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Comments

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Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

frinkster Re:Solved problem (32 comments)

Easier to follow Exxon's example and dump tons of dispersant into your oil spill, and watch the globs disappear from plain sight.

How this got moderated as Interesting I have no idea - I found it to be quite funny.

But the truth is that that industrial corporations are very sensitive to economics. Crude oil is very valuable and dispersant is very expensive. Any product that allows them to recover the oil economically will be used extensively.

The environmental movement really advanced when people started explaining to corporations that pollution was nothing more than raw inputs that they paid for and are now throwing away. A lot of industrial companies have entire divisions dedicated to selling products produced with what used to be stuff they threw out or paid someone to dispose of.

about three weeks ago
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

frinkster Re:Similar bug in iOS (349 comments)

I have experienced a similar bug in my iOS devices. Everytime they do a small update to iOS, you're required to redownload the entire operating system, separately for each device you own.

As others have mentioned, the full download occurs only if you update via iTunes and not on the devices themselves.

However, if you buy the OS X Server app from the App Store, it includes a "caching server" that provides a local cache for all Apple downloadable content. It's US$20, so that's a big bummer. But you only have to buy it once and if you have to pay for all that extra bandwidth it might be worthwhile, not to mention all the other "features" you get with the Server app.

I'd like to see Apple make the server app free - it's reasonable to keep it a separate app - or if not, to roll the caching feature into a future iTunes release.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

frinkster Re:graduate certificates (149 comments)

The education industry, meaning colleges and universities, need a way to "add on" additional skill emphasis to degrees without requiring whole new degrees.

They are called graduate certificates. You take a couple of graduate level courses, and you get a graduate certificate. Often, you can get a certificate while you are on the path towards a masters.

Yes, absolutely. I live in Chicago so both Northwestern and U of Chicago have these programs. They are outstanding. And expensive. Generally, expect about $1000-1500 for a 3-4 month class that meets once a week. They are a large profit center for the universities, but that is a good thing - you are paying a lot for a good experience and they are delivering a good experience. Real professors that have received high marks for teaching ability. Books that are the standard for that subject matter. Quality course content, etc.

The networking opportunities are unreal - each class will have accomplished but curious and friendly people from a wide variety of companies and industries. The type of person that looks down on anyone without a masters degree is off getting a masters degree and the type of person that feels that they have already finished their education is at home watching TV. The people in these classes are the ones you want to meet. Mid-level or so and definitely going places.

about 5 months ago
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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

frinkster Re: Government Regulation?? (385 comments)

ever priced updating the firmware in your car outside of the warranty period?

Oil changes at my local Volvo dealership are cheaper than the independent shop down the street (and I live in a high rise so I can't exactly change the oil myself). Any time a car comes into the service garage at that dealer they hook it up to the computer which runs a diagnostic scan and then pushes all software updates that are available. Why not - it makes for happy customers and doesn't cost them a dime.

about 6 months ago
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Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?

frinkster Re:nginx is replacing apache (303 comments)

Nginx instances are rapidly replacing apache setups , so this should be IIS vs Nginx

If you push a Node.js application to Azure, Microsoft uses IIS to serve the static files while Node.js uses Nginx for its http module.

How does that get counted? What about all the instances of Nginx serving as a load balancer in front of a set of Apache servers?

about 6 months ago
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Google Sells Motorola Mobility To Lenovo For $2.91 Billion

frinkster Silicon Valley (172 comments)

Silicon Valley sure knows how to rake in the cash hand over fist, but has absolutely no clue what to do with it once they have it.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

frinkster Re:iTunes and Apple TV (420 comments)

I've built several systems to do just what the OP wanted and was never really satisfied with the quality of the product, then I was given a free Apple TV, so I played with Airplay and iTunes and got it working very easily.

I've since purchased 2 more Apple TVs for other rooms in my home.

It turned out to be the easiest way for doing what I wanted, and the interface has a professional look and feel that I don't think other solutions gave me. Now that it's set up, all I do is drag media (only pre-req is movies have to be run through Handbrake first) over to iTunes, perhaps change the media type to "movie" instead of "home movie", and I'm done.

Yeah, I've traded off my geek cred by using Apple and will probably be modded down by the anti-apple crowd, but I found this to be the best solution to the challenge outlined in the OP, so I'm sharing.

Many years ago I tired of the frustration of getting a Linux-based solution to work well. Not just working, but working well - easy, looked nice, not having to reconfigure everything any time a library/software update on the Ubuntu box occurred, etc. I bought the 2nd gen Apple TV and have never looked back.

I fully believe that today there must be other solutions that work well, but I'm happy enough with the Apple TV that it's not worth the time trying anything else. There is no need to feel that you are trading in geek cred - you have a solution that works and it gives you the time to tackle other geeky problems.

about 6 months ago
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The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

frinkster Re:What about all the new jobs in the "digital" ag (674 comments)

In theory, businesses would have to hire twice the people to cover 40hrs worth of shifts

They don't have to hire twice the people, but they have a strong incentive to hire more people - and the incentive heavily favors the employees who are giving up more of their time than they need to give up.

about 7 months ago
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The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

frinkster Re:What about all the new jobs in the "digital" ag (674 comments)

The only solution, really, is some sort of socialist system, with higher taxes for the high-earners so that everyone has a fair share of the increased productivity.

This is not the only solution - although you are right that we need to give more people a share in the economy. Our society needs to recognize that highly productive people work too much and would be happier if the worked less and earned less. Yes, one of the world's elite business schools says that productive people work too much.

We have become much more productive—output per hour worked increased more than fourfold between 1950 and 2012... In the United States, the average working year went from 1,963 hours in 1950 to 1,790 hours last year, a drop of less than 10%.

Research shows that highly productive people would be far happier (and still have plenty of economic security) if they worked fewer hours. If the amount of work to do doesn't change, the economy has room for more workers.

I think that a better solution to taxation changes is for the government to change employment law - no more exemptions for overtime. All employees should receive overtime pay if they work more than X number of hours in a week. Period. The X number of hours should be indexed to productivity measures so that it changes in step with the productivity levels of our economy.

about 7 months ago
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Bill Gates Plays Secret Santa To Reddit User

frinkster Re:Hahaha (118 comments)

Of course, his saving grace is he didn't see fit to punish her with a Surface, at least.

Yes, MS screwed up the original Surface sales projections so badly that their corrected sales projections (and thus manufacturing capacity) for the Surface 2 are so low that they cannot meet demand. Have you been under a rock? This has been in all the financial press as a huge negative for their revenue and profit numbers.

So... Bill Gates isn't going to be giving away some device when there is a line of people waiting to buy it.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?

frinkster Re:30 years? (629 comments)

Those figures are a load of bullshit...(y)ou just try feeding a teenage boy on less than $1,000 a year.

The linked wikipedia entry that you are calling bullshit allocates ~$2500 per year for food for a middle class teenager. You may want to pay a bit more attention.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

frinkster Re:My problem... (477 comments)

I'm in the same boat as you. I have the same year MBP as you, but I have the 15" and I went out of my way to get a matte screen on it. And THOSE are no longer available, which is MY biggest problem. Those retina screens are all glossy.

I have the early-2011 15" MBP and paid for the matte upgrade as well as the higher resolution screen (standard was 1440 x 900 and the optional is 1680 x 1050).

I just recently purchased the 15" rMBP and while I would prefer matte instead of glossy, I'm never going back. The display is just that good. I'll be sure to ask for a premium price when I sell the old MBP. It's nice to know that it is in demand.

about 8 months ago
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Apple 27-inch iMac With Intel's Haswell Inside Tested

frinkster Re: They are still damn overpriced (241 comments)

It does.

Get yourself a Mini-DisplayPort cable and press a keyboard combination. Your 27" iMac just turned into a 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Display for another box that has DisplayPort output.

Sometimes Apple fails to properly advertise some nice features, such as this. Target Display Mode actually makes me more likely to buy an iMac the next time I need to buy a computer. If it can work with my wife's ThinkPad and an Intel NUC running Linux, I'm sold.

I have used Target Disk Mode on a few Apple laptops in the past, which was also a very nice feature.

about 9 months ago
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Google Testing Banner Ads On Select Search Results

frinkster Re:That doesn't make any sense (185 comments)

The linked article has a follow-on FAQ that you can click over to. That answers the question.

It's protection money. If Southwest Airlines buys the ad, Google won't put other advertising up. If they don't, any other advertiser is welcome to pay Google money to put up a text ad above the search result.

about 8 months ago
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Google Testing Banner Ads On Select Search Results

frinkster That doesn't make any sense (185 comments)

If I go to Google and search for Southwest Airlines, I plan to visit the Southwest Airlines website. Why would Southwest Airlines pay money to Google for an advertisement that tries to get me to visit the Southwest Airlines website?

about 8 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

frinkster Re:only? (947 comments)

he's only broken his collarbone twice and hip once

Only? That sounds like proof of concept rather than a proof of overstatement.

If you were to see the actual quote, you may feel differently:

Dr. Pruitt cites his own example. Now 62, he was a bicycle racer and has been riding for the past four decades. He covers 5,000 to 10,000 miles a year.

In all that time, he has had four serious crashes. He broke his collarbone twice while racing and had two crashes on a mountain bike, breaking a hip one time and spraining a wrist the other.

This is a worthless data point.

about 8 months ago
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Torvalds: Free OS X Is No Threat To Linux

frinkster Re:Linus Ducks Real Issue (314 comments)

This is a clever ruse on Linus' part. The real issue, which he completely ignores, is the genuine threat to Linux provided by Microsoft's release of a free Windows 8.1 upgrade.

Even if he doesn't want to talk about it, at least publicly, I know he's scared shitless.

Windows 8.1 was a free update to Windows 8 machines. If you don't have Windows 8 installed, you need to pay for Windows 8.1.

If Microsoft continues to offer updates at no cost, then eventually all (or close enough to be considered all) Microsoft users will be able to get free updates. But that is going to be many years from now, and Microsoft will still need to convince OEMs to ship machines with a valid copy of Windows as the OS. If they give that away for free, then it would definitely represent a challenge for desktop Linux adoption, especially outside the US and Europe.

about 8 months ago
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If Java Is Dying, It Sure Looks Awfully Healthy

frinkster Re:Wake me up... (577 comments)

You're not a real programmer if you can't adapt to the lack of unsigned variables.

Forget about being a "real programmer" and focus on being a "real developer.' There are functional requirements and then there are technical requirements. Functionally speaking, how important is it to have an unsigned data type rather than having the equivalent data type and enforcing a "no negative values" rule? I'm not sure I can think of any, aside from the case of being able to interpret unsigned data types for interoperability. But that says nothing about the need for the actual storage of that data.

I'm pretty sure that some respected Computer Scientist said something about premature optimization....... It's a good rule. Focus on meeting the functional requirements of the system you are developing, and then optimize where it makes sense. I don't think you are going to notice the lack of unsigned data types. But if you really need them, perhaps that should be a signal that a lower-level language is more appropriate for that particular component in the system.

about 9 months ago
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SSD Annual Failure Rates Around 1.5%, HDDs About 5%

frinkster Re:Yawn. (512 comments)

Anyone who isnt using a SSD by now for at least their boot drive is stuck in the past.

My spinning platter drive allows me to spend far more time in the present.

about 10 months ago
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Cisco Can't Shield Customers From Patent Suits, Court Rules

frinkster Re:I don't understand (111 comments)

Am I going to look at those patent numbers? No ! I don't want to get get a migraine headache since many modern IT patents are written in "legalese" such that someone with a Professional Engineering (yes a real one) background who is actually conversant with the field has a hard time understanding the words. Of course the opposite applies since most legal people can understand the words but not the context.

That's ridiculous. To be allowed to even take the patent bar exam, a person must have an engineering or hard science degree from an accredited university or can demonstrate that their combination of college courses and work experience are the equivalent. Having or not having a law degree is completely irrelevant.

I have read a large number of software, hardware and automotive patents and am convinced that any moderately smart high school student can understand perfectly as long as they pay attention to detail and can read. every. word. I am also convinced that calling a lot of this stuff an "invention" is being overly generous.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Convicts on the run better stay off Facebook

frinkster frinkster writes  |  more than 4 years ago

frinkster (149158) writes "It's time to make an addition to the list of things you should not post on Facebook: According to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith, Luebke's Facebook saga began the evening of St. Patrick's Day. "Mr. Luebke broke custody at about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17," Smith said. A mere 18 minutes later, there was an important news update on his Facebook page. "On da run!" The entry amazed many of his 526 Facebook friends, some of whom may actually know the guy. To properly capture the emotion of it all, I've decided not to clean up the spelling. "Waaaat u better not be," wrote Gina, two minutes later. "JOOOEEE YOUR SO DUUUMMBBB!!!!!!" chimed in Danielle. To be fair, the Illinois Department of Corrections will not confirm or deny how they tracked him down about 6 hours later."
Link to Original Source
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frinkster frinkster writes  |  more than 7 years ago

frinkster (149158) writes "MINI USA has placed interactive billboards in 4 US cities (Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco) and invited a few hundred MINI owners in those cities to join their targeted "advertisement" pilot program. The owners sign up on MINI's website and receive an RFID keyfob in the mail. When that MINI owner drives by the billboard, a targeted message appears. What sort of messages will be shown? Well, that's where the fun comes in. Each owner tells MINI what to show when they drive by, such as "Jim, you are one sexy beast" or "nice to see you finally out of your mother's basement, Joe." If the pilot program is successful, MINI plans to put up more billboards in more cities and allow every MINI owner to participate. MINI swears that no personal information in contained in the keyfobs and that all communication between the owner and user is subject to their privacy policy and thus the program is completely safe, but how well will they keep their billboard logs away from the prying eyes of local law enforcement or private detectives? And what are they doing to prevent "hackers" from changing the personal messages to insults, such as "Nice to see you finally emerge from your mother's basement"?"

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