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Comment Re:Reverse the charge (Score 5, Interesting) 165

DON'T DO THIS ON A REGULAR BASIS!!! This will negatively affect your credit score and will cost you much more than some paltry couple hundred bucks in comparison in the long run.

I never thought I'd say this, but there is safety in shopping at big chains (Wallmart, Amazon, etc) -- they get much heavier scrutiny and can't get away with sleazy business practices for long. They are regulated, they have to report their finances, etc. On the other hand, small operations run from a garage in a third-world place, don't have to abide by the same laws so the only buffer between you and them is your credit card company. The CC company *will* protect you, but if you fall into the category of a habitual scam victim, you'll be flagged as a high-risk customer and your credit score will take a beating.

Speaking of sleazy companies, I was almost scammed by a VPN company advertised here on ./ -- they had a "lifetime" membership that looked too good to be true. I did my due diligence and contacted the company to get assurance that "lifetime" meant forever. At that point I went in and got the promotional 3 day trial and both the service and customer support were pretty good, so I ended up contacting them again and getting the lifetime package. First they sent me a paypal invoice for a recurring payment type of service. That should have been the red flag, but like most people, even those who believe can spot a scam a mile away, I got greedy and ignored my gut feeling that things that are too good to be true, are never truly good. After getting reassured that the recurring payments invoice was a clerical error, I proceeded to pay via paypal. At this point I saw that the paypal payment was actually a recurring payment service. Long story short, I kept contacting their Tech Support department every day for a week and getting the run arounds, until I decided that enough was enough and opened a charge dispute with paypal. A day later I got a vindictive letter from the VPN company telling me that now that I had opened a dispute with Paypal, they will await Paypal's decision and if the case was decided in their favor, they would neither issue a refund, nor provide service to me. It was so childish that I could not stop laughing. However, minutes later I got another email that the VPN company had decided to refund the full amount on an exceptional basis.

So the moral of the story -- stay away from questionable internet outfits. And keep one thing in mind -- no matter how smart you believe yourself to be and how discerning and cautious, there are people out there who spend the time and effort to hone their con artistry skills so well that you won't realized you were had until you've parted ways with your money. If it's too good a deal, it's a scam.

Also, try to put a a few buffers between you and questionable merchants. In my case, I deliberately chose to pay via PayPal, because I knew they have a good dispute process and because my instinct told me I may have to come to rely on it. I was right. My absolutely last resort would have been my credit card issuing bank.

Comment Re:fake (Score 1) 149

Someone please mod this up.

When I saw this story on phoronix yesterday, my first thought was "Well, this is phoronix, the rumor mill of linux/foss news; it's to be expected". Michael has been known for posting any unsubstantiated rumor du jour that is circulating the internet at the moment in a blatant click grab.

So I concur -- this is fake until Nvidia provides download URLs for ISOs and source.

Comment This is what I did (Score 1) 238

I have a pc in my living room that is on 24/7 and serves as my media server (xbmc) and storage (hardware raid + lvm + nfs). It's also my compile machine so I invested two years ago in a i7 3930k with 64GB ram and loads of disk space. I'm running the community edition of Astaro Firewall (nowadays called Sophos UTM under kvm. I purchased on ebay a quad port intel 1GB NIC which is reserved for my firewall VM. I have one port connected to my ISP, one to my internal network via a real hardware switch, one to a dmz VM, and one to my wireless AP. The system is rock solid, Sophos UTM is being updated on a regular basis, has a long list of nice features, including OpenVPN and iOS/Android friendly VPN solutions, with clients for linux/mac/windows/ios/adnroid. The interface is super nice. And since a few versions ago it supports google authenticator for a two factor authentication, both to the admin console and the user portal, as well as the VPN. Very very nice feature. Works with iOS and Android, NetworkManager, etc.

In the past I was using netbsd on an old powerpc machine, then ipcop on the same powerpc machine (I was the guy who ported ipcop to ppc and sparc), then ipcop on x86 under vmware server, then ipcop under virtualbox, then astaro firewall under virtualbox. I switched to kvm+qemu because I was not happy with the virtualbox network performance. I even played with PCI passthrough to have complete control over the network card. Finally I settled on libvirt + kvm with astaro firewall. I'm running all this under LFS (linux from scratch), but this setup can be easily replicated on any modern distro: Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, you name it.

Or you can try and roll something yourself, based on iptables, whatever. But if you're not into monitoring security mailing lists for the latest vulnerabilities, you're better of with an off-the-shelf commercial product with a free community offering.

Comment Next patent (Score 2) 338

for pre-chewing food.

Have we become so lazy that now we can't be bothered to read the text and visualize it ourselves, but have to rely on a computer algorithm to generate a video of its interpretation of the said text? This is the magic of the written word, that it stimulates our brain to build an entire world and populate it with locales and characters, to breathe life into a seemingly dead medium. The intellectual effort is the exercise that keeps our brain fit, that enables it to improve. You take that away and you're left with just a passive observation, ie a movie.

Species this lazy does not deserve to reproduce and consume resources.

Comment Live with it... (Score 1) 965

Dude, you know what you sound like? You sound like someone who left his girlfriend, then tired of the new one and having remorse and crying to his friends how much he loved his ex and how much he misses her and what a huge mistake he'd made. And to top it off, you're now considering a third one.

Sorry for the harsh words, but you sound like a never-satisfied disloyal prick, it's always your partner's fault for the relationship difficulties. For once just own up to your bad decisions and live with the consequences. And don't whine to disinterested bystanders.

Comment The sad fact of life is ... (Score 5, Insightful) 330

... that 50 years from now the media will have deified Jobs and next generations will believe he was a much much larger than life superhero who bootstrapped the entire computer industry and singlehandedly created new innovative products and touched so many people on a deep and personal level through his enduring work. And the real heros, Woz and the hundreds of Apple engineers and designers, will remain a footnote in some obscure appendix in a seldom read computer book, if that.

Makes me sick, this cult of the Jobs personality and posthumous canonization of a glorified $20-profit salesman.

Comment Humble Bundle (Score 2) 338

Some of the humble bundle titles (chocolate castle, crayon phisics) are pretty good and educational, stimulating the brain. A three year old is a bit too young, but I would suggest you play together -- this way you can help the child, strengthen the bond between the two of you and steer the educational and entertainment process.

However, please keep in mind that there was an article a few weeks ago that exposure to TV (and maybe a computer?) at an early age may hamper a child's cognitive development.

Why not crack open a good printed book with nice illustrations and read to your child? Or play some old fashioned games. Or kick ball, learn to ride a bike, etc etc. You'll be thankful one day that you did. And your child will, too.

Comment You're overdoing it... (Score 1) 249

I moved all my stuff -- computers, clothing, etc -- from the States to Europe four years ago and I did not go crazy worried about shipping. I just packed all my computer equipment in the original boxes, secured with the original styrofoam. I did not bother with moth balls, silica, etc. I just asked the shipping company do use extra shrink wrapping plastic to secure the boxes to the palette. 5-6 weeks later I collected my stuff, and it was in the exact same condition I packed it in. I just had to reseat some pci/pci-e cards as they had slightly come loose during shipping, fired up my computers and lo and behold, they just worked.

It's not like you're planning a trip to Mars.

Comment The correct question should have been... (Score 2) 239

... to ask yourself "Am I a journalist, or a blogger where I need to report every day and send my photos to the mothership???" If the answer is 'no' why go through this elaborate setup? Have some consideration for the people whose open wifi hotspots you'll be leeching off of in order to send hundreds of megabytes over; think of the outrageous charges you'll be incurring for sending that much volume over 3G (and overloading the system for all the other users while you're at it). What's your big rush to send in the photos? Just keep a copy on your laptop, and if you're that paranoid, bring a big enough external harddrive. If you absolutely must, upload to facebook select few photos.

Was that so difficult?

Comment Be philosophical about it (Score 2) 247

... yes, this is not what you want to hear at this point, but try to have a positive take on this.

Last year during a routing Windows7 installation, my second hard drive from which I double boot my 90%-of-the-time-in-use Linux was destroyed. Either a coincidence that it occurred during the win7 installation or a nefarious plot, but the hard disk, a 1TB Seageate sata, developed an unrecoverable click of death.

On that hard drive I had my short stories which I had written in college and the intervening years since then, much of my photos, skype history and many other things, seemingly important to me at the time of the "disaster". I was inconsolable for a few days, and felt like I had been bereft of someone very dear to me. Then it hit me -- to hell with the stories, to hell with the photos, to hell with the rest of the digital baggage I had accumulated. I could write my stories again, and do it better, I could take more photos, I could hoard more useless junk. After a month I no longer missed any of the lost stuff.

Learn to view such mishaps more philosophically and learn to shed all the useless garbage you accumulate through the years; realize that almost nothing that you can store on your computer, or up in your attic, has really all that sentimental value you attach to it. Learn what's important, intrinsically important, to you and safeguard that. All the rest, you'll be amazed how little you need it and how even less you'll miss it.

To hell with useless stuff.

Comment Re:trolling vs free speech (Score 1) 898

> There are issues of free speech here.


Don't confuse free speech with hate speech. I'm as big proponent of free speech and freedom of expression (be it verbal, written, etc) as the next guy, but I'm pretty hard on cowards who hide behind the faceless anonymity of the internet to spout awful hatred. This is emotional bullying and just because it's impersonal (as opposed to physical) doesn't make it any less damaging and devastating to a person. As it has been shown lately, bullying (or hate speech) can and will sometimes destroy a person psychologically and lead some people to suicide at worst, or great anguish at best. And don't give me none of that crap that the target of this particular bully is already dead and thus beyond any real harm.

People should be responsible for their deeds *and* their words, regardless of technology used. Desirable behavior should be rewarded, while an undesirable one should be punished so it doesn't repeat. It's called raising a child. Looks like someone didn't do a particularly good job at raising this "child".


Submission + - Holding Companies advertised responsible for spam

lunatick writes: "I have been getting a ton of spam on my forums. Despite e-mail activation, image text input, auto-banning anyone that trys to input a webpage I get an average of 20 new sign ups a day and 2 actually activate and post Spam. I added a $1000 per day advertisement fee for the forums as a TOS, but how do i enforce this. I tried billing 1 company and was slapped with a harassment threat. I obtained the address through a whois lookup. Does anyone in the /. community know of any legal president for holding the advertised companies/websites liable for the spam of the advertising companies they hire?"

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