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51  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
52  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
53  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
54  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
55  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
56  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
57  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
58  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
59  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
60  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
61  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
62  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
63  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
64  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
65  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
66  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
67  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
68  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
69  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
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Apple & Textbooks on: January 21, 2012, 04:52:25 PM
The price of text books *is* insane, even used ones, even after you factor in the money you can recoup from reselling used ones back to the store. It's all pretty crazy. But Apple and forcing the purchase of $600+ hardware just to view vendor-proprietary text books is also not a solution. Unfortunately schools are so desperate for a magic bullet they'll try anything now, especially if it's from that darling of educational technology called Apple.

- Oshyan
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sansa Clip Zip: Wow! on: January 16, 2012, 12:01:54 AM
Yes, beware USB for serious audio stuff. ASIO drivers are often not available, which means no support (without a kludge like "ASIO4All") in apps like Reason.

- Oshyan
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 15, 2012, 05:00:41 PM
To defeat big media, you need to put them out of business in a clear and true capitalist fashion such that it gives them no grounds to go running to the government begging for intervention.

Is the more correct capitalist solution to the problem not buying at all, or buying from their competitors (indies). I'm not sure why you don't see that as at least as good a solution -if not better - than simply not buying at all. In my view, not buying can more easily be translated into "rampant piracy" (because surely people need music/movies/tv!). Also I think it's a harder pill to swallow to buy *nothing* for most people. If they could just shift buying habits to independent media, it still sends - I think - a strong message and people get to continue enjoying (some) media. It also tells artists/producers where they should be going to get more customers, further weakening the major's position, whereas if *nothing* is selling, artists/producers may panic, buying into the RIAA/MPAA/etc. party line of legislation to survive, *or* just give up entirely. Giving them an effective route to success with their product (independent publishing/promotion) steers them in the right direction, I think.

- Oshyan
73  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR and Indexing Option - Feedback Requested on: January 12, 2012, 11:10:05 PM
I'm pretty sure MFT-based searching is what we're talking about here, but it still requires creating and maintaining an index/database for faster searching.

- Oshyan
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 12, 2012, 11:09:26 PM
I reckon perhaps more effective than an outright boycott would be a massive move over to independent media. After all, with a sudden drop-off of sales and no corresponding rise in other legitimate media business, they can just claim piracy has had a huge jump and they need even more draconian laws to handle it.

- Oshyan
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Easy Remote access to another PC? on: January 12, 2012, 11:02:03 PM
UltraVNC is my VNC client of choice. TightVNC has potentially better data encoding, but the new version lacks a display driver for mirroring, which makes it dog slow in my experience, especially over high bandwidth (e.g. LAN) connections.

- Oshyan
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