* Posts by Jim-234

164 posts • joined 17 Aug 2012


Spy-on-your-home Y-Cam cameras removes free cloud storage bit


Stuff like this is why I went with a host it yourself camera system

I was recently doing some cameras for my house, and wanted simple live streaming and event recording.

I was actually looking at the Y-Cam along with several others and then decided instead to go with Ubiquity as while it was not quite as all singing and dancing as the others, you can simply boot up a Linux* box in your home, install the free software, configure the network and done, all under your control and nobody to jack up prices or force subscriptions or sell on your information / footage to others.

I think eventually after being burned a few times, the more do it yourself inclined people may start to realize that if you buy something that requires other "cloud" services to run, you'll be paying eventually or replacing it or both, so there will be more of a market for stuff you control locally.

*It will run on Windows, but if you want something with 24/7 uptime for a couple years that's not going to reboot itself or hassle you for various stuff, Linux is a great option.

Microsoft president says the world needs a digital Geneva Convention


Typical pass the blame for bad design

Yet another self serving line of PR garbage. Take the last sentence:

"90 per cent of attacks begin with someone clicking on an email... We need to protect people from their bad habits," he noted. ®"

How about you don't make products that can be totally hijacked by opening up an e-mail or viewing a web page.

Calling garbage insecure design from the get go people's bad habits is a bit self serving.

Asking people nicely to please not hack into your insecure products is about the same as asking the burglars to please not open your door and walk out with all your stuff because a good lock is too hard to make or replace.

Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes


I hope they actually release it soon, it was one of the reasons I just ordered the DEX

Oh, Google. You really are spoiling us: Docs block cockup chalks up yet another apology


New "Feature" activated too early

The block message given to the users of the documents, didn't sound anything like what their lame explanation was later on.

More likely they are putting in place some new "Feature" to block anything they don't like and documents with opinions they don't agree with (Perhaps like criticisms of Google, or unflattering information on their favoured political candidates).

It probably accidentally activated when they were setting it up & started blocking documents based on their new censorship policy which is not yet ready for roll out.

Backup anything you have on Google that you care about to something they can't touch or be prepared to have it taken away at a moment's notice.

Same as all the rest of these "cloud" and "Social" companies, they want to get you hooked talking about great freedoms and lack of cost, but are happy to arbitrarily lock you out of everything with almost no recourse or explanation anytime they feel like it because "terms of service" or "private corporation" type BS. Accountability is apparently only for smaller groups like national governments.

AWS to Windows devs: Come out of the dark, into the Lightsail


Re: Behind their 'paywall'

Now the cycle has come back around and the "Cloud" is the new "mainframe"

Basically all your stuff on somebody else's computers that you pay for remote access to.

There is however a significant possibility of issues if eventually 3 mega corporations have the bulk of everyone's data and the bulk of the servers & just about the only people still employed who know how to run larger IT setups are working for them...

Turning the screws hard because well you don't have your data, you don't have your servers, you can't easily buy servers anymore, and you can't find anyone left with experience to run them (because you fired them all so nobody else bothered)... your friendly global mega corporations would never abuse their near monopoly over computing power in a concerted way to make more money now would they?

Oracle VP: 'We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always'


So about that suing Google over "Java" kind of sort of thing?

So they are saying they are being attacked with a sudden spasm of being good and such?

Perhaps maybe they should end that whole suing Google thing if they expect anyone to believe them.

There was also that Java installer installing features that you owed them money for if you ever used... any news on that?

Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware


Sponsored = don't bother reading

Pretty much just straight marketing drivel.

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple


Re: Innovation? We've heard of it

I'd bet if you wrote an OS for the phone in machine language customized to the exact CPU set & hardware in the unit & took out most of the GUI stuff and had your applications written in assembly with no extra linked libraries of stuff they don't need, you would see your phone work faster than you could imagine.

However, you'd have almost no apps as it's a bit hard to copy/paste your way to working programs in assembly or machine language.

There was an article a few years back about a company building some car sensors / displays based on a very stripped down & hardware customized version of Linux, getting sub second power on till fully working & accepting input / displaying results times.

Then for extra points you could always try for the compressed self relocating machine code type programming.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+


Apple vs. Android, you really get similar update lengths

I've had Androids for a long time and Had the Note 3 (still in use by a friend), the Note 4 (also in use by a friend) as well as the S7 Edge and the Note 8. All of the Samsung ones (sprint/ATT/Tmobile) seem to get a bit over 2 years of software updates & patches, usually till about the 3 year mark.

Many of my friends / family have the Apple iPhones, and while they say you can upgrade their software anytime, in reality if your phone is 3 to 4 years old and you try to put the latest iOS on it, you pretty much brick the phone into an unusable blob of waiting.... waiting...

So in the end if you want to keep with the latest software from either Google or Apple, you pretty much ned a new phone every 3 to 4 years, or just leave the software where it is and the phone can go on.

The Note 8 camera is way better than the Note 4 camera.

The always on function of the screen is really nice to have once you set it up as you like it.

Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban


Payback for exposing state sponsored malware

It's a pretty plain and simple case of political payback for having unmasked state sponsored malware a few too many times.

Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers


Good luck at any self respecting BOFH's home

That may work for some people, but the dog may get a bit worn out when they get to a house that has 15 years of discarded storage devices under every couch, cabinet, desk drawer and in every other odd place conceivable.

Not to mention if you wanted to actually mess them up, just grind up old CDs & storage devices and bolster your attic & wall insulation and your couch stuffing & your garden.

FBI probing Uber over use of 'Hell' spyware to track rival biz Lyft


Uber - All of your evil are belong to us

It seems Uber is determined to be the most evil corporation possible & every day they invent new evil to do because the previous evil wasn't evil enough.

The next time some Capitalist Utopian is blathering on about how the government shouldn't be interfering with corporations, and all that BS... you could just reply:... Uber....

History seems to be repeating itself and we are going back to the late 1800s with the robber barons, trusts and mega industrialists of those days and the eventual laws that got put in place to keep them in check.

The current batch of Technocrats are all pushing the limits of evil (Oracle is already into the pay us to work for us range of evil), and eventually it will once again cause public revolt & the politicians that looked the other way will come out in favour of big legislation to be seen to be fixing the problem (that they allowed in the first place). Politicians want that cash first but eventually get scared of being voted out of office (which would make them not able to get those sweet "contributions").

Sonos will deny updates to those who snub rewritten privacy terms


Nobody want to just sell you something without spying on you forever

Unfortunately it seems these days all the hardware & software vendors seem to have gone to the same idiot school of business and now refuse to just sell you products anymore and be happy with getting your money.

They now all seem to think that in addition to getting your money they also should be able to spy on you forever and ever more intrusively and sell off any data they can get about you to somebody else.

On top of that they all don't want to give you any option but that it seems.

This is why Open Source software and hardware that is compatible with it, as well as hardware that is NOT software defined is important. Not to mention all the "software driven" stuff is way slower.

I have a nice older Flat screen TV from right before they went software everything, it turns on near instantly, the menus are near instant, input changes are immediate, no ability to spy on me, or disable any features, or shove ads in my face.

A far cry from the "please wait" that the new TVs seem to want to do when booting up, or the slow as anything menus. But you get bonus spyware with the new TVs, that you pay for!

HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing


Common sense to not take it very seriously

When you have your huge armoured ship sitting in the shipyards still being built, it's probably best to just ignore hobbyists flying little drones around.

Just about 0 chance of them causing any damage and it's not like the pictures they will take are of any real use (after all anybody that matters probably already hacked into the design servers & downloaded the blueprints a long time ago).

That's not to say you couldn't use them as free test targets to improve EM jamming and hijacking techniques. Just oops your drone went into the sea... shame...

In actual hostile environments your battleships and aircraft carriers are going to be way out of the reach of small drones, so anything big enough to get to them is probably big enough to be a threat and those would warrant getting dispatched quickly which is not hard to do if you are Tier 1 or 2 and your enemies are Tier 8 and 9

What I could see being a lot more fun is the military using mini "fighter drones" doing drone combat duty for practice and a little sport. Nets, blocks, sticky stuff, ramming speed all fun and good. But probably just Hijack them or EM disrupt them. And of course.... Lasers....

Now that the Armed forces in the USA have the green light to take out any drones they like... fun and games for everyone.

Can the last person watching desktop video please turn out the light?


As usual, everybody loves to predict the death of the desktop

As usual people seem to love predicting the death of the desktop for headlines.

What is more correct is that more devices are able to stream videos as the hardware to do so has become cheaper and smaller, so now people watch on whatever they like, their Desktop PC, their laptop, an Amazon FireTV stick on their TV, their phone etc, or for many households, all of the above at the same time.

When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'


The problem is to the greatest extent with lying greedy cable & telephone companies

The cable and telephone companies like to try to spread this lie that somehow the content providers are not "paying their share" it is pretty much a fat lie.

The reason the internet is popular is because there are places to go to, things to do and the like.

One of the great problems with the Telco stock crash of 2000/2001 in the USA was that there was not enough content available to bring in enough users of that content to be willing to pay enough to build out the infrastructure.

Now there is plenty of content, plenty of demand and lots of users. However the cable and telephone companies are stuck in the past, refusing to innovate and desperately trying to cling to the old monopoly model of doing the least for the most possible billing to both sides when you can get away with it. Matched with the standard "customer service" that is it's own hell where you can't cancel, change or get any help with anything other than "give us even more money forever".

What we need is more of a clean sweep of the laws that the cable and telephone companies have put in place to restrict competition and force them to properly open up, tell the truth to their customers & stop blocking better service.

If you want good internet then the first thing we need is true competition.

That means NO laws restricting cities / counties / governments / companies / organizations from setting up internet service for anyone anywhere.

Require service providers to actually list to the customer how much bandwidth they have total at each point in their network and at max load of all their subscribers online, how much bandwidth would be available to each subscriber from each point.

Require sign up and cancellation of services to be equally as quick and be able to be done without pressure and in a straight forward manner online as well as over the telephone.

Require exact price listings for exactly how much data you will be allowed to use at a base bundled price & how much additional data costs & legislate that the additional data costs must closely match the price that it actually costs the carrier.

Require data service to be offered without the need to bundle any other services & each added service must be listed as a separate option on the bill & removing or adding one cannot change the price of the others. Each service must be easily cancelled without pressure or delay or other

Legislate that the customer can use their data however they want at full speed and it is unlawful to artificially slow down, restrict or hinder lawful data traffic.

Now it would be perfectly fine for the cable and telephone companies to make deals with content providers to provide faster access by co-locating cache servers inside their own network etc., as well as providing the option to bundle extra content provider subscriptions with your bill if you wish to do so (much as Amazon and Hulu let you add other pay channels as well), they could even make providers that they co-locate servers for not count towards data usage as long as it is done in an open transparent manner and does not restrict choice and cancelling or adding services is quick and easy both online & over the phone without hindrance.

Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption


Nice to hear someone in the know actually say the truth

It's a nice for a change to have somebody who was indisputably in the know say the actual sane truth about the whole encryption thing.

I would not be surprised if the actual intelligence agencies know from top to bottom the politicians are idiots and their plans are stupid, but they don't mind the politicians beating the drums about it, just so long as there is seen to be a struggle back and forth and then the tech utopians win the day and everybody feels safe and private & secure. Meanwhile the state funded intelligence agencies have endless ways to get what they want & enjoy people feeling so secure with their encryption apps that they let their guards down.

Tick-tick... boom: Germany gives social media giants 24 hours to tear down hate speech


Politicians care more about speech they don't like than stopping terrorists.

After quite a number of countries have proven their utter inability to keep tabs on known radicals who are potential terrorists, claiming something about lack of resources or such, those same countries seem to have unlimited resources to hunt online for anyone who says anything that makes certain "protected classes" of people feel uncomfortable.

In Germany for example where in many cities women don't feel safe to be out alone at night, there are enough spare resources to go kicking in the doors of anyone posting about their dislike of a more recent religion to come out of the middle east. (but it's fine to rail against some other religions more common in Germany).

It seems what politicians really care about is making sure nobody says anything that the politicians deem is not the correct ideas. (Usually based on whatever small group whines the loudest).

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES


Most likely the Civilian version can be built to order being slightly better for a specific purpose than the Military version, or built to the same specifications if desired.

In addition, you could probably load more specialized / more precise ammunition yourself also.

You'll find in the Extreme long range shooting world, at least in the USA & Canada, the military is usually following what has been tried and proved by the civilian target shooters, then adapted to fit the specific mission requirements for the purchase contract. (Much the same as a target shooter may exactly specify what they want on the build of their rifle, down to barrel/stock/action & trigger type etc.)


Hitting a man sized target at 1000 yards is consistently repeatable with a the standard NATO 7.62 / .308 round using a variety of ammunition if you have a good rifle/scope and have a good shooting position.

If you move up to the .338 it becomes a near you can't miss unless you do something wrong.

If you have solid prone shooting station and have the rifle/scope setup right & have the correct elevation/windage dialed in, then just about anyone who can shoot without jerking and hold it steady could hit a man sized target at 1000 yards with minimal training.


Equipment is the easy part, the skill to do it in a combat situation is the amazing part.

There are several various calibers dedicated to precision shooting out to the 2 mile + range.

The .50 BMG is probably actually the hardest to get on target, with the .408 and .375 rounds being a bit easier.

The recoil isn't going to be too bad, it all depends on the setup of your rifle

(A .50 with a suppressor will feel like a nice stiff mule kick, vs. with a tank style muzzle break, it's downright pleasant. )

Getting the hits on a target of the type that might shoot back or move, when you are in a combat zone & don't have all day to walk your shots in, is where the true skill comes in.

It seems the Canadian snipers do tend to excel at some of the really long range stuff.

Shooting at 1000m ranges with steel targets, is a very Zen like experience, where once you send it, you have time to reload and then relax and such before the sound of the hit makes it's way back to you.

It's a great science doing all the computations for arc angles, maximum rise height, speed at the different locations during flight, stability through the transonic range and all that, plus bullet design stabilization vs not being able to correct etc. Nice little tricks like being able to hit someone behind a hill or barrier etc depending on the arc and all that fun. Or shooting over something to hit something directly but much further behind it.

On a 2 way range, it's way harder & those Canadians have some amazing skills & probably tons of practice. ( $10k scopes with $20k rangefinders & even more expensive doppler wind measurement devices, do help cut down the amount of rounds it takes to get on target by a huge amount).

As equipment gets better shots get longer, these days 1000m is pretty much the entry for saying you are a long range target shooter, with most of the boasting being done just inside the 1500m to 2000m range and the experimenters hitting the side of a barn at 3000m and 4000m

Two leading ladies of Europe warn that internet regulation is coming


Such backwards logic it could only come from polticians

So blame the terror attacks on "free internet"


Terrorists were supposedly all already known to the authorities

Terrorists had previously been reported to police for being potential terrorists

Terrorists had been under surveillance but the authorities couldn't be bothered to keep it up?

Some Terrorists were even confronted by the police waving ISIS flags in public

Some Terrorists recently traveled to known failed states that are hotbeds of radicals & then were allowed back in freely.

Some Terrorists were even featured on documentaries about radicals

So... apparently government control of the internet will fix the problem when the government won't do anything about somebody practically going around with a "I am going to do bad things" caption over their head?

Supposedly this whole global spying and invading everyone's privacy was to "protect" us?

It seems the logical thing is to leave things alone, continue with the spying & you know actually go nab the people enjoying all the Jihad stuff (no need to worry about encryption, all you need is who they are talking to and that's easy, just ask the NSA).

If you know there are these Jihadi propaganda videos up online... see who is watching them, commenting on them, sharing them and watching a whole bunch of them... then go pay them a visit.

But apparently the authorities have time to follow up on online comments the local Muslim community finds distressing.

Sounds much more like the governments have hated the free internet for a long time and "global war on terror" or "terrorism" or "Public safety" or "The children" is pretty much any cover story to get what they really want. Then they will go on ignoring real threats as usual and stamping out political or social ideas they feel uncomfortable with.

You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it


Don't expect any change

I would not expect there will be much change in policy anytime soon.

The big companies in favour of Net Neutrality pretty much all did their utmost to help the party that ended up loosing the election with their campaigns.

The winner has a historical penchant for getting back at those who try to hurt him & help his opponent.

I'm pretty sure the cable companies & telcos are fairly confident things will go their way for some time to come.

Interesting things however could happen because of this, you might see Google actually building their own ISP again or some other group start breaking into the internet delivery scene.

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status


Just in time for the holiday weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to configure a fresh install.

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped


You can still amaze the younger set with good MP3 files on low cost equipment

You can get quite good quality sound with MP3 files if you use high data rates & have at least something resembling a proper speaker. There is a huge difference between that and what most people think of as "music" in MP3s or other compressed streams these days.

I have a really cheap sound system on my main PC, an older SoundBlaster card, 2 M-Audio M3-8 speakers & basic cables hooked up.

I encoded my CD collection to MP3 files with 320k constant bitrate.

I have my audio settings tuned exactly the opposite of most of the young of today, in that the bass is turned down a bit and the high range is turned up more, which I prefer since I have very good hearing at high frequency ranges.

So I'll invite friends from the younger set over and play them some of the music they are familiar with, and their reaction is wonderment and surprise & saying something about "I never knew all those sounds were in that song", or something about they could actually hear more than one vocal.

Sadly however it never makes them actually want to give up listening to their music almost exclusively on their cell phone on little tinny earbuds with the bass cranked up to the max.

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech


Such Blatantly wrong headlines, MP3 is NOT dead, it's just now FREE

All these headlines about "MP3 is dead" are so blatantly stupid.

the MP3 format is NOT "dead", it is now Free, as in free of patents & greedy licence corporations trying to extract ever more money. If anything this will make sure it lives on for a very long time.

There are better formats, some free, many that require payment, but MP3 is one of the most widely inter operable audio formats that produces decent enough sound quality for most people.

Yes the institute shut down their licencing program for MP3 as they legally can't charge you any money for it any more.

This is the whole point of the balance between allowing patents & making sure they have an expiration date. All human knowledge is built on the back of previous knowledge, so while you make sure that people can get profit and incentive from their inventions, eventually it becomes free to use and other people can use it & build on it from there, much like the original inventor did. It also gives the inventors an incentive to go out and make more new stuff & not just stop there.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits RC2


Couldn't they just use an older version of the Cinnamon Desktop interface?

The Cinnamon Desktop interface worked fine before SystemD in the older versions of Linux Mint.

I would think that simply using an older version of it would work fine in the packages?

Intel's Optane in PCs is as good as it will get for years, says analyst


Kind of pointless given the CPU requirements

If you are going to be spending the money on a latest (7th gen) model CPU then you probably have money in the budget for a good NVMe M.2 SSD (or at least a good SATA SSD).

The Hybrid unit idea is a re-hash from a couple years ago, and offers all the same pitfalls as previously.

Sluggish performance once you start doing anything requiring large amounts of read / write

Buggy when using "alternative" OSes, but probably works okay with Windows 10

Spinning HDD pulling more power

Spinning HDD likely to die if it gets dropped

Cost savings of maybe $100?

Not worth it.

TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen


Enjoy your Slow Buggy Spy TV, I'll stick with a good old fashioned Dumb TV

Quite a number of years ago, I purchased a very nice Sharp standard Flatscreen TV.

It still works very well and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Here are just a few advantages the standard TV has over the new "Smart TVs"

Press power on from a cold start & it's ready almost instantly... no waiting for the OS to boot

Doesn't spy on me so somebody else can sell my personal information for extra dirty cash

Can't be hacked by whatever spy agency to watch me since well it wouldn't work

Can't get infected by ransomware or malicious applications

Can't get hacked over WiFi or the internet

The menu is simple & very fast for the limited things it needs to do

Is not always trying to "upgrade" itself when I want it to do what I want

No stinking software "licence agreements" BS

Seems to actually have a better picture display than most of the sub $1k SmartTVs I see on display.

Eventually a 4K TV would be nice, but considering actual 4K content is a DRM infested nightmare even if you actually have the bandwidth from your crappy US monopoly based supplier (which I don't). replacing it is not high on my agenda.

I have it hooked up to various computing devices which feed it the signals I want the way I want from the sources I want and all works very well.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0


Re: Sleeping with dogs will not give you fleas

Yes, thanks to the wonders of modern veterinary medicine the dogs have been sleeping on the same bed as me for years & there has been no insect problems whatsoever.

Tip: If you like having the dogs sleep on the bed with you, get a large square bed, so whatever angle you get pushed into, your head and feet are still on the bed.


Someone should do a Devuan Linux Mint Cinnamon clone.

Now if we could just get somebody to basically make a Devuan based clone of Linux Mint Cinnamon that would be excellent.

I wonder how much in the way of donations it would take to get the Mint guys interested in a version.

(Because unfortunately with the 18.xx versions they went the way of the systemd darkside).

While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars


Re: Video calls?

I actually know lots of people (myself included) with friends / family in other cities / states / countries that do video calling on mobile phones using Skype.

Basically just as easy to use as doing a voice call and more fun then texting when you have time for a quick chat.

Virtual spaces are great for when you want to anonymously let your freak flag fly with other like minded adults who would also prefer to stay anonymous & safe while engaging in ones preferred fantasy.

So NOT a facebook run virtual space then...


In the end, the flying car would be cheaper

We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss


once again Uber...

So Uber is backhandedly trying to undercut Lyft with some pretty down and dirty tricks once again.

Seems there is nothing too low or dirty for them to stoop to.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips


The new world where you own nothing - you are the "revenue item"

It seems too many technology companies are now on the bandwagon of your "customers" are not actually "customers" but are rather your "generators of revenue stream" and you milk everything you can from them either by selling all their habits & private data, or forcing them into direct paid subscription models.

In my opinion, it seems the world is racing down a path back to the days of a small group of mega rich overlords who owned everything and then the masses of poor peons slaving away for subsistence, always being renters never having any property they actually own.

Instead of rich families it's now Global Mega Corporations.

Before long I think a lot of the software / technology world will be divided into 2 camps:

The crowd who thinks it's normal to basically have your credit card hooked up to your computer & everything you run is on subscription (or "free" if you give them all your personal information)

The enlightened and stubborn rebels who use open source software & still can build & repair their own devices, running non-commercial software.

You notice also this big "cloud" push... why have your own servers and your own data... just give us all your data and pay us whatever we demand for access to it & having it work... it's perfect... you are never going to not pay us are you? So the plan is something like 3 big mega corporations (probably microsoft/google/amazon) hold most of everybody's data and most of the servers.

Microsoft doesn't care about the few enlightened rebel technical users raging against the corporate machine. They are fully committed to using their OS near monopoly leverage to turn into the next google/facebook. They don't want to sell you a new OS, they have to "give" you the OS and in return lock you into being their "revenue generator" with ads, selling your info / habits, pushing other subscription games & items etc. They need to get a guaranteed income stream from their users & nothing will stand in the way.

The problem is they will probably get away with it, as too many people now think as long at it's "free" well then who cares how much they are selling me as a product to everyone. For most of the average folk, they are unwilling to move off "windows" even if you help them.

Once upon a time you bought your operating system & then when a new one came out, you bought it, if you decided it was worth your money (or got it as a bundled price with a new PC when you decided it was worth upgrading). Pretty much yours to keep and use as long as you saw fit. You gave them a 1 time payment up front (either directly or via a middleman) and were set.

Now you can't actually buy the Microsoft Desktop operating system outright any more, you continuously pay for it. Either by them shoving ads at you, slurping your data to sell to others & being a test base for stuff before they roll it out to the corporate customers. Or you pay a constant yearly licensing fee if you are big enough to have them deem your wallet big enough for the corporate version.

Similar to what Adobe did a few years back... NO we WON'T sell you our new updated software, it's rent it, forever paying or it stops working. So no more actually having to come out with a better product to get people to pay, just sit back and let the cash roll in and outsource someone to insert a few new things from time to time.

Another example is Quicken with their Quickbooks product... Sorry we are going to stop supporting payroll, tax updates and other things (that you still pay for each year), unless you "upgrade" to our latest version... Latest version however is a subscription only product and if you actually dig in, they will confirm that if your subscription stops... so does the program and all your data is kind of stuck.

The John Deere tractor mess is another example... buy the tractor... but unless you pay us continually for "maintenance" the tractor will refuse to run and you have to sign away your rights to sue us if you loose a crop because we couldn't be bothered to get to your farm on time to press the "we got paid" button on your tractor.

It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality


OS/2 Desktop virtualization before it was cool

I used to run OS/2 very well on a 386 based PC

I could have several windows open each with different virtual OSes, and you could move around the virtual OS image files etc.

So for example if you had some odd networking hardware (like LanTastic) that only wanted a specific DOS version, well spin up a new little dedicated Virtual OS image for it.

While people think all this virtualization stuff is so new.. it was around 25 years ago and worked rather well considering the hardware you had available at the time.

It's a shame Microsoft was able to blackmail IBM into discontinuing OS/2, with a different vision OS/2 might have become a serious contender for workplace use.

BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky


Such idiots, apparently now being the thought police is in fashion.

So somebody in their private time likes to get their kink on (in private) role playing a fantasy world with other willing participants.

Somebody with an axe to grind decides to go digging into someone else's private reproductive-recreational life and go outing them and instead of properly slapping down the party doing the privacy invasion the project gets all of the sudden "moral" and decides well that version of kink is one we don't approve of?

If it's really about "had heard some ideas somewhere that maybe weren't nice to women" are they going to kick out anyone from the Wahhabist and several other sects of Muslims? What about people from certain orthodox Jewish sects?

Not to long ago wasn't this the same thing that was done outing people who had a different sexuality or different gender dressing preference? Now of course you would be the worst person in the world if you did that, but it's fine to go around outing & discriminating against other choices that are not yet protected?

What adults want to do for their own private entertainment with willing adults is not really anyone's business in most cases, especially not when it has no bearing on anything to do with an open source project & the person is doing nothing illegal. There is no need to go sticking ones own personal biases and dislikes into somebody else's very private business, especially when they are very much keeping it private.

Many people enjoy indulging in playing around in a fantasy setting with things that they would never do or agree to have done to them in real life, for many different reasons. Are you next going to go ban actors from being in your project because on a movie several years ago they played a murderer? --- I mean they acted out killing a bunch of other people (actors)...... Gasp!

On a side note, back in the day when Sadeville was a more popular place, there was a large Gorean community, and if you didn't approve, (or just wanted some fun), you could dress up as a female vampire, or a furry and get some friends together and go raid their Sims (which really upset them since they said your kind didn't exist) & have way too much fun till you got kicked off the Sim.

As an interesting side note, however you would usually find that the person who actually owned the Sim and was actually in charge was usually one of the characters playing a female slave (and was usually actually a RL female if they were paying and owning the sim) vs, most of the players with male characters were broke and a lot less glamorous in real life to say the least.

Be our Guetzli, says Google, to make beastly JPEGs beautifully small


Needs to be able to efficiently use multiple CPU cores before it's worth anything

From doing a quick play around with it, the results are promising in terms of size & visual quality.

However until it can properly use as many CPU cores as you can throw at it, I don't see it catching on.

Now if it could scale across your CPUs, so your 8 to 16 core workstation can chomp through it in a minute or less, then it might see use for web designers.

Fraud detection system with 93% failure rate gets IT companies sued


While fashionable to blame your IT provider, I think the Politicians probably knew

Of course they are blaming the IT provider for the issue that had very real and very horrible consequences for vulnerable people who were in the middle of bad times.

BUT I think it's a stretch to think that "suddenly" and "unexpectedly" during a very large economic downturn the number of approved unemployment applications suddenly falls off a cliff and their revenue from "fines and penalties" is suddenly filling the state slush fund and they now have this huge "surplus" in their unemployment fund?

I think the local politicians may very well have been somewhat complicit in the whole affair, or at the very least, leaning hard to make sure the software "produced the maximum savings to the state fund"

In addition, using the draconian penalties to scare others from filing for unemployment insurance to also suppress the real numbers to make their state look better.

It was only after it got so out of hand and bodies start getting added to the pile & law suits start stacking up & the media gets involved... then suddenly they realize there was a mistake.... Yeah right.....

Since they loved to be so hugely extra punitive about fining people 4x and 5x the amounts that they thought were wrong, how about make the politicians have to pay out 4x and 5x the fines that were levied against the innocent parties, plus 4x and 5x the benefit amount they should have gotten and see how they like their slush funds getting drained. That might make them think twice about such nonsense.

Artificial intelligence 'will save wearables'!


Wearables will remain a niche market till there is a huge leap forward in technology

The simple fact is that everybody wearing a watch is no longer a thing & hasn't been since cell phones became hugely popular.

Wrist mounted devices are destined to be a niche product for the foreseeable future, and the market will be split between very simple & technology heavy.

Lots of people want just a simple activity monitor etc, so they want very light, very long battery life & usually cheap, possibly with some extra sensors added in. Those people don't want some big heavy bulky short battery life expensive device.

There are those that would like a full featured productivity device on their wrist (I love the Samsung Gear 2), but it needs to be tailored to them more & not full of cheap gimmicky "features" and needs to be able to be customized to make it fit exactly how you want it & what features you want active.

Now when there is a huge advance in technology and you can wear a wrist watch that has a pop out holographic projection display that works in sunlight & has touch feedback, so it replaces the phone almost completely, then we might see that start to become the new normal instead of cell phones, but till then, it's a niche & specific market.

Google to annihilate online trolling with ... tra-la-la! Machine! Learning!


In the end just another automated censor to keep you politically correct

I think in the end all these automated systems will really simply come down to automated censorship to make sure that you don't say anything not perfectly in lock step with the current politically correct thinking for whatever it is that day.

It just wouldn't do to actually challenge people to think for themselves & face facts or other opinions & actually have to defend their intellectual positions.

Apparently society is becoming a world run by cry babies & whichever group of cry babies screams the loudest & throws the biggest tantrums, demands that only their ideas are correct & only their voices should be heard.

Facebook, Twitter & Reddit are already well down the road of censoring anything politically incorrect according to their owners.

Oracle crushes Apiary's hope in slightly awkward email to customers


At least Oracle is being honest

At least Oracle is being honest with everybody.

Just in case you had any ideas that we actually cared about anything other than Extracting maximum money at all costs... NO!

Tough luck if you thought we'd do anything good with the product other than change the licensing terms to the most horrible possible to extract every last drop of money from you. We WON'T!

Get orf the air over moi land Irish farmer roars at drones


A perfect opportunity to get creative

Since the local government gets quite upset about locals using firearms to defend themselves or their properties, from humans or things controlled by humans, it is the perfect opportunity to get creative with getting rid of criminal drones in a discrete manner.

Just think of all the fun and inventive ways you could think of to dispatch criminal drones (and possibly make the drone operators stay away).

Fun no matter what your field of hobby is, so many ways to get rid of the little buggers, it could even make for a great new TV series.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


The fun that can be had with passwords

The last time I was doing a bit of international travel, I setup my laptop with a encrypted boot partition that hid a completely plain vanilla install of Linux Mint with no personal data.

I had fun setting the password to a nice long sentence guaranteed to offend bureaucrats...

So you need my password... sure... did you want me to write it down or tell it to you?


Such a truly stupid and lazy plan perfectly setup to fail horribly

This is a truly stupid plan that is bound to fail on so many levels and will do nothing but upset decent people and open them up to hacking & identity theft while doing nothing to actually stop people who want to cause harm. It reeks of lazy ignorant fools who want to be seen to do something rather than actually do something that works.

So the government can't even keep their whole database of classified personnel files and biometric data on high security clearance individuals safe from hackers, how safe do you think your passwords will be in the hands of stupid government agents? My guess is they will have them all in some nice big database that will be hacked and downloaded over and over.

This is just going to be security theater and bothering everyone and invading their privacy for no net effect at all. As soon as it goes live, all the bad guys will know they need a clean profile online, there will probably even be special paid services to make your online profile all nice and minty fresh, probably even with posting and messaging "good" stuff to make sure you look nice online.

What is to stop unaccountable TSA level of intelligence minions with the standard delusions of power from messing around with your accounts just because.... respect my authority.....

If the government actually has a real concern about somebody, just go ask the NSA which has a copy of pretty much any electronic or signals communication sent anywhere in the world. (that stuff they claim about only "metadata" is just to make you feel good, or as they put it to congress... the least dishonest thing they could say).

If the government actually bothered to stop playing security theater and actually crack down on terrorists it's easy, they already have all the information needed.... usually after an attack there is this statement in the news...."they were known to the authorities" or "had been already under surveillance" or like the San Bernardino terrorists, busy posting messages hating america online openly... "but oh we couldn't bother checking their public data profiles before letting them in because"..........

They want to start demanding your passwords for your phones & laptops?

.. well pretty soon all they will find is factory reset phones, laptops with a never used OS and a new booming business for Chinese, Russian and European data centers of "whole system data backups".

The only good news is that if this goes live, everyone will probably start scrubbing their Facebook profiles to be about as informative as Zuckerberg's page... so maybe then Facebook will finally go the way of MySpace.

Sony takes $1bn writedown: Streaming has killed the DVD star


Sony has only it's own blind devotion to draconian DRM to blame

Once upon a time Sony was the king of the latest, greatest & must have electronics.

Then they got into the music & movie business & totally shafted every one of their future products & formats with huge amounts of DRM restrictions.

I was interested in some 4K content for my PC, something nice and high bit rate that wouldn't overload my data cap. So some kind of 4K Blu-Ray would be a perfect fit....

But nope... have to have an intel i7-7xxx CPU, Windows 10, unknown constant software updates, constant phoning home each time I want to play it... Why Bother?

New Blu-Ray disks no longer seem to want to work with my software or hardware players unless the makers are paying to do more updates, So why buy them, I'm not going to go paying for new versions of the software every 18 months just to watch what I own already.

Might as well just stream it or get it off the internet without all the hassle of the DRM junk.

I predict the whole 4K blu-ray thing will go over like mini-disk... DRMed to death before it even got a chance.

Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality


To all the politicians - You first!

How about first we mandate that all those protecting the politicians and rich elites are only allowed to use "smart" guns, no exceptions allowed, then we'll see how that goes for a couple years.

My guess is they will find all kinds of reasons why they need to wriggle out from under it and get their guards back to using normal guns.

How come even in "enlightened" Europe where defending oneself from harm is practically forbidden, we don't see the local police using "smart" guns exclusively? -- The simple answer is the politicians don't want to have the chance of being killed as their guards are wiped out while waiting for their smart guns to unlock.

Recreational shooters in the USA in competition often range a 1.1 to 1.4 second hands off holster to bullet hitting the target shot time, so how long again was that smart gun going to take to unlock?

I doubt very many people who actually understand electronics and computer systems will want to have their last line of defense for their lives / family / safety / liberty be at the whims and failures of some electronic computer system that could be messed with in untold numbers of ways.

Now if your country does not let you defend yourself & only begrudgingly lets you use a gun at some special shooting range, then this may be less of an issue, but in those cases, usually the guns are all locked up all the time anyways so it's a moot point.

Seagate laying off 2,217 employees


Re: SSD didn't kill the Spinning Rust...

Your statement:

"With SATA drives... both have the same speed, with the interface being the bottleneck."

Is not specifically correct in standard usage scenarios.

A good SATA3 interface Solid State Drive is hugely faster than a SATA3 interface hard drive.

(Either 7200rpm or the few 10,000rpm ones that exist).

Listing a fast interface link speed in Hard Disk Drives is for the most part a marketing gimmick as unless you are thinking about the little bit of data sitting on the drive controller cache, you'll be hard pressed to find a Hard Disk Drive that can provide even the full bandwidth of SATA2 for a continuous read or write operation.

Most decent SATA interface Solid State Drives these days can get close to using most of the SATA3 bandwidth for sustained read operations, and that's before you take into account higher IOPS or lower latency.

Amateur radio fans drop the ham-mer on HRD's license key 'blacklist'


Sounds like time for a total boycott on them

It's probably about time this got enough publicity to start a total boycott of the company.

Hopefully we can get it to where nobody will buy from HRD and anything else associated with the current owner of the company going forward.

I wonder how many people understood BEFORE they purchased the software that it would require an internet connection and a check back with the company and seeing if you were on their good list before it would run? Seems pretty stupid for radio communication software which at some point you may be using specifically because you don't have internet connectivity.

It would be great if HRD could crash and burn bad enough that investors in other companies put a little note on their flow chart of extracting maximum cash that reads... Upset your customers too much = Bankrupt = no vacation house payments.

One can only hope.

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns


To quote Futurama

You need robot hookers as there are some things you just don't want to do with your robot girlfriend.



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