* Posts by Michael Jarve

55 posts • joined 3 Jan 2008

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Let's go live now to Magic Leap and... Ah, still making millions from made-up tech

Michael Jarve
Alien

I eagerly await...

To read what amanfromMars has to say on the Matter. Boy, I miss him/her and wish he/She'd occasionally re-MicrosoftSurface.

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Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server folk. NO! WAIT!

Michael Jarve
FAIL

Babies and bath water

So fire all the cobblers because going barefoot in the summer is the trend, then complain, once winter comes, that socks aren't good enough and not a boot can be found. This hasn't happened before *cough* manufacturing *cough*.

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Let's go live to the 3rd circle of Hell – and see what Comcast and Charter are screwing up

Michael Jarve
Paris Hilton

So, the moral of the story is that if, as Charter did, you fail to deliver on your promises, you will have to pay a fine, that later you will recoup with added fees, to do what you promised to begin with, if, indeed, you do it at all (just like Verizon)... Well done, New York, well done!! And if Charter does not indeed fulfill its obligations, it will be compelled to pay another 12.5 minutes of profits to "settle" it's breach of contract. Can I sell anyone here a bridge? We just built a new one here in Minnesota! Awesome deal. Only $186US million and if you don't make it back the first year, I'll only charge you $175US million, plus fees, surcharges, rentals, etc, etc! A bargain at only $499US million!!!!! (beware five exclamation points as per T. Pratchett)

I withhold judgement on whether Comcast is guilty of such mafia-like behavior, and it is a story I will follow with interest (on El Reg, if they do not loose interest). I do not doubt that they will be able to convince others with discounted service for the first 43 days factual arguments that they did not dig up their competitor's lines while installing their own. They were old, fragile, and near on failing of their own accord. Gophers are to blame as well as lack of regard for infrastructure maintenance and ordinary wear. Gophers can be very, very dangerous for business when you're a small company, without the resources to creatively and legally rip-off your customers.

But, lest anyone forget, this is what happens when a government, federal or local, not only allows, but encourages unregulated monopolies to emerge, and allows these monopolies to integrate vertically (NBC/Universal/Comcast, ATT/DTV/TW, etc.). Because these companies have actively and effectually lobbied to change the laws preventing their formation, with useless opposition, they in effect write the laws and regulations allowing their creation, again, both locally and nationally. The members of congress of both sides (with a couple exceptions) of both the Senate and the HoRes are responsible. To paraphrase the Orange One, this only happens because we allow it to (though he was talking of the generous tax loop-holes he routinely takes advantage of, not necessarily the creation of monopolies or conglomerates). Non-participation, disinterest, and disregard by the general public and lack of action informing the general public by so-called consumer protection groups (I'm looking at you, EFF and friends) is what not only allows this, but encourages it. Such "consumer interest groups" must keep in mind that that the average American does not read El Reg, Ars Technica or Vice: Motherboard on a daily or even ever basis.

Your average US media consumer will bellyache to no end about their high cost of their cable/satellite bill but will never have known that there may have been some regulation or piece of legislation that would have eliminated or reduced it, introduced by some idealistic first term representative from Montana's second district or junior senator who thought, naively, that they may make a difference. I remember when I was elected to student council (without even naming myself or running), and I was stupid enough to think it might have more say than planning prom or home-coming. I idiotically thought we could actually change school policy on a couple things that I didn't think made sense (lack of open lunch and adding a minute between classes for those who had to cross a busy street to get to classes for starters)). As for cable/satellite, I for one, gave up almost twenty years ago when The History Channel decided to refuse showing programs on history, and CNN stopped showing news programs. After that PBS News Hour and Nova were my TV's raison d'etre, and I cut the cable, saving almost $250/year. Even in rural Minnesota, I have a dozen channels to choose from just from the antenna, and, unlike cable/satellite, they're not 250 variations of a theme.

Paris, because only she and leaders of the free world, and in particular the free leader of the free world, would think this is fair and made sense.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Michael Jarve
Coat

Re: Flying cars? Pft.

Which is why we desperately need internet connected self-driving flying solutions that can only be started by signing on with the Face Book and can interface with my IoT juicer, so I don't have to suffer the trauma of using my phone to make juice while en route from work to home.

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Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year

Michael Jarve

Re: We've let you down...

I still have my quad-processor Daystar Genesis 466 box out in the garage. Absolutely smoked the PMac 9600 (Apple's top-shelf kit at the time) in the few multi-processor supported apps available then; it otherwise ran slower than my PMac 6500.

Aside from that, it's wise that the company is realizing its mistake in abandoning the pro/creative community, which (aside from education) is what kept the company afloat during the dark days of the 90's. I personally haven't bought a new "pro" Mac since 2004, when I laid down $3k for a PMac G5 DP 2.0. I do still use my older wind-tunnel G4 (maxed out) for Photoshop and Final Cut duty, where it's still perky enough.

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Minnesota, Illinois rebel over America's ISP privacy massacre, mull fresh info protections

Michael Jarve

Re: Minnesotan here!

Ironically, the mythical Lake Woebegone was in the aforementioned district of Michelle "Nuttier than than a Snickers Bar" Bachmann.

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Michael Jarve
Thumb Up

I'm very proud of my State.

Though far from perfect, I sometimes wish the rest of the country had the reasonable sensibilities of L 'Étoile du Nord (Michelle "Is she mad!?" Bachman not withstanding). We need more Arne Carlsons and Mark Daytons in office. It must be the hotdish and lutefisk, dont'chya know?

To Mr. Miller, I add that Trump's presidency might push California off the map (rhetorically, anyway), as they seem intent on continuing as if Obama was still in office regarding many policies.

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Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Michael Jarve
FAIL

No love yet..

The link to the links for the ISO just result in a 403 being thrown up. Perhaps it really was not meant to be released yet?

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Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

Michael Jarve

Phorm is the new norm in Trump's America.

I've seen this coming for a while. Time was that something like this would have created such outcry, investigations and new regulations, even by republicans. Not no more. Indeed, it's been given the government's personal stamp of approval. As has been pointed out before, people may choose to use GMail, The Face Book, etc. but here in the US, where broaband monopolies are not only allowed, but encouraged, we're forced to use their services or do without. I can choose an alternative to GMail, but many in the US, even in large metro areas, cannot choose a (reasonable) alternative to Comcast or AT&T. So, all we can do is tilt at windmills and give up any notion of online privacy. As of now, I personally can't wait to serve our new monitization overlords.

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Public IPv4 drought: Verizon Wireless to stop handing out static addys

Michael Jarve

Hello from 199.168.48.92

I still have a public static to my home, the legacy of an ISP I was involved with. I used to run my own servers on it, but they're now located at the ISP's NOC. Kept the address mostly as a convenient way to remote into my home PC's using RDC/VNC/ARD.

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FCC lops off red tape around small US ISPs, y'know, things like having to own up about connection speeds

Michael Jarve

Having started a small ISP...

Having been on the ground floor of starting a small, wireless ISP back in 2000, I can understand the desire to cut through some actually burdensome regulations. When I left the company in 2010 we had just under 6,000 subscribers (this is rural NE Minnesota, so this was a lot), so the order didn't affect us anyways. Still, we were very upfront about speeds and costs. Every installation was preceded by a bottom-line quote for equipment, etc, as well as a site survey/audit. There were no extra fees to activate wi-fi that the customer already had or other B.S. Costs that we had to pay towns and cities for franchise fees or rental space on water towers and so on were already included in the price. It was not a case of advertising $29.99 a month, then tacking on $15 in fees and surcharges on the actual bill. When we advertised $250 installation, and $30 a month for service, that was what you paid. It was no burden to be honest with the customer, even for an outfit as small as we were. In many cases where we did not expect there to be satisfactory service, we told the customer "hey, we advertised 4mb/s, but you might only see north of 1mb/s, still faster than dial-up, cheaper and less latency than satellite, but still $30 a month" and let them decide- there was no pressure. If we, with a staff of only about 10, many of us wearing multiple hats, could do this, I don't understand why a large company (with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and perhaps hundreds or thousands of staff) could not also offer similar honesty.

That said, it is because of the underhanded way that these larger operations behaved that these regulations were put into place in the first place. If they were honest and upfront about the real costs of their service and the performance you could expect out of it, and other limitations (data caps, etc) it would not be an issue.

But, for much of our nation, it's a moot point: there is little by way of broadband competition in many areas, so there is no "informed choice" for a customer to make. You either get broadband through the local cable monopoly, or not.

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Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Michael Jarve
Happy

An addendum

One more thing to note with the v. 1.7 release: The Windows task-bar correctly activates when set to auto-hide, and Vivaldi is has a maximized window! When I was running the previous release under Windows 10, with the task-bar set to auto-hide, it would only intermittently display if I moved the mouse to the bottom of the screen. With Windows 7, it just would not display at all unless I minimized to task bar, or did a restore-down. Huzzah!

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Michael Jarve
Thumb Up

The way it should be...

I've been using Vivaldi since version 1 was released, and it became my default browser this past summer. While most browsers seem to be dumbing down the UI, and taking settings away from the users, it's refreshing to use one that allows virtual micro-management of the UI and settings. When this morning I fired it up, and it offered v 1.7 I had no hesitation to download and install it.

It's stability has been the only sore point in my experience, with random, inexplicable CTD's, the built-in HTML 5 video player crapping out and requiring a page reload to get going again, and some other little odds and ends. It's snappy enough on my circa 2011 TOL DAMMIT rig, so I'm not sure why it would seem slow on Orlowski's much superior I7 system, although it does not start up as quickly as IE 11.

Frankly, it puts me back in the mindset of Safari back in the OS X 10.5 days, which I still use on a Volvo 240-like Power Mac G4. It's good to see power being handed back to the people who want it.

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Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Michael Jarve
Thumb Down

Many moons ago...

I seem to remember that a few years ago, Ars Technica did a piece on the Virtuix Omni, a VR peripheral that, at the time, actually made VR seem worthwhile. The story, as well as one of the first stories that Ars did on the Oculus Rift showed that even then there was a close connection between ZeniMax (by proxy of ID Software) and Oculus. One of the first games mentioned in the Rift story was Doom 3 and one the use cases for the Virtuix Omni was walking around in Skyrim. Back then Oculus was a hardware company looking for software to showcase their technology, and I'm sure that without the help of ZeniMax/ID it would have taken longer to develop the Rift or the software to showcase it. ZeniMax may not have created the Oculus, but I have little doubt that some of their code or technology made it into Oculus' own when Carmack joined up; John may have developed and written the code, but if he wrote it and developed it while still at ID, then it belongs to them.

I also find the Zuck's assertion that he never before heard of ZeniMax disingenuous at best: how could he not know about the company founded by the husband of Wonder Woman? Implying that ZeniMax is just an opportunistic IP troll is laughable.

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Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Michael Jarve

From my own experience...

I had been using Windows 10 on my main gaming/daily driver desktop for over a year- until earlier just this month. That system is going on 6 years old (the last upgrade was a new video card in 2013), and Win 10 ran pretty smoothly on it- better than Windows 8/8.1 on the same hardware. Through third-party utilities, I managed to get the UI more or less how I wanted it, defeated Cortana (every time she re-appeared, searchui.exe was mysteriously renamed c*ntana), made sure deferred "upgrades" was active, and so on. In all, I managed to mitigate most of what I found to be the most egregious sins and trespasses pretty well. The forced ordinary updates that actually caused some sort of problem were few and far in between, and could often easily be fixed. Many of the under-the-hood improvements in security and performance were welcome (at least relative to Win 8/8.1).

Back to earlier this month: on or about the 15th of December, when I shutdown the system (a real shutdown- I disabled quick-start or whatever it is) I was not surprised to see that the system was once again installing updates before going to bed. When I booted up the next morning, the system would appear to hard-freeze shortly after loading the desktop, and after about 5 minutes, would give me the condescending "Something has gone Wrong :(" BOSD and reboot. Of course, MS removed the traditional F5/F8 safemode startup, and it's pretty hard to tell the OS to boot into safemode by restarting it when it's locked up, so there was nothing else for it. The system was well and truly borked, and needed reloading.

At this point I very nearly decided to install one of the more consumer friendly Linux distros. I'd used Ubuntu in the past on a Compaq laptop with excellent results- I could do pretty much everything I needed with it, easily and efficiently. I fired up my ancient, trusty Wind-tunnel G4 PowerMac running OS X 10.5, and started downloading Ubuntu and Fedora's latest and greatest. Either would support a good deal of what I did on that system, except one very important caveat, and indeed my Windows system's very reson d'etre: Gaming.

Were it not for that, I would have gone ahead with my plan. However, it was a sticking issue, and I was compelled to go out to my garage in sub-freezing temperatures, climb into the loft, and dig out my Windows 7 restore discs, and begin my 5 hour odyssey of reloading the OS, downloading service packs and updates, finding that Windows Update (under Win 7) wasn't working, diagnosing, resetting, downloading updates to update the updater, changing registry settings, ad naseum. I still do not have all the programs reinstalled that I need (though I was pleased to find that, unlike under Windows 10, my copy of Adobe CS2 launched like a charm). I would have had to do similar with Linux, save for reinstalling Steam and all my games (when you only have a 4Mb/s internet connection, Fallout 4 with all the trimmings takes a week to download). That said, it did make me appreciate how "Mac-Like" Windows 10 was in that, after installation, Everything Just Worked™ (at least to the point where it didn't).

Still, I am not, at this point, keen on reverting back to Windows 10. Windows 7, at least as of now, handles everything I need without the need to "fix" it. And it gives me control over my OS (privacy, updates, etc) instead of the other way around. If Linux had broader gaming support (either internally or with software publishers), I would have ditched Windows. At the very least, if the games that I played were well supported with WINE or similar, it would have been viable. I mentioned that my other system is a vintage Mac, and while many newer games are being released for OS X, this rather excludes my old G4 system, and would require purchasing a new, expensive system.

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Dyn dinged by DDoS: US DNS firm gives web a bad hair day

Michael Jarve

Live from Minnesota

13:05 CST: Ars Technica updated their post on this occurrence to say a second wave of attacks began at about noon EST. As of right now, sites like Wikipedia, The Face Book, Twitter, and the like are not accessible, at least to me. Other sites like Ars Technica, and El Reg are much slower loading than usual.

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Michael Jarve

Re: Windows 10: Fine for the elite, but caution against the unweary.

"Why would you do such a thing? That's got to be the wrong direction surely."

A matter of perspective, surely. At that time it was getting on 9 years old, but what necessitated the replacement was that she literally vomited on it. She was experiencing end-stage kidney failure and became violently ill. A $400 Dell from Walmart was a quick, cheap replacement that kept her playing solitaire and checking emails without the wait and expense of a new MacBook. As an aside, she's still on dialysis now, waiting to get on the transplant list, but doing relatively well.

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Michael Jarve
Meh

Windows 10: Fine for the elite, but caution against the unweary.

I've been personally using Windows 10 since its official release last year. For the most part, I much prefer it to 8/8.1, but I don't like many parts as much as I liked Windows 7 Pro. For me, the sore points have mostly been the lack of privacy controls (or automatic default opt-ins for MS services), automatically forced updates/patches, and the idea that since Microsoft "gave away" the OS for free (for a time) we somehow exchanged our privacy and marketing information for a "free" OS and defaults you into their data gorging operations. I can almost tolerate the forced updates, but nowhere did I expect the OS to be so intrusive.

Fortunately, for the computing elite, there are ways to mitigate what I consider to be the more egregious aspects of Windows 10, at least for now. I've managed to stop Cortana's siphoning of data to god-knows-where (at the expense of the OS constantly vomiting into the Application and System logs), and can at least postpone forced OS service packs Updates until they've been thoroughly re-beta tested by those less fortunate or knowledgeable. Back in the good-old days of ordinary Patch Tuesday, I'd let other chumps download said patches first, scour the web for things that were pooched, and by Thursday would know whether I wanted in on the fun. Classic Shell even allows my Start menu to work and look as I've come to expect it. In short, I can get around my hangups in Win 10 with effort and knowledge, or the knowledge of others.

But for my Mom, and the remaining 90%+ of the computing consumers, things are not so simple. Mention gpedit, and you get a look that would not be out of place on a concussed kitten. These are the people that are baffled when their free subscription to Office 365 expires and they can no longer create "letters" even though it worked fine yesterday, it must be the new Virus they heard about on the news, just take a look at it, why are my pictures and screen saver not what they used to be... etc. They are also the people that seemingly don't care that their computer is hoovering up their personal info and habits and shipping it off to Redmond in the hopes that they'll click on the ad for discount airfare to Minneapolis, what a coincidence, they just did a search on their own computer for paper that included the words "Winter Carnival", don'tcha know, or are suddenly seeing ads for alcohol abuse treatments on every site they visit after researching "liver failure" in Bing, the default search engine on the default browser on the default OS.

More is the pity, as many of Win 10's underlying improvements are just that: Improvements. Features that benefit the computer and the end user, but are largely invisible, or, for those that know about them, overshadowed by the OS's stalker-like behavior. On my 5 year old hardware of my daily-driver system, Win 10 is as speedy and more reliable than Windows 7, no matter how much I liked it.

There are many of a technically inclined sort who advocate an alternate OS, particularly Linux. Linux, especially the more consumer-friendly forms like Ubuntu, are compelling. Linux could handle 90% of what I do under Windows, without most of the hassle, but there is the hassle right there- Performing a wholesale change of OS is itself a hassle, and trying to get the remaining 10% of what I need to do (which, when you can't do it seems like 100%) is impractical. Further, that does nothing to help the majority of consumer users who are not going to go so far, for love nor money; it was hard enough replacing my Mom's OS X iBook with a Windows 8 Dell Laptop!

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No wonder we're being hit by Internet of Things botnets. Ever tried patching a Thing?

Michael Jarve

Is patching even a good idea?

Given how little thought goes into thinking about security in the first place, I would not doubt that in many cases the cure might be as bad as the disease, at least from the standpoint of end-users. When Microsoft can force an service pack, update, Anniversary Upgrade that can bork whole classes of devices in one go, foisted upon the world whether they want it or not, I hold little hope that the 12 monkeys writing code for (to join the zeitgeist) IDIoTIC devices will not merely add to the Chaos.

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Michael Jarve
WTF?

Fine for some...

I "upgraded" to Win 10 when it was launched with my (at the time) 4.5 year old desktop PC (Asus mobo, GTX780 video, AMD Phenom II x4 965BE, 12GB RAM). The BIOS hasn't been updated since 2012. Surprisingly, everything except the sound worked right out of the gate (the sound issue was resolved by lowering the sampling rate). This past June, I installed the first service pack November update, and again, experienced no issues. This is even after three previous in-place upgrades (Win7 Home->Win8 Pro->Win10 Pro). I'm anxious to see how my luck holds out with Service Pack 2 Anniversary Update.

My mother's Dell laptop, two years old this summer, with straight Intel hardware fails completely and has to be restored to Windows 8, then updated to 8.1. Go Figure.

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Theranos bins two years of test results

Michael Jarve

""Excellence in quality and patient safety is our top priority..."

If that were the case, and not being obsessed with becoming next multi-billion dollar unicorn, they'd never have to take their ".... comprehensive corrective measures..." This is playing games with peoples lives strictly for profit.

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Magic streaming beans? Sure, have my cow - music biz

Michael Jarve

One other elephant in the room (at least for the U.S.) is the specter of metered billing. Even low-res steaming can eat up a good amount of bandwidth in a month, especially for cases when streaming is used as a substitute for radio. In a world where every gigabyte counts downloading whole albums at CD quality or streaming the same isn't quite a convient option.

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Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Michael Jarve

This, I think, is a good thing, and I hope that Microsoft learns from this. With XB1 and Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to force the market and consumers to follow Microsoft's vision instead of offering consumers the products needed to realize their vision; Microsoft's history of vision has not been successful, especially in areas where their customers mostly want what they already have, but "better."

Microsoft tried to sell Kinect and Touch where people just wanted Games and A Reliable OS. Trying to foist what should be a compliment to the main experience is like a restaurant trying to force it's customers to eat the sweet potato fries and coleslaw when they really just want the steak.

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Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

Michael Jarve

Well, even Apple's transition from Classic to OS X was not as abrupt. You still had the conventions of the desktop, hard drive, applications folder, etc. Changes were largely cosmetic, not functional, much the same way that Windows 7 is different from XP. Then, when iOS was released, they didn't force the same thing on the desktop- the contemporary OS X at the time was largely the same as the previous versions. 10.8 is closer to iOS, but it's been a more gradual transition, and I dare say that Apple recognized (and continues to recognize) that while iOS is a great touchy OS for phones and tablet, it would be frustrating bordering on useless on a keyboard/mouse based desktop or laptop system, and vice versa.

Microsoft, in their zeal to not only catch up, but appear as a leader just went too far, and certainly too quickly; further, they never even accomplished the goal of unifying WinPhone/DeskWin/Win RT, which is the only reason that makes sense to force TIFNAM on desktop users. They put the cart before the horse, and are now trying to drive backwards in the hopes of fixing the situation without admitting that they screwed up (royally) to begin with.

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Michael Jarve
FAIL

800MB and all I got

Downloaded an 800+ MB patch expecting the triumphant return of the Start Menu, and all I got was the Store app pinned to my taskbar. Well done, M$, well done...

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Official: America now a nation of broadband whingers

Michael Jarve
WTF?

Missing the mark

This "article" completely misses the mark. The Ars piece points out that what is perceieved as a duopoly is actually a monopoly. Fiber is non-existent in most of the country, DSL is laughable, and the other "alternatives" are a non-starter. In my neck-o-the-woods, the choices are Cable (bloody expensive but intermittently fast), DSL (reliably fast, but limited to town centers), WLAN Wireless (reliably mediocre), satellite (ha!), or dial-up (HA!). This leaves cable with the "broadband" monopoly. I've had to settle on WLAN Wireless, with speeds that a Japanese or Swedisd phone would consider an error. I ask Andrew to come live in North-central Minnesota for a week and carry the same tune.

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Build a bonkers hi-fi

Michael Jarve
Thumb Up

An okay start

Much of the kit is a good start, but for my money, since I've already spent it, I prefer (and use) one of Dan's earlier designs, the KAS (Krell Audio Standard). 3.04KW of pure class A power. My set are driven by a decidedly downmarket, but very enjoyable Musical Fidelity AMS Primo preamp. Sources include an Avid Acutus SP (quite a bit lower-end than Mikey Fremer's Caliburn/Cobra combo) with a Zyx Airy III MC cart, a custom DIY phono stage, and my trusty and still competitive Denon DCD-3520 (with Furutech mods). I've never heard a speaker I was entirely satisfied with, so I had my own built. They're a 5-way, 6-driver design that makes use of an Infinity-Watkins woofer, and delightful ribbon tweeters with nearly invisible first-order crossovers all the way around.

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Does tech suffer blurred vision on 3D future?

Michael Jarve
FAIL

Really not worth it...

I really can't see how they banked on something as gimmicky as 3D, and, apparently, banked on it so hard. Many moons ago, I was less than impressed with 3D on my computer (back in Elsa GLadiac 3D, complete with glasses. Thing cost and arm back then). The effect was not worth the boggling of my eyes and dull-looking display. But, I will concede that when it worked, it was pretty. But certainly not worth the extra hassle or expense (I seem to remember that the card with glasses was at a $200-$300 premium over the same card, sans 3D).

Saw a couple movies in 3D in the theater (Avatar and Captain America) and, while Avatar was pretty decent, Captain America was a mess. But, Avatar, I think, would have been good 3D or no. Captain America, on the other hand, was done disservice by the ham-fisted attempt at 3D. It was so dark most of the time, I had to take the dreadful "one-size-fits-none" glasses off to see any detail at times.

My current TV is 3D, but, I must admit, that I did not choose it for that ability. I chose it because it offered a very good picture with good old-fashioned 2D material. The couple of times I've tired it with 3D BRD's, I've ended up taking off the glasses and switching back to 2D. Just not that impressive.

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El Reg in email address blunder

Michael Jarve
FAIL

Well done!

And added to my woes, the spacebar on my keyboard has started to act funny... Coincidence? I surely think not!

But, as someone will undoubtedly point out, passing along the email addresses of 42k+ furry toothed, not entirely naive or defenseless geeks is not half as bad as say, your NHS leaving about the generous gift of names, numbers, addresses, whatever equivalent of SSN's you have over there, &t, for any old body to pick up, ???, and profit from. To that, I preemptively say: Bull cookies!

Still, you apparently saw fit to at least acknowledge the, heh, mistake quite promptly, thereby if not minimizing the potential damage and outcry, at least foisting responsibility for what follows on to the owners of these misplaced readers. Trebles all around!

In other words, welcome to humanity: the race was lost before it ever started.

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Sony BDP-S380 Blu-ray player with IPTV

Michael Jarve
Thumb Up

I've owned this player (US-spec) for about a month, and your assessment, as far as it goes is spot on. I downgraded from the erstwhile TOTL BDP-1, which recently gave up the ghost. The BDP-S380 is certainly faster loading Blu-ray discs, and the internet connectivity is a bonus. Having experienced HT 3D, any 3D capability is not missed in the least (how anyone can enjoy it is beyond me), and lack of built-in wi-fi is also no cause for concern.

However, I do miss having the multi-channel outputs for playing SACD in surround, and musical performance via the analog outputs is not as good in general (cooler-sounding midrange, very thin bass). Clearly the addition of SACD was an afterthought, and while it's a nice little addition, it may give (or reinforce) the perception that high-res audio sources are not worth the price or trouble.

But, for the price (I paid less than US$110/£70, new) and intended market/purpose, it's more than satisfactory.

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Why modern music sounds rubbish

Michael Jarve
FAIL

An embarrassment of riches...

One of the great potential virtues of digital recording is the incredible dynamic range it can afford, particularly on a hi-fi designed for maximum fidelity. Indeed, one of the primary selling points originally in CDDA's favor (and digital recording/playback in general) was the 90dB of dynamic range afforded by CDDA's 16-bit resolution. When you consider that a 3dB change in level requires double (or half) the power output of the associated equipment, this resolution can result in tremendous dynamic range. A premium audiophile cassette deck (with decent tape) might approach 50-60dB of dynamic range, once the noise floor was factored in. Today's best phono cartridges (I'm talking $5k-$10k) might just approach that, with many "mortal" carts getting only the better of 30-50dB.

So, while HD audio formats like SACD and DVD-A have in excess of 100dB of dynamic resolution, the horrible recordings only make use of 3-9dB, never mind MP3's or what not.

Indeed, audiophile LP recordings, on appropriately high-end equipment, wipe the floor with today's "HD" digital formats for just that reason. Many analog houses realize that their range is limited and do their best to maximize what they have. Some publishers like Telarc, BIS, Mobile Fidelity, and other's (mostly out of Japan) do take digital seriously and release material that can more fully utilize the capabilities of digital formats. One piece in particular that comes to mind is the (in)famous Telarc recording of the 1812 Overture that actually came with a warning label because of its dynamic range- people would turn up the volume during quieter passages, but when the canons sounded, speakers would hyper-extend, amps would blow up or go into protection mode. Recorded without compression, it took advantage of nearly all of the nascent CD's resolution and dynamic range. Sadly, many publishers like Telarc feature catalogs limited to classical and Jazz recordings, or rather obscure indie artists. Much popular music would not benefit much from such careful mastering in any event, but there is a good deal of it that would.

Audiophiles for years have been lamenting the degradation of recording quality, and the acceptance of just-good-enough releases. Stereophile has had many articles and papers on the subject.

But, as long as Joe-Sixpack feel's his 256k MP3 is good enough, the loudness wars, regardless of who is involved, will be one of attrition.

4
2

Nintendo set to make a loss on every 3DS

Michael Jarve

A point that a lot of people miss...

Agreed. I think it's nonsense that a site like iFixIt or some such looks simply at the BOM for a product, concludes that an iPad or 3DS costs only 20¢ in parts, and then sites like The Reg quote that as some Holy Number that is a sin to surpass.

Additionally, last I checked it may be unfashionable, but not yet illegal, to make a profit on a device.

That is not to say, of course, that the 3DS was not, shall we say, on the premium end of pricing (Nintendo admitted as much at launch), but market forces have moved the Hidden Hand and Nintendo has reacted, as it should, by bringing the price down to what the market will bear.

2
0

Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

Michael Jarve
Boffin

Your B8229...

Your mystery B8229 chips are National Semiconductor MM529 16Kb DRAM chips.

0
0

Motorola sues Apple over - what else? - patents

Michael Jarve
Alert

Hold on a second...

Motorola actually wants to take credit for Apple's antenna design!? Gentlemen, these must indeed be desperate times.

0
0

Man dressed as dead mother to scam $1m

Michael Jarve
Coat

von Lipwig he is not...

Unless, that is, he walks into the Oval Office where Patrician Obama offers him the post of Secretary of the Treasury.

0
0

Apple punts batterylicious MacBook Pros

Michael Jarve

Waa waa!

Apple's so bloody expensive I have to sell a kidney and a good chunk of liver to buy a mouse!

~Apple drops prices to competitive levels~

OMFG!!!!11 I bought a Apple gadget and I'll be darned if they didn't lower the price and add features during the product refresh!

--

It would seem that no matter what they do, Apple's damned if they do, damned if they don't. I could go on how I bought a perky Dell monitor for not a small sum of money only to see it up to 50% off clearance two weeks later, while the model that replaced it was $150 cheaper and sported better specs, but I think I just did.

But I am p.o.'d that Snow Leopard will apparently drop PowerPC support. Dropping support for 32-bit PowerPC makes a little sense, but my G5s still have life in them.

0
0

Windows 7 gets built in XP mode

Michael Jarve

You're all wrong! It parallels not with Parallels, but...

Rather the Classic Environment in the early very expensive beta versions of OS X, which ran OS 9 and all of the pre-Carbon apps in their very own sandbox. A lot of people were hard pressed to give up their Adobe Photoshop 5 and such, which could not run at all, let alone natively, under OS X.

It's kind of interesting, really, and clever as well. Apple managed two major architectural shifts and and even a couple of important OS changes, making the process as invisible to the user as possible. For developers on, on the other hand... In any event, this is a good thing for Microsoft to take from the playbook, as long as, like Apple, they don't make it a chore to use for the end user.

0
0

Sick of that crap office laptop? IBM can help You*

Michael Jarve

All too familiar...

This is not too far from the scheme used by my former employer. You could use the company provided machine (which, as of last year, was a 1.13GHz Pentium !!! Dell Optiplex, with a mighty 20GB HDD and Almost 256MB of RAM), or you could bring in your own system. The caveat was, the system could leave with you at any time, but the hard drive had to remain.

Cute.

0
0

Seagate isolates 'potential' Barracuda flaw

Michael Jarve
Stop

A terrific waste of 10 minutes...

I tried the above referenced link to the new firmware (SD15->SD1A), but although my drive is affected, supported by the firmware, detected by the utility, the update died, saying it could not find the "expected" drive. Really, now?

At the very least, it did not kill the drive (or otherwise make matters worse).

Comon, Seagate! Do we really want the company that inherited Maxtor to be remembered only for techies building walls out of bricked drives?

0
0

Safari 3.2 update leaves Mac fanboys' balls in a spin

Michael Jarve
Happy

All is quiet on the Western Front

I've installed the upgrade on both a G4 FW800 and my Vista rig with no real issues on either. The closest I have come so far is that Saturday the Vista version complained that it could not contact the Google server used to update its phishing definitions, and on both the browser seems a bit slower than it was before.

I might also note that I am not using third-party extensions on either, except Adobe Flash.

0
0

Preventive policing? Don't even think about it

Michael Jarve

And I thought it was getting bad here...

In the US, the only people who have this sort of power are the border patrol agents. Our Chief of Police wouldn't last two minutes with that sort of behavior.

0
0

Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista

Michael Jarve

Behold! The Future of Windows!

I suppose then that Snow Leopard will be a "preview" of Windows 10?

On a slightly more serious note, it does appear that Microsoft has learned from the Vista debacle, which is commendable. They've taken the teething issues of Vista and decided to improve upon it instead of trying to drastically reinvent the wheel again.

The interface, from the various screen shots I've seen, does look like the bastard offspring of an unholy Aqua/Aero union, but there is time to polish it up. I'm not keen on blotting up the desktop with widgets, though. If they were "borrowing" from the Mac OS playbook, they could have gone whole-hog and made a Dashboard (though Apple would let that stand for all of 10-seconds).

The sort of interesting dilemma Microsoft has in borrowing so much from OS X is they do give the impression to the average man-about-town that Apple had it right all along, and Microsoft is trying to play catchup now. That can't be good.

0
0

Swiss boffins sniff passwords from (wired) keyboards 65 feet away

Michael Jarve
Black Helicopters

Nothing new under the sun

Does no one remember the TEMPEST project- from the 1980's. The idea was that the Commies could read the recipes off your mother's C64 just by reading the RF blasting out of it. So, they essentially wrapped the cables and components in a Faraday cage, used copious amounts of EMI shielding, and managed to increase the cost of a Mac SE/30 to over $15,000.

0
0

Apple tops customer satisfaction poll as rivals' ratings slide

Michael Jarve

Apple users in bed with Rover drivers?

Although Range Rovers rank at or near the bottom of the lists for reliability, in a seemingly bizarro-universe way they also rank at or near the top for customer satisfaction, where as something more ordinary, say a run-o-the-mill Ford sedan may have infinitely greater reliability, but the customers seem underwhelmed by the experience.

For the record, I own a Mac and a 95 Range Rover County LWB (Vogue SE, for you Brits). 183,000 hard-fought miles.

0
0

Inquirer celebrates spammer murder-suicide

Michael Jarve
Thumb Down

Tasteless

I know that El Reg has never (ever) done anything to stir up controversy, but the Inquirer has really crossed the line here. It's the sort of maniacal mouth dribblings I would expect out Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, but not out of a tech rag, no matter what their editorial policy is.

I guess THG regains the fourth tab. And that hasn't been worth reading since the 1GHz P!!! incident.

:wq

0
0

419ers crank up the menaces

Michael Jarve

You know...

He cannot be that good of an assassin if he takes pity on his mark, and more so if he thinks he can bribe his way out of it.

I'd simply tell him that he'll never work in this town again. Coward.

0
0

Want a 1TB optical drive? Call/Recall me

Michael Jarve
Joke

Finally...

An optical medium that Hideo Kojima will be satisfied with... Maybe

0
0

Why Microhoo! is like, so, totally dead

Michael Jarve
Paris Hilton

Did no one notice this was in bootnotes?

People need to, like, lighten-up or something, foor-sure.

Paris, because she's the ultimate bootnote.

0
0

Creative to free Audigy Windows Vista compatibility app

Michael Jarve

RasterOps, anyone?

Does anyone remember having to pay for drivers, period? I still have an old 24-bit RasterOps card and recall that the company wanted to charge good money just for the drivers. This after you had already bought this very expensive card. By no means is this a new phenomenon.

Creative is well on its way with going the way of RasterOps- this PR fix is just to save some of their dignity.

0
0

Samsung chairman faces tax dodging charges

Michael Jarve
Happy

"... in consideration of a negative impact on our economy."

And not in consideration of a brand new 63-inch Samsung HDTV that showed up on their doorsteps.

0
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