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Comment: Re:Makes perfect sense to me. (Score 1) 749

by John Pfeiffer (#47455137) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

A re-reading of the summary and a skimming of TFA shows no mention of the data in question being that of a third party. I assumed the emails they were talking about pertained TO Microsoft somehow.

That's what -I'm- talking about; companies trying to weasel out of handing over electronic information requested in a search warrant simply because the server it's on isn't in the same country.

NOT a company, such as a service provider, being asked to turn over a third party's data. That's a whole different exploding can of worms already, even before the jurisdiction problem enters into it.

Comment: Makes perfect sense to me. (Score 1) 749

by John Pfeiffer (#47454323) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

I've seen a lot of pissing and moaning about this already, and it's always "Ooooh, look! The Americans think all the world's servers belong to them!" (Which for some reason I imagine in a British accent...I don't know what that's about.)

I'd really like to know why a sizable portion of the world seems to think a company should be able to do something meriting investigation, and when law enforcement comes in with a valid warrant for their electronic data, go "GUESS WHAT?! THE SERVER'S IN URUGUAY! SUCK DEZE NUTZ!"

It's a bullshit legal dodge. As far as I know, someone in the same situation wouldn't be able to move money to another country to keep it out of the hands of the law (At least not without laundering it, which is in itself a crime), this is just bringing how we handle digital information up to the same standards.

Besides, what does everyone else care? It's American companies that this affects. It just makes data belonging to THOSE companies that resides on servers in other countries accessible to US law enforcement. I seriously doubt the FBI is going to show up at a server farm in Finland and demand to cart away the whole rack. (Though they might try that on US soil.)

Comment: Re:Boards or ROM's (Score 1) 133

Fighting games. The move durations, defensive reaction times, and openings are all measured in frames. Timing is absolutely critical. In high-level play, you may only have an opening of a handful of frames in which to land an attack...and that's at 60 frames per second.

If your game isn't running 100% frame-accurate (Try as they might, emulators really don't), you might as well be button-mashing.

That's why those of us who care about that sort of thing take extreme measures to ensure an authentic experience. (Also, it's just totally bitchin'!)

Comment: Wow, finally. (Score 4, Interesting) 182

These sound remarkably like the cheap Chinese tablets you can find on DealExtreme. I was wondering when a big brand was going to start slapping their name on them.

The $100 price-point is actually a bit of a deal, since that's basically what that 'tier' (The quad cores and 1024 displays) costs from DealExtreme, but I presume you're getting HP warranty and support with these. So not bad!

I bought four different 7-inch tablets in their $65-$80 price range during a half-off sale last May. My favorite is the ICOO ICOU7W.

Its specs:
800x600 screen, the 4:3 aspect being one of my favorite features, because I use it primarily for reading.
1.0GHz Allwinner A13 (Single core)
512mb of RAM
Mali-400 GPU @ 350MHz
8gb of internal storage, plus a microSD slot. (They all have microSD slots)
Front-facing camera
Android 4.0.4 (I could probably update it, but haven't felt the need.)
3000mAh battery, 2A DC fast-charge jack*

On sale, I paid a whopping $36.45 for it. ;)

Only bad things I can say about it are no OTG on the USB port, and no bluetooth...but mostly it's the missing OTG that's a letdown. There's also no GPS which is a little bit of a bummer. Only one of the tablets I bought had GPS; the Erani E70. For some absurd reason, the MK808 'Android TV' stick I bought for $25 also had GPS. (I mean, really?!)

*It's funny, because under full load-- playing HD video, screen brightness up all the way, using the wifi, etc. --normal USB can't actually charge faster than you're discharging... So the 2-amp DC jack is handy for when you're using it in bed or something. I have no idea if the USB port is capable of fast-charging from fast-charge capable ports... I haven't tried it, but I just got a 10,400mAh portable USB battery from Jackery... If it can't, I'll have to make a USB to DC jack, so I can fast-charge through the DC jack using the 2-amp output USB port on the Jackery battery.

Comment: Re:No bluetooth? (Score 1) 182

The lack of an OTG-enabled USB port is usually a bigger issue than a lack of bluetooth.

I bought four uber-cheap Chinese 7-inch tablets, and none had bluetooth...which never really bothered me. Though it was a shortcoming on the one I gave to my father; It had poor sound (Badly-placed speaker or something), and he would've preferred to be able to use bluetooth headphones like he does with his PC.

Mostly it was the fact that two out of the four didn't have OTG functionality on their USB ports that was the real shortcoming, because it meant no interfacing with little gadgets, or using it as a terminal for my tinkering.

These HP tablets sound like re-branded cheap Chinese tablets. Just a tier up from mine, because they put in extra for the quad cores.

Comment: Patience is a virtue. (Score 1) 274

by John Pfeiffer (#46954939) Attached to: First Arrest In Japan For 3D-Printed Guns

If I'm not mistaken, in addition to absolute gun control, Japan also practices what we need here in the states; bullet control. i.e. it would basically be impossible for him to acquire ammunition in the first place. So, while manufacturing what is ostensibly a firearm in the eyes of the law is almost certainly illegal in Japan, might it not have been more prudent to wait and see what he intended to do?

I see three possible outcomes they missed by not waiting:

  1. 1. He had a buyer who wanted a disposable gun, and they could've nabbed the buyer, too.
  2. 2. He wanted to use the guns, and had a connection that could get him ammo, and they could've nabbed the connection.
  3. 3. Absolutely nothing; He did it to see if he could. They still bust in and confiscate the guns and everything, but having had time to analyze the situation, maybe charge him with a lesser offense, or at least not parade him around in front of the cameras.

Of course, being Japan, that last one is just as unlikely as the first two-- except not as ludicrous --because the police, as much as the media, like to turn just about any crime above a purse-snatching into a spectacle simply to show that they're doing their jobs.

At any rate, I hope they show some restraint in prosecuting him. Barring any further evidence, he just seems to be a nerd/tinkerer who wasn't thinking about what he was doing, but didn't intend any harm. (And no harm was done.)

Comment: Why aren't these more of a thing? (Score 1) 83

by John Pfeiffer (#46879499) Attached to: Mini Gaming PCs — Promising, But Not Ready

These 'mini gaming PCs' seem kind of ridiculous... I mean, it's not even a real computer, it's like some piece of absurd custom hardware.

Last year on Black Friday, I hit up Newegg for a $70 Biostar A68I-350 Mini-ITX AMD Fusion mobo w/soldered-on APU, bundled with 8GB of G.Skill DDR3 1600 RAM. (Basically they were giving me the $40 RAM for free.) I really only intended to use it as a computer for a CNC setup... But it turned out to be such a great media PC and general gaming machine-- just about anything but the most demanding games would run reasonably well at 720p (In other words, the bulk of the non-FPS contents of my Steam account) --that I set it up next to my bed as a secondary media PC and internet terminal.

I even put it in this great little IN WIN case (IW-BQ656T) about the size of a couple of books.

It's a shame the board seems to be discontinued, or I'd have bought like two more...

Anyway, as I was saying... If I can get that much system for so little, I wonder why portable uber gaming rigs using REAL HARDWARE aren't a thing. I mean, you don't really see 'gaming-oriented' Mini-ITX motherboards out there, do you? (Well, I haven't, at least.)

Comment: Of all the random things I've lost... (Score 1) 481

by John Pfeiffer (#46873297) Attached to: US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

I used to have an unopened box of Memorex 8-inch floppy disks, still shrink-wrapped and everything, but I lost it in a move. :( We had a typesetter, and it took the 8-inch floppies. I'm the kind of unabashed nerd who revels in possessing those kinds of 'artifacts'.

Comment: A reason why they SHOULD have... (Score 1) 43

by John Pfeiffer (#46763901) Attached to: Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

Giving away Nexus 7's seems hard to explain away. I mean, I tried to think of any reason why they might have wanted to give them all 7" Android tablets, like maybe an interesting way of distributing a multimedia press kit or something, but that could have just as easily been handled by $75 Chinese-made Android tablets.

That did make me think that that'd be pretty cool though; imagine buying a bunch of modestly-spec'd 7" Android tablets from China wholesale, and using them as giveaway items to distribute really dynamite multimedia presentations.

I actually picked up FOUR 7" Android 4.x tablets from DealExtreme for ~$35 each last year, during a half-price sale...and I doubt they'd let even such a sale as that rob them entirely of profits... So I imagine if you're a company buying tablets like that wholesale, you can get some pretty sweet deals, AND get them all custom-branded.

Comment: Hmm... Guess my brain is weird. (Score 2) 224

by John Pfeiffer (#46692045) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

I've always been able to switch it on and off just fine, even after spending the vast majority of the past 15 years sitting at a computer, on the internet.

I skim through things at great speed when they don't really interest me, or I'm mostly looking for specific pieces of information, but it's never prevented me from being able to change gears and linearly read something...

And I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a patient person (or particularly disciplined, for that matter) so it's certainly not because I'm making a conscious effort *not* to skim when I read linearly.

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.