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Submission + - Is out of commission? (

An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoinplus is pooled bitcoin mining site, allowing users to share the load (and, hopefully, the bitcoins). Payouts are made in fractional bitcoins. I've used it since back in 2011. Recently (since late in January), something has gone wrong. The miner claims to be generating payouts, but none are crediting to member accounts. The ticker on the site's main page provides a feed of users who are getting payouts, but all those payout amounts are zero. Part of some nefarious plan, or simply a site glitch that's gone unnoticed for a while? Has anyone else noticed? Any members here affected?

Comment OCR, anyone (Score 1) 181

If MS's OneNote can do it without twitching, it won't be long before every browser will be able to do it. To me, the only limitation is the present.

I've created many text-over-photos images. Most get used in slide shows, but I have shared a couple via social media. In my opinion, they convey a stronger message than text alone, or even alongside an image.

Comment Lost momentum (Score 1) 128

Since it didn't require a monthly subscription, Guild Wars appealed to a lot of gamers outside the hardcore realm, with a model that let people play for a while and then set it aside. That was, in my opinion, one of its great strengths, as I've been one of those players. There were times when I had loads of time to play, and times when I was only on during holiday weekends. Unfortunately, that angle--the leave and return model--while one of the game's strengths may hurt them as Guild Wars 2 *finally* gets released.

Why? Some of those occasional players may have lost their enthusiasm about the game. During the first two years of development, I was excited for the release and confident I would play. As the years have dragged on, I've still been excited to see the development news, but it has become something less and less exciting to me. I worked hard to fill my Hall of Monuments in Guild Wars (an in-game feature that would allow certain achievements to pay out in the new Guild Wars 2 environment), but now find myself only marginally interested. I planned to buy the pre-release during the early years of development, but took a pass when it became available earlier this year. One of my sons got in, and has been enjoying beta weekends and stress test events, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll even bother buying the game (especially since I'll need to replace my laptop if I want to continue using it for my gaming).

Sure, these are just my musings, but I get the sense that I'm not the only one out there who may have lost interest when the development took so long. I'm sure many of you have been waiting with bated breath and can't imagine not playing, but all I can muster for now is, "Meh."

Don't get me wrong--it looks amazing and my son has been having a lot of fun. It's just that those of us on the periphery of the gaming scene see our interests wax and wane. Perhaps I'll change my tune when others I know start playing--if they start playing at all. For me, rather than playing Guild Wars 2 on Friday nights, I'll probably continue playing MTG at the card shop in the next town--it's a lot of fun, too, and I'm meeting more interesting people that way, too.

Anyway, point made. Personal rant over.

Comment Walking in the rain (Score 1) 1005

Since when did walking in the rain become a suspicious activity? Some of the most beautiful times I've experienced in my life have been doing just that--"walking around, looking about". When you finally say "screw it", because you know you're going to get wet anyway, it's amazing how peaceful and refreshing a walk in the rain can be.

I don't know what happened there that night, but I sure hope they get enough decent evidence together to settle the matter entirely, no matter the outcome.

Comment A novel defense (challenge) (Score 2) 550

In the United States, employers are barred from asking about certain things during interviews (e.g., marital and familial status). Besides the generic privacy argument, perhaps someone will think of refusing to cooperate because it would expose aspects of the applicant's life that the potential employer may not consider. Perhaps HR teams will get wind of this, as well, and start telling their hiring managers to cease and desist before they end up as first-named-defendant on a lawsuit challenging the practice.

Comment Simple Solution (Score 3, Interesting) 525

Let's take a step back and imagine what a reasonable solution looks like, one that balances IP and fair use. When CDs were the primary media format, it was lawful (under the Copyright Act of 1983, if I'm remembering correctly) to make a tape from a CD, so long as the tapes were distributed for free, or a nominal fee not more than the cost of the tape transfer process ($1?). Why can't we do that now?

Establish a bit rate threshhold for music (resolution/fps for video) and allow people to share files in those "less than perfect" formats, just as we once could with cassette tapes. Anything above that threshold would require a purchase/license. Heck, I'd be fine if a minimal fee (fractional pennies to pennies) were imposed on each and every media-capable player or storage device (much as blank CDs had such fees built in).

Just realize that it is entirely natural (and, as shown repeatedly, good for business) to let people share. That's how I got introduced to most of the music I learned to love over the years. Stop trying to fight the concept of sharing, and establish some reasonable parameters that regulate sharing.

Regarding eBooks and similar formats, I love their convenience, but hate their limitations. I believe the First Sale Doctrine (the idea that rights holder get paid their share only on the first transaction--not with each subsequent change of ownership) is one of the greatest concepts in the legal sphere. Since eBook publications are typically licensed to a single user, the provisions of the First Sale Doctrine don't apply. I can understand more objection to its applicability with eBooks, because, unlike books, electronic editions should never deteriorate (that will remain to be seen). Once a physical book is worn enough, you need to buy another copy if you want to read it again. If the First Sale Doctrine applied universally to digital media files, then the need to ever replace a copy of a work is greatly reduced (perhaps only when dealing with physical loss, or system malfunction).

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now before I bore all of you to death.

Comment I call it a good thing (Score 1) 487

For a number of years, I lived in a city. The neighborhood was good overall, but it had its problems. One was a house down the street. The occupants were known to be a good source for just about any stree drug, and they had loud parties regularly, with people spilling out on the street. We first tried talking to them--it didn't work. As soon as we started calling the police, we started seeing a pattern.

Within moments of the call (no matter who made it, no matter whether or not the occupants were told we were calling), all the young men would leave the house, through the back alley, and a number of women and children would come out onto the front step and front porch. When officers arrived, the women played dumb, claiming there was no party and that no one else was in the house (presumably true by the time they arrived).

I watched this happed repeatedly over a series of months before I finally got to talk to one of the officers about it. He told me that, from all the reports they had received, it was pretty clear that things were going on there, but that the occupants always "put on their show" whenever an officer was dispatched. He surmised, as had I, that they were using police scanners to monitor when officers were dispatched to their address. When the call came over the radio, their show started.

Yes, I know many of you may have concerns about secret police conversation, but I, for one, am tired of the bad guys getting away because they know the cops are coming.

[We left the neighborhood about 18 months later. We're still in touch wtih neighbors who report that they still see the little show, but not as often, and that they have seen them get busted once--they apparently had plainclothes officers in the neighborhood after hearing a tip about the party. That time, they snagged people in the alley after the call went in.]

Comment AP with guest configuration (Score 1) 332

Many newer access points (APs) will automatically set up two SSIDs when you run through the initial setup. The primary one is one you can use for your everyday office use. You assign it a key that will only be used on computers owned or authorized by the church. The secondary SSID is for a guest account. The guest account is configured with no security (for the initial connection--no AP security), but it presents you with a splash screen where a guest password must be entered when you initially connect (if you assign a password during setup). That guest password is one you can had out to your Sunday School teachers or other authorized users.

Traffic on the guest network is fully segmented from that on the primary network, thereby keeping your church office network free from curious eyes while facilitating Internet access for anyone else who may need it.

The Cisco E3000 ($100) is one device that provides for such guest networks. It handles current and legacy protocols (802.11b/g/n). I've been using one for about six months and it has been great. My home PCs have access to the primary connection, and we give out the guest password to our kids' friends when they are over.

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