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Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

Phaid Re:Cat and mouse... (437 comments)

In a world of physical media, there was at least some plausibility to the notion of export restrictions and region coding.

I'm not sure how it ever made sense. Back in the '00s, I bought a $30 region-hackable DVD player from Sam's Club just to watch "They Live". The reason being, I could either buy the out of print Region 1 version from a third-party seller on Amazon for $150, or the in-print Region 2 version from amazon.co.uk for $5. I probably could have downloaded it from somewhere, but I was willing to throw a few dollars at it to have a legitimate copy (and I liked the idea of a region free player in any case). But hey, the studio made money, Sam's made money, and some Chinese DVD maker made money. Now, with region-locked streaming, they've managed to make it completely impossible to legitimately stream certain movies, so nobody makes money. I guess that's progress?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Monitor Setup For Programmers

Phaid Dual Monitors and Decent Keyboard (312 comments)

I hate typing on laptops. Unless I am working at a customer site, I plug my laptop into the network and use it as a file server, and do my actual work on a workstation. I use two 24" ViewSonic monitors running at 1920x1080, and a Filco Majestouch 2 keyboard. I have almost the exact same setup in my home office as I do at work; the difference is that at home I use a keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches that are super loud, while work I use the version with Cherry MX Brown switches that don't have the loud "click" so it won't bother my office mate. $150 may seem excessive for a keyboard, but I've had them for several years and they're the best productivity investment I ever made.

about 2 years ago

After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out

Phaid Re:Congrats (259 comments)

Ditto. Malda had all these cool little applets for E that I played around with, and then I noticed there was a link to this little forum I hadn't heard about...

more than 2 years ago

NSA Publishes Blueprint For Top Secret Android Phone

Phaid When I read double encrypted fishbowl... (172 comments)

Parnell: "Hello?"

Leila: "Is it you? This is Leila. Are you using a SCRAMBLER?"

Parnell: "I can't hear you, I'm using a SCRAMBLER!"

more than 2 years ago

Diablo III Beta Begins

Phaid Eleven years of gaming evolution? (102 comments)

I just checked out the video from HuskyStarcraft, and I guess I must be missing something. Aside from the DRM that forces you to be online to play, and the fact that they censor your character names, how is this an improvement over Diablo 2? It looks like exactly the same game, just at a higher resolution.

Way back in the WoW beta, I remember fantasizing about Blizzard making a Diablo III using some of WoW's technology. By which I meant the best of both worlds, a game that looks and plays like WoW but set in the darker Diablo universe with single player and LAN play. Instead, we get basically the worst of both worlds, a dated look and feel saddled with unnecessary online requirements. Next.

more than 3 years ago

Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement

Phaid Re:It seems good (591 comments)

Morrowind and Oblivion both work fine with Virtual CloneDrive. That way you can play without a physical CD, and without requiring a no-CD patch (which break stuff like Morrowind FPS Optimizer and Oblivion Script Extender).

more than 3 years ago

Study Compares IQ With Browser Choice

Phaid Congratulations, you've been trolled. (380 comments)

This is an obviously fake site. Do a whois on aptiquant.com and you'll see that it was registered two weeks ago by a Georgia Tech graduate student named Tarandeep Gill. Further, you'll find that the majority of the content on the site was copied verbatim from http://www.centraltest.com/, which is apparently a "real" psychometric evaluation firm. Even the "about us" page features the same profile pictures, but with some of the names and credentials changed.

But it sure was funny watching y'all pat yourselves on the back about how smart you are.

more than 3 years ago

New Gasoline Engine Prototype Claims 3X Current Engine Efficiency

Phaid Re:Get ready to read another.... (377 comments)

GM offered him $1million for it, with the explicit promise that they'd sweep it under the rug and never develop it further... being ethical, my grandfather told them to stuff it, and ended up never selling the design.

This is obviously not true. Car companies have no vested interest in reducing fuel economy. In 1984 GM was struggling to meet consumer demand for the big, comfortable cars Americans want, while also meeting ever-stricter emissions and fuel economy rules. Since GM really didn't know how to make cars that were both small and good, they were stuck with a stable of large, underpowered cars and small, unpopular ones, and losing market share every year. A technology like you describe would have allowed them to leapfrog the problem altogether; instead of sweeping the technology under the rug, they would have bought the exclusive rights and dominated the market.

Now, maybe if you claimed your grandfather had tried to sell it to Exxon, it might be more credible.

more than 3 years ago

US Government Strategy To Prevent Leaks Is Leaked

Phaid The only irony (336 comments)

is that the person who thought they were being clever by labeling this a "leak" didn't notice it was an unclassified memo sent to the heads of public agencies.

about 4 years ago

Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles

Phaid Re:1984 (641 comments)

rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

more than 4 years ago

Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

Phaid Inside the System (661 comments)

The rule is not that you can't bring a weapon aboard an airplane, it's that you can't take a weapon through security and into the gate area. The reason should be obvious: if different rules applied to passengers on different types of airplanes, then a person flying on e.g. a private jet could bring a weapon through security and hand it to someone who is flying on a commercial airliner. I'm sure some airports keep general aviation isolated from the airlines, but as the article states, "The airport doesn’t have separate boarding arrangements for private-jet users". So whether or not Jobs was really involved in such an incident, all of this outrage is silly.

more than 4 years ago

World's First Formally-Proven OS Kernel

Phaid Disappointment.. (517 comments)

And here I thought this was going to be an article about Linux 1.2.13.

more than 5 years ago

Hints of a Link Between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

Phaid Maybe it's a Swedish thing... (356 comments)

But who ever heard of a bedroom with a vinyl floor?

more than 5 years ago

How $1,500 Headphones Are Made

Phaid They make the music pop (353 comments)

and they give those 128kbps MP3s a much warmer sound.

more than 5 years ago

How do you get to work?

Phaid Re:Missing option: (887 comments)

You're definitely right about the reading. I have an hour train ride two to three times a week and, since I started doing that, my fiction reading has gone from one book every month or so to at least one book a week.

I hate being bound to schedules like that and subject to trains being late for various reasons, but I do like the relative isolation of being on a train (what with cell phone use being discouraged, and EVDO service being kind of spotty).

about 6 years ago

How do you get to work?

Phaid Train and Wire (887 comments)

I'm a consultant, so I occasionally drive to client sites. Most weeks, though, I take the train into NYC two or three days and work from home the remaining days.

I'm not gonna lie, an hour train ride (on MTA Metro North) really sucks. But it's a whole lot less painful than actually driving into the city, not to mention cheaper (and I'm not even considering the cost of parking).

Telecommuting, on the other hand, is pretty sweet. I have a dedicated office so I get all the peace and quiet I need, and frankly I get more work done here than I ever would either in the city or at a company office.

about 6 years ago


Phaid I haven't read the book (356 comments)

... but I am enjoying all the posts in which people try to show how smart they are by extolling its cumbersome literary devices.

more than 6 years ago


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