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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

N8F8 Re:ChunkVNC + Instant Support (116 comments)

I'll try this. Looks like an excellent option. Thank you.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

N8F8 Re:Contact TeamViewer (116 comments)

I'll consider this but I'm an Open Source advocate and I would like to have the option of customizing the solution.

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure

N8F8 Microsoft is right (913 comments)

Vendors had a long time to move production to devices with a touch interface and for the most pat they did nothing. A few crappy all-in-ones and overly expensive laptops. Even bigger touch pads with faster interfaces would have made a world of difference. Meanwhile the market is proving MS correct and sales of tablets and small devices is booming. I track deal websites all the rime and every time someone posts a sub $500 touch notebook they sell out in short order . external touch pad devices seen real popular too. Face it, but Win 8 Sucks on a traditional notebook or PC.

about a year ago
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US Census Bureau Offers Public API For Data Apps

N8F8 Stripped-Down Data (47 comments)

I recently pulled the census data and it's pretty much useless since any information you could use to look at results by city or region have been stripped out in the version available to the general public. Sucks.

about a year and a half ago
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6 IT Projects, $8 Billion Over Budget At Dept. of Defense

N8F8 Half insightful (113 comments)

You described a situation where you have people who understand the customer identifying requirements and planning. Makes a lot of sense since an outsider would take many years to understand customer needs. I think the real part is the second part of your statement "ex-military are extremely unlikely to buck the system and stand up to uniformed types" - the problem has nothing to do with uniform, prior service are LESS likely to be impressed with that, what you really have is the age-old problem of not wanting to say no to the customer.

about a year and a half ago
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New Analyst Report Calls Agile a Scam, Says It's An Easy Out For Lazy Devs

N8F8 Re:PMP Backlash (491 comments)

I'm both a PMP certified and a ScrumMaster and it's really annoying when advocates of one system attack the other out of misunderstanding. Agile isn't "anti-management and anti-process" and PMP isn't uber rigid. PMP did evolve from a construction mindset but should be tailored for other areas like software dev. The real problem is people turning process into a religion. There aren't hard-and-fast laws. They are guidelines Use what makes sense and tailor the rest to work for you. You want repeat-ability in your work process for many of the same reasons you want repeat-ability in your code.

about 2 years ago
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Remembering America's Fresh Water Submarines

N8F8 Sad Submarine History (225 comments)

The US could have easily been the supplier to the world for small coastal patrol and research diesel-electric subs but the US government has blocked such efforts.

about 2 years ago
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University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department

N8F8 Good Deal! (628 comments)

Good deal for UCF and Florida Tech

about 2 years ago
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X-Prize Founder Wants Ideas For Fixing Education

N8F8 Tactile Learning (479 comments)

We're monkeys programmed to learn by interacting with things. Any learning system that stuff kids in a classroom 7-10 hours a day, behind a desk staring at books is doomed to failure.

more than 2 years ago
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USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

N8F8 Crew Member 89-93 (455 comments)

I was a Nuke MM aboard the Enterprise from 1989-1993 and worked aboard during it's last nuclear overhaul. This ship is certainly old and was basically a prototype for the Nimitz Class carriers but remember that this ship is more capable than anything any other country in the world right now can forward deploy. Look it up.

Fair Winds and Following Seas.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

N8F8 Alfred Bester (1244 comments)

The Demolished Man and Tiger, Tiger.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

N8F8 Alan Quartermain (1244 comments)

"She" and the rest of the Alan Quarter main series by Haggard.

more than 2 years ago
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Aging U-2 Will Fight On Into the Next Decade

N8F8 Lockheed Was Badass Then (266 comments)

And Lockheed is Badass Now. Good engineering.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Maker Spaces the Future of Public Libraries?

N8F8 Libraries to Go Extinct (158 comments)

Here in Florida almost the first thing to get cut in tough times are library hours and budgets. The vast majority of library users are aging out. Many libraries are trying to move to multimedia and electronic content sharing but copyright holders are destroying the buy-once, share-infinite model that libraries thrive on. If a library has to buy a new ebook for every eight times a book use "loaned" then they are doomed. Google books, Project Gutenberg, Amazon and BN are your new libraries.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Do So Many College Science Majors Drop Out?

N8F8 Bull$hit Requirements (841 comments)

Liberal arts programs are strangling the future of this country.

more than 2 years ago
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US Defunds UNESCO After Palestine Vote

N8F8 Don't Assume (735 comments)

Don't assume your skewed views of the world have anything to do with reality. A Leftie distortion field is in effect.

more than 2 years ago
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Help Shape the Future of Slashdot

N8F8 CAPTCHA Demotivates Me (763 comments)

Every hurdle you put between me and inserting my comment reduces the chances that I'll bother. CAPTCHA and "Preview" severely demotivate me. not fond of the timer either.

more than 2 years ago
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SAIC Loses Data of 4.9 Million Patients

N8F8 Re:Espionage? (182 comments)

I had a similar thought. Highly suspicious.

more than 2 years ago
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SAIC Loses Data of 4.9 Million Patients

N8F8 Espionage? (182 comments)

What's the probability that someone breaks into your car and steals computer tapes?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop Sharing Software

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  about 6 months ago

N8F8 (4562) writes "Like many IT professionals I provide a lot free helpdesk type support to friends and family. I've decided to expand my support work and create a site where Veterans can receive free computer help (VeteransHelp.org). I'm using OSTicket (osticket.com) for the ticket reporting. What It really need is an easy to use desktop sharing system. In the past I've used TeamViewer because it is easy to use but it is not really free for non personal use. Recently I switched to Meraki Systems Manager because it is free and it uses VNC but unfortunately it isn't intended for the one-time-use type support I'll be offering. So I'm looking for a reliable, open source, easy to use desktop sharing solution that I can set up on my site for people to join one-time-use help desk sessions."
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Open Source Doesn't Mean Open Opportunity in Government Contracting

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  about 2 years ago

N8F8 writes "I recently wrote a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional watchdog group, concerning major misrepresentations made by the General Services Administration (GSA) because they write policy statements mandating “Open Source” and “Open Government” but structure programs so they work against open policy and prevent most small businesses from competing.
In particular, the GSA has contracted out a major revamp of all federal procurement websites under a new site called SAM.gov. This site is being rolled out in multiple stages, the first of which has been delayed until July. The first stage takes all the sites that list and certify government contractors (CCR, ORCA,etc) and rolls them into one service. Future phases will roll in sites for posting government proposal requests and contractor and subcontractor performance (FBO, FPDS,etc). On the one hand the GSA espouses the use of Open Source so that “code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the code without paying royalties or fees” but then they manage projects and make it all but impossible for small companies to compete by:

1) Allowing only businesses under contract to the US Government to access the code, documentation and full test system.
2) Delaying the publishing of any meaningful architecture and interface information for third party developers to review. So far only poorly documented web service information and data samples has been provided. The contractor doing the development has answered a few questions publicly but certainly not to the degree needed for system that will supposedly be fielded next month.
3) Requiring all listed companies to register with Dun and Bradstreet (to the tune of $4 mil/year) so then then have to license this basic company data back and therefore restrict the use of all the SAM.gov data.
4) Requiring obscenely complicated and restrictive licensing/ agreements and requirements to use the system as a service provider. Additionally, these agreements seem change every week, confusing the matter.

I’m doubtful that th GAO or GSA will listen to these comments unless we make some noise. I have some recommendations to correct these misstatements and create a system to fix the problem in future government projects.
1) Put in place a system to allow businesses who have registered to become government contractors through CCR (soon SAM.gov) to be sponsored to have access to code and system information needed to create solutions for “open-source” government systems without needing to be specifically contracted to do so. This kind of system would increase the business opportunities, especially for small businesses, and provide more software solutions to the government and other government contractors.
2) Establish a TECHNICAL review of Open-Source/Open Government programs and projects to ensure funded programs, projects and contractors are meeting the stated requirements and agency objectives.
What do you think? How can we get our message heard?"

Link to Original Source
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Open Source eBook Kiosk for the Disconnected

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  about 2 years ago

N8F8 writes "The book industry is so focused on the web-connected ebook market that I haven't been able to find a SINGLE product or service that allows eBook lending for communities that aren't connected to the web all the time. Is anyone aware of a eBook kiosk system that caches eBooks locally? Or a Open Source software that would allow users to plug a USB eBook reader into a kiosk, browse through a catalog and download the eBook to the reader? Also, is anyone aware of a major book publisher or book distributor that would allow such a system or at least bulk eBook license?"
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ASCAP vs. the Creative Commons

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

N8F8 writes "Does ASCAP control all music played in the United States, even music licensed under the Creative Commons? Are there any resources to help small business owners deal with ASCAP, BMI or any other music rights company that comes knocking? Am I legal if I play music licensed for commercial use under the Creative Commons license?

Last year my wife and I opened a small coffee shop named BunJava in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We love to support the local music scene so at first we allowed local bands to play in our shop. A few months after we opened I posted our venue information on MySpace and within a week BMI contacted us regarding paying for a performance license. After several months of discussions we finally got them to understand they we only let local bands play their own music, no cover tunes, and they left us alone.

Then in May a Brent Beha from ASCAP called. We gave him the same information we had given BMI but he insists we still need to purchase a license from them. We received a copy of their licensing terms in the mail but found them rather expensive since we are a small shop still struggling to pay the day to day bills. Their license also penalizes small shops by making them pay double the rate of larger establishments.

Meanwhile, to be extra careful until we've worked all this out, we stopped allowing live music and I have obtained music through a company called Jamendo.com that specializes in music licensed under the Creative Commons. More specifically, songs that permit commercial use.

Yesterday, out of the blue, the ASCAP representative stopped by while my wife was working. She was unable to immediately meet with him so my wife asked to schedule a meeting time and the ASCAP representative said his attorney would be contacting us. Below is the email correspondence that we have had.

=====================================================

Mr. Lowing,

I received your wife's voicemail asking if I could make it back today but unfortunately I will not be able to. I believe Brent Beha explained that jamendo.com does not currently have an ASCAP license. If they can provide you with an ASCAP account number I would be happy to research it as we do have some third party licensing agreements. In addition you would need to license for your live music.

Under separate cover I have provided some Federal case law for your attorney to review, please have him call me with any questions he may have.

Please fax or mail the signed agreement, along with your payment. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Regards,

Jim Coniglio
Area Licensing Manager — Team Leader
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 1-615-727-5936 local office
1-386-473-6167 cell
1-678-239-3684 fax

=====================================================

Mr. Coniglio,

We have several questions that Mr. Beha has not answered. We are a small coffee shop playing music licensed from an entity or entities using a license that ASCAP is not a party to. For time we offered our location as a place for local musicians to play but for various reasons we eliminated that. So, specifically, what ASCAP licensed property do you as an ASCAP representative assert control of that we MUST license?

I have considered your products from a value perspective. You offer very little added value from your competitors. Little in the way of accessing the music or selecting the music. You offer a large collection of music but not much to help the venue target customers. Furthermore, you charge DOUBLE the license fees to small venues than you do large venues. DOUBLE. We're a tiny mom and pop and I hope we make it past the first year and we have to be very frugal. In the end we need noise in the background. The more applealing the noise to potential customers, the better. Sincerely,

-Owner

=====================================================

Mr. Lowing,

I think there some confusion as to ASCAP's function. We are not a music service. We are a performing rights organization. We represent over 350,000 writers and publi her and 8 and half million songs. All music used publicly in the U.S. must either be license by us or you must receive direct permission from each writer AND publisher of each song used daily in your business.

Finding, negotiating with and obtaining permission from each of the owners of the music you might use would be impractical and very expensive. That is why we offer the ASCAP blanket license which, for one annual fee, covers your use of all the music in our repertory. For over 90 years, ASCAP has provided music licenses to a wide variety of businesses. Hundreds of thousands of business operators have chosen ASCAP licenses as a convenient and inexpensive method to meet their responsibilities under the Federal Copyright Law. We trust that you will too.

We are not charging you or live music since you have claimed to have discontinued this. We are charging you the minimum fee for your recorded music only.

Jim Coniglio
Area Licensing Manager — Team Leader
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
1-615-727-5936 local office
1-386-473-6167 cell
1-678-239-3684 fax

"

Link to Original Source
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Going from Photoshop to the Paint Store

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

N8F8 writes "Why is it so hard to pick colors on the computer and find that same color at the paint store? Monitor calibration issues aside, I've found it almost impossible to convert from computer colors/palettes(RGB/HEX) to the paint vendor's colors. I know no system will be perfect but something would be better than nothing. My wife and I are opening a coffee shop in Cocoa Beach, FL and we used a popular color design website called ColourLovers.com to pick a palette. Going from there to the paint store has been difficult. I found one website that had a little information, EasyRGB.com, but they don't have information from many paint vendors. Does anyone know of better ways to go from software to real world — in paint colors?"
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Thin Client User Satisfaction

N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

N8F8 writes "My corporate IT folks have been sniffing around the SUN thin client solutions. I don't recall hearing of much thin client adoption recently. Has anyone seen any legitimate, independent case studies involving thin client architecture? Especially where they surveyed user satisfaction/computer usability?"
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N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  about 7 years ago

N8F8 (4562) writes "For the baby boomer generation space was an adventure. They fantasized about adventures traveling to other planets and stars. Kids today are bored with the idea. NASA is in rapid decline and new proposals are met by a "so what" shrug from the public. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and potential 2008 US Presidential contender, has proposed a solution to excite Americans and drive space exploration by having the US Government sponsor a $20 billion, 21st Century America's Cup race modeled after the X-Prize competition."
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N8F8 N8F8 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

N8F8 (4562) writes "A recent update to Java may cause serious hiccups to systems that require exact time handling or rely on legacy date data within certain timezones. This update was made by SUN to "accommodate" the U.S. 2007 daylight saving time changes (US2007DST) originating with the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005.Java Update 1.5.0_08 (and newer) changes the interpretation of "EST" to not include DST (and a few others). This means that all legacy Applets and applications which used EST before will be broken or will record incorrect times. more info. I always assumed that "deprecated" still means backward compatible in Java? There is a workaround for but it is not a practical solution for fielded software. So on Match 11, 2007 you may want to have some extra cash on hand."

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