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Comment: Webp is amazing (Score 5, Informative) 155

by Stepnsteph (#46421419) Attached to: New Mozilla Encoder Improves JPEG Compression

Agreed, it's a much better choice. I actually converted my entire image library to .webp, and I use Irfanview to view the images. The filesize savings were huge, with no visible reduction in quality.

Some examples:
4.5 MB JPG -> 109 KB webp
3.66 MB JPG -> 272 KB webp
3.36 MB JPG -> 371 KB webp

One folder of mixed JPGs and PNGs with a total of 169 MBs was converted to webp. the total size of all contents of the folder ("directory", whatever you want to call it) was 6.44 MBs. I was so impressed that I kept records of the results.

Not only would this be HUGE for sites like Wikipedia, but it also significantly decreased the amount of space that I was using in my cloud storage account.

Honestly for all of their PR about a better, more open web, all we really get is the same old politics and attempts at controlling what is and is not the standards. They still behave like children. Mozilla, Google, I'm not taking sides. They're both at fault.

Comment: Re: one of the biggest and most powerful companies (Score 2) 235

by Stepnsteph (#42395569) Attached to: Google Challenging Microsoft For Business Software

For me, the issue is about compatibility. It's not a personal preference for Word. For example, I actually used LibreOffice to create the documents for a presentation and I saved each document in a different Word & Power Point format. Each file had around 3 copies. I then made PDF copies of each, just in case the files were not compatible. LibreOffice claims compatibility, but that doesn't mean that it will be and of course they were not compatible. The files simply would not open in Microsoft's products, regardless of the file format that I tried.

It can be debated that this is Microsoft's fault, but I honestly don't care. At the end of the day, what matters is that the presentation works and can be shown to the people that need to see at the time that I need to show it to them. Finger pointing isn't going to make that happen.

The PDF files worked.

Comment: Skype, Gesture & Voice Controls (Score 1) 90

by Stepnsteph (#41745473) Attached to: Microsoft Prepares To Push Kinect Everywhere Windows Is

I like it. I would get one, if the price were right, and I'm assuming that it would bring something beyond what my HD web cam can do (and Kinect seems to have infrared now, so apparently that's a yes). The implications for Skype are obvious, but this could potentially be an easy way to perform simple tasks in Windows.

There is potential here. I love technology, so I say bring it on and let's see where we can go with it.

Comment: Sure hope it's not true (Score 1) 648

by Stepnsteph (#39851523) Attached to: Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions

After the way that the cable "service" publicly insulted my father when he went in to pay a bill (his work clothes were dirty), there is zero chance in hell that they will ever get another subscription from myself, my parents, or my siblings. ...so I certainly hope that this news is not entirely true. I was looking at Hulu as my next subscription service (currently have Funimation, CrunchyRoll, and Amazon Prime) after I ditch Dish Network this year. This move would almost guarantee that Netflix gets the subscription, and I'm non too eager to use them after they pulled that pricing stunt awhile back.

On the flip side, perhaps I should just give my father access to my Amazon Prime account. That would probably be better than going with Netflix. Ya know what, I think I'll do that.

Thanks, Slashdot, this post has been helpful.

Comment: Re:Security is expensive (Score 1) 136

by Stepnsteph (#37455118) Attached to: DigiNotar Goes Bankrupt After Hack

I agree with Neokushan. In reading about just how bad this attack hit DigiNotar, I'm of the opinion that they fully deserved to go bankrupt. They don't need to ever be in business again.

It's a security company, and they were running no anti-virus solution, had a simple LAN with a single username & simple password, and they didn't keep their web servers up to date. Nobody in their right mind would do that to a company, but for a firm that worked in the security field? CA, no less. That's dangerously negligent.

I'm going to guess that there are a lot of IT people here, and that their heads are close to exploding from the stupidity involved at DigiNotar.

How this could happen I could only guess. No sys admin would ever let this fly. This almost had to be policy from the top, deliberately blocking any money being spent to secure their system.

Somewhere a sys admin is on the floor laughing, both from having been driven insane at the company, and at the relief of their new found freedom.

Comment: Re:So uh (Score 5, Insightful) 964

by Stepnsteph (#35637952) Attached to: Americans Favor Moratorium On New Nuclear Reactors

I agree with Anrego here.

As a psychology major with, of course, an interest in sociology and human behavior in general, I don't really watch the "news". I watch the behavior of the presenters. I notice the emphasis that's added to certain words or syllables, the unnecessary dramatic pauses, the music & sound effects that are used, the flashy graphics, etc etc.. and then I think of the general uneducated public that's watching this.

It breaks my heart in a way, to be honest. Our (or "U.S." for those elsewhere) media, and interest groups, are riding on the coat tails of the very real tragedy. Then turning on themselves (eg the "human shield" tripe) between the FUD.

That's to be expected, I suppose, but it's why I turned (long ago) to the Internet to get real news. Thank goodness for international news sources and multi-lingual support.

Of course the general public is afraid of tsunamis and 9.0 earth quakes and vague, unnamed super disasters.

We need more high capacity power plants, and we need people to stop rejecting everything that's not a magic cure-all silver bullet because that's NEVER going to exist.

I've written this before my first cup of coffee this morning, so my apologies if this doesn't come across quite as clearly as we would all like. Now I have to get ready to go. You folks have a great day.

Comment: I agree with most here, however (Score 1) 470

by Stepnsteph (#34994250) Attached to: LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today

I agree with most here that the blurb was pretty much a failure. However, it does make one good point when it questions the need for a dedicated office suite; for home users anyway. I can't comment on what businesses may or may not need. What I do know is that even my mother uses an online office suite these days, and she has shown open dislike of the idea of installing an office suite on the computer.

Comment: Re:Internet Anonymity is good! (Score 1) 833

by Stepnsteph (#32817660) Attached to: Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

I should mention that this is not optional in that you can not participate in the forum community unless you accept your real name being displayed to everyone. The issue of the character name being "optional" is moot since that is what is most important in terms of game play.

This business with people's real names is optional as much as any other strong-arm, ultimatum-esque tactic is "optional". Thankfully fan sites will provide forums to get around this nonsense.

I also haven't yet found anything that explains what will happen to past posts. Will they suddenly appear under real names?

Comment: Re:Internet Anonymity is good! (Score 1) 833

by Stepnsteph (#32817360) Attached to: Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

Yeah, that's pretty much what's going to happen. It's just one more thing for them to be paranoid about.

The woman who I used to hang out with back in EQ was very popular and had many stalkers. That was partially her fault, of course, but we had to run up walls, break clipping on some objects and do other crazy shenanigans just to get around the creepers. One guy who found us actually threatened me while she was away and then upon her return tried to tell her that *I* was saying threats and being the freak! "Creeper" is a very good term for these types.

She showed me a few times what happened when she removed /anon by telling me which names to watch out for. It was creepy to watch so I can imagine what it's like to be the focus of that kind of... attention. We both promptly went /anon after that and ported back to our bind spots.

To say "it's optional!" in this case is nuts. The information on this page: http://us.battle.net/realid/?rhtml=y is particularly disturbing.

Comment: Re:Any grownups work there? (Score 1) 302

by Stepnsteph (#32207684) Attached to: Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy

My guess is that you don't have a Facebook account or you rarely use it, because the issue of Facebook goes well beyond "crack" or such.

A.) Everybody at your university has Facebook.

B.) You need to communicate with a group, and by "communicate", I mean time, date, activities, who is doing what in those activities, what is required for those activities (eg; clothing? tools?), everyone's office hours, and a plethora of other information.

C.) Everybody has very random schedules, and at least a few live 30 minutes out of town

Anybody who even dares to suggest email for this is utterly clueless. Also, anyone who suggests that "everyone just use this-other-system instead" has clearly never tried to get a large group of every day people (particularly college students, none of which are technology majors of any sort), who are in turn tied to other people who are tied to the system who are tied to other people, to begin using something new.

Additionally you have the international students who are nearly impossible to keep in contact with, especially through any other means. Typically they'll have their own system (eg; Cyworld), but those systems will require a national identification number that only citizens of that country have. Therefore you can not join those systems and thus you use Facebook.

Lastly, the friends who you have, and who all have random schedules due to classes that take place all over the day-by-day calendar in addition to jobs, sports, and other activities all have Facebook. Ergo you all continue to use Facebook. Again, just try to get these people - who know people other than you who are all similarly tied to Facebook - to use anything other than Facebook.

If someone still can't understand all of the above and STILL says "will I don't see why you don't just close your FB account & use this-whatever instead" then that someone has clearly never socialized and they probably should not comment on a subject which they have less than zero understanding of.

It's not about YOU, it's about EVERYONE, and that's why you can check in but you can never leave.

Comment: Re:He shouldn't be arrested (Score 1) 308

by Stepnsteph (#31617928) Attached to: Obama's Twitter Account "Hacked"

My thoughts exactly. This fella doesn't deserve to be arrested considering that he didn't do anything with the account. Seeing as their system is so easy to crack they should be thankful that this was brought to light rather than abused.

Sure it's a 'round about way to do it, but a slap on the wrist is quite enough IMO.

Comment: I disagree (Score 1) 587

a.) Long time gamer here. Been gaming since the Atari 2600.
b.) Psychology major. Undergrad. 3.7x GPA if, for some odd reason, that matters to anyone who's reading.

I'm going to be blunt and say that studies such as this one are biased. I've considered doing research in this area myself to counter this sort of nonsense.

Personally I am of the opinion that a major part of the bias comes from the isolated nature of these studies. For example, one need only to watch my brother as he watches sports in order to draw the conclusion that watching sports increases violent thoughts and/or behavior. That's not because he attacks anyone - just as any well adjusted person who's playing a game isn't going to attack someone - but because his behavior (and dare I suggest some of his thoughts) is pretty obvious. He yells at the screen, he jumps up in anger, he clenches his fists, his face turns red.. yeah, he's a major sports fan.

Does this mean that sports increases violent behavior? Sure it does. Does that actually mean anything? No, of course not. To suggest that watching sports makes him violent is to play a game of semantics. It's technically correct, but to generalize that in any way is rather stretching it. This kind of behavior is perfectly normal (maybe really strange to some of us, but perfectly normal). This does not in any way mean that my brother is going to attack someone, or go out and shoot a fan of the opposing team.

As far as that's concerned, we have plenty of examples of sports fans causing public damage or attacking other people. It happens, just as it happens with people who play video games, or watches movies, or yodels, or whatever.

I'm not saying that this is done deliberately for the sake of an agenda, though that may be true in some cases. This meta study, however, is flawed, as any number of other posters here have noticed and mentioned.

This sort of nonsense is disheartening for me to see. This clearly isn't good science, and calling it any form of "definitive" is just arrogant and ignorant.

Done venting. Thanks for reading. I'm pretty tired so I'm not sure if this made as much sense as I kinda hope that it does.

Comment: Re:Because it's a PITA - Pain In the Ass! (Score 1) 660

by Stepnsteph (#30809244) Attached to: What's Holding Back Encryption?

^ This. Perhaps some people here are lucky enough to know people who are willing to use encryption tools. They don't live in the same world as the rest of us. "It ain't happening" isn't a strong enough way of expressing the situation. I was just barely able to convince someone to install an OTR plugin, and even then they grumble about it. That's just a plugin ffs. Imagine trying to convince people to use shared key encryption for their email. I've tried (I maintain a PGP key for some absurd reason) and the responses were "No" and "Hell no" and derivatives there of.

The closest I was able to get with email encryption was Ciphire Mail. That was a beautiful tool, and it was the easiest thing to ever happen to email encryption. It's a darn shame that they folded.

That is, of course, in regards to every day users. I can't speak for the enterprise level.

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 101

by Stepnsteph (#30809034) Attached to: NVIDIA Previews GF100 Features and Architecture

Agreed. I ordered the 5850 just last night. The bundled deal at Newegg comes with a free 600 watt Thermaltake power supply (limited time of course: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102857). I'll be gaming at 1920x1080, so this should be quite enough for me for a fair while (though I wish I could've justified a 2 GB card).

Normally I wouldn't do $300 for a vid card. I've paid the $600 premium in the past and that made me realize that the $150 - $200 cards do just fine. Last night's expenditure was to top out this system (card + 8 GBs RAM). Basically I'm betting on it lasting me (as a gaming machine) until DDR3 & related technologies drop to reasonable prices.

Perhaps by then nvidia will have a mid-to-low range version of this new toy that's worth buying.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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