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Comment Re:BT are crap. (Score 2) 258

I agree.

I had virgin internet, telephone, and TV for five years in my flat in Edinburgh. I've only ever suffered about one outage a year during that time, and after the first time I learned it was easier and less effort just to turn everything off and try again tomorrow. Definitely easier than fighting their phone "support".

Comment Re:Didn't have one of those, but (Score 1) 110

It isn't bad, I just feel a little disappointed that computers are commodities these days and people don't need to understand things. Sure it is a form of snobbery, and I'm sure there are similar groups such as mechanics who feel very similar. But over time we've evolved into a situation where people are no longer encouraged to experiment, or use trial & error to solve computer problems. You see this most obviously in schools where kids are taught little "recipes" on how to use Microsoft Office, but any error message is cryptic and best ignored..

Comment Re:Didn't have one of those, but (Score 1) 110

I'm still quite amused by the current crop of "hackers" who think they're all that but never built their own computer from chips and raw PC boards. Building a PC these days is something grade school kids can do.

I've been thinking that for a long time now, even though I didn't start that far back myself.

I started with the z80-based ZX Spectrum, and then graduated through a series of early PCs. The earliest one running GEM with a hercules (monochrome) graphics card.

As there wasn't much real software about then if you wanted it you wrote it yourself, reading the programming guides, and Ralf Browns' interrupt list.

These days there are people grown up who've never known anything before Windows 95; they grew up with the GUI and an environment which just worked. They never had to tinker, they never understood from the ground up how the PC works, and have little incentive to experiment. Back in my own personal olden days you had debug, you had built in support for programming. Nowadays its' all hidden away.

Don't even get me started on people who don't understand what pointers are, or how they work...

Comment Re:8 pounds a month (Score 1) 344

I don't really read news sites myself, I read stories that I found links to. But I don't really go to a newspaper site and just read all the stories. So it would be NOT 1 pound per day, but 1 pound per article. So I just wouldn't.

I think this sums up most people's interactions with online news very well.

I do read almost every story on the local Edinburgh newspaper website every few days, but I only do that because it covers local news. Otherwise I read articles I see linked to from places like Slashdot, Reddit, or email from friends.

I imagine the immediate effect of a paywall is that fewer such links will be shared, unless there is something akin to lwn.net's "make a free link" which allows a subscriber to share a protected article for free for a period of time. (That is something I love about lwn.net; and I have a paid account there.)

Submission + - How do I cool a home without air conditioning? 2

vsanjay writes: Summer is fast approaching and here in the South of India, temperatures are ready to soar above 45'C. I am left wondering if I should go for that window air conditioner unit after all. I've lived with evaporative coolers all my life (24-1/2 years), but these coolers are very noisy and only work when the humidity's low. Their efficiency (cooling vs electricity consumed) is highly questionable and they also use up several litres of water every night. I wouldn't mind spending the $500-600 (Indian Rupees (INR) 20,000 +) on a new AC unit, however my concern is the fat electricity bill at the end of each month. As an AC newbie I also wonder why I have to cool the entire room, table, my bed, the computer and everything else when all I want is to cool myself.

I'd rather spend that $500 on something that would keep my room cool naturally (or atleast energy efficiently) so I can spend those extra Rupees on something more useful. Have you got any ideas, fellow Slashdotters? FYI, I live in the level one apartment of a 5 storey building and my room does not face the sun. My house, like most houses in India, is made of concrete so that is pretty good insulation (I believe).

Submission + - Apache may stop 1.3, 2.0 series releases (techworld.com.au)

Dan Jones writes: The Apache Software Foundation may stop releasing new versions of the older 1.3 and 2.0 series of its flagship Web server product with most development now focused on the 2.2 series. Nothing is final yet, but messages to the Apache httpd developer mailing list recommend the formal deprecation of the 1.3.x branch, with most citing a lack of development activity. The Apache HTTP server project is one of the most successful and popular open source projects and has become an integral part of the technology stack for thousands of Web and SaaS applications. The first generation of Apache was released in 1995 and the 2.0 series began in 2002. Apache httpd 2.2 began in 2005 with the latest release (October 2009) being 2.2.14. However, the most recent releases of the 1.3 and 2.0 series servers was back in January 2008. With the combined total of active 1.3 and 2.0 series Apache Web servers well into the millions, any decision to end-of-life either product will be watched closely.

Comment Re:Some Don't Seem Clear on what "Reboot" mean (Score 1) 922

I have to say that I thought that "Batman Begins" was a fantastic film, and easily my favourite of the whole series.

Mostly though I'd agree with other comments there are a few series that would be nice to be reset, but on the whole I'd rather see new things.

(e.g. My personal pick would be Dark Angel.)


The Murky Origins of Zork's Name 70

mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."

Submission + - EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) (kugutsumen.com) 2

captainktainer writes: "In one of the largest tests of Eve Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, "Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded," meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, Eve Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised "large fleet battles" that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions"

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