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Comments

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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

slaker Let's solve basic connectivity first (290 comments)

I live 40 miles southeast of Chicago. My community has access to high speed internet, but going much farther south or east, the options for faster-than-dialup services evaporate. Huge parts of the US aren't even served by 3G cell service or DSL lines, let alone cable internet. Let's solve that problem. It's far more important in the big picture than getting enough bandwidth to stream a dozen 4k streams for some theoretical 5% of the USA that has been gifted with fiber-based connectivity.

2 days ago
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

slaker Re:all (108 comments)

The Note 2 and Note 3 are, based on my observation, good for a couple days without charging. Like the iphone 6+, this probably has more to do with the form factor than anything else.

I can get about a day and a half out of my S4, but I'm an atypical user since I don't use any messaging aside from E-mail (SMS is stupid and I hope it dies soon).

It's somewhat silly to try to define "using a smartphone as a smartphone" since that's really the ultimate movable goalpost. I use mine primarily to read things on the web while I'm away from a bigger computer and I listen to locally-stored music. I don't really launch other apps, maintain social connections, play games, make calls or look at pornography while on the toilet, all of which might be part of someone else's definition of justifiable smartphone-ing.

4 days ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

slaker Re:The Revolution went mobile and cloud (554 comments)

Some Android devices and Windows RT support resizable windows. Everyone wants to hate on Windows RT, but it's actually pretty nice for productivity. It just sucks at doing things that are fun.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

slaker Re:Windows XP (554 comments)

NX support was actually added between Windows 8 and 8.1, but you're right that there have been minor adjustments to hardware requirements over time. Since NX has to be supported by both CPU and motherboard, it's actually quite a hole. A lot of my company's Core2 systems wouldn't be compatible with Windows 8 or 10 because the standard motherboard is an older one.

about three weeks ago
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Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

slaker Re:Story title needs a warning! (274 comments)

The way I understand the rules in the US, the definition of child pornography is actually highly expansive and can include photos of lascivious intent in spite of the presence or absence of clothing. The iconic Coppertone Girl ad of the dog pulling at the little girl's bikini might be enough to cause a problem in some jurisdictions, and every once in a while we'll get stories about parents getting legal fallout for having pictures of their infants being bathed or something.

about three weeks ago
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New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

slaker Re:Remeron (138 comments)

I gained 180lbs. in two years while I was on Zoloft and Paxil. I wasn't a small person to begin with. I was doing things like eating two large take-out pizzas a day when I could afford to do it. The sick thing was that I was under care of a psychiatrist, a psychologist and my primary care physician, and none of them thought my weight gain was an issue worth addressing.

I got debilitating headaches, spent a good chunk of my 20s with absolutely zero sex drive, only slept about four hours a night and had trouble stringing together a coherent sentence. For all of that, the meds never actually made me feel any better. I just took them because my doctors told me they were helping.

Eventually, I did get fed up and just stopped treatment. I had a few months of even worse headaches, but at least for me it's easier to just deal with depression and anxiety than all the problems that came along with the meds.

about a month ago
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New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

slaker Re:SSRI effect times... (138 comments)

When I was on Paxil, I went ~15 months without once having a conscious hard-on.

about a month ago
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New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

slaker Re:Interesting (138 comments)

My experiences with Zoloft and Paxil suggest that side-effects, most especially related to my physical appetite and sleep schedule, occur within 12 hours of starting medication or a change in dosage. I can't say I ever experienced any positive impact from either medication in the couple of years I spent at various dosages, but do know that all three of the physicians I was seeing swore up and down that SSRIs don't work like that.

I likewise found that a mental fog settled over me within a few days of starting each SSRI that I try. I felt more like I was controlling a video game character than experiencing any part of my own life, to the point that I would at times find myself sitting in the passenger seat of my own car, wondering why it wasn't moving.

I eventually decided that the pharmacological aspect to my treatment for depression was doing far more harm than good. I have to say that I have a strong distrust for purported utility of SSRIs, and a vastly lower opinion of mental health providers in general as a result of my experiences.

about a month ago
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WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

slaker Re:Does HGST.. (296 comments)

They no longer provide MBTF metrics for consumer (Deskstar) class drives but the uncorrectable error rate on Ultrastars is an order of magnitude higher than the others, which is a common distinction between consumer and enterprise-grade drives.

about a month and a half ago
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MediaGoblin 0.7.0 "Time Traveler's Delight" Released

slaker OK, it's a content publishing system (73 comments)

I have a number of Plex servers. Plex also allows me to publish images, music and video online, albeit to a select group of people. Were I seeking a wider audience, I'd have the options of Vimeo or Xtube or Soundcloud or Bandcamp or Flickr to put my content online.

I also have a bunch of web servers. What's stopping me from using the dozens of web content galleries, if I'm going to be using my own disk space and bandwidth instead of Google's or Yahoo's?

Seriously, what is this doing that those things aren't?

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

slaker Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (188 comments)

I paid for the ModernUI version of Plex. It was $2 or something and it's pretty much a showpiece for the touchscreen experience on Windows.
However, I own both a Surface and a Surface Pro, so I actually use it. I also own Plex on iOS, GoogleTV, the Play Store and Amazon's app store. Getting it for Windows 8 was really more about completing the collection.

about 2 months ago
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OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

slaker OKC started as a science project (161 comments)

The people who run OKC were a bunch of statistics nerds. It runs (ran, anyway) on a custom web server that performs a lot of real time analysis. Their blog is chock full of incredibly detailed information about their users. This shouldn't be news to anyone who has even the slightest clue as to how OKCupid actually works.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

slaker Server 2012 already looks like Windows 8. (322 comments)

The special magic thing is to hit the Windows key + X. That brings up a menu that has pretty much everything you'd want to do from a start menu. Win + X also works on desktop Windows 8.x.

The hilarious thing to me is that the Windows 8/Server 2012 line is ironically the most keyboard centric version of Windows I've used, but all people want to do is bitch about the Modern (Tile) interface that you can completely, totally ignore if you're on something that has a real keyboard and mouse.

Also, Windows RT? It's not awful. Printing and scanning work great and they have real USB and storage support. Surfaces ship with Office pre-installed. RT is missing a lot of media consumption tools that are present on other mobile OSes, but as a device for doing work they're credible. I'd rather have an RT-based Surface than anything that runs iOS, though I'd prefer a good quality Android device to either.

about 3 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

slaker I've seen IRS computers (682 comments)

An acquaintance of mine is a senior guy in Chicago's IRS office. He does large corporate audits, which means he's sitting across from guys in $2000 suits all day. The laptop he was carrying until late 2012 had a Windows 2000 license sticker on it and his "new" government-issued laptop is an HP that was manufactured in 2004. These guys really do make more with less and I have no trouble believing that the equipment Lerner was using was painfully obsolete and used until it died.

about 4 months ago
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The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind of a Mess

slaker Re:no local content playback == mess (96 comments)

A Pivos Xios running Linux firmware with XBMC might be a decent fit. It can't keep up well at high bit rates, but the one I have can and and does play 1080p content including AC3 and DTS.

about 7 months ago
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The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind of a Mess

slaker Re:Local content? (96 comments)

This review read like an Apple user looking for things to whine about. I don't recall seeing anywhere in the verbiage of press over the last two days any promise from Amazon that it would be some universal media-seeking device.

That being said, like any respectable media streamer these days, it DOES support Plex access, which should be your go-to tool for local content access. If it's on the same LAN with a client, you can also connect to it via DLNA and thereby use it with pretty much set top box smart enough to connect to the internet.

The single best STB I've ever found in terms of capability is the LG Smart TV Upgrader, which LG sold for about two months back in 2009 or so. It supports SMB, AFP and NFS, but it also has support for Netflix, Youtube, Hulu Plus and Amazon. It can play h.264, open VideoTS folders and it doesn't have a problem with AC3 or DTS audio. Unfortunately, it's slow as hell and the UI is ugly. I'm not entirely sure if LG is still releasing firmware updates for them but they're a pretty good alternative to a fully functional HTPC.

about 7 months ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

slaker Plex + Media collection = Who gives a crap (323 comments)

There's this thing called Plex Media Server.

Plex accesses locally defined content libraries, scrapes them for metadata and makes them available both locally for clients smart enough to play back the raw data or transcodes them for access by dumb (DLNA, like Playstations or the like) or reduced-capability clients like iFruits. Furthermore, it negotiates authentication-based access and sharing with the Plex Web Service, meaning that you can expose your media collection over the internet, for access outside your home or use the service to share with others. Plex isn't supported by as large a collection of consumer electronics as Netflix, but it is on a lot of smart TV systems and runs on most mobile and desktop platforms.

If you already have a respectable collection of local media and a half-decent computer you're willing to leave on, you more or less have a streaming media service that is entirely under your control. If you're enough of a nerd to be reading this deep in a Slashdot comment thread, you're also enough of a nerd to figure out how to leverage Plex or something like it to make a content service that is satisfactory for your needs.

about 7 months ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

slaker Re:Netflix discs are still a compelling product (490 comments)

8 at a time Netflix costs about the same amount as purchasing three new Blu-Ray releases or taking myself and my SO to the theater three times. Do you judge me more or less harshly for watching more than three movies a month?

about 7 months ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

slaker Netflix discs are still a compelling product (490 comments)

I've had an 8-at-a-time Netflix subscription since 2000 and I've been copying discs for that entire time. My goal is to touch a disc one time and Netflix facilitates that - I rip the disc and send it back. I don't mind doing it (at this point it's automated). My local copies tend to be better than the pirated product and it's not like my ISP is going to rat me out for doing it.
In theory I can download faster than Netflix can mail me discs, but dealing with physical discs more or less eliminates the risk factors from piracy. I'm willing to accept the slight inconvenience of having to put a disc in a drive for that.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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What to do with an old software collection?

slaker slaker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

slaker (53818) writes "Yesterday I went to visit a gentleman named Bob. Bob's partner was a computer collector. Bob's house is filled with at least a few thousand boxed copies of Apple II, Atari, Commodore and Macintosh software, much of it still in shrink wrap. There were a few games (Temple of Apshai, made in 1979, the original Ultima for Apple II), but staggering amounts of graphics and productivity software, including boxed copy of Photoshop from v. 1 to v.5, Freehand, PageMaker, Poser, and Illustrator. I understand there are working professionals out in the world who probably have a lot of the same stuff sitting on their shelves at work, but how many people have thousands of titles, with all the packaging, books, disks and possibly still unsealed?

There's a similar collection of hardware as well, including a number of old Macs, Commodores and a Lisa, all in their original packaging.

I told Bob that I didn't really have a way to evaluate this collection as trash or treasure, and I'm sort of stumped on how to do so. Do the people of Slashdot have any ideas?"

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