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Comment: Re:Pull the disk (Score 1) 465

by InvisiBill (#49146971) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

So use the old machine to power the drive up if you don't have the power connector for it. Like a jumper cable. Open the old machine and set it next to the new one. USB adapter to the new computer, power from the old. The old computer will just sit there failing to find a boot drive, and you don't have to open the new one up. An adapter as suggested is the best way to go.

How do you suggest getting the old machine's power flowing through the 44-pin connector on the USB adapter?

On desktop drives with separate connectors, it's a great plan. It doesn't really work on a laptop drive with a single combined connector though.

Comment: Worked for me (Score 1) 465

by InvisiBill (#49146947) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

This looks nearly identical to the one I bundled with a HDD for a few bucks back in '09. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816014 It has worked great for me on many occasions. As stated, it might have problems if the HDD is especially power-hungry (check its label for power stats), but I expect it will most likely solve your problem pretty quickly, easily, and cheaply. On top of that, it's a good tool to have around for a variety of tasks related to working on random hard drives.

Comment: I bought one (Score 1) 330

by InvisiBill (#49044985) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Affordable Large HD/UHD/4K "Stupid" Screens?

I picked up a Samsung UN65FH6001F in a 2013 Black Friday deal at Best Buy for under $1,000. It's very simple as far as current TV features go, but it's a great screen if you don't need 50 inputs and 200 apps on your TV.

I think the trend is to make every TV "smart" because it costs them little to nothing to put the existing "smart" chip in the TV, and it gives them more features to list on the box. Worst case scenario, they figure people simply won't use it if they don't want it. I expect the dumb TVs to become harder and harder to find, but you might still find the occasional gem out there. Mine was a BB-specific model, and wasn't even on Samsung's site at first (had to submit a ticket to get them to add it to even register the warranty).

Comment: Re:Verizon's Device Unlocking Policy (Score 1) 100

by InvisiBill (#49044803) Attached to: Starting This Week, Wireless Carriers Must Unlock Your Phone

Postpay Device Unlocking Policy: We do not lock most phones or tablets that are activated with our postpay service, either during or after the term of your service contract or Edge installment sales agreement. We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier. We do not lock our 3G devices, other than our non-iPhone Global Ready 3G phones, and the simple code to program such 3G devices for use with another carrier is either “000000” or “123456.” If the user guide for your device does not provide instructions to access the programming menu, you can contact us at *611 from your Verizon Wireless phone, or (800)922-0204, for assistance.

This is a flat-out lie! I had Verizon through my job and the process of getting my iPhone 5 off their network was an absolute NIGHTMARE! Verizon claimed my phone's hardware was locked to their network and could not be released. I tried to explain to them that cell phones are cell phones. The only company that has a hardware lock is the company who created it; in my case Apple. I told them I should be able to take my phone to any carrier. After 3 hours dealing with their shenanigans I left angry and bitter and my phone still on their network. On a whim I visited an AT&T Store and one of the more knowledge staff was able to help me make the switch. All he did was replace the Verizon SIMM card with an AT&T SIMM card and it worked. To say that Verizon lied to me is an understatement.

The rep you talked to may or may not have lied to you, either intentionally or through ignorance.

We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier.

However, that line right there covers your situation. The VZW iPhone 5 isn't locked, and will therefore accept a different carrier's SIM. A simple Google search would've shown you this.

However, they use different LTE bands, so you won't get access to AT&T's LTE coverage with the VZW version of the phone.

Comment: Check the dates (Score 1) 331

by InvisiBill (#48976985) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM

1/22/2015 @ 9:00AM
To fix its business problems and speed up its “transformation,” next week about 26 percent of IBM’s employees will be getting phone calls from their managers.

Updated on Jan. 27 with comment from IBM after fifth paragraph and on Jan. 26 at bottom of post.

1/26/2015 @ 5:42PM
How IBM Is Likely To Spin This Week's Force Reduction

Another source told me the plan was to give the people notice before January 28th so they would be off the books by the end of February - one month.

So the original article is from two weeks ago, and the followup is from last week. Shouldn't all this have already happened by now? I realize that part of the story is that IBM is using certain labels and methods to keep things on the down low, but it seems like we should've heard something more concrete by now if IBM really is getting rid of a quarter of their employees.

Comment: ... and that has nothing to do with Waze (Score 1) 468

by InvisiBill (#48926729) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

So characterizing this as a "stalking app" sounds like a huge overreach. Could individual officers not drop off the tracking radar when actually necessary? As when they are undercover or staking out a scene or person?

Mild understatement of the year right there. This is a traffic app where users can report a stationary police officer (speed trap, accident scene, etc.) to make other users aware of the police presence. I'm sure it does cause some speeders to slow down near speed traps when they would otherwise get caught. However, it also causes people to slow down around accidents and just generally be more aware of hazards around them while driving.

Waze has no ability to track individual officers, or do any sort of realtime tracking of police. The app does a decent job (being crowd-sourced, it's only as good as its input) of alerting drivers to police cars stopped on or near roadways, and that's it.

Comment: Re:FUD (Score 1) 468

by InvisiBill (#48926481) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

You seem to have missed some news stories.

NYPD Cop Killer Used App to Track Police Movements Since Early December

NYPD Cop killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley was using a traffic app called Waze to track law enforcement's movements, NYC Alerts tweeted on Monday. According to an available screenshot, Brinsley was tracking two officers who were almost 4 miles away from him in Staten Island at 10:44 PM EST since the beginning of December.

Except that, as already stated, Waze doesn't track police. It only supports reporting a parked police car (or any other object/hazard). You could over time collect and analyze data from the reported police locations to determine when and where they tend to be, but that's well beyond the capability of the app alone, and still isn't even "tracking" in the sense implied in the article. The very next sentence after your quote even mentions this:

He thanks a friend of his on Instagram for pointing out the app is not "updated in real time" so it’s not that "reliable."

Voluntary, user-submitted, stationary reports in a traffic app are a far cry from realtime stalking ability. https://www.waze.com/livemap/ is a copy of the data that the app uses. The app shows when the item was reported and how many times another user verified the info (as shown in the article's screenshot), but there's essentially no detailed info in the report, as you can see. From one of the links in that article (http://www.breaking911.com/nypd-cop-killer-was-using-police-alert-app-to-track-cops/):

It is not clear whether Brinsley used the WAZE application as a police location tool for the murders or simply as the application is intended to be used.

There is no way that Waze could be used to track the two officers in the way the article implies, without another Waze user standing next to the officers making new reports as frequently as is required to meet the definition of "realtime".

Comment: Re:Touch screens in vechicles = bad idea (Score 1) 123

by InvisiBill (#48653101) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

I recently test drove a Chevy Volt. I was very excited about this car and its technology. But then I tried to turn on the climate control. Way too much touch screen interaction is required to do anything. If not for the touch screen, I might have bought the car, but now I won't even consider it.

I recently bought a Chevy Volt, and agree 100%. The climate control stuff is nearly all on the touchscreen. Instead of turning a knob or moving a lever, I have to hit a button to bring up the climate control screen, then find and touch the desired spot on the screen. The same goes for radio and other miscellaneous controls - I have to hit a button, then muck around with different points on the screen.

To make things even worse, the "physical" buttons on the console aren't actually buttons, but touch-sensitive points. There are some bumps under some of the buttons to help you locate them, but they're all identical and brushing your hand across the surface results in activating all the buttons. With traditional controls, you can feel around until you find the button/knob you need, then activate it. With this, you have to explicitly look at the console to make sure you're not inadvertently touching the wrong spot (and hope you don't hit a bump as you're trying to activate one, as you're more limited in where you can rest your hand for bracing). And somehow they manage to dynamically make the button you want to push very insensitive, while cranking up the sensitivity on all others around it.

Comment: Re:Already illegal (Score 1) 256

by InvisiBill (#48216643) Attached to: Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

“This bill does not, as some have claimed, prevent auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers at retail in Michigan – because this is already prohibited under Michigan law,” Snyder said in a letter to lawmakers that accompanies the signed bill.

I think it's stupid, but at least it sounds like existing stupidity rather than additional stupidity. For me, the Volt I just bought is a better fit (pure EV for common driving, but the ability to run off gasoline for longer trips), but I'd love to see Tesla gain popularity. I think it will spur innovation from multiple manufacturers and help get a better charging infrastructure built up (hopefully they standardize on a universal charger setup).

Comment: Re:Speedtest (Score 1) 294

by InvisiBill (#48105215) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

You can download the speedtest widget, and load it on a webserver, and then use that to test your speed.


If you have a server you can install it on, Speedtest Mini is great. It uses their same basic setup, but allows you to run it somewhere other than a standard "speedtest" server, in case you think those servers are being handled differently.

Comment: Re:Before we go down the misinformation rabbit hol (Score 1) 415

by InvisiBill (#47398349) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

Did you actually read the article? It's very clear they're NOT talking about merely finding concealed hard drives, but actually determining the content of the memory using a dog's sense of smell.

I saw no such claim in TFA.

“If it has a memory card, he’ll sniff it out,” Detective Adam Houston, Thoreau’s handler, says.

However, the article does seem to add "which could contain child pornography" after every mention of a storage device. While technically true, it could just as easily have said "which could contain pictures of cats with grammatically incorrect captions" to avoid sounding so fanatical.

Comment: Re:Cars (Score 1) 345

by InvisiBill (#46909823) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

And you totally missed the point.

Which is what? That everyone should be nice and support everything they've ever produced until the end of time? At some point, supporting legacy systems begins to take away from advancement. Would you rather dedicate resources to solving new problems and inventing new things, or regression testing patches on systems from 15 years ago?

Maybe you know more than I do about what goes on inside Microsoft, but I think you're making some assumptions that aren't necessarily true. You say it's a small price to pay, but it does add another whole OS to support (granted, this is somewhat reduced while Server 2003 is still being supported). It may be a much larger price than you believe. You also imply that simply perpetuating the XP status quo is a good thing. Keep in mind that XP was released when 9% of US households had broadband (compared to 72%+ now). It was before the 130nm 1.6GHz Northwood P4 was released. Consumer dual-core CPUs were years away. Newer versions of Windows are designed to work with modern hardware. If your XP system is truly incapable of running Windows 7, a new PC would probably benefit you in other ways too.

For what it's worth, it seems they've provided much more support than Apple, who already dropped 2009's Snow Leopard from getting updates. Windows 7 is only a few months newer than SL but will be supported until 2020.

No wonder american businesses don't give a flying f about anything but their bottom line. Apparently, customers don't either.

A capitalist business exists to make money. I expect any company to attempt to maximize the amount of money they make. That doesn't necessarily mean charging the highest possible prices for the minimum amount of product/service, as life is more complex than that. There are things that are mathematically good for profit now, but may affect the company long-term or in unrelated ways, and things that don't look as good on the books but help business overall. But yes, I expect Microsoft to draw a line when they decide that it's costing them much more money to keep supporting a product than they will ever make from any resulting goodwill of doing so.

Comment: Re:Cars (Score 1) 345

by InvisiBill (#46904691) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

Software evolves more quickly than cars and costs much less. Sticking with your analogy, let's use generations of cars rather than model years (which sometimes have no changes whatsoever). There have been three major releases since XP - Vista, 7, and 8. '15 is the beginning of the sixth generation for the Mustang, and '14 was the seventh generation for the Corvette. How much Ford/GM support is there for the '79-'93 Mustang or the '84-'96 Corvette at this point?

If you want to pay MS enough, they'll keep supporting your XP. But they've made the decision that they've supported it long enough and provided enough replacement options that it's not good business to keep spending money on XP support for the general public.

Comment: And it didn't require any extra work (Score 1) 345

by InvisiBill (#46904585) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw
Well, "any extra work" is probably exaggerating a bit. However, this is a flaw in IE rather than the OS itself, and they were already releasing it for Server 2003 x86 (which is supported for another year) anyway, so it's basically just setting the flag in the installer to allow it to install on XP. I agree that they're setting a bad precedent by supporting a recently-unsupported OS, but at the same time it was probably considered fairly high ROI in terms of both general internet safety and keeping a few people in the Windows camp.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?