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* Posts by Daniel B.

2743 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

David Attenborough dino doc shows limits of 3D TV

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Yup

Best movie to use 3D: Avatar.

Besides that, the one thing that does tempt me to get into the 3D bandwagon is Gran Turismo 5, that one supports 3D.

And you *don't* need a 3D TV, it seems!

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Windows 7 really was some girl's idea, rules ASA

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Potshots at Mac

Now, it would've been comical for someone to complain about the (thankfully) discontinued "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ads because the snobbish bastard was clearly not a fruity PC*, and the other guy was clearly not a PC.

* They're both IBM-compatible PCs running x86 hardware. The only difference is the software and the outer look!

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'Blitzer' railgun already 'tactically relevant', boasts maker

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Pirate

Somalia Pirate Repellant

If they were to fit one of these babies onto a tanker? One shot from this should take care of any pirate ship. And at a 200 mile range, it would also be a good patrol weapon!

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FBI 'planted backdoor' in OpenBSD

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Theo de Raadt in facepalm

Maybe he'll stop dissing Linux as a "cheap hackjob" now that his BSD distro has been outed as "0wned by the FBI".

Of course, I wonder if other OSen have similar things? Isn't it supposed that the open source process would catch these kind of things?

Hey wait, someone tried to sabotage the Linux kernel a couple of years ago. It was found in the version control before it was released to the public... so probably OpenBSD's process isn't as good as they claim it to be.

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World of Warcraft bot ban ticks off world of critics

Daniel B.
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Alert

@Chad H.

"Thereisnocowlevel, etc are intended functions of the software put there by the developers, claiming using these would be illegal is as ridiculous as claiming you can no longer use space to open doors in doom. These people changed the game to cheat."

I also mentioned the Diablo character editor thingy. IIRC, that one isn't an official Blizzard tool, it was a hack-thingy that allowed to create or edit characters to give them stuff like extra levels, abilities, inventory stuff. That one might probably fall under the DMCA violation according to this rule. Take in mind that Diablo is playable online, and the gameplay style is kind of MMO-ish. I also forgot to mention the FSGS thingy that allows you to use a custom Battle.net server instead of the Blizzard one. Very useful for LAN parties w/o internet access :)

Blizzard does have the right to boot/ban cheaters from their servers; after all, it is their service and I fully agree with that. It is the method which Blizzard is using to enforce this that I find as DMCA creep.

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Daniel B.
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FAIL

It isn't about cheating

The problem isn't about Blizzard wanting to crack down on cheating; that's acceptable on its own terms, even free games like MUDs or Quake servers will ban bot cheaters. The problem here is that DMCA is being used for things that it shouldn't be used, equating a simple "cheating tool" to a warez game-pirating cracker. This has bad implications on stuff not even related to "copyright infringement" or even "MMORPG cheating".

According to this ruling, if I type "there is no cow level" on StarCraft, I'm BREAKING TEH LAW.

If I use one of those "Diablo character editors" to give my sorceress an instant lvl 32, I'M BREAKING TEH LAW.

Hell, I'm probably violating the DMCA if I type IDSPISPOPD while playing DOOM. "Oh noes! He's walking through walls!"

Yes, cheating on MMOs is wrong, but the ruling in this case is also wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right.

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Xbox 360 outsells PS3 2:1

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Flame

iPippin

I predict it will crash and burn ... based on previous history. Remember the Pippin? Probably not. Most of us learned about it when it came out in one of those "Worst Tech Flops of all time" lists.

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Daniel B.
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Go

Ugly names

I sometimes think that MS is trying to replicate everything from success stories in the hope of replicating said stories, even the blunders.

WinPhone 7 comes out without cut&paste, multitask ... just like iPhone.

Project Natal gets changed to a stupid name: Kinect, just like Revolution got changed to another stupid name: Wii.

Not to mention that Sony already had done the controllerless thingy with the PS2's EyeToy years before MS did. Anyone remember the Anti-Grav game? Probably the only good game for the EyeToy.

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Daniel B.
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Happy

@Chris Harrison

The PS3 dudes will put the controller down when the XBox dudes place their S controllers down as well. These kind of articles lure both types, it's kinda like the Apple articles. I do wonder why companies have those different "year periods"... shouldn't they all use Dec-Dec or Jan-Jan periods?

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

OMG MS fanboys!

The most amusing thing about this round of console wars is this: It doesn't matter if you buy a Kinect or a Move, in 6 months it will be gathering dust along with your Wii, your EyeToy, your "Karaoke DDR" microphone and your USB diadem you only used once with LifeLine. Time after time some boneheaded exec tries to bolt on some new gimmick onto a best-selling console, releases a couple of games that use 'em ... and then watches the game crash and burn, and then the addon die off because no-one else wants to add support for something that isn't standard on all consoles. The Wii was an instant hit because the motion controller was a standard controller for the thing, not something that had to be added later!

And while PS3 is still "third place" in the worldwide numbers (4 million down), you should notice that the only regions where the 360 still leads are the US and UK; everywhere else the PS3 outnumbers the 360; and that is without counting that a good bunch of those 360's are RRoD replacements.

And well... something that I've seen more appealing than movement controllers is the 3D stuff in certain games. I've seen a Gran Turismo 5 ... on 3D. That pulled my attention much more than the Kinect display I've seen ... where handling the controllerless menu was akin to using a miscalibrated touchscreen. I haven't tried the Move yet, but I'll probably be unimpressed as well.

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Gawker rooted by anonymous hackers

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Crypto FAIL

"The 486 MB file claimed that 1.5 million passwords were protected with DES, or Data Encryption Standard, a feeble enough hashing algorithm that the attackers were able to recover the first eight characters of the corresponding password."

Anyone using anything DES related is an idiot and deserves to be 0wn3d pretty hard. DES has been rumored to be insecure since its inception, and fully proven to be insecure with Deep Crack. Yet some people insist on encrypting 'harmless' stuff like passwords and config files with DES, and this is excellent proof on why this is bad.

Hell, I'm even distrustful of 3DES, the "secure" version of DES. I expect it to be as easily cracked, and it has probably been already cracked as well. Want secure? AES128 at a minimum, AES256 preferred.

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World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

Daniel B.
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Coat

Hm...

So would this be the planetary equivalent to the Hotel California?

"You can take-off any time you want,

but you can't ever leave!"

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Sprint CEO admits WiMAX gamble didn't pay off

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Dead-end tech? Kinda like CDMA

Unfortunately, that one will still live on for quite a while, because Verizon and Sprint use it, and cover a good chunk of the US. Meh.

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The year's best... console games

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Happy

Mostly same reasoning, Go PS3

You'll find plenty of FPS games on both consoles; but the PS3 wins on some accounts such as the included Blu-Ray player and free multiplayer. There's also the fact that the PS3 can be 'upgraded' as you can simply swap out the HDD for a bigger one without the thing locking up, unlike the 360 requiring "official" HDDs at extortionate prices.

In my opinion, charging for online play is so 1990's, those in the US might remember TEN doing monthly charging to what amounts to glorified dialup ISP service ... except it was a gaming-only dialup network. Quake and its ilk brought down that shameless pimping, but MS has brought it back from the dead with XBL.

If your only pull towards the 360 is Halo, Resistance and Killzone serve as drop-in replacements. I've always liked better the Gran Turismo series as well, so there's that...

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French woman chased up tree by wild pigs, rescued by copter

Daniel B.
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Black Helicopters

Revenge of the Christmas animals?

Back in the late 80's, a local radio station would do a radio play thingy called "El Pavo Asesino" (The Killer Turkey), who is fed up with humans eating turkey on Xmas and decides to feed on humans this Christmas Eve.

Could it be that the next killer animal will be that infamous 'John Blood Turkey'?

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US Air Force studies fruit-flies to build killer insect swarm drones

Daniel B.
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Black Helicopters

Prey

I assume none of these boffins have read Michael Crichton's Prey; let's hope they don't actually make them fully autonomous!

See also: Second Variety

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Microsoft 'Xbox TV' rumours: Over the Cable Guy's dead body

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Are you doing 1080p?

Netflix, I believe, doesn't do 1080p. Some cable channels actually do 1080i or 1080p; that's simply not possible with average broadband.

Also, under current schemes, the ISPs network will go down when 100+ users in the same area start streaming, even if they're watching the same frickin' show. This should be easy to solve with multicast, but that just isn't the case these days.

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Crazed reindeer stalks, attacks Scottish woman with antlers

Daniel B.
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Coffee/keyboard

But as for me and grandpa, we believe!

That was precisely the song that started playing in my head when I started reading this article!

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Wikileaks DDoSser 'Jester' in phantom cop raid tomfoolery

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Oh dear!

I actually made an assembly program to decode that last message. I'm actually amazed that I haven't lost my 0xDEADBEEFCAFE skills, and that I managed to do the whole thing in 15 minutes.

I should probably get a low level programming job.

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Bolivians still grimly browsing on Sony Ericsson phones

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Mexico?

Given the astounding quantity of 3 iPhones I've seen in the last 3 years, I really, really doubt that Mexico is an iOS-touting region. Blackberries are becoming so common it seems like it is the new StarTAC (reference to "phone the world+dog seems to have) in the smartphone market. The one thing that could be skewing the data is that not all Blackberry ownershave BIS service, thus they aren't browsing the interwebs with their devices; those who do have BIS will usually do IM, BB Messenger, and use the native apps for FB and twitter. Not much web browsing there.

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97% of INTERNET NOW FULL UP, warn IPv4 shepherd boys

Daniel B.
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NATpocalypse

Agreed on that point. I prefer to avoid cable ISPs over here, because they have implemented NAT since the very beginning. That's something I label as dishonest, especially because they combine it with shady traffic shaping and will also break some protocols just because they can. At least one cable ISP has seen the light and will now offer IPv6 addys :)

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Incendiary MacBook blamed in house conflag inferno suit

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

@Stike Vomit

In fact it is because of the infamous Ford Pinto that most sensible companies now prefer to err on the safe side. Of course, Apple and it's "there ain't no problem" culture means that most of these cases are shunned. Unfortunately, it seems that like the Ford Pinto, someone will have to actually DIE during a MagSafe-induced fire for Apple to be forced to admit the damn thing is unsafe.

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NASA to make MAJOR ALIENS REVELATION this week

Daniel B.
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Coat

So long and thanks for the fish

That's the message they've received. We're screwed!

Mine's the one with the Mark 42 improbability drive...

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Telegraph to charge for online news

Daniel B.
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Thumb Up

However...

A newspaper that nobody reads is a newspaper that can't influence people, which is what conservative newspapers usually try to do. When the Torygraph moves to PPR (pay-per-read) system, the liberal leaning newspapers will be the only ones remaining as a free service.

Not that it isn't a good thing ... if only the nutty conservative newspapers in the US did the same...

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Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Emergency Calls

Turning off your cellphone is so 1990's. These days, more people call you at your mobile than your landline; and if you *do* get a nighttime call, it's urgent.

Also, you might not even be sleeping at your own home. ;)

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Sony pips MS with 4.1m motion controller sales

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Troll

Same applies for the 360 vs. PS3 fudging

MS and 360 sheeples have been baaaa'ing a lot about the total number of 360s being higher than PS3s, despite the full year the 360 had been out by the time the PS3 came out. The Sept 2010 numbers show that the gap is roughly at 3 millions, which means the gap is probably going to close during the next year or earlier. Never mind that there are more PS3s than 360's in almost everywhere except US and UK.

And there's still the RRoD-replacement purchases to account for.

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How to kill your computer

Daniel B.
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Flame

The Amazing Exploding HP Laptop!

I actually have pics of one truly exploded HP Laptop which "went off" when I was in college. Our friend had just bought it about 2 weeks before so it was still new when this happened. He had the laptop on and was carrying it under his arm when it suddenly started sparking and leaking battery acid. He proceeded to lay it down on the ground, and ran to the bathroom to wash off the acid.

Meanwhile, another guy tried to open up the laptop because there was smoke coming out of the thing. He had just opened up a bit when it started sparking again... and then proceded to detonate. It burst up in flames, exploded two times more, one of them expelling a battery cell about 10 meters away from the laptop, leaving a hole like an Alien chestburster had burst out of the laptop. We all stood dumbfounded watching the whole thing, until the security guard brought the extinguisher to stop the fire.

This happened about 2 years before the "exploding laptop batteries" pandemic, so when my friend called HP to tell them that the laptop exploded, they didn't believe him. It was until he sent pics from the exploded laptop that he got a free replacement and an HP public apology being made to him and to the college.

Hell, I still have the pics somewhere in my HDD. I should probably send 'em...

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Olympians threaten ICANN with lawsuit

Daniel B.
Silver badge
FAIL

Olympic Madness

I remember seeing this madness with a series of state sports event being called the "something Olympics", until the IOC came slamming down. I remember the Math Olympics or something like that, haven't seen them being slammed though.

I've found the thing really stupid. What's next, suing the God of War series because it takes place in the Olympiad? Suing the Percy Jackson writer because it has "new Olympians"?

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How I saved the Macintosh

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Pagemaker

Me using PageMaker feels like being a Jedi Knight during the Galactic Empire; the last user of a long forgotten religion. During the early Mac days, PageMaker was one of the Mac's "killer apps"; unfortunately a lot of later users simply started using Word for everything, and PageMaker slowly slid into oblivion.

Mac used to be bleeding edge for DTP; it also used to be a fun environment, lacking the fanboyism of the post-Jobs comeback.

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US orders data lock down in wake of Wikileaks release

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Joke

Iron Butterfly

I would think that he'd be able to download the entire TOP SECRET stash if he had been listening the extended version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, then!

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Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

So much for SIPRNet separation

"The measure was described as a “temporary technical solution” to the problem of Pentagon personnel who may move vast amounts of secret information to unclassified computer systems"

And how is it possible for this situation to happen on TS-clearance computers at all? Some of the Wikileaks docs have been extracted from the SIPRNet. I thought that "The Recruiter" was fiction, couldn't believe that something as braindead as that could be possible.

There goes the US gov't, trusting their sensitive stuff to MS Windows OS.

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Feds seize 70 'filesharing, dodgy goods' sites

Daniel B.
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WTF?

Who are those open boarders?

You mean students who move in to college cities while they are in college, who are open-minded?

However, I fully agree that there is far more resources being put on "copyright infringement" bullshit than stuff that really matters like, you know, real crime, muggers, drug dealers and such. Even here in Mexico, a 14 y/o kid told me how he witnessed a heavily-armed contingent of the Policia Federal (what's with gringos adding an "e" to Federal?) come down with their assault rifles ... to seize pirated CDs/DVDs.

Geeze, I thought these guys were supposed to be fighting drug dealers. But noooooo! Pirated/counterfeit stuff is more dangerous! Hell, they've even claimed that drug dealers get their money from pirated warez stuff. Yeah right ... 'coz Bolivian marching powder isn't as profitable, I suppose. Meh.

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Pirate

Selling?

Who's selling "counterfeit goods"? IIRC there was even a problem with labeling "copyright infringement" as piracy because no money changes hands, and piracy is "profiting from copyright infringement".

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Empire Strikes Back director Kershner dies at 87

Daniel B.
Silver badge

THX1138

I actually liked that one. It feels like someone mated Brave New World and 1984 with "current" (70's) tech. Yes, it's sloooooow, but it is kinda good.

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Canada steps closer to legalising sex work

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Troll

Re: Please no...

"if they are the product of a loving family that is united. I fail to see how allowing hookers will benefit our society, for which family is its beating heart."

What about those singles who solicit hookers? Or are you one of those stoopid dudes who think that premarital sex is an unholy sin so bad that Satan himself will burn you alive in Hell if you do it?

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The Mac that saved Apple (and Steve Jobs)

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: 56k was _never_ fast

It depends on which country you live in. If it is the EU, ISDN was probably as common as PSTN lines in the American continent. In the US, it wasn't really popular, and here in Mexico, it was pretty much short-lived, somewhere around 2000 and marketed as "Prodigy Turbo" (basically, selling on the possibility of getting 128k using the two B channels). It never really took off, as changing all your phone equipment for ISDN stuff was pretty expensive. Real broadband availability for everyone came with ADSL, so we really spent all of the 90's with slow-ass internet links. 56k was fast for home users, most of us lusted for getting an E1 at our homes.

Now, the campus network was entirely different. I remember 8 kilobyte/sec downloads there, though it sometimes got as fast as 40 kB/s. That must've been circa 1998.

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

AOL != internet

AOL is the legacy of the era of "Content Networks" or whatever they were called. AOL was the ugly duckling, with Compuserve having a hell of a lot more users back then, and they already had a Windows client by 1996. There were far more users using Compuserve for Internet than AOL users. The rest of the masses were actually using local ISPs, you know, the zillion dialup ISPs that used to exist before they were all Blockbuster'd into oblivion by AOL.

While Win 3.1 was a pain to get on the internet (we depended on Trumpet Winsock or similar apps), Win95 actually came with an internal TCP/IP stack, or at least one that worked well enough to work out of the box. So no, the iMac wasn't the first one with internet connectivity; what it *did* have was the ability to work out of the box without fumbling for a zillion cables; just plug in keyboard, mouse, phone line and power. Voila!

However, I think that by the time the iMac came out, the Internet boom was already in gear, and the most popular FPS of that time (Quake) having TCP/IP support, which incidentally also started the whole FPS modding fad. It was possible with Doom, but during Quake's lifetime you could find all the good modding tools on the 'net, and could publish your mods on the Quake-related sites. Ah, the days...

Hell, it was probably Quake the one that got kids on the 'net. 64 player deathmatches or CTF sure beats 2-player modem games!

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Plasma space-drive aces efficiency numbers: Set for ISS in 2014

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Pint

Spaaace beeer!

That might explain that experiment where they want to fit a VASIMR drive on a beer can to make it go into space!

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Blu-ray barely better than DVD

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Toy Story 3

That one had better imagery on Blu-Ray.

The thing I actually like about BDs is that there is now only 1 region for the American continent, instead of splitting it into Region 1 and Region 4. Also, the pop-up menus and the ability to bookmark scenes, very useful when I want to resume a movie from where it started. It isn't just the picture quality, it's all the extra perks included with BDs.

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US ARMY prepares force of GIGANTIC BOMB RATS

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Happy

Wanted

The other way round. These ones are sniffing bombs to disable 'em, not sniffing peanut butter-marked targets while carrying explosives to blow 'em...

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Fugitive tech CEO settles backdating case with SEC for $53m

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

Slightly misread

At the first read, I read "former CEO of Converse" and wondered where's the IT angle with a tennis shoe company. Then I saw it was actually "Comverse", which sounds like a good knock-off tennis shoe company ... oh well...

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Kids want Santa to bring iPads not consoles

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

I feel your pain

I found it really stupid that the "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ads came out right around the time that the Macs became fruity PCs, that is, jumped to x86 iron.

Mac = Apple-branded PCs running OSX.

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Happy

Re: nagging kids

You can buy 'em the iPad or PS3 .. but condition it to good grades, being a good boy. Then the kid will actually make an effort to get what he/she wants, and will be grateful of having what he wanted.

Even better: Make 'em save money for the stuff they want. :)

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Daniel B.
Silver badge

Because it's FUN

The Nintendo DS has Mario Kart! *Multiplayer* Mario Kart! Are there any multiplayer games on the iThingies? No?

All the EleanorRigby's might rather play single-player games like Angry Birds, but kids, teens and even some young adults love multiplayer games, and in the mobile arena, the DS and PSP are still the only platforms with this option.

I doubt Nintendo is cowering in fear about the iDevices. It's a fad, it'll pass. They're probably more concerned with the Wii actually being the 'passing fad' right there.

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Google 'sacked Apple pioneer over leaked Schmidt memo'

Daniel B.
Silver badge
FAIL

Cash?

Big company gives out bonus money ... in cash? In the US? Even in my country where cash is common, most bonus/rewards are made by direct deposit or by cheque. I actually consider the "cash out" culture common in Mexico a stupid idea, because it is precisely the kind of thinking that leads to you being mugged for that cash.

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How I invented Desktop Publishing

Daniel B.
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Thumb Up

Aldus

You've actually mentioned PostScript, Aldus PageMaker, Aldus FreeHand and the Apple LaserWriter. You've just mentioned the stuff my dad was working with back in 1987! I have always credited Aldus PageMaker as the first DTP solution, didn't know about the previous attempts back then. The only time I ever used an Apple ][ was at school, I was like 3 yrs old when the Macintosh came out.

My CV is *still* in PageMaker format. There's no cheap option to substitute PageMaker at the moment.

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Buffy to slay her way back into cinemas

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Original movie

I actually found the Buffy series to be the 1992 movie taken seriously when it first came out. The movie came out as campy & fun, the series was less campy, still fun but also kinda serious.

However, this new movie doesn't seem to be even in the TV series mood. I fear that the new Buffy movie will be made with Sparkle Motion...

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Attachmate gobbles up Novell for $2.2bn

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

MS Unix

Ah yes, Xenix. They spun off that operation and it turned into something called the Santa Cruz Operation. Sound familiar?

Microsoft has Services for Unix, which basically installs a POSIX subsystem on the Windows OS. It works pretty well, even if the FLOSS community turns a blind eye to it and pretends it doesn't exist, using Cygwin instead. It would be nice if MS were to build a POSIX-compliant Unix.

If they want to build up a "SCOSuit" again ... it will get ugly.

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Apple scraps 'never-formed plans' for iPhone SIM in 2011

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: So what?

"All CDMA handsets in N.America and India (til date) have SIM less handsets."

Which is the reason I will never, ever have a CDMA handset. Fortunately, CDMA is a dead-end, and will be superseded by LTE, which comes from the GSM branch. Every single phone 10 years from now will have a removable SIM card ... unless Apple get this stoopid "virtual SIM" thing approved. Hopefully someone will do a proof of concept cracking this crap and it will never be approved!

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Killing the storage array controller

Daniel B.
Silver badge

You'll pry my RAID5 out of my cold, dead hands.

If enterprises only wanted to have JBODs, EMC and company wouldn't be in that business at all. JBOD means that if and when one of your HDDs goes down, everything will go to the shitter. All the RAID5 stuff means that you only need to swap out the damaged disk for a new one, and the whole thing will reconstruct itself.

These claims from a VM vendor look like someone proposing drivers to do away with seat belts. Bad advice!

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