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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

CountZer0 Re:Any removable storage yet? (730 comments)

I'm guessing you don't have kids of an age to be doing school concerts, plays and so forth...

The iPhone is complete crap for trying to record that sort of thing. Ok, sure, those recordings are going to suck anyway due to the acoustics of the room and crappy mic setups at the school, but at least with my camcorder I can setup a tripod, leverage decent zoom functionality and have a steady shot that I can easily pan and zoom as needed to film my kids 30 - 45 min performance. I've tried using the iPhone 5 and it lacks in decent zoom ability, storage and *stability*.

I'll keep my camcorder for as long as I have kids in school, thank you very much :)

about three weeks ago
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New Raspberry Pi Model B+

CountZer0 Re:So they update it, but... (202 comments)

I run 5 Pi B's as XBMC media head-ends, playing video off of a Linux based NAS, and it works quite well with all content, including 3D. The only time I had any problems with stuttering or playback was when I had a few drives in my NAS going bad. Once I replaced those drives, the problems went away.

My only complaint now has to do with fast-forward and rewind, however, I suspect much of that has to do with the fact that most of my content is still rar'ed and thus XBMC is having to decompress on the fly, which works fine for normal playback, but apparently XBMC gets a bit confused if trying to seek through the file.

about 3 months ago
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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

CountZer0 Re:Home-Grown Terrorists (223 comments)

Other examples are Prohibition and the War on Drugs. We know how they turned out.

Your usage of the past tense implies that you think either of these two things are over...

about 3 months ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

CountZer0 Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

Where is this school, and do I have to send my kids to Shanghai to get them enrolled?

The schools here in Connecticut offer a variety of summer programs teaching tech subjects leveraging Scratch, Raspberry Pi's and Mindstorms. I haven't seen them as part of the normal curriculum yet, but I expect it soon.

about 3 months ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

CountZer0 Re:Well that sucks! (484 comments)

where I live the signal's aren't very strong / reliable.

Isn't that why cable was invented in the first place?

Absolutely, and if I could order a package from my local provider that provided me with only the channels available OTA in my market I would. Oh, and they have to provide it without charging me a rental fee on a set-top box to decode the signal as well.

Since no cable providers are willing to provide such a service, I guess I'm SOL :(

about 3 months ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

CountZer0 Well that sucks! (484 comments)

Assuming this means Aereo will have to shut down now. That, or raise their rates if they have to start paying some sort of cable access fee.

As a cord-cutter, Aereo was a nice way to have access to some live broadcasts (sports, voting shows where the voting closes after the show airs, etc). Most of our consumption is delayed, so alternative downloading and a large NAS handles 95% of our needs.

Guess I'll have to figure out a way to get OTA reception, but from all the research I've done, where I live the signal's aren't very strong / reliable.

about 3 months ago
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Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"?

CountZer0 Re:what's wrong with public transportation? (190 comments)

Sounds like you are referring to 'mass transit' ie: commuter trains. Not 'public transit' ie: busses

Public transit is routinely used for ferrying children and groceries. In fact, in many municipalities, that is its majority use. Additionally, there is a significant stigma associated with its usage in many areas. I haven't used it personally since I was a teenager in Denver, but judging by those whom I see waiting at bus stops, the patterns haven't changed much in 30 years. People who cannot afford cars use the bus. Often with carts full of groceries and strollers filled with children. Add in non-optimal transit patterns and scheduling issues, public transit is viewed by most as the transit choice of last-resort, only to be used by those unfortunates who have no other choice.

I use mass-transit daily to commute via train to Manhattan for work. Commuter trains mostly solve this issue fairly well, although there are still issues around scheduling and quality of service (ie: my 90 minute commute is only a 90 minute commute if I am able to leave work at exactly the right time. Get held up for 5 minutes on my way out of the office and I get to sit at Grand Central Terminal for 30 minutes waiting for the next train, turning it into a 120 minute commute).

In major cities (Subway in Manhattan, The Underground in London, Tokyo's subway system, etc) there is a hybrid solution that actually works well, being used both for mass transit and public transit. These options generally have minimal delays (5 - 10 minutes between trains, max) and service all types of commuters. Of course, these types of systems are only feasible in areas with sufficient density of population and commercial interests and should really be viewed as exceptions rather than a model to be adopted by all regions.

about 4 months ago
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Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

CountZer0 Re:Magnetic Strip flaw? (272 comments)

I've done this for years. Problem is, only about one in 20 clerks actually check my ID anyway! I always make a point to thank them when they get it right.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

CountZer0 Re:Overqualified, often passed over (466 comments)

The key to getting hired is to form relationships with headhunters. With most companies, they work directly with hiring managers and HR only gets involved once a candidate has been selected and then it's strictly administrative (perform background checks, handle paperwork etc).

Don't limit yourself to a single headhunter either. Reach out to several, send them your resume and have a few conversations with each one to explain to them the types of work you are interested in.

They'll contact you with a variety of job opportunities. Weed through them and then allow the headhunter to submit you to a few that you feel are particularly good fits. Just be careful and make sure you keep track of who is submitting you where, so there is no overlap. Also, be willing to do some work to customize your resume for each position. The headhunter will usually give you some general guidance on what the company is looking for, so you can massage your resume to highlight relevant experience.

Don't expect the headhunter to have any technical knowledge, these are salesman not IT types. Some headhunters specialize in specific industries and might have passing familiarity with technical terms but many are generalists and will basically do a keyword match on resumes with job reqs. Don't get frustrated when they pitch jobs to you that aren't a good fit, just identify them as such and provide feedback to help the headhunter properly re-filter the jobs.

Over the years you'll end up building a relationship with one or two good headhunters and they'll end up helping you find good candidates when you are in a hiring position, and also help you manage your career and find your next opportunity when you feel it's time for a change.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

CountZer0 Re:Can't Tell Them Apart (466 comments)

As a hiring manager, I can tell you that I almost never have the time to go dig through a prospective candidate's open source code. Not to mention, most of the time open repositories like that are blocked from my work network anyway, so I would have to further take the time to review it from my personal PC after-hours. Any non-trivial project is going to take hours of my time to get familiar enough with to actually make a meaningful assessment of your skill anyway. I am not going to devote that much time to an individual candidate. Keep in mind, I've got a pile of resumes all vying for the same position.

That said, I also tailor my interviewing to the candidate quite a bit. If I'm at a campus recruiting event interviewing college grads with no real-world experience, I'll give them some coding challenges and see how they do (they get to pick the language). If I'm interviewing someone who's been in the industry, I likely won't ask for a single line of code, but rather will spend the time discussing prior projects, thought processes and challenges overcome (ie: can the candidate speak, in detail, to their resume. Many can't, by the way).

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

CountZer0 Re:Google and facebook changing to microsoft (589 comments)

To be fair, I'm sure that while their core produce / service is hosted on Linux, the desktop ecology (including supporting servers) is almost certainly Windows.

I know that at every major financial institution in the US it's the same way... There is a large Windows desktop / server platform maintained by a core 'desktop support' IT organization that simply exists to provide employees with desktops and associated tools. Then there is the massive Linux server platform used to actually run whatever services comprise the core business of the firm, (exchange connectivity, algorithmic trading engines, client connectivity, booking systems, compliance systems, etc). So even though the entire financial industry in the US runs on Linux, every single one of those banks, exchanges and hedge funds also has a sizable Windows desktop/server environment as well, strictly to support employee workstations and day-to-day communications, document generation, collaboration tools, etc.

This makes sense, actually. The systems that the company depends on to actually *make money* are Linux. The systems that the employees use to work with each other are Windows.

about 5 months ago
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Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: How We're Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers

CountZer0 Re:Am I getting old? (90 comments)

Flash card? Case? Power? HDMI and Ethernet cable? All of those items add up. Not using a remote saves you $30 on FLIRC, but I'm sure you've got at least $35 invested in the other items require to actually transform the Raspberry Pi into something more than inert circuitry.

about 6 months ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

CountZer0 Re:Or you can... you know... just not speed. (325 comments)

Slow traffic, keep right.

If you are going slower than the rest of traffic and you aren't in the right-hand lane, you are in violation of traffic laws.

I hope you never ever change lanes without signalling, and never change lanes in an intersection (especially while turning).

Fact is, most speed limits aren't set for safety, but instead to maximize revenue for the local government. We the people have almost no say in this either. The speed limits aren't voted on, but simply decided by bureaucratic process with no transparency.

In fact, states were 'encouraged' to adopt a maximum speed limit of 65 by the Federal Government, which refused matching funds for highways if a state didn't lower the limit. Again, nothing to do with safety or actual road conditions, but simply a hidden tax on society that we have no say in.

about 6 months ago
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Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: How We're Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers

CountZer0 Re:Am I getting old? (90 comments)

The $35 Raspberry Pi is a myth, but a $100 Raspberry Pi based XBMC box is a reality and takes all of 10 minutes to set up. I have 5 of them and have completely cut the cord from Cable TV now.

Just grab a Canakit: http://smile.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Complete-Original-Preloaded/dp/B00DLUXD64/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1397080142&sr=8-3&keywords=canakit
and a FLIRC: http://smile.amazon.com/FLIRC-Dongle-Media-Centre-Raspberry/dp/B00BB0ETW8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397080187&sr=8-1&keywords=flirc

Install xbian: http://www.xbian.org/

Enjoy!

about 6 months ago
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Interviews: Jonathan Coulton Answers Your Questions

CountZer0 Good Interview (36 comments)

I thought it was an excellent interview with interesting and intelligent responses.

about 6 months ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

CountZer0 Re:What DOESN'T run on WindowsXP? (641 comments)

Would it surprise anyone to know that banking still runs LOTS of *NIX based systems? Sure, desktop consoles are running Windows. But that's just the user interface systems.

It's not just banking. Nearly every large company runs *nix (mostly Linux) on the server side. Yes, Windows dominates the desktop world, but the server space has long been *nix ruled and that isn't changing any time soon.

What I've found a little surprising is the upswing in Apple's usage as a mobile platform of choice. Nearly every vendor I deal with shows up with an Apple laptop rather than a PC these days. Many have switched to tablets (iPads almost exclusively).

Heck, I don't even have an actual Windows PC as a workstation anymore. I use a thin-client to connect to an 'HVD' (hosted virtual desktop) which is really just a VM running Win7. Not entirely sure, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's actually hosted on a Linux server.

about 6 months ago
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The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

CountZer0 Re:Set the conspiracy theories aside for a moment. (360 comments)

And beyond that, the users that use Linux are likely far less interesting to the NSA than they like to tell themselves to be.

Every large financial institution in the country uses Linux on their servers.

Linux on the desktop? Mostly geeks. Linux on servers? Everywhere you look! Of course, that's also where the fun data that the NSA cares about also happens to be, on the servers...

about a year ago
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Social Media Is a New Vector For Mass Psychogenic Illness

CountZer0 Re:Peanut and Gluten allergies? (373 comments)

Actually, while most people probably don't have a 'severe' gluten allergy, there is a theory that our bodies aren't particularly well adapted to process gluten in general. Given the millions of years of evolutionary development and the relatively short timeframe that we've been eating grains, it stands to reason that peanuts and gluten aren't particularly healthy for us.

Personally around 6 months ago I switched to a paleo diet and have noticed significant improvements in my health, including less gastric distress. I had been previously tested and confirmed to *not* have any allergies, but I can attest that going gluten free has still had very real quality of life health benefits.

1 year,18 days
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

CountZer0 Depends on your industry... (892 comments)

It really depends on the industry you work in (no, IT is *not* an industry).

For example, the financial services industry is incredibly incestuous and there is an extensive network. Most people know several people at every other big shop on the street and it's extremely likely that when you are interviewing for a new role, there will be someone who knows someone at your prior company and will get an informal reference.

Staying on good terms with co-workers is essential in this industry as any reputation you get (especially bad) *will* get around and follow you till you switch industries.

about a year ago
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iTunes: Still Slowing Down Windows PCs After All These Years

CountZer0 Re:No iTunes for the Windows Store (519 comments)

You don't have to use iTunes to transfer music from your computer to the device, for any apple device including the iPhone 5.

Personally I use MediaMonkey and it is vastly superior to iTunes in every way.

about a year ago

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