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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Encrypt client side (Score 1) 117

by nmb3000 (#49355061) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

Based on their API reference [amazon.com] 3rd-party apps that do whatever you want on the client side certainly look doable enough.

The downside is that it doesn't appear to support block-level file changes -- you can only create or overwrite an entire file at once. This means that storing something like a 50GB TrueCrypt volume isn't really feasible and you'd have to encrypt all your files individually. This is more difficult and more prone to mistakes.

Hopefully they expand the API at some point to allow binary delta updates of some kind, but their omission could have been a conscious decision to try and discourage people from storing huge files and big encrypted containers.

Comment: Re:Symmetric mouse (Score 2) 196

by nmb3000 (#49347673) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

What is DPS?

Damage Per Second. It's a unit of measure in games such as WoW that's primarily used to show how much better you are than other players. Typical use of the term would be, "hey, does anyone have dps meter for that last pull?" Feigning insecurity and disinterest are important, and the requester must absolutely not reveal that they're running 2 or 3 meter addons themselves.

A new mouse, preferably one with at least 12 programmable buttons, variable weights, and at least two bright blue LEDs, is sure to increase your DPS by at least 20%.

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 2) 623

by nmb3000 (#49346743) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality? Is it just because this one combined cars and Daily Mail-style politics?

It's worth understanding that Top Gear hasn't pretended to be reality for quite some time. They deadpan a lot, but it's all pretty clearly acknowledged to be a live-action cartoon. I read a very good article that talked some about this recently, 'Top Gear' broke my heart (and it wasn't Jeremy Clarkson's fault):

As an auto journalist, I'm used to Clarkson's antics. He's a classic buffoon, and the genius of "Top Gear" is that Clarkson and his co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, realized long ago that transforming themselves into cartoon characters would be both incredibly lucrative and lavishly entertaining. The show has been on forever, and while it's always presenting new cars and ever-more-outlandish spectacles to its legions of avid viewers, the basic shtick has become reliably changeless: three weird looking English dudes doing goofy things with rides both exotic and mundane.

He also talks about some of Top Gear's strengths and weaknesses -- definitely worth the read if you're a fan of the show, or just want to know a bit more about why so many people seem to love a show about cars.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a primadonna for whom curses at an employee for 20 minutes and then physically assaults him up for half a minute

There's no excuse for this, but as others have said there's a bit more to it. Clarkson may or may not be a primadonna (vs just being a knob, as May referred to him several times), but given the stress he was under and the alcohol, him blowing his top over something small isn't a huge surprise. He certainly deserved to be disciplined, but I'm not sure sacking him outright was the best decision. One thing I am certain of is that the BBC will come to regret it.

Comment: Re:I miss Google Search (Score 2) 150

by nmb3000 (#49201337) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

They used to have a great search engine, but then they replaced it with something that keeps second-guessing my search terms.

Probably the most annoying part of this for me is the blazingly stupid way they'll just drop words from your query. There have been times when I submit a phrase with 4 or 5 search terms, and most of the first page is filled with results that have 3 or 4 of the words crossed out. The results were useless garbage and I'd rather have been told there were no pages found. Along with this is the absolutely horrible decision to remove the functionality of the (+) symbol to mean "required". I don't know what social media asshats at Google made this call, but I curse them every time I have to put double quotes around a bunch of individual words just so the aforementioned query "optimizer" doesn't screw with it.

I'm pretty sure that bad design on Google's part combined with the constant abuse of the system by "SEO specialists" has turned Google Search into something inferior to what we had 10 years ago. Oh, and don't forget the malicious adwords results serving up malware for popular software titles. That's always a winner.

Comment: Re:Why uTorrent? (Score 1) 275

by nmb3000 (#49199477) Attached to: uTorrent Quietly Installs Cryptocurrency Miner

Why are you using any version above 2.2.1?

Came here to say exactly this.

After seeing what version 3 looked like on a friend's computer (code isn't the only thing that got bloated with crap) and reading about the hassle people were having with advertising, user-hostile admins, and finally seeing uTorrent get bought out, I'm glad I never bothered to update past 2.2.1. Some private trackers even block 3.x.

I've also heard good things about Deluge, so if I'm ever forced into updating I'll probably give that a try.

Comment: Re:Rocketboard (Score 1) 164

by nmb3000 (#49156487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

Pretty interesting concept and if it works as well in the real world as the video portrays, it could be very cool to use. I was all ready to sign up for early access and talk about it with my team on Monday, until I saw your comment below that it only works on Apple devices.

In the tech and development world (especially in the trenches) Android rules, and our office is no exception. What a downer.

Comment: Re:From his twitter account (Score 4, Informative) 411

by nmb3000 (#49148629) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

He died at 83; smoking probably didn't kill him so much as being old.

Considering the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, I'd guess smoking played a major part. Says Wikipedia:

Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of COPD, with a number of other factors such as air pollution and genetics playing a smaller role.

But it's a sad day regardless.

Comment: Margins (Score 1) 86

by nmb3000 (#49143475) Attached to: The Only Constant is Change

As someone who was quite vocal against Beta in the original announcement article, I've got to say that this about-face is a pleasant surprise. I don't love everything about it, but it's a far sight better than what we saw on the beta site. Glad to see the powers that be came to their senses, and were not persuaded by UX blowhards.

One bug/design issue is with the comment margins. Here's what I'm seeing in Firefox: http://i.imgur.com/YPhBVI0.png

Playing with the CSS, I think this is easier on the eyes and feels a lot less squished: http://i.imgur.com/npol1Kq.png

Which I got with this:

    #commentwrap, #commentlisting {
        padding-left: 1em;

    #commentlisting {
        padding-right: 1em;

Now how about some proper Unicode support? :)

Comment: Re:In other words ... (Score 1) 448

by nmb3000 (#48760351) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

This is called Win-Win. Its how the free market works.

Ah, Slashdot. Where the grits are hot, Natalie Portman is petrified, and price gouging is considered Win-Win.

A "fair price" and "the highest possible price the majority of people are willing to pay" are not synonyms.

When consumers don't feel like every corporation they do business with is a leech trying to gorge itself on as much of their blood as possible, they'll probably be willing to do more business in general. When it comes to cable TV, people are cutting the cord not just because they feel it's overpriced, but because they're sick and tired of feeling like they're being fleeced with a dull razor every month when they get their bill.

Comment: Re:Evidence? (Score 2) 463

by nmb3000 (#48737285) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

ads posing as real software, e.g. when you Google X and the first couple links are sketchy versions of Y pretending to be X, or when you get to the actual download page but the big green "Download" link is actually an ad which downloads some BS executable

Oh, god, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I've had a few family members get bitten by this when I've suggested they get VLC or Firefox. The bastards at Google allow people to purchase ads for these high-profile FOSS software project names and then they serve up malware.

I thought they'd stopped doing it, but checking now I see searching for both Firefox and VLC still show these links. And some morons still don't understand why people block ads.

Comment: Re:Dupe (Score 4, Funny) 840

Jamie goes to replace the battery in a Dodge Stratus they purchased and has to take one of the wheels off in order to access it

Not quite that bad, but I have an older Chevy Lumina and in order to replace the battery you have to

- remove a front-end crossbar, the bolts of which have about a 50% chance of being welded to the chassis with rust
- remove the windshield washer reservoir, which involves removing the pump that's attached at the bottom of the container (without spilling too much fluid on the battery)
- remove a bracket from overtop the batter which is connected to the chassis under the air filter housing, requiring at least a 10-inch wrench extender (12" is better)
- remove another bracket that holds the battery in place, also fixed with a bolt located 10 inches down a tiny hole.
- wrestle the battery out past the main fuse/distribution box, which it barely fits past without breaking it
- repeat the process in reverse with new battery

Here's a picture. It's a nightmare.

It's so bad I found several sites online describing the process and mocking the designers of the vehicle. I understand that space is at a premium under the hood, but FFS, this is just bad.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser