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

Urza9814 No. (581 comments)

They *could* be trained to program. If they wanted to. Shit, I started coding C in fourth grade, and I mean I'm smart, but I ain't THAT smart. What, is Bloomberg saying these guys are dumber than a fourth grader? I feel like coal miners should be pretty offended by the implication here...

Sure, they won't be GREAT programmers, but they could certainly be web developers or something... ;)

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Sadly, no. (409 comments)

Google Reader is the closest thing to a replacement...but it's really not. Basically it was an RSS reader with a *very* different UI and some widgets for things like gmail, weather, games, etc...

https://commons.lbl.gov/downlo...

And yeah, it was actually a pretty big deal when it shut down...were you living in a cave or something? ;)
https://www.google.com/search?...

about 7 months ago
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Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

Urza9814 Re:ATMs? (367 comments)

ATMs are banks giving you less service and charging you for the privilege.

That's funny. I've never paid a fee to use an ATM. Ever. Regardless of what ATM I use. I suggest you get a better bank, because if they nickle-and-dime you for crap like ATM withdrawals you are probably getting fuckin *screwed*.

And I find ATMs provide me a far better service. In fact, I currently live 500 miles away from the nearest branch of the only bank at which I have an account. Been like that for two years. Never had a problem. 90% of my banking is done online, and when I need cash I can go to any of the ATMs within walking distance or any of the dozens on my drive to/from work or literally just about anywhere in the goddamn *world* and pull out as much as I need. 24 hours a day, no line, no wait, no fee.

Try getting cash for the laundry machine from a bank teller at 8pm on a Sunday night....

about 7 months ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Urza9814 Re:Lets divert some military funds (292 comments)

But honestly, what do you think would happen if the US military were suddenly defunded? Do you think the other countries would be like - good for them! We don't need militaries any more any how and certainly not a single one of us big countries with our current militaries would ever dream of using our forces again the US, even as defenseless as they are right now with all their resources and food and two coastlines and pop music...

39% of GLOBAL military spending is from the USA.

Second place is China -- at 9.5%. Then Russia, at 5.2%.

So, say we cut our current spending in half. Who exactly do you think is going to have the resources to invade? We'll still be devoting about twice as many resources to our military as *all of our enemies combined*. We can cut that spending. By a HELL of a lot. The only thing we'd lose is the ability to randomly invade a bunch of countries in the middle east and africa while we pretend to be the world's nanny.

And shit, we spend more than 4x as much as China, but we're in no rush to invade *them*. 8x as much as Russia, but there's still NOBODY who likes the idea of all-out war there either! We could probably cut far more than half and still be alright.

http://www.globalissues.org/ar...

about 7 months ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Urza9814 Re:To be fair... (653 comments)

No, it can't; that's an entirely arbitrary system up to the whims of whatever moderator gets the report and perhaps whether or not they ate breakfast that morning.

I'd rather have the not-quite-scammers than random takedowns of legitimate products. But hey, if you're not proposing *government* action, then have at it. I think it'd be bad for business, but there's plenty of room for competitors...

Now go find an auction site you can convince to implement that -- or go build one!

about 7 months ago
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Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

Urza9814 Re:New UI? (256 comments)

See...I was always a huge Firefox/Firebird/Phoenix supporter as well. I still remember the big online release party they had for 1.0. I raved about it so much in highschool my dad bought me a Firefox T-shirt (which was not the kind of thing he generally did...chips or candy from the store, sure, but he didn't just order crap for us)...which was my favorite T-shirt for several years.

But I haven't used it much since Chrome came out. I switch back and forth every few months, but I tend to favor chrome for performance and stability.

But I installed the nightly for Australis a while ago and was blown away. Firefox is FINALLY ahead of Chrome again, and it is *wonderful*! I can't wait to go home and update Firefox on all my systems.

I'm glad Firefox wants to be Chrome. Chrome is better. Now that Firefox is finally reaching that same level, maybe they can try to be *better*.

about 7 months ago
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Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

Urza9814 Re:Go after em Nate (335 comments)

...so we won't go extinct, civilization as we know it will just collapse?

Or are you just going to ignore the parts of the post you're responding to that don't fit in to your bias?

about 7 months ago
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Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

Urza9814 Re:Go after em Nate (335 comments)

It also irks me that they always point to "in-the-last-800,000-years" graph, where "in-the-last-34,000,000-years" graph from the exact same source (ice-cores), having data that is just as accurate reveals that the earth was in a period of historically low CO2 levels during the ascent of man. Until we start cold-fusing He to form C, were only releasing carbon that was at one point or another already in the atmosphere. The earth was not formed with oil reserves in place before there was an atmosphere....

Yes, humanity evolved and developed to our current state in a period of low atmospheric CO2. Nobody really denies that. It's pretty obvious.

But...we have no way of knowing if our current civilization -- or even the human species -- can survive a world with those higher CO2 levels. Most people would be in favor of acting to prevent massive natural disasters or the extinction of the entire human race if possible.

Not that I'm saying humanity WOULD go extinct...I think climate change will be very painful for us, and we should try to mitigate that, but we'll survive regardless. We're pretty damn good at that. But it could certainly set us back a few hundred/thousand years....along with causing millions of deaths...so it's probably a good thing to try to avoid.

about 7 months ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Urza9814 Re:To be fair... (653 comments)

I agree that it's not quite the same thing, but I think the lines are too fuzzy to be able to write a law or policy that can actually distinguish between the two.

about 6 months ago
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Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is?

Urza9814 Re:So if you forget to lock your front door (246 comments)

If you didn't see it, go read the reply by an AC, it's basically the same argument I'm gonna make:

There is an implication on the internet that everything is authorized until it states otherwise. Nobody ever gave me permission to access Slashdot or Google or Facebook. I typed in the URL and it gave me access. Had I typed the URL and it came up with a password prompt and I went searching for a back door to get access to it anyway, THEN it would be unauthorized access.

I'm not saying no crime was committed here. There certainly was. Weev certainly knew that as well. But Weev did not commit the crime, he merely discovered it. AT&T *did* authorize him to access that information, and *that* is the crime.

about 6 months ago
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Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is?

Urza9814 Re:So if you forget to lock your front door (246 comments)

I agree with you completely on those analogies. Where we disagree I think is our perception of how the internet functions.

The way I see it, AT&T *publicly published* that information. They shouldn't have, but they did. If they took all that information and stuck it in a book and sold that book to Barnes and Noble and I then went in and purchased that book, am *I* the criminal? That's absurd! The way I see it, if it's posted on a unsecured web site, that's the same as having it published in a physical book or newspaper.

AT&T made that information public. Once they do that, there can be no such thing as "unauthorized access". Weev did not commit a criminal act, he merely *discovered evidence of one*.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Sadly, no. (409 comments)

I think he's referring to Google Homepage, AKA iGoogle...they have nothing even remotely similar, although numerous *other* companies are now providing similar services...

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:No price != No cost (409 comments)

That information is an infinite good! So long as they don't sell that information to anyone else, and only use it themselves to place ads. They don't sell it once, they get to sell it *every single time you visit one of their websites*. And with so many others using Google ads these days, they pretty much sell your information any time you load any website.

In this case, they really do make up for it with volume.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:You are a vendor (409 comments)

No you are NOT a customer. You are a vendor. You are "selling" your information to google (for services) who then sells it to advertisers. If you aren't paying cash to Google, you are not Google's customer. The maxim that "you aren't the customer, you are the product" isn't actually true because the product google offers is your attention and information about you. You are the vendor for that information. You "sell" to google and google sells to their customers.

So if I hire a piano teacher for my kids, and he agrees to accept payment in, say, fresh oranges instead of cash, he then becomes a customer even if I'm not selling those oranges to anybody else?

Sorry, but that's not how it works. The form of payment is not what determines the relationship. I am not offering my personal information to anybody who is willing to pay. Google says 'here is the product, here is the price', and I pay it that price for their product.

If I was a vendor in this relationship, I would be the one setting the price.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Similarly... (409 comments)

I work in K12 education trying to help teachers integrate technology. The answer to your question is more complicated than you think. Google Apps make sense for us because we have a ton of users (students) who move between different devices throughout the course of a day. With Google Drive, Sites, calendar and mail, their stuff follows them around.

Uh...my highschool managed that without any cloud servers. All our personal directories were on a network drive. Not that difficult. Followed you between classes, between years, between buildings anywhere in the district.

And in fact, my university (Penn State) managed to do the same thing even between Windows, Linux, Unix and Apple machines. And I was able to mount all of that as a local drive to my home systems as well.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Not the only reason..... (409 comments)

I don't buy the "people use $foo instead of Office because $foo is free" - we've had plenty of free alternatives to office for years and whilest the likes of OpenOffice are used by indiciduals, they seem rarely used by schools and businesses.

Penn State University has LibreOffice installed on all of their lab computers. In fact, they've been using it so long some of the systems still have a version so old it's still called Star Office. But they've always got MS Office installed too. Any many professors consider anything submitted in any format other than .docx to not have been submitted at all -- I know people who have received zero credit for assignments they submitted as a .odt. That's the real problem. The kids understand this stuff, but their teachers not only don't know, they do everything they can to actively avoid having to learn!

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Not the only reason..... (409 comments)

Not that I disagree with you, but I think you miss the point.

The "someone to sue" argument is about CYA in a catastrophic event. It's the same argument as "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM".

If there's some massive security breach in a Microsoft product that exposes all of your customer information, that would be perceived as Microsoft's fault. You could try to sue, and probably lose, but the perception is still that it's Microsoft's fault and they're industry standard so you did nothing wrong. Same thing happens with something open source, and your company takes the blame for using "that cheap piece of garbage."

It's pointless and unrealistic, but it's not really supposed to be. Nobody expects that to happen, but they see the price of proprietary software as a kind of insurance against such events.

Perhaps someone could improve acceptance of open source by directly selling actual insurance against that kind of thing....

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Not the only reason..... (409 comments)

I've had friends receive an F on an assignment for submitting a .odt file instead of a .docx.

They need to either ban teachers from doing that, or create their own free software package. If you're going to have public education, it's unethical to then mandate students to purchase hundreds of dollars of software from a specific private company.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:My experience is just the opposite (409 comments)

I use Excel every. single. day. for work. That's my entire job -- I'm in the performance testing lab, I take test results from various servers and format them into Excel sheets. And then I use Word a lot because I'm in the process of rewriting all our bash scripts and gotta document all of that.

So I've been using it every single day for two years now...but the ribbon STILL pisses me off. I mean the general concept is fine, but having menus change locations and appear and disappear depending on what I'm doing is incredibly obnoxious.

Here's an example -- how do I double-space text in a table cell? Was trying to figure this out yesterday. Normally, you'd go to format > paragraph...except when you're working with a table, the format menu vanishes. All you get is table properties, cell options, that sort of thing. But I've looked through all of those, and there's no option to control the line spacing. As far as I can tell, you simply can't do it!

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

Urza9814 Re:Not the only reason..... (409 comments)

Let's have everybody double click on the "terminal" icon, and when you see the blinking cursor on the new window type "sudo yum search someprogram".

Well...as others have explained, an actual desktop distro will not make you do those steps. Also, what school is having *the students* install new software?

Having said that...when I was in elementary school (not that long ago; I'm 23) we used Apple IIEs. In fourth grade every single student took typing classes. And *not a single kid* ever had a problem with 'put in the 5.25" floppy disk and type these commands at the prompt to launch the program'

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Comcast hijacking failed DNS requests

Urza9814 Urza9814 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Urza9814 writes "It seems Comcast has been added to the list of ISPs hijacking failed DNS requests. I've just noticed on my own connection that any failed connections are automatically redirected to http://search2.comcast.com/?cat=dnsr&con=ds. While they do helpfully have an 'opt out' link, it seems to be designed to prevent all but the most determined users from opting out — it requires your modem's MAC address and an email confirmation."
Link to Original Source

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