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Deutsche Telecom Upgrades T-Mobile 2G Encryption In US

cant_get_a_good_nick How's this affect StingRay(tm)s (26 comments)

Obligatory Ars Link. From what I understand, fake towers work by forcing you to downgrade to 2G. Will this obviate that risk?

2 days ago
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Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

cant_get_a_good_nick Sponsored by Jobs and Gates (121 comments)

They've been copying the design for years, now you can copy the source code too!

Jokes aside, these were groundbreaking machines that determined the next 30 years or so of UI design. It had to be polished a bit to work on personal computers of the day (by Mssrs Gates and Jobs) and unfortunately somewhat cut down. The Alto screens were meant to replace paper, and only now has the price come down enough that we are getting screens with the resolution to rival paper.

2 days ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:good (326 comments)

Though this is somewhat a troll (the testosterone part particularly)... YOu do fail to miss a point.

At least in the states, we have the history of the Colonial Independence. We didn't have an army at the time, mostly a bunch of guys with guns that did eventually beat the British (with a bit of help from the French and some Polish help), or at least made subjugating us a bigger pain in the ass than letting us go.

Im sure there are other examples if you search for War for Independence. I need to get other stuff done so I can't research this properly.

This is not a theoretical model, it happened. You can argue that it's unlikely to be done again, but you can't say it's never been done.

2 days ago
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OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Planned obsolescence (303 comments)

I'll agree with that... But there is a cost to Apple, in time, money, and support. Maybe it's a bigger hack to them than the machines they planned on. Maybe it's unstable in .1% of configurations. Then that .1% gives their machines a bad name. If you do it as a hack, well, you did it on your own. Your instability is your issue. Or maybe it saps too much battery juice. Maybe the cost/number of machines out there ratio was just substantially worse than some of the newer machines.

I'm not sure what you do for a living, but lets pretend you decided to give away something for free. Say you sold caps and one day you gave away your red hats for free. Then someone bitched that they want a blue hat. They see that the selling prices are the same. Just gimme the damn CAP. But you know that the blue ones cost pretty close to your sales price. You only sell them the same price because you don't think you can get a premium price for them, but are willing to sell for zero profit normally to get people walking in. But, to give away these for free? you just can't justify it with the current cost/future sales argument.

So, the "customer" bitches that they want a free blue cap, and you know it's gonna cost you a lot more to do that. You're doing a huge group (those who are fine with red caps) a favor, but the guy with the blue one bitches you out on Yelp and your sales go down. They don't know what you know, the costs are radically different.

about a week ago
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Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Value (158 comments)

Cadillac Cimmaron?

about a week ago
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OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Planned obsolescence (303 comments)

I'm with you on the eye rolls. I'm not sure how a free upgrade with new features, to an already purchased product constitutes planned obsolescence. I realize language shifts, but planned obsolescence to me is when a product you purchased has a given shelf life where it loses the capability to do what you bought it for. This is a product that still does what you paid for it and actually increased utility, just some features that you didn't pay for anyway you can't use.

Did anyone buy the MacBook in 2011 and say "you know, when they stop charging for OS upgrades, and give out free updates and dozens of new features to the mac and iPhone, i won't be able to use this one new free feature they both get 3 years from now, curse you Apple!"

about a week ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Won't anyone think of the corporations? (407 comments)

I saw a quote on Ars:

I'll believe that corporations are people once we have one assassinated by a Predator drone.

a variation on the:

I'll believe that corporations are people once we see one poorly tried and executed in Texas.

about a week ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (135 comments)

A billion years ago, in System 7 days before Win 95 even came out, I worked in a Mac lab. Not once, but twice, when I told someone to point the mouse to the hard drive on screen, they picked the mouse up off the desk, and jabbed it towards to the screen. They had no mental model of GUIs, it was "well, this is how you point". I didn't laugh at them, either in front of them or after they left. They just used the normal idea of pointing. Nothing hilarious about it, but it does mean they have a very very shallow view of what computing is. Steve Jobs wrote software for those people.

yes, *you* could do the find . -type f > playlist.m3u. But could the person above do that? what the hell is a shell. What does find mean? what's an m3u file? Maybe that was my error above... i didn't say nobody could do it, just the vast vast majority woudn't do it nor want to. I submit that find > somefile.xml would be a lot harder, you probably need to write a real script for this, further making it harder to deal with your device. Again, not saying nobody could do it, just >99% of people wouldn't have the skill nor want to learn.

That playlist XML script? Yeah, I personally did that. For about two weeks. I had my WinXP machine use Cygwin and a series of perl scripts specifically written to write back and forth to the iPod musicDB and some XML. Then manipulate the XML (not hard, but it took a while to get the quoting right). At first it was "hey, I can control the songs better this way..." Then i realized there wasn't a lot I wanted to do with scripts I couldn't do with iTunes. Yeah, In theory there were more things available, just that iTunes did the things I cared about. Eventually I just dropped it all and just used iTunes. Nothing Apple did to get in my way. I already had the Cygwin setup, I didn't have any startup costs any more. It just wasn't fun and wasn't a good use of my time.

about two weeks ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (135 comments)

True, but even then, you're (probably) better off not going after the filesystem directly, but dealing with the XML file that iTunes can generate for you. It has a lot of metadata about rating and playcounts and such that won't be accessible from the filesystem view. But if you can use your system to manage 30K objects, it obviously works and I'd never try to convince you against it.

My issue was mostly with the "everyone would want to deal with filesystem view and why does iTunes exist at all" crowd.

about two weeks ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Actually, they do. (135 comments)

A bit meta, but at least it wasn't only me downmodded...

I think slashdot users get a little too technical, and feel others should be exactly the same way as them. But people have different mental models, and different preferences. I do technical things all day. I don't want to have to root my MP3 player to just play a damn file.

I do have one very minor quibble - I don't think they'd necessarily be a Luddite. If anything, their manual manipulation requires a much higher order of mental mapping. To me, it's just why bother. You bought a product that can deal with the tediousness of mapping metadata from two sources (device and user) but for some reason you decide you can do it "better". Meh.

about two weeks ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:The factors, condensed (447 comments)

It all depends :)

My folks got married when I was 7 or 8 or so. Yes, I'm a literal bastard, at least technically. But they were "married" long before any ceremony. They fought hard, but there was no question of them separating. My grandma used to tell me a quote from my mom "If I had to live under a tree with him, I would." They nearly did with very little money throughout the relationship. They took it seriously, even with, on the outside, just a City Hall ceremony and never a honeymoon. Contrast that with Kim Kardashian's wedding to Humphries, the wedding in the millions, visible, lots of people at their wedding, very public lives, with them divorcing nearly before the wedding was aired. She didn't take the marriage seriously. The wedding, yeah, great party. But not the marriage.

And even if you do take the wedding seriously, and the marriage, now you're adding 20,000 or so in debt (if you're lucky it's that low) to a relationship. Are you in a space where your relationship can take that hit?

I agree with you on seriousness, but I differ on how much a wedding is an external indicator.

Also, the prenuptual agreement blunted a lot of the monetary deterrent to divorce. I think #3 is less strong than you think. Maybe 30 years ago, but now everyone gets divorced and with the stigma gone, and the monetary pain gone it's less of a problem. Witness Kim K and Humphries above.

One thing missing in the list is communication. My wife and I were raised radically differently. She's somewhat traditional Chinese, me American with lots of foreign influences. Stronger than that, was what we learned on how to fight from our parents. We both had horrible models to follow, but they were 180 degree different models, and in the beginning we blew up hard. We talked it through, and now we're one of the more solid couples I know. But that's hard to quantify. Maybe "how much time do you spend talking to each other a day" or something like that.

about two weeks ago
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Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Adoption by large organizations limits extincti (547 comments)

I agree to this.

We have millions of dollars riding on perl scripts. Yeah, we want to move to python, but while we're on perl we're on perl. There's a lot you can do with maintenance and upgrading to better perl with better constructs.

A language is not like a cellphone. We don't toss perl because the new iPhone is out next week. Perl doesn't fade. There's not a battery that will slowly begin not charging as deeply as time goes on. Perl remains perl. The problem domain doesn't radically shift month by month where we need a new language every month. What we have works.

about two weeks ago
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Belkin Router Owners Suffering Massive Outages

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Bad Belkin (191 comments)

I've had routers hang and stay hung overnight. DD-WRT has a configurable heartbeat ping. I have that turned on.

The issue is not so much the pinging, but the fact that it had a heartbeat that was not nuclear-bomb-proof and not re-configurable.

about two weeks ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:Should lions stop eating us (481 comments)

I'll just leave this here

On a side note, I have seen many supermarkets convert their signs to "___ Items Or Fewer" since the song came out. The expensive printed signs still say "Or Less", while some places with Laser Printed signs have "Or Fewer". Or maybe I just notice it more. Baader-Meinhoff perhaps?

about three weeks ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (135 comments)

yes. i realize there are these things known as files.... :)

But, do you think about the huge mental model difference between a filesystem (and not mentioning specific limitations per filesystem, say what I can do in FAT) vs what I want a playlist to look like. You may revel in "hey I can map these two different models in my head interchangably" I've done that too, hey I"m a programmer (who's actually written one of these so called "files") but most people don't like to play that way. They just want to listen to music.

How does this playlist work? Do you hand generate it? Is there one copy of the music file in a sinular location on disk? that makes sense to me... but then now I have a JOIN. I have the same file in multiple lists,, I need to JOIN with a fileID. How are primary keys generated suquentially? At this point I need a program to manage the stuff on disk. Now, I have this model difference between filesystem (I have to balance my nodes, not everything goes into 90s, 80s, i need a well balanced hash, maybe dirs AA1, AA2, ZZ9, etc). So, now I have to use the app, cause my disk is a mess to satisfy constraints of the device. At this point, do I care to look at the disk? It's a balanced hash of files, and the real info is in the playlist. The playlist has metadata and JOINs, can i do all this in my head? Nahhh, just use the app. At this point, you have an iPod without a visible filesystem, and iTunes.

about three weeks ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (135 comments)

Old iPods let you do this. I had one that did, I don't miss it at all.

For those who think "oh I wish i had a device i can just browse as a hard drive"... well, how do you make playlist with a filesystem? I have 2 thousand files on my iPod, and I'm not even trying hard. Because some are based on last time i played them, dozens of files come and go based on metadata changes every time I sync. You want me to manage that myself? How can I have a file in two playlists, do I have to have two copies on disk? There's no real good way on filesystem only. You have to have some managing software. And at that point, you need to sync between Filesystem image and Managing software image. At that point, I'm willing to drop the Filesystem access for a decent player. I had the second gen iPod.

about three weeks ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

cant_get_a_good_nick The secret with the iPod was not DRM... (135 comments)

You can buy mp3s from Apple now. Did all these other MP3 players suddenly jump up and be popular? Nahhh...

There are two secrets with the iPod popularity, and neither is DRM. One is that it was, relatively to other players, easy to use. Click a button, you have a song. Drop a disc to your computer, you have an album. Yeah, I could have used CDex, and chosen between Gracenote, and opencddb.org and all that, but iTunes was a decent ripper and there you go.

The other thing, and the thing that would keep me from moving much, is all the metadata about songs. Most of my playlists are metadata based, mostly to do with star ratings, Id have to find a way to translate all that to a massive download to another device type. It's too much of a hassle, to change off a device that to be honest works pretty well for me anyway.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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How Do I Secure Windows XP for my Mom?

cant_get_a_good_nick cant_get_a_good_nick writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) writes "As the family tech geek, everyone asks me how to get rid of viruses. As I explain malware and the difference between the infection vectors of worms, trojans, and viruses, their eyes (understandably) glaze over. And I can't even tell them what's the best freeware anti-virus + anti-spyware + anti-malware-of-the-day for Windows (I'm a Linux geek myself). I moved my sister from a public IP to a private IP, and saw her eyes wander the room when I tried to explain why it's better for her.

Faced with the choices of getting a family that just understands tech (not gonna happen) getting them to move off Windows (not gonna happen) or letting them get infected (I don't want to happen), what are the best resources for getting a Windows machine relatively safe, and keeping it so? The more i look at this, the more I need to explain malware, DHCP, firewalls, rootkit, Windows update (but avoid WGA), the more I hear them ask for a magic bullet to make it all go away. How can I make Windows security as simple as possible?"

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