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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Skater Re:Floppy drives (790 comments)

Your dot matrix suggestion made me think of another printer: Daisy wheels. I don't think they lasted long, but...what a racket when they were running! I'm not even sure how to describe it - very fast, irregular (because of spaces) banging.

about two weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Skater Re: Nosedive (598 comments)

Shit - that totally did it! It's now about 2 seconds to display a picture! MUCH better. THANK YOU AC!

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Skater Re:Any actual examples? (598 comments)

I keep typing ... A-l-i-c-e- -C-o...

As soon as I type the first 'o', itunes suggests "Alice COOPER", and autocompletes what I'm typing; and it helpfully capitalizes the 'o' I just typed too. I literally could not find any way to get itunes to accept "Alice Cooper" into the box via the keyboard. I resorted to typing Alice Cooper in notepad, and using paste in iTunes as the ONLY way to fix the artist name.

A few versions back that dialog box worked just fine.

That's just one tiny example that represents an entire CLASS of grief I have with apple software these days. I run into the same sorts of grief all over the place.

Even clippy was less annoying... at least it asked if you wanted help, and you say no, and you could even turn it off. Apple now just assumes you need help, won't let you say no or turn it off, and won't even let you fix its incorrect guesses. UX idiocy.

You know, I'm seeing that in Safari on my MB Pro. I have a home-brew photo database with a web front end, and for picture #1 I might type a caption like, "skater types on slashdot", then for the second picture which happens to be of me, I'll type in "skater". Then it fills in the "...types on slashdot" and I have to fight with it to keep that part away. I thought it was because my computer is running slowly and I was typing quickly, but it sounds exactly like what you're seeing.

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Skater Re: Nosedive (598 comments)

I gave my iPhone to my daughter and bought a Nexus 5 precisely because getting the operating system (iOS 7 at that point) was just one big piece of suckage, and having to use the iTunes software to move songs, video and books off my computer. iTunes may actually be the worst software I've seen any major software house produce. If its designers and coders had any sense of honor, they'd find the highest building they could, and leap off of it.

Android has its flaws, but when I plug my into my computer's USB port, I can copy files on and off without trouble, create new directories, without any hassle at all.

The worst part of my saga is that my wife went out and bought an iPhone and an iPod, and I was trying to show her how to move all her MP3s on to those devices, and I discovered the newest version of iTunes is every bit as awful and non-intuitive as its forebears. After an hour of fucking about, my wife finally admitted that she should have gone with Android.

I had exactly the opposite problem with Android - getting music on to my S3 was a nightmare; after wasting many hours fighting with it, I finally had to buy software to sync over the air, and that never worked all that well. I never could get my Macbook Pro or my Linux desktop to recognize my Android phone when I plugged it in, even with the Android drivers for OS X that are available. When the iPhone 6 came out, I preordered one and was able to load songs on to it with just a couple clicks and some time to sync, no problem. Maybe iTunes for Windows is bad, but it always seems to work fine for me under OS X.

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Skater Re: Nosedive (598 comments)

I just tried Ubuntu on my MB Pro 5,5 yesterday. It wouldn't come out of resume (after a minute or so of screwing around, it would lock up to the point where I could see my desktop background and a useable mouse cursor, but nothing else happened). I haven't had time to search for a potential solution to that issue.

I was Linux trying because I've been having major slowness issues since Mavericks when displaying pictures. There are lots of proposed solutions in the Apple forums, but none seem to work for me; it's still slow. I know it's a 5 year old computer, but I wasn't having an issue under Mountain Lion! The delay started when I upgraded to Mavericks. And, frankly, a Core 2 Duo processor ought to be able to render a picture within a few seconds; it can take 20-30 seconds in Preview or LilyView (an app I downloaded when this problem first appeared). I checked; it's definitely processor bound; I was hoping perhaps a flash drive upgrade would help, but it's the processor that spikes, not I/O. From what I read, the issue is that Mavericks went fully 64 bit and the old 64 bit processors really suffered from the change... maybe trying to encourage me to buy a new one? You know, I still have a Mountain Lion disc around...

I was testing Linux on it because I was hoping it'd be faster, but unfortunately Linux wasn't working all that well on my MBP, and RAW files and Linux are still a bit of a beast. I could probably work around the latter, but the former was kind of a PITA.

I hate to buy a new one because they're damn expensive, and my old one should be working fine. Rendering 16 megapixel pictures is not one of the things that's driving processor design these days.

about three weeks ago
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My laptop lasts on battery for ...

Skater Re:not bad (97 comments)

I replaced my Macbook Pro's battery at 4 years old, though it still would give me an hour or two of life (down from the initial 6 hours). Since the laptop was still working well, I spent the $100 and put a new battery in a year or so ago; so now I get 5 or 6 hours of life out of it again. At this point my biggest issue is that the processor is slow, so rendering pictures and videos can take a while. It's probably time for me to upgrade.

about a month ago
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"Star Trek 3" To Be Helmed By "Fast & Furious" Franchise Director Justin Lin

Skater Re:Am I alone in not being bothered by the lens fl (332 comments)

I don't recall noticing lens flares in either movie. But that might be because I went to be entertained for two hours or whatever, not to nitpick the movies apart because they don't match my exact definition of what Star Trek should or shouldn't be.

about a month ago
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Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: The Science of Misheard Song Lyrics

Skater Re:And the lawsuits (244 comments)

We had a debate in a "Current Events" class in high school about violent lyrics. As a heavy metal fan, this was important to me. Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn't very familiar with the words to "Suicide Solution", and one of my classmates had transcribed only one verse, showing how it was "advocating suicide". (To keep this semi-relevant, I'll also add that he said the lyrics were hard to understand and took him a while to discern.) I told him he was taking it out of context, but unfortunately I couldn't remember the full context of the song. He just shrugged as though context didn't matter, when, in fact, "Suicide Solution" is probably something everyone should listen to and think about. I wanted to kick myself when I remembered the theme of the song.

The debate accomplished nothing other than teaching me that I need to be as familiar as I can with the music I love, because people have a lot of misconceptions about it. I still get very strange looks when I say I listen to metal. I've even gotten my wife into some of it - I catch her singing Ozzy songs now and then, things she never listened to before she met me, and she's gone with me to Rush and Queensryche concerts. :) Of course, in recent years, "Crazy Train" and Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" intro have appeared in minivan commercials, so it's apparently not quite as bad as it supposedly once was.

about a month and a half ago
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Corning Reveals Gorilla Glass 4, Promises No More Broken IPhones

Skater Re:people drop their phones :( (203 comments)

I've got a Samsung S3 with a broken screen sitting at home. I was getting out of our truck with my hands full, and my phone fell. I think it actually broke when it hit the running board. My fault, and these things happen. I have a new screen to put on it, but I haven't gotten a heat gun yet to remove the old one. I didn't know how easy they were to replace until I was at a car dealer, and the financing guy saw the broken phone and showed me the kit to replace the screen, and says he does it all the time for friends and family. (He happened to have one in his office because a coworker had broken her phone.)

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

Skater Re:Please put down your weapon (140 comments)

-5 seconds to comply...
-10 seconds to comply...
(They're unarmed.)

about 2 months ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

Skater Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. I've lived in the US my entire life, and I've read a lot about the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, but the GP post was the very first time I'd heard this supposed strong connection between Reagan's speech and the wall falling. His speech may have been a significant event - everyone remembers "Tear down this wall!" - but I've never heard the theory that that's what caused the opening. I've also never heard that the Hoff had anything to do with it, either, other than singing atop it after the gates opened. I didn't bother to check the article for the other three people.

about 2 months ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

Skater Re:Better yet (485 comments)

Make every single elected official list their top 5 corporate sponsors next to their name on the ballot.

It's probably the same list for each candidate from the two major parties.

about 3 months ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Skater Re:Slashdot Effect (120 comments)

Why? You'd have the gov't spend money to overbuild or be able to scale a website for the one time every few years it gets overloaded? Seems like a waste of money to me. It does just fine 99.9999999% of the time.

The other issue was that all the news articles said things like, "X Million Hondas Recalled!" As a Honda Accord owner, I clicked on the article and looked, only to discover it was for rather old Accords (nothing newer than like 2003; ours is a 2012). Others probably went to safercar.gov instead, only to find it didn't apply. (That headline should have been in the favorite clickbait poll. "X Million Cars from 1998-2003 recalled!" would have been better, but...fewer clicks!)

about 3 months ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Skater Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

I know of one near DC where the speed limit is 55 mph and there are traffic lights (it's actually a very well-known road - Pennsylvania Avenue - but the Maryland portion of it). However, during rush hour, the traffic rarely moves as fast as 55 mph, at least inside the beltway, I suspect because of volume and people are conditioned to think "traffic lights = max speed is 45 mph" or something like that. The latter theory is based on seeing people doing 45 mph with a clear stretch of road in front of them, and the next light quite a ways away.

about 3 months ago
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The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

Skater Re:Finally big enough? (275 comments)

I saw a documentary that demonstrated the Exxon Valdeez was large enough to support life for quite a few people...as long as no one dropped a match into the tanks, of course.

about 3 months ago
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Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

Skater Re:Study is quite incomplete (261 comments)

I lost faith when I saw this entry:

Mercury Topaz – 28.8%

A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets? It's the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo, which didn't make the top 20 at all. And I'd be willing to bet Ford sold a lot more Tempos than they did Topazs...

about 4 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Skater Re:WTF? (189 comments)

I had a similar problem with a work-issued Blackberry 9930. The only chargers that worked with it were the included Blackberry charger and the charger for my Samsung S3. We have at least 30 chargers laying around our house and cars, ranging from name brands like Apple and Samsung to no-name chargers we got for free, including chargers for my wife's iPad and my Asus tablet, and I tried them all. Only the Blackberry and Samsung adapters worked to charge the Blackberry. The cable didn't seem to matter - as long as it had the correct USB port, it worked - but the power adapter did.

about 4 months ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Skater Re:Nope they are clever (336 comments)

Here in the US, I've done it once, and that was to confirm the chip in my card worked before I flew off to Europe with it. Turns out it's a chip-and-signature card, so it was as useless there as any other non-NFC card...perhaps even more useless come to think of it, because it ACTED like it was working. (From reading Slashdot, I knew this was likely the case before leaving, and I'd asked my banks about a chip-and-PIN card and got back, "Wuuhhh?", so I was prepared for this problem.)

So, for us, the Apple pay is actually a nice leap forward - as others said, right now it's a very fragmented market. I've had an Android phone with an NFC chip for two years now, and I've used it perhaps half a dozen times, just playing around to see if I could scan a credit card, my passport, or my cat's RFID chip (no go on the cat). Until I saw the Apple Pay announcement, I didn't care whether my next phone (which I had already decided was going to be an iPhone) had an NFC chip or not. I get why people in other countries wouldn't care as much about it, though.

about 4 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Skater Re:Just one question... (216 comments)

Only 3rd party alarm apps - the built-in app from Apple works fine whether it's in the foreground or not.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Spam Law

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Skater (41976) writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the Virginia Supreme Court has struck down the anti-spam law that was used to convict spammer Jeremy James, on the grounds that the ability to be anonymous was more important than the problem of spam. Strangely, the same court only a few months ago upheld the law."

Journals

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Common Slashdot References

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Some common phrases you'll hear on /. and their sources:

"You insensitive clod": from an episode of the Simpsons, near the end. A pretty funny moment, too.

"I for one welcome our new alien overlords": Another Simpsons reference. Deep Space Homer.

"Cats and dogs living together": Okay, this one isn't that common, but I've heard it occasionally and just found the reference over the weekend. (This might not be the original source, but I think it is the reference.) Ghostbusters, said by Venkman while describing the destruction--and insanity--that will occur if the Ghostbusters aren't allowed to do their thing. (Click on "memorable quotes" to see the context for this one.)

"In Soviet Russia...": From the comedian Yakov Smirnoff, who had a repeating bit using this format. Here's a page talking about some examples: In Soviet Russia.

"All your base...": From a badly translated video game. Official video site. The flash videos are funny and pretty cool.

Feel free to post updates/corrections below!

Update 10/4/03:

"Imagine a Beowolf cluster of those!": Beowulf is a distribution of Linux that allows you to set up a computational cluster of computers. As cool as this sounds (and is), it's probably not worth setting up one in your home, because only certain classes of problems can be worked on a cluster of this type. (You probably can't have, say, Netscape run over the cluster to improve its speed.) Anyway, originally this comment was made seriously when a new, fast piece of hardware was introduced. However, it later became a joke to be used whenever ANY piece of hardware was introduced or resurrected, be it fast or slow. It's also used when the hardware being described in the article is in fact a cluster of some sort, so the joke is talking about a cluster of clustered systems.

"CowboyNeal" option in polls: My crack team of scientists have researched the polls to find the FIRST time CowboyNeal was used, and here it is! That poll was asking about "Favorite Muppet" and was intended to give the reader an "out" if they didn't like any of the Muppets listed. Previous polls picked on Rob Malda and other /. members, /. itself, or had "Huh?" as the "other" option if they had one at all. It soon became a regular option (I assume; I didn't check because the "crack scientist"--me--is tired of looking) and had the effect of splitting /. readers into three camps: those who loved the CowboyNeal option, those who hated the CowboyNeal option, and the rest of us that just don't care.

Natalie Portman's hot grits: A star of the Star Wars (Episode I, II, and III) movies. Geeks near her age lust after her (she's a little young for me, although she is pretty). I'm researching the "hot grits" part now.

GNU/Linux, GNU/RMS, etc: Richard M. Stallman, founder of the GNU Project, wants people to call our favorite operating system GNU/Linux instead of just Linux. His justification for this (and he has a good point) is that Linux is just a kernel and would be useless without the dozens of tools that prop it up to make it a true operating system. Unfortunately, he's known for being extreme, which makes anything he says suspect in many people's minds. Also, many people point out that other software (not GNU) is also integral to Linux: for example, they might say, "X Windows is integral to Linux on most desktop machines, so should we call it 'GNU/X/Linux'?" Some people like to throw the whole "GNU/" thing back at RMS, and so call him "GNU/RMS", probably not with the highest respect in mind. (PLEASE don't start this debate here. I'm just trying to give an unbiased overview of the issue!)

Ellen Feiss: She did one of the Apple "Switch" ads. Here's a link to the page on Apple.com for her. You used to be able to watch the videos there, but I didn't see them now (after only a quick look). She became an internet sensation, unlike most of the rest of the Switch people, because...well, because these things happen and no one can explain them.

Update 10/5/03:

"But, does it run Linux?": I haven't seen this one as much recently, but for a long time, any time some unusual, unique, or very powerful hardware was introduced, someone would ask if it runs Linux. This later turned into a joke. Also, you might see the joke turned around: if a piece of equipment is introduced that is intended to run Linux (for example, the Sharp Zaurus), someone might ask, "But, does it run Windows?"

Update 2/16/04:

It appears the phrase "you insensitive clod" appeared in a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon before the Simpsons used it. See this post for more info and a link to the strip.

--RJ

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Spam Spam Spam

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Someone used my Yahoo e-mail account address on the "From" line of spam. Fine--it's not the first time it's happened, and it's annoying, but I don't use the Yahoo account for much other than a spam trap, so it's not a big deal to me. (The username is pretty simple, because I signed up with Yahoo so long ago.)

However, someone felt it necessary to mailbomb my mailbox with "Fuck Off" messages, containing copies of the spam that was sent. There are two problems to this that I can think of immediately:

  1. Anyone smart enough to launch a mail bomb should know the "From" line is almost always forged. How dumb can you be?
  2. With a look at the headers, it's quite obvious this person resorted to the exact same tactics as the spammer.

The second part reminds me of the war protestors that started throwing rocks. Hello? Anyone in there?

Okay, none of these are new or even particularly interesting points. But now I've vented and feel better. Thanks. :)

--RJ

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