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Submission + - Toronto PET Users Group stages flash mob at Starbucks

psychonaut writes: In the fall of 2014, PET-wielding members of the Toronto PET Users Group descended en masse upon a local Starbucks to share their love of old-school Commodores with today's tablet- and smartphone-using public. This was the club's second such flash mob (the first, in 2013, commemorated the 30-year anniversary of the Commodore SX-64 "luggable" computer) and this time Starbucks itself sent a film crew. The result was T.P.U.G., a short promo documentary which the company released in October. The film shows the club, once the world's largest and now the world's oldest user group, still going strong after nearly 37 years in operation.

Comment ACM are inveterate spammers, that's why (Score 1) 213 213

The main reason not to join ACM is that they spam the hell out of their members (and even prospective members and former members). Here are just some examples of recent complaints from computing professionals:

I have never been a member of ACM myself, but my e-mail addresses are (or were, the last time I checked) regularly bombarded by their solicitations. Now everything from them just goes straight to the bit bucket.

Comment Re:this is great news! (Score 1) 94 94

When I stick a disc in my player it normally will just start up to the movie for me. I've heard this problem before, part of that is player features, part of it is the specific title you're playing. Unskippable content is lame, I agree, but if I get a disc like that I can just do a direct copy of the disc contents with the protections removed and re-burn to a dual-layer blank. Now I can play it back on the player and skip content, no change in quality.

Wait, so let me get this straight. You and your SO make some steaming hot popcorn, dim the lights, and settle down on the couch for a movie night. You pop in your disc, only to find that it starts off with five minutes of annoying "unskippable" advertising. So your solution would be to get up, take out the disc, walk it over to the computer you keep in a separate room, insert it there, load up your disc ripping software, copy the disc to the computer, remove the disc, locate and insert a blank one, burn a new copy with the "unskippable" bit disabled, remove it, walk it back over to your living room player, insert it, and press play? Seems to me that serviscope_minor's solution of using MPlayer to begin with and simply mashing a single button to skip the advertising is a heck of a lot more convenient.

Comment Free account with D-Link routers (Score 1) 242 242

Routers manufactured by D-Link come with their own free dynamic DNS service, which is basically farmed out to I don't see any mention on the or D-Link websites that they're discontinuing this service, so presumably if you've got a D-Link router you can still create a free account with it.

Comment Re:Welcom to the group - China, North korea and Ir (Score 1) 94 94

Did you read your own citation? It says that it's South Korea which is censoring Twitter because North Korea is using it to publish propaganda. (I don't doubt that North Korea also restricts access to Twitter, but your claim that it's completely banned there is rather blatantly contradicted by your source.)

Comment Re:Reassembling the Soviet Union (Score 2) 309 309

You could say the same thing about the United States of America, whose formation in 1776 was a treasonous act against the Kingdom of Great Britain. In both cases it makes little practical sense to consider all their respective laws and treaties void, and as a matter of law they are not (at least insofar as Russia and the USA are concerned).

Comment Re:Reassembling the Soviet Union (Score 1) 309 309

But there was no revolution, and the only coup was a short-lived one which actually tried to restore the ancien regime. The Soviet Union was dismantled largely peacefully and within the existing political framework, via legislation and referenda. Furthermore there was a continuity of leadership in most republics -- those at the upper echelons of society remained very much in power, except that post-USSR they were fabulously rich as well, having dispensed with the pretense of economic equality and helped themselves to personal ownership of formerly state-run enterprises.

Comment Re:Too late, switched to Chrome (Score 2) 167 167

What we really need is "Firefox Classic": a maintainable fork that takes the Firefox code base and strips it down to the essentials, without social networking add-ons or any of that garbage. Sort of like how Firefox itself originally forked off of the Mozilla Application Suite, come to think of it.

What's wrong with just using the Mozilla Application Suite? It got renamed to SeaMonkey a long time ago and development has continued ever since. It's got a mail and news client in addition to the browser, but apart from that there's no bloat or garbage. If, like me, you don't want to use the mail and news client, just don't open that window, and you'll never even know it's there.

Comment Re:It's about time! (Score 1) 1431 1431

I am one that believes that self defense is a right granted by God the same way that freedom of speech and freedom of expression is granted.

Funny how governments the world over routinely and very effectively overrule your god with impunity. Is he not interested in enforcing his divine law?

Submission + - LG TVs phone home with your viewing habits

psychonaut writes: Blogger DoctorBeet discovered that his new LG television was surreptitiously sending information about his TV viewing habits, as well as the names of the files he watched on removable media, to LG's servers. There is an undocumented setting in the TV configuration which supposedly disables this behaviour, but an inspection of the network traffic between the TV and the Internet showed that the TV continues to send the data whether or not the setting is disabled.

DoctorBeet contacted LG, but they shrugged the matter off, saying that it's a matter between him and the retailer he bought the TV from.

Comment Please Don't Send Me Microsoft Word Documents (Score 1) 479 479

His criticisms of Microsoft's deliberate lack of interoperability, ever-changing file-format, and attempts to establish market dominance by force aren't new, but of course it's always good to hear them publicized and repeated. About ten years ago I wrote a similar article, Please Don't Send Me Microsoft Word Documents, which includes links to even earlier essays by others.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982