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Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

nabsltd Re:Tax (524 comments)

Company tax is not based on revenue, it is based on profits.

And yet, all personal income taxes are based on revenue.

Sure, you might have some deductions from income, but unlike a business, you can't subtract all the money you paid for food, housing, and paying your "employees" (like babysitters, taxi drivers, etc.).

3 days ago
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Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

nabsltd Re:It's about time. (138 comments)

So, if Simon is at all offended by the new Star Trek as you are, he may bring this alternate Star Trek back to some semblance of the Roddenberry-inspired sagas.

How about writing his own character out of the next movie?

The problem with the "reboot" is that there are thousands of stories that can be told in the Star Trek universe without involving Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et.al., as proved by four television series.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

nabsltd Re:Only for the first year (570 comments)

I doubt it. There wasn't a massive revolt when Adobe went to subscription. Or Microsoft Office

I don't need any licensed (or even installed) Adobe software or Microsoft Office in order to play games or browse the web, but I need the OS.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Migrating a Router From Linux To *BSD?

nabsltd Re:pfsense (403 comments)

Systemd is actually *really* easy to get rid of, you just have to be willing to do without Gnome and other packages that depend upon it.

Please provide a step-by-step list of the commands needed to remove systemd from CentOS 7 "minimal install", or a pointer to such a list.

I have now been told literally dozens of times that "you don't have to install systemd", but no one has yet to back that up with steps for an install without it, or how to remove it from an existing install.

about two weeks ago
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Inside North Korea's Naenara Browser

nabsltd Re:Translation pls. (159 comments)

made that range public within the country.

The word you (and others) are looking for is "route-able", not "public".

There are a lot of IANA-assigned (i.e., "public") IPs that aren't routable from all other arbitrary IP addresses, while many places have made private IPs routable for some or all of their network, just like North Korea has done.

about three weeks ago
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Samsung Unveils First PCIe 3.0 x4-Based M.2 SSD, Delivering Speeds of Over 2GB/s

nabsltd Re:If you don't want to upgrade your box (100 comments)

That can significantly speed up tasks that are known to create lots of temporary files (e.g. compilation).

I set up a RAM disk on my Windows machine because of Audacity.

It creates temp files to store intermediate work (like the decode to PCM of a compressed format, or the output of a filter) instead of using RAM. Even with an SSD, this was not nearly as fast as it should have been, and a serious waste, since the total space used by the temp files is far less than the memory space available to the application. The RAM disk solved the speed problem quite nicely.

I also store things like Firefox's page cache on the RAM disk.

about three weeks ago
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Samsung Unveils First PCIe 3.0 x4-Based M.2 SSD, Delivering Speeds of Over 2GB/s

nabsltd Re:PCIe 3.0 availability (100 comments)

And yes, most motherboards have a "primary" slot where it's a real x16 slot, and 1 or 2 or more SLI or Crossfire slots which are x8 or even x4.

Actually, most motherboards today have auto-switching slots, so that they have 16 lanes assigned to 3 slots, and the motherboard and card negotiate so that each card performs as fast as it can regardless of slot, up to the total maximum of 16 lanes across the three slots. This means there is no "primary" slot any more, and helps you lay out cards where clearance is an issue.

What this means is that you can install that x16 video card in any of the three x16 form factor slots, and it will get all 16 lanes. If you install a card in another of the x16 form factor slots, it will get up x8 if it asks for it, and the first card will be dropped down to x8 as well. Install a third card, and you end up with x8/x4/x4, but again, no slot is "primary".

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

nabsltd Re:Not expensive for an audiophile device (391 comments)

I'd hope that you do in fact get higher quality DAC hardware, connectors, etc., so the actual sound quality is better. But the price is also "inflated" by the product being a niche, audiophile product.

No, it's inflated because it's Sony.

This player has a high quality DAC, etc., gets great reviews from audiophiles, and yet only costs $350. Sure, you need to spend an extra $100 for a 128GB MicroSD card, but that's still $750 less than Sony wants.

about three weeks ago
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Nest Will Now Work With Your Door Locks, Light Bulbs and More

nabsltd Re:Is the NSA/FBI/Local Police on that partnership (163 comments)

I'm not typically a paranoid libertarian, but really, there are some things I'm 100% fine with handling on a closed network or with my own two hands.

Yeah, the hardware they are talking about is interesting, and if I could set up a local server to control it, that might be useful. But handing over information and control to someplace out on the Internet sounds like about the worst idea ever.

about a month ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

nabsltd Re:Movies are crap (400 comments)

Finally, Klipsch ain't cheap.

Nor is it required to give you better sound at home than the average movie theater.

about a month ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

nabsltd Re:As expected... (400 comments)

This gets mentioned a lot on Slashdot but, in reality, the number of "good" movies has remained reasonably unchanged each year.

Here are the movies in the IMDB Top 250 grouped and counted by year:

IMDB ratings have a serious problem as far as new movies are concerned, as the latest movie of any reasonable quality tends to get many people rating it a "10" (which should mean it's perfect). It takes a while before a movie settles down to what its real rating should be. This is caused by the "aging" algorithm and number of required votes per year that IMDB uses. It means that a movie that has a lot of buzz will be listed until everybody stops caring about it and it drops out of the list, even if it has a rating that is technically better than movies in the list.

Likewise, there is no reason for movies in the top 250 to be evenly distributed by year. It's far more likely that good movies should be much older, as being evenly distributed by year implies that this year movies have been good enough to push some other movies out of the top 250, which means that the best movies are getting better, which most people agree isn't true. Even, then, there are a lot a problems with ratings being inflated as time goes by. As little as 5 years ago, a movie could crack the top 250 with less than an 8.0 rating, but now some movies are left off even though they have that same rating.

If you use IMDB info, the "Top 1000 Voters" and "Metascore" are far better indicators of the overall quality of the movie, especially if you take into account the number of "Top 1000" that entered a rating for the movie. Basically, these are people who see and rate a lot more movies than anybody else, so even if their score is high for the movie, if a lot of them never rated it, that says something by itself. For example, Star Wars and The Dark Knight are two movies that have both been around for long enough for everyone to get a chance to see them and vote on them, and have ratings of 8.6 and 8.2 from the top voters, with 930 and 898 votes. Both ratings are close to the overall ratings. On the other hand, The Hunt from 2012 (also old enough for such die hard movie viewers to have seen it) gets a 7.3 (considerably lower than the 8.3 from all voters), but only 421 bothered to see it. Django Unchained from the same year, OTOH, gets 710 votes for a rating of 7.8 (still lower than the 8.5 from all voters, but not as much of a drop). The confidence that the rating on Django Unchained is more accurate is much higher. Even using overall votes, Interstellar has less than half the votes compared to the average of the two movies immediately surrounding it on the list, and as such will eventually fall to where it really belongs.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

nabsltd Re:you need to kill the botnets (312 comments)

How do you stop users from double-clicking miley_cyrus_nude.jpg.exe?

Microsoft could start by changing the default Windows Explorer settings to always show file extensions and not have a configuration option that turned off the display.

No, it wouldn't stop everyone from doing stupid things, but it might help a few people make better decisions.

about 1 month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

nabsltd Re:Cheaper (349 comments)

Travel between the hubs (Let's use A to C for example) is cheap, relatively speaking, because of the constant demand. The airlines know their flights will always be full, so they can (and must) reduce their prices to a minimum.

This is counter-intuitive. If the flights are "always full" because of "constant demand", logic says the price can be raised.

Just like a restaurant with a one-month wait for reservations, the prices can be raised until the wait is as little as one day, but as long as the restaurant is still full every minute they are open, then raising prices will do nothing but increase profit. Likewise, as long as the same number of passengers fly per day between the two cities, then the airline would make more profit by raising prices.

about a month ago
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Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

nabsltd Re:LOL ... w00t? (292 comments)

Apparently there's hyphen, en-dash, and em-dash and the text of the book does indeed use the en-dash...and looks a little weird.

There's actually a lot more than just those, some of which render identically in most fonts.

I ran into a eBook that uses the n-dash correctly when used a a modifier for compound words, and it does look weird (which is what alerted me to it in the first place), but after reading the rules, I left them that way.

about a month ago
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Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

nabsltd Re:LOL ... w00t? (292 comments)

There is nothing simple about typography, and a script such as you describe would cause more damage than it would fix.

In this case, the script would be simple, since the book isn't about math. Replace all U+2212 characters with U+002D and you've fixed the problem that Amazon has with the book.

Although U+2010 is called "Hyphen" and U+002D is called "Hyphen-Minus", either works in this case, with U+002D the most common.

about a month ago
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

nabsltd Re:Who cares (89 comments)

This was 1962. Living under an alias, with no SSN or ID (or a fake) was considerably easier than it is today.

Most people don't realize that only a few states had just recently started putting photos on licenses at that time, while the rest had no pictures.

about a month and a half ago
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Hackers Compromise ICANN, Access Zone File Data System

nabsltd Re: fire them (110 comments)

Incoming SMTP ports should never accept email from it's own domain.

As you can see from his post, his server did not accept an e-mail "from it's own domain":

Replies were sent to the Return-Path: header that is not in our domain.

"Return-Path" is an SMTP header generated by the MTA based on the what it received in the envelope. It's generally only created by an intermediate internal server that forwarded e-mail, thus changing the "From:" envelope address.

And, even a perfectly configured MTA that rejects any "From:" envelope address that is in a domain for which the MTA is an MX still can't stop phishers from forging the "From:" header, which is just part of the body of the e-mail. Unfortunately, the envelope address usually never gets to the MUA, so an e-mail can look like it's legitimately from an internal source. If you use an MUA like Outlook that hides all the technical info, it's easy to be fooled.

about a month and a half ago
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To Fight Currency Mismatches, Steam Adding Region Locking to PC Games

nabsltd Re:Nope. That's not what happened here... (160 comments)

All Steam did is wall off a handful of regions where the local currencies are extremely volatile, and even then ONLY for accounts gifting games to one another between the rest of the world and these tiny regions.

And, I believe the gifting restriction is only for purchases using real money.

Right now, Steam has promotion where you get "tokens" (for lack of a better term) from game achievements and can use those to buy games. Those tokens have the same value in all regions, so if you buy a game with tokens, you can gift it to anyone else, regardless of any gifting restrictions on purchased games.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

nabsltd Re:What is the problem here? (137 comments)

The order isn't against any person or entity in Ireland. It is against a US company, and US employees, who can access the data from their desks in the US. Under US law, it is certainly a valid order.

Actually, it likely is not.

A warrant is only applicable to people/places within the jurisdiction of the court that issued the warrant. Microsoft Ireland (which stores the data but does not technically own or control it) and various Irish citizens (who own/control the data) are not under jurisdiction of any US court.

As a subpoena, it's not possible for any Microsoft US employee to comply, because a subpoena only forces you to turn over data/items/evidence that you own/possess...it cannot ask you to turn over items that you do not (otherwise, the government could hand anybody on the street a subpoena to walk into someone's house to gather evidence). No Microsoft US employee owns/possesses the data in question, and whether they have access is not important. What Microsoft needs to do is find somebody in the US who does have legal access to the data and issue them a subpoena.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

nabsltd Re:A matter of procedure... (137 comments)

There is they could have sought a warrant in Ireland, since they have stronger privacy protections the fishing expeditions would not be allowed.

The US government did, and it wasn't.

That's what started this whole train rolling.

about a month and a half ago

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