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Comment: Re:It's time to look forward (Score 3, Insightful) 640

by laird (#48802607) Attached to: Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

Sure, if we could disable all of the crud they piled on top, the core of Windows 8 is relatively good, as it's efficient and stable. But the crud on top is really, really irritating, and bloated, which is why Windows 7 looks so good in comparison. My PC that ran find in Win7 became almost unusable with Win8. I'm hoping someone writes an un-installer that rips our the crud, like there was for Vista.

Comment: Re:wtf? (Score 1) 245

by laird (#48801907) Attached to: PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

I'm sure that's how you use Note.js, but as far as I can tell, the vast majority of the usage of Node.js is server side. And that's where it overlaps with PHP. They both can be used to do the same thing, but with different strengths. For example, if you're building a modern AJAX app, Node.js is very nice - it's very efficient, lets you use the same programming language for the client-side and server-side code, uses JSON to pass data, is event-driven, good at web services, etc. PHP's strengths are more for the old-school, non-AJAX web sites - it's easy to stick a database query into a web page to pull data and display it, etc. And, of course, there's an already-written PHP solution for almost everything which is it's real strength. For example, if you need a web site CMS, you pick one, and if it's written in PHP (most are) then you use PHP to write whatever plugins you need.

Comment: I worked for a corp with a 30 day retention policy (Score 1) 177

by laird (#48801827) Attached to: The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff

I worked for one corporation with a 30 day email retention policy, and the servers were configured that way. After that, anything of importance was supposed to be printed and filed for future reference. And this was in the 90s. Of course, people still had email on their desktops, etc., but I'd guess it let them respond to lawsuits' discovery in a more limited manner than trawling through all email ever sent by anyone about anything, limiting risk of embarassment. I follow the logic, but pragmatically speaking it's convenient to have past emails easily searchable.

Comment: Why bother? (Score 2) 329

It's easy to set up secure communications within a small, trusted group. So this won't affect any real terrorists that are organized enough to be a real threat. They just install PGP (for example), just as anyone else can. And since the security is end-to-end, it's secure no matter what mail system it passes through. And no matter what laws anyone passes, math still works, so end-to-end encryption is secure from anyone attacking the security. And it's open source, so they can't sneak in corruptions to subvert security. Math doesn't care about politics - if the attackers are your government, or foreign attackers, it's all the same math that protects your communications.

What it will do, though, is let them collect tons of data from from people who aren't serious terrorists. Think of the fun the can have with that!

The real answer to terrorism isn't increased surveillance, or the "magic pixie dust" of data mining, it's real police work. That's what's stopped ever terrorist attack (that's been stopped) so far. If they cared about security, instead of surveillance or big equipment contracts, they'd focus on the stuff that works. Hire lots of smart people, train them and equip them, and pay them well, to do the hard work. The rest, attempting to outlaw encryption, scanning people's shoes, etc., is all a stupid waste of time and money, degrading our society's freedom (i.e. doing what the terrorists want) while achieving nothing of value.

Comment: Re:The real questiion (Score 1) 72

by laird (#48791235) Attached to: Hands On With MakerBot's 3D-Printed Wood

I think you're mistaking "what you want" for "what everyone wants". So while I agree that these press release tend to hand-wave over the difference between "printing in wood" and "printing in PLA with wood powder mixed in", I disagree with the idea that these composite materials aren't valid or interesting.

These sort of composite printing materials aren't very interesting from a structural perspective, because the mixed in particles aren't structural.

But they can have other interesting properties. For example, stainless steel and iron mixed into filament makes the filament look like metal, and magnets will stick to it. Mixing conductive materials in can yield (mildly) conductive 3d prints. Mixing wood in gives a material that feels and looks like wood. Bronze particles make the print look like bronze, and be extremely heavy. Heck, glow-in-the-dark is similarly a powder mixed into a base material. So is fire resistance. There are a near-infinite number of materials that are mixed into plastic to affect color, hardness, fire resistance, feel, ... all that's new is that people are figuring out how to take techniques from injection molding and casting of plastics and apply them to 3D printing. And that's a good thing!

And while you might only care about the structural properties, it's entirely legitimate that others might care about appearance, feel, weight, magnetism, glowing, etc.

Comment: Re:Not expensive for an audiophile device (Score 1) 391

by laird (#48791191) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

Good points, Mr. Anonymous! Product positioning based on price sensitivity is probably what drives it. That is, there are plenty of products in the market already, but Sony saw an opportunity for the higher-end MP3 player than what's in the market, so even though it's by definition a smaller market, it's a better business opportunity than competing directly at the low-end (the dirt-cheap generic MP3 players) or the mid-range (Apple).

Comment: Re:Completely wrong about quality (Score 1) 448

by laird (#48759087) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For


But the stations have nearly wiped out news reporting. It's all done as cheaply as possible, because they view "news" as overhead required by the FCC as a technicality. It's been a long time since they considered it a responsibility (which it is legally). The FCC should pull some station's licenses, since they're not doing what they should to be granted access to the public airwaves.

Comment: Re:The ability to speak with my wallet (Score 1) 448

by laird (#48759057) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

I agree, but keep in mind that there's still plenty of good scripted programming being produced. The big difference, IMO, is that there's a near-unlimited number of channels these days (not even counting the internet) so there's a ton of other stuff. Game shows, and "reality" programming, are both very cheap to produce, and are a way to fill out programming hours profitably. But if you ignore the stuff you don't like, there's plenty of great original stuff being produced. And a lot of great older stuff is cheaply available now (Netflix, Hulu) that used to only be in boxed sets or occasional reruns.

Comment: Re:In other words ... (Score 2) 448

by laird (#48758985) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Or you're a customer who likes cable TV, but is pissed off because the cable companies have been jacking up prices much faster than inflation (http://www.ibtimes.com/cable-tv-bills-outpace-inflation-cablevision-nations-highest-1661698), and who hate the terrible service, but because they almost always have monopoly status granted to them (by the city, or the building owner) there's no competition to drive down prices and improve service.

So yes, they could opt out entirely. But it's unreasonable that's the only option - there should be some competitive options to give customers some way to get a deal that doesn't suck for them.

Comment: Re:Makerbot: A day late, a couple dollars overpric (Score 1) 72

by laird (#48757575) Attached to: Hands On With MakerBot's 3D-Printed Wood

Amazon Prime is _fantastic_ for filament. There are many suppliers, the review system lets you weed out the bad products, and you get free 2-day shipping. The free shipping is the "deal maker" for me - buying through other channels it often it costs as much as the filament to get it shipped quickly!

Keep in mind that you're not really buying "Amazon Filament" you're getting DeltaMaker, or MakerBot, or Taulman3D or eSUN, or Octave, etc. - Amazon is just a sales channel, and doing "pick, pack and ship" of the product. So you need to pay attention to the supplier!

"It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milkbone underware." -- Norm, from _Cheers_