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Comments

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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Lonewolf666 Re:One Sure Way (275 comments)

Yet it is frequently attempted, up to and including outright fraud. A common and legal variety is pricing stuff highly and trying to create an impression of highest quality, but only providing average quality. An example that comes to mind is BOSE hi-fi equipment ;-p

On the other hand, decent quality has a minimum price, dictated by material and work costs. In that direction there is a limit.

5 days ago
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You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Lonewolf666 Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (613 comments)

No. It degrades over time for entirely different reasons. But it *does* degrade over time.

No, it doesn't degrade, it stays the same. If you change the environment or system it runs on that is a different story.

And that is what happens to most environments, even if the user does not desire it.
Sometimes because the vendor of a (software) part of the environment stops supporting it and the need for support dictates going along with the switch.
Sometimes because hardware becomes obsolete and disappears from the market. Then you can't get replacement parts for your existing machines anymore and eventually they will "die out" from defects. Switching to a different system becomes a necessity.

Recent example:
End of life for Windows XP, users move to Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 because using unpatched XP on the internet is considered a bad idea.
Some sloppy programming practices using the installation folder as data storage don't work anymore, because Microsoft has added "virtualization" (hidden redirection to the user profile, Vista and Windows 7) or put a UAC dialog before write access (Windows 8 IIRC). Sloppily programmed software works no longer as it used to. Granted, those programs were bad ones to start with but here is your case of "indirect degradation".

about two weeks ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

Lonewolf666 Re:Doom by boredom (170 comments)

I can see your idea working in some e-sports league where people are there for the PVP challenge.

Not so much in a MMO where friends/clans want to do PVE and play together.

From what I've read about WOW (to use great-great-GP's example) its most difficult content was designed for 40 person raids. I guess it is difficult enough to gather 40 people to show up at raid time. If an unspecified proportion of them get shifted to higher or lower player classes, it might become impossible. And outright banning some people from trying those raids "because they are not good enough" would probably not good marketing.

about two weeks ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

Lonewolf666 Re:Doom by boredom (170 comments)

These days, things are either easy or impossible. That is not fun at all.

This.

Too easy or too hard are both unfun. There is a right degree of difficulty, and it is not the same for everyone.
Publishers who make their games easier to help newbies get into the game will lose veteran players who get bored.

about two weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Lonewolf666 Re:Slow on the take (441 comments)

Going a bit off topic....

"Fascism" was a political system practiced in several Mediterranean European countries in the early part of the 20th century. It usually entailed economic and cultural coordination by the state, a personality cult around a leader, a single-party or sham democratic system, national idealism, and militant, expansionist foreign policy. It's applicability outside of this narrow context is hotly contested, you can start fights among historians by asking "Was Falangist Spain Fascist?" or "Was Nazi Germany Fascist?"

Narrowing it down to "Mediterranean European countries" seems overly pedantic in the context of comparing countries elsewhere to Fascism. Without that limitation, Nazi Germany certainly qualifies:

- economic and cultural coordination by the state: check, at least for the media (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...). For big corporations, it may not have been quite so one-sided. Both my school knowledge and Wikipedia are a bit vague on that.
- a personality cult around a leader: check, the "Fuehrer" was a very important figure.
- a single-party or sham democratic system: check.
- national idealism: sorta check, it was partially replaced by racist idealism.
- and militant, expansionist foreign policy: Certainly, Germany invaded neighbor countries until the Allies reacted by declaring war.

about two weeks ago
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AMD Releases New Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU To $229

Lonewolf666 Re:I PC game, and have zero reason to upgrade (98 comments)

With the "current gen console" you probably mean the PS4 or XBOX One, as they are available already?
Then the said mid level gaming PC might be equivalent. Maybe a bit better but not greatly superior. On the other hand, since the PS4 / XBOX One are fairly new, they might be the "standard" for the next five years or so.

But when the PS5 comes out, whenever that happens, all bets are off.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Lonewolf666 The other way round (294 comments)

I like to use ECC even on the desktop, and yes there are ways to do it. At a cost.

On the Intel side, the CPU is not really the problem. "Small" Xeons like the E3-1225V3 are attractive for their price/performance even if you run them on desktop boards and don't use ECC support. In that setup they are like i7 parts with slightly lower clock speeds.
  For the board though, the choices are limited and you have to shell out an additional 100 Euros or more for a "small server" board, because the typical desktop chipsets don't support ECC.
Add the extra price for the ECC RAM, maybe 50 Euros difference depending on how much RAM you want, and you end up paying something like 150 Euros extra.

AMD used to be really nice, with most processors (pre-Llano all desktop parts but Sempron) supporting ECC RAM and some mainboards also supporting it. The mainboard choices for ECC support were a bit limited, cheapskates like Asrock usually did not bother to support ECC RAM. So you might have had to pay 10 Euros more for the board, plus the above 50 Euros extra for the RAM. Made maybe 60 Euros difference to have ECC RAM in your rig.
Sadly, their APUs don't support ECC. AFAIK the FX line still does, but it is not really attractive compared to recent Intel models.

about two weeks ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

Lonewolf666 Re: LibreOffice (190 comments)

There are sometimes small changes in table layout too.

One case where I can confirm a small incompatibility with certainty are the backgrounds in table calls. Word offers some patterns there that are missing when loading the document in LibreOffice, for instance dotted backgrounds. This is not a conversion issue, it is simply a feature that LibreOffice does not have.

Things like that are the reason why using Word and LibreOffice in parallel tends to have some friction. So when switching to Linux, best switch everything if you can and mandate ODF as new document format.

about three weeks ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

Lonewolf666 Re:NT is best (190 comments)

Err! Win NT6.0 was Microsoft Windows Vista and we know how everyone loved that. Even with NT6.1 (Microsoft Windows 7) you still could get constant reboots and BSODs (first hand experience). Still NT6.2 (MS Win 8) and NT3 (MS Win 8.1) may me stable to you but that GUI IMHO looks like something designed by a 5 year old.

Agreed about the GUI in Windows 8 (and it is desktop-user unfriendly too) but Windows 2000 and above were stable enough for me, good hardware and drivers given. I have, however, seen a few cases where hardware problems or flaky drivers caused BSODs.

You write that you switched to Linux over seven years ago. That would be in the XP timeframe. Did you use the same hardware as for XP, or something different?

about three weeks ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Lonewolf666 Re:Thoughtcrime (391 comments)

Well, they don't have concentration camps. Yet.

about three weeks ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Lonewolf666 Re:Thoughtcrime (391 comments)

Obligatory Nazi comparison:
This is essentially the same as the Nazi ban on listening to foreign radio stations. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feindsender.
Congratulations, UK, you are becoming what you once fought against.

about three weeks ago
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AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

Lonewolf666 Re:This is going to backfire horribly (64 comments)

1. Agreed, that sounds stupid.

2. AMD has a somewhat tarnished reputation for the performance of their FX CPU line. So far, NOT over lack of reliability. I hope they won't acquire that now...

[digression]From Nvidia, the only really bad thing I remember is that their mobile Geforce 8xxx had a reputation for dieing early. The 8600 GT in particular.
They are known for not caring about Open Source, and that is why I would currently prefer an AMD GPU (even if the GeForce 750 Ti looks really nice in terms of performance/watt).
But I'm probably in the minority there, and Nvidia's binary drivers have a good reputation and fairly long support time frames, longer than binary AMD drivers anyway.

For a real mess, consider this: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMyODA (status of Intel Poulsbo on Linux ;-)

about a month ago
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AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

Lonewolf666 Re:Marginally better (64 comments)

Somewhat inexpensive, but not quite so cheap that losing a SSD to a premature defect wouldn't sting a bit. In my neck of the woods, a 256GB SSD still costs around 150 Euros.

Unlike GP, I might take a chance on a product with less than 5 years of warranty if the vendor has a track record for good quality. OCZ does not, and I doubt if the acquisition by Toshiba has instantly fixed things. Or if Toshiba branded SSDs have not suffered from the bad influence ;-)

So Toshiba would have to offer a good warranty, where others may get a free pass.

about a month ago
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The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

Lonewolf666 Re:Follow the money (160 comments)

I would suggest that the current malaise at NASA extends through the Shuttle program. Operating a first generation prototype for over a quarter of a century? Hell, just flying the same five vehicles for a quarter of a century (not even replacing those that crashed) is hardly a sign of a place that will thrill an innovative young engineer. It's more like a railway museum than a space agency.

Flying the same expensive equipment for 30 years and more is not unusual if it lasts that long. For instance, look up the timeframes for which military aircraft stay operational. Many from the 1970s are still around.

I agree with GP though that failing to build a replacement in time does not make NASA look good.

about 1 month ago
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Judge Rejects $324.5 Million Settlement For Tech Workers, Argues For More

Lonewolf666 Shortage propaganda versus wages (268 comments)

If you don't think there is a shortage of software developers in the US, why are developers in the US paid so much more than ones in Europe?

Also, there is no hard threshold to define an "actual" shortage when you're talking about such a large job market.

Curiously, European employers (in Germany in particular) are complaining about a "shortage" too and have lobbied with some success for easier immigration of qualified workers. It looks quite similar to the discussion and critique about H-1B workers in the USA, see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa#Criticisms_of_the_program.

Personally, I think a "shortage" can best be detected from the development of wages, relative to other fields where the necessary education is similarly difficult and time consuming. For instance, does the average engineer earn significantly more than the average M.D., lawyer or business manager?

For Germany, AFAIK the answer is "no" and the complaints about a "shortage" are mostly propaganda. I'm not as familiar with the US labor market but the anecdotical evidence I pick up here and there tends to say "no" as well.

about a month ago
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Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

Lonewolf666 Re:Did they include the NIMBY tax? (409 comments)

I think operators of all types of power plants should have to pay for the costs they cause to society and which are so far externalized. Even if the payment is only partial, it can make the problematic technology less competitive and help others gain market share.

Mandatory insurance for the risk of nuclear accidents is a step in the right direction, if the insurance sum is realistic. For instance, Germany has mandatory insurance for nuclear power plants but only at a paltry 2.5 billion euros coverage per plant. Needs to be much higher.

For coal and gas-fired plants, I agree that there should be a mechanism for penalizing CO2 and mercury emissions. The EU has introduced such an instrument for CO2, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme. There seems to be no such thing in the USA yet.
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol where the USA, Canada and Russia are the least cooperative states .

At the same time, the USA are starting to do something about mercury emissions while the EU doesn't yet:
http://www.epa.gov/mats/powerplants.html
Not based on taxing the emissions but on emission limits. Emissions below the limits stay free. Still, it is something.

Gas when extracted by fracking probably needs its own regulation concerning fracking chemicals. And so on...

Which would leave renewables in a better position because they don't have most of the usual risks and harmful emissions. Most complains I hear are about birds crashing into wind turbines and turbines looking ugly (matter of taste, YMMD).

about a month ago
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Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

Lonewolf666 Re:Did they include the NIMBY tax? (409 comments)

The French nuclear industry does not have the very best reputation for diligence and safety. I would not be too surprised if they have a major accident some day. That is the flip side of having no NIMBYs.

To put the whole risk into financial perspective, I suggest mandatory insurance on a level that is sufficient to cover a Fukujima-class accident. Estimated costs of that one are around $100 billion:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/for-tepco-and-japans-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-plant-toxic-water-stymies-cleanup/2013/10/21/406f4d78-2cba-11e3-b141-298f46539716_story.html

With that insurance requirement in place, by all means let the market decide if nuclear is still worthwhile ;-)

about a month ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Lonewolf666 Re:Nobody kills Java (371 comments)

You don't have to guess which community Oracle cares about. But if you're not sure, ask yourself which community can Oracle extort support contracts out of, or can be upsold on other products.

Follow the money. How much is the JCP paying Oracle to give a rat's ass about their concerns? Innovation is a cost center to someone protecting a market share, and competing against others who are protecting a market share.

At the moment, lawyers seem to be a bigger cost center in protecting Java market share. See Oracle vs. Google, still ongoing.

about a month ago
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Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer

Lonewolf666 Re:Only 17 months to go... (138 comments)

I recently had a similar problem with Microsoft Test Manager. With IE11 the content of the administration web page was not visible. I could not find the reason in the security settings (and accessing the web page from the same system suggests that it should be a "trusted zone"). Firefox 31 did the job though.

So I suspect this was another case of IE11 being broken for a Microsoft service.

about a month ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Lonewolf666 Re:Small-scale, real-time. (502 comments)

Further, solar DOES NOT WORK IN A BLACK OUT because it feeds back into the grid. We were told refrigerator sized batteries were available at substantial cost which could be used in a power outtage. Most people do not realize that solar power does not equate to always available power without significant additional cost and inconvenience.

That is due to the current design of inverters that will switch off/refuse to start without a stable grid. Lets call those type A. They make up the majority of installations today.

I believe this could be fixed with inverters that can be switched to isolated operation mode as needed, but there seems to be no market so far.

Currently solar systems for isolated operation mode exist, but they are typically designed to feed a battery (for instance, 48V) from which an inverter for isolated operation mode generates the 220V (or 120V in the USA). Lets call these Type B. Type B and the related batteries are typically used in houses that are too isolated to be connected to the grid. The whole system is more expensive than type A and therefore not so popular. Usually, it is also NOT designed to feed into a grid..

A type A/B that can do both would be nice. Out of curiosity, I've been searching the internet for a vendor that supplies these systems. No luck so far. But then again, a type A system plus a generator to bridge a few days of blackout may actually be cheaper...

about a month ago

Submissions

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Sony ordered to pay refunds over "other OS" affair

Lonewolf666 Lonewolf666 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Lonewolf666 (259450) writes "The law firm Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz P.C. claims a legal success against Sony in a class action lawsuit concerning the "Other OS" feature.
According to the news on their homepage, Sony failed to defend it's intentions in court and now has to pay a refund to every PS3 owner, who bought his PS3 before March 27, 2010. The sum is 50% of the price when purchased.

Thanks to Evulsdrakab from the crystalhall.org forum for bringing this to my attention"

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