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Skype Reverses Decision To Drop OS X 10.5 Support, Retires Windows Phone 7 App

lurker412 Good news for Leopard users (99 comments)

I don't think any software vendor should be required to support software forever, but there is a difference between withdrawing support and disabling a product without ample prior warning. They blew the rollout, but it looks like they're going to make amends, at least for the Leopard crowd. Hopefully, they'll learn a thing or two about the value of good corporate communication as well.

about 3 months ago
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Adobe Creative Cloud Is Back

lurker412 Re:Creative Suite Six will be Adobe's XP (74 comments)

For me personally, you're quite right, though I'm on CS5 and will stay there for the foreseeable future. I'm an amateur photographer and have no need to keep up with the latest and greatest effects for graphic artists. There are a lot of Adobe customers like me, and many of us preferred the old model, where we could pay to upgrade when the new features seemed worth it. The new model makes sense for companies and design pros who (think they) always need the latest. They probably will save money. I'm not interested in the lock-in the new model imposes.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the "cloudiness" of CC. The recent outage didn't take all the subscribers down, at least as long as they are using local storage for their work. The software runs locally. It would actually be a step forward if, say, they came up with some killer algorithms that require super-computer power to run and gave subscribers access to those cycles in the cloud. But currently, the cloud is mainly used for license validation (periodically) and software updates.

Adobe is leaving money on the table by not accommodating the customers who used to go for every other or every third update. I expect that within a couple of years they will realize this and come up with some sort of hybrid subscription/perpetual license scheme.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

lurker412 New York Review of Books (361 comments)

While it's not a news site, among other things it provides thoughtful analysis of current affairs and cultural trends. Some of it is available for free, but subscribing gives you access to all content, current and past. It's not light reading, but Vishnu knows we have more than enough of that the Web.

about 9 months ago
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Can the iPhone Popularize Fingerprint Readers?

lurker412 Re:Not so fast... (356 comments)

"And yes, until it broke, I loved the fingerprint sensor on my laptop."

My old Thinkpad T61 had a fingerprint reader, which worked maybe half the time. So (naturally) I stopped even trying to use it after a week. Apple's implementation may be better, but if it's no better than Siri, well, nothing to see here...

about a year ago
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Time For X-No-Wiretap HTTP Header?

lurker412 And the rest of the world? (202 comments)

Few American commentators seem to be questioning the unstated assumption that spying on non-Americans is perfectly OK, even if there is no reasonable cause for suspicion. By that logic, it's perfectly OK for other countries to spy on all Americans.

Aren't we all entitled to a little privacy?

about a year ago
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World Press Photo Winner Accused of Photoshopping

lurker412 Re:zero evidence (182 comments)

There are many ways to lie with a camera, and most of them don't rely on Photoshop--framing, cropping, timing, staging or simple selection from a number of shots. Rules tend to be arbitrary--composites may be utter fictions, but they can also be stitched panoramas that provide a wider view and greater detail than the lens/camera combination could provide in a single frame. Film shots were dodged and burned in the darkroom long before digital photography was created. Digital has merely made manipulation easier than it used to be. The only meaningful question is, did the photographer stay within the bounds set by the rules of the competition? Producing the raw file should provide a conclusive answer.

about a year and a half ago
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Did the Spamhaus DDoS Really Slow Down Global Internet Access?

lurker412 Purely anecdotal... (70 comments)

The problem was supposedly more severe in Europe but, FWIW, my response times in Madrid, Spain were completely normal. I realize that proves nothing, but it does make me skeptical of the Internet Brought to It's Knees claims.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Identity Theft Attempt In Progress; How To Respond?

lurker412 Re:Taken? (239 comments)

Funniest post I've seen here in years. Bravo!

about a year and a half ago
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I sit in front of a screen for ___ of my waking time.

lurker412 Average, it appears (196 comments)

I looked at the choices and 60-80% seemed about right. How depressing, I thought. I voted and saw that I was in the largest group so far. I don't know whether I should feel relieved or more depressed.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: 2nd Spoken/Written Language For Software Developer?

lurker412 Sorry to rain on your parade but... (514 comments)

If you are not planning on moving/working abroad, you're not going to learn any second language well enough to be very useful. People with technology skills are rather mobile and the largest tech firms have foreign subsidiaries. So the big employers have no shortage of native speakers of the most commonly spoken languages. In the meantime, machine translation is getting better all the time and while it may never do poetry or literature very well, it will certainly be good enough for most business purposes in the not very distant future. I wouldn't expect adding a new language to change your employment potential much, but there are many other good reasons to do so.

about 2 years ago
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The History of Lying With Images

lurker412 Manipulation just one part of the problem (72 comments)

Manipulation--whether in the darkroom or with a computer--is only one of the ways images can mislead. Scenes may be staged. Even when they are not, framing an image in the viewfinder and deciding when to release the shutter determine what small bit of reality is rendered. It may or may not be an honest, representative sample. Every photographer knows that you don't need Photoshop to lie with a camera.

about 2 years ago
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San Francisco To Stop Buying Apple Computers

lurker412 Re:Ohhh shiny (392 comments)

Their coolness reduces global warming.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Reportedly Filing $5 Billion IPO Today

lurker412 Re:How do the investors get paid? (268 comments)

And how will it make the sort of money needed to pay the investors?

Selling sock puppets, maybe?

more than 2 years ago
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Camera Lets You Shift Focus After Shooting

lurker412 Re:Lots of red flags, little tech (155 comments)

I second jet_silver's recommendation that you look at the dissertation, which discusses the tradeoffs and is quite well written. You are correct that to achieving professional quality with this technology requires a huge number of pixels, though the cells themselves do not need to be very large. Such sensors are possible today but until now, there hasn't been much reason to produce them. If the company finds some success in the consumer market, perhaps it can then invest in the additional development needed to satisfy pros. While most of the talk has been about changing the focal point and DOF in post-processing, as a photographer I am most intrigued by the claim that it can correct for lens diffraction as well. That would be a much more than a gimmick, IMO.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple App Store Hits 10B App Download Mark

lurker412 Re:This doesn't compute (195 comments)

OK, let's do some very, very rough calculations here: assume that there are six billion people on the planet and that a third of them own a computer with Internet access. That's two billion. Assume that Mac users are 10% of that group. that's 200 million. In order to account for 10 billion apps, the mean downloads/person would be 50. Really? Since the vast majority of Mac users already had the apps they needed before the store opened, I find this very hard to believe.

Never mind...I forgot that the app store is for iPhones, iPods, and and iWhatevers. Save your flames for more important things.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple App Store Hits 10B App Download Mark

lurker412 This doesn't compute (195 comments)

OK, let's do some very, very rough calculations here: assume that there are six billion people on the planet and that a third of them own a computer with Internet access. That's two billion. Assume that Mac users are 10% of that group. that's 200 million. In order to account for 10 billion apps, the mean downloads/person would be 50. Really? Since the vast majority of Mac users already had the apps they needed before the store opened, I find this very hard to believe.

more than 3 years ago
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Mozilla Flips Kill-Switch On Skype Toolbar

lurker412 Does anyone use it? (284 comments)

I like Skype and use it often, but I have never once used it from within FF. They gave me a dollar credit a few weeks ago in apology for the big outage they had, which honestly didn't affect me in the least. I thought that was a lot nicer than the usual corporate stonewalling of "some of our users may be experiencing minor difficulties..." But I don't or trust toolbars from anyone, and I always disable them.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

lurker412 Depends how important they are to you (680 comments)

I'm a what is called a serious amateur photographer. I probably take around 25,000 pics a year and keep maybe 3% of them. I always have two copies of everything I value on separate media--at the moment, DVDs and an external hard drive, but I expect that to change in the future as storage technology evolves. In addition, all of my best work is stored as high quality JPGs on an online photo site. I consider this a minimal scheme. If I were a pro, I would have additional off-site copies of everything, but if my house burns down, my pics will be the least of my worries. How much you invest (time and money) should be a function of how important the photos are to you. Another thing to consider is how you will find photos years from now, especially if you accumulate thousands of them. Besides a solid backup scheme you should consider investing (time and maybe money) in some catalog software that will help you locate photos by keyword, location, date, whatever.

more than 3 years ago
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BYTE Is Coming Back

lurker412 Re:Nice to see it revived, but... (185 comments)

Yes, I remember reading you in the 80s. A new incarnation of Byte cannot be the same. We aren't the same either. The ads in the 80s were a lot more interesting than many feature articles today. So it goes.

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Selects Companies To Build Flying Humvees

lurker412 What's wrong with this picture? (302 comments)

Smarter and smarter vehicles for dumber and dumber wars.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

lurker412 lurker412 writes  |  about 3 months ago

lurker412 (706164) writes "Yesterday, and without previous warning, all Mac users running Leopard or earlier versions of OS-X have been locked out of Skype. Those customers are given instructions to update, but following them does not solve the problem. The Skype Community Forum is currently swamped with complaints. A company representative active on the forum said "Unfortunately we don't currently have a build that OS X Leopard (10.5) users could use" but did not answer the question whether they intend to provide one or not. I had a chat exhange with a Skype rep, who told me that not only would there be no version for Leopard, but that refunds were not going to be given for those with paid balances "...outside of 15 day cooling off period," whatever that means. I'm not assuming that the chatbot really speaks for the company. I understand that software vendors cannot be expected to support products forever. But would a bit of advance warning be too much to ask?"
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Microsoft Makes Buyout Offer to Yahoo

lurker412 lurker412 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

lurker412 writes "SF-Gate is carrying an AP report that Microsoft has made a $44.6B offer ($31/share) to buy Yahoo. Yahoo's stock has been depressed lately, and the news has driven it even lower. Will this pose real competition for Google or will it simply grind Microsoft and Yahoo into the dust? Read below and find out."

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