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Comment Caring, more or less (Score 1) 765

I know you are correct, but I have decided to hear it as "I could care less (but that wouldn't be worth the effort)".

Alternately: "It might surprise you to know, seeing how little I care, that I could care less than I appear to, but it would take quantum observation to discriminate between how much I care and the theoretical zero point."

So it's wrong but it's not wrong-wrong.

This is hand-in-hand with "It's not 'apathy' per se, I just don't think I care."

In english the ironic is normative. 8-)

Comment Re:TMobile.... (Score 2) 145

It really depends on your location of use and how far from interstates you travel, when you do.

In my case, there is absolutely NO coverage for T-mobile at my lake home on any provider except Verizon. Considering we spend ~40% of our summer months there, this is a necessity.

We also travel, by car, over 3500 miles each summer on a road trip. With Verizon I have never been out of coverage; however, AT&T and T-mobile cannot keep pace--not even close.

Comment Sample Code is often unimpressive (Score 1) 286

They didn't declare the same variable twice. They declared two independent variables with the same purpose to use the same name. If the second one said "d" instead of "c" it wouldn't break the pattern but it _would_ confuse the point that the two ifs create two scopes with no bleeding through.

Your comment seems to miss that point.

The real goal is to create an initializer that is valid for both the "then" and the "else" part but that DOES NOT introduce variables beyond the scope of the liftime of the if. That's why the full comparison text include the outer braces {thing c=stuff(); if (some_status(c)) okay(c); else no_bueno(c); } implies printf("%p",c) error because C is out of scope.

Using the same variable name twice was exemplary of the common closure of scope in the suggestion.

Alos note that the particular example was to bring it into line with the okay=complex_function(); if (!okay) return error; okay=next_complex_function(); if (!okay) return error;

Programmers _suck_ at stringing conditionals and making sure that the whole stop and exit at first error paradigm is met. The above monad can already be done as a number of graceful or degenerate cases.

if all your success states are boolean true, and failure is boolean false then a simple "return co1() && co2() && co3();" series continues until one fails or all succeed. But larger cascades from less boolean series can get "interestingly decorative" depending on how the programmer likes to arrange this sort of thing.

Of course the "Real Answer" is exceptions, but only if you don't then screw that up...

So the solution is a "not bad" attempt to deal with the horror that is "in-band error reporting", a horror that most languages make us blind to due to ubiquity alone.

Comment I used to do this (Score 3, Insightful) 171

I worked for the company that used to provide this service (and a lot fo other 800, 866 and 900 numbers) for the NJ and NYC areas.

It was fascinating equipment. Ancient but robust. It was a constantly turning magnetic drum that had the recording on it about 6 inches tall with a little oil reservoir on top that had to be filled every few months.

It synced against the radio signal from the Navel Observatory, which was perfect but also perfectly useless. You see, there was a short delay induce by the phone lines, so if we let it set itself we'd get irate calls as people listened to it and the radio and they weren't synced. Yes, there are those people and out of the millions of population there are enough of them. So every time the time changed for daylight savings we'd set it, and then manually speed it up by a fraction of a second until it sounded right. Mind you it still wasn't perfect - the phone line induced delay varied by distance and number of trunks, but it was close enough.

Remarkable gear. Never lost time after we set it.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 32

While all of your points are quite valid, there is definitely a lot of community on IG and, as someone who recently stopped using it due to the changes to the feed planned by Facebook, I definitely miss seeing local photographers sharing their work and helping each other get better at their craft.

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Comment Re:Apples-Oranges (Score 2) 760

But can 250,000 people in California get a free two-year education? Or are the grants few and far between?

It also assumes time (many work a job or two and still fall below the poverty line), regular availability (so they can't have work that assigns shift because it could overlap classes), that they don't have dependents to care for, nor does it consider the costs of mass transit to places to get this.

I applaud anyone who can pull themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps like that, but I don't think you have a general solution.

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Comment You don't know what a "chargeback" is... (in U.S.) (Score 1) 194

A dispute is a request to get a charge "investigated". A "chargeback" is an instruction to the bank/credit company take the money back and make it my problem.

Most people don't know that (in the United States) these are completely different things.

If I dispute a charge then the credit card company may contact the vendor and ask them what happened and generally do a resolution where I may, or may not, get a refund. A dispute takes days, weeks, or even months to run its course.

A chargeback tells the credit card company to suck the money back out of the payee's account right now and debit it back to me unconditionally. There is no investigation. There is no delay. Once a chargeback has been issued the credit card issuer is no longer involved in the transaction. They payee may sue the payor or otherwise deal with the financial dispute by legal means. A chargeback is the "nuclear option" for dealing with a credit card transaction that's gone bad.

But understand that a chargeback isn't magic. If you buy something through an intermediary, the credit card bank is taking money from that next step in the chain, from that intermediary. That intermediary may then choose sue you or never do business with you again. So issuing a charge-back to ebay might get you a lifetime ban from ebay or a lawsuit from ebay and leave ebay holding the bag, unable to get the money back from the seller.

I've disputed several charges in my lifetime, but I've only ever once issued a chargeback. A local scaffolding company didn't properly log in the return of the scaffolding I'd rented. So they kept on billing me monthly rent for it. I tried to work it out with them, but they just kept saying they'd be charging me forever unless I showed up with the scaffolding. The individual pieces aren't serialized so it was impossible to coerce an audit to support my claim. I'm a home owner, not a business, so it's not like I could misplace that much stuff.

So I called the credit card company and issued a chargeback. The guy on the phone was all "what charges do you wish to dispute?" and I said "_NO_, I am issuing a chargeback for (amount) and blocking all further charges from (company)." I had to go several rounds and get a manager involved because the phone monkey didn't know what I was talking about. Finally I made it happen. Then I contacted the scaffolding company that I'd charged back everything they'd charged me since the date of the equipment return. With the money back in my hand and the door closed they became way more responsive and we agreed to go our separate ways.

They cold have sued me or whatever, but they would have lost since all of their records were messed up and their procedures were lax at best. So they decided (amount) and whatever equipment they thought I still had wasn't worth going to court.

A full chargeback is the last milestone before a resolution or a law suit, and if you issue (or receive as a business owner) more than a couple a decade you are likely to be dropped by the card company. It would _suck_ for a business to be banned by, say, all of Visa Corp. It wouldn't be fun for a consumer either.

But the full "chargeback" is a guaranteed protection to credit card holders as enshrined by law. The "dispute" is a contract term in your card and/or vendor agreement and subject to civil terms and other sections of law.

Chargebacks exist because the buyer and the seller are the actual involved parties, so either party can say to the payment processors "get out of this dispute completely" but to do that, to get out of the middle, the money must be put back into the hands of the original people.

It's twisty, and you shouldn't ever take legal or financial advice from the internet, but "disputing a charge" and "issuing a chargeback" are _totally_ different things.

Comment Re:I'm curious... (Score 1) 155

Well, a few reasons really:

1. I don't like ads and I can adlbock on mobile web but not as easily on iOS for apps (if at all) which is why they are doing this in the first place.

2. I don't want to download unnecessary applications which take up storage I want to use on other things.

3. I don't see the need to have two different applications to interact on the same platform.

Comment Fix the TPM... (Score 1) 664

The TPM is an _outstanding_ idea, but the implementation is flawed by the fact that the owner of the machine doesn't get the keys. It's not actually a "root kit", it's a self destruct that someone else has the key for.

I would _insist_ every computer I owned had a TPM _if_ I were in control of that TPM so that I could have it validate that my (linux) box has not been tampered with.

The technology is great. The implementation, however, is designed to work against me, the owner. Were it not _obviously_ laid out in a way intended to turn my computer into a gaming console or cable television set-top box, it would be outstanding.

There is absolutely no reason that the "publicized" goals of the TPM couldn't be realized while still allowing me my full rights.

But Microsoft et al wanted to make a copywrite tool instead of a true trustable boot experience. Signing keys are, after all, part of the public key not the private key. So I should be able to initialize my TPM with my own key pair, load microsoft's signing keys into it as I choose along with any other keys for my e.g. Linux boot system etc, and then get the security without the nonsense.

There is some rationality to wanting to protect the computer from it's operator. I've worked in tech support. There's more rationale to wanting to protect a computer from root kits and tampering. I've worked security. But there is no reason that the person who actually paid for the device should be denied access too it.

If I had my way in all things, every computer would have a TPM like device. And a little dongle plug. And it would have an SD card slot that the TPM can directly access. When the slot is occupied with a matched SD card, the computer will only do boot maintenance. When the card is not matched it's just regular storage. If you invoke the reinitialization system, the TPM will secure-erase _everything_ in the box then mint a new matched SD card. So now the machine _won't_ run normally if the boot stack is exposed, but it will run normally if it's not, so the average user is safe (they can't make the "leet" decision to leave the matched card in place and still have a working computer). The extreme tamper-evidence of having the machine blanked means that _nobody_ can sneak in a bios keylogger virtual machine layer without wiping the machine. And the owner would have the option to include-or-not the signing keys from the various sources like Microsoft or the Linux distro of their choice, or even signing their custom boot stack as they see fit.

Comment Why the political ending? (Score 2) 224

From the article:

Much closer to home, Musk was also asked about the U.S. presidential election, a topic on which he was noticeably less animated.

Without saying anything about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton specifically, he said, "I don't think it's the finest moment in our democracy."

I wish there was more context given here. Does he feel this way because of their stance on space exploration/funding/etc or simply because he doesn't like their other political stances?

If it is indeed, the latter, if it's going to be included in an article, I really wish they had dug in deeper and published his response, rather than just including Hillary and Trump in the article for their SEO value.

Comment Judge on the OS merits, not on nerd-rage (Score 1) 982

So, you're angry with M$ and therefore their OS sucks? Sorry, that's not causation. If you're actually someone who should be reading "News for Nerds" you can like or dislike Win10 on it's own merits, not just what the company is doing.

First, privacy issues suck. Horribly. You can turn off many of them. A few others you need to turn of on a MS website. All of that is easy to find documented on the web. That doesn't get them all. Turning off Cortona and keeping it off takes a bit of work.

Upgraded three desktops and one laptop of various powers, purpose and pedigrees. All went easy. All kept my data and software. You need to be aware that buttons that they want you to push (such as setting up a MS account) look like buttons, and buttons they don't want you to push (like setting up a local account) look like links and sometimes take a few extra screens.

None of them had cutting edge hardware, including the laptop. If you are worried about that, flex your nerd-muscles and check it out first. Everything including integrated components on the laptop had drivers from either MS or the vendor.

Haven't blue-screened once on any of the four. I have had an issue where it closed a program because it was running out of memory, which was legitimate but still unexpected.

Performance has been fine including gaming, but I don't run anything ultra-intensive. Multi-monitor support has been fine. Updates can cause reboots overnight, but won't be a surprise unless you don't touch the machine for a week.

Start menu can be made more useful without needing 3rd party, but it's a bit of work to customize it. MUCH better then 8.1, slightly worse than 7.

Edge is better than IE, but who cares because who uses a MS browser?

If you have windows 8.1, upgrade. If you have windows 7 I'd say it's up to you, but your window for free upgrades is closing. Extended support for Win7 ends Jan 24, 2020. So that's 3.5 years. I wouldn't expect that Win10 will be replaced by then, so eventually it's going to be Win10 or a non-Windows OS. Up to you if you want to take the plunge now or in a few years. Considering how hard MS was pushing to get people up to Win10, I wonder how much support the older versions are going to get from 3rd parties for anything new coming out.

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