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Comment: Re:this is great news! (Score 1, Troll) 86

by AudioEfex (#47514091) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

Oh god I love this "streaming is the future" nonsense.

Once data caps hit the US (and we know they are coming, the ISPs have already installed the backbone to make it happen, it's just a matter of pulling the switch - some have already been "testing" it, like Comcast) every ISP is going to follow suit rather quickly, and when folks who are now clogging up over half the Internet traffic streaming will suddenly drop like flies.

This is the "golden age" of streaming - it ain't gonna last long. I get it, it's convenient - but it's simply unable to continue on this trajectory. I personally rarely do it because no matter what resolution you are streaming at, the compression is so high that it cannot even compare to Blu-ray. Same with the illegal downloads - if you think a two hour film in true HD quality and sound can fit in a couple of gigs, you don't know wtf you are talking about. I guess if you sit and watch movies on a laptop it's good enough, but on a decent sized TV? Might as well watch DVD quality at that point, even if the file is supposedly running at 1080p.

When you add to the quality issues that the content providers have such scattered libraries and they can take any of it away at any time, I'm very happy with my "antiquated" physical media - so be nice to us that buy it, because once data caps come in you'll be coming to folks like me to borrow discs halfway through the month when you binge watched something on Netflix and ate your monthly data allowance up with a couple of weeks left to go before you get your fresh sip of bandwidth.

Comment: Re:Privacy is dead (Score 5, Insightful) 121

by AudioEfex (#47514051) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

I'm sorry but anyone who is idiot enough to have an Android phone and DOESN'T know that of course since you sign into your Goggle account with it the same damn data sharing is going to happen just like wherever you use their services on any device is, well, an idiot. The question is, though, what harm comes from that - and that's up to each user to decide when they choose to use it or not. Since users sign up for and consent to the service - I see why it takes an actual technicality like this to make it actionable (even if it does highlight the often absurdity of our legal system).

Basically, I know it's all cool to get all up in arms about this stuff and the principle, etc., but the truth is - if you are going to use a single commercial device to access your entire data "life", and if you use Google services in particular, you know what you are getting at this point. It's those ads that pay for Goggle to give so many of it's services away for free. It may be wrong, it may be right, it really doesn't matter because it's the very definition of "it is what it is". It's the price you pay for using a "smart" phone because you won't find one that doesn't have privacy implications. As a user you decide - is the convenience/cache of owning one worth it? If the answer is no, go get yourself a "feature" phone burner and replace it once a month, or however often your paranoia leads you to do so - and don't access any data services on it.

My guess is, 99% of the folks who are going to make comments about this and bemoan privacy have smartphones - they are not necessary, they are a convenience/luxury - one that I use, but if I really was so concerned I wouldn't have one, or use Goggle's services - much less an OS designed by them - or iOS and their Cloud shit, etc. It's a trade off of modern life, if you want the cool toys, you can't play anonymous secret super agent spy. (Which leads to the "what are you doing that makes you think anyone gives a fuck" question, but that is a separate issue entirely.)

Comment: Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (Score 3, Insightful) 191

by AudioEfex (#47491353) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

That actually isn't what Happend at all. You need to go further back than 1998.

Not to mention that your prices are way off - someone like Madonna gets $4-5 bucks an album, and that's the super-high end.

Cheap singles are nothing new. Singles drove the industry from the 60's through the 80's. Then labels slowly stopped releasing singles, forcing folks to buy an entire album for one song. This really hit the mainstream when Britney Spears first album, "...Baby One More Time". The title song was a huge radio and MTV hit, but it was unavailable as a single, and was only available when they finally dropped the album, forcing folks to buy the whole album to get the song (with the album filled largely with filler like "Email My Heart"). This resulted in an instant #1 album.

By holding back singles, they forced folks to spend much more on albums, which became standard practice - and it's no coincidence that this coincided with the rise of Napster because it was the only way folks could just get one single song without spending $15-20. It was a direct response to taking away choice from the market place.

There is a lot more to it before and after, but that's the basic gist - how the labels basically created the whole download environment by manipulating the market just as the technology became available to circumnavigate the entire thing. Since then they have played catch up and obviously largely lost in the long run.

This is also why your average AAA-list concert act sells tickets starting at $150-300 - because the record companies don't get a cut of that, and it's where they make the bulk of their money. Not that it hasn't always really been that way, of course.

Comment: Devil's Advocate (Score 2) 140

While I'll agree that largely they are going to be ineffectual anyway, I don't think we help the cause with the current "copy/paste this as your comment" mentality. Just go to any of those public comments sections on the government sites and a massive majority of comments are identical, usually a complete set, one each of a pro and a con argument that someone just simply is told to copy/paste to "help the cause" from whatever side sent them. I just cringe when they also contain awkward wording, or even spelling/grammar errors in the original text - that of course propagate to every single one that someone pastes in. There are so few original comments it all just looks like PR/social media campaigns, not citizens giving actual, thoughtful comments.

That said, again, yes, I'm sure a lot of folks don't want to waste time because they don't think it matters any way, and it probably doesn't - but like I said, it doesn't help the cause or likely make anyone monitoring/reviewing them pay attention when they have read the same exact comment worded the same exact (often poor) way hundreds or even thousands of times. It's not a vote, it's an invitation to comment - but we treat it like one.

Comment: Re:Dumb dumb dumb advice... (Score 2, Insightful) 278

by AudioEfex (#47467185) Attached to: Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

You trust one of those absurd "password keepers" and think that making a risk assessment on low-danger websites where no harm could come even if someone did by remote chance try to break into your account is stupid?

If you are one of the password zealots, using one of those "hey stuff all your passwords into one convenient app!" programs is simply the dumbest thing you can do. It's akin to taking every object you own with any value, including all your cash, important papers, SS card, etc. out of your safe or safety deposit and just leaving them in a cardboard box, putting it in one storage shed outside your home, and "securing" it with an off-brand padlock on it you got 2 for 1 at the dollar store. If someone does break into it, by breaking just one lock, you've just given them everything you own of any value.

Now THAT is stupid.

Particularly the phone app based ones - most of which backup to "the cloud" - please, seriously. They are all written by unknown companies that I'm sorry, I'm not willing to trust the most essential data I have to, much less allow them to back up. But even if you disable that (then when you drop your phone and it busts you are fucked), or use a desktop version (lot of good that does on the go), they still make no sense whatsoever. Even if it's a "known" brand - still absolutely frigging retarded. It's amazing how many folks see the promise of encryption and think it's safe - unless you are decompiling the source code, you have no idea you can even trust that. But even if it is truly encrypted - have you never heard of the very time-tested wisdom against putting all your eggs in one basket?

It makes perfect sense to reuse the same password, or very close, for stupid sites where there really is little risk to begin with. Every fucking thing you do on the Internet requires a login these days - "Oh noes! Someone hacked into my account, that doesn't even have my real name attached, and signed me up for concert date notifications for Taylor Swift to my dummy email account!"

You need your strongest password for your email (which is the key to many site password resets), and hopefully you are smart enough to have multiple throw-away email addresses for low-priority stuff (which you can conveniently forward, or, as I do, just have multiple accounts on your phone or tablet device). Next you need to have decently strong passwords for your financial sites, depending on what they are. But beyond that - even for things like your cable company - not much someone can do, even if they break into it, that can't be undone, aside from pay my bill for me (and if anyone wants to do that, shoot me a message, I'll send you the damn password). My payment info is saved, but it's ********** out, someone can't glean the number from logging in as you. Someone can play a trick and upgrade your service I guess? I'm sure the world's foremost hackers are right on that one.

Like everything, there is a middle ground. You just need to make a reasonable risk assessment by site. I basically have three tiers - one, strongest for email/financial, two, semi-reused for things like paying my cable bill or light subscription maintenance, etc., and three, reused for stupid sites that shouldn't require a login anyway, or where the data is completely inconsequential (the aforementioned Pollstar, etc).

But I sure as fuck am not going to put ALL of them into ANY app or single program - there are backdoors built into routers these days, you expect some start-up (or even established) "password keeper" doesn't have that possibility? I am concerned for your common sense.

Comment: Re:We're sorry he so faithfully followed instructi (Score 1) 401

by AudioEfex (#47461895) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

That is *exactly* what would have been happened. Companies call them "missed opportunities". This is an internal culture/training/systemic issue, not a rouge agent. Unfortunately, it's likely only that agent that will suffer.

While I agree the whole thing was ludicrous, but one thing that stuck with me when I first heard about this was the recording - it's not legal everywhere to record a call without letting the party know (it varies wildly by state), and even if the other side notifies you they are recording (like most customer service) I think in some places it would have to be notified on both sides. Not a big deal, just something that made me think. I also find it a little odd that they had a recorder hooked up - I have one I use for occasional phone interviews with subjects, but I don't have it hooked up all the time.

Again, probably nothing to that - and in any case, it's an issue Comcast should be held to address internally regarding retention, no excuses for that, but if can't shake the nagging "this is very convenient, isn't it?" questions, either.

Comment: Should be asking other questions (Score 4, Insightful) 507

by AudioEfex (#47459769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

What does she want to do. It's fine if she doesn't know yet, too many kids are forced into a box too early, but those are the types of questions you should be asking her. What is she good at? What are her hobbies? There may be jobs she doesn't even know about that may relate to them that you can help her discover. Picking a profession is not something really that should be done on statistics/probability.

That said, of course it's good to reign in certain things - there aren't a lot of jobs for underwater basket weavers. But, you could suggest offshoots of that - either a basic business degree to run her own shop, or something in textiles/manufacturing. But it's always best to go with what she likes and/or is good at as a starting place - vs. figuring out what has the least amount of risk and going for it no matter what the profession is.

This is where those "aptitude" tests that you take in high school might be helpful. I'm sure there are equivalents online, or her school might still offer them. I'd never use them as a sole resource, but they can help you find things that may not be obvious. In high school one of the careers that mine said was "law enforcement" which at the time I laughed at - yet now, in my mid-30's - I suddenly found myself working in a different field in the private sector, but as a financial investigator. Something to those tests, I think.

Comment: Re:For us dummies.... (Score 1) 382

by AudioEfex (#47459017) Attached to: White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Thanks to everyone who replied, makes sense now. :)

And see what a nice informative discussion can be had when someone, gasp, on /. no less, admits to not knowing everything in the world? LOL. I knew I could probably figure it out with our friend google but also figured a lot of folks would wonder the same thing, which is why I asked.

So it's a similar question to a lot of local vs. national/global issues. With a bit of the "movie studios can't own movie theaters" thrown in. On one hand, it keeps car dealers in business which is good for the local economy (I never really stopped to think about the ownership issue, I just assumed they had some type of franchise arrangement with the brands they sold since most seem to specialize), but on the other, it's a middle-man jacking up the prices by force of law.

The below has given me a lot to think about - part of me wants to say "well, if the manufacturers move in and sell themselves, they will still have to pay local taxes, so sorry Charlie," but on the other car makers complete control over the supply chain could have ramifications as well. Why couldn't it be an easy question like "Star Wars - Prequels, or OT"? ;)

Thanks /. !

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 708

I wholeheartedly thank whomever modded the above as "troll" (check my /. number, my karma can take it haha, bring it on) - as you just proved my point entirely. There was nothing unreasonable in what I said, and any true scientist would agree with my premise even if they 100% support the AGW theory. Science is about asking questions, and anyone who tries to stifle the discussion is simply hiding something, a sheep following the herd, or not confident enough to enter the discourse. Seriously, thank you - point proven. :)

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 2, Insightful) 708

I don't think that's what he's saying, and the folks that think it's some vast conspiracy are rare, but those that refuse to even entertain the discussion on it are doing nothing for their cause and themselves creating a growing air of suspicion, not the other way around.

It doesn't take a vast conspiracy - that requires a central malice and string-puller. But the current "scientific" environment around Global Climate Whatever it's being called this week (just look at these comments to see a half dozen other terms folks are now using that Global Warming has used up its cache), is not only anti-science (science is all about questioning), and it isn't a leap to think that the reason "99% of scientists agree!", the current talking point, is because it might be self-sustaining. It doesn't take a conspiracy for folks to see which side their bread needs to be buttered in to survive in their jobs.

If everyone agrees, of course any science that might shed the tiniest bit of doubt will be buried because the scientist would lose all funding, likely their job, and be out of work just for questioning a hypothesis. Do you see how anti science that really is, and how easily many individuals have it in their best interest to keep proving this thing they already say is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt?

I'm not a skeptic or a believer in human climate influence. I can see both ways, and to be honest think it's probably somewhere in the middle, where obviously the earth has cycles and with how little we truly understand about how many infinite factors go into such, but that likely humans have helped whatever cycle is happening now along.

What I do know is human nature, and the scientific community (please forgive me for this next reference, I don't take making it lightly) is somewhat like Nazi Germany at this point - agree, support, or you will be eliminated. The fact that any scientist would take any modern notion studied over such a short time (a few decades is a blink) and with such veracity state that it is the unequivocal, be all, end all, no questioning allowed is not only scary, it's coming from a generation who has no understanding whatsoever of the true nature of scientific discourse.

You actually will find that a good portion, if not most (over 50%) actually agree that there should be some questioning or at least don't believe in the severity - because, you know, fifteen years ago we were told by the end of this decade the ocean would overtake Manhattan - but like Israel, any possible Autism/vaccine connection, "supporting our troops", or any number of issues we are only supposed to be of one hive, unquestioning mind of - folks just don't admit their true feelings on it when asked in surveys, etc, because of social pressure, not that they actually don't question them.

If there is true consensus about global warming, then science should be inviting opposing thought - not trying to stifle the discussion like a dictator.

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 2, Insightful) 708

1. AGW is real. Science resolved. Nothing even to discuss. Period.

And you just hit that nail so squarely in the head you couldn't have been more accurate with a laser sight.

You know why there is a growing amount of folks saying "wait a minute?" Because no science is "resolved" on anything with such a short-term study with such absolution (and yes, few decades is a short time). It has this religious fervor around it that is really unsettling. That folks swear there isn't even a discussion to be had instantly makes someone who can think for themselves highly suspicious. It may very well be true, but stating with such bullishness it's not up for discussion "period" at once makes you sound defensive, childish, and suspicious.

It's something like the autism/vaccine question - if you aren't even willing to entertain an opposing thought, get out of the room because you understand nothing about science, which by it's very nature is about constant questioning. Period.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.