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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

thevirtualcat Astroturfing. (362 comments)

Person in a position of power says something to convince large amounts of people to undermine their own best interests.

4 hours ago

LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

thevirtualcat Wait for it... (150 comments)

"Disabled on US Carriers until they find a way to make data sent via LTE Direct count against your data cap."

Wouldn't surprise me, anyway.


The Minecraft Parent

thevirtualcat Re:Pleasant? (173 comments)

Uh? Minecraft is supposed to be nonviolent?

A game in which you start off fighting zombies, skeletons and exploding texture errors (creepers) to work your way to building a portal to hell (the Nether) to get the supplies you need to fight a giant dragon is nonviolent?

Okay then. If you say so.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

thevirtualcat Oh no! (405 comments)

The Xerox machine broke and someone wrote "Out of Order" on a piece of paper with a Sharpie and Scotch-taped it to the machine.

I found a picture of a Walkman that had been modified to connect to an iPod, but it turned out to be Photoshopped.

I used my iPad to Google for a way to send a box of Kleenex to the Microsoft executives.

Writing this post has given me a headache, but I can't decide if I want to take Tylenol or Aspirin.

about three weeks ago

Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

thevirtualcat Re:Slashvertisement for Kolab? (185 comments)

I tried to, but I missed.

Then this stupid dog started laughing at me.

about a month ago

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

thevirtualcat Re:Huh... (183 comments)

5%, and those are just the ones that outright failed. I've never had an OCZ SSD where I didn't have to update the firmware to get it to work right.

about a month and a half ago

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

thevirtualcat Re:Huh... (183 comments)

There are so many analogies I could make for that.

Ford Motor Company eliminates Ford brand and replaces it with Edsel.
Microsoft changes Windows 7 to Windows Vista Second Edition.
Cisco to deprecate Cisco trademark in favor of Linksys. *

* Yes, I realize that Cisco no longer owns Linksys.

about a month and a half ago

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

thevirtualcat Re:reliability (183 comments)

Actually, most SSDs support SMART and/or have their own monitoring system. Unless you're buying bargain basement SSDs, most of them have perfectly servicable lifecycle management.

(Purely as an example, here's Samsung's listing of the SMART attributes in their SSDs:

That said, yes. When SSDs get the "computer will no longer boot to the OS" point of their lifecycle, you're a lot less likely to be able to recover any information. But, like magnetic disks, by the time you get to that point, you've generally been ignoring other symptoms.

about a month and a half ago

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

thevirtualcat Huh... (183 comments)

I didn't realize OCZ was still in business.

about a month and a half ago

iFixit Takes Apart the Oculus Rift DK2, Finds Galaxy Note 3 Display Inside

thevirtualcat Re:Gonna get sued! (57 comments)

Doesn't Samsung manufacture their own displays? I'm pretty sure that if Samsung had any issues with them incorporating that display, they just wouldn't have sold it to them.

I suppose it's possible that they might actually be buying Note 3's and disassembling them. And I can see that possibly causing a problem for them. But I also can't imagine that being particularly economical.

"This is how you disassemble a Note 3 and get the display from it without breaking it. Any questions?"
"Good. Now do it forty five thousand times."

about 2 months ago

Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

thevirtualcat Too little, too late. (238 comments)

My problem with the real name policy wasn't using my real name on Google+. When I had a Facebook account, I used my real name there.

My problem with the real name policy was that if you used Google+, it would retroactively change all your OTHER Google services to use your real name. Half of the people I use my GMail account to communicate with don't actually know my real name. Now, of course, I could get a Google+ account and continue using the same name I've been using on my GMail account for years.

Except that I don't actually use GMail anymore.

At the time, Google+ was sucking up other Google services and forcibly integrating them. I didn't see why GMail would be an exception to that in the long run and I wanted nothing to do with it.

So it's great that they've removed the real name policy and are no longer agressively integrating their other services into it, but...

Too little, too late. I've already left.

about 2 months ago

Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

thevirtualcat Re:Easiest way to cancel service from any ISP... (401 comments)

Oh, they tried the "relocation plan" on me.

Me: "Your service isn't available where I'm going and I don't have your phone service, so that really wouldn't help me at all."
Rep: "Oh. Okay."

If you do have the phone service:
Me: "Sorry, My new provider is wireless and disallows competing IP phone services on their network."
(You'll probably make the rep insanely jealous when you say that...)

Sometimes, after it's all said and done, they want a forwarding address to send the final bill.

Rep: "We offer service in that area, though."
Me: "Yeah, but the complex I'm moving into has an exclusivity agreement with [provider that's not them]."
Alternatively, if it's a single-family home:
Me: "I'm actually moving out the country and that's my grandmother's house. She doesn't need the internet for her typewriter or her rotary dial phone."

But by the time they get to the "forward address for the final bill" question comes up, you've already cancelled and they're just fishing for a new sale.

about 2 months ago

Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

thevirtualcat Easiest way to cancel service from any ISP... (401 comments)

Me: "Hi, I need to cancel my service."
Rep: "Oh? [insert marketing speak that boils down to 'Why do you want to cancel our awesome service?']"
Me: "I'm moving out of your service area and I'm already set up in my new place."
Rep: "Oh. Okay then."

Doesn't matter if it's true or not. There's not really much they can say to that. They might fish for details about where you've moved to. Just don't be stupid enough to bite.

about 3 months ago

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

thevirtualcat I miss when South Park was on Netflix. (138 comments)

I watched an episode of it on Hulu the other night. It wasn't an all out terrible experience. While Hulu is far more agressive with their anti-adblocking, they have far fewer ads than South Park Studios did. (South Park Studios often had more ads than watching on Comedy Central.)

That said, since it's going behind the paywall and I don't watch anything else behind Hulu's paywall, I guess I'll just find some other show that makes decent background noise. (Or just pirate it, but I suspect I'm too lazy to do that.)

about 3 months ago

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

thevirtualcat Re:Dear Trey Parker and Matt Stone (138 comments)

You could put this comment on any other article and it would be (-1, Troll) instead of (5, Funny.)

Thanks, South Park!

about 3 months ago

Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

thevirtualcat Re:I won't upgrade. (681 comments)

Usually it's highly-specialized industrial or lab equipment with either an embedded computer (oscilloscopes, waveform generators) or have a computer attached (CNC things.) These are things that usually cost 10^5 to 10^7 USD/GBP/EUR/whatever. (That said, these are also generally things that shouldn't be connected to a public network, anyway.)

There are a few old oscilloscopes kicking around my workplace that run Windows 98. They serve their purpose and upgrading them to even XP would be a good way of turning them into bricks that can play Minesweeper.

about 3 months ago

Winners of First Seized Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Remain Anonymous

thevirtualcat Re:One stupid question (88 comments)

They would probably just exchange the currency at market rates.

Remember, though, that the US Government doesn't consider bitcoins currency, but property.

Auctioning them off is in line with that.

about 3 months ago

Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

thevirtualcat Re:You know ... (358 comments)

I don't feel bad for him at all.

He's just lucky he's not holding an FCC license of some kind (amatuer radio or a business license) or he wouldn't be getting off with such a small fine. (Wouldn't surprise me if he also ended up barred from holding such licenses, but there's nothing in TFA that says that.) Especially since he was also causing interference in the public saftey bands.

about 3 months ago

When will large-scale IPv6 deployment happen?

thevirtualcat Re:Depends... (305 comments)

I guess it's for certain values of "cheap." In the long run, I suspect we'll see IPv6 in the cheap ones because eventually, the manufacturers will be forced to move to versions of the underlying OSs that actually support it.

about 4 months ago

Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?

thevirtualcat Re:The Definition of Skills Shortage (236 comments)

Raise your hand if you haven't had this conversation before...

"We have a great 6-month contract opportunity in Nowhereville that we think you'd be a perfect fit for. The rate is $25/hr on 1099 with no benefits..."

about 4 months ago



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