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Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

aggles Just say no to Apple only (227 comments)

So glad Apple isn't playing ball here. It sucks to get all excited about new apps or media only to find I can't have it because I haven't paid my Apple tax. Boo on the government on trying to make Apple the single technology partner.

about a month ago

Education Chief Should Know About PLATO and the History of Online CS Education

aggles RCA Spectra (134 comments)

Wish I had had access to Plato. So much came from it, including the genesis of Lotus Notes. Computer education was just starting in the late 60's. My 1968 high school physics class had a student teacher from a local college that taught us FORTRAN, on a RCA mainframe. We used punch cards the first year and then in 1969, a paper-tape teletype was installed. Kids will be kids. We quickly learned to save ASCII art on paper-tape and sent a foot long rendition of the finger to the operator's console. This was also before the days of using ***** to hide passwords, so a fish into the garbage can yielded the teacher's password and eventually the system admin's. A few grades were changed with no consequences, but when we tried the admin "shutdown" command before dismounting the drives - and it took a week to reboot the system - that was the end of my early computer training.

about 2 months ago

Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

aggles Caution: Political BS machine at work (294 comments)

The hype will die down after the US election on November 4th. Till then, the political BS machines are spinning anything that gets people's attention into points against the other side.

about 3 months ago

Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

aggles Some day - not yet (131 comments)

The main problem with corporate social software today is that the business dynamics are different than public social apps. With Facebook or Google+, you are a user, not a customer, and advertising is the business model. With corporations, you buy, not build the software and typically it is bloatware, trying to meet the needs of a selection committee with vague goals. So, if you can find anything good, it will be expensive (SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, etc).

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) had a vibrant social network from the mid-80's to the mid 90's, based on a rewrite of the CDC Plato software. It eventually evolved into Lotus Notes and bloated into crapware. In it's day at DEC, over 400 "notes files" were active, half business related - and non-business topics to encourage use by everyone. Below the management level, the company ran on "VAXnotes". Management hated it, because it wasn't the way they were comfortable working and disrupted their authority. Did this kill the company? Perhaps. It sharpened the disconnect between management and the workers.

Today, combine bloatware social tools that basically suck when compared to public sites, with corporate rules that discourage non-business use, combined with the spyware culture that social tool reporting provide - and we see failures due to non-use. Once those that grew up with social tools grow into management positions, the popularity of corporate social tools will likely grow. Use of social business tools "CAN" be a powerful tool if the corporate culture embraces it. It "WILL" make companies more competitive if the culture can act in a more coordinated way. Just, not yet.

about 7 months ago

FCC Gets Go-Ahead For Plan To Expand Rural Internet Access

aggles Cellular wireless - really? (156 comments)

The comment "build out broadband infrastructure, including cellular data networks in those areas." seems like a waste of money. Metered bandwidth is good for mobile applications but a home needs unlimited data volumes. While today, 30 gig a month is fine for most and 100 gig /month should suffice for the next few years, the concept of caps will be a bucket of cold water on continued innovation. Wireless is not in itself a bad technology for the rural build-out, but it is unlikely that Verizon and AT&T will change their ways. Cellular wireless is lifeline quality only for the home.

about 8 months ago

5 Years Later, 'Do Not Track' System Ineffective

aggles Why listen to browser providers (254 comments)

DNT was dead the moment a vendor, and not the user, made the decision to set the flag on by default. Why should any content provider respect the wishes of a browser company, with regards to tracking?

about 8 months ago

F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

aggles Neutral to 100 meg? (410 comments)

If neutrality is a lost cause, I hope at least for a baseline on neutral performance, say the high-end of what we can get today. This would drive investment towards gigabit+ speeds and new applications that come with it, what ever they may be. This would be a good time for a disruptive technology to come along and give the mega carriers some competition, but sadly, I don't think it will. The placement of a lobbyist into the FCC decision chair is disappointing.

about 9 months ago

Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"

aggles Nuts to me (192 comments)

My allergy to peanuts and cashews has been going strong for over 50 years and I'm still alive. Peanuts and cashews are the worst, and to me, the difference is like between a bee (peanut) and yellow-jacket (cashew) sting. Similar reaction, but stronger and nastier. Peas, lima beans and lentils also cause an allergic sensation, but won't get me sick

As a kid, today you get protected, but once out on your own, shit happens. In third grade, I knew I couldn't eat the peanut butter candy we were making in class, but wanted to help, so I stirred it. That got me sent home with my eyes swollen shut. Later in life, I've been hit by a "maple frosted" donut, learned about mole sauce and sate sauce the hard way (note to self; watch out if the E on the end of the sauce's name is pronounced as A). Those cut up garlic pieces in the dipping sauce at the Thai restaurant were actually chopped peanuts. Those rice crispy squares only had 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in the batch, but it got me. The chicken salad sandwich with cashews did too. I could probably die from a large dose, but sense it pretty quickly. What gets my goat is the warnings on packaged goods saying the product was made in a factory that uses peanuts. I ignore those labels and only sensed peanuts in M&M plains and a Hershey White Chocolate candy bar.

For me, the smallest bit ingested means I'm going to puke. It might take 10 minutes or three hours, but it is going to happen. Normally, once I know it is in my system (seconds after swallowing), I'll drink a bunch of water and try to puke it out of my system. That sort of works. I also get wheezy and my throat closes a bit, but not as bad as others report. Then, I get sleepy. Even the dust in the airplane gets my eyes itchy. Years ago, I tried the desensitization approach on my own, but didn't like the reaction and stopped pretty quick.

about a year ago

Sites Blocked By Smartfilter, Censored in Saudi Arabia

aggles Where are the lawsuits (112 comments)

It surprises me that nobody has successfully sued the filter companies for blocking legitimate traffic to their site. Proving financial damage shouldn't be that hard, and there is clearly negligence is how some filters are constructed.

1 year,4 days

Connecting To Unsecured Bluetooth Car Systems To Monitor Traffic Flow

aggles Re:Halifax too! (161 comments)

So in every area, they have a good estimate of how many cars have Bluetooth and have it turned on? For example, our household (HS senior, college sophomore, my wife and I) have 4 cars total and only one of them has Bluetooth. It is turned on. But, the rest of us have BT headsets - which are not in pairing / discoverable mode. So I guess they only "see" one of us on the road?

They don't need many samples to determine road speed conditions. On a busy highway, even if only 1% of the cars have bluetooth discovery enabled, there will be valid data. More valid as the sample size increases. Similar technology is used in airports to understand the speed of the people moving thorugh the security line.

about a year ago

Facebook To Overhaul Data Use Policy

aggles How blatant can you get? (216 comments)

...and FB's NSA overlords sit back smiling

about a year ago

Londoners Tracked By Advertising Firm's Trash Cans

aggles Legit uses? (189 comments)

Several airports in Europe are using the same non-associating probe technique to figure out if enough security lines are open. By knowing the time from pre to post security location of a MAC address, they can tell how well traffic is flowing. Since people beyond security, on average, spend several Euros per minute, it is better for the airport to minimize the security delay. Good for passengers too.

about a year and a half ago

Windows 8 Passes Vista, Hits 5.1% Market Share

aggles It is not that bad (285 comments)

Yeah, metro is useless, but there are some nice aspects to Win 8, like the new task manager. I installed a fan controller (TPFC.62), which boots me to the desktop once it starts. Finding drivers can be a challenge, but so far, I have what I need. I'll go to 8.1 as soon as it is ready.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?

aggles Rolling Stone (363 comments)

The only magazine I read (and pay for) is Rolling Stone. Its only rock and roll, but I like it.

about 2 years ago

Rapid Arctic Melt Called 'Planetary Emergency'

aggles A record was set - so what? (757 comments)

There has been plenty of news about it, but what's the call to action? Maybe we should get ready for major winter snows in the US Northeast, like happened the winter after the last record was set? There is increasing acceptance that the rise is human accelerated, but there is no common wisdom on what can stop it or even the degree to which the rate of change can be slowed down. What we see here is just another snapshot of the ride towards a warmer planet and we'll have to deal with the impact as it happens, what ever happens.

more than 2 years ago

Is Our Infrastructure Ready For Rising Temperatures?

aggles Big rains - bigger culverts (416 comments)

The civil engineers around here are replacing any culvert that needs it with the bigger size, so that the increased run-off can be handled without washing out the roads. They assume 500 year events are now 100 year events and 100 year events are 30. 10 year events can happen at any time. Makes sense to me.

more than 2 years ago

FBI To Shut Down DNSChanger Servers Monday -- But Should It Cut Off 300k PCs?

aggles Where is the fix (140 comments)

Seems that a clear posting that describes how to fix the problem would be the most useful to the most people.

more than 2 years ago

Earth Approaching Tipping Point Say Scientists

aggles Economic boom caused by impact of changing climate (759 comments)

Climate change can do the same thing for an economy as a war. It was WW2 that brought the US economy back from the great depression, because people had stuff to make, stuff to rebuild. Same thing for a changing climate. Construction business will boom. New levees to build, new houses to build away from the coasts, repairing flooded and hurricaned areas and so on. Preventing the change is very unlikely, but adaptation will be the new priority. It won't be based on predictions, just adapting to what already happened. Just let mother nature run its course and deal with it.

more than 2 years ago

Cops' Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Now Better Than GPS

aggles Not always more accurate (147 comments)

The cell tower nearest my home is about 2 miles by crow, but 15 miles by car, on the other side of the reservoir. GPS is much more accurate.

more than 2 years ago

CIOs Dismissed As Techies Without Business Savvy By CEOs

aggles The I in CIO means information (269 comments)

Many CIOs think their job is to keep the infrastructure running. That would be the role of a CTO or COO. There is a need in most organizations to treat information as an asset and analyze it. Analysis is what will drive growth. When a CIO says you can’t have that report needed tomorrow for three weeks, because he/she has to keep the modem lights blinking, they have become irrelevant. Many business applications are now available from cloud based providers that the business no longer needs to go to the IT organization to get much of what they need. And they don’t.

more than 2 years ago


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