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Comment Goatse (Score 2) 246

I'm exhuming a Slashdot meme from long ago, but if you have a spare VM, fire it up and string them along to the Team Viewer/WebEx part of the call, and give 'em a full screen goatse! ;-)

For those who are fairly new around here, it was an old meme - a picture of ... well, never mind. You don't want to know. I'll just say you cant unsee it.

Comment We should have done this decades ago (Score 1) 75

The self-destruct feature should have been included in every plane, tank, APC, rocket launcher, mortar, rifle, and any other weapons we have been selling to unstable, neurotic dictators in the middle east for decades. Set up to be remotely activated by the U.S., of course. Instead, we have our troops facing down our own weapons.

Comment Re:Use Windows Explorer (Score 1) 259

The beauty of using the integrated metadata is that you can organize the photos by creating search folders, or just doing searches. A search folder searching for 'Vacation' will always have all of your vacation files in it, and will automatically include new photos with 'vacation' in the tags. You can then narrow down by year, location, or whatever else you've included in your files.

Comment Use Windows Explorer (Score 2) 259

If you are tagging jpeg files, just use Windows explorer.

Right-click on the file, and select 'Details'. The EXIF tags are shown and can be edited here. Title, subject, rating, tags, comments, etc.

You can ctrl-select multiple files and edit the data that will be the same on all of them at once. For example, select all 50 photos from your vacation, and give them the subject 'Vacation 2014'. These tags are part of each file, and are indexed and searchable on Windows and OSX. I haven't tried it on Linux or FreeBSD yet, but I would imagine one of the various desktops' search functions will search (and index?) the tags.

Comment Re:Soon to be a felony in Illinois (Score 1) 515

That's one reason I don't understand why this was even voted on. Illinois was the state involved in the case that prompted the US supreme court ruling.

Maybe they're laying the groundwork for something they can use to fight against the push for police body-cams.

This is the state that should have a 'governor's wing' on its prisons.

Comment Soon to be a felony in Illinois (Score 5, Informative) 515

Here in the police state of Illinois, our legislature has passed a bill, which was larded onto another, completely unrelated bill, which makes recording cops and government officials a class 3 felony, with up to 2-4 years in prison. The bill was added as an amendment to the unrelated bill, which passed with over 90% support in both chambers, essentially making it veto-proof.

It uses the word 'eavesdropping' a lot, so it may be argued that it applies only to audio; however, a chance at having a sentence like this would certainly scare off most people who would try to film the cops.

It will be interesting to see how this develops - a similar bill was struck down by the state supreme court in March, and the US supreme court has ruled that police have no expectation of privacy when they're in public, and on duty.

Comment Re:Not sure who to cheer for (Score 1) 190

The TV-style bullshit that just leaps for your eyes and blares at you is insufferable; but at least it only watches you at the level of granularity provided by the Neilson lab rats.

Not so much, anymore. With the addressable digital boxes that the TV providers use, there is just as much profiling done when you watch TV, too. Your TV provider knows what you watch, how you watch it, and when you watch it. I think it can, however, be gamed to work to our advantage:

If enough people time-shift live TV by 15-20 minutes per hour (the typical amount of advertising) and skip past all the ads, at least on networks where it isn't disabled, that sends a message that we don't want ads. Or, they'll disable skipping ads on all channels. If enough of us rent on-demand movies like Gia and skip to all of the lesbian scenes, that sends a message that we want more lesbian scenes. :-)

Comment Re:This lawsuit will be dismissed. (Score 1) 291

It's difficult to do with telemarketers, but try being nice to the person who calls you the third or fourth time. Tell them that you have repeatedly said you are not interested, and ask to be added to their internal Do Not Call list. AT&T has one as well. A couple of days later, you will get a robocall to confirm your addition to the DNC list. That is the last call you will get, at least for a while. I haven't gotten a call from either of them in months, but I'm guessing that it times out after a year or so.

Comment Suing over something that can easily be changed? (Score 2) 291

Why sue? For $80 she could buy a Surfboard 6141 at Best Buy, and save the money by not paying modem rental. The modem will pay for itself in 10 months. If she is using Comcast's phone service, she would need to buy an eMTA (Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter). Although some cable franchises may not allow them on their network. One of the reasons I did this was to avoid being a node on their public network. Another one is that I have a router with custom firmware that I am quite happy with, and their integrated unit will probably not allow dd-wrt or tomato. I like to be in control of my own network.

I would imagine that the setting could be turned off in the rental eMTA from Comcast. In my subdivision, I have only seen one XfinityHotSpot network, and it was only for a short time, then it disappeared. My guess is that the Comcast customer noticed this brand new XfinityHotSpot had as strong a signal as their own router, and figured out how to disable it in short order.

One of the things that bugs me about America is this mindset that we seem to generally have of, 'sue first, look at other options later, if at all.'

Comment Look at the claimed value of some of this stuff: (Score 1) 191

A couple examples from my home county:


It seems like someone is scamming someone here. Or, is Uncle Sam actually paying over $300 each for light bulbs (maybe complete lamps)? $1,000 for a life preserver?

This concern is aside from the county's acquisition of a tank, APC's, mine resistant vehicle, dozens of assault rifles, etc.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 2) 59

I don't wonder about space exploration in general. I wonder if manned deep-space flights serve any practical purpose at this point. With current propulsion technologies, it seems they would just be suicide missions. Plus, the added cost created by the additional weight of life-support systems, food, water, etc.

However, unmanned missions to scout (and possibly mine) elements and minerals from asteroids, etc. will likely be necessary within our lifetimes given how we are just consuming resources on Earth like there's no tomorrow. Also, the benefits of research that can be performed (again, by unmanned probes) could be tremendous.

I was not aware of the 1-2 billion dollar cost of a single flight. I haven't really kept on top of it - I have just figured that NASA's projects have been dead, due to lack of funding and lack of interest in science in general here in the US. That cost, as you mention, is clearly a concern given our infrastructure is falling apart and our schools absolutely suck. As much as I'm for space exploration and the spinoff technologies, that money could probably be better invested elsewhere.

Comment Finally! (Score 4, Informative) 59

We should have been at this point about 10-15 years ago, when the shuttles were already past their expected usable life, but still in service. Now, the question is, is there really any practical reason for manned deep-space flights at this point? That will be the hard sell. A way to get to the ISS without thumbing a ride will certainly be a plus!

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