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Comment IOMMU (Score 4, Informative) 125

Yes, when I saw this I thought that this was a reason to make motherboard IOMMUs a security feature. Also, the DMA destination memory pages should not have the executable bit turned on. Recent generations of Intel/AMD CPUs have provided the ability to turn that bit off.

Comment Symbolism over substance (Score 2, Insightful) 378

Although my phone is unlocked, if it weren't, and it got unlocked, my choice of a wireless carrier will increase by exactly one carrier. As Benny Hill would've said: biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig ...deal.

I'm just curious if anyone in the administration actually knows that US wireless companies use different, incompatible technologies. A phone that works on one carrier would, at most, have a chance of working on only one other carrier, and would, most likely, lack the ability to take advantage of the additional carrier's full spectrum, resulting in degraded service.

Comment Re:I think it is necessary (Score 1) 60

No, the Internet used to be ad-free. People used to use the Internet to learn things, and to share information with other people. Until the unwashed massed got to it in the mid 90's, the Internet was wonderful: Email, Gopher, WWW, FTP, etc.

It used to be ad-free because the cost of running those services was trivial and handled by educational and research institutions.

Now the number of services has multiplied (by a lot), both to cater to a wider variety of experiences and a larger number of people.

The cost of running those services has multiplied (by a lot) - no longer just a few kilobytes of plain text, they are rich multimedia experiences including, in many cases gigabytes of high definition video.

I too remember the good old days of the "wonderful" 90s Internet of using lynx to look at web pages and figuring out Trumpet so I could get Mosaic going to look at images. It was fun and exciting and great. But when I compare it to what is possible now - in many cases, completely for free if I'm prepared to sacrifice a tiny part of my attention and privacy (both of which I am conscious of and careful to manage) - well, I'm pretty amazed and what is on offer.

Any time you want to put your hand up to be one of those intelligent, compassionate human beings and provide ad-free wonderful services - please let me know because I'll happily sign up to take advantage of them!

Comment Re:ulterior motives (Score 1) 52

- Research ways to artificially create horn/tusk material in the lab (similar to what was done with pearls), and flood the market with it so that the value of the product plummets.

Is there any reason to artificially create it? Surely people that are buying this stuff are not putting a lot of skeptical analysis into its actual providence. I would actually be surprised if the majority of it that was sold was fake anyway and only the ultra-rich are buying legit stuff.

Submission + - Microsoft IllumiRoom Too Expensive for Homes (ausgamers.com)

trawg writes: Microsoft's recent IllumiRoom concept video showcased what the future could be like if you combined an Xbox One, Kinect and a projector system, promising a new type of gaming experience. Unfortunately, speaking at an Xbox One press demo at Gamescom recently in Germany, the head of product planning for Xbox One Albert Penello revealed that IllumiRoom probably won't be made available as a consumer product:

"I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that,” Penello said. “It’s very, very cool tech but it’s, like, for a consumer, it requires projectors and things. It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but... we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars."


Comment Re:Pay-to-win down-your-throat (Score 3, Interesting) 189

Free-to-play is an awful model, thrust upon gamers because the publishers have decided it must be so

Free-to-play exists because the developers that have nailed it with a good game are making money hand over first, and everyone else wants to do that too.

Nobody really likes free-to-play. I don't know anyone for whom it is their first choice of gaming platform.

Allow me to introduce myself - I'm someone that likes free-to-play!

I've been playing Dota 2 a lot in the last 6-8 months. It is as often frustrating as hell, but it's great fun having a good game with friends.

It is a free-to-play game; they make revenue selling in-game content like clothes and effects for characters. I am totally, completely uninterested in this, but I am by far the unusual one - most of the people I've played have dropped at least the cost of a normal AAA game buying stuff, and I know a few people who have spent over $100 - no doubt there are even more.

There's the occasional in your face thing trying to get you to buy something - usually just an item expiring notice or something - but they are few and far between. I am easily able to ignore it.

I often spend hours a day playing this and cannot believe they're giving something this awesome away for free. Maybe I'll buy something some day - some of the in-game content looks really visually impressive and it gives your character a unique flavour - I can see why people like doing it, although it seems like playing dress up with virtual dolls.

Some games are more obnoxious about it - I play a bit of Tapped Out, the Simpsons game. It is much more in your face trying to get you to buy stuff. I love the game because I love the Simpsons, but it's just idle pleasure for me and I have no plans to drop money in it either.

(plug: I did a review of Dota 2 which outlines the game for noobs. I encourage people to play it because it's F2P done right, it's extremely well engineered and well featured - and it's great fun.)

Comment Re:All minor parties are teaming together (Score 1) 162

Not all countries have hilariously huge beaurcracies of elected officials. In this case the article is about Australia.

Here we vote for senate and the house. The prime minister is chosen by the party which controlls the house. Cabinet positions such as treasurer and AG are chosen by the prime minister and confirmed by the governer general.

Local officials, controllers, and judges are apolitical positions and not voted on.

Propositions and measure are "yes/no", not a ranking of positions.

You can make your own (or print one from a party's website) "how to vote" card before you go to the poll, and then fill in your ballot to match. Or you can decide when you get there.

It takes under 5 minutes to vote for everything in total, not 5 minutes per vote.

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