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What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

apoc.famine Re:Feedly looks ok (287 comments)

This has been a pet peeve of mine for ages now as well. However, this particular instance is what convinced me to finally get off my ass and do what I've been meaning to do for about 2 years now:

1) New Gmail account
2) Fake Facebook account
3) Fake Twitter account
4) Use these for every sign-in thing on all the stupid websites that have a boner for social media.

These accounts will never have friends. They won't have any followers to spam. "Will you allow us to post to your feed?" 'Sure. Even I will never ever see it.' I'm happily experimenting with a couple news readers now despite their asinine requirement that I sign in or otherwise attach one of the above.

about 2 years ago
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Chinese Stealth Fighter Jet May Use US Technology

apoc.famine Re:If true... (339 comments)

I don't think high speed rail and stealth fighters are in the same category....sure, both take some serious tech, but one requires fly-by-wire, and the other doesn't need any way to maneuver. Yes, the materials science aspect of both requires some impressive technology. But there's a ton more to stealth planes than just the materials.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

apoc.famine Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

I've got a sweet credit union in the midwest. Apparently you don't live in the same place as another poster here who told me nobody in the US uses checks and all transfers are free....it was news to me also.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

apoc.famine Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

So, what country do you live in?

I've lived in rural areas on the East Coast and a city in the Midwest, and what I said was true in both places.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Files Patent For Display Mouse

apoc.famine Re:Ick (156 comments)

I'm fairly impressed with the "Magic Mouse" - in the things I use daily, I often need a side-to-side scroll. It's pretty darn slick for stuff like that.

more than 3 years ago
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Last Days For Central IPv4 Address Pool

apoc.famine Re:There's no such things as shortages... (376 comments)

Problem was it greated more work without benefit.

Of course it did! It's a major infrastructure change! It's not like we were "upgrading the internet" to make it run faster. The entire issue was that our current addressing infrastructure was inadequate. It's like saying, "this road doesn't go to the housing development that they're building up the road - we should make it longer", then complaining that the existing drivers didn't see any benefit. Everyone on the internet right now is fine - it's everyone who's not that this will benefit. So of course it's work without benefit for those of us here now!

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Files Patent For Display Mouse

apoc.famine Re:Ick (156 comments)

You apparently don't know the difference between "some" and "all"...

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Files Patent For Display Mouse

apoc.famine Re:Ick (156 comments)

I don't ever look at my mouse, unless it's hung up on something or otherwise not working. I'm not even sure how I'd break 20 years of training on that front, much let alone why I would want to.

Apple has made some nice mice - this just seems ridiculous.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

apoc.famine Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

You seem to think that here in the US we have capitalism. Unfortunately, we don't. The US lacks the political will to ensure that there is true competition in most areas. We give out quasi-monopolies to corporations, and our politicians are well rewarded for keeping those in place.

I'm in a decent sized city, and I have 2 options for broadband internet access - both pretty much the same price. I get decent cellular reception on 3 networks, all pretty much the same price. While my bank doesn't charge an ATM fee, any other bank who's ATM I use does. If I bank at one place that's head and shoulders above the others in the area, how do the others stay in business? Different government agencies use them, thus circling it all back to politics.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

apoc.famine Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

The issue is that we're pretty much run by corporations now. All political decisions are weighed on whether or not they will hurt a corporate bottom line somewhere. That affects everything, including banking.

While a percentage of us vote against the politicians that continue this madness, the vast majority are swayed by the hundreds of millions/billions of dollars the corporations pour into elections to keep them as profitable as possible. Why are corporations able to pour millions to billions of dollars into elections? Damn good question. The issue is that it will take people voting in politicians who want to fix that, and that's not likely. Due to the billions corporations will pour into elections to prevent those people from getting elected.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

apoc.famine Re:€ (euro) (868 comments)

Bank transfers for consumers in the US will generally run in the region of $2 or 2%, whichever is more. Not sure about companies.

In the US, the 30-40 and under crowd does a lot of electronic banking. The 40+ crowd still relies on che(ck/que)s and cash. And by that I mean for both pay and to purchase things like groceries and gasoline.

The last place I worked for, probably 50% or more of the employees got a piece of paper every 2 weeks that they'd take to the bank and have turned into numbers in their account and bills in their hands. The other 50% of us took our direct deposit, got it a day earlier, and didn't spend every other friday waiting in line at the bank.

The US banking system for consumers is probably a solid 10 years behind the EU's system. It's pretty shocking. We don't have a good way to transfer money to each other - going to an ATM and getting cash, or paper cheque are the only real options.

I've got one of the better banks in the US to do business with, (large credit union) and it takes me about 8 clicks and 5 days to transfer money from my bank account to another bank. And $2 or 2%.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

apoc.famine Re:I stored them on a hard drive (680 comments)

I stopped even thinking about my wallpaper about 6 years ago when I realized that I never saw it, because I always have multiple things opened full screen. For the same reason I quickly found out that KDE 4 desktop widgets were worthless for me.

Hell, on login I have Thunderbird and a couple of folders open up. I don't even see my desktop then. I'm guessing I'm closer to a majority with this than a minority. Still, glad to hear you're rediscovering your past.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

apoc.famine Re:USB Drive, SAN/NAS, LTO ... (680 comments)

Well, since you have local copies on all your computers, I'm not sure how "vulnerable to business failure" it really is. At the worst, you just don't have the service. You still have all your files.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

apoc.famine Re:I stored them on a hard drive (680 comments)

But in another couple of years, how much will you remember what you lost? How much will you miss it?

I posted up above about a recent article about us becoming digital pack-rats. Personally, I haven't looked at anything I created 4 years ago in about...4 years. Stuff I created a decade ago? Probably 8 years ago was the last time I looked at any of it.

While I have mirrored TB drives now, and a static backup from about 4 months ago in a crate, the really essential stuff that I have backed up off-site is pretty minimal. Because very little of my data is really essential.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

apoc.famine Re:USB Drive, SAN/NAS, LTO ... (680 comments)

That's 3 to 5 cents a shot, not negligible.

Compared to what? Film? Or not taking pictures at all?

Really, for that much data, you really want to mirror a couple of TB drives, and then share with your neighbor/friend/family member far away/ like you're doing. On a similar setup.

I think the original question really boils down to, "In this day and age of hundreds of GB of personal data, how do you store it and back it up?"

I read a nice article some time ago about us becoming too attached to our data. That we were really keeping too much, and that we should gracefully let it die. Because really, when we pass away, who's going to want to dig through 1100 pictures of Mexico that we took? Nobody. They'll want the two pictures of us on our honeymoon. The picture a year that shows some kid growing up. They're not going to want to read every email we ever received - they want to see the dozen of when we fell in love.

Personally, I've got a pair of mirrored TB drives, and a chock-full 250gb drive in a box in the other room that has a copy of everything essential from about 3 months ago. My home and work computer each have copies of important work stuff, roughly up to date. If my house burns down? I'm going to lose a ton of shit, including a lot of data. But you know what? I probably don't need 99% of it. I don't need all the music and movies, D&D campaigns, papers I wrote in college, etc. When I set up these TB drives, I made a dir in my home directory that was called "old home dir". I didn't move anything out of it that I didn't need. And you know what? 95% of the stuff in it is still there after 4 months. When I did that a couple years ago, the percentage was about the same.

When it comes right down to it, our electronic data is going to be pretty much the same as our physical data from a century ago. Water leaks, mold, and sunlight destroyed most of our photos and documents. Failed HDs will destroy most of them now. But the world will go on.

Getting back onto topic, look into DropBox. Distributed copies on multiple computers, drag and drop interface, history and version control. Damn handy.

more than 3 years ago
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Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

apoc.famine Re:How about... (304 comments)

If the acceleration is logged with a timestamp, it's not going to be too hard to estimate velocity in a number of circumstances. Negative acceleration for a few seconds, no acceleration for 30 seconds, positive acceleration...looks like you just stopped at a stoplight. If you put your foot down, it's pretty easy to calculate your final velocity. And as you say, there might well be corroborating evidence from the GPS/tower.

more than 3 years ago
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IT Management Always Blames the Worker Bees

apoc.famine Re:Why WOULD anybody want to work in IT? (266 comments)

Then why work corporate IT? Work in academic IT areas. I'm back to school after 10 years out, working on a PhD. I've put in some time in IT, and I love programming. Now, I'm working on computer modeling. I'm doing more of the science than the programming, but there's still a fair bit of programming to be done. We have a guy in our research group who is pure IT/programming. He sets up our clusters, scripts up the tricky stuff, works on web interfaces for things - pretty much has free reign to do awesome.

I did the corporate IT job for a bit - I never looked back after I left. That shit blows. If there's one thing that I've learned, it's that you can most likely follow your passion somewhere you can embrace it and enjoy both your job and your life.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Opens Up Home Addresses and Phone Numbers

apoc.famine Re:This is a seriously bad idea! (459 comments)

I use a pay-as-you-go phone. Texts cost me $0.20, and calls $0.10/min, the first call of the day is $1. I don't want anyone other than the people I've given my number to have that number.

I have a preferred method of contact for all the important people and businesses in my life. Those companies that go outside that get the cold shoulder from me. One of my credit card companies isn't going to see any more business from me because they decided one day that it would be a good idea to start calling my cell every few hours. All our contact previous has been by mail or email. If they can't respect that, fuck them. (They got the number as an emergency number while I was traveling. To decide that they can try to call it to sell me shit using it is not cool.)

Yes, once there were telephone directories, where everyone was listed. That worked great when calls cost a fair bit of money, and marketers hadn't started cold calling everyone in that book. Now, we're inundated by marketing. I'm not so worried about identity theft - it's the intrusive marketing that I'm 100% against. The fact that I can't tell the post office to fuck off makes me consider moving all the bills I can onlne, and just not ever opening my mail box. They'll stop jamming shit into it when it gets full.

All this ties back to Facebook - we're running short of new ways to reach people for marketing. Facebook is providing that new avenue. There's a reason they don't have a date of birth, address, phone number, full name, likes/dislikes/organizations/networks/religions/politics/etc on me. It was pretty damn clear to me that when I signed up, it was just a matter of time before it became another avenue for marketing. Unlike the postal service, I can at least stop going there if it gets bad.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon, Not Developers, Will Set New App Store's Prices

apoc.famine Re:Pricing tactics (294 comments)

It seems to me that this makes it very hard for developers to set any sort of budget, or make any predictions about profit. "We assume that we'll be able to sell 10,000 apps at $1 each. That will give us $10,000 in revenue." Now, it's, "Amazon will sell some number of our app at some price. We can't really guess either, since they are interdependent."

I can't see any serious development business liking this.

more than 3 years ago
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Firefox 4 Beta 9 Out, Now With IndexedDB and Tabs On Titlebar

apoc.famine Re:Status Bar??? (537 comments)

Tree Style Tabs - they form a tree, and you can put it on the left side. Merge another line or two at the top, and you'll find that you have seemingly lots more vertical space. I do this on my little EEE 7". But the Tree Style Tabs felt so much better once I got used to them that I use them everywhere now.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Steve Jobs takes Medical Leave

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 3 years ago

apoc.famine writes "Apple Inc. founder and CEO Steve Jobs sent a note Monday to employees saying he's taking a medical leave of absence so he can focus on his health. Chief operating officer Tim Cook will be responsible for all day-to-day operations in his absence.

Will this be the end of Jobs at Apple? We'll have to keep an eye on Bloomberg to find out."

Link to Original Source
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Playing Follow the Leader from Italy to China

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

apoc.famine writes "Driverless technology from the University of Parma's VisLab was deployed in a real-world test on Tuesday. Two driverless chase vehicles will attempt to follow two lead vehicles across multiple continents, over the course of several months. The journey will cover over 8,000 miles, (~13,000 km) as the chase vehicles use lasers and cameras to attempt to navigate hazards along the way. The team expects to collect about 100 TB of data, which, as you can imagine, requires a pretty hefty electronics and battery load. The scale is such that the cars can only run for about three hours before needing 8 hours to recharge the batteries.

This is being billed as just a test, and far from a real world application. The vehicles don't go more than about 35mph, and need a person behind the wheel to take over at a moment's notice. "What we are trying to do is stress our systems and see if they can work in a real environment, with real weather, real traffic and crazy people who cross the road in front of you and a vehicle that cuts you off," said project leader Alberto Broggi.

The goal is not to produce just road vehicles, but to improve the technology so it can be used in military and agricultural roles as well. The team hopes to have helped mature the technology within the next 10-20 years to the point that it can be used on the road. At the moment, it looks like it has a long way to go."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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By-yearly Update

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 9 years ago Wow. I've only got 3 entries, and I haven't written in my journal for almost 2 years. I guess I'd better not start a blog, eh?

Long story short, I've got 7 weeks to go before I finish my first year of teaching HS science. 2 courses away from my Master's in ed, and $1200 and a pile of work away from getting certified to teach. For someone only lacking student teaching (but having work experience 2x or more that) they make it damn hard to get certified without student teaching.

Anyway, I'm empolyed, and in a field where nobody gets laid off, or outsourced, and people are still getting signing bonuses. And I get summers off. I have to say, as much as I love programming, I'll take a job like this over it any day. And I still have summers to program whatever my heart desires.

What a nice change from the tech sector...

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Comment Threshold

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I've been noticing more often lately a problem with the generic Comment Threshold slashdot has. While it's great for main page articles, it doesn't work so well with some of the lesser trafficked areas of the site.

For example, I bask in the magic purple of games.slashdot.org on a regular basis. But I have my comment threshold set at +4 for the main page, which I read most often. On games.slashdot.org, there aren't a lot of comments, and there isn't a ton of moderation. I read it at somewhere between 0 and +2, since that lets me see a decent amount of comments.

Although it would be nice to be able to set thresholds for each section, it would also be more crap in the prefrences to wade through. At the same time, when a games.slashdot.org story makes the main page, I generally view it at +4, since I only want to wade through 50-100 comments on average.

I guess what I'm thinking about would involve a fairly major rewrite of slashcode...sigh.

I guess I'll go play around with my preferences...

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Token Journal Entry

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 11 years ago Since it's been quite some time since I posted anything at all, I figured I'd make a token journal entry. So here it is:

The recent history of my life, part 12:

I got laid off in January, after 2.5 years of slavery at a shitty company, programming and doing dba work, on 15 minute "holy shit, someone fix this or I'll be fired" deadlines. Our parent company, (rhyme-rhedia, in scooby-speak, and which I'm not allowed to say anything bad about since I signed their damn severance papers) had had us on a salary and equipment freeze for 2 years, and had pruned benefits to just about nothing. As most tech depts are, we were understaffed and underfunded, and desperately needed some major hardware upgrades.

But not only were they too broke to give us what we needed, they couldn't even pay everyone the promised company-wide raise after 2 years of suffering. The solution? Lay off a bunch of the company, myself included, and give the remaining people the long-promised raise. (benefits still non-existent)

It took me a few months after I was laid off to learn this, but as far as I can tell, nobody was willing to have the "sorry pal" talk with me. Apparently my direct supervisors thought I was too valuable to let go in their "we need to get rid of 5% of the company" random victim selection, and they (our parent company) had to call in some people from nyc (the parent company hq) to actually lay me off. My boss didn't work that day in protest.

So I feel good, knowing that nobody at our location was willing to sack me, although it does nothing to fix my unemployment issues. And with the average unemployment length in the US tech sector around 9-10 months, I'm not looking at a rosy future.

Well, I wasn't. After 50-60 applications, all but 4 going into a black hole and disappearing forever, I've decided to call off my job search. I've applied to a few local schools to go back for a Masters in Education, and in the fall, I should start on the road to becoming a teacher.

It's not a real stretch for me - I majored in astrophysics, and while doing that, TAed physics and astronomy labs, and senior year I taught my own freshman physics lab. I've pretty much been teaching most of my life, so it wasn't a hard decision. The fact that I saw mainly teaching and nursing jobs listed during my 6 month job search didn't hurt either.

So Yaaaay! I'm going back to school. Granted I may be a poor grad student moving back with my parents and living off their crappy dialup, (out in the sticks) but I think I can survive for a few years. At least I hope I can....

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Day1

apoc.famine apoc.famine writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Mumm... Finally logged in after months of lurking. And with trillian pro feeding me slashdot headlines, I'll be here all the time. Now I must procure some karma. Funny they don't have a pay-pal link to it....

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