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Comments

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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

andyring Re:Small setup (283 comments)

Nothing fancy, a Mac Mini with a UPS in the furnace room where my router/WiFi base station is located, with several drives and a MagicJack plugged into it. One 3TB for home stuff like Time Machine backups and my VOD archive and a couple other 4TB drives JBOD'd for nightly remote off-site backups of my company's primary server. Also have a 60-foot amplified USB cable running from that basement furnace room into my baby's room for a cheap home-brew baby cam monitor. Another camera in the garage so I can quickly see if we forgot to close the garage door.

MagicJack, ewww, right? Well, maybe, but hey, it's dirt cheap and works well for my 9-year-old to have a phone at home if he's home alone which we allow from time to time, like if we need a quick grocery store run, etc.

I ran ethernet throughout my house as needed as well, although there are a couple spots I wasn't able to access. Yeah, WiFi is nice but I live in a pretty new neighborhood, lots of younger families like mine, and very crowded WiFi space including the 5ghz band. Since my TV is entirely streaming (Roku and AppleTV) I wanted it to work solidly, reliably, and not be subject to interference from neighbors. I can sit in my living room and see probably a dozen and a half networks pop up. And I've got a couple BluRay players that don't have WiFi, just ethernet. I just ran a single cat5 wire behind the TV, put a little 4-port switch back there and call it good. I've got an older Proliphix network-enabled thermostat too from before WiFi was even very common, which required Cat5 and PoE to function, so I had to run Cat5 to it which was tricky but doable. It's no Nest but I already own it and I can still adjust the temp from my phone when we aren't home.

3 days ago
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Denver Latest City Hit By Viral Respiratory Infection That Targets Kids

andyring Where it came from (174 comments)

OK, consider this:

"HEV68, first seen in California in 1962, and an unwelcome but highly infrequent visitor to communities worldwide since then, is a relative of the virus linked to the common cold (human rhinoviruses, or HRV), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

And it seems to be specific to children.

What happened this summer in huge numbers?

Hundreds of thousands of kids from Central America showing up on our doorstep and being dumped around the country just in time for school to start. It first showed up in California, aka Northern Mexico.

about two weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

andyring Re:Discrimination (579 comments)

In other news, a recent study has determined that 100 percent of all births in human history have come from a woman. Researchers were confounded at the gender disparity in basic species propagation. Further studies were suggested to investigate possible movement towards gender equality in childbirth.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

andyring Re:How many? Hard to say (272 comments)

Hmmm, how'd you guess? :)

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

andyring How many? Hard to say (272 comments)

I work concurrently in a large company (45,000 employees) and a small company (50-ish, but for years we were in the 5-8 range). I am solidly convinced that the larger a company gets, the higher the number of excess employees.

How do I work concurrently in both companies? My primary employer is the small company, but the large company has subcontracted me via my primary employer to work in their HQ 3 days a week because a specific department (which my primary employer specializes in) is swamped, or so they say. So, 3 days a week I work at the big place with very little to do and end up doing a small amount of work and lots of web browsing or reading or working remotely as I'm able on tasks for the small company. And then 2 days a week I'm at the small company, swamped and playing catch-up.

Granted, this is but one example, but the contrast I see on a daily basis is stunning. Even in my smaller employer I see us getting more inefficiencies and "dead weight" employees. Back when our employee count was in the single digits, it was a whole different ballgame. We were small. We didn't have the resources to carry extra employees. When someone would quit, it was a huge deal because we'd be losing literally like a sixth of our entire workforce. And it was a fun environment! It truly felt like a tightly connected team.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I've been employed at the small company for 16 years and have no desire to leave. But to get back to the original question, the bigger a company gets, the more dead weight they'll carry until the times get really tough. Then, you'll see where they can cut the fat.

Here's an example. A few decades ago, the Rock Island railroad was a well-known railroad across the Midwest. They went bankrupt in about 1980 if memory serves. Leading up to their insolvency, they ended up leading the industry in getting down to a 2-person train crew because they simply had no money to pay additional crew members. From what I've heard, managers literally told train crews "Tough luck, you get an engineer and a conductor because we can't afford to pay for a brakeman." And now the industry standard is a 2-person train crew.

Aside from Microsoft, a FAR better question would be (not to turn this political, but it's a fair question): "How many employees does $government really need?"

Where am I going with this? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm rambling because I'm bored. :)

about 2 months ago
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Interviews: Ask "The King of Kong" Billy Mitchell About Classic Video Games

andyring Attraction/appeal (122 comments)

Mr. Mitchell,

What attracted you to Donkey Kong? There are several video games of that era which could easily be considered classics, such as PacMan, Donkey Kong, etc. What was it about Donkey Kong in particular that kept you coming back to it?

about 3 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

andyring Re:Keystone XL (411 comments)

That is true, but at the same time, leaks/spills/releases from tank cars are about 1/3 that of pipelines.

Not saying we don't need pipelines. We need Keystone XL and other pipelines, and the ability to move crude by rail. Both are enormously beneficial.

about 4 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

andyring Re:Good. (411 comments)

Except that modern day progressives stand for none of the things you reference. They support guilds (unions), support slavery (it was Republicans, aka conservatives, who spearheaded the civil rights legislation in the 1960s; Democrats aka progressives aka liberals opposed it). They prefer segregation particularly in schools by forcing kids into horribly failing schools with no way out, the are opposed to free markets, and opposed to constitutionally guaranteed freedoms (religion, self defense, etc.).

about 4 months ago
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Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

andyring Re:sure, no problem (245 comments)

Just don't put your HVAC controls on the same network as your credit card payment devices...

about 6 months ago
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Google Blurring Distinction Between Ads and Organic Search Results

andyring What's the big deal? (187 comments)

I started seeing this recently too. I don't recall exactly when, but I barely gave it a thought. Something akin to "Oh, Google changed their layout a bit." It's still quite blatant which items are ads, and I wouldn't consider the "ad" tag to be a "tiny yellow button." It sticks out like a sore thumb, and furthermore, just looking at the titles of those particular "search" results makes it obvious the first few are ads.

Interestingly enough, the new layout has actually prompted me to deliberately click on some of the ads I've seen. In the past, they were easier to not even notice by being off to the side. But now, I've seen some of them, and knowing full well it's an ad, clicked anyway because I was curious or I thought (rightfully so in some cases) that the ad would take me where I wanted to go.

about 6 months ago
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

andyring Re:I went back to corporate America because Obamac (578 comments)

I'm definitely calling BS on this one. By huge margins, people were happy with their insurance plans pre-Obamacare (statistics bear this out). I was, and many people I know were too.

Now, I am worried what will happen when all the regs finally do kick in. I have a great plan now through work for my family and I, and I know if ObamaCare isn't changed or repealed, my out of pocket costs will absolutely jump by hundreds of dollars. Why? Because our plan now doesn't technically cover all the things that ObamaCare mandates (but crap we don't need and never will need like contraceptives, maternity, etc. etc. etc.). Once it's required to cover those things, the costs will absolutely increase, there's no getting around it.

about 6 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

andyring Freedom (606 comments)

Let Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. put their facilities WHEREVER THEY DAMN WELL WANT TO. They don't need some government loser trying to dictate to them based on what that loser feels is right. Sheesh! We've gotten so far from the basic concept of freedom in this country it's pathetic. There's always some government minder lurking around the corner to cajole, nag and badger you or your company, or force you at the point of a gun, to do things their way. If Google wants to put a gigantic campus in the middle of the barren wasteland of Montana and fly employees to/from every day, let them! Some government flunky shouldn't be stepping in to condemn them for it.

about 7 months ago
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Routers Pose Biggest Security Threat To Home Networks

andyring What it's not about (264 comments)

Yes, this is /. We can upgrade our router firmware or install other firmware. Joe Sixpack cannot.

The blame for this should be laid squarely at the feet of the router manufacturers. IMHO, here's what Linksys/Cisco/Netgear/etc/etc/etc/ should do, at the very least:

1. Be open and forthcoming about bugs found in their router software
2. By default, routers should ship with automatic firmware updates enabled. This should be difficult to disable and robust enough that it'll *just work* with no user intervention.
3. Tell this to their customers in plain English or $localLanguage on the product packaging. And NOT in fine print. Make it very obviously noticeable to the purchaser. This can and should be a signifiant selling point, really. If I'm at BestBuy/WalMart/etc. and see one router boldly telling me "We care about your security! To protect you and your data, this router will check weekly with $manufacturer and update itself to give you the most secure Internet experience possible." And it's sitting next to another router that says no such thing, I'd buy the one that will keep me safe.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Do If You're Given a Broken Project?

andyring Nice cloak post (308 comments)

It seems the OP is actually asking about the ObamaCare web site.

about 8 months ago
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California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

andyring Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (374 comments)

Why? Is there a specific price point at which regulation should be automatic?

On what do you base your premise that regulation is both necessary and positive?

about 8 months ago
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Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry

andyring Re:The cablecos have monopolies on cable and inter (261 comments)

Yeah, it sucks, but there are other options. Here's one. Start your own ISP. No, I'm not crazy. Here's an excellent example. Here in Lincoln, Neb., a guy with an idea started a company called WideRange Broadband. (standard disclaimer, I have no connection to them other than as a very satisfied customer) They're a wireless ISP. They rent tower space on a few tall radio antenna towers around town, toss some Ubiquity antennas up there, and call it good. Yes, that's over simplifying it, but in the end, I have a little antenna on my roof about the size of my forearm, and I get a solid high speed connection for $30/month. And they're pissing off the local telco (Windstream) and cableCo (TimeWarner) because they can offer as good or better speeds for less money. Yes, there are some line-of-sight issues if you're in an older neighborhood with lots of tall trees, but it's a solid start. Shortly after I cut off TimeWarner, I had one of their people stop by the house trying to get me to resubscribe (at $49/month). I told him who I was using, and he got a nervous look on his face and said "Oh, they're not a real company, that's just someone's hobby" and left. I mentioned that to the WideRange installer a few months later when we bought a house and they were moving my antenna. He chucked and said "Yeah, we hear that a lot."

about 9 months ago
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Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry

andyring We did it and don't look back (261 comments)

We cut the cord about a year ago when our Dish subscription was up for renewal. My wife was a little hesitant at first because she watched some primetime shows, but with a combination of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" network (hey, don't flame me, we enjoy watching him and there's nothing wrong with that), we ended up saving almost $100 a month. My 8-year-old doesn't care either, he can find whatever he wants on Netflix kids area. I stuck a couple HDTV antennas in the attic as well, so if there is something OTA that I may want to watch like a football game or the evening news, we still can. We've got an AppleTV and a Roku 3, each of which costed, for a one-time purchase, what we were paying monthly to Dish.

about 9 months ago
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Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

andyring They suck (180 comments)

I'm with most of the commenters here. We have a small fleet of company cars (5). We recently upgraded them as our existing vehicles, despite being 2008 models, were around 350k miles. Anyway, I evaluated a Ford Focus and hated it. The whole darn thing was a computer, or so it seemed. I want my employees focusing on the ROAD, not the vehicle gadgets. We ended up going with 2013 Honda Civics after my boss got involved because he's friends with the salesman. Even those are very sucky. The menu interfaces are total crap, make no sense, even to the point of feeling counterintuitive. The salesman I worked with kept touting "it's got Bluetooth, bluetooth, bluetooth" until he was practically blue in the face. I told him "Bluetooth whatever. How do I turn off all this shit?" He looked dumbfounded.

I don't need some distracting info graphic to tell me a door is open. If a car is smart enough to tell me a tire is low, tell me WHICH DAMN TIRE. And if I want to turn on the radio, let me turn a little dial in the middle of the front console area, not some generic plus-minus button on a steering wheel that does different things every time I touch it. Otherwise I end up being frustrated with the stupid thing and not focusing on driving safely.

about 9 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

andyring Re:Speaking as a non-American... (1144 comments)

There was blatant bribery where one state was gifted special benefits to purchase a yea vote on the bill.

Evidence beyond reasonable doubt - e.g. conviction in court of law, please. Evidence that your allegations, if true, would have made a difference.

Umm, yes, this is true. It was in Nebraska, the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback." I remember it well, I live here in Nebraska. Sen. Ben Nelson (D) was the crucial 60th vote necessary to pass it through the Senate. He was really, really hearing it from us Nebraskans not to vote for it. Finally Obama came up with a special exemption just for Nebraska having to do with (I think) Medicare funding, where Nebraska wouldn't have to pay for some sort of Medicare expansion. That secured Nelson's vote. That exemption did end up applying to all the states after it came out in the media, but yes, Nelson's vote was basically bought by Obama.

Others were pushed out of congress through scandals which may or may not have been fabricated.

"Something bad may have happened but I have no evidence for it."

The legislation itself was never fully available so that we could even know what was up for vote.

Sorry, what? Are you claiming that your representatives didn't have the full text of primary legislation available, or that secondary legislation is left to the executive (which is standard for all lawmaking)?

This also is true. OK, TECHNICALLY the full text was available, but for a matter of a few hours. Nancy Pelosi (D) has often been quoted as saying "We need to pass the bill to find out what's in it." The bill was in a near constant state of flux, with the final version only hours old when voted on. It is not humanly possible to read and understand a multi-thousand page document in that amount of time.

The vote itself was pushed time and time again until the outcome was assured.

What do you mean by this? That the legislation was modified until enough people were happy with it? IOW standard legislative process?

Heck, they even kept the legislature in DC during the winter break so that legislators wouldn't go home and hear directly from the people.

What do you actually mean by this? Define "kept".

The Senate was kept in session far beyond when they normally would have returned home for Christmas. The Senate vote happened late on Christmas Eve. Normally Senators would have returned home several days earlier, at which time they likely would have started getting a huge earful from constituents.

A major bill like this, getting voted through with not one vote from the opposite party all but ensured something like this would happen.

"The opposite party". Way to declare your enjoyment for two-party politics. It was passed. Nobody forced people to vote Democrat, and nobody forced the elected Congresscritters to vote in favour of the bill.

Democrats and Republicans are basically opposites. I can't see how one could argue that.

What the GOP is doing is no worse than what the dems had to do to pass it in the first place.

"HE STARTED IT!" Grow the fuck up.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Software patents dead?

andyring andyring writes  |  more than 5 years ago

andyring writes "According to the Los Angeles Times, a patent for a computerized method for using weather to predict commodities prices and energy costs was rejected by a federal appeals court. The court imposed a new standard — that the invention must involve a machine or a physical transformation. That would seem to exclude the whole concept of software patents. The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court."
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andyring andyring writes  |  more than 7 years ago

andyring writes "Apple just issued a press release stating that the planned release of Mac OS X 10.5 will be pushed back to October instead of the planned June WWDC release. Although extremely rare for Apple to make a statement such as this, the say the iPhone is the cause. "iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned." according to the press release."
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andyring andyring writes  |  more than 7 years ago

andyring writes "A group of students at the University of Arkansas took the time to create a computer case appropriate for Halloween, a computer built inside a pumpkin. It is indeed a fully functional computer, utilizing a Dell Latitude D410 laptop board, 1.6 ghz Pentium M, wireless networking, 60GB disk and more. I suppose this could be the ultimate in earth-friendly computer cases, although the case's longevity may be in doubt."
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andyring andyring writes  |  more than 8 years ago

andyring writes "According to IHT, Boeing will cancel it's in-air high-speed wireless Internet service due to low usage and lack of demand. Currently, 156 aircraft on 12 airlines are outfitted with the service, and usage amounted to "low single digits" per flight despite expectations that the service would be a big hit. Airbus does plan to have it's own similar service when they deliver the first massive A380s to Singapore Airlines by the end of the year. What would it take for this service to be successful?"

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