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Comment: Re:Flash and Silverlight (Score 1) 61

by ncc74656 (#47952041) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

Frequently the bank forces the user to use exploitable means just to communicate with the bank.

IE6+ActiveX required, anyone?

If your bank requires you to use that steaming pile of fail, why haven't you left yet?

Wells Fargo used to throw up warnings when you used a browser they hadn't yet evaluated, but I think the rapid-release schedule taken by most browser vendors put a stop to that. Even then, it was just a warning...it didn't affect functionality.

Comment: Re:Paid advertisement (Score 1, Insightful) 44

by ncc74656 (#47950417) Attached to: SteadyServ Helps Keep the Draft Beer Flowing (Video)

If you told me someone was selling draft beer supplies (or whatever this crap is), my first assumption would be that it was for bars and taverns, not for home use. Thanks for taking time to point out the obvious.

I take it you don't know any homebrewers, then. Kegging is a hell of a lot easier than bottling. That said, the usual insurance against a keg running out is...wait for it...having a second keg on tap. Cheap and low-tech.

Comment: Re:My wife just died of cancer this week (Score 1) 140

by ncc74656 (#47903857) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

My wife just died of breast cancer this week -- she did not live to be 40 -- so articles and research like this give me hope that, when our child grows up, cancer will not be something that takes people's lives away from them so quickly and so young.

Mine passed a year ago last Saturday of uterine cancer; she was 33. You're probably feeling absolutely gutted right about now. Things will improve slowly, but they will improve. Just yesterday, I was looking through photos for something to illustrate a fundraising page for a run benefiting cancer research. I got a bit choked up on an engagement photo, but that only served to tell me that was the picture to use. Those kinds of things will most likely keep happening for a long time to come...probably forever, at some level. They'll come along less frequently, though, and mostly around things like birthdays and anniversaries. Keeping busy—with work, friends, hobbies, etc.—might help; it seems to have helped me out, at least.

Comment: Re:it's not a technical problem (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47840853) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Your suggestion assumes all American kids have either 1.) A library within walking distance, 2.) Access to transportation.

The schools they attend have libraries, don't they? If they're not within walking distance, there's a bus that will take them there. For ~9 months of the year, your "problem" is sorted.

Comment: Re: TI calculators are not outdated, just overpric (Score 1) 359

by ncc74656 (#47839513) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

You can't use a tablet on the SAT

Back when I took the SAT, they didn't allow calculators. No scientific calculators, not even basic 4-function jobs. Graphing calculators weren't even on the market when I took it the first time in junior high, and they had only been around a couple years or so when I took it again in high school. Now get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47839105) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Reading e-books two or three lines at a time on a 3.2-inche screen would turn anyone off of reading.

I did just fine reading ebooks from an iPhone 3G back in the day. If you can only fit two or three lines at a time on-screen, you're doing it wrong. It'll be less than you can get with a tablet screen, but it's certainly usable. The iPhone 4 was a nice step up (smoother text), and the tablets I've since picked up are better still (7" is plenty...I do most of my reading on a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0), but I still keep ebook apps on both tablet and phone, with bookmarks synced between them so I can get a little reading in if I have some time to kill.

Comment: Re:Yes it is (Score 1) 167

Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). The monitor kinda worked, but it chopped off the first line of text IIRC. The not-so-name-brand TV didn't work at all. The other two TVs worked: the entire screen area was visible. Color quality and 40-column text were pretty good. 80-column text was usable, if a bit fuzzy. I had hoped to use it with the monitor in the computer room, but the missing line of text would be a bit of a problem (it's like it's not syncing up until it's too late). None of them are as clear as the ancient NEC MultiSync 3D I normally use with it, but who knows how long that will continue to work? It already takes several minutes to settle down and run right after a cold start. I suspect a CRT TV with component input would be better than the LCDs, but I haven't had one of those for several years.

(While the adapter is intended to plug straight into the IIGS's RGB output, you could lash up an adapter to use it with other devices. In addition to red, green, blue, and composite sync, it also needs +12V and -5V. It only cost me about $50 to build, and maybe $20 of that was two extra boards from OSH Park, which ships in multiples of 3.)

Comment: Re:how dark can it be on the ISS? (Score 1) 106

by ncc74656 (#47639119) Attached to: Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

Oh, I hate blue LEDs. When they first came out I thought they were so awesome, then I mistakenly bought an alarmclock that had a blue display. Two layers of automotive window tint later and I still couldn't stand it, had to switch back to red. The blue one now lives out in the tool shed so that its radio can be used while doing yard work.

I have an access point in the bedroom with some obnoxiously bright blue LEDs. They're bright enough that you can almost read by the light it throws off. To make things even more obnoxious, the WiFi indicator blinks constantly once it's fully up and running.

Fortunately, all of that is fixed with a strip of electrician's tape. It doesn't even look too out-of-place. Tape wouldn't work too well for a clock (my Moto X is my alarm clock), but it'll tame blue LEDs in most other devices.

Comment: Re:DD-WRT's information (Score 1) 427

by ncc74656 (#47639069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

WRT54G is well known for its stability and reliability.

I keep hearing that, but I've owned four of them and I kept having overheating problems or similar. I'd have to power cycle them once a week or more. The last one would shit itself when my lady fired up her Fujitsu T900 for no known reason.

What firmware were you using? I've been using a WRT54GL for somewhere around 10 years. I had OpenWRT on it for the first few years, and it mostly worked...had to power-cycle it every once in a while. I think it only started acting consistently weird when I started hammering it with BitTorrent traffic. I switched over to Tomato because I wanted easier-to-configure QoS, and it's been pretty smooth sailing ever since. It's currently using a Shibby build. The last time it was rebooted was when I was troubleshooting what turned out to be an outage in Cox's network.

All that said, I suspect my 25/5 connection might be approaching the limit of what it can handle. I've augmented my network with a D-Link DAP-1522 to add 802.11a/n, but that's all it does. One box that could replace both and have enough processing grunt to keep up with a faster connection would be nice, and I'm inclined to stick with something that runs Tomato. I'm leaning toward the Asus RT-N66U, as that's gotten favorable comments here and elsewhere, but I've not yet pulled the trigger on one.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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