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Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

Dunkirk Re:I have an idea (174 comments)

There's a cutoff where it's useful to say that "you can do it yourself." I *am* a programmer, and have been for 35 years or so. One thing that annoyed me -- "back in the day" -- was Evolution's spotty support for Palm Pilot synchronization. I was fiddling with Gentoo's portage versions of the program and the various libraries so much that I finally downloaded the source for Evolution, and started to look at where the code that governed this problem lived. I recall asking someone a question about the source on some forum (or maybe IRC), and was told by one of the developers that what I was after was so deep that I probably be better off not fooling with it. I looked at it a little longer, and concluded he was right. It would have taken me hundreds of hours to find and fix the problem I was seeing, and then I'd have to apply the patch to a version that had been updated underneath me while I worked on it, leading to other hassles. The process would have been quite elaborate, and this is my point: Waiting for the person who knows, roughly, WHERE the problems are, and already has a good idea of HOW TO FIX IT is usually worth the time savings, even if you DO know how to code.

Palm died not too long after, and I finally got an iPhone.

about 3 months ago

Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Dunkirk Re:$230 (611 comments)

Few people, other than web addicts, browse more than 200 pages / day.

Hello. My name is Dunkirk, and I have a problem.

about 4 months ago

NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Dunkirk Re:Local Dealerships (455 comments)

Yep, and the "local" Penske Honda dealership in Carmel, Indiana was one of the top-3 worst dealership experiences of my life. All the usual tricks, but the best one was when the salesman actually got offended when I asked about one of the cheapest cars on the lot, which was advertised on their web site. He said I was trying to buy a hamburger at a steak house, and got up to leave. So I got my keys, and left.

I wound up buying a used Civic for thousands less than book at a REAL local Honda dealership, where it turns out that I knew the manager, the sales manager, the office manager, and 2 of the salesman, and I just didn't know it. I know that's cheating, and not many people have such an option, but I'll likely try this again soon.

about 6 months ago

Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

Dunkirk Re:Up 19.6% on the year (467 comments)

It would seem that their stock was never higher than around the end of 1999, when they were finally affirmed to be a monopoly by the federal government in their anti-trust action. Strange.

about a year ago

Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Dunkirk Re:Apple priced itself out of the market (786 comments)

I see a lot of people talking about how much cash Apple has on hand these days. You know what? Microsoft had that much in their "war chest" about 10 years ago. Now where are they? Apple better USE that money to DO something game changing, or they're going to become a shell of their former selves, just like Microsoft has. Licensing their OS might be exactly what they need to do to take over the world. Let the market proliferate with cheap Apple knockoffs driven by 3rd-party peripherals. It's what allowed Windows to take over the world! They can keep making their own, premium hardware, and tell people up front that their the ones with the best user experience.

about a year and a half ago

$100 Million Student Database Worries Parents

Dunkirk Self-serving project (250 comments)

The database is a joint project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states.

All it looks like to me is a $100M SQL Server project for Microsoft, secured by the former CEO for his friends back at the home office.

about 2 years ago

Judge Preserves Privacy of Climate Scientist's Emails

Dunkirk Re:No amount of Data can convince them (345 comments)

... the laws of physics are exactly the same for human generated carbon dioxide as for carbon dioxide measured in a laboratory...

There's the problem right there. To mangle the quote: You can't very well dust CO2 for fingerprints. If we could pinpoint how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is actually generated by humans, we wouldn't be having this debate. Unfortunately, all we can do is infer through other means of estimating, and that wiggle room is all people need to start an argument about the data.

more than 2 years ago

Electric Car Subsidies As Handouts For the Rich

Dunkirk Re:Not the op, but some figures (589 comments)

Love it! You want more power than a Camry V6? That makes you an unreasonable person.

more than 4 years ago

Al Franken's Warning On Net Neutrality

Dunkirk Re:yes, please. (564 comments)

As said, the free market works WONDERFULLY when it exists. But in this case it doesn't. IMHO, we should have a Federally owned universal ISP option. You can't tell me in this day and age that Internet access isn't as important as the postal system, which is federally owned.

The postal service is struggling. Just ask Obama. http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-its-the-post-office-thats-always-having-problems/

Why in the world is the answer to every question: more _federal_ involvement?! Why can't we just let local municipalities or companies lay a piece of fiber to your door, and then let you choose which providers you want to hook to the other end of your line for service? That's the answer I'm looking for.

I suppose it will be just like any other corporate field, though. One of the slightly larger companies will start buying a smaller, struggling one, and the rest will snowball until we get something like Ma Bell. Again.

Alright, maybe the feds should be involved in this. But then we get horrible market distortions that lead to other problems.

Well, I guess it's either Scylla or Charybdis.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Adds Delete Account Option

Dunkirk Re:Reality still wins. (249 comments)

So it's all just legal double-speak then. You don't really "own" your comments, except when Geeknet wants to disavow itself from them to avoid being held responsible for them in some sort of litigation.

I've just narrowly averted posting in a couple of other threads here this morning. This thread has got me thinking that I want to just go ahead and delete my Slashdot account. (I deleted my Facebook account a couple months ago.)

more than 4 years ago

Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police

Dunkirk Re:If you've nothing to hide... (878 comments)

I hope the ACLU cleans the government's clock with the lawsuit, and establishes precedent which guarantees there won't be any more of these things.

Further, I agree that the cop drawing his gun was outrageous. However, what everyone seems to be missing is that there was another, marked squad car right behind the unmarked vehicle, making the stop along with the plain-clothed officer. The motorcyclist had no doubt that he was being stopped by a legitimate police action.

more than 4 years ago

Unique ID In India Causes 'Fear of the Beast'

Dunkirk Re:Educated, not crazy and not afraid. (725 comments)

... even in backwater US Midwest...

And what, pray tell, is "backwater" about the Midwest? We have a Starbucks on every corner, just like you do.

more than 4 years ago

Police Officers Seek Right Not To Be Recorded

Dunkirk Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1123 comments)

I'm pretty libertarian on these issues, and I think that the courts upholding the idea that you can't film ANYTHING in public view is ridiculous.

However... some people really deserve to be treated much worse than they are. It really makes my blood boil when I see these car chases on cop shows that go on and on and on, at 120+ mph on crowded freeways and city streets. The driver causes several near misses and maybe even some collateral damage, entire police stations have to be mobilized miles ahead of the guy to get helicopters going and spike strips laid, and then the guy finally plows into something or someone else that ends the chase. Then they jump out of the car and cause a long foot chase and / or search before they finally put him in cuffs. These people don't just deserve a beat down. After all that effort, they deserve to be fed into a wood chipper.

And, if we're all being perfectly honest about it, it's those kinds of people who are causing the police to act over-zealously when the slightest thing happens in an standard police encounter.

more than 4 years ago

10 Tips For Boosting Network Performance

Dunkirk Re:Backups (256 comments)

Isn't that the exact argument for evolution?

more than 4 years ago

A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook

Dunkirk Re:Just don't use facebook and stop crying (363 comments)

I'm with you. I took a couple of hours and literally, manually deleted 99% of the stuff I've done on Facebook, and have stopped using it. (Yes, I realize that the company has this stuff forever, but I've learned my lesson.)

The problem is that "free" will always win. Always. People, in general, are willing to trade anything for "free." The few, vocal persons who are not (willing) will always be inconsequential in these matters.

more than 4 years ago

A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook

Dunkirk Re:Just don't use facebook and stop crying (363 comments)

First, Wordpress is GPL software, so you can't lump it in with Flickr, et. al. (I just converted my personal site from a custom Rails app to Wordpress.)

Second, what I haven't seen anyone remark about in this thread so far is RSS feeds. If people create their own sites, put whatever content and restrictions they would like on them, and then make different feeds for different groups of people, those people can aggregate what they want with a good feed reader, and everyone's happy!

But, yeah, that's a lot more work.

more than 4 years ago

Win7 Can Delete All System Restore Points On Reboot

Dunkirk Re:Stop preaching Linux (449 comments)

I've been using Windows software for 14 years, and I have NEVER had to do a full system reinstall.

You must have been using it with a VERY low duty cycle.

I keed, I keed.

more than 4 years ago

Win7 Can Delete All System Restore Points On Reboot

Dunkirk Re:Stop preaching Linux (449 comments)

... I've never had to revert to a reinstall. Typically, I also find it unproductive, as you don't learn anything. Even if it's a bastard to track down the issue, you learn a lot from the experience, and that will help you solve the same or similar problems in the future. Reinstalling any operating system is a very blunt approach.

Whatever. I just did my umpteenth virus cleanup on a friend's computer. It took me 6 hours of fooling around with it (off and on) to get it cleaned up. As I didn't know the user's password, I had hacked the Administrator account, and used that one for the exercise. Turns out the virus had some stuff still stuck in the user's profile, and reinfected the machine when she started using it again.

So I'm done with trying to "clean" a PC with one of these newfangled super-virus/rootkit/remote-spam-server/fake-antivirus infections. The next time someone comes to me with a virus-infected PC, I'm going to get their data off, scan it with a couple of online virus checkers, wipe and reinstall their machine, and put their data back on. I could be done in a couple of hours.

Unfortunately, that's probably too much work as well, considering how few people keep their reinstall disks. If they haven't, it would be a reboot-fest of installing service packs, drivers, updates, and software. Bleh! Is this the best you can do, Microsoft? Really?!

Maybe next time, I'll just tell them to sell the PC on eBay and buy a Mac. (I'll even wipe the disk for them!) Will it solve everything? No, and spare me the usual rhetoric. The bottom line is that they'll be better off.

more than 4 years ago

Terry Childs Found Guilty

Dunkirk I still don't get it (982 comments)

Where I work, a dismissed employee refused to tell us what a password was. Legal action was threatened by the owner, who claimed it was theft: denying someone of something they owned. My father-in-law is a lawyer, and I asked him about that. He said that refusing to give your employer a password would be classified as "illegal control" (or something close to that), not "theft." Apparently, the laws would be less severe for this. In the end, we just worked around the problem.

more than 4 years ago

Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

Dunkirk No CalDAV, no sale (544 comments)

I researched long and hard before I bought my iPhone a couple months ago. I had been using some form of Palm device for about 15 years; the last two of which were a model of Treo. The bottom line is that I needed NON-EXCHANGE-TYPE access to calendars on mail servers. Specifically, I have a Zimbra FOSS mail server for my family, and a Zimbra NE server at work (which handles 2 companies). I didn't want either server to be "canonical," so I refuse to use ActiveSync and let it "take over" all of the PIM functions of the phone. For calendars, I use CalDAV, and the iPhone has KILLER CalDAV support. (I use a Funambol server at home to sync contacts, and the Zindus plugin to make them work with Thunderbird, though SyncEvolution works almost as well with Evoltion.)

Neither the new WebOS-based Palm phones, nor any of the Android phones I can find, have any support for CalDAV. At all. How this situation exists, I have no idea, but I don't care. The iPhone has been great. However, I am one of those people who has used Linux on the desktop for about 11 years now, and I'm watching and waiting for an Android phone that will integrate with my collaboration servers as well as an iPhone. When this happens, I'll give the iPhone to my wife. Heck, I'd pay an early-termination fee to switch providers if the Sprint Evo could do it!

more than 4 years ago



What to do with 700 used 9V batteries

Dunkirk Dunkirk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Dunkirk writes "At our medium-sized church, we have 7 Shure wireless microphones. Five are newer, SLX-based models, which use 2 AA batteries. Two are older, UC-based models, which use a single 9V. The SLX's are very easy on their batteries. They can go several weeks before needing to be replaced. The UC's only last one week before losing enough voltage that they'll start dropping signal. Now, I don't want to just throw the 9V's in the trash, for fear that their contacts will touch, the batteries will heat up, and they'll cause a fire, so I've collect many hundreds of batteries, all connected in a chain, 2 batteries wide, with all of their opposing contacts connected. (I got my hands across one of those chains once. I'm always cautious around them now...) I thought about recycling them, but the only place I could find wants to charge me about $60/pound for the "privilege." It's been suggested that we could recharge these things with newer, alkaline rechargers, but that idea has a bad reputation from my youth. Have times changed? Can we recharge them, knowing that we need the _voltage_ to drive the signal? (It has to get them back to their 1.5V+ level.) Or is this a waste of time, and someone can point me to a place that actually recycles this stuff, gets some value out of it, and doesn't charge me for that service?"


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