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Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 107

by nabsltd (#47438853) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

But it's a huge task just to put the shoot together; they don't just drive up with some kind of aircraft and start flying around.

Because they are generally flying over property that they don't own.

I'm willing to bet that an insurance company would laugh at me when I ask for insurance to protect my own home against what might happen if I crash a model airplane into it.

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 3, Informative) 138

by nabsltd (#47437763) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

USB sockets also lock you in to using USB leads.

You're missing that point that anybody can make both USB sockets and USB leads with a very minimal royalty payment.

What if only one company made USB sockets (Microsoft) and they charged $100 for it (Windows). Then, once you did pay and had your USB device working, they stopped supporting the current USB standard, which encouraged your device manufacturer to stop supporting it. Then, all new USB devices would only work on the new USB sockets, so if you buy a new camera/scanner/mouse/keyboard/whatever, you can't plug it in to your current USB socket, and need to pay another $100 to get the new socket. If Microsoft didn't see Windows as a profit center, but instead used it as a platform to get you to pay for everything else they do, 90% of the complaints about them would stop.

I didn't mind paying for the first versions of Windows, because they gave me something I didn't have: a windowed UI. Then, Windows NT gave us real multi-tasking and 32-bit code. Windows 2000 and XP were just more polished versions, although XP gave us 64-bit that wasn't supported much. Windows 7 finally gave us 64-bit with real support. Windows 8 is just a different UI. So, the reality is that over that span of nearly 20 years, I feel like I should have paid "full price" for about 3 versions (truly major upgrades), and some token amount (about 20% of the full version price seems right) for the "maintenance" releases.

Instead, if you wanted to play the latest games, you had to upgrade to XP (2000 was just fine for running productivity apps) and 7, and even before the end of support of XP, you had to upgrade to 7 if you didn't use an alternate browser (unless you like getting burned by the most common security exploits). Then, add in that the more recent OS often don't have drivers for older hardware and have a lot more system requirements, and you end up with Linux getting traction because of this endless cycle.

Although Linux is really hurting the inroads that MS made into the server market, it will never touch the desktop until it's just as easy to use. It will never be just as easy to use as long as there are 14 different Linux distributions with 43 different GUI implementations (numbers pulled out of my ass, but you get the picture). Until there is one GUI, no large percentage of companies will heavily invest in converting to a Linux desktop because they won't want to train every new hire in how the system works. And yes, I know that the vast majority of people don't do anything complicated, but things like connecting to a network share, changing the screen resolution, changing the GUI colors, playing a video, scheduling a meeting with co-workers, etc., are all things that real people do and which have to be easy and consistent. In addition, until all the standard software is available (no, Linux doesn't have to have Microsoft Office, but it has to have a package that does everything that Office does, and Open/Libre Office ain't it), there won't be a large shift, either.

I maintain Linux servers for a living, but I still use a Windows desktop (even though my employer does support Windows, Linux, and OSX for personal desktops) because it still is easier to get everything done using that. I have lots of options to get to a Linux system and run programs (both text and GUI), and not everyone in my office uses the same toolset as I do. But, the other direction is painful. Without Windows, you can't easily find out when everybody is available for a meeting, and can't stay logged in to your e-mail (OWA times out, while Outlook does not). I can connect to a Windows share from a Linux system, but I can't adjust the ACLs. With a Windows desktop, I can connect to both Windows and NFS shares and adjust the ACLs.

Comment: Re:Outside of Valve I don't think many developers. (Score 1) 76

by nabsltd (#47437627) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone? enough attention to game design to consistently produce quality games.

You're saying this mostly because of Portal. Without that game, you'd be left with the taste of Half-Life 2, which showed they were losing their touch because they had to have enemy spawn points that never run out of bad guys.

It also was a very linear game, where even the more open sections were just an A->B->C->D path for the player...there was no side exploring of any consequence. In particular, you very rarely left a building by the same way you entered. You would often see areas where you would soon be or used to be through windows/fences/etc., with the path between the two a very long maze.

Comment: Re:Daikatana failed because it was too Japanese. (Score 1) 76

by nabsltd (#47437565) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

The opening level for Daikatana was death by a thousand mosquito bites and killer toads. I never got past that level. A FPS game is supposed to ramp up the difficulty as the player gets used to the new game world. Killing them off at the get go is bad design.

I never played the game until I picked it up from GOG last year. I didn't find the first section very hard at all until the giant dragon. Even that was easy after I realized there's no shame in hiding and sniping. I even killed the sentry guns by destroying them instead of destroying their power link until I got to the door that could only be opened by destroying the power link, at which point I felt like an idiot.

The first weapon you get has essentially unlimited ammo (carry 100 shots with 50-shot packs sitting around every corner) and does a respectable amount of damage per shot. It can also fire around corners via bouncing off walls.

The only real problem I have with the game is that although there is a story, there isn't any game-play info in the story, so I wasn't sure if the cowering technicians were OK to kill or not (being used to games like Deus Ex where you don't kill something unless it's trying to kill you). I haven't finished the game yet (only gotten to the point where I have both sidekicks with me), as I had to rebuild my gaming machine and don't have a lot of time for games in general, so it could get a lot more sucky.

Comment: Re: Murphy says no. (Score 1) 242

by nabsltd (#47433473) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

so once a week you have to get up early and do some work.

I don't think that the "2am" listed in TFS is "getting up early". Instead, it's more like "staying up late".

For me, it's not really a problem, but I have had to do that kind of maintenance as a team, and some people are just useless if they stay up that long, or even got a short nap. My current job gives us all day one Saturday a month for maintenance, so you can sleep like normal and get up when appropriate (one hour worth of work, start at 2 in the afternoon if you want...7 hours of work, better start before noon). A lot fewer mistakes seem to be made with this sort of schedule.

Comment: Re:Puppet. (Score 1) 242

by nabsltd (#47433387) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Especially with VMs, it is so easy to snapshot and test things.

How, exactly, do you snapshot and test the production VM before the maintenance window and guarantee you won't affect (and by "affect", I mean anything that changes behavior in any way that is not expected by the users) any services running on that VM?

If you meant "clone" instead of "snapshot", that doesn't help either, as the clone will have to have a different IP address, can't connect to the production database, etc.

We've had VMs that have become corrupt in very strange ways so that they would not reboot. The corruption didn't affect any running services, but existed for at least six weeks (we had to go back that far to get a backup that didn't have the issue). Testing a kernel patch that requires a reboot wouldn't have revealed this corruption, as the dev and staging servers didn't have the problem. Testing it on the production server would have revealed it, but we would have to do that during scheduled maintenance anyway....

Comment: Re:Multiple PCs and multiple copies (Score 1) 208

...which still doesn't allow two different Steam logins to play the same game at the same time unless it is in both their game libraries.

I'm surprised there are console games that allow you to buy one copy and play on more than one console at the same time, as tepples seems to imply in the GP post.

Comment: Re:$300 for a GPU (Score 1) 208

How do PC gamers address this problem? We don't play AAA titles designed for a console the same year that console was released. They suck for PC anyway.

And, they also might have less tweaks for graphics so that in a few years when that $75 card can run the game at max settings, you still can't get any better quality with a $300 card (which matches today's $700 cards). All the $300 card will do is allow you to run at a higher overall resolution, which eventually will start to expose things like lower polygon counts, lack of anti-aliasing (even injected after the fact sometimes doesn't work), etc.

Comment: Re:Seems excessive... (Score 2) 85

by nabsltd (#47400575) Attached to: Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

Because that has worked out so well for IMDB and TMDB. Try looking at their genres sometime, especially ones like "comedy" where if there is anything even vaguely humorous no matter how passing or unintentional the movie gets classed as a comedy.

"Genre" isn't really a problem on IMDB, as users can't directly set that. I believe you are thinking of "plot keywords", which are really nothing but tags, and have become silly.

How does a "loud shirt" have anything to do with the plot of the listed titles?

Comment: Re:Big Difference (Score 1) 210

by nabsltd (#47400217) Attached to: Fox Moves To Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish Streaming Service

You see, there's a "broadcast flag" developed in the DVR software that is really the "can't copy flag" that would take away you ability to move that file around.

The MyHD DVR ignores the setting of the broadcast flag, as does pretty much every other OTA HD recorder. This is primarily because it has never been intentionally set on any program.

Try that with a PPV movie, an HBO/Showtime or similar movie. Try that with HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher... it won't work.

When those are broadcast OTA (over the air, i.e., TV using the same frequencies and antennas as has been used for 50 years) and can be decoded by any ATSC-compliant device, I suspect I'd have no problem moving the program anywhere.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 683

by nabsltd (#47399587) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Find an outlet and plug it in for a while....or carry one of those spare charger thingees.

Or, if you really are a terrorist and want put a bomb in your laptop, just replace the 8-cell battery with a one-cell, which will give you enough power to pass this test while still giving you lots of room for explosives.

Comment: Re:Would be different (Score 1) 185

by nabsltd (#47377429) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

I'm still waiting for the Teeth of the Tiger shopping-mall attacks. We saw what happened in Kenya recently. Just imagine that in several malls across the US.

The scenarios from Larry Bond's The Enemy Within are also pretty scary. If they came to pass, it's likely the entire US highway system would be completely TSA'd.

Comment: Re:Why do we have screen savers? (Score 4, Informative) 348

by nabsltd (#47368831) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

You can't have burn in when it's a blank black screen.

LCDs use more power when displaying a completely black screen (since they have to charge the cell to have the crystals become non-transparent), and thus are more likely to get a dark image "stuck".

Turn off the video signal to the monitor and let the power saver mode kick in.

The problem is that a reasonable timeout that will provide you some sort of protection is way too short if the power to the display is truly being turned off. It takes my TV about 5 seconds to recognize that the video signal has come back, and it would be very painful if after two minutes (my screensaver timeouts on boxes I can configure) of pause, I have to hit some "do nothing" button to wake up the display so that I can then hit play and not miss anything.

Also, if you have any of the auto-sensing video switches/receivers, it's a real pain when then source signal completely disappears, as the unit switches to the next input with a signal.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce