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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

The Snowman ORLY? (362 comments)

Lolwut? So when I connect to my corporate network to do legal stuff I get a paycheck for, I am a pirate?

about a week ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

The Snowman Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

Desktops and the laser printer are all hard-wired. But we have two laptops, two phones, two tablets, and the Blu-ray player that are all wireless. Sometimes a third laptop. That puts me squarely in 7-8 territory.

about three weeks ago
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The Doctor Will Skype You Now

The Snowman Re:Considering my doctor... (97 comments)

I would imagine these are for the case where the patient can't get to the doctor's office frequently. Whether this raise privacy concerns would be open for interpretation.

Or for follow-ups. I had an appointment with a specialist this last Monday. She prescribed some stuff, said to call back or come in (if necessary) in two weeks. What if I could Skype for five minutes and say how things are going, maybe show the affected area of my body on the camera for a quick look. Saves time all around. Then if I really do need to come in for a personal visit, we can schedule that.

Seems that often enough I just want to talk with a physician and do not necessarily need the hassle of driving there just to talk face to face. Yeah there are plenty of times I need to show up in person too, but this could be one more tool to save time and energy. I miss less work (or stay less late to make up the time), the physician gets to see more patients. It could be a win all around.

about a month ago
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Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

The Snowman Re:Doesn't surprise me (81 comments)

And when it was rumored that Chrysler was introducing another brand in the early 2010s, we "knew" that Plymouth was coming back. It didn't. RAM was split from Dodge instead.

Wow, news to me. Seriously, I am not being sarcastic. I just went to dodge.com and RAM Truck was an option: but it took me to a different site with a warning that I was leaving dodge.com. I was not aware of this until this evening.

about a month and a half ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

The Snowman Re:No. (502 comments)

Even then, the signal-to-noise ratios of onboard has been good enough for years now. Sure, you might notice a slight difference with a good pair of headphones, but in practice, not so much.

My previous computer was a Q6600 with a SoundBlaster. The sound card did have better sound than the integration audio. For the most part it sounded okay, but the onboard did have a small buzz which was noticeable at higher volumes. It also did not support as many channels, so a small amount of the time some sounds in games would cut out. The SoundBlaster card did not have any buzz, supported more channels, and generally sounded slightly better. But I admit the difference was minor.

When I put together my Ivy Bridge i7 system a year and a half ago, I again compared the state of a (then) brand new integrated chip (RealTek something or other) with the SoundBlaster. No difference. No buzzing either way, and the integrated sound supports plenty of channels. So I agree, but some people in this thread have mentioned the time was 10-15 years ago when I think it is half that long. Regardless of how we got to this point, this is where we are at now.

about 2 months ago
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Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

The Snowman Re:I'll enjoy this.... (530 comments)

What entry level, minimum wage worker gets 40 hours per week? Employers might have to pay benefits on top of the extra wages!

about 2 months ago
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Oracle Buying Micros Systems For $5.3 Billion

The Snowman Re:Gold Finger (71 comments)

Oracle is like the gold finger, everything they touch turns to gold and dies

As an ex-employee of Micros' retail division in Solon, Ohio, I can honestly say they do not need the help here. Micros (Retail) is already rotting from the inside out.

I do not expect Oracle coming in to save the day. There has already been too much brain drain and customers are already dropping them as a vendor. Big customers. Think $10 million and larger contracts, poof, like a fart in the wind.

Micros has some really good products, it is the services that kill them. While profitable, they add an exponential amount of work to the delivery and open them up to liabilities. Oracle will likely come in and say "one size (ours) will fit all." And that would probably be the best for everyone.

about 3 months ago
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TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

The Snowman Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (250 comments)

There is also the fact that if someone decided to take all of TC's code, cut and paste it, and make it BSD licensed or GPL licensed, there is nobody that will step up to enforce TC's license. Is there a person that the code belongs to? Will the TC Foundation have the resources to get lawyers for it, even if it is just for a DMCA takedown notice?

Regardless, that would be a bad idea. There are enough doubts about the security of the product now. Ideally there will be an OpenCrypt cleanroom clone of the product that is truly open source (not the almost open source license of TrueCrypt). There should be structure to the product: open code audits and security reviews, not some vague promise that it is secure.

Another critical feature of the new product should be a geographically diverse set of developers. The last thing we need is the FBI or NSA silencing the project. Maybe U.S.-based developers would be gagged, but with developers in multiple countries and well-placed canaries, that should be designed to backfire relatively quickly.

about 3 months ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

The Snowman Re:Bad idea (275 comments)

You can't - as I understand it - legally IPO to only those sharing your vision. You are going to get pension funds and hedge funds and ... purchasing slices of your company to diversify their portfolios.

These may then not want you to go spending money on wild unprofitable in the next 10 years crap, but to make next years dividend larger.

This is part of the reason why every IPO files a prospectus with the SEC. SpaceX is what I would call "high risk" from an investment perspective. It could multiply my stock investment a thousand-fold, I could lose everything. This is not the sort of stock that most mutual and other funds would invest in. I believe the risk of going public is the stock market can be very fickle at times, especially with high risk, unproven technology: which describes SpaceX.

Staying private for now while the risk is higher means more stability for SpaceX. Elon Musk can still acquire capital and can still sell shares of the company, just not on a public market. Example: he could sell 25% of his company to a VC in return for a bucket of money, then pay it back in stock or cash after the IPO. But the company will not be subject to some of the market forces that govern publicly-traded corporations, which is a good thing in the short-term.

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

The Snowman Re:Trust but verify (211 comments)

Of course what Elon Musk is offering here is not a license or a promise, but a vaguely worded statement:

It's a trap.

Not really. It is a blanket contract with the public at large. This was a public statement made in a public forum, and it carries with it the full force of contract law. If he tries to sue anyone who acted "in good faith" this statement could be used as evidence against him in a court of law.

about 3 months ago
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Synaptics Buys Key Apple Supplier

The Snowman Re:Apple better switch suppliers... (38 comments)

I've NEVER used a Synaptic touch pad that worked worth a shit... they are all terrible... and then you have to use their shitty drivers on top of it in Windows...meh, stay away.

In general they are VERY touchy. Typing on my laptop, not touching the touchpad, causes the mouse cursor to jump all over the place and sometimes even click. I always plug in a mouse and set the driver to disable the touchpad when a mouse is connected, which there normally is at either my home or work desk. I will even take my mouse with me to meetings just so I do not have to deal with the Synaptic touchpad.

That being said, my personal laptop is one of the better Synaptic touchpads I have used. It is not as bad as either of the cheaper work laptops I have used in the past year.

about 3 months ago
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Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

The Snowman Re:Meh. (116 comments)

I'm spontaneous enough that I almost always stream. I can't imagine others are far behind.

I buy Blu-rays using Amazon Prime for less than $10 each. It gets here in two days, and if it costs $10 or more, it is not a good value and I do not watch it. Plus, I have physical media that stick around in case the cloud blows away in a breeze. Internet is down? I can still watch it. Cloud provider goes out of business due to lousy sales or MPAA greed or malfeasance? I still have the media. Sure, this means I do not get new releases right away, but why should I care?

about 3 months ago
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Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

The Snowman Re:Faster than the global average? (182 comments)

I would also add that the Moon is a factor. Its gravity is the reason for the tides: and with so much of the Earth's surface covered by water, it is reasonable that whatever ocean is facing the Moon at any given time will have a higher water level (tide) than the oceans not facing the Moon.

about 3 months ago
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Sparse's Story Illustrates the Potholes Faced By Hardware Start-Ups

The Snowman Real Potholes (103 comments)

I misread that. I was hoping this was a startup that had some innovative, cheap way to repair potholes. Some of us have to deal with some really awful potholes even in June, well past the end of winter.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

The Snowman Re:Who designed this, and what drugs were they on? (636 comments)

I don't agree with the decisions either. However, it is consistent with Java. Like it or don't like it, Java is popular and its semantics are well-known.

about 3 months ago
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The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

The Snowman Re:Speculation (475 comments)

Which is all well and good... except for the facts that A) the NSA doesn't seem to be constrained by what is legal or not, and B) whistleblower protections aren't doing people who blow the whistle on this sort of level a whole lot of good.

Don't forget that the GP's 1st amendment comment assumes TrueCrypt was developed by U.S. citizens. Being that the domain was registered in Antarctica and the developers are rumored to be European, that could be another blow: the NSA then has full authority under U.S. law to do whatever they want to the project.

about 3 months ago
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The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

The Snowman Re:Nonsence (475 comments)

7.2 is a different matter, that's a much more recent version and it's probably technically possible that it's been compromised.

lolwut? Version 7.2 cannot encrypt anymore. I would say that is "compromised" even if the TrueCrypt developers did it themselves.

about 3 months ago
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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

The Snowman Re:Who gives a shit? (593 comments)

What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

The problem with that is if you are Jessie Jackson and the best people for the job are Asian and not black, you will look like a fool. Rather than trying to get your race to pull up its pants and go to school, you want free handouts while the Asians are working their asses off for those Google jobs.

It is really sad that 1% of their workforce is black. That tells me that Bill Cosby said it right: it is a cultural problem and he is right to be ashamed of it. There should be more black Google employees because more blacks should aspire to be engineers, physicians, scientists: not rappers or basketball players. Yes there are successful blacks in this country and plenty of them: but historically there have also been a lot of unsuccessful ones. Today in 2014 there is no excuse for that. Jim Crow is ancient history. Segregation is ancient history.

I would really be curious to know how many Asians they have, because of the positive stereotype of Asians working their asses off to succeed: and Latinos, which are now the #2 demographic in the U.S. behind whites.

about 3 months ago
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The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

The Snowman Re:Hard copy (339 comments)

You joke, but I always wanted to know what happens when the cloud blows away? A hard copy will still play. My Blu-ray player has but does not require network access. I can play Blu-rays and DVDs during a cable outage. I can (legally) play games that do not phone home without net access.

And that does not even get into the question of what happens when a cloud provider goes out of business or decides to end their service for whatever reason.

about 4 months ago

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