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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

jjoelc Intelligence==Potential Energy (391 comments)

Intelligence is a boulder sitting on top of a mountain. Ain't nothin' hapennin' until someone gives it a push.

Having a higher IQ just means you have a bigger boulder to push against.

about a month ago

Edward Snowden Is Not Alone: US Gov't Seeks Another Leaker


HAHAHA hahhahahaahah hahhaahahhah ahaahahhaha haha hahha hahaahah hahah haha haaaaaaaaaaaahhh hahahaah hahaa hahhahahaaaa hahhhahaahah hahaahah hahaahah hahahaaaah HAHAH HAAAAh haaa hahahaahahhahaha hahahaa HHAAAAAAAaaaaaaaah hahahaa hah haha haaaaahahahaha hahaha hahhaha haahahhaha hahaha hhahahhaaaahahahhahahahaaaaaaaa!

(yes, I logged in specifically to post that!) (edited because the filter would not allow the full glory of the transcript of my laughter...)

about a month and a half ago

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

jjoelc Proxomitron Forever... (436 comments)

Proxomitron was WAY ahead of its' time. It is still installed and running wonderfully on a couple of my systems. If you simply *must* have something which is more recently actively developed then Proximodo may be more up your alley. It is fully compatible with all Proximodo filters, etc. but is lacking SSL support...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Documenting a Tangle of Network Devices?

jjoelc LANSweeper?... (165 comments)
Doesn't answer the offline part, and it doesn't do any kind of graphical layout (you didnt really specify graphical, though....)

Otherwise, I love this. Enough to actually, you know... Pay for it! Lol. The free version doesn't do push scanning (just run a small script as part of the computer startup or login routine, instead) and doesn't give one click access to some of the tools. You probably already have most of those tools available otherwise, though, VNC or other remote desktop, remote management, etc...

The server runs on SQL, has a nice web interface, can tie in with AD, gather event logging events, has tons of reports available out of the box, with the ability to build custom reports and a community that is glad to help if you aren't an SQL guru... Being SQL, exports and imports are pretty easy in whatever format you need...

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source Multi-User Password Management?

jjoelc Not the author here... (198 comments)

I'm not the author, but am also watching this thread for answers...

I'd love to find something truly multi-user... Multi user in the sense that not every user would have access to all of the passwords stored in the database. Where I could set up groups and which passwords were available to a user would depend on the group they were a part of. For example, I might not mind all employees being able to look up the keys for the wireless network, but only those in the IT department having access to the admin logins for the wireless router... There are many many other examples, but hopefully you understand the gist...

Any suggestions?

more than 2 years ago

Universities Hold Transcripts Hostage Over Loans

jjoelc Re:does it surprise you? (541 comments)

The correct car analogy...

Bank, car loan, new car... Etc...

This is NOT like the bank repossessing your car when you fall behind on payments... This is like the bank "asking" the dealership not to perform any maintenance or warranty work on your car until you are no longer in default on your loan....

more than 2 years ago

Animating From Markup Code To Rendered Result

jjoelc Somewhere in between... (72 comments)

I started to post this in reply to "what's the point"... Or maybe in reply to "I don't think so"... But... The answer is somewhere between the two comments, I think.

This tool would be amazingly useful somewhere in between the "casual" cases where WYSISYG is most prevalent and needed (for those that either don't know the markup, or for whatever reason don't care enough to bother learning it) and those that are masters of the markup. For those that are in the process of learning the code, in other words.

For those who have just discovered that they will be using a markup often enough to run into the limitations of WYSIWYG editing, but are just entering the world of the markup code underlying it. An obvious example already mentioned is Wikipedia (or any other wiki). Another great place would be for students just learning Latex.

This method, aside from must looking pretty, does a good job of letting you easily see what parts of the code translate into what parts of the screen.

more than 2 years ago

LibreOffice Developer Community Increasingly Robust

jjoelc Re:Large Deployments (180 comments)

Wile I don't fit into that large deployment category, I do what I can to promote LibreOffice. We have roughly 100 desktops, and the reality is that well over half of them have no use for MS office in any real capacity. I. deploy LibreOffice to every workstation mainly to make sure everyone has at least that baseline functionality. I store all of my documentation and send out all of my memos etc in an open document format. even if very few people regualrly use LibreOffice to do anything more than read the stuff I send them or open the occasional word document attachment... At least they have been exposed to it, and I have actually had a few people ask me about it when they buy new computers, and see the price of MS Office. It's not much, admittedly, but it works. I'm not pushy about it, I don't evangelize... But they all get some exposure to it, and at least know that there are options when they are personally in the position to make that choice.

more than 2 years ago

Some Windows 8 Laptops May Come With Built-In Kinect Sensors

jjoelc So let me get this straight... (140 comments)

Windows8... With a touch inspired graphical interface... And someone thinks the solution is to include a touch less hardware interface...

I'll skip all the jokes about keeping away from Wwindows... Or a hands-off approach to management, etc. (or not...)

more than 2 years ago

White House Responds To SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN

jjoelc Re:Protecting rights (517 comments)

I'm late to the party, but here's my two cents worth anyway...

I LOVE the idea of content creators getting paid for their creations (assuming they want monetary compensation, of course. Money isn't the only way a person can feel properly compensated for their efforts. But given what this discussion is about, I'll set that aside for now...) I can even agree that distributors and marketers ave a right to be paid for their efforts as well... Distributors should absolutely not be able to require the signing over of the creator's copyright for the privilege of having it distributed. Corporations should not be allowed to "own" copyright. The individuals working for the corporation can, but not "the Company".

At the simplest level, it is humans who are doing the creating. Copyright should be specifically tied to those humans doing the creating. In other words, copyright is a HUMAN RIGHT, and it should not be made available for sale to the highest bidder. Even if I wanted to sell myself into slavery, it is illegal for me to do so, and illegal for anyone to "buy" me also. Copyright should be absolutely non-transferrable.

I would be willing to bend so far as granting copyright for the lifetime of the creator, with some minimum time frame also. So for example, copyright would last 5 years, or the lifetime of the artist, whichever is longer. (If I publish a book on Tuesday, and die on Friday, certainly my direct heirs deserve some chance to "inherit" the returns from my work. Not forever, but certainly for some reasonable amount of time...)

This all works out wonderfully for those things that are produced by individuals or small groups (books, music...) and fall apart pretty quickly with e.g. movies, where there are hundreds of people actively involved in the creation process. The simplest way to work this out is to grant each person involved a percentage of the copyright. Does the carpenter really deserve a piece of the copyright fro a movie set he helped build? Well, sure... Why wouldn't he? Does he deserve the same percentage as the screenwriter, or the director? I don't think anyone would argue he does, no. Individuals of course can still decide to offer their services for a flat fee or form of compensation other than a percentage of the copyright, but the default should be $X per hour PLUS X% of copyright... And since copyright is not transferable, the collective work becomes public domain when the last person owning a piece of the copyright dies.

So lets take movie as an example. And to make the numbers really simple, lets say that there are 100 people, each with equal shares... (I know, it would never happen that way in the real world, but this isn't it!) Copyright is not transferable, remember, so 20 years later, when all but one of the owners have died, it does NOT mean that one person owns 100% of the movie, or is entitled to all of any profits still coming in. They still only own 1%, and only get revenues from that 1%. What happens to the other revenues? I'd suggest placing those revenues into "the public domain", or as close to it as we can. Those proceeds could for example be used to fund education, or public libraries, or community theater, or any one of hundreds of other places that promote and foster the creative process.

A system like this would allow the real creators of a work to be fairly compensated for those efforts, would set a limit on copyright that I think most people would find reasonable, and would foster the continued expansion of the creative arts.

Not quite ready for the lawbooks, I know.. but that's where MY head is, at least.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

jjoelc Re:So if I travel to a Seattle bookstore... (413 comments)

No... You pay both. Because the store has to pay the local taxes.. and the buyer has to pay their local taxes. Plus a "convenience fee" of course, for the overhead of the store having to keep track of every tax in the world, and paying them accordingly.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

jjoelc So if I travel to a Seattle bookstore... (413 comments)

Let me get his straight.. Just because the person BUYING the goods lives in a place with sales taxes, they should pay that same tax no matter where they are buying from?

So.. let's say I live in Indiana, and I go visit family in Seattle. (Everyone with me so far?...) I go to a bookstore in Seattle, choose a book to buy and stand in line at the checkout counter. The cashier checks my ID and adds another x% to the price of my book because I live in Indiana.

If they really want it to be fair, it should cut both ways. I propose that all brick and mortar stores in Indiana be required to collect any taxes required by the buyer's place of residence. (I'm not sure how much of an international destination anything in Indiana is.. but this should of course also include VAT for the UK, etc. as well....)

more than 2 years ago

Nokia: the Sun Can't Charge Your Phone

jjoelc Re:Nokia's Been Researching Solar Power? (290 comments)

Maybe if they were allowed to OPEN the WINDOWS...

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week... Don't forget to tip your waitress!

more than 2 years ago

Google Testing Completely Revamped Look

jjoelc Re:Why risk what works? (195 comments)

Not to troll (No.. Really...) but I do wonder how many of the people bemoaning the new changes Google is making are the same people who, when another one of Google's services is retired (health, etc..) say "Today was the first time i ever heard about Google%NowDeadService%..."

I think they have a pretty hard line to walk. They now offer so many services, but everyone complains when there are more than 5-10 words on the homepage? How would YOU solve that dilema? I don't think they are doing too bad a job at it.

more than 2 years ago

Vision and Sound From the Ideally Bare Numeric Impression giZmo

jjoelc Re:atari 800 (38 comments)

Thank you! I thought the exact same thing! Ahhh.. the good old days of spending hours on end dutifully typing in programs from the pages of Antic! saving the results to cassette... It was what got me into the minimal programming I do today.

and yeah.. get off my lawn, I'm reminiscing here, and you're getting in the way!

more than 2 years ago

Justifications For Creating an IT Department?

jjoelc Re:Broadcast engineering and IT - 2 worlds collidi (214 comments)

I've covered a lot of this in my "THANKS!" below, but wanted to reply to you specifically. If I hadn't replied below, I would absolutely mod you up. I started in TV back in 1992. I'm not so terribly old, but I ran plenty of shows from 2' machines, 3/4', beta (I can still make a betacart walk and talk, if you can find one still in use anywhere ;-) I was lucky enough to get in right as the first digital commercial insertion systems were coming out. I trained MCOs on FastTrack, at another station, we were beta-testers for Avid's first system. I left TV, and went into computer support, working my way up from call center hell to sysadmin for a small company. I got a couple of certifications as employers required, but I'm proud of the fact that I got the real world experience first, then the certs later (and pretty much just to make HR happy) When I came back to TV (~2005) everything was moving, or had moved to computer, so It worked out quite well! (and FastTrack had been bought out by Sundance, and Sundance was bought by Avid, oddly enough...) That combination of broadcast experience and IT experience is one of the main reasons I got the position I have now. It is also perhaps one of the reasons I can see the different needs (and where they overlap as well) between "general IT" and the broadcast chain. I know the fine line I'll have to walk, but feel certain in my ability to do it.... Just need some clarity on how to start the ball rolling with the rest of the management.

more than 2 years ago

Justifications For Creating an IT Department?

jjoelc Thanks Everyone! (214 comments)

Just thought I'd do something I don't ever see enough of here, and give a quick "THANK YOU!" for all the replies.Yes, even the bashing replies are valuable (in some way). If nothing else, they make me realize that I could run into some of the same attitudes along the way here.

To give a bit more detail (I wanted to try to be relatively brief when asking the question):
I actually feel very lucky. I work with a great group of very smart, and reasonably sensible people. I have over 10 years in the broadcasting industry. I also have about another 5 years as sysadmin in a small shop. I am currently the entire IT staff at this station, and the position was pretty much created just for me. The engineers here realized that the "general IT needs" were consuming too much of their time, and were suffering from lack of attention. When I came in, virus outbreaks were common (the AV server had been disabled in a previous virus outbreak, and never brought back online... Might have had something to do with it!), AD was in a shambles, growth had been handled by daisy chaining another switch (whatever was on sale at Best Buy) wherever they needed another port... The engineers who "ran" the domain didn't trust it enough to have their own workstations joined into it...I'm sure many of you know the situation. Again, most of this happened not out of complete ignorance or ineptitude.. or even out of much in the way of budgetary constraints... It was all because of neglect. The engineers had higher (and other) priorities, and usually took the shortest, cheapest, simplest route to "fixing" the immediate need without any long term vision of how the pieces should fit together

Since I was brought in about a year ago, I have basically rebuilt the network from the inside out, with negligible downtime. We're on Gigabit everywhere, all on good quality managed switches. All the tangles have been taken out of the topology, servers, GPOs, AD, etc have all been whipped back into shape, and the virus rate has dropped to less than one instance per month, all of which were automatically caught by the now up to date AV software on the workstations. We have redundant WAN connections, redundant DCs, regular backups...I have built standard images for each of the major departments, all the workstations are up to date, documentation for everything not only exists, but is organized and easily found...

I am lucky that this is a small enough organization that I know everyone by name. I make it a point to regularly, if they are having any trouble, if there is anything I can do to help. I have taken the time to learn the different software in use in each department, to learn how they work, and why, and have done many things to simplify and streamline those workflows. Again, I am very lucky that this is a small enough organization that I have the ability to do all of those things.

I'm (rightfully, I think) proud of what I ave accomplished here, and I know I could not have gotten it done without the support of the company and the managers who know enough to know that it needed to be done. I have proven my worth, in other words, and yes, have been rewarded for my efforts. Now, I feel it is time to start the process of getting the other 4 stations out of the same hole we were in last year. Within this specific station, I actually like and appreciate being under the Engineering department's umbrella. But when it comes to extending my successes here to the other stations, it gets more complex, and that is where the separate IT department becomes more needed.

So yes, to an extent, this is about positioning myself to be that IT director over all of the stations. It is also about doing what I honestly feel is in the best interests of the company, as they ave been good to me, and I see no reason not to return the favor. So again, thank you for all of the input, good and bad, it has helped!

more than 2 years ago

Why American Corporate Software Can No Longer Be Trusted

jjoelc Brilliant! (240 comments)

We all know that SOPA is all about the money (I'll ignore the "everything is" argument, for now). Money the *IAAs feel they are losing, money the politicians have accepted in campaign contributions... Even the advertisements trying to drum up support for SOPA are about all the jobs (money) that will be lost if this doesn't become law...

Every argument I've heard has been about ideals and technology... We all know how politicians and corporations feel about ideals. Freedom of speech, Impossible to implement, Would break the very foundation of the web, etc... All meaningless to these people without a dollar sign attached to them.

This is the first argument I have heard that directly turns the tables. "Pass SOPA, and we will no longer trust any software produced by a US company." This would affect many more than just MS, Apple, and Google... How many PCs will Dell, (or HP, or Acer, or...) sell outside of the US if they are not allowed to sell them with (or without) Windows? If Dell et. al. are forced into producing computers with Windows installed for the US market, and %NotWindows% for the rest of the world, how long before they decide it isn't worth the effort, and just pick their favorite %NotWindows% for the entire line? How many jobs will be lost if no one in Europe is allowed to use Photoshop, MS Office, iTunes, AutoCAD,... The list goes on and on.

Do I think this is likely to happen? Not really.. But it makes for a good advertising campaign against SOPA.

more than 2 years ago



Elementary OS "Freya" Beta released

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  about a month and a half ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "One year after their last release "Luna", Elementary OS (a Linux distribution with a very heavy emphasis on design and usability which draws a lot of comparisons to Mac OS X) Has released the public beta of their latest version "Freya"

Using core components from Ubuntu 14.04, "Freya" sports many improvements including the usual newer kernel, better hardware support and newer libraries.Other updates include a GSignon-based online accounts system, improved searches, Grub-free uEFI booting, GTK+ 3.12, an updated theme, and much more.

This being a beta, the usual warnings apply, but I would also point out that the Elementary OS Team also has over $5,000 worth of bugs still available on Bountysource which can be a great way to contribute to the project and make a little dough while you are at it."

Link to Original Source

How Many Time Standards ARE There?

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "Being one of those "suffering" through the time change last night, the optimist in me reminded me that it could be much worse. That's when I started wondering how many different time/date standards there really are. is a good starting point, but is sorely lacking in the various formats used by e.g. Unix, Windows, TRS-80, etc. And that is without even getting into the various calendars that have been in and out of use throughout the ages.
So how about it Slashdotters? How many different time/date "standards" can we come up with, and I'm betting there are more than a few horror stories of having to translate between them..."

Ask Slashdot: Justifications for Creating an IT De

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "This may sound like an odd request, so first some background. I work in a broadcast television station. I have found it to be very common for IT to be lumped in with the engineering department at many TV stations. I believe this is mainly because the engineers were the first people in the business to have and use computers in any real capacity, and as the industry has moved to file-based workflows, it has simply stayed that way, despite having obviously different priorities. I do believe there is a need for IT to be its' own department, with its' own goals, budgets, etc. But I am having a bit of a rough time putting together the official proposal to justify this change. Likely because it seems so obviously the way it should be and is done everywhere else. So I am asking for some pointers on the best ways to present this idea to the general manager. What are the business justifications for having a standalone IT department in a small business and how would you go about convincing upper management of those needs? There are approximately 100 employees at the station I am currently at, but we do own another 4 stations in two states (each of these other stations are in the 75-100 employee range) The long term goal would be to have a unified IT department across all 5 stations."

WSJ and Al-Jazeera Lure Whistleblowers

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "The success of Wikileaks in obtaining and releasing information has inspired mainstream media outlets to develop proprietary copycat sites. Al-Jazeera got into the act first, launching the Al-Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU), and On May 5, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., Inc., launched its own site, SafeHouse. According to the EFF though, both sites offer "false Promises" of anonymity."
Link to Original Source

Security Ananlysis of Modern Autos

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "In this paper we experimentally evaluate these issues on a modern automobile and demonstrate the fragility of the underlying system structure. We demonstrate that an attacker who is able to infiltrate virtually any Electronic Control Unit (ECU) can leverage this ability to completely circumvent a broad array of safety-critical systems. Over a range of experiments, both in the lab and in road tests, we demonstrate the ability to adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input — including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on."
Link to Original Source

ZZZonline Current Equivalent

jjoelc jjoelc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jjoelc (1589361) writes "There have to be at least a few slashdotters out there with fond memories of ZZZonline. For those that don't remember, take a look. They covered truly bleeding edge technology in a clear, informative and fun way. Unfortunatley, they have been silent for about 5 years now, and I have not had much luck finding anything even close to an equivalent. I'm hoping some of you have suggestions?"
Link to Original Source


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