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Physicists Make a Mobius Strip From Beams of Light

FrankSchwab Re:Frist Psot! (17 comments)

It's not Super Bowl Day yet where I am, and you're not Frist Post either.

Grow up.

2 hours ago

The Pirate Bay Is Back Online, Properly

FrankSchwab Re: Problems with the staff (91 comments)

You have a weird definition of "virus" and "malware".

In my world, Malware includes everything that gets installed on your machine (surreptitiously or not) that does "bad" things ("mal" = (french) bad, evil). That would include worms, viruses, rootkits, unwanted toolbars, home page redirectors, Stuxnet, Cryptolocker, and just about every other form of third-party computer abuse.
Virus is a subset of malware. /frank

3 hours ago

Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

FrankSchwab Re:Not sure who to cheer for (190 comments)

Oh, god, yes.

Bought an Epson printer off Amazon last week - and all I see on the sites where I still allow ads, are ads for Epson printers. That's really useful.

about 2 months ago

The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

FrankSchwab Re:bright light and vomit (286 comments)

I'm sorry that you believe that the entire airplane is your own private, dark, quiet sleeping quarters. I like the feeling of openness by having that window up next to me, and helps me forget about the overweight smelly guy next to me who's snoring and leaning my way...

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Announces Windows 10

FrankSchwab Re: Missed opportunity (644 comments)

Oh, that's funny right there. Wish I had some mod points for you - I think I'm going to start using that name.

"Hey, when are we planning on upgrading to...Woah?"

about 4 months ago

Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

FrankSchwab Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (269 comments)

Some people use shortcut keys to launch applications. Some don't.
Some people put icons on the desktop. Some don't.
Some use the menu. Some don't.
Some use the task bar. Some don't.

I don't use shortcut keys.
I put icons on the desktop for apps I use once a week.
I use the start menu for apps I run seldom (like IE).
I pin daily apps to the task bar.

I guess the only point is that people aren't binary - with multiple ways of doing things, different people have different weights that they apply to each method to help them do things the way they work. Many of them don't use exclusively a single approach.

One of the big failings of Windows 8 was ignoring this, and forcing a single, completely different way of working on people.

about 4 months ago

Camera Module Problems May Delay Samsung's Galaxy S5

FrankSchwab Re:Will likely have to... (70 comments)

When are they going to do that?

LMFAO. You're exactly correct.

They may be running into yield issues as they try to ramp up production from thousands of cameras a month to millions. But it's extraordinarily unlikely that any "development" engineering is happening. That ship has sailed.

about 10 months ago

Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

FrankSchwab Re:Solving the wrong problem (330 comments)

And a solar cell fixed to one spot on the moon is exposed to sunlight for more than a fraction of a day?

We're not talking orbital solar panels here.

about a year ago

Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

FrankSchwab Re:Probably the home router... (574 comments)

No, what I'm describing there is a standard consumer router that implements NAT. The Address Translation step itself is what blocks access to the ports on my machine, not any kind of stateful firewall, so yes the address translation step helps me. It may look something like a stateful firewall, but that's not it's design goal nor it's intended function, so I certainly wouldn't rely on it to be a good one.

about a year ago

Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

FrankSchwab Re:Probably the home router... (574 comments)

Please stop arguing that NAT gives you a security advantage. NAT in and of itself does not provide any additional security.

Sure it does. Does it provide perfect security? Nope. Are there better security solutions? Yup. Is it better than not using NAT? For most people, yup.

Example: I run a Windows box behind a Cable Modem and NAT router at home. Being a Windows user, I have no idea what ports are open for connections on my machine, and I don't care. You simply can't attack port 21, or 23, or 25, or 137, or 445, or whatever, on my Windows box unless I set up a mapping on my NAT router (which, being a Windows user, I don't know how to do). Any susceptibilities resulting from having those ports open simply aren't accessible to the broader internet.

So, yes, security is better with NAT than without. But, no, it won't prevent users from connecting to services you don't want it to. Neither, in general, will your solution, given a sufficiently determined user. So does that mean that your solution has no security?

about a year ago

US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

FrankSchwab Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (535 comments)

In many cities in the US in the '70s and '80s, cable companies were given a state- or municipal- granted monopoly on cable TV for 20 or more years to guarantee a return on the 10's of millions of dollars it cost to wire up the city. This was seen as a GOOD THING as everyone could then get soft-core porn from HBO that they couldn't get from OTA broadcasts. Legally, no other cable provider was allowed to install infrastructure. Prior to that, the Phone Company (there was only one at that time) had a legal monopoly on installing and operating phone lines within most cities.
Fast forward to today, and you find that there are only two possible providers of Internet service within a city - either the Cable company, whose infrastructure was installed when they had Monopoly status, or the Phone company, whose infrastructure was installed when they had Monopoly status. There is little financial incentive for a third party to spend 100's of millions of dollars to install new infrastructure, when the incumbents have proven themselves perfectly capable of dropping prices through the floor to guarantee failure of the upstart, then raising prices back up again.
In my town, during a building boom a few years back, it was common for developers to auction off the rights to wire up the neighborhood they were building to either the cable company OR the phone company - one of them paid to become a de-facto monopoly in the 100 unit community. Not a government monopoly, but one that's just as disturbing.

about a year ago

Asteroids Scarred By Solar System's Violent Youth

FrankSchwab Useless (31 comments)

Reads like a randomly-generated generated scientific paper - take a sentence from this paper, then a sentence from that one. Some of it reads like it was sent round-trip through Google translate.

I was unable to glean a single coherent thought from reading this article. Why was this submission even accepted?

1 year,2 days

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

FrankSchwab Re:Precisely (1098 comments)

and are giddy about the possibility of bringing suit against people who so much as linked to a GPL'd library

Wow. Citation please?

Every case that I've heard of that got anywhere near a court involved a company that had been approached many times, in many ways, and asked to respect the license of the code they were shipping. And the respect never occurred.

Do you have any links to any reports where this wasn't the case?

1 year,7 days

Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

FrankSchwab Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (767 comments)

You do realize of course, that the wall switch and dimmer for your fan/light fixture can be replaced, without replacing the fan?

Really? Please come to my house and do so.

First of all, I've only found one fan module that doesn't support dimming. Works fine in my Hunter ceiling fans.

In my Hampton Bay fans, not a chance. The motor drive is on the same PCB as the light control, and there is no room in/near the light kit to even consider mounting the aftermarket module.

Frankly, if anyone has a solution that doesn't involve "remove and replace ceiling fans", I'm all ears.

1 year,17 days

Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

FrankSchwab Re:I beg to differ (385 comments)

And I'd say that the war in Iraq had far less of a point than Vietnam. I believe that good people bought into containing the spread of communism, and felt that war was the only way to do so. For Iraq, I've found no narrative that makes sense, other than raw exercise of presidential power in furtherance of corporate interests.

1 year,28 days

Amazon Reveals "Prime Air", Their Plans For 30-minute Deliveries By Drone

FrankSchwab Re:Crime? (397 comments)

I occasionally go two months without opening my front door. I use my garage door as an ersatz front door.

about a year ago

Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Pharmacies

FrankSchwab Re:hemoglobin test (282 comments)

"Parietal Cell Antibodies" was the test. Was going to the GP to discuss lack of energy. Went to the Dermatologist to discuss Vitiligo. Dermatologist doesn't care about Parietal Cell Antibodies, just knows that autoimmune diseases are weakly related to B12 deficency related to IF and Parietal cell destruction. GP ended up referring to gastroenterologist, and starting B12 shots.

It's a unique situation in being a pretty clear-cut, but the blood test was directly related to a life threatening disease. The results were fairly easy to interpret with 20 minutes on Google. That, surely, isn't the case with many other tests. /frank

about a year ago

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

FrankSchwab Re:Ironic (961 comments)

No, it's like a car mechanic who says "take it to the scrap heap" when he finds that the frame is swiss cheesed with rust, the body is mostly bondo hiding the rusted out panels, the wiring is failing, and the engine burns a quart of oil every hundred miles. The professional recognizes that there is nothing to save - the car's life is over.

One advantage the car has is that a zealot could indeed still rebuild it - even if the only thing left is the VIN plate. We don't have that option for the human body yet - we can replace some pieces as long as others are healthy, but we can't do the equivalent of a frame-off restoration when all the major systems are shot. And certainly there is at least one organ which is irreplaceable.

about a year ago

Getting Evolution In Science Textbooks For Texas Schools

FrankSchwab Re:Double standards... (710 comments)

Not really.

Science requires an explanation that doesn't involve "Magic". In fact, you could say that the entire purpose of science is to debunk magic ("Q:Why does this stick burn? A: Magic), and replace it with well-understood and tested principles. In my opinion, no scientist is more alive than when existing well-understood and tested principles are overturned - see heliocentrism, relativity, quantum mechanics, dark matter/energy. A student who critically studied evolution and was able to overturn it, within the principles of science, would be celebrated as Copernicus, Einstein, Heisenberg, or whoever formulates an answer to dark energy or matter.

Creationism, however, is completely outside the principles of science. Its fundamental principle is that "magic" - whether Yahweh, Jehovah, Zeus, Thetans, or name-your-favorite-god - created man through an unknown and unknowable process, ranging from "in his own image" to "sneezed and set in motion the entirety of the cosmos with the intended end result of creating Man".

Questions of "how" or "why" end up at "because "magic" made it so". Sure you can push back the edges - "Why is the universe expanding?" "Because "magic" made it so" - but at it's heart, it's either anti-science ("here are questions you cannot ask

about a year ago




Home Computer Lab

FrankSchwab FrankSchwab writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I have a problem, and I am apparently not nerdy enough to resolve it on my own. How do I get communal PCs set up for multiple users in a home environment without going stark raving mad?

My wife and I have 7 year old twins. We have multiple computers in the house - two set up in the living room for communal use, one HTPC that I primarily use, one in the office primarily for my and my wife's use, and an old low-power Via sitting in the closet as a file server. Don't hate me, but they're all Windows boxes. Too many years in the development world left me with too many free licenses that make it too easy to go that route.

So, what's my problem? Well, the kids have a stack of game CD's that they enjoy; Daemon tools and DaemonScript let me keep an image on the NAS with a simple point and click interface for the kids for Barbie's (mis)Adventures and Midtown Madness and the other games that require the CD to be in the drive to play; but each one of those games requires being installed on every machine that they might be played on.
Thunderbird and Firefox allow their configuration/data files to be moved to the NAS box, but it's a painful process that has to be repeated for four different accounts on four different machines. Everyone's My Documents folders have to be manually moved to the NAS box; again four people times four machines. All the other applications that I normally install on a PC can take several hours of installation time on one machine; multiply by four machines for installation and by four people for configuration.

And, with four people browsing, there are occasions when malware rears its ugly head. My approach has always been to wipe the machine and either install a previously snapshotted disk image (that needs an arbitrary amount of installations/configuration/updating to bring it back to where the machine was), or simply start over from scratch.

This is just too much time sitting in front of the computer doing maintenance.

I've considered using VMWare to set up each user's account, allowing them to run the VM on whichever machine they're sitting in front of. Frankly, for most of the games, browsing, and email that goes on, that's probably a good solution. It's a bit of an additional complication, though, having to log into a Windows account on a machine, then start a VM and log in again, before being able to do anything, but maybe that's OK. I'm concerned about how well some of their DirectX games (Motocross Madness, Midtown Madness) are going to work in that environment; it's been a few years since I did much with VMWare.

Anyone have any great suggestions for a better solution? /frank

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