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Comment Syfy is retarded! (Score 1) 742

I hate wrestling, and I hate Ghost Hunters. It's all they show now. Neither one is science fiction or epic fantasy. Those idiots who took over Syfy don't understand that the people who used to watch SciFi don't watch anymore, because of their stupidity. They have killed off every show that was even moderately interesting to watch.

The whole point is that Scifi was a place where stuff that wasn't mainstream could flourish. The audience doesn't want the bland stuff that's dumbed down for people with a 50 IQ. Now the morons who own it have turned it into another version of TBS.

With Scifi dead, I have no reason to bother keeping cable other than the History channel, which is also starting to go downhill with stupid reality shows. (Pawn Stars is great though..it's actually genuine.)

Comment Political suicide. (Score 1) 339

It's a stupid idea.

Besides, the economic impact alone from breaking the internet in the US for any period of time makes "pushing the kill switch" political suicide anyway.

Also, it's exactly the same power as "we want to shut down the phone system so you can't communicate or call 911 during a revolt, or whenever, you know, some politician feels like it".

Facebook

Facebook To Make Facebook Credits Mandatory For Games 116

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from TechCrunch: "Facebook has confirmed that it is indeed making Facebook Credits mandatory for Games, with the rule going into effect on July 1 2011. Facebook says that Credits will be the exclusive way for users to get their 'real money' into a game, but developers are still allowed to keep their own in-game currencies (FarmBucks, FishPoints, whatever). For example, Zynga can charge you 90 Facebook Credits for 75 CityCash in CityVille. ... The company acknowledges that some developers may not be pleased with the news, explaining this is why it is announcing the news five months in advance, so it can 'have an open conversation with developers.' The rule only applies to Canvas games (games that use Facebook Connect aren't affected), and while it's games only at this part, Facebook says that it eventually would like to see all apps using Facebook Credits. It's a move that's been a long time coming — there has been speculation that Facebook would do this for a year now, spurring plenty of angst in the developer community."

Comment Re:Already here (Score 1) 305

Also, what people don't realize is that the internet is already a loose confederation of networks owned by only a few corporations who have peering deals with each other, and they already throttle each other under the table.

There have already been incidents where the Internet experiences massive failures when these companies get into pissing contests with each other and shut off each other's access to influence negotiations.

Comment Re:Already here (Score 5, Insightful) 305

Akamai is very different from a "two tier strategy".

Akamai is all about having local data centers nearer to high traffic population centers. This has the side effect of relieving congestion on the main internet backbones by essentially doing local caching. You want the data, and it happens to be located on a server closer to you, which by coincidence does not have to bottleneck through the backbone as much, so you get better scaling and performance. This strategy is net positive because the internet as a whole benefits by reduced waste and the hosts can deliver content more efficiently with a better user experience.

A two tier internet is something *very* different. That's taking the same pipe, and allocating priority to the rich and powerful at the expense of those who don't pay the premium; there is still the same amount overall of bandwidth available but they want to allocate less of it to you and more of it to companies that pay. How that will actually work is that those who pay more get internet hosting that works, and everyone else gets screwed with a broken, high latency, congested network. Oh, and the price for them will also go up while the service goes down.

Everyone else should get really pissed off about this crap, once they figure out how bad the deal is for them.

Let me put it this way: if this sort of thing is allowed, more advanced internet services developed over the next few years will only be possible when they are run by huge corporations with deep pockets, and all other innovators will be shut out in the cold. And that means you get to pay more for those services because there won't be any competion.

Comment Re:USB Drive, SAN/NAS, LTO ... (Score 1) 680

Does your buddy know the encoding for the data?
Does his method work on "known good" flash memory?
I'd make sure that you understand the data encoding in the flash memory, and which type it is and how it maintains the data before drawing too many conclusions.

If the flash is failed due to wear, then that's expected. (if you run disk stress against an early generation flash key, you can wear it out pretty fast)

Comment Re:USB Drive, SAN/NAS, LTO ... (Score 1) 680

Most of the time, the need for physical drive recovery is due to one of the following cases:

The controller board on the drive went bad. Replaceable with minimal effort, and the right part.

A moving part failed (e.g. the reader arm or whatever) Replaceable with some effort, and the right part.

Somebody hosed the partition table. Usually possible to fix with a hex editor if you can manually reconstruct the table and/or use backup copies elsewhere on the disk. There is (expensive) software which will do this sort of stuff for you. Not for the faint of heart.

Filesystem corruption. Good luck, unless you have filesystem internals knowledge. Bits that aren't corrupt might be saved, with much effort, by a filesystem developer. (i.e. mere mortals are screwed).

RAID failure causes inaccessibility of some stripes. (eg two simultaneous disk failures in a RAID5, or one disk failure in a RAID0) You might get some data off the remaining stripes, but it is likely that unless your file happens to be smaller than the stripe size, and happens to not cross a stripe boundary, you will have lost significant portions of the data. Takes an expert to reconstruct what little can be saved.

Physical damage to the platter.(e.g. a scratch) If you are lucky you might be able to read some bits off the parts of the disk that aren't damaged. Depends on the nature of the physical damage though.

Failure due to hairline fractures can sometimes be worked around by freezing the drive long enough to get the data off.

I'm discounting eloborate theoretical scenarios where you use some kind of external reading equipment on the drive. In the real world, recovery companies try the above techniques and give up if they fail.

With solid state drives, you have the same story for partition table and filesystem issues, and for controller boards, assuming it's a seperate piece. I suppose the equivalent to physical scenarios with platters would be if you desoldered the flash chips and moved them to another identical drive, which is more difficult and far more expensive labor. Plus, only some of the chips may still be good, and the way that wearleveling blocks work, your data will actually be scattered across the chips noncontiguously for the most part, so you're likely to only get partial recovery anyway.

Comment Re:Let's be clear - this is a business license (Score 1) 477

Require a security system? Really? In Montana most people don't even bother to lock their cars.

While it's a good idea to have one as a business, it really should not be a requirement. Now you have to staff your police to respond to the constant stream of false alarms that come from said security systems. There's a reason most police jurisdictions bill you for their time when responding to a security system incident after the first false one.

Plus, now you are requiring businesses in your small town to pay service fees to an external security monitoring company. That's a drain on your local economy. Good job, because that's $30-$100 per business per month that isn't staying in your community.

Input Devices

Kinect Creators To Make PC Controller 96

Hugh Pickens writes "PrimeSense, the privately held Israeli company that licensed core Kinect technology to Microsoft, is teaming up with PC and peripheral maker Asus to create a similar device for the PC that can be used for browsing multimedia content and accessing the Internet and social networks — basically, the main things consumers use their PCs for. Last month, a Korean game developer claimed that Microsoft was working on a version of Kinect for the PC, but Microsoft hasn't confirmed any such plans."

Comment For the most part yeah. (Score 1) 804

You really should be communicating with your profs during class, not dinking around on your laptop. Unless you type quite a bit faster than most hunt and peckers, you're going to take better notes with pen and paper anyway, and there are relatively few situations where you really need a computer during class as a tool.

What really should be banned is the use of PowerPoint lectures. You know the ones..... where your prof essentially scanned all the relevant sections of the textbook and then cruises through 200 screens of unreadable shrunken slides at light speed while staring at his laptop. Most folks use it as a crutch rather than a visual aid to get a handful of important points across visually, or provide a persistent framework for discussion. It's irritating. I'd much rather see the chalk board in use, screeching and all... at least then the instructor is forced to cover the material at the speed it takes him/her to think through it, giving you enough time to grok it during the lecture.

Comment No net neutrality means big corporate censorship (Score 1) 402

Lame. Not enforcing net neutrality allows, and encourages service providers and media companies to selectively censor whatever they want; they can without violating any legal requirements simply make it too expensive for anyone else to voice their opinion publicly or provide competing content. Heck, you don't even have to actively censor things... you just make the performance and cost of everything that isn't your content slightly more expensive, and economics will make sure that your message is seen more than the 2nd class citizen content.

There is too much danger of these huge corporations manipulating free speech and culture to allow anyone to do that. It will quite rapidly devolve into the same environment as TV... only the rich and big companies can afford to publish.

The internet is a communications media. You don't let the phone company tell you what you can talk about on your phone. Why should you let your ISP tell you what you can see on the internet? It's the same garbage where the TV corporations want to control your internet the same way they control what shows get made. Hint: the shows that get made aren't the shows the people want to see; they are the shows the corporate executives think will sell to advertisers best.

Idle

2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."
Sci-Fi

Large, Slow Airships Could Move Buildings 184

Algorithmnast writes "The Economist has a short article on using big, slow-moving airships to move large objects without the need to dismantle them. The company mentioned, Skylifter, refers to the lifting ship as an 'aerial crane,' not a Thor weapon. It could easily help move research labs to new parts of the Antarctic, or allow a Solar Tower to be inserted into an area that's difficult to drive to, such as a mesa in New Mexico."
Privacy

Blizzard Rolls Out Real ID Privacy Options 145

tacarat writes "The last time Blizzard mentioned their new Real ID system, there was a strong backlash from users over privacy issues. Blizzard reconsidered their plans to require real names for forums, and little has been heard about it since. Now, they've announced new privacy settings, allowing users to limit how their name gets shared or to disable the system entirely. Quoting: 'These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.'"

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Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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