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Comment: Well so far, it's been smooth. (Score 1) 504

by Phoenix (#47965939) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

Honestly I can not complain about the update.

I haven't seen any of the improvements (I use a Bluetooth keyboard so I don't see the predictive keyboard that often) but on the flip side I haven't seen anything bad as a result.

The only problem that I've had to date was the Kindle Software not running properly. If I was in the middle of a book it would crash and I could load it again and read the book. However since they did their update to be iOS 8 compatible...that problem vanished.

I really haven't noticed anything positive or negative as a result of the update.

So...can't complain.

Comment: They are and they aren't. (Score 1) 502

They're still worth the investment under certain circumstances.

The first one is the obvious one. The onboard sound fails or there is a problem with it. In my case I had to buy a cheap card since for some reason, the onboard sound wasn't compatible with Windows. It would play sound, but the line-input and the mic-inputs wouldn't work at all. At least under Windows. Under Ubuntu it worked fine, but the drivers from the manufacturer's website were rejected by Windows and the built-in ones only ran the sound output to the speakers.

Since I needed it to all work (was using a chat program when I was playing WoW), I had to buy an inexpensive sound card and disable the onboard to fix the problem.

The second one is also obvious. If you're doing something with audio on a professional level. Things like mixing or sound processing.

The third is a little less obvious and one of the reason that I want a high-end card. Since I don't buy Cable Television, I have a media-PC running things. It's the hub for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, as well as my Blu-Ray/DVD player. Since it's the hub of my multimedia system, I want it to run through some decent speakers and get reasonable sound. Since I'm in the IT industry, I can get a set of 7.1 speakers and a Creative Labs card for less than I could get a decent surround system at Walmart, Target or Best Buy.

Comment: Can't say I'm surprised. (Score 1) 55

by Phoenix (#43043799) Attached to: Play Wii, Become a Better Surgeon

This is similar to all those people who show quicker learning times for learning how to fly after playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. There are a number of studies being done in the Air Force where high-end machines equipped with MSFS and a planes that match the ones that are used for actual in-air and simulator practice and they're noticing that the students that spend the time "gaming" are quicker to learn cockpit instrumentation locations, how to read the instruments and how to operate the controls.

It's a leg up over someone who goes in never having any sort of practice before entering flight school.

So it's not surprising. Some of those Wii party games require a pretty precise set of motions to achieve the game objectives. Which is again very similar to what they have to do once they get their hands on the laproscope controls and the additional practice gives them a leg up on someone going in bline with no practice on remote, precision movements.

They ought to start thinking on how to incorporate such game-like training into any training program that would benefit from such practice.

Comment: I'm happy for him. (Score 2) 85

by Phoenix (#42933931) Attached to: Kevin Mitnick Helping Secure Presidential Elections In Ecuador

No really. I am.

Far too often we focus on the crime and the criminal and don't care one toss for rehabilitation or reintegration into society. Kevin managed to do something stupid 18 years ago, got his ass busted for it, paid his debt to society and now is taking his talents and managed to find a legit and legal way to utilize them.

Good on ya mate.

So I'm OK with this. He turned his life around and instead of sitting on his ass and complaining how unfair life is that he got caught, he kept his nose clean, got past his probation (which denied him access to computers), pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made something positive out of the situation.

Whether or not his company is competent to handle that sort of job? Well that's on him and the staff he has hired.

Comment: I use a mix. (Score 1) 212

by Phoenix (#42724463) Attached to: How Do You Backup Your Data?

The bulk of my data is stored on redundant, external hard drives. Actually they're normally internal drives but I have the USB to HDD adapter...so they're as good as. Also I have a Media Center/Fileserver PC that has the third copy of all the important data. One of the drives is in a safe deposit box at the bank.

But while the data is on a couple of drives, I also have some of the data I'm actively using on several other sources.

Music for example is stored on the two drives but at the same time they're on my PC, my Wife's PC, the Media Center/Fileserrver PC and the laptop as well as a pair of iPod Classics.

Works in progress are saved on flash drives as well as on Google Drive. This gives me the advantage of working on them regardless of my access. I could be on a trip, have the taxi back over my laptop case, go and buy another one, access WiFi and I'm back in business once I've DL'd OpenOffice and the Google Drive for PC.

Then too I also have my PC's imaged on to DVD so I can do quick restores (important when kids DL viruses). 15 minutes to restore the image, another hour to pull data from the server PC or from the disks themselves...and I'm back in business.

This didn't come from any level of paranoia or anything. I just had the habit of keeping my data drives from older PC's that were retired. After a while I decided to consolidate them into a pair of 2TB drives that I had a coupon for.

Comment: I would have to say no. (Score 2) 445

by Phoenix (#42202293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Need a Phone At Your Desk?

First of all, unless the cell phone is being provided by my company I feel no obligation to do any work from it (apart from being available to be reached when I'm on call or in an emergency). So unless they provide the phone or subsidize my wireless bill...they're putting a phone in my desk.

Secondly I work in a hospital. We configure the patient call system and the heart monitors to ring to the assigned nurse's handset phone (which is an extension of the PBX system). So going phone-free would be a hardship to our facility.

We may be trending that way but I don't think that the end of the PBX Office Phone network is nigh

Comment: So...what would the solution be? (Score 4, Interesting) 330

by Phoenix (#42190303) Attached to: New 25-GPU Monster Devours Strong Passwords In Minutes

If passwords are getting cracked so quickly these days, what then is the answer? Authenticators are all well and good, but I don't have room on my keychain for one for Blizzard (I know about and have the one for my iPhone), one for Amazon, one for PayPal and eBay, one for Gmail, etc and so forth.

What would be a viable solution then?

Comment: I have a slight problem with this... (Score 3, Interesting) 92

by Phoenix (#42039197) Attached to: Facebook Switching To HTTPS By Default

Last year I succumbed to Facebook's nagging and I finally opted to raise my security to the HTTPS setting. Largely to shut it the @#$% up.

Nagging was worse than ad-supported software.

However once I did that my troubles began. None of the games I played would run under the HTTPS and instructed me to drop back to the HTTP security. However once I did that, Facebook was nagging me "Did I really want to do that?" and "Are you certain that this is wise? The higher security is better to protect your identity".

After several attempts I gave it up and left it at the HTTPS setting. Haven'y played a Facebook game or ran a Facebook app since.

So my question is...what's going to happen to all the people who are addicted to all the apps and games? Will they *finally* run under the higher security setting? Or are we going to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth as people start going into withdrawal when they can't check on their farms to see if they got the magical macguffin of the week?

[I didn't notice that my comp was logged off of my account and posted it as an anon-coward]

Comment: It's been so long... (Score 1) 111

by Phoenix (#41594553) Attached to: First Community Release of Diaspora

It's been so long now that I honestly forgot what it is supposed to be. I mean I now know what it is thanks to the comments here and some research on my own, but all I can remember from the first time they announced it's creation was I was so disappointed that all I could see is a webpage with vague promises and platitudes and an email update feature that was not working. So from then till now, I honestly forgot what it was supposed to be.

For that matter I even forgot the name.

Comment: It's not going to make that much of a difference (Score 1) 587

by Phoenix (#39964933) Attached to: DVDs, Blu-Rays To Show 20-Second Unskippable Govt. Warnings

I've far too gorram many movies that already lock me out of the controls until I am forced to watch the government warnings, the anti-piracy commercials, the advertisements for the Blu-Ray format and how spiffy it is, the coming features...

I have one disk that literally forces me to sit there for 15 minutes before I can get to the menu, another 20 seconds of the menu's fancy-dancy artwork to finish, then another 15 seconds of the studio's bullcrap.

And they wonder why people go to piracy?

In my case I found a nice way to get around it. Quasi-legally in fact. And the idea came from the DVD/Blu-Ray Piracy software sector. When I found out that the software to defeat the copy-protection and the region encoding also defeated the control lockouts, I did my research and found one that was cheap and works. I went with Slysoft's AnyDVD software.

Now when I built my Media Center PC with the Blu-Ray drive, I have that program running. *If* I were to be pirating the movies, this program allows the next program (a ripper/compression/burner) to do its job. But as a nice side effect it deactivates the lock-outs and allows me to load a disk, bring up my DVD Software (VLC) and go straight to the menu. The only wait I have now is if there is the studio promo but I can tolerate 5-15 seconds as long as I'm not forced to watch 20 minutes of crap.

And this is why it's not going to make much of a difference. Either they're going to go up against people like us who are tech-savvy enough to do the same thing that I did and tell them to slag off, or they're going to up against pirates who are going to rent the movies from Blockbuster/Netflix/Redbox and burn copies (assuming that they just don't download .ISO's from The Pirate Bay).

Or they're going to shoot themselves in the foot by pissing people off to the point where they stop getting DVD's altogether and start using the online streaming providers. Between Netflix and Blockbuster's streaming services...I can get most of the movies and shows I want without having to worry about DVD lockouts and government warnings.

And there is the added benefit of watching over and over again and not having to worry about a physical disk to get scratched.

Comment: Good for them (Score 1) 353

by Phoenix (#39671353) Attached to: Portugal Is Considering a "Terabyte Tax"

If they want to price storage out of the hands of the end users and thus cripple themselves then more power to them.

A tax like that is not going to do a damn thing for them because people won't be able to afford them and will either do without (and we get to read many MANY articles about how their aging tech running their government goes "tits up" on them) causing the government to not get any money or they find ways to smuggle the hard drives in on the black market also denying the government their tax money.

Either way this will be of vast amusement to us here on /.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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