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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

OzPeter Re:I do this (289 comments)

I have to do a risk analysis for each change that gets made to a system (not just patches)

Which sounds like its straight out of the OSHA playbook for considering the health and safety aspects of a physical job before performing it. While it is a PITA sometimes, when the shit does hit the fan you are glad that you have all the correct responses ready to roll.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

OzPeter Re:What helps... (289 comments)

ethanol.

Yeah .. but methanol is a better solution - especially if its not you drinking it

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

OzPeter Re:Nonsense (289 comments)

So... the business made a stupid decision, and when they realised the error of their ways, rather than trying to reach agreement on the best way forward, you delighted in rubbing their noses in it, using processes designed to protect you to hurt your employing organization instead.

If he had said .. "OK .. sure I'll stop sending you those 400 pages of paper per day", then the policy would still have been left in place, and sometime win the future his employer could have used his inability to follow policy as an excuse to ream him over. Yes its CYA, but some employers are not above using any tool at their disposal to justify their actions.

Only by being a genuine PITA does the stupid police get removed, rather than ignored until convenient.

2 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

OzPeter Re:Flip it around to put it in perspective (578 comments)

Though I never said I could type .. that was meant to be novel not oval solutions. Damn auto-correct.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

OzPeter Flip it around to put it in perspective (578 comments)

I can code in multiple languages on multiple systems and have been doing it for a shit load of years .. and right now I am sitting in front of OSX, Windows 7 and Debian systems.

But suppose my choice of career was suddenly cut short for some reason (the singularity?) what would it take for me to learn a bunch of manual skills in order to become a productive member of society? And to learn them to the same skill level I have now?

Basically I would be fucked as I have spent all these years adapting to intellectual challenges that rely on understanding arcane facts about specific systems, and then shuffling that knowledge around to find oval solutions to problems. I chose this career path because I was not enamored with the idea of manual labor. Actually I take that back .. I chose this career because I was enamored with the intellectual challenges. So I know I would suck at being a coal miner or a machinist or a welder or barrista compared to people who willingly have taken on those career paths.

The mythical coal miner to coder transition would suck for the same reasons that me being a coal miner would suck

So in general I agree with Bloomberg

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

OzPeter Re:You won't go very far ... (451 comments)

I wonder where "Screw your fellow workers" comes into "proper research" thing.

Because they don't have a choice in what is dictated, as businesses are not run as a collective of feel good measures.

Either the proper research (and did you see that I had education in my original post?) shows a long term cost benefit, or it doesn't.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

OzPeter Re:You won't go very far ... (451 comments)

... with that attitude.

So proper research is bad? What bizarro world do you live in?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

OzPeter Re:Power management on Ubuntu (451 comments)

Can't answer your sleep issue .. But given all the drama with Ubuntu I just went back one level up the tree and started playing around with Debian.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

OzPeter Screw your fellow workers (451 comments)

They are employees .. so they do what they are told to do by their boss.

Now developing a proper business case for your boos to show that you have considered all of the angles (installation, administration, education, usage and changeover issues) , and how that affects the bottom line is a totally different question.

about two weeks ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

OzPeter Re:Cue the naysayers... (172 comments)

Just be prepared to have to constantly get out of your vehicle to clean all those different lenses, or else camera tech is useless.

Why do you think that has to be manually done? Air blast of sensors to keep them clean is common in industry, and various high end cars already have things like head light washer/wipers.

about two weeks ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

OzPeter Re:Cue the naysayers... (172 comments)

Recently both rear view cameras and sideview camera systems have been criticised as a bad idea by some here on Slashdot.

This Land Rover invisible hood system seems beyond criticism. But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway. Go for it...

I think the biggest legitimate criticism that came out of the rear/side camera replacement of mirrors was that you had to refocus your eyes from infinity to dashboard to infinity each time you glanced at the video display. In this case you will already be tracking your bonnet so that the required change in eye focus will be minimal.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

OzPeter Re:Please specify a better scenario (272 comments)

I have been a developer for almost 20 years now and can spin this up with a SQL database in under an hour.

If you have have been a developer for 20 years then you should know that people will be skeptical of any question that lets them play and win Buzzword Bingo from a single sentence.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

OzPeter Re:Please specify a better scenario (272 comments)

Based on your information no one can give you solid advice.

IMHO the question is deliberately designed to be vague. iPhones and Android devices, PHP and Ruby On Rails .. that is such a shotgun blast of specifications that are totally unrelated to the DB use on the back end that the entire question smells of click bait to me.

about two weeks ago
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Rover Curiosity Discovers Australia-Shaped Rock On Mars

OzPeter I'm trying (99 comments)

But no matter how I squint my eyes I can't see Australia in that rock.

about two weeks ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

OzPeter Re:Also Oakland (319 comments)

That's pretty much her problem, isn't it?

But, the State knows much better than the citizen I guess.

If you're going to run a business (which it sounds like she basically was) it behooves you to protect yourself - regardless if you are flying above or below the radar. Anything else is being foolish.

about two weeks ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

OzPeter Re:Also Oakland (319 comments)

A friend of mine got a similar notice in Oakland last year. Shut down or be evicted. It's a shame. She provided a better place to stay than any reasonably priced hotel.

So how was her insurance coverage for the guests? Or to protect herself if someone sued her?

Better? Maybe. Riskier? .. Definitely.

about two weeks ago
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

OzPeter Re:Give 'em your Kool-Aid (226 comments)

... Would Microsoft want to get kids hooked into nice wholesome activities like MS-SQL, C#, .net or VB -

  If they don't do this - they have only themselves to blame when the next generation grows up to be FOSS zellots...

Do you mean like all those free versions of Visual Studio and MS-SQL that they have been giving away for years and years?

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

OzPeter Re:Banks deflecting attention from themselves (342 comments)

There is nothing illegal whatsoever, since the trades are public. It's just that the HFT optimized their routes.

Sure not illegal per se, but only a finite number of people can get that sort of access, so now the playing field isn't level.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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I am Slashdot

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 2 months ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

(please propagate the "I am Slashdot" meme in anyway you can)"
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The Inside Story Of The World's Biggest 'Battery'

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 8 months ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "With 24 gigawatt-hours of capacity, the Bath County (Virginia) Hydro Pumped Storage Facility is one giant sized storage battery that is the largest in the world. The Inside Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy talks about its operation, where pumped storage fits into the mix of power generation and the challenges they expect in the future. Also see this youtube video for another overview of the facility.

Disclaimer .. I have nothing to do with any of these websites .. I just drove past the place on the weekend."
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$1b Ghost town to be built in New Mexico

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in the Brisbane Times, construction of a $1b Ghost Town is expected to start in Lea County near Hobbs, New Mexico this year. The town is the brainchild of Pegasus Global Holdings and represents its Center for Innovation, Testing & Evaluation (CITE) and will be modeled after the real town of Rock Hill S.C. From the Brisbane times article:

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars. "The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope," said Brumley (senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings).

Also from the that article:

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $US400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $US1 billion.

"

Link to Original Source
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Robot bird perches on human hand

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and also directly from Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign researchers have demonstrated a robot bird that can fly down and perform a soft landing, such as perching on a human hand. From the the Age's article

"The ability to perform perched landings on a human hand endows our robot with the ability to operate around humans," says Aditya Paranjape, a post-doctoral scholar working on this project. The project is based on Paranjape's PhD thesis and journal articles written with Soon-Jo Chung, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois who is also working on the project."

. Video of the robot performing various landings can be seen on youtube at: First Successful Perching on a Human Hand by a Robotic Bird Airplane"
Link to Original Source

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War driving puts on a uniform

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and from the Press release as a part of National Consumer Fraud week, the Queensland Police are going war driving in order to identify insecure WiFi setups. from the press release "The War Driving Project involves police conducting proactive patrols of residential and commercial areas to identify unprotected connections. Police will follow this up with a letterbox drop in the targeted area with information on how to effectively secure your connection". While some people may like having an open WiFi AP its interesting to see that the Police also feel that "Having WEP encryption is like using a closed screen door as your sole means of security at home. The WPA or WPA2 security encryption is certainly what we would recommend as it offers a high degree of protection""
Link to Original Source
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Re-programming the thermostat

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in WA Today, Tony Fadell of iPod fame has been using Nest Labs to design and build a thermostat that learns how you live in your house by following how you manually change the temperature. Once you have taught it how to behave (How the Nest learning Thermostat learns), it then can schedule temperature changes that suit your lifestyle, and help you cut down on energy costs."
Link to Original Source
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Rent an iPad for inflight entertainment

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Jetstar will be trialling the renting out of pre-loaded iPads as a form of inflight entertainment instead of the the more typical seat back video system. No word in the article on how or if they will handle wi-fi connections, but interestingly it does mention that they will be usable during takeoff and landings — something that will be sure to spark lots of discussion regarding planes and modern electronics."
Link to Original Source
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Volvo demonstrates automated car breaking

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Back in 2009 slashdot ran a story about Volvo working on a crash proof car that used radar and and automated braking (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/01/02/159210/Volvo-Introduces-a-Collision-Proof-Car). Well a few weeks ago they demonstrated their S60 car with full auto braking. One small problem, it rear ended the truck it was meant to avoid. Fortunately (or perhaps smartly) no driver was in the car, so no one was injured. The failure of the demonstration was blamed on "one or more of the car's sensors had been "fried" before the demo, caused by the car maker fast-charging the S60's battery after discovering it was flat.". After seeing that I am not sure which is worse — that Volvo failed to properly run a demonstration of a new technology (and did not have a backup car ready), or that the said technology can easily be damaged without anyone noticing that it no longer works.

[note to editor — yes I deliberately said "breaking" in the title — its a joke, see]"

Link to Original Source
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Airport full body scanners not so secure

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting a story out of Manchester, UK of how an Indian actor claims he was asked to autograph printouts of his full body scans for two female security officers. If true, then this makes a mockery of the official claims that scans will be deleted immediately after they are performed. How long before copies of printouts of celebrities' scans start appearing on websites devoted to security porn?"
Link to Original Source
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Flying cars .. get yours now

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Flying cars (or more rightly "Driving Planes") are just around the corner. The Terrafugia website is hosting several videos detailing some of the test flights performed in the last 6 months. The site also suggests that the initial delivery will be in 2011 — just in time for the end of the world when the Mayan calendar rolls over!"
Link to Original Source
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Ploughing carbon into the ground

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "A wheat farmer in Australia has eliminated adding fertilizer to his crop by the simple process of injecting the cooled diesel exhaust of his modified tractor into ground when the wheat is being sown. In doing so he eliminates releasing carbon into the atmosphere and at the same time saving himself up to $AUD500,000 that would have been required to fertilize his 3900 hectares in the traditional way. Yet the crop yields over the last 2 years are on at least par with his best yields since 2001. The technique was developed by a Canadian, Gary Lewis of Bio Agtive and is currently in trial at 100 farms around the world."
Link to Original Source
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What to do with a free XBox 360 Pro?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last week I won an XBox 360 Pro, however I am not a gamer and after looking at the current MS offerings I am not tempted to become one.

But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying the video through the HDMI port. With that in mind I again looked at MS and saw that they seemed to have positioned the XBox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So once again I did some more research into the XBox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path.

So my question is how should I re-purpose my XBox? is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favourite nephew?"
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Getting better cellphone reception

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I currently have cellphone service with T-mobile and I get great coverage everywhere I go — except for in my own home. Their coverage website indicates that I should get reasonable signal strength at home, but in practice I only get about 1 bar and that can drop to zero depending on which side of the house I am in. This is very annoying given that my cellphone is my work phone. So I have been looking around for solutions to my problem.

Switching to AT&T might be a solution as that way I can keep my GSM phone, but their website also indicates that I should get about the same level of signal strength as I get with T-mobile. I am not too trusting about that, but I will be trying to track down a friend with AT&T and invite them over to see what actual signal strength I can get. My current phone is a Motorola Razr V3, but I am wondering if a newer phone might have better receiver sensitivity. And the third possible solution would be to install a cellphone booster — which is a big unknown.

So I am looking for recommendations/experience with each of these options:
  1. Switching from T-mobile to AT&T
  2. Getting a newer phone
  3. Installing a cellphone booster
"
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Microsoft loses patent case to tune of $US331 mil.

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported Microsoft has lost a patent case relating to copy protection and has had a $US331 million judgement awarded against them. The case was brought by Uniloc, which sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating its patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy. From the article (with my emphasis):



"Richardson's patent, one of many under his name, relates to work he did in the early 1990s and covers a software registrations system that allows software makers to create try-before-you-buy versions of their work.

Once users buy the software they get a registration key that unlocks the full featured version of the software.

Uniloc claimed Richardson showed a copy of his software to Microsoft in 1993 but Microsoft did not license it, instead developing its own almost identical version and incorporating it into its products from 1997 or 1998.

Microsoft said that its system works differently from Uniloc's and that Uniloc's patent was obvious.""
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How should I increase my billing rates?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last year I formed a company for the sole purpose of sub-contracting to another larger company, and for the last 14 months I have working exclusively for that larger company. At the start of the process I set my contract rates based on the level of salary I wanted, number of hours I wanted to work and additional overheads such as business and health insurance. The number I came up has given me a quite a healthy income, but I have come to realise that I have undervalued myself by a considerable amount. In fact rates double what I currently billing would not be unreasonable in my field of work. As I now know what I am really worth in the market I would have no problem telling a new client what my rates are, but the question is how should I approach my current (and main) client? There is currently no formal contract between myself and them and thus no set rates, I do the work and invoice them, and they pay weekly. So should I just announce to them that as of some date I will be raising my rates to $$, or should I sit down with my main contact and try and feel out their response to a rate increase? And does the lack of a formal contract worry people, and should I use a new contract as the mechanism of increasing rates?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Age is reporting that Google has set up a group for developing humanitarian projects around the world. Details can be found on Google.org

From the article: "The ambitious founders of Google, the popular search engine company, have set up a philanthropic group, giving it seed money of about $US1 billion and a mandate to tackle poverty, disease and global warming. But unlike most charities, this one will be for-profit, allowing it to fund start-up companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists, and even lobby the US Congress. It will also pay taxes."

So do we like Google again?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "In light of the Maryland election, Princeton's Centre for Technology Policy has released a paper on the security risks of the Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine. From the summary: "For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates." and "We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab." As a foreigner I can't even begin to understand how the USA can allow such systems to control their elections. It seems the only possibilities are negligence or explicit fraud — and I don't know which is the worst possibility."

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