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Comment Blech. Two stars down (Score 2) 97

The current rating system works for me. I generally only consider shows with 4 stars or above. It seems to correlate with my expectations. I have tried to watch stuff with 3 stars only and found it lacking. If the new system blurs 3 stars versus 4 then I will end up watching more crud that I don't want to. However, I guess we will have to see how it plays out.

Comment Re:Data Smuggling (Score 2) 95

...seems like the most obvious use. This is a Bond film waiting to be made.

Exactly. The implications for data security could be high. The NSA can tap any wire or wireless transmission but how do you stop DNA? How can you detect DNA data? Pedophiles with kiddy porn stored in a fleck of skin under their fingernails beside Cheetos residue?

Comment Re:My community still has this... (Score 1) 171

Decades ago when visiting family friends out of town, I used to call a local time/weather number. Over and over and over.

"For low cost life insurance call the Big E. Time 2:47 Temperature 67 degrees"

The "E" was for Erie. The fact I can remember this so clearly now is a testament to how often I called it back then ...

Comment Panasonic DVD player 40% speed up (Score 1) 296

My only experience with accelerated video is with my old Panasonic DVD player. It has an option to speed up by 40%. I have used that on many movies or videos that are only moderately interesting. Also great for speeding up old historical documentaries with slow-talking old men. It doesn't work for everything, but the time saving is awesome.

Unfortunately these days most of my video watching is via crappy streaming h/w and s/w in my Sony Blu-Ray player (Netflix mostly). No acceleration options there. Heck you can't even do intelligent pause/rewind due to long lags and delays.

For TV my PVR acceleration consists of fast forwarding over commercials plus occasional FF over boring scenes and credits.

Comment Similar for me (Score 1) 345

I recently tried to make a small online from from a UK-based site. It was for 7 UK pounds. They declined the transaction. We called and they too were suspicious with the activity to a foreign country. Fair enough. But I had made identical 7 pound purchases from the same company earlier in the year. It can't be that difficult to check against previous transactions?

My other problem with our Visa-providing bank is that they allowed us to set up several alerts so we can be notified of suspicious activity. Unfortunately the first one occurred while I was driving in a foreign country. My wife called in while we drove, as we were both panicking that we would lose access to our card (and be unable to do mundane things like buy gasoline to reach our destination). Here the issue is my wife is the primary credit card holder. I am secondary only. The bank was annoyed that the alerts were set up to go to my email and cell phone rather than hers. I work with security stuff all of the time. My wife is somewhat technically illiterate. I need to see the alerts more than she does. They should let us decide who sees the alerts and recognize this situation too.

Comment GRRR (Score 1) 698

HULK HATE CAPS LOCK. ALWAYS HITTING BY MISTAKE! Oh sorry. Hulk hates caps lock. Always hitting by mistake!

On one IBM laptop I was so exasperated by caps lock that I did a registry hack to effectively nullify the key.

I used to shake my head at some of the old IBM 3270 mainframe consoles that had a physical rocker switch to convert lower case displayed to upper case. As I recall though, if you were typing in case-sensitive stuff, it would display as upper case but actually the bytes entered would represent the lower case characters (unless you remembered to use shift of course).

Comment Hangouts thrown out (Score 1) 62

When I got my Nexus 5 android phone last year the first thing I did was to send SMS messages to my kids to notify them that I had a new phone. Hangouts failed to send them. After several hours of messing around I installed 8SMS with no problems. How can the most basic of apps on a phone be somewhat broken out of the box?

As a general Google rant, I am security conscious and want nothing shared and nothing in the cloud. Automatically Google sucked my contact list out of my phone and stuck it in the cloud. The latest Google Photos app update said something like "click here to store all your photos in the cloud". Grrrr. I felt like I was one errant tap away from losing control of my photos. I nearly went ballistic.

I feel like they want to grab my wallet out of my pocket if I happen to turn in the wrong direction. "Here let us hold on to that for you. If you need some money just let us know and we'll get it out for you. Aren't we nice?".

Comment Do the job now and later (Score 1) 298

The first thing is, most of us are coding as house painters rather than as Rembrandt. So it needs to do the industrial job. I tend to put as much effort into documentation and style for my personal code as for working code.

If the code is for a micro-controller in C then the emphasis might be more on raw efficiency and preciseness. A command line utility run ad hoc with low resource usage can afford to be a little less efficient and more readable. Code for an online transaction system needs the efficiency, perhaps as a tradeoff to readability but in most cases hopefully not.

I have written code and products and have had to go back to stuff I wrote 15 years ago. So I learned a long time ago to document as clearly as possible for the poor sod in the future (i.e. me) who will have to come back and make sense of everything. Mostly I succeed here but sometimes I fail.

I also supported other people's assembler code for a few years. That provides lots of what not-to-do's.

If you are coding examples for a book or website then the rules and aesthetics can be changed again. Maybe think more Rembrandt here.

Functionally, document everything, use meaningful and consistent naming conventions, catch errors, log, provide trace capabilities where needed, be as generic as possible and think about reusability but don't obsess over it (depends on the context as always).

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