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Comment: Re:Microsoft Optical Mouse (Score 1) 561

by afidel (#46789983) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Not if you got a first generation, the first ones had a design flaw that caused the wires to wear out where they came into the case (hard 90 degree bend). MS to their credit had the design fixed (Logitech was the ODM) and covered replacements for like 5 years even without proof of purchase, you just needed a first generation serial number.

Comment: Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (Score 2) 561

by afidel (#46789793) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

The 4 series was built fairly well, but it was nothing compared to the beast that was the LJ 3 series. I once was called out to repair an ~15 year old LJ3 with just under 1M pages (at ~3PPM!). The reason it needed repair? The single sacrificial plastic gear had grown brittle with age, everything else in that beast was metal.

Comment: missing the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 59

Traditionally, typeface designers have considered legibility and aesthetics in their work (in addition to typesetting limitations). Apparently those factors are optional now as well.

OK, these are interesting intellectual exercises. But don't try to sell them as examples of typeface design, because that's a creative discipline that goes beyond mathematical questions of "can it be done?"

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 266

by tverbeek (#46774521) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Yeah, I saw the low UID, which is why I wondered how you could be online and yet so unaware of what so many people were doing on the Web in 2000. Sure, it was mostly dial-up or bad DSL, but it was hardly just "hardcore geeks". They were e-mailing and chatting and looking at (still-image) porn and shopping and selling garbage on eBay, and talking about what a bust Y2K had been. There was that whole "dot-com bubble" that everyone was talking about (but not calling it a "bubble" yet because it was still the latest Big Thing). The following September, I distinctly recall everyone at my office flocking to news web sites trying to learn what was happening in New York on a Tuesday morning. So I have to figure that you were too preoccupied doing stuff with the geekier parts of the internet to notice that yes: the Web was already kind of a a big thing in 2000.

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 266

by tverbeek (#46772255) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Was the web on its own interesting enough in 2000 to make this a killer device?

Yes, it was. Were you still wading on CompuServ and Usenet or something at the time? :)

Also, what OS does it run, can it do anything but surf the web?

EPOC could do lots more than surf the web; it had apps for all the obvious personal-assistant functions (calendar, notes, to-do, contacts) and had a decent ecosystem of third-party apps. It powered the Psion PDAs (clamshells with decent thumb keyboards and stylus input), and was head-and-shoulders bettter than PalmOS or WinCE (its contemporaries) in terms of stability and ability to run on low-power hardware. I nursed one of the later Psions along for years after they were discontinued, until the iPhone came along and there was finally another pocket computer worth switching too. The devices' main weakness (other than nonexistent marketing) was the state of mobile connectivity in their day: slow-n-crappy cellular data, hard-to-find local wireless, and dial-up.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 3, Interesting) 797

by roman_mir (#46765505) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

You are correct in that the Republicans in the USA are not actually free market capitalists, which is what USA is supposed to be - a free market capitalist Republic.

Republicans are not different from Democrats in that they have their own constituents and those are the people that are tightly connected to the government and the Federal reserve is sponsoring them.

Unfortunately for the USA (and really for the world in general) USA Republic has degenerated into a 'democracy', which really only means that the majority of people are kept in the dark of who is truly running the show, but that is the problem with the mob, the collective, you can't have a democracy that does not degenerate into oligarchy, because the people are stupid and will vote against their self interest, however when I say that I do NOT mean what the average /.er means. I do NOT mean that voting for free market capitalism is voting against your own self interest, quite the contrary. An average (not one of the top wealthiest people) person should always vote LIBERTARIAN (or more correctly - free market capitalist, whatever that is. It can be a libertarian or it can be an anarcho capitalist or an objectivist, doesn't really matter much which one of those).

However the mob votes for the short term satisfaction that is promised by any lizard politician and the end result is always the same: the politicians end up with all the power, the individuals end up stripped of their rights and of their property, basically of their right to pursue happiness on their own terms.

The politicians end up gatekeepers for the top most connected people, the government is a mafia that uses threat of violence to destroy individual freedoms and sell them to the top bidders.

Free market capitalist republic (or even a benevolent dictatorship, like Singapore) works to improve the conditions for all people by allowing the true private property rights and self determination, people work to improve their own situation and as a result they increase the overall wealth in the system. The top wealthiest people do NOT need free market capitalism, they are just fine within a system that is corrupt, they can afford to purchase the gate keepers.

It is the middle class and the POOREST of the people that benefit from free market capitalism, they get the lowest prices and the biggest selection of all products and services that the system builds.

19th century USA was a very good example of what free market capitalist system does to improve the standard of living for all people, not for the richest people, but for everybody. The standard of living was rising faster than at any other time in history because of the freedom, private property rights, the rule of law (rule of law means applying laws equally to everybody regardless of their personal circumstance, that is true justice and morality, not what the mob thinks morality and justice are).

Today that example is found in Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, China, but actually the Scandinavian countries have been on the correct path for the last 20 years, since the time they started moving in the right direction 20 years ago, when they finally destroyed their economies with socialism. Today they are much more capitalistic and responsible (have little to no debt) than the so called 'capitalist' nations like the USA.

Of-course currently the ECONOMIC STUPIDITY is reaching some insane local maximum, with the vast majority of the population believing in nonsense, Keynesianism, socialism, welfare state, other such equally destructive patterns of behaviour, so for example in Switzerland there will be a referendum to attempt and introduce a minimum wage and a welfare system, those are huge mistakes and the only reason the Swiss can even talk about it is the fact that they grew their economy so much in an actual free market capitalist system, so now they just may be ready to start destroying it with the socialist nonsense.

In any case, as I said, people are very very stupid, the majority have no clue about the economics and how it works and what is in fact in their best interest. The special socialist groups that benefit from the dependency state and from poverty (they thrive on the poverty votes and movements) are using so much propaganda on the general population, that at this point average economic intelligence is probably the lowest in history of human kind. The cavemen understood economics much better than the current population, at least the cavemen didn't buy into demand side nonsense, they knew that they had to produce stuff to enjoy higher standard of living.

I don't have any illusions about the people around me, they are stupid, economically illiterate, they act against their long term self interest and they will fight to keep that nonsense going, so from my perspective right now it makes complete sense to try and live outside of any established system of nations and states, to structure affairs in a way that would minimise the damage by the political systems established in the vast majority of the world today. Be smart, don't ground yourself, ensure that your assets are global, not local, ensure that your business is never tied to the place where you are supposed to pay taxes, pay attention to how it is done by the people that know what they are doing, etc. etc.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 0, Flamebait) 356

by roman_mir (#46762747) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Up until the 1970s we could build like craz

... ask yourself a question, why is it that everything in USA was done "up until the 1970s" and then all of a sudden there was a gigantic decline (from building, to meaningful manufacturing jobs, to wage disparity, to ability to afford anything, etc.etc.etc.)?

So what is it that happened in the 70s that changed the USA economy so much? 1971 - Nixon defaults on the gold US dollar. The reason? Inflation that was caused by the Fed, all the massive government that could never be paid for with any amount of taxes (never mind the insane tax rates before that time).

It's the government, my dear, USA government has destroyed USA economy.

Comment: it IS safer (Score 2) 580

by roman_mir (#46761383) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

What if this was not 'OpenSSL' but instead it was some form of 'ClosedSSL' library that had this problem in it?

NSA would still have access to THAT code, you can bet your ass they would, they wouldn't leave a project like that alone. However nobody else would know (unless stumbling upon it by chance or being able to access the source OR if some insider SOLD that information to somebody on the outside and now you'd have a vulnerability that is exploited by the gov't and by shadiest of the organisations/people out there).

This does not change the discussion in terms of open source code being safer, this changes the discussion around certain practices of development / testing and also this may attract more attention of people towards the SECURITY of our information on the Internet and hopefully we'll move in the direction of working out the details of actually much more SECURE methods of communications.

I certainly have a few ideas of my own that I would like to implement now, but never mind that. The point is that this is good stuff, it finally shed a light on this topic, that should have had much more light on it for a much longer period of time in the first place.

We need better methods around building security within our systems and I think this raises the bar.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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