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Google Kills Desktop Search and Gadgets

WidgetGuy Re:Windows Search still sucks (138 comments)

Unfortunately, Everything works on local NTFS volumes only. Half a terabyte in my Vista setup is on USB drives that are FAT volumes. Worse, it only searches file names. No wonder it's fast and low-overhead. I usually need in-file searching. Vista's built-in search is actually pretty good. Very fine-grained control over indexing and it's easy to search in files with or without indexing. Everything, well, isn't really everything.

more than 3 years ago
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The Register Hacked

WidgetGuy Re:Oops ... (192 comments)

Or, maybe its like PHP. A recursive acronym. Here's an example you can run from my Dropbox account. IT'S (ha!) named (of course) "TITS". If you're using the BetterPrivacy plugin for Firefox (or something similar), you'll have to disable it or the page is blocked (I guess it doesn't like HTML files named "TITS.html" -- and BTW, BetterPrivacy, what does "TITS" have to do with my privacy?).

Here's a description of what it does (and how it does it):

function TITS(String theBigT, Number bandSize, String cupSize)

Called from an HTML FORM that allows the user to select combinations of band size (ribcage size) and cup size (ahem...). The available band sizes (in inches) are: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40. The available cup sizes (in letter code) are: "AA". "A", "B", "C", "D" and "DD". The greater the band size, the larger the font. The greater the cup size, the brighter the font color. The idea being that 40AA, while large in font size, is still kind of hard to see. Whereas 30DD, while tiny in font size, is still quite visible. And, 30AA? Well, you really gotta look for 'em!

The recursion is controlled by band size. So, a band size of 38 will result in the acronym being recursively generated 38 times.The resulting string is displayed like so:

"TITS TITS TITS...(34 more TITS)...TITS"

It ain't very scientific (or even useful), but it's kind of fun (and a little creepy too -- oh, well).

At last, all that college has paid off!!

more than 3 years ago
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Antenna-Clothing Outperforms Regular Antennas

WidgetGuy Re:Safety? (70 comments)

This news just in... A tragedy today at Fort Bragg where an entire platoon was wiped out by a single lightening bolt. One witness commented, sobbing, "It just fried 'em in mid-step!"

more than 3 years ago
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

WidgetGuy Re:There it is (417 comments)

Ha! Lawrence Welk. My mother (and no, I'm not going to tell you her real name) was a Lawrence Welk Champagne Lady (his band's lead female vocalist) back in the 1940's. Small world.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

WidgetGuy Re:"So why aren't we doing it?" (990 comments)

That's what I like about /. It gives dicks like you a place to demonstrate their stupidity for all the (geek) world to see. From WordWeb :

Adjective: equipt
1. Provided or fitted out with what is necessary or useful or appropriate: "a well equipt playground"

...common abbreviation for the word "equipment"...

Nope. Searched the Web and never found a reference to that. I admit that I didn't look at all 3,760,000 hits Google produced. Maybe you're the one who needs to do a little research. Oh, wait. That's something a dick would never do. GTFO yourself, asshole.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

WidgetGuy Re:"So why aren't we doing it?" (990 comments)

Well, no. Actually what I'm saying is that I (me) chose to buy clocks and a wristwatch that allow me to take advantage of a very useful (to me) service provided by the U.S. government.

Of course, I might have made that choice because the U.S. government brainwashed me by inserting mind-control messages in my TV's vertical blank period.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

WidgetGuy Re:"So why aren't we doing it?" (990 comments)

And you're not up at 2AM? Hand over your /. membership card right now, please.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

WidgetGuy Re:"So why aren't we doing it?" (990 comments)

And here's an actual fact: the U.S. government continually broadcasts the correct time no matter where you are (in the U.S., of course). They (I believe one source is the U.S. Navy) do it by broadcasting a radio signal that, when received by the appropriately-equipt clock/watch, will set that device to the correct time based on an atomic clock maintained by the U.S. government.

All you need to do to take advantage of this service is, when you next go clock/wristwatch shopping, make sure to ask if they have a product that features this capability (they should, even Walmart sells 'em). Most of the clocks in my house have this feature (wall clock, clocks in my computers -- the computers get the Navy time over the Internet, not via radio). Even my wristwatch (Casio) has a little radio receiver in it tuned to the government's time broadcast. Not only does this keep your watch accurate, it takes care of all of the DST stuff too. It's kind of fun to watch the wall clock get the "change DST" signal and "spin" its hands to the correct time (my wall clock can't "spin" backwards, so it has to make 11 complete revolutions in the fall). Hey, I'm easily entertained, what can I tell you?

I can set my wall clock, my computer clocks and even my wristwatch to ignore the DST signal (as someone pointed out, some states in the U.S. -- Arizona is one, I believe -- don't abide by the DST convention). In addition, there doesn't seem to be any huge premium charged for this feature. The radio-equipt clock on my wall only cost $20USD and my radio-equipt Casio wristwatch cost just $38USD.

So what was the "problem" again?

P.S. I can't believe Firefox's spell checker couldn't spell "equipt." I know the more commonly used word ("equipped") has the same meaning and Firefox could spell that version. But, c'mon, gang: "equipt" is two-characters shorter!

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

WidgetGuy Re:Prime Hours (990 comments)

Anyone living on or near the equator?

more than 3 years ago
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Bookstores May Boycott New Amazon-Published Books

WidgetGuy Re:Sauce for the goose... (210 comments)

The summary attributed that quote to (an owner/employee) of "A children's bookstore...". I don't think he or she was speaking of the same type of "adult" books you (and some of the people who replied to your post) think she meant. I believe she meant "not children's books."

Of course, you may have been making a sarcastic comment, in which case, "never mind!" ;-)

On a personal note, I bought one of the first Nooks sold by Barnes and Noble. At the time, it was (IMHO) better than the Kindle. I still use it everyday.

The best feature? I can order a mystery novel sitting on my couch at 3:00AM and before I can exit the Nook Store and get over to My Library (on the Nook), the entire book is already there waiting for me. The original Nook has both WiFi and (free) 3G. Because books are not very large (even books that are compilations of other books) the download time in either case is about the same (at home, or places with WiFi hotspots, it always uses the WiFi). Otherwise, it uses 3G.

The second best feature: I have "low vision." Before my vision started to decline, I used to read about 40 books a year. Over the last 10 or so years, that went down to about 4 per year. Since I got the Nook, I'm making up for lost time. In the last two years, I've read about 80 books per year (all on the Nook). You see, my Nook (as with most eBook readers) lets me change the font size (as well as the font face) so I can actually read the book without straining too much. Can't do that with a paperback.

Finally, if you take your Nook into a B&N store, it will immediately connect to their in-house WiFi and display "coupons" for money off on coffee, accessories and even books. Friday is "free eBook day" (you don't have to be in the store to take advantage of this benefit -- just press a button on the touch screen and it's downloaded to your Nook).

Barnes and Nobel is still around because they have embraced the changes the Internet has wrought in the retail book selling market. The Nook was their gutsiest move yet, but they've done other creative things to stay competitive (like compete successfully with Amazon's pricing for books bought online and a $25USD per year Members program that is very similar to the $75USD per year Amazon Prime program). And, by the way, Barnes and Nobel had a "self-publishing" mechanism in place years ago (c. 2000). Still do, I believe.

Nope, I don't work for Barnes & Nobel. I'm a software developer. Just a very satisfied customer.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Wi-Fi Solution For a Hotel?

WidgetGuy Re:Terms and Conditions? (300 comments)

My friend, you need a copy of ULALyzer by Javacool Software. The free version will do much to lower your irritation level. We all know EULAs are not going away. As you note, they're not only here to stay, but they're getting more abstruse with each passing day.

The program produces an "overall" rating for the EULA you give it to analyze (in most cases, just by moving your mouse over the EULA text on your screen -- but, sometimes, cut and paste is required; for example, when you want it to analyze a Web site's TOS). In addition, it produces a list of "potentially troublesome" words and phrases (with a ranking of 1-5 on the "troublesome" scale). Click your mouse on one of these phrases and you can see it in the context of its section in the EULA. Sure, you still have to do some reading, but nowhere near as much a you would without ULALyzer.

I don't work for Javacool. Just a satisfied customer.

more than 3 years ago
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Santa Cruz Tests Predictive Policing Program

WidgetGuy Re:Heisenberg would have something to say about th (228 comments)

Thanks for reminding me of the talk page on Wikipedia. I have to get back into the habit of checking that out on a regular basis. Thanks, also, for the link. I'm always interested in broadening my understanding in all things scientific (although I'm an engineer by training and profession as well). Again, thanks for the post! :-)

more than 3 years ago
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Santa Cruz Tests Predictive Policing Program

WidgetGuy Re:Heisenberg would have something to say about th (228 comments)

Hmmm. Seems like Wikipedia got that wrong as well:

The uncertainty principle says, for instance, that it is impossible to measure a particle's velocity in any moment and then have any hope of measuring its location for that moment (since the act of measurement of velocity immediately changed that particle's location).

I read that to mean by interactively observing a particle's velocity (i.e., "pinging," it with a measurement device) one necessarily changes that particle's behavior in such a way that does not allow one to accurately predict that (or any other) particle's future location. Models based on thousands of years of stored historical data won't help one accurately predict the next location of any particle in real time.

Also, from the Wikipedia article (quoting Max Born from his Nobel Laureate speech):

*...to measure momenta and energies, devices are necessary with movable parts to absorb the impact of the test object and to indicate the size of its momentum....it is seen that no arrangement is possible that will fulfil both requirements simultaneously."

IANAP (I am not a physicist), but I've worked with many of them over the years (in speech and handwriting recognition). "Observing" data recorded from human speakers and writers can help build and train HMMs used to predict the most likely future utterance or letter in real time (based on what's been said or written leading up to that utterance or letter in real time). But this works because the measuring device does not slug the subject it's observing in the mouth or break the subject's knuckle with every measurement it makes. Still, we would often reference the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in our brainstorming sessions ("I wonder if the fact that they know they're being recorded will change the way they speak/write? And, if so, in what way and by how might that affect our recognition accuracy?" type of reflection). I don't recall any of them using the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as meaning what you say it means. Their understandings were more in line with the Wikipedia entry.

Of course, if you can find a reference that refutes Wikipedia's definition or supports your own (or both), please provide a link in your reply. I am eager to read it. I'm quite comfortable with learning I've been wrong since that's how I get to be right more often in the future. ;-)

more than 3 years ago
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Yahoo, Facebook Test "Six Degrees of Separation"

WidgetGuy Re:facebook yahoo data sync? (228 comments)

You might want to add this to your list of privacy-enhancing tools: Should also work with Linux and Mac.

Example:

127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com #[Google Analytics]
127.0.0.1 4.afs.googleadservices.com

Google, alone, has over 100 entries like the above in my HOSTS file. Speeds up surfing. In Firefox, at least, you do take a performance hit when you restart the browser after making any change to this, rather large, file. No noticeable lag at startup after that until you make another change to HOSTS.

I use just about every Firefox privacy plug-in/extension mentioned in this thread. This is the only one that actually, noticeably, improves browsing performance.

more than 3 years ago
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Flawed Evidence In EU Apple vs. Samsung Case

WidgetGuy Re:Are we to believe... (297 comments)

You should try reading TFA (or at least have read this post). Apparently, Samsung's lawyers weren't invited to Apple's little injunction party.

more than 3 years ago
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Flawed Evidence In EU Apple vs. Samsung Case

WidgetGuy Re:A rectangular screen with a bezel is original? (297 comments)

Nice one!! Wish I had mod points today. Will some kind soul please mod the parent up. Thank you!

Not only did Apple "borrow" the Macintosh GUI from Xerox PARC back in the early 1980s (via the Lisa, which was the "approved" development environment for the Macintosh back then), they proceeded to hire many of the designers/developers away from Xerox PARC to work on the Lisa/Mac development team(s).

more than 3 years ago
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Intel To Offer CPU Upgrades Via Software

WidgetGuy Re:Pay for overclocking? (499 comments)

This practice has been going on since the dawn of computing.

Back in the early 80's I was in charge of writing image processing (picture and movie) software using Data General minis to talk to the gamma cameras (this was in the Nuclear Medicine department of a famous American heart hospital). The Data Generals talked to a Perkin-Elmer mainframe (via HyperChannel) which was the machine on which most of my programs were run.

We ordered a processor upgrade from PE. A couple of days later, the tech from PE arrived to "install" it. I was curious, so I made sure to watch the whole operation over his shoulder. It was over and done with in about 30 seconds. He pulled a circuit board out of the machine, cut a tracer on the board, plugged it back in.

The bill was over $7,000.

more than 3 years ago
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The Five Levels of ISP Evil

WidgetGuy Don't Use Your ISP's DNS Servers! (243 comments)

Screw your ISP's DNS servers. Just do not use them . Join OpenDNS. It's free. Then, use their DNS servers (208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220) instead.

Granted, this won't stop weird stuff happening if you mistype a domain name in a URL. But, AFAIK, OpenDNS doesn't serve up a page of affiliate links (they do serve up a list of links, but the spellings are obviously close to what you misspelled/mistyped -- once you switch to OpenDNS, try going to this site to see what I mean). And they definitely do not change links or banners in Web pages.

To somewhat get around the misspelling issue, use your hosts file. If you consistently misspell/mistype a domain name, enter that misspelling into your hosts file mapped to the correct IP address. Indeed, you could enter a whole group of likely misspellings for a domain name and map them all to the correct IP address. You're address bar will start to act like Google's search bar. Better yet, proofread what you've typed into the address bar before hitting or clicking Enter. Wait, this is /. Never mind... ;-)

If you use a hosts file like the one provided by winhelp2002, you will also be protected from a large number of malware/tracker sites. The hosts file you can download from winhelp2002 maps the domain names of known malware/tracker sites to 127.0.0.1. And, they update the downloadable hosts file regularly. Again, a free service.

more than 3 years ago
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Terrorist Target Mexican Nanotechnology Professors

WidgetGuy Re:2nd attempt stopped (234 comments)

Thanks for the link. That was a well-written piece.

more than 3 years ago

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