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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

jonnythan Fantasyland (322 comments)

If the IRS does decide to pay Microsoft for continued support of XP, the chances of it paying the standard $200 per PC rate is effectively zero.

The numbers in the summary are total fantasy.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

jonnythan Re:How much does it cost to upgrade? (245 comments)

It costs a lot more than a new PC to upgrade thousands of PCs. Imaging, deployment, backup/restore processes for the end users is just the beginning. Upgrading dozens, hundreds, or thousands of individual customized applications to be compatible with Windows 7 is an absolute nightmare. I know all about this just from upgrading my relatively small workplace from XP to 7. It was a fight just to get core, mission critical apps to work with IE 9; 10 and 11 are out of the question. Lots of cash to vendors and app support folks, lots of cash to deployment specialists, lots of overtime. Adds up to a LOT of money.

By the way: $9 million over 680,000 PCs is $13 per PC. That's less than we paid per PC to have a contractor come in and physically install new machines at desks, and completely ignores the cost of OS licensing, hardware, support, and the thousands and thousands of man hours the IT department spent with associated tasks.

about two weeks ago
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Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage

jonnythan Well that's lovely (144 comments)

... as I read this at 1 AM when I have to be up at 6:30 tomorrow. Heh. "Tomorrow."

about a month ago
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Power Cables' UV Flashes Apparently Frighten Animals

jonnythan Re:Is "impact" such a bad thing? (183 comments)

I'm sure that they don't. But we understand that roadways isolate areas and cut up habitats. We never really thought power lines would do that. But now maybe we do.

about a month ago
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Power Cables' UV Flashes Apparently Frighten Animals

jonnythan Re:Is "impact" such a bad thing? (183 comments)

Nature doesn't "consider" anything. Your argument is basically that nature will adapt around us. Yes, it will..... but it might "adapt" in ways that eliminate important species, destroy biodiversity, and generally ravage the environment around us. Nature may "adapt" in ways that suck total ass for both us and millions of other species.

about a month ago
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Power Cables' UV Flashes Apparently Frighten Animals

jonnythan Re:Is "impact" such a bad thing? (183 comments)

Because we have power lines everywhere and as far as I know we haven't really spent a lot of time considering the possibility that a simple power line is a de facto boundary to an animal's habitat. It's kind of a big deal when there are serious, important aspects of land use planning and environmental conservation that absolutely rely on accurately predicting and knowing an animal's range and habitat.

about a month ago
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Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"

jonnythan Re: It's just a tool I guess (294 comments)

Do some reading on "clinical equipoise" and you'll start to get it.

about 2 months ago
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Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"

jonnythan Re: It's just a tool I guess (294 comments)

The control group in a drug study would not place someone currently on strong medication onto no medication. That would violate the ethical principle of equipoise. The subjects in the control group wouldn't be given a placebo; that would be horrendously unethical. They would be given either the current gold standard of care or the new drug/procedure being tested. The researchers and subjects would both be blinded to which they were receiving. For instance, an RCT comparing hydrocodone to a new med would have both arms take a new pill, but both pills look identical. One would contain the medication they've been taking and the other would contain the new drug. That's not what the OP is talking about though.

I'm not super experienced in clincal trials, but the study the OP was a part of doesn't sound like a double-blinded RCT; it sounds more like a limited-rollout experimental kind of clinical trial, where certain people are allowed to elect to try out the drug. This is not really a scientific experiment that would have a control group, but a limited opt-in rollout of the drug.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

jonnythan Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (303 comments)

I don't think there area any areas where both TW and Comcast operate. So it won't change the number of choices for anyone.

about 2 months ago
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How Edward Snowden's Actions Have Impacted Defense Contractors

jonnythan Holy god the beta (180 comments)

The beta is bad. It's so bad. The comments are reduced in screen width about 50%. Subject lines are deemphasized, scores are minimized, etc.

The discussions are the reason to come to Slashdot, and the beta trivializes them entirely. It looks like the comment section on a generic news site.

The comments now look like an afterthought, whereas they used to be the primary focus of the site.

about 3 months ago
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Why Does Facebook Need To Read My Text Messages?

jonnythan So it can authenticate by sending a text (293 comments)

What Facebook wants to do is send a text message with a special code to your phone. Letting the app read your text messages allows the app to read the code automatically so you don't have to copy and paste from the messages app.

about 3 months ago
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Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own

jonnythan Re:Mask? (375 comments)

The device is not a "mask" in any way, shape, or form.

about 3 months ago
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Enormous Tunneling Machine 'Bertha' Blocked By 'The Object'

jonnythan Re:Doesn't sound very stable... (339 comments)

They should totally get you in on this project. I imagine they have no idea they're doing it all wrong.

about 4 months ago
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Google Cuts Android Privacy Feature, Says Release Was Unintentional

jonnythan Re:Sounds like it worked (324 comments)

In the app properties page for pre-installed apps, the "disable" button is replaced when the app is updated with an "uninstall updates" button. After you hit "uninstall updates" you can hit "disable."

The only apps you can't disable are actual system apps. Things like Google Services Framework, Google Account Manager, Google partner Setup, etc, can all be disabled.

about 4 months ago
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Google Cuts Android Privacy Feature, Says Release Was Unintentional

jonnythan Re:Sounds like it worked (324 comments)

You can easily disable those apps.

about 4 months ago
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Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

jonnythan Re:Concentrations (216 comments)

Sure, but if it never goes away and we produce it for another 100 years......

No one is talking about banning it, really. They're talking about raising awareness and recognizing it as a potential problem. Set up some basic regulations on its production and use now and we won't have to worry much about it later.

about 4 months ago
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Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

jonnythan Re:Concentrations (216 comments)

Good point. When you consider that, the proportion of anthropogenic warming accounted for by PFTBA would be higher.

about 4 months ago
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Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

jonnythan Re:Concentrations (216 comments)

Math fail. Should be:

CO2 is 2,000,000,000 more concentrated so it has 300,000 times the impact. Point still stands though, to some degree.

about 4 months ago
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Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

jonnythan Re:Concentrations (216 comments)

Well, there are no known processes by which PFTBA is broken down or removed from the atmosphere. So the effect is basically cumulative.

The other thing is that atmospheric concentrations are already in the 0.18 ppt range. CO2 is about 2,000,000 times more concentrated at the moment, at least in the Toronto area. This means that CO2 still has around 300 times the impact [ballpark figure based on numbers in the article], but if we keep up PTFBA production it could potentially start to be significant.

"The easy things first" makes sense, but "easy things" and "hard things" aren't always mutually exclusive. And frankly, PTFBA reduction is probably much closer to "easy thing" than CO2 reduction is.

about 4 months ago
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Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA

jonnythan Re:i say: put your money where your mouth is. (293 comments)

I dunno about TV, but I learned about this because it was a front-page story on the New York Times. It's not like the mainstream press isn't covering this.

about 4 months ago

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