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Comments

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Should a Teenage Entrepreneur Sell Out To Facebook?

inKubus Re:Retire at 20 (358 comments)

No, those are Starejets. The Gawkjets are pretty good too, I hear, but I'm a firm supporter of the Gaze Corporation

about 2 years ago
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U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?

inKubus OR- 100% vote by mail (821 comments)

Me too. Had my ballot at my desk at home with my voter booklet will all candidates, measures, statements of support and rejection by both sides and took an hour (while drinking a beer) to read and understand each measure and then vote my desired outcome. Did not blindly vote for a given party, gender, or last name type. Tried to remove incumbents who have been in too long, but kept people who were trying to make a difference but hadn't had time yet ;)

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For Developers To Start Their Own Union?

inKubus Re:NEWS: Higher pay no longer important. (761 comments)

I agree. Doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants have professional cabals, such as the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association, which allow the members to collectively set up price floors and limit entry into the field (and demand standardization of some practices). Members of the AMA, for instance, are by far more loyal to the AMA than to a given hospital they might work for. Any person on the street can't just start practicing medicine or the AMA will have them shut down. The AMA is responsible for all the laws preventing this from happening.

Likewise with lawyers and accountants. You don't want someone doing non-standard accounting and if you're a public company, you are required to have a certified accountant. Is this because it's hard? Not really. It's because the AICPA has lobbied to make that a law. Certainly there are good reasons, but the main reason it's a law is that they lobbied and made it a law.

So what does this mean? It means there's no "free market" for CPAs, Lawyers or Doctors. It's highly regulated by THEMSELVES to prevent a downward spiral of costs and quality, so they essentially run themselves out of business. It's also good for society in general, because of the benefits of standardization and higher quality in these areas. There are not enough doctors right now, and part of it is the AMA, but it will fix itself as they adjust to changing demographics.

IT needs a similar program so we can prevent kids, community college folks, vendor cert people and foreign-outsourced staff from artificially dropping prices, doing non-standard shoddy work, putting security at risk and allowing vendors to participate in their own lock in. The issue right now is that the big vendors are driving the system right now and not the actual professionals doing the work. There's no reason it has to continue to be like this, except that right now it's a growth business so most people in IT are happy with their wages. But sooner or later, supply of work will outstrip demand and the great drop will happen. We need to take steps NOW to get ourselves into a position where we can best serve society and that means making sure we are guaranteed to be the professionals we are, and to make sure anyone claiming to be a professional IT person passes the test of education and experience.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For Developers To Start Their Own Union?

inKubus Re:Apparent to who?? (761 comments)

Yeah, unions aren't really what's needed. Instead, what is needed is a professional cabal which can set things like educational standards, procedures, etc. that are generally practiced by the members. With the membership, you get to participate in price floors set up but the other members, and you know you can wheel into another member's workspace and know they followed the same general procedures you did. This is similar to the AMA and ABA (doctors and lawyers) as well as accounting practices like CPAs have. You would need to get a public license and pass a test to do certain jobs in IT. Other types of engineers have some professional orgs which are similar but not as powerful. We need to keep low-priced, underskilled people out of the business because they cause more problems than they solve. Have a good hierarchy of education, internship and big firms that run things will really help in the long run. IT is really showing signs of maturity now and trust me, we don't want the business to be relegated to plumber or factory worker by getting a worker's union. Even though young kids might feel taken advantage of, wage and hours-wise (and thus suggest unionization), it's really a professional service that requires years of experience to do well and when you make it, you make it big. Why aren't we lobbying to make sure people get the required experience before they handle important IT problems (like other engineers)? Why aren't there standard certs for obvious best practices that are cross-vendor and cross platform? Seems like a union would standardize things, but it would standardize the work rather that the procedures. I could see that for lower end stuff like wiring and system installation, but even helpdesk is a creative job and programmers are frequently making business decisions for businesses who don't even understand what's being done. If you couple that with the way it is now, lack of experience, you have a massive time-bomb. But only we can fix it ourselves, and that's by, as senior IT people, lobbying for standardized licensing and exams for upper level IT jobs so our replacements will continue to carry the torch of good practices and resist the influx of vendor operated cloud services that just exist to promote lock-in and revenue extraction.

about 2 years ago
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Seattle's Creepy Cameraman Pushes Public Surveillance Buttons

inKubus Re:Public surveillance (387 comments)

I think there should definitely be surveillance cameras in the rooms where the other cameras are monitored, which are monitored at a different location by a separate agency.

about 2 years ago
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Seattle's Creepy Cameraman Pushes Public Surveillance Buttons

inKubus Re:Public vs private (387 comments)

Right, it's classic cognitive dissonance due to imperfect information. You can't see the security guard watching the surveillance camera video, so you assume it's fine. Whereas on the street, you are afforded more of a choice and so you take it. Unfortunately this, from an economic prospective, puts security guards with access to surveillance footage at a relative advantage to everyone else as far as having access to video. But what people don't take into account is that the kind of people who are attracted to the job are also the people who enjoy having that relative advantage. Thus, over time, it's likely the worst people you'd want to have access to video footage of you will have it and the people you'd most want to have it won't. Video is video, and that's the point this guy is trying to make. Just because you can face your accuser in this case doesn't make what he's doing any WORSE than other surveilance. But people feel it is because they associate it with a person. Any strong power that can make use of this advantage will have a very strong position of power due to the information imbalance.

about 2 years ago
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What Happened To Diaspora, the Facebook Killer? It's Complicated

inKubus Re:Get with the times (215 comments)

I think it's awesome. Lots of big social groups have a person or two who is good enough at computers to host a pod. From there, you only need to sign up your friends into your pod. Then establish inter-pod relationships. Done. Remember Fidonet? Same idea, but with the internet.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

inKubus Re:"we have guns" . . . (468 comments)

Don't let her distract you. You're in the friend zone. You don't need her. You the man.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Taming a Wild, One-Man Codebase?

inKubus Re:Code versioning and deployment? (151 comments)

Here's what I did, pre-git:

Create svn repo, e.g. svn.company.lan/systems
Create structure ./trunk, ./branches, ./tags
Create a directory for each hostname e.g. ./trunk/sql1, ./trunk/web1, ./trunk/web2, etc.
Then you can svn import configuration directories on the host into the repo, e.g. svn import svn.company.lan/trunk/sql1 /etc
Then check out svn co svn.company.lan/trunk/sql1/etc /etc
From that point forward if you make changes locally you can svn ci OR you can make them externally (i.e. in a test environment) then svn up to update your local conf
I keep the same directory structure, so if I have some tomcat conf like /opt/jira/tomcat/conf it will be in svn as svn.company.lan/trunk/web1/opt/jira/tomcat/conf

With some scripts, I automated the process and since then it's been really easy to maintain. I understand that cfengine is quite a bit more complex and can do a lot more, like verifying your configuration and that sort of thing, but for a small shop this is good enough to prevent Oh Shit moments with minimal extra work and almost no maintenance.

Need to make a change? First, check in to make sure repo has latest version. Make your changes, restart your daemons..if it works, check in. If it doesn't work you can keep working or svn revert back to the previous version.

With git, you'd have a similar thing but the repo would be local and you'd have to find a way to back it up, or you could have something like stash running to be a central hub. DO NOT use github to store configs out of habit, because sometimes conf files have private keys and stuff and it is extremely likely that github will be targeted by crackers at some point. Svn is real easy to set up on a random utility server or even a workstation...

about 2 years ago
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Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal

inKubus Re:Time will tell (466 comments)

I think it has to have something to do with the headhunter business. The issue they are going to have is that everyone on Slashdot is good and doesn't need a job.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Patents Whacking Your Phone To Silence It

inKubus Re:That this is patenteable AT ALL (214 comments)

Microsoft's whacking off displays patent system mental masturbation. Film at 11.

about 2 years ago
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Intel Confirms Decline of Server Giants

inKubus Re:Your first server, in 2012 (152 comments)

Well, assuming you're just doing file stuff, one of the commonly available NAS solutions with a box full of disks and multiple file protocols would work great. If you're tiny, your external webserver will be at dreamhost or something (I might have said GoDaddy here in 2008), because you're not going to have a real network connection. More likely your network will be on par with your server equipment and it'll be a cable modem or DSL. Personally, and this has been my business niche a LONG time, so I hate to say this, but if you're under 25 employees, you can get by with just a great internet connection and Google or Windows Live or one of the other cloud apps services. If, and this is a big if, you don't need the data to do your work. For instance, if you're a plumbing company, and you can just do the work and then account for it later with paper slips or something, cloud apps are probably reliable enough.

The thing is, Dell and HP were never in this niche in a big way anyway. I mean, Windows SBS (Small Business Server) never sold many units, and it was designed to be a single server OS in a small office. I think what's really going on is that we've been in a recession, and so big companies have been buying fewer servers. Secondly, computers have gotten too powerful for the standard business workloads and if you combine this with the tendency over the past few years to do horizontal scaling in the CPU (i.e. more cores, not faster clock speeds), you have a lot of unused capacity if you stick with the old "one server per service" mantras. So, people have been virtualizing, building the "private clouds" where you have fewer more powerful hardware units and you split them up in software.

What's crazy is that this has been IBM's like bread and butter since the late 80's when AS 400 and then later zOS came out. For them it's always been about one big hardware unit and cutting it up. Hell, you can go back to the 60's timesharing computers and see "cloud" computing.

So, there you have it. Dell, HPaq have probably been selling fewer servers, and IBM is probably selling fewer due to the recession. On the consumer side, there's obviously Apple to blame for a lot of the desktop erosion, but again, we've been in a recession, everyone who wants a computer probably has one, and there hasn't been a compelling reason or need for new faster hardware.

about 2 years ago
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Intel Confirms Decline of Server Giants

inKubus Re:If Google sold servers... (152 comments)

Cloud computing is a fad. The reason why is BGP. BGP means that there's nothing but statistical luck that your connection to your data will go through. The biggest companies in the world (and the largest purchasers of IT equipment) will not ever use it. It will always be relegated to the consumer and the small business, who don't have much to lose if they can't access the data.

At some point, some genius will invent a new internet protocol that will enable the data to be stored local to the owner but can also be securely and easily shared with everyone. And it won't depend on border routing arrangements but instead will be a true autonomous mesh. At that point, the 2010-2012 "cloud" (e.g. outsourced managed software/storage/hardware? as a service) will become the 2016 "cloud" of distributed services and storage. It's just right now there's a flood of computer illiterate who "grew up" on Facebook and the web and don't know any other way. The idea of having to deal with files and names and stuff is just too hard. And god forbid having to teach your devices to talk to each other rather than one parent in the sky. Pft. Get off my lawn.

about 2 years ago
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GoDaddy Goes Down, Anonymous Claims Responsibility

inKubus Re:It was NOT Anonymous. (483 comments)

When I saw that Godaddy was down, I lol'd (since I have nothing hosted with them since around 2007 when they deleted 6 virtual servers of which they and I did not have backups of).. So I'd say the anonymous responsible was carrying on the mission of anonymous pretty well, because I lol'd.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?

inKubus Re:CRC (440 comments)

For the lazy, here are 3 more tools:
fdupes, duff, and rdfind.

Duff claims it's O(n log n), because they:

Only compare files if they're of equal size.
Compare the beginning of files before calculating digests.
Only calculate digests if the beginning matches.
Compare digests instead of file contents.
Only compare contents if explicitly asked.
 

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math?

inKubus Re:Field dependent requirement (1086 comments)

I agree with your post and I want to add some comments. I think the applied calculus such as that used in economics (Lagrange multipliers, etc.) are far more useful to the majority of programmers (or anyone, really) in a business setting than the applied calculus such as that used in physics. Even if they are almost the same (or are the same) mathematically, it's the linking of the math to the real world to do practical problem solving that is useful in business. Unfortunately, the need for calculation of physics is fairly limited these days, with most of that constrained to the gaming programmers. Rather than attempt to describe the physical world, as physics does, economics is more concerned with social problems such as resource allocation and the like. Say what you will about the dismal science but we ALL buy things, use money, and pretty much live our lives in the pursuit and consumption of resources. Very few of us (although at Slashdot this is less true than in most circles) need to calculate electrical fields or magnetism or orbits or oscillators, nor would being able to understand those phenomena have any real impact on our lives.

That being said, I hold the great physicists of our time and time past up for their often pioneering practical applications of mathematical theory, proving they have worth in the most tangible ways. Their efforts have blazed the trail for other disciplines to use advanced mathematics to attempt to further describe our environment. But I think physics (the what) is pretty much done and we have to start looking at relationships and resource needs to further advance society (the why), and the calculus is just as useful there. Of course at the end of the day our brains are chemical machines subject to the laws of physics but I'm assuming it'll be quite a while before we need to take human behavior all the way back to the physical realm and get a value equal to what we could get from a more economic and systemic analysis.

about 2 years ago
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Chaos Monkey Released Into the Wild

inKubus Re:Into the wild? (76 comments)

To clarify what I specifically wrote in my post, Amazon.com (Amazon's application, where they make the money), has not been down in a long time. The Virgina EC2 outage only affected the excess capacity they resell to AWS customers. I'm not singling out Netflix and I'm not saying that this is a bad or horrible or un-useful tool. I appreciate all the stuff Netflix is open-sourcing.

about 2 years ago
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Chaos Monkey Released Into the Wild

inKubus Re:Into the wild? (76 comments)

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post, I appreciate it.

about 2 years ago
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Mac OS X Mountain Lion Gets Three Million Downloads In 4 Days

inKubus Re:Actual title should be (397 comments)

You can drag a file from your File Open box to the new finder window and it'll go to it's location. Also, you can drag the little icon at the top of an open document (provided it's fully saved) to any finder window, or to file fields in the web browser. You are forced to get into this mentality of not worrying about where shit is while you're moving it around, just about where it's going. Which can be nice sometimes and frustrating other times.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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The Empire Strikes Back turns 30 today

inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

inKubus (199753) writes "May 21, 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the iconic Episode Six of the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strikes Back. Spike TV will feature a Star Wars movie marathon featuring the original trilogy on Saturday, May 22 (1:00 PM – 3:30 AM, ET/PT), as well as play the movie in Times Square on MTV's 44 foot movie board. The Star Wars website is also selling XBox Live avatars. Maxim put out some previously unreleased photos showing some set pieces and the equipment to shoot the opening crawl. And last but not least, the original theatrical trailer with a voiceover by Harrison Ford."
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Deadline for Data.gov arrives, and delivers?

inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

inKubus (199753) writes "According to a story on the wires, as part of President Barack Obama's "Open Government Directive," the 24 major departments and agencies that make up the federal government had until Friday to release at least three "high-value" data sets. Over 300 new data sets have been released on data.gov. There's a lot of interesting stuff on there and more to come."
Link to Original Source
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New Record in Pac Man

inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

inKubus writes "40-year-old David Race of Beaver Creek, OH has become the 6th gamer in history to gain a perfect score on the original Pac-Man video arcade game. Even more noteworthy is the fact that he's done it in faster time than any gamer in history, putting him at the top of a short list of gamers who have acheived perfection on the original arcade machine."
Link to Original Source
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Duke Nukem Never

inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 5 years ago

inKubus writes "There's a story at the BBC reporting that game design firm 3D Realms has gone bust and publisher Take Two is halting any further funding for the Duke Nukem Forever project.

Guardian newspaper games writer Steve Boxer said it was astonishing 3D Realms had not finished the game after more than a decade of development. "It would have been nice to see another Duke Nukem game, but given they had more than 12 years it's just incompetence of the highest order. 3D Realms made some great games in the past, but they got overtaken by the 21st Century. Sadly, Duke Nukem Forever was the most aptly named title in the history of games. Now, it's just Duke Nukem Never."

"
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Yellowstone Caldera Rising

inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

inKubus (199753) writes "As has been reported (here), a team from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California, reports that the Yellowstone Valley is now rising more than 3 times faster than usual. Using satellite radar surveys and a growing array of Global Positioning System stations around the caldera, they have tracked the valley's rate of uplift going from about 2 centimeters per year — the average pace from 1923 until 2004 — to 7 centimeters annually over the past 3 years. "We've had a marked change," says geophysicist and co-author Robert Smith of the University of Utah. Keep up to date at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory."
Link to Original Source
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NYPD Report Says Young Men are Terrorists

inKubus inKubus writes  |  about 7 years ago

inKubus writes "According to this story from the AP, Average citizens who quietly band together and adopt radical ways pose a mounting threat to American security that could exceed that of established terrorist groups like al-Qaida, a new police analysis has concluded.

The New York Police Department report released Wednesday describes a process in which young men adopt a philosophy that puts them on a path to violence. It also says that more prempetive intelligence gathering is needed since most potential homegrown terrorists "have never been arrested or involved in any kind of legal trouble".

They "look, act, talk and walk like everyone around them," the study adds. In the early stages of their radicalization, these individuals rarely travel, are not participating in any kind of militant activity, yet they are slowly building the mind-set, intention and commitment to conduct (terrorism). Although they continually mention Islam, it's pretty obvious they are referring to all young men, and want to increase their surveilance powers to "make sure (young men) aren't going the 'wrong way'.""

Link to Original Source
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inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

inKubus writes "A Chinese research team has used carbon nanotubes loaded with rhodium nanoparticles as reactors to convert a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into ethanol, it has been reported. The team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics found that nanotube encapsulated rhodium nanoparticles exhibited greater catalytic activity than dispersed rhodium nanoparticles. The development is regarded as significant since it represents the first time that the selectivity and activity of a metal-catalyzed gas phase reaction has been shown to improve from having taken place inside a nanosized carbon nanotechnology vessel. See also the article in Nature Materials."
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inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

inKubus writes "The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations. The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone. Mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call." The software works with the phone on or off and the only way to disable may be to remove the battery."
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inKubus inKubus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

inKubus (199753) writes "Core 77 among other places reported on a list of strange units of measurement, online at Wikipedia. The Big Mac index (purchasing power relative to the cost of a Big Mac), Nibbles (4 bits) and Scoville heat units (hotness of a chili pepper) as just a few of the units discussed. Unfortunately missing is the "fonzarelli", a unit of coolness that is only quoted as a fraction of one "fonz"."

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