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Comment Xmarks - handy but flawed and stagnant (Score 2) 97

I use Xmarks (paid customer for it and LastPass, do they even have a free version?) but it definitely has its flaws and I don't get the impression that the company puts ANY resources into it beyond basic maintenance and support. I've had times where bookmarks simply disappeared (e.g. 80% of a folder of links to client sites), and there's no reasonable way to go back and track down when or why.

In my case I assume it was a sync issue between browsers on multiple systems, but since it was a folder of sites I only needed to access every few months it left me with a big window for when the loss occurred. I could have downloaded all of the bookmark sets to be able to search (or otherwise track changes) but that's a one-at-a-time process through a clunky web interface. Last time I looked there was no way to search through the old bookmark sets, nor is there any kind of automated changelog or indication of what changed - not even a count of number of bookmarks in each saved backup. Even having a count of the # of bookmarks would have helped, because I could have looked for spots where the total number declined since I'm bad about doing cleanup.

Overall I'd call Xmarks "just good enough to keep me from actually deciding to try to roll my own solution" which is really a pretty low bar since I have some idea of the development scope I'd be facing.

Comment SpearPhishing only? (Score 1) 94

Reading through this, it seems like it's much more likely to be useful for targeted attacks against people who are known to be actively moving all their traffic over VPNs.

Basically if the attacker is able to host a service (via port forwarding) on the IP of the same VPN endpoint that the target is going out through, then when the target visits that service (via phishing email, malicious website linked images, etc.) the VPN service will allow the attacker to see the origin of the request.

Comment Buy then enhance? Also Logical Increments Guide (Score 1) 322

For items where you can get the benefit of OEM pricing (e.g. for Windows) while customizing a system, it may make sense to purchase the bare-bones of what you'll want from someplace like Dell where you can customize, then add other items like graphics cards and SSDs on your own. If you don't care much about the motherboard details, power supply, case, etc. this may be the way to go.

On the other hand, you'll get an overall better system if you build from components - brand power supply, possibly a better case (though the manufacturers target easy/quick assembly and maintenance to keep labor costs down), etc. Take a look at the Logical Increments Guide at for reasonable recommendations at various price points.

If you know what you're looking for and can spread your purchasing over 2-3 weeks you can also get a lot of components at good discounts by watching sites like SlickDeals and possibly FatWallet for sales - SlickDeals has a lot of component sale announcements in the forums, not sure about other sites.

Comment Hopefully this is temporary (Score 1) 195

I've seen some commentary that indicated bug problems, so hopefully this is temporary.

The reason it should be temporary is that the upgrade process seems to take AT LEAST as long as the original upgrade install from Windows 7 did, and since the upgrade leaves behind a windows.old directory so you can roll it back I'm not sure how that interacts with an initial upgrade from Windows 7/8/8.1.

Comment Took longer than expected (Score 1) 181

I have a test laptop set up with Win10 and triggered the upgrade/update through Windows Update. The entire process took longer than I expected - possibly almost as long as the original Win10 install. The system can be used during the initial stages (download and some file updates) but then it reboots and you're at the black screen with a big white progress circle for quite a while.

I was working on other things, but it feels to me like it probably took more than an hour to complete, though I think it was likely less than 2.

Comment Gigabyte BRIX? Dual or triple output (Score 1) 197

It might be worth considering the Gigabyte BRIX units - there's quite a range, but most of them support dual output (HDMI+VGA or HDMI+MiniDisplayPort). There's one that lists nVidia graphics and triple displays but that might not be worth it; you might also be able to drive dual HDMI with active splitting of the DisplayPort but again, that might not be worth it.

Processors are all over the map from Celeron up to i7.

Comment So? You can't do jack sh*t about it. (Arbitration) (Score 1) 123

It doesn't matter whether it goes against Sprint's published policies - there is precisely nothing that you can viably do about this kind of situation these days thanks to arbitration clauses.

You can't sue. You certainly can't start a class action suit based on all the customers this was done to. You can elect to go to arbitration over it, however if the arbitrator rules against you you're likely going to have to pay for all of Sprint's costs related to the arbitration - including whatever price tag they put on their lawyers' (yes, plural) time for responding to the case. And of course, if you win, you can probably get them to uninstall the software or perhaps let you out of your contract with no termination fee.

Comment Less risky than a HERF gun (Score 1) 116

I've been wondering when we'd start hearing about homemade HERF guns being used for this, but those would be a lot more likely to do actual damage I suspect.

Both this device and any theoretical HERF gun would also be potentially troublesome in the most common off-limits areas which are around airports. I'd hate to seem something like this used to take down a troublesome drone and inadvertently swamp local radar coverage.

Comment Why no diesel hybrids? (Score 5, Interesting) 420

I don't understand why we're seeing all these gasoline hybrids instead of diesel ones. Aren't diesels running in their optimum range much more efficient? And with all these emissions issues turning up, isn't it feasible to set up diesel hybrids to basically always run in a narrow range with the best emissions and efficiency possible?

Comment Longtime Android user, but contemplating Apple (Score 1) 123

The fact that these and the previous Stagefright bugs and others like them will never be fixed on most of the affected handsets, along with other nice things I'm hearing about the newer iPhones have me contemplating something that a year ago would have been anathema.

I may actually end up switching to an iPhone this fall instead of a new Android phone.

That may depend on some other things like root availability and CyanogenMod planning for possible handsets, but even with those a lot of the nice things on Android seem to be a product of the data being stored on Google's servers, while the impression I've gotten is that much more of Siri's appointment, etc. capabilities are managed at the point where it has access to the calendar - on the phone itself. I'm not feeling like I'll lose a lot of application capabilities since most apps on Android are going to have at least one solid corresponding app on iOS (in contrast to Windows Phone where I'm not sure there's even a really good text editor, much less a code editor).

Comment Every keyboard user will want one. (Score 1) 127

My wife finally gave in and is using a touchscreen-only model now, but only because there were no viable choices with keyboards and even now she still uses a stylus for most things including text input. It makes me nuts but I'm not going to successfully smack the stylus out of her hand any more than you could smack the cigarette out of the mouth of a smoker.

If Blackberry brings this out with 5.1 Lollipop or even manage to get Marshmallow on there, it will be the ONLY current keyboarded Android phone from a major vendor, the only available keyboarded phone with a screen over 4", one of two phones with a screen higher than VGA's 640x480 (the other is an LG from 2013 with 800x480 and Android 4.1.2). It may be a niche market, but if the phone as released doesn't outright suck it will be a niche market that Blackberry will own. If it's unlockable and can get updates in the future that'll just cement its potential for success even if BB doesn't do well with the OS.

IIRC, I saw some discussion that a leaked preview pic had a T-Mobile branded app icon which indicates that it's going to be GSM/LTE and likely will work just about anywhere in the world.

Comment Re:Exchange (Score 1) 889

Given its history of being acquired, sold, etc. and its most recent acquisition by Synacor I'm not sure I'd call Zimbra a "dead project," but it doesn't fill me with a feeling of comfort either. I get some feeling of "we can pull some cash out of this thing," though given the money involved in the purchase I can't see them doing it just to let it die.

I'm not 100% sure that all the features you're looking for are there, but it might also be worth looking at Kolab - I think much of it is there, but the folks we have using it are mostly just interested in the email side, so I don't have a lot of experience with other parts.

Comment Re:It is amazing... (Score 1) 288

My concerns include the following:

* Candidates may only request recounts in state and federal elections. This leaves lower levels (esp. cities and counties) with no recourse.
* If the margin originally reported is greater than 0.5% then the recount requester has to put up a bond to cover the full cost of the recount. Since the question being researched relates directly to unexpected statistical skew in voting results after voting units (precincts?) reach 500 votes, that skew if artificial and introduced at the tabulating stage might well result in a margin greater than 0.5%.

I'll grant though that perhaps she should have chosen a different place to check since the statistical pattern is not only seen in Kansas - it's just that the researcher is in Wichita, so presumably Kansas is the easiest place for her to work and she's an interested party as a resident of the state.

Comment Re:It is amazing... (Score 1) 288

Perhaps I am partisan, but I'd say that at this point there's enough information to make a credible argument for calling into question any election in Kansas. Of course, that would perhaps be vote fraud not voter fraud, and I'm not sure that the former is as worth of attention as the chance of catching those rare Ann Coulters of the world who vote illegally.

Of course, this could be a rework of the old saying, now to "It is better to hide ballots and let people think there's a criminal conspiracy rather than opening them up and proving it."

I think it'll be interesting to watch recount challenges that would normally be outside the margin where a recount would be allowed. Will they challenge that exclusion based on the unexpected statistical pattern without which they wouldn't be outside that margin?

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard