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Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids?

crrkrieger Don't do it (338 comments)

I did not start on computers until I was 14. Nobody says I am behind now. Why rush it?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

crrkrieger You Can't Push a String (1154 comments)

The problem with Linux on the desktop is seen in a microcosim with the question asked. The post suggests that we need more apps and that we should make it easier to build them. That is only half right. Sure, more apps would help a lot. Sure, making them easier to build would be nice. However, even if they are enormously hard to build, developers will flock to Linx in droves if it is PROFITABLE to build apps for it.

So, does making it hard to build apps cut into profit? Sure. But what really cuts into profit is the fact that there are so many different versions of Linux out there. Think back to the bad old days of CP/M. There where lots of flavors. Then along comes MS and creates DOS, of which there was essentially one flavor. The functionality of MS-DOS was not a lot greater than CP/M, but it sure garnered a lot of interest from developers.

So, to make people write apps for Linux, thereby driving the adoption of the Linux for the desktop, you must solve the economic problem. Making it easier is a small component of the economic problem, but making Linux uniform is the bigger issue. If you make Linux simple to install, and uniform from a developers point of view, then it has a chance. If you have a million different libraries, you are dead in the water.

more than 2 years ago

Wall Street and the Mismanagement of Software

crrkrieger That's What We Did (267 comments)

Back in the late 90s when I was system admin for a trading company, they recruited me from a place that did 911 computer aided dispatch software. My shop, at least, recognized that some of the same reliability issues were at stake, so some people get it.

more than 2 years ago

MS-DOS Not Stolen, New Forensic Analysis Concludes

crrkrieger Re:meh (286 comments)

The real question is "Why did IBM even think Bill gates, a schoolboy at the time, might have an OS worth actually paying for without seeing it first, and why did they sign the most stupid license agreement since records began, if there was no corruption involved?"

IBM signed the license agreement because of an old antitrust lawsuit regarding the bundling of their OS with their hardware (mainframes at the time). Had they done otherwise, they would have opened up a whole new can of worms. Besides, this was back in the days when people thought the real money was in hardware.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What If Intellectual Property Expired After Five Years?

crrkrieger Trade Secrets and dongles (577 comments)

For those pieces of intellectual property that are inherently hidden, you could expect that trade secrets would rise sharply. For example, the secret formula for Coke.

For IP like software, where you can see the code, I would also expect that companies would try to use technical means to lock you in, such as dongles. There may even be a rise in the need to buy signed software to run on a particular computer, a la xBox. Perhaps Apple or MS would require that you have an active Internet conenction had have continuous permission granted by a central server. Said permission being contingent on upon payment of a fee.

Even so, it may not be a bad idea.

more than 2 years ago

Report: Amazon Cloud Backed By 450,000 Servers

crrkrieger Go Virginia (45 comments)

They don't call it the Old Dominion for nothing

more than 2 years ago

Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

crrkrieger Re:ask a mechanic (672 comments)

Modern cars are more reliable, and not to mention worlds safer and cleaner than anything made 30 years ago.

This is exactly right. Twenty years ago I was a firefighter/EMT and went on my fair share of auto accidents. About 3 months ago, I stopped to help out at an offset head-on collision. Both drivers walked away without injury eventhough the cars were unrecognizable. I know for sure that if the accident had happened in cars that were made 20 years ago, they would both be dead. I'll take that anyday, even if the car won't last 200K, though I note that my wife's Saab is at 185K with no major engine or transmission service, and is still on the original turbo.

more than 2 years ago

Highly Efficient Oxygen Catalyst Found

crrkrieger Hope? (156 comments)

Let's hope this works out better than the prospects for cold fusion.

more than 3 years ago

Jaguar Recalls 18,000 Cars Over Major Software Fault

crrkrieger Re:Could the article be more wrong? (356 comments)

What is dangerous: if the ignition lock on the steering column activates and you need to steer. This is why you should turn the key to the accessory-only position.

Not exactly. You can turn the key all the way off, but DO NOT remove it. Next time you turn off your car, try turning the wheel. Then pull out the key and try again. You should hear a click, and then only get a few degrees of movement. Having said that, if you don't think you can change the muscle memory to not pull the key out, then just try turning it to the accessory position.

more than 3 years ago

Calif. Appeals Court Approves Cell Phone Searches

crrkrieger USD, not UCSD! (367 comments)

UCSD doesn't have a law school. USD is the Catholic school on the hill over Mission Bay with a very fine law school.

In the interest of candor, I am an alum.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Too Big For the Dow Jones Industrial Average

crrkrieger Not Really Industrial (218 comments)

Perhaps another reason is that it is the Dow Jones INDUSTRIAL Average. Let's face it, even though Apple makes stuff, it is really in the software business, not the manufacturing business. It just manufactures stuff so that it can better control the experience.

more than 3 years ago

Pirated Software Could Bring Down Predator Drones

crrkrieger Eminent Domain (123 comments)

The preditors will not have to stop flying based on a ruling that the intellectual property of IISI was stolen. See the last clause of the fifth amendment to our Constitution: "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." This means the CIA doesn't need a license, it just needs to be willing to pay just compensation.

Of course, what constitutes "just compensation" tends to be considerably less than fair market value in practice. Fortunately for the tax payors, CIA might have a breach of contract claim against Netezza if the facts are as reported.

Yes, IAAL, but I am not YOUR L.

more than 4 years ago

Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction

crrkrieger Re:Indifference towards real life? (779 comments)

How on earth did this get modded insightful? Ignorant is more like it.

I guess I shouldn't presume that an institution made up of people is better than the people that make it up? Slashdot, that is.

The Church REQUIRES that instances of paedophilia be reported to the responsible civil authorities. Ratzinger is the one who issued this rule, long before he became Pope, back when he was the head of the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As for long ago, do you blame the church for trying to counsel (read "fix") priests with problems, when that was what all the EXPERTS were telling civil authorities to do? Surely there are problem priests in the Church, but that is not an indictment of the Church itself anymore than bad cops are an indictment of the Police Department. I challange you to actually investigate the FACTS, not just the pontificating (love the irony of that word) of the talking heads and self interested plantiff's counsel, and still come to the conclusion that the Pope has done anything but act in the best interest of the children.

more than 4 years ago

Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

crrkrieger Re:Paid off the house (582 comments)

Hmm, I actually don't know what the investment advice says about not paying off your house. Why wouldn't I want to do this?

Because if you take $200K and pay off your house and then lose your job, you will have no money to live on. On the other hand, if you keep the $200K and lose your job, you will have sufficient money to live on for several years. This presumes, of course, that you have the discipline to not spend the $200K. Besides, mortgage interest is tax deductable, so you deprive yourself of that benefit to boot.

about 5 years ago

Next-Gen Glitter-Sized Photovoltaic Cells Unveiled

crrkrieger Everything old is new again? (155 comments)

And I thought glitter went out most of a decade ago. Time to dig into the closent!

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Manage Dev/Test/Production Environments?

crrkrieger Seperate Development and Production First . . . (244 comments)

. . . everything else comes after that. A small illustration:

When I was system admin for a small brokerage, one of my first tasks was to determine the hardware configuration of every server. There was one particular server that I needed to shutdown in the process. I asked every employee (it was that small) if there were any critical services on that machine. All agreed it was ok to take it off line. For the next 15 minutes, while the machine rebooted, no trading happened because the main program was linking to some libraries that were served off of that server.

I immediately put a new task at the top of my to-do list: reconfiguring the network. Thereafter, production was done on one network and development on another. The router between them would not allow nfs mounts. Production users were not given accounts on development machines. Developers were no longer given the root password, but it was kept in a safe for emergencies.

I know that wasn't what you were asking, but that is the first thing I would take care of.

more than 5 years ago

NASA Discovers Life's Building Block In Comet

crrkrieger Hoffa? (148 comments)

When I first read the headline, I saw "NASA Discovers Life's Building Blocks in Cement". I figured they had found Jimmy Hoffa.

more than 5 years ago

Up To 90 Percent of US Money Has Traces of Cocaine

crrkrieger Re:Given the Cost of the Substance ... (441 comments)

The most common test for the seizure of currency is a dog sniff. It is little know that cocaine is, in fact, odorless. Drug dogs do not detect cocaine. They detect a biproduct of the production of cocaine called methyl benzoate. Methyl benzoate is a volitile organic compound that dissapates quickly. If a dog hits on it, it is a clear sign not only that the money has been in close contact with cocaine, but that it was RECENTLY so.

Take a look at this case United States v. $30,670 in U.S. Funds, 403 F.3d 448 (7th Cir. 2005). There the court does a good analysis of the available facts. You would need at least 50,000 innocently tainted bills (not dollars, but bills!) for the dog to hit on it.

Of course, this is Slashdot, so I don't know why I would expect someone to know what they are talking about . . .

more than 5 years ago

How To Stop Businesses Storing SSNs Indefinitely?

crrkrieger Re:Something I've considered... (505 comments)

I think what you have in Mexico is a system where there are so many different identifiers that no one of them is worth much by itself. Here in the United States, it used to be that banks, schools, drivers licenses, health insurance, and, most importn, the credit reporting agencies all used your SSN to identify you. Thus, it was easy to commit identity theft with just your SSN. Now most states will issue you a non SSN drivers license upon request, and many companies are getting away from it as well, but there are still enough that insist on it that giving out your SSN is an invitation to identity theft.

Were it up to me, I would prohibit use of SSNs for any purpose other than social security. I would require the IRS to issue its own identifier to be used for all tax (including banking) related purposes. I was also require IRS and Social Security to allow you to change your number once every 5 years or earlier upon a showing of identity theft. Finally, I would require that the numbers be longer and include some hamming code. But that is just me . . .

more than 5 years ago

World's First Formally-Proven OS Kernel

crrkrieger Conflicting Theories (517 comments)

Isn't there a theory that if we ever get a formally proven OS that all OSs will instantly vanish and be replaced by something more complex? I think there is a corallary that says this has already happened. Obviously, the proof referred to must be mistaken as my OS is still running as I typ

more than 5 years ago



New Thing File Solar w/ $4 Billion in Contracts

crrkrieger crrkrieger writes  |  more than 5 years ago

crrkrieger (160555) writes "Nanosolar is ramping up production of its thing film solar technology. The difference between their process and others is that they can essentialy print their solar cells on aluminum foil and sell them at less than $1 per watt even with an efficeincy down around 16%. The company, partially funded by Google's founders, claims to have $4 billion in contracts."
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