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Comment Re:The 6th gen was a spike above the normal trend (Score 1) 205

Opposite here. I was skeptical about buying a 6+, but I wanted a replacement for my iPad Mini that I could easily read while my commuter bus was bouncing along the freeway. It felt HUGE for about a week until it became the new normal. Now I can barely type on an SE because it feels like I'm jabbing at a tiny little Barbie phone. Now that I've acclimated to the Plus's form factor, I'd hate going back.

Comment Re:Another obvious defense against this (Score 4, Interesting) 428

I want a "panic" finger such that it displays a "could not read fingerprint - try again" message and then immediate sets "allow_unlocking_with_fingerprint=False" internally so that a password is required. Make it indistinguishable from the usual unlock failure message so that it's impossible to tell that it was triggered (even by examining the on-device logs, if that's possible).

Comment Re:easily made up in peripherals. (Score 1) 522

Your suggestion, in a thread about relative costs of systems, is to buy a custom piece of hardware, from a vendor who's website doesn't actually list a price.

Y'all got Amazon where you live? Or access to any of the vendors they list on their website?

But it's not like Windows can backup to thin air. You have to have something on the other end of that CAT-5, so it's probably a wash hardware-wise.

Do you know what I think when I see a website selling a product but not listing a unit price.

"Huh, I wonder if Amazon has them?" would have been my first thought, but apparently it wasn't yours.

Comment Re:easily made up in peripherals. (Score 3, Informative) 522

if things ever get too hairy for a dell, your restore process is entirely automated in windows or linux. restoring a mac is nothing short of corporate witchcraft.

To backup: buy a Synology NAS. Enable the Time Machine service. Configure your Macs to back up to it. Voila, done.

To restore from scratch: hold down Command-R when booting a Mac. Tell it to restore from Time Machine. Wait an hour. Voila, done.

Comment Re:There is something to that... (Score 1) 522

because Mac is like 10 percent of the worlds PC sales, and the viruses usually dont survive that far when the percentage of ownership is that low

That has zero to do with the relative dearth of malware on Macs. (Pausing for a moment for a pedant to point out the one or two Mac bugs they've read about. Yes, we know. It's still proportionally much less than Mac's market share so move along.) Macs are initially more expensive, but that also means there owners tend to have more money and therefore the machines are more valuable targets. There are also still tens of millions of Macs out there in the wild. Even if there are more PCs, there are still a hell of a lot of Macs to be owned for anyone interested and capable. The fact that they're not is an indicator that building a nice interface on top of a solid Unix platform is a good way to end up with a stable, secure desktop.

Comment Re:blackouts, lack of channel choice, forced hardw (Score 1) 199

sports blackouts

OMG yes. I bought my wife an season pass because she loves watching baseball. What do you get for $109.99? Every game on TV except the ones in your home market. You can watch the Twins suck any time you want, so long as you don't live in Minnesota. Oh, and no postseason: that's a separate subscription.

Who the fuck came up with those ideas? I'll be damned if MLB ever gets another penny from us.

Comment Re:Why is this here? (Score 1) 380

I don't trust Snopes to debunk anything, but it's not for any political reason whatsoever. They have an article about Marilyn Monroe having six toes. To be clear, I think the whole idea is silly and I don't think (or particularly care whether) she did. However, they quote as evidence:

There is no record of Marilyn's having had an operation at that point in her life, and no contemporary references to anyone's noticing her walking with a bandaged foot or a limp for a period of time. (One doesn't simply get up and start trotting around after having a toe removed — the missing digit affects one's balance, and it takes some time to adjust to the change and "relearn" how to walk.)

My wife is a podiatrist. I asked her about this reasoning and she said it's BS. She amputates toes from time to time as part of her practice and says that patients usually bounce back and are walking perfectly fine in no time, even when she has to remove the big toe. Lopping off an extra little vestigial toe wouldn't have any noticeable effect once the wound healed, and the patient certainly wouldn't have to '"relearn" how to walk'. I wrote to Snopes with that information and got back a response basically blowing me off and arguing that the sixth toe story is a fake and my facts are wrong because "there should be no reason why a person with a painfully infected toe would walk with a limp. But they do.". Yeah, I get that. I never said otherwise. But I do claim that this one piece of evidence is completely wrong, does not accurately contribute to their conclusion (which I agree with), and I have a subject matter expert's testimony to that effect.

Since then, I've been a bit loathe to trust Snopes about anything. I mean, they're probably right about most things, but I have firsthand experience with them completely ignoring evidence that doesn't fit their narrative. I haven't paid enough attention to their articles to know what their political slant is, but the point is moot for me already anyway.

Comment Re:Laughable (Score 1) 76

I love IRC. Have you used Slack, though? Think about why the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was popular: it was friendly and non-threatening. Same with Slack, really: even if it functions like IRC, it looks absolutely nothing like your favorite IRC client. Anyone in the company can start using it with basically zero training. It's pretty, brightly colored, approachable, and discoverable. HipChat could have won that space but their UI felt like they wrapped IRC in Java and called it a day.

Slack's made a killing off an IRC-alike that non-technical people genuinely like using. Microsoft seems corporately unable to improve upon the things that made Slack take over businesses by storm, but there's no technological reason they couldn't do it. There's a lot of room in this space for someone willing to put a premium on user experience.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 2) 232

I write web services for remote clients to send information to. 50 msec includes the time to establish a TCP connection to the nginx frontend (written in C!), then to run a little bit of Python code to massage the request and either store it in a database (probably written in C, or maybe Java) or fetch data from one, then to return the results to the remote client. At a previous employer, my code did that about 80,000 times per second, averaged 24/7. At the shop before that, we load tested to 500,000 requests per second but it was only for a few minutes sustained at a time.

When was the last time you personally wrote code to handle 500Kops? Did you know that those durn whippersnappers at Google runs a big chunk of their stack on Python and that they'd laugh at our tiny it doesn't matter to the end user. If we could have reduced a 50ms transaction to 10ms by altering the speed of the light signals carrying our requests, we probably would have. But since we live in a universe with physics, the best we could possible hope for was to reduce the time spent in application code to 0.000ms and thereby drop the entire transaction time to 49ms.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 1) 232

Or, you know. You could actually learn how to write good code at the most powerful level. That's a radical thought.

I did, and that's why I'm using Python. I'm capable of writing web services in C, but who the hell's got time for that craziness? Also consider Amdahl's Law: in most of stuff I write, the "running code to process data" bit is a teensy portion of wall clock time. Much more is spent in socket handshaking or waiting for database queries to finish. Out of a 50ms request lifecycle, perhaps 1ms is spent inside a box that I have complete control of. Even if I rewrote it in assembler (C is for high-level pansies) to be 1000x faster, the request would still take 49.001ms. An assload of work porting security-sensitive code into an untyped languages so that the end result can be 2% faster? Yeah, no. My boss would fire me with a quickness if I proposed that.

I'd be much more likely to rewrite performance-critical code in Go or Rust. They're as fast as C but without the death of a thousand cuts like gotofail waiting to ruin your careful planning. Life's too short to waste it hacking in languages that hate you and make you want to look incompetent.

Comment Re:Unsustainable pricing on high tech gadgets (Score 2) 115

It doesn't cost $800 to manufacture an iPhone. More like $100. In the US it would maybe be $150. It is Apples greed that is the blame.

There are always lines around the block on launch day. People cheerfully buy tens of millions of each iPhone. If people are willing to pay that price without a gun to their head, and there are alternatives that they could buy instead but they choose to buy iPhones anyway, how do you justify describing it as greed?

Comment Often deliberately (Score 1) 141

I switched off Comcast a few months ago to a regional ISP that's deploying fiber-to-the-premises all over the place. Their current offering in my neighborhood is FTTN, which is basically fiber to a box near my house, then DSL from that box to my living room. I have two DSL lines bonded for a 50Mbps down, ~8Mbps up connection (that is, faster than Comcast in uploads) for about a third what I was paying Comcast. That's to tide us over until the ISP gets around to replacing that last mile, which they've actually been doing and not continually deferring to some distant future.

Don't cry for me and my DSL connection. Our download speed is theoretically slower, but in practice it's just as fast, utterly uncapped, and far cheaper. I somehow think we'll scrape by.

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UNIX enhancements aren't.