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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

DarthVain Re:Counterproductive (243 comments)

Windows SEME: All the non-compatibility of SE with the slowness of ME, Win - Win!

Just add Metro for an unusable UI, and you get the Trifecta! :)


New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

DarthVain Re:Why (243 comments)

Because it ties into their current business model.

WTF does Google care about consumers who do not go online? Perhaps at some point, but in the beginning it will all be about trying to leverage one business against another for more advantage.


Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

DarthVain Easiest Definition of Net Neutrality (483 comments)

Rather than say Net Neutrality, which is ambiguous and a bit high high minded, call it what it really is. It is protecting from ISP double dipping. As an industry (in the USA and Canada), it is already a bloated spider feasting parasitically on society, as seen by the overwhelming consumer hatred of those companies, which somehow manage to stay in business... (I am saying rhetorically, I know how).

What they want to do, is have the ability to not only charge the consumer of media, but also the producer. It is like a perfect fucking storm of profit! As the middle man just skimming money off everyone involved. The problem is, I as the consumer have already paid for my damn service. If I plan on using it to only access simple webpages or if I plan on streaming Netflix all day everyday, that is my right, and I pay for the privilege of doing so. We have all moved to the damn CAP system already, so if I consume more than Granny Twinkles, I PAY for it. However now they want to take my service, which I already pay for, and say well since so much is going to Netflix, we want to change them more money, and if they refuse, slow the connection.... to the consumer, who has already damn well paid for the service in the first place. Or conversely if the company pays the extortion, they will simply pass the cost onto the consumer, so either way, the consumer is going to pay or get less service no matter what happens.

Anyway it is rapacious greed pure and simple, it is double dipping, it is wrong. These companies already have too many advantages, and constantly abuse both the system and their customers every chance they get for more profits. The reason the folks like Koch and the rest like it is they have money to gain, and the vast population has money to lose. This is not ideological (all this crap about Marxism etc...), but some idiots will think it is, and support idea, even though it is by far not in their best interests to do so. The republicans/conservatives have been playing the same shell game for years, where a large chunk of their support comes from these uninformed ideological idiots who are voting against themselves over and over again based on some fictional ideal, that doesn't even apply or even make sense given a situation. However using whatever media (and if your name is Koch, and in the USA) you have plenty of media to abuse, to convince the people to accept whatever snake oil you are selling...


The Evolution of Diet

DarthVain Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (276 comments)

Lifestyle. That is why people who diet gain weight back. Because they are only changing how they eat temporarily and not how they live. It should not be surprising that diets don't work, nor will they ever work unless you adhere to it the rest of your life.

I am pretty active but could be more. I should go to the gym more than I do, and only really play one sport about half the year. However I also bought my home so that I could walk to work in about 10min. I also walk home from work for lunch. So that is 40min a day. Sometimes I have to go take care of something, and that is 60min a day. Also living close to downtown, I usually walk most places on top of that. So if you only count just my walking to work, it is only like 1km. Four times however is 4km. 5 Days a week, is 20km. Say 50 weeks a year is 1000km. Say for the last 15 years, is 15,000km. Conservatively I would say with everything else it is likely double that. Compared to the folks that live in the burbs and drive everywhere... I have a car that I bought new about 12 or so years ago, and have about 80,000km on it, which includes several 4000km trips on it. Most people I know are on at least car number two.

Anyway it isn't for everyone in all situations, however people make choices and live how they wish to. Changing your diet may help if you stick to it, but changing how you live is bigger, but more permanent solution. There are compromises of course, my house is a lot smaller, and older than all the brand new mega houses in the burbs for example. However it is all about what is important to you.


The Evolution of Diet

DarthVain Darwin (276 comments)

Also considering the harsher and harder conditions are, the harder it is to survive. It could be that anyone that would get heart issues, or diabetes, or a host of other things, would simply die off earlier. Considering many of these things are to known to at least be in part genetic, if you die off before you have a chance to have kids, well those genetic traits might just be a bit rarer than in other cultures. Only the strong survive so to speak.


Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

DarthVain MacGyver (113 comments)

Anyone else read this as the "MacGyver" test facility?

I like my version better.

2 days ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

DarthVain Stylized Sheep (375 comments)

Is it just me or did anyone else visualize the warheads of these missiles being painted with mean looking sheep with fangs and red eyes...

Or perhaps sexy sheep in alluring pinup poses ah la fighter plans in WW2... :)

5 days ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

DarthVain Re:Nope, not really. (720 comments)

As an example:

I have Windows 7 at home. My phone is an Android. I use OpenOffice (or LibreOffice, whatever), occasionally google docs. I have a number of video games, however the only one I really play is DOTA2 off Steam. I use it as a media device, and while I have customized it enough that most of my media files play, a growing number only work under VLC.

To also counter your Linux is too hard to configure VS windows:

I would put custom configuring linux up against custom configuring Windows Media Player codecs any day of the week. That is to say, I would much rather configure linux than try to get Media Player to a point that it can play everything. I had to do a re-install last winter of Windows 7, and while annoying, the part I dreaded the most was trying to figure out all the codec BS after my previous setup was wiped. It is one of those things that you do a whole bunch of arcane mystical shit, and eventually you get it to the point that everything seems to be working (don't even get me talking about subs as well)... and you never want to touch it again, as you will A) never remember whatever it was you did to get it all working together, and B) never be able to replicate again the same way.

about a week ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

DarthVain Nope, not really. (720 comments)

That might have been true 10 years ago, however today there are plenty of flavors that are very easy and default install just fine with little or no interaction from the user.

The main stumbling block is install base and compatibility. Windows has as big a strangle hold than ever. Apple has made some strides, however with their expensive machines, they will only ever be niche players. Where they have been loosing and where it may transition into a loss for them is the tablet and phone markets which are all basically iOS and Linux (in Android). If computing transitions along those lines, windows will eventually lose. Which I am sure why they made the ill conceived leap with Windows 8 and the Metro interface to try and get ahead of any convergence that may take place in the future.

The issue with today is that they have such a large install base that is not compatible with linux. I presume that is why Red Hat bought WordPerfect software back in the day, as it was the only one that challenged MS on their home office turf. Problem was it was too little too late as it was already on the way out. Before that I recall trying use wordperfect files in office all the time. So Office compatibility is one issue on the business side, and on the other you have the gaming issues on the entertainment side. However players like Steam may have an impact in this regard depending on how their plans go.

People in business buy Windows because of largely office and other windows only business related software (on the desktop, not servers). People that buy for gaming get windows because most games are only compatible with windows. Everyone else (who you are talking about) pretty much buy windows because it is really the only thing available (other than iOS if you have the $$$). It used to be that common users might be more comfortable with windows, however MS pretty much killed that advantage with windows 8.

On top of all this, what baffles me, is that Windows as an integrated media player is truly horrible with Windows Media Player. I have no idea why this is the case, a company like MS *should* be able to make a decent video player, but they do not. Software like VLC are becoming much better alternatives, than trying to break your system installing malware loaded "codec packs" in an attempt to fix their broken media player. I can only surmise that MS makes it intentionally broken in an attempt to only support official codecs that they can load DRM for the media companies... however is that business worth flushing their brand down the toilet?

Anyway linux while not there yet, and not a lock for surpassing MS, has some opportunities to do so. However likely it would take a large company (like Google say partnering with Steam) to really put a nail in the coffin. Pushing things like Google Docs and the like for office compatibility and transition (particularly when MS starts pushing their Office 365 BS), also strengthening the media software as more and more people use their devices as a connection to their TV, while getting Steam to offer an easy conduit for linux games and developers to market them to a growing user base. Once you have people that are used to it at the office, as a media device, as a gaming device, the common light users will start having more options, and have more people used to the UI. Also if using similar devices say on tablets and phones, this will also raise your common users comfort level, particularly as the demographic that grew up with smart phones start maturing...

So while I don't see it happening anytime soon, it is defiantly something that is possible over time should all the ducks line up in a row.

about a week ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

DarthVain Fat Farms (517 comments)

Obviously there is only one clear choice.

Make all the obese people pedal exercise bikes in specially created "Fat Farms" connected to dynamos to generate electricity.

Kills two birds with one stone! :)

about a week ago

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

DarthVain Re:Almost all tech support requires upselling (249 comments)

My girlfriend had same issue doing call center for a large telecommunications company (cable, cellphones, internet, etc...). These places are terrible employee mills. She eventually quit because she couldn't take it anymore. Shift bid were every couple of weeks, sometimes not even that, every other week. They would even play games with tenure, by moving everyone with long tenure into the same group so that they only compete against each other in shift bids, making tenure largely worthless. They don't really give a shit about retaining employees anyway, as they have a rotating training program to get new employee's in to replace those leaving due to the high attrition and turnover rate. Everything is evaluated about selling, even if it has nothing to do with what the customer is calling about. Anyway for me the worst part was the constant screwing around with shift bids, working weekends and odd hours, never the same in a given week. It is hard to maintain a relationship or any kind of life with that sort of uncertainty all the time. Hopefully she has better luck at her new employment.

about a week ago

Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

DarthVain And... (69 comments)

So what if it does? What are they realistically going to do about it? I mean the warning is great and all (if accurate), however without a way to stop it, or anyway to mitigate the consequences, what is the point?

I guess presumably you might be able to reroute traffic in advance, however I am guessing the ability to even do that would be limited, as I am pretty sure they would have done that after the first time.

about a week ago

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

DarthVain Duh. (248 comments)

1) Anything we built that is several decades old will need increasing amounts of maintenance.
2) Environmental regulation has increased costs over the last several decades.
3) Inflation has increased over the last several decades.

All of this means that the cost of caring for these facilities will increase. Notice I didn't say nuclear once in any of that.

about a week ago

Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

DarthVain Paracetemol? (359 comments)

Well I didn't know that, and I am supposedly smart and well education with resources available to me to even easily find that out. All I know is that some doctors have already tried an alternative experimental drug, and that the UN recently authorized the use of experimental drugs that haven't gone though human trials yet. Though it is probably too soon for large volumes of said experimental drugs to be available (or maybe not, this is an emergency).

Nobody said criminals are smart, only that they are sometimes desperate individuals.

about two weeks ago

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

DarthVain Robbie the Robot (239 comments)

Select OS:
1) Crush!
2) Kill!
3) Destroy!

about two weeks ago

Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

DarthVain Motive (359 comments)

I think motive is rather obvious. I would discard the idea of superstition and the like.

1) Liberia is poor, like really poor.
2) Drugs are expensive, like really expensive.
3) Drugs in a quarantine zone for a deadly epidemic are in high demand, very high demand.
4) Profit!

I think someone decided that the personal risk was worth it.

I mean, what are these communists doctors doing giving all these profitable drugs to poor people for free. Why not let the invisible hand of the market allow people to sell the expensive drugs to unaffected but scared wealthy people in the area? I mean the rising tide raises all boats, and the trickle down effect, and whatever and the like right?

about two weeks ago

Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

DarthVain Spoiler Alert: A: Yes. (442 comments)

Exactly. This is probably just some sort of political "think tank" with an agenda.

Here is the simplified answer:
A) No, storage is not needed, if you do not plan to replace base load generation but rather use renewable sources to augment your energy mix.
B) Yes, storage is needed if you plan to replace base load generation with renewable, however there is not enough "storage" to ever come close to doing this in any meaningful way unless someone develops some sort of magical storage battery that isn't limited to appropriate locations for hydro storage and generation.

Too many people are enamored with the idea that renewable energy is the magic bullet to solve all our energy needs. Maybe someday, but not today, nor anytime in the foreseeable future (barring as I said some sort of magical storage device).

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

DarthVain Commercial AV (331 comments)

There is also the fact that much of the commercial AV software is barely less worse than the viruses they purport to protect you from. From consuming resources in a bloated way, to advertising, to constantly trying to extort money from you, to conflicting with other programs, etc...

Personally I have taken a light approach and the only ones I touch are MSE and Spybot Search and Destroy on specific issues that might come up. Much of the malware you get (and most of it is adware now) take over other applications such as browsers and the like and are not easily removed by AV packages.

As many have probably mentioned, the best AV is the education of the person sitting in the chair, and until that is addressed, no amount of AV is going to be effective and there are so many ways around it by simply getting the user to allow it anyway.

about two weeks ago

Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

DarthVain Re:This. (164 comments)

Yeah went to the Colosseum. In addition to that:

Rome was pillaged and sacked a few times, and the building was burned and damaged several times.
World War Two wasn't so great for it either.
Interestingly as mentioned valuable material got looted, one of which I wasn't aware of before, was that basically it was of the first structures to use brick and mortar, but on top of that, of the large stone supports, in order to remain stable, it was one of the first to use a primitive version of "rebar", in which large blocks of stone had holes drilled in either piece, and iron rods inserted to keep things together. However at the time, iron was a very expensive commodity, which meant when things fell apart, looters would dig into the stone to steal the iron bars, further weakening the structure. Much of what looks like bullet holes from WW2 is actually holes in the stone where the iron rods have been removed.
However by far the most destructive was just a structural issue, where half the building was built on top of sand. When at one point there was a larger earthquake, the sand shifted and about half of the whole structure collapsed and had to be rebuilt.

So it being one of the larger and more notable structures has had quite a storied history of getting destroyed and rebuilt over the years, which a lot of people may not realize, thinking the grand thing has been standing for so long untouched.

about two weeks ago

Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

DarthVain ERMAHGERD SNER! (418 comments)

Your defending a parent who was concerned about VIDEO GAMES, so took his kids to a WAR ZONE to learn about what real war is like?

Stupid and irresponsible comes to mind.

That's like teaching gun safety to your kids by shooting them in the leg, "See now you know how it feels, so be careful".

Anyway I usually try not to be judgey but to react to an imaginary issue, with such an over the top answer is pretty crazy.

Like the Dungeon and Dragons scare of the 1980 and 90's and forcing your kids to live in a cult commune for a week to understand reality...

It is an overreaction.

about two weeks ago



Man 'Controlled By Satellites' Makes 100 Calls To 911 In A Month, Vows To Contin

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  about a year ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "A man who called 911 more than 100 times in one month says he’s not going to stop until his concerns are heard by the federal government.
Jimmy Shao keeps a log book of every 911 call he’s made. So many that he boasts he’s probably set a world record.
He doesn’t believe he’s wasting the time of emergency responders because he has an emergency of his own: Shao believes he’s being watched by shadowy government authorities.
He claims to believe his body is controlled by satellites.

If ever there was a story for slashdot..."

Link to Original Source

Limewire being sued for 75 Trillion.

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DarthVain writes "Apparently 13 record companies are trying to sue Limewire for 75 Trillion. The NYC judge thinks it is "absurd". Its almost like these media companies are their worst enemy trying to make themselves look ridiculous."
Link to Original Source

George Lucas loses court appeal over Star Wars

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "I remember it was reported by Slashdot sometime ago that Lucas sued his old Prop guy (Andrew Ainsworth) for trying to sell Replica Star Wars costumes. The Prop guy lost that battle it seems in the US back in 2006, but they haven't been able to get the British courts to enforce it. It seems now the British court has ruled to "Sod Off", and "that the helmet and armor of the Stormtrooper costumes had a "utilitarian," rather than an artistic, purpose" and as such is apparently exempt.

I am not sure if anyone in the court room actually saw Star Wars, but I think I know some Ewoks that might argue how "Utilitarian" those suits of armor actual were..."

Link to Original Source

Waterboarding and Comic books.

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "I noticed something last night when I was re-reading Superman: Red Son. There appears to be water boarding in it. It is clearly described as torture. It appears in a scene in which Hal Jordan (The Green Lantern) is captured by the enemy and held as a POW and tortured, Vietnam style, or so it looks. It was not too long ago that I didn't even know what water boarding looked like, however I saw this video of a republican radio personality that didn't think it was a big deal and submitted himself to water boarding with horrific results. Comparing those two images, the one from the video, and the one from Superman: Red Son, they are clearly the exact same event. Even the posturing of the persons performing the water boarding is the same, it is pretty surreal. So what does this really mean? Well for starters I think it is a pretty good indication of what is considered torture and what is not. The comic was written in 2002 (before all the hullabaloo), and this was the worst torture image they could print to illustrate Hal Jordan's discomfort. So folks that do not get it or fail to understand that it is torture, you can point them to this comic book with its pretty pictures. I also think it is a bit iconic that the image in the book is portrayed as a sort of Vietnamesque torture scene, one that I think most US citizens would identify with "worst torture ever". Anyway just something interesting I noticed while reading last night."

Rogers - "We're A Dumb Pipe"

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DarthVain writes "Rogers Communications the second half of the telecommunications duopoly with Bell in Canada had some interesting things to say to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission).

Apparently when asked about Canadian content, they are a "Dumb Pipe" however later when asked about Bittorrent they are suddenly able to be a smart pipe and monitor every single packet.

It will be an interesting saga to see if the CRTC actually has some teeth and does something about the questionable practices of Bell Canada and Rogers Communications."

Link to Original Source


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