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Comment: WTF is this doing on a tech site? (Score 0) 110

by (#47552477) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

If you can't boot it, you can't delete the data stored on it. How difficult is that concept?

The only way you can clear it now is with a shotgun.

Same procedure if it does work. People say "encrypt then wipe" but how do you know what's going on behind the scenes when you do that? You don't. You assume it's doing what you want but you can't know that unless you go over the code. If you really care about security, destroy the device when you're done with it. Bash it good and grind the pieces to powder.

Comment: I must be missing something. (Score 1) 267

by (#47540909) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

I could have sworn that part of the deal Verizon negotiated when buying the 700Mhz spectrum was that they would not be allowed to interfere with LTE data transfers of unlimited customers when connected via 700Mhz LTE. What happened to that?

I can't wait to be done with Verizon. If a corporation could be diagnosed as insane, Verizon would be locked up. They're flaunting their new XLTE service, bragging about how fast you can move data then smacking down the small percentage of customers who are in a position to make use of that speed. I recently was in an area where I got 80/44 Mb/s but what good does that do anyone who has a data cap? That's psychotic to keep ramping up the speed and lowering caps.

I'm doing a bit of international travel this month and, when I tried to turn on global data, I couldn't do it thru he website unless I picked a "valid" domestic data plan and a "valid" domestic text plan. I had to contact customer service to get global data turned on and I'm sure I'll have to contact them again to turn it off. When I get back, I'm going to be resuming a long stretch of domestic travel and hotel/resort WiFi universally sucks sweaty donkey balls. I've been travelling around the US for nearly a year and I've stayed in less than half a dozen places that had usable internet. Most places have been less than half a meg down and even slower the other way. Barely able to load a frickin' web page. I've had several months during this trip where I've moved well over a hundred gigs thru my phone via tethering and I don't feel a bit bad about it. I've been paying them around $125/month for nearly 5 years and, for the first two years, I moved less than 10 gigs a month. For the second two years, I hung onto my unlimited plan in anticipation of needing it for this trip and moved less than a hundred megs during many of those billing cycles. Put up with the shittiest service in the area to keep that plan. Had to go outside to make and answer calls.

It was worth every penny of those 2 years to have the plan when I needed it but Verizon's sure not keeping my loyalty with this kind of crap. I was considering keeping it as a backup, continuing to pay $125/month as "internet insurance" once I stop travelling and settle down but I guess there's no point. I guess I'll just switch to whoever has decent local coverage at the lowest price.

Comment: Memories (Score 1) 192

by (#47499169) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

The talk of needing to find a loaded A2000 to make it worth buying reminds me of the old Iris 3130 I picked up for a couple hundred way way back in the day. When I popped the cover, it was absolutely loaded. Every slot filled. Ribbon cables strung everywhere,blinkenlites flashing. If there was an expensive card for the 3130, it was in there. What a beast. It was named :)

Comment: Re:both? (Score 1) 77

by (#47491743) Attached to: Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

Well I do happen to have a rig that can take this kind of picture. Am I allowed to photograph my own property from the air and give the pictures to my agent to include in the listing? What if I have a friend who's selling their house and I want to take pictures for him to give to his agent? What if I really enjoy taking real estate pictures and I have a friend who's an agent and I enjoy going out on a Saturday morning to take aerial photos of properties before we play a round of golf at the club? No money's changing hands so it seems like it would be fine by the FAA's "guidelines".

Also, $500 will get you the whole kit and caboodle these days. That's the price of a low-end Phantom with camera and they're dead-simple to fly. I bought their first model a while back and it's he first multirotor that I was able to fly. All the previous cheap stuff was more a matter of "avoiding crashing" than flying. If I were selling a quarter million dollar property and $500 could get me some aerial shots, that's a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure why the FAA got this bug up their ass about realtors. It's not like they're as bad as lawyers. (To my lawyer friends, I'm just kidding.) I'd think the FAA would want people to pay more for houses. The more people pay, the more the economy grows, and the more taxes are collected. Every government agency should be happy with that.

Comment: I'd use encryption if... (Score 2) 91

...if it didn't force me to also use an alphanumeric password on my new phone. It's got a fingerprint scanner. I want to use that to unlock my phone. But that's disabled if I turn on encryption. Same with my new tablet. So no encryption for me on these devices. Both of my previous devices were content with a PIN which is considered as secure as the fingerprint scanner. Seems ridiculous that I can't determine the level of risk I'm comfortable with.

Comment: Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 5, Interesting) 272

by (#47370345) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

Goes both ways. Reminds me of a situation I ran into years ago. The company I worked for shut its doors overnight (Monday was business as usual, Tuesday "we're done"). I was one of the last people out the door because I stayed on to wrap up our last projects. When that was finally done a few weeks later, I did my exit paperwork. One of the documents said that the company owned any IP I had created during the time I worked there (both on the clock and off the clock, even if it was unrelated to my job) and everything I might create for the next 5 years. When I stopped laughing and dried my eyes I said, "You can't be serious." So the accountant who had inherited HR duties read the document. "You're the first person to say anything about this. Wow. That's just... Okay, cross out the parts you don't agree to and we'll both initial the changes." There was hardly anything left by the time I stopped crossing shit off.

I thought I'd been working with intelligent people but I'm the only one who noticed that ridiculousness.

Comment: Re:Why can't (Score 3, Interesting) 349

by (#47368331) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

When you grow up and buy a house, you're going to be shocked how other utilities work. They charge you for the capacity of your connection, then charge you for the amount of product you move through it. Water for example. My last house was around $62 to have the 1/2" connection. That's it. Just the potential to move water into my house. That cost went from about $35 for 1/4" to hundreds of dollars for larger pipes. Once I flushed a toilet, the usage meter started ticking and I paid $2.73 per 100 cubic feet of water. The usage rate was constant all the way from a 1/4" to 6" connection. That's how all the utilities were set up. A monthly fee for the connection based on capacity, a per-unit cost for the amount delivered. And, if you have a water leak, they rarely give you a warning. They just send a bill.

Cable and internet are the oddballs that charge a flat "connection" rate with no metered usage. That works for cable TV but not so much for internet which functions more like water or electricity. Trouble with internet is they'll cut you off for using "too much" of their product but don't give you a way to purchase more of it. I wouldn't mind the caps so much if they'd give an accurate measure of usage and the option to purchase additional product at $10 per hundred gigs or so. That seems reasonableish to me. But they don't want you paying for the product that you use. They want you paying for product that you don't use.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.