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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

LostMyBeaver Cloud only applications are a disaster (409 comments)

1) Cloud office suites store documents.... in the cloud
2) Cloud office suites make you 100% dependent on their apps. Sure... Google uses "open formats" but as they add features and other companies add features, they lose formatting compatibility.
3) Here kid, the first one is free. Using free cloud software is great while it's free. Where's the guarantee that it will always be free? When it's not free, how much will it cost? Will I actually be able to move?
4) Are you seriously asking me to trust Microsoft, Google or Apple more than the other? This just is laughable. They're all a bunch of crooks. The only difference is, at least for now, Microsoft has governments around the world already treating them like crooks, so they at least have to try to be honest. Apple makes absolutely no pretenses of being an honest player and Google... they scare the shit out of me.

In the end, the best solution is a cloud player which has a clear means of licensing their software and running it within your organization without them being involved. So far as I know, Google doesn't even try for this. Microsoft does have a product, but it's not easy to get.

So for now, I'll use desktop and mobile apps and cloud storage. Thank you very much.

P.S. - It's scary how I am not nearly as worried about government spying, I simply accept it as part of life. But Google really scares the shit out of me.

about a month ago

Ford Dumping Windows For QNX In New Vehicles

LostMyBeaver Re:Having used both (314 comments)

QNX is one of the more enjoyable embedded OSes?

It's just a unix style microkernel operating system. What they're buying is the Qt platform which is far more interesting than QNX... they'd have been equally well off with a Linux kernel and Qt on top.

There is no size footprint or CPU footprint benefits to be had here... the point is, if you're not using Windows, a Qt based platform with proper driver support is the way to go.

But... it will be in a Ford product which means they'll have to make it work like shit to belong there.

about 2 months ago

Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

LostMyBeaver The blind leading the blind (177 comments)

While the article justifiably blows a whistle on what could be an abuse or power, the premise of the article is BS at best. It suggests that the tech could be used to maliciously snoop on people without their knowledge. The spec says nothing of the sort. It allows a user to make use of a proxy. In the case of a TLS only HTTP 2.0, this is needed. Without it, people like myself would have to setup VPNs for management of infrastructure. I can instead make a web based authenticated proxy server which would permit me to manage servers and networks in a secure VPN environment where end to end access is not possible.

Additional benefits of the tech will be to create outgoing load balanced for traffic which add additional security.

How about protecting users privacy by using this tech. If HTTPv2 is any good for security, deep packet inspection will not be possible and as a result all endpoint security would have to exist at the endpoint. Porn filters for kids? Anti-virus for corporations? Popup blockers?

How about letting the user make use of technology like antivirus on their own local machine to improve their experience? How many people on slashdot use popup blockers which work as proxies on the same machine.

This tech adds to their security end-to-end instead. After all, it allows a user to explicitly define a man-in-the-middle to explicitly trust applications and appliances in the middle to improve their experience.

What about technology like Opera mini which cuts phone bills drastically or improves performance by reducing page size in the middle.

Could the tech be used maliciously? To a limited extent... Yes. But it is far more secure than not having such a standard and still using these features. By standardizing a means to explicitly define trusted proxy servers, it mitigates the threat of having to use untrusted ones.

Where does it become a problem? It'll be an issue when you buy a phone/device from a vendor who has pre-installed a trusted proxy on your behalf. It can also be an issue if the company you work for pushes out a trusted proxy via group policy that now is able to decrypt more than what it should.

I haven't read the spec entirely, but I would hope that banks and enterprises will be able to flag traffic as "do not proxy" explicitly so that endpoints will know to not trust proxies with that information.

Oh... And as for tracking as the writer suggests... While we can't snoop the content, tools like WCCP, NetFlow, NBAR (all Cisco flavors) as well as transparent firewalls and more can already log all URLs and usage patterns without needing to decrypt.

So... May I be so kind as to simply say "This person is full of shit" and move on from there?

about 2 months ago

Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

LostMyBeaver Why does the U.S. even teach second languages? (426 comments)

Honestly, I went to a high school with over 1000 other students. I believe about 800 took spanish and the remaining 200 or so too French, Italian or German. The average student studied their second language for 3 years, some as many as 5. Of those students, less than 10 percent can communicate on a vacation to another country where those languages are spoken. Probably less than 2% became fluent. And yet, most of them graduated with good grades in those languages.

Second languages should be optional and should be a major boost on college applications. But to be fair, it's a waste of millions and maybe billions of dollars to educate in a topic which less people can perform well in than they do in mathematics.

about 3 months ago

23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

LostMyBeaver Thank you! (449 comments)

I've been looking for someone to finally make this point.

Let's also consider that the attack Magnus used on Bill was a class speed chess method. He sacrificed his front row, took a small gamble that Bill would play regular chess and be protective of his front row. As a result, Magnus came out fast and hard with his knights and queen. I have seen this precise game played (move for move) many time growing up by the old jewish men in the park in Brooklyn. In fact, I'm almost sure I played it against other people several times.

Speed chess is rarely about skill or beauty. It's about patterns. The difference between speed chess and an opening moves book is that the speed chess games build a start to finish tree of possibilities in 10 moves or less.

Want to talk about impressive? Bill was smart enough (just before moving his bishop in a "protective" measure) to recognize that he'd lost already. Watch the video and you'll see. My wife was laughing because I was telling her the game and how it would be played from the second Bill too Magnus's pawn.

about 3 months ago

U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

LostMyBeaver iPhone and Starbucks (635 comments)

In 2014, you don't need to have a fancy car to make a statement. An iPhone at a Starbucks is worth far more street cred. In addition, hot cars for 18 year olds when I was a kid was typically started off as a beater which we fixed up. Modern cars are too complex for a teenager without a proper shop to work on. I don't know a single teenager which would prefer wheels over bandwidth. Both cost enough that they have to choose. How about a pathetic minimum wage? In high school, I could easily make enough money working at McDonalds to pay for a car, insurance and gas. Today, the car costs nothing, but gas and insurance costs a fortune. Proliferation of electric bicycles and cheap scooters. You can buy a scooter for $300 used, pay almost nothing for insurance and gas is close to free.

All in all, cars for a teenager aren't so important anymore.

about 3 months ago

The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

LostMyBeaver Internet amd Walmart? (674 comments)


Walmarts profits which they pay out as dividends is made primarily by paying 850,000 employees little enough that they will qualify for food stamps and/or welfare assistance. So, Walmart's success is based on the idea that they can keep prices obscenely low by letting tax payers cover the salaries of their employees instead of paying them themselves. The result being that instead of losing $2 billion a year, they profit $10 billion a year instead. They can even afford to undercut competition who pays the same for their inventory because they make up for it by letting the government cover their profits.

So... How does the Internet have anything to do with their impact on the middle class?

about 3 months ago

Intel Releases 5,000 Pages of Open-Source Haswell Documentation

LostMyBeaver Re:Dear Nvidia... (111 comments)

Intel's GPU is good enough for almost everyone, in addition, they don't need to sell it. It's part of the CPU. Use it... Or don't. In fact, it's very likely that by documenting it, people will help make later generations better.

NVidia on the other hand has to fight for every dollar they make. There are dozens of ARM chip designers who would sell their souls for their documentation. NVidia doesn't have a single product or technology which others wouldn't love to compete against. With companies like Qualcomm on the mobile side and AMD on the discrete side, NVidia needs to guard everything closely... Unless they just want to become like immation and live off of core sales and patents.

Did you see Intel release full documentation on their branch detection? Only enough to use it.

about 4 months ago

The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory

LostMyBeaver How cute! (215 comments)

So, you're suggesting that open source will be more secure? Oh! That's right! If it's open source, the NSA wouldn't be able to find exploits in it... Because after all, it's open source, it can't be hacked!

about 4 months ago

Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)

LostMyBeaver of course (211 comments)

I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 2... It replaces both a laptop and a tablet.

It's far cheaper than buying one of each of the other.

about 4 months ago

Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?

LostMyBeaver How many of those get used for anything? (321 comments)

When I wad in the states recently, I was offended by how stores like BestBuy, Staples, Office Depot and others looked like they were intentionally misleading people into thinking they were buying a proper laptop (windows, mac... Even Linux.. Eww) by putting Chromebooks next to budget laptops on the shelf and not posting any warnings about their shittiness.

Honestly, I have bought two ChromeBooks, a Samsung Series 7 Slate, two Surface Pros, a Surface Pro 2, 5 iPads, a Surface, a MacBook Air two Acer tablets in the past three years.

My wife uses her iPad for eBooks for school. My kids watch films on their iPads... Funny how iTunes music store is a good enough reason to use iPad. I haven't touched anything other than Surface for over a year. We are mostly a Windows house though. It's about productivity and entertainment. We travel a lot too. The Chromebooks are useless... Especially on cross-Atlantic flights. The iPads are awesome because of battery life. The Surface Pro 2 is the winner though... 7 hours of battery life (plus battery keyboard soon) while watching films, programming, using Linux on multiple virtual machines. I can honestly say, if Microsoft releases a new Surface Pro once a year with better battery and all it costs is $1200, I'm in.

As for ChromeBooks, I threw them in the closet since I wouldn't even give that trash away as it would just disappoint whoever got it.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

LostMyBeaver CapEx, OpEx, ROI.... PowerPoint (383 comments)

Start speaking the boss's language. They don't think in terms of bits and bytes. They don't think in terms of cases reported and entered. They think in terms of bottom line.

Do the following :
1) Establish a business case without using technical terms (jargon in their jargon)
2) Express the cost of hiring the employee in terms of how much the cost of recruiting the employee and providing a workspace for them
3) Express the cost over time that the employee provides.
4) Make an itemized list which expresses how you'll cover and recover the investment of the new employee.
5) Make a power point and use graphics.
6) Schedule a meeting, make your case.

If you use any technical jargon in this meeting that can't be found in a financial or business magazine, you've already lost. Give up and walk away.

about 4 months ago

Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS

LostMyBeaver Funny timing (409 comments)

I passed an unmarked a few hours ago, looked at the cops inside and just shook my head and thought "Somehow, the criminals don't scare me like these guys do."

So many cops have such a "Bad Boy" look these days. They carry themselves as if they're mean and tough. And frankly, I couldn't imagine asking one for help. Last year, I was in North Carolina and was lost and my phone battery was dead. I walked up to an officer and politely asked him if he could point me towards the local train station. He abruptly pointed and walked away. I eventually asked someone who looked like a criminal as I was out of options and he gave me good directions and a light for my cigarette.

I think cops who are used to a little too much freedom might need this.

about 5 months ago

Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?

LostMyBeaver Rubbish and nonsense (786 comments)

First of all, you're suggesting there were experts in the field of putting people on the moon. I think that even today, that's questionable as we're infants at best regarding space travel.

Second, the U.S. spent more money putting a man on the moon than we can even imagine. It was insanely expensive and fiscally more than likely a disaster at best. Look at the movie Apollo 13 and think about the genius involved with simply deciding an intelligent way to scrub air. We put astronauts on the moon by throwing insane amounts of money at the problem and we did it, but did a half assed job of it. In fact, the first attempt at the ACA website is probably 1000 times better than our first attempts at getting a rocket to the moon. I don't know if you recognize this, but we blew up more than a few of those rockets in the learning process.

Now, instead of being an idiot and thinking this is a partisan related issue, this is a government related issue. The government themselves seem to hire companies to do projects in the dumbest ways. If you'd have asked me how to do it, I'd have awarded a $10 million start-up budget to three different companies with the promise that if they can establish a well knit team which met certain requirements, they will receive the next $20 million. The worst of the three would be tossed out on their asses and the remaining two would keep running. Then, so long as deadlines were met and budgets were kept and requirements were met, they would receive an additional $50 million.

At that point, the two websites would be put side to side and would be evaluated for functionality and an assessment would be made as to which would have the highest likelihood of fitting the needs of the program. The winner would then also score the maintenance contract which would be worth probably hundreds of millions over a period of 10 years.

So, the problem is simply that contractors are chosen through classic forms of government nepotism. Honestly, the money spent building that site was utterly criminal. I don't care which party would have been in charge, the problem is that those guys can't handle things like this.

about 6 months ago

Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?

LostMyBeaver Re:Nintendo is here to stay! (277 comments)

Yet, as a father of two kids, I have seen most of the other parents buy iPads and iPhones in the past few years because they're more practical. Games cost $1 and with the attention span of most kids, they are generally happy with lite versions which are free. A larger initial investment gets you a device which is far less expensive than a Nintendo DS when you count games. In addition, if your kid is missing, you can use "Find iPhone" to find your kid. Every parent knows they'll eventually have to buy their kid a phone, so they skip the Nintendo.

Then there's Wii U. Consider an average of five new games a year for 5 years. Games cost $50 or more for new releases. That's $1250 plus the console cost and you'll probably have to buy two consoles. If you have two kids, two controllers are needed. That's about a $2000 investment in a toy that lacks anything other than toy value.

6 years ago, my kids school would have Nintendo day. Now they have tablet day. I haven't seen a DS in 3 years. Not even my friends kids have them.

about 6 months ago

Torvalds: SteamOS Will 'Really Help' Linux On the Desktop

LostMyBeaver Screw linux on the desktop (304 comments)

Honestly, linux on set tops and stuff is great. But Linux on the desktop is a pipedream I stopped believing long ago. If I need Linux on the desktop, I have an SSH client.

As for games on PC, that's worthwhile. I like games and I want more games on the PC and would love it if Nintendo would give up on hardware and go the Sega way. I haven't found any Playstation games worthy of investing in a BIG BULKY PLAYSTATION for. I mean that beast is a burden to the eyes. Who honestly needs better graphics when it comes at a visual cost like that?

XBox is ok, I have one and even bought a game for it.

I have a Steam account. I have about 100 games I bought through steam. I have all my apps on Windows and have SSH into my Linux box. I don't see the point of games on Linux... but ok. I guess someone wants them.

Now making a game console which runs Linux is nifty. Hope it works out... but I don't see this as a Linux box, I see this as just another console. Who cares what the OS is? The games on it are what matters.

You want Linux on the desktop? Get a Chrome OS device. Done. Lots of games, lots of support.

Do you really need another Linux desktop? Why not get one to work first?

about 6 months ago

DHHS Preparing 'Tech Surge' To Fix Remaining Healthcare.gov Issues

LostMyBeaver Translation... (429 comments)

Some manager type is trying to solve the problem by throwing people at the job. As if it were and assembly line.

The problem is pretty damn obvious. They threw too many people at it to begin with using a government contractor with a long established history of always late, always over-budget.

This is especially why a national system is required. The fed will throw money at it until it works. What would poor states like Mississippi do if they had to build their own system?

about 6 months ago

Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

LostMyBeaver And it shows :( (655 comments)

Honestly, even most IT majors can barely handle most technology since they spend years basically learning to hack around until something works. I meet hundreds of IT people every year and many function entirely based on hacking, misconception and rumor. Want an example? Ask IT pros which OS is best. Instead of choosing based on educated reasoning, research or better yet explaining that each has a purpose and you'd have to choose based on the task at hand, many will choose based on religion and mostly hearsay.

The best IT professionals I know have studied computer science inside or out of a school. Algorithms and operating system design are core components of their knowledge. They understand how to research and study technology before choosing tools because of pretty boxes and articles on their favorite blog.

I am glad these people exist. If it weren't for them, I'd have to install antivirus software and reinstall Windows for everyone I know.

about 6 months ago

Battlefield Director: Linux Only Needs One 'Killer' Game To Explode

LostMyBeaver Is it really about the OS anymore? (410 comments)

Linux is all over the place. I know plenty of people who use it daily. I lived on Linux for years. Hell, I even ported the Opera Web Browser to the platform.

What it boils down to is simple, OS wars are dead. There's more than just Microsoft now. I personally prefer Windows 8 because it's faster than anything I've ever used before and it has less obvious bugs than the other platforms. Other people like Mac, others Linux, others Chrome (which is more of a Java platform than a Linux platform).

I think it's about time to consider that 99% of game development has moved into a new era of platform independent game engines. Using Unreal Engine, Unigine Game Engine, Unity3D and others you write the game once and tweak the controls for a dozen different platforms from phones to XBox/PS to Linux. Companies who code their own game engines and want to reinvent the wheel can do so if they want, but honestly, it's not so interesting. These days, if a game system developer really wants their platform to take off, they can make agreements with the platform system company and pay for the port or do it themselves.

Take a look at Microsoft. No one wanted to port to the Metro platform and Microsoft basically made it happen by working with the game engine companies. Now all the game vendors need to do is simply generate a new executable and tweak the controls.

If Valve wants support for SteamOS, the answer is simple, port the game engines. But I have no interest in games locked into a platform. I stopped buying consoles because I don't need a special machine for games anymore. Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, etc... are all powerful enough to play the best of them. Game consoles were only interesting when porting to a platform meant an endless amount of problems with hardware incompatibility. We don't do it anymore. These days, the game engines do the work for us. Content developers can produce awesome games without worrying about AMD vs. Pentium or nVidia vs. Intel vs. AMD. Hell, they don't even have to think much about Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux. They can develop games and simply deploy them.

SteamOS seems interesting, but I want one device for everything. I use a Surface Pro at the moment. Surface Pro 2 later this month. It's a laptop, a tablet, a video player, an ebook reader and a game system. Would I like better graphics? Yep... but Pro 2 has better graphics. And the graphics on the Surface Pro 2 are good enough that it's now more about game content than graphics quality. I carry an XBox controller in my backpack so I can play Sonic Racing or Lara Croft on airplanes.

It'll be pretty cool though if Valve makes it so I can buy a game and play it on SteamBox or my Surface without buying a second copy.

about 6 months ago

Whirlpool Ditches IBM Collaboration Software, Moves To Google Apps

LostMyBeaver Sucker!!! (101 comments)

Ok... I know there aren't many alternatives, but seriously... moving to Google Docs doesn't sound good in the current climate. It means that all business mails and documents will be easily accessible by the U.S. government.

I don't know whether Whirlpool stores and information that is considered customer confidential, but I'd imagine that they have documents regularly stored on their systems that are marked "Corporate Confidential". Does voluntarily choosing to store files on a server owned by a U.S. corporation that regularly breeches confidentiality by providing their records to the U.S. government (NSA, FBI, etc...) no violate those terms of the agreements?

Of course, pretending like it's not happening might count as "not voluntarily doing so". The only reason I like Offie 365 is because of Office 365 Enterprise which can be hosted by non-Microsoft corporations in countries with privacy laws.

about 6 months ago



Intentionally disposable computing, a good thing?

LostMyBeaver LostMyBeaver writes  |  more than 3 years ago

LostMyBeaver (1226054) writes "I just read about Eric Schmidt's goal of moving everything to "the cloud" and making it so that in the future Chrome OS devices will be "disposable by design". To take a quick sucker punch on the guys at Eric, this sounds like he expects anything running Chrome OS to be garbage by design."
Link to Original Source

Environmental cost of battery recycling?

LostMyBeaver LostMyBeaver writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LostMyBeaver (1226054) writes "I have been considering the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle for some time. The biggest problem I have currently is that both technologies make use of rechargable batteries. The same tree-huggers telling me gasoline is bad are telling me that batteries are bad too.

I'm only partially knowledgable in this area, but it appears the battery technologies are generally based at least on lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, lead acid and nickel-cadmium. I was hoping someone on Slashdot would be knowledgable enough to explain the environmental cost of recycling these batteries. If I understand correctly, after these chemicals are "spent" so the cells no longer maintain a charge, they are not useful for producing new batteries.

I can only imagine that the most common method of recycling the cells is to store the toxic chemicals of the batteries in barrels and refilling the cells with new chemicals. This sounds like an environmental distaster to me. Is there someone here that can help me sleep better at night by explaining what really happens?"


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