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Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

Dahan Re:Spoon (134 comments)

I can view Apple iTunes video content on ... Apple devices and Macs.

There is a Windows version of iTunes, you know... but it is true that there's no iBooks for Windows.

about a week ago

Dell Demos 5K Display

Dahan Re:Same reason blu-ray didn't take off (204 comments)

On the 35" the text is too small to read comfortably for any length of time

Text size has no relation to the display size. Text size is generally specified in "points", where one point is approximately 1/72 inch. If you find the text too small to read, the obvious solution is to increase the size. Display size affects how much text you can display given a certain text size. E.g., you might get 40 lines of 10 point text on a 24" monitor, and 45 lines of 10 point text on a 32" monitor.

I don't see how reading on a 27" is going to work unless you increase your font size which reduces the benefits of the higher resolution.

Why wouldn't reading on a 27" work? A long time ago, I had a 15" CRT and was able to read text on it without any problems. And even further back, there were 9" screens, and even smaller ones. You just couldn't get as much text on them (e.g., 40 columns across).

The benefit of higher resolution is that text is sharper, since you can use more pixels to draw the characters while keeping the same point size. E.g., instead of using 8x12 pixels to draw a character, you can use 16x24, which looks a lot better. It's even more noticeable if you work with Chinese/Japanese/Korean text, where the characters are much more detailed than the Roman alphabet. Some characters (such as this one) turn into an indistinct mess if you have to squeeze it into a 12x12 pixel cell, but if you have 24x24 to work with, it looks a lot better.

In any case, this Dell monitor sounds interesting... I was considering their previous 4K 24" monitor, but the way it faked being two half-screens (to work around HDMI limitations?) seemed annoying and glitch-prone, and I heard that the next generation of monitors wouldn't have to do that. I currently have a 24" monitor, and am looking for something the same size, but I suppose 27" isn't too much bigger.

about two weeks ago

Mozilla 1024-Bit Cert Deprecation Leaves 107,000 Sites Untrusted

Dahan Re:Exaggerated, somewhat hysterical decision (67 comments)

Who cares how many "high end-PC years" it took? Nobody's going to try to factor a 1024-bit modulus using a single high-end PC. It took 4 actual years to factor 10 numbers. And why do you think someone who wants to factor the RSA modulus for a 1024-bit CA cert would have waited until today to start the process? Those certs have been around for over 10 years; if someone with enough computing power wanted to factor one, they could be done by now.

about two weeks ago

Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements

Dahan Re:Bad Advice (253 comments)

SN also supports UTF. Still waiting on Slashdot to do that.

You missed the boat/raft on that one... Slashdot supported it over 10 years ago. Support was removed due to people abusing Unicode control characters (particularly the RTL/LTR direction overrides). Does SN let you switch to RTL text? Or post a ton of stacked combining characters (i.e., "Zalgo" text)?

That said, Slashdot should just blacklist the control characters--Unicode publishes a list of them.

about two weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

Dahan Re:Most are ill-prepared (191 comments)


I refuse to use Alcohol based products... they are horrible at heating food and Alcohol in the USA is completely unregulated, which means it may have a toxicity level that one would rather not want to worry about.

You're not supposed to drink the alcohol--even pure methanol is pretty toxic if you drink it. You're just supposed to burn the alcohol in a stove. A proper alcohol burner will mix the vapors with air and produce a hot blue flame that works quite well at heating food.

about three weeks ago

Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Dahan Re:$230 (611 comments)

I thought I recalled it being built into firefox.

It is: Tools -> Add-ons, Plugins page, change the Shockwave Flash plugin to "Ask to activate". You can also configure per-host exceptions by clicking the globe/padlock icon in the address bar -> More Information -> Permissions tab.

about three weeks ago

Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

Dahan Re:Remember Microsoft Windows? (195 comments)

It used the FreeBSD networking code. This doesn't mean windows is fast and it's sort of specious. BSD has tricks in the Kernel to make I/O faster that pretty much anything else.

No it didn't. A few utilities that nobody used (e.g., the commandline ftp.exe, which doesn't even support PASV mode) were ported from BSD (not even FreeBSD), but the TCP/IP stack in Windows was not from BSD.

about a month ago

"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Dahan Re:Still better than Firewire (205 comments)

>not using a computer that has an IOMMU


about a month and a half ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Dahan Re:Hmm (299 comments)

If the amount of radiation didn't even kill the guy, it sounds like razing the building and securely storing all the towels that touched him is a bit overkill.

...And by "a bit" I mean the other thing.

Perhaps it didn't kill the guy because the substance that was emitting the radiation was transferred from his body into the towels that touched him?

about 2 months ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Dahan Re:Safety margins (299 comments)

Yes but they also put a strong odor in it. So 1 ppm smells really bad, you would be gagging at 500 ppm.

Why would anyone put a strong odor in benzene? I've never heard of that being done. Benzene already has an odor--a fairly nice one, actually.

about 2 months ago

Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

Dahan Re: Aperture-specific plugins... (214 comments)

the "cloud" version of Photoshop is out of the question, because I sometimes work in the field where there is no internet.

"Cloud" is just a marketing term that can mean a wide variety of things. In the case of Adobe Creative Cloud, it means you're licensed on a subscription basis, and need to connect to Adobe's servers periodically to verify that your subscription is still active. It doesn't mean you run Photoshop in a web browser--it's still installed on your hard drive like traditional programs. As the FAQ says, "No, the desktop applications in Creative Cloud, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, are installed directly on your computer, so you donâ(TM)t need an ongoing Internet connection to use them."

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

Dahan Re:Not a problem (146 comments)

I don't know why you had such a problem. There are many GSM carriers that offer SIM/pre-pay, and have for as long as I can recall.

Agreed. He doesn't say exactly when his last trip to the US was, but AT&T and T-Mobile had prepaid SIMs "a few years ago". I don't know if there are any airport shops that sell them (seems like there would be), but as you say, they're readily available in various stores outside the airport.

However, AT&T's prepaid plans suck for tourists... if you have a smartphone (and seeing that this is /., I bet OP does), AT&T will make you get a "smartphone" plan, which starts at $25 for a month of service, and doesn't actually include any data--that's an extra $5 for a measly 50MB. T-Mobile has prepaid plans that I think would work better for a short-term visitor, e.g., perhaps their $3/day unlimited plan.

But I think the best prepaid plans in the US for visitors come from "MVNO"s--basically companies that resell access to either AT&T's or T-Mobile's network, such as Airvoice or Ultra. Unfortunately, their SIMs tend not to be available in actual physical stores, which makes buying their service impractical for a visitor.

about 3 months ago

San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

Dahan Re:Levi stadium situation (404 comments)

Despite sounding like a good idea, apparently in real life the margin on parking is so low that you can't really do it on a part time basis and make it worth your while. It's not that they are doing it wrong, their business model is to simply privatize the profit and socializing the liability and risks (e.g. city maintenance and self-insurance costs) not unlike a big-bad-bank...

FWIW, most of the office buildings around the Texas Rangers baseball stadium in Arlington turn their lots into pay parking on game days. (And for games at the Cowboys football stadium too, even though that's a bit of a longer walk from the office buildings).

about 3 months ago

IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Dahan Re:Massive conspiracy (465 comments)

You should also, you know, READ the original TIGTA report, too. It is very enlightening, even with its admitted flaws. For example, the targeting was still a very small part of the total applications, and the "Tea Party" targeting was also less than a third of all targeted applications.

Read it already, and you're misstating what it says. You seem to be referring to Figure 4 on page 8--that's showing that of the applications that went for special review, about 1/3 looked like they were from "Tea Party" groups. That doesn't really say too much about whether Tea Party groups were targeted or not; of course there will be other applications that look borderline and need more review. What does show that they were targeted is that in a random sample of all applications, all Tea Party-looking groups were selected for special review. In other words, if you're not a Tea Party group, you only get special review if there's something worth reviewing. But if you are a Tea Party group, you're definitely getting reviewed. If you had read the report, you would have seen that it specifically mentions that the IRS made the same argument you made, and the report refutes that argument:

Figure 4 shows that approximately one-third of the applications identified for processing by the team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names, while the remainder did not. According to the Director, Rulings and Agreements, the fact that the team of specialists worked applications that did not involve the Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 groups demonstrated that the IRS was not politically biased in its identification of applications for processing by the team of specialists. While the team of specialists reviewed applications from a variety of organizations, we determined during our reviews of statistical samples of I.R.C. 501(c)(4) tax-exempt applications that all cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were forwarded to the team of specialists.

about 3 months ago

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

Dahan Re:So when will the taxi drivers start protesting? (583 comments)

The tips are generally shared amongst some of the staff.... that portion of the staff makes shit wage, minimum wage law doesn't apply to them.

No, minimum wage law does apply to them: "If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference."

It's actually most white-collar employees (e.g., software developers such as myself) who are exempt from the minimum wage laws (and overtime too)... see this page for the full list of exempt employees.

about 4 months ago

Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha

Dahan Re:Don't trust the Wall Street Journal (129 comments)

Are there any of the major companies that aren't doing Fiber to the Press Release? Karl Bode has a hateboner for AT&T, but if you look at it objectively, Google's doing the same thing. Fiber in Austin! But where and when? Not here, and not right now--probably not for another year. Unlike AT&T's so-called FTTPR, which is currently available in the Austin suburb I live in.

about 4 months ago

US Navy Develops World's Worst E-reader

Dahan CmdrTaco says (249 comments)

No wireless. Less space than a Kindle. Lame.

about 4 months ago

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Loses Deep Sea Vehicle

Dahan Re:Either... (93 comments)

Put 1090 atmospheres or add 1125 Kg/cm^2... Not everyone is using an archaic unit system. Actually, only very few are...

Pretty sure kg/cm^2 is even more archaic than psi. Has that been in common use past the 1970s? The current newfangled unit of pressure is the pascal, which is N/m^2.

about 4 months ago

RightsCorp To Bring Its Controversial Copyright Protection Tactics To Europe

Dahan Re:RightsCorp (196 comments)

But yes, restaurant wait staff often don't even get the minimum wage. Disgusting, isn't it?

They do in the US. If their wages plus tips ends up being less than the minimum wage, federal law requires that their employer pay the difference, so that they end up getting the minimum wage.

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Dahan Re:No, thank you. (865 comments)

This. My wife's car is completely keyless. She has to have the fob to open the doors or turn it on. This past winter she came out of work and couldn't get into her car let alone turn it on because the battery in her fob died. Fortunately it was at work and she had a warm place to go back to and call me to bring her the spare fob. If she had been somewhere without such recourse when it was -15 wind chill she very well could have died.

My Chevy Volt has keyless entry, remote start, and a keyless start option, but it still has a physical key. If the battery in the Fob dies I can still get in it. My old Chevy Impala I kept a spare key in my wallet. It wouldn't start it, but would open the door or trunk in case I locked the keys in the car or I could get to the emergency supplies I kept in the trunk.

You name the model car you have, and your old one. Why don't you name the one your wife has that's apparently a deathtrap in the winter?

Because if we knew, we'd link to the documentation showing that there is in fact a physical key inside the fob that can be used to unlock the door.

about 4 months ago


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