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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

kbdd Re:Good luck (208 comments)

I would think 20 XEONs for 3 months should get close (or at least used to), but these machines are optimized to move packets, not number crunching...

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

kbdd Re:Bitcoin mining? (208 comments)

Yeah, probably the most sensible thing to do considering the short time frame.

about 2 months ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

kbdd you said features? (291 comments)

I think part of the problem is that marketing types decide that they need a certain type of phone to get people in the store, in order to try and upsell them on a more expensive product with better margins (or one that will suck up data faster so that you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan).

The "feature" phone (in that case, a phone with hardware keyboard which is a real oddity nowadays) is not intended to make any money for the company by itself and nobody really gives a damn if it's even working, to be honest.

They are perfectly aware of it and if you bring it back to the store a few days later because you have found out how much it actually sucked, they will be extremely glad to exchange it for a higher priced model.

On the other hand, the issue is compounded by the fact that most Android phones are hacked by the phone service provider. They are not content to let you have the Google Android experience, they have to "differentiate" themselves from the others, and too often that means adding ill-conceived, substandard, undertested apps that ruins the experience.

In that case, Google may not be entirely clean as I am not sure if Android is even supposed to support a hardware keyboard. I have used several Bluetooth keyboards on my Nexus 7 and they do not all work the same.

about 2 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

kbdd Re:It's already going on... (353 comments)

The key is that the insurance company has no incentive to reduce your premium, their only incentive is to increase the total sum they get from premiums as much as they can.

Therefore eventually these devices will not be used to help good drivers, simply to penalize bad ones, not quite the same thing.

about 2 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

kbdd why not use heroin? (1198 comments)

Seems like a lot of people die from heroin overdose that is self injected. It can't be that painful if people do that to themselves. Why not use heroin overdose for lethal injections?

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft, Google, Others Join To Fund Open Source Infrastructure Upgrades

kbdd Re:Where is Apple? (101 comments)

Replying to my own question, found out the iTune store uses WebObjects, a NexT technology that is not open source.

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft, Google, Others Join To Fund Open Source Infrastructure Upgrades

kbdd Re:Where is Apple? (101 comments)

This group is not intended to only address OpenSSL. I would be surprised if Apple did not have ANY open source software in their products.

Mac OSX is (was?) based on the Mach microkernel for instance.

How about the iTune store, does it use open source software?

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft, Google, Others Join To Fund Open Source Infrastructure Upgrades

kbdd Where is Apple? (101 comments)

Oh wait, they can't afford it, it's not in their budget...

about 5 months ago
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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

kbdd boo-oo (163 comments)

Let's summarize: Oracle took money to perform a job. They disagreed with the way it was handled. Nevertheless they stayed in and kept collecting money. Now they say they had noting to do with it?

about 5 months ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

kbdd Re:Free, less buggy, more usable, what's not to li (285 comments)

"so its less buggy than an over decade old product?"

What a moron!

Read the post. My use of the past tense should have been a clue that it happened in the past and mentioning it was used by corporate edict should have been a clue that MS Word was in its support period, i.e. current. For completeness, that happened in the fall of 2004, but you probably don't care. You are probably now going to object that MS Word being so "young", how could I expect it to not be buggy? I probably should have waited a few more years before they had the bugs worked out?

Now, regardless of when that happened I would expect a piece of software that cost several 100 dollars to be better able to handle it's own f***g proprietary file format than a freebee that had to reverse engineer it, regardless how long it has been since you bought it.

about 5 months ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

kbdd Free, less buggy, more usable, what's not to like? (285 comments)

I remember working on a document in Word 2003 with several large tables. Periodically, Word 2003 (which I had to use by corporate edict) would crash while working on one particularly large table, and would be unable to reload the document. I found out that loading the document in OpenOffice and saving it back immediately fixed whatever problem Word was having and I could work in Word for a while longer. I ended up having to do that every few days until I was done with the document.

about 5 months ago
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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

kbdd Re:So much speculation... (148 comments)

"So much speculation from people who do not appear to have even read the article."

I find that the impact of my arguments suffer when I try to base them on facts. It is so much more fun to shoot from the hip while looking in another direction.

about 5 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

It seems you are correct, I came across this (PBS web site):

"Under current law, only applicants for U.S. citizenship, not those applying for green cards, must prove English proficiency."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb...

Maybe I was confused. I was pretty certain that I had to pass a proficiency test when I applied for a green card 25 years ago, but maybe it was for the citizenship, or maybe the law changed since then, or maybe it was just a policy of the US Immigration Services at the time.

Apparently English proficiency was a provision to the ill-fated immigration reform bill that was put together by a bi-partisan group last year. In my opinion, that would be a good thing. US born kids have to go to school (or be home-schooled) and therefore have to possess at least a minimum of English proficiency by the time they turn 18 (I will readily admit that in some cases it is really minimum.) I see little reason for not asking the same from immigrants.

about 6 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

"a condition for being a citizen of the USA is that you have to speak the language" was what I said, not what I meant :)

I meant: "a condition for becoming a permanent resident or a citizen (by naturalization) is that you speak the language". That is part of the regulations that used to be applied by the INS. I suppose the courts probably can decide to make you a citizen without the involvement of the INS, but that is not to my point. The majority of immigrants have to go through the INS.

Thank you for catching this. The rest of your post is informative (thank you, I did not know:), but only tangentially to my point.

It is only one of the differences naturalized Americans have compared to naturally born Americans.

about 7 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

I do not want to force anybody to do anything they do not want to do, but a condition for being a citizen of the USA is that you have to speak the language. It actually is the law, if that means anything. Candidates do not have to promise to never speak their native language, but they have to show that they are sufficiently proficient in English to be able to conduct business as a permanent resident or citizen, and I happen to think that it is a good law. You make your choice, if you do not want to do that, nobody is forcing you to come live here. At least that was the case when I got my green card (and later my citizenship) over 20 years ago. The interview was conducted in English, and if you could not answer the questions in English, you simply did not get a green card.

Therefore I do not understand why those who want to become citizen (or green card holders) simply do not just do that and we let them. I actually know a lot of people who have a green card yet would fail the test I had to go through 20 years ago. I also do not agree that the government should spend taxpayer's money to develop government paperwork (intended for citizens and permanent residents) in languages other than English. Just like you have no expectation of privacy when you use electronic means to communicate, you should have no expectation that the government will develop tools and procedures in languages other than English when these tools are intended for residents and citizen.

If the laws on the books had been reasonably enforced, and if a majority of immigrants had shown a minimum amount of respect for the country that gave them a place to live, we would not have gotten in a situation where 50%+ of the population in an area *only* speaks a language other than English in the first place. Again, I have no beef with people speaking a language other than English, even conducting business in it, I have a problem when I find myself in an area of the USA where *nobody* (or a small fraction) speaks English and I cannot conduct business (or ask for directions) in English. I realize I start to sound like a Republican and that makes me uncomfortable...

I am an immigrant myself, but I would not have considered coming to the USA (or any other country) without having first a basic proficiency in English (or the local language) and improving it once here. I certainly would not have expected (or demanded) that the government generates instructions and forms in any language other than English, or provide a translator. I made it a point to be proficient in English and I would not have come if I had not been able to achieve that. I observe that for those who may not know English before coming here, the local college provides very inexpensive classes for "English as a Second Language" and that many people do take advantage of those, so even if you end up in the US under duress and do not speak English, there is no reason for not learning English once you are here.

I deplore that obviously many do not have such standards or do not take advantage of these classes, but I am not sure we can fix it at this point.

The issue with the banks or hospitals is different since no taxpayer money is involved. The issue is not that they cater to their foreign customers, what bothers me is that they do not even say "for Spanish, press 9" in English. How hard can it be for a Spanish speaking customer of a US bank to recognize the sound of "for Spanish, press 9"? This one is more of a gripe than anything, but it is the most apparent and one that I find offensive because of the pervasiveness of it where I live (north-west Florida, even though the Spanish fraction of the local population is much smaller here than in the rest of the state). I understand in other parts of the country it may be different. That is a personal thing I suppose.

about 7 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

Well, of course I agree with you, and not just because I am of foreign origin. I do appreciate the value of cultural blending as I am participating in it myself, voluntarily or not :) And as I pointed out earlier, there is much value in it, not only in tourism but also in quality of life for those who choose to see it that way (bigots need not apply).

It still pisses me off when I call the bank though !

I also believe that in the long run, these groups have to integrate somewhat into their host country, and that means losing at least some of their culture while assimilating the local culture, otherwise what would it mean to live in a particular country? Individual countries would have little identification for themselves.

Maybe that is just the way it is going. I reserve the right to decide later if it is good or bad :)

about 7 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

I tend to agree with you, but it is to a large extent a chicken and egg thing.

If people are not somehow gently pushed to learn English by speaking it, they have little incentive to do so, and you have these enclaves of foreign-speaking residents who develop a society of their own separate from the rest of the country. Overall, society pays the cost of having to support business (private and government) in more than one language. It does not provide value, except to facilitate tourism and immigration, which I agree may actually be valuable in other regards.

If people were obligated to at least do formal interface with the government in English, they would be more likely to conduct other business in English too, and we would all benefit (me, who does not speak Spanish, could do business with that fraction of the country which currently only does business in Spanish for instance.)

What offends me the most about the calls to the bank is that Spanish is the primary language you hear. I am not offended that they are actually able (and find it profitable) to conduct business in Spanish, it is that Spanish is the first language you hear when you call.

If people are invested enough in this country that they have to have a local bank account, they should be able to understand at least enough English to know that pressing 9 during the first few seconds will get them a Spanish menu without having to be told, in Spanish.

about 7 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

As an immigrant who started learning English in school, I have no objection to anyone using the language of their choice for whatever private purpose they want to. However, I have an issue with the government (local, state or federal) spending taxpayer's money to make government services available in languages other than English. It seems to be common courtesy that if you want to move in and live in a country, you learn the local language as a courtesy to the locals you are invading as a mark of respect.

Similarly, I am very offended when I call a bank or any other local business and the first thin I am asked is if I speak Spanish, to press '9'.

Now, I also recognize that "speaking English" is not a strict definition. Many natives don't do that very well.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

kbdd What problems are you trying to fix? (2219 comments)

I think it would help the users understand the redesign if it's purpose was more clearly stated.

You say you want to make the site "more accessible and shareable by a wider audience". In what way is the current site ineffective in this regard?

The only serious issue I ever had with the current site was nullified when the mobile version came out. I found it quite satisfactory, so much so that the slashdot reader apps I had installed on my phone stopped being used immediately.

I noticed a significant change in the look and feel in the beta site, leading to a considerable loss of usability for those who were used to the current style (aside from the specific usability issues of the new code base). Certainly there has to be a purpose to inflict so much aggravation on your current users. When Microsoft does that, the purpose is clear: they want to make the old programs not work so well with the new OS so that you buy the new programs, but for Slashdot, there is no such incentive, so I wonder what is the reason. If the under;ying code is causing you problem, you do not need to change the look and feel in order to change the underlying code.

If the reason is that "the site has not been redesigned in xxx years", that is absolutely the wrong reason, particularly when your target audience is a group of people which I believe is generally more interested in efficiency (as in "look follows function") than looks alone.

I may be wrong...

about 7 months ago
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Starbucks Phone App Stores Password Unencrypted

kbdd Re:Android security (137 comments)

On my Android phone (Moto Droid Razr), the flash storage is not accessible via USB until I unlock the phone. Of course, the SD card could be removed, but most applications store to the internal flash by default, so there is at least a moderate level of protection against that kind of attack on Android.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Iran capture drone by spoofing GPS

kbdd kbdd writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kbdd (823155) writes ""Iran guided the CIA's "lost" stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone's systems inside Iran.""
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