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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 23, 2015, 11:21:12 AM
^Darn! I'd forgotten about that! Thanks for the reminder. That's an excellent pic! smiley
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Your Stuff Really Is Breaking Faster Than It Used To on: April 23, 2015, 10:15:13 AM
This article is an interesting jump point on how things are breaking sooner.

http://ifixit.org/blog/7098/planned-obsolescence/

Quote

You aren’t imagining it. Turns out, your stuff really is breaking down more quickly than before. A recent study by a European environmental agency just confirmed it: the lifespan of your electronic goods is—indeed—shrinking.

More at the link.

Report summary is here:

http://www.oeko.de/en/pre...ality-check-obsolescence/

The report itself is only in German though. Sad

Lightbulbs anyone?
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 23, 2015, 10:01:13 AM
^ Hahahaaha! Cool
4  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: [Puzzle] Can anyone explain this? on: April 23, 2015, 10:00:24 AM
It worked. And the code tags worked fine.
5  Other Software / Developer's Corner / [Puzzle] Can anyone explain this? on: April 23, 2015, 09:59:59 AM
Ok, so I'm posting in another thread and I copy some text from a web page and bold the last line.

http://www.wired.com/2015...ipment-nightmare-farmers/

This is what I get:

Quote

Aside from using it, there’s not much you can do with modern ag equipment. When it breaks or needs maintenance, farmers are dependent on dealers and manufacturer technicians—a hard pill to swallow for farmers, who have been maintaining their own equipment since the plow.

The dealer-repair game is just too lucrative for manufacturers to cede any control back to farmers.

Most of the text is gone.

This is where the text starts disappearing:

Formatted for HTML with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. <p>“[DIY repair] is cheaper than calling out the technician. But that information is just not out there,” Dave explained to me.</p>

If you inspect the element, you'll see additional quotes there.

What is going on? Some kind of new non-printable character hack?

Using Opera 28.0.1750.51.

(I hope this works this time, otherwise I'll have to delete everything and ask for the thread to be deleted -- the preview works.)
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 23, 2015, 09:48:25 AM

Everyone has had that fantasy more than just a few times.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Automakers Want to Outlaw Gearheads From Working on Their Own Cars on: April 23, 2015, 09:40:50 AM
I know quite a few people here have worked on large software projects, but I'm curious -- Has anyone worked on projects with "kill dates" built into the project? I don't mean something like a campaign that runs for X days/weeks/months, but real kill dates where even while the project is being developed, the end of life is already known -- without that being communicated to users until a set date.

I suspect that there's likely some nastiness built into the software, and that if it were decompiled, organised, and understood, there would be some outcry.

I'll skip the conspiracy facts. Wink

Oh, heck. Let's roll with one. tongue

Published in Wired:

http://www.wired.com/2015...ipment-nightmare-farmers/

From here:

http://ifixit.org/blog/7007/farm-equipment/

And a snippet from there:

Quote
Aside from using it, there’s not much you can do with modern ag equipment. When it breaks or needs maintenance, farmers are dependent on dealers and manufacturer technicians—a hard pill to swallow for farmers, who have been maintaining their own equipment since the plow."

"[DIY repair] is cheaper than calling out the technician. But that information is just not out there," Dave explained to me.

The cost and hassle of repairing modern tractors has soured a lot of farmers on computerized systems altogether. In a September issue of Farm Journal, farm auction expert Greg Peterson noted that demand for newer tractors was falling. Tellingly, the price of and demand for older tractors (without all the digital bells and whistles) has picked up. “As for the simplicity, you’ve all heard the chatter,” Machinery Pete wrote. “There’s an increasing number of farmers placing greater value on acquiring older simpler machines that don’t require a computer to fix.”

The problem is that farmers are essentially driving around a giant black box outfitted with harvesting blades. Only manufacturers have the keys to those boxes. Different connectors are needed from brand to brand, sometimes even from model to model—just to talk to the tECU. Modifications and troubleshooting require diagnostic software that farmers can’t have. Even if a farmer managed to get the right software, calibrations to the tECU sometimes require a factory password. No password, no changes—not without the permission of the manufacturer.

John Deere, in particular, has been incredibly effective at limiting access to its diagnostic software. Which is why I wouldn’t have been able to tweak the programming on Dave’s tractor, even if I had been able to hack together the right interface. John Deere doesn’t want me to. The dealer-repair game is just too lucrative for manufacturers to cede any control back to farmers.

Does anyone think consumer vehicles are much different?

Oh, what's that sound? The squirting of milk into a steel bucket? I think I hear some cackling as well...



I dunno, the control software of a car is a VERY exacting piece of kit which is the entire reason we have cars that can get 20+ miles to the gallon and still have decent horsepower.  It takes very brave (or stupid) people to think is a good idea to mess with that, and I'm not one of them.  I'd never support making modding illegal, but I don't blame the manufacturers getting upset about it.

Unfortunately, "improved fuel efficiency" in modern cars is a near total fabrication. Or at least in the US. Regulatory authorities actively work against the industry to create less fuel efficient cars, and then set idiotic emissions standards that are ineffective and that only create more emissions. You can't make this stuff up.

Check out Eric Peters for all kinds of crazy information on that. It's simply unbelievable, yet he has all the facts to back it up. Just nutty. You might have seen him on news programs - he covers the automotive industry (probably in too much depth for some people).

FAIR WARNING: If anyone actually checks out Eric Peters commentary on what happens in the industry, be prepared to start screaming, cursing, and breaking things. It will seriously piss you off, as in homicidal rage I just came to because I nearly drown in a pool of blood surrounded by uncountable dismembered bodies pissed off. And, for everyone else, he'll just piss you off period. tongue

A fun exercise is to check identical models of cars in Europe and the US for mileage. It's silly. :wallbash:

But, back to chips...

There are a few people out there creating mods and add-ons for vehicle computer systems. Many are actually outside of the system, but modify and control communications (and more) and then relay that to other systems in the vehicle to create improvements. The external devices are so far removed from any ability of the manufacturers to retaliate, that we won't see them retaliate for at least a couple more years. tongue Cool Unless they want to go full retard MAFIAA. Cool

This issue is going to spill into a lot more areas and very quickly.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 22, 2015, 11:30:47 PM
A Defense of Comic Sans

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCcObwIsOs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCcObwIsOs</a>
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 22, 2015, 10:00:40 AM
A funny article about a town that's considering changing it's slogan because people no longer speak their own language sufficiently well enough to understand it.

http://metronews.ca/news/...of-rape-and-honey-slogan/

Quote
The mayor of a town in northern Saskatchewan sighs at the prospect of having to explain yet again what the community’s slogan really means.

Tisdale has been called the “Land of Rape and Honey” for nearly 60 years and its weathered welcome sign still sports the phrase.

Rape refers to rapeseed, a bright yellow crop that was a precursor to the modern canola and a key agriculture product of the area. But it offends people who think it means sexual assault.

 wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: April 22, 2015, 08:58:24 AM
Terrorists also use water, air, and brains. I propose we outlaw them all! tongue 
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Inquirers questionable business IT Tech nomination survey on: April 22, 2015, 08:42:02 AM
Oh man... I saw "Tech Hero" and figured I'd get to vote for Theodore Kaczynski. tongue  huh
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Automakers Want to Outlaw Gearheads From Working on Their Own Cars on: April 22, 2015, 08:35:27 AM
So, the copyright and IP bug has infected a new portion of the automakers' brains. Now they want to make it illegal for you to work on your car. Because copyright.

http://www.blacklistednew...rs/43552/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Quote
Car companies seek copyright restrictions to stop car enthusiasts, home mechanics

Claiming that modern vehicles are “too complex” for home mechanics to fix, automakers are seeking copyright restrictions to prevent gearheads from working on their own cars.



The Association of Global Automakers, a lobbying firm for 12 manufacturers, is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to prevent car owners from accessing “computer programs that control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle, including personal automobiles, commercial motor vehicles, and agricultural machinery, for purposes of lawful diagnosis and repair, or aftermarket personalization, modification, or other improvement.”

“In order to modify automotive software for the purpose of ‘diagnosis and repair, or aftermarket personalization, modification, or other improvement,’ the modifier must use a substantial amount of the copyrighted software – copying the software is at issue after all, not wholly replacing it,” the AGA claimed. “Because the ‘heart,’ if not the entirety, of the copyrighted work will remain in the modified copy, the amount and substantiality of the portion copied strongly indicates that the proposed uses are not fair.”

Auto Alliance, which also represents 12 automobile manufacturers, is also asking the agency to scrap exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allow car enthusiasts to modify and tune their rides.

“Allowing vehicle owners to add and remove [electronic control] programs at whim is highly likely to take vehicles out of compliance with [federal] requirements, rendering the operation or re-sale of the vehicle legally problematic,” Auto Alliance claimed in a statement. “The decision to employ access controls to hinder unauthorized ‘tinkering’ with these vital computer programs is necessary in order to protect the safety and security of drivers and passengers and to reduce the level of non-compliance with regulatory standards.”

But people have been working on their own cars since cars were invented.

“It’s not a new thing to be able to repair and modify cars,” a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kit Walsh, said. “It’s actually a new thing to keep people from doing it.”

Interestingly, this attack on the do-it-yourself auto hobby coincides with the current push towards self-driving cars, and who do you think will resist autonomous cars the most?

Auto hobbyists, such as hot rodders, drag racers and home tuners.

“The biggest threat to our hobby is those people in powerful situations who’s idea of a great day out in their car is to spend it riding in the back seat while someone else handles the driving ‘chore’ for them,” a hot rodder said on the subject. “These are the same people who will ban ‘old junk’ from the roads, enforce ’50 miles per gallon’ standards on new, and then older vehicles, and eventually force everyone to drive ‘standardized’ cars that will fit precisely in parking spaces, take up the minimum space on public roads, and follow all the ‘environmentally friendly’ buzz words while boring real car drivers like us to death.”

And the first step to keep people from behind the steering wheel is to keep them from opening the hood.


Embedded links at the link. (6)

I'm wondering if we'll start seeing replacement GPL'd software for cars anytime soon. Certainly it can't be illegal to delete their precious software after all...

Do new cars come with a EULA and an "I agree" checkbox?

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: April 20, 2015, 10:17:02 PM
I can just imagine the code for this:

Quote
Invest Bitcoins and get double of your investment after just five days!

Formatted for HTML with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. <p>Invest Bitcoins and get double of your investment after just <? echo numberToWord($daysSinceStarted + 5); ?> days!

14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sony's Pirates on: April 20, 2015, 04:00:49 AM

Sign... there we go again... letting facts get in the way of a good narrative~! tongue cheesy
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 18, 2015, 11:50:58 PM

Thanks for this, it looks good at first try. I tried MyScript Stylus (Beta) for a while, and even Swype, but some issues always forced me back to the default keyboard, even though I'm an old (Palm) Graffiti fan and would like to use handwriting, if it's faster than typing.

Graffiti was beautiful! The comments in the article are a further testament to just how good it really was.

One comment linked here:

https://play.google.com/s...m.access_company.graffiti
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: free photo editing? on: April 18, 2015, 11:46:12 PM
Does Canon have any utilities to help?

IIRC, the RAW/NEF formats aren't open and vary by manufacturer (and possibly model), which has caused problems for 3rd party developers when creating tools to read them.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 18, 2015, 11:25:31 AM
And an interesting Vice article on the micronation:

http://www.vice.com/read/...ate-ln-eastern-europe-417

No quotes. It's worth checking/skimming at a minimum.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: April 18, 2015, 10:53:52 AM
Bitcoin hidden in a TV show in binary:

http://i.imgur.com/GF4GfMD.png



Producer... Mike Judge. Cool
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: TV shows thread on: April 18, 2015, 10:42:54 AM
Oh, ep 4 of Daredevil - the "date night" one - great late show to ending. smiley

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 18, 2015, 09:51:16 AM
Quote
A new country just started in Europe

Starting is easier than staying, it would seem.  smiley

We shall see! Cool

But, you know darn well I'll be cheering for Liberland! smiley  thumbs up
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: TV shows thread on: April 18, 2015, 09:49:14 AM
Daredevil is a lot about the effects of the larger world-shattering decisions on the little guy.  And there are no good/bad right/wrong dichotomies enforced by the writing.  At least, so far.  And the characterizations of most characters are really good, as is the actual cinematography.  In the second episode there is almost an honest to goodness one-shot that is utterly incredible.  Some people say they cheated in a couple of places... I don't know that from Adam.  But I do know that you don't see that level of quality on TV often.

Well, I've checked out a few episodes, and I will certainly agree that the script is good, but not the cinematography. It's too dark. It's hard to see everything when 90% of shots are at night with no lights. Even the daytime shots are dark. It's a bit much. In places the audio is muddled with background noise. But, that's just me complaining. The stories are good. The actors are good.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: April 18, 2015, 07:41:28 AM
Slate has picked up the Liberland story:

http://www.slate.com/blog...bia_and.html?wpsrc=fol_fb

It's rather odd as well. Slate is generally openly hostile to that sort of thing.

Also, it's on Google Maps now.



23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 18, 2015, 06:32:10 AM
(see attachment in previous post)
If you add drunk people to fitness quotes, things get hilarious. (more at randommization.com)

Those werrrreeeee GREAT~!
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Animal Friends thread on: April 18, 2015, 05:30:09 AM
^ Nope. Sad I just saw it and thought of this thread. It's just, well, interesting.
25  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Ataxx - my 2nd favorite game of the 1990's on: April 18, 2015, 04:23:17 AM
I used to love that game! Getting the corners was pretty much my #1 strategy. Once you control the corners, the rest falls into place.
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