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"Install Other OS" Feature Removed From the PS3

badasscat Re:Sony's unique business model (739 comments)

I dunno, they had this neat technology called "rumble" that they introduced partway through the life cycle, and it seemed to catch on pretty well ;D

Yeah, and that tactic worked so well, they did it twice!

more than 4 years ago

"Install Other OS" Feature Removed From the PS3

badasscat Re:I'll take my full refund now sony... Shipping i (739 comments)

How can they sell something with a certain set of features and then just take it away? I know, it didn't really work all that well....

1 Because the feature was never advertised


more than 4 years ago

Jobs Says No Tethering iPad To iPhone

badasscat Re:Forged Headers? (423 comments)

If nobody knows Steve Job's email, then how can we confirm that the headers indicate it was sent by him?

We "know" nothing, however as others have said, Occam's razor basically applies here - all the other explanations are more convoluted and require more jumps in logic.

I don't see why it's hard to believe that Steve Jobs would reply to a question like this with a "No." For one thing, it sounds like him. For another thing, I doubt he'd see it as big news that there'd be no tethering. It's not like they're planning to have some big announcement at MacWorld or something that the iPad and iPhone won't tether. Oh no! Steve Jobs just spoiled his next "oh, one more thing!" No tethering!

Also, this story has actually been around for a couple of days now and nobody from Apple has denied it.

Lastly, I just want to say that email addresses are funny. Most celebrities and public figures have email addresses that would be the first thing you'd guess. I can't remember what the exact address in question here is but when I first saw the story elsewhere, I wasn't surprised that it was something like The reason people think "nobody knows" these addresses is simply that random emails from outsiders usually get ignored, and also because most people think the most obvious address would *never* actually be real. But even most celebrities, in my experience, don't really care *that* much about keeping their email address private, especially because they all have other, *actually* private email addresses that they use for important stuff, like chatting with friends or family. The professional email address just has a bunch of filters that separate all the random stuff out into junk folders.

I actually get to work with a lot of celebrities for my work, and the first few times somebody handed me their card with an address like "" on it (that's not real - though it may be! - but just an example), I was really surprised. But now I realize how common it is.

I have no idea why Jobs would respond to this one email, but maybe he was just searching through his junk mail box and it piqued his interest for some reason.

more than 4 years ago

Jobs Says No Tethering iPad To iPhone

badasscat Re:It's getting ridiculous (423 comments)

Are we supposed to keep paying up per device? It's highly unreasonable, specially since most people don't use two devices at the same time.

We're going through the same thing right now with wireless telcos that we did with ISP's about 10-15 years ago. Some people probably don't remember it, others may have actually been too young to really know about it, but there was a time when the cable and phone companies considered having a router on their service as a terms of use violation. They would cut you off if they discovered it. People would actually hide their routers whenever they'd have to make a service call (I remember doing this!). They charged for internet use per connection, so to them using a router was "theft" because you could use one router for many different computers.

Of course, today that sounds ridiculous, and ISP's even give away wireless routers. Verizon's standard DSL and FiOS modems are wireless routers.

So hopefully in 10 years (or less), we'll be at that same point with the wireless telcos, where they realize they'll actually get more business by simplifying and letting people do what they want with their connections. And they actually will sell their service per household or subscriber, and not per device connection.

more than 4 years ago

Jobs Says No Tethering iPad To iPhone

badasscat Re:This is why I'll never own anything apple. (423 comments)

Maybe because the devices his company produces do what most people want, and do those things really well.

I'm not going to argue with your main point but there are a couple of statements you make that I do disagree with.

Disclosure: I just got over a 36 hour iPhone binge, where I thought my old phone had broken and it turned out that the iPhone was the cheapest smartphone I could actually get given my upgrade status, so I tried one. I returned it the next day.

I also own an iPod, and I do love that.

Given my experience with the iPhone (and the iPod), I don't believe these devices do anything particularly well. What I think is that they don't do anything badly. That's a different thing. Apple is really good at not fucking things up for most people, and at not allowing most people to fuck things up for themselves. They are not very good at doing anything that's particularly amazing, or inspiring, or whatever you want to call it.

Just one example. Turn on the iPhone and what do you see? (I mean after you "slide to unlock", which you're forced to do every time you turn the screen on.) Yep, a sea of basically random tiny icons. This is the "revolutionary" interface some people talk about - random tiny icons. The home screen on the iPhone is almost totally useless. Without the tiny little message indicator above the email icon and the date on the calendar icon, there would be no reason to even look at it.

Most people buying iPhones have never used another smartphone, or at least not another good one, so they don't know what they're missing. I'm not sure they're going to be as forgiving of the same interface on the iPad.

It is an appliance for me, and I am happy that it just does the job I want it to do.

That's fine, and my wife loves her iPhone too and I'm happy that she's happy with it.

But what's wrong with giving people options? That was one of the reasons I returned my iPhone. I am completely fine with people getting a device and then just not even bothering to touch it except for making calls and sending emails using all the default stuff that it comes with. My wife got hers because it supports Japanese natively (which Windows Mobile doesn't and I don't think Android does either), and she can easily write emails in either language using the virtual keyboard. She never even bothered with the app store until literally six months after she got it. That's okay, her priority is just to have a phone with Japanese support that works out of the box and she loves it for that.

But what's wrong with giving the rest of us the option to do more? Why limit it? I mean seriously, why? It is borderline sadistic on the part of Jobs, to basically say "our phone is really powerful but WE WILL NOT LET YOU tap that power, and you therefore must deal with the experience created for the lowest common denominator even though this device is capable of doing anything you might want it to do."

I mean, you can't even disable "slide to unlock". You can't alter the home screen. You can't replace the weaksauce email app that doesn't even seem to have a "mark all as read" function that I could find. Why not? How does it hurt anybody to put in the option to do those basic things? What, they're afraid of support calls? So you make a function that's buried in some hidden menu that says "geek mode" and you put a little checkbox next to it. And you bury the instructions on how to find that menu on some members-only web site, and then it gets distributed through sites like Slashdot that only geeks read anyway. The geeks are happy, the normals are happy, what's the problem?

My first computer was an Apple II, and I loved it precisely because it was so open. This is a different Apple these days, and it's unlikely that I'll buy another multi-purpose device from them again. I do like my iPod, but it is intended to do one thing: play media. Just not screwing up a device's intended function is enough on a single-purpose device, especially because so many other manufacturers do. But I need more than that on a device that's intended to be "smart", which to me means it's not supposed to be limited to the functionality it has when it arrives in the box.

more than 4 years ago

Some Newegg Customers Received Fake Intel Core i7s

badasscat Re:Video Games (447 comments)

Promo boxes that were intentionally designed to be used as such would come from the same source as the real product, and would therefore have the correct spelling on the packaging.

No, because promo boxes are necessarily released before the product itself has launched, and therefore before the packaging is finalized. It's not expected that people are going to be picking up the promo boxes and reading the fine print, so it generally doesn't get inspected very closely if the overall design looks okay.

more than 4 years ago

Some Newegg Customers Received Fake Intel Core i7s

badasscat Re:Video Games (447 comments)

Of course we all know this is bullshit, as Intel would have no need to fake their own boxes for a demo model, nor would they use modeled plastic for a HSF, they would just put a bad binned chip in the box and be done with it.

Well, if the boxes did come from Intel, they're not "fakes", are they? Even if they have typos and don't have real holograms, they're still "real" boxes, just demo boxes. I wouldn't expect a demo box to have a real hologram on it, since those holograms are supposed to be the mark of a real product.

I don't know how Intel uses demos, but many manufacturers will create demos for store display or other reasons (for use at conferences or whatever) pre-release. The boxes usually aren't final because packaging is generally the last thing that gets done, after the product is actually created and ready to ship.

It seems believable enough to me that these were demos created for pre-launch display somewhere, and somehow they got mixed in with the real product. It could still have been malicious - somebody could have intentionally swapped a demo box for a real CPU and then kept the real one to sell or use - but I'm just saying that Newegg's explanation sounds plausible enough.

more than 4 years ago

Some Newegg Customers Received Fake Intel Core i7s

badasscat Re:Video Games (447 comments)

Because they sell new games for a higher price than the used games, but they remove all of the games from the cases.

All of the new games I have ever bought at Gamestop have come in factory wrap. (And I didn't say "shrinkwrap", because game manufacturers don't use shrinkwrap, they use fitted cellophane.)

I definitely would not buy a game for new price that wasn't wrapped. But I've never gotten one that way. You go up to the counter and ask for a game and they either take one out of the case behind the counter (where they keep a stack of all the more popular games) or they go and get one out of the back. I've never had them tell me to bring the case from the shelf up so they could put the disc in it and give it to me like a used game.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:Clever of someone (200 comments)

Or just get rid of the stupid two party winner-takes-all system. It makes it hard to have any true reform, because the choices are too limited.

Last I remember, there were approximately 20 serious candidates at the start of the last election cycle. I'm not sure how the choices are "limited".

Oh, you mean the guy you wanted didn't win? Tough luck. The same would be true if all 20 went to the end too. You've got a one in 20 chance. Most of the time you're going to be disappointed, no matter how many candidates are actually on the ballot come general election day.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:undefinitized contracts (200 comments)

I'm not going to defend the constellation program, but they could have thrown the baby out without also including the bathwater.

What I'm saying is cancel constellation if you must, but replace it with something that has a chance in hell of working and is NASA controlled. I'm sorry, but I haven't seen a private contractor yet that's anywhere even close to NASA's level of expertise in launching men into space. NASA's not perfect, but what they do have is 50 years of experience in space - no private company can match that.

To put it another way, the US government has just pulled funding from the most experienced agency in the field, and is giving it instead to a bunch of unproven upstarts. That is generally not a smart move, in any industry.

Cancel constellation, go back to the drawing board if you have to. But don't waste 50 years worth of knowledge and experience like this.

I truly believe this is the end of the United States' commitment to space exploration. And without us there, somebody else will beat us back to the moon, and Mars.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:Of Course (200 comments)

Makes no sense that a government hellbent on government-run health care would want to throw away government-run space exploration.

I agree. We should have both.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:What is this "entitlement mentality"? (200 comments)

Or am I not understanding this Medicare program, and is it mainly spent on cosmetic surgery or something?

You're understanding Medicare perfectly.

What you are not understanding is the selfishness and short-sightedness of many Americans. This is a country that elected Bush president, after all (once, at least).

Many Americans look at a program like Medicare, see that they personally don't need it, and therefore think it's a waste of money to fund it. Only when they do come to depend on it do they then hold onto it like grim death. And they often don't even see the contradiction there.

I actually saw a sign somebody had painted at a Tea Party rally a while back that said "Don't raid Medicare to pay for socialized medicine!" which I think just about sums it up.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:What is this "entitlement mentality"? (200 comments)

Any money they can *take* from the government is rightfully theirs? Methinks you have it backwards. The government doesn't have their own money, they have that of taxpayers. How can one take one's own money?

a) He didn't say "any money they can take from the government", he said any thing. You're reading things the way you want to read them. He was talking about products and services, not money.

b) When you pay your taxes, that is no longer your money. This is a fundamental concept that many people seem to misunderstand. It is no different than paying for any other service. If you pay a security company to guard your house, is that your money once you've paid it to them? Of course not - you gave them money to provide a service, they provide that service and then the money is theirs. Government works no differently. The funny thing is that it's always the capitalists, for whom this concept should be the simplest, that have the hardest time understanding it.

Now you're going to say "but I don't use any government services, so they're stealing my money!" to which the obvious reply is two-fold. Because first of all, you're using government services whether you think you are or not - what do you think pays for all that military hardware "protecting our freedom" in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Who do you think paid for your schooling? Who built the roads you drive on? Who provides the police that protect you?

Secondly, this is not money you're directly paying for any specific service for you personally. Think of it like union dues. It goes to the collective. If everybody could just pay whatever they wanted for individual programs, there'd be total chaos. We live in a representative democracy on purpose - it was not a mistake that our Constitution (which people like you like to hold up whenever it's convenient) was written in such a way that government is not controlled directly by the people, but by representatives who are tasked with providing for the general welfare of the union as a whole. This is specifically intended to filter the selfish whims of the people - and the founding fathers people like you hold up as beacons of light designed the government this way.

I feel like I'm conducting an eighth grade civics class here, but sometimes it seems like that's what's necessary. I guess if I've got a complaint about where my taxes are going, it's that nobody bothers teaching basic government concepts - or even common sense - in US schools anymore.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:false dichotomy (200 comments)

That's why the major push is to FORCE everyone to buy coverage, meaning healthy young people will poor money into the system paying for resources they don't want or need.

I hope you go to sleep one night "healthy" and wake up the next day with a collapsed lung like I did. We'll see what you think about health care coverage you "don't need" then.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:Your chart lies (200 comments)

What else would you expect from the New York Times? The chart is highly misleading.

The "mandatory spending" is only mandatory because of the !@&#(* spending bills that REQUIRE certain monies to be spent on certain things.

Uh, yes? In what way is this misleading?

I realize that during the Bush years, Republicans didn't think laws were much more than general guidelines. But we're back in the real world now, buddy.

Our (Democrat Party controlled) government has been spending like a drunken sailor with no regard whatsoever how to come up with the funds to meet our spending obligations. Democrats will typically point to the Bush administration and say "Look at what he spent!". Does one irresponsible act warrant another?

When eight years of deficit spending got us into this mess, it's going to take about that long to get us back out of it.

Were you not listening when some of us were saying it's going to take 20 years to undo the damage Bush was doing to this country during his two terms in office? He took a surplus and turned it into the largest deficits this country has ever seen. And he did it during economic prosperity. How do you expect Obama to take a recession he inherited and turn that deficit spending around in a year?

The damage Bush did is going to take a long, long time to recover from. This should not be news to anyone.

more than 4 years ago

The Difficulty of Dismantling Constellation

badasscat Re:false dichotomy (200 comments)

The US spends far more on programs like SS and Medicare than it does on the Pentagon. Indeed, looking at the big items first would help. In order to support the existing medicare committments, with no further socialization of medicine, tax rates would have to reach 80% in my lifetime.

Quit pulling numbers out of your ass. That number you just quoted has zero basis in reality. Ok, how about this: in order to keep funding the military at the rate its growing, taxes will need to reach 90% in my lifetime. Top that!

And do you see that big chunk of the budget labeled "health"? Yeah, that's what the health care bill is designed to reduce. Without a health care bill, that chunk will only get bigger and bigger. It's amazing to me that some people don't understand this.

more than 4 years ago

US Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition

badasscat Re:Just to put things into perspective... (630 comments)

Where's the story?

Especially as it relates to Slashdot. Not really seeing how a story about a government policy on alcohol prohibition 90 years ago is "news for nerds", nor how it affects "my rights online".

I'm all for stories like this being made public, but this is not the kind of thing I think most of us come here for.

more than 4 years ago

Defending Against Drones

badasscat Re:Arm your citizens... (368 comments)

A $500 RC plane isn't going to be carrying any kind of load that can do any real damage.

Sure, you can pack an RC plane with some C-4 and just fly it kamikaze style into something, but it still couldn't be much more C-4 than the amount needed to blow the lock off a door. Explosives have weight, and RC planes can't carry much extra weight. Given the imprecision of flying one of these things any distance whatsoever, I would think you'd have to carry a tremendous amount of explosives to be able to reliably take out any sort of target.

I would think these would make for an extremely ineffective weapon. A truck bomb would be much more effective.

As for military drones, while it's fun to play "what-if", the reality is there's no practical way for anybody else to attack the US mainland with one of these. For one thing, they are extremely slow. For another thing, they are not stealthy. They would even show up on commercial radar. Heck, bottle rockets show up on commercial radar sometimes. And the FAA doesn't look kindly on unauthorized flights in commercial airspace.

That's not even mentioning the range. We fly drones in Afghanistan from Afghanistan. Where is somebody going to launch a drone attack on the United States from?

And lastly, drones are not difficult to shoot down. Lots of things are immune to heat-seeking missiles - that's why radar guided missiles exist. We've actually had several drones shot down ourselves, even in countries with zero radar coverage, zero opposing air force and zero air defense. These were shot down by guys looking up into the sky and getting off a lucky shot.

Look at it this way. How successful would you imagine a Tu-95 bomber run would be over the US mainland? I personally would expect that every one of them would be shot down - they'd be detected early, fighters would be scrambled, SAM sites alerted. Now replace the Tu-95 with a slower, less well armed drone with a lot less range. Why would you think it would actually be easier for a drone to get through?

I think we've got more important things to worry about, not least of which preparing for more conventional attacks from our enemies, or more "traditional" terrorist attacks.

more than 4 years ago

PayPal Freezes the Assets of

badasscat Re:More info, please (403 comments)

I am amazed what they get away with, and no one seems to know.

Because actual banks never get away with anything like this, despite all the regulations?

more than 3 years ago

The Apple Tablet Interface Must Be Like This

badasscat Re:Nice, sure, but revolutionary? (278 comments)

Saying there is nothing new here is like saying that you take some rockets, some heat shielding, some wings and make the space shuttle. No biggie.

Well, that's an odd metaphor, considering that most generally consider the space shuttle to be a failure at the mission for which it was originally conceived. And two of the five orbiters have been lost to accidents. The overall program safety rate is much worse than the rockets that preceded it.

The point being, yes, it takes some imagination to put all these things together in a certain way. But just displaying imagination does not equal a revolution. In many ways, the iPhone interface - like the space shuttle - is a step backwards. It's not that people are arguing that the iPhone is exactly like other things. They're arguing that the iPhone doesn't really improve the UI experience from where we were before. Those are two different statements, and you're arguing with the former whereas most people are making the latter.

more than 4 years ago


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