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Comment And much of it can be easily blocked by the MTA (Score 1) 35

Apparently due to the need for cheap domain names, spammers are running their outbound mail configured with cheap TLDs. I suppose they are doing this so that they can have an actual domain name that resolves properly because it's too easy to block an invalid domain name?

Whatever the reason, if you run your own inbound MTA, a lot of spam can be blocked by simply setting it to discard any mail from these sleazy TLDs, before even reaching the point of doing blackhole list lookup. The worst ones these days are .top and .stream, because apparently you can get a domain for $0.88/mo. Sure, spam still comes in from pwned computers, but a surprising amount comes in from IPs with properly resolving A records, and a surprising amount of that spam comes from TLDs that no sane person would be sending mail from.

So I guess some good did come out of ICANN getting greedy with selling all those new TLDs after all.

Comment Re: Double your storage by making a hole. (Score 1) 188

All of the computers with "standard" disk controller chips used the index hole. (And some CP/M machines were hard sectored, which definitely requires it. That one time I tried to format a 5 1/4" floppy that I didn't realize was hard-sectored was certainly interesting.) I know the TRS-80 used the index hole (I usually made a rough index hole with an X-acto knife), and Atari used it too (I've seen it in the XF551 code).

The Apple II didn't use the index because Woz found out that he didn't need it (even copy protection just used the relative position timing between tracks), and I don't think Commodore used it either.

Comment Re:AT&T DSL? (Score 1) 43

They started deprecating the old ADSL-1 service four or five years ago, at least in the SBC areas. Proper U-Verse is VDSL-2, but I'm sure there are still plenty of areas which never got the Project Lightspeed (FTTN) upgrades. Also, those upgrades date back to the days when it was still SBC (Southwestern Bell Co.), so it will probably vary based on what the RBOC was doing when acquired.

Comment Re:How will that save bandwidth? (Score 1) 43

They have definitely been pushing DirecTV hard over the past year or so since buying them: a DirecTV flyer in almost every weekly stack of junk mail, plus almost monthly direct mail to existing U-Verse customers, even those with their IPTV service.

I think the main reason to abandon the IPTV has to be that they've finally realized that the last mile bandwidth on crap copper is just too precious to use more than 50% of it to stream TV (and FWIW, they charge $10/mo extra for the privilege of receiving HD, probably to discourage the higher usage), so now that they own DirectTV they'd rather shill that than actually install the fiber that they've been putting off for decades. That's going to bite them in the ass eventually. When they installed U-Verse at my mom's house, the tech had to try a second and a third copper pair to get one that would even work.

Sure, it's technically cool to push video over VDSL2, but it's simply more economical to push one-way content from a satellite. Coax works so well because it's a wideband system, and it's even possible to put a one-way wideband signal on fiber separate along with data, but DSL has a much lower bandwidth limit over a pair of aging copper wires.

Meanwhile, I'm moving from one Google Fiber city where it wouldn't have reached me for years anyhow (far NW Austin), to another (San Antonio) where it also probably won't reach me for years.

Comment Re:So much for being useful for music (Score 1) 495

I wouldn't exactly call the mini headphone jack studio-quality to begin with. You can get USB sound dongles from $10 for a cheap dongle with 3.5mm jacks, to $40 for a 7.1 with multiple headphone jacks, or $40 for a 2-in 4-out DJ unit with RCA plugs, and you can get pro ones with a better better quality ADC/DAC and XLR/TRS jacks for a (big) chunk of change more. Or even a full USB mixer panel.

If you're using a laptop, you probably want a docked set-up for studio work anyhow, and USB means less plugs to connect. On my Late-2011-17", I rarely use headphones just for playing music (this ain't no iPod that you stick in your pocket), but I do have a USB unit (with proper RCA jacks) wired to my home theater audio stuff when I want to hear music on real speakers, and I get amplifier headroom for the bad source levels often found with streaming.

On a laptop, I'd be fine with an extra USB port instead of a headphone jack. I can always plug in a cheap tiny dongle if I need headphone audio. And on a desktop, who cares? I'd probably use optical on a desktop. Looking at the panel space they take up, if they also remove the line-in, that's more than enough for another USB-A port, or maybe even enough for two USB-C ports.

A cell phone is different because there aren't a lot of generic USB ports to slap adapters on. (Cue picture of the Lightning headphone dongle that won't let you charge at the same time.) Also, the headphone jack credit card readers are quite common among nomadic retailers. Perhaps a brick dongle that plugs into Lightning with a credit card slot, headphone jack, and charging port? It could even have a smart card chip reader! Those Square things do seem kind of flimsy to me.

Comment Re:Really slashdot? (Score 1) 467

The reasons for pre-order were many, but to name a few:

I don't see a single one of those that you couldn't have gotten at the official time of release, if NMS was what it was expected to be. I could understand if you mentioned some pre-order bonuses (there were apparently some, as well as a limited-edition box set), but you didn't, so they apparently weren't a big motivation. You mention being a big Steam user, so it couldn't have been because you were worried about it being out of stock in stores.

I rarely play new games, but in the past I have pre-ordered when I got something cool for it right away... something cooler than an in-game thingy upgrade. Or if I could play a pre-release version right away, like when I bought Minecraft back in the alpha days. Actually, being able to play a pre-release game right away is a big reason for me to buy in. That means other people have been playing it, and big problems like NMS has would Get Noticed.

Not that waiting for release day would have helped this time. People didn't realize the enormity of all the problems with NMS until a few days after release. I won't fault anyone from wanting to play on day one instead of waiting a few days for someone else to be a guinea pig. But I've got to draw the line at pre-ordering something you're going to play on Steam (no worries about stores running out) when you don't get some good swag from doing so. Or at least a 15% discount.

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