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Comment: Re:Is it legal to make code compatible alternative (Score 5, Interesting) 632

by rgbscan (#48206265) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

My $3 generic eBay FTDI clone USB->Serial cable (that I bought to program my Baofeng radio via Chirp) came with no drivers and Windows pulled down the real FTDI driver. Over the summer, it only worked sporadically. Usually didn't work. Swapping out the cable for a $12 legit cable from Trendnet solved all issues. It isn't just that these chinese places are making a clone, it's that they are making a crappy sort-of compatible clone and passing it off as the real thing, and directing you to use the FTDI drivers. It totally makes FTDI look bad. I didn't find out until after researching with some guys from chirp that my cable was a knock off. I thought I was buying a supported chipset. Might not be legal or ethical, but I'm all for anything that stops these crappy chinese cloners in their tracks. I spent way too much time and hassle on a problem they caused.

Comment: Re:Is there an exodus? (Score 2) 229

by rgbscan (#48143999) Attached to: The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

Agreed, of the linked articles... one is a blog entry from 2012 predicting the end of the app store without really anything concrete to say - just opinions, and one is from a developer who acknowledges that Apple gave them personalized help above and beyond the call of duty, and admitted that their app was a "worst case scenario" for sandboxing, and they are shipping outside of the MAS due to time constraints rather than solve the remaining sandboxing issues. Both are hardly damning of the app store.

Comment: Re:Thinking back to my undergraduate days (late 70 (Score 1) 547

by rgbscan (#48103151) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

I still hack around in Pascal from time to time. Kyan Pascal produces good results on my Apple IIe when I'm in the mood, and I dink around on System 7 from time to time on my old Quadra and all the libraries and toolkits for the Mac from back then are better supported in Pascal.

I don't think it has any practical use nowadays, even with Lazarus out there, but it's still fun if you're into the vintage scene.

Comment: Re:Huh (Score 1) 249

by rgbscan (#48085263) Attached to: Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

These are the only ads I still see. I can't seem to get rid of them on youtube. And let me tell you, they are crazy off the mark. I think I've finally done enough random clicking on stuff that they can't possibly pigeon hole me. I routinely get this ad with a gay couple (white guy and asian guy) drawing hearts in a steamy bathroom before I can click skip (something about AIDS testing), the others I routinely get are a crazy panic truther ad about flouride in our drinking water, an ad about something for kids learning (some baby einstein knockoff product), and some country music band.

So apparently I'm some crazy chemtrail believin', flouride drinking, country boy, worried about AIDS with my asian partner, while shopping for baby goods.

Yep, the random clicky's have Google thoroughly confused. Proud moment :-)

Comment: Re:Sound like Moodle might be a better fit (Score 1) 97

by rgbscan (#48019451) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Multimedia-Based Wiki For Learning and Business Procedures?

Heck no. As someone forced to use Moodle by college it is hands down the crappiest e-learning platform I've ever had to deal with. Even worse than blackboard. All those other MOOC's do pretty well, and I happen to love the interface Udemy provides, but for heaven's sakes don't torture people with Moodle. The *ONLY* thing it has going for itself is that it's free.

Comment: Re:LEDs (Score 1) 602

by rgbscan (#48002309) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Agreed. It would be nice to see accurate independent ratings.

I've got a handful of CFL's from Ikea I bought in 2005. It started off as a 12 pack. 1 died right away out of the gate, 2 died in exterior fixtures (front door and back door lamps on motion detectors - they didn't like the MN winter). The rest, that have been inside on standard light switch applications, are still happily chugging along. I even took them with me when I moved :-)

I got a 3 pack of LED lights to play with about a year ago from Feit. No problems with those, although it's still too early to tell how I'll fare. The light is a little more directional than the CFLs but I like the color temp better.

Comment: Re:The obvious solution... (Score 3, Informative) 63

by rgbscan (#47816429) Attached to: Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

As someone with quite a bit of Yelp experience, the filter doesn't just filter out people with a single bad review, it also looks at the distribution of the sum of all the reviews on that account. Generally, over time with enough reviews, each user generally falls into a similar pattern systemwide with a pretty regular curve of rating scores distributed over the reviews. Anything deviating from that curve more than 'x' amount gets filtered (it's secret so you can't game it). It's pretty pronounced and predictable - so the sourpusses that leave nothing but bad reviews get filtered no matter how many they write. Same with the people that leave nothing but glowing reviews.

In my personal experience, the small businesses claiming that Yelp or a competitor are targeting them with bad reviews are full of it. I just go look up their BBB score and almost always see the same types of complaints against the business there. There generally is agreement between a trip advisor rating and a yelp score as well. Sometimes its hard for people to look at their operation and realize they truly do suck. You see it all the time on those reality shows called "Kitchen Disasters" or "Save my Restaurant" with that foreign chap from Hell's Kitchen. They always think they are rock stars and have no idea why their business is failing when dude shows up.

I have yet to come across a business with multiple well-written (a couple of paragraphs with concrete examples) bad reviews that were legitimately attacks and falsehoods made up by competitors. Granted it's possible, but in my multiple years as a yelper "elite" and with the ~500 or so reviews I've written, I haven't seen it. When people take the time to leave lengthy negative reviews, they are usually legit.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 95

by rgbscan (#47670073) Attached to: Student Bookstores Beware, Amazon Comes To Purdue Campus

I always buy a used book from Amazon. Anyone paying full sticker at the campus book store is getting robbed. Last years edition is almost always fine (unless the instructor is using the accompanying courseware - but generally my school has stayed away from that). The ebooks especially are a bad deal since you just rent them and can't re-sell them.

For my statistics class this fall the text is: Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics 16th Edition, ISBN 0078020522. $292 at the campus bookstore, $248 new at Amazon, $227 used at Amazon. Previous edition (15e - approved by Instructor) used at Amazon? $44 bucks.

I've done this through all 4 years of school and am about to graduate. Only twice did I have instructors require the on-line courseware. At $100 bucks a pop, it was still cheaper just to buy the code by itself and go with the older edition book.

Comment: Re:People expecting their marketing for free (Score 1) 258

by rgbscan (#47573803) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Plenty of iOS apps do a trial period. I've had apps that limit the functionality after 30 days unless you pay in-app to unlock it. I've had photo apps that allow you to use all the filters for free for 'x' number of pictures to sample them and then you had to in-app purchase them to keep using them. And just last night I downloaded Revolution 60 (excellent game BTW) and you get the whole game but there's a countdown timer. After an hour of playtime you have to pay for it via in-app purchase or it stops working and won't read your save file.

Comment: Going since '06 (Score 1) 278

by rgbscan (#47418557) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I have 4 Ikea CFL's from 2006 still going strong (out of a 6 pack, the other two went outside on the front and back door and died a horrible immediate death in a motion light). I also have a LED bulb from 2010 in constant use working well. I have a handful more sitting in a package that I can't use because the ceiling fan is on a dimmer. I don't know if I'll ever get to them.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.