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Comments

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HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

BeanBagKing Re:How about cutting severance packages first? (288 comments)

Since this was marked informative (thank you) I thought it would be fun to dig up the actual figures. It isn't quite as bad as I seem to remember, but I still think it's indicative of a company that pays far too much to CEO's that are either temporary, or fail to perform. Feel free to correct me where I've made a mistake, this isn't the type of thing I want to spend all night on, but perhaps someone would have fun finding their actual yearly salaries and bonuses.

CEO Carly Fiorina served from 1999 to 2005, since then it looks like HP has had 5 CEO's including the current one

Carly Fiorina - July 1999 to Feb 2005 - $20m severance
Robert Wayman - Feb 2005 to Mar 2005 - $3m cash bonus - Interim CEO
Mark Hurd - April 2005 to Aug 2010 - $12.2m severance
Cathie Lesjack - Aug 2010 to Sep 2010 - $1m cash bonus, 2.5m stock grants - Interim CEO
Leo Apotheker - Sep 2010 to Sep 2011 - $7.2m severance
Meg Whitman - Sep 2011 to Present


So I was exaggerating a bit, but lets look at this from a worst case scenario.

From 2005 to 2011 (6 years) HP had 6 CEO's, that's an average of a CEO a year (not really, because we're taking the end of one's career and the beginning of another, but like I said, worst case). Not including their regular "pay", they took home a total of $45.9m in severance pay, an average of $9.18m per CEO not including Meg, who has yet to receive a severance package (we're waiting..). Basically, that's 9.2m for each for being fired. Here's the crazy part. The Interim CEO's, who by all accounts did a fine job (looking mostly at Robert Wayman), got paid less than those who were "let go" (namely Mark Hurd and Leo Apotheker)

So things aren't quite as bad with the CEO's as I seem to have remembered, but I still feel like that's fairly abismal performance for a company that has been falling off a cliff since... well, since I can remember. Granted I'm young compared to some of you, but I can remember the days before Carly Fiorina, and a time I wouldn't go near HP computers because of how terrible I thought they were, for a variety of reasons that's pointless to debate here.

about 2 months ago
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HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

BeanBagKing How about cutting severance packages first? (288 comments)

Wasn't HP the one that, not long ago, hired and fired about 5 CEO's in the course of 7 years. Paying each a 8 figure severance package on their way out?

about 2 months ago
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Why Speed-Reading Apps Don't Work

BeanBagKing What if complete understanding doesn't matter? (92 comments)

The article is exactly right from my experience, and I'm not going to speed read a book I enjoy. However, there's a lot of times where you need to pick up an idea quickly or in it's general form where that comes in handy. Great example is classroom material. I'm not reading four or more 600+ page textbooks each semester, especially when I don't need 98% of the material.

What I do need most often is a general grasp of what is going on in a particular chapter, then I might go back, work out how to use formulas, go over a specific table or case study, etc.

Speed reading the entire thing leaves out almost all of the trees, but it allows me to get a quick view of the forest.

about 3 months ago
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World's Oldest Decimal Multiplication Table Discovered

BeanBagKing I really don't find this surprising (86 comments)

I mean, Babylonians were doing this (granted in a different base) some 1,500 to 2,000 years prior. That's a long time. If nobody, between then and 600(ish) BC thought of doing the same thing, I would lose hope in the creativity of humans. So this really doesn't surprise me, it's not like they were idiots back then.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

BeanBagKing You don't (408 comments)

Simple as that, you don't, it's just not possible....

I'd start with Avast, maybe Malwarebytes. Install Chrome, put it on their desktop and change the icon to Internet Explorer. Use SpyBot to blacklist sites. Setup everything to auto-update and auto-scan so they don't have to be bothered with any of it.

Then come back in a month, Secunda PSI and Qualys Browser give you a good way to keep track of what needs to be updated. Update it all. Registry doesn't really need to be cleaned these days, unless it gets really bad, I've found it actually does help performance a bit, CCleaner does a good job of this. Make sure everything is up to date and clean. Now go to the Control Panel, uninstall all the toolbars, uninstall Mcafee, etc.

Repeat this process every month... You can make things better, but you can't secure it.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can I Cross US Borders With Legally Ripped Media?

BeanBagKing Hidden Truecrypt Volume (285 comments)

I don't believe it's illegal, but IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Plus, even if it isn't, some border agent that doesn't know the law could still make your life miserable. Easier solution, create a hidden Truecrypt volume.

about a year ago
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To replace Google Reader, I favor ...

BeanBagKing CommaFeed (166 comments)

https://www.commafeed.com/ Don't let the "registration" and "some features disabled" scare you away, that's just for the demo. Registration is free and it feels very much like a slimmed down Google Reader. I found this after I tried Feedly and really didn't agree with it. This one is much more true to Readers feel.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests?

BeanBagKing Cheap computer and format it (572 comments)

Buy a really cheap computer, bare bones systems are a few hundred dollars, probably cheaper than an ipad. Install windows/browsers/antivirus/etc and create a backup image. After every use, kick the format button.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

BeanBagKing Pilot G-2 .38 (712 comments)

I'm sure there are expensive specialty pens that will do what you want, but if you're just searching for an everyday pen that you can pick up from Walmart and lose in the parking lot the next day check out the Pilot G-2's. They come in fine (0.5) and extra fine (0.38), plus numerous colors (I like color coding things). I don't have any of the issues that you bring up, but I probably don't write the same way either.

about a year and a half ago
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The Most Important Meeting You've Never Heard of

BeanBagKing I'm reminded of a quote... (171 comments)

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." -John Gilmore That said, governments of the world gathering to discuss peanut butter scares me for some reason. Gatherings to discuss the internet is absolutely horrifying...

about 2 years ago
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EVE Online Players Rage, Protest Over Microtransactions

BeanBagKing Re:They're probably right (315 comments)

Players that are upset about something are usually vocal, however, a minority doesn't usually make front page of slashdot, get on PC gamer, etc, no matter how vocal.

more than 2 years ago
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Square Enix Shuts Down Fan-Made Chrono Trigger Sequel

BeanBagKing My 2 Cents (455 comments)

I think this is pretty shitty of Square. They aren't currently making any money on the chrono serious, if they are it's a drop in a bucket to someone that big. If they are planning a sequel, this isn't going to hurt sales, the fans will still buy and play their game just as much, I imagine a fan sequel will only help revive interest if anything.

but here is what I think is really shitty. Fans have been working and dedicating their time to this project since 2004, they were 98% of the way finished, days before the release date, and Square chooses this time to tell them NO YOU CAN'T DO IT! Thats not protecting your interest, thats being an asshat. Protecting your interest would have been stopping it right away, at 1% completion. Hey, that's our stuff, you need to stop. You can't tell me with all the copyright lawyers they have running around they just now noticed this. The only thing I can think of is that they purposefully waited till the last minute to crush the dreams of the fans that have been working on this. Thanks Square.

more than 5 years ago
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A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes?

BeanBagKing Far reaching consequences.... (931 comments)

The article is interesting, imo, because of how far reaching the consequences can be. What if you made copies and this teacher latter found out, could you be sued? What about audio notes? I know a lot of people use recorders for class. Some even use video recorders. What if you take your notes on digital media, how do you go about turning those over? What if you outright refuse, does she have a right to recover the notes by force?

Personally I think that, unless you sign a contract with the school covering what you can and can't do with the notes, etc. there is a long standing precedence for students keeping their own notes that would stand up in court.

more than 5 years ago
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6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves

BeanBagKing Parents should take the fight to the police (1044 comments)

"Police Capt. George Seranko was quoted as saying that the first photograph was "a self portrait taken of a juvenile female taking pictures of her body, nude."

Under the current laws, couldn't Capt. George Seranko be charged with viewing child pornography? Charge everyone, him, the teacher that discovered it, et al with viewing and disseminating (when the passed it to the next level of enforcement) child pornography. Even if they don't win, they could tie up the legal system for enough years and make enough stink of it that hopefully someone will listen and change the laws.

Personally, I think the girls were stupid for letting pictures of themselves go around on phones, but this is certainly no reason to ruin the rest of their lives by slapping them with "sex offender" charges.
Stupid...

more than 5 years ago
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Getting Started With Part-Time Development Work?

BeanBagKing Rent A Coder (262 comments)

Sorry if this is already posted, I didn't see it though...

http://www.rentacoder.com/

As others said, keep your job, you need it in this economy. However, if you really do have some skills, go make some money on the side with them. You can get jobs that range from helping some kid setup his first perl IRC bot on a server for a few bucks to helping develop specific programs for a large business. You get to pick and choose, be your own boss kinda thing. It's like EBAY for a nerd, it's not a full time job, but it'll earn you money and experience.

more than 5 years ago
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Long-Term Personal Data Storage?

BeanBagKing OP here (669 comments)

There's two reoccurring theme's I keep seeing in the posts here. 1) Is the media I make the backups to going to be readable in 20 years? i.e. will there be compatible hardware and software in 20 years? and 2) Off site storage in case of fire, theft, etc.

1) As one person put it
"Psh, its not like he's gonna wake up 30 years later and go "Oh yeah! My data! I need it right now!" And then feverishly try to push the USB slot into the wireless receiver, and then start screaming "OH THE FOLLY OF MAN"

If USB really started disappearing, you would go get your USB drives and copy the stuff off of them "

2) Again put perfectly by a poster, what if an asteroid came along and destroyed it! I could keep all my stuff offsite, but what happens if the offsite location burns to the ground? There is no failsafe from natural disasters, we all plan the best we can, but to me this is a separate issue and not one that I care about when I posed the question.

Several people point out that this shows up on slashdot every few months, and the reason it does is because there has yet to be an answer. Perhaps I was hoping my predicament was different and there was an answer for it, but it doesn't seem so. Maybe I should scribe all my data to papyrus and bury it in a pyramid, that's the only thing proven to last several thousand years.

It seems odd to me though that, as a whole, as a world that's invented so much technology, we don't have any media that will reliably last beyond 5 years, much less 20. Sure, anything could happen to any media, I could have my data inscribed on steel plates and they would eventually rust. Failure is always an unknown, but I'm talking about reliably. We know HDD's are reliable for at least 2 years, most are warranted for 5. In this technological era, why don't we have anything that's reliable in for 20 years? Who cares if it's readable, sure, a fire could burn it down, but we don't have one digital storage solution that's reliable for that long? I guess this was what I was hoping would be answered, but as has been stated, there is no good answer yet.

BTW, the best solution I've seen so far is a 500GB external and a live backup living on my computer. Hopefully someone can come up with something better when this question is posed again in 3-6 months.

more than 5 years ago
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Recourse For Poor Customer Service?

BeanBagKing Goodluck... (593 comments)

Dell is usually pretty good, I was in Iraq and got my replacement for a failed hard drive within 2 weeks. I don't know exactly how hard you've been trying to push them on the issue but I'd call and force the phone biscuit to pass me to higher management, and then tell the management biscuit I wanted his boss, -then- start complaining. Usually when you get to the level where people can start firing those below them, the ones below start doing something. I've run into this problem with other companies though, especially though (cough)iPod(cough) who don't seem to value customers overseas and will only ship to US and require some f'ed up methods of shipping to them. As someone who just came from overseas I feel you, and all I can tell you is goodluck.

Last note: as others said, you can always go hardline and call the BBB, credit card companies, etc. Though I've noticed a lot of times going outside the company (Dell) will many times make things take longer as files are sorted through to find out who's right and wrong. It may help if you have someone in the US (my parents help me out a lot) that are able to spend hours on the phone dealing with it. Again, goodluck to you.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Eve Online and $60 microtransactions?

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "CCP Games, who develops the popular MMO Eve Online seems to have stirred several hornets nests at once during a major expansion. First was their idea of micro transactions, on item costing $60 by itself. Second was a leaked memo (linked below) detailing future plans for more micro transactions, ones that would give players a clear advantage. This has players on the forums outraged, there is even a forum post dedicated to articles from gaming magazines, sites, and blogs that show CCP in a bad light.

http://rift.chromebits.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/ccp_bulletin1.pdf
http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1534723"

Link to Original Source
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How should I handle my passwords?

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "In recent news several big name websites have been hacked and usernames/passwords released into the open. This isn't the first time either. I admit I'm guilty of reusing passwords across several sites, usually a more secure password for serious internetting, and a more casual one for whatever forum of the day I'm signing up on. However, somtimes these get mixed and over the years as password standards have changed, so have some of my passwords. These days I find myself struggling to remember my username and password across dozens of different sites even with a lot of password reuse. Not to even bring up how old some of these passwords are, from before mixed case, numbers, and lengths were required (lets just same some of them are very simple).

I've found myself looking into password managers (like KeePass) for generating secure passwords, a different one for each site, perhaps different user names as well. Anything that I keep on my PC though I feel runs the risk of being stolen if it's ever infected. Despite promises of encrypted databases I don't feel that anything these days is "unhackable" and if this data is stolen then EVERY site is compromised for sure. Not to mention the fact that if I go somewhere else (school, public internet) and don't have these passwords memorized, then I'm suck. I've also looked into linking these with my Android, or just using a password manager for Android. The same problem arises though with all the exploits these days, not to mention if the physical device itself is lost.

Does Slashdot have any tips to deal with this? Should I consider using a different random string password for each site, or is the danger for the typical user so low it wouldn't matter? If I should, are my concerns about a password manager warranted? Which one(s) are best? Suggestions regarding the Android, and/or the best app there? How does Slashdot suggest handling usernames and passwords these days?"
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How do you handle passwords?

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "1) Complex password requirements
2) Don’t write down your password!
3) 1+2 = Password reuse
4) One site, out of every one that stores your password, gets hacked.

Your user name and password are now on the loose, do you even know it? Even if you did, do you start memorizing a new one and changing every password you can find?
It seems that every website these days requires an increasingly complex password, usually indicated by some kind of password strength-o-meter, when you sign up. Combined with those of us growing up in the digital age being told to never write down passwords only seems to leave us more vulnerable as we reuse banking passwords for Slashdot (or worse, that naughty site you visit). Not only is it your password, but it's generally your user name too. The only work left for someone is to try the combination on every major banking site.

The safest thing would be a different user name and password for every site, but realistically that's not going to happen. How do you handle this? Do you reuse your passwords and just take your chances? Do you write them down, or store them in a file somewhere? Is there really a safe way to use passwords these days? I'd like to know how Slashdot handles password and account safety.

http://xkcd.com/792/"

Link to Original Source
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What Content Management System would you recommend

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 4 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "I'm thinking of redoing my site with a new WCMS. I'm currently using Joomla, but I don't really enjoy it and word of mouth has told me it has a lot of security issues. I've used Drupal a bit, and it was alright, as well as experimenting with various other solutions (phpBB portals for one). I would like something that had the ability to create full page articles, including media links, and static links to pages are a must. One of the things I dis-like about Joomal is how much stuff it has, and I use about 1% of it. I'm sure it's a great solution for someone, but I'm looking for something more simple and elegant. I've been told Wordpress may be closer to what I'm looking for, but what is the Slashdot communities opinion? What WCMS do you use, or what would you recommend and why? Is there any that I should avoid at all costs?"
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Best way to make a RAID 1 out of old hard drives

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  about 5 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "So here I am, with 5 old hard drives sitting around. The majority are 500GB SATA drives in external enclosures. I used to use them for dragging large amounts of data with me on deployments. Now I'm out and I have all these with data still sitting on them, but no real use for them as I'm not on the move constantly anymore.

I would like to turn these into backup storage (RAID 1) like a MyBook World Edition II but I don't want to go buying new hard drives when I already have 5. I prefer the idea of NAS because of the limited space it takes up, just plug it into my router and I'm ready to go. I've thought about a small server, but thats overkill for my needs.

Does anyone know of an external that handles RAID 1 and has an RJ-45 port? Bonus for being able to handle up to 4 drives. If not, what would you do with this many drives?"
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Auctioning software for small programming projects

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  about 5 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "I help run a small game with several other volunteers. Many times the requested fixes, changes, and updates are more than the current staff could handle, even if they wanted to after work and school. One of the solutions that has been tossed around is allowing players to bid on developer approved changes and fixing confirmed bugs.

Player wants bug A to be fixed, he can bid to pay the developer who fixes it $10. Another developer may accept a $20 bid to implement feature #112, etc. Think along the lines of http://www.rentacoder.com/

What we need is some kind of bidding/auction software to handle this. It should run on RHEL, accept new jobs, allow people to add money to a job that's already opened, use paypal to handle transactions and store the money somehow so that the devs know they will get paid and the users can modify their amount and get money back as long as the job has not been started. More bells and whistles would be nice, but we aren't looking for anything fancy."
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Co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons dies at 61

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BeanBagKing (1151733) writes "From Amy Forliti of the Associated Press:
Dave Arneson, one of the co-creators of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game and a pioneer of role-playing entertainment, died after a two-year battle with cancer, his family said Thursday. He was 61.

Arneson and Gary Gygax developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys.

The full article can be found here"

Link to Original Source
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Long Term Personal Data Storage

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BeanBagKing writes "Yesterday I set out in search of a way to store my documents, videos, and pictures for a long time without worrying about them. This is stuff that I may not care about for years, I don't care where it is, or if it's immediately available, so long as when I do decide to get it, it's there. What did I come up with? Nothing. Hard Drives can fail or degrade. CD's and DVD's I've read have the same problem over long periods of time. I don't want to pay yearly rent on a server or backup/storage solution. I could start my own server, but that goes back to the issue of hard drives failing, not to mention cost. Tape backups aren't common for personal backups, making far future retrieval possibly difficult, not to mention low storage capacity of tape drives. I've thought about buying a bunch of 4GB thumb drives, I've had some of those for years and even sent a few threw washers and driers and had the data survive.

What can /. suggest for me? My requirements are simple. It must be stable, lasting for decades if possible, and must be as inexpensive as possible. I'm not looking to start my own national archive, I have less than 500GBs, just save things important to me."
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Best Rootkit Eliminator?

BeanBagKing BeanBagKing writes  |  more than 6 years ago

BeanBagKing writes "I've never worried much about rootkits, but now I'm starting to see the light. The question is, whats the best? I've read several reviews, but all of them are months, if not years, old. Blacklight is no longer free, one called RAIDE has been released that's supposed to "revolutionize" rootkit detection. Several of these, such as Rootkit Unhooker, seem to crash Vista every time they're launched. Larger companies (Kaspersky, Symantec, McAfee, etc.) don't focus on this, but with Sony attaching rootkits to everything from games to music to fingerprint readers, this seems like something we should concern ourselves with. What can I put on my Vista machine to detect, eliminate, and optimally, prevent rootkits?"

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