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Comments

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Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

CastrTroy Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (282 comments)

What would be even more green is having a phone with an SD card slot so that you wouldn't need to be connected to "the cloud" to have a reasonable amount of content stored on it.

2 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

CastrTroy Re:Bullshit (198 comments)

I don't see what's wrong with having government have a monopoly on some basic necessities. The government has a monopoly on my local water utility, and they do a pretty good job of things. Electricity and natural gas are highly regulated by the government, and I'm very happy with the service I'm getting.

In fact, of all the monthly utility bills I have, the ones I despise the most are landline phone, and cable tv/Internet. And those are both delivered by commercial entities that have a monopoly because they own the lines. With cable and phone lines, you can buy services off another companies, but they are just paying big corps who own the lines, making it so that there's really no way to escape them. And if you ever need your lines fixed, and you're with one of the other guys, the guys who own the lines make sure it isn't fixed quickly. Even with other connectivity problems, the internet providers are often just renting some racks inside the big corps data center, meaning even small configuration issues can take a long time to get resolved.

I like my cell phone provider, because they've allowed smaller players to buy some of the spectrum so they can operate completely independently of the big boys, and they offer much better service, with lower prices for more features.

3 days ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

CastrTroy Re:obvious (173 comments)

By that logic, people who have kids should get paid more. People should be paid based on the work they accomplish, and not on their personal circumstances. If I choose to live in a smaller house, drive a cheap car, and live a meager lifestyle does that mean I should get paid less, because I don't "need" the money?

3 days ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

CastrTroy Re:obvious (173 comments)

If they have a foreign visa, then that means they are living in America, working in America, and paying American taxes. The question is, why are they willing to accept less pay than an American citizen if they have all the same expenses as an American? They may (most likely?) have less student loans, but other than that, there's no reason you can't live off the same wages they are. I can understand complaining about overseas workers, because in some places it's actually cheaper for just about everything, even if you buy the exact same stuff. But for foreign workers living in the same city, with the same housing options, and shopping at the same stores, if they think the job is worth the lower wages, maybe you are the one who's expecting too much.

4 days ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

CastrTroy Re:Incomplete data (173 comments)

But why does it have to be the most efficient? I know a woman who took software engineering. After she completed her degree, she went to teacher's college, and ended up becoming a teacher. To be a teacher where I live, you need 2 things. A bachelors degree, and to graduate from teachers college. For the most part, it doesn't matter what discipline you get your bachelors degree in. For her, at the time, it was interesting to take software engineering, and it gives you something good to fall back on in case you can't get in to teacher's college, or you decide you don't want to be a teacher, or if the number of jobs for teachers goes into decline. It's a much smarter path than taking an English degree, and then for some reason you can't get a job as a teacher, and you end up with a degree that doesn't help you get a job either.

4 days ago
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Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

CastrTroy No actual numbers (137 comments)

Even after looking at the full report, I see no actual numbers for how many vulnerabilities there were. Going from 1 vulnerability to 2 vulnerabilities would have been a 100% increase, without a huge reason for concern. They also state:

a trend underscored by a progressively shorter time to first patch for its past two releases

Is time to first patch really a bad thing? It really means that vulnabilities were found, and that they were fixed quickly. As opposed to vulnerabilities found and not fixed quickly. I suppose it's worse than "no vulnerabilities found" but even if none are found, it doesn't mean they don't exist. Fixing things quickly is about the best thing you can do. It also goes on to say in the report

Both IE exploits released in 2014 (CVE -2014-1776, CVE-2014-0322) used Flash to build the ROP chain and launch shellcode

Which really leads me to believe that the numbers really did go from 1 to 2, and that the exploits were more due to flash than they were to specific functionality in IE. MS was able to work around the bug by stopping it at the first step, but looks like the exploit isn't possible without Flash.

4 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CastrTroy Re:I doubt most people care (350 comments)

There used to be a corner store across the street from my house that would rent a VHS tape for $2, or 3 for $5, which was great for a rainy day. One video rental shop in my town had a deal where you could get 7 movies for 7 nights for $7. Currently, There's a grocery store by my house that rents out movies for $2, or there's another store with a RedBox that rents Movies for $1 a night. Still a more expensive than Netflix if you do enough volume, but not bad if you're just rending the odd movie. I never understood how Blockbuster got so popular with such high prices. There was always cheaper options.

about a week ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CastrTroy Re:Time will tell (350 comments)

As long as the other VOD (Video On Demand) services continue to charge $1.99 an episode or $4.99 for movie rentals, Netflix will continue to be a good value for my money. As long as my family watches about 2 or 3 things as week, it ends up being cheaper than doing the same vs other services. I think that the problem is exactly as you state. charge me 25 cents an hour for watching stuff, and I would gladly pay. Instead, they make it way too expensive. Currently, Netflix is the only service available that you can get down to this price, as long as you watch enough TV.

about a week ago
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Print Isn't Dead: How Linux Voice Crowdfunded a New Magazine

CastrTroy Re:Seems pricey (56 comments)

Yeah, $13.50 a piece for print magazines seems to be quite expensive, especially on a subscription plan. Typically magazines give subscribers big discounts. That doesn't seem to be happening here. For that price, I'll just leaf through it at the book store and only buy it if it has something that particular catches my eye.

about a week ago
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Print Isn't Dead: How Linux Voice Crowdfunded a New Magazine

CastrTroy Re:As a subscriber (56 comments)

I find it a little disingenuous that they are saying that print isn't dying and then go on to say that they only have 3,000 subscribers.

And my biggest problem with print magazines is exactly as you stated. If they have a print and online version, by the time you get your copy in the mail, you could have easily just already read the online version. Unless they purposely delay the online version, which is an equally bad idea. But why stop there. Why even delay individual articles until there's a whole magazine's worth. Why not just publish individual articles online as they become available.

about a week ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

CastrTroy Re:Identical devices (194 comments)

Yeah, especially on tablets and laptops where people generally don't (or can't) update the hardware at all. I would have to say that it's just yet another piece of identifying information. Combine it with all the other pseudo identifiers like user agent strings and font lists and you can narrow down the number of collisions quite quickly. Also, it's probably another thing that varies from time to time, which allows you to double count people and drive up visitor counts to increase your worth to advertisers.

about a week ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

CastrTroy Re:Thank Google, not Verizon (234 comments)

Most likely, by the time 4K becomes popular, h265 will have reached maturity, and you'll be able to fit 4K streams in a 20 Mbps stream. 100 Mbps is still enough to do 5 simultaneous 20 Mbps streams. Also, if we could get away from all this streaming nonsense, and be allowed to download shows before we want to watch them, it would pretty much be a non issue. My computer could download stuff while I'm at work, and have everything ready for the evening when I'm ready to watch.

about a week ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

CastrTroy Re:Thank Google, not Verizon (234 comments)

I personally don't see what the point of Gigabit speeds at home are. I have 30 Mbit/s internet, and that's fast enough to do at least 3 or 4 video streams at the same time. I don't really see many reasons I would need my internet connection to be 33 times faster than it already is. I think 100 would be the most I could ever forsee needing at home. At that rate, you can stream 5 Blu-Ray quality streams using h264. There's other uses such as downloading games, but the servers hosting the games aren't likely to be able to dedicate 1 Gbit to a single downloaded. Maybe in a decade some new thing will come along and I'll need a gigabit connection, but as it stands now, there isn't really any content on the internet that would benefit from having such a fast connection. At least not where I'd be hosting it out of my house.

about a week ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

CastrTroy Re:Vendor Software (290 comments)

This is why I'm seriously considering Windows Phone for my next one. I don't like iPhones because they only have 1 model (ok 2 now) and they are really expensive. Plus the fact that they make it hard to do anything that isn't Apple integrated. Android phones have the problem of you never know if they need to be updated. The only flaw I know about the Windows 8 phones is that there is a lack of apps. But as long as it has the apps so I can do what I want to, what does it matter what the total count is?

about a week ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

CastrTroy Re:no you are wrong (290 comments)

Not only that, but 8 MP camera is an easy to understand bullet point on the marketing brochure. UI that doesn't suck is harder to qualify, and doesn't really make sense on the marketing brochure. My biggest beef with Android phones is that many of them don't get updates after they leave the factory. This is especially true on many of the cheaper phones. Unfortunately, you don't see any phones marketed with "we promise to provide timely updates to the latest Android OS for the next 2 years" as a marketing point. And even if they did. There isn't much you can do to hold them to that.

about a week ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

CastrTroy Re:Great (151 comments)

I think it has more to do with the fact that I am an English speaker and it has letter groups I'm not accustomed to seeing together. EyjafjallajÃkull has 16 letters. An example of an English word with 16 letters would be "conservationists". It's quite easy to read because my brain breaks it up into letter groups that occur often in English. Groups like con, and tion, and ist occur all over the place and therefore make the word easy to recognize. EyjafjallajÃkull on the other hand doesn't have any common letter groups I would normall see in english. I don't even know how to properly pronounce Eyja or fja. The only part that's really familiar to English speakers is alla, and perhaps kull. Combine that with the j that sounds like y (does that mean y sounds like j?) and it makes the word quite difficult to read for non-native speakers.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

CastrTroy Re:Subscription Everything (87 comments)

I think it's actually quite a good way to get your music/movies/tv shows/books. I think it make the least sense for music because music tends to have a lot of replay value. People will listen to the same song or album over and over again. But for books, movies, and fiction books, you might use them once, twice, maybe even 20 times, but most people are constantly watching/reading new stuff. There's very little point to having a collection of movies you've already seen, or a house full of books you've already read. If they can get the price right, then they stand to make more money, and the person consuming the content will have access to a much larger library then they could every hope to purchase on their own. They are also more likely to branch out and look at other genres they hadn't considered before because they don't have to spend extra money to do so. And for media, it doesn't really matter much if you stop paying the subscription because you lost your job. You just can't watch any movies until you get a job again. Which many people are probably OK with. If it means I could have access to all of (or a large subset of) the media produced, I'm much happier spending $10 a month to have access to everything than spending $10 a month to have only 1 new item every month.

about two weeks ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

CastrTroy Re:Great (151 comments)

Thanks. That makes it a whole lot easier to pronounce. It's so obvious now.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

CastrTroy Re:If these trends continue.... (509 comments)

The computer can only understand you as well as you can express yourself. Sure you could use English if the computer understood it, but English isn't a very good language for writing specifications in. The reason we use programming languages is because the are unambiguous, and have a strictly defined grammar. English and other common spoken languages are nothing of the sort. Not only that, but writing everything out in English would probably create more actual code than just writing the program out in a traditional programming language, as it is quite verbose.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

CastrTroy Re:If these trends continue.... (509 comments)

I still think that software development is pretty future proof. Computers aren't going to program themselves any time soon. In the past, I've seen plenty of people flock to it, and plenty of people are still flocking to it. The problem is that most of the people who decide they want to do it have no actual software development skills. If you are a competent software developer, you probably won't have much trouble finding a job. The field is filled with people who can't program a single thing. The problem is that just going and taking a computer science degree isn't going to turn you into a competent software developer. You have to enjoy it and be willing to invest your own spare time into figuring out how things work. All the competent software developers I know have put in their "10,000 hours". You won't get there by simply getting a degree. You have to devote a serious amount of your life to it. If you aren't interested in software development, you probably won't succeed.

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."
Link to Original Source

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