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Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

TomGreenhaw Sophos (467 comments)

We have excellent results with Sophos. It has not been a drain on resources and has blocked everything so far for a couple of years on over 250 windows systems and servers. Symantec became ineffective and ruined performance. Microsoft Security Essentials is much better than it used to be and if you only surf safe sites and run commercial software, it will likely be fine; it comes loaded on Windows 8 and is free for Windows 7.

5 days ago

European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

TomGreenhaw Be careful what you wish for (219 comments)

When you're angry, the media is spreading fear, and citizens are demanding action from their government, its all to easy to swing wildly too far in giving up freedom and privacy. We've had more than a decade of that in the US and it isn't pretty.

We get mad when we hear about the Snowden revelations. We get mad when the government doesn't monitor "known" threats. We get mad when our government doesn't treat captured terrorist killers kindly. You cannot have it both ways.

The best answer is for each citizen to keep their eyes open and report suspicious people to authorities who are properly funded and equipped to handle these things in a responsible way. Come on, can't a gun shop owner selling two assault rifles and 800 rounds of ammo figure out that something other than deer hunting is planned? Why can't communities be prepared to help mentally ill people who have not yet committed felonies?

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

about two weeks ago

Aircraft Responsible For 2.5% of Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

TomGreenhaw The concrete industry creates twice that (232 comments)

There are a lot of industrial processes that generate *a lot* of CO2. A quick check on Wikipedia indicates that 5% of man made CO2 is from the manufacture and use of concrete. Steel production is another big one.

Industrial processes are something we can improve without unbearable cost increases in the foreseeable future.

In the transportation sector, marine shipping accounts for 14% of man made CO2 and mostly through the combustion of the dirtiest bunker fuel. Nuclear powered ships are an obvious solution.

Its hard to imagine any technology that we can realistically apply in the next decade to reduce CO2 from aircraft in any meaningful amounts. Why bother with aircraft when there is so much other obvious low hanging fruit?

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

TomGreenhaw Re:Every item is critical. (464 comments)

Also on the AR coating - If you buy Google glass (or something like it in the future) and need correction, be sure to get AR coating. The small screen will have annoying reflections with out anti-reflective coating. I didn't get AR coating and now wish I had.

Since my correction is basic, plain readers work fine for single vision use.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

TomGreenhaw It took a week for me to get used to mine (464 comments)

I hated my progressives at first, but after a week I grew to like them a lot. They don't replace readers or sunglasses unfortunately though.

My progressives are useless for a computer screen. I have to tilt my head back to see through the part of the lenses with the right correction and they are literally a pain in the neck.

I was also disappointed at first because I got transition lenses thinking that I could do away with my sunglasses. Transitions need UV light to darken and when I'm driving (the time I most need sunglasses) they do not darken.

That said, I like them now that I've gotten accustomed to them. They are good for using with a smartphone and tablet. They are especially good for me at night when driving, because I can more easily read the dashboard indicators. They are also great for all the times I'm not using a large computer screen or outdoors.

about a month ago

Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

TomGreenhaw Re:The tablet future is Surface-like (328 comments)

I totally agree. My laptop died and I decided to try the Surface Pro 3 a month ago. Its the best laptop I've had so far. Good performance and very long battery life.

I bought the first and second iPad the day they came out and I carry an iPhone. I have not used my iPad since the day I got the Surface and I use it as a tablet every day. Even Apple accessories I have for my MacBook air and iPad work fine with the surface - e.g. video adapter for projector/second monitor/tv and the hard wired Ethernet adapter, etc. The tablet apps on the Microsoft side of the fence are often horrid, but for the basic ones I really use - e.g. Kindle - it works fine.

If my desktop died, I would try a Surface docking station with a 4K monitor.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

TomGreenhaw This is what I think a wrist computer *should* do (232 comments)

I'll probably get an Apple Watch and it will be obsolete within a year. This is the watch I hope somebody will make:

Time ( analog and digital)
Weather (current and 5 day)
Music (streaming and offline/stored to bluetooth headset)
Universal Remote (car, thermostat, door locks, tv, game controller, camera, etc)
Payments/Passbook (nfc, QR-Code wallet)
Voice Messaging/Notes
Voice Search (e.g. Siri)
To Do List
Hands Free Call
Alerts/Notifications integration
Two factor Authentication
Data storage/exchange

Must Have features:
iPhone compatibility
Android compatibility
iPhone notifications
Android notifications

Important features:
Touch Screen
Bright LED (flashlight)
I/R Led (remote control)
Water Resistance

Nice to have features:
Integrated Phone
Ambient temperature
Body Temperature
Blood Pressure
Video diplay driver/irda
Swappable Band
Swappable Case
Wireless and/or Movement Charging

Key functionality:
Shake gestures
Voice Recognition
Touch screen gestures
Swipe keyboard
Activity context
Use a desktop web app or tablet app to set up
Reflective display
Backlit Display

about a month ago

Prehistory's Brilliant Future

TomGreenhaw Re:Banal and boring. (50 comments)

Agreed. Why not let scores go more that -1 and let us filter out the really unpopular stuff? If I wan't to read the really unpopular crap, I can change my filter.

about 3 months ago

Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

TomGreenhaw Re:Still a niche company (111 comments)

Fair question. I sold my Z06 Corvette earlier this year, but that's the only car I've ever owned in that price range. I don't really compare the Z06 Vette to a Model S P85, so you're right I may not have enough experience to say its better than other luxury sedans. I have friends with Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and Porche Panamera and I have to admit that they are really nice too.

I felt I had to reply to the comment that electric cars are a liberal pipe dream. I don't consider myself a liberal and Teslas are not a pipe dream.

about 3 months ago

Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

TomGreenhaw Re:Still a niche company (111 comments)

We've had ours coming up on two years. By far the best car I've ever owned and driven. It does actually work very well and when maintenance costs and savings on gas are included, its not really more costly than any other comparable luxury sedan.

Tesla may today be a niche company, but its certainly no liberal pipe dream.

about 3 months ago

Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

TomGreenhaw Re:Apple Pay (355 comments)

Short answer - tokenization and eCommerce security.

Chip and Pin uses physical contact of the card to the payment terminal. The chip is very hard to duplicate so it essentially eliminates card cloning. The PIN provides a second factor to authenticate a trusted customer at the point of sale.

Apple Pay is a variant of NFC (near field communication) much like Google Wallet with PayPass. This is wireless (contactless).

The specifications for hardware (Level 1) and software (Level 2) for both contact and contact-less payment systems are managed by EMVCo; see http://www.emvco.com/. Apple has chosen wisely to work with existing industry standards with a couple of big improvements. These guys are smart and they got it right.

What is different about Apple Pay is that unlike PayPass and Chip&PIN which send the credit card account number through all links in the system (usually encrypted), a one time use token is created. If an Apple Pay transaction is exposed, only a useless one time token would be divulged. This is much like the DUKPT system used from other secure transactions. If you are curious about DUKPT see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derived_unique_key_per_transaction.

Aside from the technical superiority of tokenization for security over Chip&Pin for card present transactions, how Apple Pay is better is a matter of taste because both systems mitigate card present fraud. It will always be hard to argue that either will be faster than a swipe.

I'm sick of sitting on my fat wallet and if I could get rid of my cards that would be great. Unfortunately I'll still need my cards because most places wont take anything but mag stripe for years (its taken Canada 7 years to get to 90% Chip&PIN at the merchants). If I lose my wallet I have to call a bunch of companies, whereas if I lose my phone nobody is going to get my card numbers. Apps will proliferate that allow loyalty programs and discounts to be offered to me through mobile integration (e.g. Amex has already announced buying McDonalds food with points). Geofencing in conjunction with NFC will further promote targeted marketing and I like the idea of saving money in exchange for loyalty. NFC will also likely be used to do things like open doors, start cars so it will be very convenient.

Apple Pay also supports tokenization for eCommerce. This is huge because card not present is the area where credit card fraud is most persistent. Apple Pay and the variations that are sure to follow will knock the online card fraud guys out of the game.

about 3 months ago

Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

TomGreenhaw Re:Wonder How Much? (294 comments)

Their voting is probably not motivated primarily by bribes - its Michigan jobs they are worried about.

Ironically, the Tesla is more American made (roughly 55% domestic and a lot more when the batteries are made by the Gigafactory) than its Ford, GM, Nissan competitors (roughly 35% domestic)

about 3 months ago

Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

TomGreenhaw This is getting ugly (294 comments)

The rationale for enforcing a car dealership model is obsolete. Now these laws only protect special interests who support politicians and are at odds with the interest of the vast majority of the American public.

I'm all for state's rights, but I think its time for the federal government to step in and eliminate this unconstitutional restraint of interstate commerce.

about 3 months ago

Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Re:Yes (481 comments)

For the most part, I think its a matter of personal opinion, and I'll share mine.

Humans are social animals. For society to function we have certain rules. For example its not OK to kill and eat people. Society would break down. Hopefully everyone agrees the golden rule is a good idea.

Humans evolved to be survivors, and in order to thrive as omnivores we couldn't be picky about what was on the menu and survive. At this point in our evolution however, we can be picky about what's on the menu and still thrive. Coincidentally we are also learning that many of our fellow creatures on this planet are a lot more like us that we could have known before. We are smarter than these animals and if lack of communication is anybody's fault fault, its ours.

So the question is, should we increase the scope of the golden rule to apply to animals. I'm not a strict vegetarian. I eat well treated animals whose existence depended upon support of our food supply. Like you, I don't eat a lot of industrial produced proteins because I don't trust them. I do however extend the scope of my application of the golden rule to intelligent wild animals because I don't need to eat them. Most people have at least some amount of doubt about the morality of eating intelligent animals, and most uf us have the luxury of extending them the benefit of that doubt.

They are more pleasing to me alive in their natural habitat than on my plate.

about 4 months ago

Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Re:Yes (481 comments)

I totally agree - crows blow my mind. They have complex language, tool use and family units similar to ours.

My opinion about whales was based upon an experience I had several years ago in Maui. A baby whale and then mother slowly came out of the water 6 feet away from our boat and I looked those whales in the eye. There was obvious curiosity and intelligence there.

Its hard to imagine eating something like that. It for me borders on cannibalism.

about 4 months ago

Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

TomGreenhaw Yes (481 comments)

I'm not an expert, but assuming octopi are that intelligent based upon brain size might be a false assumption. Their brains may be large to support their chameleon skin systems. Octopi are smart, but they don't have long life spans, advanced language or tool use as far as I know.

I do think everyone should take whales off the menu.

about 4 months ago

Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

TomGreenhaw Windows Classic (554 comments)

Why not have just good old Windows Classic based upon Windows 7. Charge people for annual support if they want access to updates.

Then they could also offer Windows Du Jour that supports contemporary technology.

Everybody's a winner...

about 4 months ago

Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

TomGreenhaw Re:Distribution and Generation are split (488 comments)

That's interesting. Is most of the power in NYC underground? I'll bet that's expensive to maintain. I've read that hydroelectric power in the Pacific Northwest is super cheap. In Illinois, we get a really good deal 6.8 cents per Kw/Hr for 100% renewable. I suspect its because we have so much nuclear.

about 4 months ago


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