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Why the Fax Machine Refuses To Die

SkyDude Re:It's convenience and security. (835 comments)

I don't see where you get that sheet-fed scanners are expensive. There are dozens of all-in-one scanners / printers / copiers for under $100.

True, but do they actually work? I've owned a couple of sheet feeders that always managed to feed several sheets at a time. Only the high end units could actually take a stack of paper and feed them one at a time.

more than 3 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

SkyDude Re:Federal Court - Big difference (473 comments)

The SJC in MA is not just 'any' moron. They are in a class of morons of their own.If you're from MA as I am, then you know what I mean.

more than 2 years ago
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Hurricane Irene Prompts Unprecedented Evacuation of NYC

SkyDude Re:It's a CAT-2 storm, for god's sake... (395 comments)

Media hype is...well, very disappointing. They focus on the wrong problems in the wrong area and in their zeal for ratings, they completely distort reality.

Yeah but it's lots of fun watching these people have on air orgasms while talking about the "big storm".

more than 3 years ago
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Accused Teen Bomber Finds FBI Surveillance Team's Wireless Network

SkyDude Re:And... (267 comments)

My son came home from college in 2010 and while attempting to connect him to our home network, I see in his connection history, an SSID of all numbers, like 000-00-0000. It took me a moment, but then realized some douche in his dorm must have been running a wifi access point and when he saw 'SSID', must have assumed it meant Social Security ID.

I wonder if the kid ever purchased a Lifelock subscription.

more than 3 years ago
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Fake Names On Social Networks, a Fake Problem

SkyDude Re:You Are The Product (283 comments)

Maybe a real name like this will work: Chnsz Medvypa

I generated a password using Lastpass and just changed the capitalization. After all, maybe it's my family tradition to give their kids first names composed of all consonants.

more than 3 years ago
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Windows XP In a Browser

SkyDude Re:Licensing issue? (217 comments)

This has to violate the license terms of XP.

XP violates me. Thanks MS.

more than 3 years ago
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Could PayPal Be an In-Store Option?

SkyDude Re:Already done (ish) (205 comments)

Already done (no ish)

USBSwiper has created a POS (point-of-sale) application using Filemaker. A merchant must have a PayPal account and be approved for Website Payments Pro and Virtual Terminal services offered by PayPal. Once that's done, USBSwiper will sell or rent the application to a merchant. Rental is designed for small merchants who need a trade show payment system or who might be a seasonal business, purchasing the application allows a web merchant to process mail and phone orders much easier than on most e-commerce shopping cart systems.

This is not second hand knowledge. I now use USBSwiper and have used it at a trade show on my laptop with a Verizon wireless connection. It worked perfectly. From an administrative perspective, I've never had a merchant credit card account that was so easy to use. From an economic perspective, PayPal charges a flat rate for all transactions - 2.9% of the sale plus .30 per transaction. There is a $30 monthly fee which can be turned off anytime if the merchant is closed for the season, on vacation, or any reason.

Most consumers understand that the merchant pays for the acceptance of credit cards; what they don't understand is that their affinity card or rewards card costs the merchant more per transaction than a standard credit card, or what is called a "qualified" card. All non-qualified cards are charged more. Want to take a guess how many cards are now deemed "qualified"? Out of every 100 cards swiped, maybe 10 to 15 are qualified, which means they are charged at the lowest discount rate. All others are non-qualified and cost the merchant more. Add on fees such as statement fee, "abuse of system" fees (it's real) and anything else the card processors can cook up and the real cost of card acceptance can be as high as 6% - 8% or more.

PayPal's venture into POS applications started with the development of their virtual terminal application, but only the smallest of retail merchants could use it. It just doesn't work in a high traffic retial environment. The USBSwiper application makes things easier, but the flat rate card acceptance fees is what makes it work for me. All other processors can go to hell as far as I'm concerned. Paypal is our choice for card acceptance and will be as long as they don't screw up or get greedy.

more than 3 years ago
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What Happens If You Get Sucked Out of a Plane?

SkyDude Re:Not really (327 comments)

And if the Simpsons taught me anything, it's God's hand since it has 5 fingers.

For sure, but since when does God wear a diamond ring?

I will have to ponder this and hope the Simpsons have an answer.

more than 3 years ago
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What Happens If You Get Sucked Out of a Plane?

SkyDude Re:Not really (327 comments)

By the time you get sucked out of that plane, you are a goner.

If anyone actually read TFA, you'd see there's a big hand just above the jet that would catch you.

more than 3 years ago
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AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial iPhone Tethering

SkyDude Re:USA #1 (513 comments)

But this is Apple's fault too.

Heresy. Off with his head. I hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Apple fanbois.

Now say something un-PC about Jobs, you brute.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Worst Computer Scene In TV or Movies?

SkyDude Re:All of them. (1200 comments)

Except where horny teenager David did not go to town on flirty Jennifer.

That was the most accurate part of the movie, if you assume he'd become the model for a /.er

more than 3 years ago
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Smart Phone Gets Driver Out of a Speeding Ticket

SkyDude Re:The smart phone got him off? (254 comments)

He didn't get off because the judge was in a good mood. The judge didn't ask him those questions because the burden of proof is on the state, and its witness (the cop) not the defendant. Katta had no obligation to prove innocence but the state DID have an obligation to prove guilt.

And, in the scheme of things, a speeding ticket for a few MPH over the limit isn't worth getting the court's panties in a knot. Plus we don't know if the cop has a history of writing questionable tickets. That does happen and judges can't stand a cop that wastes their time.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Goes After Content Farms

SkyDude Re:Here's to hoping Expert's Exchange is among the (345 comments)

I can't begin to express how aggravating it is to google a programming issue, and have the top five results all link to the same page with the same paywalled answers.

Amen brother, amen.

more than 3 years ago
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19-Year-Old Makes Homemade Solar Death Ray

SkyDude HEY! (317 comments)

That's the kid that stole my 30 inch disco ball! He flattened out and DESTROYED IT!!! DAMN!

more than 3 years ago
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Statistician Cracks Code For Lottery Tickets

SkyDude Re:you just need to crack the UPC code on the back (374 comments)

In Massachusetts, and I presume other states, there's a limit on scanning the barcodes on scratch tickets. In Mass, the limit is three scans per day if the tickets are not winners. After three losing scans, the lottery machine shuts down for a period or until the merchant calls lottery HQ for a reactivation code. The merchant may also get a call from the security dept at lottery HQ to 'splain why the machine shut down.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Shipping Company Is Kindest To Your Packages?

SkyDude Re:TSA (480 comments)

What bothers me is that sensitive equipment which can be inperceptively damaged by such handling is difficult to detect. Specifically, hard drives. They are the basis of our society, and damage from improper handling can often take days, weeks, or months to determine after the fact. It is not fun to receive a box of disks which has been thrown, jostled, and dropped needlessly; you find out at 3am when several members of an array fail at the same time.

I'm not going to make excuses for poor service, but items that can be damaged through normal (or abnormal) handling should be packaged to survive such a trip. Not only the exterior corrugated parcel but in the example you cite, drives need to be engineered to handle such potential shocks. Don't drives park the heads in a safe zone now? Or are you referring to the platters being damaged?

UPS offers packaging assistance for any shipper, but having been in logistics for a number of years, I can tell you few take advantage of it. UPS, Fedex, the USPS and all freight companies invariably look at the way items are packaged before paying any claims. In my experience, many shippers are clueless when it comes to proper protective packaging, or if they feel the cost is higher than absorbing damages, won't spend the extra money to package their merchandise properly.

more than 3 years ago
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First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried

SkyDude Re:Good! (450 comments)

An example of the broken mod system on /. A clear thinking post, telling it like it is and some wanker mods it 'Troll'. The only troll here is the one with mod points, living in his mother's basement, hoping to get laid before he turns 35.

more than 3 years ago
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First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried

SkyDude Re:Good! (450 comments)

Your mention of California losing population and business should come as no surprise but clearly the people that haven't figured it out yet are all in Sacramento.

However, if they really wanted to do something about this looming problem, maybe the reduction or even elimination of taxes on manufacturing firms building electric infrastructure components and other businesses, and the resulting employment of tens of thousands, could help turn the state around and start the flow of cash back into the state's coffers. Of course, with Moonbeam Brown as Governor, this won't happen. The state will collapse and we'll all be bailing it out.

I'd say the last one out please turn off the lights but the way things are going, there won't be any lights to turn out.

more than 3 years ago
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Man Loses Millions In Bizarre Virus-Protection Scam

SkyDude Re:Now That's Bizarre (366 comments)

Common sense is the only real defence against these scams, and it's pretty clear that schools have no way of teaching that.

Unfortunately, common sense is in very short supply it seems.

I can't know what's in the mind of those who get scammed, but the simplest defense is to just walk away from anyone wanting to take your stash. While it's certainly possible to be scammed by someone the victim has hired to perform a service (re:Bernie Madoff), at some point reason has to come into play. A PC repairman finds evidence of victim's life being in danger and he swallows it hook, line and sinker? What about second opinions?

Madoff was paying huge returns to his early victims and had they been more engaged in what was happening, a second opinion might have saved them from being wiped out. The old saw is "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is". In the case of the composer, had he revealed the problem to someone with a dispassionate eye, this would have been a non-story.

about 4 years ago

Submissions

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Lights, Camera, Action. Forget the Script

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SkyDude (919251) writes "The New York Times has a story today of how the pornographic movie industry has long had only a casual interest in plot and dialogue. But moviemakers are focusing even less on narrative arcs these days. Instead, they are filming more short scenes that can be easily uploaded to Web sites and sold in several-minute chunks.

Vivid, one of the most prominent pornography studios, makes 60 films a year. Three years ago, almost all of them were feature-length films with story lines. Today, more than half are a series of sex scenes, loosely connected by some thread — "vignettes" in the industry vernacular — that can be presented separately online. Other major studios are making similar shifts.

Samantha Samson, an adult film actress, said she took her acting seriously and used to prepare studiously for her roles, like the character she played in the 2006 movie "Flasher." She said she played a psychotic who, because of the way her mother treated her, "had an obsession with flashing and doing things in public." "I used to have dialogue," said Ms. Samson, whose given name is Natalie Oliveros, and who is one of the industry's biggest stars. "Getting it on in one hardcore scene after another just isn't as much fun," she added.

Well, /.ers — what do you have to say about the state of the pR0n industry now? Oh, and there's a nice picture of Samantha Samson on the NY Times story page too."

Link to Original Source
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The Bottomless DVD

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SkyDude (919251) writes "This PC Magazine article, written by Mark Hachman, is in the July issue:

Imagine storing 10,000 standard--definition movies on one disc. Sound impossible? Not to a team of Australian researchers. The team recently published a report in the journal Nature in which it details its development of a "five-dimensional" storage medium that promises to store up 10 terabytes on a single disc.

Peter Zijlstra, James W.M. Chon, and Min Gu of the Swinburne University of Technology found a way to combine addressing data using wavelength, polarization, and three spatial dimensions, creating the so-called five dimensions of addressable space. The approach allows for a storage density of a terabit of information in just a cubic centimeter of space.

Mixing and matching different methods of addressing data has been tried using individual methods, the researchers said. In fact, writing data to a three-dimensional storage medium has been one of the hallmarks of holographic storage. But for five-dimensional storage, the team projected information into the material using different color wavelengths. Additional information was then added by polarizing the light, first at a fixed orientation and then by rotating the filter 90 degrees. Data was read using a technique called "longitudinal SPR--mediated 2-photon luminescence."

It's difficult to say, however, how easily a solution like this might be moved into production, since the medium used to store the information is a network of gold nanorods.

"The major hurdle is the lack of a suitable recording medium that is extremely selective in the domains of wavelength and polarization," the researchers wrote in an abstract. Nonetheless, companies such as Samsung have already expressed interest."

Link to Original Source
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Manpower 2009 Talent Shortage Report

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SkyDude writes "Staffing company Manpower has released their 2009 Talent Shortage Report. In the report are the ten occupations for the US and world employers have the most difficult time filling. For the second year in a row, engineer is the hardest job to fill in America. Why are engineers so hard to find? "We have whole generations of people loving liberal arts, not going into science and math," says Larry Jacobson, executive director of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Other professions on the staffing firm Manpower's list of the 10 hardest jobs to fill in the U.S.: information technology staffer, nurse, machinist and teacher. The survey of 2,019 employers was done in the first quarter of 2009. The report is a PDF that can be downloaded here

Forbes.com has a summary of the report that even includes a slideshow of the jobs mentioned, just in case it's not clear to the reader what a difficult job to fill looks like."
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Microdoft Destroys User Data - Again!

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SkyDude writes "In a January 3, 2008 blog entry by Robin Harris of PC Magazine, he writes:

Will Microsofties ever learn?

Without warning the Microsoft Office SP3 update blocks over a dozen common document formats, including many Word, Powerpoint and Excel documents. Install the update and you can't open the files. Why? Because they can!"

Link to Original Source
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Why Is Microsoft Watering Down WGA?

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SkyDude writes "This is an article appearing on http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=1012&tag=nl.e539 today (12-05-07)

Yesterday's revelation that Microsoft would be watering down Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) in Windows Vista SP1 came as a bit of a surprise to me. Why, if WGA has been so successful in the prevention of piracy, and why if the mechanism caused so little collateral damage (both points Microsoft has been adamant about throughout) now backpedal and water down WGA?

The line that Microsoft has always maintained was that WGA prevented theft, protected users from being sold illegal software and that only a tiny number of users running genuine copies of Windows were affected. When put in those terms, WGA on Vista seemed like the perfect solution to the problem of piracy. Now, I've received first hand accounts from people who were adversely affected by WGA, and it doesn't sound pretty, but these were always put down as the exception, not the rule. WGA worked. Not only that, but Microsoft has spent a year perfecting and fine-tuning this anti-piracy mechanism in order to further reduce false positives. Counterfeit rates for Vista are half that of XP."

Link to Original Source
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CoolBot Hacks Air Conditioners to Create Green Wal

SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SkyDude writes "Running a cool PC is the holy grail of gamers and power users. A guy in upstate New York has developed a device that will make a standard, off-the-shelf air conditioning unit operate down to 32 degrees F. While his invention was designed to make life easier for farmers, it clearly has other uses, particularly to computer builders. The bonus feature of the device is it causes the a/c unit to actually use less power than it normally would. http://www.goodcleantech.com/2007/09/coolbot_hacks _air_conditioners.php"
Link to Original Source
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SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SkyDude writes "Retailers haven't learned from TJX — still running WEP by ZDNet's George Ou — When I blogged earlier this week about TJX's failure to secure their wireless LAN and how it may end up costing TJX a billion dollars, I knew that it was merely the tip of the iceberg with so many retailers still running WEP encryption. As if WEP wasn't already broken enough, WEP is now about 20 times faster to crack than in mid-2005 when TJX's WEP-based wireless LAN was broken and I knew from experience that most retailers were still running WEP. I decided to stroll through town and check on some of the largest retail stores in the country to see how they're doing today. The reason I looked at the large retailers is because they're the big juicy targets with millions of credit card transactions that the TJX hackers love. What I found was truly disturbing and I'm going to tell you what I found. http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=487&tag=nl.e539"
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SkyDude SkyDude writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SkyDude writes "From Wired Blogs: If we spent our time reporting every scam, phishing attack and other security hack that hit MySpace we wouldn't have time for anything else, but this one is funny. Someone apparently hacked MySpace's "Tom" account (the default friend for all new members) to send out a link to a phishing scam. Not news really until you consider that the Tom account has roughly 148,059,490 friends. What we'd like to know is how much money a phishing attack against MySpace can really generate — do they ask the marks to steal their parent's credit cards or something? [via Digg]
http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/01/the_morn ing_reb_9.html"

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