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Comments

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IAB Urges People To Stop "Mozilla From Hijacking the Internet"

KGBear From the point of view of advertisers (499 comments)

| consumers will get a less relevant and diverse Internet experience.

As far as ads are concerned, maybe. Personally, I believe *any* ad is irrelevant - it's not what I came here to see. Therefore, anything that lowers the selling value of ads makes my internet experience more, not less, relevant.

about a year ago
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

KGBear Re:Couldn't we just charge them tuition? (689 comments)

Yep. And dearly. Thank you for point this out. My American BA (at a private university) cost about $40K. My wife's American PhD (at a state university) cost about $100K.

about a year and a half ago
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

KGBear Both my wife and I were foreign students in the US (689 comments)

But not, not, one million (billion) times NOT at your expense. We payed for it in hard-earned cash. My wife's PhD cost about US$ 100K at a state university (CSU), my BA cost about $40K at a private university (DU). On the other hand, even if you had payed for it, consider how many of the world's problems would be solved, or vastly ameliorated, if most people were educated to the top of their abilities. Hunger, overpopulation, climate, STDs, poverty, religious struggles, a ton of others. All of these are the root causes why the US is the target of so many attacks of all kinds. The truth is that this headline is sensationalist and aims to cause controversy. Using the word "owe" in this context is a sure-fire way to raise the voices of Americans. It's code, it's a dog whistle for conservatives, it connects (to them) with entitlements and a lopsided sense of economic justice. The better question to ask is: "how does it benefit the US to invest in educating foreigners?" And once again, though: every single foreign student I know of in the US pays for their education. And what's more, we pay out-of-state tuition. So back off.

about a year and a half ago
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Gameplay: the Missing Ingredient In Most Games

KGBear About "fun" (308 comments)

Thank you for connecting to what's missing from almost every current art form and modern hobbies. I've suspected all along that it's not just that I'm getting old. It's that all technology has been done more by the MBAs than the engineers, more for the clueless mainstream than for the people who love it and is willing to dedicate long hours to it. Computers, the Internet, mobile connectivity, music, movies, home audio/video, are all focused on the masses because they must make billions. Therefore they are unappealing to the really dedicated enthusiasts. The only technical hobby that still has some appeal to me is photography. For some reason it's still possible to buy a decent SLR and take the time to learn and get better at it. There is, as the original poster says, still some challenge there.

about 2 years ago
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How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop

KGBear Re:Apple didn't kill it, Microsoft did. (933 comments)

Nah. In the last 5 years I saw a LOT of people abandon Linux. I work at a research university, I'm talking people who have been running Unix for ever and Linux since the early 90s. All of them, no exception, went to OSX. I don't know anybody who just abandoned Linux and happily moved to Windows 7. Why? Because OSX has Unix underneath. It provides basic compatibility not only of software people write, but of the way they like to do things and the way they think about systems. All of that AND a GUI that just works. I have seen the latest Windows be credited for the demise of Linux on the desktop since the late 90s. During all this time, Linux on the desktop has only grown. It has been shrinking in the past 5 years, and it correlates nicely with the growth of OSX.

about 2 years ago
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Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims

KGBear Re:Paging Mr. Roark (616 comments)

Yes. But I think de Icaza philosophically agrees with Microsoft, besides being simply payed by them. To him, and to both the KDE and Gnome crowds, "Linux on the Desktop" is synonymous to "Windows experience on Linux." That's their mistake. The Linux kernel never stopped plowing ahead, innovating, incorporating things before Microsoft even realized they were good ideas, while the desktop has been lagging behind, trying to be Windows. I say throw the whole mass down the drain and start over. Apple has showed us that a Unix system can support a highly functional, highly polished GUI, and not be Windows. Get to work, guys.

about 2 years ago
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Geeks In the Public Forum?

KGBear Good luck with that (326 comments)

The people who run the world are the ones who want to rule the world. They do what it takes. People want to hear familiar ideas framed in familiar terms. Politicians and marketers deliver just that. Moving to an evidence-based society, if accomplished, would remove all the alpha-male characteristics from leadership. It would favor hard thinking and research, and it would not favor personality and manipulative abilities. The world is as it is. I know deep in my heart that Facebook is evil, that people could be doing exactly the same thing without relinquishing their privacy, and that what people are doing on Facebook is idiotic in any event. That does not change the fact that influencing people and weaving a web of social relations is what people want to do, and what they will do. Denying human social traits is stupid, in politics, in social networking, in religion, and everywhere else. People are what they are. If geeks want to change the game, they need to learn to play the game. To be manipulative, to believe that the end justifies the means, and to not let ethics interfere. Yes, wielding power is incompatible with geek values. The sooner we learn that, the better.

more than 2 years ago
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C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

KGBear Re:Buffer overflow (611 comments)

Thank you.

more than 2 years ago
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C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

KGBear Re:Buffer overflow (611 comments)

No. What is irresponsible is not testing the heck out of your code before shipping it. You should be doing that anyway, why not code according to safe procedures and doing some real QA while you're at it? It is also irresponsible to create a whole generation of developers with no concept of security and efficiency, because modern languages are supposed to do that for them, at great expense of everybody else.

more than 2 years ago
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C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

KGBear Re:Buffer overflow (611 comments)

Sorry, maybe I'm old, but I don't believe in systems designed to think for people.

more than 2 years ago
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C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

KGBear Re:Buffer overflow (611 comments)

No matter what the question is, "switch to a different OS" is never the correct answer. People should be able to pick the best OS for the job, as well as the best language for the job. C# and .NET integrate well with Windows because they don't run on anything else. I would rather have options. And the term "premature optimization" is a good example of the kind of idiot that writes code these days. Not doing what you call "premature optimization" is what I call being sloppy. Being lazy. Do it right in the first place so you don't have to do it again.

more than 2 years ago
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C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap?

KGBear Re:Buffer overflow (611 comments)

Sure. As soon as someone comes up with a language that produces code that runs half way as fast as C on any OS, and that at least pretends to integrate with the rest of the OS. You know, make it nice for everybody else other than developers. Oh, here's a though: how about developers get their heads out of their butts and learn how to be programmers, instead of whining that real languages don't do everything for them?

more than 2 years ago
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Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to SlashdotTV! (Video)

KGBear I am old (203 comments)

Yup. I am now officially old. I've been ranting for quite some time that video is replacing everything, and for no good reason. For almost everything useful, text is so much more efficient. For you half braindead so-called "developers" out there, the reason is simple to grasp: text can be random-accessed, can be easily searched, and can be grasped pages at a time with proper training. In contrast, video is sequential. It forces me to watch things in whatever order the person making it wanted me to. For us old timers, watching video when compared to reading documentation feels like what e-mails feel to you, when compared to texting. Slashdot, you are becoming less and less relevant to me as time goes on. I get that that's the point, though. You need to attract nerds who grew up watching, not reading. It's sad, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

KGBear Just don't do it. (1091 comments)

Linux is what it is because it fills a niche, the niche of people who want to be free to tinker. That is incompatible with marketing. Marketing is about making a product appealing to as much people as possible - and then maximizing the profit derived from it. This means branding, limiting, artificially segmenting, making it fit into help desk scripts. In other words, this would kill Linux.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Is Online Engineering Coursework Viewed By Employers?

KGBear Re:Ask your boss (201 comments)

"We also hire immigrant or work-visa employees who are willing to work for around 2/3 the salary of an American born and bred here."

Please stop spreading this. It is just not true. Yes, plenty of employers hire foreigners for less money than they would pay a domestic worker, but in almost all cases those are illegal, undocumented workers. A work visa requires a review and certification by the department of labor to establish what the appropriate wages are in the place of employment. The process requires an ad being posted in major newspapers in the area and documentation showing that no citizen or permanent resident qualified. The work visa expires in 1 to 3 years and can be renewed exactly once, for 1 to 3 years. The renewal process requires an audit. Also, as a work-visa employee, your view of "the conditions back home" are mistaken. There are many reasons why somebody would work abroad, and escaping the backwaters for the promised land of America is more cliche than anything else. That being said, I am sure there are those who abuse the system. Like any system. But don't generalize. It's a lie, and a harmful one.

more than 2 years ago
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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

KGBear Re:Wrong People Always Get Promoted (378 comments)

To each his/her own, it takes all kinds, and all that... :)

more than 2 years ago
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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

KGBear Re:Wrong People Always Get Promoted (378 comments)

I have just been promoted to management, after 20 years in the front line. I still haven't moved from the cube farm to my new office, and I've only had one meeting with my new reports. I was doing the same job as always up until last week. So a new manager, or old IT guy, if you will. I used to think like you, and in some ways I still do. But I can tell you first hand that management, even IT management, is not about technology, computers, or network security. Management is about people, and it only took me this long to get this promotion because this is how long it took me to learn that fact. Understand that managers are not typically worried about user interfaces, operating systems, coding, or even network security. That is *your* job. Managers are worried about people, goals, and budget. If you're lucky, in that order. Don't get me wrong, your technical expertise and opinions are important to your manager, or should be. But thinking about a way to let an employee take an extra day off to go visit his daughter he hasn't seen in two years because her ship will only be in port for two days before going back to Afghanistan, without affecting the bottom line too much, without affecting the deadline too much, and without being able to discuss this very personal issue with the guy's coworkers, sometimes take precedence. Then you are left with no explanation why Joe gets an extra day off, it's probably the slacker manager protecting his own kind of people because he's a slacker himself. Try to remember this: IT is about technology, but management is about people.

more than 2 years ago
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EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

KGBear Stop calling use users! (278 comments)

In this instance, we are not simply "users." We are owners. We have purchased devices, we have payed for them with our money, either upfront or by signing up for a multi-year contract, after which time the device belongs to the buyer. We are owners, buyers, proprietors, NOT users. We may be users from the point of view of the software licenses that usually come attached to these types of devices, but we should be able to wipe that software and install whatever we please on the OUR devices...

more than 2 years ago
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The best computer upgrade I've ever done was:

KGBear Software, not hardware (522 comments)

in 1995 I switched from Windows to Linux. Some things were hard at first, because a lot of the niceties of today were nonexistent. StarOffice was written in Java and it was crap. No presentation software to speak of, etc. But understanding what my system was doing made my life a lot easier, and this is something diehard Windows users will never understand - regardless of anything else, it is impossible to know what your Windows computer is doing at any given moment. I stayed with Linux on my desktop until 2008, when I bought a Mac Pro. This is an impressive machine even 3 years later: 2 quad xeons, 20 GB RAM, recently upgraded hard drives to 4 2TB in RAID 5 with a RAID controller, 1 30" Mac Display + 2 21" Dells. This made me happy because, even if I was losing some control by going to a proprietary OS, the fact is that the Mac OS X experience is superior to both Windows and Linux with any of the available window managers. Having a GUI that actually works and a real OS underneath (meaning Unix) has allowed me to tinker when I wanted to tinker, without being forced to tinker to get work done. But them Apple started acting up. First, was the stupid App store on my desktop. Then, Lion took away more than it gave me. And it signals that Mac OS may be going in the direction of turning my desktop into a tablet, which is definitely not what I want. My computer was never a "consumer device," an online shopping machine like what Apple created with the iPad. I bought a laptop 3 months ago, MacBook Pro, just before Lion was released. But I think that this is my last Mac. I'm excited about my next machine, which will be going back to Linux. Both my desktop and laptop still have plenty of life in them, so I'm not contemplating a purchase in the next 2 to 3 years, but check back with me then, and I suspect I will say that my best upgrade ever was going back from Mac to Linux.

more than 2 years ago
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US Intelligence Mining Your Social Network Data

KGBear Psychohistory (240 comments)

I just hope there is one Hari Seldon among all those social scientists...

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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What to do with 40-year-old Cuban air?

KGBear KGBear writes  |  about 4 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "My friend has an old scuba tank that was filled by his father in Cuba, in the 60's. Now he's moving and, being tired of carrying the thing around with him, has given it to me, provided I find something of scientific interest to do with it. Certainly in the /. crowd there is someone who can put old Cuban air to good use?"
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Are governments trying to take over the Internet?

KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 4 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "The last few years have seen a remarkable raise in legislation aimed at controlling what I can do on the Internet. From the grand daddy of them all, the DMCA to the unborn ACTA, the recent passage of the deBill in the UK and recent efforts of all kinds. I think I understand the motivation behind the actions of Iranian, Chinese, and Venezuelan governments; but what of the so-called "free world?" Is it really just clueless politicians falling prey to Hollywood lobbyists or is there some hidden agenda? Maybe the sensible, logical and knowledgeable /. crowd will have some insights I've missed."
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Tips for an Involuntary Exchanger?

KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 5 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "The company I work for will soon force me to participate in Exchange, with calendaring being mandatory. Both my main machine and my laptop are Macs. All my other machines run Linux. I have not run Windows for anything serious since 1996. Currently I use Thunderbird with lots od add-ons for e-mail and iCal (with MobileMe) for calendaring. I profoundly dislike the Outlook look & feel. What are my options? Any suggestions, tips, stories to share?"
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Parts inventory for a hobby electronics shop?

KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 5 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "I recently decided to go back to my first geek love: electronics. It used to be my main hobby 20 years ago but I haven't done anything since (well, got married, had a child). In trying to go back I realized there are no more brick-and-mortar electronics stores. It's all web. I was used to browsing store aisles, picking what I wanted or seeing something that would give me an idea for a project. My question is: how do I get the supplies I need while not overpaying for shipping? It doesn't seem smart to design something, come up with a parts list and order just that, then pay for shipping all over again when I need parts for my next project. What would be your ideal parts inventory that can be re-supplied regularly?"
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paper and music publishers, what's the difference?

KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 5 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "We're seeing paper after paper either converting to websites or just dying. Witness Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. We all know why they are dying: we no longer need what they have to sell. What good is something that brings me yesterday's news once daily when I can get this minute's news every minute — and for free? This is how it should be. It should be like this also with music publishers and distributors. My question is this: why aren't newspapers lobbying congress to outlaw free news dissemination online? Or conversely, why is the music industry able to get away with it?"
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Forbes reporter apologizes for predicting SCO win

KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 6 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "Daniel Lyons, who has been covering the SCO lawsuits for Forbes.com, feels the need to write his "mea culpa". From the article: "I reported what they said. Turns out I was getting played (...) I got it wrong. The nerds got it right (...) Someday soon the SCO lawsuits will go away, and I will never have to write another article about SCO ever again. I can't wait.""
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KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KGBear (71109) writes "I've been participating in /. for about 10 years. Lately and more and more frequently I've been having this feeling that /. is becoming/has become irrelevant. Apple/Microsoft is good/bad, the recurring boring metrication of America, up to today's predictable take on IT people, make me wonder if /.'s era isn't over. In that spirit, what suggestions do /.'ers have for getting a high-quality fix of relevant, current, news for nerds?"
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KGBear KGBear writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Yuri (71109) writes "In a couple of months I'll be taking a vacation: from Denver to SF by train, from SF to LA and then Las Vegas by rental car. Besides the obvious Star Trek Experience at the Vegas Hilton,what's a geek to do in (and between) these destinations?"

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