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Comment: At first... (Score 0) 72 72

At first I was happy with this news. I grew up with Windows, learned coding with Micro$oft products (QBasic, VB, C#) eventually moving to Linux and embracing C, Python. I soon started to realize that their products may look nice and complete, but their software is poorly designed, bloated and inefficient. I know Linux, et all has it's issues too, but I it's one sanctuary I have left where their isn't bloat and Microsoft crap all over my machine.

I can just see it now - Visual Studio for Linux will require and only run under root installing it's binaries in /Program_Files/ off root! It will require some silly Win32 emulation and will be a huge pig with ram making Java applications look like small well designed products.


Comment: Re:Cue the whiners (Score 1) 329 329

Unless I am mistaken the US still is based on Common Law. Just because a contract has something written in it, doesn't necessary make it legally binding. For example, your employer can't have you sign your federal, state/province, or constitutional rights away. Also, with my understanding of contract law, generally ambiguity benefits the person who didn't write the contract.

Of course, I am far from very knowledgeable about law but I have taken a few courses in employment law, contract law, etc and how it applies to Canada, which also is based on Common Law.

Comment: Re:ESPN can go eff themselves. (Score 1) 329 329

Yup and it's this conclusion and a few others that lead me to ditch my cable almost 2 years ago. I used to work for the local cable company and got 85% of their hundreds of channels for almost free (taxable benefit unfortunately), but when I left the company I found myself with a $20/month moving to $250/month. I figured I probably watched only a dozen or so anyhow so we moved to OTA, Netflix and Unlimited Internet. Haven't looked back either. I do miss the occasional big sporting event, but I can usually find those streaming online.

Comment: Re:Good security (Score 1) 107 107

Ya, I agree! DLink always has been garbage, and always will! I have owned Linksys (aka crappy Cisco) which is moderately better than DLink, but have had better luck with NetGear. That being said, with any home/small office network device, if possible, I always remove the crappy factory firmware and install DDWRT on it.

Comment: Re:Hover (Score 1) 295 295

Yes, Hover is great. I have used them for several years and never once had a problem! I make it a point to always use one company for domain registration and another for hosting, even if it costs a bit more. I believe they are Canadian as they are owned by Tucows which is a Canadian company.

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

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) 495 495

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) 592 592

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) 437 437

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) 558 558

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) 108 108

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) 174 174

I have run into the same issue with my cable ISP. I run a voip setup using 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.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn