Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Advert for Razer? (Score 1) 199

by m.dillon (#49347505) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

Not sure what that guy was complaining about but I love my Razer Blackwidow ultimate (2013) keyboard. I grew up on heavy n-key-rollover IBM keyboards and then had to make due with horrible light, cheap, keyboards for many years until I found the Razer. It's worth the price for me. And I've gone through probably 30 or 40 keyboards over the last 35 years.

* Heavy, it doesn't move around.

* USB extension port on the right hand side is perfect for my wireless mouse's transceiver plug.

* N-key rollover that actually works, solid tactile (mechanical) response. I can type at 80+ WPM again.

* And doesn't have thousands of useless extra buttons.

Since a Razer engineer is listening. My suggestions:

* Have a usb port on the left side as well as the right side.
* Change the middle-bottom symbol. I don't quite remember... it might have been backlit before and I took the keyboard apart to disconnect it. It was a distraction.
* Don't reverse the upper and lower-case symbols on the keycaps. That was kinda silly.
* The bottom feet could be a little more robust.

In terms of mice, I use a simple microsoft or logitech wireless mouse now. Simple three button w/wheel... I don't like extra buttons or left/right buttons and when I play games I tend to map most features to the left-hand side of the keyboard rather than to a complex mouse. That way I can bang the mouse around without accidental button pushes. I prefer wired mice but for the last few years I couldn't find any at the stores I frequent.

The wireless mice are fine as long as (A) the tranceiver is within a few inches of the mouse, which it is hanging off the keyboard's RHS usb port. and (B) You use a AA alkaline (non rechargeable) battery. Rechargeable batteries just don't last due to charge leakage. And of course keep a spare battery within reach or replace every month whether or not it needs replacing.


Comment: That will be amusing (Score 1) 262

by m.dillon (#49339395) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

Whenever Radio Shack asked me for my address I just said I wasn't interested in giving it to them. But a friend of mine did one better... he always wrote down the address of the White house and signed it Mickey Mouse. And the sales person dutifully entered it into the computer, no questions asked.


Comment: Re:At What Frequency? (Score 3, Informative) 83

That is not a correct description. Lower frequency radio waves are no less 'quantum' or 'classical' than higher frequency radio waves. AM radios can penetrate objects primarily because they have a wavelength on the order of 400 meters (up to around 1 MHz), whereas FM radios have a wavelength of only a few meters (through around 100 MHz). The longer wavelength of AM effectively allows the radio wave to bypass even relatively large objects such as mountains.

The same effect can be seen even within your house if you have a dual-band WIFI router. The 2.4 GHz band is able to penetrate walls and go around corners and reach the second floor far more easily than the 5 GHz band can.


Comment: What morons (Score 1) 485

by m.dillon (#49336901) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

What morons. Sorry, but they are. They are writing to a file through the operating system which means that it is being spooled out to disk asynchronously, so obviously piecemeal writes are going to be faster because they will run concurrently with the string generation algorithm. Plus their 'writes' are probably being buffered in ram anyway.

Writes to files generally do not stall programs. These people are morons.


Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569

>What if it's not a false alarm and there's am unstable, armed murderer on the other side?

This is precisely the thinking that leads to swatting.

The chance this is a something a polite, normally armed patrol can't handle is actually somewhere close to zero. Even in the US. And in less insane countries, the only people that can call a SWAT team are actually the police. And they don't do it upon a call by a patrol, but only once some chief back at the station has decided it's needed.

Comment: Re:Still Waiting for The Other Shoe (Score 1) 322

by ewhac (#49288631) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

They've clarified this many times.

No, they haven't. All the "clarifications" I can find are simply regurgitations of the same ambiguous phrasing.

When you realize that Microsoft have been openly discussing a subscription-based version of Windows, then the phrase, "Free for the first year," takes on an entirely different meaning, now doesn't it? Microsoft has not clarified this, even to discredit it.

And even if MS isn't planning on a subscription-based flavor of Windows, they still have been abundantly less than clear exactly which version of Windows 10 you'll be receiving for free. Will it be a kind-for-kind trade (Home version for Home version, "Pro" version for "Pro" version, etc.), or will everyone get the lowest tier SKU available, probably with Bing plastered everywhere?

It would be nice if I were wrong about this. But Microsoft's history demands that I be very suspicious of Gateses bearing gifts.

Comment: Still Waiting for The Other Shoe (Score 0) 322

by ewhac (#49285595) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades
A few week ago we heard that upgrades from Win7 and Win8 to Windows 10 would be "free for the first year," a deliberately ambiguous phrasing that they have yet to clarify. Now they're offering "free" Win10 upgrades from unsanctioned copies of Win[78] as well.

All of which makes me deeply suspicious of what this "free" version of Windows actually is. We clearly haven't been told the whole story yet.

Comment: Re:Simplicity? (Score 1) 269

by m.dillon (#49279135) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

No, the ApplePay CC number is not transmitted in any way, only the one-time token is transmitted. If the credit card reader is compromised it is theoretically possible to issue a payment using the one-time token before the payment can be issued by the vendor, but not really practical. And once a payment has been issued the token becomes worthless so the vendor will find out very quickly that they have been compromised (as in, within a few hours, possibly even in real time, rather than months later).


Comment: Re:Simplicity? (Score 2) 269

by m.dillon (#49277613) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

In terms of convenience, ApplePay is about as easy as a contactless credit card. It takes me about 3 seconds to pay with ApplePay and at least for me it's faster than even a contactless card because I keep my phone in a more accessible pocket than I do my wallet.

More importantly, ApplePay is significantly easier to use than chip-and-pin or traditional cards, which is where its competition really is (because that is what most people use in the U.S. who are just now starting to migrate). And also significantly more secure for the user.

It is certainly far more convenient to use than Google Wallet or any Android payment scheme to-date which require you to turn on your phone and/or push into an App to use. Not sure why anyone is even arguing about Google Wallet or other Android pay schemes any more, they've already very obviously have lost that war and will need significant hardware upgrades to even come close to ApplePay's convenience or security.

Touching your wallet to the reader is a bit of a misnomer... works great if you have just one card in your wallet. Doesn't work reliably if you have more than one. Another interesting little tidbit on the contactless payment cards is that if you are standing in line and the person in front of you is paying, and your card is anywhere near the reader, the reader can pick up your card accidently. That has happened to a friend of mine several times, to the point where he now keeps his contactless card in a faraday-cage card slip. That doesn't happen with ApplePay because you have your finger on the fingerprint reader to complete the transaction.


Comment: Re:Nipples and terrorism? (Score 1) 134

Now this is interesting
We Swiss drink the same amount as the British. But funny enough, Britain does have a kind of a "drunk" problem; because people go out, drink as much as they can, then the pubs close. In Switzerland however, restaurants and bars stay open rather longish, which leads to people spreading their drinking through the evening into the morning, and NOT get drunk.

Similarly, in France and Austria, people might drink a lot, but usually don't go binge drinking.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.