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Comments

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If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

IceDiver Cooling (591 comments)

Better cooling!
This would positively impact overall reliability and lifespan.
I have had too many laptops die a premature death because of cooling issues. I would really like to see this change.

about a year and a half ago
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BFG Tech Sending Out RMA Denial Letters, 'Winding Down Business'

IceDiver I snuck under the wire! (327 comments)

I just returned my BFG card and got it replaced a few weeks ago. It was only a couple of months old when it failed. Not the quality I expected from such a big-name company.

So who is making quality graphics cards and standing by their warranty these days?

more than 4 years ago
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Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

IceDiver Re:Settlers 7 (279 comments)

It might lead to more sales, but not from me.

I won't buy them, and I won't try to download any of these games, even if they ARE successfully cracked. Besides being illegal, it would just give UbiS*** ammo for their claims that they are losing sales to pirates.

Don't buy and don't download cracked games. Maybe then all these idiot companies will get the message.

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Caves To Publishers On eBook Pricing

IceDiver Re:More reasonable pricing (236 comments)

How does the existence, or non-existence, of middlemen affect my perceived value?

Indeed, it doesn't.

Then don't tell me there's a problem with my reasoning. Tell me that you are pointing out how it looks on the other side. There is a difference.

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Caves To Publishers On eBook Pricing

IceDiver Re:More reasonable pricing (236 comments)

How does the existence, or non-existence, of middlemen affect my perceived value?

I see a hardcover at $20 - $30. I get a physical copy that can be used anywhere without special technology. I get the right to resell it when I am done with it. A hard drive crash will not delete it. To me, that has value.
A $14.99 digital copy that has none of these advantages seems to me to have little value. That perception does not depend on middlemen, or the cost of paper. It depends on the usefulness of the product. Whether or not the publisher and author save costs by publishing electronically is not my problem.

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Caves To Publishers On eBook Pricing

IceDiver More reasonable pricing (236 comments)

Considering the fact that you get no physical copy and are encumbered by DRM, it seems to me that fair pricing is as follows:
$9.99 for the period when the only physical copy available for sale is hardcover,
$4.99 once the paperback comes out.

Anything above these prices is, to me, a rip-off.

This explains why I have never purchased an e-book, yet the bookshelves in my home are overflowing.

more than 4 years ago
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LegalTorrents Launches Copyright-Compliant Tracker

IceDiver Re:Legal torrents (113 comments)

I fail to see that this will do much good when the bittorrent protocol is blcked on many ISPs (including mine).

about 5 years ago
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Blizzard Answers Your Questions and More

IceDiver Re:How times change (368 comments)

Bnetd was created to bypass Blizzard's cd key check so people could play pirated versions of Starcraft online.

No. That was just ONE of the things bnetd did. And the reason it bypassed cd-checks was because (as I read some years ago) Blizzard refused to provide the info that would have allowed the programmers to check cd-keys. The PURPOSE of bnetd was to create an open server product that would address many of the shortcomings of Battle.Net

Now, I have some sympathy for BLIZZARD not wanting info about their cd-key algorithm to become public, but the bnetd developers DID try to cooperate with BLIZZARD on that issue.

more than 5 years ago
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Blizzard Answers Your Questions and More

IceDiver Re:How times change (368 comments)

Pirating was the main reason for bnetd. Period. If you can't come to terms with this, then you aren't living in reality.

And back in the day the movie and TV companies claimed that the main reason for VCRs was the pirating of broadcast content. Didn't make it true.

What I REALLY want to know is: Who is responsible for the taking away of the fair use rights we used to have as a result of SONY vs BETAMAX? The law used to state that even if the primary use might be piracy, it was still legal provided there were significant non-infringing uses! BLIZZARD vs bnetd seems to have changed that.

more than 5 years ago
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Blizzard Game You're Most Looking Forward To?

IceDiver Re:Missing Option: None of the above. (452 comments)

Blizzard's license says 'thou shalt not reverse engineer our services'

bnetd devs never agreed to any Blizzard EULA, and besides, bnetd worked through reverse engineering network protocols, not Blizzard code.

Blizzard made several unsubstantiated accusations during the case (I would like to see how Battle.net code was stolen without access to the Battle.net servers - and no evidence was shown to back up this accusation). Basically, bnetd was shut down because Blizzard lied in court and got away with it.

more than 5 years ago
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Blizzard Game You're Most Looking Forward To?

IceDiver Missing Option: None of the above. (452 comments)

Blizzard has acted too evil for me lately (bnetd, LAN play, etc.) I don't care how good their games are, they do not deserve my support.

more than 4 years ago
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Time Warner Shutting Off Austin Accounts For Heavy Usage

IceDiver More than most use in a year? (591 comments)

For now, perhaps.

As more people discover streaming video, and demand better picture quality and less jittering, the demand for bandwidth will skyrocket. One HD movie per week would be over 200GB per year, probably closer to double that.

more than 5 years ago
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What Did You Do First With Linux?

IceDiver Slackware 1997 (739 comments)

I used it to set up a demand dialler and firewall on my old 486.

It was interesting because there was an error in the diald package. The distro included a newer version that used different file locations, but the install script still used the old file locations. I learned a lot figuring that one out!

more than 5 years ago
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The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games

IceDiver Re:Some Examples (260 comments)

Wing Commander 2, now, that was hard to beat.

I found WC2 had only 1 mission that was near impossible. WC3 had several, as did WC4.

In the case of Thief 3 . . . Quite a lot of the people who played it first like it.

Actually, I know this to be true. However, several of those people that I know revised their opinion of Thief 3 after going back and playing Thief 1 and 2.

more than 5 years ago
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The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games

IceDiver Re:Some Examples (260 comments)

every Civ game has at least a couple low difficulties that should be trivial for anyone who enjoys that sort of game.

I found Civ3 and 4 had no difficulty levels that were easy, let alone trivial. As I said, "Even at the easiest difficulty settings these games are very hard to beat."

more than 5 years ago
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The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games

IceDiver Some Examples (260 comments)

Might and Magic IX - Went for eye candy over game play.

The third Krondor game - More eye candy, virtually no game play.

Thief 3 - "Consolized" the game. Missions were composed of several small linked play areas instead of large rambling areas to explore. This was done to adapt the game to console hardware limitations.

MOO3 - An example of change for its own sake. Did anyone actually like this game?

Wing Commander III and IV - Examples of challenge disorder. There were too many missions in these games that were virtually impossible to beat, and the dynamic difficulty setting system made it impossible to adjust the games to your personal skill level.

SimCity 2 and later - Added too much complexity, ruining the game experience. Remember: KISS!

Civ3 and 4 - More challenge disorder. Even at the easiest difficulty settings these games are very hard to beat.

There are more, I am sure, but I'll let other Slashdotters come up with them. And yes, I am aware that many people enjoyed many of these games but, speaking from my own knowledge (from conversations with other gamers), each of the games I have listed lost a large part of their audience, with only the hard core fans of the franchise claiming to like them.

more than 5 years ago
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NASA's Kepler Telescope Launched Successfully

IceDiver Re:That's pretty cool. (82 comments)

Same as in the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" I think?

Which one? The remake and the original take different views.

more than 5 years ago
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Windows 7 To Skip Straight To a Release Candidate

IceDiver Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (856 comments)

You forgot security.

Once MS stops patching holes in WinXP, you either have to move on, or run everything in a sandbox.

And when that happens, I will almost certainly move to Linux as my primary OS (right now, for various reasons, it is secondary).

more than 5 years ago
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Windows 7 To Skip Straight To a Release Candidate

IceDiver Re:This seems abrupt (856 comments)

In my opinion they are right.

The problem with Vista -now- really is primarily PR.

The launch kinks have mostly been worked out.

I've heard that one before.

The driver situation has significantly improved.

Which is why, last time I did a Vista install, both the printer and network drivers mysteriously disappeared a week later, only to mysteriously reappear the next day. New equipment, with Vista certified drivers, btw.

And the price of 'suitable hardware' has continued its downward trend.

Okay, I'll give you that one.

The only major obstacle in the face of Microsoft really is public perception that "Vista sucks"

and this perception exists, perhaps, because Vista really DOES suck?

I keep hearing that the problems with Vista have been solved, but every time (yes, EVERY time) I have tried Vista, or set it up for someone, I have had problems. I simply no longer believe any claims that Vista has been fixed.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Where has PC quality gone?

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 4 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "I'm an ordinary PC user. I'm not a sysadmin, or tech in charge of a large number of PCs. I have a desktop and a laptop. That's it. Yet over the past year I have suffered what seems to me to be an unreasonable number of component failures: 3 hard drives (well 4, actually, as the replacement for one arrived DOA), an optical drive, a graphics card, and a RAM chip. One of the hard drives and the graphics card failed within 6 months of purchase. Everything else is less than 2 years old. I generally buy name brand parts, and research current reliability ratings, to try and ensure that I am getting quality parts, yet here I am, spending a small fortune shipping parts back to the manufacturers for RMA.

Are there any good brand names left? Or has price competition fatally compromised quality across the board?"
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School Astronomy Observation List Wanted

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 4 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "I am a teacher in a small rural school. My Grade 9 students are doing a unit on astronomy this spring. I have access to a 4" telescope, and would like to give my students a chance to use it. We will probably only be able to attempt observations on a couple of nights because of weather and time restrictions. I am as new to telescope use as my students, so I have no idea what objects would look good through a 4" lens. What observations should I attempt to have my students make? In other words, how can I make best use of my limited equipment and time to give my students the best experience possible?"
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Church of Scientology Convicted of Fraud

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  about 5 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "As most Slashdotters know, the Church of Scientology's practices are widely scorned and even mocked. Now, however, the so-called Church has been convicted in France of fraud and one of its leaders given a 2 year sentence. Yes, the sentence is only a suspended one, and the effect this will have on the worldwide church is still to be determined, but we can hope. Is this the beginning of the end for L.Ron Hubbard's five-decade-old scam?"
Link to Original Source
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RIAA Accuses Beckerman of 'Vexatious Litigation

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 6 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "

The Recording Industry Association of America is declaring attorney-blogger Ray Beckerman a "vexatious" litigator and is seeking unspecified monetary sanctions to punish him in his defense of a New York woman accused of making copyrighted music available on the Kazaa file sharing system. The RIAA said Beckerman, one of the nation's few attorneys who defends accused file sharers, "has maintained an anti-recording industry blog during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass plaintiffs," the RIAA wrote (.pdf) in court briefs. "Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions.",

Beckerman is accused, among other things, of "providing false and misleading information and for unreasonably and vexatiously multiplying and prolonging this litigation."

How can they expect anyone to believe this crap?"

Link to Original Source

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What modern games are DRM free?

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 6 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "I used to be an avid PC gamer. However, I have only bought 1 game in the last 18 months because I am sick and tired of the problems caused by the various intrusive, and sometimes damaging DRM schemes game publishers insist on forcing upon their customers. Once burned, twice shy!

The EA announcement that upcoming releases will include SecuRom, along with verification requirements and major restrictions on installations left me wondering:

What recently released or upcoming games (particularly major titles) are being released without DRM? Are there any?

How has DRM affected your game purchasing?

Will EA be negatively affected by their DRM decision?"
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Korean Researchers Develop plastic Optical Fiber

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 6 years ago

IceDiver writes "According to Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071127-korean-researchers-demonstrate-plastic-optical-fiber.html) Korean researchers have developed a new, more flexible, plastic optical fiber that is easier to install and make connections with than traditional glass fiber. Though slower than glass, its 2.5 GB/s bandwidth is still far superior to copper. This new development may make broadband connections possible where they used to be impractical because of the costs associated with running fiber."
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More Info on Terascale

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IceDiver writes "Tom's Hardware has a brief article giving us more information on Intel's Terascale project (an 80 core CPU prototype). Highlights include 1.6 Teraflops on just 62W power, and an inter-core communication system that allows for custom CPUs to be designed with different mixes of core types.

What I found most interesting, however, is that Intel has worked out a way to greatly reduce the power required for the clock signal.

The prototype also used a reduced clock signal distribution system. Whereas traditional CPUs assign about 30% of their power budget to clock distribution, according to Bautista, Tera-scale uses only about 10%, which was enabled by having fewer "repeaters" throughout.


This seems like a technology that could be rapidly adapted to current CPUs, greatly reducing power requirements."

Link to Original Source
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Where is Dell's Customer Service?

IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "What's up with Dell?

The company claims to be trying to pay more attention to their customers, with initiatives like Ideastorm and Ubuntu and bringing back XP, but I have seen little sign of real improvement. Let me explain.

I am in the market for a new notebook and, after doing a great deal of research, I decided that the Dell Inspiron 1521 was the best fit for my needs within my budget. I tried to order one. Since Vista is not an option for me (forbidden at work) I asked for XP as my OS. Dell told me that was not an option on the 1521 and suggested several other machines that I had already decided not to buy because they were either a) lacking features or b) much too expensive. I then tried to order the 1521 with no OS only to be told that this was not an option available for any machines in Canada, where I am located. Ubuntu, too, is not an option. Disappointed, I decided not to buy at that time.

Today, I saw an ad for the 1521 at $100 off the price of a week ago. "Great!" I thought, "That will pay for my copy of XP!" I tried to order, only to discover that, though the specs of the laptop state it can take up to a 2.2GHz CPU, no CPU upgrade options were available on the advertised special. I called Dell to try to get the CPU I wanted, only to be told that I would have to pay full list price ($889 for the same base machine) and upgrade from there. I asked why, and was told that the advertised special was a "standard" machine, and no options were available because of this fact.

This excuse is complete nonsense. Other items on the advertised special have upgrade options available: RAM, display, webcam, wireless card, hard drive, battery, and more. This hardly makes the 1521 special a "standard" machine with no available options.

I can only conclude that Dell's attempts to improve customer relations are a sham. Sure, the claims Dell makes are great PR, but it seems the reality is lacking.

Sure, Dell offers Ubuntu — but not on the hardware you want.

Sure, Dell offers Win XP — but not on the hardware you want.

Sure, Dell offers a no OS option — but (you guessed it!) not on the hardware you want (or, apparently, outside the USA).

Sure Dell offers CPU upgrade options — but you have to pay more for your laptop, and then pay more again for the upgrade.

Sure, Ideastorm is a great idea — but Dell doesn't seem to be doing much with the suggestions.

Is anyone else having problems with Dell? Does the Slashdot crowd have any ideas for me?"

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IceDiver IceDiver writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IceDiver (321368) writes "According to an article in the Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/207415) an Ontario company has been given approval to build a 40MW solar power plant near Sarnia in Southwestern Ontario. This is enough power for about 10,000 homes. The plant will cover 365 hectares (1.4 sq. miles) and is to be operational by 2010. OptiSolar, the company building the plant, claims to have developed a way to mass produce the solar panels at a dramatically reduced cost, making the plant competitive with other forms of power generation."

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