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Comment An IBM 5150 purchased from a TRW surplus sale (Score 1) 857

This one wasn't an XT model, although it did come with a 10MB hard drive as well as a 360K DS-DD floppy drive, monochrome green screen, 256K of RAM, and IBM PC-DOS 3.1. Took about five minutes to boot, and came with a copy of WordStar for DOS which got me through 4th, 5th and 6th grades.

Middle of 7th grade, one of my mom's friends had just bought herself an IBM ThinkPad, and needed to get rid of her Compaq 286, 40MB hard drive, 14" 640x480 VGA monitor, MS-DOS 5. I only had that computer for about a month, because one of dad's coworkers in computer resources heard about my interest in building computers and dug an Intel 386DX-25 chip, motherboard and 4MB RAM out of company storage, suggested we get the rest of the parts needed to get it running at the San Diego Computer Show. That ended up being the first computer I built.

Submission + - Wells Fargo Fires 5,300 Employees For Creating Millions of Phony Accounts (

An anonymous reader writes: Everyone hates paying bank fees. But imagine paying fees on a ghost account you didn't even sign up for. That's exactly what happened to Wells Fargo customers nationwide. On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts — without their customers knowing it — since 2011. The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money. Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that it had fired 5,300 employees related to the shady behavior over the last few years. Employees went to far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said. The scope of the scandal is shocking. An analysis conducted by a consulting firm hired by Wells Fargo concluded that bank employees opened up over 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB. Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.

Comment Re:*bullet burn* That was a close one. (Score 2) 78

Because I'm insane, I actually own both of them and have spent a fair amount of time using each. (Was an original kickstarter backer so they sent me a CV1, then I also bought a Vive)

I like the actual headset part from Oculus better, and they currently have more games that are actually fleshed out games instead of tech demos.
Built in headphones are also way less of a pain than providing your own as well.

However, the Vive room-scale & hand controllers makes it a better overall experience. Standing, walking around, and using your hands just makes it vastly more immersive. It will be interesting to see if any of this changes after the Oculus touch controllers are released, but I am skeptical that they will be able to do room-scale tracking that's as accurate as the vive just by adding another camera. Even though I don't think they will, I'm hopeful they do, however, because I really do like the greater level of polish the Oculus device has.

Amusingly enough, I ordered a Vive after it was released and got it about 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine who preordered a Rift very early (possibly first day?) still hasn't gotten his.

Comment Re:Not funneled into (Score 1) 284

Except the Euro isn't going to improve. Just look at its demographics. Most of the population is nearing retirement, and there isn't an equivalently-sized generation behind it to generate investment nor a generation behind that one to generate growth. The periphery is considerably more screwed, because not only is the Euro too strong for them to generate positive GDP growth on exports, but even if the Euro were artificially devalued ("over our dead bodies," the Germans would say), the periphery's labor market is too old and thus too expensive to employ to compete on straight exports either.

And when that bulge moves into retirement, they stop earning taxable income, and Europe can't afford the bailouts anymore. Not with a hilariously large population base of retirees to pay pensions and medical benefits for, with the tax burden placed on considerably smaller populations. No, Europe as it is right now, is as good as it's gonna be.

Comment Re: Three guesses... (Score 1) 126

The "kicker" is that Yandex is already the market leader for searches in Russia, but they have hilariously dismal smartphone market penetration due to Google Search being the default engine bundled with Android. Rather than simply forking Android to change the defaults and providing their own equivalent applications, and then paying Russian OEMs to use their distro instead of Google's so as to shut Google out of the Russian market almost-entirely, Yandex wants to piggyback off of Google's hard work.

So yes, this is essentially Yandex wanting Google to subsidize them.

Submission + - "Happy Birthday" Public Domain after all? (

jazzdude00021 writes: No song has had as contentious of copyright history as "Happy Birthday." The song is nearly ubiquitous at birthday parties in the USA, and even has several translations with the same tune. Due to copyrights held by Warner Music, public performances have historically commanded royalty fees. However, a new lawsuit has been brought to prove that "Happy Birthday" is, and always has been in the public domain.The discovery phase for this lawsuit ended on July, 11 2014, yet this past week new evidence surfaced from Warner Music that may substantiate the claim that the lyrics were in the public domain long before the copyright laws changed in 1927. From the source:

And, here's the real kicker: they discovered this bit of evidence after two questionable things happened. (1) Warner/Chappell Music (who claims to hold the copyright for the publishing, if it exists) suddenly "found" a bunch of relevant documents that it was supposed to hand over in discovery last year, but didn't until just a few weeks ago, and (2) a rather important bit of information in one of those new documents was somewhat bizarrely "blurred out." This led the plaintiffs go searching for the original, and discover that it undermines Warner Music's arguments, to the point of showing that the company was almost certainly misleading the court. Furthermore, it definitively shows that the work was and is in the public domain.

Comment Re:Lessons from Fukushima (Score 1) 678

So that just excludes building in Temecula, central Los Angeles, and the San Francisco bay.

Honestly the best place to build desal plants would probably be San Diego, because the region sits atop a massive single chunk of bedrock (the southern California batholith), and California doesn't get the kind of offshore vertical displacement quakes that cause tsunamis anyway.

Comment Re:thank God they didn't have computers.... (Score 1) 629

I had something similar happen in high school as well - same era of computing technology, but my "crime" was using the Back Orifice client on a terminal in CAD class and discovering that a good chunk of the school's network had been infected with it. Attempting to convince the district's administrator that a problem existed at all got me a "we have antivirus, we're fine" response (their solution for everything was the same as yours - reformat and reinstall), and when I pressed the issue with the school's administration I was given a more detailed answer of "fixing it isn't in the budget."

So I forced the issue, by using the client to display popup messages on several terminals in my Internet Publishing class, with the teacher in full view of what was going on. Got pulled aside and "reported" to the administration, and he made all kinds of noise about "port scans are a felony" which I couldn't help but laugh at, considering he ultimately had to use the BO client himself to remove the infection. The school administration wanted to expel me and sweep the problem under the rug, but they basically had to settle for assigning me one session of Saturday School after discovering that I had never signed the liability waiver the district required of every student prior to using their computers (I was handed one, I stuck it in my backpack and promptly forgot about it), and neither my CAD teacher nor my Internet Publishing teacher bothered to enforce collecting the damn things.

The start of the second semester that year was telling, because the school had its campus police lock every computer lab and basically force every student, for each class period, to sign a liability waiver and return it before they'd let anyone in.

Story doesn't end there though - fast forward a year and change, over the summer the school spent a huge amount of money having one of the computer graphics classes upgraded, with something on the order of 20-some iMacs and 4 G3's. Barely a semester later, somebody broke into the lab, ripped most of the memory out of each machine, and reconfigured the virtual memory settings so that the theft wouldn't be noticed immediately. And it wasn't. Take a wild guess who their first suspect was.

Getting pulled out of class by two uniformed police officers was fun, though nothing came of that, or their investigation, as far as I know. The school didn't get reimbursed by their insurance company either, because the computers had anti-theft locks installed but none of them were actually armed.

Comment Re:Ok, I am naive, but... (Score 1) 320

The simple answer is that they're not paying for their education.

Incidentally, this lines up quite neatly with why it seems like the big cheating scandals tend to hit the four-year mainline universities versus, say, community colleges and trade schools. Rich kids with more money than sense don't go to those.

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