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Comment Re:No thanks. (Score 1) 184

Actually, I've been a digital-only subscriber for some time. The downloads are DRM-free PDF files that I can read, and search, on several devices running a variety of platforms, including Linux (of course), Mac OSX, and iPad. Plus the download area has old issues going back several years (I want to say 2004 but wouldn't swear to it) and I'm able to download all of those as well. Just the thing when I get a new project and need to look up something I vaguely remember seeing in a past issue, but don't know which issue had it.

It's like ebooks, especially the O'Reilly books... it's much easier to carry around an iPad with 300+ EPUB and PDF files than trying to guess which ones I might need on any given day, or even worse trying to carry all of them with me.

Comment Strange (Score 1) 405

DigitalOne's chief executive, Sergej Ostroumow, said: "This problem is caused by the FBI, not our company. In the night FBI has taken 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server - we cannot check it."

Am I the only one who finds it odd that the management of a datacenter "cannot check" whether or not a particular machine was taken by the FBI? Every datacenter I've ever worked in, had an inventory of what equipment was where, and KNEW where every machine was, down to the specific "U" for shared racks, or at least which rack or cage (in cases where a single client had rented an entire rack or cage.) Presumably they know which racks were emptied, they should be able to check their inventory for those three racks to see what was taken...

Or is he saying that the FBI is preventing his personnel from entering the building to check on what was taken and what's still there?

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 413

I spent four and a half years working for RS, and while I remember asking for a phone number with every transaction, the only time I ever asked for anybody's SSN was if they were applying for a credit card.

Although I will admit I stopped working there in 1995, so things might have changed in the post-9/11 world. Where was this store, across the street from NSA headquarters?

Comment I never understood... (Score 1) 413

... why they moved away from their hobbyist roots. I worked for RS for four and a half years, back in the early 1990's, went through their manager training program, and at one point I was in line to get my own store. (Then in 1995 I was offered a job with an ISP, and the rest is history...)

The "force-feed" merchandise in the backs of the stores (called this because the computers in Ft. Worth decided how many of each item each store needed, instead of the manager ordering them) always had the highest margins in the store. I remember looking up a pack of resistors once. We were selling it for 99 cents in the store, but the store cost (the amount which Ft. Worth charged the store on its P&L) was only 18 cents.

At the same time, we had just started selling RS's first multimedia PC (i.e. with a CD-ROM, sound card, and a few games and an encyclopædia of zoo animals) for $1,999... with a store cost of $1,930. Of course, my paycheck was commission, so I concentrated more on selling computers than selling resistors... and even thouth the huge paychecks were nice, even back then I wondered why they didn't structure things to make the employees concentrate more on margins and profits (which the store managers' pay plans do) instead of just raw volume...

Comment Re:ads don't make you buy stuff... (Score 1) 450

Actually, I tend to remember which products use these kinds of intrusive ads. In the situation you describe (remember x because of an ad, don't know anything about y) I would go with y just because x tried to hammer their name into my brain.

In other words, I *do* remember the products being advertised... but in a negative light.

Comment Re:but... (Score 1) 803

That's kinda backwards- usually I hear people ask why they can't find a copy of iTunes which doesn't come with Quicktime. The reason for that is because the code which implements Apple's DRM mechanism is actually contained in the Quicktime libraries. They put it there so that Mac users will be able to play their protected files using players other than iTunes- on a Mac, any program which uses the Quicktime framework (i.e. shared library, much like a ".so" or ".dll" file) is able to play the protected files.

The same is true on Windows- their Quicktime player is able to play protected files which were purchased through the iTunes store (provided your computer is "authorized" for the account which purchased the file, of course.) My understanding (I don't write code for Windows) is that any other Windows program which use the Quicktime library can also play them.

The difference is that, on the Mac, the Quicktime framework is installed as a base part of the OS (much like IE on Windows) and therefore it's safe to assume it will always be there on a Mac. For Windows, it's not installed by default, and in fact can be removed by the user (after they uninstall iTunes, which won't work without it.)

As for why it installs Bonjour... first of all, it's not a system for locating other computers, it's a system for finding SERVICES on other computers. iTunes uses it to implement their "sharing" feature, where if multiple machines are running iTunes on the same network, they can play music from each others' libraries.

As for being able to install Quicktime without iTunes, I haven't tried in several years- my desktop and laptop machines are both Macs, and the only Windows machine I own anymore doesn't connect to the internet at all (I used it for ham radio, and install software using a USB stick) And because I'm using a Mac, Apple's web site only shows me the download links for the Mac, so I can't see what their offerings are for Windows.

As for why people use Quicktime to encode their videos "for whatever reason"... If a Windows user makes a video and distributes it, chances are it will be a ".wmv" file. Why? Because "Windows Media" support is built into the operating system, just as Quicktime is built into Mac OS X. Most users don't know, or care, about video codecs, container formats, or anything like that- all they know is that when they hit "go", it makes a file which they can play by double-clicking on it. Mac users are just as human as Windows users, and have the same "laziness" factor. When a Mac user doesn't tell their software any different, they end up producing Quicktime files. However, most of the newer programs are starting to default to MP4 files, which can be played by just about anything- which cannot be said of ".wmv" files.


Submission + - Ultra-low-cost true randomness (

Cryptocrat writes: "Today I blogged about a new method for secure random sequence generation that is based on physical properties of hardware, but requires only hardware found on most computer systems: from standard PCs to RFID tags."

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