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Comment: Re:hope for improvements (Score 1) 286

by jawtheshark (#47908341) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
Really? I run it on an AMD A8-3850 on Ubuntu 14.04 and I didn't have the impression it's strained at all. Granted, I don't run the server part on that machine. My CPU is severely outclassed by most i7s.

Sure, it's not the most efficient codebase, but on a modern machine with power to spare, it's rather fine. Now, I have run it on a rather high end Core2Duo. That's less fun.

Comment: Re:It should be (Score 1) 363

by Cyberdyne (#47902537) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

It should be the car that is disabled (or your license taken away)

Exactly - as they do already in the UK: get caught driving while using a mobile phone, you get 3 penalty points. That puts your insurance premiums up in itself, and if you reach a total of 12 points, no more driving for a few years. The penalty may be increased to 6 - in which case, get caught driving on the phone twice, you're in the passenger seat for several years. If someone's been caught driving on the phone (whether texting, talking or reading Slashdot), why let them continue driving at all? Will disabling the phone stop them driving while fiddling with the radio, eating, shaving etc? Of course not - so get them away from the wheel and let them text all they like as passengers.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 318

by Cyberdyne (#47902361) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

It is against the law pretty much everywhere. However that law is enforced pretty much nowhere. It is just simply too difficult to enforce it, as a police officer has to catch the person in the act to even write a ticket. And then the ticket is so laughably small in terms of the monetary penalty as to be pointless to even write.

Here in the UK, the penalty is that you get one-quarter of the way to no longer driving (3 penalty points, where 12 means a driving ban); the government announced earlier this year they were considering doubling that to halfway, i.e. get caught doing it twice (within 3 years) and you won't be driving again. However small the risk, I suspect that's a big enough deterrent to scare many - particularly since it would often mean losing their job too. You don't have to be caught red-handed, either, just suspected enough for the police to investigate, then they check the network usage logs and confirm you were using the handset at the time in question. (Or get seen on a traffic camera, of which there are many.)

The idea in the article is just silly, though.

Comment: The Curse of Geolocation Strikes Again! (Score 1) 5

by MonTemplar (#47901971) Attached to: Android International

Crazy, isn't it?

Evidently, there is some unwritten law that states that Geolocation by IP address shall override any and all set preferences by the user on their device, and ignore any possibility that barring or redirecting the user makes no sense.

I get a version of this periodically on Spotify, where I'm informed that the particular album or single I'm looking at can't be played because it isn't licensed to my region. And of course there's the small matter of my being IP-blocked from Pandora Radio for the same reason.

I ran into a particularly nasty geolocation issue back in late 2012, when I was informed that I couldn't access my National Lottery account because they no longer believed that I was accessing it from the UK. Went back and forth between them and my ISP (VirginMedia), with each blaming the other for the problem.

I've also heard of situations where people have found the books on their Kindles vanishing because they're holidaying in an area where said books aren't licensed.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 351

by danheskett (#47892325) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

There are 3 criteria that will eliminate a huge subset of apps that devalue all app stores:

1. An app that simply wraps a mobile website is not an app, it's a short-cut. If the app has no function offline, it's really not an app.

2. Games that are free but have in-game purchases. All garbage.

3. Apps with similar names to highly rated apps, walk-through, and otherwise knockoff apps.

Another way to go about it is to require new apps to have a beta period, to open it up to users who opt-in to beta, and to only release to the public after a 30 or 60 day beta period or when enough users in the beta approve it for general release.

Anything, actually, is better than the screening which happens now, which is essentially none.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 351

by danheskett (#47892251) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

So what if it's labor intensive? Make a person at Microsoft beta-test every app for a week. Once word gets out that the last flappy bird knock off isn't going to fly, developers will stop wasting thier time. Or make the first submission of an app by a developer happen by mail. Or whatever.

Not only would I happily use an app-store with no in-app crap purchases, no adverts, and no security problems with knock off apps, I would be happy to deploy that to the whole company.

If it means you only have 500 apps, that's fine. If it means you only have 250 apps, that's fine. As long as they are good.

Comment: Re:How about (Score 2) 208

by Sloppy (#47891047) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

So sure, it's easier to hang up on them but you are actually doing them a favor and helping them out by doing so.

No, failure to take hostile action isn't a favor; it's neutrality. Installing their malware would be a favor. I can appreciate those with the time and energy to take fight to this enemy (good on you!), but I have other battles to fight with my (however high) limited anger.

The problem with this enemy, which makes it so hard to care, is how irrelevant they are. So they call people about bullshit, wasting their time. That can be annoying, but there are so many more annoying things.

I suppose some people would say this enemy is worse that that, because the call is just a way of performing a SE attack, but I disagree. I just can't help but get blame-the-victim-y with SE attacks like that. I think many of our society's real problems are caused by SE, much of it legal (e.g. "vote for me, because I'm a member of the correct party," or "believe our religion's dogma, because your parents did") and that we'd all be a lot better off with more "scam antibodies" in ourselves. So part of me hopes these scammers flourish, thereby teaching people to stop being so fucking gullible. Maybe you can't fix stupid, but we can try, and an environment full of con artists is good for that. These assholes are evil, but they're good for us.

No, I'm not fully committed to that outlook (sure, I wanna hurt the bad guys too) but I'm conflicted enough that it evens out. And while we're at it, don't knock lazy! So a position of neutrality, it is.

Comment: How about THIS? (Score 1) 208

by Sloppy (#47890653) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

I have never gotten one of these calls. But I have gotten a few calls like this:

[Phone vibrates. I see the non-local calling number. Reject and block.]

That's the new, lazy version. Until a few weeks ago, I had many of these:

[Phone vibrates. I look at the non-local calling number and wonder who that could be. Google the number and apparently every non-local number that ever calls me, is associated with robocalling. Reject. They call again a few days later. Reject and block. Then a few days later I look at my Visual Voicemail which my shitty Galaxy S4 software never tells me has new entries until I refresh it, and some actual human speech may happen.]
ME: "Fuck."
[And I see they left a few messages containing nothing but silence. Delete.]

But that second scenario doesn't happen anymore. Robocallers have successfully trained me.

Comment: Re:correction: 1 OS to FAIL them all (Score 1) 351

by danheskett (#47886835) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

I also don't get it. It's fine to unify Windows (please unify Windows desktop SKUs please, Microsoft. We don't need 5 versions of Windows for the desktop. If you want a cut-price one, offer Windows and Windows Pro. Thanks), but that doesn't mean you have to take away what people like. Offer Metro as an alternate to classic windows, and be done with it.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 5, Insightful) 351

by danheskett (#47886817) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Disagree. Microsoft just needs to focus on high-quality apps, or better yet, just paying top app makers to port to Windows phone. There is a strong market for a trusted, high-quality only, app store. You know, apps that don't have in app purchase, no ads, etc.

Microsoft users are used to paying for things. That's the selling point. Just build really good apps, get rid of the BS, the crap, and only accept solid, really solid, working apps.

The problem MS has with it's Windows app store is that it's the worst of all worlds - low-quality, knock-off apps with security problems, ads, phoning home, etc AND missing too many good high-quality apps that users come to expect.

Microsoft, if you are listening, don't work on getting Android to run, focus on having an app-store with only 100% quality apps. Even if it means only have 500 apps in your strore, just have only good stuff.

Comment: Re:It is Well Past Time (Score 2) 223

by danheskett (#47886665) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

No, Yahoo did not really try. They did more than anyone else, but it's an existential threat. These companies won't exist if people keep feeling their data is insecure. It's already happening internationally, US-based companies are getting pummeled.

Yahoo is a public company, and did not want to have a $91 million loss in addition to their already failed everything else.
Yeah, if they' re going to end up out of business anyways, what's a little bit sooner. And, amazingly, standing up for your customers will probably lead to more customers, not fewer. But even if it really pissed of the customers they did have, so what. The Yahoo precedent was set, and everyone else fell into line. That's why they should have picked up the phone, paid the fine for disclosing the legal battle, and enlisted other parties to help.

And no one uses Yahoo, at least intentionally. How the shit do they fight back with a barely captive audience?
This is a stretch. I've heard of people who use Yahoo. Back a few years it seemed more common.

So Yahoo takes the burden, what happens to the rest of the companies? The competition? They learn not to oppose the government. Yahoo, from the article, was the first to comply. If they did not, and died as a company, would anything be different other than fewer @yahoo.com email addresses?
Yes, absolutely. We would have known contemporaneously that this was happening. Years later, what can be done? Very little. And, instead of being a joke, Yahoo would be a company with principles. It may have even worked out better for shareholders.

The worst that could happen is that the board opposes the CEO, and fires and replaces management. Which happened anyways.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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