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The Cost of the "S" In HTTPS

Adam Simons Whatever Prevents a Verizon-in-the-Middle (238 comments)

I'm all for HTTPS everywhere for all of the aforementioned reasons already posted, but especially to screw over Verizon and their HTTP tracking injection. For those unaware, Verizon Wireless is injecting headers into your traffic at the network level to track you for advertising purposes. You have the option to opt-out (you're opted-in by default), but that just supposedly prevents them from selling the information; the tracking header is still injected into your data stream and is visible to all sites you visit and on the server-side of any app you use that uses unencrypted HTTP requests. If the site you visit uses HTTPS (or use you a VPN), Verizon can't MITM you. Screw Verizon Wireless.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

Adam Simons Re:Chinese production values (178 comments)

I wish I had mod points left so I could mod all of these up.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors?

Adam Simons A Good Neighbor (170 comments)

If you have a neighbor willing to let you share internet, that would be the best. You may work something out that you split the bill or something. My grandma wanted internet but couldn't afford the DSL connection. My aunt lived close by and said that grandma could share her internet if we could get it to her. I was going to run a straight CAT5 cable from my aunt's router to an AP at my grandma's, but it was about 400 feet of open field and I didn't feel like trenching a cable that far. I thought about doing a point to point wireless, but the only equipment I had on hand was more suited to 5-6 km and would have been overkill here. My grandpa had three out buildings along the way between the houses, with the furthest only 50-100 ft from my aunt's house; they were all wired with electricity. What I ended up using was an old wireless bridge I had laying around that was originally sold as an Xbox accessory to hook it to a wireless network. I hooked it up in my grandpa's furthest shed where it would pick up my aunt's wifi (about 50 ft from their house), hooked it to an ethernet to powerline adapter to send the ethernet signals over the existing electrical lines to the companion device in the house. From there, I connected an old wireless router in access point mode so she could hook up her laptop and iPad. The only thing I had to buy was the powerline adapters, about $100, but they haven't had any problems in their 3 years in operation.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

Adam Simons Re:I did the same thing (107 comments)

I use GrooveIP on my Android phone, and call quality is pretty decent and no issues with DTMF. Even works fairly well on a high-latency satellite connection when I figured it would fail completely, although with a bit of a delay. As for the other DTMF issues, try setting the option for it to "inband" or something like that. That has worked for me in the past.

about 2 months ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Adam Simons Re:Is there no commandline? (345 comments)

All of that is true, but there should be a guaranteed minimum amount of data, regardless of the service type (DSL, cable, satellite, 3G/4G). I have a total of 12 GB a month data with my 10GB satellite plan and 2GB 4G plan on my phone. Granted, the satellite is free and unlimited during 12am to 5am, but that still prevents me from taking full advantage of many of the "cloud" services that are available. I would be willing to accept metered internet (because it's probably inevitable anyway) as long as the rates are reasonable such as your mentioned $0.15/GB, but I would expect to have a base amount of data (say 100 GB) allotted with the line charge before it charges me by the GB. I think most utility water is billed this way, so it wouldn't be a stretch to apply it to data (since apparently all politicians think the internet is a series of tubes anyway).

about 2 months ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Adam Simons Re:Is there no commandline? (345 comments)

Metered/capped internet. Let us not forget about the scourge of metered internet. We can have ubiquitous cloud services and storage OR metered internet, NOT both.

about 2 months ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Adam Simons Re:Is there no commandline? (345 comments)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Ext 2/3/4 supported in the Linux kernel, not userspace? That would mean they don't have to really do anything to make it work other than mount/unmount since they use the vanilla Linux kernel as a base before their modifications to make it a ChromeOS kernel, and Ext support is pretty solid, and has been for years. NTFS in Linux and its derivatives is typically mounted in userspace using FUSE and ntfs-3g, which would be something they'd have to support and would make sense for them to remove.

about 2 months ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Adam Simons Re:Is there no commandline? (345 comments)

Part if it might be hardware support. My no-name tablet runs Jelly Bean and OTG works with it. I've used CC swiper, KB, mouse, and USB storage (visible even via Storage UI) without issue on a powered hub. My KitKat phone has OTG support and worked (before rooting) with KB and mouse, but Storage UI did not show flash drives as present nor did they show up in the mount locations in Astro. After rooting, StorageUI still doesn't show the flash drives, but they can be mounted with the OTG Helper program and are visible to file managers like Astro which will allow me to copy to/from and play media from the drive. Seems too arbitrary of a feature to remove without a reason, and pushing users to Google Drive seems to be that reason. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me that Google is doing similar with ChromeOS considering it is advertised as a cloud device anyway.

about 2 months ago
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Ex-NSA Director Keith Alexander's Investments In Tech Firms: "No Conflict"

Adam Simons If the NSA tells you not to worry... (59 comments)

If the NSA tells you not to worry, that's probably when you should worry.

about 2 months ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Adam Simons Re:Is there no commandline? (345 comments)

I think the article hits it head-on about pushing users toward cloud storage, specifically Google Drive. I just got a Droid Maxx with KitKat and was shocked to find they had removed the ability to mount USB drives via USB OTG. Had to root my phone and install USB OTG Helper to have that basic functionality again. Obviously, the support is still there in the kernel; just the userspace access was removed, and USB OTG Helper was able to mount my flash drives successfully, even NTFS. Did I mention the Droid Maxx (made by Motorola after Google's acquisition) lacks an SD card? The 32 GB model was discontinued, so this is the 16 GB version and a Verizon exclusive, so you KNOW it's full of unremovable bloatware further depleting its limited, unexpandable storage. They tried to justify this by including 50 GB of Google Drive space for 2 years, but cloud storage should not be a replacement for local storage, only a supplement. Also, what if I did jump in feet-first and use all that extra space? What happens to my data 2 years from now? It's essentially being held hostage by the free "trial". Thankfully I only use cloud storage as off-site backup for important documents; I also store them in encrypted containers to prevent them from being data mined. Also, cloud storage is a pain when you have metered internet. I love me some Google products, but their "don't be evil" philosophy has gone out the window long ago.

about 2 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

Yup. The will to fight the good fight has been beaten out of me.

about 5 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

Um, welcome to Slashdot? I hardly ever comment here because the comments are usually so far off-topic that there's no chance of the train ever getting back on track. At least talking about hard drives has some relevance to the article, even though there hasn't been an actual, rotating-platter hard drive in most portable electronics since the early iPods. I'm not bashing /. per se, but look at the comments on a random article and you'll see what I mean. Any time I go to a comments section and the first posts are "FIRST!!!!1" or some crap like that, I really don't expect to find intelligent conversation. However, this article seems to have attracted a few people who actually know how to use the internet, and so I applaud the bulk of you.

about 5 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

Nah, the data is still stored as 0's and 1's, otherwise your computer wouldn't know what to do with it; the data is just represented internally as cuneiform symbols. Nit picky, I know.

about 5 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

I just always have to stress the backup part. Many of my customers will buy the cheapest, crappiest laptop WalMart has to offer, throw their entire photo albums and history on there, no back ANYTHING up, EVER, throw the laptop around like a throw pillow (often while it's on), and then come in crying that their computer won't boot and they lost their entire family photo albums. If I didn't see this weekly, I might have more pity on the poor suckers. That $229 laptop isn't such a great deal when you have to have the hard drive and operating system reinstalled a year later. One thing I have learned from these people is to never rely on a Seagate or Toshiba hard drive. Even factoring in customer abuse, I've seen FAR more of these two brands fail than any other.

about 5 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

"...hard drive last more than a couple of years..." What, are you buying Seagates, running them in an oven, all while shaking them constantly and beating the crap out of them? I've got hard drives that are pushing their second decade with little to no signs of wear (two are Western Digital and one is a Hitachi). At work, though, I've seen hard drives fail within a year, but they're usually in the el cheapo Wal-mart HP Pavilions that people refuse to stop buying even though they are UTTER AND COMPLETE CRAP. You get what you pay for, people. If you want a drive to last, put a little more money in a Western Digital Caviar Black or get yourself a server-class drive. Even if it fails, the WD Black has a 5-year warranty with little to no questions asked. And really, you should be backing up your data anyway.

about 5 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Adam Simons TRIM does wonders (281 comments)

My old FroYo phone was glacier slow until I downloaded a fsTrim utility. It requires root, but it made my old dinosaur run MUCH faster. It even noticeably sped up my current 4.1.1 phone which doesn't yet have TRIM support built in. I think it was called LagFix Free in the Play Store, but I could be mistaken. If you have a rooted Android phone that DOESN'T already support TRIM, give it a go; it did wonders for both of my phones.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

Adam Simons Re:Old software... (176 comments)

Fleabay. HA! I'm going to have to use that from now on.

about 6 months ago
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An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?

Adam Simons Oh Hell No! (479 comments)

First of all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o19CaOSuD8

I hope there is no way people will put up with this. Anyone using EBTC should drop them, and drop them now. If they get away with it there, how long before it becomes a precedent that other ISPs use to do the same?

AT&T/Verizon/Comcast/Cox/Suddenlink, et all CEO: (obligatorily rubbing nipples while saying this) "Hey, people in Iowa don't seem to mind. Let's roll it out nationwide."

about a year ago
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My view of touchscreen laptops:

Adam Simons Re:Thought... (359 comments)

Amen! The trackpoint is my input of choice after keyboard shortcuts. And I wholeheartedly agree that IBM/Lenovo is the only brand that ever did the trackpoint right (Dell tried on some Latitudes as well as HP with some of their Compaq/ProBook lines, but they were all miserable). I have four semi-current ThinkPads that will have to be pried from my cold, dead hands before I EVER consider getting anything else. On another note...trackball, anyone? Am I the only one who actually liked using a trackball on laptops when they were fashionable back in the day? I think touch screens are OK for certain applications (i.e. smartphones, info kiosks, etc) but NOT for general purpose computing. However, I fear that consumers won't really have a choice in the matter since the big manufacturers will continue to make everything touch when it really provides no or little benefit. I for one like tactile feedback, hate smudges on my screen, and hate to take my hands off the home-row keys while I am working (hence my propensity for the trackpoint).

about a year ago
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A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

Adam Simons Re:Logged in - Can't Read Site (261 comments)

Hate replying to my own post, but after reading further comments, this appears to be an April Fool's Day prank. [sarcasm]Great job, guys[/sarcasm]. Next time, try to make a funny AFD joke. This was simply annoying, disconcerting, and almost made me rage-quit Slashdot. I'm all for a good April fool's joke, but this was awful. Do better next year, guys!

about a year and a half ago

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