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Comment: Real absurdity (Score 1) 437

by geezer nerd (#48728797) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"
I live in a non-US country. My family is all in the US. For years, before I left the US, it was my habit to purchase Netflix Gift Subscriptions for family members. I used to do this online, and was no trouble at all.

Now, because I connect from a foreign location, Netflix will not talk to me at all. Even though I am trying to buy a gift for someone in the US using a US$ credit card based at a US address, I have no hope. Neflix simply refuses to do any business with me because I come in from a foreign address.

I find that to be really absurd.

Comment: Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 437

by geezer nerd (#48728731) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"
Exactly! Plenty of people in the world outside the US and Europe would like to be able to legally consume the content. In most situations, the content providers will not provide it to those people, not for ANY price. So some use VPNs, etc to try to get the content that others can get -- and the copyright owners want to shut them out instead of trying to find a way to accept their money. Makes no sense to me.

Comment: Re:Cat and mouse... (Score 4, Informative) 437

by geezer nerd (#48728685) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"
The credit card number does encode the issuing bank, and that determines the currency that the card works in. If I was in country X with a credit card from country Y, I certainly would not use that card to make regular, recurring purchases in country X. Every such transaction would be treated as a foreign transaction, with accompanying transaction and exchange fees.

Comment: Re: excellent (Score 1) 226

by geezer nerd (#48728555) Attached to: Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc
It was substantially better, but you really cannot expect me to remember details after 30 years! At the time, I was most struck by how many people would post results deriving from C-coded benchmark programs where the thing actually measured was different from what was purported to be measured, largely from ignorance.

Comment: Re:excellent (Score 1) 226

by geezer nerd (#48721265) Attached to: Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc
Given how long these libraries have existed, I am surprised there are still opportunities for improvement such as that described in the TFA.

Back in the mid-80s I was involved in the design of a "mini Cray" supercomputer. We did not yet have any hardware to run on, but we did have a software simulator, and we wanted to publish some "whetstone" numbers. We got some numbers, were not too happy with them, and really dug in to analyze what we could do to improve them. The Whetstone code was in C, and used a fair number of library functions to both accomplish the numerical results and the preparation of the Whetstone answer. It turned out that most of the time was being spent in string copy and string compare functions from the library. We concentrated our efforts on redoing those library routines in assembly to take advantage of as many register-to-register operations and multiple-byte operations as we could. Although the Whetstone benchmark was supposed to measure numerical performance, our results showed that the numerical calculations took up little of the time.

Sadly, our "mini Cray" never saw the light of day. The mid-80s were a tough time to stand out in that arena as there were so many people trying to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (Score 1) 131

by geezer nerd (#47735135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

Lastly, when paying, use PayPal since they cover your ass if/when a seller doesn't come through. It has happened to me before twice in like 7 years and PayPal has helped me out and refunded my money both times.

I would have to disagree with that. My mileage did vary.

A couple of years ago I used Paypal to buy a product that was never shipped. The vendor ignored my complaint, and Paypal equally ignored my complaint. And I mean IGNORED.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.