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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

jd142 Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

*THIS* The other thing I wondered about is the different expectations. If your instructor still thinks myspace is where the cool kids hangout, does that mean the instructor knows less? From a student's point of view, yeah, it does, because the instructor doesn't know what the students think is important. Which is where to get the good porn on tumblr (or whatever the kids use these days). And the instructors might even feel the same way. The good teachers who know there stuff and care about the kids may undervalue their abilities because they don't think they can reach the kids on their level because the teacher is still on facebook and the kids are on to the latest. Why, those teachers may still think email is relevant. To a 15 year old, email might as well be the telegraph.

about two weeks ago
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Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware

jd142 Versioning (181 comments)

A lot of people have been talking about backups and the fact that even your backups can be compromised. And that's true. The solution is versioning and rotation. If I'm compromised today, the files on Crashplan will be uploaded as encrypted files. But since they have versioning, I can go back 30 days or so and get the older versions. I may lose some data depending on how long I've been infected, but I'll be able to get some data back. The only other solution is to run a daily/weekly/monthly backup scheme that keeps your monthly backups for a year (or longer if you are really paranoid). It means you need 5 separate disks for each week and then another 12 for each month, which most people aren't going to want to do. Eventually the ransomware people will get patient and encrypt your files but allow access for 3-6 months before telling you.

about three weeks ago
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Nest Will Now Work With Your Door Locks, Light Bulbs and More

jd142 Google knows all (163 comments)

everything from washing machines to light bulbs will be connected with the Nest platform

So now when we say Google knows our dirty laundry, it won't be a metaphor.

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

jd142 Re:No... (598 comments)

Really? As much as people love to complain about Microsoft? This is the company that brought the phrase blue screen of death into the language. And that's not counting the /. crowd. Very few companies elicit the glee that people get when announcing yet another MS bug.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

jd142 Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

Well, yes, in the same way that Socrates is mortal because Socrates died.

The thing is, in the good ol' US of A, where less than 10 years ago you could be a felon for owning 6 dildos, we can be pretty darn stupid. http://www.dumblaws.com/law/938. Yes, the law was overturned, but just one example of the way we are tough on crime. And here's some fun with our drug laws. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/938774/how-tough-nebraska-pot-possession-depends-county I like the quote “Let’s say you have a marijuana brownie,” Steller explained. “We would prosecute you for the possession of hash which is a class 4 felony.”

about 2 months ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jd142 Re:But the case hasn't even started! (119 comments)

That's not arbitrary; that's a firm and understandable rule. Arbitrary would be if my 10 million dollar donation got me a law in my favor and yours did not. :)

Just like the rule I learned in copyrights class: The Mouse always wins. That means that no matter what the law is or how it has always been interpreted, Disney gets what it wants.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

jd142 Problems? (408 comments)

What type of problems? Is she installing a bunch of ad toolbars? So many install in the user folder, so no admin rights are necessary. Some of the pop-up malware doesn't need to have admin rights to infect the pc. They drop the executable in the appdata folder or a subfolder with a randomized name and start up from HKCU\software\microsoft\windows\start so it is all in the user's area. Try firefox (or chrome) with adblock and change the shortcut icon to the IE icon. Migrate bookmarks and few people will notice the difference.

Does she just hibernate the computer and rarely reboots, so you get slowness because of memory leaks?

I'll second the suggestion to upgrade from vista to 7. From a user's perspective they are practically identical in look and feel. Only a few icons have changed and I'll bet you can find a skin for 7 to make it look exactly like vista.

I like the tablet suggestions, but if the person is really change adverse, that can be a big shock. I hate to say it, but windows rt might be the best way to transition her to a tablet. If you like the idea of a tablet, try a Kindle as a cheap way to test the waters.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Store Data In Hard Copy?

jd142 Re:Online backup (329 comments)

It's future proof for several reasons:
--A cloud service(I'll use Google Drive as an example, but there are many) is distributed, with backups, and will shift data over to new technology as needed. Pretend Google Drive started off 30 years ago. At the time, they'd probably store your data on tape(yeah, yeah, slow access times, but that's not the point of this example). Then they switch over to ide hard drives. Then they make the switch to scsi, then sata. 5 years from now they switch to SuperDuperSSD. From your perspective, none of that matters. From your perspective, you put data on Google Drive, you take data off Google Drive. The technology they store it on doesn't matter and is going to change and adapt as new tech comes on line. I put my money in the bank, I take my money out of the bank. I don't care what the bank does or how they store it, I just want my money.

--A cloud service is redundant. When Lex Luthor finally causes that earthquake and makes California slide into the Pacific, your data is still safe on one of the other server centers that Google has, just for that emergency.

--A cloud service is stable. A major cloud service like Google Drive is not going to disappear overnight. Unless something causes the government to seize all of their servers at once, with no warning, and in a way that would never let you get your data back. That is highly unlikely as of today. So even if Google goes bankrupt, you will be able to see it coming and get your data back from them before the cut off date. Besides, you said this is a backup of a backup. So your original storage place is destroyed, your off-site backup is destroyed, and Google is destroyed utterly with no backups and no way to access that data. All three of those things have to happen at the same time. If all three of those happen on the same day, you will have more to worry about because someone probably dropped the big bombs.

--Someone else takes care of operating the server room. In another response, you wrote: "if I put it on a server now, I have to keep that server going for the next 10 or 20 years." With a cloud based service, that isn't an issue. I don't know why any person(not company) today would bother putting up their own server, except as a hobbyist's exercise. Or unless you are insanely paranoid.

--Access from anywhere. Seriously, if your first two backups are gone and the entire internet is down for more than a day and you need the data immediately, either one or two things will happen. Either people will understand that something very bad happened and they will make allowances for that knowing that you can get the data when the internet is backup. Or they've dropped the bombs and your main concern is radiation poisoning and the hordes of mutant zombies.

--A cloud service has zero to no cost. You get gigabytes of data for free and you said this is under a meg.

Seriously, as a backup to a backup, you have really over thought this. Now if you want to do something as a cool thing to do, that's fine and good and proper. Pick the QR codes or whatever strikes your fancy. But if your concern is availability and future proofing, just stick it on a backup service. Doesn't have to be google. There are four or five top tier online storage companies that aren't going anywhere in the immediate future. And if you happen to pick the wrong horse, just download the file before they go under and pick a different one. Microsoft's live drive actually meets the FERPA standard for data security if that's a concern, but you said it wasn't.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Replacing a TI-84 With Software On a Linux Box?

jd142 How do you stand it? (254 comments)

A whole 5 seconds for a graph to be plotted. My god, I'm surprised you've been able to keep your temper in check. Having a violent fit and throwing your calculator across the room is the reasonable, adult response.

First world problem.

more than 2 years ago
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Webhosting For A Large Art Project?

jd142 modwest (137 comments)

I've been very happy with http://www.modwest.com over the last 10+ years. Their basic plan is $7/month, but have more expensive plans if you need it. They have unlimited(within reason of course) because they know that only a small percentage of users come close to any limits they would set.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data Remanence Solutions?

jd142 DBAN (209 comments)

DBAN, Darik's Boot and Nuke, will wipe a hard drive to any of several government standards. If they are fine with mere software disposal of data, then DBAN is the way to go. http://www.dban.org/.

If they insist on physical destruction, I'm sure there are companies in your area that will handle that for you.

more than 3 years ago
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Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

jd142 Re:Tabtop momentum building (332 comments)

I'm sorry but.....why? WTF would you want ARM on the desktop? Are you living in a mud hut in Zambundi and don't have any electricity to spare for a desktop?

Lets be honest folks, the big selling point of ARM is how cheap it is on batteries. Well guess what you do NOT need when you are inside? Why that would be a battery! See that plug on the wall right in front of you?

You know, it's just possible some people might want to conserve electricity. Or even shave a couple of bucks off the old electricity bill. Just because you can use a resource, doesn't mean you should. I have running water, but I don't just leave the faucet on all day in case I might want a glass of water.

I don't know, but if you had one of those little portable solar cells, could you just power an arm laptop anywhere?

more than 3 years ago
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Google+ Enters Open Beta

jd142 Wave (188 comments)

I know, let's all discuss this on Google Wave! After all, Wave has massive potential for business users, http://mashable.com/2009/12/18/google-wave-business/. With 19 Educational uses, http://www.soyouwanttoteach.com/the-power-of-potential-19-educational-uses-for-google-wave/.

Unfortunately, I can't find the uptake numbers for Wave. Of course, just because one product flops doesn't mean the next must too. It's just that one of the reasons Wave probably failed was that it didn't offer people anything they weren't already getting somewhere else and they were too entrenched to change. People who needed real time collaboration already had mature products available to them, Elluminate, Contribute (or whatever it was in 2009), Live Meeting, or even GoTo Meeting. For people who didn't need the collaboration, Wave was an answer to a question no one asked. Even in 2009, Facebook was "good enough" for people.

So what about Google+? Does the minor difference in features warrant changing off facebook? Probably not. Does it offer anything outstandingly new or innovative? Probably not. Are people even more entrenched in their facebook lives now than in 2009? Probably. Add to that the real name policy and the inability to work with non-european names and there's even less reason to move.

Way back at the dawn of time, when Google was just opening its eyes, it was competing with some really big search engines. Remember how big Yahoo used to be? Or AskJeeves? Google didn't bring anything new to the table, but they were able to compete by being better. And switching search engines is much easier than switching social networks. When they competed on the email front, they did it by giving people a ton of storage. When Hotmail was offering storage in the megabytes, Google was offering it in the gigabytes and even Hotmail had to play catchup. People hate to delete emails, and Google let them keep everything for ever and never clean.

The other two big products, maps/earth and image search, weren't really competing against an entrenched alternative. There was mapquest, but even it was new.

So my armchair quarterback position is that G+ will peak very soon then slowly decline until in another year or two we'll be talking about G+'s failure. Which will be right around the time Google announces G++.

more than 3 years ago
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Most People Have Never Heard of CTRL+F

jd142 Re:Keyboard shortcuts are for pros (567 comments)

Yeah, it's a real shame programs like Word 2010 can't use ctrl+ b, i or u. rolls eyes.

more than 3 years ago
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Google+ Account Suspensions Over ToS Drawing Fire

jd142 Re:Is it time to disconnect from Google services? (560 comments)

I realize this is slashdot and all, but you don't have to run your own server and deal with the hassle. For the price of two Starbucks coffees a month, just get your own LAMP server through a hosting service. $8 a month is small price to pay for the convenience of knowing that you control your email. And since you get command line access, you can still install whatever webmail reader you want if you don't like the built-in version. I still prefer Thunderbird to webmail(but I dislike version 5) but if I wanted, I could drop in pretty much any webmail client on the server.

more than 3 years ago
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Groupon Deal Costs Photographer a Year's Free Work

jd142 Re:Good chance to up sell (209 comments)

Yes and that's been true for decades. I remember my folks going to a couple of those stupid timeshare talks just so they could get a free cheap gift. They knew they weren't getting the big prize(if anyone ever does, which I doubt) but they'd take the crap prize.

And my mom still collects all of the dead tree coupons and does triple coupons with rebates for brands she'd never normally buy but can get for near free. Once the coupons are gone, back to the regular brands and stores.

So this isn't even a GroupOn thing. It's been around for decades. Anyone see the sequel to A Christmas Story where the mother is getting the china dishes from the theatre(or trying to anyway)?

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

jd142 Re:Everyone seems to be forgetting something here (1307 comments)

Don't forget the possibility that IT actually offers this service but the person is not aware of it. Or it is offered in a way other than a native iPhone app.

If I had a nickel for every time someone said we should implement X when it actually has been implemented, documented on the documentation site, with training offered for years. . . .

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is the Recycle Bin a Good GUI Metaphor?

jd142 Re:You're the worst type of admin (465 comments)

Amen to storing files deleted from a network share. From a user's perspective, a file is a file (which is as it should be) and hitting the delete key should work the same regardless of where the file is actually stored.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is the Recycle Bin a Good GUI Metaphor?

jd142 deleted items (465 comments)

I know an Outlook user at work who uses Deleted Items as a place to *store* emails. We've always been tempted to ask him if he stores his lunch in his trashcan.

more than 3 years ago

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