* Posts by Alan W. Rateliff, II

622 posts • joined 21 Nov 2007

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Shadow of the Beast: Amiga classic returns from the darkness

Alan W. Rateliff, II

I could be convinced to part with a few quid for that CDTV. As for an OS for the remake, an OS4 port would do well, but as you say the hardware is rather pricey. I have both a Mac Mini and a PowerBook G4 running MorphOS which would be quite willing to take up the task.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

My whole reason for getting into the Amiga

I watched the NewTek videos and "Shadow of the Beast" demo on display at the local BX for hours at a time back in 1990-1991. In 1993, I finally I purchased my first Amiga, an Amiga 500, second-hand for the sole purpose of acquiring SotB. Only to discover that it was not included in the collection, but several other Psygnosis games were such as "Ballistix," which quickly became another favorite, "Blood Money," and "The Killing Game Show."

I only ever completed "Beast" once (or maybe twice) but it has never ever lost its attraction. On some odd days I will still fire it up via WHDLoad and play for several hours, losing track of time until eventually being snapped back into our universe. (Even the Commodore 64 port, the rendition I owned before finally obtaining an Amiga, is a feat in play and quality and held me for long spans.)

Thus began my saga into the Amiga and I have never looked back with any regret or second thought. I still love using and playing on this platform. I am an Amiga user to my very last days, and I will be attending the 30th Anniversary in California this year, my first ever Amiga gathering.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Kill that WiFi Sense thing!

Careful there, mate. Someone will read that and suddenly El Reg will have to hand over your personal contact information so someone can conduct an *cough* interview with you over your overt aggressive comments.

Back on-topic, a lot of sites are migrating to WPA2-RADIUS (or WPA2 Enterprise) to eliminate this whole passphrase leak issue.

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Apple to tailor Swift into fully open-source language – for Linux, too

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Tailor Swift...

*snort* I see what you did there.

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Thanks for spamming me Microsoft

Microsoft changed it to an important update. As well, in Windows Updates it just has a generic "Install this update to resolve issues in Windows..." synopsis like the other hundreds of updates. If you want to know what it does, click on More information:

"Update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1," "This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies to a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)."

Nope. Nothing here tells me clearly what it is going to do. You can even read the "standard terminology used to describe Microsoft updates" at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/824684 Nope, still nothing which defines "notifications" as "Windows 10 on-desktop spam."

Epic fail, indeed.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: It's notice-ware not adware

"You'd have to be the most uptightest of prudes and then some to be upset about this."

Or a network administrator.

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Robocalling Americans? That'll cost you $1.7 MEEELLION

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Now if they can catch "Sharon"

Sharon, the Google Local Specialist, calls me at least three times a week from various random numbers, including local numbers.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: 32-bit first?

I have been using the 64-bit Nightly builds for a few years now and rarely have problems with plug-ins. May be you are using something other than Java, Acrobat, and Flash, but these three work just fine for me.

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FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Is that one of the most disgraceful pics you've ever seen?

Sadly, not a single one of them is subject to the electorate.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Good to see the boobs out so early

Few of the first posts, great to get the sheep in view so early. Off to the slaughter with them, then.

These regulations have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with prioritization of traffic any more than the failed businessman who chairs the FCC desires revenge upon an Internet market which sank his pet project. This move is, in fact, a regulatory take-over of the Internet, a digital Fairness Doctrine, if not in full now then in phases and stages: one new rule, one prosecuted violation after another.

Some here may not suffer or perceive to suffer under what is about to happen. I and many of my contemporaries are, however, on the wrong side of the fence and will most certainly face problems. Oh, the others will eventually, as well. A regulatory agency is like the pretty hate machine: once loosed, it is uncontrollable and will turn on its so-called masters.

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Rand Paul puts Hillary Clinton's hard drive on sale

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Meh, a joke's a joke. You should check out ObamaCare on an 8" floppy over on eBay.

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Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

Alan W. Rateliff, II
IT Angle

Why is this tech news?

Because tech companies got their hackles up? If we use that test everything going on in the world suddenly becomes tech news.

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Benevolent concern

A lot of comments to slough through by the time I got here, so I will just knee-jerk mine right away and see if anyone else already posted later. My read on this is, "I want everyone to be forced to buy a self-driving car in the near future. Preferably mine."

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Health & Safety is the responsibility of Connor's long-suffering girlfriend

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Nah, he just wrote his options the same way the code was written. A severe case of Code Madness. (It's always some kind of "Madness.")

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Data centre dangers: Killing a tree and exploding a UPS

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

One fine morning around 3am I rebooted one of my servers in co-lo. After 10 minutes it did not come back on-line, so I hit the PDU to power-cycle it. No alarm bells rang at this point since this particular machine was very, very cranky due to a bad temperature sensor on the motherboard. Most times killing the power for 20 minutes would bring it back online.

By 4am the server was not up and I got a text message that another server had shut down while yet another was starting to shut down. Of course this had me very worried and I hopped in the car to head to the co-lo.

The co-lo is through two fob-key doors, up a split flight of stairs in a back stair well. As I approached the door I felt a lot of heat. This brought back memories of all the fire safety videos in school and interstitial PSAs from Saturday morning cartoons: a hot door means fire! I sampled the air a few times and did not smell any smoke, so like any idiot would do I presented my fob to the sensor and opened the door.

I thought I was going to pass out from the heat. I had not felt heat like that since a summer many years ago on a trip through Texas when my flip-flops melted to the asphalt parking lot of a truck stop. I got inside and found the air conditioning was not working and neither was the air handler. The thermometer on the wall at the door read around 160F. Servers were beeping, some had shut down already, and I had to get the heat out of there. But it is a natural heat-trap: windows covered over with foam insulation board, an inside door that I cannot open, and an outside door which just vents into a stair well with no exhaust ventilation.

I started calling the co-lo operators and leaving nasty messages. I found two exhaust fans which had been closed up when the new dedicated A/C was (recently) installed and cut them open, only to find them stuffed with insulation and covered on the far end (this was the first time the A/C had been given a good running due to hot weather.) I had pulled down one of the foam insulation boards and was just about to chuck a stool out the window to ventilate the room when someone showed up. Once we got the temperature in the room down enough the blower would turn on and the compressor would run someone had to run a hose on the compressor to keep it from tripping until the A/C guy could turn up.

Obviously the A/C had failed. We figured out by one of the servers graphs that sometime around 8pm or so the A/C compressor failed and the temperature steadily rose from 78F to around 135F (inside the server) which held for a couple of hours until around 1:30am when the blower motor went into thermal shutdown and the temperature in the server rocketed to about 180F before the graphs stopped. Tying into some of the other stories here, as I recall a contributing factor to the failure of the compressor was a reversed phase. I was too angry about the whole event to stick around and get the whole story.

MRTG has a neat feature to trigger a script upon specified variables hitting specified values. I now have my UPS graphs trigger alarms in my office and text messages when temperature (amongst other variables) hit the danger zone. It is a co-lo, after all, and not a data center, is what I tell myself, and that I should have been watching that crap from the get-go.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Is there a name for this?

In this situation I often find myself taking a ten-minute break: going back over terminal scroll-back, re-re-re-reading documentation, just walking away thinking over every step I just executed. Then I come back, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly as I hit ENTER or click [FINISH].

I /always/ have backups on-hand in one form or three, just in case. But the last thing I ever want to do is restore backups and have to tackle the project again. Fortunately I have only a few times had to complete a project up against a hard deadline, and just as fortunately I have only had to restore backups a couple of times and come back later.

On the big stuff -- read as customer projects -- anyway. Plenty of times I have totally screwed up my own installations and completely bricked machines (what is the equivalent of "bricking" a virtual machine?) But those are the fun times, when I can laugh while it happens versus shit myself skinny.

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Coincidentally, the AES updates to upgrade Windows XP and Server 2003 from RC4 cause problems, too, and so far as I know those have not been fixed. Nor do I suspect they will be considering the past and looming expiration dates.

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BOFH: The ONE-NINE uptime solution

Alan W. Rateliff, II

A-freaking-men.

All I have. This whole episode has played itself out in real life recently more than once.

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Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Home conversions

I played the ever-loving crap out of the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 versions, both done very well, especially considering the comparative short-comings of the Atari 2600. I only just recently got my hands on the TI-99/4A conversion and I am very impressed.

Good stuff, and the youngers seem to enjoy at, as well.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Black Helicopters

Re: Tin foil

Holy shit, what is this is just a publicity stunt???

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Much capitulation, such disappointment

I am disappointed that theaters would fold and not show it. I am more disappointed that Sony are folding. Indeed, the cyber-terrorists have won and this sets a dangerous precedent.

What happened to my America where we would thumb our noses at such threats and go forth in full force just to spite the bastards? What would our countrymen on flight 93 say, who stood up and saved so many with their own sacrifice? How disappointed my grandfathers would be, who collectively fought in every war since the Revolution. What happened to our balls?

Anyway, initially, I was not going to see this movie but I decided that if Sony and my local theater would stand up for Right I would plonk down my $8.25 plus snacks to partake.

Well, if Sony is going to lose money by not showing it, maybe it will release to torrent.

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QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Adoption

Page loading times may not be an issue for super-duper fast connections, but such an improvement means even faster loading times, seemingly instant. Meh, for some, but I can imagine mobile devices will benefit greatly from a high-quality, low byte-count image format. Especially mobile browsers like Opera Mini which reduce the quality of images to accommodate limited data packages.

As for getting it out into the wild, while the landscape may be different today than when PNG was introduced, I remember using plug-ins for Netscape, Opera, and Internet Explorer for PNG to work. A Java plug-in is a start. Now we just see how long it will take for GIMP and IrfanView plug-ins.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: reducing energy consumption

First off, "consommation;" I invoke the spirit of Inigo Montoya.

Secondly, I had a very enlightening conversation with a gentleman who moved from one of those third-world countries over in Africa (maybe second and a-half, really.) During our discussion a number of things became more clear to me. In particular, one thing he mentioned was how he found himself caught up in the excesses that our country has to offer.

A very real solution is to not over-indulge in what we have available to us. A long time ago I saw a bumper sticker which sticks (ha!) in my mind as a perfect summation of our circumstances: "Conservation means doing with less, not going without." I come from a family in which I was constantly hounded about not leaving lights on, water running, etc. Even though we received such amenities for "free" being a military family*, I was taught a life of using what is needed and necessary. Today I live that for the most part, with the understanding that we are also allowed escapades of fancy: if I want to drive to California for AmiWest, then that is perfectly acceptable. If I want to idle my car in the driveway until the tank runs empty I am free to do so, but doing so is wasteful and shameful.

* The military is, of course, paid for by taxes. However, the idea of "free" (as in beer) living in the military is a myth only revealed within the past decade or so when paychecks began reflecting how housing and other amenities are actually deducted from a member's base pay. Once you retire you really begin to see how the military life is not free at all.

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You know where Apple Pay is getting used a LOT? Yes - McDonalds

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Sorry, Mr. Subtitle: No "Super-Size" in the U.S.

Litigation by slip-and-fall lawyers on behalf of people who could not accept the responsibility for their own gluttony -- and who probably still cannot or do not accept their own responsibility for anything -- saw this through.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Yes.

But the reality is, no one will wake up. Apple will fix the hole, will assure everyone things will be fine, and life will continue while short memories fade. This will all be forgotten in a few months (or sooner) as the distribution becomes less public and falls back into the underbelly of the Internet. Not a single celebrity's life will be ruined by this leak, and besides, they are celebrities and live at a level well above the average person. I mean, I am no Jennifer Lawrence or Leelee Sobieski, so who wants to ever peek at my nudies? Everyone will continue using cloud services, ignoring the rain which falls from them, happily oblivious thanks to the it-won't-ever-happen-to-me mentality.

If, what was it, 100GB of leaked private photos from Facebook failed to wake up the masses, will this? Maybe we will finally reach the tipping point of a lack of privacy, but what exactly is privacy today, anyway? Especially when we are encouraged, if not required, more and more to use these kinds of services for our day-to-day interactions.

@Anonymous Cowherder: we have been beating that drum for years. YEARS. Still no one hears it. "But it it's private! I can block people!" Sure, a great service with a lock... but it is a shitty lock.

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Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Geek culture?

I protest. As the main-stream adoption (corruption) of the term "geek" now requires the inclusion of gamers, it is important to note that not all system administrators are geeks. In fact, to a large degree, gamers rely upon us sysadmins as without us their fun times would be over. Or we befuddle said fun times with useless DRM or Internet connectivity requirements. Which ever.

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: One Windows doesn't work!

Actually, I took his comment about his Apple shares to be an indication that Apple is absolutely doing something that brings results. You're both several degrees of being correct, though one more condescending than the other, and I would like to amend.

Now that Tim Cook has signed the Unholy Alliance with IBM, so long as Apple does not over-inflate and confuse its product line (as prior to the Jobsian Product Purge) there is a huge chance for Apple to start biting into the Microsoft enterprise share. IBM has long seethed over the betrayal of the Microsoft OS/2-Windows partnership. Apple has traditionally not pushed into the business arena, but IBM clearly and demonstrably has the ability to take Apple there.

Factor in the recent and growing BYOD and PYOD trends: where enterprise technology once drove consumer technology as "put what they use at work in the home," the explosion of consumer technology is now pushing the opposite way. Whether we like it or not, Apple owns the consumer technology market. Now, whether Cook and Co. can keep that edge driven at least in part by a cult-like following remains to be seen, as he has already missed key product release points, is expanding the product line, and is making changes to product which would have never occurred under Jobs.

I have no use for Apple products in my home consumer life, nor for that matter in my business life. But, if I wanted a safe bet for my retirement investments, at least for the short-term, Apple would definitely get my money.

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Comcast bosses: THAT pushy sales rep was only obeying orders

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

ComCast didn't even ask me...

Many moons ago I was forced to be a ComCast customer as I was in an area in which DSL was the fevered dream of a mad man who had run thin gauge wire from a DSLAM way far away. I suffered with them for almost a year, through outages, various problems, and numerous phone calls during which I was treated like an absolute moron. That treatment is also outside the comedy and tragedy of getting my service activated without the need for a Windows or Mac computer as I only had my Amiga working and available at the time. (Really, why should I have to go to a damn website to turn on my service when it was clearly demonstrated to me after a few calls that it was a simple matter of putting my modem MAC address into my account and pressing a few buttons.)

To be fair, I had one phone call about an outage and the representative first checked to see if there was problem in my area, which there was. She apologized and explained that technicians were working on it and should have it fixed very soon. Which it was. I asked if she had a supervisor so I could gush about the extraordinary difference between her approach and attitude and to what I had grown accustomed.

I finally moved to an area where DSL was available and called to just move my TV service. Though I wanted to eliminate TV and thus ComCast altogether, I was encourage by in-home forces to keep TV. The representative who processed my move order seemed to not be interested in my call, or being at work in the first place. I heard a good bit of gum smacking and it seemed that she might have muted her side several times to address voices in the background which sounded like conversation with her. Finally I asked her if she was at all interested in why I was moving my TV service and not internet, to which she responded as though I had just sprung out from behind a door, saying, "Oh, yeah, I guess so. Why?"

There ya go. This was residential services and, to be fair, again, to ComCast, its business support has been more often than not very responsive. In fact, in a few times they've worked with me on issues which wound up being a premises problem rather than service, just to see if it would be necessary for me to make a trip to the site. But that is support. Accounting has been a nightmare for more than one customer and colleague, to the point that I will never have ComCast in my home or business ever unless the situation is the most dire and I have no other option at all.

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Just what we need

Have you taken the wife to see a doctor? I hope that if I ever get that stuck on something, my wife would take me in.

Says the guy on the Internet at 4:30 in the morning. She's snoring, so does it matter?

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Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

Alan W. Rateliff, II

More "management versus labor" mentality

I cannot buy into this. An employee knows the requirements of a job up-front, and traditional job requirements are that you work in the office or store or whatever. So you take a job which does not offer work-from-home or flexible scheduling; just because your lifestyle changes does not mean your employer's should, as well. That a business cannot produce a viable business-related reason is, and should be in relation to this law, irrelevant. If a business owner does not want his or her employees working outside of the confines of a physical location or outside of a particular schedule, that should be the final word on the matter.

Some employers may be amenable to the suggestion and perhaps even see it as an opportunity or advantage, while others may not. Like any other situation, if you do not like the outcome you are welcome to leave and find another situation. As well, if a particular business which could greatly benefit from flexible scheduling against its competition does not offer this scheduling, it is doomed to failure.

All this kind of law does is further shackle the hands of the assumed-to-be oppressive business in favor of the poor employee. Little more than perpetuating classic manager-labor disharmony clap-trap, attempting to shift the power to the put-upon labor. I suspect that we will soon see amendments and additions to this rule which make it more difficult to can a flexible employee who is not producing, including laws which make it near impossible to uphold the claim or recall the employee to the place of business for supervision.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Bane of my life

"There's a theory that if anybody ever manages to understand the universe, it will abruptly end and be replaced by something less understandable. There is another theory that this has already happened. many times. My personal theory is that this explains hangovers."

I have never been formally exposed to that theory, but have in experience. A long long time ago in a burst, a flash of understanding as though the Earth had finished running its millennia-long program and sent its output through my brain... I understood women.

Nothing has been the same since.

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

We are Alistair

Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. This article is my life in a nutshell. Well, except that I still perform actions considered naive. That is, my Truth Filter(tm) is permanently stuck on the "ON" position. I try not to be a twat about it, executing what my friends endearingly call "Irish Diplomacy," but the truth comes out, nonetheless. I am also perfectly willing to set fire to the conference table and walk out laughing maniacally if it means the impending fuck-up and collapse will not have my name on it and I will not have to support, recover from, or dig out from under the massive amount of shit which will continue to fall unabated.

I have developed the useful skill of planting an idea in the head of someone who is looking to steal ideas and make themselves look good. I will even happily speak with said brown-noser at length about the technicals and how-it-works-isms until his eyes glaze over. Particularly because he will usually buy me whatever food and drink I want during this ritual courtship. Whether or not he understands does not bother me in the slightest as I know once he has "stolen" the idea from me, I will become his in-the-shadow go-to guy to get things done. While he thinks of me as his prey, I am using his own selfish ambitions for Good.

Mind you, this skill also includes the ability to detect when the schmuck is going to pass my idea off to his mate who will completely cock it up, meanwhile I get thrown under the bus while the jack-ass blurts out in tears, "Alan convinced me this was a sure thing!" This part took longer to develop than I would have liked, but experience is the best teacher if you are willing to learn. At the end of it, brown-noser climbs the corporate ladder until he reaches the level at which he can no longer usurp and re-brand the experience and knowledge of others, and I get to be "The Guy Behind The Scenes of X-Project" and a fat check or two.

To be somewhat rhetorical, have you heard of me? Probably not, but you will more than likely get to hear of the guy who rode my train to his next stop. I am a doer and a facilitator; I get shit done so you look good.

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Google Nest slurps your life into the Matrix? The TRUTH

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: I think I'm going to move to hidden cave in the mountains and become a hermit...

Afghanistan is quite lovely, and has some of the nicest and most spacious caves available.

@LarsG: If a perfect pot of tea could make itself, we could never get that damned door open.

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COSMIC BELCH from supermassive black hole stuns boffins

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Coat

Okay, I will escalate this right away.

@Spartacus: Those are gaseous expulsions from brown holes, mate.

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Facebook goes TITSUP across WORLD! Who will look at your cousin's baby NOW?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

I found this funny because of my customers. It is not uncommon for me to get a phone call late in the morning or early afternoon because a customer's email has not been working. Once the problem is resolved I then receive at least one email with the subject along the lines of "Email is not working."

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Trollface

Seems we will under-represent the half-blind population in these exclusionary practices if the eye-patch is removed. Do I smell a boycott and hashtag?

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra

Not animated, and not Cosgrove Hall, but your mention of others shows you watched and finding things on the Internet reminded me of my own "other show" and trying to find it on the Internet.

"The Young Ones." Absolutely loved that program. Later on in life I decided, hey, maybe I can find it on the Internet. While the proper search results have percolated to the top in Google these days, back then... just say that the results were rather heavy and not quite what the Peoples' Poet would have smiled upon.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Load of Shite

And Count Duckula. Maybe this means my DM DVD collection will go up in resale some. Not that I want to sell it, but it could double my net worth.

I am okay with the whole Danger Mouse "Glass" bit, too. It will help to reinforce the idea that the only people who need to use the real-time spying information gathering high-tech stuff are the spooks and plods, and we have nothing to fear if we are doing nothing wrong. Move along, nothing to see here, you can catch it on-line at your leisure.

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TIME TRAVELLERS needed to secure Windows 7

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Combo Upate

Nice. I use this and have turned several colleagues onto it, as well. Our only complaint is that even after a full run there will still be a few dozen updates left in Windows Updates. That said, it saves a massive amount of time to keep a USB stick updated every month with the latest Windows Updates and get them installed unattended after a fresh OS installation.

(I have to sheepishly admit that I have never donated to the project. I keep meaning to and keep pushing it off to a time when I am less busy.)

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Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

My network...

...my rules.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Cost of ownership?

Okay, I have not read the report, and I am making a knee-jerk, uninformed post. That said, I am willing to bet the report does not take into account the ownership factor of physical media and the convenience of being able to watch whatever movie or show I want once I own it without being subject to the whims of the content providers and rights holders. (I mean, DVD rental? Is that still a thing?)

Sure, ownership does not affect the so-called environmental impact of DVD manufacture and distribution -- although my Futurama DVDs all say they are "carbon neutral" -- but that ain't my focus, now is it?

I am not just one of those "dark social" people, I am also one of those "dark watchers." (I can do better... come back to me...)

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Fat-fingered admin downs entire Joyent data center

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: that unique sinking feeling

A bit like that feeling you get just as you let go of the car door and at the exact moment realize your keys are on the front seat, innit?

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Jheez, poor bastard. :\

... really go all of us. Even the snotty it-won't-ever-happen-to-me RegTards.

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Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: For added irony, on the story's page

Interesting. I am only showing four in Ghostery (with everything turned on for blocking,) on the forums:

Data Point Media, DoubleClick, Google Analytics (obligatory), and Taboola.

The story has 11: Data Point Media, DoubleClick, Facebook Connect, Google Analytics, Google+ Platform, LinkedIn Widgets, Outbrain, Reddit, StumbleUpon Widgets, Taboola, and Twitter Button.

I have ABP turned off for El Reg so I can help pay my way.

I wonder if your ISP is injecting additional trackers? Or maybe I have some being filtered up-stream. (I am posting from a hot-spot without a threat management device, so who knows.)

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Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Even better idea

I will not argue that XP is out-dated and Windows 7 is a very viable replacement in most scenarios. However, I will argue that I have a Dell Mini 9 (NetBook) running Kali Linux and it runs very well and is quite usable.

("Out-dated" is subjective, and I have made posts in the past regarding situations when moving away from XP or older operating systems may not be effective or cost efficient, so I will not bore with them here.)

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

XP x64 screwed?

If it is true, I am pretty pissed about this. XP x64 has always had a different update and support road map than XP, being that it is built on the same core as Server 2003 (for instance, the latest service pack for XP x64 is SP2, matching that of Server 2003.) XP x64 and 2003 have always used the same updates, but if Microsoft is preventing new 2003 updates from loading on XP x64, as indicated by the website offering the registry tweak, then that is another big "screw you" to its users. Yeah, so maybe not many people are actually using XP x64, but that seems all the more reason to not deliberately prevent updates.

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Apple haggles with ISPs for fast lanes to its own websites – industry guru

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Like a motorway, perhaps?

No, it's not. Here's the real road-way analogy.

ComCast City residents want products from Apple City and NetFlix City. More product starts to flow in from Apple and NetFlix city as the residents of ComCast City consume, and ComCast City gains revenue and new residents as a result.

The roadway from Apple and NetFlix city is paid for by their respective traveling residents, including more capacity from source to destination, and bigger better on-ramps.

But ComCast City says not so fast, you too. Our population has increased because of the product you are selling to us, and instead of using the funds we receive from our residents we want you to pay for our off-ramps and maybe even build up our infrastructure.

Now, if the residents of ComCast City who are there because of the easy access to Apple City and NetFlix City product, they will eventually move away. At least, this is how it used to, and should, work. Instead, ComCast City places additional tariffs payable at the city limits for the incoming product. History readily reveals what happens when onerous tariffs are put in place on imports, and ComCast City will eventually realize the deleterious effects.

The whole thing as ComCast wants it is ass-backward.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Paying extortion...

Content providers need to tell ISPs to go fuck themselves. No, really. If ComCast customers cannot stream from iTunes, YouTube, or NetFlix, but someone on AT&T can, seems to me the market would adjust to the fact. If everyone would band together against extortionists like ComCast then ISPs of that ilk will check themselves.

I see notices on satellite and cable networks every so often about how such-and-such channel will not be carried by such-system and to call to get them to carry the channel. The consumers then call and force such-and-such cable or satellite system to get their act together. Of course, if the channel or network is being bitchy, well, they lose out. It all balances and the consumer wins.

But then, we see on a nearly daily basis how ComCast feels about its customers. (To some degree I wish I lived in one of those countries where a post like this could get me in the hot-seat for disparaging the company, because I have plenty of stories and personal experience with ComCast to make its collective heads spin. To the point that I will never have ComCast service in my home if my life depended on it. I left cable TV eight years ago and have never looked back.)

(This could be an opportunity for a competitor, like say Google Fiber, to mosey on in with service which does not extort content providers.)

Of course, it's people like me who are the target: the cable cutters. The ones who do not subscribe to a 189 channel bundle on cable or satellite of which on average 17 channels get watched, instead choosing to cherry-pick what we want from Internet content providers.

Once again, the aging, dinosaur, antiquated business practices run to Daddy Government for protection against the big bad consumer who no longer wants their product. I cast off my wool cap long ago, and thankfully we have a few elected officials who actually get it.

Hey, ComCast and others who would follow in the same steps: adapt or die, asshats. You can only abuse your customers for so long. To you extortion victims: grow a pair, for crying out loud.

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'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Trollface

Re: Meanwhile . . .

Wait, are you talking about ObamaCare?

Victim -> "Sm1 brk in2 hm husband shot I'm hiding in basement"

911 -> "Police on the way; does your husband have bronze, silver, gold, or platinum Healthcare plan?"

Victim -> "WTF?"

911 -> "We can only send an ambulance if he has a Gold plan or above. If he has lower, please enter your credit card number or verify your DREAM status."

Victim -> "FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!"

Okay, okay. This may seem to denigrate our emergency and health services, but that is not the case at all. In fact, it is to poke at some of the stupid regulations and requirements our providers have put upon them for various situations and scenarios.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: There are some abuse scenarios too

Forget phone calls, the next mobile phone virus can DOS emergency services with SMS. I did not see anywhere (admittedly, I did not look very closely) that this service will support MMS, but I suspect it possible. I wonder when some baddie will DOS 911 services with anonymous SIP calls as well as SMS.

In any case, I see this as a good supplement to 911 calls, but at the same time a phone call can contain valuable investigative information in determining time-line of an event, such as ambient sounds, gun shots, voices of perpetrators and (though we are loath to think it) dying declarations of victims. Perhaps phones could be configured to start a video recording (including audio, of course) once a text is sent to 911.

Or an app. Send a text to 911 and the phone begins sending regular MMS video clips. The idea of recording is good, but the phone has to then be retrieved in order for the video to be useful. Never mind me, just thinking aloud.

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