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Steve Forbes: Bitcoin Not Money

Alpha830RulZ Re:Fiat Currency (692 comments)

Mod parent up - this guy gets it.

about a year and a half ago

Forbes Names Microsoft's Steve Ballmer Worst CEO

Alpha830RulZ Re:I disagree (444 comments)

While one may complain that the profits from from a small number of areas, the fact remains that MSFT simply shits out money from those two product lines, and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. MSFT's financial metrics, see this indicate that they are firing on all cyclinders as a money making machine.

more than 2 years ago

Methane Producing Dinosaurs May Have Changed Climate

Alpha830RulZ Re:Where is the context? (264 comments)

Way to mess a perfectly good diatribe with critical thinking and research. You must be new here. ;-)

more than 2 years ago

Symantec: Religious Sites "Riskier Than Porn For Viruses"

Alpha830RulZ Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (343 comments)

Please elucidate your theory as to how this evidence suggests the existance of a creator. I hope it's something more than, "I don't understand how the world got here, so God must have done it. "

more than 2 years ago

Symantec: Religious Sites "Riskier Than Porn For Viruses"

Alpha830RulZ Re:JEBUS will protect me! (343 comments)

Or, as you imply here, that religious people are happy to be "ignorant."

Without meaning to be abusive or disrespectful, I will gently suggest that the core tenet of atheism is that it is impossible to be religious if you are a critical thinker. So, while belief in God may not prevent critical thinking, it IS evidence that there is one area of your life where you are actively NOT critically thinking.

The evidence is that religious people are in indeed happy to be ignorant/deluded.

I know, my world view versus yours and all that. But that is what the dynamic is.

more than 2 years ago

Not Just Apple, How Microsoft Sidestepped Billions In State Taxes

Alpha830RulZ Re:Same thing that Apple owes to California... (595 comments)

They also pay a huge amount in the Business and Occupation tax, which every business pays in Washington.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source Tax Software?

Alpha830RulZ Re:Why downvote as off-topic? (387 comments)

If the IRS finds an error in your favor, they will correct your return and issue you a refund. This is true in audit situations as well as in the simple processing of your return.

To the main point, I have used turbo tax for close to 20 years, and can't imagine why someone wouldn't want to use a cheap and usable application like this. You have to be really cheap to not spring for the 34 dollars that you can get Turbo Tax for at Costco.

more than 2 years ago

The Bosses Do Everything Better (or So They Think)

Alpha830RulZ Re:Not exactly. (469 comments)

Somebody mod this guy way up.

more than 2 years ago

Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

Alpha830RulZ Re:Well, they're a good indicator of intelligence (672 comments)

Then why not just ask that directly?

One reason is that it's usually better to use an open ended question than a more directed question in interview situations.

more than 2 years ago

Why Do All Movie Tickets Cost the Same?

Alpha830RulZ It's the studios (464 comments)

Ticket prices are the same because the studios mandate the minimum price for ticket prices. The standard agreement between the theatres and the studios specifies what percentage of the gate receipts the studio gets (can be as high as 90% of the ticket price) and that the theatre will charge a certain minimum price. There are exceptions to this, but that is a default situation. Ticket prices therefore don't float in response to market demand because the enitity charging the prices, the theatre, is contracted to keep them fixed above a certain minimum.

Theatres would give movie tickets away in some circumstances if they could, in order to get you to come in and buy the concessions, which is where they make the bulk of their money. Studios counteract this behavior by mandating the high prices in the film rental contracts.

I know this because I used to support a software system that managed theatre accounting for a chain of movie theatres.

more than 2 years ago

Italian Consumer Watchdog Sues Microsoft Over 'Windows Tax'

Alpha830RulZ Re:Updated TOS (313 comments)

If there were enough of a market, the bare machines would be available. The fact that they aren't strongly suggests that there isn't much of a market for bare metal machines.

more than 3 years ago

Italian Consumer Watchdog Sues Microsoft Over 'Windows Tax'

Alpha830RulZ Re:The geek returns to Never-Never Land. (313 comments)

Absolutely none of that explains why they can't refund you the cost of the license if you wipe the drive.

Duh, it's because it's a pain in the ass and only about 17 people in the whole freaking country would want to do so and get the refund. PC manufacturers have no obligation to set up a special process to attend to the desires of the vanishingly small % of the population that wants a bare metal PC. For the segment that actually has a significant number of users that want bare metal machines, the server market, there are plenty of machines available. See my favorite white box provider, here for an example.

It's not free for a company to process refunds. Companies have clearly decided there is no money in offering bare metal machines. The segment of the market that actually cares about not paying the windows tax is small enough that it can be ignored. If it wasn't, you'd be able to buy bare metal machines, because someone would think they can make money doing so.

Sorry, but it's just a reality that there aren't that many people who care about this issue.

more than 3 years ago

Bacteria From Beer Lasts 553 Days In Space

Alpha830RulZ Re:Complication for mars missions? (138 comments)

About 51%? (I'm not a statistician). You have one boy, so the odds are whatever the odds are for a random child being a boy, which is slightly greater than 50%. Do I get the prize?

more than 3 years ago

Zoho Don't Need No Stinking Ph.D. Programmers

Alpha830RulZ Re:Yeah, maybe (612 comments)

He shrugged and said, without any sense of irony whatsoever, "I don't really know how to handle exceptions. I find it easier to just write code without any bugs in it."

Exceptions != bugs, as anyone who has programmed to a database connection would know. Not saying your friend isn't much better than I am, but there are a lot of areas where exceptions are part of the normal dialog between program units.

I know several people at Google, many at Microsoft, and many in other companies. The guys at Google are generally pretty good, but no better than MSFT or Amazon, both of whom value degrees much less than Google does.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Hides Firefox Extension In Toolbar Update

Alpha830RulZ Re:I smell a loophole that puts MS in a bad spot.. (285 comments)

A EULA is not a contract.

IANAL, but I suspect that it is in fact a contract. It may be a bad contract, and somewhat unenforcable, but if it wasn't a reasonable valid contract people would be suing the shit out of MSFT for every BSOD and error that was encountered in windows and Office. There aren't a bajillion lawsuits out there, so I suspect this means that the EULA is sufficiently a contract to protect MSFT in the majority of cases.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Hides Firefox Extension In Toolbar Update

Alpha830RulZ Re:Plugin uninstaller for Firefox? (285 comments)

This is a really bad idea. Browsers shouldn't be able to elevate privileges. That's a key mechanism in preventing content from being able to hijack the system. The LAST thing I want in a browser is for it to operate as admin/root.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Hides Firefox Extension In Toolbar Update

Alpha830RulZ Re:It is just an update to an existing toolbar (285 comments)

It seems that your beef should be with Verizon, not microsoft. MSFT just cut a deal. It's verizon that treated their customer like shit in your situation.

more than 4 years ago



Best way to do large volume backups economically?

Alpha830RulZ Alpha830RulZ writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Alpha830RulZ (939527) writes "I'd like to get the wisdom of the community for a good, economic way to do large volume backups. We are looking at establishing a data storage service for an offering of ours. The load characteristics are, daily inserts, very low volume of updates, and eventual large size of the database(s), with a total of ultimately some small number of terabytes of data. The DB's will likely be separate for each customer. The DB in question could be Oracle, Postgres, or SQL Server.

We're planning on doing backups from a dump of the database on a daily basis to a second system which will just be a disk farm, and then backing up that second disk farm to media of some sort. The size of the backup is such that tape speed will be a constraint, and deity forbid we ever have to restore. The vendors I have talked to all have the same answer: buy our gear, which requires a drive that will cost as much as the server we're planning on backing up.

As I am looking at the hardware costs for this second box, I have to ask the question, why don't we just buy multiple sets of removable hard disks, and swap out the disks for backup? It looks like I can buy sets of drives for less than I would pay for high end tape equipment, and this would greatly improve our recovery time if we ever need to use it. I'd set up the disk farm with a root disk to run the box, and then install the drives as a raid 5 set. The backup would consist of initializing the drives, and then saving the dumps to the drives. At the end of a week, we'd roll a set of drives offsite, and reinstall the oldest set. The insert volume is such that we will archive the daily update files, and in a restore situation we'd install the backup, and then reapply the daily files needed to bring us up to date.

Does anyone use this type of solution? What would make this untenable as a solution? I can see that we'd want to get some protective storage to shield the drives from shock, but that doesn't seem too onerous. However, I am feeling a bit cautious about this approach, as I don't hear of others doing it. What am I missing (please be gentle)?


Beginning Production Systems Architect."

Aiport security continues to miss explosives

Alpha830RulZ Alpha830RulZ writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Alpha830RulZ (939527) writes "According to a story in the Seattle PI today,, investigators were successful in getting components for so called liquid explosives past airport security in 19 different airports in the US. This raises the interesting question, since airport security is demonstrably porous to the motivated and educated person, and yet we have had no explosions on planes, does this not indicate that we are chasing terrorists that aren't there?

This will no doubt cause a hue and cry to develop to tighten security further("Sir, will you please remove your trousers and place your hands on this table?"), I think it actually demonstrates the opposite. Airport security is simply expensive theatre, which serves our government in keeping us concerned. If 19 airports are able to be circumvented, and yet no planes have dropped out of the sky, a reasonable conclusion might be that there are relatively few attempts being made to blow up such planes."

Link to Original Source

How to detect 'Botted' machines

Alpha830RulZ Alpha830RulZ writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Alpha830RulZ writes "A couple of us at work are pretty sure that we have at least one compromised machine inside our firewall. We get a lot of SPAM that has contiguous email addresses from our company address book, and they have shown up in enough ways that it looks like some user's machine has been pretty well read over. This is happening repeatedly enough, and new employee's addresses are showing up, so I am concerned that we have some botted machines. We run current Symantec AV, corporate version, on all machines.

Everything I read about the Storm Worm and similar just scares the piss out of me. Is there any way for a normal sysadmin type to detected a Storm botted machine? We are familiar with the likes of rootkit revealer, and when we have had suspicions about a particular box, we run that, Kaspersky, Symantec, and Bitdefender. We haven't found anything definitive, but we have found:

— one machine that prevents Kaspersky from being installed on it. The install hangs on an access violation of a directory newly created by the Kaspersky installer during the install. Symantec, Rootkit Revealer, and Bitdefender find nothing on this machine.

— one machine that has entries deep in the user's temp directories which can't be deleted. These were found by Rootkit Revealer, but we haven't been able to remove them.

We've got the machines segregated for now, and are wondering what we can do to get a handle on this. Help me, my geek brethren."


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