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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

Slashdot Parent Re:Yay for government!!! (139 comments)

You know, I tried opposing the government, but then people just like you shouted me down for being a racist.

Ahh, so you must be a new Republican. Welcome! Just so you know, you'll be called sexist and a whole host of other things, as well. Welcome to the modern world of lazy political discourse.

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Slashdot Parent Re:Nonsense (293 comments)

Yup, follow this advice and come across like an unhelpful douchbag.

Or, bend over backwards to help them. Provide them with a break down on every single patch (a few line summary with a link to the KB article for the full details), then give each patch a priority based on its impact and come up with different deployment routes for each one, then explain to your manager who allocates your time why patch management for the CAB board just became a full time job.

So you advocate becoming a passive-aggressive douchebag instead? If you don't have enough time for a new job responsibility, then you need to say something right away, not burn up a bunch of time of menial tasks and wait until your boss notices the productivity drop.

Alternatively, if the system runs for a few months and every single patch sent to the CAB board has been approved then you can clearly demonstrate the do not really add anything and start making rational arguments to abandon the process from a sound basis while demonstrating you are an excellent team player who easily adapts.

You know, it's interesting. My current client has a CAB process, and they do a good job of balancing process and agility.

Anyway, they don't use it to micromanage every stupid little patch. They recognize that the Linux admins are trained professionals and know which patches to apply. Same with the DBAs and same with the Network admins and same with the storage admins. Nobody questions them down to the individual patch level unless there is a known conflict with a specific patch, which basically never happens.

What they use it for is for auditing and coordination. Multiple groups never patch during the same maintenance window without a good reason (e.g. Heartbleed. Network and Linux both patched at the same time to get the patch out ASAP. But this was a rare event.). In other words, let's say the DBAs and the Linux admins both have patches that need to be applied. Well, they never patch during the same window, so if something breaks, we know that the problem is isolated to the database patch vs. the Linux patch. Also, if we get a report that something stopped working right on, say, 3/8/2014, then we know that the issue was with a patch to their main web proxy server.

CAB type groups can be a valuable, but it's important to find the sweet spot between micromanagement and chaos. It's good to have all of the various groups know what each other are doing and can advise each other regarding potential issues. It's not like when the DBAs do patching that everybody discusses the Oracle changelogs in great detail for half a day or anything.

about a week ago

How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Slashdot Parent Re:does amazon AWS pay well? (146 comments)

'there is more to working at amazon, then money'.

A lot of companies say that. Doesn't necessarily mean that they underpay, they just don't want someone who will jump ship if some competitor offers them $5k more.

about a week ago

How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Slashdot Parent Re:AWS is NOT cheap (146 comments)

AWS is expensive, I can provide the equivalent of an m3.large

Oh, excellent! I need to analyze 5PB of data in a 1000 node Hadoop cluster, which I'll need for about a week. I'll need to start the analysis in 3 days. It's a bit of a last-minute rush job. What would you charge me for that?

What? You can't provide that infrastructure at any time at any price? Oh, rats. I guess I'll just have to use AWS.

about a week ago

The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Slashdot Parent Correcting a few scooter misunderstandings (163 comments)

I am a scooter rider. In most places in the US, the following rules apply:

For scooters that are less than 50cc and cannot go faster than 35 mph:
    * You may park in the bike rack like a bike. In some places, you can even park on the sidewalk (!!) as long as it isn't obstructing pedestrian traffic.
    * Do not require a motorcycle or even a driver's license, but if you have a prior DUI, some states won't let you ride a scooter until your license gets reinstated.
    * Some states require you to register and title your scooter, some do not
    * You may or may not need a helmet and/or eye protection (in my state, you need both, and both are a good idea unless you like getting a rock or sand in your eyes while you're trying to drive).
    * May not go on the freeway, and you must drive them in the right lane unless you are turning left.
    * May not use bike paths, bike lanes, or any other resources designated for bicycles.
    * Do not require insurance

Any scooter that is 50cc or more, or can go over 35mph is a motorcycle. For a motorcycle:
    * You need a motorcycle license
    * You need to register and title your motorcycle and get any required inspections
    * You may not park in the bike racks nor engage in any other scooter "magic". The "magic" is for the under 50cc crowd.

Here's the gotcha of scooters: some people derestrict them, but this can be a bad idea, because let's say you derestrict your 50cc scoot and are going 45 in a 35mph zone. If caught, you are violating the following laws: speeding, driving without a license (assuming you have no motorcycle license), driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving an uninspected vehicle, operating a motorcycle without a helmet/eyewear (if applicable). Is a cop really going to throw the book at you like that? Not likely, but it's still a big risk if the officer is behind on his or her monthly quota!

As for me, I have a derestricted 50cc scoot for the parking "magic", but I also have a motorcycle endorsement and registered my scoot, and I wear a helmet/eyewear, and I have insurance (it's super cheap, and scooter theft is rampant). So if I'm caught speeding, it's simple speeding and I guess I don't get it inspected, but that's a compliance ticket (if you get it inspected, then the ticket is dismissed). Technically, I shouldn't park in the bike rack because my scoot goes faster than 35mph, but the meter maid doesn't know that.

about a week ago

Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

Slashdot Parent Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (76 comments)

Look at how Occupy Wall Street fizzled out.

I think that OWS fizzled out because, while the occupiers correctly identified that there is something wrong with the political/economic power structure in this country, they never were able to articulate what they felt was wrong, and neither did they have any solutions in mind. Take the Washington DC OWS, for instance. The encampment was right on K street, yet nobody there could articulate their objection to the corporate lobbying and influence purchasing that was happening, quite literally, in the building across the street from them.

I guess every generation needs to punch their social action card, but the civil rights era and the Vietnam War era are long-since over. We had a good run in the 80s with Apartheid, but after that came, what, the WTO/IMF/World Bank protests? Good luck having any intellectual discourse with any of those nuts. A friend of mine from college, an economist no less, was part of those protests, so I said to myself, "Finally I can get a coherent explanation for what the fuck these protesters want!" When I asked my friend what the protests were all about, she said: "Beats me! I just think protesting is fun!"


about two weeks ago

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

Slashdot Parent Re:Ability to design and write software... (581 comments)

foundations laid down in the 5th and 6th grade of school

I always get a kick out of people who ask me how to get into programming. It usually goes something like this:
Them: "Hey, how do I make the jump into programming? I want to learn to code."
Me: "No, you don't. You are just sick of telling people to clear their cookies, restart their computer, and try again."
Them: "That's true, but I really want to program!"
Me: "If you really wanted to program, you'd be practicing programming right now instead of having this conversation. There are nearly zero barriers to entry with programming. You could fire up notepad and start programming. Little kids learn in elementary school. Here, let's go to github and start talking through a random open source project and I can explain why they did what they did to give you a jumping off point."
Them: "That sounds boring."
Me: ??

about two weeks ago

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (723 comments)

Not if you have an expensive preexisting condition.

This problem was vastly overplayed. I've had to deal with it because my wife has an expensive preexisting condition.

Prior to ObamaCare, if you had an expensive preexisting condition, you basically had three decent options:
1. If you could work, get a job with group health insurance. Group health insurance was covered by HIPAA, which meant that insurance companies needed to cover preexisting conditions, as long as you maintained continuous coverage.

2. If you could not work, go on Medicare. (Yes, Medicare. Even if you're not old yet. If you're disabled and can't work, you qualify for Medicare.)

3. If you qualified to join a trade organization that offered health insurance (IEEE used to do this, but doesn't anymore), you could join their group plan and get a HIPAA-eligible plan which would cover your condition.

In our case, had my wife not made a miraculous recovery, she would have gone on Medicare since it was no cost to us (other than all of the money that we pay into Medicare!), and the rest of the family would have gotten coverage via a trade association (I was a Realtor at the time).

Preexisting conditions really weren't the big deal that people make it out to be.

about two weeks ago

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (723 comments)

I am hardly surprised that insurance companies do not like the situation of having any additional regulation imposed upon them and will raise fees or do anything else they can do to protest and to discredit it.

The sharp increases in premiums aren't due to some sort of tantrum that the insurance industry is throwing due to regulations. It's not like the Department of Health and Human Services or the state insurance commissions sprang up overnight due to ObamaCare. Insurance has always be highly regulated. ObamaCare is actually a massive handout to the insurance industry, due to forcing people to buy their product.

The main drivers for the insurance premium increases are:
1. Elimination of choice in insurance plans. People who previously paid for their own preventative care and minor health issues and only insured against catastrophic events are no longer able to do so. All of a sudden, these people are paying way more for their healthcare than they used to because they are forced to buy more insurance than they need or want.

2. Elimination of risk pools. People who generally take good care of themselves are now in the same risk pool as the alcoholic, obese, biker down the street. Guess who's subsidizing whose bad choices?

If you've even hung around the emergency department of a hospital, you will have seen where the real cost of uninsured patients was going. Suddenly this cost is transferred from the hospital to subsidized plans.

ObamaCare makes this problem way worse due to the Medicaid expansion. ER visits are free under Medicaid, so ERs are now seeing an increase in nonemergent use as a result.

about two weeks ago

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (723 comments)

There was a company that sold a "trash plan" and sent a sales person to my home. This plan was not written to provide useful medical coverage for a catastrophic condition such as an auto accident with severe injury.

To pick a nit, if you require medical attention after an auto accident, typically the at-fault driver's auto policy would need to cover that. Anyway, I'm not sure why you wasted your time having a salesperson to your home for a plan that your research already told you was designed never to pay a claim. Certainly such scams existed, but 30 seconds of googling can typically separate the good from the fraud.

The second was priced so prohibitively high that it seemed to be intended to deter the customer from purchase.

That may have been the high risk pool.

As for me, I had a great policy pre-ObamaCare through a real insurer that pays valid claims (Aetna). However, this year, my premiums more than doubled. When I called to ask what was going on since there was no change in any of my family members' health situations, they told me that my old plan was illegal now, but that my new plan was way better than my old plan so it's really a way better deal and how lucky I am to have ObamaCare. When I asked what was better about it, they said that my new plan now covers pregnancy, IVF, and a whole host of other things that I didn't have coverage for before due to nobody in my family being at risk for those (e.g. my wife can't have kids). When I asked what the price would be after I dropped those unnecessary coverages, they said that it's illegal to drop those coverages and that I would just have to pay for them due to ObamaCare.

Thanks, Obama.

about two weeks ago

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (723 comments)

I am celebrating this event because This is the first time that Bruce Perens can get insurance coverage!

Are you saying that there was no insurer in CA that would have covered any of the three of you for any plan? Because I find that very hard to believe.

I'm not familiar with California, but every state that I've ever lived in has had a high risk pool that could not reject anybody. I'm guessing that CA also had a high risk pool, but you just didn't like the price, not that I blame you.

about two weeks ago

New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

Slashdot Parent Re:um... (269 comments)

You can't compare nominal numbers like that because there are many, many more vehicle miles traveled by auto than by airplane. Also, the air travel numbers include commercial planes, which comprise the vast majority of air miles traveled, and have different standards than General Aviation, which is what TFA is talking about.

General Aviation has 9x more fatalities annually than cars per vehicle mile traveled (link). I'll take my chances on the ground, thanks.

about two weeks ago

New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

Slashdot Parent Re:um... (269 comments)

General Aviation results in 9x more fatalities per mile traveled than driving (link). I'll take my chances on the ground, thanks.

about two weeks ago

Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

Slashdot Parent Re:Quid pro quo here. (1116 comments)

Donating to a single campaign for a single purpose (Prop 8) is different than donating to a politician. If you want to buy support of a politician on a single issue, it doesn't mean you endorse every single thing they've ever said or done.

Actually, the outrage was because he donated to Prop 8 and also donated to Pat Buchanan, so yes, his ouster was based in part on his support for a political candidate.

about two weeks ago

Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

Slashdot Parent Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1116 comments)

He fucking resigned.

Everything that I've read said that he was forced to resign.

about two weeks ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:Equality? How about sports? (673 comments)

My alma mater lost its baseball program to title 9. Men's gymnastics and wrestling are an endangered species. Basically, if you like a sport that isn't football, and you have a penis, then no college athletics for you.

Title 9 can die in a fire, as far as I'm concerned.

about two weeks ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:Why is that a problem? (673 comments)

I know five nurses, all woman. Two of them earn over $100K a year. Very few men work as nurses. Is that a problem that needs to be solved?

Blah blah blah blah privilege.

Blah blah blah blah microagression.

Blah blah blah blah rape culture.

Blah blah blah blah mansplaining.

Tra la la la, tra la la la ...

about two weeks ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:The real lesson (673 comments)

This kind of crap is why women don't want to work in IT.

Yet I saw it all the time in college. You can't ask me to unsee what I clearly saw.

about two weeks ago

To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

Slashdot Parent Re:Marinade, add beer to the marinade (179 comments)

By the way, I should mention that many restaurants -- and home cooks too -- have switched to sous vide methods instead of using an oven, since it is faster and more precise.

My feelings exactly. Looked like a shitty version of sous vide to me, just begging to overcook the steak or at the very least, dry it out by having it in a hot oven for 3 hours!

Sous vide to the temperature of desired doneness, and then finish over thermonuclear heat (30 seconds per side) immediately prior to serving. I know you know that, but just for the benefit of others who might want to try.

about two weeks ago

Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

Slashdot Parent Re:Freedom of Speech? (328 comments)

Oh yeah, the First Amendment supports your right to do any or all of those, and a pig buzzed me at Mach 3 yesterday.

Yes, and you still have the right to do all of these things. You just don't have the right to do them without taking responsibility for your actions!

If you publish something defamatory, that's totally fine, legally. Nobody is going to prevent you from doing that. However, if you damage someone in the process, then you must compensate that person for the damage you caused.

about two weeks ago


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