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Comments

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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

HangingChad OS less significant (249 comments)

I remember when the Redmond faithful used to go on about needing Windows to get "real work" done. My work must not be real because I can do it on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS. I find myself using my Android tablet more and more for work and all my social media promotions.

The operating system is becoming less relevant every day. People are choosing devices, not operating systems.

about a week ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

HangingChad This is getting out of hand (462 comments)

First the militarization of small town police departments, SWAT teams for serving routine warrants, rising incidents of shocking brutality and now law enforcement has devolved to the point of being little better than a band of petty thieves. This is getting pathetic and scary. Foreign countries are issuing warnings about the conduct of U.S. law enforcement personnel. Am I the only person who has a problem with that?

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

HangingChad Sounds familiar (129 comments)

Sounds like someone figured out the basis for the holodeck on the Enterprise.

about two weeks ago
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IT Job Hiring Slumps

HangingChad Re:Why buy American? (250 comments)

there are always people in third world countries who will do the same work as you for peanuts.

I remember spending hours untangling Bangalore Spaghetti Code. One application used a 2,000 character url string that passed the administrator user name and password in plain text. Cheaper does not mean better. People over there can work for peanuts because they live in cardboard ghettos. Maybe we want our people to have indoor sanitation, running water and electricity.

Maybe we should be considering trade barriers instead of feeling like we need to compete with starvation wages in every third world hell hole on the planet.

about two weeks ago
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Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass Within Geostationary Orbit Sunday

HangingChad And the next one will be the size of Texas (101 comments)

All our hopes and dreams revolving around deflecting asteroids and comets all hinge on being able to detect them far enough out to make an intercept. Makes me think we should really reconsider the priority we put on manned space missions, particularly generational missions. Otherwise we stand a good chance of getting snuffed out as a species if we hang around here long enough. Asteroids and comets are not even the most dangerous threats we face.

about two weeks ago
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Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

HangingChad Wow, who would have though (230 comments)

Attackers have used the Linux vulnerabilities on unmaintained servers to gain access, escalate privileges to allow remote control of the machine

Holy misleading headline, Batman! Any server that's not maintained is vulnerable, how is this news other than it's a Linux server botnet? OMG unpatched servers are vulnerable to hackers!

about two weeks ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

HangingChad Re:My money is on SpaceX (211 comments)

They have the vision and agility that NASA lost in the sixties.

I get smacked down here for suggesting that NASA is no longer the best agency for moving the space program forward. SpaceX soft-landed two boosters in the ocean and are ready for a land trial. They did that in their spare time. It would have taken NASA 10 years and $20 billion dollars to replicate that achievement. NASA also relies on contractors with obscene overhead rates.

SpaceX is living proof that NASA wastes billions.

about three weeks ago
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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

HangingChad And? (289 comments)

When you look at the problems they have yet to solve, compared to the problems they've already solved, they don't look that menacing. To me it looks like a prototype that has been fantastically successful.

that the car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop

Well, can't solve that problem so lets hang up the entire concept of self-driving cars because of a handful of hypothetical obstacles. Never mind the lives and money saved, never mind the productivity salvaged by all that extra time. Can't see a cop waving so hang it up. No progress for you!

about three weeks ago
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NASA's Competition For Dollars

HangingChad How Does SpaceX Do it? (78 comments)

How can SpaceX come up with innovative rocket designs for a fraction of what it costs NASA? And they can produce those designs faster. SpaceX soft landed two boosters into the ocean, it would have taken NASA 10 years and $20 billion dollars to replicate that development.

I spent years in Titusville to cover the end of the shuttle program and walking away my opinion was that NASA is a flock of risk-adverse mid-managers flying in formation with a rusting theme park endless replaying clips of their glory days. There are some really good people there, some of them doing amazing things, but they're handicapped by a management structure that's too fat and doesn't have an aggressive vision for the future. NASA depends too much on contractors that can't produce anything on budget and there's no penalty for not performing. Some of that is political, not all their fault.

If we're going to explore space then we have to face the fact that it's unlikely we're going to get there with NASA as it exists today. And we have to find a way to fund that exploration so it's more insulated from politics. Otherwise we're stuck on this rock until a giant comet, asteroid or neutron star wanders by or we get fried by our own sun or a gamma ray burst.

about three weeks ago
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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

HangingChad Somewhere in a trailer park... (247 comments)

Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois...

They'll more likely come to the conclusion that the universe is 16 years old and pregnant.

about three weeks ago
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Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

HangingChad Wouldn't it be rejected? (77 comments)

This means the developing thymus would not be a tissue match for the patient.

It would seem like organs grown in animals would contain animal proteins and cell receptors. I wonder how they get around that in the patient ready organs? Freaking amazing. Not quite as amazing if the recipient has to live on anti-rejection drugs the rest of their lives, but still impressive.

Researchers also need to be sure that the transplant cells do not pose a cancer risk by growing uncontrollably.

Slight problem there.

about a month ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

HangingChad Re:NT is best (190 comments)

you should give it another try

Why? What compelling features does Windows offer that I don't already have? I want to know about Window's value proposition. With software as a service becoming the predominant model, the software you need to get work done is available on any platform. At home I work on Linux, when I travel I take my Android tablet and work just fine on that. I can write and post stories, with pictures and video, from anywhere.

A few years ago the Microsoft faithful used to make such a big deal about if you wanted to do "real work" you needed Windows. Doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It's great the blue screens are mainly in the past but I'm still missing a reason to get a Windows device.

about a month ago
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Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

HangingChad Re:Why build on the surface? (61 comments)

Or just dig into the regolith.

Finally. I could never figure out why the idea of either partial earth-shelter or underground shelters weren't considered for Mars. A shallow tunnel with an inflatable habitat inside would seem to be the ideal shelter. It would be easier to keep warm and shielded from radiation. It's not like you have to worry about flooding. Digging equipment would be a heck of a lot easier to get to Mars than depleted uranium. I remember holding a 30mm DU round and couldn't believe how heavy it was. You could blast holes or caves, although blasting doesn't always yield a stable void. Or just pile up dirt around the structures and cement it in place.

Any of those should be feasible if DU shielding is on the table.

about a month ago
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

HangingChad CHS Locations (111 comments)

Here's the list of Community Health Systems locations in case you've been to the hospital recently. Fortunately they don't have any in our area.

about a month ago
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Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

HangingChad Who would have guessed? (106 comments)

In space no one can hear you snore.

about a month and a half ago
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NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

HangingChad Here's a thought for the NFL (216 comments)

If I don't get the games on terms I want, then I'll go do something else, watch movies on Netflix or play video games and your advertisers can go pound sand. What a bunch of arrogant, self-entitled bastards. Fuck you and the corporate jet you rode into town on.

about a month and a half ago
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Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

HangingChad Pretty easy to test (315 comments)

Just put a payload experiment in orbit and see if you can drive it around. If the scientists running the experiments accounted for the motion of waves on a beach five miles away, I'm pretty certain that makes it worth a payload slot. We could dick around down here for years arguing about whether the results are valid or not, or we could put one up there and try it.

Sounds like the perfect cubesat experiment.

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

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

Personally I have almost no debt, just my car payment.

We opted out the debt economy years ago. We froze our credit reports and paid cash for our last house, car and motorcycle. We could have some dinky medical bill or something that slipped through the cracks in collections and not even know it. We might not even find out about it until we update our address when the credit freezes expire and we need to renew them.

You don't need credit cards, car loans, or mortgages. We're living proof. We fly, stay at hotels, rent cars all the things people think they need credit to do. We don't pay more for car insurance, though we do have the occasional utility deposit.

Nothing you can buy with credit feels as good as opting out of the debt economy.

about 2 months ago
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Report: Nuclear Plants Should Focus On Risks Posed By External Events

HangingChad Re:already done (133 comments)

Given the situation, the outcome was quite easily predictable.

If it was that easy FP&L would be making plans to close Turkey Point instead of expand it. That whole site is going to be underwater and, before that happens, there's going to be a storm surge high enough to swamp it. That's a guarantee which seems to fly in the face of your supposition.

I worked in the nuclear industry for nearly a decade. What I saw with my own eyes could best be described as straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

about 2 months ago
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

HangingChad And people get mad (132 comments)

And people get mad when I say NASA has devolved into a collection of risk adverse mid-managers loosely connected to a rusting theme park endlessly replaying clips of their glory days. Their best days are behind them and it's time to think about reorganizing the entire agency.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Why is Google Funding Grover Norquist, Heritage Action and ALEC?

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  about 9 months ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers. Voluntary disclosures indicate Google has given money to groups like the Cato Institute, Heritage Action and the Federalist Society among others."
Link to Original Source
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IDC Predicts Tablets Will Outsell PCs in Q4 2013

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  1 year,8 days

HangingChad (677530) writes "The gurus at IDC have put together their market forecast for the fourth quarter of this year and they’re predicting that the worldwide smart connected device market, comprised of PCs, tablets, and smartphones, is forecast to grow 27.8% year over year in 2013. The “PC” segment includes both desktop computers and what they call “portable” computers. IDC says that PCs will still outship tablets for the 2013 calendar year, but the trend is definitely shifting toward mobile devices with tablet shipments to surpass total PC shipments (desktop plus portable PCs) in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13)."
Link to Original Source
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Intel Profit Shrinks 27 Percent On Dreadful PC Sales

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Intel reported earnings on Tuesday that were down nearly 27 percent from a year ago on slumping PC sales. Worldwide PC sales dropped by 5 percent in just the 4th quarter and are down 2.5 percent for all of 2012. Intel managed to beat earnings in Q3 2012 but the numbers are still dismal.

Speculation is that customers are replacing PCs with tablets and other connected devices."

Link to Original Source
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Nanoparticles Stop Multiple Sclerosis In Mice

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  about 2 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Scientists have used nanoparticles covered in proteins to trick the immune system to stop attacking myelin and halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

The nanoparticles, about 200 times thinner than a human hair, are made from the same material as dissolving stitches. Scientists compare the process an immune system "reboot". The process keeps the immune system from treating myelin as an alien invader and to stop attacking it."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Admits Surface Tablet Might Alienate Partners

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

HangingChad writes "Microsoft this week admitted that its upcoming Surface tablet might hurt its relationships with PC maker partners. As first noted by the New York Times, Redmond said in a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that "our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.""
Link to Original Source
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Who's Controlling Our Vital Information Systems?

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Gary Lyndaker talks about Janine Wedel's "Shadow Elite". About how our information infrastructure is increasingly being sold off to the low bidder. Contracting in state and federal government is rampant, leaving more and more of our nation's vital information in the hands of contractors, many of whom have their own agenda and set of rules. From the article: "Over 25 years, as an information systems developer, manager, and administrator in both state and private organizations, I have increasingly come to the conclusion that we are putting our state's operations at risk and compromising the trust of the people of our state by outsourcing core government functions." I've seen the same thing in my years in government IT, ironically much of it as a contractor. My opinion is this is a dangerous trend that needs to be reversed. We're being fleeced while being put at risk."
Link to Original Source
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What tech tools are in your black bag?

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Now that my latest gig is winding down, I'm thinking about starting my own PC repair and network support business instead of another managerial position or going back to consulting. I've run my own business before so I'm already familiar with the realities of licensing, insurance and advertising, and I've got enough capital to get started. I'm planning on taking some classes to sharpen my hands-on skills even though I already build my own PC's. I wanted to ask some of the tech types here, what are the essential components of your black bag tool kit? What software tools would you consider essential? What's in your hardware tool bag? And what, if any, spare hardware supplies do you routinely stock (power supplies, spare hard drives and spare memory would seem to be no-brainers)? And what areas of that field are most requested (forensics, data recovery, PC repair, laptop repair)? I'm leaning toward a mobile service model instead of a bench top retail store, so I'll have to carry with me what I need.

It's almost inevitable I end up providing this service for family and friends anyway, I figured it's a good time to consider trying it for a living."
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Banks Harvesting Social Media Data?

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Roger Thompson describes on his blog, also reported here, an experience that may point to banks and credit card companies aggregating data from social media sites. Before the corporate apologists step up with their usual "if you don't want to make it public don't post it" line, think about that for a second. And ask what's next? Are they going to start reading your email? Logging your cell phone calls? Is social media a public web site, or a convenient way to keep in touch with family and friends and where do we draw the line on corporate data aggregation? I'm thinking right here might be a good place."
Link to Original Source
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Secession Goes Mainstream

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "MarketWatch makes a logical case for secession. Just because we started out united doesn't mean we need to stay that way. There are a lot of advantages for letting red state America go their own way. Why not? The only thing "united" about the United States is the name."
Link to Original Source
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Net Neutrality Gets Political

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Republicans are mounting opposition to net neutrality as federal regulators prepare to vote this month on regulations that would prevent discrimination against certain types of internet traffic. Democrats say the rules will keep phone companies from discriminating against Internet calling services and stop cable TV providers from hindering online video applications. Meanwhile in the Senate, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, is considering legislation that would prohibit the FCC from developing net neutrality rules."
Link to Original Source
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Is Intel Killing 12 in Displays On Netbooks?

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HangingChad writes "Dell has retired their 12-inch Intel Atom-powered netbooks, they said today. The official reason — "It really boils down to this: for a lot of customers, 10-inch displays are the sweet spot for netbooksLarger notebooks require a little more horsepower to be really useful." Or is the real reason that 12 in displays on netbooks cut into Intels more profitable dual core market and Dell's profit margins on higher end machines?"
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FBI and US Marshalls Hit By Virus

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HangingChad writes "Law enforcement computers were struck by a mystery computer virus Thursday, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution.

Apparently the case files are kept on an isolated system and critical data was not impacted. Though it did force them to shut down their email and internet connections for a short time."

Link to Original Source
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Recession Catches Up To Tech Jobs

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HangingChad writes "Once thought to be somewhat recession-proof, tech jobs have been getting slashed as companies look to trim budgets. From the CNNMoney article: "After three years of at least 2.5% employment growth in the United States, tech jobs are forecast to decline by 1.2% this year, according to Forrester Research. They have already fallen by nearly 1% since their November peak, according to the Labor Department. Year to date, 8,000 tech jobs have been slashed, including 4,100 just last month."

We're not anticipating any layoffs and I'm not seeing a lot of top flight programming talent on the bench. Not even certain how noticeable a 1.2% decline would be in our industry. Anyone else feeling the pinch?"

Link to Original Source
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IBM Takeover of Sun In Final Stages

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HangingChad writes "It appears IBM and Sun are mere days away from announcing a deal. As the details emerge it would appear to be more of an outright take over than a merger. It would mean Websphere, JAVA, StarOffice, and MySQL under one big blue roof. Dell sees it as an opportunity in the server market and Sun servers running with the IBM label on Dell hardware certainly would be an attractive combination. But it's difficult not to notice that the product stack this would give IBM could be leveraged for corporate desktops running Linux. That's provided the deal gets past anti-trust review. Previous Slashdot coverage here."
Link to Original Source
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Dealing with strong personalities and opinions

HangingChad HangingChad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HangingChad (677530) writes "Hang around Slashdot for five minutes and you'll discover that many in the tech field have strong opinions, frequently coupled with equally strong personalities and seasoned with a dash of ego. As a tech manager you frequently have to balance application changes management wants with difficult programmer and designer personalities who sometimes react like you're attacking their baby. What makes it tricky is sometimes both sides have a point. At times the changes management is asking for really are a poor choice. My attitude is they're paying the bills and I'll make the best counter-argument I can, but if they remain determined then give it to them, even if I personally disagree. Then I wind up getting it from the programmers and designers. These aren't necessarily issues related to ethics or security, sometimes the most vitriol arises from things as simple as a difference of opinion about a page layout.

I've consulted with a few companies in the recent past that have actually outsourced development because they had difficulty finding and retaining quality programmers and then found them difficult to work with.

One of the challenges of being a tech manager is refereeing between opposing viewpoints bumping into large egos. Replacing quality programmers is not always easy, even if they're being annoying. Productivity suffers. My questions for the other managers here, what tricks do you have for managing difficult personalities and where do you draw the line? For programmers, when you feel management doesn't appreciate your masterpiece of development, how could your managers frame communication so the topic is less threatening? There has to be some means of compromise that doesn't let developers dictate to management which is the tail wagging the dog, or being brutish and insensitive, sending valuable but bitter employees home to polish their collection of assault rifles. And is the vitriol and clash of egos we take for granted here at Slashdot discouraging some companies from in-house development?"

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