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Comment So many lame comments on passwords... (Score 1) 339

Whatever happened to imagination? There are unlimited easily remembered algorithms no one is ever going to guess, mine are not necessarily easily remembered by you - but you get the idea...: 1) Add your birth weight in kilos to your age at the millennium in months, ignore the decimal points - insert the first 8 digits after the first 8 letters of the name of your hero... or dog, or spouse, or favorite spaghetti sauce... 2) Allocate the numbers 1-10 to the first 10 words of your favorite quotation. Take the sum of each group of 5 words, add your Gregorian birthday in day/month/year format, and add together to get single digits which themselves represent a word, insert the digits in the words they represent (1st 2nd or 3rd position etc...) for extra security translate the words into French/Hungarian etc.... 3) Take the telephone number of the apartment your first lover lived in - mix it with registration number of your first car, birthday of your second wife, and the number of tiles on your bathroom wall.... 4) Take the number of electrical outlets in your house/apartment - multiply by your age in leap years, take the first 4 digits of the resulting number to represent the first four paragraphs of your favorite book - then take the first (or 2nd 3rd etc) word as your pass phrase, but include the digits after every 1st or second letter... 5) Google some random trivia and bookmark it - use the use the fibonacci sequence to generate a pass phrase from the 2nd (3rd etc) para of the bookmark... I could go on like this all night - nobody needs a password keeper or generator - if you give a shit (and mostly I don't) use a a set of personal significant numbers and words in combination with some favorite easy algorithm (even rot13 is fine if the the foundations are inscrutable) And remember that your passwords are safe only insofar as you convince powerful folks they are not worth cracking...

Comment Archiving - the best way (Score 1) 397

Forgive my jaded perspective - respondents to this query are almost without exception fan boys of particular techie solutions. The real solution is far more commonsensical. I have every file I ever created from my 486 SX25 (circa 1990) onwards through a wealth of "blindingly fast' iterations of Pentium machines - my data, insofar as I ever wanted to keep it - is complete and has survived hard drive crashes, laptop and desktop thefts, floods, fire, misguided backup solutions involving CD and DVD, and the most malignant viruses the world felt able to bless me with. I have never had a raid array, a tape backup system - and I hasten to add - I spit in the general direction of your cloud solutions. Clouds are soft, vaporous and wholly subject to evaporation into nothingness. And I have never lost a file I wanted... The painfully obvious answer is - backup your hard drives - keep two copies (at least) of everything (preferably in different locations - I use family member backup and it has never failed) currently I have about 6TB of personal data - all backed up locally plus in at least one external location - this can be done with a handful of drives for an outlay of just a few hundred dollars - add a hot-swappable 3.5 inch drive dock or two and all your data is independent of all your computers. Just remember the rules: 1) The data on your computer is all temporary storage - never rely on it in the longer term - you should be able to reformat at the drop of a hat if you are doing it right 2) One copy is your interim (I don't care if I lose it) position 3) A 'cloud' copy is your 'this is convenient - but lets not pretend this is long term' solution for when you are traveling or using multiple computers in different locations 4) Two copies on site (on separate external drives) is your provisionally safe position (better still - keep one at the office) 4) Three copies with at least one in a remote location means you actually own your data - it is going nowhere without your say so and you will be able to bequeath your digital estate to those who are deserving (they in turn will be able to retain it - but only if they follow the rules above...) There! That's not so hard is it?

Comment On: bunches of pussies... (Score 1) 409

Nobody needs air conditioning - or fast food. Air conditioned tents for combat personnel? No way! These are only for visiting VIPs, the sick... and for pussies. Sorry, its true. Only US citizens afflicted with consumption mania are likely to fall for this one. Other nationalities will chuckle, shake their heads and move on... A US (or any other nationality) trained soldier is (if successfully conditioned) a highly trained sociopath with a callous disregard for human life and a predilection for stress disorders, rape and suicide... Keeping them cool alone costs 20bn and, as the submitter has pointed out, there are a multitude of better uses for the money. ....Still - its all worthwhile if oil is a few cents cheaper is it not? hint: set your sarcasm detectors to high (despair at the human condition registers somewhat lower)

Comment Cheap labor - powerful v. ignorant bastard (Score 2) 422

China will rule the world - make no mistake, this will happen a lot sooner than you think. But, the industrial cycle of gimme cheap, cheap, cheap is driven by mostly US values which praise Walmart above all and export US/European/Australian jobs offshore so that a few corporate powerful bastards can get rich at the expense of the mass of gullible ignorant bastards. You reap what you sow... US citizens never understand that pollution in China is attributable to US companies operating there.... that slave labor wages in Chinese factories are pretty well dictated by US corporate need - and that - when it all goes belly up, The US and other western countries can either choose to support their countrymen and pay what things really cost (while re-importing jobs) OR - pay the next lot of powerful bastards who will move their operations to some other peasant oriented society for another generation of sweat shop exploitation... The cycle is historically clear - your sweatshop subjects are going to kick your ass in about 20 years from now... but the powerful bastards don't care - they are already on their yachts....
Classic Games (Games)

Super Mario Bros. 3 Level Design Lessons 95

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Significant Bits about how the early level design in Super Mario Bros. 3 gradually introduced players to the game without needing something as blatant and obtrusive as a tutorial: "Super Mario Bros. 3 contains many obvious design lessons that are also present in other games, e.g., the gradual layering of complexity that allows players to master a specific mechanic. What surprised me during my playthrough, though, was how some of these lessons were completely optional. The game doesn't have any forced hand-holding, and it isn't afraid of the player simply exploring it at his own pace (even if it means circumventing chunks of the experience)."

Comment Clouds - because they are so substantial... (Score 1) 142

The characteristics of a cloud are not ideally suited to reliable data storage. Clouds are well known to be ephemeral and to change their size, shape and density according to the dictates of the local climate. Furthermore, clouds are much less substantial than they appear and can be blown away by the winds which spring up apparently at random - a whiff of senator's breath/wind can blow away a cloud. Clouds can evaporate and leave one defenseless in the glare of whatever it was that just zapped your cloud... Clouds are out of your control... Clouds do not have long life spans... Clouds become distorted and sometimes appear as fog.... We all know the fates of those with their heads in the clouds... So, don't say you were not warned!

Comment I can't face it... (Score 1) 311

Surely a face-saving solution can be negotiated to the current face-off between the unacceptable face of capitalism and the about-face proponents of ...(face-palm) ...face to face negotiations on the ownership of 'face' - we are currently facing... There I've said it - while you were all just wondering what face to put upon it...

Comment Re:WTF (Score 0, Troll) 185

.....Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S..... There they go again... 'vast majority' (of around 5% of the world)...like it is an impressive number or something... It is one thing to be proud of your nationality (but aware of your position in the world) - but quite another to be defiantly and parochially hillbilly... and smugly content with it...

Comment Google voice opens to all? (Score 1) 185

Google voice opens to all? This must be some new and previously unknown meaning of 'all' that means 'actually only the minute percentage of the world's population currently afflicted by an accidental affiliation to the United States as a consequence of some act of sexual intercourse - resulting in impregnation - of two persons of diverse gender located between Mexico and Canada... Yes that's right - about 5% of the world.... If 'all' is about 5% - then you don't need many for a ruling majority in the US do you? Oh wait....

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