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Comments

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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

farrellj It's variable... (249 comments)

Actually, my computers are always in a constant state of re-assembly...my "newest" computer has some components that are 3 year old! And my oldest computer has components that are new in the past year.

2 days ago
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U.S. Students/Grads Carrying Over $1 Trillion In Debt

farrellj Re:Tell me again... (538 comments)

It's another bubble, and we shall see who is going to suffer when the education bubble bursts. I know students who would have to work half their lifetime to pay back the "student debt", but the same universities are attending have dramatically cut the number of tenured profs, while "part time" profs and TAs have to cover more and more of delivering the course load...and are purposely kept at "part time" status to the point they school will drop courses to make sure they don't work more than the number of hours the law says you must treat them as full time staff.

Universities, like governments, should not be run like companies, since education suffers when you do so.

about 5 months ago
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What Would You Do With the World's Most Powerful Laser?

farrellj Launch a spaceship! (143 comments)

Launch a spaceship, of course!

about 6 months ago
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Slackware Linux 14.1 Released

farrellj Re:amused that they talk about the DT environs (136 comments)

Truth!

I do know all of those operating systems, and many more. But, I was trying to inject a bit of humour too! If you take Linux, or anything (hint *BSD/Debian users...) too seriously, you annoy people, and make them less likely to use your operating system. Slackware (come on, *think* about the name!!!) is never going to be able to take itself too seriously! And that is why I still use it, as well as Mint, Mac OS, and Windows 7 (at least on this system...). One of the few nice things you can do since Apple switched to Intel from Motorola/PPC hardware!

about 9 months ago
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Slackware Linux 14.1 Released

farrellj Re:amused that they talk about the DT environs (136 comments)

Thanks...:-)

As usual, the newbies are clueless about humour/sarcasm...mixed with a bit of truth.

I've been using Linux since kernel 0.12 or so...and was using Slackware before it was Slackware!

about 9 months ago
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Slackware Linux 14.1 Released

farrellj Re:amused that they talk about the DT environs (136 comments)

Actually, us Slackware Users us whatever the fsck we want, because we know how to do it all! CDE, KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, raw X, screen, and anything else we can dig up. We not only know how to use it, we customize it so that other users on the same machine have a hard time time using it! What's more, we probably also know how to use Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, SUSE, Debian, Arch, *BSD, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Mac OS (7-10), and another dozen operating systems that most of you haven't heard of! We can even make Windows useful! We Kick OS BUTT!

All single OS users must cringe in the shadow of our awesomeness!

Really!

about 9 months ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

farrellj Re:Personally (655 comments)

Even that's not good enough. I work in the electronics industry and the educated and schooled engineers fuck up far more than the merely "educated but unschooled" I.T. staff. And this is saying a lot, because we are a Windows shop.

Well there's your problem!

Windows aims to be a simple OS for the masses...as opposed to Unix which is aimed at computer geeks and engineers.

I would be surprised to see the same comment ending in..."AIX shop" or "Solaris shop" for example.

ttyl
          Farrell

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft Azure Platform Certified "Secure" By Department of Defense

farrellj Re:"Secure" meaning . . . (90 comments)

How many hours/days will it be before they are pwned?

That is, pwned by someone other than the NSA...:-)

about 10 months ago
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What's your favorite medium for Sci-Fi?

farrellj Re:Movies (322 comments)

Books can be very immersive! For example, back when I first read Larry Niven's book Ringworld, I had an interesting experience...

I was bicycling through a bunch of allotment gardens, and noticed on plot had nothing but sunflowers...and I started to panic. SUNFLOWERS!!! Then I realized that it was cloudy that day, so I was safe....then I figuratively kicked myself...I was on Earth, not Ringworld!

That's Immersive!

about a year ago
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Why the NSA Can't Replace 90% of Its System Administrators

farrellj Re:Until /tmp fills up (251 comments)

Unix, and by extension, Linux does exactly what you tell it to, no more, no less.

First of all, if your server is filling up so fast, why don't you have any tools that monitor it? Even simple tools like old Big Brother (Or one of it's open source clones) will notify you with an email, SMS message to your phone, or even a voice call. Also, if all your logs are not compressed except for the current ones, then you don't have logrotate.d configured properly, and if you have lots of servers, then you probably have a devoted remote logserver.

Basically, what you are complaining about is that *you* don't know how to set up logging, monitoring and management on a Linux system.

about a year ago
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Why the NSA Can't Replace 90% of Its System Administrators

farrellj Re:replace Windoze with Linux (251 comments)

Windows server management is much more SysAdmin intensive than Linux server management. Most Linux Boxes are "fire and forget" after they have been configured. Windows boxes decay quickly, and need a great deal more upkeep from the SysAdmin.

about a year ago
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MS Researchers Develop Acoustic Data Transfer System For Phones

farrellj Re:Return of the acoustic modem (180 comments)

I just found the information on the device I have...it's called the Konexx KOUPLER, and it's pretty snazzy! Their web site claims speeds up to 26.4 Kbps. But I guess that is under ideal conditions...Web site says they still sell it, and it's $150 US.

More information here: http://www.konexx.com/koupler.htm

p.s. I have no connection with these guys other than the fact I have used their product in the past, and found it to be a wonderful part of a Road Warriors's toolkit!

about a year ago
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MS Researchers Develop Acoustic Data Transfer System For Phones

farrellj Re:Return of the acoustic modem (180 comments)

Wow, I can now dust off my high-speed acoustic coupler! It would plug into the phone line out on a modem, and give you a decent percentage of the 14.4 Kbaud, say anywhere from 40-80%, depending on the phone, etc. I bought it because it meant that I could do support on Unix systems even if the only net connection I had available was a pay phone!

about a year ago
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How Joel Spolsky Shot Down a Microsoft Patent In 15 Minutes

farrellj Re:Mutually Assured Destruction (175 comments)

So let's change the rules...create a Kickstarter campaign to fund a patent-bounty system. If funded, the fund pays out $10 per-patent that is squashed. Suddenly, it becomes a game for people to compete with each other to kill off patents. Even if a person can only do one an hour, that is better pay than minimum wage in many US States, or around the world. And once a year, they can throw a conference, and give out awards to the top "sharp-shooters" who kill off the most patents!

Turn killing bad patents into a game where you can make money, and we can have the patent-trolls slain in short order!

1 year,9 days
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Altering Text In eBooks To Track Pirates

farrellj Re:So... (467 comments)

Of course, ebooks being just text, (HTML zipped for the epub format, for example), I would not be surprised if a good spelling and grammar check software wouldn't render this attempt at DRM useless...or will they try to outlaw spelling/grammar check software as DRM circumvention tools?

about a year ago
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The Canadian Government's War On Science

farrellj Re:Science in this case is another special interes (474 comments)

Ever been in an ICU recently? All that remote monitoring technology was "government science" developed for space travel. This internet? Yup, More government science money. Use a microwave oven? Yup, government money!

Basic science research is needed to develop ideas and test theories that could later be developed into mass use products!

about a year ago
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Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

farrellj Re:not a fan (514 comments)

It's the "Blockbuster" mentality...Give Trekkers a good story and they are happy...but to attract the Mundanes (What SF Fans call Muggles), you need flash rather than substance...and this film delivers flash in excess.

And is it just me, but does anyone else read Christopher Pike when the see Christopher Pine's name written?

about a year ago
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H-1B Cap Reached Today; Didn't Get In? Too Bad

farrellj Re:talent! (512 comments)

True, and they ask for fantasy qualifications...or what they ask advertise for, and what the actual hiring person wants isn't always the same. I went to an interview in another city...took the train up, since the phone interviews with the HR people and such went great...then I got into the interview, and instead of a SysAdmin for Linux, the actual person doing the hiring wanted a programmer, but he wasn't allow to get one he was interviewing SysAdmins hoping to get a programmer!!! What at sh*thead he was! Waste of my time and money (Lunch, etc). HR Lies, Other applications lie and get jobs...and I sit fricking unemployed still. So maybe, I will just get into the Music Business...a lot more stable than the tech sector!!!! :-/

about a year ago
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Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?

farrellj HAHAHAHAHAHA (505 comments)

Last year, a friend of mine got a windows phone...and I told him he should bring it back, and get either an Android or an Apple phone. He asked why, and I said that MS has a habit of abandoning mobile platforms...he didn't believe me....I deserve +1 for Prescience! :-)

about a year ago

Submissions

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GPS Patent Troll takes it on the chin!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 10 months ago

farrellj (563) writes "Dovden Investments, labelled as a Patent Troll by many, got more than they bargained for when they went after Ottawa developer Larry Dunkelman. Mr. Dunkelman wrote BusBuddy, an app that takes GPS and scheduling data from OC Transpo, the local city bus service, and predicts when the bus you are waiting for will actually arrive. But when Dovden came along and asked for $10,000, as a "licensing" fee, Dunkelman got angry, and decided to fight. He hired an ace intellectual property and started chipping away at the company's claims...very successfully! And it went so good that Dovden has discontinued the suit, probably for fear of having a precedent established against them, and are now being chased by Dunkelman and his lawyer for legal costs. But Dovden has worse problems...the Canadian Urban Transit Association, representing transit agencies national wide, has filed suit to have Dovden's patents declared invalid!"
Link to Original Source
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Prof crowdfunds the creation of a free college textbook

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 2 years ago

farrellj (563) writes "College professor Dr. Brendan Myers is crowdfunding the creation of a free textbook on critical thinking for the class he teaches. He is not impressed with the cost of college textbooks.

“Two years ago, a few students in my class told me they didn’t buy the textbook for my critical thinking class,” said Brendan Myers, a philosophy professor at Gatineau’s Heritage College CEGEP, “because they had to choose between the book and eating that month.”

His Kickstarter campaign has been remarkably successful so far, who would have thought such a text would be so popular! There is a huge potential for this type of initiative in creating free text books by crowdfunding their initial production. The academic textbook market is a closed one, and attempts like this and others discussed here on Slashdot can dramatically reduce the high cost of college texts."

Link to Original Source
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Ars Technica's misleading headlines

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 2 years ago

farrellj writes "The headline ITFA is grossly misleading. One would think it was from The Onion or the National Inquirer...but it's from a supposedly reputable news source Ars Technica. You be the judge, and if you don't like it, please complain to the editors at Ars Technica:

"Free as in (taking away your) freedom: the Linux of botnets arrives""

Link to Original Source
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Canadian judge rules domain names are property

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 2 years ago

farrellj writes "A recent decision in the Ontario Appeals court has ruled in favour of Tucows, saying that domain names are considered property, rather than being a license. This has major ramifications for a people both inside and outside Canada, doubly so since Tucows is a major domain registrar. This ruling comes from a very high court, which means that any appeal must go to the Supreme Court of Canada. So there is a good chance this ruling will stand."
Link to Original Source
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Did France test a missile off the coast of Canada?

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

farrellj (563) writes "According to reports from the south coast of the island of Newfoundland, it looks like missiles were fired from the vicinity of French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon which are just 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) off the Canadian coast. This would not be the first time this has happened. Two years ago, France tested missiles off the coast of Canada without getting permission from Canada before hand. This could be another case of that. The Prime Minister's Office is claiming that they were just model rockets by lauched by amateur rocketry enthusiasts. I may not be one, but I knew some, and I am sure that minus 15 degree Celsius with windy conditions are *not* suitable launching conditions for even the most hardy amateur rocketry fans!"
Link to Original Source
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London Stock Exchange Goes Linux!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

farrellj (563) writes "As mentioned before here on Slashdot, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has been looking to replace it's Windows/.Net based trading system for a while now. What wasn't expected was that not only would they turn to Linux to replace it, but would actually *buy* a company and bring development in-house, rather than outsourcing! The company that the LSE has bought is a Sri Lankan developer MillenniumIT, which has developed a trading system based upon Linux and Solaris. Among the many benefits of the new system that comes from using Linux is an order of magnitude increase in trading speed from 2.7 milliseconds using Windows/.Net to 0.4 milliseconds using Linux-based system. Enjoy all of the details from the Fine Article here."
Link to Original Source
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EMI only selling CDs to Mega-Chains from now on

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 5 years ago

farrellj writes "Record company EMI has been notifying all of the non-Mega-Chain music stores that it wholesales to that they will no longer be able to buy EMI CDs from EMI, and will have to buy product from Mega-Chains like Walmart according to reports at Zero Paid among others. This means that if you wanted to a CD from an EMI artist you will have to go to Walmart or HMV...or if you non-Mega-Chain store has it, it will be because *they* bought it at Walmart, and paid retail prices...so it will cost that much more to buy at your local store. Independent Record store customers are some of the most loyal music buyers around. You are not going to find the back catalog, what used to be the staple of the music business, at your local Walmart, but you probably will at your local Independent Record store. EMI's move will now mean that unless the music you want is new, or a classic album, and on the EMI label, you won't be able to find it anywhere. That will give a lot of people the justification to hit the P2P networks for EMI music that they can't get any more through legal channels. As well, it will discourage new artists from signing with EMI, since they will not get the full distribution they want. One wonders when the Music Business is going to run out of feet to shoot?"
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Is PALM.COM down?

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 5 years ago

farrellj (563) writes "Since last night, I have not be able to connect to Palm's website, http://palm.com/ from Canada since around 11 pm Eastern last night (Jan 22). Am I the only person with this problem? I've tried both through my home system (Teksavvy DSL) and the system at work, which is backboned into the US, and neither will bring up http://palm.com/ I've tried both Firefox and IE. Does Palm.com hate me, or is this a more general problem."
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Dell to close it's call center in Ottawa, Canada

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

farrellj writes "Well, after closing it's Edmonton, Alberta call center last year, Dell announced today it will also close it's Ottawa, Ontario call center. Five hundred techs were layed off immediately, and the remainder will be let go by mid-summer. This comes after building a new Ottawa facility adjacent to the existing building and promises of hiring 1,500 last year. It all unraveled toward the end of 2007 with the decision to close the Edmonton facility, and then the cancellation of the Ottawa expansion. CBC has coverage here, and the Globe & Mail here."
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farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 7 years ago

farrellj writes "The NY Times has a photo of the space shuttle Atlantis here which seems to show a Star Wars T.I.E. Fighter behind the shuttle. You can see it in the picture just above the right OMS pod. Has the Empire found our planet?!?!?"

Journals

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Is you Windows system down or failing due to a malware or virus infection?

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 3 years ago

There is a nasty piece of malware going around that has caused a number of people I know to have their Windows machines to crash and I am tired of people complaining about Windows virus/malware infections...

So let me put it mildly....Surfing the net using the Windows operating system is like having sex with multiple partners that you pick up on the street and you don't use a condom, or if you do, it always has a hole or two in it. And you do this for multiple hours of ever day.

That is surfing with Windows. Even when you use an anti-virus or anti-malware program, there are *NO* anti-virus or anti-malware programs that will stop them all. And what's more...people don't blame Windows on being insecure, they blame it on the virus and malware writers!

Or, to put it another way, it is sort of like complaining that buglers and thieves are breaking into your home, yet the only thing barring them from entering you home is turning a door knob because you have no locks or alarm systems installed. That is using Windows to surf the net.

So *PLEASE* start putting pressure Microsoft to secure their operating system, or switch to something more secure, like Mac OS, or Linux. And before you give me that BS that Linux doesn't get as many infections as Windows because it is less popular...think about this...Facebook runs on Linux, Google runs on Linux, Akamai runs on Linux, 98% of the to 500 fastest computers in the World run Linux. The fastest selling phone operating system, Android, is a version of Linux. There are easily as many Linux system out there as there are Windows system, and I am willing to bet there are actually *more* Linux system than Windows systems.

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Adventures in Slackwareland...

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Today, I leapt onto the bleeding edge...

I've always been a big fan of Slackware, although I have used most of the popular Linux Distros out there, Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE...but I keep on coming back to Slackware. It's just a good, solid Distro. But recently, there has been a new Distro based upon Slackware. It's called Salix. Its relationship to Slackware is like Ubuntu's relationship to Debian...that is, they take the basic base distro, and dramatically enhance it for desktop use. Now I know a think or two about taking a distro and modifying it...having created MfxLinux, a Slackware based distro which was Desktop oriented. So I know how much work goes into building a distro.

Salix does a lot of the things that I would normally do with a fresh Slackware install...and much more! A fresh install gives you all of the multi-media tools you need to use it as a desktop oriented version of Linux. As Slackware is very fast, Salix does very well as a desktop operating system.

But there is one thing that it adds that really takes it head-and-shoulders above other desktop distros based upon Slackware...even mine. They have added a package management tool called Slapt-get. It is based upon the Apt-get tool that Debian has, but it uses Slackware customised tarball as a container. It uses a separate directory on the Repository site to store the dependencies. They also bundle in GSlapt, which is a graphical front end for Slapt-get.

These tools make it very easy to keep your system updated...or do, as I am doing as I write this...step onto the bleeding edge!

There are many reasons why I am doing what I am doing, but the simplest is that it is a challenge...

I am using the "Dist-upgrade" option, to upgrade my version of Salix from version 13.1, to "current". Now if you know how Slackware works, you will know that the "current" version of Slackware is the one that all of the development is happening on. It changes...fast...sometimes two or three times a day. So that means, I am testing the bleeding edge of Salix, and Slackware.

This should be fun!

I know, for some of you, this is not your idea of fun....but it is for me, so don't gripe! :-)

I will let people know how this works out...

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Is "Free" only a Yankee concept?

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 5 years ago

Today, I experience what is becoming a frequent phenomenon....I will read about some excellent website to get something, in this case, Chris Anderson's New Book "Free", and I find that I can't access it. Why, because I live in Canada. Now before you get all puffed up saying "American content is for Americans"...let me tell you that I am *an* American. I've got the US Passport to prove it! As an American accessing American content, I am being denied access, simply because of my geographical location. Similarly, I try and access The Colbert Report...same thing, and I am told I have to try and access it from the CTV Broadband site, which barfs on Firefox running on Linux. So again, I am an American denied access to an American show simply because of my location, (and then a crappy website).

Now up in Canada, many people call all Americans Yankees, and going "down South" usually means going to Florida. I could access these sites using various proxy server based solutions, but that's not the point. If the US wants to be the Champion of Freedom, that should mean all freedoms, not just the ones it wants to impose upon other countries for US market's interest, or some political ideologue's. One of the US's best ways to spread freedom is through the internet, and if American Culture is the heart of that Freedom, the world is being slowly but surely cut off from that heart. And the result is laws like what Canada has, called CAN-CON.

CAN-CON is a concept that was created to promote Canadian arts in Canada. It forced TV and Radio to have a certain percentage of their broadcasts consist of Canadian produced shows and music. This has had a hugely beneficial effect for Canadian music. But a great deal of it is only heard in Canada. Now many people know some of the great Canadian acts that arose before CAN-CON came into place, bands and artists like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, The Guess Who (listen closely to the word of "American Woman"!) and Rush. Some of the acts that have come up since CAN-CON are Feist, Sarah McLachlan, Alannah Myles, Jeff Healy, D.O.A., Voivod, I Mother Earth, Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, Nelly Furtado, Dream Warriors, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly (FLA), and k-os, to name some of the top selling Canadian acts.

Now, Imagine that those acts had not been able to get across the border because of a lack of freedom of Canadian Music going across into the US. Of course, some Americans would be happy, as it would mean no Celine Dion or Bryan Adams...but there are always exceptions. :-)

Information, which is what all media is today, wants to be free. If Comedy Central really wanted to find out how many people on the internet liked show like The Colbert Report, they would allow any country to watch the show on their website...but now, they only have the US demographics...and everyone else in the World downloads the show on P2P networks. If they watch it on CTV Broadband, it is usually when they are at work, and bored.

Maybe the answer is in Chris Anderson's "Free"...I'll never know because the site it's available for previewing at a site blocks Canadian IP address.

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Oh Journal, how I neglect thee!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I *was* going to post often here...but never get around to it...sorry!

ttyl
          Farrell

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For Jim

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

http://jobs.slashdot.org/job/f108a484996a2d4a4c4e3efd38becb6d/?d=1&bc=1&nsc=1

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Dear Journal...

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I am sorry for neglecting you...but I have been ill, and tired, and now that I have modified my SIG, need to to something to test it with...so I post!

ttyl
          Farrell

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Pure Techno-lust....A TeraByte in a Box!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Buffalo Technology has alwasy been Linux Friendly...but today I ran across a nice little bit of tech from them that really blows me away. A TeraByte in a Box. Basically, it is a box that has four 250Gig drives in it, and probably a small Linux computer. It supports all sorts of snazzy protocols to attach this array to your system.

About 8 years ago, I built a three quarters of a terabyte array using Linux's software RAID, 4 SCSI controllers and lots of Seagate Cheeta drives. The fact that I can now get a full terabyte that will sit on my desktop is just astounding!

Read about the beastie here

ttyl
          Farrell

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Adobe Gets it!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Cnet News has a great article on Adobe software, and why they continue to do so well even in the face of competition and Microsoft. To me, it all boils down to two things.

1. They make Quality Innovative Software
2. They charge a fair price for it.

Yes, it can be expensive if you buy *everything*, but they do offer bundles with other products, and cut-down versions.

And they do share their technology.

ttyl
          Farrell

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Friend's article on NewsForge

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 9 years ago

My friend, Serge Wroclawski, just had his first article published on NewsForge.com...url of it is:

http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/09/28/1554200

Go and check it out, and learn about safe IMing!

ttyl
          Farrell

p.s. I've been sorting out the mess that is my life, and I am slowly getting a handle on it...more posts soon!

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Blueprints of Avro Arrow Found!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 10 years ago

Any Canadian who knows anything about our Aerospace industry will have heard about the Arrow, which in 1958 had it's first flight, but all too soon the project was shut down, some say due to cost, others due to pressure from the US since it would litterally blow the doors off anything anyone else in the world had. Don't believe me? Well, it had a top speed rating of Mach 1.98 (Maybe more, but it was never tested beyond that). Anyways, here are some specs:

Cruising speed: 701 mph (Mach 1.06)
Max speed: 1,312 mph (Mach 1.98)
Climbing speed(0 to 50 000 feet): 4 minutes 24 seconds
Operating ceiling: 58 500 feet
Interception ceiling: 75 000 feet

It would have comparable to the F-15, but flying a full 15 years before the first flight of the F-15! True, the F-15 would outperform it, but not by much.

The Arrow was also unique because it was the first fly-by-wire aircraft with force-feedback controls using digital computers to control the avionics and fire-control. Remember, this was in 1958.

One of the big bugaboos around the cancelation of the Arrow program was that all of the prototypes were destroyed, as were all of the plans...or so they thought. It seems that a woman in New Brunswick has a some of the blueprints. You can read about it at CTV.COM.

After the cancellation of the project, many of the prime engineers went to work for NASA, where they made a huge contribution to the Gemini and Apollo programs...including the designers of the Gemini space craft, and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). Men landed on the moon because of the work of Canadians who worked on the Avro Arrow.

If you are interested in more information about the Avro Arrow, just do we google search, you will turn up lots of info!

ttyl
          Farrell

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Excellent article on I,Robot in the NY Times.

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 10 years ago

Well, the latest attempt at converting Asimov's Robot stories to the screen has just been released, and it should be intersting...It will be judged against the Robin Williams' vehicle "Bicentenial Man", based upon a later Robot story. One might say that the new movie is a Will Smith vehicle as well. The fact that these stories can attract such star power is a tribute to their power. The fact that they end up having so little to do with the stories they are based upon says a lot about Hollywood.

Realistically, one should probably view this movie as a new piece of fiction based in the Robot universe...I wonder if they will ever explore the juntion of the Robot universe with the Foundation universe...

There is an excellent article discussing the new movie on the New York Times web site...registration required...you can read it here

I haven't seen the movie myself, but I will soon.

ttyl
          Farrell

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Canada's Defense Department's systems compromised

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 10 years ago

It seems that over the past year has had their computers and networks compromised repeatedly. Now, that is not as bad as it sounds...no security is perfect, and that is why you also have to build security in depth, with Intrusion Detection Systems, and proceedures to minimise the damage when a cracker gets in. But...we don't know how much damage was done, and if ultra secure systems were compromised. Here is what part of the report says:

  "They also logged five cases of "unauthorized limited access" and 35 instances of "malicious logic" -- the attempted introduction of viruses, worms or other unwanted programs into a computer system.

There were 110 cases of "poor security practice" on the part of employees, by far the most common problem last year. Of these, the majority involved concerns about the security of e-mail transmissions.

Others stemmed from use of Internet Relay Chat messaging and the popular KaZaa file-sharing service, inappropriate storage of materials, and unauthorized Web postings. Another case involved improper access to a network."

You can read the entire article here

ttyl
          Farrell

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Is MS waging an astroturf war against Linux? Duh!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  about 10 years ago

ABCNews's website is running an article on the idea that Microsoft might be running an astroturf war against Linux....I wonder what their first clue was?

Still, it is nice to see that the mainstream media has a bit of a clue about what is happening.

ttyl
          Farrell

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Did the Government lie to us?

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Actually, every Government on this planet lies. Comes with the territory. But what we are asking now is did the Governement lie when it said that it couldn't fufil a Freedom of Information Act request? You may have remembered a story here on Slashdot.org. But take a look at this story from NewsForge questioning if the systes are *really* that unstable, or if it is just an excuse not to give out that information. I expect this to go to the courts soon...

ttyl
          Farrell

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Kerry uses Linux & Apache, Bush uses MS IIS.

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, according to this Wired article, John Kerry's site is using Red Hat Linux, and Apache. Bush, on the other hand is using Microsoft IIS 5.0. I don't know about you, but I don't trust places that use IIS, and you shouldn't either, especially if you use Internet Explorer, as outside parties can crack the IIS site, and add code that will allow them to compromise any IE user who connects an infected IIS server.

Of course, this shows that the Bush people don't have much of a clue about security, both online, and in the Big Blue Room. We really need to get Bush out of there!

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Real Networks offically supports Linux, Distros pick it up!

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, they have offically done it, and no, not giving Iraq their sovereignty back, although that did happen...but Real Networks has announced that popular distros will now have offical support from Real Networks! You can read about it on NY Times website, free registration required, of course...here's the link

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Hybrid fuel powers Rutan's Spaceship One

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

One of the big problems with current space launch systems is the volatility of the fuels. They may be exotic chemicals, or simply kerosene and liquid Oxygen, they tend to blow up at the slightest provocation. Since there are huge amounts needed to put payloads into space, this means that launches need to have a huge safety perimeter around the lauch sites.

One of the innovations of Rutan's Spaceship is the use of what is known as a hybrid fuel that conists of basically rubber and nitrious oxide. Both are easy to obtain, don't need massive refriguration units to keep them liquid, and are pretty much know quantities in terms of their behaviour.Although the "bang for the buck" is not as good as many more exotic fuels, it makes up for it in terms of weight savings and reduced complexity. Both are important aspects to commercial space flight.

CNN has an article taken from a Space.com article that talks about this.

ttyl
          Farrell

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Science Fiction Museum

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, it used to be that the closest Science Fiction had to a museum was Forrest J. Ackerman's house. It was chock full of books, posters, models and other "stuff" pertaining to SF and Fantasy...but now, Paul Allen has taken part of his "Experience the Music" complex and turned it into a SF Museum. New York Times has an article here, the usual blahblahblah about registration.

In reading the article, I fear it may be mostly a media oriented museum...and I guess in today's culture it can't be helped...but I certainly hope that the place has a good selection of stuff from Books, and maybe, SF Fandom. Without Fandom, SF probably would have died a long time ago.

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Parade of Dr. Who companions

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The BBC has a great series of photos of Dr. Who's companions over the years. Here is the link

I've never been a big Dr.Who fan, but I have watched my share of episodes, and do think that it is one of the better SF series ever made.

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Dance Dance Revolution gets publicity from CNN

farrellj farrellj writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Currently, CNN has an article on DDR up on it's website. It focuses on the health benefits of playing DDR. Some people play it just for fun. Still a good way exercize, unless you have fscked up knees like I do.

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