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Comment Re:No, nobody has run into this (Score 1) 167

I used to use Optar. Has the problem of 'expanding' the data to fit a full sheet of paper. I would prefer to have a compact block of known width and variable length up to a max of paper sheet length personally (but I don't have the coding skills to do this). Paperkey looks only useful for PGP keys, but not other data. Not looked at paperback - any comments on how good this is?

Comment Re:Beta Fightback (Score 1) 108

Whilst I, like every else here, seem to hate the changes being made here, are all the people here who post complaints here totally IT incapable?

If anyone here reads /. using firefox, it doesn't take a huge degree of effort to edit the HTML 'on the fly', and strip out all the offensive code. Has anyone looked at the RSS feed lately? It is abominable!

SOLUTION: Install Stylish, and voila. Complete control to throw away all the crap.

We probably should set up a community-driven recipe that everyone can download without the hassle of writing their own recipe. I *might* try to get round to doing this in a day or so... No promises, though.

Comment Re:No SINGLE solution for you... (Score 1) 420

It's a big question, and I don't feel that there is a single answer. But this is what I did...

I bought a Raspberry Pi, stuck XBMC on it, and am quite happy with it. However, what I did was wrong (at least, the approach was). However, I did it that way because I already had a Pi for other reasons, was playing with it, and I am a cheapskate that doesn't like buying hardware!

What you should do is decide what software you want to run, and your competency level of installing and maintaining it - and then buy the hardware to match.

I *really* wanted a simple DNLA Digital Media Renderer (DMR), rather than a DMC. Personally, I've never really liked GUI's, and wanted a simple backend just to play what was streamed to it. However, in the end, I could not find what I wanted, and developed an opinion that DNLA is a mish-mash of ideals that don't completely work in practice. So I gave up on that thread.

Had a brief encounter with the Apple TV. Didn't like it at all - not what I was looking for. The other retail consumer devices I had problems discovering that they wouldn't cope with all the potential formats I had, or wouldn't do what I wanted, or (more commonly) that I couldn't discover exactly what they were capable of anyway. I don't like locked-down platforms.

So I ended up with XBMC. It feels (to me) a bit bloated. Why would I need to view the weather on my TV? Or photographs? Etc... But the rest of the community seem to think that it isn't half bad, so that is good enough. But importantly, it works! I watch TV on a TV, not on the iPad (though the wife does) - and XBMC streams to it quite happily (so long as the format is correct - I've not bothered to look at streaming any .mkv files or transcoding options. And, if I feel the need, I can stream from the iPad to the TV (not that I do). Additionally, there is a very useful iPad/iPhone remote control app. It is my primary method of controlling it.

The annoyance (for me) is that I still need a keyboard plugged in to the Pi. It's not used much, and the plan is to ditch it completely, but I'm still tinkering with it. Also, I haven't got it to download TV schedules, or watch on-demand content from the web, or watch live broadcast TV, or act as a PVR, etc, etc. But that really isn't important to me. It may be for you...

Comment Misinformation (Score 1) 290

I guess that the original post really doesn't understand what TPM is, and has subscribed to the 'conspiracy theory' brigade. What would be the reason for avoiding the chip altogether, when it is quite possible to disable the functionality.

As a self-confessed privacy freak, I'd love a TPM module in my home machine - sadly I have not located a source of the module at a sensible price. I did, however, have it on an old laptop, and (under linux at least) found its functionality very positive. Then again, it was under a non-commercial OS, and I had full control over it.

What I *don't* understand is UEFI - mainly because I have no hardware to hack with. However, that appears at first glance to be more problematic for me to hack, since it seems only MS are able to sign the bootloader. Not a problem with TPM.

In short, it is not the presence or absence of the chip that the OP needs to think about - it is the software that is installed and used.

Comment Arghhh! (Score 1) 132

Stop this - RIGHT NOW.

Mitochondria do not have DNA, therefore the UK is not creating babies using the DNA from three people.

Mitochondria are being transferred whole, and contain RNA.

I know this is slashdot, and we must expect inaccurate reporting of scientific and technical subjects - but really...

Comment Re:Zotero is good (Score 1) 87

Another very happy user of Zotero here. I have tried Jabref, which I like for it's simplicity, but I find it lacks functionality. There was another on-line collaborative site (beginning with 'C'?) that I tried briefly, and abandoned. I have probably tried several others also - though this is the first time that I have heard of Mendeley...

To be honest, the only downside that I can think of about using Zotero is that it is a Firefox plugin, and we are (supposed to) have a purely MSIE environment on the workstations here due to IT policy. This is easily fixed using Portable Apps.

Other than that, there is nothing that I would want any bibliography organiser to to that Zotero cannot. No - on second thoughts, as I think it only comes with pluging for MS Word and Open Office, it could probably do with some 'magic glue' to integrate it with LyX...

Comment Re:if you're ok with DRM (Score 1) 232

Sorry - but I think you are missing a major point here.

This is all about how media content is delivered to the consumer. DRM is *supposed* to be about Rights Management. The problem is that the media companies consider this to be achievable through copy protection. CDs, DVD/Blueray are fast becoming extinct - which annoys me greatly. From their point of view, copy protection doesn't work. For a consumer to hire a disc, then rip it before returning the product back to the store, is piracy - and shouldn't be condoned. For anyone owning the disc, however, the copy process is legitimate, and (in my experience) essential.

The media companies have lost this battle - so the tactics have changed. The new battle lines are to do with streaming media. If you subscribe to Netflix, iTunes and the like, then you own nothing. You are renting the service, not the media, and are locked into their T&C - which will probably prohibit downloading and converting to a different format if you subsequently buy a non-supported device.

Therefore, by default (and whether you like it or not), by subscribing to any of these streaming services you are supporter of DRM. You are also contributing to the demise of the physical product.

Comment Re:Violation of the Data Protection Act (Score 1) 338

How is this not a violation of the data protection act? I quote from Wikipedia (

Firstly, because the D.P.A. 1998 is *UK* law, which (as far as I can see) has no relevance to FB (usual IANAL applies). Try looking at the D.P.A. 1988 & the Amendment Act 2003. If you're interested, keep your eyes posted on the outcome of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's report into FB.

Secondly, if you believe that the Data Protection Act has anything at all to do with the *Protection* of your personal data, in regard to it's distribution to other parties, then you are a complete and utter naive fool. At least as far as the UK Act is concerned, it serves to

  • legalise the practice of data retention and distribution;
  • Allow recourse for you to correct inaccurate data; and
  • allow the Government to make money by "registering" any company that needs to store data.

Forgive my cynicism, but it is simply another method of extracting 'Tax' from companies who need to store client details, and does almost nothing about protecting the availability of data that you may consider to be personal.

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