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Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

CastrTroy Re:Software patents (110 comments)

A lot of countries don't recognize software patents. if this is what was really holding them back, they would release a plugin and tell you not to use it if it was illegal in your country, and of course everyone would use it anyway.

12 hours ago
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Fixing Verizon's Supercookie

CastrTroy Re:VPN. (105 comments)

Probably more than you can trust Verizon. Also, you can set up your own VPN server on Amazon's Cloud or another VPS provider. Sure there's always the chance that somebody would mess with your http connection, as you aren't really in control of the machine when using a VPS or other cloud provider. Although I think that any VPS/Cloud service that started manipulating the data traversing their servers would become very unpopular very quickly, and could also switch providers. It isn't so easy to switch cellular networks as most people are on contracts, and even those who aren't on contracts generally have very few choices for providers.

2 days ago
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Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol

CastrTroy Re:So, what's the practical concern of this? (78 comments)

It's interesting that you bring that up. Many secure facilities won't allow people to bring in cell phones or other devices. But it's actually quite hard to distinguish some regular wrist watches from one with cameras or communications devices in them. I think if you really want to have a "secure" facility, then you pretty much have to limit people to bringing in no electronic devices whatsoever.

2 days ago
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US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

CastrTroy Re:track record (293 comments)

It depends on how you define range. This site quotes a range of 6,320 nm/7,273 miles (11,711 km) while unloaded, and 4,350 nm/5,006 miles (8,056 km) while loaded with 120,000 lbs cargo. The 2500 mile value you quote most likely is only under the situation when it is carrying maximum cargo at 270,000 lbs. Which is probably not the use case for when the president would be flying around in it.

The safety record may be due to the case that it has been in service as a military plane. I'm sure that if it was used as Air Force One, it would get top notch maintenance, and not fly during adverse conditions if at all possible.

They would obviously have to reconfigure it to make it into a 2 level plane, but I'm pretty sure there's enough space in there for that. I'll give you that it's an old plane, and they haven't made any new ones lately, but it wouldn't be the worst design to start with.

2 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

CastrTroy Re:Cost; exclusive applications (303 comments)

I don't have a Surface Pro, so I can't confirm, but here's a short list of things that don't work out of the box on the Surface Pro with Ubuntu.

keyboard doesn't work (Possibly just the "Touch" version, maybe both
I don't think there's a great onscreen keyb
bluetooth doesn't work
dock doesn't work
pen pressure doesn't work
wifi only works with 2.4 ghz

Granted, none of that stops you from hooking up USB devices and using the CPU/GPU to their full capablities, but cut's down on it's use as an actual mobile computing device.

2 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

CastrTroy Re:Cost; exclusive applications (303 comments)

Actually, you can put Linux on the Surface Pro. The problem is that there's drivers missing for a lot of things, and certain things just don't work. To add to that, Linux still has some catching up to do in terms of high resolution displays so that things don't end up really tiny on the high resolution display.

3 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

CastrTroy Re:Cost; exclusive applications (303 comments)

That's why I said they will only be around for a few more years until they can bring the price of the Surface and other similar devices down to the price of the iPad. The iPad is much cheaper if you buy the base unit with 16 GB of storage, of which, only 12 GB are free out of the box. Once you get the 64 GB version, the price starts to move a lot closer to the price of a Surface Pro. And if you have a Surface Pro, that means you have something you can use as a laptop and as a tablet. So if you're OK with just the iPad, and no laptop, then sure the iPad is cheaper. But if you're the kind of person who wants both, which is a large number of people, then buying just the Surface Pro is very cost effective.

4 days ago
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Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

CastrTroy Re:not the point (374 comments)

The problem is that if you walk away and think that the screen locker will kick in, and somebody comes by while it is still unlocked, they can run a program that will look the the screen locker when you come back, but in reality will actually just be recording your user name as password so the intruder can use this. They'll get the password, and come back at a time when they have more time to do their dirty work. Ideally, you should lock your computer as soon as you get up, but that's what happens in an ideal world, and security has to work under non-ideal circumstances.

4 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

CastrTroy Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (303 comments)

This is my biggest problem with Android and iOS tablets. The operating systems are built assuming a tiny 4-5 inch screen. Once you have a 10 in screen, there's a whole lot more you could be doing with the device. They both pretty much limit you to a single app at a time. They are both missing key features like mounting network drives, or connecting to printer or other USB device (Android has support for a very limited number of devices). That is why I think the tablet is kind of a stop-gap device that will only be around for a few more years until ultra-mobile devices like the Surface Pro and Lenovo Yoga get a little cheaper so that most people can afford them. Why pay $500 for an iPad that can only do a small number of things if you could get a Surfrace Pro that can do so much more, while not actually increasing the weight or size of the device.

4 days ago
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Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

CastrTroy Re:Tax (525 comments)

Apple does sell plenty of high priced devices that the government collects sales tax on. In my country, they also collect taxes on all the apps, music, and movies sold in the Apple marketplace. So in a way, the government makes a lot of tax money from Apple. If Apple had to pay taxes directly, they would thy would just pass that cost onto the customer anyway; it would really just result in higher prices.

4 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

CastrTroy Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

the current model of the Nexus is a 6 inch monstrosity. I have no want, nor need for a 6 inch phone. They still sell the Nexus 5, but even that is a little high priced for my tastes. And the lack of SD expansion makes it a no go for me. I don't care what reasoning they have, there's nothing that will make me buy a phone that doesn't come with expandable storage.

5 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

CastrTroy Re:Their excuse sucks (579 comments)

Similarly, I have an LG Optimus G2X. It came with Android 2.2. It didn't get any updates at all. I was able to get it up to 2.3 by using the firmware from another carrier. This from a phone that debuted only about 6 months before Android 4 came out. You might think that LG or my carrier is the only one to blame. But when Google has their name engraved on the back, it gives me a bad impression of them when they put their name on a product that has so little support.

about a week ago
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Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

CastrTroy Re:Wow .... (155 comments)

It would be an interesting way to eat a "raw" egg without having to worry about salmonella. A new way to make steak tartar, cook all the ingredients, then use new scientific methods to uncook the ingredients. Safe and delicious.

about a week ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

CastrTroy Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

Isn't this basically what Microsoft does with Windows, or what Linux does. One code base that runs on all kinds of machines. And we still expect them to get vulnerabilities fixed. I could understand if it was a bug with some kind of driver that communicated with the cellular radio or other piece of hardware. Then it would be up to the manufacturer or carrier to fix the bug. But this is a bug in something that has nothing to do with the hardware that it is running on. There should be a more reliable way for bugs to get fixed on Android without going through multiple entities, some of which would just rather you buy new hardware. Imagine if you had to go through Dell, HP, or Acer every time you needed something fixed in Windows. It would be a disaster. But that's exactly what the state of affairs is with Android. I'm due for a new phone soon. I can't afford an iPhone, and my previous phone was Android, but I seriously got burned on updates. I've been considering Windows Phone, but their app selection is quite poor. I find that the current state of affairs with phone operating systems to be quite terrible.

about a week ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

CastrTroy Re:Wait for the fallout (128 comments)

It depends how they are sold If they are sold like kit cars and meant to be assembled by the end user, then there's a lot of regulations that you can get around. kit cars have very relaxed rules on what is required it make the street legal in many states. If you can get a frame from the 50's or earlier, you basically can avoid all regulations, as long as you have approved tires.

about two weeks ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

CastrTroy Re:Crash-testing & strength? (128 comments)

Plastic is not as hard as metal. The 3D printed guns have to be built much beefier, and even at the increased size of them, they still only last for 10's of shots, not hundreds or thousands like a regular gun. If you 3D printer a gun, you probably shouldn't fire it with your hand, as you are at risk losing some fingers.

That being said, I also question the cost and feasibility of this. 3D printing is great for 1-off prototypes, but it's a stupid idea for mass production. Even the best 3D printers are slow compared to traditional manufacturing methods once you want to produce items in the hundreds or thousands.

about two weeks ago
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Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

CastrTroy Re:If Microsoft would unlock the boot loader now.. (158 comments)

I've use that to develop my own software. It's really quite great. If they just opened up the development a bit more so that things didn't expire, or things didn't have to be signed at all, then it would be as good as Android as far as side-loading apps goes. I also think it would be great if they opened up the desktop API. there was a jailbreak for Windows 8 (doesn't work on 8.1) which allowed desktop apps to be run if recompiled. I think they got DOSBOX, SharpDevelop, and a few other things working on it. Just unlocking the thing would probably make a lot of people happy for not supporting Windows 10. Let's hope somebody at MS is reading this.

about two weeks ago
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Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

CastrTroy Re:If Microsoft would unlock the boot loader now.. (158 comments)

The actual OS I really like. It has a lot of features that are missing from iOS and Android. One big plus is the support for Network drives. If an app can read a file, it can read it from anywhere, including network drives and OneDrive. There's no special coding required on the application developers part. And apps are still restricted well enough that they can't just read/write willy-nilly to the file system.

What I really don't like is just the fact that so few developers have latched on to their App store ecosystem. And for me that only means less games, as I've been able to find apps to do just about everything else I would want to do on a tablet. If they aren't going to support it anymore, they should at least provide a supported way for running whatever apps you want to on it. Let people program their own applications at least. It wouldn't require unlocking the boot loader, but would still open up the possibility of a lot of independent app development.

about two weeks ago
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Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

CastrTroy Re:Translation: (158 comments)

I'll give you the distinction on a phone, but on a tablet, I'm really not so sure. What is the fundamental difference between an ultrabook, a Surface Pro, or a more traditional tablet. Sure I'll admit that as you move toward smaller tablets like 7 inch ones, running a full desktop OS becomes cumbersome, but you have to admit that there are some advantages to being able to run a full desktop application on your tablet in a pinch. Sure you'd want to be using tablet focused apps most of the time, but it's nice to know that if you only have your tablet on you, you can still do things like quickly edit an Excel or Word file with real MS Office. You wouldn't want to make huge edits, but just small little annotations would be great.

As you move up to larger tablets, like 10 inch and above, Android and iOS really start to show their lack of features because they don't let you run multiple apps at the same time, and they don't let you do things like mount network drives that every application can have access to. They don't come with standard USB ports, so you can't just plug in a USB stick, printer, camera, or other devices without using special dongles, and most likely they won't have drivers for things like printers anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

CastrTroy Re:Translation: (158 comments)

With newer Broadwell and Skylake processors coming down the line, and a 4.5 watt chip that will run full x86 Windows, there's very little reason for Microsoft to not think that everybody will be running a full power Windows installation on every device that isn't a phone. And if they can make the phone run the same apps with minor changes, then it lets developers target the entire ecosystem with very little effort. If you could have a single code base that easily supported phones, tablets, and desktop computers, then developers might see that as a huge advantage.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Shuts Down 'Flight Simulator' Game Stud

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  about 6 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 5 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 7 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 7 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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