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Comment: Re:just ban it (Score 1) 365

by SirAudioMan (#49056389) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Thank you - well said! I don't smoke cigarettes, in fact never have even tried one and have no desire to. I too do enjoy the occasional cigar (few times a year), sitting outside with a drink, while reading Slashdot on my phone :) Sure those cigars aren't good for me, but as with almost anything, in moderation there is little to no harm. I smoke so few that I don't get addicted.

I am getting really tired of the governments and society feeling they need to protect everybody from their own stupid mistakes. As each day passes we live in more and more of a nanny state. I do believe it's important to ensure that minors and those without any choice to leave aren't subjected to second hand smoke. More importantly, we need to continue to educate people on the risks but stop banning the actions outright.

If someone wants to smoke, let them. If they want to become a crack addict, let them. But that's not to say there won't be any repercussions. I believe that in one of the European countries with public healthcare (most there do have that), there are certain restrictions on health insurance if you smoke. I believe that if you smoke, are diagnosed with an ailment as a result of smoking and then continue to smoke you can have your healthcare coverage reduced/cancelled.

Though this seems a bit draconian, I kind of appreciate it. I had a relative who smoked his entire life, who was forced to quite a few times before some surgeries that were related to smoking and over drinking. Time and time again, he would quit, have surgery, then go right back to smoking and drinking only to repeat the cycle. This is in Canada where we have public government healthcare for all. He taxed the healthcare system drastically due to HIS poor life choices.

Comment: The Sad Truth (Score 3, Insightful) 495

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian but have lived in a border town most of my life and watched and followed mostly US media.

Unfortunately the sad truth in the last 20 years is the US is no longer at the forefront of anything except corporate greed and government corruptness. I'm not saying other countries are any different but the big difference between the US (and Canada to some extent) vs Europe is the citizens. In Europe it seems the citizens don't roll over take it like we do in North America. Someone once told me that in most of the EU, the governments are afraid of the people, while in NA, it's the opposite. Simply put, Europeans won't stand for all the crap that happens over here. This has lasting effects on how services and corporations grow and are governed. When not controlled correctly (aka when lobbying rules) by the government, corporations have a proven track record of screwing the people!

Any Europeans care to chime in and agree/disagree with me?

Comment: Repurpose Old Hardware (Score 2) 592

by SirAudioMan (#48844695) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

Back in 2008 I bought a refurbished 2007 MBP. The machine was great, I ended up replacing the battery after 2 years. After a couple of years of use, eventually it got too old, the second battery crapped out completely. Fast forward to about 3 months ago. I began the process of ripping all 250+ CD my wife and I own. I didn't want to tie up my Linux laptop or desktop with ripping. I decided to see if the MBP would still boot on AC power, which it did. OSX was hopelessly outdated and nothing would install any new software without a progressive Apple upgrade (costing $$$), which on old hardware was not worth it.

I tried installing Mint but the installer couldn't handle the graphics card and simply initialize. I ended up getting Ubuntu to install, but it didn't like the graphics card much either. After messing with Grub I was able to get it to boot and load Unity (don't even get me started on that crap) but the software rendering was PAINFUL! I installed Gnome 2 and fiddled around with X drivers a bit to get a working machine. It runs pretty good still and is used for playing all music to my stereo. Video playback is troublesome as I suspect it's still using software rendering.

Comment: Re:This is a foolish business decision. (Score 1) 437

by SirAudioMan (#48727921) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

I kind of agree with this. I'm Canadian and have subscribed to Netflix for about 2 years now. In fact about a year ago I cut my cable completely! My wife has been using Hola on Chrome to get passed the restriction but only about 5-10% of the time. Our primary appliance for Netflix is our WD TV Live Plus box which can't easily be fooled with DNS changes (I've tried). Though the Canadian content lacks in many areas, there are still many great things to watch. At first it seemed like it was lacking but honestly I don't miss a good portion of that American TV crap. My TV viewing habits have changed drastically. Canadian Netflix is actually quite good, but it's different than us Canadians are used to. Most of our cable/sat content is American (less CanCon) which is why we are used to it. I for one am happy to try other things I would have normally never given a chance if all the regulars were available.

Comment: Re: There will be what we end up using (Score 1) 558

by SirAudioMan (#48235277) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Same here in Canada. We have had debit/credit for ever with chip and pin for years. Debit/interac RFID enabled cards are in the majority of cardholders now and about 1/3 to 1/2 of all vendors take all formsbof payment. The US is behind the times and still allow mag stripe credit payments as the primary payment.

Comment: Re:Not my LG... (Score 1) 108

by SirAudioMan (#48191695) Attached to: Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

My Google Nexus 4 (LG makes it) has never been that good with battery life. I've owned it for close to 2 years now and it's only gotten marginally worse than when it was new. I charge it each night fully, and get about 14-16 hours of life before it's in the red (warning comes on at 14%). That's with:
- Checking it regularly for slashdot, emails, messages, facebook, etc, for short bursts of 1-2 minutes.
- Probably put about 1-2 hours of internet browsing on it (mix of wifi and cellular) during lunch or before bed when I read news
- The occasional 10-15 minute phone call to my wife. I hardly talk on it ever, and never for very long.
- Leave Bluetooth on so that it syncs up with my Ford Sync automatically
- Leave off GPS to keep Big Brother from tracking my movements unless I need mapping.

Comment: It's an ISP problem likely (Score 3, Informative) 174

by SirAudioMan (#48121507) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: VPN Setup To Improve Latency Over Multiple Connections?

I have run into the same issue with my cable ISP. I run a voip setup using voip.ms as my provider and have my ATA connect to their servers. I have been plagued with random audio dropouts, talk-off and the occasional robot voice problem. After much research, troubleshooting I determined that the issue with jitter my ISP. Most pings to a know good server like Google DNS ( averages say 40 ms but occasionally (say every 30 pings) the time jumps up to 800 ms. This happens regardless of the server I ping and also occurs when I ping my ISP's gateway address. This tells me that the problem is internal to my ISP and not an external routing problem.

The reason why is what is called Node Congestion. Most North American cable ISP's use DOCSIS with hybrid-fiber nodes located through the geographic area. Nodes may start off with 100 active users on it meaning all 100 users are sharing that piece of the pipe. As time progresses, traffic changes, people ditch their cable tv for Netflix. All of this has a huge impact on congestion and bingo as a result ping times suffer. The average person will never notice but with any time sensitive service like voip and some gaming, you will notice it.

There is not much you can do other than a) complain to your ISP (good luck) or b) find another that's not just a reseller of your existing cable's infrastructure. I'm not sure if DSL suffers the same issue as the shared cable plant.

Comment: Re:I know! (Score -1, Troll) 545

by SirAudioMan (#47922627) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Makes me very very very happy I completely switched to Mint a year ago and am loving Linux! It's amazing how much you start to realize how crappy Micro$oft products are when you work with Linux products every day also. Micro$oft is very good at producing so-so products that are 90% complete, but they fail to achieve the other 10% which is the most important part! Everything with Micro$oft is like a mishmash of products, technologies, standards all mixed together when nothing really works as efficient as it should. I keep both of my PC's as Mint/Win7 dual boot but dread having to boot into Windows for the odd situation. Just yesterday I booted into Windows to use iTunes. The GUI looked so harsh, the responsiveness was horrible, and at some point between my last boot (months ago??) and yesterday my taskbar notification icons have gone corrupt! I noticed all of this after the 30 second complete hard freeze (mouse frozen too) that occurred when I was looking up how to fix the taskbar problems! I decided to forget and rebooted back into Mint where that machines stays running for months on end!


Comment: Re:"Net neutrality", my ass. (Score 1) 91

It is a similar situation here in Canada. You have the historic "ma bell" aka Bell Canada who installed all the POTS lines, and build their DSL infrastructure. Then along came the cable companies who build up their old coax to hybrid fiber/coax about 15 years ago. In Ontario, now sure about other provinces, you have exactly one choice of which cable company you want. There are almost zero overbuilds so depending on where you live you either have Rogers, Cogeco, Shaw or some other small company. About 5-10 years ago the CRTC (our regulating body similar to the FCC) decided that the telcos/cableco's must lease their services to 3rd parties who act a resellers. I believe the CRTC also has to approve the rates at which the lines and access are leased for. So as a consumer you do have choices between either ONE big telco or ONE big cable co, or many small resellers who just lease the lines from the big guys.

Comment: Re:1 or 1 million (Score 2) 274

by SirAudioMan (#47542389) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

Hahahahaha - Expand Capability!

This goes against every morsel in every cell in the body of the board members of almost any company! The last resort is to ever invest in capital to improve the service unless you fall behind your competitors. Also, remember that terms of service agreement that you signed when you agreed to your contract? Well, they get you there in the small fine print too! Most companies are in the business of making as much money as possible using any means that 'legal'.

If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?