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Crowdsourcing Confirms: Websites Inaccessible on Comcast

caution live frogs Re:Ask Comcast? That's rich (349 comments)

Connectivity issues and network lag for streaming, plus, modem wasn't getting any response from upstream servers, and was logging errors because of it. Tech wanted to send someone to the house to "do an update". I had to tell her that DOCSIS modem updates cannot be applied by end users and must be pushed down the network, from their end, so I wasn't going to take a day off work and pay a tech for a home visit when it wouldn't help the issue. Plus, it's my damn modem, not theirs. Tech was (a) shocked that I owned the modem - she didn't think we could do that - and (b) was unfamiliar with Roku, Netflix, and at least three other very common streaming devices/services. Plus she's telling me that network congestion was the problem with my streaming, as I was looking at the bandwidth test telling me the connection was wide open. This was just before Netflix blinked and paid Comcast for better speed. The company was flat denying any traffic shaping was occurring. Gee weird it works better all of a sudden.

about a month ago

Crowdsourcing Confirms: Websites Inaccessible on Comcast

caution live frogs Ask Comcast? That's rich (349 comments)

Last time I had to talk to anyone in the company I had to explain to the tech how DOCSIS modems worked. You will never get an individual from that company on the phone who knows enough to give you a real answer. Turnover is too high in call centers, and people who know the answer are not on support phone detail.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Level Network Devices For Home Use?

caution live frogs Re: Long live openwrt (241 comments)

My WRT54G is a Rev. 1 model. Tomato, running strong. I use it as a secondary these days, with an Asus RT-N16 as primary (for gigabit throughput on the LAN). Also have a Rev. 4 set up, currently using it as an emergency backup should either of the others crap out on me.

The Rev 1 was picked up for $1 at a yard sale, the Rev 4 was a freebie from a friend. Never underestimate the possibilities older hardware can offer if you know how to dump the stock firmware.

about 9 months ago

Plug Touts Expandable Storage Via USB Drives Plugged In At Home

caution live frogs Re: What? (87 comments)

Yeah, it would be great if there was an entire website, with a video, explaining why you would want this and what it does, perhaps even linked in the article posted above?

about 9 months ago

Has Lego Sold Out?

caution live frogs Re:jigsaw puzzles (425 comments)

They do make these sets. They come in big tubs. I just bought one for my son for Christmas, about $30 on Amazon for a big tub of generic parts. I'm having a hard time understanding why you can't find them yourself.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?

caution live frogs Well... (547 comments)

The only possible way to survive is to develop a niche. Streaming services are usually pretty good for recent movies, but a lot of back catalogue stuff is hard to find. Specialize in the stuff that's out of print, rare, etc. But really, I'm hard-pressed to see how that business model would be sustainable as a primary income source in most communities. There simply isn't enough demand for the content, especially given the huge amount of material available through Netflix's mail catalogue.

about a year and a half ago

Has the Mars Rover Sniffed Methane?

caution live frogs Methane means life, but... (119 comments)

...doesn't that presuppose that carbon-based life is all that matters? We assume so since we're carbon based. But life needn't be, really.

about a year and a half ago

Lexmark To Exit Inkjet Printer Market

caution live frogs Re:Not so bad (228 comments)

Yep. My 4M+ is still going strong, 90k+ page count. And I have a 5M at home, even with the extra paper tray add-on (so it holds a ream and a half) was a steal from university surplus at $50 - have been using it for like 6 years now...

about a year and a half ago

Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

caution live frogs Re:History (738 comments)

FYI: I find that putting my 4 in Airline mode for a few seconds then back into normal mode will force a reconnect with towers, on those rare instances when it is stuck on Edge network when I know darn well I am in range of a 3G tower. No reboot necessary.

about a year and a half ago

Controlling Monkey Brains and Behavior With Light

caution live frogs Re:Only if you've had your brain injected... (77 comments)

Biggest issue with the technique right now is selective targeting. To do it you need to know the promoter sequence for a gene of interest, and it has to be small enough to be packaged into the viral vector along with the channelrhodopsin (to activate neurons) or halorhodopsin (to inactivate neurons, responds to yellow rather than blue wavelengths). For many genes the promoters are either not well characterized or too big, which is why so much of the current work in optogenetics is being done in mice - we have the genome mapped out and can easily generate transgenics to avoid the use of viral approaches. I really wish we could do this in rats as easily as in mice. My entire lab is having to switch over from rats to mice for some planned studies and grants, because the tools just aren't as mature in rats. And it's expensive as hell to get up and running... And mice are cheaper than rats. (Lasers are expensive too... Our lab is going with the LEDs, but the original work was all lasers.)

About a year ago I did the trip to Stanford to see how this is done... I mean, seriously people. Have you ever actually SEEN a mouse with laser beams shooting into its head? It's what we always expected science would look like when we were kids.

about a year and a half ago

Controlling Monkey Brains and Behavior With Light

caution live frogs Re:Humans... (77 comments)

Recent data shows that "monkey" is only a monophyletic group if you also include apes. So no, humans are monkeys after all, in the exact same a that birds are dinosaurs.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Office 2013 Not Compatible With Windows XP, Vista

caution live frogs Re:OfficeMetro and WinMetro can DIAF (711 comments)

I work in a US government facility. Today I got a message telling us we need to take some training for the upcoming transition to Windows 7 and Office 2010. We've been stuck on WinXP / IE7 forever precisely because they were scared of Vista, and that delayed the move to 7. I've already been told that they have zero interest in implementing Windows 8. By the time our IT people upgrade again, MS will be releasing Office 16.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Office 2013 Not Compatible With Windows XP, Vista

caution live frogs Re:Lol (711 comments)

Yet LaTeX persists because people in academia find that it fits their needs better.

People in certain fields of academia. I've worked with people in a lot of academic research fields - statistics, Alzheimer's research, behavioral neuroscience, energy expenditure, circadian biology, food science, etc. I've been employed at three major research universities and a government research facility. I haven't ever worked with anyone who used LaTeX. 99% use Word; the single exception I can think of prefers Pages. My colleagues include people who spend half their time in SPSS or R, and I do a reasonable amount of scripting to automate data file processing, but nobody I know has bothered with LaTeX. Comp sci and engineering folks might use LaTeX. But even leaving out social sciences, "academia" encompasses a whole lot more than comp sci and engineering. If you want to collaborate with anyone outside of the limited circle who use LaTeX, you're going to be using Word, or dealing with those who do.

about 2 years ago

Putting the Raspberry Pi Into Orbit

caution live frogs Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (82 comments)

Also, as an aside, there are plenty of "better" development boards available than the Raspberry Pi. Take, for example, the ODROID-X (http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G133999328931), which comes with a 1.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, a quad-core ARM Mali-400 GPU, 1 GB of LP-DDR2 RAM, and much more, all for $129 USD.

Yeah, but I only spent $35. Tell me how to convince my wife it's worth spending another hundred bucks for a tiny computer I can play around with... Not going to happen. But for $35, she doesn't care. My order is actually shipping right now. The point was to create something nearly anyone could afford and toy with. They did it, hence the interest.

about 2 years ago

Facebook "Like" System Devalued By Fake Users

caution live frogs Re:In essence people Egypt like stuff they know (99 comments)

Fake FB accounts are set up and send friend requests to random users. Some FB users will accept any friend request they get. I know a few who do this. If a friend likes something, it shows up in your news feed (which is dumb, why do I care that you like a company?). If you click the link and then like it yourself, the company just gained access to your feed too. And your demographic info. Mission accomplished.

I see this all the time - so-and-so likes Target or Walmart or whatever. It makes me feel kinda bad for those people, because they don't realize how much personal info they give up when they click that little button. It's the same reason I never use FB to log in anywhere - if a site requires FB login only, I don't use it.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft's Surface Caught Windows OEMs By Surprise

caution live frogs Re:Shark Bait (565 comments)

Maybe that has something to do with the manufacturer's need to keep the hardware compatible with the software Microsoft had available. If some killer feature is a great idea but isn't supported by the operating system, what exactly is Dell or HP or Lenovo supposed to do? They built the devices the OS could handle, not the devices that would dethrone the iPad.

If this discussion were about poor response to, say, Google creating a hot new built-in-house Android tablet, you'd have a point. But unlike an open-source OS like Andrid, OEMs have never had the ability to change Windows itself, just the option of adding in bundled drivers and software. And as mentioned upthread, there was no incentive for Microsoft to work with one specific OEM to produce a feature that other OEMs wouldn't have.

If you want to blame the OEMs for anything, blame them for trying as hard as possible to make their devices look just like Apple's, while simultaneously (and largely unsuccessfully) trying to claim they were different and much better than Apple's devices. Almost every "ultrabook" mimics MacBook Air. There are lots of laptops that look like MacBooks. Nearly every slate/tablet (including Surface!) looks like an iPad clone, and many, many, many phones are as close to the iPhone design as they can get without getting sued. If they want a killer device they need it to look like it isn't copying Apple, because no one wants a knock-off.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet

caution live frogs Re:Interesting but... (712 comments)

it looks more like a Macbook Air than an iPad, despite it's being a tablet

That's part of the problem. When you design your hot new item to look almost exactly like the competitor, you set yourself up for failure by inviting direct comparisons to your competition.

My first thought was "It looks almost exactly like an iPad, except there's a keyboard in the cover." When you are trying to compete with a device that is three generations ahead of you and already has proven popularity, this is a bad, bad start.

about 2 years ago

Intel To Launch TV Service With Facial Recognition By End of the Year

caution live frogs Re:wait (175 comments)

True. Yet another reason not to tolerate a set-top box. The only reason they really exist is to allow pay-per-view; there's probably no technical reason a descrambler couldn't be installed at the incoming source rather than on a per-set basis, except that the set-top setup makes you use their (usually awful) remote, allows pay-per-view, forces you to accept their ad-laden on-screen channel guide, runs about the shoddiest DVR interface you can think of, and conveniently costs you an extra $10 per month per device.

We really need a universal descrambler that can be incorporated into viewing devices themselves. Perhaps with a slot to allow providers to hand you a thingy that ties your device to their service to discourage hacking. Oh wait, we tried that, and even though CableCard works fine in my TiVo for some reason the cable companies defined it as a "failure" and continue to push their shitty set-top boxes.

about 2 years ago

12 Ways LibreOffice Writer Tops MS Word

caution live frogs Re:LaTeX (642 comments)

The kerning looks like crap? So you mean the journal editors take the text that is sent to them, and just paste it into the final page layout?

No academic journal in which I have ever published has ever printed ANYTHING (aside from graphs/figures) in the font or format in which it was submitted. If the kerning looks like crap, then the editor in charge of assembling the page layout is at fault. If the figure looks bad, blame the author (or the reviewers for not asking them to revise it, which I do every time I get a crappy figure sent to me for review).

about 2 years ago

IBM Creates 'Breathing' High-Density Lithium-Air Battery

caution live frogs Re:Gasoline-like energy density (582 comments)

Not tenable. Do you really want to trade the brand new battery in your brand new car for a used one with an unknown number of duty cycles? If so, I'd be happy to trade the fully charged battery in my MacBook for your brand new but empty one. Sure mine says "replace battery now" in the health indicator but it is fully charged and compatible with other laptops with the same battery form factor.

about 2 years ago


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