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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

crackspackle Re:Throw It Out (176 comments)

My point is I've been there and done that. The between the lines problem is the paranoia about losing something you might want some day and the point of rebuilding systems like this is to see if you can delete it. It's fun once but beyond that a time blasting exercise when it would be better spent coming up with a preservation scheme so you don't end up with even more junk in the future.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

crackspackle Re:Throw It Out (176 comments)

I've been rummaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001).

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

crackspackle Re:Throw It Out (176 comments)

Yes I read it, and I've been there too, hanging onto a pile of old crap because I though I might want too look at/use it again one day. Having not done so for years, I tried exactly what he did and realized after a couple of times the effort is not worth the reward, particularly if he is trying to figure out he still should keep it.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

crackspackle Throw It Out (176 comments)

Delete it. If you haven't used it for years you never will. You're only buying yourself a mountain of lost time trying to recover and look at the same files you probably already elsewhere. Instead focus on how to stop creating the problem in the future. You've already taught yourself the lesson the hard way that there is such a thing as too many backups, at least when making them all over the place inconsistently and without scope.

Get a CM for your notes and miscellaneous cstuff. Wikimedia works great for this and you can be sure will be around a while. Use git to manage source code, scripts and text files. I find a common repo and one for each host works best. Keep large binaries in a single big software folder, Do the same for images, movies, whatever but keep them all grouped together. Back all of it up as a unit. Put all new stuff in there in the future. Do not let yourself deviate from using whatever scheme you come up with because it's the only practical way to insure you keep your stuff without having a million copies of it later.

I understand deleting it may be hard, but if you're like me, you probably have accumulate millions plus copies of files if you're including whole copies of OS's in your backups. You might try md5sum over important file types but checking and deleting by hand will take an incredible amount of time.

about a month ago
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Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

crackspackle Re:FTFY (143 comments)

If we could limit photo matches to just arrest records, that would be one thing but although I don't have time to look up a citation, it's also being done against drivers license photos and it's not hard to see it extending out from there. Also, I never said the technology to do real time scans was available today, only that it will be in the near future. We also don't have anywhere near complete camera coverage but you don't even need anywhere near 100% to make life oppressive. And yes, there are evidentiary rules for photo lineups as with all evidence. I am not saying the police would set about to convict a man they thought innocent, but if they think you are guilty and you are not, you could be in for a world of trouble. This is also more than about what the police might do to. In the wrong hands, it devastates the foundation of freedom the U.S.A was built on.

And yes, public spaces are not private. You also only have privacy in your home only through abstract interpretation. Some things the forefathers could not foresee and I believe the ability for the government to "watch" everyone is one of them. This is a start in the wrong direction and the time to stop it is now.

about a month and a half ago
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Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

crackspackle Re:FTFY (143 comments)

I am not concerned about this crime but rather how this technology can and will be used. I suppose one could argue this is no different than using fingerprints to catch a crook, except it is vastly more than that. AFIS only contains a small portion of the U.S. population’s fingerprints, mostly those who have already committed a crime. I doubt who decides everyone should be forced to give up their fingerprints and DNA while they’re at it to complete the database would have his job very long today, yet facial recognition doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people even though it’s being implemented all over the place and will ultimately go light years beyond what the former two can do.

It’s unavoidable. Because far too many have already surrendered to the idea that “public” space means the government can watch you, at some point it will. It’s damning. An image with a likeness and couple of witnesses who agree it looks like him is far more tangible to a jury than some dry facts and scientific testimonials. It’s inescapable. When combined with data mining, the government will have the perfect capability to track and essentially know all peoples movements, anywhere, anytime. Then it’s simply a matter of having in that does not like the fact you did to get the finger.

about a month and a half ago
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Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

crackspackle Re:FTFY (143 comments)

Chicago Robber Identified By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

Caught would imply that he was walking down the street and facial recognition directed authorities to him. That did not happen.

Police state would imply they're always watching you, whether they arrest you on the spot or come by later. There's also no real line for the police to cross except better technology and that will come.

about a month and a half ago
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Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

crackspackle Re:Sickening (483 comments)

If it is illegal to kill, it should be for the state as well. Anything else is hypocritical.

Like it or not, there are plenty of powers reserved for the state denied to the people, so this is a weak argument at best and certainly not much of a moral one. I'd argue natural law states that murderers should be killed as the whole purpose of laws against murder is to stop them from happening to us, a reverse of "kill or be killed" and most also believe in taking back what was taken. As much of our current law was derived from natural law there's nothing inherently immoral in it.

That said, I do believe in the death penalty very much, as strongly as I believe in our justice system to apply it inconsistently and unfairly. It's for this reason, I do not support state sanctioned murder, unless committed in self-defense.

about 2 months ago
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With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

crackspackle And So? (379 comments)

The tablet PC is not new. It preceded the iPad and Android tablets by several years but the technology sucked. It's better now to the point that a tablet PC is workable and for my money, MS is proving the point well with the Surface Pro line. The iPad succeeded where the previous tablets failed because they reduced functionality down to media consumption only while taking advantage of the then more advanced technology to create a far more elegant design. It’s still not suited to real work while the Surface Pro actually is. I welcome it. I have an iPad and I hate having to switch to my laptop every time I think of some small bit of work I need to do. There is a huge market for a device like this among business users and less casual home users like me. I hope they succeed and if it brings them a windfall of new money. That’s exactly as it should be.

about 2 months ago
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Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius

crackspackle Re:Tomorrows headline.. (208 comments)

Dozens killed or severely injured trying to learn maths.

...Gives new meaning to "rack you brain" for the answer.

And apparently I didn't hit my head hard enough before I posted that.

about 3 months ago
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Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius

crackspackle Re:Tomorrows headline.. (208 comments)

Dozens killed or severely injured trying to learn maths.

...Gives new meaning to "rack you brain" for the answer.

about 3 months ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

crackspackle Re:Exactly (278 comments)

One of the ways I always did homework and still use today is by pretending I am teaching someone else. This method works great for logical subjects like math or science where there are proofs, facts and well defined theories, less so for more disorganized and subjective material where rote memorization is required but it can work there too if I can get into the "story". It never fails to bring up, those "wait a minute" and "what now" and "why do it like that" questions I hated having on test day. At least in school, when I got to the point I could "teach" myself, I always made an A+.

about 3 months ago
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Federal Agency Data-Mining Hundreds of Millions of Credit Card Accounts

crackspackle Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (264 comments)

Better or Worse, getting more credit and using it responsibly is the key to getting even more credit, particularly the more difficult products like lines of credits, construction loans, restoration loans, business loans and so forth. It's also the key to getting higher balances on new and existing cards. After totally destroying my credit during college, the first card I got again had a $500 limit. 5 year later, I had three cards and about $20K and needed it all to pay for a European business trip that ultimately would be reimbursed by my employer.

A few more years, I had six cards and close to $100K. I also had a $220K mortgage on and $400K house. A builder was preparing to replace a beautiful field beside my house with 60 town homes. I knew I would hate it but that I could also rent my house out for much more than the payments, so I did and bought another $350K historic house with a $260K mortgage while keeping the other. Being almost 100 years old, it needed nearly $120K in work. I paid part in cash and got a line of credit for $60K to finish the job. Done and 8 months later, I refinance the $60K back into the first but the house was now worth $550K, so I made nearly 80K on the deal. I then closed the line of credit. I still have the six cards.

Yes, I've been fortunate but I make an average IT salary. Many can do much more, some may do less at first, but anyone can find a smart ways to use their credit and it pays to develop it. There are three basic rules: One, always pay on time. Two, try to show some but 1% utilization. Three, never close old credit. You can still pay off your cards and avoid interest on rule 2 by letting the statement cut and then paying. For rule 3, with time and a good record, you can probably get your provider to upgrade your card without changing it, so it never has to be closed.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

crackspackle Re:Keep my parents away from it. (408 comments)

Might wanna take out the CPU as well, just in case.

One might assume some 35 years after the advent of PC revolution, there are more than a few grey hairs running around like me with infinitely more knowledge on how to secure a computer than some smart mouth tweener. Having spent years securing their computers, I would not trust any child of mine to do a better job than I would and it's time to put the tired meme that kids know tech better than their parents to bed where it belongs.

about 7 months ago
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In Three Years, Nearly 45% of All the Servers Will Ship To Cloud Providers

crackspackle Re:I want the "cloud" term to DIE. (152 comments)

Wrong. You can have private clouds, which are clouds you own. A "cloud" is just a term for interchangeable services which aren't tied to a particular piece of hardware.

No one knows the actual origin of the term "cloud computing" and what it means can legitimately be different depending on who you ask making the effectiveness of the term fairly useless. The only reason non-IT folk latch onto it is because there's a component of "I don't know what's going on" that they can understand and it makes it seem friendly. The op was merely pointing out why it's not.

BTW, the cloud symbol was most often used in the 90's on network diagrams to indicate frame-relay links between sites back before dedicated Internet access was common. There was an aspect of "don't know" associated with it because it used shared links, did not guarantee delivery and frequently had service interruptions. Wikipedia sites this as a possible origin of the term but I think it is the origin of the term having seen how suits quickly latched onto it when it was shown in demos and presentations. Not understanding was something they could grasp.

about 7 months ago
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How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

crackspackle Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (362 comments)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

Institutions wouldn’t get this information straight from Facebook but would instead use one of the many smaller credit reporting agencies and if they make a negative decision based on this, they are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to disclose this to you. If that happens, the CRA is then required to provide you a copy of the report provided to the given company. They could try to lie and make up some other excuse but they wouldn’t get away with it many times before a pattern would emerge and they would open themselves up to huge lawsuits should they be caught doing it. It’s worth noting a lot of the smaller CRA’s have the same annual reporting requirements as do the big three and you can request a free report from them. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has a PDF that lists many of the smaller CRA’s and how you can contact them.

That said, I think that trying to plumb social networking information and deny credit is on par with redlining. It’s only started happening and I’ve heard of no legal challenges and I doubt the connections on any random social network can be completely separated from any of the factors that can’t be used to make credit decisions - race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age. IANAL, but it would seem just looking at it could greatly increase your risk for an ECOA lawsuit.

about a year ago
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

crackspackle Second Episode ? (443 comments)

Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening.

Posted by Unknown Lamer on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:11AM

ME: Having heart attack, frantically searches for second episode of final season to torrent since I must have missed it only to realize this is Slashdot, where editors can't be bothered with facts, such as the second episode won't air until Sunday, August 18th .

about a year ago
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In India, the Dot Dash Is Done

crackspackle Re:Chat rooms? (86 comments)

For an interesting take on why the telegraph led in part to the modern computer and how both work, read Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold. He argues all the ideas needed to build a modern computer were known around the time telegraph use took off, and he uses those ideas to describe logic gates and put them together into a working computer.

In short, the relay was invented in 1835 as a way to extend telegraph runs further without requiring operators. Morse code, as the primary way to communicate, happened to also be a binary code that mapped letters to the equivalent of ones and zeros, dots and dashes. In 1854, George Boole published “An Investigation of the Laws of Thought”. Petzold stops there and essentially uses only those ideas to build his modern computer. It wasn’t recognized formally by anyone until 1937 when Claude Shannon published “A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits”. Even Charles Babbage had known of Boole’s work and the telegraph but did not see how it could have been better used to build his Difference Engine.

1 year,8 days
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Wikimedia Rolls Out Its WYSIWYG Visual Editor For Logged-in Wikipedia Users

crackspackle Re:been using beta for a while (71 comments)

Here's the VisualEditor FAQ which states:

  • 24 June: A/B test on the English Wikipedia. VisualEditor is released by default to 50% of newly registered accounts.
  • 1 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to the English Wikipedia, available for all logged-in users.
  • 8 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to the English Wikipedia, available for anonymous and logged-in users.
  • 15 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to most large Wikipedia wikis, available for all users. Which wikis are in this list is still to be determined, but will definitely include Wikipedia in German, French and Italian.
  • 29 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to all other Wikipedia wikis, available for all users, minus a few wikis (such as the Chinese Wikipedia) where the VisualEditor does not yet work.

Also of interest from that FAQ is that the VisualEditor can be installed on any MediaWiki installation, including personal wikis. As a MediaWiki user at home, I've found it a cool way to journal and track a lot of personal projects but the limit to using it has always been remembering wiki markup. This will go a long way to eliminating that problem.

1 year,20 days
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Working Handgun Printed On a Sub-$2,000 3D Printer

crackspackle Re:3D-Printed Revolver? (521 comments)

But you know what? It will never happen, because the gun banners DON"T CARE about addressing the base cause of violent crime, they just want to ban guns. Period.

You are being disingenuous. Both gun control and social welfare are most closely associated with liberals, not conservatives. Things that would help - equal access to education, social programs for at-risk youth, legalizing drugs, treatment instead of prison - where do you suppose they stand on those issues?

about a year ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court Decides Your Silence May Be Used Against You

crackspackle crackspackle writes  |  about a year ago

crackspackle (759472) writes "The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State of Texas earlier today in a murder trial where the defendant whom prior to be taken into custody, had been questioned by the police and choose to remain silent on key questions, This fact was bought up at trial and used to convict him. Most of us have seen at least enough cop shows to know police must read a suspect their Miranda rights when placing them in custody. The issue was a bit murkier here in that the defendant had not yet been detained and while we all probably thought the freedom from self-incrimination was an implicit right as stated in the Constitution, apparently SCOTUS now thinks you have to claim that right or at least be properly mirandized first."
Link to Original Source
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Weaponizable Police UAV Now Operational in Texas

crackspackle crackspackle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

crackspackle (759472) writes "The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in suburban Houston, Texas is preparing to launch operations with a newly received Vanguard Defense Industries Shadowhawk MK-III unmanned aerial vehicle, paid for by grant money received by the Department of Homeland Security. The MK-III is a product marketed for both military and law enforcement applications. Michael Buscher, chief executive officer of manufacturer Vanguard Defense Industries, said this is the first local law enforcement agency to buy one of his units. "The aircraft has the capability to have a number of different systems on board. Mostly, for law enforcement, we focus on what we call less lethal systems," he said, including Tazers that can send a jolt to a criminal on the ground or a gun that fires bean bags known as a "stun baton.You have a stun baton where you can actually engage somebody at altitude with the aircraft. A stun baton would essentially disable a suspect," he said. "To be in on the ground floor of this is pretty exciting for us here in Montgomery County," Sheriff Tommy Gage said. The MK-III also has more lethal options available, capable of carrying either a 40mm or 37mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun with laser designator. Sheriff Gage has stated he has no immediate plans to outfit his drone with weapons."
Link to Original Source
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Google Books on iPad Gone, Others May Follow

crackspackle crackspackle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

crackspackle (759472) writes "Apple changed the iOS terms of services back in February requiring all in-app puchases to go through the Apple App Store and thus be subject to Apple's 30% cut, but did not immediately begin enforcing the rule. It appeared they had softened their stance until this morning when the new rule seems to have taken affect. Google Books is now gone. Other eReaders like the Nook, Kindle, WSJ and Kobo have been updated to remove direct sales links but questions remain about how long they will continue to support their apps. Since many, including myself, use the iPad primarily as an ereader, is Apple shooting themselves in the foot with this decision ?"
Link to Original Source
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Snow Falls on The Most Arid Desert on Earth

crackspackle crackspackle writes  |  about 3 years ago

crackspackle (759472) writes "The Atacama desert region, a vast expanse of land stretching 600 miles along the Pacific coast of South America from Peru to Chile, is know as the dryest region on earth, receiving only .04 inches (1mm) of rain per year. Many weather stations located in the region have no recorded precipitation during their existence. Sterile from the lack of rainfall, sparsely inhabited, and virtually free from electromagnetic and light interference, the desert hosts several major astronomical observatories. The other-worldy location is also popular among sci-fi film makers, and is a prominent test site for NASA's planned Mars mission. This week, the Atacama received 32 inches of snow, stranding motorists along the Pan-American highway and other roads, prompting numerous rescues. Footage of the snow is available on the BBC"
Link to Original Source
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Travel Agents Staging Comeback Over Travel Sites

crackspackle crackspackle writes  |  more than 4 years ago

crackspackle (759472) writes "Travel agents are making comeback as more and more even Internet-savvy users are returning to them, having found it hard to navigate the myriad of options available when booking through travel sites. Many of those returning to agents appear to go for the personalized knowledge agents possess in answering the question "what can I expect". I know from experience I have always had a sense of dread showing up at a hotel booked based on impersonal user ratings and while on the whole the experience has been good, I invariably find other places that would have been better during my stay.

On a related note, Internet commerce as a whole has undoubtedly brought more products for more options to more people than ever before, but even being fairly knowledgeable on how to find the right product sometimes doesn't help. Often I can't find a site to drill down deep enough to get to the product that is right for me and I find myself returning to a brick-and-mortar store even though they have fewer options. Better and more uniform search tools would help but for the foreseeable future, they won't surpass having a knowledgeable sales staff and tangible displays for most products. Perhaps I should no longer discount the value a physical presence brings."

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