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Comment Wife's Laptop (Score 1) 376

Originally took my old Lenovo laptop that successfully ran Mint 18, set it up for my wife to use a regular machine for internet browsing, document editing, and some photo editing (Gimp, Inkscape, LibreOffice). Initially my wife liked it but the truth came out around the same time she needed to install a large software package that interface with a specialized craft printer (Window or OSX only). So I very reluctantly replaced it with Windows 10, disabled as much spyware as I could and set up everything for her (I knew Wine was not an option and setting up a VM would be too much a pain for her).

Things worked well for a month or so then randomly the specialize software just started to randomly crash (nothing obvious has changed, but it's Windows so know knows). Also, Window starts to randomly BSOD so I do a system restore, re-install and the like. After a restore, still not working and slower than molasses. Just trying to browse a SMB share would freeze explorer for 30 seconds. The CPU fan would run constantly, the system just ran like balls.

I decided enough is enough and put Windows 7 back on. But after installing from original OE CD, Windows took more than 24 hours to actually complete Windows updates! Now, it works as intended, doesn't crash, and doesn't run so hot. Honestly, I probably could have fixed it, but like everything in Windows it's such a PAIN IN THE ASS!

As a company, they have learned nothing in the last 20 years about:
a) making a responsive UI that doesn't choke up with even the slightest CPU load
b) fixing the damn dependency hell (I know Linux has issues too, but in my experience, I can usually fix it easily)
c) providing helpful error messages
d) software and OS updates that don't require constant reboots.Seriously, how damn hard to fix this! It's 2016, not 1985!

Comment Seriously? (Score 5, Interesting) 212

I think the UK has completely lost it's mind! Here's a novel idea that's so much simpler and how we approach it in Canada. Here we have the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) which is pretty much the same thing as the BBC - aka publicly funded TV, Radio, and Media. It is funded by the Federal taxes of all Canadian tax payers. Regardless of whether you use the CBC or not, you're paying for it. No special taxes that people must specifically pay, no special enforcement (except for maybe geo-ip), and no white vans running around snooping wifi traffic (which, here would be illegal) thanks to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (something the UK DESPERATELY NEEDS). The UK people really get the shaft with their government and it's constant big brother mantra and it's excessive need to invade the lives of its people.

Can someone from the UK please explain to me the reason a 'TV' license still exists? It's not the 1950's!

Comment Re:Everywhere (Score 1) 210

Same in Ontario. I believe between 0.05 and 0.08 is the warn range. The biggest issue is indeed the insurance finding out. I have had a few speeding tickets since I have been driving (15 years). In each case I wasn't really bothered by the fine (up to $200) but the potential imprecation of my insurance going up. I figure withing 5-10 years, in my province anyway, I'll see the 0.05 range drop to very low levels which will mean ANY alcohol in your system will be illegal. That and the lowering of residential speed limits because pedestrians keep getting hit into Toronto who aren't paying attention, so naturally the entire province need to lower the speed limits because. Nothing better than a political knee-jerk reaction.

Comment Re:Not so (Score 5, Informative) 126

Actually, in some countries/states/provinces, there are laws that protect AND also can prosecute engineers who are guilty of such offenses. For example, here in Canada, to use the term engineer, means a professional engineer (a P. Eng). It's a protected professional designation bound by various laws and regulations. A large portion of the profession is ethics and the legal requirement to whistle-blow, REGARDLESS of who pays your salary. If you want proof of this, and why this is a good thing, here is an example:

In Ontario, Canada, there was a mechanical or structural engineer (can't remember which) who signed off that a mall parking garage (was built on the roof of the mall, oddly), was in fact structurally safe. Even though there was numerous concerns by tenants and visitors about the safety of the structure, weeks after the engineers last 'pass' inspection, the roof collapsed killing two people. (see story:

The gist is, the engineer knew there was deficiencies and signed off on it anyway. Needless to say, he is facing criminal charges, and likely has had his licence revoked, and his career is over! If you are an engineer in Canada, you can't pull the 'my boss told me to' excuse. I know this because my father worked 35+ years as a licensed electrical engineer in Canada. You tend to pick up on things like this growing up. However, I can't speak about engineering in other countries but I would hope this is the case in the US.

Comment This cloud (Score 4, Interesting) 70

...will eventually crash and burn. Sure it's convenient, powerful and cheap, but inherent with major security risks. If I were a company, there is no way in hell I would ever deliberately host or put anything on the cloud. I don't care how 'secure' things are, there are way to many attack vectors and unknown vulnerabilities. It's only going to get worse before people start to see if for what it truly is - dangerous!

Comment Re:Approach security the wrong way? No shit! (Score 2) 157

It's so easy to hack CANBUS, and I would assume other similar automotive data buses. Personally I have played around a bit with the CANBUS in my two cars. Using an Ardruino, a CANBUS shield and some custom software, I can read and write on the CANBUS with full control. In my two vehicles (both Ford Fusion's) I have confirmed via wiring diagrams that there are two CAN buses in the vehicle. On for non critical elements like locks, windows, radio, climate control, etc, and the other is a higher speed for more critical things like engine control, airbag modules, steering angle sensors, transmission, etc.

Now, that design is great but there are two places where the buses meet. One is the instrument cluster, which is the gateway that passes data between the two buses. This is likely so that things like vehicle speed can be relayed to the stereo unit for adaptive volume control WITHOUT having the head unit have access to the critical systems bus. The other place is the Ford Sync module - bingo this could be a problem!

What is needed is strict control of what data is allowed to pass between the buses, and which way. Essentially where each bus meets together, it should be thought of as a very strict firewall. The problem is, manufactures want to be able to add bells and whistles cheaply and easily, so they leave it wide open. In theory this seems okay, but with security, it's always best to have multiple levels of security. It sounds like Chrysler has only one, 'security' by hiding in plain sight. It's exactly the same as putting a PC direct on the internet without a router/firewall. For a while you will be fine because nobody is looking to break in, but eventually they'll figure it out. In this case, with Chrysler's uConnect, they did.

Comment At first... (Score 0) 72

At first I was happy with this news. I grew up with Windows, learned coding with Micro$oft products (QBasic, VB, C#) eventually moving to Linux and embracing C, Python. I soon started to realize that their products may look nice and complete, but their software is poorly designed, bloated and inefficient. I know Linux, et all has it's issues too, but I it's one sanctuary I have left where their isn't bloat and Microsoft crap all over my machine.

I can just see it now - Visual Studio for Linux will require and only run under root installing it's binaries in /Program_Files/ off root! It will require some silly Win32 emulation and will be a huge pig with ram making Java applications look like small well designed products.


Comment Re:Cue the whiners (Score 1) 329

Unless I am mistaken the US still is based on Common Law. Just because a contract has something written in it, doesn't necessary make it legally binding. For example, your employer can't have you sign your federal, state/province, or constitutional rights away. Also, with my understanding of contract law, generally ambiguity benefits the person who didn't write the contract.

Of course, I am far from very knowledgeable about law but I have taken a few courses in employment law, contract law, etc and how it applies to Canada, which also is based on Common Law.

Comment Re:ESPN can go eff themselves. (Score 1) 329

Yup and it's this conclusion and a few others that lead me to ditch my cable almost 2 years ago. I used to work for the local cable company and got 85% of their hundreds of channels for almost free (taxable benefit unfortunately), but when I left the company I found myself with a $20/month moving to $250/month. I figured I probably watched only a dozen or so anyhow so we moved to OTA, Netflix and Unlimited Internet. Haven't looked back either. I do miss the occasional big sporting event, but I can usually find those streaming online.

Comment Re:Good security (Score 1) 107

Ya, I agree! DLink always has been garbage, and always will! I have owned Linksys (aka crappy Cisco) which is moderately better than DLink, but have had better luck with NetGear. That being said, with any home/small office network device, if possible, I always remove the crappy factory firmware and install DDWRT on it.

Comment Re:Hover (Score 1) 295

Yes, Hover is great. I have used them for several years and never once had a problem! I make it a point to always use one company for domain registration and another for hosting, even if it costs a bit more. I believe they are Canadian as they are owned by Tucows which is a Canadian company.

Comment Re:just ban it (Score 1) 365

Thank you - well said! I don't smoke cigarettes, in fact never have even tried one and have no desire to. I too do enjoy the occasional cigar (few times a year), sitting outside with a drink, while reading Slashdot on my phone :) Sure those cigars aren't good for me, but as with almost anything, in moderation there is little to no harm. I smoke so few that I don't get addicted.

I am getting really tired of the governments and society feeling they need to protect everybody from their own stupid mistakes. As each day passes we live in more and more of a nanny state. I do believe it's important to ensure that minors and those without any choice to leave aren't subjected to second hand smoke. More importantly, we need to continue to educate people on the risks but stop banning the actions outright.

If someone wants to smoke, let them. If they want to become a crack addict, let them. But that's not to say there won't be any repercussions. I believe that in one of the European countries with public healthcare (most there do have that), there are certain restrictions on health insurance if you smoke. I believe that if you smoke, are diagnosed with an ailment as a result of smoking and then continue to smoke you can have your healthcare coverage reduced/cancelled.

Though this seems a bit draconian, I kind of appreciate it. I had a relative who smoked his entire life, who was forced to quite a few times before some surgeries that were related to smoking and over drinking. Time and time again, he would quit, have surgery, then go right back to smoking and drinking only to repeat the cycle. This is in Canada where we have public government healthcare for all. He taxed the healthcare system drastically due to HIS poor life choices.

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