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Comment: Just cursive, or all writing? (Score 2) 523

by Omega Hacker (#48486259) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing
I would hope that they're dropping the archaic cursive style of writing because it's just that: archaic. OTOH, ceasing to teach kids how to write in a legible block "font" would be mind-blowingly stupid. No matter what people need to be able to write, but they don't have to write "fancy".

(Not to mention I can't actually manage to *read* most people's cursive writing, no matter what era they were taught it in.)

Comment: Probably fake cards, actually (Score 4, Interesting) 178

by Omega Hacker (#48388783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?
If you think you're getting a card for 1/5th the price, you're probably getting 1/5th the card. I have personal experience with cards that claim to be 8GB but only have 1GB of actual flash in them. I won't touch on the malware issue, but before you actually try to make use of the cards you need to find a way to very exhaustively exercise the entire card. I haven't looked for such a program but I hear they're pretty easy to find. If I were writing one I would put a pseudo-random sequence across the entire advertised size of the card, then read it back and confirm that the same pseudo-random sequence comes back. The sequence should be longer than the card, or at the very least not repeat on something like a 1GB boundary. I suspect a common trick in these cards is to simply drop the upper address bits, so you'll read the same contents off e.g. the 2nd GB as you will from the 1st, and all the others.

Comment: Throttling vs routing (Score 1) 398

First off, I assert that whether Verizon is actively throttling packets, or simply not providing sufficient peering to get to Netflix, they are committing fraud by advertising high speeds and not delivering them.

However, to *really* convince people, more rigorous experiment has to be performed: find a VPN (or set up your own with a colo) that's connected as closely to Verizon as possible, as close to their peering with Netflix as possible. That way the route between Verizon and your VPN/colo is as similar as possible to the Verizon<>Netflix route. You can then measure Netflix bandwidth to your VPN/colo, and the resulting full-path bandwidth.

I *strongly* suspect you'll see the exact same behavior, but by doing that you've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Verizon is absolutely to blame. It still doesn't separate the packet-throttling scenario from the insufficient-peering scenario, because even though your Verizon ingress point is ideally the same router, Netflix is *supposed* to peer to that router through dedicated lines (e.g. trunked 10G to the next room over where Netflix's router is).

Of course, since Netflix has offered to both purchase and install the 10G cards and wires on their own dime, that scenario is absolutely no different than packet-throttling. Except that in order to do packet throttling, Verizon had to spend *more* money on hardware than they would have to just add more capacity. Now *there's* a bit of research to do: $ to throttle vs $ to add capacity.....

Comment: Unfair? Hardly. (Score 2) 165

by Omega Hacker (#47532739) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress
From the article, presumably from a staffer: "Out of over 9,000 staffers in the House, should we really be banning this whole IP range based on the actions of two or three? Some of us here are just making grammatical edits, adding information about birds in Omsk, or showing how one can patch KDE2 under FreeBSD."

Sorry, but if you're a congressional staffer, using a computer in a congressional office, why are you making edits about birds in Omsk, or KDE? You want to make those edits, do them from your own home on your own time. There, I fixed it.

Comment: Re:So wait... what? (Score 1) 314

by Omega Hacker (#47226777) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs
I try not to feed the trolls, but I just can't pass this one up:

"An order of magnitude more? 200 dollars? Really?"

Apparently you're too dumb to comprehend that he very clearly stated that $20 is *more* than the gas cost by an order of magnitude. That means he's spending $2 in gas for the trip. At the current ~$4/gal with what passes for an "efficient" vehicle in the US, that puts his round trip at ~12.5mi, or roughly 6 miles from the airport.

The depth of your illiteracy truly astounds me.

Comment: BoomerangIt doesn't offer anything anymore? (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by Omega Hacker (#46316945) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?
I was actually intrigued by BoomerangIt, until I noticed that a) "BoomerangIt Packs and Subscriptions are no longer available for purchase." and b) the cart indeed does not exist.

I'm a little fuzzy on how you a) start a business selling labels that promise long-term lookup&return, then b) stop selling new labels and thus getting new income, while c) still being required ("nominally") to provide the lookup&return service, without d) running out of money and imploding.

Am I missing something with either their site or their apparent lack of business model???

Comment: Re:Confiscate cameras (Score 5, Insightful) 478

by Omega Hacker (#46277243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
I think you misunderstand. This has nothing to do with the passengers not wanting their picture taken. This has *everything* to do with the jackass owner trying to ensure that nobody can take their own pictures, because I guarantee he's got a photographer onboard who's taking "professional" pictures which are sold at ludicrous prices. Have you *been* to a themepark?

Comment: Re:And this is why (Score 1) 206

by Omega Hacker (#46168493) Attached to: Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance
Agreed. Automatic expiration of laws help weed out old crap, and force lawmakers to *actively* support reauthorization of any bill and thus face any fallout over bills that might have seemed good at the time (no, I do *not* think the "patriot" act was a good thing at a time, but a lot of morons did) but have since proved to be a bad idea. Bonus: if lawmakers were required (after radically re-arranging the congressional rules) to re-up every single bill, we'd have a *LOT FEWER* bills in total. As long as they are not given the "out" of letting their underlings ([tenured] staff) re-up old stuff, they simply have a finite amount of time to both re-up and develop new bills.

Comment: Horse... barndoor... (Score 5, Insightful) 301

While I generaly loathe our excessive use of fossil fuels, this is a case where the "market" is well in the lead of regulators. Those oils sands are already being dug up and processed, and the market is not going to let anything get in the way of that. This pipeline simply reduces the overall environmental impact and increases the safety (Casselton, North Dakota anyone?) of moving what is already being produced.

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley