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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

FuegoFuerte Re:Eww.. (259 comments)

Well? Did he find it?

4 days ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

FuegoFuerte Re:I like... (611 comments)

It's a great idea... until technology progresses just a bit further, and these cameras are equipped with facial recognition, GPS and data capabilities, and all tied into a giant back-end database tracking exactly who was where at what time...

You think the surveillance state is creepy now, wait until every cop is a roving track-your-location bot. The reasons for it now are reasonable, and I have no problem with cops having video of their encounters with people. But give it a decade or two (maybe less) and it could be come a very creepy bad thing.

5 days ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

FuegoFuerte Re:Sharing? (181 comments)

I wouldn't really call them a new spin on taxis. They're more like the remises in Argentina, and unlicensed (and technically illegal) taxis in many other countries. Basically, you have the licensed and regulated taxis, where you have a relatively strong assurance that you'll get where you want to go for a controlled/metered rate, in a reasonably safe and well maintained vehicle, and if you have a problem you can write down the cab number and make a complaint to a regulator. You also pay a fairly hefty fee for all this.

If you're willing to take a bit more risk, you can flag down a remis, pay a couple pesos per person, and they'll take you from where you are to downtown, or from downtown back out to the residential area you live in. The drivers make these trips all day, fill the car as full of people as it can possibly be filled (they pick up additional people along the way until the car is completely full and then some). They run on the cheapest fuel possible (in Argentina, typically LPG), and are not necessarily well-maintained. So there's risk. And, while you typically get where you want to be OK, there's plenty of opportunity for an unscrupulous person to take advantage of individual riders (or even groups if they're organized well and coordinating with someone else). So again... it's a risk.

There's a reason taxi cabs are regulated as heavily as they are, and in general it's probably a good thing for public safety even though they're freakishly expensive.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

FuegoFuerte Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (131 comments)

I'll second/third/fourth this... I had an HTC Arrive (Sprint's WinMo7 phone), and bought a couple Anker batteries and a charger. I switched from the HTC battery to one of the Ankers as my primary battery, because it lasted substantially longer. I still carry the universal charger when I travel, as it can charge my camera batteries, anything that charges over USB, etc. It's a little finicky to get it to contact the battery correctly sometimes, but overall it works quite well and is far more flexible than any other charger I've seen.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

FuegoFuerte Open-Source? (188 comments)

many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost

So, serious question... is this a bad thing? With a few caveats, I don't really see a problem with someone making a bit of money from packaging an open-source program for a different OS, if they're going to the work of compiling, testing and packaging it. Obviously they should somehow make the source available if the license requires it, but beyond that they may be doing that software a favor, assuming an official package doesn't exist (which for the Windows app store, may very well be the case).

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

FuegoFuerte Re:Windows 8 app store? (188 comments)

So their brainless store got filled with brainless garbage to take advantage of the brainless users who'd use it.

So, they succeeded in being like Apple?

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

FuegoFuerte Re:Embrace or Expire? (337 comments)

Easy... Windows phones run their services. Google phones do not. Apple phones might.

If you want people to start using all your services, and the only hardware using all your services by default is a Windows phone, and the company making 80% of all Windows phones is about to start making Google phones instead, it makes sense to buy the company and keep them making Windows phones instead of letting them turn into a competitor or die a slow and painful death.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

FuegoFuerte It's like the Orinoco Gold... (427 comments)

There is no modern equivalent. Sadly, I'm getting rid of the Orinoco because:
    a) It's slow
    b) It doesn't support WPA/AES
    c) It requires a PC Card slot, which nothing modern has anymore.

But I still remember driving down the highway through Dallas with an external antenna hooked to that card, cataloging hundreds of APs as I passed by, many of them wide open. Ah, the good 'ol days.

about three weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

FuegoFuerte Shorting? (502 comments)

All these gloom-and-doom reports from an investment company? I wonder if they're shorting the utility companies.

1) Short the stock of the utility companies
2) Release predictions of doom
3) Wait for stock to drop
4) ...
5) Profit

But naw, that would be unethical, our banks and investment companies would never do something like that. Obviously.

about a month ago
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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

FuegoFuerte Re:In Korea... (125 comments)

Like I used to do racking servers in the datacenter, anywhere from 12-17 hours at a time. *yawn.* Yeah, it was tiring work, but it was by no means something that needed a robo-suit to accomplish. Call me when it can pick up fully populated 6509s all day long.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Hardware/Software-Based Security Token?

FuegoFuerte Re:use SMS (113 comments)

The point of 2-factor auth is someone (like a criminal) can have one factor in their possession without it being any good. So with the SMS just being a form of "what you have" (it goes to your cell phone, and in theory only yours, and is time-limited to prevent re-use), an outside attacker would still have to gain the "what you know" or "what you are" factor (either your password/passcode or biometrics of some sort).

True, I wouldn't use SMS for highly classified document protection, but for most things SMS is just fine as a second factor.

about a month ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

FuegoFuerte Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

I think that's changed in newer versions of Windows Server.

Think of Server 2008 as Vista for Servers: Lots of good ideas, but kicked out the door long before it was ready.
Server 2008 R2 is basically Windows 7 for Servers: Most of the things that were cut to get Vista out the door were finished, so it's actually a pretty good, solid OS. As part of that, many management things that were done through CMD in Server 2008 were moved into PowerShell. I *think* it was at this point that Server Core started supporting PowerShell, but in my world Server Core was always more of an "oh, that's kind of interesting" side note.

In the interest of completing my Server OS list above:
Server 2012 is like Windows 8: It had a few decent improvements under the hood, but with a UI designed by, but not fit for use by, a chimp on acid.

Anything newer than that I haven't used, but I have to believe after the debacle of Server 2012/Win 8, it can only get better again.

about a month ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

FuegoFuerte Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

Look up "Server Core." I'm not certain if it has an SSH server by default, but MSFT has done an incredible amount of work in recent years to allow everything to be managed through PowerShell.

about a month ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

FuegoFuerte Population Control... (342 comments)

Thankfully, we have people like the Arabs and the Russians helping us keep the human population under control. All in the name of saving the animals, I'm sure.

about a month ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

FuegoFuerte Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

I think/hope you misunderstand. Where Ballmer really wanted to have one Windows to rule them all, with one crappy UI on all of them, I'm hopeful Nadella is talking more of a unified base with UI adjustments/differences as needed for each device type. You can have a unified release of the base OS with one style interface for tablets, another for desktops, and possibly another for servers. Windows Server has been doing this for a while, with some versions coming with full UI and others with just the CLI. They're a unified release - they come out at the same time and use the same base, but there are different UIs available, similar to one release of Slackware coming with multiple window managers and it being the user's choice which one to use (if any).

So, to give people their "bad car analogy" it's like selling an International DT466 engine in a school bus, a semi tractor, a very large pickup truck, a combine, and a tractor. It's the same engine ("unified release"), but the user picks the chassis/body appropriate for their need. If Microsoft can successfully pull that off, it will be a big win for both the company and consumers.

about a month ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

FuegoFuerte Re:MegaDuh (92 comments)

Also, your car analogy fails, because a computer is nothing like a car.

about a month ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

FuegoFuerte Re:MegaDuh (92 comments)

It depends on the device. Most manufacturers don't drastically over-spec their PSUs for a purpose-built server, because to do so is highly inefficient. In practice, most enterprise-class devices will use somewhere between 65-80% of their max PSU rating under load. In this case, that's somewhere between 302 and 372 Watts, so I settled on a nice even number sort of in the middle. Since the spec sheet I found only listed max power draw and not typical, I used a reasonable estimate based on typical enterprise equipment that I've dealt with. These numbers don't have to be exact, and in fact aren't meant to be - the point is the same; even if the server only used 200W, you'd be looking at somewhere around $13k for power and cooling in a typical datacenter environment over the 8-year lifespan cited. For that much, you can EASILY get a more capable server which will use substantially less power/cooling.

about a month ago
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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

FuegoFuerte Re:2 year degree ya right. (225 comments)

I worked there (as an FTE) for 4 years, and my only degree is an AA (2-year degree in Nothing of Value) from the local community college. Like most at MSFT, I started as an agency temp, showed them I knew my stuff, and then got hired full-time when they had a spot open up. Thankfully I got out of there and moved to a company that treats employees like people instead of cattle, but the lack of a 4-year or higher degree hasn't held back my career one bit.

about a month ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

FuegoFuerte Re:Duh (92 comments)

Sunfire v20 has a 465w PSU, so figure about 350w under typical usage. Once you figure power and cooling in a typical datacenter environment, cost hits somewhere around $2,900/year (at $25/watt over a 3-year lifespan). So, over 8 years, you're looking at $23,200 for that old Sunfire. I find it hard to believe your new more efficient machine of equivalent capability will cost you nearly $23,000.

Or, you're running it in your mother's basement where things like power and cooling aren't an issue.

about a month ago

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