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Comment: Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (Score 1) 228

by bds1986 (#45827647) Attached to: USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year

Gitmo is full of really dangerous and nasty people who were most likely plotting to murder innocents for the cause of religious zealotry.

How dangerous does this man sound to you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamdouh_Habib

He was arrested on bullshit reasoning in Pakistan, tortured, locked in Gitmo for 3 years (despite supposedly being a terrorist and having inside knowledge of 9/11), and then released without charge. Government officials have admitted he had nothing to do with terrorism, yet nobody has been held accountable for that.

If these people are heinous criminals then give them their trial and be done with it already. Criminals still have rights, and that includes the right to have their side heard.

Comment: Re:It's not the ads (Score 1) 978

by bds1986 (#43134493) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

What infuriates me even more than the blinking ads are websites that have the tracking scripts embedded in such a way that they break page functionality if they are blocked.

I block most of the major ad networks at the DNS level, but I've increasingly found that doing so breaks a number of major sites that use these networks for analytics purposes. Blocking the marketing network "2o7.net" (run by these guys) stops links on Apple's website from working (unblocking the provider and flushing my cache resolves the issue). Other networks break my bank's website (I think I need to change banks) and some airlines in a similar fashion. There's plenty more out there.

I'm sorry if I'm making things rough on ad-supported sites, but I'm not willing to have Apple and my bank track my way around the internet so that a few blogs can serve up ads uninterrupted.

Piracy

+ - Slovak version of RIAA charges for public performance of public domain works->

Submitted by NetDanzr
NetDanzr (619387) writes "And you thought you had it back with the RIAA... On special occasions, such as religious holidays, villages all over Slovakia customarily have children concerts of centuries old folk songs. SOZA, the Slovak version of RIAA, has started sending invoices for these performances, despite the fact that the songs are hundreds of years old, have no known author and would have been considered public domain even before the country existed (if there were a concept of music copyright back then). SOZA's argument: Because the villages did not notify the organization about the concert, along with the list of songs to be performed (as required by the law), they had to assume the villages were planing to include copyrighted songs, and as such are guilty and must pay. Here is a Google translation of the story."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:mac (Score 4, Interesting) 732

by bds1986 (#40124889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

It sounds trite, but there is a kernel of wisdom there. Buy a Macbook Pro if you can afford it.

If you have the budget, you'll get what you pay for. It has the only extended warranty for any electronic gadget that Consumer Reports recommends. It will run any OS you like. It will last for 5 to 10 years depending on your needs (games vs web/email, respectively). You can spend a similar amount and get a comparable or slightly better hardware package from Dell/Alienware, but it won't come with the warranty, OS options, elegance or robustness that Macbook Pros are famous for.

Agreed. I have a late-2007 MBP that is still my primary computer today. It looks feels brand new. My model suffered from a known issue with the Nvidia graphics chip (thanks to shoddy manufacturing on Nvidia's part, it was the subject of a widely-publicised class action lawsuit that also involved Dell and HP), and when it died on me late last year it was repaired for free (although I probably have Nvidia to thank for that more than Apple). It originally came with OSX 10.4 with a 10.5 upgrade disk but now runs 10.7 no hassles, although I did upgrade the RAM to 4GB myself. My MBP is pre-unibody so I imagine the newer models are even more durable.

Before the MBP I had a mid-2006 Macbook (the very first Macbook model). When I decided to upgrade to the MBP I gave the Macbook to my not very computer literate mother (who isn't always the most gentle with electronic devices) who continues to use it this day. The only issue she experiences is that the power button is finally starting to wear to the point where it sometimes takes two presses to start the computer.

In contrast I have my work provided HP Elitebook from 2009 (a fairly high-end business model) that creaks, groans, has plastic panels that don't seamlessly match up, a lower quality LCD, weighs more than the MBP, has fan exhausts in truly bizarre places and trackpad buttons that fire randomly sometimes. In it's favour it has slightly superior specs to the MBP, more ports and slots for various things, and it's relatively easier to disassemble (removable keyboards are great). However despite being 2 years younger in age I fully expect the MBP to be chugging along long after this thing is dead.

I appreciate that this is only an anecdote, and plenty of good reasons exist to hate on Apple, but in my experience the build quality of their gear is not one of them. An MBP is definitely worth a look IMHO.

Comment: Re:Dear Australia... (Score 5, Informative) 70

by bds1986 (#40118593) Attached to: Australian IT Price Hike Inquiry Kicks Off: Submissions Wanted

Allow free importation of goods from the US and other markets and watch the vendor premiums for your mysterious island continent collapse. If Australians could simply buy from Adobe US, It'd be pretty difficult for Adobe to maintain a price premium...

I hope this is intended to be sarcastic. Firstly, Australia already has a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Secondly, the reason I can't buy from Adobe US, or Steam US, or iTunes US, or Whatever US has nothing to do with the government, but that each of those respective entities won't let me purchase from them and will refuse to accept my Australian credit card and billing address. Why? So they can slug me a 200% markup on the Australian store, despite $1AUD frequently exceeding $1 USD. The massive marking up of digital products downloaded over the internet is not the fault of the government.

Y'know why vendors price their goods absurdly high in Australia? Because they can.

And because international retailers selling products to Australians online are colluding with domestic retailers to raise prices or eliminate online sales entirely. From that article:

THERE are growing calls for Australia's competition watchdog to conduct an inquiry into local apparel distributors who are preventing overseas suppliers from selling their products to Australian consumers on international websites or instructing them to increase their web prices. The calls come after The Age last week revealed that a growing number of Australian fashion importers and wholesalers are reaching agreements with international brands to lift prices or cease shipping here.

In Australia, retailers will frequently impose 300-400% markups on items found easily online. That is why an inquiry is needed.

Comment: Re:The problem with these predictions... (Score 1) 239

by bds1986 (#35016088) Attached to: Ford Building Cars That Talk To Other Cars

That's the same as airbags, seat belts, ABS and every other safety innovation for automobiles.

Not really. You missed the parent's point. This system only becomes useful once a critical mass of cars have it installed, and thus creates a problem similar to the free-rider problem from economics. As a car buyer, what motivation would I have to pay extra for a car with this new system installed when hardly any cars have it? The system is useless to me until many others buy it, while those others benefit from my extra early adoption expense. Why not wait for everyone ELSE to buy cars with this system, while in the meantime I buy a cheaper car that is not so equipped? Everyone can delay their adoption waiting for "someone else" to create the swarm of vehicles.

Airbags, seatbelts and ABS don't suffer from this problem because they provide a benefit regardless of how many other cars have them. I incur all of the cost of the airbag but I also incur the vast majority of the benefit.

Comment: Re:Whatever gets the space program more funding... (Score 3, Insightful) 332

by bds1986 (#35005396) Attached to: Does the Moon Have Military Value?

If anyone did militarize space, it would be nasty. It would either curtail all space exploration, or cause some pretty nasty wars.

It's highly unlikely militarisation of space would curtail exploration any more than militarisation of the sea curtailed exploration here on earth. As for the wars, perhaps.

On the flip side, the military has been the driving force behind many of the great technologies humanity has developed. Aeronautics, explosives, rocketry, computing, long-distance communications, the internet, optics, nuclear power, emergency medicine, navigation, and composites, too name a few, were all either invented or rapidly matured in response to military needs. Most of these technologies then furthered peaceful means. If there's no short-term profit in developing a technology, the military is the next best bet, provided it can somehow be adapted to make killing people easier.

Comment: Re:Shocking news: (Score 1) 387

by bds1986 (#34719664) Attached to: PC Gamers Crush Console Brethren

Pretty sure. To heal someone in BC2 you change weapon to your medkit and press the fire button to chuck it on the ground. Players are healed when they stand near the medkit. It isn't like RPG-type games where you have to use special spells and powers in certain sequences or anything, only a few button presses are necessary on either platform.

Spotting is about the same; look at the enemy and press the spot button to make them show up on your teammates map. The "Q" key might be slightly easier to reach than the "select" button on xbox, but not so much that it would prevent anyone from doing it I would think.

Comment: Re:hard to see how this works (Score 2, Insightful) 782

by bds1986 (#34384704) Attached to: US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

I believe at 800m it's intended to be more of an "area fire" weapon than a point-target system. Closer than that though, I'd imagine they'd do the same as they do with other large-calibre grenades: use higher elevation and lob it to some extent. They wouldn't be using the same sighting that your graph is based on. Multiple sources put the 40mm round used by the Mk-19 at a muzzle velocity of 250m/s, with a range of about 1.5kms, but the round travels on a much more curved trajectory.

It'd probably still be possible to get a round through a window at 500m though. Skilled M-79 gunners (76 m/s muzzle vel with 350m effective range) were supposedly able to put rounds through windows quite consistently. A laser range finder would also help.

Comment: Re:In State Capitalist Russia (Score 1) 782

by bds1986 (#34384324) Attached to: US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

The AGS-17 is not equivalent to the XM25. The AGS-17 is a crew-served weapon mounted on a tripod or pintle mount. Unlike the XM25 it can't be fired from the shoulder or hip by one man, and it doesn't fire "smart" rounds, just regular impact-fused grenades. The American equivalent is the Mk-19, which has a slightly larger calibre but is otherwise a very similar weapon.

Comment: Re:Stop the constant WP7-bashing. (Score 4, Interesting) 351

by bds1986 (#34358878) Attached to: Windows Phone 7 Sales Continue To Struggle

My AT&T store said that the demand for them was high, especially for the Focus, and I've seen similar responses from the T-Mo reps.

I'd expect nothing less from a salesperson. "This item is wildly unpopular, we have crates of them sitting out the back and we'll never get rid of them all, but please pay the full advertised price" isn't exactly a good marketing pitch. We really need to see figures from a third-party without a vested interest in moving units to determine WP7's success/failure.

Comment: Re:Now maybe we can get some decent internet limit (Score 1) 100

by bds1986 (#34357998) Attached to: Australian Telstra Monopoly Dead

It is not split between peak and offpeak. See the part where it says "Monthly 'Anytime' Quota"? That's what the "Anytime" part means. Go read the T&C's if you don't believe me, there is no mention of peak/offpeak. If you insist otherwise please describe exactly where it "clearly" states this fact.

I assume by "combined effort" (I can't see that phrase anywhere on their website) you're referring to uploads+downloads being counted. The previous poster is correct; most users do not upload as much as they download, with the exception of torrenters. The small amount of ACKs sent in reply to packets received in the course of regular web activity does not result in a 1:1 upload:download ratio. You can definitely download a lot more than 500GB.

Comment: No mention of Data Protection? (Score 4, Informative) 253

by bds1986 (#32654758) Attached to: What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business

I'm kind of surprised the article didn't make any mention of iOS 4's improved data protection methods:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4175

In short, the previously flawed encryption method of the 3GS is improved by encrypting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. Additionally, passcodes can now be alphanumeric and longer than 4 characters.

If you're using a 3GS and have upgraded to 4.0, you'll need to wipe and restore the phone to take advantage of this (data protection, not the passcode), the link above has details.

The world is not octal despite DEC.

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