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Comment Re:I used yahoogroups (Score 4, Informative) 131

I ran a couple of groups on Yahoogroups a few years ago and it was nothing but a hassle. Sure, the feature list sounds great, but in implementation things needed constant attention. End users would report not receiving any mail for days or weeks at a time (no, it wasn't even in their spam folders; they just disappeared) and logging in/creating accounts was sometimes problematic. At least at the time, there were three ways to add a user: I could add their email address, they could send an email to, or they could create a yahoo account and join through the web interface. Choosing either of the first two options left their account in some sort of half-created limbo where they got the group email but weren't able to sign in to the web interface (to change settings, view photos, etc). There were other minor issues, but those were the two I constantly fought against.

All that being said, it wasn't the worst service I've ever used and it was free, but I was always waiting for the next breakage or issue that would require my manual intervention. They could have greatly improved the service since then; it's been about two years since I migrated away, but I wouldn't personally recommend it. We miss some of the features (the two you mention, file storage and photo sharing), but I'm glad to be rid of the administrative workload.

Comment Re:Par2 (Score 1) 247

The problem with par2, at least as far as I've seen it implemented, is that it's really an archive container -- a real pain to use in day-to-day file storage. Am I missing something that lets me take advantage of the error detection and recovery of par2 while allowing me to seemlessly access the files? While I agree with you on the merits of a resilient format like par2 for archiving files, it doesn't seem very friendly for quick access to files on the disk.

Comment old news? (Score 3, Informative) 249

Maybe we're all just really high tech, but my pastor has been using his laptop in services for ten or fifteen years. Rather than carrying a Bible and notepad, many of us in the congregation have been using laptops with Bible software for following along and note taking. One of the first things my wife did when she won an iPad was to get a Bible program and set up her note-taking system with it. Somehow I'm able to avoid the urge to check my email; I think in part because I have a close network of friends who won't hesitate to call me out if I'm goofing off.

Carrying a digital Bible has many advantages; quickly changing to another reference, access to different versions, cross referencing and Strongs lookups...I'd have trouble going back to paper.

Comment Novelty has worn off (Score 1) 285

I see a lot of good comments here, but the fact of the matter is that the novelty of editing has worn off for many of us. In the beginning, when Wikipedia was small, or when it was new, or whatever the reason, it was fun to keep an eye on a few pages. That novelty has worn off, and along with it, any desire to fix the little spelling errors I find along the way.

As a side note, Wikipedia had, at one time, a large number of articles about my profession. None of them was accurate, at least in the US sense of defining many terms, specializations, and equipment. Maybe other parts of the world call things differently, but I doubt to the degree that Wikipedia was wrong. Still, I wasn't about to go re-write and fix links in every article -- even if I would have been able to find sources.

So frankly, I've given up. Yes, I notice spelling errors on Wikipedia. I just read past them. It's not worth fighting with people over and it's not worth my time to fix. My interests lie elsewhere. Sorry, universe.

Also, misspellings and bad grammar on the internet are cool. Just look at some of drivel published by actual legitimate news sources (AP, I'm looking at you. Would it kill you to spell check an article before posting? I know it wouldn't fix the "their/there" and related problems, but it's a start.)

Comment Re:My father died a few years ago - Morningstar (Score 1) 402

Operator: "What's the username he has the account under?"
Me: "Uh, billsmith2222 is the username."
Operator: "OK, let's see... looks like the password is Sarajane. The 'S' is uppercase."
Me: -- Stunned silence --- "Thanks?"

The fact that 1) they even store unhashed passwords, much less 2) let their first line phone support people see them is disturbing. There are too many companies that do that (and other equally insecure practices), but it's not like I can ask each company to describe in complete detail their security set up before creating an account. It makes me wonder whether we're doomed to have companies constantly disclosing our personal information or overbearing government regulation that doesn't fully solve the problem :/

Comment Re:Eating your own dog food. (Score 1) 204

(This is from memory, as I can't find a link, but was widely discussed on /. several years ago. Hopefully someone remembers enough detail to get a link.)

This reminds me of the judge who ruled that garbage out by the curb was not private; in turn some reporters then went through the judge's trash and he freaked out and, I believe, tried to sue them.

Regardless, this exposure of private information is out of control. Too bad there don't seem to be many alternatives.

Comment Re:California Law (Score 1) 485

I had the opposite experience...the theft occurred in a store that had security cameras and I was able to determine where the thief was staying. A officer at my local police was happy to go look at the footage and go confront the guy. It could have helped that I had everything laid out for him, but even before I had the location the officer was going to go look at the tapes and try to ID the guy. I know in the majority of cases, you're right (we've heard too many of those stories here on /.), but time time it mattered to me, my local police department was there for me.

And it's exactly as you said, the guy didn't have a lawyer and plead guilty, so the evidence wasn't even involved.

Comment Re:bribery (Score 1) 141

As I mentioned a few lines above here, these pitch zone graphics aren't always accurate. It's a pretty complex system that needs to be calibrated properly each game, and that calibration could be affected throughout the game. In most ballparks, the camera angle isn't straight-on, so sometimes what you think you see is misleading. Not to mention the fact that the camera location is on the order of 500 feet away from the plate while the umpire is like three feet away. So while I'm under no delusions about the accuracy of umpires, I'm also not glued to the TV watching the pitch zone graphic, either.

Comment Re:Good for balls and strikes (Score 1) 141

As the other AC commented, these pitch zone graphics aren't always accurate. It's a pretty complex system that needs to be calibrated properly each game, and that calibration could be affected throughout the game. In most ballparks, the camera angle isn't straight-on, so sometimes what you think you see is misleading. So while I'm under no delusions about the accuracy of umpires, I'm also not glued to the TV watching the pitch zone graphic, either.

Comment Re:G+ (Score 1) 126

This. It's exactly why I (a long-time gmail and general fan of their applications) haven't started using Google+ -- and have no intention of starting with it any time soon.

I've got paid Apps clients with them, I've used their mobile syncing, and plenty's just too big a risk. And a shame they don't realize that's scaring you, me, and plenty of others. Or maybe they do, but don't care.

Thanks for putting it so well.

Comment Re:Trade Secrets (Score 1) 131

If I could use NFC at every store that takes Paypass, and Google Wallet was available here, then I would be the first to sign up. One less piece of crap in my wallet.

See, that's the part I don't get. Even if you plan on using NFC in your phone, I would imagine you'd still have to carry cash or a credit card just in case. What if the reader is down, what if you need gas and they don't have a reader, etc. There are some places around here that take Paypass, but more that don't -- especially restaurants, grocery stores...all the place I tend to spend more than a few dollars at once. Even though I pay with credit whenever I can, it's still handy to have some cash on hand. Or am I over-thinking it -- do you hope to only shop where you can use your NFC device?

Comment Me too (Score 1) 12

I didn't even know Slashdot was on Facebook. If there's one place I've been spending less time than Slashdot lately, it's Facebook. I check both two or three times per week. If I have some extra downtime, I'll browse the front page of Slashdot for a few minutes, but I've found the discussions aren't nearly as good as they used to be...and since I can get the news elsewhere a day or two sooner elsewhere, that doesn't leave much appeal for me with Slashdot anymore.

Comment Re:Please listen (Score 1) 171

Yeah, that's flat out obnoxious. I like the one at Continental Airlines: "We are sorry but we are experiencing higher than usual call volume. Please try again later." Then they disconnect you. No chance to ever speak to anyone, which is a shame if, say, they cancel your flight, 200 angry people are lined up at the one woman at the ticket counter, and you're already four hours late for takeoff. Or so I've heard, anyway.

Along the same lines of your comment, Bank of America has this great feature to "Request a Chat", which would be perfect because I don't want to call (they have bad hours for phone support), and as I'm not an account holder I can't send an email (using their 'secure email' from inside your account)...except chat is never available. It's just there to taunt me. Sheesh.

Comment Re:Bad passwords are not always the user's fault. (Score 1) 276

Bank accounts (or at least I would, if my bank wasn't retarded).

What is this about? Seems to be more widespread than it should be. At one point, I had a bank account that, among other things, did not allow passwords longer than 8 or 10 characters. I think any non-alphanumeric characters were also out. And I'm supposed to trust them with my money?

I've also had an account somewhere (I forget if it was a 401k, employer payroll system to see my paycheck, or maybe something less important) that uses your SSN as the login name and requires a short (numeric-only) PIN for the password. Plus some sort of funky javascript to "encrypt" each character on each keypress (which also means I can't type it at breakneck speed).

Now, I go out of my way not to deal with companies that force me to use weak passwords...

Comment Re:So how does TV work? (Score 1) 322

You're speaking about the early days of TV -- history, really. The GP is speaking in the present tense, so while you're right about the origins, saying "That is so horribly wrong" is actually, um, wrong itself. I believe stox, the poster above you was correct when stating that the tolerances needed when color was introduced meant a better timing source was needed.

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