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Comment I feel the same way. (Score 1) 259

And the question wasn't addressed in the video.

Can this function like a normal tablet? Will I be able to remove the controller modules and carry it around and read email, use Chrome and Google Now and Microsoft Office apps and snap photos? Or is this a dedicated gaming machine that's just modular?

If the latter, I wouldn't buy it. If the former, I'd buy it to replace my current 8" tablet, as a tablet PLUS gaming experience. But I need a tablet, and I don't want to have to have TWO tablets just to get slightly better gameplay on one of them.

If it's a one tablet concept (would have to be Android, I assume, to have the ecosystem) then great. If it's just a game console with fancy industrial design? Pass. I have good enough gaming on my current tablet.

Comment Don't confuse the worst and the best. (Score 1) 97

"[F]raud, cheating, plagiarism, etc." in *low-end* research, which we also have in spades in the U.S. and in the West more generally (it's really bad in a lot of the also-ran European countries). At the top end, Chinese research is every bit competitive with other players in serious global research, and they have more resources available to them, which they can apply to problems without nearly so much systemic overhead thanks to their particular governing system.

Comment *Because* the put it in an otterbox. (Score 1) 121

I don't use protectors of any kind, but I knew more than just a couple middle-America, middle-class folks who ALWAYS get the hardest, most solid-looking case they can find (irrespective of whether these actually help or which cases perform best). Why? Because their phone is one of their largest investments and a critical piece of everyday tech that they want to protect.

They appreciate the thinnest phone possible precisely because *after* they put it in an Otterbox it will still be manageable, whereas when they had an iPhone 4 or whatever, the Otterbox made it significantly thicker than an old Nokia candybar.

Comment Re: The rush to produce easy code. (Score 2) 531

I think this is a bigger problem than is being recognized here. Most coders that I work with don't get to decide on ship dates. They may in a few cases have a claimed "veto power" if the code isn't ready, but they won't use it, because they'll be let go if they don't ship on time.

The management that I see is too often of the "Give me a demo. What are you talking about, that works fine! Ship it! Let's move the press date up by two months!" variety. Some of the better ones are of the "What's our risk exposure? Hmm... Versus the revenue model... Hmm... It's a close call, but I think the we have to go with the risk to hit our targets" variety. At least they *get* that there is risk.

But the fact is that management and investors don't care if software is buggy and insecure as long as those are "edge cases." They're fully onboard with the Fight Club model. "How many clients will get screwed vs. how much money will we make. Sounds like a good tradeoff."

I think most coders are capable of producing good code in a world in which good code is valued. The problem is that it isn't. Shipping products early and often are the values, and management tends to think that if we can ship code early, do write-offs for the bug and vulnerability cases, and then release the next version before having to patch the one that's about to be shipped, then the entire expense of refining and auditing code can just be eliminated.

At least that's been my experience—the idea is that it's a good way to reduce cost. Release a lot. Be "agile" (hate that word these days), which means: just keep releasing completely new code at an alarming pace. That way, you never have to create good code. You produce a pile of rapidly chucked out, 50% entirely new dogshit every three months with your programmers just barely managing to keep up, you release major versions as fast as you can. Consumers and clients don't get time to be exposed to major bugs and vulnerabilities, or to request that they be fixed, because you release fast enough that your answer can be "That product was released six months ago and is now EOL; no fixes are planned. We recommend that you upgrade to the new version." (The new version also happens to include another revenue item of some kind—upgrade fee, etc.—which is better for the bottom line than providing bug fixes for free.)

I think what we see in software is the same thing we see across the rest of the consumer landscape. Managers and investors have realized that disposable, non-repairable junk is better for the bottom line and for themselves, because it means that consumers have to keep paying over and over again, and often. All of the other employees (e.g. coders) are left to come along for the ride by the seat of their pants, or get fired and replaced by someone who will.

Comment Nothing to see here. Move along. (Score -1, Troll) 424

Woman does malicious thing X.
Woman regrets malicious thing X.
Woman can't take it back.
Woman kills self.

Welps, that about sums it up. Seems like the right outcome.

And for anyone screaming "misogyny," I realize that it is now considered sexist to allow women to experience the consequences of their very own behavior, but I think it's about time we started doing just that. After all, men have to do it. Let's have some equality.

Comment Sugars and starches are seriously bad in my case. (Score 1) 527

Sample size of one, and it may just be my biology, but over the last twenty years I have done this three times:

- Gain 50-70 lbs. over time, see skyrocketing blood pressure, and bad cholesterol, high fatigue, fuzzy thinking
- Get tired of it and cut all sugar and starch (i.e. no breads, sweets, soft drinks) out of my diet
- Lose 50-70 lbs. in the space of about 3 months, see blood pressure and cholesterol return to perfect, lose fatigue and fuzzy thinking problems

The first time I rationalized that it was more likely due to inadvertently reduced calorie count (after all, natural carbs are supposed to be good for you, and the foundation of your diet, while fats are supposed to be bad for you, and protein in moderation—that was the federal wisdom at the time). So I added sweet foods and starches back to my diet but kept to a lower calorie count. Within five years, I had put on tons of weight again.

The second time I sort of thought "worked once, probably will work again," so I cut out all sweeteners, natural or artificial, as well as all grains and grain flours. Three months down the line, I was skinny and healthy. "This time," I thought, "I'll adopt a lower calorie count when I return to a 'normal' diet." Well, another six or so years down the road, back up by 75+ pounds, even with calorie restriction and a conscious replacement of "refined" sugars with "natural" alternatives like honey and sticking to "whole grain, high fiber" starches and flours. I just plain got fat, even on the "natural" and "high fiber" stuff.

Third time cutting out sugars and starches just happened, started in about June of this year. Cut out all sweeteners and all grains. But consciously increased my caloric intake of protein and fat considerably as a kind of experiment. No limits. We're talking a full pound 70/30 beef patty sandwiched between two fried eggs for dinner territory. What many people at Whole Foods would call "heart-clogging food." Well... Dropped 75+ pounds in ~3 months. No calorie control at all, and not even thinking about moderating fat, protein, or salt intake. Same result, and again, blood pressure returned to excellent as did cholesterol, despite likely significantly higher cholesterol and salt intake. Energy levels are much higher. Alertness significantly improved.

Though some people worry about sustained ketosis as the result of diet, I have experienced no problems. This time, I'm not going back to a "normal diet." I feel like I have enough first-hand data for my own biology. I'm just gonna keep eating as much red meat, eggs, and butter as I want, along with low-sugar vegetables (esp. leafy greens like spinach and chard, etc.)

But sweet anything and grains are seriously off-limits.

I am still having trouble convincing relatives that this is a good idea, everyone is terribly worried about me. The fat will clog my arteries, the whole grains are good for me and I'll get colon cancer without them, etc. But I feel about 1,000% better without sugars and grains in my diet, and I can buy regular clothes as well.

Comment Because they don't work. Period. (Score 2) 206

Totally would do this, but:

1) Apps refuse to start on rooted/jailbroken phones.
2) There are about umpteen dozen payment systems that do not support each other.
3) Invariably retailers only support at most one or two (which your particular phone does not have).
4) Only a tiny fraction of retailers even support that one or two.

So the result is that you spend all the time setting it up on your device, and then walk around for months never seeing a place where you can use it. When you finally, finally do see a terminal that claims to support the network that your app uses, and you try to start it, you get a pop-up saying, "For security reasons you can not make payments from a rooted and/or jailbroken phone."

In short, people are willing to use it but the corporate world is fucking it up (again).

Comment Apps solved the monetization problem. (Score 3, Insightful) 154

For years, companies wanted, but struggled, to generate revenue on the web. They couldn't. There was just too much friction for the average user in pulling out a credit card, typing in details, then remembering logins and logging in over and over again, not to mention tracking all of their subscriptions to various services.

Apps and in-app purchases are the "micropayments" that were talked about for so long. User provides billing information once, then is able to conveniently pay for content (whether the app or in-app purchases) with a tap or two. All payments and subscription information are centralized and run through a trusted (to the user) provider.

This is why companies have gone there. Because it's where they were finally able to generate sufficient user acquisitions to sustain an online purchase/subscription model, for the most part. Companies go where the money is, and it wasn't on the web.

Comment For even more fun, put a "Try Again" button (Score 2) 156

beneath the "access denied" and watch a few of them try for 10 minutes straight to load it by clicking again and again, then leave it open and tap it once or twice a day for two weeks before giving up.

I know a couple people like this. You ask, "But what if the link is malware?" and they respond with "But what if it's something great?"

On a similar note, I once sent a bad link by accident to a person who was in college at the time. I then sent a follow up email saying, "Sorry, bad link. Try this one."

They then called me an hour later to say that they kept trying the first link I'd sent, but couldn't get it to load, and asked if there was anything I could do to help. I said, "But I thought I mentioned—that was a broken link, it doesn't work. I sent the right one!" And they responded with a variation on the above—"I know, but you never know, maybe I'd like it! I'd at least like to see it!"

Comment I shoot events as a sideline and have done since (Score 1) 366

the late '90s in digital.

I have a library of about 180k photos. You retain originals in case someone goes back to a contact sheet and wants a reprint or an enlargement a decade later or something. At a typical event I will shoot between 100 and 1,000 images. Sometimes, depending on conditions, I will shoot RAW.

My current gear is 24mp SLR and generated files are on the order of 12-15MB each for JPG images. I can easily lay down 12GB a shoot or 50GB in a week.

I keep an online 12TB RAID-1 library and then have 3 backup sets on LTO, rotated, with one set always offsite.

I know a person that does video editing and production as a sideline for corporate clients, mostly working on online ad videos and 30-second spots. They keep archives as well, because it's not uncommon for a client to come back several times over a period of several years to want minor tweaks to something that's already run (for versioning or feature changes, slightly different voice track, color edits, text overlay edits, etc.). They have even larger data needs.

Point being: even many individuals and small businesses *do* have legitimate, productive needs, and your condescending view is just a tad narrow.

Comment DLT or LTO (i.e. tape). (Score 1) 366

Some people swear by optical media for archival and backup, but I've had trouble restoring data with different optical devices and media just 3-5 years after write, so I don't trust them.

Tape, on the other hand, is venerable and proven—so long as you stick to what the big boys use.

At the top end, DLT and LTO are both still very expensive, but as they age out, they end up on eBay relatively inexpensively. The mechanisms are very robust, repairs and replacements are readily available, media is in channels, compatibility is very good.

You can pick up a used-but-verified LTO-4 drive for $200 on eBay. SAS controller, $20-$40. Media ~$20/ea for 800GB/1600GB per cartridge. So you can get rolling at less than $300 for a complete backup and go from there.

If you want to run cheapskate, DLT-VS1 ("DLT-V4") drives often come up on eBay tested and working for $80-$100 for SATA, eliminating the need for a host adapter of any kind. The VS-160 tapes (160GB/320GB on a DLT-V4 drive) can pop up in boxes of 10 for $100-$120. So if you're patient, you can get rolling there for under $200 if you get lucky, though you'll wait around a long time and switch a lot of tapes to get your full backup done.

Just avoid helical scan tapes at all costs (AIT, DDS/DAT). The reliability is crap and the media quality is crap. Wine linear tape (DLT, LTO) is what you want if you're going to run data onto tape for backups. This opinion comes from two decades of experience.

Comment Very fuzzy thinking. (Score 1) 569

We are talking about two different things here. Secure retention and secure deletion.

Clinton was very cavalier about secure retention.
She was apparently very serious about secure deletion.
And her argument is that the things retained with poor security were those of state, while those deleted with apparently deliberate security were personal.

One could easily thus infer that she wasn't particularly concerned about protecting the secrets of state, but was very concerned about ensuring that her own secrets never saw the light of day. Whether or not that's the case is another matter, but you're conflating a whole several things together here that are in fact conceptually separate—retention, deletion, national, personal.

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