Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For
... or decrease in quality.
Well, given the level of dreck put out by Discovery Communications alone, it's pretty crap already:
Reality TV featuring white trash people, morbidly obese people, children prancing around for perverts, "I'm so edgy" wannabe tattoo artists, people who don't know what birth control is, and Sarah Palin being, well, Sarah Palin...
"Well we ran out of ideas for shows about animals, so lets just put on some reality tv garbage and talk about how our channel is 'surprisingly human' lol!"
Informative Murder Porn. Overly dramatic narration. Love-triangle #533,435,361 ends in someone getting killed.
Network that nobody really cares about from a former talkshow host trying to stay relevant. For some reason they keep giving Tyler Perry money, meaning he won't just go away already.
Other than a few genuinely entertaining gems, it's fast becoming Jackass for Nerds.
A few interesting shows, but they either re-run the same ones CONSTANTLY, or throw on more manufactured drama with bullshit buildoff shows or "look how cool my dealership is" garbage.
Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?
Corsair, Fractal, Nanoxia, and a few others make cases designed to be as quiet as possible. I've got a Fractal, and even with an i7 and a GTX770, I can barely hear it. Two 140mm fans up front, a 140mm on the ventral side, a 140mm exhaust fan, and a 120mm fan on the CPU cooler. The ventral fan doesn't even kick on unless things get REALLY warm (like 2 hours of Prime95 thrashing all the cores), and with nothing else on, I can still barely hear the system. Oh yeah, and as for looks, it's about as plain and understated as I could find. No window, no flashy lights or any other garbage (I left the power LED disconnected as it is rather bright), and the 5.25" bays are hidden behind a door lined with even more acoustic material.
So find a case designed for silence from a manufacturer you trust, and put the system in there along with some larger, quieter fans. Do this and you've solved both the loud and the ugly.
Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You
Obligatory South Park reference (NSFW).
Here's Why Apple Rejected Your iOS App
6% Guideline 10.6: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected
Then how do they explain this piece of garbage. A remote link to a Windows session is NOT a refined interface. Not at all. And it would seem the reviews agree. Yet somehow it hasn't been booted.
AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads
Seems like a non-story, don't most wireless providers require you to change the SIM when switching anyways?
I think that was the entire point of the Apple SIM. You could have one card, and go between carriers with a simple software switch. However, AT&T appears to be intentionally breaking that functionality to FORCE you to buy another Apple SIM if you want to switch. With T-Mobile and Sprint, you just pick which one you want. Tried Sprint, but T-Mo's coverage is better in your area? Just cancel the Sprint account and switch to your T-Mo account in the settings. But if you happen to pick AT&T at any point, that SIM can only EVER be used on AT&T, defeating the whole point of a multi-carrier SIM in the first place.
The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone
Maybe I am wrong, but over the years I have noted an increasing condescendension of IT people over "mere users". I wonder why that is. Bear in mind that IT typically isn't the company's cash cow, but "overhead", making this condescension rather inappropriate imho. Even on /. there are many "users" that are no IT people: designers, programmers, etc. I wonder why the interface they are using is apparently less important than computer maintenance software, or any other user experience, for that matter.
The "overhead" designation is precisely the reason IT people tend to hate users (at least in my experience). The end-user sees the IT person as nothing more than an electronic janitor who's sole purpose is to clean up the messes that they, the user, were too careless or too inept to prevent from happening in the first place. Thus, they don't bother to learn how to do things properly, they don't learn how to keep from getting a virus, they don't learn how to do even the simplest of things because "That's IT's job. I shouldn't have to know computers!" No, they don't have to know the ins and outs of every modern OS, but they should know how to at least keep it from obliterating everything they're working on (meaning stop clicking "OK" on every damn thing that pops up!). Then to top it all off, they behave as if security policies, best practices, etc. don't apply to them, even though management approved them as being a site-wide mandate...
So in short, users see IT as "the help" and treat them as such. And much like a janitor who is constantly cleaning up after idiots who have no concern for anyone other than themselves, the IT worker learns to hate certain users because they seem to have a mission in life to make IT's job as miserable as possible.
Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard
Here to prove John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, are we?
FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption
If you want protection to be applied to technology that didn't exist in the Founding Father's time, then do the honest thing and press for e.g. a constitutional amendment. Trying to stretch the Founding Fathers' words of over two centuries ago to your pet cause in 2014 is a can of worms that no one should want to open.
I see this same reasoning used by the anti-gun crowd. They want to say the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to things that didn't exist at the time the document was drafted. Let's take that to it's logical conclusion then, shall we?
The First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Using the "no unforseen technology" argument, that means the only thing covered by freedom of the press is exactly that. A hand-cranked printing press. That was the technology of the time. That's why it's called "freedom of the press." It gave people the right to print books and documents without the government having a say in what was allowed. Freedom of speech at the time was speaking in the town square without being arrested, or publishing documents via freedom of the press. Therefore, using any of these "new fangled" technologies to exercise your free speech is not protected, because they didn't exist when the Bill of Rights was drafted.
By your logic, telegraphs, radio, telephones, faxes, photographs, photocopies, computers, the Internet, etc. are not protected via the First Amendment, because those technologies didn't exist at the time, and could not have been forseen that long ago. So I guess we need an amendment to allow those things to be used as well? Unless you're saying that your argument only applies to your favorite amendments and not the others, in which case why even have the Bill of Rights to begin with, or indeed the whole Constitution?
NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook
It was explicit in the summary that the account was active and that was part of the decision. As was that the ex was hiding by not leaving a forwarding address to be traditionally served.
Here's my question though. I seriously doubt the government lost track of her. The IRS absolutely knows where she is, because they're not going to ignore their cut of any paychecks she receives. If she were being hounded by collectors (even for something like $50), they would have no end of means to track her down. Actually, since it's for a legal purpose, the courts would have MORE access to information than a creditor would. Why, then, would they need to use something like Facebook to serve legal process?
It's (IMO) stupid when they serve via alternate means anyway, but I seriously doubt that not finding a forwarding address constitutes the "due diligence" required to allow an substitute service method.
So even if this woman was "hiding", there were still plenty of options to find her location. This seems akin to service via publication, which I can't help but feel is nothing more than a method of shaming the receiving party into appearing. The fact that it's Facebook makes it look like the judge just wanted to be "trendy."
But that's just my $0.02
Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges
The funny (messed up funny, not amusing funny) thing is one of the suggested links I see at the top of the page: "33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater"
That's right. In today's society, you can get more prison time for recording a movie than for killing someone through criminal negligence.
Lionsgate Sues Limetorrents, Played.to, and Others Over Expendables 3 Leak
How easy it is to ignore the fact the that the people who created this movie need to be paid.
They're paid for services rendered at the time of completion.
Not only the actors, writers, directors but the hairdressers, electricians and even the computer special effect workers.
All these people are paid just like you would pay any other contractor. They do the work, you cut them a check. They all work for a set, specified rate, not for any cut in the profits. Those who do earn based off ticket sales are usually A-listers with enough clout to negotiate for a cut of the gross, not the net. So no matter how poorly it does in the box office, these people still get a cut of whatever it brings in.
And God forbid that investors who fronted the money in the hope of a return on their investment should realize a profit.
ANY investment prospectus will tell you that "All investment carries some degree of risk." This means that when you invest in something, yes, you expect a profit. But you also have to accept the possibility that the money you put in will go up in smoke. By your logic, I should be able to sue whoever I invest with if my mutual fund doesn't give me a 500% ROI. They decided to invest in something, they knew it was a risk. Lets not forget that the investors are going to be the LEAST damaged by any of this, since one film is simply a line-item in their ledger.
That being said, downloading films in this manner IS ethically questionable. Mass downloading can make a studio earn a reduced profit. But reduced profit is not a monetary loss. The real loss is that if the profit reduction is large enough, they have less incentive to produce any more films that require actual effort. The more this happens, the more you get dreck that caters to the lowest common denominator (such as The Expendables whose mass downloading furthers the cycle), and filmmaking is reduced to an exercise in formulaic cinematography to maximize monetization and merchandising paradigms (and other such buzzword-y bullshit). THIS is the real cost of mass copyright infringement - an art form reduced to a paint-by-numbers affair where no one dares to make anything truly unique. And to me, this cost is far, FAR worse than any perceived monetary loss.
At least the Capitalists who wish to to profit from the labor of others paid for that privilege unlike simple thieves.
How many times does it need to be said that COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS NOT THEFT?. Theft is the taking of something tangible which deprives the individual owner of its use. Downloading a copy of some bits does not deprive the original owner of said bits. They still have them, and can still use them for their intended purpose.
Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet
The way I read it, he had a 1st class ticket, but his kids were traveling economy. So he was trying to board them at the same time as first class, even though they were not.
There is only one class on Southwest: Cattle Class. When you check in prior to your flight, you are assigned a boarding group and number. Groups are A, B, and C from 1 through 60. A1 through A15 are reserved for Business Select and other special privileges (including frequent flier miles). Other than getting to board earlier and have a wider selection of seats, they are all the same.
According to Southwest's policy, people travelling together but with different boarding positions have the option to board together, provided the person higher up in line waits with the people further back. How this applies to families, I'm fuzzy on, but I would assume if you have a business select or other pass that allows boarding in the A1 through A15 group, it would make sense to have young children (say, under 10 years old) board with you. It seems like this is what the guy had done on several flights previously.
What the gate agent did was apply the boarding policy in the strictest possible terms, which IMO was an asshole move. But it was still technically according to policy. Did he get lucky, or was this particular agent just being overly strict? Could be either or. Pulling them off the flight for a tweet, however, was completely uncalled for. Threatening to call the police unless he deleted said tweet was harassment, plain and simple. Plus, how in the hell did she figure out who it was so quickly? Was she on twitter while she was supposed to be working, or did some corporate wonk call the gate?
I've been a customer of Southwest for a while, but how they handle this in the long run will determine wether or not I continue to be.
This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America
Bank of America is always looking for new ways to screw over their "customers", be it through fees, lying, or trying to steal their (paid off) houses through foreclosure (and blaming it on "computer error" when caught). They're probably drooling like hungry dogs over all the ways they can fleece people with Bitcoin...
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse
How can I shield my car against this? I'm willing to add up to 20lbs to do it.
Sell it and buy an antique from the pre-electronics era. Carburetor and points ignition. Although I assume most of them will be a wee bit more than a 20lb increase over a modern car...
Bad assumption to make; A V6 2012 Toyota Camry XLE has a curb weight of 3,395 lbs, whereas a 1956 Ford Fairlane Skyliner (that's the hardtop convertible one!) has a curb weight on 3,390 lbs.
Although, in your defense, I was a bit surprised to find that out myself... and I'm one of those 'car guys.'
Learned firsthand how heavy a Camry is when I rented one (L, instead of XLE though) on a visit to Texas a couple years back. Really nice car, and the steering took almost no effort. However, having to go from the off-ramp IMMEDIATELY to the street I needed to be on brought me back to reality. No amount of hydraulics and drive-by-wire wizardry could fight the physics of taking that much metal from 55 to 15 in about 400 feet. No danger of skidding, but I DEFINITELY felt the weight of the car on that one...
Indian Mars Probe Successfully Enters Sun-Centric Orbit
Seriously, my humble congrats to the team on their success so far. We need more players in the space game, and knowledge gained will hopefully benefit everyone.
On a more philosophical note, I'd love to see this benefit India as a whole by pointing out to everyone just how insignificant we ALL are in the grand scheme of the universe. While they've "officially" abolished the caste system, it's still there in a lot of ways. The more people realize that Earth is but a tiny speck, the more people will (hopefully...I can dream, right?) begin to treat each other better, especially those deemed to be in a "lower class" by some arbitrary rules that nobody alive has any connection to anymore. Actually, it would be nice if we could all work toward that, not just Indian society.
SourceForge Appeals To Readers For Help Nixing Bad Ad Actors
All uninstallation procedures are exhaustively documented, and all third party offers go through a comprehensive compliance process to make sure they are virus and malware free.
You clowns at SourceForge/Dice are missing the point. Users DON'T WANT this garbage on their system. You are deliberately trying to get them to install it, even if it's by mistake.
And what about all the institutions providing you with mirroring? Are they getting a cut of this revenue now? If they're not, then you are DELIBERATELY attempting to profit from their charity and generosity. Personally, I hope every single mirror deletes any SourceForge related material from their servers and tells you to go die in a fire. You are attempting to profit from the work and resources of others who believed they were contributing to the free software community. For that, you are to be shamed, shunned, and written off as yet another group of clueless MBA's out to monitize the entire fucking world at the expense of others. Go fuck yourselves and look for a real job where you have to WORK instead of ruining other people's reputations by bundling useless shit with their software.
Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals
At least not on Comcast. The crappy Motorola boxes they use are barely capable of running the 1980's style GUI they have now. Adding in anything more complex than a calculator (and I'm not so sure about that) will cause the damn things to fry themselves. How they manage to decode HD streams has to be some form of witchcraft, because splurging on good MPEG decoders would mean eating into the corporate yacht funds.
The Next Big Fiber Showdown: Austin
I say the party now most threatened by high-speed fixed infrastructure is Comcast, not AT&T.
Actually, it's Time Warner in Austin...which is far, FAR worse than Comcast, sadly.
Massachusetts Set To Repeal Controversial IT Services Tax
"Idiots make laws they know nothing about, without doing any research into the possible consequences. Film at 11."
PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account
...It is pretty widely known and agreed that PayPal very rarely rip off buyers; just sellers...
Which is exactly why I closed my account. They continually treat sellers like criminals, so I refuse to use them as a buyer. I can't BE a buyer if nobody wants to sell due to the risk of having their account pillaged at the drop of a hat.
Firmware Flaw Opens Some TrendNet Cameras to Everyone
FSWKU (551325) writes "According to BBC News, several popular models of TrendNet cameras have a firmware bug that allows anyone to access the feed, regardless of password setting. Worse yet, TrendNet has known of the issue for several weeks and has yet to issue a formal media release concerning the problem. Several models seem to be affected, so if you use one, take the necessary precautions."
Link to Original Source
How NOT To Treat Your Customers
FSWKU (551325) writes "Courtesy of Penny-Arcade, Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing provides a perfect example of what not to do when interacting with customers, especially if you are doing so on behalf of another company. Name dropping, an ego trip worthy of Charlie Sheen, and even what appears to be a promise to commit libel. Other outlets are already picking up the story and running with it."
U.S. Govt. Manipulates Cartel Weapons Cris
FSWKU (551325) writes "According to a CNN Report, many of the weapons used by Mexican drug cartels are said to originate in the United States, causing lawmakers to once again call for more gun laws.
Proponents of stricter gun controls say that the staggering numbers of U.S. weapons that end up in Mexico show that something must be done to control arms smuggling."
But it could be said this is precisely what the current administration wants to happen in order to be able to pass more laws banning firearms. Back in February, CBS Evening News was one of the few media outlets to report on Project Gunrunner, a project that seemed to allow large numbers of firearms to cross the border into Mexico despite protests from ATF agents.
"For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed to be heading for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: "Negative. Stand down."
According to the CBS article, two of the guns allowed to walk were found at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered, and despite arrests for the guns themselves, no further mention has been made of the murder.
Theories will vary wildly, but it would seem the government is purposely allowing guns to cross into Mexico to "prove" that the illegal gun trade is a problem in order to garner support for more gun laws, rather than consistently enforcing the ones already in existence."
FSWKU has no journal entries.