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Comment I was 12. i had just gotten my first computer. (Score 2) 351

it was a Packard Bell 486 DX2 with 4 MB ram. My parents bought it because they thought it would be "good" for me. My uncle came over with a baseball card cardboard box's worth of pirated 3.5 disks. One of them was Doom.

I remember installing doom and then having to have a "boot disk" to give me enough RAM to run the thing. Glorious, pixelated violence meant i was the coolest nerd on the block for years. So many imps died. So many friends looking over my shoulder and taking turns as we cleared Phobos of hell's minions.

Doom taught me a lot. Configuration. Boot disks. Zip files. Ms-DOS commands. Piracy. Modding. The internet (happypupy and bluesnews led me straight to some sort of Doom .wad depository, wherein I could download custom mods of Doom, including an MST3K sound replacement .wad I still insist on using whenever i boot the game up)

My uncle passed away around a dozen years ago, after a futilely stupid battle with type 2 diabetes (stupid as in, not following doctors orders and losing your legs, kidneys, and vision). But i will always remember him as the uncle who brought me Doom.

Comment How is this even pretend private? (Score 1) 43

So let me get this straight. Facebook, a company designed from the ground up to know everything about you and your friends, is offering a small segment of its userbase (paranoid Android users) the ability to connect using Tor.

Discounting the fact that the phone is likely not rooted, and thus not 100% private in the first place.... Discounting the fact that cell data communications are easily traceable from the tower..... You're still using a Tor exit node to connect to a website who knows more about you than you do yourself, and spews out your personal data to the highest bidder 24/7/365?

I just.... i mean...... what?!

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Easiest to use multi-user map editing?

Lordfly writes: I'm part of an online group of local hobbyist, semi-pro, and professional photographers. I want to start an editable map that showcases interesting places to shoot photos — parks, old buildings, interesting infrastructure, etc. Ideally I'd like to be able to tag/organize the markers (public/private property), as well as add example photos for each location to give people an idea of what the place looks like.

I've used the Google Maps "Create a Map" feature, but have found that sharing for other users to see/edit is a bit... off. Also, given Google's propensity for dropping features without much pretext, it makes me wary to sink time and effort into a possibly ephemeral map. It does most of what I'm looking for it to do, but are there more robust alternatives out there I'm not finding?

Comment In other news... (Score 0, Redundant) 264

...Congress has passed legislation to protect buggy whip manufacturers from the likes of Ford and Chrysler.

There's also laws in France which prohibit deep discounts on books, so while you do get a million bookstores per square mile, they all essentially have the same inflated prices (no more than 5% discount). This is protectionism to the extreme. I don't really think this will work long term.

Comment As someone living... (Score 4, Insightful) 121 a mitten-shaped flyover state, I think part of the problem might be that these businesses don't realize that most of the US doesn't look like LA, San Fran, or New York City. Therefore their idea of useful or exciting really isn't to someone living in Herpaderp Iowa, population 4,354. Maybe if they tooled their services to be a little more useful to people who can't just hop on the subway to the latest gastropub, they'd be a bit more successful.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Ultimate personal media storage / sync setup?

Lordfly writes: The wife and I have started looking to buy a house. In the spirit of that, I've been giving away books, CDs, and DVDs to "downsize" the pile of crap I'll have to lug around when we do find the right place. That got me thinking about digital files. I'm perfectly okay with giving up (most) books, CDs, and DVD cases. The only music I buy are mp3s anyway, and we stream most everything else if we wanted to watch a show or movie. That being said, I have a desktop, my wife has an old Macbook, we both have tablets, and I also have an Android smartphone. I'd like to set up something on an extra Windows box shoved in a closet that lets me dump every digital file we have (photos, music, ebooks, movies) and then doles it out as necessary to all of our devices. Unfortunately my best computer geek days are likely behind me (photography and cooking have consumed me since), so while I CAN schlep around a command line, I've lost most of my knowledge, so go easy on the "just apt-get FubarPackageInstaller.gzip and rd -m Arglebargle" stuff. Something easy enough for my wife to use would be a major plus.

So: What's the best way to make your own personal "cloud"?

Comment Color me stupid... (Score 2) 238

...but if I sign up for Alice's network, and ten of my friends are on Bob's network, and another 35 are on Charlie's network... what do we gain by belonging to 3 separate networks?

If the content is all federated (Alice's network pulls contact info from Bob's network, etc), it acts the exact same as Facebook does for the end user.

This to me sounds like an arbitrary barrier to social networking. My friends don't fit easily into social network "buckets", and nearly none of my friends have time to sort and connect to various federated sources of information. They have 15 seconds to check one spot - facebook - for notifications, messages, and status updates. The really hip ones use Twitter.

So really: Sell myself and my friends on this in one sentence. "It's not facebook" is not that sentence - if Google can't make that work, neither will geeks trying to precisely bucket social communication like we were robots instead of messy, finicky humans.

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