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Comment: I can't believe I'm saying this, but... (Score 1) 403

by waferbuster (#47793227) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government
I think Microsoft is doing the right thing here. Did the feds forget to include the double-secret gag order with their request/demand? Proclaiming this demand far and wide is going to put it squarely in the public eye.

Not that I personally have anything to worry about, as I always assume people are reading my emails. And being bored to tears by them.

Comment: Re:NoScript (Score 1) 731

by waferbuster (#45995285) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?
About 5 years ago when NoScript was relatively small and unknown, I donated some money to the author. He sent me a very nice thank you reply. Honestly, Adblock and Noscript work so well, that it's a shock when I see sites on other peoples computers. Of course, I always turn off the "limited advertising allowed" checkbox in Adblock settings.

There are a few sites that I care enough about ( for example) to whitelist them. I don't click on their ads, but their advertising is subdued enough to avoid being obnoxious.

Comment: Re: meeses (Score 1) 361

by waferbuster (#45701831) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

My main desktop PC has two mice from the MX-5500 keyboard/mouse set. These are the ultra-rare MX mice with bluetooth built in. They're so special that, while you can order the dongle or the keyboard as a repair part, the bluetooth mouse itself is not available as a repair part. Luckily, I was able to find a spare keyboard/mouse/dongle in mint condition at my local goodwill store. I have both mice on my desk, one in use and the other in the charging station. When the in-use mouse stops working, I swap the two mice. Honestly, I don't know why Logitech never figured out that selling a comfortable bluetooth mouse might be profitable... Check out the eBay listings for the MX-5500, it's crazy what people will pay for these!

Comment: Any season but summer (Score 1) 346

by waferbuster (#44957739) Attached to: My favorite season:

I live in Phoenix Arizona. Any season but summer would be fine with me. A while back I bought a BBQ meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the seats in my car. The LCD on the meat thermometer couldn't handle the heat. In the early part of summer, the seats (where I put my delicate hiney) measured out at 197F. I keep a set of insulated gloves in the center console, so that I can hold the steering wheel with more than just my fingernails without getting burned.

Like I said, any season but summer!

Comment: OS on SSD, media on HDD (Score 1) 232

by waferbuster (#44847387) Attached to: I use spinning-drive storage media ...
All of my computers boot and have their frequently used programs stored on SSDs, for maximum responsiveness. However all of my media is stored on a my server in an array of spinning WD Red drives (10TB, yeah baby!). With gigabit ethernet, I have no problems streaming the media as needed.

Each type of storage has it's strong and weak points... the key is to use them appropriately.

Comment: Re:I was in China last month, and asked... (Score 4, Interesting) 327

by waferbuster (#44404873) Attached to: Tim Cook May Not Know Why, But Samsung Is Winning in China

I have to agree with this... When my girlfriend broke her iPhone 4, she tried to decide which phone to get. Basically, it came down to the iPhone 5 (with it's tiny screen) or the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (with it's ginormous screen). She ended up with the Note and was happy, especially after all her friends were jealous. After all, creating envy in friends is one of the prime purposes of a premium phone!

Comment: Re:Hooray for the PC market! (Score 1) 223

Your post was made in jest, but my mom used to keep her box of wine on top of the desktop PC. It put the dispenser at just the right place to refill her glass without moving from the keyboard. She liked her Chillable Red slightly warm, so it was perfect for her.

It took me a while to figure out why her CD drive drawer wouldn't open, when the wine had dripped down and glued the door shut. When I went to upgrade her PC, the inside bottom of the case was a gooey purple color.

Comment: Pirated software is everywhere in China (Score 1) 304

I lived in China for a while, and there's nothing discreet about the availability of pirated media. Every mall has at least one store right out in plain sight which is jammed with music and DVDs, all of which are ripped copies. It's out there in public, and nobody thinks anything about it. If you buy the movies which are currently in theaters, you'll often get to see silhouettes of folks who stand up in front of the camera in the theatre. Software? It's usually about 2 bucks for a disk. Photoshop? Microsoft Office? Windows Server? You name it, it's available for basically nothing. Of course, you have no way of knowing what trojans or viruses are installed along with the software...

There is *no* enforcement of of copyright in China. Now, what makes this case different from most China copyright cases is that that the guy left China, and sold to American agents. If he'd kept it inside China, he'd have been fine.

Comment: This needs to be applied evenly (Score 1) 405

Most police patrol cars have multiple displays for the driver to easily read information (radar gun displaying speed of oncoming vehicles, license plate scanner scrolling information about the registration status of nearby cars, laptop, etc). If *my* car is going to be required to block any distractions while I am driving, then surely the public safety officers need to be similarly coddled and babysat.
This is a stupid idea.

Comment: Laser interferometry position measuring system (Score 1) 328

by waferbuster (#43886835) Attached to: Most precise measuring tool I've used ...
For patterning wafers used in the semiconductor industry, we have to maintain absolute positional accuracy during stage motion in X and Y to within fractions of a nanometer. I suppose that counts as picometer measuring... Crazy system... moving an air-bearing stage a couple of feet in X and Y, while maintaining speed and position to those tight tolerances. It was amazing it worked as well as it did!

Comment: My TV is dumb as a box of rocks, the way I like it (Score 1) 217

by waferbuster (#42409401) Attached to: 'Connected' TVs Mostly Used Just Like the Unconnected Kind
While marketers are trying to upsell to the latest and greatest "Smart TVs," I have a very simple TV that's smarter than any "Smart TV":

1. Older (circa 2008 or 2009) Core2Quad PC, with VLC, XBMC, etc. There is a dual-tuner Hauppage tuner card installed, which is hooked to an external antenna. The mouse and keyboard are Gyromouse products, you just wave the remote around in the air to move the mouse cursor.

2. Epson 8350 HD Projector, mounted on the ceiling

3. 115 inch diagonal Grey screen (actually, a sheet of Formica-like laminate material mounted to the wall using 3M Command strips)

4. Carver 200WPC amplifier driving a pair of B+W Matrix 805 speakers. These speakers were great in the 90's and are still sounding incredible.

5. Carver Amazing Subwoofer. Awesome room shaking tight bass.

Note that the only part that was purchased specifically for video were the projector and the screen. Everything else was left over from previous projects and households. Heck, I've had the audio equipment since the early to mid 90s. If any one part gets obsoleted, I can upgrade for a minimal cost without trashing the entire system. For example when the new laser projectors come out next year, I may buy one to replace my existing projector.

I only have 2 remotes (3 if you include the wireless keyboard), one to turn on the projector and one that is the gyromouse for the PC. People have no problem using it, because "it's just like using a Windows PC". That's because it *is* a Windows PC with a fancy mouse-remote! There's really 3 parts to a smart TV:

1. Image: The high-resolution display with the best possible image quality

2. Sound: The audio equipment. Amplifiers and speakers that can reproduce the soundtrack with good fidelity and frequency response

3. The brains. In order to be truly a "Smart" TV, the software *must* be upgradable and *must* not be limited to what the TV manufacturer slaps together. The manufacturer has a vested interest in 'encouraging' people to upgrade to a newer model. Also, once a product is no longer being sold, how much engineering resources can reasonably be allocated to doing software patches and upgrades on the TV?

'Smart TV'? No, my TV will always be smarter because it's a general purpose PC with awesome sound and video attached.

Comment: Re:Find a technical solution, not a legal "solutio (Score 1) 687

by waferbuster (#41575751) Attached to: Laser Strikes On Aircraft Becoming Epidemic
Welders use a sheet of LCD material, with a solar cell to power it. When they strike an arc, the solar cell powers the LCD, which darkens and protects their vision. Glasses could be made for aviators which include rapid polarizing ability based on a rapid change in the relative intensity of green light (in the range common to green lasers). This will protect the vision of the pilots. Alternatively, purchasing laser glasses which are designed to highly attenuate the green laser wavelength would help immensely. Come on, it ain't rocket science... jus' plain old planes and whirlybirds!

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.