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Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

Sepultura Re:Disable Networking (953 comments)

I've found virtualization to be a wonderful solution for most clients that have specialty software. You can do a P2V migration of the existing system, disable/remove all software and services that aren't needed, set up a share on the host to hold all data, and leave networking disabled if it's not required for the function of the software, or if not run a firewall on the host to only allow the minimal amount of internet access required for the software to run. Create a snapshot of VM in case you need to roll back.

In most cases I set my clients up with Virtualbox in seamless mode with a link to their app on the desktop. They don't even know there's a VM there.

about a year ago
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How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia

Sepultura Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (523 comments)

The secret is no ongoing medical issues. If he's like most Americans and he had a serious medical emergency come up he'd probably end up bankrupt anyway. This way he just has less to lose.

about a year and a half ago
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US To Deploy Ballistic Missile Interceptors In Response To North Korean Threats

Sepultura Re:Good Job (266 comments)

Kim Jong Un overstretched his threats and gave the US the perfect opening to do this. He is obviously much stupider than his father.

Kim Jong Un does not have the influence or power that his father had. He's a figurehead used to give the impression to the NK people of a strong continuing dynasty, and as a scapegoat to the west if things should go wrong in the future. The real power lies with the military leaders.

about a year and a half ago
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New Pope Selected

Sepultura Re:News for nerds? (915 comments)

He's religious and intolerant, so obviously his favorite OS is Emacs.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Now Working With the NYPD To Curb iPhone Thefts

Sepultura Pass the blame (123 comments)

This is a ridiculous supposition. Are we suppose to believe that the criminals responsible for these thefts were lured into stealing by the flashy Apple gizmos? Or that these criminals would reject crime and find honest work if only New York could rid itself of Apple products?

This is just another example of politicians passing the blame to something else. In this case it's Apple, as blaming Apple for life's ills is in vogue at the moment.

about a year and a half ago
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Elon Musk Offers Boeing SpaceX Batteries For the 787 Dreamliner

Sepultura Publicity (163 comments)

The batteries have already been ruled out as the cause of the problems. It's most likely in the charging or temp monitoring systems.

This is just Elon Musk being a bit of an asshole and drumming up publicity.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Hides Samsung Apology So It Can't Be Seen Without Scrolling

Sepultura Re:Shameful behaviour (743 comments)

I don't know if that's necessarily a change on their part. I'm not from the UK, but in Canada apple.com has behaved like this for a very long time, if not forever. apple.com goes to the US site, and clicking the Store tab up top brings you to store.apple.com/us

Which is especially annoying considering that we both use dollars for currency, so if you're not aware of it you can easily assume you're on the Canadian site.

about 2 years ago
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SETI Running Out of Money

Sepultura Re:ROI (312 comments)

Hey, I resent that remark! I'm Canadian!! (although my wife is American...)

As for alien communication, it wouldn't likely matter much at all. For several reasons:
1. Everyone seems to assume the I in SETI implies greater intelligence/knowledge than our own, probably because of scifi's influence. But it's just as likely that they'd be about the same as us, or even less informed than us in many areas.
2. The source of the signal would likely be from such a great distance that simple communication would be like talking on a CB/walkie-talkie, but with pauses that last years, decades, or centuries. Space is big. Light is (relatively) slow.
3. The idea of communication, like we're talking about in 2, implies that they're trying to communicate with us. We could just as easily pick up a transmission of one of their Snoozball games, with any reply from us falling on deaf ears.

The only way I see it being of any real consequence beyond a few months of "Ohhh, what are the aliens like? Do they enjoy music? etc, etc" in the media is if they sent a message containing scientific info that vastly expanded our own knowledge. Considering 1 and 2 above, though, I wouldn't hold my breath.

more than 2 years ago
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SETI Running Out of Money

Sepultura ROI (312 comments)

Why should I, or anyone else, donate money to the SETI institute? What tangible returns can I expect for my money?

It's nice that you feel they're involved in "the greatest quest of all," but I expect that most people would not agree. Besides not having much of a chance in succeeding any time soon, even if they did find evidence of extra terrestrial intelligence it would make almost no difference to people's daily lives. And the way things are going even if we did find ETI we'll be extinct as a species long before we could ever even communicate with them, let alone actually contact/meet them.

Besides, SETI Institute =/= SETI

more than 2 years ago
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On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear

Sepultura Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (263 comments)

If you're going to do reviews, follow the example of sites like Anandtech and review the fucking product!. Give specifics, detailed data that's more than we can get off of the product website or box. And include the positives and negatives.

So far, all the "reviews" I've seen have been saccharinely positive, even when the product has obvious issues that are evident even to those with the most basic familiarity with the technology. And most read like they've been written by professional P.R. writers. So do you really not understand how readers would view these as paid-for ads?

more than 2 years ago
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Companies More Likely To Outsource Than Train IT Employees

Sepultura The summary touches on the problem (235 comments)

In my experience, the summary touches on the chief cause of this problem: If an organization can't train in-house then they have to look to 3rd parties to provide the training, and all too often those 3rd parties lack the skills and/or knowledge to effectively educate the employees in anything practical. And in most cases they're never held to account for their lack.

So at that point it simply becomes cheaper to outsource the job to someone who has to get the job done in order to be paid, rather than pay employees to learn worthless skills.

more than 2 years ago
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Third-Generation Apple TV Lands With a Thud

Sepultura Re:Why the negative headlines? (222 comments)

It's an attempt at appealing to the smug, baseless superiority that everyone seems to want to get in on these days. And it's not all negative - stories about things that are "in" with the crowd but that others don't understand/get, like the Raspberry Pi, are being fawned over.

This attitude, then, leads to 2 basic themes that I've noticed: "We're better than everyone else because what they like we hate for various esoteric reasons, and we are always right", and "We're better than everyone else because we know about stuff that they don't, even though our own estimation of our knowledge is blown up out of proportion". Neither of these viewpoints tends to be based on logic.

And this isn't new. Slashdot's been going this way for years, well before Rob left. It's just more blatant now. Personally, I think it coincides with the rise of social media, with everyone thinking the world must hear and respect their opinions about even the most mundane things. But I have only anecdotal evidence to support that theory...

more than 2 years ago
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The Coda Electric Car at the Detroit International Auto Show (Video)

Sepultura Re:Standard arguments (284 comments)

Just wanted to say that this was the first post in years on Slashdot that actually made me laugh out loud. Kudos!

more than 2 years ago
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Outgoing CRTC Head Says Technology Is Eroding Canadian Culture

Sepultura As a Canadian... (404 comments)

As a Canadian, here's the solution I'd suggest:
Stop trying to force Canadian content on Canadians!
If the content is good and provides something consumers want then it'll be a success. If it's Canadian-created filler crap then it won't, regardless of how forcefully it's stuffed down our throats.

And don't claim that Canadian content can't be successful on it's own because that's just bullshit. Just look at the music industry to see lots of Canadian content that's successful south of the border for the most glaring example.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Writing Hardened Web Applications?

Sepultura Business sense (333 comments)

You don't say whether you're developing this for-profit or for pleasure, but I'll assume the former because if you're doing something that truly needs to be "100% rock-solid, unhackable" and you're not getting money for it you're just asking for trouble. Eventually something will happen, and you'll be sued. Then how are you going to pay for lawyers?

So, assuming that you're doing this for-profit, you need to develop some business sense. Effective business people hire specialists to do what they can't, as they know that their time is better spent focusing on their own areas of expertise.

So develop what you feel comfortable with, then hire a pro to harden it and/or deploy it, whatever you need. Also think about professionals for your accounting and (dare I say it) law advice as they can be the difference between profit and failure in our economy, unfortunately.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Fined By Italy For Misleading Customers About Warranty Terms

Sepultura Re:Not surprised... (218 comments)

Obviously anecdotal evidence isn't much evidence at all, but I'll add my 2c CAD.

I have heard of, and had, both positive and negative experiences with Apple support. Almost all of my support issues have been at Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple directly as we don't have an Apple store within anything close to a reasonable distance (the closest AASP was 6 hours away). But I've been fortunate to always be able to get things resolved with a few calls to Apple. And in the process I've managed to help get 2 substandard AASPs lose their status.

In one case, we had an out of warranty white Macbook about 2 years ago with the cracked case that was on recall. We brought it to the AASP, they replaced the case, but in so doing they damaged the trackpad. They refused to acknowledge it. I called Apple, they had had other complaints with these guys before (which they admitted!), they called the store as I was there and got my trackpad replaced. Next month they were no longer an AASP.

In a second case we bought a MBP off eBay with a dead logic board. I had researched the model and knew there was a well known issue with the GPU that caused this problem, and it was under recall. I got it, verified the issue with Apple's Hardware Diagnostics, and after talking to them on the phone I shipped it to the AASP for replacement. The AASP called us up to tell us that the hard drive was dead (confirmed by their propriety HD test suite, which was their primary business) and that we needed a replacement. I knew there wasn't a problem as I had tested it myself before shipping it off, so I told them just to ship it back. When I got it back it was rattling like crazy as they had left drive mounting parts out. I photographed it and sent it off to Apple. They called and apologized, shipped replacement parts, and a few months later when I checked the second shop had their AASP status pulled.

So I guess the moral of my story is that there are lots of guys in the service depts that are dishonest and/or inept, but Apple has always been good to me when I've dealt with them. That being said, their service quality does seem to be getting worse as now they no longer offer mail-in repair service up here like they used to one time, and if your new Mac has a manufacturing defect they won't just ship it back and replace it like they used to unless you're within the 1 week grace period of a new purchase. Instead, you have to bring it to an Apple store, which obviously isn't ideal.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Inexpensive VPS Provider?

Sepultura Re:linode (375 comments)

I'll add to the dozens already recommending Linode. As the parent says they don't over-sell their service, unlike most fly-by-night $5 operations. They're reliable, and they've been around for a long time and likely will continue.

Plus, they really go out of their way to help their customers. A year or so ago they upgraded the memory allotment of all their packages (including the low end ones) by more than 40% for free. They let you switch plans on the fly, or add extras (like increased bandwidth, or specs, as req'd) for modest fees. They don't screw you over with overage costs. Plus they don't try to sell you service that you don't need. When I was first shopping around for a few sites I wanted to host they recommended the base plan and said "see if you need more - if you do you can always add on". I really appreciated that (and I didn't need extra for quite a while!)

Plus their linode library is kept pretty up to date and is filled with info on just about all the topics you'll need on setup and managing of your system. I referenced it the other day when setting up mod_security on a new Debian install and it was perfect.

more than 2 years ago
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'Alternative Medicine' Clinic Attempts To Silence Critics

Sepultura Re:Oblig. xkcd (515 comments)

While I find these "practitioners" who prey on the sick and desperate disgusting, sometimes I have a hard time empathizing with the "patients" who seem to want to deceive themselves.

Case-in-point: Recently I heard the sister of a man who's dying with colorectal cancer, which has since spread to his lungs and kidneys, because of his (and his family's) firm belief in "alternative" medicine and paranoid distrust of doctors, that "the treatment is working, it's just not working fast enough".

more than 2 years ago
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In Favor of FreeBSD On the Desktop

Sepultura Re:Use Gentoo (487 comments)

More users =/= better support.

In my experience, FreeBSD's support is bar none.

more than 2 years ago

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