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Marines Put Microsoft Kinect To Work For 3D Mapping

Paco103 Re:online internet jobs (36 comments)

I think it's a fair set of questions to put in front of other peoples eyes. Unfortunately, most /. readers are probably not the ones needing this kind of logical thinking. But, if more people thought about questions like these before clicking the links, they'd get scammed less and we'd have less spam, a win-win scenario. Consider it an educational post for anonymous readers.

yesterday
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London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Paco103 Re:Percent. . .Percent. . . PERCENT! (64 comments)

Well, I will consider myself schooled! Thank you for educating me. That has always been a huge annoyance of mine and many others I know, but I guess it actually does make more sense when considering the origin of the word. I am saddened that one of my huge pet peeves is apparently unjustified, but in time I will adjust.

On the other hand, I still love finding unnecessary quotes in public!

about a week ago
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London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Paco103 Percent. . .Percent. . . PERCENT! (64 comments)

Any article citing statistics is invalid when they don't understand the difference between percent and per cent. Getting 62 things right per US penny is a VERY cost effective system, probably regardless of what information we want to get right.

Unfortunately, all this says is that if we place our population under total surveillance with trackers, we can increase anticipation of crime by 8% (accuracy of 62 to ALMOST 70%). This says nothing about preventing those crimes or what type of crimes it prevents. Actually if you read the article, it only increased accuracy to 68%, so a 6% gain. Way to glorify the stats in the media. They should have said "just over 60% to almost 70%". This would have made this 6% increase look like a 10% increase.

about two weeks ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Paco103 Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

Agreed. I always go straight to the bad reviews. Usually the 2-3 star are the most useful. 1 star is often posted by people that will never be happy and is usually a rant about something insignificant, unless there are lots of them. Even a company with 99% ratings, I'll look at those 2-3 stars to see how they handle things when they DO have problems,

That's the real lesson companies need to learn. Bad reviews are a great chance for good PR. It's ok to screw up. Last time I logged a complaint at Amazon, I almost felt bad about having said anything. THAT is why they're dominating the market. I have paid extra to buy things through them rather than direct from a dealer because the Amazon backing had that much value to me. I didn't know if the dealer would back the product, but I *KNEW* Amazon would.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit

Paco103 I thought we were seeing the end of powerpoint. (81 comments)

This summary just built up my hopes and then shattered them. Oh look, another meeting. I can't wait to see more stupid pictures and charts of information that can't possibly be read from a distance greater than 3 feet from the projection screen.

about three weeks ago
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Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Paco103 Re:Problem to be solved (215 comments)

It's like skeet shooting pinatas! This is so going to be so much better than clay pigeons!

about a month ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Paco103 Re:Percents (611 comments)

Amen! This is one of my biggest pet peeves in modern journalism. It's so common that I actually get excited when I see someone use "percent" correctly!

about a month ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

Paco103 Re:Pick your poison (337 comments)

I've been happy with it - but I would probably agree that ruggedness is not going to match the Surface just due to convertible vs slate form factor. I've had mine since April, but I'm not especially hard on equipment either. They also make the IdeaPad Yoga, which is similar in spec but much cheaper, targeted at consumers. This is the one you'll find at Best Buy and the like. It does not have the wacom digitizer, non HD screen, the keyboard does not lock when folded (though it does still deactivate, it just doesn't leave the firm back), and trades some of the magnesium for plastic.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

Paco103 Re:Pick your poison (337 comments)

I have the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga. Had been looking at the Surface (because I loved the pen input for note taking on my old WinXP Tablet.). I ended up going with the Yoga because
1) Full keyboard/touchpad/nub (whatever you prefer) and self supporting screen like a laptop
2) Pen input for note taking was important to me (not all subjects are great for keyboard input)
3) i5 with 4GB or i7 with 8GB pretty much matches hardware in Surface.

vs Surface where
1) Keyboard sucks
2) Display can't support itself, so it's only useful on a table or handheld, not as a laptop with a keyboard on your lap.

Cons (depending on perspective) is that it's larger (with larger screen). The keyboard is not detachable but does recess and become un-pressible (pretty solid) when in tablet mode.

Alternatively the Transformer is also pretty decent, if you're ok with the Baytrail class Atom processors. Still have been quite impressed by those. My old Atom's were painful to do much with, but I have a coworker that has used his Transformer to run Visual Studio and work on.

about a month and a half ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

Paco103 Re:They're worth $0 (232 comments)

You can transfer it to other addresses. Just because it's known that I own address A, doesn't mean it's known that I own address B. A transaction can be proved to have transferred from address A to address B, and that B now owns it, but there is no way to prove that the owner of address A also owns address B *without* gaining access to the local wallet file that contains the keys. This is how "offline" storage works. You generate a new address on a machine that never sees a network connection. The coins are still "stored" on the network, and anyone can see where they are, but nobody has access to the private key to sign it over to a new address without having physical access to the machine with the private key (or copies that have been made).

So yes, it can still be anonymous. You take the 3000 BTC as a known and identified user. You immediately transfer these coins to a bunch of other random addresses that you create. For all anyone else knows, you sold them to some guy on the street, some guy on ebay, some guy on craigslist, your brother Phil for that pizza. Prove I own that address? You would need my private keys to do that, and there's nothing preventing me from destroying the private keys as I empty the accounts. I have a coworker that pays me for lunch in BTC all the time. He only assumes that's my address he's sending money to. It could be my Grandmother in Switzerland, or a charity or open source project I'm fond of. He has no way of really knowing that without catching me with my private key.

about 4 months ago
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New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

Paco103 Re:How is this a good idea? (249 comments)

Why not both? Show them to me in grouped lists that I can blanket accept, and that expand with allow/disallow options when I click the group.

about 4 months ago
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New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

Paco103 Re:How is this a good idea? (249 comments)

I don't get why. I have PrivacyGuard on CyanogenMod, and it allows me to individually approve or deny permissions. So far, no app has broken in any strange, unexpected way. Some apps ask for SMS permissions because they have the ability to text friends for shares. I deny that ability, because I don't use that feature. It may be legitimate, or they may have provided a legitimate excuse to mask more nefarious behavior. Likewise, I've blocked GPS access to all apps except maps. For anything else (weather, yelp, etc), broad tower based location is good enough. I deny internet access to any app that doesn't have a legit internet need. Google can still display ads if they want, the google services have access, let them proxy ads. Very few apps have access to my contact list. I have not seen a single application fail to do what would be expected based on the permissions I grant it. It also lets me see how many times an app requests certain permissions, and it's amazing (and a little comforting) to see how many apps never request unusual permissions that they ask for at install.

about 4 months ago
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How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

Paco103 Re:The real fix should be (286 comments)

Or, instead of repainting everything to change alignment, just offer legitimate motorcycle parking in the available space.

about 4 months ago
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I Want a Kindle Killer

Paco103 Re:Windows XP Tablets (321 comments)

I had one. Loved the thing. I could type my notes in classes that lended themselves to that, and then flip it over and hand write notes and homework for other subjects, like physics and math. The reason for poor sales was likely due to price vs benefit. For a lot of people touch input is only useful in front of the TV, and for that $1500 is a lot of money for anything without an apple logo. Mine was a Toshiba Satellite, and I finally replaced it last month with a ThinkPad Yoga, because I really did not want to give up pen input.

about 4 months ago
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XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

Paco103 Re:Walled E-Mail: Facebook (121 comments)

Yes, and I don't get flooded with Spam and Phishing, so I'm okay with it. And to be clear, there is a huge difference between spam and advertising. I don't mind advertising. It's clean and often targeted to something I may actually be interested in seeing or learning about. Spam on the other hand is a constant barrage of things that rarely even make sense, are only occasionally in a language I speak, and promise that a beautiful 10 right down the street from me is totally in to nerdy 5's, and I need to message her today. I get spam on ICQ and Yahoo pager, so I no longer use them. I don't get spam on Facebook (with the exception of friends and game invites that I can easily and effectively block), I get advertising.

I'll take that trade.

about 4 months ago
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OnePlus One Revealed: a CyanogenMod Smartphone

Paco103 Sounds like the Techdy Basic Bear (196 comments)

Remember the $200 Android phone? Seems like they took pre-orders, but as far as I can tell never delivered. What are the odds this is the same kind of vaporware?

about 5 months ago
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Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

Paco103 Re:why not just have a baby earlier? (342 comments)

I have no kids, not sure if I want them. But this is BS. Because I have no kids, I have a lot of time for other things. I spend time with friends kids, trying to be a positive influence for them. I volunteer with many charities that I wouldn't have time for with my own family. I am a volunteer firefighter, because my finances and time allow me to be so. I have never pulled a person from a building, but I have saved houses, pets, cut people out of cars, and performed CPR on a man for over an hour that ended up surviving. I have worked in disaster zones searching for unaccounted for people. I guarantee none of those people know my name or my story, but I bet they or their family remember someone (or a few someones) they had never met before showing up and making a difference.

You just have to decide what a legacy means to you. I do believe I have made a positive impact, and that my existence on Earth has mattered. Plenty of people are bringing kids into this world. What makes that a legacy, other than society has told you it is? My grandparents had kids, but I guarantee you they have no more of a legacy than I do. Don't believe me? What do you know about your great great grandparents? Your grandparents might remember them, but chances are, unless you go out of your way to study your genealogy, you don't know any more about them than any other random person that existed at the time.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Paco103 Re:Anything built before 2001 (702 comments)

I used to keep a stock shelf of modems. When I found them on sale, I'd buy 2 or 3. This was in the 56k Winmodem era when you could pick them up for $5-10 or free after rebate. The older hardware based ones were too expensive, but fortunately also more reliable it seemed.

about 5 months ago
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Google Unveils Android Wear

Paco103 Re:Display tech? (103 comments)

I don't know about the others, but the Pebble is on all the time. It is ePaper, black and white only (no grey). It's on all the time, which I agree is absolutely a requirement. I know a guy with a sony smartwatch too, and it's always on, but seems to have more of an issue in sunlight from what he's described. "Oh yeah, it's great, I can see it in the sun. I just sometimes have to tilt it a certain way and shade it." (For the record, I have not seen it outdoors.) It is nice looking though and full color touch screen. The Pebble is easy to read outdoors, but has a weird splotchy but usable look if you look at it through polarized sunglasses. It's also not color or touch screen.

about 6 months ago
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Google Unveils Android Wear

Paco103 Re:I kind of wouldn't mind a less fancy one... (103 comments)

I wear mine daily. It has the time on the top 3rd (big enough, because the e-Paper is actually much easier to read even in daylight than my old LCD watches), my next to appointments in the middle, and the weather on the bottom 3rd. And yes, I can just look outside for the weather, but in the areas of the US where it can be 20 in the morning and 70 in the afternoon, looking doesn't solve everything.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Paco103 Paco103 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Paco103 (758133) writes "I recently (today) purchased Need for Speed Carbon Collectors Edition. The game would not run after installing, claiming I need to insert the proper disc. I tried to call their tech support, but it was always busy. I tried submitting a support request online, but it would never go through. It stated the userID field must have a value (I was logged in, not much else *I* could do about it. So in response to the gaming industries lack of respect to their customers, and treating all customers as tbeives from the start, I'd like to submit an open letter to the industry. While this problem is not isolated to the gaming industry by any means, they are what hit my nerve today. At least with DRM, I *CAN* listen/watch how and when they say. With my game, I am not even able to do that tonight.

Here's just a thought. How about you give your customers the benefit of the doubt. I just bought a game today (Need for Speed Carbon by EA Games, if you're wondering). When I try to run it, I am told I need to insert the correct disc.

I resent being treated like a thief. The people that are copying this will continue to copy it. People like me, that purchased the game legit, are left wondering why we can't play the game we purchased, when James across the street was playing the copy he downloaded illegally a week before it was released.

Treat your customers like the enemy, and they may soon become it.

I don't mind copy protection that prevents me from using virtual images, as I like to do because dealing with discs can get annoying. It only affects me if I try to run the game in a non-standard way.

This just pisses me off as a loyal customer. Please feel free to provide solutions if you feel like respecting your customers. I'm not waiting around. I bought this game today, and I will play it as I have bought the right to."

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