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Comment Re:It will work, but not how you think (Score 1) 41

For every true developer doing it for the challenge, there's two dozen desperate wannabes who will steal it to try and make a quick buck, and it's a lose-lose for everyone. This is why the Wii & Wii U modding and homebrew scene died, it's why the iOS jailbreaking scene died, and those are just recent examples.

Hmm, interesting perspective. I guess from the other side though, a lot of us nerds are constantly berating these companies for not being vigilant enough when it comes to security.

It's possible I guess that the security holes that allow us to jailbreak platforms to exploit other functionality could be considered "beneficial" but I suspect the reality is if those holes exist, it's just as likely they can be exploited by malicious actors.

If the net result is more secure software - that stops us jailbreaking - is that a better or worse outcome?

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 2) 168

I "left" my laptop at a checkpoint in Dallas. I had to put my bags through the scanner and then was held up for a manual check. While I was waiting I was trying to keep an eye on my bags so noone nicked them but I was on the wrong side of the body scanner so couldn't see them.

By the time I'd gotten through - probably 4-5 minutes of waiting - the tray with my laptop was gone. I have since realised that it was probably because the tray was a grey metal colour, almost identical to that of my laptop, the tray was just seen as empty by a TSA employee and stacked with others.

I was, of course, upset. The TSA kept me waiting completely uninterested in my loss, before finally deciding to help me look through a pile of them. It wasn't found and then I had to go get my flight. I tried to log a report with them and basically just got given a phone number (written on a scrap of paper) - there is obviously no good system to manage this process.

After a few days of basically I was referred to the DWF Traveller's Aid people; eventually I got a call from someone from the TSA saying it was found. The Traveller's Aid were awesome about packing it up securely and sending it to me via courier at a pretty respectable price.

I'm sure a lot of people forget it because they get through security and simply forgot they put it down. I've walked away from security leaving an entire bag there once and remembering only a few minutes later.

I should note: this was by /far/ my worst TSA experience at a checkpoint. I flew a lot in the US in the last two years and I always opted out (unless I was running late). Every time I got extremely courteous and professional responses from the staff.

Comment Re: My Dell XPS that came with Linux installed... (Score 1) 284

I had a Dell XPS 13 (probably 5-6 years ago, one of the early models) and ran Ubuntu on it for a while; it worked perfectly out of the box.

One day I did a dist-upgrade to a new version and the wifi stopped working completely. I can't recall the details but I think the network icon vanished completely. After much messing about I learned about something called "NetworkManager" (IIRC), reinstalled it, and it started working again.

After I got it working again, the network light on the laptop would blink any time traffic was sent/received (i.e., non-stop and all the time). It was really annoying.

This was, for me, a fairly typical Linux experience. But to be fair, it's a pretty typical experience with almost any software (it was working, it stopped, had to mess around to fix it, then it started again but was different in a way that was irritating and confusing).

This was a while ago and I'd like to think the software has matured since then. But your anecdote was sitting in isolation and I thought I should share one of mine from the other side :)

Comment Re:No, Aumented Reality is the next big thing. (Score 1) 114

I was never really interested in AR until I read Vernor Vinge's novel, Rainbows End. Once I saw his vision of what it could be like, I was hooked.

I say this as a hardcore gaming nerd that until that moment lived for the day that I could play games in VR. Now having seen things like Hololens I am much more interested in what AR might bring to the table.

Comment "For those who prefer to use Command Prompt" (Score 1) 280

... Yeh I "prefer" to use it, largely because I've got like 20 years of accumulated batch files and command line applications, as well as the knowledge of how to use them expertly to be productive.

And I bet I'm lightweight compared to thousands of people who actually do real shit at large scale on Windows!

I think PowerShell is pretty cool (I've been writing scripts to consume an API this week actually and have been impressed with how easy it is to bang out stuff quickly), but removing the option for it in Windows 10 is just another reason for me to avoid upgrading for even longer.

They're making it more tempting to look at Macs than ever for me. And I'm one of the few nerds that actually likes using Windows!

Comment Re:RFC 733 and 561 (1977 and 1973) (Score 1) 121

To be fair though, RFCs aren't software. If I write an RFC defining how software to teleport beer should work that is one thing, but actually writing the software and making it work is another matter.

I have no idea what this guys claim is/was; the summary implies though that he actually made some software. But there's a difference between having an idea and actually building something.

And knowing gawker was involved it's easy to imagine they're being dicks about it just for the sake of being dicks. I could read the article I guess but in the spirit of the week I'm going to go with uninformed opinion!

Comment Recommendation AI (Score 1) 25

This was kind of interesting for me to read today as I happened to be in the Play store and glanced at the recommendations.

I was intrigued to see I had a whole section that was recommendations for a bunch of mobile telcos: Vodafone, EE, Three, Telstra. I thought this was weird until I remembered I had two apps from different providers (one in UK and one in Australia), and I'd had two others installed in the last year (one more in UK and one in the USA).

So it's easy to see from the perspective of their algorithm why they might want to recommend more of the same types of apps. The reality is of course those apps are more or less totally useless if you're not with the specific providers. So it's relevant while at the same time being a waste of time.

I guess it's inevitable that marketers will figure out a way to use this to promote other phone plans.

Comment Re:Opportunity for Google/FB to inform users (Score 1) 351

ISPs will never do this though; they have their hands full dealing with users who either really can't get the Internet working because it's legit broken (e.g., area outage, modem fault, busted fibre) and those who have busted their own network (turned off wifi, etc).

The cost of egress traffic is negligible; they won't want to do anything that risks losing a customer like intentionally breaking their network.

Doing proper egress filtering for spoofed traffic seems like it would be a better start!

Comment Opportunity for Google/FB to inform users (Score 1) 351

I've wondered if companies like Google and FB - who are no doubt getting DDOSed all the time in various ways - could start trying to inform users if they notice them browsing from the same IP address as a DDOS source.

A big notice on FB or the Google search page that says "there is suspicious activity coming from your IP address" might at least get people to contact their local nerd to ask them what the hell that warning is all about. I don't expect users to be able to identify the source of the problem (unless they can be REALLY specific, like "it's your X-Cam IP Camera Mark II that is causing the problem.. but even then?), but maybe just an alert would prompt them to think about taking some action.

Probably wishful thinking but I would imagine it's a fairly low cost test to run for them. Google at least have stuff to do this already (e.g., if they detect suspicious activity for your account from unusual IP addresses).

Comment Re:Surely Wikileaks can function without Assange (Score 1) 246

If Wikileaks' work is so important, I'm sure it can continue on without Assange in the loop, surely. In fact it would regain a lot of credibility were this to happen. Lately I think Assange's narcissism is more of a liability than an asset to Wikileaks and its cause.

I find it hard to distinguish between things Assange says and things-whoever-is-in-charge-of-Wikileaks-Twitter-today says.

Comment Re:Old school (Score 1) 59

F2P games have shit timesinks and grinding and deliberately missing content in order to try and sell you shortcuts to the less shitty parts of the 'game'.

Possibly generally true but definitely not always true. I've clocked literally thousands of hours in Dota 2 - probably the most amazingly complete f2p game you can find at the moment.

I've not spent a single cent on it to date.

The revenue model for Dota 2 is about buying decorations for your characters and other in-game items. Some of these are amazing - like, they look fantastic. But I get to appreciate them because other users buy them, so I feel like I'm getting the benefit of them anyway.

I have no interest in what my character looks like - I just play because I love the competition (mostly the winning part, anyway :)

I agree a lot of the celebration/dominance stuff mentioned here does not sound interesting - to me it's just pointless frills that distracts from the game. But I do think it's possible to build a great f2p game that incorporates them, and I certainly am happy for people that care about that stuff to fund me playing it without having to spend any money!

Comment Liability? (Score 0) 552

Are they accepting liability if my phone gets stolen? What if someone takes the phone while it's in their possession, hacks it, and steals all my data?

I suspect in their T&Cs they provide no guarantees about any of this - probably quite the opposite. Seems like a lot of fucking around that will just punish the vast majority of legit users and not do anything to stop those that really want to break the rules.

What do we call the analog version of DRM?

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