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Comment Re:And nothing of value was lost. (Score 1) 313

This is just one more way to remind their remaining customers that it's time to move on.

Indeed, Captain. They've tried foisting numerous senseless changes on users. They've tried making the client dead slow. They've tried service outages. Since all that hasn't worked, maybe this will finally alienate the technical cognoscenti who use Ad Block.

Comment Please do not post the following (Score 1) 318

If any of you happen to have taken over an ISIS Twitter account, please do not post the following to it:

\_( `.`)_/
_ /\_

Although it is not - I repeat NOT - a cartoon of The Prophet Muhammad, some folks might accidentally mistake it for one and become deeply offended. So let's have a little respect and consideration for the religious beliefs of others - after all, wouldn't the ISIS folks do the same for you?

Comment Re:Dear Anonymous... (Score 2) 488

One thing you can do is screw with their social media, make it look as if ISIS hates Allah and Mohammed, not in big ways that are obvious, but smaller that makes recruits stand back and second guess.

Interesting. One sometimes hears in the media things like "Islam is a peaceful religion" and "ISIS does not represent true Islam." I don't know enough about Islam to make a judgement either way. But let's assume that those statements are correct. What better way would there be to ruin a peaceful religion than by conducting a variety of barbaric acts in its name and vigorously publicizing them worldwide via the Internet? For example, you could behead journalists, burn captured pilots alive in a cage, treat captured women as slaves, repeatedly rape those women in order to somehow "convert" them to your religion. And heck, while you're at it, you could even demolish ancient art and architecture which had survived for thousands of years before your "peaceful religion" came along.

In this context, the best way for Anonymous to make Allah and Mohammed look bad would be simply leave ISIS alone to do the job themselves...

Comment Re:What about volume? (Score 1) 242

I follow your point, but I'm not sure that commercials have any "soft parts" to be compressed (unlike music.) You're right that the FCC has limits on this, and in the old days of analog (NTSC) TV, there also were inherent limits to how "loud" sound could be made without creating distortion at the level of the signal itself.

That said, my own theory is that they deliberately broadcast the program at a lower volume, which gives them room to boost the volume of the commercials. I also once heard that this was incompetence more than conspiracy: just as CDs and MP3s get recorded at different nominal levels within the available dynamic range (I once used a utility to normalize the volume levels of the MP3s in my own collection), various commercials may have a range of nominal volume. Recognizing this, the astute commercial maker might set the volume at the high end in order to stand out above the crowd - at the risk of annoying and bothering, rather than enticing, their potential customers.

Comment Re:What about volume? (Score 1) 242

That doesn't seem to be the case on my TV, which is a flat screen that's only a few years old. However, the TV always gets its signal from a DVR. Do you know if that sort of arrangement might defeat any "smart sound" feature that the TV has. For example, I could imagine that smart sound (if it has it) is active only when the TV is playing a broadcast signal from its antenna port, and that any HDMI-based sound signal is passed through without any coercion. And the DVR (which is provided by my beloved cable company) likely doesn't have a smart sound feature.

Comment Re:Reminder: This is a Dicevertisement (Score 1) 195

Kindda makes you wonder who the financial genius at Dice was that decided to buy Slashdot just for the privilege of posting ads for free. Unless, of course, these things are really just a gimmick to move all those unforeseen Slashdot losses into a different accounting category: "Eureka! We'll just write the losses off as advertising!"

Comment Re:Great algorithm - would implement! (Score 1) 59

Hey, that's pretty good! But it seems just a bit too...well...polished if you're actually satirizing something like this:

hey mama bebs, first of all thanks for drppion on my super unattended blogs and I may not be the perfect person to send replies back the soonest its better late than not doing it all. Anyhoo..we have our disagreements in life,perspectives etc etc..but nevertheless when it concerns to friendship it is always seemed hard to explain. Whether we like it or not, the truth hurts. But just do what you love to do and don’t expect things turn out that way it supposed to be is a great thing to do..let’s talk. have a great one!

The preceding is actual comment spam from one of my websites. Evidently, the bot was programmed by someone who doesn't speak English very goodly.

Comment Re:Then what are they going to do with the extra t (Score 1) 242

Gosh, I was just being silly with that term "mini-infomercial": I didn't realize it was part of the lexicon (or soon will be... ;-)

Speaking of really old shows, Groucho Marx once got in a lot of hot water for owning a car that wasn't from the type he hawked for his sponsor on every show: Desoto-Plymouth.

Comment What about volume? (Score 3) 242

To me (and many other folks), the biggest single problem with commercials is that they are too loud. I zip past commercials if I'm running a time-shifted version on the DVR, but if not, I mute most of them and always mute the loud ones. In fact, there's no better way to make me ignore a commercial than for it to be too loud. So, a simple step to making commercials more tolerable would be to reduce their volume. (Oh, and while we're at it, can we ban those creepy Allstate commercials that have the deep disembodied spokesman's voice apparently emanating from normal people?)

I assume there are technological solutions to the volume problem, but none seem to come built-in to TVs and they don't seem to be readily available as some sort of add-on box. Perhaps there's some free software somewhere to do this just like there's free DVR software, but some of us don't want to go that far.

Decades ago, some Magnavox TVs featured something called "Smart Sound" for this, but evidently that either didn't really work or somehow otherwise never caught on. Until it does, the broadcasters and advertisers might start solving this problem for everyone on their end.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.