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Comments

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New for 2013: An In-Depth Analysis of Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey

ctmurray Re:'medium is the..." (164 comments)

For some reason the furniture and decor of that scene in the space station (white floor, walls and bright red '60s funky furniture) has become popular . The main building at work has been completely redone in this style. Also a new library at UNC. Really awful looking and useless.

1 year,5 days
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Teachers Resist High-tech Push In Idaho Schools

ctmurray Re:And the same questions as always. (311 comments)

I was on the parent tech committee when we rolled out laptops to every kid in 7 to 9 Jr High, which they took home with them each night. All these were concerns that turned out to be nearly non-existent. You set up the program with some extra units to handle issues and keep the kid with computer.

1. Lost/Stolen devices. Who pays for replacements? Why?

Did not happen to any degree (I don't recall hearing about any but it might have happened). The kids loved the laptops. They "grew up" and treated them as their most precious possession. We did not require them to take out insurance, just replaced from our stock.

2. Damaged systems that need replacement. Who pays? Why?

Happened very rarely. Couple of LCD screens got banged up (closing lid hard with pencil in the joint was the leading cause). Replaced the unit immediately (kid just exchanged at the repair room). We had a cheap source to replace the LCD (vendor set us up with their repair contractor). So no one paid anything.

3. Virus infections and such. What's the turn-around time on support for those? Will the school have extras to loan while they "clean" the students' machines?

Had Mac computers and no virus problems (don't hate me, it was true). We had replacements not loaners so all your data had to be on the server at all times. Any problem with the computer was dealt with by taking in the problem unit and replacing with one from stock. Then offline repairing the turned in unit.

4. Upgrade policy. Will the freshman class have better equipment than the senior class?

These started out as the units just replaced by a slightly faster model. Everyone in all classes got their computers from the same larger stock. All grades turned in their computers at year end and got a "different" unit the next year. But all the same model and style. For what you do with the laptop the fastest and latest is unnecessary. The plan was to replace them after three years with a new batch.

And so forth.

Throwing tech at a non-tech problem is stupid. And tech gets old really fast. And tech needs expensive support.

We had one adult in the exchange room during the day. The best techie student became the person that re-imaged devices (which was the first line of "repair"). And then any true damage was sent out for repair. 900 students with laptops. One person and a volunteer. The only crunch came before the year to image 900 units in a short period of time, but that is where we used adult volunteers and teaching staff in the summer for a week or so.

If anyone is truly interested I can share more details (I would need to look up some of the details, for example the number of extra computers we had in the tech room). Many parents were convinced their child could not be trusted (and many in the community were sure that these juvenile delinquents would immediately steal us blind). But other schools experiences mirrored what we saw. Very low incidents of any problems, these kids really rose to the occasion.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Gates Takes the Stand In WordPerfect Trial

ctmurray Re:How could this have sunk WordPerfect? (472 comments)

If you read all the Grokaw documentation you see emails from MS execs (including BillG) stating that by allowing Office to have access to these namespace extension it (Office) would have a significant advantage over all other competitive suites (including WP, and the emails may even call out WP by name).

more than 2 years ago
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NASA's Twin GRAIL Craft On Their Way To the Moon

ctmurray Why so long to the moon? (42 comments)

I am sure there is a good reason, I just cant find it. Seems like a long time to get to the moon.

more than 2 years ago
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Office 15 Development To Go JavaScript, HTML5 For Extensibility

ctmurray Re:A programming language inside documents? (117 comments)

I use VBA macros in Excel to manipulate data and images that I have to do regularly. Why is VBA good? Because I have not programmed a full program since grad school in Fortran in 1985. I am able to use VBA to take an existing GUI (Excel) and add functionality in short order since VBA is so similar to Fortran. I already store the data (and images) in worksheets for my science research. And when I want to curve fit the data, or rotate, shrink and place 100 images I use VBA. There is a very active community to help you work through the criptic syntax, I usually can get past a barrier in 24 hours. So the reason to keep VBA is for all the thousands of lone users like me just trying to get our work done.

more than 2 years ago
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FOX To Host New Cosmos

ctmurray Re:ITS FOX not FOX NEWS (206 comments)

Which is why the crowd laughed when the Fox Business reporter made that declaration.

more than 2 years ago
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FOX To Host New Cosmos

ctmurray ITS FOX not FOX NEWS (206 comments)

Remember when Fox Business News was booed while filming in Madison WI during the legislative walkout? And the reporter being booed said "This is Fox Business not Fox News". Somehow in FOXlandia there is a distinction.

more than 2 years ago
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Mars Rover Opportunity Surpasses 30km Driving

ctmurray Re:Non-units "holy war" thread here (86 comments)

Politics of NASA and congress, I suspect led to the 3 month window. NASA could get funding for the launch and then 3 months of operation (where they were very sure these would last 3 months). Once you are on Mars AND the equipment is still running, then you can ask for and probably get more funding from Congress. In the same vein, if they die around 3 months or slightly after (for whatever reason) NASA can still declare the mission a success (and thus get future funding from Congress). Recall we had a string of Mars missions not working at all. So a short "estimate" is a win - win for NASA and its relations with Congress.

more than 3 years ago
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Selling source code?

ctmurray Re:Write a book with code - epub (5 comments)

It is easy to search on Amazon if you load up your book with proper keywords. So someone looking for a book of code snippets would find you. This is how I found the Excel macro snippet book I needed.

There are Excel macro specific help web sites so I have to assume there are similar sites for the code you produced (either by language or function). If not set one up yourself. If a site exists join the community - answer people's help requests and in your sig line have a link or title of your book, subtle advertising. I am not good at social networking but I suspect you add those tools as well (Tweet about code issues). I have watched YouTube videos about coding in languages I don't know - you could create a channel there. Again cross promote the epub book.

more than 3 years ago
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Selling source code?

ctmurray Write a book with code - epub (5 comments)

So write a book with your code described and listed and use epublishing to get it out. I suggest a price like $2.99 on Amazon (to get the maximum cut yet still be cheap enough for an impulse spend). Then set up a programming internet help site where you can answer questions and push your book to people who have visited. Include the option to sell them the code say they pay for a download of all the code segments . The heavy code users will pay to not to have to retype your code segments (in the epub book) and people with just a small need will get the cheaper book. Excel macro sites are set up like this, though some of them have actual physical books (I am saving you the nightmare of trying to get a book published).

BTW this advice must be paid for, thanks for subscribing....

more than 3 years ago
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Traffic Jams In Your Brain

ctmurray Re:Is that all surprising? (250 comments)

And recognizing a familiar face in a crowd might be a good survival skill for a species so it knows when to flee. Where as the math calculations are rarely fatal so no driving force for the species to develop speed at this task. Now if everyone who was slow at the task were to be killed off, then those genetically able to do the math would be left over to pass on those genes.

more than 3 years ago
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Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions

ctmurray Re:I live in Seattle. (650 comments)

I live in Minnesota, but just over the WI/MN boarder. And WI roads are the envy of us in MN. They have a higher gas tax and use the money to maintain their roads well. So many people live in WI and work in MN, and buy their gas over here.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Manage the Information In Your Life?

ctmurray Re:May be Flamebait, but it's true. (366 comments)

I too am a Mac user at home. I use Yojimbo as a catchall for important emails and web pages that I "print to Yojimbo). I also save many of these in my email program in appropriate folders (thus doubling my chances of finding something). With documents I am a good filer of information in fairly well organized folders and sub folders. At work on a PC I don't have an equivalent of Yojimbo (I wish I did and this thread reminds me to look into this further). The corporate email system (Notes) is really non-intuitive on how to save emails in folders that will be available for a long time in the future. The Notes mail database size is limited by the company so files are "archived" without my permission. And yet this does not really work well (and since not under my control I can't attempt to fix). Archives get moved to different locations (server, my computer, various folders) with each revision of Notes and receipt of new computers over time. So I gave up. I am just as good at saving documents so I can find them in the future, I just can't find the email that might have been with them. I keep a phone log at work and urgent things come in by phone or I can put down urgent To Do items as I have to look at this log regularly. Don't really use stickies on a computer for this stuff.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Discontinues the Walkman

ctmurray Music industry probably freaked out.. (250 comments)

I suspect if we look hard enough we could find some music industry comment freaking out about how this new technology was going to end the world...

more than 3 years ago
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MS Gives Free Licenses To Oppressed Nonprofits

ctmurray Re:Not costing them anything. (151 comments)

I agree. They need to not be party to this bullying tactic by these repressive regimes. Regardless of any side benefits or underhanded motives one might ascribe to MS.

more than 3 years ago
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US Lab Models Galaxy Cluster Merger

ctmurray Does this qualify as a big bang? (89 comments)

When two such large object collide in outerspace does it make any noise?

more than 3 years ago
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Minnesota Moving To Microsoft's Cloud

ctmurray Re:Minnesota Values... (345 comments)

As a Minnesotan I too am dismayed that we would be leading this transition. No matter what the proposed savings might be, it will certainly cost money in the short term. We don't have any money, but a $4B hole in the budget to fill for the next biennium. Recently we had some flooding in the southern part of the state, and it looks like we will have to borrow money to cover any aide we might want to spend on this emergency. Let some other state be the guinea pigs and see if the savings pan out. By then the economy might recover and we can get competitive bids for the services offered. Like many fads in IT or business (anyone remember Six Sigma) it does not pay to be the first on your block adopting the fad.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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US Senate and House Servers down

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  about 3 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "After Obama's speech tonight my wife tried calling our rep and her voice mailbox was full. She tried to get to the House and Senate web pages to email our rep and got a "not available" screen. She also tried calling the Capitol switchboard and you get a busy signal."
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Amazon taking down erotica, removing from Kindles

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "The independent writers who publish on Amazon report erotica books containing incest are being taken down with no explanation by Amazon. Selena Kitt writes " I want to be clear that while the subject of incest may not appeal to some, there is no underage contact in any of my work, and I make that either explicitly clear in all my stories or I state it up front in the book's disclaimer. I don't condone or support actual incest, just as someone who writes mysteries about serial killers wouldn't condone killing. What I write is fiction."

Kindle's own TV ad features a book that has a story line of sex between a 19 yr old and their stepmother, defined in some states as incest ("Sleepwalking" by Amy Bloom). There are other books such as the Bible that describe incest. Please read the blog post for some insightful thoughts and post suggestions on what can be done to keep Amazon off the slippery slope."

Link to Original Source
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Comcast hit with second major outage in 8 days

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "Comcast cut off the upper midwest from the internet last night for 4 hours due to a DNS breakdown (including me). And this was the second outage for the same reason in 8 days, with the east coast going down on Cyber Monday. Apparently I could have surfed if I had known to switch to OpenDNS or Google's DNS, but there was nothing on the TV and Comcast phones were tied up. Not knowing this was widespread I ran through the standard song and dance of unplugging the modem and my wifi unit and waiting for them to reset. I had to call friends and do a survey to determine this was widespread. I know this is old news but I could not find any comments on /. I think the comments by /. ers would be interesting."
Link to Original Source
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Google employees get 10% raise

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "From the article: "Just six weeks after Google and five other technology firms agreed to scrap secret no-poaching agreements to avoid a Justice Department antitrust suit, the company has given all its employees a 10% pay rise to stop them from jumping ship.

Was it a coincidence, or should Google employees be sending Attorney General Eric Holder a giant thank you card? That’s the question being asked by some tech-watchers on the west coast and antitrust lawyers in D.C."

I wish my employer felt so compelled by my mobility to give me a big pay raise."

Link to Original Source
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22 million missing Bush emails found!

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Obama administration is searching for dozens more days' worth of potentially lost e-mail from the Bush years, according to two groups that filed suit over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system.

The article goes on to describe to say the tally of missing e-mails, the additional searches and the settlement are the latest development in a political controversy that stemmed from the Bush White House's failure to install a properly working electronic record keeping system.

Earlier /. had a discussion on the Obama White House opposing the lawsuit that lead to this discovery."

Link to Original Source
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Don't accidently hit the buy button

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "The highly anticipated "Selected Nuclear Materials and Engineering Systems (Part 4)" has been published. The reviews on Amazon are mostly glowing (and funny). Just be careful to not accidentally click on the buy button — the book sells for $6,270.


I had to sell my car and take out an equity loan on my house to buy this book, but it was worth every penny. The previous volumes built to almost unbearable tension, leaving many questions unanswered. Would breeder reactors survive competition from newer technology? Would the nuclear waste problem be solved in our lifetime?

"

Link to Original Source
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YouTube seems to be down - strange error message

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ctmurray (1475885) writes "YouTube has an strange server error message currently. "500 Internal Server Error. Sorry, something went wrong. A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation. Also please include the following information in your error report: " followed by a long column of code."
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Did someone try to steal Goldman Sachs' secrets?

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  about 5 years ago

ctmurray writes "Did someone try to steal Goldman Sachs' secret sauce?

While most in the US were celebrating the 4th of July, a Russian immigrant living in New Jersey was being held on federal charges of stealing top-secret computer trading codes from a major New York-based financial institution--that sources say is none other than Goldman Sachs.

The allegations, if true, are big news because the codes the accused man, Sergey Aleynikov, tried to steal is the secret code to unlocking Goldman's automated stocks and commodities trading businesses. Federal authorities allege the computer codes and related-trading files that Aleynikov uploaded to a German-based website help this major "financial institution" generate millions of dollars in profits each year.

Above from Reuters. Last week GS dropped off the NYSE programmed trading list, which is unusual since GS is one of the largest programmed traders. This created quite a bit of concern but no one knew why. GS basically had to stop trading entirely since a competitor with your secret algorithms could "trade against" GS to cause them to loose money."

Link to Original Source
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Google founders' mentor Rajeev Motwani dies

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ctmurray writes "Stanford professor Rajeev Motwani, early Google advisor, found dead in home swimming pool

Associated Press
Last update: June 8, 2009 — 8:04 AM

ATHERTON, Calif. — Rajeev Motwani, a well-known Stanford University computer science professor who advised one of Google's creators, was found dead in his swimming pool.

Stanford University said the 47-year-old professor apparently drowned on Friday at his home in Atherton, and his friends told the school news service he did not know how to swim.

Motwani's work using algorithms to search vast computer databases, like the Internet, is celebrated in Silicon Valley.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wrote on his blog that Motwani's counsel played a big role in his research, education, and professional development."

Journals

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Amazon sells more ebooks on x-mas than real books

ctmurray ctmurray writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Amazon reports for the first time ever they sold more ebooks on one day than real books. Here is the article. My wife is an ebook (only) author and reported her largest single day sales on Christmas day, and December has been her best month ever as well. All those Kindles bought for this season are being seen in ebook sales.

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