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Comment Re:allow 'destruction' orders.... (Score 1) 180

What if the thing that is enabling circumvention is the fact that somebody is smart? Do they destroy every programmable product that person owns, or do they destroy the person?

Well, people have been asking for it, and now, here it is, the Corporate Death Penalty! Coming soon to a city-state near you. We can eliminate threats to Intellectual Property and not tie up the local court systems. We can handle these recalcitrant individuals ourselves. We will have justice for our IP, it has rights, you know, it says so in the TPP. . .
Wait, what!? You wanted the ability to use it on Corporations? Citizen, no! These institutions are the job creators. Destroying them would be hazardous to local and the global economies. You may have victory against us, but in the meantime, you'd have wars, famine, plague, and pestilence because we wouldn't be around to provide for you. You shouldn't want that - no one really wants that. If you do, well, you should see the company doctor. It's provided here, in your wage-slave contract. Don't worry, your contract provides you with six hours of free time per week, with an additional whole day++ off. ++24 hour 'day off' period will typically be surrounded by 2 12-hr work periods. You are expected to sleep a minimum of 6 hours after every 12 hour work period, and at least 6 hours before a 12 hour work period. Remember, a sleepy worker, is an unproductive worker, and unproductive workers will receive only 1/2 pay.
And remember, you cannot destroy us, for we are too big to fail!

This view of your future brought has been brought to courtesy of the TPP, and underwritten by East Asian Motors.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 89

The problem with a retail copy is that your software that rips it is invariably going to place its own timestamps and other variations in the file, so your checksum likely won't be valid. An MSDN subscription is also likely too expensive for most people.

This is decidedly not true, even back in the Windows 98 days. From what I recall, all you had to do was to ensure that the disc had the same name.

If you buy a computer that has Windows installed, and it comes with a COA, then you already own a paid copy of Windows. If you look at the license terms, the COA itself is proof that you own a copy of Windows, and so long as you install the same edition (home, pro, etc) and license channel type (retail, upgrade, OEM) to match that COA, then it's not a pirated copy. Want a simple way to ensure that? Easy: Download the best version possible (i.e. for 7, get ultimate, for 8+, get pro) and then when it asks, just type in the key listed on the COA. It will automatically select the version you've paid for and install it, and likewise it will even activate just fine with Microsoft's servers (or call in, if necessary.)

Also not true. There's a way outside Microsoft to pre-activate software (at least Windows 7). All that are needed are some certificate files in the OEM/$$/OOBE section of your install DVD or USB.

Let me direct you to MDL, specifically the Projects & Applications area. To be clear, this is not a piracy site, this is just a bunch of hackers working on things like BIOS mods (allowing your laptop to run all WiFi cards / unlocking hidden menus), Pre-install activation, retail copies from digital river, and K-M-S servers for Enterprise and VL versons of Windows. Not for piracy, but just so they can figure out how those things work.

Anyway, back on topic, it's easy to roll your own disc to do a fresh install, as long as you can get it from a trusted location. Sadly, as of Windows 7, you can no longer slipstream service packs into your source discs, so you have to download each new version manually. I'd been slipstreaming Service Packs back into my discs since the Windows 2000 days. Nu2.nu was a great reference for getting ISOs to boot off of CD ROMs that had the El Torito extensions required.

Comment Re: Interesting, thank you I will try this out (Score 1) 89

No, the sticker is NOT guaranteed to work with a RETAIL or MSDN ISO. If you can get an ISO from that OEM it will likely work, but you still might have to activate by phone MS. If you grab a Dell OEM disc for a HP computer, you certainly will.

Instead of going that route, get a couple of extra files from the OEM Project, and you can install pre-activated copies of Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1. Here's a link to the project. Good luck.

There is also a z_a_D Loader (reverse those letters and remove the underscores) on that site. It could help you, in the case he has a Dell motherboard in a HP case, and wishes to have HP branding instead of Dell. Windows 7 only, and disk cannot have GPT. I know nothing about it though. You didn't hear it from me.

Comment Re:Amber: Journeys Beyond (Score 2) 106

Yeah, you were basically required to have QEMM and a boot disk if you wanted to run those games. IIRC, they required 602kB of the 640kB of memory. That's not a small feat when you consider that DOS kernel, command.com is in there, as well as HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE. With QEMM, you could shim some of the programs into the no mans land between 640kB and 1 MB, leaving more low memory available for playing games. Some games, most notably Ultima 7, had their own memory manager technology (VooDoo Memory Manager, IIRC), that were completely incompatible with QEMM. Ultima 7 would run under DOS 3.3, 4, and 6. But not 5, as command.com sucked up too much low memory. By the DOS 6 days, MS had figured out QEMM was doing, and incorporated bits of it into DOS. I wonder if that was because of DesqView, Quarterdeck's multi-tasking offering.

Comment Re:System Shock 2? (Score 1, Offtopic) 106

Nope, it was serious. As I recall, the W-A-S-D and mouse thing started with Quake. Back in those days, gamers used the keyboard exclusively, so you used used your left hand for pulling the trigger (ctrl or alt) and activate (spacebar) and your right hand for navigation, either using the arrows or the numberpad. Left and right actually turned you left and right, respectively. To strafe, you had to hold shift down, then the arrow.

As for the page up / page down business for aiming up and down - it was pretty innovative and useful, especially in those tall shafts in common usage throughout the empire. It is even more impressive if you consider that Doom ('93) and Doom 2 ('94) didn't have any aiming mechanism at all. You just pointed your gun in the general direction, and if the monster was in the line of fire (and on screen), the bullets would jump up and get him. When Quake came out in '96, it standardized the W-A-S-D keys with mouselook (and mouse aiming). Unreal also used the same playstyle. I suspect that one of the iD folks came up with this as a playstyle, and everyone else there quickly adopted it, because the mouselook people were stompin' the crap out of the keyboarders.

Comment Re:As if Samsung will give a shit. (Score 1) 61

What prevents Samsung from doing the same? Perhaps they made deals with carriers not to provide you the updates directly? In which case, how is that anyone's fault but their own, and why would you want to make excuses for that customer-fucking behavior?

In a word: TouchWiz.
TouchWiz is the ROM atop the Android ROM on Samsung phones. It provides a customized UI, custom lock screens, customized dialer, contacts, alarms, settings, etc... That's why they require Dual core or better and loads of RAM. It must take a cubic butt-ton of effort to get that crud to run over the top of Android.

Personal experience: I had a dual core S3 (US variant), and IMHO, it was awful. It stuttered when unlocking, frequently dropped calls, apps wouldn't install or run. Phone updates were infuriatingly infrequent. I began to think that I made a huge mistake picking Android over Apple. I gave Android one last try with CyanogenMod. Phone became great. Apps would install and run reliably, no stutter on unlock, and reliable updates (depending if they are unified or hardware specific today). Only complaint I had was the Camera - kept crashing which would require a reboot for further camera access, although 3rd party camera apps made the camera crash less often. That's all fixed with Lollipop. Rumor mill has it that it will even run Marshmallow at some date in the future. There's at least one custom Marshmallow ROM floating around out there right now.

Comment Re:Unicode 8 support (Score 1) 57

Thanks for the link. I see that the other critical characters are Taco and Burrito. Slice of Pizza was lonely, maybe? That can't be it, because Hamburger also exists. There are even glyphs for chicken (a drumstick), ribs, and Ramen noodles - glyph says 'steaming bowl', but it's pretty obvious what that is hanging off of those chopsticks. Perhaps Mug of Beer was seeking variety? FYI, this site can give the glyph info and which fonts contain it, but it cannot actually render them yet.

And one wanted to type a Wind Blowing Face, now's the time. Maybe that one's not new. It seems that one is related to a bunch of weather related icons, like fog, cloud with lightning bolt, and cloud with tornado. They seem to be adding lots of these Emoji - I thought there was a Unicode code point shortage? Maybe that's just because UTF-8 because has to maintain backward compatibility with ASCII. From what I understand, in doing so, it wastes a few hundred other code pages.

Comment Steam List Handling (Score 1) 309

That's easy enough to handle. Make a category, "Finished", and stick your favorite game(s) there that you aren't currently playing. Make another category, "Crap", and stick that kind of stuff in there. When steam opens, categories can be collapsed by default. Et voila! No more games gumming up your screen.

Just like with Windows, there's multiple ways to skin that cat. For instance, you can, change your steam list to just INSTALLED. It is the menu marked GAMES immediately to the right of the Search box. FWIW, that's also how you transition from GAMES to SOFTWARE, in case you've bought any software from Steam. Anyway, changing that to INSTALLED should give you instant gratification. Err, unless you just install everything and leave it... In that case RECENT should do it for you. Hopefully.

Comment Re:Yeah, but... (Score 1) 191

Personally I'm voting for Yawning Yggdrasil. I doubt a distro that folded in 2000 would mind too much. It was pretty innovative for its time, though with intelligent autoconfiguration, and making those darn Plug-N-Pray (err, Plug-N-Play) hardware devices work. Even had a LiveCD in 95 - assuming you had hardware capable of understanding El Torito booting.

Oh, darn. Yggdrasil is from the Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil is a just a Tree of Life, and not an animal. I'm disappointed.

Comment Re:sub-6GHz frequency band (Score 1) 55

I've heard that 5G was to use both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands simultaneously, to the detriment of home routers. source

Extending LTE to unlicensed spectrum at 5GHz is an enticing prospect

Extending LTE-Advanced to unlicensed spectrum is a major feature of 3GPP Release 13, due to be frozen in March 2016. Previously this was referred to as LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U), but 3GPP uses the name LAA to reflect the role of licensed spectrum in its operation.

Comment Captain Tripps (Score 1) 132

Is anyone else thinking of the Captain Tripps virus from "The Stand"? Sounds just like it - get pneumonia, fever, contagious as all get out, then you die, drowning in your own snot after around 5 to 7 days. Maybe not exact, but close enough for me, anyway.

Now all we need is for the government to weaponize it, and history follows fiction.

Comment Re:So how bad it is really? (Score 2) 246

That is bad advice, that will not preserve his OEM preinstall key, and he won't be registered with the Windows 10 servers.
  1. Back up all of your important data. This is the most important step!
  2. Make a Windows 10 USB stick.
  3. Upgrade to Windows 10 from the USB stick. You must run the upgrade from within the OEM license Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 while connected to the Internet. If it asks for a CD-KEY, you've got an Enterprise or VL (Volume Licensed) version of Windows, and don't qualify for the free upgrade.
  4. Waste about 45 minutes while Windows 10 installs.
  5. Account Setup: Don't make a Microsoft account or convert a local account to a MS account, it's unnecessary. Skip or Later is the correct option.
  6. Customize Setup: Do this part Turn everything off. You have to scroll on one screen to get every slider
  7. Log in, verify on the System control panel that you are activated. MS now has a copy of your computer's fingerprint on record at Redmond.

Optional, but highly recommended for stability and cruft removal:

  1. Boot from the Windows 10 USB you just created. Select the OS version you just installed (95% of the time it is 64-bit)
  2. Wipe your Disk clean, and install Windows 10 again (You did back up earlier, didn't you?)
  3. Do steps 4 - 7 above, 'skip' or 'do it later' for any requests for a CD KEY (you are registered with MS from your upgrade)

Note that the Hardware key is primarily tied to your motherboard + video + network card; if you replace it, you'll be on the hook for Windows 10 if you're out of the 1 year period. Lifetime of the hardware seems to mean lifetime of the motherboard, or three to five hardware swapouts, whichever comes first.

That said, I've triggered the software licensing module when I upgraded the RAM and Video twice each in the same computer (and for a while used the onboard video, which probably counts as a swap as well), due to a bad RAM and a defective Video chip. In any case, my Windows 8.1 Media Center became useless because the Media Center key they'd given out was a time limited key. I worked around it by running my backup disc Windows 7 onto a blank hard drive and updating that to Windows 10 on the Internet, then updating the Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I had to run the setupprep.exe from within the arch directory of the USB stick to manually force the setup to continue. When it saw Win 10, it activated immediately. Works great now, better that it has in a while.

Comment Fourth Generation Database Languages (Score 1) 429

SQL is similarly not obscure in its area, but worth learning and you rarely see it in a list of general programming languages (because it isn't). But the commercial vendors all ship their SQL with strong variants that extend the language and do more common language functions like looping. I speak of PL/SQL, TSQL, and their ilk, which all have a touch of obscurity in the same way R does.

You mentioned SQL and looping, but you missed out on the 4GL database variants: Aubit 4GL, IBM (Informix 4GL), Progress (OpenEdge Database), Aestiva Software (Aestiva Array). In some domains, 4GL is referred to as ABL. In the version I've used, they support a simple subset of SQL-89, and just enough SQL-92 to support JDBC/ODBC clients - although I've never seen it work. As for the differences, I hear that 4GL databases are record oriented, where SQL databases are set oriented. 4GL has features that SQL lacks, such as looping [FOR EACH table ...], accessing 2 (or more) records from a single table in one query [DEFINE BUFFER x FOR table], max of a field in a particular query [LAST], and conditional access of sub-queries table/buffers with IF AVAILABLE, accessing table children efficiently [EACH childtable OF table] each with independent WHERE syntax, and it is compiled. On the other hand, SQL is very good at aggregating/grouping, handling NULLs with COALESCE, queries not relying so heavily on indexes, and it is NOT compiled. If you want dynamic queries, with 4GL you'll have to build the file and compile it as it runs. One interesting thing about 4GL is their text fields can be overstuffed. Let's say you define your table, CHAR(30), and later you decide you need four more characters. No need to change anything - the extra data will be silently saved. It won't be displayed unless you override your DISPLAY statement, but the data will be there - up to 2k or 4k, implementation specific, as I recall.

Most languages have the ability to create simple character based applications that can be accessed by Wyse and VTstyle terminals. Some environments have the ability to make .NET and Java based graphical applications, also.

Overall though, it's a good idea to have a little 4GL under your belt. I've seen these languages being used in the newspaper industry, web publishing, gas stations, and even banks. I know I've gotten interviews based on just being proficient with 4GL / ABL database languages. It's not a bad thing to know a niche language.

Comment Re:Thinking about leaving any systemd linux behind (Score 1) 747

Gentoo seems like a good idea, until you realize it installs systemd by default. I suppose you can emerge open-rc, but who knows when that will stop being maintained? Even if they don't I'm willing to bet most of the Gentoo Handbook will assume you've got the systemd tools installed. They are a bit better about considering alternate configurations, than say, ArchLinux. Speaking of which ..
If you are thinking of ArchLinux as a method of escaping systemd, forget it. They also recommend installing systemd if you want a graphical desktop or wifi. All their HOWTOs seem to be written with it in mind, and they don't give as much thought to alternate configurations. All in all, though, both are much faster than the mainstream distributions on old hardware.

Comment Re:Done to _gouge_ the customer better (Score 1) 379

Dell is not a manufacturer of anything. They just take what's established and cheap, and slap a sticker or their logo on it. Currently it looks they are using Lexmark and Samsung internals, but all are proprietary enough that you must pay the Dell printer cartridge premium. Their ink cartridges also date expire and have detected fill levels so that you cannot reuse them.
Now, if you meant Toshiba, I understand, but their printers are typically so pricey that I only see them being leased out, not purchased.

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