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Comment Re:wan port (Score 3, Interesting) 108

One Ethernet WAN port, one Ethernet LAN port, one USB port, and a jack for the power.

While I understand Google's logic behind this, but that's really a deal-killer for me. Even though many of my devices are wireless, I still rely on wired connections when I want a stable, fast and (comparatively) secure connection. Sure, I could pair this up with a second router or switch, but if I'm paying $200 for the damn thing, I'd expect it to cover those basics.

Of course, I was already wary about this just because it is a privacy-destroying Google device (having said that, I'm using Google's DNS servers in my current router so I probably don't have a leg to stand on in that regard). No web-based interface is a stupid idea too; touch-screen based interfaces are too fiddly for my liking. And despite TFAs claim that OnHub is "something you could put anywhere in your house without much embarrassment", I think the thing is hideously ugly. Anyway, in general I don't want people to see the networking infrastructure and a discreet flat box is much easier to tuck away than this round monstrosity. Not to mention the price is outrageous.

I'm really not sure who this device is aimed at. Sure it is easy to setup, but ordinary users are unlikely to drop $200 on a wireless router when they can get one that works fairly well (and really isn't that hard to configure either) for $50 from Walmart (or included "free" with their modem). Meanwhile, everyone else is going to look at OnHub's dearth of features and configurability and then pick up more capable hardware.

In short: No web-interface. Less Ethernet ports than an ASUS. Lame.

Comment Why are freebies excluded? (Score 1) 36

It is disappointing that free items sent to the vlogger by the manufacturer are excluded from this requirement.

While the reviewer is free in these situations to slag off items sent to him gratis, there is still a greater likelihood he will overlook issues and give the item a better review rather than risk losing the opportunity to get more free items. In many ways, the reviewer is still in the employ of the manufacturer, except instead of being paid in cash he is being paid in merchandise. There is an unspoken expectation from the company that the vlogger will give the free item a good review, and if the vlogger fails to perform to expectations, he is "fired" and no longer receives any further "paychecks", e.g., free items from that company.

The audience should be made aware of this connection between the reviewer and the company behind the product, even if no actual cash or editorial direction has been given.

Comment Re:Also on Windows 7 - Anyone else having issues? (Score 2) 203

You can use gpedit.msc to restore the option to verify before installing updates.

Do the Home versions of Windows10 come with GPEdit.msc? I know that - starting with Windows Vista - the Group Policy Editor (GPEdit.msc) was a feature reserved for the "enterprise" editions only (Pro, Ultimate) and was not included in the Home or Starter editions of the OS. Nominally this was acceptable because Home users have no use for domain-level tools such as a group policy, but unfortunately many Windows features can only be toggled with GPEDit.msc, including several Home users might have interest in.

Nominally there is nothing GPEdit.msc can do that can't be replicated through manual registry editing, but there is no readily available source mapping registry keys and strings to each of the GPEdit options (I am also not aware of any non-Microsoft alternative to GPEdit.msc, although there are hacks to transfer GPEdit.msc from the enterprise editions to the consumer editions).

Since Windows 10 Professional already has the option to disable updates, it is disingenuous to suggest GPEdit.msc as an alternative as an alternative unless that tool is included with the Home Edition.

Comment Re:I think I speak for all of us (Score 1) 515

I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Fuck this shit".

As importantly, tell your "regular user" friends to avoid Windows 10 too. Tell them about the spyware. Tell them how it takes away your ability to play DVDs. Share stories about how bad patches - now unavoidable - can break their machine. Tell them how they would need to pay $1.99 per month to play ad-free Solitaire. Point out that the Windows10 Start Menu is a still poor replacement for what they get with Windows 7 (and that a lot of the Windows 8 "Metro" interface still remains). Remind them there is very little Windows 10 does that Windows 7 does not.

Point out the negatives. Get the average person soured on Windows 10. They LISTEN to us when it comes to tech stuff. If we tell them they should avoid Windows 10 if they can, that - if they are buying a new PC - they should try to get one with Windows 7 (or even 8.1 if they absolutely have to). Don't rant or rave (and don't suggest Linux, that will just scare them away and brand you as a geek who doesn't understand "regular people" in their eyes); just point out your disappointment by another awful OS from Microsoft. You might be surprised by how much influence you have on them.

Honestly, I think the "hidden influence" of geeks had a lot to do with the failures of Vista and Windows 8, and the success of 7. Windows 10 has met some success because geeks have been receiving it more favorably than its predecessor. Show your disfavor and your less computer-savvy friends and family will pick up on it.

Comment America's not so behind after all! (Score 4, Funny) 135

And they say America is falling behind when it comes to internet access. But Verizon is also phasing out DSL; getting a new DSL subscription these days is virtually impossible (speaking from experience, even if you just cancelled a month ago and want to resubscribe, suddenly it is "not available in your area"). In fact, Verizon is probably /ahead/ of the curve since they seem to be doing the same with FIOS. Oddly, they seem to be pushing Verizon wireless as the alternative instead of gigabit speeds but that's probably only because I haven't looked hard enough on their website, right?

Comment Re:Jumping the Sharknado! (Score 1) 485

Dunno 'bout the getting the original 16-bit version to run on modern OS, but you can always play the remake and sequel: Chips Challenge for Steam and Chip's Challenge 2

Before you get all hot under the color about how developers are abusing nostalgia for a quick buck, CC2 (and the CC1 remake) is written by the same guy who made the first and its only been held up these past two decades because of copyright issues.

If you really, really want the absolute original experience though, you'll probably have to resort to using a VM (DOSBox works too).

Comment Ahead of the curve (Score 5, Interesting) 317

This is exactly the sort of thing everyone predicted would happen with enforced automatic updating. It is exactly the sort of reason people argued against taking control out of users hands. I just didn't expect we'd see an example of it before Windows 10 was actually released though. For once Microsoft has proven itself to be ahead of the curve. Yay?

While Microsoft Update has generally been something good for Windows (and the Internet) by reducing the number of vulnerable machines, it has not been without its share of programs. There are countless stories of Update pushing bad patches and drivers, and quality-control at Microsoft has apparently taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of years. Nobody is arguing that Microsoft should stop pushing patches or even that the default - especially for home users - should be to automatically download and install the patches. But by removing the user's ability to ultimately accept or decline these patches benefits nobody.

But I guess Microsoft wasn't satisfied with just having a reputation for producing shoddy products that don't work as intended; now they seem to be working towards earning the reputation for creating a product that intentionally goes out of its way to break itself.

Comment For extremely limited definitions of "offer" (Score 1) 120

Sure, the ISPs offer it... just not to your home. Or mine. Or in 90% of the country. I'm sure many of the ISPs /technically/ provide the gigabit-speeds but the area where people can actually get it is probably very, very limited. This is just another fluff piece from the telecom industry hoping to make people believe America isn't as technologically backward as Europe, Japan or Korea; "Look, American Internet is as fast as in the rest of the world!". They hope to forestall government regulation enforcing mandatory speed minimums for all parts of the country by pointing out that their network technically has this capability... even if 99% of it can never achieve this sort of speed.

And that doesn't even get into the astronomical prices they are charging for the service.

When Farmer Bob can call up Comcast and have them deliver gigabit service at the same price as Sue-in-the-city, then they can start boasting. Until then the ISPs are seriously deficient in the service that they have been providing to this nation.

Comment The Nine Things (Score 2) 65

Here are "the nine ideas [for securing] our data, privacy, and communications"
(for those of us too lazy to RTFA)

- Add public keys to major services
- Build better random number generators
- Expand trusted hardware
- Add Merkle trees to the file system
- Build more block chains and extend them for others
- Add chaining to Internet interactions
- Build out cross-linked certified websites
- Add homomorphic encryption
- Add encryption

Details on what each of those thing actually MEAN are in TFA, of course

Comment Who wants what now? (Score 4, Insightful) 119

"Universal Windows apps are going to be written because you want to have those apps used on the desktop."

Wait, who wants universal Windows apps?

Certainly it is not the desktop users. Because they must cater to the "lowest-common-denominator" of hardware, universal apps tend to be underpowered and have interfaces poorly optimized for mouse/keyboard.

The developers have little care for Universal apps. There is no demand for the things, and requires an investment in learning new development methods. It is an added expense and complication that brings little reward for the extra effort.

I suppose there might be some demand from Windows Winphone users - all six of them - but even they might prefer a more functional app tailored to their desktops capabilities rather than a cut-rate smartphone app. I don't hear an overwhelming clamor crying out, "oh if only the mail app on my desktop worked just like it did on my winphone!"

No, there is only one party that is really interested in Universal apps, and that's Microsoft themselves because universal apps are sold through the Microsoft app store and they get a cut of the proceeds. It also gives them great control over what sort of programs users have access to (what are the odds they would allow a stand-alone Linux installer to be added to their store?).

So, other than some great desire to increase Microsoft's profits, what reason is there to develop or use Universal apps?

Comment Re:I remember... (Score 2) 208

Yeah, these days it seems the first thing I do after hearing about a new Firefox update is search for the appropriate about:config string to disable the new features.

And half of my add-ons these days are there simply to revert the interface back to something useable.

Between the too-frequent updates and the user-necessitated fixes to correct the developer's blunders, Firefox is approaching a required level of maintenance I only expect from Microsoft products.

Comment Maybe Microsoft Will Take The Hint (Score 1) 84

Maybe Microsoft will take the hint from this lawsuit and allow you to uninstall the built-in apps that come with Windows 10. Its great that they provide apps like "XBox" and "OneNote" gratis, but I've no interest in them and it bugs me that you can't uninstall them.

Wait, there's a new release version of the Win10 Preview. Maybe that's one of the things they've changed.

Nope, still can't uninstall. I guess Microsoft is really glued to the idea of making your desktop like a crappy smartphone...

Comment Re: Altough I agree (Score 1) 61

(getting quite a bit off topic here)

I disagree. I think that we are quite capable of sending a probe to Proxima Centauri.

We just aren't able to send a probe that will send us any meaningful results in less than a few millenia. But I think we could - were we to put our minds to it - develop a probe that could ride out the centuries and send back a signal when it go thtere.

Heck, if were ready to spend a few times the world's yearly GDP (and not let certain political issues like worries like launching large nuclear devices into orbit), we probably could launch an interstellar probe that would get there in a single human lifetime.

It hasn't been entirely TECHNOLOGY that has been limiting us to this single basket of eggs that we call the Solar System for a long time.

Comment Re:Brand Specific Frequencies (Score 1) 529

Brand-specific frequencies?

"I don't mind WiFi signals usually, but that 2.4GHz coming off Netgear routers really gets to me. And don't get me started on the 4G (700MHz) signals coming from my AT&T Android phone; that's why I have to use an iPhone on the US Cellular network!"

Yeah, I can see people believing that.

Hell, I can even imagine wireless providers /marketing/ to people like that. "Use our new HEALTHY-4G network, designed from the ground up for EM-sensitive users! Sure it costs twice as much, but isn't being able to use a phone without worrying worth the price?". The wireless providers could make a mint. It would be like marketing "organic" food, except without actually having to do anything. They may need to recruit the advertisers who work for Monster Cables first, though.

Comment I WANT a hackable car... (Score 3, Interesting) 165

Personally, I want a hackable car. What I do not want is a /remotely/ hackable car.

I want a vehicle where I, as the owner, can access all its bits-n-bobs - even the digital ones - to tune it as I desire. I do not want a car whose computers are so saddled down with "security" that the only ones who can access its electronic brains are "authorized" technicians who have paid tens of thousands of dollars for the appropriate software and hardware. Too often I see "security" being used by automobile manufacturers as an excuse to lock out the owners (or even ordinary mechanics) from modifying - or even diagnosing - the vehicle without first tithing to the manufacturer for the privilege.

Of course, only I as owner (or any I authorize) should be allowed to adjust my car in this way; obviously, I do not want any nefarious parties to alter my car's settings - especially not while I am driving! But while this is something the designers and manufacturers need to keep in mind, so far I am unaware of /any/ successful attempt to "hack" a moving car. Of course, if a nefarious individual gets access to the OBDII port on my car, there's no end to the damage he could do, but no computer (or car! think "cutting the brake lines") is safe if somebody has physical access to it.

So forgive me if I interpret these worried cries about how my car might be "hacked" less as an earnest warning about my vehicle's vulnerability to malicious actors and more as another attempt by the manufacturer to gouge the owner out of even more money just so he can continue to tinker with his own property.

The nicest thing about the Alto is that it doesn't run faster at night.