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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Fencepost Android updates vs Google Play Services updates (249 comments)

Hasn't Google been moving more things under the umbrella of their much more restrictively licensed Google Play Services? Basically building much of the face of Android on things no longer/never part of AOSP?


Ask Slashdot: How Do You Ensure Creative Commons Compliance At Your Company?

Fencepost Same tracking expenses either way (64 comments)

Your comparison seems to assume that just because you've bought a commercially licensed image that you don't have to track it the same way you would a CC-licensed one. You actually probably have to track it more stringently for the commercial one than for the CC-licensed one, because you KNOW that someone's expecting to get paid for the commercial one.

"Hey, you know that background image we've been using for 5 years for the X site? Where'd we get that? iStockphoto? Can you track down the purchase info along with proof that the $3 was for *that* photo? I think that was a few years before Getty bought them, and I think we were still Y Corporation at the time. Man, I sure hope Jimmy didn't just do that on his own account for convenience. Any idea where he is these days?"

Heck, I was at someone's office today where they couldn't find the paperwork for an out-of-warranty laptop repair from March, much less something years old.

about a month ago

Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids

Fencepost Arcologies (107 comments)

The concept is nothing new, and in fact there are active and semi - active attempts at building some or at least exploring some elements of them. Notable (per Wikipedia) are Masdar City near Abu Dhabi, many Las Vegas hotels, and Arcosanti in Arizona.

about 2 months ago

Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

Fencepost Re:Resolution (316 comments)

ThinkPad T440, $859 starting price, upgrade to 1600x900 for an extra $50. Going to 1920x1080 takes it up another $200 beyond that.

Also a couple of less business-oriented systems from Lenovo (based on their on-site search looking at 1600x900 and higher on screens of 13 or 14 inches): Their Flex2 14, this week's "deal" at $699 with a 4th-generation i7 and 1920x1080, which makes me go "wow". I'm going to include the link because that's pretty impressive:

They also have one of their Yoga 2 systems, 13" also 1920x1080 with 4th-gen i5 for $900.

And of course you can get higher resolution even cheaper if you're looking at giant 17" screens.

about 2 months ago

Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC

Fencepost Getting an NFC tag to play with (81 comments)

If you don't happen to have any NFC tags around, Shell gas stations with their Circle K convenience stores are using them as their new "loyalty" tags. You won't be able to write to them, but you can certainly read the ID out of one.

about 2 months ago

Russia Quietly Passes Anti-Blogger Law

Fencepost Russia's affecting my buying decisions (284 comments)

I have a client that we're going to be getting some software for - not a major purchase, none of the alternatives being considered are even over $300. Of the two leading options, one is produced by a Russian firm, and that alone is making me less likely to choose it.

Admittedly in this case there aren't any major differences in functionality, and we may end up with the Russian one after all if testing shows its interface is easier to use/train on, but it's the first time I recall actually looking into and considering where the software is being created.

about 3 months ago

Intel Upgrades MinnowBoard: Baytrail CPU, Nearly Halves Price To $99

Fencepost Crashplan appliance? (92 comments)

I think I'd like one of these with Debian, Java and Crashplan. Slap it on a 4TB SATA drive, put it in a box, seed a backup onto it and ship it to a family member with broadband. Handy offsite backup.

about 4 months ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Fencepost Save increments since the previous generation (983 comments)

There are two decent approaches: backup or mirror your setup offsite OR archive the previous generation intact and do incrementals starting from that point. I'm assuming that a home user isn't going to be picking up a $2000+ LTO-6 tape drive and swapping in 8+ $65 tapes for each full backup.

The first is to have your own offsite storage that you back up to, where the backup is (at least) as large as the original. Multiple people have recommended Crashplan, and that's certainly a viable option. There are undoubtedly other options that could do similar things depending on how down into the weeds you want to get - rsync, the various rsync-based versioning backup solutions, git-annex as mentioned by someone else though that one's new to me. I'll note that from experience with Crashplan's Enterprise product on some older 32-bit servers, the client software can chew some fairly significant memory when you have a lot of files or data.

The other and probably simpler option is that when you start to near capacity on the storage system, don't upgrade it - shut it down and store it, preferably not in the same (not-yet-burning) building after building the new system and copying the data over to it. After you shut the old one down, keep backups of anything you've changed since that "checkpoint" system; hopefully your data isn't changing that rapidly - 20 TB seems to me almost guaranteed to be mostly static.

about 4 months ago

Australian Police Deploy 3D Crime Scene Scanner

Fencepost gigapanoramas (65 comments)

I'd also expect within the next year or two (or less, considering how cheap they are) that police will be documenting crime scenes with "gigapixel" panoramas. Gigapan sells a robotic mount for DSLRs for under $1000, and I'm sure they're not the only ones.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

Fencepost Re:FolderSync app (146 comments)

Try the Lite version of the app - if you only need two connections then it may actually do what you need and is free.

If you do need the paid version, Tacit Dynamics ( apparently has it available through and through as well if either of those will work for you. The drawback of either is that I believe (as with most competing app markets) you have to keep that app market installed on your device.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

Fencepost SSHFS? Re:FolderSync app (146 comments)

I hit Submit too soon on the previous one. Isn't DLNA designed for that kind of in-home streaming of media between devices? If you're rolling your own for the sake of tinkering have at it, but if it's just to stream things around I'd look hard at the existing options first.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

Fencepost SSH/rsync (Re:FolderSync app) (146 comments)

There's at least one app that may do what you want (rsync backup by Michal Kowalczuk), but I've never used it.

If that doesn't do the trick, I find that my tablet running Cyanogenmod 10.1.3 has rsync 3.0.7, but I've also installed extra bits and pieces ("Android Terminal Emulator" by Jack Palevich, "Terminal IDE" by Spartacus Rex, "Busybox Pro" by Stephen (stericson)) so I'm not 100% sure that it was originally available. You may be able to script and schedule something of your own based on scripts you use elsewhere, though with a few changes (e.g. "jping" instead of "ping", see Issue 29 on Terminal IDE's page though that indicates that it may be fixed).

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

Fencepost Re:FolderSync app (146 comments)

Yes, the one by Tacit Dynamics

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

Fencepost FolderSync app (146 comments)

I'd look at the FolderSync app, ~$3. It supports a huge number of backend connection types including FTP/SFTP, SMB/CIFS and WebDAV to cover most of your local server needs. It also covers most of the major and many minor cloud storage providers. You can set it up to sync only on specified wifi networks, to sync on schedules or when files change, etc.

There's also a "lite" version, which only allows 2 accounts, no Tasker support and no sync filters (which I've never fiddled with anyway, so may not be that important).

about 5 months ago

Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

Fencepost Related: Stross ended a trilogy early (192 comments)

As Charlie Stross put it in his announcement, ""Halting State" wasn't intended to be predictive when I started writing it in 2006."

/. readers may be more familiar with the second book, or at least with the reference in its title: "Rule 34." The main character in that uses a descendant of Google Glass-like technology.

about 6 months ago

GOP Bill To Outlaw EPA 'Secret Science' That Is Not Transparent, Reproducible

Fencepost Make ANY regulation blockable (618 comments)

Did the researchers throw some numbers into an Excel spreadsheet at some point to check something? Is that spreadsheet included? It wasn't saved? This regulation is overturned.

about 6 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

Fencepost Two more: Crossloop and Fog Creek's Copilot (408 comments)

I believe both Crossloop and Copilot are VNC-based.

Copilot is free to use on weekends (their "day pass" pricing is $5 on weekdays and free on weekends).

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Configuring Development Environment On a Shared Workstation?

Fencepost What's the bottleneck? (158 comments)

I see a variety of suggestions of getting another PC, but if your physically at the machine usage and other peoples' won't overlap, just get more memory and a second hard drive. Run VMs stored on that second drive - odds are good that you're not really CPU-bound these days unless there's some serious gaming going on.

about 6 months ago

Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie

Fencepost Re:Story is unclear - e.g. 1 gun or two? (1431 comments)

You're quite correct, I missed a "who" in the (original) opening of this article:

I also saw it quoted elsewhere originally, so I didn't see the headline at the top.

about 6 months ago


Fencepost hasn't submitted any stories.


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