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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me choose an online backup service on: October 31, 2012, 01:43:43 PM
What you say about their forum was not entirely the experience I had when I last checked/used it, but that was more than a year ago. My experience differed in the fact that I saw plenty of complaint threads, so it did not seem so much like the forum was "sanitized", and there was a reasonably level of response from support there, but still too many unanswered questions, particularly more obscure issues. In other words, I found that it was not a censorship issue (though that may be the case now, if they've decided to clean things up), rather they answered easy questions (um, yay?), but sometimes left harder ones unanswered, which is really the opposite of what's needed in a way; the easier questions should be covered by FAQ usually...

Anyway, glad to hear you got a quick response. Overall I was happy with their support and my direct contact with them, I think their forum support just may not be the best contact method.

Also, that review is pretty much worthless. The guy mentions no real, actual problems besides a default he doesn't like/agree with for what to backup (a default that I personally think is quite reasonable), and that the upload bandwidth being used wasn't ideal. But then he writes snarky and totally non-applicable responses to the legitimately helpful CrashPlan support rep that comments on his review. The rep said nothing promotional, they merely explained the choice of default and a possible reason for the slow upload, both of which could address his only reported issues. He fails to comment on the efficacy of the recommended fixes, spending several paragraphs simply saying how dumb the default is and how promotional the obviously not promotional CrashPlan post is. His responses to other comments are also terrible. Meanwhile his review title/headline implies that CrashPlan actually *crashed*, which he does not report at all in the text of the "review", again only citing what are essentially *defaults he doesn't agree with*. Whoopty fricking do. Sorry mouser, I'm a bit surprised you actually linked to that one. Wink

- Oshyan
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me choose an online backup service on: October 30, 2012, 09:05:21 PM
I've been backing up my 2+TB of data online for more than a year now, so it's certainly possible. It wouldn't be without the "seeding" option though, which is why CrashPlan is one of the few workable services for my needs. Once the initial large data volume is seeded, even though I generate a lot of data regularly (5-25GB/wk, mostly photos), I can keep up just fine.

However I'm fortunate to have a broadband service with no data cap, and I've chosen it carefully in part for that reason. I know not everyone has the option, but sometimes if you research a bit there is indeed a possibility. A great example is Comcast regular consumer service is capped at 250GB, but the business class service is *not*. There is of course a price difference, but it's not near as bad as you might think.

- Oshyan
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me choose an online backup service on: October 30, 2012, 07:49:26 PM
I too continue to use CrashPlan, but remain frustrated with its high memory use and some other issues. The compelling factors in my case are different than mouser's. Unlike him I am in fact dealing with *lots* of data, over 2TB at this point. So I clearly need an unlimited service. That eliminates a number of options off the bat, and makes many others cost-prohibitive. This large data set causes 2 additional problems that further limit the field of options. First, in order to successfully backup 2TB of data "online", you need to either spend literally months uploading at a theoretical maximum speed (which as mouser points out, and we all know besides, is never realized in practice), or you need to have a physical drive sent to you to "seed" the backup. The latter option dramatically speeds the process and is essentially critical when dealing with more than 100-200GB of data, let alone 2TB+. On the other end of that issue, with *restore*, you likewise need a company that provides the service of sending you a recovery drive in the event of a failure, because who wants to be *downloading* 2TB of data to restore? So again this significantly limits my options. Thus any recommendation I could ever make about any service - CrashPlan or otherwise - must take these constraints into account and is therefore based on my particular needs which I grant are not necessarily common to many others.

Bottom line: if you have "big data", CrashPlan may be one of the few viable options, though it is far from ideal unfortunately. Personally I would hope to see truly native client versions of their backup engine in the future, with Qt-based cross-platform UI. This could accomplish similar cross-platform coherence while achieving much lower memory use (I believe) and higher efficiency.

P.S. Dunno if it has already been referenced or not, but here's a Wikipedia table of online backup options which can potentially narrow your options quickly when you're researching: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...of_online_backup_services

- Oshyan
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Another experiment in free software profit models from Bryan Lunduke on: July 06, 2012, 01:16:04 AM
A subject of ongoing interest here (for obvious reasons) is how developers can make money from free or practically free software. Bryan Lunduke has previously had some interesting things to say on this subject, his name has come up here before in related discussions, and he's been experimenting with various approaches for a while now.

Now he's trying a new approach to funding his software development efforts, which he lays out in this blog update: free source code (under the GPL), but only those that donate get compiled binaries. This has of course been thought of and tried before, but I suspect we'll learn more about how it all works out from following his updates from here on as he has tended to be pretty transparent about things. He's got a few other donator benefits thrown in to the mix as well, and I think he's got a reasonable chance of moderate success overall. But is that just due to his existing notoriety as a speaker and FOSS advocate, and building off the established name of his software company? Is this a model that new software devs have a chance with? It remains to be seen if even he will make it work, but I'm hopeful.

I imagine there will also be those who disagree with the idea, perhaps on the grounds that it's against the FOSS ethos, but it's interesting to note that this is coming from a pretty vocal FOSS advocate.

- Oshyan
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Software to make image collages, film strips, and other multi-image compositions on: July 05, 2012, 09:56:51 PM
Just found a surprisingly nice (simple but really flexible and easy to use) online app for this:

While it doesn't meet *all* my needs, it handles the majority, and faster, easier, and more flexibly than Picasa or any other free desktop app I've tried.

- Oshyan
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: HTPC - Revisited - Input requested on: February 27, 2012, 05:40:58 PM
Why RAID? Why, god, why?

- Oshyan
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google: Do no evil (once you're caught) on: February 27, 2012, 04:51:04 PM
I have to ask, once again, why isn't anyone talking about Instant Runoff Voting? I know it's OT for this thread, but it's been OT for a while. Wink

- Oshyan
58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone playing Mass Effect 2 game yet? on: February 18, 2012, 02:32:12 PM
Yeah, it's really ludicrous. I'm hopeful that they're learning their lesson from it and won't do the same in the future, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the direction they want to go...

- Oshyan
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone playing Mass Effect 2 game yet? on: February 17, 2012, 08:01:43 PM
You can't run BF3 directly, it always launches Origin, then loads a web page interface where you can select single, co-op, or multiplayer, which then loads the respective actual game instance. There's no easy way to launch single player directly, nor multi. The server browser is web-based and very poorly implemented. It requires a *browser plugin*. Both the browser plugin and Origin need to be updated on average at least once a week and you can't start a game until they are. Even when you do update them, sometimes it doesn't recognize it's been updated or doesn't auto-refresh, so it continues to not work. Sometimes even restarting the browser doesn't fix it. Chat and team management is horrendous and seldom works the first (or 2nd, or 3rd) time. Joining and leaving parties is confusing and error prone. I could go on and on. I suspect they integrated Origin and its various slimy tentacly components much more deeply in BF3 than the games you're referring to and not for the better.

- Oshyan
60  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me choose an online backup service on: February 16, 2012, 02:22:40 AM
Web-based backup is in my view not a very good option. It's going to be slow to do proper syncs, doesn't do versioning (granted this may not be a concern for you), and in fact many web hosts actually have policies against using their "unlimited space" plans for this purpose. So while you may get away with it for a while, you could also find your account suspended without warning and unable to access your backups.

Having written about this quite some time ago now, though admittedly I never followed-up with my full recommendations (damn me!), I'm surprised you haven't considered CrashPlan yet. That's what I use and overall I'm quite pleased with it. Unlimited backup space, reasonable pricing, good level of control, cross-platform, versioning, etc. And if you have lots of data to backup, it's one of the few that offers both a "seeding" service (they send you a drive that you load up with most of your data, then you don't need to upload it over your no-doubt-not-very-fat-outgoing-Internet-pipe), as well as an emergency recovery service (they send you a drive with your recovery data on it, instead of having to download 100s of GB over the wire). Both services cost extra, but are worth it for large data IMO. I backup 1.5TB with them right now. Also, though it may not be of interest if you already have backup software taking care of everything else, Crashplan does do local backup as well.

Edit: I don't know how S3 got this reputation of being cheap, but if you actually have large amounts of data, it's really, really not. I have 1.5TB of data. I pay CrashPlan $50/yr and it's unlimited, I have all 1.5TB up there now so I know it allows at least that much. According to this S3 calculator, just to store that much data at S3, much less transfer in and out any notable amount, it would cost me $135/mo for "reduced redundancy storage", more for full redundancy. Almost any of the other services, from Carbonite to Mozy to Humyo are cheaper for equivalent storage. S3 is nice due to its accessibility options, but for anything larger than a few 10s of GBs it's not really cost competitive in my view.

- Oshyan
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone playing Mass Effect 2 game yet? on: February 16, 2012, 02:07:19 AM
Just in case you hadn't guessed, Origin is the biggest piece of shit ever. Yes, swearing is justified. I play Battlefield 3 and it's just... dear lord, atrocious.

- Oshyan
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 10, 2012, 03:53:23 PM
Nice find 40! That's one bad-ass big ol' bass!

- Oshyan
63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Just like the MPAA didn't learn from the RIAA, the games industry is next on: February 10, 2012, 03:15:50 PM
Yes I was. But I've had a little time to think about it so I've modified my stance somewhat. (I'm not so full of myself that I'm unwilling to rethink my position or opinions.)

But I still think it would be better not to buy any more than humanly possible until such time as we completely kill off the existing music and record industry. Because as long as they're around funding bad legislation, they will prevent my further suggestion (see below) from ever happening.

Hooray for the ability to intelligently debate, consider our perspective, and modify our opinions or approach if necessary. I think I can get behind your "minimal consumption" approach. smiley

- Oshyan
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A nice bit of profanity from "Apple Scotland and Siri" (video) on: February 10, 2012, 02:54:59 PM

- Oshyan
65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 10, 2012, 02:42:23 PM
Haha! I had no idea there were so many Cthulhu parody videos. Nice.

- Oshyan
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Just like the MPAA didn't learn from the RIAA, the games industry is next on: February 10, 2012, 02:09:40 PM
Wait, 40hz, weren't you recently advocating *not buying anything* rather than buying from independents, as I suggested? Isn't that the opposite of "giving something back to the creatives"? cheesy

As for the roots of this problem, let us be clear, there will always be special interests and they will usually have money, and as long as money is involved in the political process it will bias the results towards moneyed interests. There are two possible solutions I see, one more effective than the other but also less likely.

That first approach is to literally remove money from the process, from life in general if possible, but (only slightly more realistically) at least from politics. This is about as likely as me flying around like superman. Even if you could get the system to outlaw campaign contributions, then you're just sending it underground; instead of public lists of who the biggest campaign contributors are as we now have, you have the same - or even larger - amounts of money going from god knows who to whatever politicians, in exchange for no doubt even firmer allegiances, all of it undocumented and untraceable. Remember that outlawing anything that people (or corporations, for that matter) really want to do never stops it, sometimes it even in strange ways encourages it. Look at prohibition or the modern drug war.

Anyway, failing that option, there is something you really *can* advocate for that can make a real difference and actually has a chance of happening. I'm going to put this in bold and underlined so people read it instead of my largely useless preamble above:

Instant Runoff Voting

Instant Runoff Voting is one of a number of alternative voting systems that have a statistically demonstrable and mathematically provable advantage in obtaining fair voting results. It is one of the single most important of possible reforms to any democracy that doesn't already use it. More important than campaign finance reform, more important than redistricting issues, electoral college reform, even Citizens United.

The single biggest threat to the effectiveness of our democracy is our (literally) broken method of electing leaders. Believe it or not it is actually statistically and mathematically demonstrable that a Plurality voting system like the US uses is one of the least fair and effective ways of electing candidates which the majority of voters desire. Think about that for a second. One of the most powerful nations on Earth uses one of the least effective voting methods!

This system has resulted in the widely lamented "2 party system" we have today, in which voting for a "3rd party" ("independent") is almost always seen as useless, "throwing your vote away". This is obviously a very dangerous attitude for the majority to have if we're to have any hope of change. It means that moneyed interests have fewer targets and a much easier time creating consensus for their interests. What we desperately need are more choices, a greater variety of options, diffusion in the political process such that money can concentrate less effectively, and candidates with differing views can at least have the possibility of winning major grass-roots support (which can be incredibly powerful - if there's anything we've learned from the likes of Kickstarter, not to mention the Obama campaign and more, it's that "the people" can really do a lot when inspired). Campaigns like Ralph Nader's have sadly and ironically actually reduced people's hope and desire for 3rd party candidates, because circumstantially many felt that votes for Nader cost Gore the presidency. This is just one example, but a relatively recent and powerful one. Imagine if Instant Runoff Voting, or at least some other more representational system, had existed at that time. The results would have been very different. Simply knowing that your *desires* will *always* be reflected in your vote can dramatically change *how* you vote. From fear-driven to aspirational, hope-driven voting.

The beauty of all this is that IRV has already been implemented in some local governments and has even come close to passing at the state level (Alaska, I believe). It will necessarily start small, just like this, but if we each support IRV or similar ranked voting options in our local and state governments, we can eventually move it up to a national policy vote. If IRV could be made national law for voting on our presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial candidates, I believe we would see a lot of change for the better. If nothing else we would know that the will of the people was being much better reflected, even if that will may manifest sadly in the realization that everyone is stupid after all. Wink

- Oshyan
67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 05, 2012, 04:45:56 PM
Good stuff guys. I loves me some Tim Minchin. smiley

I saw Jonathan Coulton, who wrote "Still Alive", perform it live a few months back. Pretty awesome. smiley

- Oshyan
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Betanews.com - What was once a great site, is no longer on: January 29, 2012, 07:39:19 PM
I do likewise YoungJohn. Hooray for RSS! cheesy

- Oshyan
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: All-In-One Multi-Touch Computers - Thoughts? on: January 29, 2012, 07:13:14 PM
Well that's just lame, both on Win7's part and, IMO, on the monitor manufacturer's part as it sounds like they're doing some non-standard weirdness. Oh well.

- Oshyan
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Can U Say Crap-O-Riffic?? on: January 26, 2012, 03:51:22 PM
Damn, I should have mentioned TLER earlier. It did cross my mind... Well, at least you tracked it down.

- Oshyan
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: All-In-One Multi-Touch Computers - Thoughts? on: January 26, 2012, 03:23:40 PM
Can't you just use generic display drivers for those monitors?

- Oshyan
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Ends Privacy on: January 26, 2012, 02:07:37 AM
I'm with Josh and Deo: I willingly signed up for these services and can choose to cancel them at any time should I be dissatisfied with the utility/privacy balance. This change is expected and reasonable *given how Google has operated for years, which we all knew about*. It's not as if Google suddenly became this big information aggregator and it's all weird, new, and scary. They may be consolidating *more* info in a single place and associating some with others, but it was all there before. Frankly if it helps make the services better, I'm in favor.

And the beautiful part is this: if it *doesn't* help make the services better, Google will eventually lose market share and we'll all jump on some new bandwagon that does it bigger and better. That's the simple truth that everyone upset at Google seems to ignore. Nobody forces anyone to use Google's services. Is it frustrating to some that Google forces you to have a G+ account to use an otherwise unrelated but still useful service like Youtube? Yup. But if you don't like it, use Vimeo. Perfectly valid alternative. Does it bother some people that Google's search results now incorporate social influences by default? Yes, in fact I'm one of them. But A: I can turn that off (thankfully) and B: if I don't like it, I can use one of the many fine alternatives already mentioned in this thread.

And let's not forget that other organizations have been doing similar things for ages. Want to download the Windows 7 beta? Oh, I'm sorry, you need a Windows Live ID. Want to use Skydrive? Same. How about Hotmail? Your hotmail *is* a Live ID. How about Yahoo? Oh, yep, same. Yahoo Mail, Flickr, etc. etc. all use a Yahoo ID to login. And let's not be naive and think that *they're* not all aggregating their data behind the scenes. If MS is *not* using data from their other services to influence search it's either because A: they haven't figured out how to do it yet (given their many blunders in the Internet space this would not surprise me) or B: they don't think it's the solution to the problems they and Google both have as search engines for the "wild and wooly west" of the Internet (e.g. spam, scams, etc.). It's certainly not because they're worried about your privacy.

In the end it seems like this sums up people's complaint pretty well: "Google provides a lot of awesome services for free and I want to use them, but they have control over the systems and their functioning and don't always change them in ways I like, and worse yet they insist on collecting data on me so they can make money from my use of their services." So basically people want something for nothing.

- Oshyan
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It's a great day :-D on: January 26, 2012, 01:52:17 AM
I reckon that's a drunk cat. What could be happier? Wink

Thanks for sharing your happy. Happiness is like DRM-free digital goodness - it's easily shared, it can be copied freely and you don't lose any of yours if I get mine. cheesy

- Oshyan
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ripped off as an employee? "Free food" + the employment contract. on: January 26, 2012, 01:48:43 AM
The numbers vary by whom/how you ask I guess, but bigger statistical samples tend to result in more accurate results. Let's consult GlassDoor.com:
Google is the #5 best place to work, with 735 reviews. Believe it or not IBM doesn't even make the top 30. But Monsanto does. Wink My point is not that Google is great, just that those numbers don't mean a lot. Oh and Proletar doesn't appear to have Facebook. Er..?

- Oshyan
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Can U Say Crap-O-Riffic?? on: January 21, 2012, 04:55:24 PM
Remind again why RAID is so awesome? Wink

- Oshyan
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