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Comments

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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

zlogic Re:BTW, this proves piracy is irrelevant for artis (556 comments)

Well, this actually makes sense. Magnetic media degrades over time, CDs suffer from bit rot, vynil records are easily dameged, HDDs fail, id3 tags are corrupted (Windows Media Player does that). Formats change over time - for example movies purchased 10 years ago are in DVD quality, which doesn't look good in big TVs; and high-quality 1080p torrents consume less space.
And just at old iTunes purchases - they are poorer quality and have DRM.
Now, renting music is not much worse than maintaining a record collection, and for the price of one album per month you get unlimited access to all songs. Sounds like a great bargain to me if you download at least one new album per month. And in 5-10 years your library will probably get upgraded to FLAC quality.
If you are "lucky" to work in an open space environment, you need A LOT of music to compensate the noise. Listening to the same music over and over is even worse than listening to loud sales calls, and radio-style services or unlimited libraries really help to keep your sanity.
The only downside I see is the possibility of provider going bankrupt or shutting down the music service.

8 hours ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

zlogic Re:My opinion on the matter. (826 comments)

X is terrible when working over non-local networks (VPN, offsite servers and so on). Once you get any sort of network latency, windows start drawing incredibly slowly, it seems every X drawing call is done synchronously and windows with many buttons and text labels may take tens of seconds to draw.
It's so bad that our team has to use VNC server on every site and use it for any X applications. Even though VNC is supposed to be less efficient, it doesn't suffer as much from network latency.

about three weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

zlogic Re:Linux will NEVER be a Desktop - Every Day OS. (727 comments)

Windows is seeming to be actually going backwards.
For example, if you disable hibernation in Windows 7, you can only re-enable it with a command line tool rather than a GUI like it was done in XP.

Or even worse: Windows Vista/7 had network management features that recognized networks and allowed to enable features based on the assigned network type. This is a neat feature which automatically enforces stricter firewall rules in public hotspots. Windows 8 had this feature really dumbed down, and what's more, you can now only manage locations with a command line tool! If you shared some files at a local Starbucks, locking it down would be extremely difficult.

With this rate, some future Windows version would only allow DHCP auto-configuration, or if you need to set your own IP/DNS, you're a power user and should use the console.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

zlogic Re:American car companies... (426 comments)

Audi, BMW, Porche, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Mitssubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota weren't sitting on their thumbs in the 15 years it took GM, Ford, and Chevrolet to get their cars up to snuff.

I agree, every time someone tries to sell me a Ford, I always tell them it's horrible and I'd prefer Ford instead.

about a month ago
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Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

zlogic Re:How to fix ALL the app stores... (249 comments)

Step 2 no longer allow any app that replicates abilities in the stock phone.

Not such a god idea. If Android has a browser, a "social networking" app (Google+), a music player, an SMS app, a maps app and so on, alternatives may still be useful (e.g. an alternative SMS app with spam blocking, an alternative maps source).
Or iPhone, which has Safari, forces all browsers to use the Safari rendering engine. Not so great if someone develops a better browser with ad blocking, a faster (or more standards-compatible) rendering engine, or some other features besides another UI with bookmarks sync.

Step 4 eliminate in app purchases.

Some in-app purchases are good. For example add-supported apps that allow to disable ads for a fee will keep settings, while the traditional solution with a free/paid version clutters the appstore and loses your settings if you upgrade, since it's a completely different and isolated app.

about 1 month ago
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Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

zlogic Re:Remove old apps. (249 comments)

There are some niche apps which were updated a long time ago and yet continue working well. For example an SSH client https://play.google.com/store/... (this is Android, but still). There are some clones of this app, adding some extra (perhaps unneeded) features, and either display ads or require payment while the original app is completely free and open-source. If it works well even on the latest hardware, should it really be removed if it's no longer updated and does not generate as much cash as the clones?

about 1 month ago
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LinkedIn Spam Lawsuit Can Continue

zlogic Re:they become aggresive... (50 comments)

It's possible people who are looking for a job start recommending all their contacts so at least someone will recommend them back.

about 3 months ago
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HP Unveils 'The Machine,' a New Computer Architecture

zlogic Re:anyone remember itanium? (257 comments)

Itanium was popular with the server market, it just didn't evolve fast enough. Windows XP actually had an Itanium version from day 1 and a lot of MS products had Itanium releases.
Totally new hardware platforms sometimes allows to get rid of old stuff and rethink approaches. For example, Apple's iPhone/iPad basically set the new standard of what a smartphone or tablet should be - before that we had Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian without an app store and with capacitive screens and bulky tablets running desktop operating systems.
This probably won't be a consumer OS, rather something like a dedicated database machine or Hadoop-like node.

about 3 months ago
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Why Should Game Stories Make Sense?

zlogic Stories do matter (169 comments)

A few examples of good stories:
* Half-Life does not have a really complicated story, but it's good enough to turn mindless running around corridors (Quake II-style) into achieving actual goals.
* Bioshock Infinite has an insanely great story with an awesome ending. Forget the graphics (not bad at all), forget the gameplay (also quite entertaining), the story is probably the best in history of gaming. This game will definitely be remembered.
And bad ones:
* Unreal II: The Awakening has a terrible story and dialogue. But graphics were great and gameplay was OK (typical for FPS developed during that time). Probably nobody remembers this game now (except for how bad the dialogue was).
* Unreal Tournament, Quake III have absolutely no story in single-player. It seems nobody played single-player at all, or only used it to train for multi-player deathmatches.

Some gameplay types do not need a story, and sadly it seems that this includes most modern games, such as free-to-play timekillers (no need for a story when the purpose is grinding for coins) and multiplayer games where the any sort of story interferes with the gameplay.

about 5 months ago
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VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

zlogic Background (for those who didn't read TFA) (149 comments)

This Pavel Durov guy sent a resignation letter on April 1 saying that he resigned. Then a follow-up letter on April 3 stating that this was an April Fools joke and he'd like to recall the resignation letter.
Now, the VK social is undergoing hostile takeover and there's lots of going on that we don't know about.
What most don't seem to understand is:
You don't make such kind of jokes on April 1st without expecting consequences.
Imagine if
* Your boss joked "you're fired, pack your shit" and gave you a pink slip on April 1st
* A senior developer joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all you dumbass bozos building pointless crap" and gave his resignation on April 1st
* The CEO joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all the f-ing politics I have to deal with" and gave his resignation on April 1st
and made a follow-up two days later saying that was a joke and the statement should be recalled.

This still is a sad day in the history of Russian Internet. It seems that blocking of stuff is getting more and more aggressive (Navalny's blog was banned simply because he's under house arrest and is not supposed to use the internet). Some ISPs even roll out DPI which is sadly a better alternative to DNS-based blocking because of much less false-positives.

about 5 months ago
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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 (276 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.

about 5 months ago
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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 5 months 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 5 months 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 8 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 9 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 9 months ago

Submissions

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Ideas for a Ph.D. thesis?

zlogic zlogic writes  |  more than 5 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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