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Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

frinkster Re:Parole? (264 comments)

A couple years ago, when I was interviewing, I was asked if I was ever -arrested- at any time in my life. Not convicted... Arrested. Was told by the HR rep that people can buy their way out of a conviction, but if a police officer decided to pull out the handcuffs and do the paperwork, the perp was guilty in their eyes.

So they did you a favor. Most places don't tell you that they are completely clueless and wrong-headed before you start working there. Imagine what your boss would be like. Wait, you didn't still want to work there, did you?

about 3 months ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

frinkster Re:And low-emission transport trucks, too (491 comments)

or unless the US wants to ban gross-polluting ships from its waters and ports

And that is exactly what needs to be done.

That's exactly what is being done. Ships operating in US and Canadian territorial waters must use fuel that meets emissions standards, starting back in 2012. Mexico is actually looking into joining this zone.

The emissions standards will get more restrictive over time, and ships built after 2016 will have to meet additional standards that would probably make it impossible to burn the garbage bunker fuel without destroying their engines. So they will have to choose between cheap fuel and North American access. Right now I believe that they have cleaner fuel in one tank and switch to using it upon nearing North America, but that's not going to be an option going forward.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

frinkster Re:So what exactly is the market here. (730 comments)

Maybe one of these days I'll learn to tie a bow tie and get one of them fancy tweed driving caps. ;-)

Unless you're going someplace where people know what a real bow tie looks like, everyone is just going to think that your "bow tie" is falling apart.

about 3 months ago
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US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

frinkster Re:Someone should look-up the term "Rebound" (191 comments)

From what the article says, this is a bump in manufacturing from short term contracts, this is hardly a sustainable client base. My guess is that at the very most this will be a benefit for one generation, maybe two at the very most. A few thousand jobs is nothing to shrug off but I hope that these towns are prepared for what is going to happen within the next 20 to 40 years. The cheap housing and sharp increase in demand will attract real-estate prospectors; and just like these sociopathic leeches always do, they will start building up their little housing price bubbles and once again the idea that maybe "infinite growth" can be a real thing is going to settle in the backs of peoples minds. I'm not saying that we should stop this kind of thing mind you. The money generated in this way is very real, even if the actual wealth is not. But we should be better prepared for the fallout this time.

Many of these rust-belt cities have struggled for so long that suburban sprawl has been quite limited. Many of them have intact urban downtowns that are run-down and many of these towns and cities have been focusing on smart urban renewal of these downtown areas. They won't be making the same mistakes again. And they don't need a whole generation of investment to make them great little places to live.

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

frinkster Re:Musk worship (260 comments)

The Prius isn't even that good at using gasoline. I used one as a company car quite a bit in my last job, it averaged 50mpg-ish. I can get that in my non-hybrid Honda Jazz, which also has better visibility and cleverer use of space. And a modern common rail diesel can do considerably better, albeit with horrendous repair costs if / when the injectors fail. (But what does a spare Prius main battery go for these days?...)

If your driving was purely urban, your Prius would beat your Jazz (called the Fit in North America, BTW) handily. Yes, the Fit/Jazz is extremely space efficient, but it is still quite a bit smaller than a Prius. There are certain uses in which a hybrid beats everything. Diesel is the same way - long distance motorway speed, optionally with a heavy load to carry. But getting a diesel to meet anything more than basic emissions requirements has made them very complicated and expensive, with high maintenance and repair bills on top of that. Financially, they make less sense than they used to, especially now that the small turbocharged gasoline engines are available fairly cheaply.

As for electric cars, well, once Tesla's gigafactory is running at full capacity, Tesla will be able to build enough cars to grab an approximately 0.5% worldwide market share. It's a drop in the bucket. Now, slice that battery pack up into 10 or 15 pieces and install them into some plug-in hybrid cars with small turbo gasoline engines, and you have all the makings of a company that can compete with BMW and Mercedes Benz.

about 3 months ago
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Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

frinkster Re:Out-of-state tuition (161 comments)

That's how Purdue works. Somebody's got to pay for the custom branded hand dryers and other pointless luxuries.

The state of Indiana has about 6.5 million residents and has about 200,000 enrollment spots in its two major highly-ranked research university systems. It's neighbor to the west, Illinois, has about 13 million residents but only about 70,000 enrollment spots in its major highly-ranked research university system. It's neighbor to the north, Michigan, has about 10 million residents but only about 100,000 enrollment spots in its two major highly-ranked research university systems.

You're right, Indiana sees education as an export industry, but they've created a system that allows that to happen without hampering their own residents. Other states could learn from them.

about 3 months ago
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IT Job Hiring Slumps

frinkster Re:I am hiring (250 comments)

What have _you_ done - where is your Git...
What meetup groups do you attend regularly...
Why does your linkedin endorsements are knitting and you have no tech endorsements

Github, Meetup, and LinkedIn. So you want to hire people that spend all their time doing social networking, or people that actually work during work hours and have hobbies in their non work hours? I work in a smallish shop - only about 22 developers out of 70 total employees. The best developers we have are basically unemployable by your standards. At best they might have a LinkedIn page that hasn't been updated in 3 years.

about 3 months ago
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IT Job Hiring Slumps

frinkster Re:... meanwhile in Melbourne... (250 comments)

I'm a Rubyist and have done Rails too, although my experience especially for the last two years is mostly in other areas.

Will I get a big check to move to Australia? If so, we should talk :)

The points-based immigration system that Australia and New Zealand use strongly favors educated American couples in the late 20s. If you graduated from an American university, have a spouse that also graduated from an American university, have 5 or more years of job experience and are less than 30 years old, you will probably have enough points to get an automatic permanent visa. But... You'll get a high standard of living but you'll also have a high cost of living. You'll find it difficult to save money, while all your friends and family are far away, reachable only by long and expensive airline flights.

about 3 months ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

frinkster Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (643 comments)

And probably non-constitutional, if any state had had the pills to take it to the Supreme Court.

*cough* South Dakota *cough* They lost. It's constitutional. And in the recent Obamacare court cases, John Roberts brought it up as an example of something the government was allowed to do.

about 3 months ago
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Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope

frinkster Re:So? (96 comments)

Basically an app can ask for permissions for the gyro only (if it even needs to) and be recording conversation.

Yeah, that's the thing. You don't need permissions for the gyro on Android and iOS, so any and all of the apps that you have on your phone or tablet could be using the gyro and you wouldn't know, except for an anomalous battery drain.

Sure, but on iOS an app is suspended when you are on a phone call unless the app has used the system APIs to enable background execution. There are only a small number of background execution modes and your app must declare which it plans to use. When it comes to location-based background execution (the most likely use of the gyro), your app still gets suspended. The system wakes it up periodically and sends location updates to a function in your app and then gives the app a small time window for that function to return an expected value. It is very much a discrete task-based multitasking system - completely different than normal desktop machines. Good sometimes. Bad sometimes.

about 3 months ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

frinkster Re:Defeats the purpose (232 comments)

Yes, I agree completely. I do kind of hate coming back from vacation to a huge inbox, but on the other hand, I do things like emailing someone saying, "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

If you are using Outlook/Exchange, you can simply schedule a delivery date/time for the email. It's one of the not-too-hard-to-find buttons on the "Options" ribbon called "Delay Delivery". It's actually less work than typing "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

about 3 months ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

frinkster Re:Defeats the purpose (232 comments)

They aren't things I expect them to handle when they get back. It's more along the lines of "X broke while you were gone. We did Y to fix it. Here's the status on Y." Otherwise, they're going to encounter Y a month from now and go "wtf is this Y thing?" and we'll have to explain that Y happened while they were skiing in the Swiss Alps but we didn't bother CCing them on the plans for it.

You're doing it wrong, for exactly the reason you are sending CCs to people that are out of the office. By the way, what happens if you hire a new person, or an existing employee starts working on your team? Does someone on the team need to go back and re-send all those emails that document the product you are working on? Because maybe they need to know this kind of stuff - if someone that is on vacation needs to know what you did in the past, new team members do too. Have you been organizing your emails over the years? How long will it take you to get that stuff sent out - how much of your current work will be delayed while you accomplish this extremely important task?

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

frinkster Re:Too much cheap hardware out there (337 comments)

Sure a Surface RT could work in education, even a Surface Pro 3 could work even better in education. But let's face it, education will buy a $150 Chromebook before a $1000 Surface Pro 3. Education will make due with a less useful device for that difference in change. Then Microsoft works with PC makers to create these Windows 8/ Bing OS machines to compete with the likes of Chromebook's for $250.

The Chromebook in education is a lot more than just a $150 laptop. It's a whole suite of apps and services, and all Google asks in return is to data mine the students for the rest of their lives.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

frinkster Re:Can I run a Hackintosh distro? (337 comments)

Of course you can run VMWare on the Surface Pro 3. The Core i5 has all the Intel virtualization technologies so you could go further than just VMWare if you wanted.

I needed a Windows machine for remote work and got the new 3. I find it to be a very nice machine. Not at all perfect, but I am quite impressed. And I have found that it has nearly replaced my iPad as an eBook reader. The large (for a tablet) 3:2 screen is fantastic for reading.

OneNote is a bit odd though. You get the touch-enabled version installed out of the box, which is great. But if you install Office on the machine, you then get OneNote 2013 as well. When you press the stylus button to instantly bring up OneNote, you get the touch-enabled version. But it seems that at other times, you are not quite sure which version will load. However, they are interoperable and they save the files in the same location, so it really doesn't matter which one loads. It's just odd, that's all. Maybe the next version of Office will combine the two versions.

about 4 months ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

frinkster Re:Too much bullshit (140 comments)

I bought a 99 Volvo S80 and it has the fancy auto dimming rear view mirror. The car was used so of course expensive mirror no longer dims. You can't even swap out a junked mirror because of the address bullshit. You have to keep the circuitry from your mirror and swap only the mirror itself. Otherwise you need the dealer software to reprogram the main computer.

Did you bother asking the dealership what the cost to reprogram was? It might have been very inexpensive or even free.

My local Volvo dealership plugs the cars into the computer and runs diagnostics and software updates as a matter of course (no charge) any time you bring the car in for service. Their labor rates are competitive with independent mechanics and they offer a free shuttle to/from work, so I just have my maintenance done there. They clearly want repeat customers (they need repeat customers) and in my opinion are doing quite well at it. I've had a number of German and Japanese cars and prefer the Volvo approach. I'm not interested in fancy drinks in the fancy waiting room - A) I take my coffee black, thank you very much, and B) don't really want to spend my free time in a waiting room.

about 4 months ago
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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 5 months 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 5 months 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 9 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 10 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 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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