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Ask Slashdot: Are Linux Desktop Users More Pragmatic Now Or Is It Inertia?

J. J. Ramsey Re:*nix desktops (503 comments)

There are a few catches with MacPorts, though:

1) Installing and updating ports usually requires compilation. There generally aren't ready-to-download binary packages. For a single package, this may not be a big deal, unless it drags in a bunch of other packages that also have to be compiled.

2) If one upgrades OS X, the MacPorts maintainers recommend deleting and reinstalling MacPorts for the new version of OS X. I'm not sure this is always necessary, but I've preferred not to risk it.

3) A given version of MacPorts targets certain OS X versions, and there's a lag time between when the latest release of OS X comes out and when a version of MacPorts comes out that targets that release.

There's also Fink, which shares problem #3 with MacPorts. It's supposed to have binary packages available, but when I tried it recently, that didn't work out, and it acted much like MacPorts, that is, downloading source and compiling it.

about 3 months ago
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GitHub Takes Down Satirical 'C Plus Equality' Language

J. J. Ramsey Attempting to apply feminism where it does not fit (575 comments)

Feminism, in just about all its various forms, is about relationships among human beings, especially where those relationships concern women and girls. Programming, on the other hand, is about human-machine relationships, in particular about how humans -- who tend to think in very fuzzy ways -- can control and manipulate computing devices that "think" in very exacting ways are are very good at doing what they are told rather than what we want them to do. Feminism is certainly relevant to how programmers interact with one another, but not so much with the programming itself.

about 4 months ago
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Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

J. J. Ramsey Re:But what system does he suggest instead? (308 comments)

At least for universities, there's an alternative way that professors who don't publish a lot can still be productive: they can, you know, teach students. That is nominally what universities are for, anyway.

about 4 months ago
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Free Software Foundation Announces 2013 Holiday Giving Guide

J. J. Ramsey Re:What awful gifts... (104 comments)

If you're going to claim that the ThinkPenguin laptops are "garbage," could you at least say why they are garbage, e.g. build quality, feature set, whether one can replace some parts oneself, and so on? Otherwise it just looks like a dumb flame.

about 5 months ago
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HealthCare.gov: What Went Wrong?

J. J. Ramsey Re:bitch and moan (400 comments)

From Kevin Drum's blog:

Over the past three years, insurance companies have swapped their plans around so fast and so often that virtually no one today has a plan more than a couple of years old—something that seems an awful lot like a deliberate effort to evade Obamacare's original intent that most individual policies would be grandfathered and therefore remain available to existing customers who wanted to keep them. [Footnote: Plans in existence before March 23, 2010, are grandfathered, which makes them exempt from most of the new requirements of Obamacare. However, if your insurance company switched you into a "better" plan after that date, it's not grandfathered and can be canceled at any time.] Now, having engineered a situation where most current policies aren't grandfathered, millions of people are getting letters canceling their existing plans and being told that the replacement is far more expensive.

So basically, these insurance companies sending out these cancellation notices were gaming the system so that they could both undermine the law and blame it for "forcing" their customers to buy more expensive coverage.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

J. J. Ramsey Re:matlab (465 comments)

The catch with Matlab is that outside of academia, it is expensive. If one's workplace has the licenses for it, great. If not, it may be better to make do with Octave, or Numpy & Scipy.

about 6 months ago
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Windows 8.1 RTM Trickling Out, With Start Menu and Boot-to-Desktop

J. J. Ramsey Re:Too little too late (496 comments)

Why are you so adamantly frenetic over something you could fix easily yourself, when that's torn down, the response is about an administratively locked down machine ...

Guess where I use Windows? At work, on an administratively locked down machine.

about 8 months ago
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Windows 8.1 RTM Trickling Out, With Start Menu and Boot-to-Desktop

J. J. Ramsey Re:Too little too late (496 comments)

I'd say that the point is more that Microsoft took an interface that worked fine, namely the Start Menu, and replaced it with something that, for the most part, did not work as well. Third-party tools to customize an interface should be niceties, not a cure for someone else's screw-up.

about 8 months ago
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Windows 8.1 RTM Trickling Out, With Start Menu and Boot-to-Desktop

J. J. Ramsey Re:Too little too late (496 comments)

You can fix it yourself if you administer the machine. However, at work, people often can't do that because they are--rightfully--not given the access rights to do so.

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

J. J. Ramsey Re:Metro UI (467 comments)

Why would you *have* to use Launchpad? I use OS X, and don't use Launchpad at all. The Applications folder didn't go away, and it's easy to remove Launchpad from the Dock. That's far less intrusive than what I've read about the Metro UI.

about 9 months ago
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Verizon Worker Arrested For Copying Customer's Nude Pictures

J. J. Ramsey Re:Needed: a "Stupid" Law (282 comments)

"I'm sorry, but what in the hell did you expect??"

That the "dweeb" at the phone store would (gasp!) behave professionally and not invade a customer's privacy?

about a year and a half ago
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Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Controls

J. J. Ramsey Why bring in Google instead of the cops? (421 comments)

The copyright holders are alleging that Pirate Bay, isoHunt, etc., are engaging in illegal activities, right? Then why not get the proper authorities involved to take down the people behind sites like Pirate Bay, especially since that's already worked against Megaupload? Even if this wasn't completely successful, it would make sites like Pirate Bay less of a presence on the Internet and thus show up less prominently on search engines. Why have Google and Bing be the police when you can just let the police be the police?

more than 2 years ago
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Web Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran

J. J. Ramsey Porn is bad but not actual sexual assault? (368 comments)

"Once in October 2008 the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water."

So the Iranian government is worried about porn, but it's okay for its interrogators to threaten sexual assault? How does this make any sense?

more than 2 years ago
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In Australia, Immunize Or Lose Benefits

J. J. Ramsey Re:Seems fair... (680 comments)

Oh, sure, because Mercola is such a reliable source. Oh wait ...

more than 2 years ago
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What's Keeping You On Windows?

J. J. Ramsey Re:Work and fun (1880 comments)

CMYK is pretty important to people that actually send jobs to printers for flyers, brochures, marketing materials, etc.

True, but if you are doing that, then you are probably, well, making money from Photoshop, like the previous poster said.

There seems to be this strange mindset with the Gimp developer community that RGB is the only game in town

It's not so much that as it is that there are issues with licensing and patents, especially regarding Pantone.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With GNOME 3 Designer Jon McCann

J. J. Ramsey Re:So much wasted time... (294 comments)

I don't remember Metacity being buggy. What I do remember was that with Sawfish, the seams between it and the rest of GNOME still showed. It had its own control center, for example. On the other hand, with Metacity as the default window manager, a user wouldn't even need to know that there was this application called Metacity that provided window titlebars, etc. Configuring Metacity--what little there was--was done through dialogs that just looked like another piece of GNOME. In short, Metacity's integration with GNOME was far more seamless, and for users who didn't want to dick around with configuration and didn't even know that a focus model other than "Click to Focus" even existed, Metacity was perfectly adequate.

more than 2 years ago
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Debt Deal Reached

J. J. Ramsey Re:Could Someone Help Me Out With This? (844 comments)

"Right-wing Christians seem to be more into Old Testament severity."

But the Old Testament, while often barbaric, had at least as much of an emphasis on helping the poor as the New Testament.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air

J. J. Ramsey Re:Powering your iMac during the download (453 comments)

"And for those whom it is a problem, that's the way their life is. They can't watch Netflix, they can't buy TV shows from iTunes or watch Hulu, or buy games on Steam. Even YouTube is a pain."

That's not true. My connection is fast enough that I can handle Netflix streaming, YouTube, and Hulu just fine, but a 4 GB download still takes a few hours.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Sweatshop conditions at Amazon's warehouses

J. J. Ramsey J. J. Ramsey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

J. J. Ramsey (658) writes "An article by Spencer Soper from The Morning Call spotlights a dangerous working environment at Amazon's Lehigh Valley warehouse: 'An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an "unsafe environment" after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems. The doctor's report was echoed by warehouse workers who also complained to regulators, including a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat.... ' Of course, the word from the Amazon spokesperson is, 'The safety and welfare of our employees is our No. 1 priority,' and a corporate spokesperson would never lie. Right?"
Link to Original Source
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J. J. Ramsey J. J. Ramsey writes  |  more than 7 years ago

J. J. Ramsey writes "Talk.Origins is an archive with thousands of pages exposing creationist pseudoscience. Rather mysteriously, Google pulled the plug on its search engine, only giving the vague reason: "No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index due to violations of the webmaster guidelines." This may have been triggered by a recent cracking of the site that added "hidden links to non-topical sites," but curiously enough, Google won't say just what the violations were. As Wesley R. Elsberry, put it, "My mission, whether I liked it or not, was to find and fix whatever problem the TOA [Talk.Origins Archive] might have, with no guidance as to what the problem was and nothing at all about where to start looking.... I was extremely lucky. The damage to my site was limited and in the first place that I happened to look. Other honest webmasters might not be so lucky. They may have to undertake an arduous process of vetting pages, essentially having to second-guess the mind of the cracker in trying to locate a problem that Google knows the exact location of." This was probably a bad decision on Google's part, since Talk.Origins moved its business to Yahoo!. Oops.

Hat tip to blogger Larry Moran."

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