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Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 513

In my particular case there can only be one reason, realistically.

True; as you've been saying, you live in a fairly secluded part of Maine. If someone's hovering near your home with a huge bunch of land around you, there's probably something a little fishy going on....and that's another aspect that needs to be considered (location, that is).

And hundreds of feet?

Two or two point five hundred is technically "hundreds", although the wording generally implies more. I was thinking in orders of magnitude.

There was someone else that I was discussing something similar with the other day. His perspective was that someone flying near where he lived (a multi-story apartment building adjacent to a busy city street and sidewalk) would be a safety problem. I think that most people imagine a specific place that the theoretical drone is flying and make up their opinion partially based on what they visualize.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 513

If the altitude were tens of feet, then it might be possible that the shooter's home was being targeted. If the altitude was actually 100s of feet, then if there was a violation of privacy, what's the likelihood that it was the pilot's intention? The intention of the pilot matters, in my opinion, and the altitude of the drone reflects what the pilot's intention was.

Comment Re:Use an alternative? (Score 1) 478

Thank you for the information. It looks like my CPU supports VT-d (Intel's IOMMU virtualization technology), but my motherboard chipset doesn't. The mobo is from about 2010, but the chipset was released in Q12008, and apparently supports VT, but not the "Directed IO" extension to it (the "-d" part).

It's something that I'll have to keep in mind when I'm considering an upgrade. Maybe I could find an LGA775 board with VT-d on Ebay or something, and avoid replacing the rest of the hardware (which I'm still quite happy with).

Comment Re:I can't bring myself to care (Score 1) 295

"Better" is a matter of opinion that I don't want to argue, but I do have a nice collection from GOG too. GOG covers some things that Steam doesn't, and the same is true as well. In cases where the game is available on both, my choice depends on a combination of the price for it on each service and my estimation of whether I'll want to replay it or not. GOG wins a fair amount of the time, but there's a lot that I want to play that isn't available there. C'est la vie; have to go with the suboptimal choice.

Comment Re:List of privacy violations (Score 1) 184

That's right, you non-patching bastard! The internet is filled with worms like blaster and nimda, and they will never go away because of idiots who don't patch against critical vulnerabilities.

Aside from patches that correctly fix legitimate vulnerabilities, Microsoft also has a history of releasing broken updates (and fixing them later when they've already done damage), removing features from their products, releasing "important" updates that are ads for future products, adding annoying new "features" to already-released OSes, and similar behaviors. They aren't the ones that I want as the ultimate gatekeeper of how my computer works.

Aside from that, I'm not going to use any OS that reboots itself without my specific instruction to do so. In terms of security, Windows 10 may be a net gain, taken globally, but at the individual level, it's a step backwards in some ways, and I'm not willing to take that step.

Comment Re:End of preinstalled Windows 7: October 2014 (Score 1) 295

Businesses commonly make deals between each other that aren't available to ordinary customers. For instance, Windows XP was available to businesses long after Vista was the only option that one could buy in-store. They aren't breaking any kind of advertising laws by providing more than they say they are.

And anyhow, even if there were some legal issue with going against its "end of sales" statement, Microsoft could sell licenses for Windows 7 to a company that builds system images. That company would sell licensed images to another company, which would also buy PC hardware and image the drives themselves. It's not like Windows 7 licenses are completely unavailable, even now.

Comment Re:On Slashdot (Score 1) 295

Aren't there ads on Slashdot

Only if you don't disable them...

and pretty much every other operating system like Android, iOS etc

The OSes themselves don't have ads, unless you count the various app stores. Although on Android, the Google Apps packages do some phone-home stuff, if that's what you're actually worried about. They aren't an essential part of the OS.

Comment Re:I can't bring myself to care (Score 1) 295

Steam fans are gamers who don't understand computer technology.

A subset understands, but doesn't care about the same things that you do. I pay rental-level prices for games that may disappear at some point, and which I need to be connected to Steam most of the time to play. They collect data on which games I play, how often, how long, etc. Frankly, I don't care that they know those things. It would suck if a portion of my game library suddenly disappeared because something happened at Valve, but I see that as part of the price, besides the $5-$10 per game that I've been paying for last year's blockbuster-level titles. It seems like a fair trade.

Comment Re:... no one is paying for that (Score 1) 295

buying ad-free Solitaire for the five years that you plan to use the laptop. Or what am I missing?

Buying ad-free Solitaire won't fix any other system ads, user data collection, etc, that are the actual reason not to use the OS. Solitaire's basically completely beside the point; there are free versions of the game anyhow, so problems in Microsoft's version are moot. The info in this link ought to give you more of an idea of the security issues that a lot of people are talking about here.

Comment Re:Use an alternative? (Score 1) 478

why not use disk-encrypted Linux and put Windows in a VM for those one or two programs that are Windows-only?

Programs that require direct GPU access and as much of my system's RAM as possible are the top of my list of reasons for keeping a Windows partition around, personally. So, I've basically got one boot option to put my machine into gaming-console mode, and one to put it into everything-else mode. That set up will change when there's either a technical shift in what I can easily do on Linux or my interests change enough that I'm no longer interested in running that kind of program.

Comment Re:Most Significant, If Not the First, Post (Score 1) 478

Why isn't there more consumer push-back?

Because it's not being reported in places that non-technical users read, and if it was, it wouldn't be worded in a way to make them understand and care about the implications....and if it was, there are a ton of people that don't care too much about their privacy anyhow. We'd hear a resounding "meh", rather than any kind of real PR backlash.

Comment Re: Somewhat less intuitive (Score 1) 270

I remember being able to exit to DOS voluntarily, I just don't remember the entirety of Windows crashing and dropping be back. I've got a computer installed with DOS and Windows 98. It still has the option to exit to DOS. I suppose that it was Windows ME that removed that option, but I've never used ME; its reputation preceded it.

Comment Re: Somewhat less intuitive (Score 1) 270

Using Windows 95 and 98, I don't remember it throwing me back out into DOS (or if it did, it was a relative rarity on my machine). What I remember is a BSOD popping up, but giving me the option to press a key to attempt to continue, sometimes 15 times in a row before the computer went back to working again (well, until I retried whatever had just failed and got another flurry of errors).

Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 4, Funny) 270

You double clicked on a game icon and it launched within two seconds

Well...either that, or you got a message saying that you needed to lower/raise the bit depth of your display, enable/disable some memory manager, or something similar. I kind of missed Windows 3.1 too, until I started playing with it in a VM and kept running into all the antiquated bits that I'd forgotten about...then it would make one of the classic "ding" sounds, and I'd forgive it in a wash of nostalgia.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein