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Comment: Re:I'm so blue... (Score 1) 99

by vlueboy (#49070327) Attached to: New Map Shows USA's Quietest Places

If said light map wannabe *interactively* overlays iPhone to Android to Blackberry adoption in your own neighborhood, you can still learn a thing or two:
Correlating iPhone and blackberry adoptions to high vs low class income areas to your expectations / preconeptions of your "poor" neighborhood and seeing if the map matches them is neat.

Looking at rent price differences graphically if you don't even live in Manhattan also provides some education and amusement
I wish there were more projects like these.

Comment: Re:I'm still waiting for... (Score 1) 421

by vlueboy (#48743223) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

Heck, a standardized synchronization manager to handle synchronizing files, data, and settings to the desktop, would be a good start.

I have a huge file duplication/versioning problem because I fork stuff for home, work, friends, etc. Syncing should theoretically be a non-problem thanks to Windows 95's "Briefcase" sync folders. I forget why I only tested them once.

At some point around WinXP or Vista I think they just as quietly removed those from the "New ..." menu (right-clicking on you desktop to make blank folders or notepad files to fill out.) I wonder what my world of data-hoarding would have been like, had Apple polished and popularized the feature 20 years ago.

Comment: Re:Missing from my iPhone (Score 1) 421

by vlueboy (#48743159) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

SMB streaming is a pain because you have to deal with whatever formats you might encounter, plus you have to maintain a local index of content etc if you want to provide any decent kind of UI. Every SMB based streaming device I've used (including very expensive ones) has sucked. DLNA is a much better bet as the server can abstract away all the complexity, and there are a bunch of dlna client apps for ios.

Thanks, I'm glad someone replied, and more so at seeing something to look into. says: "DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance®) strives to provide more convenience, choices, and enjoyment of digital content through DLNA Certified® devices."

It seems this misses the point. Obviously it requires NEW hardware, and from your own response, clients are not very well known or built in (like say, fat32 disks and SMB shares). I do not blame you or the industry around it. What I fail to see is how there is not even a shadow of a niche to re-use even the most basic format --our own home mp3s:
1) every major mp3 player since Winamp 2 in the nineties has had streaming decoders, (including the OSS Linux players, which would translate to Android ports being just a few code ports away)
2) The world runs on Windows by sheer numbers, SMB is already there holding our music collections. AND it works seamlessly from one Windows PC to the next.

Whatever clever ideas did come up turned into cloud solutions. It is horrible to (pay|lose-privacy) to be forced to reach out with our metaphorical arm all the way around the internet just to bring that arm around to touch our own noses.
The fact that nobody talks about Windows 7+'s' weird "Homegroup" shares and other "Discovery" daemons built around Windows Media Player is a tell-tale that something is forcibly wrong with our expectations even for those half-assed non-mobile solutions. Since we need third party streaming software, boxes like chromecast and clouds to use our own stuff, it's almost like a reality distortion field was erected before we realized we SHOULD be able to enjoy our own music or pictures without duplicating our giant collections.

Comment: Re:Missing from my iPhone (Score 1) 421

by vlueboy (#48731537) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

3) A video player that can reliably stream any video file that's on my Mac to my phone if I'm in wifi range.

I came to post in this same vein. It's 2015 and nobody has implemented simple SMB home streaming.
There are FTP and SMB file sharing programs to help you duplicate stuff to your already-starved-for-space devices. However, you can't just fire up your mp3 and video collection, let alone use playlists.
Probably related to how even in modern linux (and sometimes windows), media players sometimes fail with incomprehensible errors that are fixed if you just do local copy of the files.

Apparently the problem is that
-- at the single-programmer level, people don't care to invest developer time when they can just one-time-copy their collection to their expensive flagship phone where space is more readily available. I have an SD card with 2GB, and it's nowhere near enough between curated 500+mb music, apps and pictures.
-- at the commercial level, copyright/DRM prevents big local-storage players from touching this with a 10-foot-pole. Actually, I remember that Apple released an iTunes update around version 4 to make it harder for you to sniff for and stream internet or LAN files. I'm foggy on the details, but version 3 was perfectly fine.
-- streaming services don't do LANs beause data-mining is good for them.

I have tried Shoutcast, but it is a pain and you can't just do "skip this track" or "find this track" from the clients. And the Winamp client supporting it took a large portion of my available space on the older Froyo phone.

Comment: Facebook searches do NOT show everything (Score 2) 33

by vlueboy (#48594649) Attached to: Facebook Drops Bing Search Results

Yeah, I have several friends who will post/share things on their wall to "find later." Yeah, there's pretty much no way you're going to find that later unless you manually scroll through pages and pages of old posts. Finding stuff on FB is darned near impossible, with their "search" being woefully inadequate.

It's worse than you thought. Weeks ago, my mother was looking for a conversation with someone who had passed away. I found that there's some sort of threshold problem snatching older posts (or certain categories of user conversations) out of userland.

First: I may be in the dark as a non-member, but neither Facebook's GUI and search tools nor my mother as a user have clear ideas of post categories. To find a keyword and look for the proper search option, it was a pain having to grill her just to find if she had posted the conversation on someone else's "wall", vs. her own, vs. under a picture, vs. a private message chain, vs. a Live chat. I even asked if this happened over Yahoo mail. Armed with a rare keyword I found that the search results had irrelevant posts plus one brief part of the conversation... most (or all) of the search results lacked links back to the posts.

My mother's conversation was from replies to a Status update she made. I think FB makes that data join her wall. River pagination is becoming a thing of the past, to the detriment of users who only have pointers to "now" and "the beginning of time" instead of a clean "x days ago" or "january, february" list option. Since everything happened months ago, scrolling down her wall / river without a filter tool is impractical.

Second: I tried to beat Facebook's search by rolling my own. I mentioned post categories earlier because FB itself uses them to split up member data in your downloadable account activity data. We downloaded hers. Browser searches through the five or six relevant raw html files did NOT show the keyword there. Various greps over the *entire* folder archive also failed. This happened even though older posts were available than the one Facebooks search tool had confirmed to exist.

The whole point is that giving you GUI search results of something you can't see in your full activity archive is proof that they selectively snatch data from your halds. We still know Facebook keeps all the data for whatever purposes the advertisers and research^W experiment teams need it. I recall that EU had laws forcing FB to make a physical CD available with the same archive zip data we can get. The discrepancies should be looked into, but FB is a free service anyway. I know shadow profiles get around some of our options, but the data we were looking for was user-initiated.

Comment: Re:"Ultimately, our users will decide" (Score 1) 239

by vlueboy (#48521529) Attached to: Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

It'll probably be based on current strategies: Run it in parallel but nag users like hell to switch over. No Yahoo, you're not getting my fricking phone number though you must have asked me a few hundred times already.

Yes, I was thinking this same thing about phone nagging. There is no "don't ask me again" button. Google does just as often. This week, Google also reminded me that an alt email address is also their target. I am not going to be giving them datamine information about who their competitors are by filling it out. It takes a special kind of people to lock themselves out of free webmail, but I'm not one of them. Regardless, webmail is NOT a bank account. It isn't a live-or-die situation like dataminers are making it out to be.

I remember a golden time where either they asked someone at account creation, or only one time as the feature became imperative (remember a time in the nineties before security questions, or password length enforcement?) Now, you must be reminded a few times a month. I complained here that yahoo even locked my account with an "account potentially compromised" around 12 months ago. A post or two online had the same error for that particular timeframe. In my case I am positive they did it to force me to have more than 5 chars in the login password. The account was old enough to have had 4 (or maybe 1) as minimum back in 1997 and they never had a single popup despite enforcing all my "new" Yahoo referrals to provide today's standards for passwords, including 8 char minimum with annoying special characters thrown in.

I can't recall where, but I sure have seen some systems that require the phone number be a cell for SMS. I think this is part of the new-account verification process for Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or Google+. I know people who aren't even from the US, who would either not want to risk incurring charges on their phone bills, or for whom work life or friends do not demand a cellphone. They have had problems registering and are forced to provide a secondary email just because they needed something to use while visiting the US because their "secondary" refused to allow them to log in from a foreign land. Catch 22.

Though I guard my number well, some ocassional texts come from random one-time spammers or weirdos. One included a snapchat-like but safe-for-work video from an older lady. She wasn't sorry she had the wrong number and seemed to indeed be a NY localwho somehow got my number and didn't care I turned down the video. The other was an email-to-SMS with shady spelling saying a fake name said "I needed it" and linking to a site. I thought it would be porn. The link showed a minimalistic debt assistance form asking for name, phone, street address and email and that they'd contact me. I figure phishing would come soon after. Funny that some people will fall for these without even a fake bank name or contact number.

Once a spam target, we can't evacuate our phone number like they can with email accounts. Most "US-ians" are stuck to 24-month contracts and some have the habit of carrying their number across carriers for social reasons. For all I love TMobile, they silently killed their configurable SMS spam-filtering this year. I get those maybe twice a year. However, giving my info to would-be high-profile attack targets like Gmail and Yahoo is just as bad as putting my email address in a "send me more funny jokes/whatever daily" webform.

Comment: Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info (Score 1) 234

by vlueboy (#48475185) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

It's my damned device, I want control over it.

That sinking feeling when the Google and Apple we all praise (fractions add up to a whole even if individually we meet in fanboy flamewars here), follow the new normal: we are the PRODUCT, not the consumer. Why accommodate US if it won't make them more cash? This is what happens when the slippery rope can't even be invoked because the system is designed from step 1 so all of us rope-walkers start at the bottom end of the rope, trying to climb up.

To us who come from Linux's rpm mirrors or open-repositories world, App stores are control freak traps. Amazon Kindle's, Windows 8's, MacOS's... it can be IMPOSSIBLE to just get a direct download link to an installers from them. This takes our self-management and multi-device control away, even for FREE apps. That should be a dead giveaway that something is fishy. These control games happen even if you sign in, and you need root to just retrieve an APK file from google's filesystem for easy reinstall. When you DO NOT want to be forced on a new device to get that one new version, or the app has been *pulled* (flappybird), you're only safe if you hoarded the old one. And we have no good choice.

It's a bit like the political systems, where all parties give you the same end result, but you still want to perpetuate the feeling of personal choice and keep voting for one, because abstinence is shunned and / or feels dumb.

On my old Android phone (2.2), if you move apps to an SD card and try to migrate to a bigger card without some serious hoops, the apps just disappear from your dashboard. No idea if this got fixed in 4.x, but it's one more reason I am not jumping to buy a replacement phone just yet. Google's track record for fixing policy "bugs" is not good. And I don't trust technical John Smith EndUsers out there to put pressure to fix those policies, because their mentality is akin to "buy more X" or "go somewhere else"

Comment: How do WE fight this? (Score 1) 155

by vlueboy (#48458711) Attached to: Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

Ransomware sometimes uses TOR to avoid detection and serious encryption that no techie can undo. I am starting to get really worried that ransomware will become as common as IE-hijacking browser toolbars. It is easy money. This will be a huge problem. I'm even went through the trouble of logging in to ask how we can fight to nullify ransomware.

1 employee inside our company saw some form of ransomware a year ago. I'm sure he lost all the business data. We are not the NSA and therefore can't decrypt it after purging the "virus" exe without the private key on their servers... period. Most random people online do not realize this, from the desperate forum posts I find.

When ransomware has all your local documents for work encrypted, you will have enough motive to pay the 500 Euros to Cryptolocker and Cryptowall 2.0. Backups are rarely if ever applied on homes and laptops. Laptops are a huge business driver, and the above employee was using one. I hear from forums that sometimes ransomware snags your *shared* network drives, so you lose gigs of crucial data.

Now, most of us still haven't been affected, thankfully. Let's speak from a point of view of "how do I keep this from ever becoming a reality?" What's best?
- Backups? We will get hit. Same as spyware hits the most conscientious of users. Does anyone know of an OSS backup where you can "hide" the target USB drive or partition from the user (so the ransomware won't just up and pave it over along with the My Documents, Desktop, D:, Local network drive targets)
- Prevention: Do we double up on freeware options despite the performance penalty? (malwarebytes, Windows defender or whatever it's called today)
- "Shadow files" apparently get saved automatically on Windows 7 (don't know if you need to have paid for Ultimate like I did). This is great because you can revert an encrypted document, but Windows' GUI isn't equipped to fix files en-masse and utilities are required. The one I saw still gave you some cumbersome folder GUI that wasn't as easy as "revert all in this folder". Are there any savvy things out there to make this easier? I haven't explored Time Machine for MacOS. And this is windows

This is my Scientific Linux box. Much ransoming won't be happening here, but one of my neighbors got hit a few weeks ago on Windows, despite running some form of protection. I heard of one other person who apparently lost files, but I haven't personally confirmed what hit them.


Comment: Re: It's Ironic... (Score 1) 265

by vlueboy (#48267269) Attached to: Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

A credit card isn't cash, credit cards emit a very long paper trail. Imagine how easy the police's job would be if criminals actually used credit cards in the manner you describe.

Who says they *don't*? They just use someone else's credit card.
Fraud paper trails are useless when your shadow is working from a different country outside jurisdiction. And even from within the US --most fraudsters take years before they leave enough bodies of evidence for the cops to care to track and stop them.
At most you will be offered a new CC number, and the criminal will pick on someone else... but there's no certainty that
1) the pseudonymous perp has gone to jail because of messing up
2) that he won't find you again.
Scary stuff.

Comment: Re:God is a douchebag (Score 1) 161

by vlueboy (#48217435) Attached to: Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

All of that means nothing to me. Quoting scriptures to a non believer is useless.

I'm not penguinoid, but am the (now GP) poster you've replied to. I feel sorry that the sorry state of the world makes so many of us feel that way about God.
Quoting scriptures is valuable because "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16)

Some non-believers start to believe, even when you personally may not yet do so:
"Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed."
(Acts 8:9-13) The parable of the seeds and the different types of metaphorical soil also comes to mind, about the ways the message is received differently due to pressures of daily life.

If you're right and I'm wrong, then your god is an asshole who doesn't deserve my worship.

It's common to talk about human law enforcement in a similar way, and it is a normal reaction to curse the persons of authority who aren't stopping our suffering immediately. The scriptures show that we're in the wake of the problems a select few allowed to enter into the picture. Man's willing disobedience started all this, not without a caring God's warning against it. Adam and Eve know death was the result of choosing the road of rebellion even knowing that we'd all be nonexistent today if the God had simply executed them on page one of our book of humanity. (Gen. 3:1-6) But his plan is to deliver results to those who want to follow. This will also prove that all other choices away from God will fail as man tried to direct his step for thousands of years without conquering suffering and death. (Jeremiah 10:23)

God isn't at fault. My last scripture in the GP post shows a small part of what He'll do. The same God was willing to go through a ransom to pay Adam's bail despite man's original betrayal:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (John 3:16)

This highlights we each have a choice, with future blessings that won't end or permanent death in sight. As Morpheus said, the freedom to take the steps comes from us, who are being shown the door via the bible's message. It is much easier to "believe" once we the "signs" of the last days get to the point of the war of Armageddon, but it may be late to reassess what steps to take flat-footed. I hope that this can help see why some Christians will continue to be eager to share the message even going as far as following Jesus's directions to go house to house to people despite the dangers lurking behind each new house that is dissatisfied with false followers' actions. Many are already glad of what they have found and what God will bring after death and suffering are out of the picture again.

Comment: Re:just kill them already (Score 1) 179

by vlueboy (#46896785) Attached to: XP Systems Getting Emergency IE Zero Day Patch

Use Chrome or Firefox when browsing, and if possible remove Flash and Java (I actually removed Flash about half a year ago for security reasons, and found that, for the most part, I don't really need it anymore). Note that this exploit was performed with the help of Flash as well - nothing to do with XP.

For those whose flash lockin is Youtube content (Let's Play videos), I finally found an answer to questions I'd explored months ago. We are forced to allow flash before seeing some monetized content. It's annoying how Google refuses to give you flash-less webm and mp4 streams and even lies that Flash is a must --until you force the right browser identification strings.
The Video without flash extension for firefox is a welcome solution for Youtube and some other mainstream sites known to have HTML5 video content.

The extension gets around the problem and you can use content such as mid-quality Webm. Though there are a few bad videos still, it's 100 times more effective than the rigged HTML5 "trial" youtube offers. I enjoy longer battery life. I also enjoy skipping like in olden times *without* a crippled default flash player that insists on DISCARDING the full video's past and future on *every* click.

Comment: Re:Oh just feking wonderful... (Score 1) 279

by vlueboy (#46497381) Attached to: U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration

This is exactly why international phone calls are impossible and the telephony system is so broken... oh, wait.

The ITU is controlled by the UN and the phone system works just fine

Now that you mention it, how are those non-deterministic 011-xx-mmm calling codes AND uneven international phonecall rates* working out for your definition of "just fine"?

Thanks to your comment I now see this is a great opportunity for organizations to troll for unanimous approval of distance-based (or at least tld-based) dns resolution "fees", as well as... off-peak rates, "roaming" away from favorite areas, and the like of today's US telco non-sense.

You may restrict yourself from browsing certain domains, but you still can't prevent emails from reaching you from un-protected domains. And given how little control we have over today's incoming email, spammers in cohoots with the new overlords will love to generate revenue-generating spam. We never stopped SMS spam, or even charges for receiving phonecalls.

The NSA has contingency plans after all, and this is a Snowden-based fake-out against only non-technical people that looks good on paper for US-based e-commerce and cloud tech. It's a symbolic gesture to wash their hands when people come looking, while they still have their hands in the regional DNS with plausible deniability. It allows for backroom deals between a few governments (which may or may not still be making deals with the USA) so pricing is not so far-fetched since the US can no longer overtly enforce the one-mind nature of its dictatorship over dns. Grass is always greener on the other side, so we'll need to see where this still leads. But there'll never be a turning back.

* Last I checked, a call from the the New York to CUBA cost about 3 times as much as a call to Mexico, which is a few more thousand miles away.

Comment: Who said steganography only works one way? (Score 2) 148

by vlueboy (#46374069) Attached to: The Spy In Our Living Room

I guarantee you that the Kinect does not transfer that kind of information to Microsoft since it will be caught and there will be outrage.

Obviously, if they were planning on using the device to spy on people, it'd be for extremely targeted operations, activating monitoring mode only for certain people, and therefore not likely to be discovered.

Why not send the previously collected bursts while you're playing games? Remember the big stink about the last generation of games needing to be online originally? well, we're already all doing online games and services (netflix, Facebook, twitter) on the TV anyway. The XBOX data can go wherever it is the online data servers are, and distributed man-in-the-middle-style from there to MS, and thus, the NSA. Just sneak a bit at a time into the game / video / DLC bursts and encryption will hide the rest.

Comment: Re:Android already has this... (Score 1) 197

by vlueboy (#46331445) Attached to: US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year

I don't know what you're talking about with Exchange.... Activesync doesn't allow your Exchange Administrator to wipe your phone. He can only wipe the emails on your mail server, and THAT'S IT!

Must be a troll, given the bait-y capitalizations.

I'll just leave this right here Control + F , type remote wipe.
If "they" let YOU administer it from your own webmail interface, why WOULDN'T the server administrator with a vested interest in their company-attached device be mightier than the BYOD peons?
I turned it off and killed the permissions when I realized that vengeance, incompetence, or a virus might trigger this stuff.

They don't even implement this on laptops, which are more likely to have your work files than cellphones. So why so aggressive on the security hole of their preference anyway?
It's not access to data they're safeguarding, since they don't enforce even half of the wipe privs if you just browse your email on the smartphone.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure