will a lot of the human users. I'm sure a lot of the bots out there do more to increase the popularity and usefulness of twitter than many of the non-bot accounts.

about a week ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

CastrTroy Re:Yes, Please (246 comments)

And home users aren't even close to getting on board. Most people's PCs and other devices will handle IPV6 just fine. Many new home routers are ready but a lot of people haven't bought a router in years, and their old one can't handle IPV6. And at least where I am, there aren't any home ISPs who even have IPV6 on the roadmap.

about a week ago
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Intel's 14-nm Broadwell CPU Primed For Slim Tablets

CastrTroy Re:Thank GOD (96 comments)

You're missing the biggest point. It has hardware h.265 support(not to be confused with h.264) which is a newer compression algorithm that allows for even smaller files while maintaining the same video quality, or better quality when using the same bitrate.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

CastrTroy Re:Confusing the issue (337 comments)

HDMI Micro is a standard cable and doesn't require any adapter because it's a straight through cable you can buy from any Audio/Video or computer store. Apple's solution uses a proprietary cable that they charge $55.00 for. I wasn't able to find any generic Lighting to HDMI adapters at my usual sources.Sure you may be able to hook up a cable to your iPad to connect it to your TV, but they make it pretty expensive to do so.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

CastrTroy Re:It *would* be if they unlocked the bootloader (337 comments)

The Surface Pro 3 doesn't have a locked boot loader. And it's actually quite easy to install Linux on it if you so desire. There are some hardware compatibility problems, but there's no locked boot loader, and installing Linux on a Surface Pro 3 isn't much different from installing it on any other laptop.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

CastrTroy Re:The problem of Microsoft (337 comments)

And yet MS is coming up with new ways to license Windows that make it cheaper than ever to make sure people have proper Windows Licenses. They also have this which is what allows you to buy $99 refurbished (off lease) PCs and ensure that you get a proper Windows license. The last $99 refurb I bought came with such a license and also included an actual OS install CD.

I think they have a ways to go in terms of people building their own machines, or upgrading old versions. But it's not like they are charging ridiculous amounts of money for their software.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

CastrTroy Re:Confusing the issue (337 comments)

As long as you understand that it doesn't run Windows programs, just like Windows Phone doesn't run Windows Apps, then personally I think it isn't that bad of a device.

I got a Surface 2 (RT) and I think that it has some great advantages over the other 10 inch tablet offerings. It has expandable storage using Micro SD (or USB3) which the iPad lacks.

It has native access to network drives which means that any program that accesses files can also read files off network drives (SMB and OneDrive) without requiring special programming, which is something that isn't available on iPad or Android.

It has a full size USB3 port which allows you to plug in all sorts of devices like proper mice and keyboards, as well as an XBox controller, which is great for gaming. A hub can be used to plug in multiple devices.

It has HDMI out using standard Micro USB which doesn't exist on the iPad, and which seems to be missing from a lot of Android offerings. This is great if you just want to hook up the device to a TV or a secondary monitor. You can either duplicate or extend your display.

There are very few restrictions as to what kind of apps they will allow you to publish. There are many emulators which work great with the XBox controller. There are also bittorrent clients. Those are 2 things you can't do with an iPad. You can also program your own apps using the free version of Visual Studio if you have a desktop/laptop.

My wife has an iPad and personally I find that it's a real pain to do things that should be easily do-able. I've gone through 4 or 5 apps (some paid and some free) to try to find an app that will just play videos of various formats off a network drive and haven't found a single one that will play all my videos. With my Surface 2, the built in video player will play just about anything, and I had to get another app to play MKV and MPEG2. The iPad only has 12 GB free out of the box, and the upgrade to the 32 GB version costs an extra $100. The 32 GB Surface RT (which is $50 cheaper than the 16 GB iPad) comes with 18 GB usable storage out of the box, and allows you to easily get more storage using the MicroSD slot. You can get the 64 GB Surface 2 for $50 cheaper than the 32 GB version of the iPad.

The only thing that I don't like about my Surface 2 is the small selection of apps. But despite that, I can't think of anything I can't do that I'd want to do with a 10 inch tablet. The only real disadvantage is that there are fewer games to choose from. I don't see that as a huge disadvantage.

about two weeks ago
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NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

CastrTroy Re:Why would anyone go willingly to the stadium? (216 comments)

Not only that, but perhaps if they can't fill a stadium, it's because they are asking too much for tickets. I'm not sure what NFL tickets cost, but if it's going the same way as the NHL, then they are bordering on completely unaffordable for most people. When it's minimum $200 to take your family to a game, or closer to $500 if you want some good seats where you can actually see what's going on, then it's no wonder people don't got to the stadium. The only people who go are people who decide to treat themselves and go to one game a year, or people who have a lot of money.

about two weeks ago
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Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

CastrTroy Re:Great (175 comments)

The problem is that just switching yourself doesn't solve anything. You have to convince all your friends to switch so that they can send and receive encrypted messages too. That might actually be their plan. Get the techies to go for it, and they'll tell all their friends to go for it. It may possibly work but most people don't use email for anything confidential. Nobody cares if somebody else is reading the marketing emails or plans with family that are being sent to them. Plus, as pointed out by others, using webmail means that there could always be chance that the webmail provider is secretly keeping a copy of your private key, allowing them and the NSA to read your mail anyway.

about two weeks ago
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City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

CastrTroy Re:Fascist justice (133 comments)

Yeah, but from my understanding they have their own mayor and everything, are are a completely separate municipality from other parts of London. Tons of people work there but very few of those people actually get a vote as to what happens where they spend 1/3rd of their lives. This makes it quite odd.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle Database Redaction Trivial To Bypass, Says David Litchfield

CastrTroy Re:Put in a separate table (62 comments)

It would be trivially easy to build a rainbow table anyway. And it couldn't even be salted, because the IRS and the communicating systems would have to agree on a salt, which would make any salt used useless. Once a rainbow table was created, any advantage you get from hashing the numbers would be useless.

about two weeks ago
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City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

CastrTroy Re:Fascist justice (133 comments)

That's quite interesting. In North America, the "in thing" is for cities to expand their borders as far as possible, amalgamating the suburbs and smaller towns into one giant mega city with a single mayor, and all services overseen by a single municipal government. This allows the city to collect more tax dollars, and get better deals on buying things because they are buying in larger quantities.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

CastrTroy Re:Why do CS grads become lowly programmers? (637 comments)

I think the problem is that web programming it actually one of the hardest things to do properly, and yet everybody seems to try to do it without really understanding what's going on. You can't just take a single class on web application security, because there's way too much information to cover. First, there would have to be a lot of prerequisites such as SQL databases, Actually understanding Javascript as well as at least one server side language (PHP, .Net, Java, etc). Understanding how HTTP works. And there's a bunch of other stuff you really should know before you even start to delve into the security aspects of it all. Then there's all the different vulnerabilities. Just getting people to understand what code runs where (javascript on browser, C# on server), where information is coming from (query string, form data, cookies, http headers) and how it is all able to be forged quite easily by the client. Web development is a whole specialization in and of itself, and couldn't even begin to be covered well enough without leaving out some other more important parts of a CS education.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

CastrTroy Re:memory management (637 comments)

By and large, programming still is something you have to figure out on your own time. The problem is that most graduates don't take their own time to learn it. They do the required assignments, write the exams, graduate, and expect that they will be able to work as a programmer. The actual amount of programming knowledge required to get CS degree is quite small. Even smaller if you consider that many students don't do the assignments completely on their own.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Shuts Down 'Flight Simulator' Game Stud

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CastrTroy writes "Microsoft confirmed Friday that the software giant has shuttered ACES Studios, the developer of the Flight Simulator series of games, whose latest incarnation is Flight Simulator X. The simulation is considered Microsoft's oldest product, whose original version first shipped in 1982.

However, a Microsoft spokeswoman said that while the studio has been closed, the software company remains committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, without explaining how future products can be launched without a dedicated software development team backing them."
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India Threatens to Ban BlackBerry Devices

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy (595695) writes "As yet another reminder of how much the communications industry business model is influenced by regulators and lawmakers, India's Department of Telecom has suggested it might forbid use of the Research in Motion BlackBerry device in India unless RIM hands over its encryption keys for possible use by India's security services, reports the Economic Times."
Link to Original Source
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Good games for babies and toddlers?

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy writes "I have a 16 month old girl, and another baby one on the way soon. I've been looking for some good keyboard bashing games for her to play. She shows a lot of interest in the computer, since we spend lots of time on the computer. I've been able to find a lot of flash games, and I have some old windows 3.1/95 software which works quite well, but most of them have the problem that my daughter eventually finds a way to escape the game and start affecting the rest of the computer. Are there any games, that block out all keys so that she can just bash the keyboard, and we don't have to keep pulling her away from the keyboard every 30 seconds while we get her back into the game. The usual culprits are the windows key, alt+tab, Windows+L, alt+F4 and many of the other key combinations that will kick her out of the game. Something free would be nice, but we're planning on having 3 kids, so I'd be willing to pay for a game if there was any that actually provided what I was looking for. I'm not so worried about her messing up the computer, but the problem is more that once you leave the game, things get a lot less interesting, and hitting all the keys stops doing interesting stuff, and she tends to get frustrated when we keep pulling her away to get back in the game."
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Wii Has Outsold XBox 360

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy writes "According to the stats at VGChartz.com the Wii has now outsold the XBox 360. It has also sold more than double that of the PS3 which was released at the same time. Current numbers as I'm writing this show 10.57 million for the Wii, 10.51 million for XBox 360, and 4.32 million for the PS3. The Wii was only released 9 months ago, and the XBox 360 had a full year as the only new console on the market, yet it seems as though the Wii will win the popular opinion poll this generation. Good graphics or not, hardcore games or not, people are buying this thing in droves."
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