* Posts by Ron

13 posts • joined 3 Feb 2008

Asus to slash retail Eee PC line-up


Love my 901

About a month ago I was able to find one of the last Linux Eee 901s with the 20GB SSD. I didn't want a hard drive because I use it on the train, and I didn't want to pay for a Windows license I wouldn't use. I absolutely _adore_ it, but it was only usable after I installed a real OS on it. (I chose Debian 5.0 Stable.)

I don't understand why they put an idiotic bastardization of a GUI in their factory Linux installation. It's no wonder customers loathed the "Linux" version-- it had even less functionality than Program Manager in Windows 3.x.

Any distribution with both GNOME and KDE installed would have been much more usable. No matter which environment Asus set as the default, users who were new to Linux and willing to look around a bit in the menus would have had something close enough to Windows that they could have learned to use it without much trouble.

What's especially embittering about the whole thing is that the Windows XP 901 comes with such a perfect, crudware-free XP image on it. They probably didn't have enough space to crud it up in the sparse 12 gigs of storage the Windows version comes with. It would have been wonderful if they'd shown the same restraint toward Linux.

Story withdrawn


Wayback Machine engaged!

Just to echo what far too many others have said, most of these are years (some decades) old and many did not originate on the interconnected series of tubes.

I would have voted for "poopsock" had it been present. It's not new either but it's an awesomely gross concept.

The heart icon doesn't get enough love, so I had to use it.

Teen discussed suicide plan online 12 hours before webcam death


Impossible to differentiate from a hoax

How could the people watching the feed (if anybody _was_ watching; in other stories on this the site admins won't say) or reading his writings know the guy was serious? How does dying of a tranquilizer overdose look different than falling asleep?

I used to spend far too much time on IRC in my younger days and I once saw others pranked into calling the police local to where someone lived. I don't remember the pretense very well-- I think it was supposedly a break-in.

FCC offers prison boss phone jamming help


Jammer idiots

I doubt any carrier would actively participate in preventing calls from being completed on its network for any reason. Just for starters it goes against their mandate to provide universal, unrestricted 911 service, regardless of whether a phone is activated or not.

Dummy micro cell sites would be just as dangerous as jammers if they prevent calls from being completed. Any carrier would likely take a dim view of any malicious use of its exclusively licensed frequencies.

I just hope the transmitter antennas of the jammers are installed on the desks of the prison officials who advocate for them. Let them slow-roast their own skulls and give themselves microwave cataracts from the power output required to effectively keep all mobile phones from working on the premises in the various cellular bands.

I like incongruous icons.

PC vendors recall more blazin' Sony batteries


Re: Woo, free spare battery

Never mind-- my battery isn't affected by the recall. It was made in China by Sanyo, not in Japan by Sony. I've always liked Sanyo's rechargeable batteries.

AC: Thanks for the info about thermal runaway. I had thought the problem with the defective batteries occurred if they were allowed to get too warm. Since the problems were due to manufacturing defects, they're unpredictable cells anyway. If my battery had been part of the recall, upon reconsideration I would have sent it back.


Woo, free spare battery!

The Toshiba site doesn't list affected serial numbers of either the batteries or the laptops, but I bought my Tecra A5 in February 2006 after it had been discontinued so it's probably affected.

Has anyone else gotten a replacement battery in one of these recalls? Do you typically have to send back the affected battery? I'd like to keep my existing battery and use the new one as a spare. Mine has never even gotten warm, even when I'm not using my laptop cooler.

Democratic rep fathered alleged Palin hacker


Control your personal information

It's not just celebrities who are vulnerable to such password-recovery attacks-- everyone is. If you're a US resident and you haven't locked your credit reports with the major consumer credit reporting agencies, you're vulnerable too. Anyone can get a copy of your credit report in the US by claiming to be a potential creditor or potential employer and paying the appropriate fee.

If you don't supply real personal information as answers to security questions, that information can't be leaked by the possessor (Yahoo) or used by an attacker.

Security questions present an especially severe vulnerability because they are not optional on most systems.

US runs warzone man-tracking 'Manhattan Project'


Woodward is useless

Woodward is a tool. He's still coasting from his lucky Watergate break and hasn't published anything but rehashed potboilers since then.

Reg readers rage at comment icon outrage



I second (or third, or ninth) a Meh icon.

I like the new Tux icon-- it more closely matches the spooky eyes of the official Tux. Definitely need an evil Tux icon, and the BSD daemon as previously suggested isn't a bad idea either.

The new thumbs up, thumbs down, stop, and go are better than the old ones, but the other chibi-style icons don't even look properly chibi. Never mind the idiocy of chibi icons on a grownup's web site to begin with. It's like your designer spent four minutes in a Sanrio store and forgot to take pictures of the style he or she was copying, then just did it from memory and went out for a few pints.

Just to pick nits, your new fixed-width layout is screwing up terribly. Your site used to look fine in every browser I use, from IE and Opera on Windows Mobile 6, to the old KHTML Konqueror on my Debian laptop, to Firefox in Linux and Windows XP, and even in Opera on my Nintendo DS and Wii. So far this new layout is all kinds of hosed in KHTML Konqueror.

Japanese call on deities to discipline wayward PCs


Typo in article?

Instead of

"The shire's located, unsurprisingly, near Akihabara",

you might have meant

"The shrine's located, unsurprisingly, near Akihabara".

Google smears Chrome on 'sacred' home page


Not necessarily between people

The conflict could be between the multiple personalities of a single individual within Google. But it's more fun to imagine the arguments that have ensued between the suits and the furry-toothed.

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird


"Works For Me" w/ NoScript

I don't know how useful this is, but It Works For Me. I see neither ads nor nags on Hulu while watching video and I block cookies and Flash by default. I've watched a few videos now in full-screen as well as normal size, "480p" as well as the normal video and audio quality.

I'm using "Iceweasel" (Debian's Firefox) in Debian Linux lenny/sid (the "testing" branch) with the Flash 9.0 r124 plugin and the NoScript 1.6.9 and FlashBlock 1.5.6 extensions. I allowed scripts and Flash for www.hulu.com and http://static.hulu.com and allowed all hulu.com and 2o7.net cookies for session only. They include scripts from google-analytics.com which is on my permanent blacklist (as well as being blocked by default) and I didn't allow marketingsolutions.yahoo.com.

Now that I've actually tried Hulu, I'm not sure if I still need my Netflix subscription or Verizon FiOS TV service. They don't have any Discovery Networks programs and they probably never will-- that might cause me to keep "cable" for now. Discovery has show clips on their website but still not full episodes, but how much longer will they hold out? I've got five days left to cancel FiOS TV with a full refund and it's sorely tempting.

FTC and DoJ will fight for the right to rule on YaMicrohoosoft!


Microyasofthoo‽ Interrobang‽ Replaces‽ Yahoo‽ Bang‽

Subject: Microyasofthoo‽ Interrobang‽ Replaces‽ Yahoo‽ Bang‽

The interrobang is perfectly suited for this, isn't it‽ But not everybody's character set will have that glyph.

Google is Microsoft's Moby Dick. Can't they do a couple things well (Windows and Office) and leave everything else alone? Do they really want to become a megaconglomerate like Time-Warner, do everything and do it all poorly, and collapse under their own weight? We all know Windows and Office won't last forever, but they're the only things Microsoft has ever made money on.

Yes yes, their entertainment and mobile divisions make decent products (the XBoxen and Windows Mobile) and those divisions are finally in the black. But they need many more years to simply break even and pay back all the money they blew starting up. It's a shame the DoJ didn't get to break them up-- it would have been the best thing for their successful divisions.

A purchase of Yahoo by Microsoft will kill both of them more quickly than they would have died apart. Unscrupulous companies' reputations don't change overnight and the negatives in any merger commutate more easily than do the positives.

An example is Verizon's purchase of MCI nee Worldcom nee MCI. Verizon is a relatively ethical company that has been struggling after voluntarily swallowing the malignant tumor of MCI. I don't think Verizon will die, but their mistake was in examining the balance sheets and drooling over the contractually guaranteed revenue without vetting the ethics of MCI's directors and upper management, let alone the grunts.


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