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Could Open Source Render Facebook the Next AOL?

DarkSarin Re:Too late (293 comments)

Problem is that most services (currently) that can communicate with FB users requires that you have a FB account--so that it knows WHICH FB users to communicate with.

more than 3 years ago

Time To Dump XP?

DarkSarin 64-Bit (1213 comments)

The main reason, in my mind, to upgrade is being able to effectively use 64-bit machines fully--and have more than 4GB of RAM.

Yes you need new machines to do this, but really, if you are buying NEW machines, you should probably upgrade. The question then becomes a matter of whether or not new machines are worthwhile. Your old machines may be still serviceable, but would newer machines result in getting work done enough faster to offset (even partially) the cost of the upgrade.

In many cases, the answer is no--a LOT of secretaries & folks that mainly do word processing are better off just staying where they are--their machines are fast enough for what they do, and additional RAM & extra cores aren't going to make a difference.

That said, if you are doing statistical analysis, engineering, graphic design, programming (and compiling), and a number of other jobs, then you should ABSOLUTELY be on a very aggressive upgrade schedule. Additionally, 8GB of RAM is more than just a good idea for many of those jobs--some of them should be stuffing as MUCH memory as they can into their machines so that they can do their jobs more efficiently.

In any work setting the bottleneck for employee performance should not be the environment or resources, but rather human capacities. That's the ideal. Obviously cost of achieving that and other considerations prevent most companies from getting to the point where that's true--but it should be the goal.

So either move to Win7-x64 OR move to another 64-bit OS with lots of power & memory in the hardware. Staying where you are only makes sense if you are doing mostly word processing.

more than 4 years ago

Lost Ends

DarkSarin Re:Flash Sideways (955 comments)

All I can gather from the last episode was that everything that was presented, happened to the characters. It wasn't a dream, etc. They did get stranded on the island, they did get off it and they did return.

The flash sideways scenes had no specific date/time associated with them. In fact, from what I can tell, it was actually some time in the future as it was a type of purgatory where all the dead "friends" meet up to realize they are actually dead and need to move on. So in that sense, it's in the future but really time has/had no meaning there.

So, no questions were answered, except, in the end, they get to spend eternity together and I'm guessing Hugo passed the torch onto some unknown heir. The island probably lives on with more people going there to figure out who gets to protect the place.

I'm still baffled by what the deal with Walt was and what did Juliet mean by "it worked" with her last words (nuke incident)?

Agg.. I suppose if you assume the show had to end last night, I guess they did an ok job. I wasn't left saying "WTF?" but I certainly didn't feel like I was looking at a completed jigsaw puzzle either.

You weren't? Cause I certainly was. My wife found it moving and touching and all that, but in the end, I'm just left wishing I has SOME FREAKING ANSWERS!!!!!! To ANYTHING IMPORTANT!!!!

The Dharma initiative? Gone--no explanations. The Light? No answers. The OTHER Light? Lame--and NOT an answer. The Island? Nope, not a single REAL answer. The Others? Nope, not a single answer! How did Jacob learn more about the island? Nope, nothing (in fact this question wasn't even RAISED until late season 6, so...). Who is the woman that killed Jacob's real mom? (Again a late-coming question).

Answers in general--NOPE!!

SO screw all this...I'm officially ticked at the waste of time it all was...

more than 4 years ago

Filming For The Hobbit Begins In July

DarkSarin Re:Sequel will add valuable new characters (298 comments)

I think most Tolkien fans would agree that elves had higher morals than that.

Hollywood, however, has none. Thus we get...Frodo saving the shire from dinosaurs on frickin pogo sticks--30 years before he was born.

more than 4 years ago

Science and the Shortcomings of Statistics

DarkSarin Re:Example: Standard Deviation (429 comments)

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this:
if the doctor isn't an expert in statistics, how can he properly evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine he's handing you?

Can he say (with any really justified confidence) that it will actually help? Can he claim to know how the true probability that you have disease X when manifesting symptoms y & z? Does he understand the effect of false positives?

Without a solid grounding in stats, the answers are sadly, no he cannot make justified statements about the effectiveness of the medicine (sorry, relying on the pamphlets handed out by big pharma to tell him means taht i want to go elsewhere for my medical treatment).

My signature has NEVER been more appropriate.

MANY people using stats have NO CLUE what they are doing, but they do it VERY carefully.

I hate it when I see people double-dip on data sets....

For my thesis, approximately 5% of my correlations were statistically significant, and even THOSE were WEAK. I told my committee that I wasn't confident of any of the relationships.

Yes, I expect my doc to know stats. The THEORY behind them is just as important as the math.

more than 4 years ago

Deposit Checks To Your Bank By Taking a Photo

DarkSarin Re:USAA has been doing this for years (494 comments)

They do.

I've been using Deposit@Home for a few years now. I'm not sure if you have to have a credit card through them or not to make it work, but it is a very slick process.

I was confused why this is news--the USAA iPhone app was featured on /. when it first became public information. Other banks are just slow I guess....

more than 4 years ago

Deposit Checks By iPhone

DarkSarin Re:I use it to cash rent checks (293 comments)

Huh? I use it with firefox all the must have something wacky going on. I haven't tried it with IE64 bit since I loaded win7-64bit. I'll give it a shot tonight....

more than 4 years ago

Deposit Checks By iPhone

DarkSarin Re:Neat idea, but... (293 comments)


You don't seem to know much about USAA...

They are, if nothing else, extremely cautious about that sort of thing from my experience. I bank with them (as well as have my auto insurance through them). I wouldn't switch away for some imagined slight. Not after having dealt with the HELL that other banks put you through if there is some sort of customer service needed. USAA is by far and away the BEST customer service bank I have EVER dealt with. Bar none. Nope, I'm not switching banks.

I've been using their deposit@home service for a while now, and it's great. This is just a minor evolution of that (camera instead of scanner), and I don't see much to make me think it's a huge difference.

more than 4 years ago

Boxee vs. Zinc vs. Hulu

DarkSarin Screw them ALL! (116 comments)

Since none of them support OS X unless you have an Intel processor, I'm ticked at them all. XBMC DOES, but so far I can't get it to stream Netflix OR Hulu (there are ways, but they require you to have another computer and to purchase Playon...FAIL).

Look, I'm not going to shell out hundreds of dollars just to have a media center computer. I happen to have some older hardware that is suitable for the task. PPC support makes sense because I think a fair number of people are walking the same path. So until Boxee gets off their collective butts and decides to support PPC, I'll pass.

about 5 years ago

Windows 7 Anti-Piracy Plans

DarkSarin Dear Microsoft (403 comments)


Seriously, does anyone REALLY this to work? All it will do is cut down on the absolutely MOST casual pirates and annoy legitimate customers. The tighter they make it, the more this is true. Determined individuals WILL ALWAYS find a way to circumvent their measures. ALWAYS.

I'm not likely to pirate an OS...I like being able to run it with all the updates and I'm happy knowing that my software is legit...but that's certainly not even a close consideration as to what most people are going to do.

Look, if you don't like paying MS for your OS, DON'T USE WINDOWS!!!

more than 5 years ago

Reliable Male Contraceptive In the Works

DarkSarin Re:Oh great! (519 comments)

Enjoy your next baby, pal. Cause I guarantee that you WILL end up pregnant if you go bareback at all and you have a reasonably fertile wife and you aren't firing blanks.

That's how I (and a BUNCH of other fathers) ended up with my second kid. Sorry, but a reliable male contraceptive sounds great. And honestly, something that quits farking around with my wife's sex drive (as in, killing hers) sounds freaking awesome to me. Even if it drops mine by a bit, if she's up for it, I'd be happy.

more than 5 years ago

Slashdot Launches User Achievements

DarkSarin Bizarre (1582 comments)

I are confused. So /. is now an MMO? It's like the silly game 'Achievement Unlocked' a meta game on various flash-game aggregator sites like Kongregate. Bizarre.

Now what? I don't even know what to do.

more than 5 years ago

A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes?

DarkSarin Re:NO (931 comments)

This is correct, in principle, but I think you'll find that in practice what happens is that in MOST courses there is enough wiggle room for the 'teacher's ire' factor, which means that the teacher suddenly starts being much harsher regarding length of paper, grammar, and other 'soft' portions of the grading criteria. Of course, in some courses (physics) there may not be a paper, so that's out--but there are an AWFUL lot of courses with a 'class participation' grade, which very frequently boils down to 'don't tick me off'. It can often make the difference if you are near the edge of a letter grade (A vs. B, etc), and can either hurt you a lot or significantly help you if the teacher is pleased with your performance.

In any case, this is a VERY bad idea on the part of the teacher. It WILL backfire--if the teacher can't find a more creative way to prevent cheating then she needs to be fired.

more than 5 years ago

An Early Look At New Features In 3.1

DarkSarin Re:Attract developers to OO.o (260 comments)

Actually, what I would prefer to see, rather than a ribbon interface, is a completely CUSTOMIZEABLE interface. Separate the interface out from the core programming into a easily hacked XML-based language and script and make it accessible and you'll see a TON of USERS take over the interface design aspect of it.

Some of them will re-implement the MS Office ribbon. Some of them will re-implement the current 00.o interface. Others will come up with something completely new and innovative. Much of which will be completely unworkable for many people. Some of it will be fantastically brilliant however. BUT IT SHOULD BE DONE!

more than 5 years ago

South Carolina Seeking To Outlaw Profanity

DarkSarin Re:Ouch (849 comments)

No, those are the US Senators FROM SC. Ford is a senator in the SC State Senate. Very different beast. At least pay some attention to the facts on the ground.

All that said...while I don't typically swear much, this guy's a moron and needs to be removed from office painfully.

more than 5 years ago

Lame Duck Challenge Ends With Free Codeweavers Software For All

DarkSarin Re:Retards (433 comments)

680 sq ft? What?

Seriously...that's fine. If you live alone OR it's just you and the SO. And maybe one kid. But if you are looking at a larger family (er, let's try 4 kids), then that kind of space just isn't going to cut it in terms of psychological health. Then there's the family I know with 7 (8?) kids (I've lost track). You seriously want them to move into a smaller house? Not a chance. They need that kind of space. And acreage. It's actually greener/more sustainable for that size of a family to have acreage and work some land (as in GROW some freaking vegetables and have some chickens/cows/goats) than to live in a freaking apartment in the middle of an urban concrete mass.

You can argue that a lifestyle choice about not having a larger family is more sustainable, but I don't know that it's ethical to make that call for another person. I've talked to some people from China recently about their feelings regarding the one-child policy, and they felt that it was detrimental to the country in some ways (and certainly to the children involved). That said, they also felt that it may have still been the right decision for the country as a whole in terms of reducing poverty overall and modernizing the country. Does that make it ethical? I'm not sure it does.

It certainly doesn't give soemone in this country the right to say 'you are an idiot for having a large family and living in an appropriately sized home for that family'.

more than 5 years ago



F/OSS Multipoint/Multiparty Video Conferencing

DarkSarin DarkSarin writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DarkSarin writes "Okay, so I recently ran into an interesting problem. Given that solutions like iChat can seemlessly videoconference for multiple parties on the Mac, and that semi-commercial solutions like Oovoo (which recently left beta and is no longer free for more than 3-way calls), what solution do /. users recommend in terms of a F/OSS solution to a moderate-sized video-conference need that does not use a web-page and does not require hours of configuring a server. Think of it like this: iChat is insanely easy to use. is also quite simple to use, but requires so much screen real estate that it can't be used in conjunction with any other software (and sometimes referring to other documents while in the middle of the conference is nice, but with out losing the reactions of the other participants — and not everyone has multiple monitors).

I am aware of projects like vmukti and services like, but I am think more in terms of a stand-alone application that is F/OSS (Ekiga/GnomeMeeting comes to mind, but it does not do multipoint video chat unless one also has access to an H.323 gateway, which is apparently non-trivial to implement, although if anyone knows of good documentation for quickly setting up a gateway, I'd be interested in seeing it, because it isn't readily apparent).

Having run through the range of options, I am completely surprised that with the prevalence of broadband connections (even my mother, who lives 10 miles from the nearest town of any size, has DSL, and she's in her 70's and rarely uses her computer) that a solid effort at making easy, painless multipoint videoconferencing for more than 3 or 4 (which seems to be the most that a lot of 'free' solutions offer, or even the low-cost ones) connections is completely missing.

So my question to /. is two fold: First, why isn't there a better effort at medium to large video conferencing that pretty much anyone can set up? Second, What applications do you know of that do work, that are free, open source or not, that support a minimum of 6 to 8 connected parties (I have a large family and many friends, why would I want to leave some of them out? And for work purposes, why be limited on how many people can connect?"



what /.ers do when they don't know the answer....

DarkSarin DarkSarin writes  |  more than 9 years ago

This topic is an interesting example of poor adaptive techniques::we don't know the answer, but we think that you are crazy.

The posters, as of this journal, are essentially providing advice about how to treat allergies. Some of them even suggest that the submitter may be suffering from some sort of mental illness--some are even using rather crude names (not a huge surprise, really). But as of this journal, no one has made a single serious attempt to answer the question that was actually asked.

I think that we are seeing an interesting reaction of technophiles who are used to knowing the answers when faced with a question they don't have an answer for immediately--bash the asker.

I am enlightened to the nature of the posters, and saddened by the experience.

(NOTE:: I will say that some of the points made are indeed valid--if smells bother you so much, medical help is the first place to start, not expensive computer parts. That said, I wish I knew something to help you).


First Freak!

DarkSarin DarkSarin writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Woohoo! I got my first freak!

Actually, this may have been the case for a while, but you know how it is.

As a consequence, I am now adding my first journal, since it gives me really neat idea--someone should map all the relationships between people here on /. It would require the assistance of the editors, but it would be cool.

Maybe I will work on that in my spare time, but I think a setup like TouchGraph has would be uber cool (but I don't do java, so some one else will need to do that).

Over and out.

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