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Comment This this!! A million times this!!! (Score 2) 698

How I have no mod points to boost this is a mystery to me, but I hope OP sees this.

My dad died suddenly in an accident when I was just 22, right out of college. I had always anticipated growing up and having a beer with him from time to time, asking exactly the kinds of questions CodePwned listed, and more like this: "What did you see in Mom when you first met?" "What did you learn from your first real job? Your second? Looking back, what would you have done differently?" "What was your first car? But what car did you really want then?"

In other words, these are the questions that kid Wernst would never have thought about asking, or even cared to know, but 44-year old Wernst would give just about anything to know.

Your daughter might not appreciate "adult" thoughts or musings now, or even for a decade or two, but I suspect you'll be thoughtful in how you record and save these videos so that she can watch and re-watch what you record for the rest of her life. So don't forget to to speak to her for those young and special times in her life, but also for that idle Tuesday when she's in her 40's or 50's and is wondering what kind of man her father really was.

In short, I'm not sure how much I'd value a "personal message from the grave" vs. stories that show me what my dad was like.

And make some for your wife while you're at it She knows who you are better than anyone, but she'll want to remember you too. Best of luck to you.

(Who left all these damn onions around here?!)

Comment Not Apple's first Yosemite-named Mac product (Score 5, Informative) 165

Those of us of a certain age will probably find the codename of the new OS X oddly familiar.

The so-called "Blue & White" PowerMac G3 was also code-named "Yosemite" ( Mine still works fine, 15 years later - it'll be old enough to drive and vote soon.

Too bad my Yosemite Mac won't be able to run Yosemite OS X...

Comment If the 0-Day infections are undetected, then how.. (Score 1) 228

So, if all these 0-Day infections are UNDETECTED BY MICROSOFT, then HOW could Microsoft's telemetry show them that the vast majority of its users are unaffected? If Microsoft knew about these things' existence, it stands to reason that it's product would block them.

Independent testing groups hold AV vendor's feet to the fire like a good free press does to politicians'. When caught, both groups tend to respond the same way: deny the problem and accuse the whistle-blower of being out of touch or inappropriate.

Comment Re:Has the ISS become sentient yet? (Score 2) 87

Hey! I can answer a bit about this.

My last job was at Epson, and around 1998, we made a special Epson Stylus Color 800 inkjet printer for use on the Shuttle. It went up on STS-95, which was the same mission John Glenn went up in. It (or perhaps a clone of it) now sits in the Epson America HQ lobby.

Anyway, I can confirm that other than a special black plastic case, which included plastic "cages" for both feeding paper in and taking paper out (it kept the sheets from floating away), a special latch for the USB cable, and maybe a special power supply (I don't remember anything special, but it may have had one), it was an off-the-shelf printer.

There was no special technology needed to pressurize the ink carts, or to move the ink from the heads to the paper during the act of printing. It just worked.

Now I'm not saying that current printers weren't engineered especially to work in zero-G, but we found it was unnecessary back in the 90's.

Comment Re:Shut it all off! (Score 1) 196

"There is NOTHING in the Constitution about freedom of speech that says that you have to assist demonstrators in shutting down your system."

Actually, it's the FCC that has full legal authority regarding cell phone service (and pretty much all wireless communication methods), and its intentional disruption or jamming, and how NO ONE is supposed to be legally allowed to do it. You know why movie theaters can't install cell phone jammers to keep phones in the audience from ringing? The FCC makes it illegal to do so. Remember when the vendors of paid WiFi services in Logan airport wanted to shut down a competing free WiFi service in the terminal, but weren't allowed to do so? That pesky FCC again.

Basically, only the FCC has the legal authority to suspend/disrupt/jam common carrier services. And in fact, the FCC is inviting users who had their services disrupted to register a complaint at or call 1-888-CALL-FCC.

So no, it's not the Constitution that protects the protesters' rights to use cell phones, but the FCC prohibits anyone else from interfering with the signals, regardless of the intention.

Comment What Might Have Been... (Score 4, Insightful) 154

As a die-hard Apple II user (still have my original //e and a spiffy Ethernet-equipped, Compact-Flash-card-as-a-hard-drive, maxed out IIGS), I've often pondered what might have been but for a few twists of computing fate.

With just between 16KB to 256KB or RAM, a pair of 140KB floppy drives, an 80-column green-screen or RGB color display, 5 card slots, and an 8-bit CPU bus with a CPU running at far less than 10 MHz, the IBM 5150 isn't that different than a contemporary Apple //e (typically with 128KB of RAM, a pair of 140KB floppies, a green screen or RGB display, 7 card slots, and a more efficient 1MHz CPU), and it wasn't obviously superior at the time. Both had similar expansion abilities (serial, parallel, game, modems, primitive hard drives in time), yet industry chose the PC to build upon because it was legally simpler.

What might have been if Apple allowed industry to clone and build upon the Apple II architecture, I wonder? Would we have had Compaq building luggable Apple II's with 16-bit CPUs and expanded memory early on? Might we have eventually had Apple IIs with 16-bit ISA slots, then VLB slots, then PCI slots, then AGP slots, and now PCI Express? Might we today have thoroughly modern computers with slick Windows-like GUIs, but if you did a Control-Reset or booted off of a USB-connected legacy Disk ][ you could still enter an AppleSoft BASIC program equivalent to booting off of an MSDOS boot floppy and doing a "dir?" Might our keyboards still have Open-Apple and Solid-Apple keys instead of Alt and Windows?

Now don't get me wrong, I love my PCs today and earn my livelihood with them, but as a former Beagle Bros employee, I sometimes can't help but wonder what might have been...

Comment How about encrypted zip files for the secret stuff (Score 1) 482

Surely not *everything* in your Dropbox folder is private and sensitive? Sure, your Excel spreadsheet with last years' taxes are, but your vacation photos?

For those few files I have that I consider sensitive, I just zip them up with a long/strong password and use encryption. There are a few Android apps that can deal with these zip files, and I know all my desktop OSes can.

Comment And what about plastic surgery for the ears? (Score 2, Informative) 135

I was born with ears that stuck out worse that Prince Charles. I was teased about them all through school.

In college I had my ears "tucked," which basically made them lay flat against my head. I had generous grandparents.

Anyway, the point is that to do this, (the following not for the queasy), they slice open your ear, take out the cartilage (which is what forms all the unique bumps and curves of your ear), manually reshape it, stick it back in, and then sew you up.

Not only did my ears finally not stick out, but they looked totally different than they did before: none of the curves matched, and even my earlobes are a different shape (the bottoms are trimmed a bit and then stitched back to your head.)

This is not terribly expensive surgery, and while a bit painful, if I were a criminal trying to beat a set of "earprints" somehow left at the scene of a crime, I'd have it done in a second.


Android 2.1 Finally Makes It To Droid 132

MrSmith0011000100110 writes "The lovely people over at AndroidCentral have broken the announcement that Android 2.1 is finally coming to the Motorola Droid, with actual proof on Verizon's Droid support page (PDF). I don't know about my Droid brethren, but I'm pretty excited to see the new series of Android ROMs for the Droid phone that are based on a stock Android 2.1. As most of us know, the existing 2.1 ROMs can be buggy as hell and either running vanilla 2.1 or a custom ROM; but this phone is still a tinkerer's best friend."

How To Play HD Video On a Netbook 205

Barence writes with some news to interest those with netbooks running Windows: "Netbooks aren't famed for their high-definition video playing prowess, but if you've got about $10 and a few minutes going spare, there is a way to enjoy high-definition trailers and videos on your Atom-powered portable. You need three things: a copy of Media Player Classic Home Cinema, CoreCodec's CoreAVC codec, and some HD videos encoded in AVC or h.264 formats. This blog takes you through the process."

The first version always gets thrown away.