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Comment: Re:DL# (Score 1) 40

by tlhIngan (#49157507) Attached to: Uber Discloses Database Breach, Targets GitHub With Subpoena

Sorry but what the fuck are you planning to do with 50,000 driver's license numbers?

Well, two people are very interested in that, one can find out, and the fourth can exert some leverage and get at information.

The first two are your DMV (or other agency) and insurance company. The DMV is interested if there's any commercial operations going on by unlicensed drivers. Penalties for such generally are minor, usually just suspension of the commercial activity to suspension of the license and a small fine.

The second would be insurance companies, who now have a list of people who operated in a commercial capacity. Knowing how they like to weasel out of any insurance payout, they can simply use this to note you did commercial activities on a personal insurance policy and use that as justification to cancel your policy. Of course, they won't do this until you get into an accident, at which point you do get a payout ... of all the premiums you paid from when they cancelled to the accident. Yes, it's a very nasty surprise waiting for people who expect insurance to cover them only to find out they're now stuck with a massive personal liability bill.

Third group would be tax agencies who are very interested to know about your income-generating activities and did you report it on your income tax form. This takes a bit of work since they generally don't have access to the driver license database to look up people. Maybe you find out when you try to renew that someone wants to have a nice talk first.

Fourth, well, taxi companies who exert a little pressure on someone to take the driver license number and put them to names and addresses... and I'll leave that one at that.

The link between person and drivers license isn't only held by the DMV or similar agencies - if you've ever used a driver's license as an ID card, well...

Comment: Re:Am I Missing Something? (Score 4, Informative) 125

by tlhIngan (#49150831) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

I've got an ISO image I downloaded from Microsoft back in April of last year without having to provide any details.

DigitalRiver has stopped providing those ISOs for a little while now. If you visit any of those links, they just redirect you back to

Yes, I tried last week when I had to get a Win7 image for a friend. None of those links work anymore.

Comment: Re:Consumers win (Score 2, Insightful) 201

by tlhIngan (#49149833) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

We all win with at least a single computer maker stopping the insane practice of selling their customers instead of selling TO their customers.

Or Lenovo realizes a couple of things.

1) People who buy Lenovo aren't the price-sensitive type, or
2) People who buy Lenovo are corporate clients who wipe the PCs anyways.

Basically, Lenovo's not really catering to the price-sensitive consumer - someone who will spend no more than $500 for a new computer (laptop or desktop). Plenty of companies to fulfill that market segment.

Instead, Lenovo realizes that people buy it for the legacy and thus will pay more for it. So even if the lack of shovelware causes Lenovo PCs to cost $100 more, their customers are such that they will pay for that benefit.

Either that, or they're corporate clients who wipe the PCs anyways.

You want cheap PCs? You're gonna get shovelware. You willing to pay for quality? Less to none.

Comment: Re:MAKE SOMETHING NEW! (Score 1) 157

by tlhIngan (#49149795) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I think the real reason is that rhythm games are last gen right now - and there is a small core group of players that really do like them, so it's time to move them to current gen hardware.

Otherwise it'll die out in short order as the PS3 and Xbox360 fade out, and there's nowhere those players will be able to progress to.

And these group of people are worth a lot of money - because DLC for those games was still being released despite the last release being over 5 years ago.

Comment: Re:Video over LAN (Score 1) 83

by tlhIngan (#49149751) Attached to: VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

BUT - if I dare play a dvd with a video_ts style standard folder, even local playback shows lots of blockiness. I can copy the files to my local ssd and it still acts that way. playing dvd should be EASIER than high def mkv or mp4, right? so what's going on?

Are you playing a DVD rip or a DVD?

If it's a DVD, what you're seeing is DVD copy protection - since you're using Windows, you need to get AnyDVD to remove the copy protection.

Yes, besides the CSS protection, there are other copy protections on DVDs too.

Without a DVD decryptor or AACS decryptor, playing DVD or Blu-Ray from disc on VLC is impossible because of the protections. AnyDVD is what I use because it's updated practically daily.

Comment: Re:WTF with the /. Interface?!?!? (Score 2) 76

by tlhIngan (#49147659) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

Ok, I'd heard about BETA but never had seen it before.
So, is this beta or just something worse till beta comes?

No, it's not beta. Beta's a lot worse (think full of AJAX). This is really a bunch of minor tweaks that kinda-sorta broke whitepacing and other things. Which is probably why it isn't as objectionable - there are still plenty of issues (missing Post buttons and the reply link often overlaps the comments), but it works and is really a bunch of minor changes than the crap that was beta.

Comment: Re:Sick (Score 1) 290

I do not like unpaid sick leave in some industries - particularly nurses, healthcare workers and the like. It means people are more likely to work when they are ill, forced to by financial concerns. Not good when they are dealing with people who are vulnerable. Same is true, to some extent, for bus drivers. Driving a bunch of people around while suffering from fever, etc., is going to effect their ability to drive. There's probably a compromise, such that drivers get 50% pay when ill. But would still prefer to see someone not drive me around while suffering from poor health. So what is good for workers and unions can also be good for customers as well.

The proper name is "Presenteeism" as in the opposite of absenteeism.

And no, it turns out stupid corporate policies often encourage people to come into work sick as well as unpaid sick leave.

Some policies such as requiring a doctor's note to take sick leave - which often incurs a charge as well as hours spent at the doctor's waiting room. Sure $30 might not be a lot, but that and the wait is sufficient discouragement from taking sick leave that even if you're clearly in no position to work, coughing up your lungs every couple of minutes and imitating Niagara falls with your sputum and whatnot, it's still easier to come into work and make the entire office miserable.

And no, doctor's don't want clearly sick patients in their waiting rooms either - they hate these policies too because it means they get exposed to the cold or flu and they don't appreciate having you spread it around their office, either. Some actually have gone so far that instead of billing the employee, they're billing the employer for it..

Hell, during the ebola epidemic, we basically had a joke that went around in the office - if anyone got it, the company would fold because everyone would have it by the end of the day.

Comment: Re:Pull the disk (Score 1) 446

by tlhIngan (#49144931) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Get a ide controller and whatever adapter you may need and just plug the hd into your current workstation. Perhaps one of those usb -> ide deals would also be a easy answer. Why make it more complex then that?

That doesn't work, usually.

Modern USB-IDE adapters use LBA mode to access data but that mode is usually implemented on drives larger than 8.4GB or so.

Smaller drives don't usually implement LBA mode and you have to talk to them in CHS mode, and very very very few USB-IDE adapters can talk this way.

It'll look like it works, but nothing really happens.

The best way (the way I did it) was find a PC with an IDE interface - but modern enough to have network adapters (or USB) or even run Linux or Windows. Then just slurp the data off the disk - even modern OSes still have the ability to talk CHS through the controller.

Comment: Re:Follow the money (Score 3, Insightful) 136

by tlhIngan (#49141689) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

You are confusing market share with profit share.
It's been shown in many studies that the vast majority of android users do not buy any apps and are mostly on low end devices that wouldn't be able to play the better games anyway.
That's the real reason why devs have an iOS first approach.

it's worse than that.

The business models for developers is different. On iOS, sell your app - everywhere Apple officially sells their products, they have at least an app store and will take money to pay for the app. And Apple's customer base generally pays for stuff, so as an app developer selling apps is potentially viable.

On Android, most Android users don't pay for apps. Either because they can't (Google Wallet isn't universal), or other reasons. And if Google Wallet doesn't support the country, Google only shows free apps. So selling an app for 99 cents can easily put your visibility down from worldwide to 20% of that.

So the Android business model is to sell ads and give the app away - because free apps are available everywhere. And you'll get tons of personal data you can use too.

Of course, most of the time, iOS sells more so you're more likely to recoup the money by iOS sales first...

Comment: Re:The state is easy to see. (Score 4, Interesting) 190

by tlhIngan (#49138703) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

It's not great. It's only good for staunch advocates who refuse to run any other operating system. Linux still isn't good enough for joe sixpack to run it as a daily driver. Until they get joe sixpack on board, it'll forever be a niche product without enough inroads to support a gaming ecosystem.

Developers have had decades to get Linux right on the desktop, and they've failed at every turn. Even distros which did a lot more right than the others still aren't as polished and usable as the alternatives. It's time to get your head out of the sand on this, and start examining the reality. OS X has more of a chance at becoming a capable gaming OS than Linux does, and that's really saying something.

And that's where something like SteamOS can help by being "the definitive Linux". It eliminates all the political power plays, backstabbing and other nastiness that happens over Linux.

Yes, Linux is great - its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness - the diversity.

Developers don't care about fights over systemd or PulseAudio or whatever else stuff powers the modern Linux system. They don't. But with all sorts of distributions doing all sorts of different things, well, it doesn't help in the porting.

But Valve can easily dictate the game environment and say games must work on SteamOS. And SteamOS will (or will not - up to Valve) have services like systemd or PulseAudio or NetworkManager or whatever. So by basically dictatorial dictate, Valve creates a Linux-based OS for games without all the political Linux BS that goes with it. Sure the Linux admins will whine and complain that it's not "their one true Unix" or whatever, but everyone else is happy to have something to code for and work on.

And if it happens to work outside of SteamOS, bonus.

Comment: Re:Dubious premise . . . (Score 1) 103

by tlhIngan (#49137793) Attached to: Intel To Rebrand Atom Chips Along Lines of Core Processors

An Atom X3 will deliver good performance

I highly doubt that.

Pick up an HP Stream 7 tablet and try it ($100). It's surprisingly perky and speedy despite its 1GB of RAM, Windows and Atom processor.

it's no speed demon, and yes it can bog down, but it runs Windows impressively fast

Comment: Re:Ah, Damnit... (Score 3, Insightful) 492

by tlhIngan (#49137767) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Except that a lot of people really like the flat look. That's why Google, Apple, and Microsoft have all adopted it. They're not ignoring customer feedback, they're chasing after it.

No, I think people are wanting "something different" more so than "flat look".

Because you know what the biggest complaint about iOS 6 was? The UI was "dated" and "looked the same".

It never was about usability - it's people thinking that something that looks different is a good thing - that every year things must look different and things must be better because of it.

If you don't change your look, people think you're dated and "not innovating".

Basically it's change for the sake of change. Because otherwise people don't think anything's changed.

Comment: Re:Media streamer? (Score 1) 59

by tlhIngan (#49132715) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

While the NUCs are overkill for HTPC duty, the PIs are also not sufficiently there either. A PI just has problems keeping up with the user interface (XBMC).

That's not a Pi problem.

Because the Pi's CPU is designed as a set top box processor - the ARM for the UI and networking, while the VideoCore IV does the heavy lifting.

In fact, the Pi's CPU is used in set top boxes right now - I believe if you go to your favorite electronics retailer (online or off), pick up a Roku 2. The same CPU powering the Pi powers that. (Same amount of RAM, too I believe, and Ethernet.).

Comment: Re:This is hilarious... (Score 0) 268

by tlhIngan (#49132701) Attached to: It's Official: NSA Spying Is Hurting the US Tech Economy

Do you have any proof that China systematically back-doors hardware before it leaves the country? I have not seen any, just lots of innuendo from US companies trying to make out that China is as bad as they are and you are screwed either way.

The US is exceptionally bad. It spends more money spying on people than anyone else. It has more extensive programmes than anyone else we know of, except perhaps the UK who they are close partners with. Let's not pretend that everyone is as bad, because they are not. There is zero evidence that China installs backdoors in routers or hard drive firmware before they go through customs, for example, while we have photos of the US doing it.

China is bad, but all the evidence suggests that the US is worse. Most of us prefer an evidence based approach to our paranoia.

So you're saying because the Chinese Edward Snowden hasn't come forward, the Chinese aren't doing it?

That's a very dangerous attitude. Fact is, EVERYONE is doing it. At the very least, for industrial espionage. That's the truth.

In fact, if you're waiting for the Chinese Edward Snowden to appear, realize that he's probably been "disappeared" by the Chinese government before he even had a chance to open his mouth.

You may think the US isn't a free country, but it is. A country like China is not going to allow anyone to air the dirty laundry without consequences. Sure Snowden may be exiled outside the US, but leaking state secrets in China means your disappearance and likely that of your family.

In fact, Snowden really didn't reveal anything noteworthy - you cannot do anything online without leaving a footprint, and anyone can see those footprints. So the fact that the government is tracking you should come as no surprise.

Comment: Re:Just Remember (Score 3, Informative) 188

by tlhIngan (#49131715) Attached to: Google Now Automatically Converts Flash Ads To HTML5

I cannot even begin to count the number of commenters here who pushed HTML5 as the best way to end, once and for all, those incredibly invasive and annoying Flash ads.

You got exactly what you were asking for.

So long as business is on the web, there will never, ever, ever be a technological "solution" to online advertising. There's simply too much money at stake for that to happen.

Except things are different now.

With HTML5, you have a LOT more control over everything. With Flash, it was all or nothing. An HTML5 ad is still an ad, and it still can be blocked in the same way other ads are blocked.

But your browser can do a lot of things you can't do if it was flash - e.g., your browser can easily block popups (something a lot harder to do on a flash ad). If a flash ad takes too many CPU cycles, you're SOL, but the browser can easily go and limit the CPU cycles an HTML5 ad uses.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead