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Comment: Re:Easy reason (Score 1) 533

by donovansmith (#36999344) Attached to: Wikipedia Losing Contributors, Says Wales
A couple years ago I spent a few hours on a page that had a major lack of information and the thanks I got was having everything I wrote deleted due to "lack of citations". My motivation to contribute anything to Wikipedia dropped to zero after that. It is anything but "an encyclopedia anyone can edit". Not to mention that much of the content, likely due to their editing policies, is of dubious quality anyway. Good for trivial knowledge but not much else.

Comment: Re:Last byte? (Score 1) 514

by donovansmith (#32471590) Attached to: Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme
I am one of those that recently cancelled their iPhone plan and went to prepaid. I discovered that the way I used my phone just didn't justify paying $70 a month for it. I got a Kyocera Loft on Virgin Mobile and am on their $25 300 minute with unlimited data and text messaging plan. Thanks to them allowing the installation of Google Maps and Opera Mini, I have the most essential functionality I was using on my iPhone for a fraction of the cost. I recently switched to Linux so couldn't load music on to my iPhone anyway and just picked up a Sandisk Sansa Clip+ (and installed Rockbox on it) for music playing. Even after paying the ETF I'll be saving a net of $45 a month in less than 3 months. I don't doubt that the prepaid market will become even more competitive this year which will give even more choices to those of us only want to pay for what we need.

Comment: OMG, a Slashvertisement! (Score 1) 265

by donovansmith (#31276182) Attached to: Citibank Cancels Bank Account of Objectionable Blogger

This is obviously a blatant attempt at advertising a small, obscure blog with no obvious purpose but to promote itself. Although it may be the first time I can ever recall a gay website being promoted this way here. Although a lot of us gays are geeks, the vast majority of geeks (like the general population) are straight. So a rather puzzling place to be marketing a gay website. Worst part is that I can't actually figure out why this Fabulis blog even exists. It seems to be selling branded merchandise and nothing else. And also show that gay guys can't speel, an emplacation I vary much resent.

Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (Score 1) 235

by donovansmith (#30873584) Attached to: China Slams Clinton's Call For Internet Freedom

Once you decide "douchebags can't have free speech!" then who gets to decide who's a douchebag? Well, I suppose we could use a sort of metric like, "percent of income spent on Axe body spray," but that'd have some kinks to work out.

Change that to "any percentage of income spent on Axe body spray" and you'd have a very simple system to determine who qualifies for that designation. "I bought it as a gift" is no excuse. Actual usage of said product should be punishable by 10 years hard labor.

Comment: Re:One step closer to jailbreak (Score 4, Informative) 111

by donovansmith (#30845986) Attached to: Amazon Kindle To Get Apps and EA Games

Right now, if you get a nook you're largely stuck buying your books from Barnes & Noble. You can't just go to any ebook retailer and pick up whatever you want.

Actually, since the Nook supports Adobe Digital Editions you can go to any store that uses ADE to purchase books. The Sony Reader Store and BooksOnBoard I believe are two of the larger ones. Also, it allows you to check out ebooks from libraries that use the Overdrive system. The Nook also supports the eReader PDB format and DRM scheme, which opens up the eReader and Fictionwise stores. The Nook probably has the broadest DRM format support of any ebook reader out right now.

If they can open up the platform (either with a jailbreak, or an official update, or an app, or whatever) then you'll be able to buy your ebooks wherever you want. Amazon will lose it's vendor lock-in... But they'll pick up sales from folks with nooks and Sonys and whatever else.

The problem is that each major ebook manufacturer is using both a different format and different DRM scheme for their books. Kindle uses either Mobipocket DRM files or their own Topaz format. The Nook appears to use the old eReader/Peanut Press DRM scheme with the EPUB file format. Sony uses the closest thing to a standard in DRM'd ebooks: Adobe Digital Editions protected EPUB. So neither the Nook nor the Sony Readers can use files purchased from the Kindle store and that won't change unless Amazon licenses their software to other companies, which I doubt will happen.

Comment: Re:They don't like supporting it (Score 1) 619

by donovansmith (#30815484) Attached to: HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format

I was trying to do this a little while back and found this thread on the Handbrake forums which helped: http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=13354.

The easiest way I found to encode a video for the PSP in 0.9.4 was select the iPhone preset and go to the Advanced tab and under Current Advanced x264 Option String, delete whatever was there, and paste this:

cabac=0:ref=2:me=umh:bframes=0:8x8dct=0:subq=6:weightb=0

I'm using the Mac version, though, so not sure if the Windows version has an equivalent space for a custom advanced x264 options string. If it doesn't, using that same string on the command-line should work fine too. Saving it as a new preset in the GUI seemed to work fine. Also, check the picture options to make sure that the dimensions don't exceed 480x272.

Comment: Re:This just proves... (Score 1) 113

by donovansmith (#30717904) Attached to: A Peek Into Netflix Queues
Also quite handy if you don't have kids and want to avoid them. Although I already knew my neighborhood, Capitol Hill in Denver (80203, 80218), does not have a whole lot of families with kids. I imagine a lot of near downtown areas are similar. It can also tell you a little about the people in the area. Milk is the number one most rented movie in my area and you can probably guess why (hint: rainbow flags).

Comment: Re:I was hoping for a new business model (Score 1) 568

by donovansmith (#30661266) Attached to: Google's Nexus One Phone Launches
Or Rogers in Canada, which uses the same bands II and V as AT&T. Or in rural areas in Australia where CDMA networks have been converted to UMTS on band V. Pretty sure that between AT&T, Rogers, and Telstra on those two bands there are far more users than on T-Mobile's band IV UMTS network. As in roughly 3x as many. I know of no other provider with UMTS deployed on band IV, also. The Nexus One is an oddball device. It supports two bands which were only relatively recently starting to be used with UMTS (bands IV and VIII) yet ignores UMTS bands that have been in use for quite a while (II and V). It should have had at least quad-band UMTS (I, II, IV, and V) if not penta-band if such radio chips exist.

Comment: Re:What do you expect. (Score 1) 494

by donovansmith (#30625684) Attached to: Novelist Blames Piracy On Open Source Culture
What you are referring to is not remixing, but sampling and covering. Rihanna is a prolific sampler while Weird Al makes cover versions of the instrumental parts of the songs he parodies. A remix generally keeps the original vocal track, even if rearranged, and redoes the instrumental track with or without samples from the original track while the track remains credited to the original artist. Some tracks blur those lines a bit, like Eric Prydz's "Proper Education" (really a remix of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" but nominally just samples the song) and the And One remix of Project Pitchfork's "Timekiller" (really a cover but credited as a remix), yet for the most part the distinctions are pretty clear.

Comment: Plex is the best media center software (Score 1) 536

by donovansmith (#30308238) Attached to: Best PC DVR Software, For Any Platform?
I know this doesn't help the OP's search for a good software DVR, but for media center functionality, Plex on Mac OS X is hard to beat. Windows Media Center on Windows 7 is indeed quite good and handily beats things like Apple's Front Row (which is really a bad joke). Plex happens to be even better by a long shot. It is easy to use and navigate, and also does things like pulling in artwork and ratings from IMDB for movies. On my late 2007-rev. Mac mini it even plays 1080p movies pretty well which is quite a feat considering the 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and anemic GMA950 graphics. The main downside, other than lack of DVR functionality, is that it depends on plugins for things like Hulu and Netflix. Netflix seems to work okay but Hulu, mainly due to Hulu doing everything it can to block applications from accessing it, is flaky at best. For browsing an existing library of video files I have found nothing better, though. Best of all it was very easy to set up.

I don't know how much software DVRs have advanced from when I last messed with a Hauppauge WinTV card 6 years ago, but from what I've read it's still a hair-pulling experience. I even loathed using my cable company's DVR box a couple years ago. Even if it was easy enough to use, it was just a pain to go through and have to select what I want recorded and hoping that the program would fit exactly in the timeslot and that the program's schedule wouldn't change. All too often I ended up with the beginning or end of the program cut off or a football game or something else even though the DVR functioned exactly as it was supposed to. If Hulu can seriously bump up its program selection and comes up with a way for third-party programs to interface with it then I think it may very well be the future of how TV is watched on computers. I don't even care if I have to sit through stupid commercials, I just want to watch what I want when I want to watch it.

Comment: Re:First... (Score 1) 357

by donovansmith (#30153630) Attached to: Total number of conventional, paid positions I've held:
I ticked the "6-10" box. I'm 26 and have had only 5 primary employers since 16. My first job lasted nearly 2 years, my second only 2 months, the third 5 years, the next 2 1/2 years, and my current is going on 11 months. I also had a second job last year. My current job was a second job until I left my primary job and kept this one instead. 6 jobs in 10 years is not a lot at all, especially when one of those jobs takes up half my work history, and the 3 longest tenured of those jobs take up a total of 85% of my work history. I was never a full-time student and only went to college for a year. I also have left all my jobs voluntarily, having neither been fired nor laid off from any. My work history is rather unusual for someone of both my age and my lack of secondary education.

I also have to think that many people here are underestimating the number of jobs they've had. Second jobs and seasonal positions do count, and so do those jobs that you leave off your resume for simplification or because you didn't have a good experience there. I would expect most people my age to have had at least a dozen jobs in their entire working history, especially if they started working during high school. A college student having had 5 or 6 jobs when they graduate is not unusual at all, I don't think.

Comment: Re:No, we can't recommend anything (Score 1) 557

by donovansmith (#29615049) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul
I have a LaserJet 4L and it worked great in both Mac OS X and in Linux via a USB-to-parallel adapter. Haven't tried it in Windows since Windows XP SP1 on the last computer I owned with a parallel port (that was a few years ago). I refuse to get rid of the thing since it's incredibly cheap to run and if my current Brother HL-2070N goes flaky, the old HP will suit my basic needs just fine. I expect that old tank to outlast many more computers than it already has.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 1) 557

by donovansmith (#29614963) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul
I also can put in a good word for the 2070N. Had mine for about 3 years and although I don't use it much, it has always worked every time I have needed it. It also has pretty good print quality and is fast for such an inexpensive printer. I mostly use it via USB, and Windows 7, Ubuntu, and Mac OS X 10.5 have picked it up with no issue. It also worked with HP LaserJet 4 CUPS drivers so it seems anything that supports older versions of PCL should work fine with this thing. I also still have an old HP LaserJet 4L that refuses to die. It is going on 16 years old at this point and even though the Brother replaced it, I can't get rid of it. It is slow at only 4 pages per minute and has a limited 300dpi. But at $30 for an aftermarket printer cartridge (that's both image drum and toner cartridge in one unit) that lasts 3000 pages, it's very cheap to run. Makes the Brother look almost expensive in comparison. I have no idea if Windows 7 works with it still though. I do know there are CUPS drivers for it so it's plug and play in Linux and Mac OS X. Had it working with my iBook G4, via a USB-to-parallel cable, and it worked with no setup with Mac OS X 10.4.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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