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Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

OAB_X Re:A SIM only plan? (246 comments)

Virgin Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Canada. Of course they have great signal in your rural area. It's the same towers!

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

OAB_X Re:A SIM only plan? (246 comments)

The parent AC is mostly incorrect. The major telecoms only emphasise post-paid plans, but do have pre-paid available without the need to purchase a phone. They don't want to sell them to you however, and will only tell you about pre-paid if you visit their website or ask them specifically.

In Canada there a dozen or so MVNO's, most of whom operate on a pre-paid model in addition to the 'big three' incumbent companies. Each of the 'big three' providers (Rogers, Bell, Telus) owns one or two MVNO's. Rogers has Fido and Chatr, Bell has Virgin and Telus has Koodo. There are also several highly regional carriers (SaskTel, MTS, Lynx, TBayTel, ICE Wireless, etc.) that offer services where the 'Big 3' do not operate (Northern Quebec, Northwest Territories, Northern Ontario, etc.).

All that being said, there is only one major GSM network, the Rogers/Fido network. Thus, (until 2008/2009) only Rogers/Fido were offering pre-paid plans you could use with a GSM phone. Telus and Bell were CDMA. In the last few years Telus and Bell have built their own HSPA+ network. Now that they have a network that takes SIM cards, all three of the major players are offering inexpensive pre-paid SIM cards, with fairly expensive per-minute rates (40c/minute, unless you get a pre-paid 'plan'. Some of the plans are even 'free' if you top up frequently enough).

Further muddying the waters is the fact that most of the MVNOs don't specialise in pre-paid 'long distance' rates or pre-paid 'local' rates. Part of this is because of foreign ownership restrictions. These have been recently eased, but are still tighter than most other countries. Canada is also extremely large, with a small population. Canada is the size of Europe, with 10x fewer people. England, is approximately the same size as Southern Ontario (130,000km^2), but England has 50,000,000 people and Southern Ontario has 12,000,000. Let us not forget that a large part is because the owners of the networks don't want to give anyone a better deal than they give their own customers, at least not appreciably.

All that being said, the 'big three' all offer prepaid SIMs for $10-$20 dollars, so do most of their sub brands. The MVNOs Petro-Canada Mobility and 7-11 'Speak out' wireless are reasonably easy to find and offer prepaid services depending on where you are visiting.

Rogers Wireless - http://www.rogers.com/web/content/wireless-products/plans#,Tabset1--4
Telus Mobility - http://www.telusmobility.com/en/ON/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml
Bell Mobility - http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Cell_phone_plans/Prepaid_plans

Big three 'sub brands' (frequently with regional restrictions ie: major cities):
Virgin Mobile - Bell Mobility - http://www.virginmobile.ca/en/plans/prepaid-talktext-plans.html?itcid=NAV:58
Koodo - Telus Mobility - http://koodomobile.com/en/on/plansandboosters.shtml
Fido - Rogers Wireless - http://www.fido.ca/web/page/portal/Fido/PrepaidPlans?forwardTo=prepaidPlans
Chatr - Rogers Wireless - http://www.chatrwireless.com/web/chatr.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PlanBrowse

Regional Operators:
Sasktel - http://www.sasktel.com/personal/mobility/prepaid/index.html
MTS - http://www.mts.ca/mts/personal/wireless/mts+prepaid+wireless ... etc.

Independent MVNOs:
Petro Canada Mobility - (Rogers Network) - http://mobility.petro-canada.ca/en/features/406.aspx
7-11 Speak-Up Wireless - (Rogers Network) - http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepaid-cell-phone-rates
PC Telecom - (Bell Network) - http://www.pctelecom.ca/LCLOnline/rateplans_features.jsp ... etc.

As for America, there are several providers who are willing to sell you a pre-paid SIM, the easiest to find is T-Mobile. T-Mobile wants $10 per SIM and gives you $10 of credit if you buy it.

about a year and a half ago
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Canadian Spying Case Proves Floppy Drive Isn't Dead Yet

OAB_X Re:Article is wrong, guy used a thumb drive (148 comments)

Or the CBC is internally inconsistent and can't figure out if he used a floppy drive, thumb drive or both.

about 2 years ago
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Canadian Spying Case Proves Floppy Drive Isn't Dead Yet

OAB_X Re:What secrets do the Canadians have? Maple syrup (148 comments)

And that could possibly be only because Broc died. He had supported Tecumseh in his bid for 'nationhood', but got himself killed in a battle. His superiors were not as grateful to the native leader as the guy who was fighting alongside them was. However, what would one generals belief do in London? It's unclear.

about 2 years ago
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Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

OAB_X Re:Bullshit (371 comments)

OCAD is a very well known and respected school in Ontario. The school itself is not a scam. Having a textbook custom created by a company (Prentice Hall) is very expensive. And the economies of scale that come with a very large run for dozens of schools are not present. Especially if the photographs need to be licensed at a flat rate.

about 2 years ago
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Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

OAB_X Forced? (371 comments)

Having attended University, I fail to see how someone is "forced" to buy a copy of the text. Borrowing a copy from the library, borrowing a copy from a friend, etc. are all ways to avoid being "forced" into buying a text.

Having made it through university without being "forced" to buy any texts for libral arts courses, I fail to see how the purchase of an art history text "forces" someone to actually buy the text.

That and it seems that the ebook edition has the pictures in it.

Stupid Canadian copyright law apparently (or inept publishers, there have been texts published with art pictures for a while right? Even in Canada?)

about 2 years ago
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Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

OAB_X Re:Global Visual Culture From Preshistory to 1800 (371 comments)

You can't just go into a museum and take a picture of something and have it be good enough for print. You need the proper lighting, etc, etc.

That and presumably the museum could refuse you access if you were going to take pictures for commercial purposes.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Teaching Typing With Limited Electricity, Computers?

OAB_X Re:Here's an idea (325 comments)

+1 to mechanical typewriter. Move the best to the computers when they become competent. Used market is not too expensive. Electric typewriters will work too if you can't find enough manual ones (and they are less expensive than computers).

about 2 years ago
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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

OAB_X Re:Engineering was always a better bet.. (630 comments)

+1 for my office (embedded development, hardware and software). In the software department half are engineers, the other half are comp-sci. The differences I've seen are as follows:

Engineers:
Pros:
- Have a very strong sense how the underlying behaviour of the hardware works
- Come up with good designs, want to have changes signed off upon (all the benefits of 'engineering practices')
- Understand the differences between the general and specific solution and which to pick and in what situation
Cons:
- Not so good with some of the theoretical computer science stuff (which very specific method of IPC should be used in this specific instance), since they did not study much of it
- I have seen (anecdotally, part of this relates to workplace culture/expectations) more things that Engineers have worked on be vulnerable to shell injections and/or other exploits, more likely to 'shell out' to use some 3rd party application than use its API

Computer Scientists:
Pros:
- Good understanding of algorithmic complexity and optimisation
- The quality of their work is very good
- Understand the differences between the general and specific solution and which to pick and in what situation
Cons:
- Not so good with some of the theoretical electronics stuff (as in how do you make a circuit a pull-up, what does tri-state mean, etc. how sharp of an edge does the signal need to be) since they did not study much of it
- I have seen (anecdotally, part of this relates to workplace culture/expectations) that not quite as many things have shell injections or are 'shelled out' for.

With this all being said, the manager is an Engineer, the project lead is an Engineer and 3/4 of the team leads are Engineers (in Soviet Russia you did Engineering or Math, not Computer Science).

NB: "Engineer" in this case refers to an Engineer in the legal sense, according to American/Canadian law where the term "Engineer" is protected. Basic requirements to call yourself an Engineer are having graduated from a an accredited Engineering program and have a membership with their Professional Engineering organisation.

about 2 years ago
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ICS-CERT Warns That Infrastructure Switches Have Hard-Coded Account Holes

OAB_X Re:WHO? (60 comments)

Cisco, D-Link, Netgear, etc. do not make (much) industrial temp (-40 to +80C, very high EMI/static discharge tolerances, etc.) networking equipment.

Garrettcom was not the only company in the industry to be caught doing the same thing (see: http://it.slashdot.org/story/12/04/25/1456210/backdoor-in-ruggedos-systems-infrastructure-military-systems-vulnerable). Not the latter one has according to the company been patched out in the latest software release.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Single-Handed Keyboard Options For Coding?

OAB_X Re:Dvorak Single Handed (147 comments)

1) Why do you assume it was for games?
2) Why do you assume that everyone who uses a computer (or gets in car accidents) is a him?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Single-Handed Keyboard Options For Coding?

OAB_X Re:Dvorak Single Handed (147 comments)

+1 to this. I know a person who injured their aim in a car accident and this worked for them.

about 2 years ago
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Private Key Found Embedded In Major SCADA Equipment

OAB_X Re:Well... Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! (105 comments)

They fixed it. http://www.ruggedcom.com/productbulletin/ros-security-page/
A year to late yes, but it was fixed.

As far as the original vulnerability goes, that required someone to connect to the public internet a device an authentication protocol which would transmit the password in the clear (telnet, RSH). Plus, it was a L2 switch, not a router.

Maybe like many small hardware engineering companies it isn't like they don't care about security, maybe management is just bad at supporting it and QA testing it ...

about 2 years ago
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Private Key Found Embedded In Major SCADA Equipment

OAB_X Re:Do I even want to know? (105 comments)

Easy to think of answer is that if you are required to validate a One True Config as part of an RFP process, and that the firmware installed on all devices must be 'identical' and come with SSL out of the box, that you need to pre-program all devices with the same key.

Should you be able to change the key that mitigates the problem entirely.

about 2 years ago
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Private Key Found Embedded In Major SCADA Equipment

OAB_X Re:Of course it has a private key (105 comments)

Even if they do have all the same one (after all, all devices come with the same default password), it isn't an issue if you can change the key is it?

about 2 years ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

OAB_X Re:It Depends (504 comments)

The sysadmin where I work once bought two Seagate drives, they had sequential serial numbers. They failed within 5 days of each other (killing the RAID-1 because the array had not finished rebuilding).

about 2 years ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

OAB_X Re:One word (504 comments)

Wrong. The correct single-word answer is 'sometimes'.

If the PCB is dead, replacing the PCB (and swapping the appropriate chip which contains some drive-specific information even if the PCB revision is the same) will work. (Done it myself with a 160GB samsumg, two co-workers did it too (Seagate 1TB with buggered firmware and 320GB Western Digital with a controler that burnt out)

The freezer/fridge does work too. Combine putting the drive in the fridge for several hours + dd_rescue and you can get more data off. The freezer sometimes works better than the fridge (at condensation risk)..

If you have had a head crash, none of the above will help.

about 2 years ago
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GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

OAB_X Re:I finally mostly like Gnome 3.4 (535 comments)

Now, with 3.4, all I need to add is a direct shortcut to each desktop. Alas, the GUI offers me shortcuts only for the first four desktops, but at least it is possible to set shortcuts for all of them on the command line. I no longer have any extensions installed. Super + typing part of the application name is wonderful.

So, to use shortcuts properly in your GUI, you must use a text terminal?

about 2 years ago
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Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?

OAB_X Re:Use a Lupo engine (543 comments)

It is an Outback (legacy wagon) a tweaked body and jacked-up suspension.

The Forester is lighter than the Escape too (100kg or so depending on how each are kitted out).

A better comparison you might have come up with would have been the Nissan Juke (built on the same platform as the sub-compact Versa), or made reference to the CRV/Rav4 being called SUVs but were really just cars. The CRV bears almost no relation to the Civic it is based on apart from the mechanical bits, and I do call the CRV a SUV.

more than 2 years ago

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