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Comment Trolling story is trolling (Score 2) 618

I saw this one pop up in my RSS feed and thought maybe /. was broken. Then I went through the comments and realized it wasn't a repost of something old, nor was it really anything new. It was something in between.

I don't know when /. devolved into what it is today, as I've been reading for years now. It's always had a bit of an anti-MS twist to it, and while I didn't always agree with the article bias, I could see how it could be used as constructive criticism for not just MS, but for other companies as well. When you're the 800-lb gorilla, people notice you. When you're the 800-lb gorilla and you tie your shoes together and fall, other people tend to not tie their shoes together.

This post doesn't really fall into a constructive criticism category, though. It's pure, unadulterated, trolling. I mean the source is a joke. It has to be. The "author" of that blog clearly understands computers. Ed's written over 30 books on software use. He's just griping about something everyone already understands. A slow news day. It happens.

By why, oh why, do the editors here feel the need to pick it up and make it front-page news along with news of Ozone holes, Corn shortages and Social Engineering your way into the Super Bowl? Those are nerdy news stories. This... is not. If you wanted to fill up the front page with stories like this, you should be including the following gems:

- Windows 8 installation DVDs; easily scratched by nails?
- Magnets prove harmful to MS Office installations
- Microsoft Surface Pro sells better than expected; maybe it isn't so bad? (just kidding)

I don't expect this post to actually get anything done, but I'm making it just the same. Something has to change around here. While I know I'm just a drop in the bucket (just like I am with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and T-Mobile...who I loathe), I'm out. My Excellent Karma, ad-viewing eyes, and borderline nostalgic insightfulness are out. I don't intend on letting the door hit me on the way out, either.

Comment Re:Warm feeling (Score 1) 675

I'm guessing you've not used Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, MS Office, Windows 8 or any other MS product. When you install an app that has ties to the "Customer Experience Improvement" stuff, there is a handy balloon at the bottom of your taskbar which invites you to click to opt out. If you dismiss the balloon, the icon in your systray stays there showing that you're collecting data.

I'm not sure how much more upfront you can get. Honestly. (And I opt out immediately for anything I use.)

Comment Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (Score 4, Insightful) 424

Your analysis is like an analogy of an airline passenger. You can choose to be a consumer and fly one of the major airlines. You get the seats the give you and the snacks they serve. You don't get to pick the flight path to your destination, and you don't get to pick your own schedule. To "best the system", you went to get your own pilot's license. You can fly where you want, when you want and choose the path. You're part of an elite bunch alright.

From up that high, you might not be able to see it, but not everyone has the ability/time/desire to be a pilot. An overwhelming majority of the people who use planes to get from A to B are content with that choice. And frankly, I don't really hear a lot of private pilots droning on about how much better they are that they can fly themselves to somewhere when they want to.

And btw, nobody is free. Don't pretend to be free just because you're a computer enthusiast. You're still a slave to the farmers, the electric company, the sanitation and water sources that feed your house and every other item in your world that you pay for. For you, this may be about freedom and choice and all that other jazz that 90% of the world doesn't care about when it comes to an operating system. If you sleep better at night, then cookie for you. The "Aura of Rightness" that you're projecting just comes off as a bit juvenile, though.

Comment Biased site is...biased (Score 1) 423

Look people, let's all step back and look at what's going on here. /. is an anti-MS site. From the Bill Gates Cyborg, to the inherent bias of the articles published, it's not a fanboi of MS. Let's get over that.

Linux/OSS Fans: Take the feather out of your cap, it doesn't mean anything. It's probably not even valid (just like it is invalid here).

Windows Fans: Stop getting butthurt about these types of articles. The OS market share is there, and that's the revenue generator.

/. would be a lot more fun to read if everyone would just get off their high horse already. Goddamn.

Comment Causation and Correlation Strikes Again (Score 1) 70


"Attention, busy middle-aged folks. You may be healthy and thin, but if you habitually sleep less than six hours a night, you still could be boosting your risk of a stroke."

That sure grabs a headline, but seriously. What proof do you have that that is the cause? What if there's something broken elsewhere, that we don't know about? That's not nearly as sensational enough for Mainstream Media, though. :(

Comment Re:Why are we still using passwords? (Score 1) 245

From a purely "secure from brute force attacks"... yeah, I do think it's a lot different. The main point is to make the length greater than 16. You're never going to fix the social engineering aspect of it, like leaving it on a sticky note on your monitor.

I'm simply addressing the issue from the article - Five Character Passwords Suck.

Comment Re:Why are we still using passwords? (Score 1) 245

Do you really need three?

Um, how about a simple rewording of "Password" to "Passphrase" and make the minimum required length 20 characters.

If you take the utterly easy passphrase of "My favorite password is the word password.", you're talking about 7.1 x 10^61 years to crack it. A measly 20 character phrase would take 1 sextillion years.

And really, from a development side of the coin, implementation doesn't get much simpler. You should already be storing hashes of the passwords, not the passwords themselves. Don't over-think this. Nobody else will.

Comment Re:Quit (Score 2) 424

First step would be to evaluate everything as posted above.

Then build a Action Priority Matrix. It'll help you fit together an action plan and block out time for what appears to be major projects. It also allows you to get some Quickies done to show management you're the right guy to keep doing the job.


Submission + - Howto Get Rural Broadband?

DefconAlpha writes: "I am a software developer living in Tennessee. I telecommute from home, and very soon i will have several other employees working with me out of my home. We routinely have to deal with downloading and uploading large files to our servers and using SSH to several different machines at once. Also, i live in a semi-rural part of Tennessee, but this hasn't been an issue until recently.

When i bought my house some four years ago, i had stipulated in the formal offer that i would only buy the house if i could get broadband cable access. I spoke with the representatives of said cable company and since they provide it to my next door neighbors, they indicated it would be no problem getting service to my house. I didn't get this in writing, so it really doesn't help me now. I signed the papers, moved into my house and then the cable company backed out citing that they would have to run new lines and we were in a different county and they could not provide access to me. I had to then resort to a rural forced-not-a-monopoly DSL provider that can only give me 1.5Mbit / 256Kbit service for more money than most people would believe possible.

Now, the same cable provider has offered 60Mbit cable to my neighbors. This is now enough that i really want to upgrade to something that will continue to meet federal broadband standards after January 1. I am desperate enough that i have resorted to asking my neighbors within line of sight if they will allow me to pay for their internet if i can throw a directional wireless link to their home. The cable company refuses to run more lines to my house, citing costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars to 'rework' the fiber network near my house so that they can extend it. Also, since i live in a different county than the franchise allows, they outright refuse to offer any service.

To be fair, the neighbors that have the service are also in the foreign county and so far as i can tell, they are operating more or less illegally in my county. So if you are going to go, go all out. I think i have a lot of options to get the service, but i don't know which way to approach the topic in a sensible and non-abrasive manner. For instance, i have direct line of sight to several of the poles that carry the line, so if i could install a cable modem and access point into a weather proof box on the pole i could throw the signal to my house from 600 feet away or so. I am also willing to have a pole installed in the far corner of my land and use a wireless link from there. I could sell the house i just recently remodeled or even approach the Tennessee Regulatory Authority about the shady business practices of this cable company.

I just want fast internet at home. My neighbors have it, my property is no more than across the street from them, so how do i get it? Has anyone else had to solve this issue before?"

Submission + - Wow Computers from First Street? (mywowcomputer.com) 1

Keyslapper writes: My folks are in their 60's and are on the lookout for a new computer. Being on a fixed income, they're trying to be very careful about spending that kind of money, so they've sent me a few links to check out for them.

The one thing I can't get any real useful information on is the "Wow Computer" by First Street [http://www.mywowcomputer.com/]. Google turns up nothing but reviews and infomercial style testimonials about how "Wow changed my life". Unsolicited reviews or reports of personal experiences are very hard to find.

The company was founded as "Technobrands" in 1988, and the BBB gives them an A- with 31 complaints (all apparently resolved), 22 of which are related to product or service issues. This is all I can find so far.

The systems look very impressive on the website, boasting a reasonable spec list and a Linux based OS — which one isn't made entirely clear.

The website makes a lot of promises and markets hard to the elderly, even using AARP to peddle them. If it weren't for AARP pushing them, I'd say it smacks of an elderly ripoff. Still, I need to know if anyone on /. has seen these systems in action, and how usable are they for older folks? How reliable are they? When there are problems, how responsive is First Street / Technobrands?

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