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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Erikderzweite Re:bathtub curve applies (596 comments)

Don't the bulbs have 2 years warranty? I've made some calculation and saw that for my usage an LED bulb will pay back within two years (Germany has high electricity prices too). It's a win-win compared to ordinary bulbs then: either it's on 2 years warranty or you've saved more money than you've spent.

I have more than 30 LED bulbs in my household, various sizes and sockets. Plus a dozen at my parent's place which I gave them because I've replaced my older LED bulbs with brighter ones. For more than two years since I have started buying them, not a single one broke. And I buy whichever goes, sometimes the cheapest option.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Erikderzweite I have the same scenario. Solved with ssh server. (334 comments)

Having computer illiterate relatives myself, I have created a few simple scripts and use SSH port forwarding.

Each relative's computer gets a unique port (yes, the system is not really scalable) and connects on network start to my server. This is done via a script in Networkmanager's dispatcher.d. I simply have to connect to my server using SSH with a specific port to get into the relative's PC. Also there is port forwarding for VNC for the cases where a console isn't enough. Should work with any kind of firewall. The system relies on keys, not passwords so it should be relatively safe. There is single point of failure though, but all the keys are backed up and setting a new SSH server in case the old one is broken is a trivial task.

And for the cases when something is really broken, there's a LiveCD created for the sole purpose of connecting to my server and giving me a reverse port so I can chroot into a broken system or simply try and safe what's left on the hard disk. The LiveCD starts without asking the user *anything* and has all the Wi-Fi keys. Every relative gets a copy.

The relatives in question live in other towns and even in other countries. So it's crucial that nothing gets broken. Therefore the relatives use LTS versions only. Have switched from Ubuntu to Mint some time ago because of a more familiar interface. Other reason for LTS is that I won't risk upgrading the whole system when I am some thousands kilometres away.

The relatives must be willing to use Linux and to accept that I have full control over their PCs. In my case the choice I gave was "Linux or do it yourself". And they appreciate that I can solve their problems without having them to do anything.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Erikderzweite Re:Did the fall of the Soviet Union (375 comments)

Belarus did this as well. South Africa did this too, albeit earlier and unrelated to the fall of the USSR.

about a month ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Erikderzweite Re:So! The game is rigged! (570 comments)

AFAIK if you don't overdraft and pay on time, a credit card does cost you nothing while improving your credit score. To be fair, the score's rules sometimes seem illogical: if you take credit and returns it ahead of schedule, your credit score gets lower. That's because the banks get less money from you and they don't like it.

I have two credit cards, one is tied to a deposit the other one is a "true" credit card, both cost me nothing. Actually, I make some money when I use it. If I buy something with a "true" credit card, I have up to a month to actually transfer the money. For this time I still get interest. It's not much even if I buy something very expensive, but it's better than nothing. Besides, both cards have a cashback program: one gives 10 cents for each transaction, the other one 0,5% of the spent amount. It's not much either, but you can't expect much from cards that don't require any regular payments.

Granted, these "free" cards have horrible interest rates if you choose to take credit. Well, I'm just not doing this. I'm not buying anything I cannot easily repay.

P.S. This is Germany, US experience may vary.

about 2 months ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Erikderzweite Re:The American Dream (570 comments)

Maybe, just maybe, the world isn't quite like told by Bill O'Reily.

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Erikderzweite Re:Not fungible (529 comments)

Well, the managers like to think of anyone but managers themselves fungible, but it does not make it so.

You would hire Indians for programming because that way you can save money in short term and collect bonuses. Long-term losses are less of a concern for top-level managers who care only about quarterly numbers (and golden parachutes when their strategy inevitably fails).

about 2 months ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

Erikderzweite Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

Control VR are these gloves called, they had a Kickstarter campaign as well, got more than double the funding they wanted.

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Erikderzweite Re:Not fungible (529 comments)

Much has been done so that conveyor belt workers are fungible. More qualified workers are, of course, not.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Erikderzweite Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (272 comments)

>That's exactly backwards. In the US at least, you can lay off anyone without cause at any time in most states. However, a layoff of this size triggers the WARN act (originally written to soften the blow of closing The Factory in a factory town), requiring jumping through 17 flaming legal hoops to keep it all legal.

The legal department won't be downsized then.

OTOH, the US legal system never ceases to amaze me. And many people choose to think that the unions are evil instead.

about 2 months ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

Erikderzweite Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

I can easily afford it to get me one of those Virtuixes (Virtuii?), have a spare room to put it and find the technology really cool. Still, not sure whether I ever buy it. Must be getting older... Still, looking forward for very healthy geeks.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Erikderzweite Re:They need exactly 63 999 employees (272 comments)

The "zero" is the CEO which is to illustrate the amount of useful work done.

about 2 months ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

Erikderzweite Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

Went here to see whether a comment about Virtuix Omni has made it into the top three, was not dissapointed.

I'm curious though, how they manage to integrate the controls into the game. If all you have is a joystick, that's one thing, but if you want to have a full cockpit controls, you probably need some sort of VR gloves (and some kind of Minority Report controls). I recall seeing such gloves on an Occulus Rift presentation, but forgot how the project was called.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Re:Wow. Terrble Turn. (752 comments)

You do see the vapour trail. Or, vapour trails if there is more than one plane.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

The reference is the blog itself. The people that post there have been saying repeatedly that this blog is not Strelkov's blog. It is called "reports from Strelkov" because the official bulletins and reposts from Strelkov are being re-posted there. Such reports are marked with a dedicated banner which was not the case with this message. There are over 1300 posts in the blog, most are reports from locals who wish to stay anonymous but also hearsay and rumors as well. Which was ultimately the case with the plane. Basically, the locals have reported a plane crush and have sent photos. The blog's authors assumed that it was a military machine and got overly enthusiastic about it.

I've seen the reports about Buk missiles as well, I won't dismiss the version that the rebels did indeed shot the plane down. I'm just saying that the cited source is not Strelkov's blog because he has none.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

It's not his blog either. It's a sympathizer's group blog which sometimes reposts his official bulletins. Those are marked with a banner. Other than that nothing in this blog is from Strelkov.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

That is a rebel sympathizer's group called "reports from Strelkov". However, only posts with a dedicated banner are his actual reports, mostly there are some reports from locals with a lot of rumors and hearsay. Igor Strelkov has been blocked for a while in a city of Slavyansk, he did not have time to post all these 1300+ posts.

This is what happened with the plane: some locals have reported the crash, the moderators of the group assumed that it was a Ukrainian military plane and made such a post. Not Strelkov himself.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Re:Context and language (752 comments)

It's not the gun you are talking about, it's a pretty sophisticated missile system which also needs a radio locator station to operate. Besides, the separatists have to have trained personnel as well.

As for the alleged tweet: it is from a sympathizer's group which sometimes posts Strelkov's reports. That tweet is not from him and was based on hearsay. A plane goes down, locals tweet about it, the group assumes that this was a Ukrainian military plane.

about 2 months ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Erikderzweite Spanish ground control has seen two Ukrainian jets (752 comments)

There is a tweet from alleged ground control who was tracking the flight:
"El avión B 777 voló escoltado por 2 cazas de ukraine hasta minutos antes, de desaparecer de los radares"
My Spanish is a bit rusty, but it says something like "the flight B 777 was escorted by two Ukrainian fighters some minutes before disappearing from the radar". Don't know what to think of that. If true, then the Ukrainian Air Force at the very least knew that the plane was heading into the conflict zone.

about 2 months ago

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