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Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 2) 177

Maybe old news, but seeing that DSL is still one of the only viable options for decent internet access in many parts of the US (excluding satellite), not completely irrelevant. Plus it's an interesting read from a historical and technical standpoint.

If this is the direction that Slashdot's new ownership is taking the site, it's still better than the barrage of constant articles meant to bring out the sjw/anti-sjw trolls, or articles about Trump's verbal flatulence, or *shudders* anything by Bennett.

Comment Apple doesn't do this (Score 5, Informative) 720

Apple users tolerate it.

No, we don't. Because Apple to the best of my knowledge has never overridden user-configured settings when it comes to downloading or installing automatic updates. For years now I have disabled all of the relevant "automatic update" checkboxes in System Preferences, and Apple has never reenabled them and has never downloaded system updates without my permission. I have several old iPhones with various versions of iOS 6-8 on them and apple has never applied an OS update without my permission. Okay, I do remember being asked once or twice during major OS upgrades if I wanted to enable some of the automatic update settings, and once (*once!*) got a notification popup on my Mac asking me if I wanted to download Safari, but there's a clear difference between displaying a one-time popup and downloading 6GB of data to my machine *when I specifically asked you not to*, or installing Safari anyway, or even changing settings that you *know* I set manually!

Comment Re:Godwin (Score 1) 735

Godwin's law aside, there are definitely some valid parallels to be made between Trump's "politics of fear" and the political movements of 1930's Germany. Replace the word 'jew' with 'democrat' in your post for example and you get something more akin to the current political rhetoric of the republican party. Have you actually seen a Trump rally? We had one in my town about a month ago and I was able to watch about half of it on TV before turning it off in disgust. That was before the Paris attacks; I don't even want to imagine what they're like now.

Comment Re:I understand the consternation (Score 1) 665

Note the 3-10 computers part. The GP is not talking about large corporate environments, but small businesses for which WSUS would be complete overkill. My wife's business has two employees, four computers, and does not have the time (or the expertise) to put up with this BS arms race against Microsoft just to keep their computers working the way they expect them to. Thankfully I know enough to help them stay ahead of the curve, but we'd switch away from Microsoft products entirely if their clients didn't require proprietary software that only runs in Windows.

Comment Re:I don't think... (Score 1) 411

In my experience there are two types of people who would consider themselves atheists.

A majority of the atheists I know would state that there is no evidence of any god or deity having any effect on our universe or in our lives, so there is no need for religion or spiritual belief. Religion, for better or worse, is a human institution that can have an impact on culture, morals, philosophy; in fact I know quite a few atheists who are interested in theology purely as an academic exercise. According to this first group it's cool if you decide to hold to a religious belief, just please don't let your beliefs have a negative impact on my life.

Then there's a small group of very vocal atheists who might be better described as "anti-theist" - the ones who define themselves based on their opposition to a straw-man version of organized religion, respond to any slight display of religious belief with snide and judgmental comments, send their kids to "evolution camp" where they spend the week tearing apart religious texts because, well, this passage is unclear about whether Moses went to Sinai or Horeb, so obviously the whole thing is nothing but lies - even the parts that could give insight into human nature or ethics, and who make it clear that they view anyone who holds to any form of religion as delusional or even downright ignorant.

In my experience members of the second group can be quite dogmatic, even more so than most religious people I know. The statement "There is no evidence that any god exists or has any impact on our universe" is VERY different from the statement "God does not exist."

Comment "No added sugar" (Score 1) 570

Even worse than that? Sucralose. I've learned that one has to read ingredient lists very carefully these days, and I've been burned by products that touted "No added sugar!" or "reduced sugar!" but included added sucralose as a way to make them just as sweet, or even sweeter, as comparable products. Not to mention the tangy aftertaste that artificial sweeteners add...

Comment Not necessarily (Score 1) 103

the caterpillars may may not necessarily kill their hosts immediately after hatching, I'm not sure about this particular species, but there are examples of parasites that live and grow for quite a while within their insect hosts before killing them. See: horsehair worms.

Besides, I suspect that this viral DNA has more to do with keeping the insect alive _until_ the eggs hatch...

Comment Re:Here is the kille feature (Score 1) 279

If only I had mod points... you summed up my thoughts on the matter precisely. I signed up for Facebook back when one still needed a .edu email address to join, and from day one approached the site with the expectation that everything I posted could be accessed by any friend or colleague - and so was always careful about what I shared online. I was also cautious about sharing personal details (such as phone numbers, past employers, or my mailing address) that I felt were none of Facebook's business.

Be the time G+ came along, I guess a lot of the more tech-savvy people had become clued-up and wary about the data-collection. I for one didn't want to give more data to yet another company...

This is what not only killed FB for me, but also kept me off of G+. It was one thing for a social network to ask me to share my phone number or physical location, and quite another when widgets and beacons started appearing on nearly EVERY website in a blatant attempt to track my every move in the name of analytics.

By the tine G+ came along, I was a bit jaded about the whole data collection issue and didn't see the benefit of sharing my life details with yet another website that that not only didn't offer anything new, but just seemed like an inferior copy of a service with which I was slowly becoming disengaged due to a lack of quality interaction. By the time Google started pushing G+, my FB news feed was already becoming a cesspool of rehashed memes, sappy quotes pasted onto stock photos, partisan politics, and "quiz" surveys. And I was more than ready to move on from the whole "social network" concept...

Comment Not an advertisement either... (Score 2) 112

...but a research paper. And a BADLY written one at that. One that, if submitted by one of my freshmen students, I'd probably assign a D+ if I was feeling generous.

Even after parsing the confusing sentence structure in the first couple paragraphs, I gave up before figuring out exactly how the figures (which look like snapshots of some PowerPoint lecture or presentation? What's the source??) tie in with their overall thesis - which seems to be some poorly formed analogy between the history of flight and quantum computing.

And they cited Wikipedia... ugh.

Comment Re:Waze in LA is dangerous (Score 1) 86

I have some experience editing the Waze map, but I don't have edit rights in LA. Waze has algorithms that are *supposed* to prevent routes like that from being generated (that is, you aren't supposed to be routed onto a ramp then back onto the same freeway you exited from) but sometimes in more complicated situations it doesn't always work right. We've also recently been seeing issues with drivers being directed to turn right at a traffic light and make a u-turn rather than wait for a left turn arrow, but this was described as a bug rather than a feature (and I'd feel like a jerk for driving like that).

Actually, looking at the roads in the Waze Map Editor (login required) I see something that *might* trick the routing server into thinking that the section of the 405 you exited from is a different freeway from the section you merged back on to, but I'd have to ask someone with more experience to take a look.

Waze also has an in-app feature to report a map issue from the reports screen if you are given a funny route; the report will log debug information so that an editor can review the issue.

Comment Exactly! (Score 4, Insightful) 353

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up.

First, having a platform onto which developers can build plugins that users can choose from and enable as needed is far superior to being stuck with the single half-baked implementation that is built in to the browser.

Second, building features directly into browsers eliminates any chance of security-through-obscurity that comes with an ecosystem of security and ad blocking plugins. Two examples: popup blockers (everything is done in javascript now), and the do not track header (arguably, useless even before major browsers implemented it, but even more useless now...)

Comment Re:Is it just me? (Score 2) 330

These "features" are pretty much all literally unavoidable in all cars these days.

True for some models, but not for all, despite what dealers want you to think. The reason that fully loaded vehicles are pushed so heavily is because it means more money for the dealerships, who can charge a ridiculous premium for each extra feature. Even worse is the practice of bundling features into a "package" with one feature you want and another half dozen that you don't. If you aren't set on a specific model and can find a dealer who is willing to work with you (none of the usual, "I can't get one of those on my lot without the extras" bs), you can definitely find a vehicle without those features.

For example, I have a friend who just purchased a Honda Fit with no extra features, manual transmission, manual everything else - probably not the vehicle you had in mind but it does lack all of those extras.

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