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MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection

glassware Re:This is actually good news (465 comments)

Here is a better lesson: Store your money somewhere an entity with the strength and resources of the US Government guarantees you against fraud or mismanagement.

If my bank blows up I will get my money back.

I understand that many of you may not trust the US Government, but I do, at least in the matter of FDIC insurance. I don't trust the kind of people who work on Bitcoin; I believe they are generally "survival-of-the-fittest" type people who will blame the victim for not being sufficiently well informed if they suffer some kind of a loss. The next time an exchange fails, regular people will lose their shirts again but bitcoin aficionados will still think they are at fault.

about 8 months ago
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Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

glassware Re:This kind of thing is why FDIC exists (695 comments)

* Use/Exchange of cryptocurrency does not require blind trust in the fundamental sense, so those who kept their balances in trust exchanges minimal to nil, lost nothing

* This "crash" was not sudden or mysterious. Those with the slightest modicum of common sense got out long ago. Other's with a taste for danger kept in or bought in up to the last minute. But just like playing with penny stocks, the risk was very high.

Good point. Playing with a libertarian cryptocurrency is gambling. Only the people who dedicate their lives to understanding it "deserve" to keep their money.

This is the core flaw of libertarianism: you assume that everybody has the spare attention to worry about everything for themselves all the time. Food inspections? Tough luck! Everyone should know which brands are safe and which brands are risky. Bank inspections? Pshaw! Everyone should know which banks are run well and which banks aren't. It's the victim's fault. Regulation isn't needed because only suckers will lose out.

As long as you can keep convincing suckers that BitCoin is a replacement for a proper currency, you can keep soaking up their money by taking advantage of the fact that the rubes won't be quite as aware as you of the flaws in BitCoin.

about 8 months ago
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Out-of-the-Box, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS To Support TRIM On SSDs

glassware Re:TRIM not always good (133 comments)

This kind of automatic naysaying because of a rare use case is why awesome projects don't move forward. The most vocal objections to progress come from people who rely on an unintended side effect of the interaction between complex pieces of software.

Oh, wait, I forgot. "Terrible news" means "I might actually have to remember to disable TRIM support if I A) buy an SSD, B) use TrueCrypt, and C) rely on shadow volume support."

If you, or anyone, is relying on the plausible deniability feature of truecrypt enough for its failure to be terrible news, I would think you would remember to check whether TRIM was enabled or not before using it.

Heck, maybe even TrueCrypt could write a test to see if TRIM was enabled before allowing you to create a shadow volume. That might be a really useful feature.

about 10 months ago
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Apple Pushes Developers To iOS 7

glassware Re:Everybody happy with iOS7 jailbreak? (336 comments)

Agree.

I didn't realize how much I hated the IOS7 user interface until I accidentally used an app that launched with the IOS6 controls. Oh my god! I could read them. I could see what each item in the scroll bar said. I could identify the differences between states. I could see what the controls were telling me to do.

Then I have to go back to IOS7...

about 10 months ago
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No Child Left Untableted

glassware Re:annual of $214! (214 comments)

My daughter's school just purchased a few classrooms full of iPads, and received a gift from the parent teacher association for electronic whiteboards with projectors.

Yet on the opening day of school I was sent home a list of art supplies (markers, crayons, glue sticks, construction paper) that the school couldn't afford to buy, and they wanted each parent to buy and contribute supplies to the classroom.

about a year ago
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Intel Launches Core I7-4960X Flagship CPU

glassware Re:Die size? (180 comments)

Skip the die size. What's the SPECint and SPECfp? Do processor makers submit these numbers anymore?

Any other metrics are secondary.

about a year ago
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Software Developer Says Mega Master Keys Are Retrievable

glassware Re:Who trusts Mega anyway (136 comments)

I read this as "Sega Master System Keys Are Retrievable." I was sadly disappointed.

about a year ago
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Microsoft's Surface RT Was Doomed From Day One

glassware Re:Slashdot... (442 comments)

The iPhone UI was beautiful, responsive, clear, consistent, and usable.

Metro is none of those things.

It has nothing to do with whether it was "Bill Gates" or "Steve Jobs"; one project was done well, and the other was done badly. Of course, when you think about it, Steve Jobs had a solid design sense and stuck to it. The Microsoft team (not sure exactly who) have absolutely no concept of what a user interface needs to accomplish, and no managers are willing to tell them that their UI designs suck.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Is Sitting On Six Million Unsold Surface Tablets

glassware Re:How can that be? (550 comments)

This is a consistent problem with anything designed in the "Metro" interface. Problem is, Metro lacks a design language to communicate intended usability of the design. Back when GUIs were new and becoming adopted in the mid 80s - early 90s, the Apple design team very carefully ensured that the Mac's user interface communicated at every point a display of what options were available. It used a consistent interface so people could, by exploring, discover all the features that were available. By using consistent "cancel" and "undo" features that were highly prominent, people could feel confident that they could try something, see what happened, and see via group boxes and menus how items related to each other.

Metro lacks all of this. There is no "menu" that lists available tasks. Tasks that aren't available in the current mode aren't greyed out, they're completely invisible; so you have no idea if you're looking in the right place or not. Related objects aren't grouped together. Forms don't layer on top of each other, so you don't know what happened to your old work - did it get lost? If you go back to the old mode will your changes still be there? Have they been saved? Stashed somewhere? Did they take effect?

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

glassware Internships are hard work! (540 comments)

An internship should clearly be:

- For a well-defined project;
- For a limited time;
- Paid (at a basic level);
- As much work for the employer as it is for the intern.

If you're not mentoring your interns heavily, you stand no chance of developing a talent pipeline. I wrote about my experiences with an internship program here: http://www.altdevblogaday.com/2012/04/18/lessons-learned-from-training-interns/

The critical aspect is that you have to have the available bandwidth to mentor and supervise an intern. You have to give them clear goals and a clear chance to succeed.

about a year ago
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First Video Broadcast From Mt. Everest Peak Outrages Tourist Ministry of Nepal

glassware Re:Their country, their rules (204 comments)

Don't like the rules, don't go to the country.

Whether or not it's okay for Nepal to decide on filming rights, please be careful about trotting out this meme.

Mindless deference to authority - "You get to set the rules, I have to obey them or play with someone else" - is what leaves our society stagnant. If something is in fact a stupid rule, it will only get changed when enough people speak up.

about a year ago
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White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

glassware Re:Start here (1145 comments)

Part of the problem is that our imperial metrics are rounded to "convenient multiples of 5" in some cases, and "significant fractions of one" in other cases.

When you see 1 1/4 cups, or 55 mph, or 3 1/2 miles to the exit - there's a good chance that the measurement is inexact or unnecessary. Nobody actually paced out exactly 18,480 feet and placed the "3.5 mile" sign at exactly that spot. They placed the sign and filled in the best available number in the most convenient unit.

We get in trouble when somebody gets assigned the job of adding "km" to all the road signs. The person looks at the text on the sign, plugs it into google, and changes the "3.5 miles" sign to "5.6327 km". That's not helpful! It's no surprise people get upset by that.

If you actually re-measured the road, or simply rounded to a reasonable level, you could replace "3.5 miles" with "5.5 km" and be fine.

about a year ago
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Got a Cell Phone Booster? FCC Says You Have To Turn It Off

glassware Re:When government is involved-everything is polit (245 comments)

Indeed! We're losing access to the common airwaves! I demand a return to a libertarian paradise where anyone can overconsume a shared resource until the resource is so depleted that nobody can have access to it.

Dear libertarian, one day you may learn what Winston Churchill meant by "Democracy is the worst of all possible forms of government, except for all the other forms that have ever been tried." Unfortunately that day is not today.

about a year and a half ago
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Adobe Hopes Pop-up Warnings Will Stop Office-Borne Flash Attacks

glassware Re:Just remove Flash from office machines (125 comments)

The Davidsons did very well indeed. They used their profits from Math Blaster to buy a little videogame company called Silicon & Synapse.

about a year and a half ago
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Steve Jobs Threatened Palm To Stop Poaching Employees

glassware Re:Just exposes the joke of "right to work" (270 comments)

... Because the company invests in these employees ...

Are you really so far on the side of the companies that you fail to see that people should be given freedom? Working for a company does not make you their indentured servant. Your manager does not own you just because you received pay from that person.

Corporate poaching should be encouraged, because if an employee is paid too little relative to their value, how else are they going to share in the gains of the company?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Collect Payments From a Multinational Company?

glassware This is, unfortunately, normal. (341 comments)

Since I didn't see a ton of comments posted by people who have experience with this, I thought I'd add one.

Delayed payment is normal. Large companies have very complex rules about how to make payments and how to process invoices. You must be extremely persistent and gracious in order to get things resolved. Each company will respond differently, but I encourage you to make use of some (if not all) of these following tactics:

1) Get a "Master Vendor Agreement" in place with the customer that states invoicing terms. This contract may take months to negotiate and require guidance from a lawyer. Once this is done, all of your projects should be addendums to this original master vendor agreement. This reduces the amount of paperwork the large multinational company has to do to validate each of your invoices and speeds them up.
2) Provide both a discount for early payment and a penalty for late payment. Annotate these discounts & payments on each invoice. If you carefully track your effort, you can know how much it costs you to track long term overdue payments. You can use this to determine how much of a discount you can offer for prompt payment.
3) Designate someone within your company as the "Accounts Receivable" person. It is their job to contact each customer with an overdue payment once per month (or week). They should very carefully take notes on all of their conversations and correspondence, but they _must_ be friendly and relaxed. The goal is to establish a positive rapport with the "accounts payable" person on the other side. It may take dozens of polite phonecalls to get routed to the correct person though, so you absolutely must be willing to put in the effort while not creating bad will.
4) Be gracious when payment is offered. Many times, companies may refuse to pay late payment fees; you can simply say, "I'll remove the late payment fee if you wire the money by tomorrow".
5) If desired, you can contact your bank to find out if they will finance your receivables. Some banks will provide you with cash up front (and charge you a fee) since they know how this process works.
6) Don't harass your point of contact until the invoice is more than a reasonable amount late. Generally, in a big company, the person who signs the contract doesn't even know the person who actually pays the bill. You want to avoid harassing your point of contact (who is usually your biggest fan) until you really need their help getting the bill paid.
7) Know your customers' "approval limits". Generally, executives at a large company will have specific approval levels - for maybe $500 they can simply file an expense report; for $2500 they have to file one form with one signature, and for more than that they have to get approval from a VP level person. If you can keep your projects small enough, you can bypass some of the challenges.
8) Once you've read lots of advice on slashdot and picked a strategy, contact a lawyer before doing anything. Most lawyers will be able to confirm whether your plans follow the law quickly. It'll only cost you a small amount.

And finally, remember, "managing receivables" is part of the cost of doing business with large companies. Factor it into your project costs.

about 2 years ago
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Redbox Set To Compete With Netflix On Video Streaming

glassware Re:Hardly competition at least for now (119 comments)

Netflix streaming: 60,000 titles

54,328 of which are knock-off movies with titles and cover images suspiciously close to those of Pixar and Dreamworks theatrical releases.

about 2 years ago
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Just Say No To College

glassware Re:Did Zuckerberg ever have to get past HR? (716 comments)

Smart companies can hire effectively by bypassing the resume filters that large companies make mandatory. Smart candidates can get hired effectively by talking directly to hiring managers rather than going through resume filters.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

glassware Re:What is wrong with you? (210 comments)

Thank you for the polite response. I did get a bit carried away in my post, so allow me to clarify.

The basic principle I'm approaching here is that you should design your environment for simplicity of maintenance. Keeping your machines separate makes maintenance easier, it makes disaster recovery easier, it makes documentation easier, it makes upgrades easier, and it makes downgrades easier. The gains just keep on going.

When I managed hundreds of separate machines - or even when I manage only three or four machines - it became very advantageous to have each one isolated from the others. If I have to update a shared component to gain a feature, I know only my one application is going to be affected. If there's a security vulnerability in one of them, and I designed their security correctly, only that one machine is exposed.

It's quite true that, in some cases, you sacrifice some performance. In my experience, from doing this repeatedly over the past few decades, this performance hit is generally negligible. On the other hand, there are surprising gains you can get from keeping your applications separate.

Of course, if you're just a home user or doing this as a hobby, none of the benefits I'm describing make much of a difference.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

glassware What is wrong with you? (210 comments)

This isn't 1999. You have no reason to host your web server, email server, and database server on the same operating system.

You would be well advised to run your web server on one machine, your email server on another machine, and your database server on a third machine. In fact, this is pretty much mandatory. Many standards, such as PCI compliance, require that you separate all of your units.

Take advantage of the technology that has been created over the past 15 years and use a virtualized server environment. Run CentOS with Apache on one instance - and nothing else. Keep it completely pure, clean, and separate from all other features. Do not EVER be tempted to install any software on any server that is not directly required by its primary function.

Keep the database server similarly clean. Keep the email server similarly clean. Six months from now, when the email server dies, and you have to take the server offline to recover things, or when you decide to test an upgrade, you will suddenly be glad that you can tinker with your email server as much as you want without harming your web server.

about 2 years ago

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Finally had to disable advertising

glassware glassware writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I really liked the option to continue displaying advertising on Slashdot. It was nice - I felt like I was allowing them to continue to get revenue from my browsing habit.

But, recently, they started having "sliding" flash advertisements. These ones continuously change the height of the page so it's difficult to read the text beneath it. It made it impossible for me to click the right link - oftentimes, I'd attempt to click on a link only to discover that the page had slid around in the meantime and something else got clicked instead.

So now I had to disable advertising. Thanks for leaving the option there for me :) I wish I could continue to view the advertising on slashdot, but sliding flash ads are just the last straw.

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