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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

erp_consultant Re:They might have a point.... (404 comments)

I have to admit that most of my flights are short so I'm typically not on planes that are equipped to show the type of entertainment you mentioned. All I see are those old 4 inch screens on the seatback. So I've gotten used to bringing my own entertainment.

I've been travelling long enough to remember when food was really good on a plane. Especially if you were in first class. I fly first a lot and all I get is some snacks and a drink. Again, the longer flights have better meals in first class but on the short flights you don't get much.

Looks like I need to fly in Europe a bit more :-)

about a week ago
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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

erp_consultant They might have a point.... (404 comments)

Since the rules were relaxed on electronic devices on planes it's been kind of nice not having to turn everything off - just put it in airplane mode. What I'm worried about is allowing the use of cellphones in flight. We have all heard about recent skirmishes on planes over people reclining seats. What do you think will happen if cellphones are able to be used for the whole flight? Guaranteed in flight fights.

I'm not sure whether or not the flight attendants are considering this in their dispute but for the sake of all of us I hope they do.

Back in the day, airlines provided us with food and entertainment. Arguably, it was lousy food and entertainment but it was supplied none the less. Now we have no choice but to bring our own. At the same time, we are not provided with more space to store things. Sure you can check your luggage but that is not a viable option for frequent flyers. So the premium on space is even greater now than it ever was. The goal is to get on the plane as early as possible and secure your space for your stuff.

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

erp_consultant Re:How are they not a victim? (622 comments)

"If your local bank gets robbed and you can't get accessed to your funds for a week, aren't you still a victim?" - If your local bank gets robbed there is Federal Deposit insurance that protects you in the event of a loss. As long as you have less than $250,000 in each individual account you are protected against loss. These are two entirely different issues.

"Or are you proposing that people don't put money in banks?" - No. I am proposing that people take reasonable precautions. Putting your nude photos on a phone is akin to having a safely deposit box and leaving it unlocked.

"Like a bank, these online storage services have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers" - Online storage services do NOT have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers. Why? Because those customers are not paying for the service. At least those that are using the free versions of Dropbox, etc. Now, if they are paying for the storage then you would have a stronger argument.

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

erp_consultant It's not "Vicitim Blaming".... (622 comments)

it's a long forgotten attribute called taking responsibility for your own actions. If someone wants to take nude photos of themselves then go for it. But don't go whining when the photos get leaked.

How stupid can these people be?

They take a nude photo and store it on a cellphone that can easily be compromised or stolen - mistake #1
Then then store the photo on some "cloud service", or email it, or otherwise create copies of the photo that they can no longer control - mistake #2
Choose weak passwords that can easily be guessed - mistake #3

These days it seems that everyone wants to be a victim. Why? Because it provides a built in excuse for fucking up. Cast the blame on someone else rather than own up to your own mistakes.

about a week ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

erp_consultant I call BS on this one.... (575 comments)

It's all about control. Once the Federal government gets its nose in your business it never leaves.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

erp_consultant Re:Camel = Horse designed by committee... (644 comments)

The same XBox. I was being generous and trying to appear to not be some anti MS troll. Not to suggest that you are but I digress....

My point was that MS can build decent hardware. The often mentioned MS mouse and keyboards good examples. The Zune music player had some good technical attributes, despite being a dismal failure in the marketplace. Same with the Surface tablet.

The problem MS has, in my view, is that they can make decent products but they can't seem to convince people in the consumer market to buy them. And that is a Sales and Marketing failure. Time and time again MS comes out with good products that flop in the consumer market.

XBox, from a financial standpoint, has lost a lot of money as you point out. But MS's stated intent was to get a presence in the "living room" and from that standpoint I think they have succeeded.

about three weeks ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

erp_consultant Re:Battery life? (182 comments)

I've got an old iMac (about 6 years old) that has the same Core2Duo w/4GB of RAM. RAM is maxed out. I upgraded the HD to an SSD (not for the faint of heart). I dual booted it so that it runs both OSX and Windows 8. W8, with the SSD, runs really nice. Mavericks, on the same machine, is sluggish compared to W8.

On my MBP (same vintage, about a year newer) I have 8GB of RAM with an SSD and Mavericks runs quite nicely. So, from my experience, Mavericks likes to have 8GB of RAM to run well.

You should consider the SSD upgrade for the MBP. It will make a world of difference.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

erp_consultant Re:Camel = Horse designed by committee... (644 comments)

An even greater tragedy is the Microsoft marketing department. Those clowns can't seem to sell anything in the consumer market (ok, XBox...I'll give you that). It seems that every marketing campaign falls flat on its face. Remember those ads with Jerry Seinfeld? Millions of dollars of MS shareholder money was wasted on that.

So instead of promoting what is good about W8 (smooth, stable, low memory requirements, etc.) they focus on a bunch of people dancing in an office. Great. Makes me want to just run out and buy one.

And who picks the colors they use? It's bad enough that the Contacts app takes up the whole screen and is virtually useless functionality wise. Just looking at the thing is nothing short of jarring. MS - ditch the clown paint and hire some designers that can create an appealing interface.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

erp_consultant Re:Camel = Horse designed by committee... (644 comments)

I find that it works best if you have a laptop and no secondary monitor. On my home office desktop machine I have 2 external monitors so I have no need for multiple virtual desktops.

If I find myself using my laptop then it can be handy to have virtual desktops. For me, it keeps things neater and cleaner. I can devote one desktop for email/skype/etc. A second desktop for spreadsheets, a third for remote desktop sessions.

It's nice to have the choice.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

erp_consultant Camel = Horse designed by committee... (644 comments)

That's what Windows 10 looks like to me - a Camel. Mixing "traditional" apps with "Metro" tiles looks ridiculous. Why can't MS just leave Windows 8 behind? It was an experiment and it failed - massively. Yet they are still stubbornly handing on to "tiles" and such.

On the bright side...

1) Nice to see the Start Menu back...if only they could drop those stupid tiles.
2) Multiple desktops is nice. Been using it on OSX and Linux forever. From what I can tell the functionality seems a bit limited in Windows 10 but it's a start.

I've been using Windows 8 for about a year now on my home PC and, metro interface aside, it's great. Very stable, requires little in the way of resources. It looks awful but runs well. That's what Microsoft should be taking away from this. The guts of the system are fine. Fix the interface.

What I'd like to see is something similar to Linux where you can choose the interface you want (Mint, KDE, etc.) from the login screen and it just loads it up. So if you're running a desktop with a big screen you get something that looks a lot like Windows 7. If it's a table or phone, give 'em tiles.

This "one size fits all" approach is just an abomination.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook's Atlas: the Platform For Advertisers To Track Your Movements

erp_consultant Keep it up, Zuck.... (92 comments)

How anyone would connect to FB these days without running every privacy filter under the sun is just baffling to me. It's bad enough that FB tracks everything you do when you're using the app. But now they want to track everything out do OUTSIDE the app as well? No thanks.

I read with interest about new sites like this --> https://ello.co/beta-public-pr...

Ok...it's still in Beta, and it's invitation only so far, and the functionality is pretty sparse. But for people that just want to connect with friends without having every single movement tracked (even after they exit the application), Ello holds some promise.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

erp_consultant Oh that's rich..... (354 comments)

The FBI is concerned about phones having encryption? Well, maybe if the FBI and NSA and other government agencies were not spying on innocent citizens we wouldn't have a need for encryption?

Apple and Google are simply responding to user demands.

Some people are carrying sensitive information on their phones and should have the option to encrypt the contents if they wish to.

For the "criminals" out there the FBI can simply get a warrant to search the phone.

about three weeks ago
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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

erp_consultant Re:Bono is a disingenuous prick.... (323 comments)

I don't know why I'm bothering to respond to this but it's a slow day so.....

"You're so completely full of shit" - Nice to meet you too.

I see that you have conveniently sidestepped the two main points of my post. 1) He is a tax dodger. 2) There is little if any evidence that he actually donates any of his own money to these various causes.

The link above describes it in more detail but why would U2 move their corporate operations to a region of the Netherlands that is tax free? The same reason Facebook does it. Same reason that the Kennedy family set up overseas Trusts in places like the Isle of Man. Same reason that Mitt Romney set up offshore accounts. To avoid paying taxes. That's not my opinion. That's a fact.

As much as I'm sure it irks you, these people are all playing the same game. These people have all made a lot of money and don't want to give more of it than they have to to their respective governments. So they set up these elaborate schemes to move money offshore to places with lower (or no) tax burdens for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of dodging taxes.

In your little world it's ok to do that - as long as their politics agree with your politics. Bono gets a pass because he is a "progressive". Meanwhile, Mitt Romney/Dick Chaney, etc. are vilified as "tax cheats". Well you can't have it both ways, pal. All of them are tax cheats, regardless of politics.

So don't give me your sanctimonious bullshit about how Bono is such a great guy. Sure, he talks a good game but when it comes time to step up and donate some of his vast fortune he's not getting it done.

The ONE Campaign, which I'm sure you are familiar with, was started by our good friend Bono. You might also be aware that it has come under fire due to the fact that only 1.2% of everything collected was actually given to charities.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

I'll do the math for you. That means that if I donate $100 to the ONE Campaign then only $1.20 is going towards the cause. That ain't getting it done, son.

"The facts are, if everyone were and did as Bono and Gore do, we wouldn't have crushing poverty and war" - Ummm no. If everyone did as Bono did then 98.8% of all charitable donations would be wasted. Not only is that disgraceful, it will have no meaningful impact on poverty whatsoever.

about a month ago
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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

erp_consultant Bono is a disingenuous prick.... (323 comments)

There I said it. All the so called "Progressives" just love this guy because he is supposedly out in front of all these social issues. U2 has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, almost all of it funneled through companies in Ireland and the Netherlands with the express purpose of avoiding taxes. In 2007 they transferred most of their music catalog to a tax-free jurisdiction in the Netherlands.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/...

Just like the rest of these celebrity do-gooders he just loves to get up on stage and implore YOU to donate YOUR money to such and such a cause. But he, despite his vast resources, give little or none of his OWN money. Yes, he donates his "time" but all of his expenses (and those of his huge entourage) are paid for by the charity. So not only does he not contribute any money, a good portion of your donation is going towards paying his expenses.

The ONE Campaign, founded by Bono and U2, urges governments around the world to give more money to poor nations. Fine. Noble cause. But don't ask me to take this guy seriously when he is an obvious tax dodger. If it were not for people like him maybe governments would have enough money to hand out.

I'm not against making money. Far from it. But you can't have it both ways. Either you are a Capitalist or you're not.

So do us a favor, Bono. Get back on your private jet and go count all that money you've made by NOT paying your fair share of taxes.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

erp_consultant One word - Communication (392 comments)

A lot of tech people that I have worked with (not most but a lot) have poor communication skills. Many of them are very good coders but have difficulty when it comes to documenting or explaining complex topics. Fine Arts grads tend to be very good at communication.

In the business world most executives do not understand technical subjects in a way that tech people do. A good tech person can take a complex technical subject and break it down into terms that business people can understand. That is a very valuable skill.

As an aside, one of the best coders I ever worked with was an English Literature major. Go figure.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

erp_consultant Re:Kleenex, Xerox, iPad.... (405 comments)

I stand corrected. What I should have said was "They were late to the game...with a viable product". Microsoft's first tablet was a brave experiment but terrible execution. And the original Windows Phone (running Windows Mobile as I recall) was awful. Crashed all the time, had that silly Start button, etc.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

erp_consultant Kleenex, Xerox, iPad.... (405 comments)

These names have what I call the "first adopter" advantage. When someone wants a tissue they ask for a Kleenex. Just like people ask for a "Xerox copy" of something. To a lot of people, "iPad" is synonymous with tablet.

This is one of the reasons why it's going to be such an uphill battle for Microsoft when it comes to tablets and phones. They were late to the game. Even if the products are good (and I happen to think that the Surface is a really good tablet) it's a tough nut to crack.

I have to think that the MS marketing department really dropped the ball (no pun intended) here though. If you're going to spend $400 million on promoting the Surface you would think they would remind the announcers that it's not an iPad? They should be encouraging them to use the name Surface often. It's not a "tablet", it's not an "iPad", it's a Surface. There should have been a big splashy introduction where everyone gets to see the thing and what it can do. You know, generate a little excitement?

Then again, marketing has never been been Microsoft's strong point.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

erp_consultant Re:I like watches but.... (471 comments)

Maybe it's just my phone (LG G2) but bluetooth is a battery killer for me. For that reason, I rarely use it. Batteries are the Achilles heel for all these gadgets. We keep getting bigger batteries but along with that comes faster processors and better screens so at the end of the day the battery life is no better than the last version.

You make some good points. I'm not dismissing it entirely, just in its current iteration. I suppose if I really stretch it I could think of a few things that it would be useful for. Discrete notifications? Sure, but at $300-400 it's a luxury I can do without.

Maybe I've just got gadget fatigue. I'm quite happy to go from carrying one device for music, a pager, a phone. etc. to just carrying a phone. It does everything I want reasonably well. For me, if I'm going to carry another gadget it had better have a pretty compelling reason to do so. Right now, I don't see one.

What will be exciting is to watch (no pun intended) and see how inventive minds approach this. Maybe someone will come up with a killer app for the watch. Maybe not.

about a month ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

erp_consultant Re:My take on COBOL.... (387 comments)

Interesting comment on the fixed width record format. I didn't know that. My friends on the DBA side of things told me about the SQL processing. Evidently, COBOL is extremely efficient at processing SQL. Perhaps not by design but in practice.

But I think we both touched upon the real reason - it just works. A few places have tried to replace their COBOL code with mixed results. If it were me I'd just leave it as is.

about a month ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

erp_consultant Re:This could all be solved quite easily.... (364 comments)

Ahh...there's the difficulty. Somehow it would have to determine whether the phone owner is the driver or the passenger. Or whether the vehicle is a mass transit vehicle or a car/motorcycle. There are ways to make that happen but it's going to take cooperation.

about a month ago

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