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Comment So, other than anticompetition... (Score 1) 178

Whatever was the problem with the standard BIOS that we've had for decades? Having the PC's most "hardware-near" firmware locked down only to run code permitted by a third party seems like an extremely bad idea. The whole point of a computer is that it obeys MY instructions blindly and perfectly.

I know, I've heard the argument for security, but has anyone ever even seen real, actual BIOS malware? As far as I'm concerned, that only exists in theory.

Comment He's absolutely right (Score 1) 259

This trend has been rearing its ugly head for a while, but Nikon is known to be particularly bad.

They are extremely stingy with their warranty policies and will try at every opportunity to invalidate your warranty using any excuse they can find.

Buy that lens in the US and you live in Canada (never mind that they're exactly the same product)? Get that camera repaired or even just cleaned at a reputable but not officially recognized business? Ever use a third party battery or accessory? They will seriously use these excuses to invalidate your *entire* warranty.

Comment l'd love to use an alternative (Score 3, Interesting) 95

I'm sure that alternatives like jitsi, Retroshare and other open source options work just as well or better, but, unfortunately, the network effect creates a huge barrier.

Are *you* able to convince your family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates, acquaintances ... all to use some other VOIP solution because it's open source and can better guarantee privacy? Do you think they even give a crap when they'll gladly sign away their privacy for Facebook?

Comment Overthinking a simple solution (Score 1) 292

Seriously, how did they not think to just offer an HD package as an additional tier of service at a higher price?

Is it really easier to jump over all the regulatory hurdles, setup all the negotiations and deal with all that lawyering around than it is to say, "here's an option for HD streaming for an additional $X/month"?

Somehow, I doubt that and it causes me to wonder if there isn't something nefarious going on here.

Comment Re:can someone please explain to me (Score 1) 505

1) not everyone can afford or even has access to enough bandwidth for steaming.

2) many of us are philosophically disinclined to allowing a third party to expropriate our computers -- our property -- in some strong-armed "agreement" in which we had no negotiations.

3) the selection nearly always sucks, *especially* if you're outside the US. There is no excuse for this in the digital, hyper-connected age.

Seriously, the studios could solve this with such a trivial effort: just offer us DRM-free xvid/mp4/mkv/whatever files for a few bucks a pop and it'll be way too cheap and easy for most people to bother with piracy.

Comment Re:Why not pause on shift out of park? (Score 1) 82

What is needed is good mapping software that actually allows you to download vectors, POIs, etc. for entire selected regions onto the SD card or internal memory.

Osmand technically does this, but it's slow, awkward and the data is incomplete.

Google has been talking about offering this for a while, but I have yet to see anything come to fruition.

Garmin, TomTom and the other usual suspects don't appear to be offering anything other than some lame "connect your smartphone to your GPS device and do pointless stuff" software, but that's not really surprising; a full-fledged, all-in-the-phone mapping and navigation software would cannibalize much their core business.

Comment Re:And still no death penalty for rape (Score 4, Informative) 436

Sorry, but there are mounds of evidence as to why the death penalty is not a deterrent (ie.: crimes of passion, psychological studies that show humans are *really* bad at thinking ahead and considering consequences ) and as long as there a still a chance of wrongful conviction, I won't stand for mandated state murder. Not to mention killing is morally wrong no matter what the context or circumstances.

I will happily see my tax dollars spent (and even increased) to incarcerate truly haneous offenders as long as is necessary.

Comment Re:An ultimately simple concept... (Score 1) 272

Agreed, this is exactly what I do as well. Desktop running Ubuntu with a big hard drive or multiple external drives (make symlinks to all the drives, the share the parent folder of the symlinks).

Plus, this way, you can setup any number of cool uses, like dynamic DNS for a web server, SSH for remote access to get around pesky filters at hotels or what-have-you, maybe even remote streaming of your media, if your connection can handle it.

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I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943