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Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

Quietust Re:Rife in the UK (210 comments)

"Hi, we've detected a virus on your machine etc etc"

"Which one? Is it my old [OS] system downstairs, or the newer one upstairs running [OS]?"

".....[click]beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

For best results, pick semi-recent Windows versions OSes (XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1) that you aren't actually running and see if they actually try to guess which one it is, then see how they react when you casually mention that it's been turned off for the past several months or suffered from a hardware failure.

about three weeks ago
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Registry Hack Enables Continued Updates For Windows XP

Quietust Re:Windows server 2003R2 32Bit Hack (322 comments)

Considering that Server 2003 is a different underlying OS version (NT 5.2 / build 3790 instead of NT 5.1 / build 2600, having a completely different set of service packs), this might be easier said than done. The only way you could "safely" accomplish something like this would be to install Server 2003 [R2] and then somehow hack it from Server mode to Workstation mode. Now, if you were running Windows XP x64 Edition (which is NT 5.2), this would be much more plausible (because it takes the same updates as Server 2003 x64, including the service packs).

about 4 months ago
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Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows

Quietust Re:common and fun (301 comments)

If you really want to insert an IP address without it pointing to a real computer, you have a bunch of choices:

Including numbers greater than 255 just makes it look obviously fake.

about 9 months ago
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New Research Sheds Light On the Evolution of Dogs

Quietust Re:Flawed summary. (374 comments)

Technically, they're "colorblind" in the same way that some people are colorblind (people with protanopia, red-green color blindness, have only 2 types of color receptors in their eyes).

about a year and a half ago
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'Gorilla Arm' Will Keep Touch Screens From Taking Over

Quietust Re:Windows 8 Is Failing on It's Own (610 comments)

Teachers interact with a vertical touch UI, known as a "blackboard" and "chalk", for hours on end every day. They even do so standing. How is this possible, given what you just wrote above? Well they aren't standing there in front of the board like a zombie; they are putting their arms down when they aren't drawing on the board.

They're also standing less than a foot away from the board, so they don't need to extend their arms in order to reach it. If you could put your computer monitor less than 12 inches from your face, gorilla arm probably wouldn't be as much of a problem (though I can't say the same about eyesight).

about a year and a half ago
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Nvidia Display Driver Service Attack Escalates Privileges On Windows Machines

Quietust Re:Disable nvsvc32 (129 comments)

I just tried disabling nvsvc32, but I discovered that it doesn't exist on my system - the NVIDIA Display Driver Service is named "nvvsvc.exe" (and the Update Service Daemon is "daemonu.exe"), and while I did find an "nvsvc64.dll", I could not find a single file named "nvsvc32.exe" anywhere on my system.

Is this something that only exists in the 32-bit drivers (I'm running Win7 x64), or is it something that disappeared in the 310.70 drivers released last week?

about 2 years ago
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Carmack: Next-Gen Console Games Will Still Aim For 30fps

Quietust Re:In which case you're going to have to explain.. (230 comments)

How on earth do you translate 240p to "240 frames progressive" without making the [effectively] industry-standard terms "480i", "480p", "720p", "1080i", and "1080p" equally meaningless?

It means 240 scanlines progressive - old NTSC television sets normally like to run at 480i, but they're tolerant enough to handle video signals which don't have the extra half-scanline at the end of each frame and display it non-interlaced.

about 2 years ago
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Whose Bug Is This Anyway?

Quietust Re:Reminded me of my first C application (241 comments)

Microsoft's compiler has a similar warning - "C4706: assignment within conditional expression", and it actually doesn't let you suppress it just by adding extra parentheses - instead, you have to add a comparison around it.
Thus, your second example would have to be while ((list = list->next) != NULL)", which is probably more readable anyways.

about 2 years ago
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Why Microsoft's Surface Pro Could Fail

Quietust Re:Why can't it run Rt software? (442 comments)

They're probably using "apps developed for Windows RT" to mean "Windows Store apps that the developer didn't bother to compile for i386/amd64", which is going to be a very small set of apps (in practice, it appears to generally be the other way around - apps that the developer didn't bother to compile for ARM).

about 2 years ago
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Virus Eats School District's Homework

Quietust Re:And Linux? (321 comments)

What you've said is certainly true... for Windows 95/98/Me, which were indeed built on top of Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS and not properly designed to be multi-user. If you think Windows 7 falls under that same category, you are sadly mistaken - that traces back not to 16-bit Windows 3.1 but to 32-bit Windows NT 3.1, which was designed to be multi-user (and even multi-CPU) from the very beginning.

about 2 years ago
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Nissan Develops Emergency Auto-Steering System

Quietust Re:recipie for disaster (391 comments)

If you did never lock up your drive wheels using engine braking, you haven't tried hard enough.

Last I checked, "wheel lock up" means the wheels cease rotation and start skidding uncontrollably, so the only way you could possibly lock up your drive wheels with engine braking would be if you stopped the engine - as long as it's still running (and the transmission is engaged), the wheels will keep turning (though they won't provide much torque unless you're driving an automatic and you're at a complete stop).

I will agree, though, that strong negative torque from engine braking (equivalent to what would cause your brakes to lock up the wheels) can definitely cause you to lose traction and start skidding, but it won't lock the drive wheels unless you define locking differently.

about 2 years ago
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Nissan Develops Emergency Auto-Steering System

Quietust Re:recipie for disaster (391 comments)

My guess would be that in low-traction situations, even light pressure on the brakes can be enough to lock the wheels, while engine braking cannot possibly cause the wheels to lock.

about 2 years ago
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Single-Ion Clock 100 Times More Accurate Than Atomic Clock

Quietust Re:Eventually... (169 comments)

A man with three clocks will invariably find some convoluted way of using them to tell the time:

"This one runs ten minutes slow every two hours. This runs twenty minutes fast every four hours. The one in the middle is broken and stopped at two o'clock. I take the ten minutes on this one and subtract it from the twenty minutes on that one. Then I divide by the two in the middle."

more than 2 years ago
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Nationwide Test of the Emergency Broadcast System

Quietust Re:effectiveness in 2011 (271 comments)

EAS alerts have a distinctive noise they make before the announcement.

Specifically, that noise is a data burst which encodes most of the details of the alert (who sent it, what happened, where it happened, when it happened, etc.). Wikipedia provides a reasonably detailed description of the signal structure and the data encoding.

more than 2 years ago
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An FPS Minus the Shooting

Quietust Re:Portal? (172 comments)

Sure it did - the turrets shoot plenty of bullets (and they shoot the whole bullet - that's 65% more bullet per bullet).

about 3 years ago
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Microsoft Taking Apple's Walled Garden Approach For Metro Apps

Quietust Re:Register as a developer (389 comments)

Simple - make it so applications have to be signed by Microsoft, a certificate on your domain controller/equivalent (for enterprises), or a "test" certificate that's specific to your own system so you have to sign everything yourself.

To make it even more annoying, force the user to boot the system with a special option (which you can't set in boot.ini) in order to disable signature verification entirely (like you have to do when developing 64-bit device drivers, from what I recall).

about 3 years ago
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Banks Faulted For Fake Antivirus Scourge

Quietust Re:Placebo (117 comments)

The term "homeopathic" specifically refers to medicines that are purported to be more effective the further they are diluted. Tapeworms aren't homeopathic - they're just one of many examples (another of which would be Radiation) of people using harmful things they didn't yet understand as if they were beneficial.

more than 3 years ago
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Leaked Doc May Have Forced US To Speed Up Bin Laden Raid

Quietust Re:Still think Wikileaks knows what they're doing? (632 comments)

Killing Bin Laden does not weaken the terrorist threat and may well make all of this worse. Think Leia to Darth Vader "The tighter you clench your first, the more star systems will slip through your fingers like grains of sand."

Funny, I was thinking of an entirely different Star Wars quote - "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Martyrs are particularly difficult to deal with, after all.

more than 3 years ago
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The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

Quietust Re:I'll make you a deal (1073 comments)

This sort of thing has already been done with other works, such as some of the DVD releases of certain Looney Tunes cartoons bearing a disclaimer along the lines of "The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in the U.S society. These depictions were wrong then and they are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today's society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming that these prejudices never existed ."

more than 3 years ago
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Zynga and Blizzard Sued Over Game Patent

Quietust Re:examples... (179 comments)

I don't think that game qualifies, since it's not a tournament system and it's not distributed. Besides, if it did qualify, there's no reason to single out my version of Promisance from the dozens of other versions that have been released over the years...

more than 3 years ago

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