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Comment: Locked down? (Score 1) 298

by theascension (#42231047) Attached to: Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

I'm hesitated to get excited about this... I have to wonder just how locked down it will be. Hopefully it will continue in the tradition of steam drm being not malware infesting and generally just enough to get the job done. Advertisements and other annoyances will hopefully be easily disabled like on the PC (the xbox 360 is just disgusting to navigate these days).

With the increasing use of tiny solid state drives in hardware these days (the ipod classic going the way of the dodo, slim models of everything),
I wonder how much space the unit will have? Team Fortress 2 on its own is like 18gb with all the updates. I can't see the unit realistically being less than 300 if a standard hard drive must be included.

Comment: Is streaming really all that rosy? (Score 1) 124

by theascension (#42190845) Attached to: Disney Switching To Netflix For Exclusive Film Distribution

I'm always surprised at the positive comments on netflix here on slashdot. It's a drmd format and you're totally at the whim of netflix on whether content is removed/changed. Personally I'm quite happy we have physical discs so there's a backup of say.. star wars the unspecial edition on laserdisc somewhere out there still. What about the future archival of culture if everything becomes streaming/on demand and we're totally slave to our masters?

Comment: We have to sacrifice the youth of a few.. (Score 1) 271

by theascension (#42188485) Attached to: Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

To satisfy our social self destructive desires.

There's always been some sacrificial element in society, whether it be celebrity, sport or literal sacrifices in less 'civilized' days. The way I see it we're lying to ourselves if we don't accept the pornography of sport, the search for new talent to seduce with fame and throw away as soon as their purpose starts to fade. How is this any different from celebrity or young women in fashion? This research is important and should bring to light an important issue in society we can't seem to live without, but how will 'making the game safer' truly improve the lives of the players while satisfying our desires as spectators? These are the questions we have to ask when we finally take a look and realize just how damaging our practice of sacrificing youth is, be it football, olympic athletes, eenage fashion models, hollywood etc. How do we replace the desire to watch others suffer? Don't dare ever question most sports fans, their only happiness is derived from obscuring the illusion of material filth around them with the constant consumption of sport.

Tom Payne wrote a decent book "Fame: What the Classics Tell us About Our Cult of Celebrity", that touches on the sacrifice aspect of celebrity.

Comment: Much better but annoyances still remain (Score 2) 295

by theascension (#42162149) Attached to: Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade

I really like the redesign visually and speed wise. It's impressive since I haven't used Itunes regularly in half a decade. My main program of choice has been Foobar2000. It's instantaneous in its library even with 100 thousand songs. When I heard the new itunes was much faster and saw the beautiful screenshots I had to check it out.
Itunes 10 opening speed with a large library was well over 15 seconds on an SSD. Itunes 11 is now around 2. Foobar2000 is about half a second, but still, very impressive.

The minimal features are nice and your average luddite will love it. I love the new album/artist view. At times it's too minimal, for instance the hidden menu bar, you have to click a tiny button in the top left and 'enable menu bar', I'm sure that will trip many people up. The old annoyances are still there. Folder Management is still essentially manual, either add folder (after enabling old menu bar) or drag to the "add to Itunes library". To me this just seems archaic, every other music player out there will watch a folder. You have to sign up with an Apple ID to automatically search for album art! Really? The only other option is to manually 'get info' and add the album in, Itunes won't read images in folders (folder.jpg for example). Apple then embeds and mangles the audio files. I much prefer foobar, I can not only efficiently add high quality album art with an external (album art downloader) program but can have booklet/back/cd images as well.

The other aspect is all the extra crud Apple still adds when you install the program, several extra services and processes (itunes helper, apple updater), that just serve to annoy you. Even though I have 32GB of ram it's still fairly crazy Itunes uses 300mb of ram with just 10 albums added, foobar2000 was around 50mb.Still kudos to apple for taking on their most obviously lacking product and making even me think twice about my player choice, time will tell what the future is as spotify and other services seem to be what many are moving towards.

Comment: Adblock/Noscript+Common Sense (Score 2) 185

by theascension (#42137543) Attached to: Microsoft Security Essentials Loses AV-Test Certificate
Many of the vectors of malware these days is through java/flash exploits, I always disable the java plugin in my browser and have flash click to play. I do have MSE on my computers and MalwareBytes for a monthly search and haven't run into any issues in many years. MSE has the least bloat/memory footprint AND the lowest false positive rating http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/docs/avc_fdt_201209_en.pdf puts it at 0, if you're getting hit by 0 day malware you're just not pirating software/being cautious enough with where you browse and no program will 100% save you. For family members I've always installed avast, it's slightly more intrusive but turn on 'silent/gaming mode' and it's not too bad other than putting in an email address once a year.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

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