Court Shuts Down Alleged $120M Tech Support Scam
Kaspersky and McAfee both publish scan-but-don't-fix AV software. I'm sure others do as well.
Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor
Many crimes have been committed through the centuries, yet one thing has always been a constant: The perpetrator was breathing oxygen. I move that we ban oxygen, then ration it out on a "not-comitting-a-crime" basis. After all, consuming oxygen is a hallmark of criminals. Do YOU want to support their criminal agendas?
AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough
I have to agree. My local ISP (Vyve Broadband) advertises "up to 8Mbps", but in reality never delivers over 1Mbps. During prime time, it drops to around 150kbps. I've raised heck with them time and again, and it never helps anything. I even called the BBB on them, and they just said "You're out of contract, so if you don't like the service, leave." They cost about $60/month.
The other option here (CenturyLink) does give a better download speed (about 4Mbps, advertised as 10Mbps), but their upload speed is hard-capped at 128 Kbps. I've called and visited with tech support, and that's a hard limit they set. They don't even have a more expensive plan available for those who want more, because "if you want more than that, you must be running a server". It causes disruptions with using webcams, VOIP, and even multiplayer gaming, and makes a YouTube upload take an eternity. They cost about $120/month.
So yeah, I'd love to have someone bring in 4/1 broadband. Especially if it cost under $100/month.
Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S
If he wants to be cool *and* revolutionary, he needs something more like this: http://www.disappearing-car-door.com.
Granted, these look like they'd be a nightmare in a blizzard or freezing rain, but I'm sure there's some way to engineer a fix. Or, alternatively, they could just make the doors slide vertically. That would have a similar 'cool factor' to a gullwing, except with the advantage of no clearance space needed, and would avoid the potential issues found with the disappearing door. Only issue would be that they would block the contents of a roof rack while open, but is that really a problem? How many people need the car doors open while retrieving their roof-mounted bicycle?
Temporary Classrooms Are Bad For the Environment, and Worse For Kids
Preach it, brother.
Private school is often significantly higher in performance, while having much lower per-student costs, when compared with public school*. If public school weren't paid through taxes, nobody would be able to afford them; we should remove them from the tax base, and let the parents choose which school gets their money, rather than forcing everyone to pay for public school whether they want it or not. Children would get a superior education, taxes would be significantly less, and schools would have to (gasp!) compete with each other for the students, which would probably mean no more tenured teachers, better facilities, etc. For those who still can't afford private school (after the tax reduction), there could be a program like S.N.A.P. to pay for it. The only people who would lose in this situation are the ones who are corrupt and are already milking the system.
* Wyoming (my home state) spends over $15k per student for annual tuition. While private schools vary on cost, our local private school in my hometown charges $6k/year for tuition. While some (mostly secular private schools targeted at rich kids) have average test scores, religious schools tend to have better than average test scores in all subjects.
Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS
Aboslutely. The other thing that should be taken from this is that things need to change less. Change for improvement is one thing, but change for the sake of change is simply not worth the hassle. When XP support ended, this customer was panicked, and felt that she couldn't stay on XP any longer (thanks, CNN), but she is so averse to change that I knew Windows 7 would not be a good change. I set her up with Lubuntu, customized everything to look as close to XP as possible, and still had tons of greif to deal with. In the end, though, it was a very smooth transition; everything she did in XP was possible in Lubuntu, icons were in the same places, programs worked the same. She fussed -- a lot -- about the fact that some of the fonts weren't identical (which would have been worse in Wn 7), and that the desktop icons were slightly larger than in XP, but otherwise things went well.
I definitely appreciate how projects like Lubuntu have given us the ability to 'hold back time', as it were, for folks who simply cannot handle change. And as a bonus, I successfully converted someone to Linux. Man, I prefer supporting Linux boxes over Windows. So much easier to fix.
Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS
Forward it to their grandchildren? Try forwarding it to themselves. I have a lady I support who has literally about 40,000 emails -- all of which are incredibly important -- and when she finds one she wants to keep (as opposed to the ones that sit unread in her inbox), she forwards it to herself so that it's her name in the 'from' field, so it's easier to tell which ones she's seen before and liked.
When she finds a picture on the internet that she wants to keep, she downloads it to her hard drive, attaches it to an email, then sends it to herself. I kid you not. I've tried to explain how things should be done, but learned the hard way that it's not worth it. Instead we've just switched her to Thunderbird, since Outlook Express couldn't handle that many emails. Thunderbird is holding up under the strain quite nicely. Boy was it hard to get her used to it, though. Probably spent 20+ hours one the phone helping her find the 'forward' button and her address book.
Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road
This is of course purely anecdotal, but from my personal experience, this is pretty average in the city. The exception would be the rural towns too small to support public transportation, and those who live in the intra-city areas, and often, they are the ones who already use public transport. Every city is different, though, and I have only lived and worked in the Western half of the United States (Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Washington), so other areas may vary substantially.
Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road
While I've admittedly never been to New York, all of my colleagues from NYC purchased cars after they moved away. The city streets are almost exclusively used by taxis and public transportation. Most people apparently use the subway to get around.
NYC is the largest city on our continent, and also one of the oldest. Infrastructure design isn't the reason for most Americans using cars. It's the fact that most of our cities have very separate housing and business districts, and there's no practical way to transport everyone 30+ miles each way every day to work, especially when the residential areas are evenly distributed in a circle around the business districts. If there were a functioning light rail/bus/subway system, it would take an additional hour or so of your day to use it, since there would have to be several interchanges to make it reasonable. NYC is the exception to this, since it was built before fast transportation existed, and hence the residential areas were mingled with the business districts.
How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap
Posting to undo an accidental moderation -- shoulda been 'funny', not 'redundant'.
Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef
...a cube measuring 1 ton per side.
Huh? Methinks you're confusing measurements of weight and length.
A cubic ton is a relative measurement; it's essentially like saying "40 cubic feet of timber from the average trees in the average forest weighs 1 ton, so instead of weighing all of our timber, we'll just sell it by the cubic foot instead, and call it 1/40th of a ton." It's a sloppy, approximating measurement method.
Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse
This, exactly. I've got pretty bad carpel tunnel syndrome, and my old MS Ergonomic Beige PS/2 keyboard is awesome to use. Unfortunately, nobody makes a laptop with anything close. There was an Acer about 5 years ago that had a slight curve to the keyboard (not even as much as a 'comfort curve' has), but that's the closest I've ever seen (and besides, does anyone really want an Acer?). I just want a laptop with a keyboard that physically splits and raises up when you lift the laptop lid. As long as it's done like a children's pop-up book, and not with electric motors, it would work reliably enough for the masses, wouldn't threaten the LCD, and wouldn't really increase the laptop thickness or weight.
How Machine Learning Can Transform Online Dating
This. However, I will add something: Having similar goals and work ethic is important. I think, ultimately, people can work through almost any differences with a positive outcome, as long as their religion, work ethic, and life goals are similar. Pretty much the 'big picture' stuff. Of the girls I dated before marrying my wife, I can honestly say that I *could* have made it work with any of them, with the exception of those points. Religion is, frankly, flexible enough that it doesn't seem to need to be an exact fit unless one of the people involved is totally consumed by their religion; the two real important points, though, is whether the two people are going in the same direction.
One of my former girlfriends was extremely lazy. She wound up marrying a guy who fits her perfectly; a disabled vet (dare I call him that? He was in the Army for 1 year before being medically discharged, never got deployed), and they now live on welfare while neither of them works, instead spending their foodstamps on alcohol & cigarettes, and their time making babies.
Another girl I dated was headed through college with the goal of becoming a middle manager for a large corporation. I'm not sure where she is today, but last I knew, she was getting married to a guy who didn't really have a career goal; seems like a perfect fit to me, since it seems most middle managers need to relocate a few times.
Now, for contrast: My goals were to become self-employed and start a chain of electronic shops. Early on, that meant many 16+-hour-days with very little pay. I'm now past the really hard part of starting a business, and am well on my way to opening my second shop. The girl I am proud to call my wife is a perfect fit. She's a hard worker, her life goal was basically to spend as much time with family as possible, and she's good at seeing 'the big picture'; we've been married for almost 6 years now, and there's no question that we're a perfect match. When we first met, our interests, tastes in music, hobbies, food preferences, culture, families -- they were all pretty different. Of course, in the past decade or so, we've gradually become more alike, but ultimately it all really had no bearing on our happiness. The only thing that mattered was that we were going the same direction.
Also worth noting: we met on the Internet and became friends before we met in person or really got a good idea of what each other looked like. We didn't base our relationship on physical attraction, but rather on friendship.
USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year
He deserves all the recognition we can give him. Whether he did things the right way or not, he did what he thought he should do for the good of Americans, even though he knew it would result in his becoming a refugee in another country, or possibly imprisoned and tortured here in the states. He didn't do it for money, and I doubt he did it for fame; he did it because his conscience told him he had to. He is a patriot who deserves to be treated as one. Here's to hoping he gets a Nobel Peace Prize.
Ask Slashdot: How Long Will the Internet Remember Us?
Wow -- according to his Tripod site, he still has an @webtv.net email address. That almost sounds like some sort of punchline.
New Windows XP Zero-Day Under Attack
I'm not sure I follow. If you have an XP disk with sp0, sp1, or sp2 you can install just fine (I do it semi-regularly with an sp2 disk). I've never tried with a disk that has sp3, but I wouldn't expect anything different. After install, I install sp3 from an .iso, then it updates fully to current level over the course of a couple hours, and it runs very stably. What VM software are you using, and what PC platform? I use Virtualbox in Ubuntu on both AMD & Intel machines (older dual-cores).
On another note, IE is up to version 8 for XP. I don't know of anyone that still requires v6.
Norway's Army Battles Global Warming By Going Vegetarian
The key difference is that, with Christians, most modern non-Catholics do not consider Catholics to be 'Christians' in the same group as Protestants or Reformed. The violence was done by the Catholic church, and since the Protestants (btw, look that word up) opposed many things about the Catholics (including the violence, which, incidentally was also directed towards them), they don't feel that they need to be grouped with them. Most Christians today are Protestant or Reformed (look that one up, to); hence we do not consider the actions taken by the Catholics as being thing's "we've" done. And no, it's not just semantics; imagine if the state of Texas declared war on all of the other states, and Canada. 50 years later, after the dust settles, would a resident of Montana honestly be able to say "Yeah, back in '13, when we were at war with Canada"? Of course not; the history of a separate, somewhat connected group is not necessarily yours. Especially if your group has always been famous for being 'of peace', and opposed the actions of the offender.
Microsoft Customers Hit With New Wave of Fake Tech Support Calls
I own a computer repair shop, so I see all the random junk at various times. I've had 3 computers come in with this; the first came in because "it had a virus that the Windows guys couldn't fix", and after I explained that "the Windows guys" are a fraud, she decided to bring in her other computer to have me remove their junk as well. The scammer had done A LOT to the computer, changing account permissions so that she coldn't do anything, giving themselves admin access in a separate account, then revoking hers, and had installed 3 different remote desktop applications. While I was looking at it, they connected to it without notice via TeamViewer. I just disconnected it fromt he internet, backed up her files, and wiped it; with how much they'd done, I didn't feel there was any way to be sure I'd gotten it all without starting from scratch. The 3rd was a friend of my mom's; she had falled for the scam and paid $300, then about a month later she saw a bunch of fraudulent charges on her credit card so she cancelled it and got a new number; about a wee later, she got another call from the scammers, telling her that because she uses her computer for games and watching videos, she had to pay another $500 and they would give her extra protection. Thankfully, at that point, she realized they were scammers (she's a little old lady who uses it for email and nothing else, and has no idea how to play any games, or even what YouTube is), and brought the computer to me. The interesting thing is that the scammers had not done as much to her PC as they had to the other customer, which leads me to think that they don't have an automated script, but manually change settings on the computer. That means a lot of time and effort for each mark.
I wish my car could...
I've worked on seeral '80s & '70s full-sized trucks (Ford, Dodge, and Chevy), and I've also done an unprecidented amount of work on a '93 Civic. Let me tell you, the little bit of extra percieved room does not make up for the extra size of the parts in those trucks. It took me more work to remove and rebuild the power steering gearbox on a Ford than it did to remove and rebuild the transmission on a Civic. And the transmission weighed less. And I re-installed it by myself with a scissor jack -- I have to have a second pair of hands to get the power steering gearbox back in place, and it was very difficult to weave it out. The same with a starter -- those old trucks always have the starter between the engine and the axle in a place you can't actually see, and where greasy dirt falls in your eye while you lay on the ground to remove it. A Civic? It's 3 bolts that you can change without even looking under the car, because it's right on top where you can see and reach everything.
Given the choice, I would fix a small import over a big RWD truck any day. I prefer to drive a truck (or any RWD for that matter), though.
I wish my car could...
I'll second this. Although I'd add that an alternative (and one that I just switched to from a Civic) is a Ford Escort from the same vintage. The other alternative would be a Geo Prism; Geos were trash, but the Prism is just a rebadged Toyota Corolla but books for half the price. Any of those 3 cars (Civic, Escort, or Corolla/Prism) will give you what you're looking for; cheap, simple, no special tools needed (In a Civic, I changed the clutch, tranny, head gasket, CVs, and a lot of other things in a weekend with no special tools and no significant previous experience beyond changing a starter), and as long as you don't buy one that's been owned by a teenager who wants to think he's in the next Fast & Furious movie, they're pretty reliable. My Escort has 200K with the original everything and doesn't even leak anything. And it only cost me $800.
Just look for the higher-performance versions of the car, and they can be pretty powerful for their size.