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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

JohnFen Re:This is ridiculous. (141 comments)

If flying were always voluntarily, I'd never fly again. As it is, I fly about twice a year, involuntarily. Regardless of that, though, it absolutely is the government violating my privacy. That I technically "consent" to it doesn't make it any less of a privacy invasion.

yesterday
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Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

JohnFen Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (299 comments)

Even here, many of the highly rated comments are really just wisecracks which might be funny, but don't add anything to the discussion.

So? The point is that the readers here value those comments. The system works. Whether or not you think they should be valued is beside the point. A different site, with different readers, will value different kinds of comments.

about a week ago
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Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

JohnFen Bad commenting system (299 comments)

Don't kill commenting just because Jezebel has a terrible commenting system. I've long known that Jezebel's system was bad from the perspective of a commenter, now I know that it's awful from the other side of the fence as well.

about a week ago
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Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

JohnFen Good lord, please no. (191 comments)

We finally got to the point where we have an effective standard and I no longer had to use all the various adapters to be able to plug various devices in. Now Type-C USB comes along to ruin that? Reversibility is a minor advance at best, certainly not enough to be worth giving up having to go back to cable adapters and such.

about a week ago
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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

JohnFen Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

If you spend time in an urban area, basically anything remotely "downtown" then it is a BIG win.

This must depend on which urban area you live in. In mine, this is not a big win at all. It's a bit pointless, since you're almost always in range of a public wifi hotspot anyway.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

JohnFen Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

determining the RL identities of the bullies likely would reduce bullying, as they could be held socially and legally accountable for what they are doing.

I don't see any reason to think this is true. The RL identities of most bullies are already known to those being bullied, yet the bullying persists.

about three weeks ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

JohnFen Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

You disregard all the harm that anonymity causes online, from bullying, to hate speech, to terrorism.

I haven't actually seen any evidence that anonymity causes any of those things. I have seen evidence that the lack of anonymity doesn't reduce those things. So yes, I disregard it until there is a good reason not to.

We need to find a middle ground that will help curtain online abuse with minimal impact on Freedom of Speech, but the statue quo is not sustainable.

Well, I don't agree that there is some kind of crisis that needs to be addressed immediately (let alone that we need to give up any rights for), but ignoring that: please explain how removing anonymity will curtail any of the things you bring up. Since it hasn't worked in parts of the internet where it's been tried, I seriously and honestly don't think it will.

about three weeks ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

JohnFen Re:Once the user cancels, you have lost (401 comments)

Presumably, if you're paying a particular rate in exchange for service, that's because you believe that the service has at least that much value to you. As long as that's the case, then the company providing the service isn't "ripping you off."

This argument might make some sense if we're talking about a business where there's something like competition. However, at least where I live, there isn't. If you want broadband internet, your choice is Comcast, Comcast, or Comcast. In that situation, Comcast is absolutely ripping me off by charging an absurdly high rate (not to mention using my money in order to effect legislation that is harmful to the internet) even though I continue to do business with them. The alternative is to not have broadband at all -- which isn't an option for me.

Fortunately, I'm moving soon to an area where I'll have another option. And I'll take that other option.

about a month ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

JohnFen Re:Had to stop after a minute... (401 comments)

I actually don't see what would be wrong with just explaining that you didn't feel that the service was a good value, and that you feel they don't display respect for their customers.

What's wrong with it is that it opens a time-wasting conversation that doesn't need to happen. Comcast doesn't care why you're dropping, they just use the question as a ploy to engage you so they can give you a sales pitch.

about a month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

JohnFen Re:Care to list your reasons, then? (681 comments)

What other disadvantages do you ascribe to it?

My main objection is that it provides no serious advantage over menus, it's hard to find the things that are used less frequently, it changes dynamically, meaning that I often have to hunt around to find the item I need rather than knowing exactly where it is no matter what, it's cluttered and visually confusing, it requires configuration to become remotely usable, and so on.

It doesn't take up meaningfully more space than the menu bar would (it takes significantly *less* space than a menu bar plus a single toolbar)

Not on my machines. I'm looking at the ribbon in Outlook right now, and it take up three times the space that a menu + toolbar does.

it scales to multiple resolutions and window sizes better than menus do, it makes it easy to see what the effect of an action will be before you click

I disagree with both of these assertions.

A lot of this (maybe most) boils down to taste, so let me just leave you with my #1 objection: I'm much less efficient working with the ribbon than with the menus. The ribbon just gets in my way.

about 1 month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

JohnFen Re:Win 8.1 Start Screen is fine (681 comments)

It's very similar to the osx launchpad.

You say that as if that were a good thing...

about 2 months ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

JohnFen Re:One switch to rule them all? (681 comments)

Do you really think that the only reason people could hate the ribbon is because they don't know how to use it? That's simply delusional. At least now I know where the equally mistaken belief that the only reason people could hate Metro is because they don't know how to use it comes from.

about 2 months ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

JohnFen Re:One switch to rule them all? (681 comments)

You can just customize it though, just add your commonly used tasks to the home tab of the ribbon and you're set.

True enough. But that doesn't stop the ribbon from sucking.

about 2 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of the Cheat Code

JohnFen Why I stopped playing games (178 comments)

The advent of all games involving a "social" context, requiring access to the internet, and the use of DLC and micropayments, is what made me give quit gaming entirely. The cheat code business is a side-effect of this. This is one of the items on my short list of things that the internet has made worse.

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

JohnFen Re:What's wrong with Disqus? (142 comments)

A number of things, but the three worst, in my view, are that it is very often extremely slow to load (and sometimes fails to load at all), it requires me to allow Disqus to run Javascript, and it involves a third party (Disqus) sitting between me and the blog -- which means that I have to allow myself to be tracked across multiple websites just so I can make a comment.

Sites that use Disqus are sites that don't allow comments as far as I'm concerned.

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

JohnFen Re:The Slashdot comment system (142 comments)

I disagree. I HATE HATE HATE reddit's commenting system.

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

JohnFen Re:A more vague description, there ain't (142 comments)

...which is precisely why I don't (and won't) use such commenting systems. Single sign-on is a terrible idea.

about 2 months ago
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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

JohnFen Re:Speculation... (455 comments)

I was looking for a used car, found one one craigslist. Got a cashiers check to pay for it received the car and title payed with the check. Tried to get a temporary tag from the dmv but the car was never registered to the guy i got it from.

You should never pay until after the title check and a mechanic has taken a look at the car. Then you don't have to worry about this type of problem.

What are my options? Am i just out of luck?

You have the same options that you'd have if a dealer did this to you: sue. Although if I were in your shoes and the check never cleared, I'd just park the car in the guy's driveway, drop the title & keys in his mailbox and walk away.

But basically, we have different priorities. You feel this isn't stressful. I would find having to validate the title to be stressful.

Clearly we do. A title check is just a stop to the DMV website. It's no more or less stressful than online shopping.

I've had good luck with warranties. Most have been close to break-even.

If I had such experience, I would probably feel differently. But, seriously, I can't think of a single time that I actually used a warranty on anything I had. It's all just burnt money.

about 2 months ago
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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

JohnFen Re:Speculation... (455 comments)

I'm afraid that you misread me -- I have no anger at all. I was just surprised to see Best Buy cited as an example of something being done right because that doesn't square with my experience.

I'm also not comparing website prices. I'm comparing prices of equipment sold in my local brick & mortar Best Buy with the same equipment sold in a nearby computer parts store. The nearby store, on average, is priced 2/3 to 1/2 of what Best Buy prices are. This might be influenced by the types of products I tend to buy -- I don't buy Rokus or movies there. I buy networking items: switches, cables, drive enclosures, that sort of thing.

about 2 months ago

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