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Newspapers Face the Prisoner's Dilemma With Google

Falcon4 Hey Murdoch! Look! There goes your point! (290 comments)

Leeeet's see here. How do people get their news? They... Google it, a lot of the time. If all the big sites opt out of Google (or any other search engine), what do they get?

Lost profits and lost traffic. That's it.

People will still Google the news. People will ALWAYS Google the news. Maybe this guy doesn't understand, but there is such a thing as "independent words" now. So, people won't see the big-bad-news-company's twisted and biased words anymore (Love ya for opening my eyes to that, Fox News). In place of that, the top result will be the leading independent news site's posting on the matter. And they'll get the ad revenue and brand impression. Score one for the little guy, I guess.

That internet-box is evil, I say! I hate senile old farts. *facepalm*

more than 4 years ago
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US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s

Falcon4 Re:Wow (144 comments)

They _will_ find a way. There's nothing the Air Force can't do. And that's not even including the "anything" that the US military can't do, either. With that many PS3's on their bill, paying a few hired-hacker Air Force guys to crack it open wouldn't be too hard.

Then, they'll bring that capability to the masses as another "lol codmw2 suxx on pc give us DS" Airman drops the hack code onto the internet and everyone with a Slim benefits.

Anything can run Linux. But the real feat would be seeing it run Windows! [/obvious]

more than 4 years ago
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Computer-Aided ESP Transmits Binary Numbers, Slowly

Falcon4 Well, more like B2B2PC. (148 comments)

Um, the brain remains externally read-only. Nothing to see here.

See, the critical flaw in this experiment is that the transmitted information was evidently taken back OUT of the recipient for decoding. The information presented to the recipient was in a garbage format - flashing LEDs at a certain frequency. The interface on the other side is a PC that decodes the visual information and presents a 0 or a 1 - on the screen. While the sender may be thinking "1", the recipient only sees "1" and has to process it themselves.

Sadly, this proves nothing. This is only using the brain as a medium for transmission... the recipient still doesn't get the sender's thoughts placed into their mind. The recipient may as well be just reading the screen that says "1" or "0".

Otherwise, it would make relaying my point so much easier, wouldn't it?

more than 4 years ago
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Why Users Drop Open Source Apps For Proprietary Alternatives

Falcon4 Re:Difficulty In Using (891 comments)

The problem I've found with that, is simply that the technical writers that describe the program, often find usability problems with the software that they have two choices with: either drive the user insane with complicated workarounds, or try to present a solution to the developers. The latter becomes a problem when the developers are so full of themselves (as F/OSS developers often are, in my experience) that they flat-out threaten to dump the writer for pointing out a problem in their code (that they spent so much of "their own time!" on).

F/OSS is nice, but I think the charity aspect of it is working against itself...

about 5 years ago
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Amazon Offers To Return Pulled Orwell Ebooks

Falcon4 Re:damage (256 comments)

I think you're missing a key detail, that the books were pulled because the SELLER (that is: not Amazon) was selling the books illegally via Amazon. There were legit versions of 1984 being sold by other sellers on Amazon (or Amazon itself), but that particular version of the book was sold without authorization of the publisher...

At least, that's what I recall. Too lazy to go back and double-check the details when there seems to be only one person one missing the point...

about 5 years ago
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Amazon Offers To Return Pulled Orwell Ebooks

Falcon4 Re:damage (256 comments)

And somehow, them actually doing the best-possible thing is "handling the situation poorly"?

Let's recap.
- Amazon automagically pulled books from peoples' Kindles that were unauthorized copies (sold, yes, but apparently not legally by the "publisher").
- Amazon provided everyone with a refund.
- People got pissed.
- Amazon's CEO apologized profusely in public and swore to make it right.
- Amazon put the books back even though they were never - and still aren't - entirely legitimate copies. Again... paid for, yes, but that's like paying zomgdownloadlimewirenow.com $9.95 a month to download songs (and viruses) through a scam copy of Limewire.
- People get free books.

Instead of:
- Amazon pulled books.
- People got pissed.
- Amazon craps out standard form-response of "that book wasn't legally purchased by the reseller" and refunds money.
- People sue Amazon.
- Amazon wins.
- Whine, whine, whine.

Somehow what Amazon actually did is considered being handled "poorly"?

about 5 years ago
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Thanks For the ... Eight-Track, Uncle Alex

Falcon4 USB and the test of time... (633 comments)

USB isn't going anywhere fast, and even 16 years from now, the hardware will still be plentiful enough to ensure it's still readily available. The form factor may change, but the fact that everyone has a USB device of some kind (all with the same computer-side "A" connector) would ensure that even 16 years later, they'll still be on the front of at least some computers. USB has already lasted over 10 years in its current form... ;)

So that's a starting point. I'd say get yourself a high quality (read: lower capacity; look for a "single-level cell") USB Flash drive. Flash chips are used on all PC motherboards, even on the oldest (>10 year old) ones and they still work fine, so I don't think there'd be an issue with it losing its data over time. Try looking for a Flash drive with low capacity that claims high-speeds (the signs of SLC Flash), but stay away from cheap Chinese ripoff junk.

MP3 and JPEG have both stood the test of time - once again, they're both standards that are well over 10 years old (I think over 15, even). Your music and pictures would be safe with them. And, of course, TXT files are just plain ASCII data with no formatting, the de facto standard for storing any plain readable information on a digital system.

Or... you can just toss a netbook in there, new in box. It might just be as good as opening a brand-new-in-box Apple IIc. That would definitely be a cool gift, as long as she understands the value of nostalgia and doesn't just think "gee, what a piece of junk, thanks". :P

about 5 years ago
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Feds May Soon Be Allowed To Use Cookies

Falcon4 Re:No problem (181 comments)

You must have those entirely backwards. Java is so poorly sandboxed that it can run applets without warning, it hangs the browser while it loads (again, without warning; and in that, it can crash a system by merely loading), can't be detached from a browser once it's been activated during a session (that is, closing the tab/page doesn't quit Java), program identity can be spoofed (as has been demonstrated by countless malicious Java applets like Last Measure)... it's an absolute atrocity that Java is still around (thanks to Limewire and a small handful of other dwindling Java apps).

Javascript isn't even capable of getting outside the browser. Some creative Javascript can sniff your history, nothing more. Internet Explorer with Javascript and ActiveX unlock the ability to install malicious software - but we're talking about Internet Explorer. If you want to protect yourself while using Internet Explorer, you don't turn off Javascript and cookies. You turn off Internet Explorer.

You didn't even make any mention of cookies, not surprisingly. Now, if you would, please get your head out of Sun's arse, and switch your Javascript back on, so I can show you this nifty little bouncing ball animation.

more than 5 years ago
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Feds May Soon Be Allowed To Use Cookies

Falcon4 Re:No problem (181 comments)

Um, I dunno why your tin foil hat is so large, but seriously, you're living in the 90's. There is - and never was - anything wrong at all with Javascript or cookies. Flash can be annoying, but the benefits far outweigh the "risk". Java is the only thing I don't particularly trust, since it's pretty much an open gateway to malware today.

Javascript, though? Seriously? Javascript is "standard webfare" in the modern world. Cookies are, as well. Every single modern web browser supports them, and enable developers to do some pretty cool things, like draggable maps, real-time page updates (AJAX), etc.

Put simply, you've got more to worry about in your web history than you'd ever have to worry about in cookies. With cookies, what are you protecting yourself from? A company trying to improve their product? What about Javascript? Protect yourself against... dynamic webpages? You're doing yourself more harm than good with these old principles. Should've left them at the door with Firefox 1.0... welcome to the Internet of the 21st century.

more than 5 years ago
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Up To 10% of CD-Rs Fail Within a Few Years

Falcon4 Re:Ritek - I hate you. (317 comments)

It's quite likely that CD/DVDRW degrades in the same way that other optical media does (if not sooner). Unlike magnetic media which improves stability by rewriting, rewritable optical media is little more than just a physics "hack" that breaks down over time. Constantly rewriting it would probably break it down even faster...

Basically, the reason that optical media breaks down applies to both write-once and rewritable media. That's the problem.

more than 5 years ago
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Best Home Backup Strategy Now?

Falcon4 Re:Windows Home Server + Jungle Disk (611 comments)

No, they're not permanently "burned in"... you can only have up to 10 systems "in place" at one time. You can "remove" a system at any time (and free its slot), but doing so deletes any backups that system had. I've done this countless times with my network with the number of times I reformat and repurpose systems.

more than 5 years ago
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Up To 10% of CD-Rs Fail Within a Few Years

Falcon4 Ritek - I hate you. (317 comments)

Well, when all people buy are the cheapest brand of CD-Rs (or, in my case, the cheapest being the only thing available), and they're all manufactured by one company crapping out shoddy products (Ritek)... what do you expect? If 90% of CD-Rs adhere to substandard manufacturing techniques, I'm surprised only 10% have failed prematurely.

Magnetic storage is still best. Unlike optical media, magnetic material can be digitally refreshed without consuming additional resources (burning a new CD-R). Sigh.

more than 5 years ago
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Best Home Backup Strategy Now?

Falcon4 Re:Windows Home Server + Jungle Disk (611 comments)

Using a homebuilt WHS here myself. I never backed up until I got WHS, because it was simply too much a pain, and I didn't want to dedicate a hard drive to tediously backing everything up. I knew it needed to be done, but I never did. Finally, I found that WHS employs bare-metal image restoration off a bootable CD. THAT was the feature that got me hooked.

Basically, WHS does nightly (or daily) incremental backups over the network (or VPN if you use Hamachi), taking about 5 minutes average for each backup. Trash your hard drive by accident (i.e. beating the snot out of it when it keeps crashing...)? Drop in a new hard drive, break out the restore CD, connect to the server, restore last night's backup. It also automatically manages cropping out outdated backups and cleaning up the backup database.

Additionally, if you have multiple computers (up to 10), it'll cross-reference matching parts between different computers (so-called "single instancing") - that is, if two computers have a copy of a movie, it'll only occupy the space on the server once. Even if two files are different but have matching parts... it'll do that as well.

Run out of space on the server? Plug in any USB drive, add it to the pool, get extra storage. Build your own WHS and put it in the living room as a sort of "media center" PC (SageTV works with WHS). Make it your torrent box. Honestly, I can't see anyone living without a WHS in their home, at least anyone that's got more than one computer...

more than 5 years ago
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Best Home Backup Strategy Now?

Falcon4 Re:Windows Home Server + Jungle Disk (611 comments)

Okay, well let's start here. First of all, the most impressive feature of WHS is that each disk operates completely independently, with their own file systems, meaning that you can take a drive out of the "array", plug it into a PC, and you can browse the folder structure to access that resides on that particular drive (in its original folder/file hierarchy as well). I'd certainly love to see you do that with a RAID, or even a JBOD.

Backup, on the other hand, is a proprietary clusterf*ck. But it really doesn't matter that much, since backups are only a copy of existing data, and if it fails, you just delete the backups and make fresh ones (since it's statistically very unlikely that both your computer and server would fail at once - and in that case you're boned anyway). If your PC fails, just do a bare-metal restore off your last image (which is why it's so proprietary).

True, MS hides a lot of stuff from the operations of WHS, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to uncover how it works under the hood...

more than 5 years ago
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Best Home Backup Strategy Now?

Falcon4 Re:SSD (611 comments)

Au contraire. I'd recommend backing up a Flash drive to your hard drive, for the various reasons stated elsewhere in this thread...

more than 5 years ago
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VLC 1.0.0 Released

Falcon4 Re:Better DVD menu support? (419 comments)

Then, it boils down to one further argument: would you rather have it not doing what they want it to do because:
- they were stupid and installed viruses on their system, and need to learn from their experiences...?
or
- because the OS wasn't even designed to do what you want it to do to begin with?

In other words, which would you rather spend your time fixing? Something that you/they broke... or something that shouldn't've even been broke to begin with?

more than 5 years ago
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Guaranteed Transmission Protocols For Windows?

Falcon4 Re:Line endings! (536 comments)

It likely does. Pretty much the standard response for an FTP server, no matter what system it's actually running, is to say it's UNIX.

I have to side with the "FTP sucks" crowd as well. As has been stated earlier, any protocol that corrupts data due to a flipped notepad.exe compatibility switch, is fucked up. ASCII mode in FTP should have been killed off decades ago when the internet stopped using 7-bit transmissions. Seriously. What other protocol actually changes data based on its file extension?

more than 5 years ago
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Ksplice Offers Rebootless Updates For Ubuntu Systems

Falcon4 Re:Great! (211 comments)

And just that same year, a new wireless driver version is finally released since the last version 15 years ago, and requires a reboot.

more than 5 years ago
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SLI On Life Support For the AMD Platform

Falcon4 Re:Oh silly hardware companies..NVIDIA HAS PROBS (186 comments)

Laptops, man, laptops. Even ATI's desktop graphics are kinda suck, but at least they can be worked around and you can download new drivers from ATI's site. Laptop chipsets, you can't get anything from ATI for. The "drivers still suck" part? Crashes, instability, and poor planning. nVidia's control panel doesn't require .NET, and neither should ATI's. ATI's control panel intrusively adds itself to all context menus, takes forever to load, and is a pain in the rear to use (I tried showing my Business teacher how to use it to turn on the projector on her new class computer, and I think she blew a fuse).

My current issue with ATI is unstable default drivers provided with Windows 7 for my X1200 integrated GPU. ATI denies the existence of both Windows 7 and this GPU, even though the laptop is only about 6 months old. Can't go into hibernate because it always crashes coming out, and about 1 in 10 times I resume from standby, the display doesn't come up and causes a BSOD about 20 seconds later. Win7 64-bit is just an unusable nightmare for many of the same issues, only greatly magnified. I've even had it crash while Windows was running - and I don't even do any gaming on here!

The .NET thing is merely an issue with execution. Their setup program is botched. It detects that you don't have .NET Framework installed (as is typical when setting up a new computer), but instead of offering you the option to install it later due to that error, it plows through the installation anyway, and leaves you with a totally screwed up installation that takes hours to untangle and correct, even after installing .NET Framework - it then gives you cryptic error messages on each startup about a missing assembly (something like MOM.Implementation) until you uninstall the whole driver, delete the ATI folder, then reinstall the drivers and control panel. All because it decided to install despite the error. Yeah!

nVidia, for me, just works. I don't do a lot of high end graphics, I just want a card that works well, and nVidia has always given me that. I've had an opportunity to play with an X260 card, and I quickly found out about that poor thermal management problem. It would stick at 30% until it's about to melt metal, then finally kick the fan up higher. They seem to have fixed that issue in later revisions of the card. The software doesn't control the fan speed; the card's BIOS actually controls that. There are mod tools to download the BIOS, modify the parameters, then reflash it, to keep it cooler. But yeah, that's not a great solution, and they should have done better. But at least they don't make huge mistakes all across the board like ATI seems to do!

more than 5 years ago

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