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Comments

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How NASA Brought the F-1 Rocket Engine Back To Life

RabidMonkey This is amazing (221 comments)

These are the types of Articles I still come to Slashdot for ... and for the comments, which have (sadly) diminished in quantity in the last decade. Amazing engineering work, amazing science.

about a year ago
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

RabidMonkey Already happening (417 comments)

This has been going on in Canada for years now. Even if you aren't landing IN the States, so long as you fly OVER you are subject to screening. My father spoke to someone at the airport one day who was not cleared by DBS, but still managed to get on his flight to the Carribean. His plane had mechanical problems and was forced to land in Florida. When he got off the plane he was met by law enforcement, who read him the riot act and took him directly to jail. He waited there overnight, then was put ona plane home.

Living in southern Ontario, it is pretty much impossible not to fly over the states, even for domestic flights. That means we are all screwed by US rules, living in another country. Our freedom is limited by their assinine rules.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Deal With Roving TSA Teams?

RabidMonkey Foreigners in the US (1059 comments)

As a Canadian who travels in the US on occasion, what are my rights if I am stopped by one of these? Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? The thought of randomly being searched makes me want to go back to avoiding travel in the US, as I did during the Bush years.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Demos Photo Unblurring At MAX 2011

RabidMonkey CSI Effect (251 comments)

Dammit .. now the CSI "Can you clean that up?" question is yes, and people will continue to expect miracles from technology.

more than 2 years ago
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Hackers Could Open Convicts' Cells In Prisons

RabidMonkey Re:The free market (203 comments)

I politely disagree - when you have corporation that have their hands on lawmakers strings, or you have lawmakers who are on the boards of various corporations/etc, you have the 'free market' influencing who is a criminal.

Want proof - read the front page of slashdot today. Or any other day .. the BSA, RIAA, etc ...

So, more realistically, it's the government who decides, with the influence of the free market.

more than 2 years ago
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Retailer Calls Rivals' Bluff On "HDMI Scam"

RabidMonkey Re:Best Buy tried to sell me an HDMI cable... (664 comments)

No the real mistake was thinking you could haggle with service-level employees at a multinational company. That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.

My fiancee has managed to swing deals in many big retail chains - it takes a little persistence, and the ability/desire to walk away. even if walk away means walking out the door, waiting 20 minutes, and coming back to get a different sales guy.

She's Chinese, and says that white people are nuts for paying full price ... and I've seen that it's true. Just asking a simple question ("Can you do anything on the price?") has saved us hundreds of dollars (or gotten us lots of stuff thrown in).

I'm a convert, but I still have a hard time with it. I look at the price tag, decide if I can afford to pay that, and buy it if I can. She looks at a price tag and sees a challenge.

about 3 years ago
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Valve's Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-To-Play

RabidMonkey ... and then it went down (195 comments)

Last night I tried to sign in to play, and TF2 wouldn't even launch. It looks like their service was *massively* overloaded.

I bought the game 4 years ago now and I have gotten my money out of it in hours played, however it still irks me that a game I paid for is unavailable to me because of free players jumping on board.

TF2 servers were already frequently full of whiners and trolls, I'm afraid of what this new influx of players will mean. Hopefully the TF2 servers (yes, I know games aren't hosted on their servers, but login/etc is) can handle the new load.

more than 3 years ago
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World IPv6 Day: Most-watched Tech Event Since Y2K

RabidMonkey Re:So what (243 comments)

Another significant hurdle is that the TTL on records in the TLDs is generally 7 days, which makes backing out take a little longer than most people are comfortable with, should something bad go down.

more than 3 years ago
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World IPv6 Day: Most-watched Tech Event Since Y2K

RabidMonkey Re:Slashdot has no AAAA address (243 comments)

you are the target of IPv6 day then - it's a chance for you to try and find out whats wrong. contact your isp, look at your OS version, do upgrades, look at your router. If you're having problems now, you'll have them later - don't wait and hope they go away magically.

more than 3 years ago
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Foreign Hackers Attack Canadian Government

RabidMonkey public sentiment - HA (208 comments)

> It should also be noted that public sentiment towards China is getting very, very testy.

I'm part of the public, and I know lots of other members of the public - I don't see anyones sentiment anywhere near "testy" about China.

Papers, tv news, radio ... I spend a good amount of time keeping up on them, and I don't think I've heard anything 'testy' about China expressed.

Given that that statement doesn't come from the article, I'm guessing either the submitter or editor added that. Either way, stop making shit up. We have Fox News/the Toronto Sun for that

more than 3 years ago
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Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters

RabidMonkey mental "sick days" (610 comments)

I wish and hope that some day companies will start to address mental health as well as physical heath, specifically related to sick days. If you have a sniffle, they tell you not to come in to work, you'll make someone sick, but if you're stressed out, unable to sleep, on-call for weeks, going through a breakup/divorce, have sick parents etc, and can't handle the mental strain, then you're SOL. Work on a salary? you know all those extra hours you put in for free for the company? Want to get something *back* from them? yeah, right ...

"Mental Health" days are widely recognized by non-management types as beneficial, but you don't see companies promoting them. 'take a vacation day' is the common line, but when you're only provided with 10 of them a year , it's awefully 'expensive' to take one because your boss has had you working 12 hour days for 2 weeks and you just need 1 freakin day off to sleep, do laundry, maybe buy some real food for a change.

But seriously, mental health, when you work in a job that is focused on mental performance (as much of IT/geekery is), is just as, or more, important as physical health. I can sit and read documents/manuals, catch up on email, update a few spreadsheets etc with a cold, but if I'm tired/stressed/"out of it", I'm next to useless.

Taking care of employees isn't a concern of companies any longer, if it ever was, despite the fact that giving a little can get them a lot. Policy, process, executive bonuses are all worked around 'you must be in your desk working from x to y and always being productive, or else', instead of the realization that we aren't machines and our brains are more valuable when they're functional than not.

$0.02.

more than 3 years ago
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Debt Collectors Using Facebook To Embarrass Those Who Owe

RabidMonkey Re:So pay your bills (266 comments)

You must have dealt with the 407 ETR highway in Ontario.

I am being chased by collections by them right now, even though I am still disputing the $8000 bill they suddenly sent me.

With no warning they sent me the bill, and though I called them the next day, they'd already sent it to collections. So now I have a ding on my credit, I have collections after me, all for a bill that isn't even REAL. There is no way I used $8000 of their services in a month - it's clearly a billing error. however, they refuse to settle things and insist that I drove thousands and thousands of km on their highway in a month, even though I don't even live in the area.

Companies have no feedback loop on this sort of shady billing. It costs them very little money to bill someone for some huge amount, argue with them, send it to collections and wait. Reading online, 407 ETR does this ALL the time, to people that don't even live in Canada, and have never been here.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/fixer/article/732443--407-bills-can-hound-drivers-for-15-years

I wonder how many people just pay to get rid of them, and how much money they clear every month due to their disgusting billing practices.

And the icing on this cake - the Government has given them the power to block you from getting your licenese renewed if you have unpaid bills.

I wish there was actually someone on _our_ side against these kinds of practicies.

more than 3 years ago
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Long Takes In the Movies, Antidote To CGI?

RabidMonkey Kubric did this so well (295 comments)

I love The Shining, as well as Full Metal Jacket, for this exact reason. Some of the long takes in those movies are beyond impressive. Kubrick had a great vision, and demanded a lot from his actors, but when everything comes together the long takes make you sit up and pay attention.

The long (30 second?) shot of Danny on his big-wheel riding through the empty Overlook in The Shining is one of my favorite scenes in any movie ... the sound of the wheels moving from each surface to the next is perfect, and it is the perfect expression of an empty space. That would have been ruined if there had been cut shots to various angles. Same with the chase through the maze - one long shot of Jack slogging through trying to catch Danny. amazingly, thought the shot is ahead of the character, it's not obvious that a camera and sound crew are running ahead of him.

I love long shots, especially ones that start off standard (say, a person walking down the street) but then after a bit of following them, the shot backs off and up into the air - makes you sit up and go 'how the hell??'

The author is right - CGI doesn't impress anymore, it's just assumed. Long shots show skill and dedication to the craft.

more than 3 years ago
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Countries Considering Circumlunar Flight From ISS

RabidMonkey Re:The ISS is in the wrong orbit for this! (170 comments)

Since you talk like someone who knows what they're talking about, pretend that not all of us (me) do ...

Why exactly is it that the ISS in a silly orbit, that can't be reasonably used to reach the moon? My knowledge of orbital mechanics/physics is par for the average highschool student, so this isn't immediately obvious to me.

Thanks for helping edjimicate me.

more than 3 years ago
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Thieves Use Vacuum To Siphon Cash From Safes

RabidMonkey Re:beautifully done :) (173 comments)

I have worked for a large retail chain, and I can whole-heartedly confirm this logic. They have a chain of over 1000 stores, and some of the costing that was done blew your mind.

Want to put a lock on the IT cabinet in each store? $100 per cabinet (buy the lock, pay the service guy to go in, train the store people to use the key/make duplicates). *1000 stores, and you're suddenly looking at a non-trivial amount of money for something that should be a simple, no brainer.

We saw similar things when we wanted to put a shelf in each cabinet to help organize the various little device that went in the cabinet. $200 per store ... forget it. Print labels to put on each piece of equipment to help the store identify it? $50 per store. Forget it.

It was a good experience ... we learned how to think in massive scale for every project, every little idea we had, but we also found it incredibly stifling. And thats why I *used* to work there.

more than 3 years ago
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DRM-Free Games Site GOG.com Gone

RabidMonkey Re:Too bad but not that surprising (326 comments)

they didn't really play up the fact that purchasing through them rather than torrenting provided a *legal* copy to the purchaser

This is why I didn't end up buying from them, I was never sure if it was legit or not. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is ...

more than 3 years ago
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Compared to a year ago, social networks now ...

RabidMonkey Re:..are as superfluous as ever. (270 comments)

I have done the same thing, but for work "friends". There is huge pressure to add people you work with, even if you don't care to see what their home life is about. I've created a group for work people, and block them from seeing anything remotely personal. That guy over in change management you only deal with when he's messed up your ticket? They get the joy of knowing that someone added them to facebook (woo) and I can avoid the whole weird social thing. Only occasionally will I move someone out of that group into a friends group, but even then it's generally to a more limited friends list, who can't see pictures other have posted of me, can't see my contact information, etc.

As much as I don't like Facebooks information sharing, I do appreciate that they've made fairly simple ways to organize your information and let only certain people see it.

more than 3 years ago
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When I no longer use a hard drive, I typically keep it for..

RabidMonkey Re:Unclear (308 comments)

The magnets are fun, but I really enjoy the spacers. The little aluminum(?) circles between the platters. Those things make amazing toys. Next time you manage to scrounge one, throw it edge-on into the ground .. gently at first. They bounce like a super ball, and make an amazing ringing sound while they do it.

give it a try.. they're pretty neat.

more than 3 years ago
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National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity

RabidMonkey Re:Charge for support (635 comments)

wow .. you could actually be the worst person I've even come across on the Internet ... and I've spent a lot of time here.

'grats to you.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Microsoft buys 666,000 IP addresses

RabidMonkey RabidMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RabidMonkey writes "Microsoft has managed to purchase 666,624 IP addresses from the bankrupt Canadian company Nortel for $7.5 million. This works out to $11.25/ip. An exact list of blocks isn't available yet. There has been a lot of discussion on NANOG about whether this allowed or not, and what the implications to the dwindling IPv4 pool may be. Is this the first of many such moves as IPv4 address space has run out? Will ARIN step in and block the sale/transfer? How long will such measures drag out the eventual necessity of IPv6?"
Link to Original Source
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Getting back in to programming?

RabidMonkey RabidMonkey writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RabidMonkey writes "Lately, myself and some of my coworkers have been talking about programming, and we're interested in learning to do it, again. Most of us have high school programming experiences (mine is COBOL, Turbo Pascal, QBasic and C), but it's all faded away over the years, to the point where I'm effectively new, but understand the concepts still. Now, I'm a sysadmin, and would love to start learning again, but whats the best way, and what language? I'd like something that relevant to my day to day job, so I'm thinking Perl, Python, PHP... but then the problem is, what to work on? What is a good way to get my feet wet again? I've been eying the 'Learn $LANGUAGE in $DAYS' books, which might be good, as they do walk throughs, example assignments, etc, but I was wondering what the good folks of Slashdot thought? How does one interested in programming get back in to it?"
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RabidMonkey RabidMonkey writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RabidMonkey writes "In accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 205, the 'jump forward' in the spring is just over 3 months away, on March 11, 2007. Due to close trade ties, other countries are changing their times to match the US, including all provinces in Canada. This is necessitating a large scale upgrade to many, many computers, applications and hardware in a short amount of time. Many vendors are releasing patches to current systems, leaving some older systems unpatched. So my question to Slashdot is this: What are you doing about this? What is your company doing? What resources are you using? What are you doing with legacy systems that won't receive vendor created patches? Can we rely on NTP to change the times on our systems and not have to worry about patching them all? Some people are calling this the next Y2K issue — I think thats a little alarmist, but I haven't seen a lot of action on this yet, and the time draws near."

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