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Comments

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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

ad454 Love my Surface Pro2 with Ubuntu (365 comments)

I currently have a Surface Pro2 with Ubuntu running. It is my first non-Apple computer in more than 10 years. Which I bought reluctantly when my previous MacBook died and did not like any of the current out-dated models.

For the most part, everything in Ubuntu runs great on the Surface Pro2, except Wi-Fi which is flaky due to sucky proprietary Marvell drivers.

In any case, it is now my primary work computer, and I am very happy with it, although I do really like the newer Surface Pro3 with larger screen and better kickstand.

Apple MacBook Airs are horrible out of date compared to Surface Pro2 & Pro3. No retina display, no touch display, and no pen input. And I trust Linux much more that NSA backdoor'ed OSX and Windows.

The fact is that Microsoft is now making excellent laptop/tablet hardware, even though their OS has issues. I wish that people look at things objectively and stop giving praise to a company that use to innovate but now refuses to upgrade hardware to meet customer's needs. (I am still

about 2 months ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

ad454 Re:Nothing to do with hole size (405 comments)

Not to mention the horrible amount of water, fertilisers, pesticides, and land tracts golf courses require for their "prefect" greens. Heck, with so many people using golf carts, and caddies carrying golf bags, most people playing golf aren't even getting sufficient exercise.

Mini golf, and basically every other non-motorised sport, are by far much more environmentally friendly then golf.

In many places, it is known as the sport of the "white old mens club" (figure of speech) or the 1%, because of the restricted club memberships, expensive green fees, and huge variation in equipment costs, which can be in the thousands of dollars for a single decent club.

about 4 months ago
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Nokia Announces Nokia X Android Smartphone

ad454 Built-in Spying (105 comments)

Considering the deliberate spying Nokia does on their Windows phone, it seems that their NSA masters asked them to find a way to help spy on android devices.

Next, the NSA will talk to HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc, forcing them to do the same, now that the precedence with Nokia has been established and accomplished on the Android platform.

Post Snowden, there isn't enough tin foil for my hats these days, since the revelations have shown that the NSA and corporations have been spying much more then the worse case proposed by the nuttiest crackpots, who are turning out to be the most insightful.

about 6 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

ad454 Re:Cancel Netflix Membership (520 comments)

I am upset with the timing and principle of this action, which the news outlets are promoting as a death-nail in net neutrality.

I have visited China enough to know what it is like not to have net neutrality. It is a shame that the country which created the Internet will likely follow the same path.

Here is hoping that government regulators either allow real competition for consumer Internet service, and also list ISP as common carriers. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen, since there isn't any pool of consumer money available to bribe politicians more than they are being bribed with now by the current provider monopolies (like Comcast, AT&T, etc.).

about 6 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

ad454 Cancel Netflix Membership (520 comments)

As a NetFlix streaming subscriber, I will cancel my membership Monday morning.

I don't have Comcast and refuse to pay some of my upcoming Netflix fees to undermine net anti-discrimination (otherwise know as net neutrality).

I was previously happy with and supported Netflix standing up to the Internet monopolies, but now this sets a horrible precedence.

I only hope now that other Netflix subscribers do the same, and cancel their service/subscription, to give the message to other companies that undermining the Internet has consequences.

about 6 months ago
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Steve Jobs To Appear On US Postage Stamp

ad454 Chinese Stamp? (184 comments)

Considering that apple out-sourced all of their manufacturing overseas, it seems that China and not the USA should be the ones honouring Steve Jobs with a stamp.

Alternatively, if the USPS wants to honour Steve Jobs in a historically accurate way, they could design the stamp in the USA, have China produce the stamps, and then sell those Chinese made stamps to Americans.

about 5 months ago
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Powering Phones, PCs Using Sugar

ad454 Power implantable devices? (199 comments)

This sounds like it would be prefect for implantable devices, that could leach off excess sugar in the blood.

With the high sugar content in western diets, one could both power implanted devices, plus prevent and treat diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels down to reasonable levels. It could act like an artificial pancreas, plus power a pacemaker, and maybe let you use a computer in your head. (Why isn't the NSA funding this, to stop thought crimes?)

Seems to me a much easier solution than forcing the political powerful processed food and fast food industries to cut back on sugar and syrup that are poisoning consumers.

about 7 months ago
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FCC To Consider Cellphone Use On Planes

ad454 Ban Removed Due to New Revenue From Micro-Cells (183 comments)

There was never any safety issues with using a cell phone anytime during flight. If there was, don't you think that planes would be dropping like flies from every nutcase and terrorist turing on (or leaving on) their cell phones?

It was disallowed because it cut into airline revenue from expensive airplane to satellite phones. However now that airlines are deploying micro-cells, with huge roaming fees, guess with, its now magically time to remove cell phone restrictions. But only when the planes are above 10000 feet, in order to allow these micro-cells to override ground based cell towers, and insure roaming revenue.

Below 10000 feet, the in-flight cell phone ban must remain in place, since it is much easier to bypass the micro-cells in planes and connect directly (and cheaply) to a ground based cell towers.

about 9 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

ad454 Cargo (466 comments)

Rather than do this incremental changes, why don't the airlines simply jump to their end game: drug economy class passengers, slap diapers on them, and put them in cargo?

I am sure that people are working on promoting this as a anti-terrorist measure. (Won't someone think of the children?) Kind of reminds me of slowly boiling a frog in water, except we are the frogs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

If only we had decent high-speed rail options in North America. Whenever I fly to Europe, I typically take direct flights to hubs such as Frankfurt which have convenient rail stations, and then take a high speed train to my target city, if the train ride is less than 5 hours. (It is usually the cheaper and more convenient option, that takes the same amount of time, since it takes you straight to the city center, and avoids going through European airport security, waiting for a connecting flight, and taking another train to get from the airport to the city.)

about 10 months ago
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Aussie Company Planning To Use Drones For Textbook Delivery

ad454 Fishing net with extension, capture, eBay, profit (178 comments)

What is to prevent some enterprising individuals from capturing a number of these, and selling them on eBay? Reminds me of Pokemon, "gotta catch them all".

Each drone would be likely worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, and would be a tempting target for thieves. Even the stripped down electronics are worth it, and one can easily remove any batteries/fuel, or toss them into a metallic mesh box, to shut down or block any tracking signals, before the tracking units are removed in a distant location.

Military and spy drones always operate at great heights, except for takeoffs and landings at secure locations. In comparison, these delivery drones are required to fly quite low, or even land, in insecure areas, when dropping off packages, in order to avoid injuring the recipients and by-standards. At this point could be easily captured by people on the ground the long nets.

The only way to avoid this would be to have people following these delivery drones, at which point it becomes easier and cheaper just to let these people simply hand-deliver these packages without any drones.

about 10 months ago
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Could Snowden Have Been Stopped In 2009?

ad454 Let's hope this security hole is not fixed. (247 comments)

The American public, and also the rest of the world, need more whistle-blowers to leak illegal activity and overreach by self-serving secret agencies, that refuse to allow themselves to be subjected to proper and transparent oversight.

No law abiding person has any issues with spying on suspected individuals and organisations with just cause and court order. But most people do not want a dictatoral police-state based wholesale surveillance on everyone, as we have now.

How is what the NSA is doing in the USA now any different than what the former East German secret police use to do, with their secret files kept on ever individual, so that they can use any individual's past as a weapon, in case they get out of line?

Nor do we want to see security, such as encryption, weakened, if it makes the public more vulnerable to attack by bad/evil organisations in general, or makes it harder for honest and lawful people to cooperate for the benefit of society, even if it means letting a few bad people get away. Proper security requires risk-benefit analysis for the whole of society, not just selected groups.

about 10 months ago
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Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

ad454 Re:Seriously? That's it? (773 comments)

I can't agree more. I find Jailboken iOS much more capable that Android, and was really hoping for an Apple phablet.

Yes, I understand that phablets are not for everyone, but they fit nicely in my purses and I typically spent much more time running apps than talking, on my smart phone, so the larger size is better for me.

In any case, today's announcement from Apple is so disappointing, that I am now planning to ditch the iPhone and get a Samsung Note3 as my next phone, which has larger size, 1080p display, NFC, and pen when detailed input is needed.

It is a shame that Apple is no longer willing to meet the needs of a long time loyal customer like myself. Besides, I consider the fingerprint reader to be a big negative, and do not want share it with the NSA.

I am also seriously considering the Surface Pro 2 as my next ultrabook, since Apple refuses to make a MacBook Air with retina and touch+pen inputs. (I do a lot of CAD work.)

about a year ago
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Google Breaks ChromeCast's Ability To Play Local Content

ad454 Maybe not completely true? (329 comments)

When I powered cycled my ChromeCast a couple of hours ago, I noticed that it installed a new update.

I then launch my Chrome browser and open several local files of type MP4 (video), PDF, and PPT (powerpoint), and I am still able to successfully cast these to my ChromeCast on my HDTV, with this type of URL:

file://{LOCAL_DIRECTORY}/{LOCAL_FILE}

Even the MP4 video plays nice on my HDTV in FullScreen.

I have not had time to do a packet inspection yet via WireShark, so I cannot speak about the complexity of the protocol used to transmit the content locally.

I am not denying that something with ChromeCast might have changed, since the author is likely telling the truth, and may have been using some "hack" or trick that they used to simplify incorporating their 3rd party support.

But considering that I have my Chrome browser at version 29.0.1547.57 which was not updated in the last 5 days, I would think that any 3rd party app could still be modified to support ChromeCast with the same protocol used by the Chrome browser, NetFlix, YouTube, etc.

about a year ago
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The Cryonics Institute Offers a Chance at Immortality (Video)

ad454 Permanent brain damage & unbudgeted revival co (254 comments)

Permanent brain damage starts within 5 minutes of not receiving red blood cells with oxygen. So you would have to be frozen before then, and in such a way as to prevent ice crystalization from permanently damaging cells, which is not done with current cryogenic techniques. Otherwise you would lose so much of your personality, intellect, memories, and consciousness from brain damage, that even if they could regenerate all of that grey matter in the future, your brain would no longer be you, but would be someone else. (So what is the point?)

Aside from that, no matter how cheap it is to freeze someone, it's is likely going to cost a lot more to revive someone who is frozen, and regenerate their body into a functional state. How many people looking at cryogenics are budgeting for revival costs? Maybe they hope the future will be some socialist utopia, which is funny considering the global tend for wealth concentration and reduction of public services, including healthcare for the living.

1 year,2 days
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3 Reasons Why Microsoft Needs 3 Surface Tablets

ad454 Re:Looking forward to Surface Pro 2 (266 comments)

Is that really true? To me it seems like battery drain on high resolution displays is over blown.

My 10" iPad3 with retina 2048x1536 pixel touch display lasts all day. Why can't a 11" MacBook Air have an equal or lower 1920x1080 touch display which lasts about as long as the non-retina MacBook Air.

Yes, I know that ARM based architectures are smaller and drains the battery less than any x86/x64 based one. But if the high resolution touch display was a such significant factor in battery life, then it would also be a significant factor for the iPad.

As someone who does a lot of work with non-text graphics, I would gladly sacrifice some battery for a higher resolution display, as long as I can still get 4 or more hours which is the sweet spot for me to be without a charger.

1 year,9 days
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3 Reasons Why Microsoft Needs 3 Surface Tablets

ad454 Looking forward to Surface Pro 2 (266 comments)

The Surface Pro with type keyboard was by far the best ultra-light device in its size. When it was released, with its 1920x1080 display, pen input, touch screen, etc. it blew past the now outdated 11" MacBook air and anything else in that size.

My only complaints was the glued down components and soldered RAM:

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+Pro+Teardown/12842/1

I hope that the next Surface Pro 2 has Haswell, and eliminates the component glue and soldered RAM, or at least offers a 6-8GB RAM option and 256-480HG mSATA drive option. Then it would be prefect for me. Hopefully with a newer Haswell chip, the fans can also be reduced or eliminated, and the battery life will increase.

I am also eyeing the Haswell based Samsung ATIV Q, but at 13" it is a bit too large for me.

I also love the thin but solid unibody construction of the Acer Aspire s7-191, but without a pen input (which is really needed for my graphic and CAD work), it does not meet my needs. Not to mention, that it appears that Acer is abandoning the 11" model, which did not yet get the Haswell refresh.

On the Apple side, it is sad that Apple refuses to make a retina MacBook Air, even though the iPad3/4 has a 2048x1536 display compared to 1440x900 on 13" Air & 1366x768 on 11" Air, and also support pen input. Even though I much prefer Unix based OSX, for the first time in 8 years, I am planning to buy a Windows based laptop/tablet this year, instead of a Mac.

I wonder if there is any Linux distribution in the works which might take full advantage of these new touch based ultralights/tablets?

Hopefully manufactories will start to reduce the size of the large bezels around the display. With small devices, the smaller the bezel, the better the display.

1 year,9 days
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Why Your Next Phone Will Include Biometric Security

ad454 Bio-metrics are static passwords (110 comments)

Bio-metrics are static passwords with very painful revocation, that one typically leaks all over the place.

Unless I wear gloves all the time to hide my fingerprints, wear a mask to hide my face, stop talking to hide my voice, etc., it is nearly impossible to hide my bio-metrics. And once captured electronically as data, they can be copied indefinitely, and cannot be revoked without a lot of pain and suffering.

Right now, criminals typically ignore capturing the bio-metrics of victims, since they are barely used by the public. But the public starts to use bio-metric for accessing high valued assets, there will be a huge financial incentive for criminals to dust drinking glasses at restaurants, photographing peoples, recording voices, etc.

about a year ago
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Linux Foundation's Secure Boot Pre-Bootloader Released

ad454 What about *BSD? (178 comments)

This is great news for Linux distributions, and a small victory in the losing battle for openness.

But in the spirit of openness, hopefully bootloaders for NetBSD, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD will also be eventually signed.

Everyone should be able to install and run whatever they want on their own computers.

about a year and a half ago
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Star Trek Tech That Exists Today

ad454 Personal Waste Transporters (207 comments)

The Star Trek trek that I thought was the most futuristic was the Personal Waste Transporters that would automatically beam out solid, liquid, and gaseous human waste, plus dirt, oil, etc.; which eliminated the need for toilets, showers, etc. from Star Ships and Away Missions.

Strange that in Star Trek, they could beam away all of the bad stuff from their bodies, but would still need to eat and drink in traditional fashion.

Prior to the Waste Transporters, I don't want to even think about how rough Klingon toilet paper would have been, Vulcan deodorant which requires mental discipline to ignore orders, or the poor quality of a Ferengi tampons that fall apart.

about 2 years ago
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School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

ad454 Restricted FileSystem and No Fine Movement Input (504 comments)

My biggest gripes with my iPad3 as a work device are:

One's fingers does not provide fine movement input like a mouse, touchpad, or fine tip pen/stylus (like the Samsung Note/Note2), which is needed for creating decent graphical design work. (It is far easier to move a mouse, touchpad, or pen/stylus by a single pixel, then my finger.)

Proper unrestricted filesystem that lets you locally share documents easily and securely locally across different applications, without handing over your unencrypted work to untrustworthy 3rd party cloud services. Why could I upload my personal document to Apple's iCloud and download it again, just to open it up in a different app?

And proper cut-and-paste of graphical (non-text) objects between applications. Why can't I click on an image, powerpoint/keynote diagram, etc, and copies these into the clipboard, and then paste into a word/pages document or e-mail message?

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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British screening of embryos for deafness in IVF

ad454 ad454 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ad454 (325846) writes "A new bill going through British parliament will require that embryos used in IVF treatment would be screened out, if they carry any indicators (such as the deafness gene) that the resulting baby would be born deaf. This was triggered as a reaction to deaf rights extremists, such as Tomato Lichy who wanted to use IVF to specifically choose to have a deliberate deaf child. It makes me sick that any parent would be twisted enough to desire to have their child born with a disability. What next for these extremists, will they start mutilating the ears of newborns? ... I am all for supporting the rights of the disabled, and deafness is a disability since one lacks a ability (HEARING) that is common in the general population. (Heck, if most people had telepathy and I didn't, then I would be disabled.) These deaf rights extremists consider themselves to belong to a culture that needs cultural protection. What is next, should blindness also be treated as a culture, and should parents be allowed to deliberately choose embryos that would result in blind children?"
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