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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

coldsalmon Re:Weight or volume? (383 comments)

By the time the bag of garbage is offered as evidence in court, the compostable portion will likely have shrunk to below 10% by volume.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

coldsalmon Exoplanet detection, for example (234 comments)

I recall hearing a few stories about amateur astronomers and/or teams detecting exoplanets. See this previous Slashdot article, for example:

http://science.slashdot.org/st...

Is this the kind of thing that you're interested in?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

coldsalmon Has anyone done this? (234 comments)

If anyone on Slashdot has made a major career shift into the sciences later in life, I would be very interested to hear that story.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My RAID horror story (268 comments)

I once had a RAID5 array with 4 disks on my home computer. Two disks were connected to the motherboard, and two were connected to a SATA PCI card because the MoBo didn't have enough SATA slots. One day, the PCI card had a little hiccup, and two of the 4 disks got out of sync. The array was toast. Note that my RAID5 array contributed to this failure -- it would not have happened if I had not been running RAID (and if I hadn't made a poor configuration choice). Fortunately, I had a backup.

RAID is great for protecting mission-critical systems from HDD failure when uptime is a major concern -- but it can also cause more problems than it solves. Now, my business server uses RAID but my home computer does not.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My office backup (268 comments)

For my office data, I have an external HDD that uses rsnapshot to create incremental snapshots every hour, day, week, and month. The server data is also mirrored to each desktop in the office, and my laptop, daily. For offisite backups (other than my laptop), I use duplicity to backup to Amazon S3, which costs about $3 per month. I realize that there are some security issues with this setup.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My offsite HDD routine (268 comments)

I store my offsite backups at my office. To do this effectively, I use three backup HDDs. One sits in a SATA dock at home, and mirrors my data every hour. The other two are at the office. Every so often, I take one of the HDDs home and stick it in the dock so that it updates to the latest version of my data, then I bring it back to the office. Next time, I take the other HDD home. This ensures that one of the HDDs is always offsite, and all three of the HDDs are never in the same place.

The obvious downside to this is that I have to remember to carry my HDDs back and forth. I haven't done it for a few months now. I suppose that an automated and encrypted rsync solution would be superior, but I honestly don't really care about my data very much.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

coldsalmon Re:It's a still a nice PC. (337 comments)

The only thing that comes to mind after seeing those outdoor pictures in the article: please give us a model with a matte display. I dislike glossy screens in general, but on tablets that will probably be used outside in the sun they are positively horrible. In the photos you can hardly see the screen for all the glare.

This. I'm using mine outdoors right now, and the display is really suffering from reflection. This is unfortunate, because it's the ideal machine for me to use if I want to take my work outdoors on a pleasant afternoon. It's still usable, but less so at certain angles. And it helps if you wear a black shirt.

about 1 month ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

coldsalmon Re:Pick your poison (337 comments)

My Surface Pro 3 keyboard is actually larger (i.e. wider) than my full-sized desktop keyboard. I find it to be a very good keyboard, but it's a matter of preference. I find the keyboard on the Macbook Air to be irritating, and a lot of people like that keyboard very much. You can always get a separate bluetooth keyboard that you like better. This is probably the reason that MS didn't bundle the keyboard with the device.

about 1 month ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

coldsalmon Writing this on a Surface Pro 3 (337 comments)

I got a Surface Pro 3 last month, and I totally love it. I do a lot of document editing, and the stylus makes it very easy. After a week of using OneNote, I was completely off paper. In fact, I'm on vacation right now doing business from my hammock, and I'm more productive than I usually am in my office. The screen is almost the same size as a piece of paper, and the high-res display makes it pleasant for reading. The fact that it's so easy to split the screen between two different documents makes it extremely easy and intuitive to input edits. I can't really say whether it's good for entertainment or gaming, because I have never used it for that. But for the office, it's perfect for me. I started using Linux in 2004, when MS was at its worst. Since then, they've improved tremendously and have won back my business. I still run Debian on my office server of course.

I got an Android tablet for the office last year, but I ended up never using it; doing anything useful was incredibly awkward. The Surface Pro 3 is what I hoped that tablet would be. The thing is, MS can afford to throw $1.7 billion at a problem until they get it right, and they have now gotten it right.

about 1 month ago
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With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

coldsalmon A ugar, a cin, a canal, a naca, Nicaragua. (322 comments)

Doesn't have the same ring to it. I can see why they picked Panama for the first one.

about 2 months ago
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With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

coldsalmon Very very old news (322 comments)

Lake Nicaragua was considered for a canal even before Panama. The idea has been picked up and dropped many times since, which is not to say that it won't succeed this time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

about 2 months ago
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Want To Work Without Prying Eyes? Try Wearing a Body Sock

coldsalmon Increases other vulnerabilities (75 comments)

Like getting your head chopped off -- no way to see it coming.

about 2 months ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

coldsalmon Let's roll, kimosabe. (701 comments)

I made it up. I like to say it to my wife when we're about to leave a restaurant.

about 2 months ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

coldsalmon Longer than my leases (278 comments)

I have never lived in an apartment long enough to have a CFL burn out.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

coldsalmon Re:As compared to what..? (631 comments)

How much trust did you have in our financial system circa 2008, right after the financial meltdown?

Quite a bit, since prices for goods and services didn't change at all. I said to myself, "Oh well, the Fed will take care of it with monetary policy." And they did. There was a real estate crash, but there was no currency crisis.

about 7 months ago
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Mt. Gox Shuts Down: Collapse Should Come As No Surprise

coldsalmon Re:What is the advantage of a Bitcoin bank? (232 comments)

A Bitcoin bank could theoretically make a lot of money by manipulating the market. The bank could sell all of the money it borrowed from its depositors (deposits are loans to the bank), crash the market, then buy back the devalued Bitcoins at a lower price and return them to its depositors. In an unregulated, inefficient, and ignorant market like Bitcoin, a big player using other people's money could do a lot of things to enrich itself. Oh wait, were you asking about the advantage of USING a Bitcoin bank rather than BEING a Bitcoin bank? Can't help you there.

about 7 months ago
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Mt. Gox Shuts Down: Collapse Should Come As No Surprise

coldsalmon Re:Bitcoin is akin to early American banks (232 comments)

Of course, even that system was constricted by the gold standard, and governments ran out of money for bailouts during the depression. To really achieve mainstream adoption, Bitcoin will have to stop being deflationary, and allow a central authority to control the money supply in the event of a crisis. Bitcoin is great fun as a teaching tool, because it shows exactly why all of the institutions surrounding modern currencies have developed. Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, to the great amusement of everyone else.

about 7 months ago

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