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Comments

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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

zlogic Re:Users Don't Dream Big Enough (260 comments)

This sounds almost like Microsoft's reasoning for Windows 8/Metro:
- Users are dumb and want trivial things like a better Windows 7
- Most people use computers for Office, music, video playback and browsing the internet
- We should develop technology that is easier to use and runs on portable devices to better compete with Apple and Google
- We're Microsoft after all, let's do really innovative stuff like unifying the phone, tablet and desktop interfaces! Instead of incremental upgrades we'll bet the company on a futuristic solution with an app store, brand-new touch-friendly interface and a unique graphics design. This will go into history as the most innovative move of the decade and show these pricks at Apple and Google that Microsoft is just as good if not better.

yesterday
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Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

zlogic Re:Zero? (53 comments)

I only have data on Russian operators (which also operate in other countries such as India, Vietnam and Eastern Europe):
MTS: default rounding is 100 KB
Beeline (partially owned by Telenor): default rounding is 150 KB
Megafon (partially owned by TeliaSonera): default rounding is 100 KB
Tele2: default rounding is 100 KB

If you choose a "data" tariff, rounding is usually 1 KB, but calls are much more expensive.
Also, most operators provide reasonably priced ($5-$15/month) mobile data packages which have a daily/monthly quota and lower your speed to 64KB/s when the quota is exceeded.

All three operators have access to the "free" Facebook and also local social networks. But because of the rounding, it's not free at all and only suitable for occasional use, otherwise it's much easier to just get a proper data package.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

zlogic Re:Zero? (53 comments)

DNS requests still count; and many operators are rounding traffic to 100KB intervals. Meaning if you open a free Facebook or Google page and thus results in a 0.5 KB of DNS requests, this counts as 100KB of traffic. Also, mobile pages consume much less traffic - especially ones for dumbphones and/or compressed by something like the Opera Mini proxy. So in the end using these "free" sites doesn't really save much - except for cases when you primarily view pictures.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

zlogic Re:Something in deep in a loop in the graphics sys (533 comments)

Windows Vista rewrote the graphics system from scratch. That was one of the reasons it was hated so much - WDDM drivers are difficult to write and NVIDIA/ATI failed to provide stable drivers on time.

about 3 months ago
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Google Chrome 32 Is Out: Noisy Tabs Indicators, Supervised Users

zlogic Re:For all google's "evil" doings (141 comments)

Background sound is a big thing for online radio and music players. What would be nice is an option to disallow sites from playing music until they're approved, kind of like Chrome does with webcam access.

about 3 months ago
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McAfee Brand Name Will Be Replaced By Intel Security

zlogic Re:Interesting... (180 comments)

McAfee used to be a great product. It began to suck soon after the company was acquired by Intel.

McAfee started to suck long before the Intel acquisition, probably some time after the Network Associates merger. I'm using a corporate version of McAfee stuff (Antivirus, HIPS, Endpoint Encryption) for a long time and their level crappiness hasn't changed much after Intel took over. Still has a horrible UI, takes forever to scan drives.
Endpoint Encryption is still security via obscurity - to decrypt or recover data, you need a "password of the day" (can be found in online forums), a special CD with the recovery tools (can be found on pirate sites), and the encryption key is simply hidden in some HDD sector, all that protects it is a tiny 6-digit numeric password! I mean the official recovery tool is designed specifically to make it difficult determining the encryption key sector.

about 3 months ago
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US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

zlogic Re: Time to appeal (511 comments)

There could be a possibility that the anti-terrorist organizations are working so well that the terrorist threat is so low. Think about it, if NSA, DHS and others suddenly stopped tracking terrorists, just in New York alone half the city would probably be in ruins because of contless terrorist acts!

about 4 months ago
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How long do your computer mice last?

zlogic Killing mice (361 comments)

I have a cheap mouse at work that after 1.5 years lost its feet. Without them the plastic bottow started to wear off, caused by the constant grinding. The process was slow, but after another 1.5 years the optical sensor is having trouble focusing since it's become too close to the table surface :) I'll wait until the bottom part is completely worn off and the internals fall out, this is much more fun than changing mice every 1-2 years.

about 3 months ago
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German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent

zlogic Re:Well... there goes Microsofts Android ... (192 comments)

Exchange is the de-facto standard for mail in companies with 1000+ employees (probably smaller companies as well), and compared to IMAP offers
* push email
* contacts (and calendar) sync via the same account
* enforcing corporate policies such as a requiring a device password and a maximum lock timeout.

Support for Exchange on Android and iPhone has provided a huge boost to the popularity of BYOD and is one of the main reasons why Blackberry is now failing. Previously companies had to buy RIM servers and devices and give them out to employees needing email access on the go. Now only an Exchange server with Exchange Activesync support is requred and any phone can be used, even cheap chinese phones like ZTE and Huawei where previously >$700 Blackberries were required. Most people also prefer to carry just one phone for their personal and corporate use, and for company-issued phones Android phones, even with the MS tax, have a much more attractive price than iPhone. So adding Exchange Activesync is probably the cheapest and easiest solution for companies already using Exchange, and adding support for it in all Android phones is a smart move by Google - together with Apple and Microsoft they practically stole Blackberry's customers.

I'm sorry, but the only alternatives to Exchange are:
* hosted email on Gmail, Yahoo etc. - not good for security/privacy considering the recent hacking of LinkedIn, Adobe and many other companies
* using a set of open-source products which would provide a scalable solution for intergated email, calendar and contacts; a desktop and web-based interface; and support for major mobile platforms.
* Lotus Notes. If you want users to kill themselves out of frustration :)

about 4 months ago
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German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent

zlogic Re:Well... there goes Microsofts Android ... (192 comments)

MS gets FAT32 royalties from pretty much every device with SD cards. GPS devices, MP3 players, TVs, digital cameras, car audio etc.
Most "modern" Android devices don't have memory expansion slot (which sucks) and use ext4 internally. Most of the other MS patents taxing Android cover Exchange connectivity and that's unlikely to be invalidated soon.

about 4 months ago
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Elon Musk Admits He Is Too Busy To Build Hyperloop

zlogic Re:Too busy for a pipe dream! (253 comments)

It's also easier to make the driver a scapegoat (throw him under the bus) instead of doing an investigation on why the software failed to activate the breaks. That's what the Soviets did - even when failure was clearly caused by faulty equipment, they blamed the operators; if the operators got killed, this was even better because they would not try to demand a real investigation.

about 8 months ago
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Windows NT Turns 20

zlogic Re:Doesn't it go further back? (213 comments)

Have you actually used WinME? It's the same Win98, but with DOS hidden and locked down and a icons/sounds backported from Windows 2000. Windows 2000 is a much more modern NT-based OS and having used it alongside WinME I can tell the difference is clearly visible, with Windows 2000 winning in almost every test except memory consumption and compatibility with Win9x apps.
Windows 2000 was originally planned to replace the DOS-based 98, but application/driver compatibility was not perfect, so Microsoft instead produced the WinME abomination before finally moving everyone to XP.

about 9 months ago
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A Radical Plan For Saving Microsoft's Surface RT

zlogic Re:Dumping? (391 comments)

Dumping Surface RT could attract enough users that developers would start to take the Windows platform seriously. Then, since MS makes a $50/year per developer account, and 30% from every app sale, they may use the discounted RTs to jumpstart the Windows Store and recover at least some money (maybe unbundle Office and sell it as an addon?).
And hardware cannot sit on shelves forever. Storage space costs money, components get obsolete over time and in 2 years 50 bucks would be the right price. However this may repeat the netbook disaster (from the manufacturers standpoint) where people got accustomed to getting a perfectly usable machine for $300 and sales of more expensive hardware dropped.

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

zlogic Re:Much worse to come (467 comments)

Very few sheeple noticed that Microsoft OFFICIALLY cancelled Metro (sometimes called 'new UI' or Windows RT interface).

Would you provide a prooflink? I've been monitoring MS news and the only news was Metro being renamed into "Modern UI" because of a lawsuit from the German supermarket chain.
So far Windows 8/WP8's biggest problems is the lack of good apps. Plus, Metro apps don't integrate well with the desktop and Microsoft's Metro apps have less features than the desktop alternatives (e.g. Mail, Calendar, Onenote). It would make no sense for Microsoft to abandon this platform and start from scratch AGAIN, pissing off developers who just ported their apps to WP8/Win8. What may actually be going on is merging WP8 and Win8 APIs to simplify porting; by the way porting between Win8 and WP8 is already not terribly difficult.
The metro design (just the design, not the whole paradigm) is actually quite successful, just look at how Apple is abandoning their skeumorphic concepts or how Android also shifted to a flatter style in 2.3 and 4.0.

about 9 months ago
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Employers Switching From Payroll Checks To Prepaid Cards With Fees

zlogic Re:Perfect is the enemy of good. (1103 comments)

It's not that well publicised. For a while, I lived with some Eastern European immigrants in a cheap flatshare in London. They were keeping cash under the bed, but they all were able to open a basic account.

Some people don't trust banks, especially if they lived in a Soviet Union-related contry. They had a history of decreasing your savings either by government order (to keep everyone equal) or simply because they f*cked up investing your money.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can I Cross US Borders With Legally Ripped Media?

zlogic They're not going to look (285 comments)

Based on my travel experience (2 trips to North America, 1 to the Middle East), nobody really cares about the contents of your laptop. Come on, it's not 1998, pirating stuff over the internet is a lot easier than bothering to carry it physically.
What customs are usually interested about is
1) Large quantities of identical stuff which may be contraband
2) Illegal items, which oddly enough includes most food. Also drugs, firearms, etc.
Security may check your laptop to detect any unaccounted cavities which can carry contraband or explosives - my laptop was coming apart and security looked really concerned and ran it through quite a few extra tests.
Customs may want to check any software you may be importing for sale, but the nature of your visit must hint you may be carrying such stuff - like being a contractor who is visiting the US to install & configure software.

If you're just a tourist they're not going to look, not even in random searches. It's difficult to determine or prove the files are not legal under US law right in the airport. You should only be concerned if you were previously convicted for piracy or have a strong reason for having your laptop searched, like being a spy, terrorist or Julian Assange.

about 10 months ago
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Why Is Science Behind a Paywall?

zlogic Re:Because it's valuable, duh. (210 comments)

Authors are paid next to nothing. I've published a paper by Springer which is currently selling for $40 for a download. Guess how much I got paid? $0 (and even had to sign a huge contract detailing the terms of my $0 compensation).
Scientists publish papers because they need credit, references, public claims on their discoveries etc. Big-name scientists may actually earn something if they negotiate it.
The only reason I see the publishers get such a huge compensation is that they have to review papers (probably hire scientists from similar fields) and deal with the incoming stream of bullshit articles.

about a year ago
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Former Demonoid Members Receive Email Claiming Resurrection, Get Malware Instead

zlogic Re:Obligatory XKCD (62 comments)

They should revise Google's punchline to "Now let's shutdown everything and watch civilization collape".

about a year ago
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Windows 8 Killing PC Sales

zlogic Re:The biggest problem is lack of options (1010 comments)

I bought a business-class (TPM, Intel Management Engine & other useless shit) ultrabook a few weeks ago. It was bundled with Windows 8 and Windows 7 DVDs, and had Windows 7 preinstalled.
But it seems that only business laptops are considered "serious" with proper warranties, longer support cycles (and better support as well!), disassembly/upgrade instructions, and much less crapware preinstalled.

1 year,5 days
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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

zlogic Re:Boot-to-Game (880 comments)

And keep updating drivers included with the game for every GPU, WiFi card and modem out there? Not to mention that some people use background software for voice chat (if the game doesn't support it) or constantly alt+tab into a browser with a walkthrough or guide opened.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Ideas for a Ph.D. thesis?

zlogic zlogic writes  |  more than 4 years ago

zlogic writes "I'm about to start writing my PhD thesis, but haven't decided on its topic yet. I've worked with image recognition and feature detection. Could you suggest a real-world image recognition/processing problem that needs solving? I thought up some ideas, but want to do something useful instead of inventing a solution to a non-existing problem."

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