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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

cptdondo Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (416 comments)

And by today's standards he would be a RINO, a carpetbagger, and probably a few other choice words. Let's not forget he raised taxes, let illegals stay, and a whole bunch of other things that are anathema to the current rightwing nutjob movement.

2 days ago
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6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed In Ukraine

cptdondo Re:6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed In Ukraine (109 comments)

And you must not be thinking of the Russians famously defecating in the hallways of the Czechoslovak National Museum after ransacking it and destroying what they could not steal in 1967.

Tell me about reverence by the Russians for anything other than vodka.

about a month ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

cptdondo Re:Moral Imperialism (475 comments)

But weren't CP laws enacted to protect victims? and to punish those that abuse said victims?

Since there are no victims, doesn't seem to me to even meet the common-sense definition of a crime.

about a month ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

cptdondo Re:May I suggest (334 comments)

Not really. These are backwoods weapons that see little to no maintenance. They don't get depot cleaning and parts aren't available. (Check out where and how the rangers operate).

I shoot bolt action rifles and after a while you need to strip the bolts and clean them. The Lee Enfields may not see that for years if ever, and they still have to shoot, since the Ranger's life probably depends on it.

So it's not "almost any brand" since few brands have that kind of reliability and track record.

it's going to be a hard decision.

about a month ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

cptdondo Re:Gates (839 comments)

"Progressive" is newspeak for "regressive". There's no practical way to pull off a "progressive tax" on consumption, unless you charge everyone the highest tax rate and then refund it at the end of tax year. Still, the wealthiest would find ways to exempt themselves from the biggest hit; buy that yacht in Ireland instead of New England. Hey, overseas purchases are excluded, right?

about a month and a half ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

cptdondo Re:Gates (839 comments)

Except that consumption tax is usually designed to hit the poorest the hardest, and have little to no impact on the wealthiest. For example, sales tax is capped on cars in some states, others exclude yachts from sales tax, while many tax milk and bread. So someone who spends 50% of their hourly take home on food gets taxed on 50% of their income, but someone else who only spends 0.05% on food only gets taxed on that 0.05% of their income as many luxury items are excluded from consumption taxes.

about a month and a half ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

cptdondo Re: NO (463 comments)

I carry 2 passports. I use one to enter the US and one to enter the EU. How will you stop me?

about a month and a half ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

cptdondo Re:NO (463 comments)

Oh fer crying out loud. What do you want, Obama personally doing body cavity searches at the border? If he did that people like you (or others) would be screaming about an "irresponsible Administration" destroying businesses or trampling on your rights or whatever.

You CAN'T quarantine this. Those people are coming through Amsterdam or Frankfurt or Paris or London. Are you going to close all the borders?

about a month and a half ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

cptdondo Re:No mention on capacity though (395 comments)

Or bump the voltage in the cable up. If you charge at 4KV instead of 400V, you keep the current the same. Then you step down the voltage in the charger. It keeps the size of the cable the same.

It can be done. It's done every day, with 120VAC chargers being used to charge 12VDC batteries, just on a much, much bigger scale.

about a month and a half ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

cptdondo Re: Ah yes... (487 comments)

The military has troops trained and equipped for exactly this. That's who they're sending.

about a month and a half ago
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Study Weighs In On the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

cptdondo Re: The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (102 comments)

The trial attorneys I know tell me that shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds really skew juries' expectations of testimony. There's an unrealistic expectation of high-tech magic that's simply not there.

about 2 months ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

cptdondo Re:"Talented C students" (389 comments)

I'm so smart that I am too smart to show anyone how smart I am.

And how does that differentiate you from an idiot?

about 2 months ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

cptdondo Re:"Talented C students" (389 comments)

The problem with "bright" and "bored" is that in the real world, you have to do a lot of "bored" to get stuff done. If all you want is "bright" then you're pretty much a primma donna who will sluff off the boring work to the detriment of the team. Better start that company and make millions being "bright" and avoiding the "bored".

about 2 months ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

cptdondo Re:College admissions is not a life-value system (389 comments)

Having worked my entire working life with both white and blue collar workers, I can tell you that after 20 years or so of manual labor, those men (and increasingly women) suffer from carpal tunnel, bad backs, and all sorts of chronic injuries. A not-insignificant percentage are on disability, unable to hold down any job.

This is not because they're lazy or faking it.

Manual labor is hard, and after many years their bodies break down. And chronic injuries don't go away when you retire.

So yes, you can make a lot of money initially, but there's a price to pay.

about 2 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

cptdondo Re: Update to Godwin's law? (575 comments)

FBI crimes database and CDC database of child injuries and deaths.

about 2 months ago
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Test Version Windows 10 Includes Keylogger

cptdondo Re:"This isn't a permanent feature" (367 comments)

I'm trying to find the reference where MS did this before. I'm drawing a blank but ISTR that one of the recent OS releases sent back gobs of encoded data. Vista? 7?

about 2 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

cptdondo Re: I call BS on this one.... (575 comments)

Nonpartisan investigations have debunked the vast majority of these claims. There simply is no evidence for significant voter fraud in the us, and thus all the voterid laws are unnecessary and politically motivated.

about 2 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

cptdondo Re:I call BS on this one.... (575 comments)

In spite of your rant, the actual amount of voter fraud is miniscule, on the order of a few dozen per national election. And no, illegal aliens only vote in the fevered imaginations of the gonzo right, and not in any reality that doesn't involve paranoid flights of fancy.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Subscription billing for a small business

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

cptdondo (59460) writes "I'm working on a small startup that will need to bill for a subscription service. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is needed to get a small subscription service going. The startup has simple needs — people sign up, commit to pay a monthly fee, and they get a service. If they quit paying, their account is suspended. And if they try to use the service, they're told why.

Seems that most services out there are designed for large, complex businesses and few have a simple interface for connecting the billing system to service. I have not found any that will put account status into an ldap database, which could be used for user authentication. Where is the equivalent of the Amazon or E-Bay storefront for a small subscription service?"
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How to track a complex project?

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cptdondo (59460) writes "I'm working on a complex project that has many different facets. I've flowcharted the process but my management is asking for a Gantt chart to show the time element. Traditional Gantt charts lose the if-then-else constructs that are essential for tracking this project. I have multiple ways of achieving a specific milestone, depending on availability of external resources, grant funding, bond issues subject to political votes, and so on. I can't represent this complexity in a Gantt chart; at the same time a flow chart loses the time elemnt that's so central to Gantt charts (and to my management).

So, fellow slashdotters, how do you manage a complex project with many mutually exlusive paths? How do you present this structure to non-techinical management? And how do you track it when it changes almost daily and certainly weekly?"
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Installing linux on old hardware

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  about 5 years ago

cptdondo (59460) writes "I've got an old laptop that I've been trying to resurrect. It has a 486 CPU, 28 MB RAM, 720 MB HD, a 1.44MB floppy drive, and 640x480 VESA video. It does not have a CD, USB, or a network port. It has PCMCIA and i have a network card for that.

My goal is to get a minimal GUI that lets me run a basic browser like Dillo and open a couple of xterms.

I've spent the last few days trying to find a linux distro that will work on that machine. I've done a lot of work on OpenWRT, so naturally I though that would work, but X appears to be broken in the recent builds — I can't get the keyboard to work. (OK, not surprising; OpenWRT is made to run on wifi Access Point hardware which doesn't have a keyboard...)

All of the "mini" distros come as a live CD; useless on a machine without a CD-ROM. Ditto for the USB images.

I'm also finding that the definition of a "mini" distro has gotten to the point of "It fits on a 3GB partition and needs 128 MB RAM to run."

Has linux really become that bloated? Do we really need 2.2 GB of cruft to bring up a simple X session? Is there a distro that provides direct ext2 images instead of live CDs?"
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From Cathedral to a Bazaar in government?

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

cptdondo writes "I work for a mid-size municipal government. While we are fairly progressive for a government, many of our managers are Cathedral builders. They've been there for a long time, they hold sacred the belief that if they stop cranking the world will come to a screeching halt, and they believe that the unwashed masses must not know too much of the inner sacred workings of City Hall.

Some of us are bazaar goers. We believe that there is a great opportunity to apply the lessons of open source to local government. We think we can co-opt our citizens' group to be members of the process rather than adversaries. We believe that the tools developed by the open source community can be applied, to some measure, to the workings of government.

It's been suggested by some of the more subversive members of our management staff that we put together a presentation on how this could be done. So of course we begin with prior art:

Has this ever been done? Has anyone co-opted citizens' groups to solve the problems of local government using the tools and concepts of open source? Does anyone know of a local government where the internal workings were freely available to the public? What tools were used? What was the reaction? Was it accepted or rejected?"
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Solar clls for daily use

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cptdondo writes "My brother-in-law asked me about the latest in solar cells. He's got a good-size sailboat and wants to put in a solar charger. As the resident family geek I should have the answers, but I had to admin total ignorance. So what's the latest consumer technology in solar cells? Any cool mobile solar installations out there? Any power management schemes people are using to power stuff on boats and in RVs?"
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The hunt for Jim Gray

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cptdondo writes "It looked like a fine day for a sail. On Sunday, January 28, 2007, Microsoft researcher Jim Gray woke up on his boat, a red 40-foot fiberglass cruiser called Tenacious. The water in Gashouse Cove, a cozy marina in San Francisco Bay, was nearly flat. The 63-year-old programmer phoned his wife, Donna Carnes, who was on an annual vacation with friends in Wisconsin. He said he was heading out to the Farallon Islands, a wildlife refuge 27 miles offshore, to scatter the ashes of his mother, Ann, who died in October. more...."

Journals

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Programming for kids

cptdondo cptdondo writes  |  about 4 years ago

I know this has come up before. My 10 year old has been playing some basic flash games, and wants to learn how to "make a game". I have kturtle installed, and I expect that might keep him interested for about a week. Then what?

What good tools are there to allow a normal, curious 10 year old to write something with a fairly quick return on the time invested? I know someone is going to say that I should launch him straight in to perl, or C++, or something. Not happening. Those days are long gone. I need something that can create visual bang quickly and easily, and scale up to allow him to build a simple flight simulator (stick drawing of a plane, a horizon, and keyboard for pitch/yaw/roll).

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