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Comment: Education for parents needed - set a PIN! (Score 2) 152

by ncw (#43439335) Attached to: UK Gov To Investigate 'Aggressive' In-app Purchases

My 5 year old son taught me a very important lesson about having a PIN on your payment methods...

Luckily it only cost me £25 ($40).

Not being a great reader my son just clicks OK to all the boxes that pop up, so there is great opportunity for game manufacturers to dupe unsuspecting parents into spending lots of their cash.

It is a one time only scam though which I really should have thought through but I, along with thousands of other hapless parents, have inadvertently contributed to Zepto Labs' coffers.

Education for parents is the solution IMHO. I got mine the hard way ;-)

Comment: Try to break the disk before you lose your data (Score 2) 348

by ncw (#42378221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Test Your New Hard Drives?

Stress testing hard disks is a particular bugbear of mine, after having some really bad luck with early hard disks. Over the 15 years that I've been doing it I've had to send back loads of hard disks and flash cards because they failed my tests, either breaking completely or returning single bit errors in your data. Mostly the manufacturers will take disks back if you can get their stupid Windows program to return an error code. Sometimes it takes a bit of arguing but ultimately the manufacturers want to keep you happy. Flash disks with single bit errors are the hardest to send back in my experience.

Here is the latest generation of my stress testing code (re-written in Go recently):

(Interestingly the stressdisk program sometimes finds bad ram in your computer too!)

I generally thrash every new hard disk or memory card for 24 hours to see if I can break it before trusting any data to it!

I also run a long smart test too.

Somewhat paranoid, yes, but I really, really hate losing data!

Comment: Check why the files are corrupted (Score 5, Insightful) 247

by ncw (#39918753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tool To Detect Corrupted Files?

I'd be asking myself why lots of files became corrupted from one dodgy file system event. Assuming HFS works like file systems I'm more familiar with, it will allocate sequential blocks for files wherever it can. This means that a random filesystem splat is really unlikely to corrupt loads and loads of files. You might expect a file system corruption to cause a load of files to go missing (if a directory entry is corrupted) or corrupt a few files, but not put random errors into loads of files.

I'd check to see whether files I was writing now get corrupted too. It might be dodgy disk or RAM in your computer.

The above might be complete paranoia, but I'm a paranoid person when it comes to my data, and silent corruption is the absolute worst form of corruption.

For next time, store MD5SUM files so you can see what gets corrupted and what doesn't (that is what I do for my digital picture and video archive).


Inside Factory China 135

Posted by kdawson
from the making-it dept.
blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."

Comment: Re:If you have a choice... (Score 4, Insightful) 186

by ncw (#26816131) Attached to: Beginning Portable Shell Scripting

I agree!

My personal limit is 10 lines for a shell script. If is longer than that I convert it to Python.

Python scripts have the advantage that they work on Windows too, and they have lots of os independent abstractions for file names, processes etc.

Why learn an arcane language like sh when you can learn a nice well structured language like Python and write better scripts?

A few years ago I would have used Perl rather than Python, but I'm converted now ;-)


+ - Intel X38 High End Chipset Launch and Benchmarks->

Submitted by
MojoKid writes: "Though many leaks of the product have been circulating for some time, Intel officially took the wraps off and launched their new X38 Express chipset for the high-end desktop motherboard market. With this launch, the Intel desktop chipset line-up gets a new flagship. Intel's new X38 chipset encompasses all of the technology advances that have made the P35 a success and adds a slew of new features designed to increase memory and graphics subsystem performance, like PCI Express 2.0 SerDes and Intel Extreme Memory technology in the new X38 MCH. The Asus motherboard tested in this article at HotHardware even features an embedded Linux-based OS that boots in a matter a seconds."
Link to Original Source

Everybody Votes on the Wii 87

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-like-democracy-only-more-efficient dept.
Wired's Game|Life blog has up a post pointing out a surprise from Nintendo: a cute voting application now available on your Nintendo Wii. Unannounced and easy to understand, Everybody Votes appears to be attempting to gain a gestalt view of the Wii-owning population. The app gives you several multiple choice questions to answer, and allows you to submit your own. Chris Kohler hopes that this might be the beginning of downloads for small, entertaining programs Nintendo fans may have never otherwise seen. "If you've ever been to an E3 or read about Nintendo's booth, you know that they often show little demos or applications that never get released. Well, with Wii, it seems that we might actually start seeing those little experiments thrown out to the public. Since Nintendo as a game developer uses this first-prototype-something-fun style of design, we could see all kinds of things that ordinarily wouldn't ever make it out of Nintendo headquarters." I personally hope we get a full-fledged version of the conducting game that Miyamoto used to demo the system at last year's E3.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce