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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

FlipperPA Lawsuits. Lawyers. Apple. Blackberry. Patents. (544 comments)

Here's a good read; this isn't a slide out, but an addition to an iPhone which has already had its sales injunctions despite the fact is would (obviously) appeal to a great many Blackberry users now using iPhones:


While I couldn't imagine having a smartphone that long (let alone the midnight terrors I wake up with thinking a phablet is coming to get me), I do appreciate the option being available.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

FlipperPA Supporting all 3 options (143 comments)

I work for a large University in a division that provides financial data to ourselves, as well as other academic institutions. We had been a SAS only shop since our inception in the early '90s, save for a few FORTRAN users here and there.

We wanted to support more options for the researchers using our service, and today, we support SAS, R, and Python. One nice thing about SAS is SAS/SHARE. Basically, it makes your native SAS files (*.sas7bdat) available as tables in a database over ODBC or JDBC, with full index support. This has allowed us to consume these same data in both R and Python. This had made many of our younger researchers (think Masters students instead of tenured faculty) very happy!

Good luck.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

FlipperPA Moving on from Perl (536 comments)

Some of the threads started here have said, "What's wrong with Perl?" There is nothing inherently wrong with Perl, it is still a fine language, if a bit awkward. Compared to other languages, it does feel quite ugly. I've always had a soft spot for Perl, as it was the language I used to make my first web site. I've been moving some legacy code away from Perl, and standardizing more of the organization than just my department into Python / Django. Python has a lot going for it in a lot of settings, and since we're in academia, it makes sense.

We're in Philadelphia, and something I've lamented is there's never been an active local Perl group. Just about every other highly-used language does (as in, the top 10 of the Tiobe Programming Index). PhillyPUG (Python), Philly.rb (Ruby), PyStar Philly (a women's Python learning group), PhillyDB... the list goes on and on.

Python is also the most consistently readable language I've used, and that goes beyond the forced indentation.

YMMV of course, but the major thing for me was having supportive, local communities supporting the language.

about 7 months ago

Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?

FlipperPA Re:It's simple, its Redhat (432 comments)

+1 on RedHat. We're on RHEL6, still updating to the "latest" as 2.6.6 through yum. (No, RedHat was NOT my choice.)

We've jumped through hoops to get up to 2.7.5 to support SQLAlchemy, Django and Flask fully. Bless you, virtualenv.

1 year,16 days

How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

FlipperPA Re:Open Source is not a Panacea (307 comments)

Except, they DID choose to use WebSphere. CGI Federal should pay us back our tax dollars for making the choice to use IBM WebSphere... when literally no one else (statistically relevantly) does. The stats are staggeringly in favor of choosing something like Apache, nginx, or even IIS, especially when you consider the scaling concerns already experienced by web sites with similar privacy concerns and traffic loads / spikes. I'm not saying Open Source would solve everything, but there are certainly more experts in tuning and scaling Apache than there are for WebSphere by many orders of magnitude.

about a year ago

Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

FlipperPA Re:Jumped the shark (311 comments)

Yeah, although the series was well on its way before then. Here's the video clip, for anyone who hasn't seen it:


about a year ago

Boy Scouts Bully Hacker Scouts Into Submission

FlipperPA Next Up, American Literature! (289 comments)

Dear Publisher:

Please be advised that your novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird", violates the Boy Scouts of America's legal rights. We not going to say which ones, but if you don't change the name of the novel's protagonist, it'll mean a long and drawn out expensive legal battle. And you don't want to mess with us, because AMERICA, obviously.

Warm regards,

A Homophobic, Dated, Desperate Organization

about a year ago

New, Canon-Faithful Star Trek Series Is In Pre-Production

FlipperPA Re:How? (401 comments)

But does she do the Vulcan mind-meld on the first date?

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Safe Learning Environment For VMs?

FlipperPA Re:Vagrant (212 comments)

+1 to Vagrant for local development. If there are any problems, you can easily just blow away the VM and start again. Vagrant scripts all of this with the same Chef repos you use for production. I modified and updated a Django Vagrant run-through I found on the net. It is free to the public on Github:


Naturally, this includes Python as well. I hope this helps gets you started, and thanks for going above and beyond with your students!

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Low Cost Way To Maximize SQL Server Uptime?

FlipperPA Re:Amazon RDL (284 comments)

SQL Server on Amazon Web Services starts at $0.629 per hour, for about $15.10 per day. That comes out to be about $5,500.00 per year.


more than 2 years ago

U.S. Gas Prices Continue To Fall

FlipperPA Re:California Gas Prices (398 comments)

Slightly OT, but California is doing a great thing. I used to be IT Director for a company which did environmental testing of gas stations for compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. All states (some better than others) follow California's environmental need. CARB, the California Air Resources Board, has done more to ensure gas stations (at least) don't do nasty things like spill gasoline into the water table any more, and have good vapor recovery systems in place than any other entity I can think of. They're sort of the opposite of the schill filled and lobbyist group, the PEI. If you want to see a news story about a virtual environment I designed showing how VR systems work for training our new employees (yes, in Second Life, I know ), I've got it up here: http://www.peregrinesalon.com/blog/2007/02/wfmz-feature-crompcos-innovation-in-virtual-worlds/


more than 2 years ago

Pop Artists Support Megaupload; Universal Censors

FlipperPA Re:Several well-known artists? (255 comments)

I'm hardly a fan, but geez, why don't you just start legislating taste? I sense a bit of jealousy in your egotistical, self-serving post as well.

more than 3 years ago

Oxford Professor Taken To Task For Linking Internet Use To Autism

FlipperPA I'm pretty sure... (247 comments)

...that everything is causing autism in children. Shit, I'm probably autistic. And please, that microwave does NOT belong there.

more than 3 years ago

Remembering Alan Turing On His 99th Birthday

FlipperPA Alan Turing should be Knighted (146 comments)

There's a campaign that was start to Knight Alan Turing, which would be an appropriate honor bestowed by the government which treated him so horrifically. More information is available here:

http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=1704 ...or just Google it. If it were to happen a year from today, that would be wonderfully appropriate, though I doubt Turing would care too much about a number stuck in base 10.

more than 3 years ago

LulzSec Suspect Arrested By UK Police

FlipperPA Re:It's prison time (361 comments)

Can't wait for the due process... I've been wondering how the "I Did It For the Lulz!" defense would hold up in a court of law for years!

more than 3 years ago

Translator Puts Us Closer To Dolphin Communication

FlipperPA I'm really sick... (179 comments)

...of these freeloaders coming to our shores from the ocean who don't even speak English! They don't pay any taxes either!

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Is It Time For SyFy To Go Premium?

FlipperPA Blame Sound Bite Bonnie (607 comments)

SciFi/SyFy has being going downhill since Bonnie Hammer took over over CEO in 2001. They never gave a Babylon 5 series a real chance, interfering with the one pilot they did attempt. Add on to that the whole fiasco of promising two seasons to Farscape before pulling a bait and switch, followed up by bringing in Shannon Frickin' Doherty to do that godawful Scare Tactics, and the writing has been on the wall for some time.

Now she's on to killing NBC Universal. How people like this keep getting more chances after abject failures is beyond me.

Time to kill it, not fund it.

more than 3 years ago

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: Unfinished, Unusable

FlipperPA Re:phones also suck (260 comments)

With UIs, beauty always ends up being in the eye - and fingers / thumbs - of the beholder. I love my Blackberry phone, and yes, I've tried iPhone (but not an Android yet).

That said, I won't touch the PlayBook with a 10000ms ping.

more than 3 years ago



FlipperPA FlipperPA writes  |  more than 8 years ago

FlipperPA (456193) writes "As the head of technology at a small to mid sized company, I am routed all phone calls that ask for the tech department. While the company receptionist has gotten quite good at knowing what a sales call is, I've noticed a major increase in the volume of these lately. About half of them are voice/data providers trying to cut me an "amazing deal" even though I'm under contract with our ISP for the next two years. Additionally, they're leaving messages, and if I don't return the call, they're calling back later, sometimes three of four times. I had to call one guy back this week to tell him to stop calling, and take a hint! Has anyone else noticed an increase in cold calls at their work place, and the increase in the persistence level of these telemarketers? Is this due to the nationwide do-not-call list causing telemarketers to seek other avenues? Is there any way to get these schmucks to stop interrupting me six or seven times daily? Is there any kind of do-no-call list equivalent for businesses?"


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