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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

wbo Re:5K display (and computer) for $2500 (352 comments)

An iMac does need to be powered on to act as an external display, however it doesn't need to have a working OS (or at least the ones I have played with don't).

Beware, I haven't actually tested the power consumption so this is just speculation on my part, but since the processor and GPU in iMac aren't really doing anything I suspect they are running at their idle frequencies. If so, the power consumption of the machine should be fairly low - since many modern CPUs and GPUs have fairly low idle power requirements.

As other posters have pointed out though, Apple appears to have used their own custom display interface for the new 5k model and it looks like they have dropped Target Display Mode from the spec sheet, so it looks like using the 5k model as a dumb monitor isn't really an option.

3 days ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

wbo Re:5K display (and computer) for $2500 (352 comments)

No. This is what I hate about these iMacs. And especially more since this high-res display. You get a good, expensive display, which you could easily keep for 10-15 years, but are forced to throw it away when you want to upgrade the computer, after say 2-8 years. A Mac mini duck-taped on the back of a monitor takes about the same space anyways.

Are you sure about that? The current generation of iMacs can act as a standard monitor when connected to another machine. Up until a few weeks ago, I was using one that had a failed hard drive in it as a monitor for a desktop PC via a simple mini Displayport to Displayport cable connected to the PC's graphics card.

There is a good possibility that the new iMacs can also be used as a monitor as well.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

wbo Re:I almost never get spam in my gmail inbox. (261 comments)

The only complaint I have is one particular sender on on particular email list whose emails are consistently misclassed as spam.

I have the same problem with multiple email discussion lists that I am on. I would always flag the messages as Not Spam and that would work for a few weeks and then the messages would start going into the Spam folder again.

Several other Gmail users had the same problem with those lists. The List admins finally figured out that what was happening was that some users were hitting the Spam button instead of unsubscribing from the list. When enough people did this, Google starting flagging all messages from the list as spam even for users who had previously marked the messages as Not Spam.

Ultimately I ended up creating a set of rules for those lists using the option to bypass spam filtering for messages that matched the rules.

about a week ago
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HP Is Planning To Split Into Two Separate Businesses, Sources Say

wbo Re:HP (118 comments)

3-year warranty. Not even Apple offers that kind of support.

Actually Apple does offer a 3 year warranty (called AppleCare) for an additional fee. However, HP actually offers a 5 year warranty on their enterprise desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers as an option.

This works really well for the college that I work for because we can replace our hardware on a 5 year replacement cycle and yet still ensure almost everything is covered under warranty.

HP's enterprise service divisions are also very good about just shipping out replacement parts on request rather than requiring the entire system to be shipped back for service.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Sells More Than 10 Million New iPhones In First 3 Days

wbo Re:Sales figures are news now? (206 comments)

Apple iPhone 3S July 2008, iPhone 4 October 2011, iPhone 5 September 2012, 6S September 2014.

Apple tends to release a new phone roughly once a year. In your list you left out the 3GS (June 2009), iPhone 4S (October 2011), 5C and 5S (September 2013).

The actual releases look like this:

  • 1st gen: June 2007
  • 3G: July 2008
  • 3GS: June 2009
  • 4: June 2010
  • 4S: October 2011
  • 5: September 2012
  • 5C, 5S: September 2013
  • 6 / 6 Plus: September 2014

about a month ago
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iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

wbo Re:Can you explain how you migrate material over (222 comments)

iTunes simply offers to erase the phone when you plug it in since the phone predates the iTunes installation.

iTunes can be a pain at times and it's interface can be difficult to navigate if you don't know what you are doing but it is possible to use it to backup a phone even if that phone was previously synced with another PC or installation of iTunes.

iTunes will want to erase the phone (or any other iOS device for that matter) if you choose to synchronize the phone with the existing iTunes library on the PC, however that is not what you want to do.

Instead, if you have iTunes configured to sync automatically - cancel the sync and then select the device and use the Backup option which will backup all of the apps, user data, and settings from the device - including SMS messages and voicemail messages (if your carrier has enhanced voicemail).

Be sure to set it to encrypt the backup and set a passphrase on the backup - otherwise the backup will not include account usernames and passwords or data from apps that is marked as "high security". Beware that this can take quite a while if the user has a lot of apps or data on the phone but it will get pretty much everything as long as the backup is encrypted.

That backup can then be restored to another iOS device running the same OS version or newer. (In a few limited cases you can restore to a device running an older version of iOS but this is generally not recommended and can cause some major problems. If needed, update the OS on the new device before restoring the backup.) Plug in the new device, select it in iTunes and select Restore from Backup.

Restoring the backup will erase the target device in the process but after the process is complete the new device will be configured almost exactly like the previous device was.

about a month ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

wbo Re:Incredibly bad live stream (730 comments)

The stuttering I can attribute to an ISP or the raw demand. But the ISP didn't stick crosstalk of a Cantonese interpreter over the English audio for the first 20 minutes.

Actually the audio problems appeared to be an issue with the video playback in Safari (and perhaps other players as well). When this happened I looked at some of the chunks of the stream and found that there were 2 audio channels in the stream, one for each language.

For some reason Safari decided to play both audio streams at the same time instead of offering a choice of which audio stream to play. This is most definitely a player bug and not a problem with the live stream itself but it is sad that in 2014 Apple's players don't handle multiple audio streams properly.

I don't know which is worse, the player bugs or the fact that Apple attempted to use multiple audio tracks in their stream which their own players don't support!

about a month ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

wbo Re:Never seen it (169 comments)

That particular screen was used in Windows 3.1 which used cooperative multitasking. The message was displayed when an application stopped responding to messages for a period of time (indicating that the application may be hung for some reason and could be preventing other applications from getting any CPU time.

The screen allows the user to kill the offending application, allowing any other applications to continue to run (that is as long as the hung application hadn't corrupted the contents of RAM in some way).

about a month and a half ago
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

wbo Re:how about .... (131 comments)

(Ok, for the FB app, there is a setting to disable this, but the fact that people haven't heard of this without multiple news articles on the topic says that FB's default caught a good fraction of their users by surprise.)

I have an iPad and and Android phone and on both devices when the app was updated with the autoplay feature the app displayed an alert the first time to was launched post-update that talked about the autoplay feature and explained exactly how to turn it off in the settings of the app.

In my opinion, Facebook is not really the one to blame here because although the default is to autoplay videos, users were clearly informed when the feature was added and given clear instructions on how to change the setting.

about a month and a half ago
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Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

wbo Re:Why not community college rather than online? (81 comments)

Speaking as a guy who works in educational technology, send her to a CC instead of trying to find stuff online

I also recommend looking community colleges. Most are accredited by the college accreditation agency in their region of the country and their courses will easily transfer to most other institutions should she wish to pursue a 4 year (or higher) degree later on.

Also, some community colleges have an extensive distance learning program, many of which offer classes that are either entirely online or require a handful of on-campus sessions (usually for things like lab time for certain classes.) The community college where I work offers about half of their classes online.

about 2 months ago
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Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

wbo Re:And Never A Linux Port (316 comments)

Don't forget this thing is all locked down at the BIOS (UEFI) level

This is almost certainly wrong. The Surface Pro line is x86 and x86 PCs that carry the Windows 8 logo are required to support Secure Boot and allow the user to disable secure boot if desired.

The Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 made this really easy - the option to disable Secure Boot was clearly labeled on the first page of settings.

about 5 months ago
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Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox

wbo Re:Selling the labour (306 comments)

Also if you are using a PC imaging system such as WDS, SCCM or Altiris then you probably want the default boot device to be PXE and not the internal hard drive.

That way you can just unbox the machine, plug in power and a network cable, and turn it on. The PC will then automatically PXE boot and start installing your custom OS image and applications with no user interaction required if you have things set up properly.

about 7 months ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

wbo Re:Win 7 (860 comments)

Most of your problems are probably from applications that still don't properly support high DPI settings (which unfortunately is a lot even though high DPI support has been built-in to Windows since at least XP ).

Go to the Change Display Settings option in control panel and select "Make text and other items larger or smaller." Select "Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays" option and then set the scaling level to Smaller (100%). That disables all DPI-based scaling so application windows will no longer be resized regardless of their support for high-DPI modes.

Depending on your graphics chipset and drivers, it may require a log off/log in cycle to take full effect. There should be a message at the bottom of the dialog box telling you if you will need to log off to apply the changes or not.

Be warned that if one of your displays is a high-dpi display then everything will appear to be very small on that display due to the fact that fonts and controls will no longer be scaled.

about 7 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

wbo Re:It doesn't matter (470 comments)

The first time you log into a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system there is a brief video tutorial that shows you the charms and how to access them. It also shows you where the hot corners are and what they do.

The tutorial is per user, so on systems with multiple user accounts it is shown the first time each user logs in. I believe there is a flag in the user profile that stores whether or not the tutorial has been shown because in a domain environment with roaming profiles is is only shown the first time a user logs into a Windows 8 machine and it is not shown again if the user later logs into another Windows 8 machine that they have never logged into before.

How the fuck am I supposed to know that Charms exist, let alone that that's what they're called? Hilariously, this is about as obvious (i.e. not at all) as emacs keybindings mostly starting with Ctrl+X. But anyone who starts using emacs is a masochist anyway, so they deserve it ;)

about 10 months ago
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FTC Drops the Hammer On Maker of Location-Sharing Flashlight App

wbo Re:Why can't they copy this from iOS? (187 comments)

Newer iPhones (and i think a few other iOS devices) do have a flash and in fact a flashlight toggle is built into the lock screen on devices running iOS 7 or later.

about 10 months ago
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Hacker Skips SimCity Full-Time Network Requirement

wbo Re:Not a huge surprise... (303 comments)

The game is still available for sale on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B007VTVRFA

I'm not sure why people keep saying they took it down. Maybe they did, but it's there and available now and the ratings on it are still horrible.

Amazon did take it down for a few hours but they put it back up and added a notice to the page stating that EA was having server problems and was working to resolve them and that customers who purchase the game may be unable to play until those problems are resolved.

Now I see that Amazon has since removed that notice and replaced it with a note saying that owners of SimCity are entitled to a free game from EA.

about a year and a half ago
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Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

wbo Re:What I'd like to see... (298 comments)

2) I don't have a motherboard that supports an SSD. So I need a new motherboard

Pardon my ignorance, but why couldn't you use an SSD with your existing motherboard? An typical SSD is presents itself like any other SATA drive so as long as your motherboard has SATA ports it should have worked fine.

Even if you didn't have any SATA ports you could use, basic SATA controller cards are very inexpensive (unless you want to do hardware-based RAID but if that were the case you would have probably already had a card you could use.)

Of course based on the rest of your post, it sounds like the most of the components in the system you were upgrading were fairly old anyway and a complete motherboard, CPU, and RAM replacement was probably needed anyway to get decent performance in most modern games.

about 2 years ago
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More Than 25% of Android Apps Know Too Much About You

wbo Re:Possible vs. easy (277 comments)

Under windows you just need to launch the application using the runas command that has been built into the OS since at least Windows 2000 (possibly as far back as some versions of NT, not sure.)

Also UAC introduced in Vista and later allow applications to run at a special reduced privileged level which gives them a set of permissions below a normal user account which prevents them from accessing many parts of the user's profile. IE, Chrome, and later versions of Acrobat will run in reduced privileged mode by default. However last I checked Firefox doesn't support this feature and always runs with the same permissions as the user that launched it.

about 2 years ago
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Can Windows 8 Succeed In a Cloud-Based World?

wbo Re:Forget about the cloud (213 comments)

Well that's only for DirectX. And there are hacks to get DX10/11 to run under XP.

Those hacks simply cause XP to lie about the version of DirectX that is currently installed and some of the better ones have simple stubs for some the new API calls introduced in DirectX 10 and 11. The do NOT actually implement the new features found in the later versions of DirectX.

While this means that applications that require newer versions of DirectX can "run" it also means that the moment an application tries to use any of the new features are used there will be rendering errors and other unexpected behaviors.

more than 2 years ago
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CPU Competition Heating Up In 2012?

wbo Re:Small SSDs are cheaper (100 comments)

I have a similar setup (128GB SSD). You make it sound easy. I tried several ways to move everything over to a hard drive so that nothing user-related was stored on the system/boot SSD. I tried hard links, fiddling with the registry, changing environment variables, but in the end I gave up and kept the stub of my user directory on C: where Windows seemed to want it, and moved all the individual directories (Documents, Music, Pictures, etc.) using the "right-click and use Location tab" approach. Microsoft does NOT make it easy to do this elegantly for all users. Everything I tried either didn't work in the end (e.g., trying to do it via a hard link for the whole Users directory), or was a horrible kludge that left dribbles of user profile stuff on C:, or it didn't recognize things had moved when you try to create new users, or similar "close but not quite" breakage. Either I'm dumb, or you found a magical way to do it easily and effectively. Do share.

It is actually fairly easy to configure Windows to put user profiles for all users on a different drive than the boot (system) drive, however it must be done when first installing Windows.

As far as I am aware Microsoft does not officially support moving user profiles after the OS is installed. There are ways to do it, but as you found they all have their problems. By doing it during the OS install pretty much all of the problems are avoided.

The option to change the location for user profiles is not exposed through the graphical installer for Windows but it can be configured by using an Unattend.xml file by setting the FolderLocations key to point to the drive you want the data to reside on. You can either create the file manually or use the free Windows AIK to do it.

You can use the FolderLocations key to move several key folders and one of which is the User profile folder.

If you have never installed Windows using the unattended setup before you may want to experiment using a VM before doing it on real hardware just to make sure you have your Unattend.xml file doing what you want it to.

The only problem with this is some of the junctions created on the system drive will continue to point to the wrong location. You can find more information on this in MS KB929831. An easy way to fix this is to create a junction at c:\Users pointing to the new user profile location. (For instance on one of my systems I have a junction at C:\Users pointing to F:\Users). This neatly fixes this issue and as a bonus fixes any applications that have hard-coded paths for user profiles.

I have been running my home system like this for the past 2 years and have not encountered any problems.

more than 2 years ago

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