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Comment Stopped using YouTube a While Ago (Score 1) 279

Perhaps a year ago I stopped using YouTube because I started getting pushed those long 30-second non-skippable ads for every single video I was trying to play. Now they're trying to push 6-second ads that are non-skippable on mobile phones. Too bad I won't see them since I stopped using their service.

As a matter of fact I even uninstalled Google news and weather app from my Android phone today because it stopped using my Firefox with ad blocker to present the news stories and instead started using the built-in webkit Chrome browser with all the ads and automatic video play enabled.

It's not surprising that there are no Adblock plugin for the Chrome browser on the mobile Android platform knowing that Google is just giving out their OS to be a delivery method for their increasingly more annoying advertising.

As this trend continues to create more annoying and embedded advertisements the more I'm starting to move away from Google and there services and the platform.

Comment All On-Premise Equipment Should Be Purchasable (Score 1) 75

Too many providers and ISPs are going back to the old Bell model of leasing the equipment to the user for huge markups like they used to do with telephones. For example AT&T U-Verse ADSL or VDSL modems can only be leased from the company at what is now $7 per month, when it was $4 originally, and it is soon going to $9 a month I've been told.

This is the same scam that the Bell companies did with telephone leases by inching up costs until you pay hundreds for the same piece of equipment.

You cannot purchase a DSL modem/router/gateway from the carrier nor from a store either since the service authenticates the equipment to make sure that it is the leased one and only authorizes it to work.

What a scam and where's the FCC for the rest of us who have no choice to choose!

Comment Global Entry and TSA PreCheck = Soft-Corruption (Score 4, Insightful) 382

These systems that require payment for favorable treatment and faster pass-through security checkpoints are akin to soft-corruption since they cost money to attain such elevated status. Their value is questionable and the procedure and process to pass-through is a bureaucratic joke without elevating security in any way. My in-person interview was getting a glace by a TSA employee and being asked my name. (Speaking as a Global Entry and TSA PreCheck holder.)

Comment IBM in Health Care = Project Failures (Score 1) 194

The projects that IBM was hired to do and provide their software products and service expertise have been a colossal failure. I have no idea why they are keep getting called back for more software purchases and service requests but I think that there is some stuff going on with previous leadership being ex-IBM employees and back-room deals going on. The hands-on implementers that they provide are not very good and their escalation people can't resolve issue that are happening with their own software products. The experts that they deffer to are in foreign countries and there are problems there also.

I've worked with IBM xSeries Intel compatible server hardware since around the turn of the century when they were trying to go after Compaq/Hewlett-Packard's business share in finance world and frankly their hardware was sub-par, even to Dell at that point in time. Things are slightly better now but there are still weird and unexplained issues with Lenovo/IBM hardware servers and blade systems now. Dell always was to be a less-expensive and more stable hardware platform if you couldn't afford the HP premium pricing for stuff that just worked reliably.

Comment Certs are useful, article annoying... (Score 1) 213

As a 20-year veteran SysAdmin/DevOps/BlueCollarITJanitor I find that certs are useful when they are used as a fundamental building block for building basic knowledge in a specific vendor's way of implementing their technical solution.

As an example, I cut my teeth on MCSE NT 4.0 (could have taken NT 3.51 certs at the time but stupidly skilled those to jump ahead) as a late teenager but the structured organization of the learning materials with the courses and books taught me Microsoft's ideologies and reasons for implementing and using their OS and their BackOffice (...BackOrifice at the time, kek) products and how that specific vendor wanted their stuff configured and working together. For example, the Network Essentials (aka. TCP/IP) test was useful in understanding how Microsoft implemented IPv4 in their OS and how the features of DNS, DHCP, WINS, Routing, etc. were done and could be used to build a good foundation for the network infrastructure correctly.

Now I find that after reading or skimming through some vendor's product instructions and finger-fucking the product's GUI/CLI/API to get it to do what I want it to do I'd like to find the time to sit down and read the actual vendor provided training materials to learn the product from the vendor's idealistic perspective, but alas I can't seem to find/make the self-motivation to go through the study and cert process since this day and age I just go and poke my fingers into some other product's innards to see all the gooey insides such as their APIs and database schema. One of these days I tell myself I'll go back and update my MCSE certs to whatever the new one is... any year now and get those Cisco, VMware, F5, whatever certs... For now it's finger-fucking my keyboard in PowerShell to get at the API of the next victim... err, solution.

Comment Never Had - MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.. (Score 3, Insightful) 394

Never had any of these "social" site profiles nor even any firm presence since the dial-up BBS days since none of them would make me any more sociable or charismatic since I'm a boring geeky nerd that only hangs out with other boring anti-social people. Instead I reach out of the people that I still keep in touch over direct communications methods or in-person and when I need to organize or attend a group even I send direct invitations or get them directly without broadcasting them publicly. Seems to work just fine and it's more direct and personal to keep in touch. Other people show up and disappear from my life if we don't communicate directly and that's normal part of life, the ones that keep reaching out to you or you to them mean something more and those relationships last longer.

Judging from what I hear and I've seen about social media it seems like a waste of valuable personal time on mundane and boring things that people end up posting and others end up reading. If something is important enough for you to hear someone will tell you about it the next time you actually communicate with them directly.

Old Codger Signing Off... +++...ATH...

Comment Got one of those cards (Score 1) 449

Chase Visa Freedom sent me one of those chipped credit cards a month after I thought about asking for it for upcoming trip to Europe on vacation.

The instructions that came with it said that there is no pin code for the card and that it still comes with the magmatic strip and can be used normally like that. So it appears that the presence of the chip is only for compatibility and compliance with a new standard not actual security since it falls back to the insecure magmatic strip or even less secure numbers or legacy's embossed raised numbers for carbon copy. The RFID contactless feature is now gone also.

In the popular car analogy meme for this site, using the chip is like pressing the car door open button on your wireless car key fob; but you could also use the physical key to open the door normally, or why bother when the car is unlocked in the first place since the embossed card number is easily stolen and can be used to charge online, still without even the name or CCV2 on some merchant plugins.

I feel that the chip might be used against the consumers and merchants since when it becomes compromised or copied the card company will shift the blame to them claiming that the physical cards must have been present since their infallible security chip is uncopiable.

Comment Dice = Contract Jobs (Score 4, Informative) 174

I've always been disappointed in Dice.com since it's so full of slimy recruiting firms and even slimier head-hungers offering low-paying contracts. It's so full of Indian firms that it resembles a tech call-center from India and I don't bother anymore to list my resume there since I'll be flooded with worthless contracts in cities that I have no interest in working with. These worthless recruiters don't bother reading your profile or requirements (Perm-Only, Local Area Only) and just spam e-mail and call you with keyword matching crap short-term and low-paying contracts from cities across the nation that you have no interest in working in or moving to. Half the time I can't understand their thick Indian accents either and I wouldn't bother working with them if they can't even communicate well enough with them.

Dice.com is the slums of Tech Recruiting.

Comment Boundaries for Information = Yes, Physical = No (Score 1) 129

Information and informational service boundaries are slowly softening and breaking down since the Internet has made access to information ubiquitous and due to that you're able to consume or create content and reach a multinational audience easily. Some goes for providing information services such as web commerce, development services, or systems administration across the Internet. You can do those types of jobs that don't require any physical access or presence in an Internet virtual environment.

Some places such as New York State are riding that Internet telecommuting band-wagon by taxing income from telecommuting done to a New York based business with a state and city tax as high as 12.7%. So those borders do come into play, and not even national ones, state and city ones too want a piece of the Internet action.

Otherwise try to move any physical resources or objects across national boundaries and you'll be smacked down by a slew of import and export regulations, tariffs, and taxes on national, regional, state, county, and city levels when moving physical objects around. Those aren't changing anytime soon for physical resources that are required to get those virtual resources and services working.

Comment Amazon Echo - Living room idea finally realized. (Score 3, Interesting) 112

So a year or two my friends and I were sitting in the living room and us geeks of course see something playing on my XBMC Media Center and we need to a reference to it from some movie we're watching. I go, why can't I just talk to my media center box to read me the synopsis of it from WikiPedia or Google or something so we know what the movie is talking about. My friends go we can do that with the Android phones and ask them but they are stupid so they will do the search for you but you have to read the long article.

Now there Amazon Echo device does exactly what we wanted to do is to have a Star Trek like experience of asking, "Computer, what is a Widget?" and we would get an answer. I just wish that Google made one or some other company so that we could have more generalized and generic access to many online sources of info instead of being locked into the Amazon Cloud of Fog.

Anyway, I requested a pre-order for it and we'll see if I qualify. I'd like to be able to just talk to my computer and get info back that it too cumbersome to search for.

Comment Re:Great Site But Hated the OCZ SSD Recommendation (Score 2) 152

Correction, HardOCP instead of HardOCZ, caught my own error since I was posting about OCZ Vertex product failures.

Also, I am guessing that Anand's "retirement" is more like "cashing-in" on the site. Good time to make money and run!

Commodity hardware reviews are dying out since they are getting less relevant to people. My machine is 5-years old and still going strong after 2-SDD upgrades and 3-video card upgrades. No need to replace the whole thing and upgrade anymore since my computer is running idle the vast majority of time.

SSDs were the last great upgrade for computers ever since the whole CPU and RAM and Video Card wars were decided and settled.

Next upgrade will most likely be when 4K displays become common place with the next Windows 9 OS that scales things correctly for them and video hardware that can support it well without performance issues. That'll be another 2-years or so and then I'll look at replacing my computer's insides since it looks like ATX cases and 750W power supplies are here to stay and quite enough.

Comment Great Site But Hated the OCZ SSD Recommendations (Score 3, Interesting) 152

Read the site since the beginning every time I needed an upgrade for components ever since Tom's Hardware sold out to its sponsors.

Anand and his writers were great and they changed the way that computer reviews were done online versus in magazine print in PC Magazine or Boot / Maximum PC.

His recommendation of OCZ products at every revision of the Vertex line of products deserves a black eye on his legacy though since the reports of failures of every Vertex line 1 through 4 were coming out consistently just a few months after release on sites like Newegg, HardOCZ, ExtremeSystems, Amazon, Overclokers, etc. Anand keep awarding Editors Choices to OCZ regardless of the volumes of failures.

He admonished Intel for their firmware bugs correctly but then white washed OCZ failures but back tracked and started mentioning their failures after it became common knowledge in the hardware circles.

Still he leaves a legacy for legitimate and notable online journalism that changed online reviews and reporting by legitimizing it and receiving sponsorship from manufacturers.

Comment Re:Anker Batteries - Get My Vote (Score 1) 131

FYI, that Amazon link is mine, I put it into the post that way and now I realize that it looks too professional, as if it's some kind of an Advertisement / Slashvertisement injection by Slashdot / Dice Holdings Inc. It's not, I write posts like this with links and price references in USD. Sorry, for any anger it might cause.

Comment Anker Batteries - Get My Vote (Score 2) 131

Same issue as the poster, dying batteries with pretty thick bulges from LiPo expansion on a 4-year old HTC phone. Same dillema searching for reputable products, found Anker batteries and bought 2 of them. Very happy with their performance. Tested them with a LiPo hobby charger using a charge-discharge-charge cycle and the mAh rating on them came within the advertised 95-97% value. Batteries still work great after over 1-year of usage.

Anker Universal Cell Phone Battery Charger - $9.99 USD @ Amazon

I love their universal battery charger with the sliding battery terminals that do polarity auto-detection. I can charge all kind of different batteries in it since many phones now don't have separate battery charger cradles.

Or it comes free if you buy 2 battery packs from Anker, or at least mine did a year ago since I can't find it bundled with anything anymore.

Comment Re:STALKER PC Game Series (Score 1) 20

Yes, the STALKER game series including the mods are worthy of multiple replays because it's like watching a great old movie that you once saw except that playing these games you get the same sense of emotional reminiscence but the experience changes every single time you play them, especially if you apply some of the better mods to them like the ones that you mentioned.

I sometimes like to fire up these old games and go wondering around the game areas again just for the nostalgic effects just to see and feel the old areas in the games. No other games that I have played have had such a long lasting effect on me than these games.

I also grew up in Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain so the architecture, environments, personalities, vegetation, and atmosphere all remind me of my childhood. Couple that with my current involvement in real-steel military weapons and Airsoft weapons along with participating in MilSim operations in urban and forested areas and these STALKER games reinforce those old memories even more because they are even more relevant with new experiences.

Great game series. High recommended from an old PC game player.

I'll see about scheduling a trip out there to Chernobyl since it's just next-door to my old home country on my next time in Europe.

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