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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

microcars Re:Panasonic AG1980P (201 comments)

These are excellent machines that will play back just about any VHS tape you can throw at them.
I am looking at 5 of them across the room from me right now. 3 are in excellent condition, one needs some audio work and one needs all the capacitors changed.
I also leave the screws off the covers so I can slide them back and manually clean the heads when I run into some bad tapes (tapes that were crinkled or damaged or have iron oxide flaking off).

The capacitors is the big issue with these. Every.Single.One needs to be replaced at some point.
I used to send my machines out to a place in Texas to have them changed for around $300 after I bought them on eBay.
Then there was a guy selling them on eBay with the caps changed out for around $300 and they were running like new.
I think he is still there.

These machines are excellent at playing back difficult to track tapes, or ones recorded in SLP/EP mode.
don't buy one of those all-in-one VHS to DVD machines unless your tapes are all in good condition and recorded in SP mode.

about 3 months ago
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UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete

microcars Who was responsible? (178 comments)

The person that chose to use a "drone" that could be taken over by a mobile phone, and had already experienced "a similar incident" earlier that day.

about 5 months ago
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Transformer-Style Scooter Lets You Ride Your Briefcase To Work

microcars Re:and long ago there was (102 comments)

Ha! The page is still up.
I managed to get him to bring that to a small meet we had in 2004 and there are some pics of it unfolding from the suitcase and a video of someone "driving it" here

If I recall the brief history correctly, Mazda engineers created this as a fun concept and then the sales force got hold of it and would bring it to shows and give rides on it until it broke (it was always a prototype and they should have used splined shafts for the driven wheel, but did not).
Anyways, the thing would go back into storage until someone would go "hey where's that old Suitcase Car we made?" and they would drag it out, break it and then bring it to this guy to fix. One day they brought it to him to fix and then never picked it up. I guess it is better than being lost in storage someplace.
If Mazda wants it back all they have to do it Google it.

about 6 months ago
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Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

microcars former film biz worker here (131 comments)

There is a good possibility that all this is a moot point in the end thanks to "hollywood accounting".

take a look at the end credits of any movie. They are ALWAYS initially "owned" by a shell corporation, usually using the name of the movie + LLC or something.
There is a reason for this.
Once the movie is made it is promptly sold for a loss (or very small profit) to the "parent" company or any number of other companies in between before it gets to the top. It could also be sold (on paper) for a massive amount of money so that the "costs" are never actually recouped.
I can't really say with any authority because that is an area kept secret from the likes of me.
The point of this is obfuscation of actual ownership, costs, and rights for tax advantages at the very least.

about 6 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

microcars WARNING Sticker: (250 comments)

"Contains Contaminated Body Fluids" usually keeps people from touching my stuff.

about 6 months ago
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Five Easy Pieces: Short Product Presentations from CES 2014 (Video)

microcars Re:Doorbot (19 comments)

The upside is that it is "fully integrated" with LOCKITRON.

So that means I still have to go to the door to unlock it manually.

[/sarcasm]

about 7 months ago
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First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

microcars Re:Just saying... (198 comments)

And i suspect Paul McCartney and the owners of the rights to apple music might disagree :-)

and I suspect they won't.
From APPLE Press Release February 2007:

CUPERTINO, California and LONDON—Apple® Inc. and The Beatles’ company Apple Corps Ltd. are pleased to announce the parties have entered into a new agreement concerning the use of the name “Apple” and apple logos which replaces their 1991 Agreement. Under this new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use. In addition, the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies will end, with each party bearing its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes®. The terms of settlement are confidential.

newspaper accounts at the time stated that Apple Computer was buying out Apple Corps' trademark rights for a total of $500 million.

about 7 months ago
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Apple Will Refund $32.5M To Settle In-App Purchase Complaints With FTC

microcars Re:Lets make a list! (252 comments)

extra lives for Candy Crush
chocolate balls for Candy Crush
Coconut things for Candy Crush
anything and everything else for Candy Crush

/ as long as someone else is paying for them, all these are good in app purchases!

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?

microcars I also have a sleep disorder (384 comments)

AND I went back to college as well, but I am even older than you.
My disorder has been under control for decades now, but I found similar issues re: studying/retaining info when going back to school.
All I can say is that I found that daily exercise to get my heart up to 2X normal for 10-20 minutes really seemed to help tremendously.
I have an elliptical at home and used that.
If you don't have something like that, consider some other exercises to get your blood moving and in turn help your brain get nourishment.
It won't happen overnight, but made a difference for me at least.

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft Makes Another "Nearly Sold Out" Claim For the Surface Line

microcars Technically correct (262 comments)

is the best kind of correct.

I know someone who has been sued many times over the years. Normal course of business this and that.
Told me he "never lost a lawsuit". That is because he settled all of them out of court for undisclosed sums.
So technically he is correct. He never lost a lawsuit.

about a year ago
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A Radical Plan For Saving Microsoft's Surface RT

microcars dump them at $79 so they end up (391 comments)

in the hands of resellers who will promptly put them on eBay and Craigslist for $199-$250
isn't that what happened with the majority of the TouchPads that went for $99?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Deliver a Print Magazine Online, While Avoiding Piracy?

microcars Look at Home Power Magazine (298 comments)

www.homepower.com
They have a print version, but have been offering a PDF version (no DRM) for many years.
The PDF used to be available for free download from the main web page, that seems to have changed so it is now available to subscribers only.
I do not know what CMS (Content Management System) they use but it seems to work for them.
Each subscriber gets a unique download url so I don't think it can be shared.

Alternatively you could just create a FUDL (Fake Unique Download URL) like:
www.example.com/5tsQ7ghs/issue3-2013/
and send those out to each "subscriber", telling them it is for their use only and change the name of the directory to some other goofy name for the next issue.
of course this does not really provide PP (Piracy Proof) content, but I think that has been commented on enough already and I think you should just let that part go.
Make it easy for people that want to pay to get the digital version but make it just a little bit hard to figure it out if you are not a subscriber.

about a year ago
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RepRap Morgan Receives $20,000 Gada Prize For Simplifying 3D-Printer

microcars Can Print its own parts? (67 comments)

Awesome! But how does it print the part you need if it is broken and you need that part to make it work?

about a year ago
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AT&T Quietly Adds Charges To All Contract Cell Plans

microcars Re:Ain't it great? (338 comments)

So, have I understood this correctly? If you have a contract with them, they aren't violating it, because they aren't raising your rates. They're just adding a separate administrative fee.

If it is a separate administrative fee, tell them to bill you separately. Meanwhile, pay your normal bill.

about a year ago
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Happy World Backup Day

microcars Videos to MP4 (154 comments)

finally started digitizing all my home videos (that include work documentation over the years too) to MP4 format. I have at least 100 tapes (8mm and miniDV). I import about 3-4 a day and then let FCP batch process them while I sleep. I can still edit them if I want, but I've already done that with the ones I want. Right now I just want to be able to skim through a 2hr video to find something without sticking the tape into the machine.

about a year and a half ago
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Dell Going Private In $24.4 Billion Agreement

microcars Re:Give the money back to the shareholders! (217 comments)

OP was a joke, referencing Michael Dell's 1997 comment about how he would fix Apple at the time. His response: "Close it down and give the money back to the shareholders"

about a year and a half ago
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Multi-State AT&T U-Verse Outage Enters Third Day

microcars Re:They should give people 1mo free HBO to make up (202 comments)

We had an odd problem with the U-Verse phone service where it would not display the Caller ID for my MIL.
My wife won't answer the phone if she can't see the Caller ID, so if it says "UNAVAILABLE" she will let it ring.
I tried to get them to figure out what was wrong and after about 2 hours they figured it out.
The rep was very apologetic and offered to "make it up" to us because we were so "understanding"
He offered 1 month of Free HBO

I asked him what was our obligation after that free month.
He paused.
I asked him if we would then get billed for the second month if we didn't cancel.
"Well, yes" was his reply
I asked him if there was ANY other way he was authorized to "make it up" to us.
He told me there was nothing else.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Inventor of the Telecopter dies at 92

microcars microcars writes  |  about a year and a half ago

microcars (708223) writes "John D. Silva was the chief engineer for KTLA-TV in 1958 when he outfitted a helicopter with a TV camera and changed television news coverage forever.

He turned a rented Bell helicopter into the Telecopter, essentially a flying TV studio. The first of its kind, it put Channel 5 news at the forefront of live aerial coverage of major events like parades, fires, earthquakes and massive freeway snarls. He had to whittle down 2,000 pounds of television equipment to just 368 pounds so the Bell 47 helicopter could lift off the ground.
The LA Times reports that Silva, whose two Emmy Awards include one in 1974 for developing the Telecopter, died Nov. 27 in Camarillo of complications of pneumonia, his family said. He was 92.

And what did YOU do today?"

Link to Original Source
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Apple Must Publicly Post That Samsung Did Not Copy iPad

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 2 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "A Judge in the U.K. has ordered Apple to post a notice on its website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy designs for the iPad. This is the same Judge that ruled earlier that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was Not As Cool as Apple's iPad."
Link to Original Source
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HARVARD suggests move to open-access journals.

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 2 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "Harvard has a announced to faculty: "We write to communicate an untenable situation facing the Harvard Library. Many large journal publishers have made the scholarly communication environment fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive. This situation is exacerbated by efforts of certain publishers (called “providers”) to acquire, bundle, and increase the pricing on journals."
The memo goes on to describe the situation in more detail and suggests options to faculty and students for the future that includes submitting articles to open-access journals. If Harvard paves the way with this, how long until other academic bodies follow suit and cut off companies such as Elsevier?"

Link to Original Source
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ZAP! gets Juiced by Wired

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 6 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "Where is the green in the EV movement? Not in the pockets of a number of people that believed in ZAP! and its promise of Electric Vehicles for its exclusive "distributors". How NOT to run an Electric Car Business in 10 EZ Steps! Well...I guess it works if you own the company."
Link to Original Source

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