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Comments

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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

innocent_white_lamb Re:Cash Needs To Go Away (753 comments)

"Cashless" is also a giant vacuum sucking service fees back to the banks and so on. Retailers pay a certain amount per transaction to a payment processor, even if you the customer don't pay directly. Think that doesn't come out of your pocket in the end through higher prices?

Just imagine how much money you would have if you got a penny for every transaction conducted in every North American Wal-mart for just one day -- you could retire several times over and still afford fuel for your yachts!

Are we really in that much of a hurry to keep giving more money to the banks?

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

innocent_white_lamb Biometrics (753 comments)

From the article:
 
  Biometrics will also make fraud virtually impossible â" identification is yours and yours alone, and therefore very hard to copy.
 
And impossible to change if it is somehow copied. (See: Fingerprints made from gummy bears", for example.)
 
How is this a good idea again?

about two weeks ago
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Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

innocent_white_lamb Re:Administrators (538 comments)

I beg to disagree.

The largest collection of human knowledge ever assembled is right here on your desktop, and mine. I live in a rural area, and I can immediately look up pretty much anything that I'm interested in finding out, and get more information about it in more formats than were ever available to ANYONE in the 20th century or before, regardless of whether they were at a university or not.

There is absolutely no need to run to a library or purchase a book that may already be out of date.

Earlier today I watched a video demonstrating how a synchro-mesh transmission works. Never knew that before; never knew how a transmission worked at all, in fact. Now I do. Does that change my world view? Is it an earth-shattering accomplishment? No.

However, what I learn by reading and viewing thing online do enrich my life to a huge extent. How to write a computer program. How to waterproof a basement. When I'm reading a book (ebook) and come across a reference to Hadrian's Wall, I can immediately look it up and read more about that if I'm interested. And so on.

When provided with this huge pool of available knowledge, some folks use it to read about Brittany Spears. But that's not the only thing it's good for.

It's never been easier, cheaper and simpler to be an autodidact than it is today. You don't have to walk past your front door, unless you want to.

about a month ago
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Is LG's New Ultra Widescreen Display Better Than "Normal" 4K?

innocent_white_lamb Linux compatibility? (304 comments)

Does it work on Linux, specifically Centos/RHEL? is any particular video card required or should it work with what I already have (Intel graphic something built into the motherboard).

I'm not into gaming but I do like the idea of a bigger desktop and workspace!

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other?

innocent_white_lamb Re:To be fair... (253 comments)

But why should the support staff waste their time repetitively answering a question that is already answered in a customer forum?
 
Because that's their job and the paying customers require that service as part of what they have paid for.

about 2 months ago
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Court Orders Marvell To Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.5B For Patent Infringement

innocent_white_lamb Re:Taxpayer subsidized? (85 comments)

The benefit to the public is that you and I should (would) have the same right to use the results of that research for commercial enterprise (or anything else) too.

Note that I didn't ask if this is a public or a private university; that's irrelevant to the issue at hand. I asked if it's being taxpayer subsidized. I suspect that you would be hard pressed to find a "significant" university in the USA (or anywhere else) that isn't taxpayer subsidized, frankly. Therefore, their research should be placed in the public domain.

That's my opinion; you're free to disagree, of course.

about 3 months ago
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Court Orders Marvell To Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.5B For Patent Infringement

innocent_white_lamb Taxpayer subsidized? (85 comments)

Is this university taxpayer subsidized? If so, why is the research not being made available for use by those who have already paid for it, i.e. the taxpayers?

Tax-funded research should be in the public domain.

Period.

about 3 months ago
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US Military Drones Migrating To Linux

innocent_white_lamb Re:time for a new public licence (197 comments)

The folks using these things will argue that they're operating on the side of the "good guys", so they still fit within the parameters of that license.

about 3 months ago
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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

innocent_white_lamb Are they allowed to do that? (244 comments)

I thought that any bolt-ons for apps had to be sold through the Apple Store so they could collect their 30% cut.

Not that I've paid much attention to Apple stuff in general, but I did get that impression from somewhere.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

innocent_white_lamb I use tuxcards (170 comments)

I use tuxcards. I used gnote for quite a while but I find tuxcards makes it easier for me to visualize what I have.

I don't keep huge piles of notes in it, though -- mostly things like to-do lists.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

innocent_white_lamb Re:Commodore Amiga 3000T (702 comments)

I bought one of those with my allowance when I was about the same age. It's currently occupying space on a shelf about six feet away from where I'm sitting now. It works as well today as it did when I first bought it.

about 3 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

innocent_white_lamb Re:Over 18 (632 comments)

I don't think your link has the complete story. You can find lots of information about this issue with a google search for facta (the name of a new US law that's trying to pull more people into the IRS dragnet) but here is one article that lays it out fairly succinctly:

U.S. citizens on the other hand, have an ongoing obligation to declare and report their worldwide income to the U.S.A., regardless of where they reside. U.S. citizens who have permanently departed the U.S.A. and have become full-time permanent residents of Canada are still required to file U.S. income taxes on an annual basis with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The only way for U.S. citizens to avoid this would be to go through a process to renounce their U.S. citizenship, which is not practical or desirable for most people. Therefore, a U.S. citizen who resides in Canada is essentially subject to the same U.S. filing requirements as they would if they continued to reside in the U.S.A. This means filing U.S. Form 1040 every year, and reporting worldwide income.

The bottom line for U.S. citizen residents of Canada is that they must file two returns each year â" a Canadian income tax return because they reside in Canada, and a U.S. return based on being a U.S. citizen. The Tax Treaty between Canada and U.S.A. has several mechanisms available know as foreign tax credits, to make sure the person does not have to pay duplicate taxes to both countries.

Original article here

about 3 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

innocent_white_lamb Re:Over 18 (632 comments)

If you're a US citizen you do have to file with the IRS every year, even if you don't live in the US and don't have any income in the US.

The only way out of it is to renounce your US citizenship.

about 3 months ago
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

innocent_white_lamb Re:Vice and Frodo 64 (165 comments)

A lot of stuff isn't up to much on the Android C64 emulator, but I highly recommend that you try Leaderboard Golf. Leaderboard Golf looks and works just like it was made for Android phones.

about 4 months ago
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

innocent_white_lamb Vice and Frodo 64 (165 comments)

I use Vice on my desktop computer and Frodo C64 on my Android phone. Accordingly, I don't need an extra gadget to play with my Commodore 64.

Gamebase64 has everything you never needed to know about C64 games, Girls of '64 for everything in 8-bit nudity, and AppsnToolsBase64 for everything in utilities, business and productivity applications.

All c64 programs are tiny in modern terms; an uncompressed 1541 floppy disk image is only 170k. So you can carry every significant Commodore 64 program that was every released on a single flash drive or on your phone, and have plenty of room to spare.

about 4 months ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

innocent_white_lamb Re:Why not a "$0" only option (240 comments)

That would be me. I've never spent a penny on apps for my Android phones or tablets.

What do I have on my phone right now:

terminal ide
firefox
FBreader
VXConnectbot
920 Text Editor
Nethack
FrodoC64
JFrotz
AndFTP
Wifi Analyzer by farproc
Hacker's Keyboard
winamp
network info II
skyfm
coop
servestream
android-vnc-viewer
k9mail
es file manager
zarchiver
kingsoft office
x11 server by darkside
soundhound
diskusage by ivan volosik
cbc radio
colordict
colornote notepad notes
Canada weather & radar by fish & whistle
rfo basic
QR Code Reader by Scan Inc
speedtest.net
camscanner phone pdf creator
adosbox
vim-touch
f-droid
F-DROID APPS
---------------
solitaire
mahjongg builder
opendocument reader
droidfish
callerid
freeshisen
puzzles
From Samsung Apps:
Samsung TTS HD US English

Haven't paid a penny for any of it yet.

about 4 months ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

innocent_white_lamb Re:Pretty close to zero (240 comments)

Honest question: What does Moon+ ebook reader do for $4.99 that FBReader doesn't do for free?

I've never looked at Moon+, but FBReader runs great on my computers, phones and tablets and does what it's supposed to do. The only feature I'd like to see added is a way to automatically sync the page that you're on between all of the devices, but I can see where that could be a problem; where do you store the central page number repository that you would probably need do do that.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Got your flying car right here!

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about 3 months ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Well, it's actually a flying truck, But close enough.

The Black Knight Transformer is a supply truck that's capable of carrying a 4000 pound payload and can be flown like a helicopter or driven over rough terrain. You can remove the drive train and replace it with an amphibious boat hull if you happen to need a flying boat instead of a flying truck.

Either way, it's a cool gadget that's currently under development for the US military."

Link to Original Source
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Lost smartphones usually probed for private data

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about 4 months ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Security software company Symantec dropped 10 phones in each of six Canadian cities and waited to see if they would be returned. Among the questions that Symantec wanted to answer with the study was how persistent people would be in poking around a found phone.

The odds of having a lost cellphone returned are just a little better than 50/50, while the chances of it being probed by its finder are close to 100 per cent, according to the results of the experiment. Each phone was preloaded with icons for phoney apps designed to tempt the finders into tapping on them. Tracking software recorded what they couldn't resist peeking at."

Link to Original Source
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Ford replacing Microsoft Windows with Blackberry's QNX in new vehicles

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about 5 months ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Ford has announced that their in-vehicle technology called Sync will be based on Blackberry's QNX operating system and will no longer use Microsoft Windows.
My own 2013 Ford Escape has the Windows-based Sync system. I wonder if they will issue an update to change it to QNX."

Link to Original Source
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Seismic firm sues (former) customers over regulators' releasing data

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about 7 months ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Geophysical Service Inc. maps the ocean floor and then licenses that data to oil drilling companies. However, they are required to submit their data to various regulatory agencies in order to get a permit to do the mapping. Its customers can then get the data from those agencies for free. Therefore, Geophysical Services Inc. has sold its ships and hasn't booked any revenue at all since 2009.

Instead of doing any mapping, they now spend 95% of their time suing government departments, regulatory agencies and their former customers. "I do this 10 hours a day," said chief operating officer Paul Einarsson. "This is all I do."

The regulators argue that the data is not protected by copyright, that the data is not an "original work", and that their release of the data is in the public interest.

GSI uses Access to Information requests to find out if their data has been released to other parties, and then file lawsuits against those other parties."

Link to Original Source
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Who is liable when a self-driving car crashes?

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about 7 months ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Current laws make the driver of a car responsible for any mayhem caused by that vehicle. But what happens when there is no driver? This article argues that the dream of a self-driving car is futile since the law requires that the driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Therefore, even if a car is self-driving, you as the driver must stay alert and pay attention. No texting, no reading, no snoozing. So what's the point of a self-driving car if you can't relax or do something else while "driving"?"
Link to Original Source
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Canadian military developing stealth snowmobile

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "The Canadian military is currently testing a $620,000 hybrid-electric stealth snowmobile. Testing includes speed, towing capacity, endurance, mobility, usability, and of course, noise emissions.

The testing and most other information about the stealth snowmobile is secret and very little information has been released other than the fact that it does exist. One document reads ""The noise level of an internal combustion engine cannot be reduced to an acceptable level for missions where covertness may be required, especially given the increased propagation of sound in cold, dry, Arctic air". Therefore, National Defence's research agency is "pursuing the development of a 'silent' snowmobile for winter operations in Canada, specifically in the Arctic."

Michael Byers, an Arctic policy expert, questions the need for a stealth snowmobile. "I don't see a whole lot of evidence that criminals and terrorists are scooting around Canada's North on snowmobiles and that we have to sneak up on them," he said."

Link to Original Source
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1-800-Got-Junk using data analytics to combat fraud

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes ""For [the] junk removal business, it’s financial fraud that poses the greatest danger. Money is frequently moving between customers, truck drivers and corporate staff, and cash can go missing if people aren’t paying attention." 1-800-Got-Junk uses advanced software to analyze where the money is going. "For instance, Junk Net can quickly calculate the average job size, average job transaction cost and average dumping costs over a 30-day period. If the job size and transaction costs fall but the dumping costs remain the same, then there’s a chance that money is going missing.""
Link to Original Source
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Outsourcing for someone who knows nothing about programming

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "An acquaintance of mine who owns an small business is trying to outsource a programming project by putting it up for bid/proposal on some of the "offshore freelance coder" websites. She personally knows nothing about programming, which is why she is putting it out for bid in the first place. The proposals that she is getting apparently vary by a factor of about four in terms of time required and cost, and the lowest costs don't necessarily correspond to the least time required for the project. Since there is such a huge variation in the proposals and since she knows nothing about programming other than "this is what I want it to do", how can she evaluate the proposals and avoid getting screwed, especially since the proposals she is getting come from "far away places" where she likely wouldn't have much recourse in the event of a problem. What happens if it doesn't work the way that she thinks it will after she's paid for it?"
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Naked scammers blackmail men on web

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Police in Singapore have received many reports of a blackmail ring that uses attractive women to seduce men via webcam/chat. "They would commence a webcam conversation with the victims and initiate cybersex by undressing themselves first before persuading the male victims to appear nude or perform sexual acts in front of the webcams", according to the Singapore Police Force. The victim then received an email and/or phone call demanding $50,000."
Link to Original Source
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Student expelled from Montreal college for finding "sloppy coding"

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "In what appears to be a more-and-more common occurrence, Ahmed Al-Khabez has been expelled from Dawson College in Montreal after he discovered a flaw in the software that the college (and apparently all other colleges across Quebec) uses to track student information.

His original intention was to write a mobile app to allow students to access their college account more easily, but during the development of his app he discovered "sloppy coding" that would allow anyone to access all of the information that the system contains about any student.

He was initially ordered to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that he would never talk about the flaw that he discovered, and he was expelled from the college shortly afterward."

Link to Original Source
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Scrabble needs a new scoring system

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "A researcher says that some letters are over valued and some are under-valued in Scrabble, due to recent changes to the lists of allowable words. Z and X are now much easier to play and should be worth less, while U, M and G should be worth more than they are now. Joshua Lewis wrote a program to re-calculate the value of each letter to better reflect the current usage. The co-president of the North American Scrabble Players Association says that he often hears criticism of Scrabble's scoring system, but any change would bring about "catastrophic outrage". A spokesman for Mattel says that they have no plans to change the game."
Link to Original Source
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Red announces 4K digital cinema player and distribution system

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Red has announced the availability of their Redray player (4k resolution video player) as well as Odemax, which is a distribution system for independent filmmakers to get their movies into both homes and movie theatres.

The hardware aspect of this is neat, but the distribution system could be disruptive to the current Hollywood studio system (and the MPAA)

An official announcement regarding the Odemax distribution system will be made at the Sundance Film Festival."

Link to Original Source
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Canada dismisses U.S. concern over fake military parts

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "While a US Congressional investigation found over 1800 cases involving over one million counterfeit parts from China in American-made military equipment, the Canadian defence minister isn't concerned, even though Canada purchases its military equipment from the same contractors as the US does."
Link to Original Source
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How a techie can deal with a pacemaker

innocent_white_lamb innocent_white_lamb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "My wife got a pacemaker last Thursday and now that she's home we are finding
that we have to make a few changes.

She (and I) spend a lot of time on our computers. She told me that she felt
dizzy after sitting in front of her computer for several minutes, and I figured
out that it was her wireless Microsoft mouse that was at fault, probably
because she has her hand right on a radio transmitter when using the mouse. I
removed that and replaced it with a wired mouse. She felt much better
immediately after I removed the wireless mouse, so that was obviously at least
part of the problem.

I am also thinking that I could move her computer far away from her if I
have to, using USB extension cables and a monitor extension cable. I haven't
done that yet, though — I'm not sure if it will be necessary or not.

I did get her a wired phone for her today to put on computer desk to replace the
wireless phone that she has been using up to now.

This all amounts to ongoing experimentation to find out what's going to work
and be beneficial, and what won't.

Do any of you folks have any experience with this pacemaker stuff? Any
suggestions for what I can do to minimize or eliminate anything that might
affect her pacemaker?

It's a whole new world of learning for both of us."

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