Feeds

* Posts by usbac

42 posts • joined 4 Oct 2010

What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail

usbac

Re: Time to rethink the old one-liner?

Another reason you don't want to fart in a space suit...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8pd32WZt4Q

0
0

Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL

usbac

Re: Rights restriction systems

Same here. I won't buy anything with DRM that I can't easily break. The way I look at it is that I'm not really buying something with DRM, I'm simply renting it for an undetermined amount of time (however long some corporate suit thinks I should use it).

I have a lot of friends that seem to be okay with it. I really don't get it?

I ask them "would you buy a car for $20K+, with the idea that the car manufacturer could come and take it back at any random time?" The answer is always no, yet they keep pumping money (thousands a year for some people) into all this DRM protected crap!

The real problem is that no one seems to have a problem with it. Very soon there will not be any content that is not DRM protected. I'm buying used CDs as fast as I can.

7
0

Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

usbac

Re: Maybe unintended, but fitting nonetheless...

Yeah, look what happened to Sony! They kept kicking their customers in the balls, and now they are in big trouble...

http://www.cnet.com/news/sony-expects-489m-loss-this-year-as-financial-woes-continue/

Funny how that happens! I stopped buying anything from Sony after the root-kit fiasco.

Are we sure a bunch of Sony execs haven't defected to Microsoft?

We can only hope Microsoft follows the Sony example...

10
0

Dairy Queen cuts the waffle, says bank cards creamed in 395 eateries

usbac

Re: PowerSC & encryption

Yeah, that's what we all need is more proprietary crap.

We used to run a retail system on AIX. We couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Anytime IBM is involved, you just add a few of zeros to all of the prices.

Your idea of "IBM knows how to make it secure, just give us tons and tons of money, we'll fix it" doesn't work for most businesses.

It's not the "low cost Dell servers" that are the problem, it's all of the crap code running on them that was written by some third world, lowest bidder outsourcer that's the problem.

Running Windows on any POS system seems to asking for trouble to me. When I ask vendors why they use Windows as on OS for point of sale, they tell me that all of their developers know how to code for Windows. My suggestion is always "get better developers, then".

8
2

Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

usbac

Re: memory evolution

I've already converted three of our user's home systems to Linux Mint. They wanted to get off of XP, but expressly didn't want Windows 8.x

They looked at buying new PCs/Laptops, but couldn't find them with Windows 7 anymore.

I have one person bringing her home desktop in on Monday for me to load Mint on it (I already converted their laptop to Mint several months ago, as a test for them).

So far every single one of them has been happy with the change.

As IT people, we can promote the move away from Windows. We just need to show everyone we know that you can live with a non-Microsoft OS.

6
1

NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

usbac

How come every mission update from JPL makes me think of this scene...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zj2fwZetoE

Very bad movie, but best opening scene ever!

1
0

Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen

usbac

Re: @ Mike Flugennock

An added plus of using my AMEX card is that they automatically double the manufacturers warranty on almost everything you buy (with some limits). It's saved me a bundle a few times.

Also, I have a cash back card, so at the end of the year, I get almost a grand back in cash. That's money I wouldn't have if I used cash everywhere! I pay off the card every month, so I don't pay anything to use it.

1
0

Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

usbac

Re: NW Nevada

And, it was in our local newspaper (Reno, Nevada) that a local construction company just finished a land clearing and grading project that was described unprecedented in its scale. It was also mentioned that it was about the right size for a 5 million square foot facility.

When asked if it was for Tesla, the official of the construction company told the newspaper that they were under an NDA (wink, wink). I think it's fairly clear to everyone in Reno that Tesla is the customer.

Tesla says they haven't made a final decision yet, but they paid to have over a million cubic yards of dirt moved. That's a lot of money to spend on something you're "not sure about"!

0
0

Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

usbac

Re: I've posted a rant here before

Have another up-vote from a fellow pilot!

I agree with you completely.

0
0

FCC headman Wheeler calls for an 'open internet' – but what the %$#@! does he mean?

usbac

...he said. "One can only conclude that the Founding Fathers must be looking down and smiling at how the republic they created has been carrying out the ideals they established."

No, Mr. Wheeler, our founding fathers would have marched into your office with a rope, grabbed a your ass, and looked for the nearest to tree to hang your corrupt, sleezey ass from!

A coworker of mine once speculated that a good portion of "global warming" is from the friction of our founding fathers spinning in their graves. I tend to think he must be right.

14
1

WTF happened to Pac-Man?

usbac

Re: Play on emulator

@ Ugotta B. Kiddingme

I love Battlezone. I actually have a working original 1978 Atari Battlezone arcade machine. I also have an original Asteroids Delux of about the same time.

Both work (most of the time). Between Atari's cheap IC sockets and trying to keep capacitors fresh in the old Electrohome monitor chassis, it takes a bit of work to keep them going. Guests really seem to enjoy the nostalgia of playing the old games, though.

I got both of them for free in non-working condition. I passed on an opportunity to buy a sit-down Star Wars arcade game years ago, and sometimes wish I didn't. Then I have to move these things, and remember why I did.

0
0

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

usbac

Re: Not just from getting home from the pub

@ AndrueC

On our commute to work every morning, we pass a number of school bus stops. At each stop, there are between 3 and 8 cars, sitting idling, with the children inside waiting for the bus. The moms are standing around bullshitting. None of these bus stops are farther than a mile from the school!

In the meantime, we have to follow the bus as it stops about every 100 yards. To make matters worse, sometimes the woman driving the bus gets out and chats with the waiting moms! I see my tax money is put to good use.

2
0

You TWITS! Facebook exec erects billboards shaming texting drivers

usbac

Re: Mixed signals...

The law here in Nevada says that you can't have your mobile phone in your hand while driving.

I agree with an above post that the fine should be a lot more than $20. If it were up to me, it would be $1000 for a first offense, and no license for a year on the second one. I commute about two hours each day, and I'm f***ing tired of dodging all of the idiots doing something on their mobile phones.

1
0

UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

usbac

Re: Are they running on XP Embedded ?

@AndrueC

I built this system, working on it part time, in about two weeks. Debugging took another three days. My day job is not embedded programming, this was just a side job. The argument that real code takes too long is just complete BS.

I do Windows development for my day job (and no, the pay isn't that great). I have several friends the are .Net programmers, and I doubt they would write a similar piece of code for Windows that much faster.

My first computer was an Ohio Scientific C1P. It had a 1MHz 6502 and 4K of RAM. I learned to program on this system. These days, new developers learn on Pentium class PCs with gigs of RAM and multicore processors. Younger developers just give me a blank stare when I tell them about my first computer. I still have it, bye the way! I was so excited when I upgraded to an Atari 800. I didn't know what I would do with all of that power!

Bruce

1
0
usbac

Re: Are they running on XP Embedded ?

@AC

Not exactly true.

I just finished coding an embedded system with a graphical screen including touchscreen, a full web interface with IP stack, all kinds of special motor control hardware, a full command line interface via USB virtual comm port, and a FAT file system for the SD card. All of this runs on an 8-bit microcontroller with 32KB RAM at 32MHz and fits into about 100K of flash. No OS. All hand coded (a lot of it in assembler).

Those of us "old guys" that grew up coding on 8-bit computers can build real system with very little hardware behind it. These days it seems coders think they need 2GB of RAM and a 3GHz dual core with a full OS to print "hello world"!

An ATM machine could certainly be built with a thin embedded Linux on an ARM processor. Personally I would consider that overkill, but the cost of that kind of platform is so low now, why not?

53
0

Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

usbac

Re: Fit for purpose

I don't know why you would buy HP? We moved from HP to Dell a long time ago, and have been very happy since! Servers are cheaper and run forever without problems.

The original reason for switching was HP nickel and dime'ing us to death. With Dell we can custom configure a server online at one reasonable price. With HP you have to buy the base configuration, and start adding parts at huge markups. IBM was like HP also.

1
0

Snowden: NSA whacks US in the WALLET, slurps millions of contacts books

usbac

Re: The message didn't arrive at the relevant address yet!

@ Daemon Singer

That's easy. Everyone that thinks Snowden is a traitor, shouldn't have the right to vote. If someone is so stupid as to believe everything their government tells them, they should be immediately disqualified.

0
0

Do-it-yourself Dropbox: Western Digital's My Cloud 2TB NAS box

usbac

Old version not slow

I have one of the WD MyBook Live NAS drives (3TB), and I don't find it slow at all. I work with enterprise class servers and NAS/SAN for my day job, so I have a good idea what real performance is.

I run mine at home for media storage. I always have at least one backup of everything that's on the WD NAS. For the price I couldn't beat it (got it on sale for less than $150). I thought about building a FreeNAS device from a hand-me-down server, but I don't want the noise and the power consumption. The WD NAS uses less than 30 watts.

I think most of the speed problems you read about in the reviews come from poorly set up networks. Someone using their $30 wi-fi router as their network switch isn't going to have the best network performance. I run a managed gigabit switch, and find no problems with performance (for what it is - it's not an EMC!).

0
0

Microsoft Exchange: To host or not to host

usbac

Re: Yeah....

Wow, what an asshole! Maybe you should re-read my post before you start throwing insults.

I wasn't referring to the Outlook user interface, I was commenting on the very broken Exchange Admin WEB interface.

The admin interface for Hosted Exchange is simply broken. Try creating a shared mailbox, then adding permissions for several users to the shared mailbox. It will give some cryptic power shell error, and add one or two of the users (it's random which one). If you do the same thing again, it will add some more users (random again) with a different power shell error.

I could go on for pages about all of the things that are just very buggy in the admin back-end.

0
0
usbac

Re: Yeah....

Why? What was wrong with Zimbra?

We were running Exchange in house, but were considering moving to Zimbra. We ended up migrating to hosted Exchange (from Microsoft). I've been completely un-impressed by hosted Exchange.

Every time I 'try' to use that god-awful web interface (most of the time I just get some power shell error), I think we made the wrong choice. I would like some feedback as to why you went back to Exchange?

My long term goal has been to get Microsoft out of our data center. Especially with the shakeup going on at Microsoft. Getting Microsoft off the desktop is not very realistic for us yet. My users would revolt if I took away their MS Office. I made a push a while back for Open Office, even going so far as installing for some users, but there are too many problems for us to go there (we use a lot of VBA macros - yes, I know!).

0
0

Have you tried turning it off and on again - oh, you did: IT Crowd RETURNS

usbac

Sadly, I'll bet you are right.

As much as I loved the series, I was very disappointed after watching each episode, hoping for more "in-jokes".

I know they wanted to make in funny for everyone, but they could have left some nuggets in there for us geeks...

1
0

Over 100,000 sign White House petition for handset unlocking

usbac
Thumb Up

Re: Cut my ties

Same here. I paid full price for my unlocked Samsung Android phone, then went to T-Mobile and bought a sim only pay-as-you-go card. Now I pay $99 per YEAR for my phone. I used to pay Verizon over $70 per month. I'm very glad the T-Mobile merger with AT&T failed, as I'm sure the plan I'm on would go away quickly.

I don't have a data plan, but Wi-Fi is everywhere now.

0
0

TSA agrees to review of perv scanner radiation risks

usbac
FAIL

The study results are already in the bag...

That is, if any members of the National Academy of Sciences ever expects to be able to board an airplane again.

We have to remember what corrupt thugs these people are.

Also, to the AC @ 23:00:

Make sure you take off your TSA jacket before you post next time.

4
0

'Attitudes to robot sex will change'

usbac

"Anther economic by product would be a whole new IT/robotics industry vertical based on the creation, servicing and upgrading on fleets of humanised, sexualised, android sex armies."

Well, working in IT wouldn't be so bad then. After all, everything HAS to be "tested".

5
0

Space: 1999 returning to TV?

usbac
Unhappy

Yeah, me too.

A while back I was so excited to find the DVDs on Netflix. I ordered the first two DVDs, and when they arrived, I felt like I was back in my youth, ready to watch what was once my favorite show...

Then, about two episodes in, I was sitting there with a very disappointed look on my face thinking this is awful. You're right. DON'T GO BACK.

3
0

An NT-powered Windows Phone? Not so fast...

usbac

Actually works up to XP / 2003 Server. All you need is NTSwitch. Makes XP into Server 2003.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/03/25/registry_hack_turns_xp_pro/

2
0

US tweet deportation: Chilling behind-the-scenes photos

usbac

I think it's a safe bet that Lester better not travel to The Land Of The Free anytime soon!

1
0

America abandoning DSL in favour of faster cable

usbac
Thumb Up

We just made the switch two weeks ago. We are in a very rural area, and our DSL has always been bad. After numerous complaints and service visits, we just lived with it. We had to reboot our DSL bridge two to three times a day, and got 1.5 MB down, and 385K up when it worked. All for a price of $35 per month. But, I did have a static IP.

On Charter cable internet, I now get 30+Mbs down, and 3Mbs up all for $25 per month. Actual speed tests show 31-32Mbs. Plus, I haven't had to reboot anything since it was installed. I had to set up dynamic DNS, but the speed and reliability was worth it.

I used to badmouth cable, but it's working great for me.

0
0

Ten... colour laser printers

usbac
Thumb Down

Not us

We recently leased a Xerox Colorcube wax printer. Everyone here (except our manager - looking at running cost) hated it with a passion. The warm up time was manageable by setting the power management properly, but most of the issues were with the waxy print. If you rub a black and white page with warm hands, the print smears badly. The wax can also be easily scratched off with a fingernail. You can't use it to print forms because the wax print makes it very hard (sometimes impossible) to write on a printed page with a pen.

Forget about ever leaving a stack of papers where it gets hot. I left a binder with some documentation in my car, and found I now have a block of paper. Had to ditch it. Xerox says the wax melts at over 230F. Bullshit! It may "melt" at 230F, but it sure as hell becomes glue at a much lower temperature.

Also, the energy used to keep the wax melted all day is huge. If you have high electric rates in your area, any cost saved in toner will be reduced by the cost to keep the thing running.

After two weeks, and several machines, we had Xerox pick it up and replace it with a "regular" color laser. Everyone is much happier now.

0
0

Steve Jobs had 'personal moral failures', was no role model

usbac

@Darren Barratt

Yeah, Darren, you missed the part where a bunch of fucking politically correct asshats go around trying their best to be offended by everything they hear or read.

You really need to get with the program...

2
0

Feds warn 'pox party' zealots not to send viruses in post

usbac

Seriously ill for sure. I had Chicken pox a few years ago (in my late 30's). Wow, was I sick. Almost hospitalized.

I really wished I had been vaccinated when I was younger.

1
0

Catholic Bishops: 'Would you mind not bringing guns to church?'

usbac
Pint

Yeah, we have a lot of good ones here in the USA.

I live in Nevada. Many years ago, I wanted to open a Brewpub here, only it wasn't legal at the time. So gambling, no problem. Prostitution, that's fine too. Concealed weapons, in some cases you don't even need a permit or license. But, don't you dare try and brew beer!!

7
0

DARPA drops another HTV-2

usbac
Go

@Bill 36

I read somewhere else that it reached Mach 15 for several minutes.

0
0

Sony insurer says it's not liable for costs of data breach

usbac

Most likely yes

My grandfather once had an auto accident injury case where his client got injured by another party - let's call him Mr Smith. He filed a claim against Mr. Smith's insurance. The insurance company offered some pathetic settlement.

My grandfather sued Mr. Smith, and won a decent judgment against him for his client. He then sued Mr. Smith's insurance provider on behalf of Mr. Smith, for not protecting him properly from being sued. He won that case, also. In the end both parties came out with money in hand. The big looser was the greedy insurance company.

As was usual with him, his clients had to insist on paying him. He practised law until the day he died at 86 (broke and penniless). I think most lawyers are scum, but there are a few good ones out there.

6
0

Netflix splits DVD, streaming offers in 60% price hike

usbac
Thumb Down

Count me as one that will cancel in September

I already put a reminder on my calendar. No reason to cancel yet.

This is the second price increase in a year. Last time, I just downgraded from three DVDs/month to two. This time I will cancel.

The streaming service is mostly old crap content, but I do find some good old movies sometimes. They've been actually removing a lot of newer TV shows from the streaming service. At the same time, a lot of old movies are being added as streaming only?

I would never subscribe to a streaming only service. As someone above noted, getting a good Internet connection in the US is only possible in a few areas. Besides, Netflix's lack of streaming on Android phones and Linux (requiring Microsoft DRM crap), makes me even less intrested in streaming only.

I almost canceled when they made the deal with movie companies to delay new releases. I remember the email explaining how this was going to be great news for subscribers (what the F***?). Corporate spin is really an amazing art!

1
0

LightSquared admits it will knock out 200,000 sat-navs

usbac
FAIL

Yaeh, really...

...who cares if only a few dozen aircraft crash on instrument approaches. As long as everyone has a faster data connection for their smartphones...

Most of the pilots I know aren't worried about their new $20,000 GPS being useless. I'm sure LightSquared will reimburse them, right?

After all, fast access to Twitter and Facebook is really critical!!!

3
1

Google lobbying to make driverless cars legal in Nevada

usbac
Thumb Up

It makes some sense in Nevada

Here in Nevada we have a lot highway miles that are very low traffic. There are roads (highways, 75+MPH) where an hour can pass without seeing another car. A great place for auto-drive.

My daily commute to work is just over 45 miles (each way), mostly 70 MPH speed limit. I would love to be able to sit back and read the newspaper or surf the net during this wasted two hours of my life each day.

2
0

So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

usbac

Also a great film

Netflix has it as a watch instantly. Filmed in 1935. Lots of references to the Channel Tunnel.

0
0

Free Libyana: Gadaffi networkjacker speaks!

usbac
WTF?

@Dave Dowell

Since you have so much sympathy for Gadaffi, maybe you should go volunteer to be a human shield?

I'm sure many of us commenters here would chip-in for the plane ticket...

0
1

BBC apologises for Top Gear outrage

usbac

A little prespective

I work with several people from Mexico. They're the guys that showed the video to me. They all think it's funny as hell, and don't get the whole outrage thing.

Their response was that they though it was us up-tight Americans that don't have a sense of humor anymore.

In fairness, most of the Mexicans I know work harder than us Americans. And they actually have a sens of humor!

1
0

Intel lobs pork buns at world gone Google

usbac

Already here

"Is it just me or does anyone else see a future where cloud computing is simply another public utility, like water, electricity and gas? Billed by the number of processing cycles used, or data throughput or some other more obscure measurement?"

That model already exists. Take a look at GoGrid. They bill based on "Outbound Data Transfer" and "by the RAM Hour". Whatever a RAM Hour is?

0
0

Best Buys: Budget Mono Laser Printers

usbac

Laser vs. Inkjet

I have to disagree that laser costs more than inkjet. Over the years I've owned several inkjet printers. A set of cartridges for my HP inkjet printer at our local discount megamart cost $69 US (for one color and one black). We live in a very dry climate. The cartridges "dry out" in about 60-90 days, and are useless.

Considering I don't print very many total pages per month, a laser printer works out much cheaper in the long run for me. For example, a while back I purchased a Dell color laser printer with ethernet connectivity new for $209 US, shipped free. A year later, I'm still showing over 80% left in each toner cartridge. I would have invested well over $250 in ink cartridges by now, and would still have dead cartridges today. I can replace the entire printer every year and be ahead. And color laser is SO much faster than my old inkjet!

1
0