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Comment: Re:Not getting enough volume for headphones... (Score 1) 490

I use the motherboard audio to plug my headphones into. However, the volume for headphones is never high enough even with the volume control maxed out in Windows. Would a separate audio card fix this problem?


Higher quality headphones, specifically ones that have their own amp, would probably work better, though.

I'd ask if the headphones are plugged into line out or the headphone port first.

Comment: Re:Is "tyrant" now the opposite of "activist"? (Score 4, Informative) 350

by mjwx (#47421087) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

"Tyrant judge"?! He was applying the law. A bad law in the opinion of many people, sure, but nonetheless crystal clear in its scope and effect. Are you saying the judge should have not applied the law? That he should have ignored the statute and made up his own rules? You're in favor of "activist judges"?

A judge should be free to question a law, yes.

Judges in Australia have come out of court saying the law was wrong. I believe Judges in the US are allowed to do the same if it contravenes your constitution (same here, we have a constitution too you know).

A judiciary that blindly follows the letter of the law is pointless as they just become to tools of politicians who often write bad and lopsided laws (hence making an independent judiciary pointedness). Nice try to poison the well with that "activist judge" quip, but it didn't work.

Comment: Re:Kidnapping. (Score 1) 175

by mjwx (#47412001) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

Not arresting Russia's own cybercriminals is just another way for the notoriously erratic and thin-skinned Putin to poke the West in the eye and annoy us.

Now the guy was arrested in Guam, a US territory not the Maldives but I cant help but think this was also a ploy to get leverage on Russia. Maybe setting the scene for a good old prisoner swap... Seeing as the guy is the son of a member of the State Duma (house of parliament) so he's the son of someone important, The US will give him a nice trial, sentence him to prison an then ring Putin and offer him a friendly deal, Seleznev will "serve" the rest of his sentence in Russia and in exchange, the Russians give the US Snowden. This may not be the intent of arresting Seleznev, but it seems to be a very convenient opportunity.

Comment: Re:Guam is in the Maldives now? (Score 1) 175

by mjwx (#47411905) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

Replying to myself - as it turns out, the plot thickens:

Right, the US has gone completely off the rails in recent years. "oh, this guy stole some credit card numbers... Let's kidnap him, fly him out of the country and try him in some random court outside the country! Yea! Go USA!"

Seriously? It'd be one thing if he blew something up... but credit card fraud?

CC fraud is a huge problem and a persistent one.

I'd bet this guy was doing fraudulent transactions in the volume of thousands per week, if not per day.

You may be thinking "stuff em, it's only the banks money" but you forget two things. It has a knockon effect to the rest of the economy as the fraudulently transferred money is taken out of circulation and secondly that through hidden fees like merchant service and interchange fees, eventually the banks get the money back from you.

We aren't talking about someone who buys a TV with one stolen credit card number here. Its so big, the damage is in the hundreds of millions to billions. This would be proper, organised fraud. The kind the all western government should be cracking down on..

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 139

by mjwx (#47411753) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

Uber is showing that a deregulated system can work.

Not really.

What Uber is trying to do is operate outside the law.

Because of this, Uber is one serious accident away from complete failure, doubly so in Australia. One serious crash and the insurance companies will come for blood. They'll pay out to the victims (including the passenger, but not the driver) and then come after Uber itself for compensation. That billion dollars in capital wont last long.

Uber is not a new idea, it's what is called "mini-cabbing" which has been around in London and other cities for years.

I used Thailand specifically because I knew someone would come back with the "but deregulation" angle. In Thailand there is no restriction on using a private car as transport. When I go there I can and do use them because it's a nicer car (a new Camry vs an old one) and its cheaper for long distances, this does not affect the prices of taxis in Phuket, where regulation does not exist nor diminish the number of taxis in Bangkok where its heavily regulated.

Comment: Re:It's already going on... (Score 1) 349

by mjwx (#47411673) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Actually, as someone who is a pretty conservative driver, I welcomed the option to let worse drivers subsidize my premiums in exchange for them tracking my driving for a while. I could care less that they know (for example) that I always signal turns and lane changes and don't aggressively accelerate or stop. I could also care less that people who can't demonstrate the same behavior are seen as a higher risk and charged a higher premium.

...except you, of course, since you're on my \. frinds list and all...

"Give me six lines written by an honest man and I'll find one with which to hang him"

Cardinal Richelieu is your first problem.

Your second problem is, a lot of people who think they are good drivers aren't. The Dunning-Kruger effect is strong with drivers.

Being slow doesn't make you a safe driver, in fact that causes as many accidents as going fast (fewer fatalities, but to an insurance company that's not as important as it is to the police because they'll still have to pay out).

I've found the people who tend to preface their driving style with "I never" or "I always" tend to be the most ignorant about their problems. Its the drivers who admit to being imperfect that are the least dangerous because they are acutely aware of the fact they can and do make mistakes and look for ways to minimise/mitigate them.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 685

by mjwx (#47404299) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

"the psychological impact"

Consider the psychological impact of targeting the security apparatus itself: the thing that is claimed to keep people safe turns out to be what enabled them to be killed.

Not nearly as good as getting people when they let their guard down.

Terrorists target buses, planes, schools and theatres because they know that's where they can get the most people when they're most at ease (and that is the really scary bit). At a security checkpoint everyone is alert and awake not to mention the security staff who will actually be looking for suspicious people and things. There's security personnel stationed everywhere in an airport security inspection line, not just at the X-Ray.

Finally, it's not that good of a place to set off a bomb. Seeing as everyone is in a line, you'll only maim a few people directly in front and behind you (their bodies will form a shield of sorts protecting others). With a bus or a plane the explosion is contained in a much smaller area meaning a small explosion can kill or maim most, if not all occupants.

Comment: Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (Score 3, Informative) 153

by mjwx (#47404241) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Aussies have voted themselves high taxes on all goods. If they are tired of paying the high taxes on them, well golly do something about it.

Care to name those specific taxes, Mr Expert?

This. There are no additional taxes on digital media beyond sales tax.

As an Australian, I import all my games and movies on disc from places like Hong Kong and the UK (I also buy my books from there too). I pay the UK/HK prices plus shipping and its still cheaper. Even if I had to pay tax (an order under A$900 is tax free) I'd just have to add 10% and I'd still be making a huge saving compared to buying it locally.... and this is 100% legal, it's even legal for an Australian company to drop ship media products and pay local taxes on the transaction.

So I'd also like Mr Expert to point out where these high taxes are?

Australia is amongst one of the lowest taxed nations in the western world (we pay more federal income tax, but no state income taxes like the US and Canada). High costs are a legacy of a time when the AUD was not strong (around US$0.5-0.6) and when we were so isolate we had no choice but to pay stupendously inflated prices. Isolation is not an issue anymore and the AUD has been strong for almost a decade.

The price differential is due to supply and demand, specifically the lack of supply/competition. The local stores have a monopoly on distribution through import agreements with manufacturers which lets them charge what the fuck they want, the retail prices contain a 100-200% mark-up over the actual wholesale cost, including tax, and it is pure profit.

With media, it isn't the stores charging the high prices, it's the distributors. Margins on media are razor thin and when it comes to Apple, Google and other online distributors, they are not local stores but still are beholden to the whims of the "rights holders".

Comment: Re:What? (Score 4, Interesting) 139

by mjwx (#47404179) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

Cab fares are regulated in NYC. Competition has nothing to do with it.


If you listen carefully you can hear the Randian's heads pop.

Everywhere I've travelled, the less regulated the taxi industry the more they take the piss and rip off customers. Thailand is a good example, in Bangkok taxis are cheap. From the Airport to the city centre is 400 Thai Baht + 70 Baht in tolls (approx 30 Baht == 1 USD), that's a distance of 35 KM and includes an airport fee. Taxi's are well regulated in Bangkok (its the same story in Singapore).

In Phuket, a taxi wont even turn on the engine for less than 200 Baht, it's less than that to get into a taxi in Australia. Taxi's aren't regulated at all, they operate like a Mafia using violence against their competition, ripping off customers. They sit there all day turning down paying customers because they aren't paying enough. The local Phuket govt isn't interested in doing anything (since the recent coup in Thailand, I've heard the army has been attempting to clean the taxi mafia up).

Comment: Re:And in other news (Score 1) 139

by mjwx (#47404123) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

NYC Taxis have to carry $100k (per person) / $300k (per incident) liability insurance. That's the same for Uber drivers.

But how much do you want to be that UberX drivers dont have that level of liability insurance. Here in Australia private car insurance (the kind everyone has on their car) does not cover business use, so if you're using your car for mini-cabbing (Uber isn't new, it's just Mini cabbing with a web 2.0 interface) your insurance wont cover you (also in my state, you're driving an unregistered vehicle because with private registration you get a tax cut off the cost of business rego). But Uber will flounder and die here because its not only just as expensive as a regular Sydney or Melbourne taxi, they're also extremely unreliable.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 711

by mjwx (#47396471) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Eugenics is based in part on gross oversimplifications of genetics and in part on the absurd idea that attributes like economic status are biologically heredity.

Yes and no,

We've got a long history of breeding programs in animals to say that yes, a lot of traits are hereditary and are usually passed on by selective breeding. A horse sired by a successful racehorse is more likely to be a successful racehorse. Its not guaranteed because of the problems of random genetic mutation, recessive genes and natural variation but it is more likely. Also when you're running a breeding program for horses you dont keep breeding the failures, you send them off to be made into glue and dog food.

Even in humans, some traits are hereditary, my dad isn't bald, his dad died with a full head of hair, it's likely me and my children wont go bald either because there's no history of male pattern baldness in my family... however there is an increased risk of Diabetes because I have a family history.

However this is when you base it on scientific observation. If you go around shooting all the redheads* you will eventually get rid of the gene that causes red hair, it will take many generations though... However if you're criteria for living or dying is something as irrational and unprovable as demonic possession, you've got problems eugenics will never solve.

* I do not, under any circumstances recommend the systematic annihilation of red haired people. They currently hold Scotland and the Scots are not a people to be fucked with lightly.

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf