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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:The Economist (282 comments)

Most of the local discussion groups seem to have moved to G+ or Facebook. You can always sign up with a pseudonym if you really want to participate, but yeah... Nothing like the good old days.

Unless I'm missing something, G+ and Facebook don't have nice threaded searchable discussions the way Usenet or a Forum do. Usenet benefits from being decentralized service, and I actually enjoyed using a desktop client. G+ and Facebook are the opposite, and are worse at archiving or searching than Forums. I find for tech-support, Forums / Usenet seems to be where a LOT of solutions are found, as it lets users with similar issues notice a trend, and pound away at their findings and solutions as they go, in a media that gets recorded, where the users aren't organized / patient enough to add that data to a Wiki somewhere.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:The Economist (282 comments)

Similarly, if you dig out an old copy of BYTE or something similar, it is the *ads* which can be more interesting than the articles. You want *how* *much* for *that*??

Occasionally you find an old flyer for an electronics store too. Get to see the price for 27" CRT TVs, $4000 prices for ugly ass beige Pentium 100 computers, film cameras, etc.

2 days ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:LibreOffice (277 comments)

Easy. As much as I hate to say it. https://bugs.freedesktop.org/s... is the complete showstopper, not only for me. For the last 2 years, suddenly, SVG, EPS simply do not work anymore, at all. I have hundreds of lecturing slides that from yesterday to tomorrow cannot be shown any longer. And what has been done so far? Read the comments, and read the comments in the dup bug reports.
This isn't as dangerous as the Heartbleed, but similarly without any concern nor consideration by the people in the project. Though they keep rolling out new versions regularly, which have been suffering from this, known, bug for all versions since 4.X.

That's the great thing about open source, you can fix it yourself! /sarcasm

2 days ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:LibreOffice (277 comments)

As long as both Apache and The Document Foundation collaborate on future versions of the Open Document Format and ensure their codebases remain feature-equivalent, there's no major downside other than version confusion.

How about duplicating resources on two almost identical projects? Much better to have those people working on different aspects of the same project.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:The Economist (282 comments)

You can barely find stuff from 5 years ago on the web. Some stuff yes, but most of it vanishes or becomes very difficult to locate using modern search tools which are oriented towards serving up ads and hits for what's popular and current.

Google seems to be getting worse as time progresses. Back when Google was just coming around (early '00), and Altavista was dominant, to search for ALL words (Boolean AND) in a query: +you +had +to +put +a +plus +in +front +of +everything or else it assumed a Boolean OR.

Google assumed you wanted Boolean AND.

Now in Google "+you" "+need" "+quotes" "+and" "+plus" for Boolean AND, or else it will search Boolean OR/ALL_SYNONYMS.

I'm also getting kinda sad because useful Usenet discussion is vanishing. My city used to have a reasonably active Usenet group. It is now a wasteland, and there's no good Forum replacements. And of what forums there are (for any and all subjects), Archive.org or otherwise don't archive them as well as old Usenet discussions are on Deja / Google Groups.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:The Economist (282 comments)

You seem a little over-exaggerating, but I can relate to the GP. In the late '90s when I was in art class we would pick through old National Geographics from the '60s and '70s. Half the fun was looking at the old ads. Especially car ads for some reason. Looking at old car ads in any old media is always a hoot.

3 days ago
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

LinuxIsGarbage Re:ARM is the new Intel (109 comments)

The PC is the mainframe.

No, the PC is the refrigerator. Tablets are the beds. A home needs exactly one refrigerator (more are a luxury), but it needs about one bed per person. Now consider that people have been sleeping in refrigerators for the past 20 years. Thus, the market for refrigerators is highly over-saturated, and the market for beds is seeing explosive growth as millions of people have never had one before. In the end, though, everybody still needs a refrigerator. There may come a day when they don't, but everybody knows that a refrigerator isn't a bed.

Yes, the metaphor is a bit strained.

Point being that consumers are realizing that tablets do about 90% of what they want in a PC, so they just buy tablets. That doesn't mean they don't occasionally need something for that remaining 10%. We may see tablet docks that turn a tablet PC into a full desktop setup, but we're not there yet. I can browse the web, watch a movie, play a song, look up information, and type an email or text on a tablet or phone. I can probably do my online banking -- although it's a bit cumbersome. I wouldn't want to write a paper, or seriously manage my finances, or do photo editing, or do my taxes on a tablet (unless I was single, had no kids, had one job which withheld taxes, and did not own a home).

Steve jobs has some sort of quote about PCs (Windows & Mac) being like trucks, always a need for them but not what everyone needs. It's true though. Three years ago when I went on a trip I'd pack my Netbook to use at the hotel, or at my folks place. Now I'll use a tablet. Much quicker to pick up and use than to pull out and set up and boot a PC (netbook). Mobile has excelled at other things. Though I still like my real digital camera, if I want to take a picture of something and quickly email it off it's a lot easier to use my smartphone. Checking my email is a lot easier on my phone than on a computer (especially at work waiting for the Corporate-bogged down IT image of XP to load on my i7), though composing an email (or this post) I rather use a PC.

Like yourself I like PCs for the heavy lifting: manage photos, do finances / taxes, download media, edit videos / photos. Though I do worry that our options and availability for relatively open PC like platforms may diminish, which wouldn't be a good thing.

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:How do you do your taxes? (385 comments)

I use both ufile.ca ($10-15) and studiotax (free).
I find ufile more user friendly, and you only have to pay if you want to netfile. So what I do is fill out in both ufile and studio tax and make sure the numbers are the same, if not I look to see what I did differently and which one is wrong, once they both add up to the same, I submit through studiotax so I don't have to pay.

I agree. I load up Studiotax as soon as it's available to start crunching numbers. My folks buy the desktop copy of uFile ($20). Good for an ever decreasing number of returns (4 this year). I agree that it's more user friendly.

I'm amazed, in Canada at least, at the number of people that still manually file paper returns. CRA provides a list of companies offering free Tax software http://www.netfile.gc.ca/sftwr... , and even if you don't qualify to NETFILE, you can still use software to prepare the forms, and print with a 2D barcode with all your data.

4 days ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Changelog? (294 comments)

So, is this just another update to shuffle a couple of buttons and checkboxes around or is there something else in this update?

Good luck finding the change log from Microsoft.

I'm assuming they've updated all the "SkyDrive" stuff to "OneDrive", since they lost the trademark lawsuit on that one.

That happened in some previous update I think. When I go to my user folder there's a folder named "OneDrive". Open it up and the breadcrumb navication calls it OneDrive. Yet when I check the actual path it's still actually "c:\users\Linuxisgarbage\SkyDrive" folder.

Nope. If you're seeing anything on the Windows GUI called "OneDrive", then you must have the update released today. I'm still waiting for the update to finish installing, but it definitely has always been called "SkyDrive" except on the web site.

Nope. I had noted the OneDrive / Skydrive thing two weeks ago, and I have Updates currently disabled (and am months behind). I also note that on my Windows 7 PC Skydrive changed to Onedrive. Looks like it was pushed out in February:
http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/...

On the Win 8.1 it can be as easy as changing the desktop.ini to include:

[.ShellClassInfo]
IconResource=C:\Users\LinuxisGarbage\AppData\Local\Microsoft\SkyDrive\SkyDrive.exe,1
LocalizedResourceName=OneDrive

Not that hard to push that out.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Changelog? (294 comments)

So, is this just another update to shuffle a couple of buttons and checkboxes around or is there something else in this update?

Good luck finding the change log from Microsoft.

I'm assuming they've updated all the "SkyDrive" stuff to "OneDrive", since they lost the trademark lawsuit on that one.

That happened in some previous update I think. When I go to my user folder there's a folder named "OneDrive". Open it up and the breadcrumb navication calls it OneDrive. Yet when I check the actual path it's still actually "c:\users\Linuxisgarbage\SkyDrive" folder.

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

LinuxIsGarbage Re:The world is changing. (224 comments)

Average Ãoe high level exec à = 575

Doesn't seem to work for spelling mistakes and typos though ;)

To be fair the high level exec thing looks more like Slashdot barfing at Unicode, it was copied and pasted from the linked website.

about two weeks ago
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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Slashdot at its finest (156 comments)

I doubt Sarten-X has an editor budget.

Somewhere in here, there's a joke about FLOSS text editors and the ensuing flame wars, but I just can't think of a good way to phrase it.

I have a plugin that could help with that phrasing, but I don't remember how to run it...

Just use emacs and you won't need a plugin.

about a month ago
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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

LinuxIsGarbage Re:That makes it worse (156 comments)

Remind me again how did Linux come into existance?

Came into existence? Sure there's the romanticized thought of Linus single handedly pounding away code at home. However there's a lot of paid Linux development going on. Here's a random cite:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open...

1. No company affiliation:17.9% 2. Red Hat: 11.9% 3. Novell/SUSE: 6.4% 4. Intel: 6.2% 5. IBM: 6.1% 6. Unknown: 5.1% 7. Consultant: 3.0% 8. Oracle: 2.1% 9. Academia: 1.3% 10. Nokia: 1.2%

While The top ten contributors, including the groups "unknown" and "none" make up over 60% of the total contributions to the kernel, the Foundation points out that even if you assume that "all of the 'unknown' contributors were working on their own time, over 75% of all kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work."

about a month ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

I stick with Fluke - or if in a pinch and need to buy locally (i.e., if I left my Fluke DMM and testers behind), Extech, but I try to avoid the Extech stuff at least as primary tools. It (Extech) might be one of the best of the cheap meters, but they are still short of the quality and reliability of Fluke's products.

I commented on the last article that at work I had a piece of shit Ideal meter (with an inverted yellow in gray color scheme) that measured 380V when connected to 460V. The buzzer for the ohm reading also broke, such that it stuck on all the time (even when it wasn't on ohms). The vendor for some of our 4160V equipment said that we could in fact measure the capacitance of the 4160V capacitors using the capacitance mode of a DMM (obviously with the 4160 deenergized, and verified safe using a proper tool, which isn't a Fluke DMM). My piece of shit Ideal wouldn't measure fuck all, but my Fluke measured the right value.

In my experience (in the real world, outside mom's basement) Fluke has earned their rep for being a quality product.

about a month ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

Fluke devices can range from a few hundred to a few thousand a piece, depending on what all you are getting. They're solid devices, too.

Their software is absolutely awful, though, IMO.

So true. We got some Fluke wireless logging current meters (part of the Fluke CNX series). Well built meter, surprisingly cheap, easy to use (hardware), good battery life, but the software to connect wireless is dreadful. Frequent crashes, no way to resume transfers, etc.

about a month ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

Calling support for a multimeter? What planet are you from? Short of it breaking and needing a replacement under warranty, you plug it in, spin the dial to the mode you want, and away you go.

Do people call Sears for tech support on a Craftsman wrench? I’ll grant a multimeter is *slightly* more complicated of a tool, but really only slightly to someone who’s the least bit experienced in that area of tech. I think I got my first MM when I was six years old. Took Dad about 10 minutes to show me how to measure voltage and resistance, and that was when you had to set the range yourself.

Ever buy a $200-$500 multimeter? And then have problems with it? Maybe you'd be more apt to call support.

As well there's certainly liability. Here's a case where Fluke recalled meters:
http://www.fluke.com/fluke/cae...

So if a hazard were found on the meters they donated, Fluke would have to pay to ship and repair the meters. Because they are a real organization that stands by their equipment, not some Chinese knockoff outfit that couldn't care less if the meter failed to detect voltage when present or exploded when connected to voltage.

about a month ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

Yep. A big thing people don't get is safety. Have you ever had a cheap multimeter fuse blow and toss shards of glass through the case, avoiding your hand only because you weren't holding the meter there? I have.

I'm amazed when I note that my "cheap" Fluke 373 for home has voltage ratings: CATIII 600V CATIII300V, and a whole fleet of certifications on the back. I don't see these ratings on cheap meters at Canadian tire. At work metering 650VAC on a 1200A bus? I'd want something with a CAT rating for 1000V and CSA/UL logos. Certainly not a cheap knockoff. Some of us use meters in the real world, not just mom's basement.

about a month ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Damn, donate them already (653 comments)

Just because the case looks like the real thing doesn't mean the hardware is worth shit.

I regularly perform automotive circuit diagnosis with a $3 meter, because it is of a convenient size. Don't hate on cheap electronics if they work. Granted, cheap electronics are like a box of chocolates, but unless you've tried these meters...

A cheap meter works great until it doesn't. Also cheap meters might not have the voltage safety ratings of a quality meter.

I was commissioning a new 460V system at work. Used my Ideal meter (which interestingly has inverted colour scheme from Fluke) to verify the voltage. 380V. Borrowed another colleague's Ideal meter. 385V. Used a Fluke meter: 462V. All sorts of people at work would tell stories about the problems they had with those meters. One guy threw his meter off a scissor lift because it pissed him off so much. That was the first time I had serious problems with that meter. Since replaced it with a Fluke 376. Has a nice flexible current probe. Clamp will also read DC current. Nice meter.

about 1 month ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Did Fluke request this? (653 comments)

safety.

Ok. I'll ask. What possible safety function does coloring a multimeter yellow serve? Do you need to see multimeters coming at you so you can defend yourself? Don't pick up a multimeter because it might bite you? "Red touch yellow, friend of fellow..."?

I think Parent means the meter is yellow (bright, easy to see) because it's a safety device. Eg: In industry multimeters are used to verify the lack of voltage before beginning work.

about 1 month ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

LinuxIsGarbage Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

Stuff like replacing the roof or windows, or boiler is far outside the scope of what the custodial department could do. It requires capital investment from the board. Why do that when you could ignore it and wait for roof leaks to cause mould growths that condemn the building, or the boiler to fail and flood out the bottom floor?

Teachers are usually in a similar boat. Here in Canada I don't think they are as underpaid as the US, but it's not uncommon for them to spend personal money to buy supplies for their classroom.

about a month ago

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