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Comments

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Best Solutions For Massive Home Hard Drive Storage?

rcolbert This was my Holy Grail - about two years ago (609 comments)

This thread has lots of good suggestions for storage. I have a distant business relationship with Drobo, and think they're an interesting choice. I have a Windows Home Server as well, and find it to be a step-up from my previous Buffalo Terastation NAS box from a reliability and performance standpoint. I happen to also have a full-size tower and appreciate the simplicity of throwing lots of hard drives at the problem.

However, as formats switched from DVD to Blu-Ray and equivalent HD content, the economics shifted IMO as well. Given the both my Sony TV's, as well as both Tivo's can stream on-demand HD directly (Sony does it without annoying buffering by the way), and considering that I only rarely watch a movie more than once or twice, it's actually become more economically feasible to simply rent HD on demand for $4.99 a shot. There are still going to be a few Blu-Ray discs worth buying to own the content, and more than half of those seem to ship with a free digital copy for import into Window Media Player or iTunes. Even if you own all your HD content on disc now, it's probably worth your while to look into a hybrid model where you rent what you have a passing interest in, and buy/store those few things that either aren't available on demand, or that you have a more long-term interest in retaining.

Oh, and for the porn, a 2TB drive in a large tower should be more than sufficient. Windows 7 and Bit-locker full drive encryption doesn't impede HD playback on a reasonably speedy system. Although it is debatable whether or not 1080p is actually a good thing in some cases. Anyone want to go into business with me creating a unique line of porn-star body make-up to deal with pimples, waxing irritation, and razor-burn?

more than 4 years ago
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Fingerprint Requirement For a Work-Study Job?

rcolbert Concerns = big waste of time (578 comments)

Of all the things in the world to worry about, a fingerprint reading timeclock is very close to the bottom of the list. Your fingerprints are not stored, nor are they uploaded to some evil master government database. You fingerprints are not DNA. They can't be used to predict if you'll get colon cancer by age 50. Quite frankly, they're not even private. You leave them all over the place every single day. I don't think this rises to the level of concern of someone taking a picture of you and putting it on an ID card. And we all know about how much evil has been done with misappropriated badge ID photos.

more than 4 years ago
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Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users?

rcolbert A few suggestions (766 comments)

First off, I don't have any skin in the game and don't care which OS you select. There are a number of fine choices. Of course, the topic itself invites a lot of trash-talk, but I would say most of it without proper context. I'm not hearing a whole lot about why one solution is better given that it will be run by non-technical people, and yet supported by you.

In an effort to be constructive, here's what I suggest. Assuming you run Windows now, if you don't already have a copy, download (for trial at least - but I think a purchase would be money well spent) a copy of VMware Workstation. Then you can install and compare a number of different Linux distros from the comfort of your own PC. I will also be good to have a reference version of the OS you choose installed and available to you if you'll be supporting folks who run it. I'd stick with mainstream distros purely from a pragmatic standpoint and a belief that popular distros like Ubuntu and OpenSUSE will continue to get a lot of care and attention. The top 3 or 4 distros are usually on most vendors hardware or software compatibility lists.

If it's not about cost, then Windows 7 is still an option you should keep on the table. Look and feel only speak to 'where is the calculator icon' type of questions. Where I find most non-technical people struggling is lacking in concepts and therefore lacking in context. The basic ideas behind Windows remain unchanged.

Anecdotally, in the distant past I helped migrate a small office of about a hundred folks from Mac OS 6.x to Windows as part of a larger corporate initiative. The Monday morning following the migration, one of the users had created a folder called "System" at the root of C:\, and dragged as much of the Windows folder as possible over to the new System folder. Thankfully, those were the days when you could still boot to DOS and clean up fairly simply. Still, we had never anticipated someone doing that, because we were focused on simply teaching them how to use the new systems. And yes, it was evil to migrate 100 Mac users to Windows, but that is beside the point.

more than 4 years ago
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Comcast Shoots For New Image, Rebranding As Xfinity

rcolbert Re:What about all of our comcast.net email account (356 comments)

never use the email address provided by your ISP *and* Web portal email works much better

It's a little presumptuous to make up random rules of thumb and offer them out as advice. Try a little supporting evidence such as...

"Web portal email works better because..."

"Portal xyz's offering was clearly viable and sustainable since your email address was first established so you should have gone with them instead..."

Sounds like your suggestions are aimed at someone who just bought their first PC at Best Buy yesterday. Give a little credit to the community.

more than 4 years ago
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Comcast Shoots For New Image, Rebranding As Xfinity

rcolbert Company Name or Branding? (356 comments)

Just curious.... Is the company name changing or is this just branding of services? Will their various sports networks change as well? At least initially the commercials aren't saying "Comcast is now Xfinity". They're saying "Xfinity by Comcast". It mat be splitting hairs, but i think it worth understanding. Will subscribers with @comcast.net addresses get new @xfinity addresses? So far there hasn't been much to this discussion beyond the expected bashing Comcast takes upon mention @ /.

more than 4 years ago
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New Research Suggests G-Spot Doesn't Exist

rcolbert Useless Study (392 comments)

It's incomprehensible that the question is even contemplated 'does it exist?' - Of course it does. However, the 'where' is the easiest part of the equation. The more important questions of 'when to start looking for it' and 'what to do when you locate it' are never even mentioned in passing.

more than 4 years ago
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Devices To Take Textbooks Beyond Text

rcolbert Re:Why not have a pc / netbook that can do more fo (115 comments)

But would you agree that it's just not feasible with current technology to replace the textbook? I mean e-ink displays with color can't be that far off.

Yes and no. I think you make a valid point, and yet the hybrid technology proposed in the article is an important step in the right direction. What I'm resistant to is the argument against moving in the direction of digital textbooks altogether in the absence of a perfect product. Color e-ink certainly sounds like a nice future, but in the meantime I think we need to get products in people's hands that start to turn the battleship. There will be a lot of infrastructure and process required to convert the textbook market into a viable digital system. What are we waiting for?

more than 4 years ago
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Devices To Take Textbooks Beyond Text

rcolbert Re:Why not have a pc / netbook that can do more fo (115 comments)

I think we're losing sight of the bigger picture here. What we're talking about is the possibility to make a significant change in the delivery of classroom text, and unbelievably the arguments against the *potential* for doing so are sounding much like the argument in favor of postal mail versus email. What about the tons of paper saved every year? The reduced barrier to publishing material? The ability to update inaccurate information mid-semester? I'm just a little speechless that people are readily naysayers about the matter, and/or are having a technology discussion instead of a discussion of the use case.

How exactly does the cost evaporate when you factor in the cost of an e-reader? Doesn't it seem that should this idea come to fruition that market forces will make this a no-brainer? It seems to me that the cost of an e-reader is on par with about a single semester's worth of textbooks. Subtract the cost of printing and distribution from the price of each e-book and you'll have no problem finding a way to make more money for the publisher and yet cost less money overall for the student assuming an e-reader can survive an average of four semesters or so.

I think the main theme is that laptops, netbooks, or tablets alone aren't perfectly suited for e-books and the needs of the student. Ideally, we'll have a solution someday that combines everything the student needs into one device. This article shows signs that the industry is finally acknowledging the need for a specialty product.

more than 4 years ago
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Devices To Take Textbooks Beyond Text

rcolbert Re:Why not have a pc / netbook that can do more fo (115 comments)

Why even get that when I can take a book out of the library for a lot less?

Because students tend to not check textbooks out of libraries. They buy them for the semester at considerable expense, and then have to lug them around all day. Or did you miss the use-case that this article is about?

more than 4 years ago
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New Theory of Gravity Decouples Space & Time

rcolbert Practical Application (575 comments)

Einstein's theory led to the atomic bomb. The most tangible output from any subsequent theory is "Stargate:Atlantis" at best. I doubt we'll have a satisfactory understanding of space, time, or gravity in my lifetime, and I'm not closing in on social security anytime soon.

more than 4 years ago
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Bing Cashback Can Cost You Money

rcolbert The first thing that came to mind... (333 comments)

...are the notorious 'employee discount codes' that vendors such as Dell and other have employed. A few years back I was looking to buy a new LCD and had a Dell in mind when I remembered my company had a discount code. So I dug it up, and used the instructions provided to logon to the 'discount' site (the mechanics of doing so may be different today.) To my surprise, I found that the 'discounted' price of the monitor was several hundred dollars more than just the plain ol' Dell site. WTF? How do you advertise a code and process as a discount, and then the merchandise therein is actually priced higher than your regular price from your main site? I'm glad I double checked before hitting the purchase button.

more than 4 years ago
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Response To California's Large-Screen TV Regulation

rcolbert Re:Tax (619 comments)

Currently, the entirety of the American people are helping to prop up this '8th largest economy'.

How exactly is that? The federal government wouldn't even extend a $7B loan to California recently, while Californian federal income taxes spent propping up AIG alone have far exceeded that sum. Cite one extra penny that's been diverted to California if you can.

more than 4 years ago
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Laser Weapon Shoots Down Airplanes In Test

rcolbert Re:Usefulness (627 comments)

Here's an honest question, why is a laser better than a high caliber bullet?

Speed of light. No need to lead the target. You can use a low powered aiming laser to paint the target. Whenever you shoot something painted, you hit it. 186K Mps > 1K Mph

By the way, we could make a boatload of money selling these things in Afghanistan. Economy problems solved.

more than 4 years ago
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At My Computer Desk, I Use...

rcolbert Ok, now I'll show you mine (628 comments)

Two computers. One is a relatively high-powered PC suitable for gaming, etc. The other is a work laptop. Two displays, both connected to the PC. Primary display (27") for use as main PC. Secondary display (22") is typically used fullscreen for either A) work laptop running RDP, B) Linux VM via VMware Workstation 7, C) HDTV via Slingbox HD, or D) an actual secondary display for my main PC.

The beauty is that I don't need a KVM switch, and I can treat everything more or less like one big cloud. Hey, that's it. I've got the world's first personal cloud. Hold on while I patent my process and method of watching hockey while pretending to do work.

more than 4 years ago
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At My Computer Desk, I Use...

rcolbert Re:Single computer and single monitor!? (628 comments)

I'm that guy that only gets a strike when I take my 5-year old son bowling and they put up the bumpers. Hey! It takes some skill to setup the angle shot. What was that thingy about incidence and refraction again? It's a lot harder than just throwing the ball down the middle, you know, the easy way.

more than 4 years ago
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HP To Acquire 3com For $2.7 Billion

rcolbert What about the HP blade chassis? (231 comments)

I know that a few years back at my previous employer the only reason I was able to get HP blades into the DC was due to the inclusion of Cisco switches in the blade enclosures. I wonder if HP will continue offering Cisco switches, and if not how badly will it hurt their sales? I think it's a lot easier for a networking guy to bring in a foreign x86 server than it is for a server guy to bring in a foreign switch to the DC. Round 1 goes to Cisco.

more than 4 years ago
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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

rcolbert Re:Not sure I get the EC ruling (334 comments)

People tend to love government tinkering and interfering and generally overstepping their bounds a whole lot when the result happens to coincide with their own personal views and feelings. The criteria that should be considered are the laws and the constitutions concerning each governing body, no more or less. The last thing in the world I want are politicians violating their charter because they know what's best for the rest of us.

more than 4 years ago
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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

rcolbert Re:Not sure I get the EC ruling (334 comments)

That's a valid point, but has no relevance on what a government body should use for criteria when deciding a matter such as this. Potential is everything you haven't done. Taking it to the extreme, there's no law or principle that dictates that Oracle may not buy Sun and promptly dismantle MySQL entirely. With the presence of IBM's DB2/UDB and MS SQL in the marketplace, there's no rational argument that Oracle+Sun with MySQL creates the risk of a monopoly. It's easy to argue that the marketplace is 'better off' with MySQL independent from Oracle, and it's valid to point out that 'someday' MySQL could rival Oracle. Neither of those arguments are valid decision making criteria for governmental restrictions. Businesses have the right to buy out the competition so long as in doing so they don't create a monopoly. The EC is trying to play Robin Hood instead of acting like a responsible, by-the-book government entity.

more than 4 years ago
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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

rcolbert Not sure I get the EC ruling (334 comments)

This is somewhat like preventing Mercedes-Benz from buying Kia in order to prevent a monopoly. As well-stated earlier, Oracle doesn't compete against MySQL often if at all. IBM and Microsoft appear to be the most legitimate competition Oracle has in their DBMS space, and MySQL wouldn't seem to impact the competitive balance all that much. Having said that, who would want MySQL? Cisco, HP, and EMC don't seem like good choices because they all have product families that each would hate to have to tie to a 'Runs Best with MySQL' campaign. Red Hat makes sense from a certain point of view, but I'm not sure they want to diversify into the DBMS space.

more than 4 years ago
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What's the best tool for remembering passwords?

rcolbert And now, an actual recommendation (15 comments)

I happen to use two on different systems. On my work system I use Roboform, and on my home system I use the password manager included with Norton 360. IMO either one is fine. They both function almost exactly the same. I actually give a slight nod to Norton for providing an easier method to organize and manage the entries.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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CoD6: Modern Warfare 2 Under Attack

rcolbert rcolbert writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rcolbert (1631881) writes "The long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is upon us. However, there are some 'features' of the game that PC users are taking exception to. As of this morning, the PC version has achieved an abysmal 1.3 out of 10 user rating on IGN.com. It's clear that this is not a subjective review of the game, but instead a statement of protest. One major example is the requirement of Steam technology to make the game work. I find this ironic, since Half-Life 2 and anything else published by Valve has had a Steam requirement for many years, and yet this is the first game I'm aware of that has fallen victim to this level of online social activism. The question is, should IGN do something to moderate the protest when it's quite obvious that most if not all of the users who scored the game '0.0' don't own and have not played the game, or should they let the angry mob have their voices heard? What do you think about submitting highly negative product reviews as a form of protest? Is it the little guy standing up to the man, or is it intellectually dishonest?"
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