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Comment Re:Not with a console they won't. (Score 1) 93

I'm trying to think of what games people play competitively on consoles, and none come to mind. Keyboard and mouse flat out destroys controllers when it comes to competitive play. Sure you'll have the occasional console player swear how much better they do with a controller, but the fact is they'll get trashed if they try to compete against a legit keyboard/mouse user.

Actually, Halo's been pretty big at the online competition arena - there's at least a couple of tournaments a year for it. (MLG, anyone?). It's not as bright as it used to be, but there's still some hardcore players and teams who compete. I know my Xbox still has highlight reels from the various Halo tournaments that were held.

And while PC or keyboard/mouse can trounce controller any day, things may be more evenly matched if the players all used controllers.

Basically, this is Microsoft getting behind competitive game playing and being a sponsor to promote their Xbone. And it really isn't unusual - Microsoft has done similar things in the past. I think right now there's a Halo tournament online going on in the leadup to Halo 5.

Comment Re:A service to the community: release the text (Score 3, Insightful) 75

Note the FBI asked for logs and stuff - they were assuming the IP address in question was loaned out - either they were an ISP, or maybe a VPN provider, or some other thing.

Presumably Boing Boing owns enough IP addresses that they can dedicate it just for TOR exit nodes. And nothing else - I mean, if they had a webserver on it, they presumably they would have logs to hand over.

If it was you or I with a leaf connection to our ISP, then most likely things will not be so easy - since they will go after the ISP, who will happily give up your information. Unless of course, you decide you want to give Comcast more money and buy a connection just to run Tor on.

So the trick may work in the limited case where yes, it's a dedicated Tor exit node and not used for anything else. But if there's a chance it was used for personal reason or there were logs for some other service, then maybe things won't be so good.

Comment Re: Nonsense (Score 5, Insightful) 390

Wow I didn't even make it that far. This guy is clearly an idiot. He didn't get rid of his dirty fuel burning ways, he just outsourced them to others. Ordering new clothes is way worse than washing some. And as far as this soylent stuff is concerned wasn't it proven that supplements aren't very good and you need actual food to be healthy? Absorption rates of supplements aren't good from what I read and they should be used to supplement an actual healthy diet.

Exactly. He "cut his consumption" down by externalizing it all. Basically pushing it off somewhere else and hiding it.

That's like every other company out there - they pollute because the cost of pollution is basically free - the cost is externalized (well, it was until Obama introduced those regulations). When people complain about the "cost of complyihg" it means they're no longer externalizing the cost (free) and now having to pay for it.

Basically this idiot is making himself feel better by making society worse. He doesn't do laundry - but the charity he donates clothes is forced to do it. He's basically pushed the environmental impact, energy and cost of laundry onto some other 3rd party. Or if they deem it too dirty, they'll just toss it in the garbage. To him, he's "in the clear" still because he didn't throw it away directly.

Basically, the stuff this guy did was offload onto someone else - you can conceptualize this by asking - what happens if EVERYOHE did it? If it's truly for the environment, then if everyone did it, we'd be better off. If not, then no, it's not as good.

For an example - say check your tire pressure - most people will probably be on the slightly low side. But if everyone then pumped their tires to the right pressure, society benefits from the reduced fuel consumption, cleaner air (less fuel, less pollutants, etc). That's a real net plus.

Using less energy - that's a good thing too - or more renewables. But if you're claiming your coal-powered server in a datacenter isn't your concern if you remote into it, well...

What this guy did would be like RMS asking someone to open Microsoft Word for him because he needs to do something, while claiming to be only using free software. (Yes, I know RMS doesn't do this, but it's an example).

Plus, I'm sure he's got the income to support this kind of lifestyle - enough to make a point, but really, I think I'd give it to the climate change deniers. For they can poke enough holes in his "living arrangements" to basically say "if we agree to cut back, look at how we'll live - and look ,he's not even green if he needs all that stuff!".

I'd say he's among the worst kind of "environmentalist" around - a green-washer.

Comment Re:Answering calls? (Score 1) 70

I know that nothing has truly been invented until Apple invents it, but such intelligent IVR"s have been around for years with varying levels of success. The reason the simple "Press N for X" phone trees continue to be popular is because they are easy to implement in the phone system, easy to maintain using a simple GUI, and easy for companies (even small companies) to understand.

And actually, less prone to error and less frustrating for users to use.

Ask anyone with a heavy accent how well IVRs work, and the meme of someone yelling into the phone while the IVR fails to recognize their speech is common.

Pressing numbers works, though is slightly less convenient on modern cellphones, and is generally recognizable even in the worst conditions (because well, they were designed that way - the frequencies were specially chosen to accommodate really, really, really terrible connections).

Then there's the whole yelling thing - people tend to lose it after the 3rd "I'm sorry, would you please repeat your request?".

The trick though is to realize that numbers still work, and hitting "0" often works to get you to a human the fastest.

Comment Re:Startup management subsystem (Score 1) 392

An init daemon could re-run the init script with the "status" option, and if that exited non-true then it could re-run it with the "start" option, and if that exited non-true then it could give up and interrupt the boot process. That systemd can't do this is not my problem. That systemd won't do this has caused us all problems.

Wow... that's inefficient. Polling to see if a service is running then restart it.

And that's the problem with the init scripts - they make the whole thing less efficient. If a process spawns another process, that parent gets notification by default when something happens to its child. See SIGCHLD - the kernel sends it to the parent of a child process when the child process exits or terminates.

And with that, init is notified. In fact, even SysVInit has to do this - as PID 1, it's the parent of all processes - if a child process exits or terminates after its parent has terminate, init adopts the child process, and it gets the SIGCHLD. It then quietly reaps the zombie process.

FYI - SysVInit is also a service manager - it's perfectly capable of restarting processes when they quit, even rate limiting start up - if a process dies too many times in a minute, it'll be disabled for 5 minutes. Of course, few services in Linux actually USE the fact that init can restart processes automatically.

Comment Re:Pointless in Canada (Score 1) 50

As a Canadian, I agree. Cellphone companies here are playing a strange game. As a potential customer, the only winning move is not to pay.

Anyone want to play a nice game of chess?

People wonder why I keep my plan, but it's because years ago (around a decade), Fido (back when they were independent) had two data plans - 100MB or unlimited.

So yeah, I've been grandfathered into an unlimited plan. And ot be honest, they're going to have a hard time getting me off of it. I mean, getting a contract is silly for me - if I buy an iPhone, getting a no-commitment one means it's unlocked if I buy from Apple, and carriers sell the Nexus phones for ridiculous prices...

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? (Score 1) 106

Here in Canada it's generally more then a few cents. In my neck of the woods gas is $1.16/L(~$4.90/gal), if I travel 30km(~18mi), I can buy it for $0.82(~$3.15/gal).

So if your car averages around 10L/100km, 60 km round trip is 6L of gas. At 82 cents, that's $4.92 in gas for the trip. Using that gas station saves you 34 cents/L, so to break even would require 14.4L. That doesn't count the added wear, or your time, which would basically mean roughly an hour trip. If you put in 50L, then you'd have saved about $12.10 after accounting for the trip. For that hour trip just for gas to save $12, it's debatable - it is better than minimum wage...

Now, if you're routinely doing that trip, then it completely makes sense to fill up there. But if you're doing the trip just to fill up, it's in the realm of false economy. Unless you have a lot of time to kill, that is.

And if anyone reading is wondering, those prices are in Canadian dollars, which makes it roughly US$3.76/gal and US$2.42/gal at the current exchange rate.

Comment Audiophoolery (Score 5, Insightful) 377

I've always wondered about people who buy these kind of cables. I mean, they're expensive cables, but what do they plug them into? Do they spend $340/$4000/$10000+ on a cable only to plug them into a cheap $15 D-Link switch?

I mean, what are the "audiophile" switches out there? Do they buy those $10,000 Cisco Catalyst switches? Or do they prefer HP ProCurve? Or do they just plug them in any old switch or whatever came with their $20 router?

It's just like power cables. You're telling me that the power, which came from a power station hundreds or thousands of miles away, travelling through copper wires, then coming into your house wired with regular Romex style house wiring, that some special cable used in the last 6 feet really matter? Or do they rewire their house with special audio quality wire? Do they buy special electrons from their power company? Or paid to have their house wired using the special cable? Are you telling me that after hundreds/thousands of miles, the last 6 feet really matter?

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 5, Insightful) 367

Wasn't the ability for other browsers to set themselves as the default browser part of the DoJ settlement? So now Microsoft is deciding that doesn't apply?

Sorry, but Microsoft has gone well into the "we can do anything we want to your computer, any time we want, and unless you have an enterprise license you can't stop us".

That is complete bullshit. If they're going to assert ownership of my computer, they can help me pay for it. Until they do, it's my computer.

Here's the problem - Firefox/Chrome/etc ask you if you want them to be the default browser. The ability for the program to set the preference is the problem.

If you don't see the problem, let me rephrase it. I create SuperWebBrowser. I think it's so super, I will make it the default browser on everyone's machine. So I do that. Why should I ask the user? It's so super they'll want it.

If you still don't get it, then how about, I create WebBrowserSpy and set it as default. It launches an instance of your normal web browser but hooked so it can spy at your traffic and even get at HTTPS data after it's been decrypted.

Just because the good guys ask, doesn't mean everyone else has to. In fact, if you're particularly nasty, if that setting is changed, you can always reset it back.

And you'll be surprised, but both scenarios are common - many management types can't understand that people might just want to use your software as necessary, and they don't need or want it to be the default shell, the default web browser, to pin itself to the task bar and start menu and all sorts of other things. After all, after buying a copy of SuperApplication, why wouldn't you want it in your face everywhere you look? I mean, it's a great application.

It's why Microsoft doesn't provide APIs to pin applications to the task bar, start menu and a few other things. Heck, I'm surprised no installer decides to go change your desktop wallpaper on you after you install an app. After all, it's super, and you'll not want to live without it...

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 4, Informative) 76

I do kind of wonder about one thing, though... why are the engineers who designed that beast not being indicted? After all, nearly all of the vital pumps and generators were in the basements of both the Daiichi and Daini sites, with much of the critical equipment right next to the water, instead of uphill where they should have been (and at least not in basements... WTH, people?)

Actually, the generators being under was not the problem. You can run generators underwater, provided you have a source for fuel and air above water and can keep it reasonably water tight.

The real problem was the distribution gear got flooded.

As in the electrical panels. Once the tsunami flooded the panels, they shorted out. The generators were running just fine with the water level, and even then, the generators were a backup to a backup.

The first thing is if the reactors go offline, the power station draws power from the grid to run the equipment. And the plant was doing that since there was still power going in. That's the first backup. The second backup is if the grid power goes offline, then you have local generators.

All of which means diddly when your electrical distribution panels get soaked and short out your switchgear, taking with it BOTH backup mechanisms. So now it doesn't matter that the generators or grid power was available - the panel's shorted out and you can't use either system.

Comment Re:Yet another Wi-Fi-won't-work distro (Score 1) 75

The wireless card in the laptop is Atheros. The entire lower mac is in hardware in this card, so binary blobs are not needed. Wifi should work fine. Obviously the card can DMA over PCIe to the main memory so it could still compromise the machine.

Which really makes the whole "freedom" thing kind of a cheat.

I mean, if I stick RAM on my hardware, and have the driver load that RAM with firmware, it's seen as "non-free" because there's this binary blob on there.

Yet, if I stick some flash on it, pre-load that at the factory with the same binary blob, it's see as "free" because the driver is open and doesn't have to load a binary blob.

I can keep the driver and everything else the same - one is seen as "non-free" because the driver has to load a binary blob into hardware, and the other is seen as "free" because it doesn't.

Comment Re:There probably isn't one (Score 1) 157

Especially if you are looking to wirelessly transmit 1080i/p reliably. I've tried and wireless was so unreliable (display artifacts and whatnot not present with wired) that I wound up going to the crawlspace and running wires to every device in the house.

There are proprietary solutions, and generic solutions.

I've seen proprietary HDMI to wireless to HDMI adapters - one end plugs into an HDMI ouput, the other end plugs into an HDMI input and it's supposed to work, but no idea how it works internally.

Then there's non-proprietary solutions like Miracast which is built into Windows 8/8.1 and can cast your screen to it, but it's laggy as all heck.

Which is to be expected - a raw RGB888 HDMI image at 1080p60 is a large datarate (4Gbps) so you're going to lose something due to compression unless you run 10gE through your house.

If it isn't wired, you're not gonna game with it.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Insightful) 889

The future will be driverless cars, mass transit and bicycles in urban/suburban areas.

The sea change is already happening - car ownership of all kinds is lowest among millenials. In fact, having a driver's license is no longer the rite of passage it once was - there's a growing group of millenials who do not have a driver's license and have no intention of getting one. Granted, they're generally limited to areas with good public transit, but the car as a form of status symbol no longer applies.

And public transit, especially subways and the like, often get people around faster than being stuck in traffic. (The daily grind of traffic jams will rapidly wear down even the strongest driving advocate). And we know this because distracted driving is either #1 or rapidly becoming the #1 cause of accidents (drunk driving is/was #1) - because driving is boring and horrendous.

Heck, some employers have reported difficulty recruiting people because of the commute. And what was once a good idea to move to an industrial park where land is cheap and you can stuff people in like cattle, businesses are finding that they need to be more urban to attract employees who don't want, or can't, do the commute and want to be close to amenities.

Comment Re:Will Edge be ported to Windows 7? (Score 1) 255

If not, then Microsoft will not have the opportunity "to push the web browsing experience" for me.

No. Windows 7 fell out of mainstream support January 13, 2015. That means no new features. It's currently in extended support, which runs out January 14, 2020, at which point there will be no more security updates, either.

Windows 8 will probably get it as it should be in mainstream support still.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein