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Comment Smart issues (Score 1) 507

Got a Visio "smart" tv. I agree, no desire for the dated UI or the inaccurate weather. I keep the network cable unplugged.
The thing is though that it gets the last word. Often the smart menu will pop up. Remote is in a drawer somewhere but it doesn't matter.
The smart features just appear un-requested. Last smart tv I'll ever buy.

I only got it because the image features weren't offered on a dumb model at the time.

Hey coffin, here is another nail.


New Speed Cameras Catch You From Space 351

A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The "Speedspike" system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: "Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled 'number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.' It also referred to the system's 'low cost' and ease of installation." I can't wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.

Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Comment but they don't use them (Score 1) 250

I looked for iPhones in Tokyo before getting one (here in the US). This was in June this year. In three weeks of walking around and taking trains, I saw a lot of phones. I only saw three iPhones. Say what you will of their love or hatred of these. Regardless of being featured heavily in every electronic store I went into, very few were using them.

Comment Re:CableCard? Yes. (Score 3, Interesting) 200

I was a happy user of a cable card (M-Card) from Comcast until just recently. I just switched to Verizon FIOS and am using their cable cards now. No problems installing with either company so yes, they are offering them. Neither knows what an M-Card (multistream cable card) is when you call although Comcast installers had them.

This doesn't address the point here though as both providers require you to rent the cable cards. Even if you already own one, you cannot use it with their network unless you are renting it from them. Ok, so the cards rent at a lesser fee, neither company here will sell it to me. A card is just a smaller box in this regard.

Comment Another hardware suggestion (Score 1) 823

I used an old shuttle box (running XP) for my parent's machine. This way when things go south as they tend to do about once a year, they unplug the color-coded wires and bring me just the box. I even gave them a padded carry case for the flight.

They live out of state and their connection prevents remote-desktop. This is the next best thing while still being cheaper than a laptop. They travel here several times a year anyway.

Once in hand, I can clean up/defrag/check all updates/etc., and refresh the acronis image.

Still, switching over to Linux is an option I am seriously considering.

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