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Comment: Dumped all my cable tv (Score 1) 346

by Scratch-O-Matic (#35620060) Attached to: Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App
I recently completely dropped all my television service after getting pissed off one too many times at my cable bill. No basic cable, no dish, no nothing. Only Internet. I figured I'd go out and get one of those digital broadcast converters when I had the urge to watch television..but I haven't had that urge yet. Instead, streaming from Netflix has completely filled my need. Several years ago I had a thought experiment in which I tried to decide if I'd rather give up tv or Internet if forced to choose. I reluctantly figured I'd do without the tv. The real decision was a much easier choice by far.

Comment: Seeing ads vs. WAITING for ads (Score 1) 660

by Scratch-O-Matic (#31921700) Attached to: Website Mass-Bans Users Who Mention AdBlock
I have some machines with adblock and some without. I guess I've gotten used to ads, because they don't seem to bother me that much anymore. But one thing that does drive me crazy is when a page stops loading, and the status bar says something along the lines of, "Waiting for ads.clickme.net". That's asking a little much.

Comment: Video games (Score 1) 276

by Scratch-O-Matic (#31428880) Attached to: Study Shows TV Makes Kids Fat, Computers Don't
Interesting. I recently realized that I have come to consider video games (Wii) a healthy alternative to tv for my two boys (5 and 7.) Last Saturday I told them to turn the tv off and find something to do, and the 5 year old asked if he could play Wii. I said sure. And it's not because of the physical activity with Wii either...it's more the matter of participating in what's on the screen. There's probably a generational shift in progress.

Comment: Re:What a lot of work. (Score 3, Interesting) 574

by Scratch-O-Matic (#31330970) Attached to: Scalpers Earned $25M Gaming Online Ticket Sellers
The problem is that the CAPTCHA approach is flawed. Any similar type of challenge-response system can be abused for illegal activity.

I met a guy who was a pilot in Vietnam. They had (and still have) a system where everyone carries a card with a grid of numbers and letters on it, and you can authenticate someone over the radio by picking a couple spots on the grid and they respond with, for example, the character adjacent to them. Well, he forgot his card one day and was queried by a controlling agency using the authentication card. He told them to stand by, switched frequencies, and issued the same challenge to another agency. They responded, and he switched back and passed it along to successfully authenticate himself.

Comment: Did somebody say switch? (Score 1) 527

by Scratch-O-Matic (#30401402) Attached to: Mozilla Exec Urges Switch From Google To Bing
That's funny, because I'm in the process of switching from Firefox to Chrome. I've used Firefox almost exclusively on Linux, OSX, and Windows for a few years now. But for many months it has gotten more and more sluggish on every machine, routinely locking up for seconds at a time doing who know's what. I'm sick of it. I miss the extensions on Chrome but I do not miss the stutter-step browsing.

Comment: Re:Bye, bye. (Score 1) 881

by Scratch-O-Matic (#28970301) Attached to: Murdoch Says, "We'll Charge For All Our Sites"
This is true if your "distribution" refers only to delivery. But you seem to have forgotten the part about the collection, organization, editing, and formatting of your information product prior to delivery. So, yes, most information is free. Having someone gather it up for you is not. Water is free too, but for some reason I still get a water bill every month...and it's not just for the pipes.

Comment: I loved driving in Italy... (Score 1) 882

by Scratch-O-Matic (#28872865) Attached to: Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams
where the people would do things like drive three abreast on a two-lane road, because one person was passing without enough clearance. The oncoming car would slide out to make room. Their traffic looked crazy, but everybody knew what they were doing, and were willing to accommodate other drivers without throwing a fit.

Comment: Re:Think you understand these things? Try this... (Score 1) 365

by Scratch-O-Matic (#28783043) Attached to: Visualizing False Positives In Broad Screening

In my case I just wrote out the possible combinations, and saw the 1/3 right away. I had fallen for the same problem as the 100 coin tosses: by the time I have identified a child enough to refer to the "other child," I have already beaten some of the odds!

But please clarify the "one is a girl" and "one is named Mary."

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil