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Comments

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Google Uncovers China-Based Password Collection Campaign

poptones Re:excellent PR by Google (186 comments)

I like to think I'm an experienced user (I'm 48 and used to be an admin), and I still don't know when or how it happened. Not a good feeling.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Uncovers China-Based Password Collection Campaign

poptones Re:excellent PR by Google (186 comments)

Well it fucking happened to me and it sure feels like a data breach. This happened just the other day and they used my contacts folder to send spam (ONE PIECE) to everyone in my address book. This means they had access to every piece fo data saved in my account. If that isn't a data breach, what is?

more than 3 years ago
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RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

poptones Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (413 comments)

Remember when you could buy that big fat 12AWG zip speaker cable with the soft, mushy outside for like 33 cents a ft? That was AWESOME cable; wish I still had them.

more than 3 years ago
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RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

poptones your naive navel is showing (413 comments)

I recently bought a used (but working) 750W, 7 channel sound system. It put out an "honest" 120WPCH into each of seven channels, but can be switched to use just two, three, four ,etc. It's a pretty good Kenwood, cost a bit over $500 when new just for the HT receiver. I bought it to replace a 70's vintage TWO channel Marantz 2220 - that's 20 watts per channel of first generation, OTL (ie it uses bigass coupling caps to the speakers and a single polarity power supply) probably germanium transistor amp. After living with the Kenwood a few days I tore the thing back out and put the Marantz back in: it's FAR easier to use, it sounds better, and it's even LOUDER (as my neighbors will attest).

You may be happy with two inch speakers and shit that "just (barely) works" but many want something better. I'd even say most want better, but can't afford it or can't really find a demonstration that allows them to appreciate the difference. Just look at the multitude of videos on youtube, the deadtree magazines devoted to higher end stuff (tho I never even said Radio Shack sold "higher end" - in fact I said AFFORDABLE higher end, which is more like mid level) and the people willing to still pay dollars to go see movies in theatres -- where they can enjoy the sound without worrying about pissing off the neighbors.

ANd if you build anything nowdays you'll end up using SMD for some of it. That shit is mad difficult to solder, especially if you're over 40. This is why so many "kits" come with parts of pc boards already soldered. But what do you do if you design your own kit? Now you gotta track down a service. It would take less than 5000 worth of machinery at a location to be able to do this. Would they all make a return? Nope - but plenty in select "pilot" locations would net enough return to pay for an expansion in store coverage... just like those cellphone things they've been so stuck on these last years. And a whole lot more of a captured market.

more than 3 years ago
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RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

poptones Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (413 comments)

I disagree. Ratshack sold out its base over time because it lots its innovative drive. It became just another competitor to the cheap big box stores and lost because it's not a big box store. Radio Shack once sold some of the highest quality affordable home audio (yes, it did) and look where it went: RCA and other "brand name" CRAP. That's just one example of how it lost focus.

Radio shack has almost unprecedented community presence. They could offer services, like reflow soldering, act as a front end to an affordable pc board manufacture, and even offer walk-in cnc services. There's like 2500 stores in the US; imagine if you could walk in to a store less than 20 miles from the house, hand them a thumb drive, then stand there with the kid and watch while a cnc machine grinds out a part for you. No better way to get kids interested in this stuff than seeing it done and working hands on.

more than 3 years ago
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Mint It Yourself With a Browser-Based Bitcoin Miner

poptones Re:Still wondering... (490 comments)

No. gold has value because we make things from it. It's a metal with unique properties, not just beauty. Semiconductors depend on gold. Our civilization (as we know it today) depends on semicondcutors.

BTC is simply a virtual good made from semiconductors. It is three degrees separated from actual value.

It would be great if something like this took off, and nothing ever will if people don't try. But the thought of using a web browser to mine BTC is pretty ridiculous: I ran the java applet 24/7 for weeks on a quad core 2.7ghz machine and generated nary a coin (nor did I see a transaction). I suspect this is simply a proof of concept of a technology that will ultimately end with BTC clients being made illegal because of all the hucksters conning users into planting malware under the guise of "free riches."

more than 3 years ago
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Baby's First TSA Patdown

poptones We are not alone (570 comments)

Does France have such patdowns in their airports? What about Canada? What about Germany? Belgium? China? Japan?

Why is it we also have not heard of ANY foreign terrorist activities on airliners since all this started? Are the american airport patdowns such a deterrent they can stop a "potential terrorist" from boarding a plane in S Africa with a bomb or a knife?

This needs to stop. I really don't care personally, because I don't fly - but all the other people being displaced from the planes are filling up the trains, and I miss the extra elbow room.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:wealth=creativity? (284 comments)

if japan were china, china would have stopped invading the place centuries ago.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Expected to Settle Over Drug Ads, to the Tune of $500M

poptones Re:Sigh (138 comments)

Ayup. Just one more example of how corporations as people is a failed idea from the start. If an individual did this that person would be locked up in the pokey for a few years where their earning potential would be substantially more reduced.

Perhaps if we reformed the law so that coporations who so overtly break laws would be punished by, say, having to turn over ALL their profits for the next X months to the government as penalty - I bet far mroe corporations would reconsider such nose-thumbing.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones wealth=creativity? (284 comments)

In what world? The pursuit of wealth drives creative ways to make something for nothing. Creativity derives from a culture of creativity (which the japanese have in spades) not from a culture of "work harder and steal the opposition's ideas."

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:kool aid (284 comments)

Japan isn't governed by a totalitarian regime that explicitly enforces conformity. So I guess when China finally undergoes that NEXT revolution (that would be their sixth in less than two centuries) I'm sure they'll then be a force to be reckoned with...

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:kool aid (284 comments)

Wow, more kool aid for you.

The US long ago STOPPED mining those rare metals because it was "cheaper to buy them from china." IOW they adopted the wal-mart mentality and treated selenium and barium like air conditioners and tube socks.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:kool aid (284 comments)

Name a Chinese technology that has become a world standard. Who are the power players in blu ray? HDTV? Operating systems?

Look at all the game clones. Great at copying, lousy at innovating.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:kool aid (284 comments)

You rant as if this is something new. "Deadbeat dads" (and moms, and it's very easy to become one) have been denied that right since the Clinton administration. If you owe child support, you get no passport. This works especially well when one has opportunity to work abroad (and, thus, to pay that child support) but cannot work abroad because one is denied rights explicitly granted under the 14th amendment.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones Re:kool aid (284 comments)

[i]US technology doesn't originate from the US government. It originates from bright individuals that live in the US. They can migrate to other countries, just like they have all their technology mass produced in other countries. [/i]

Yes, and we see that happening now in droves. I'm sure that will happen in even greater numbers when the economy of china has stagnated.

I think you just want something to worry about.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Banned From Working With China

poptones kool aid (284 comments)

You're swallowing his kool aid. The fact is without US technology and US raw materials China would have a LOT less to produce. China is two decades away (at least) from having trees to support its production of lumber, furniture and other such goods. They're also dependant upon western (often american) technology which they essentially clone and sell domestically. They have demonstrated a great ability to produce but little in the way of useful original ideas when it comes to those gadgets and geegaws.

A trade war with China would hurt them way more than us. We do still have factories sitting idle, and we have workers without work. There's also an entire globe for each of us to compete in. Just wait til Brazil gets rolling in another decade or two... China who?

more than 3 years ago
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Ubuntu Aims For 200 Million Users In Four Years

poptones unity only half sucks (441 comments)

I can't stand unity either, but some of the tools make using a GP computer mo better. My PC uses a 42" monitor attached to my living room wall and my eyesight and great, and tools like global menu both save screen real estate and make things ultimately simpler.

But yeah, I hate unity. But you really NEED things like mini/max/close buttons next to the global menu - so I made my own, very simply, using xsendkeys and three panel launchers. A vertical panel running dockbarx gives me a great launcher/task selector, and maximus makes it easy to keep track of one thing at a time when I want that without being intrusive.

Basically, the only thing that sucks about unity is the unity desktop itself. The only thing from there I miss is the text search/launcher. If that didn't take up the whole desktop it would be much better.

http://mypicturepalace.com/albums/userpics/10001/Screenshot~4.png

more than 3 years ago
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Poisoned Google Image Searches Becoming a Problem

poptones Web 101: Google don't fuckin work without js (262 comments)

That's the problem. They had a GREAT web search page but then had to fuck it up with IFRAMES (web security 101: IFRAMES are not made for use outside a corporate firewall) and eight layers of javascript. I use google image search a LOT and the solution ultimately came down to me carving out a command line google grabber as a means to avoid all their bullshit.

gggrabber -a -s xga +its+britney+bitch|wget -i -

It sucks not having instant real time update on search terms, but it's a lot less dangerous to sort through a bunch of extraneous images than to use that fucked up "improved" google image search.

more than 3 years ago
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Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider

poptones time is on my side (729 comments)

that's the thing, tho: the LTS releases are really no more stable than any other - in some cases it seems even LESS so becayse they seem to figure "we'll fix those problems on the next update."

And they do. 10.04.2 works pretty much flawlessly for me where 10.04 was a clusterfuck of bugs. The only thing now missing for me is hdmi audio - not a big deal, but annoying none the less when it was working under 10.10 before I did that "upgrade" to 11.04 and fucked everything up to the point I had to ffr the goddamn machine.

I hope I have learned my lesson now: the last three releases I have "upgraded" within weeks of the latest becoming available, and in each case I was forced to revert back to the previous version (a time costly procedure that inevitably leaves me still having to correct some /home settings by hand). I think from now on I will stick with lts releases ONLY at least six months after their initial release.

more than 3 years ago
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AppleCrate II: Apple II-Based Parallel Computer

poptones Re:Cool but... (126 comments)

Except you can buy an Apple IIe motherboard that IS based on an ASIC and actually runs BETTER than the original AND uses like a tenth the power. It's also more reliable because it has, basically, one motherboard chip, one cpu, two memory chips, and not much else.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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GAO says piracy "damage" may be overblown.

poptones poptones writes  |  about 4 years ago

poptones (653660) writes "A recent article at Martindale.com, that summarises a recent GAO report conducted as a
requirement of the PRO-IP act, seems to reinforce the argument that "industry estimates"
(and even "government estimates") of damages caused by intellectual property piracy may
well be both baseless and overblown. The summary (and, apparently, the report) points out
the many difficulties in even attempting to quantify the effects of piracy on the marketplace
in anything resembling an objective manner. Among the many notable quotations:

"The GAO gave three examples of widely cited piracy estimates that could not be substantiated: 1) an FBI
estimate that U.S. businesses lose $200-$250 billion annually... a 2002 CBP press release that estimated
that U.S. businesses lose $200 billion a year in revenue and 750,000 jobs... and 3) a Motor and Equipment
Manufacturers Associated report of an estimate that the U.S. automotive parts industry has lost $3 billion in
sales... due to counterfeit goods"

A 3 1/2 page pdf that's well worth the read; very interesting to see this sort of discussion appearing in legal print."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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About the Goat...

poptones poptones writes  |  more than 11 years ago There was a goat who lived in the yard at the end of a rope. All his days he spent eating grass and walking in circles and jealously eyeing the vegetable garden that was just beyond his reach.

Then one day the goat chewed through the rope. Upon realizing his freedom he headed straight for the vegetable garden, where he gorged himself blind upon the once forbidden treasure. "This is it" he thought. "At last I am free to eat as I please!"

And there the goat remained, eating and wallowing in his own filth. Fatter and fatter the goat became, until all he wanted to do was eat and sleep. Without the tug of the rope at his neck he forgot all about the freedom he had so longed for.

All through the nineties I read article after article expounding upon the fantastic possibilities presented to us all in this wired new world.

Napster changed all that. Now it seems all anyone wants to do is gorge themselves in the garden that has always been just beyond our reach. Never mind that we lived for centuries upon grass, prisoners of the rope, and now are free to do all those things once only dreamt of...

We seem to have forgotten we can live just fine on grass and there's a great big world out there for us to explore. Most of us just keep walking in the same familiar circles, eating ourselves silly in the garden grown by masters who still control us simply because we are too lazy and spoiled to do for ourselves.

Inspired by a song of revolution by some who should know...

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Your Twenty Minutes Are Up

poptones poptones writes  |  more than 11 years ago After making this comment in a discussion on digital radio I have decided I finally have something to write about in my journal. See, I live way out in the sticks (well, fairly much anyway) and I've been choking without broadband since I left LA. I had the intention of wiring this place for nearly three years now, but there are so many practical considerations (hills, scads of trees, intense humidity and frequent violent storms) 802.xx communication is pretty much useless for anything other than home networking.

The last couple of weeks I've been reading up on Gnu radio and the planned peripherals, and I do believe this project could be just the ticket - not only here, but in thousands of villages across the world. Once a standard, low cost platform could be built it would be fairly easy for community projects to make use of this open technology with the (hopeful) result of rapidly advancing development of a new generation of "wireless."

Or maybe it's just nostalgia. I grew up with radio -hanging around the local college station, chatting on the CB (yes, I'm of that era) and, later, actually working as a hired gun doing field engineering on my associate's first class tag. I've not been able to stand listening to the radio for years now because of what's become of the broadcast band (and because CB is just lame and the band is so full of pirates running KW rigs it's all but useless to anyone not gripped with DX fever). But this - applying to personal networking all the wonderful technology made extremely affordable by a world filled with cellphones and wireless NICs... well, I think it's time to go request some new samples from Maxim

Oh, Dominique...

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