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Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 334

by SeaFox (#47934435) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

I actually have one somewhere in my junk in storage. It was an analog modem mated with a hub pretty much. You would connect your devices with Ethernet and the modem would hold it's own dialer setup. When something wanted to connect the modem would call in the provider and it (and any other devices) were online.

In practice it didn't work that good, because once a computer thinks it has an always-on network connection it tends to try making remote connections for all sorts of things unless you lock it down. So the modem was always connected pretty much. This isn't practical when you don't have a dedicated phone line for it and even then many ISPs had systems set up to not allow you to keep connections on constantly like that.

Comment: Re:If it's not like Vista or 8.0 (Vista II)... (Score 2) 541

by SeaFox (#47925315) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Sorry. Factually wrong.

I just had to reformat my machine a couple weeks ago and, just like the first time I set up the machine from the Windows 8 final retail version, I used a Local account (no Microsoft Account tie in at all). After I installed all the normal Windows 8.0 patches I clicked the store and right there on the left was the huge-ass tile for the 8.1 update. I clicked it the machine started downloading it, and I went out for a couple hours to run some errands. No login prompt at all.

When I got home it was (coincidentally) just finishing the install.

I have a Hotmail account but I never enter the information on Windows 8 Mail (because I've heard it will convert a local user account setup to a Microsoft Account enabled one if you do. I also never use Skype out of the same concern. I access the Hotmail account as IMAP in Thunderbird, same way I do all my other email accounts, and IM with people on the MSN Messenger network using Pidgin to connect to it (news of MSN's death are greatly exaggerated -- by Microsoft to get people to start using Skype).

Comment: Re:Ask the US Postal Service (Score 2) 124

Management 101: If you don't trust your employees - you are screwed

That''s how every business operates now, though. Employees are always under surveillance because the management doesn't trust them not to steal from them in one way or another. Either by actual supply/money theft, or by not working hard enough when on the clock.

And funny enough, employers have actually made the situation worse on themselves. If they want to know why they can't trust the employees to be "committed and motivated", look no further than the modern low wage, low appreciation, low potential for advancement employment they offer. When you're not paying people enough to make ends meet, don't be surprised when they look for ways to supplement their income.

Comment: Re:How much! (Score 2) 405

Indeed, if they randomly distributed 2M surfaces for free throughout the population it would probably cost them about the same, and it would immediately create a demand for applications, it would get their product in front of consumers, etc.

Except "Surface tablets are the official tablets of the NFL" sounds a bit better in the press for Microsoft than "Microsoft has to give away Surface tablets to get people to use them".

Comment: This lawsuit's great and all... (Score 1, Insightful) 199

by SeaFox (#47815119) Attached to: First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

But if anyone believes this database is gonna actually be shut down, erased, etc, I have some beach-front property to sell you. Best case scenario is is gets ruled illegal and then moved deeper underground, and we can all pretend that it's really not operating anymore.

Comment: Re:First impressions (Score 1) 220

by SeaFox (#47812713) Attached to: Firefox 32 Arrives With New HTTP Cache, Public Key Pinning Support

How does it compare to Pale Moon, though? Performance and not liking Australias was my main reason for changing to Pale Moon.
Since Pale Moon can no longer sync with my Firefox on other machines (one of which is my laptop I cannot use Pale Moon on), and the Classic Theme Restorer undoes most of the UX damage, I'm wavering to dropping Pale Moon.

Comment: Re:Uh (Score 2) 127

by SeaFox (#47797469) Attached to: Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

As far as I can tell the whole thing was just a farce to scare people into joining Skype to swell the userbase.
Kept on using Pidgin to connect to MSN, had friends who changed over to Skype.
Kept right on talking to them on Pidgin.

Last time I used it was a couple days ago even and it was working same as always.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by SeaFox (#47791409) Attached to: Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

At least the LAPD nominally works for the people.

A murderous stalker doesn't.

So yeah, there are some really good reasons to keep the raw data from the public.

The LAPD "working for the people" is an implied mission statement. It doesn't really reflect the individuals within the organization. A murderous stalker has to actually follow you to gather info, but the LAPD officer doesn't now, that's the only difference. The police can just as easily abuse a power given to them, kinda like those NSA agents using their expensive taxpayer-funded gear and government-granted spying powers to stalk love interests.

There was a scene in the 1997 movie Men In Black where Tommy Lee Jones's character is sitting at a console with high-resolution satellite imagery available in real time, and he zooms in on a suburban home, and the women he once knew years ago, and the thinks of the life he could have had if he hadn't become a MIB agent. That movie was so long before all this War on Terror and domestic spying BS no one recognized that scene for what it was.

Comment: Re:Why is it not trivial? (Score 2) 155

by SeaFox (#47791329) Attached to: Reformatting a Machine 125 Million Miles Away

Why didn't they plan ahead for this sort of operation in the beginning, making it painless and 'reliable' ( as possible ).

That's a joke, right? We are talking about one of the two rovers that was sent to Mars on a mission planned to only last 90 days. They didn't see "flash memory wearing out from use" as a contingency they needed to plan for.

Comment: Too late Microsoft, you already fucked my install. (Score 1) 140

by SeaFox (#47786331) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

Was working on the computer late on the 27th and I saw there were new Windows updates available (8.1 Pro, x64). I'd heard about the update issues two weeks ago but figured that had all been taken care of and the updates were pulled so this was fine.

Big mistake.

Machine BSOD'ing after launch and none of Microsoft's fixes worked.
1) If I tried to boot into safe mode, which is still supposed to work -- BSOD
2) There is a font cache file that supposedly is causing the crash. You're supposed to boot into safe mode to remove it. Okay, I boot into a Mint from a thumb drive and delete the file from out of my C:\Windows\System32 folder, unmounted the drive manually to make sure changes were written back, and rebooted -- Still BSOD.
3) Tried using system restore points. Windows set one just before these updates. Windows was not able to restore to that point. Tried the previous one from an update to OpenOffice three days before this. That one was also no good. Tried the last one, one from the 20th -- when the previous set of Windows updates had been applied. Success. Now, straight from the horse's mouth, my Windows should now be rolled back to a time before the Windows Updates before the problematic updates were installed.

Rebooted... BSOD at the exact same place in the process. No change at all.

I can't uninstall the updates if I can't boot into the actual WIndows install it seems. There's no way to remove the updates from the recovery console (found a blog entry on how to do this in XP, but the updates aren't kept in the same folder structure and my ability to run things on the effected install seems much more limited in these later versions).

As I'm typing this I'm running on the Mint flash drive and have Grsync doing a verified copy of my user folder from my C drive to one of my other internal disks, so I can do a reformat and reinstall of all my programs. Just what I wanted to do on my weekend!

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz