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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

landoltjp Religion OR spirituality - misleading title. (529 comments)

Colour me shocked - an article that's troll-bait for people opposed to religion.

From the article (and the summary): "A thicker cortex associated with a high importance of religion OR SPIRITUALITY [my emphasis] may confer resilience to the development of depressive illness"

So, a different way to read this is that spiritiuality, not just (or not even) religion) can make a difference. I've seen it myself, and it's been shown (no source here) that when people have something "bigger than themselves" in which to believe, it gives them access to strength that wasn't readily available to them before.

I'm not talking about how people use relgion as a shield to be assholes. I'm not talking about how "foolish" it is to hold to a make-believe deity. I'm speaking about how some people derive stength from their faith.

"It doesn't matter what you believe in; just believe" I think is what Sheppard Book said to Cptn Reynolds.

about a month ago
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Dear Asus Router User: All Your Cloud Are Belong To Us

landoltjp School me up - how does this happen? (148 comments)

I'm using Bell Fibe in Canada, and they supply a Modem / Router solution. I believe that Rogers (other major ISP) provides similar technology. So for many people they would not have their own router / firewall as first line of defense, they'd have ISP-supplied equipment.

Is it common in Canada or the US for people to just get a WAN Modem / Driver from their ISP and then put their own router into place? Or worse, plug their laptop right into the Driver and hope that MS firewall will keep the wolves at bay?

For wireless, the Bell / Rogers solutions both suck ass, so I disabled wireless and bought a small office WAP to punch a signal through the house where needed (the rest of my stuff is hard-wired to the switch). I don't think that would be an entry point if the security is turned up enough, right?

about 2 months ago
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Property Managers Use DNA To Sniff Out Dog Poop Offenders

landoltjp A great, targeted, non-confrontational solution. (234 comments)

I think it's a brilliant way to manage this. I've had so many friends talk about having to deal with dog poop in the halls and stairwells of their condos. If Building management is being non-confrontational about it then I don't really see it as a problem. It quickly identifies the issue and applies the charge where it's due.

From TFA:

Polite reminders, letters and notices previously failed to persuade errant pet owners to observe condo rules requiring them to clean up after their animals, Kansky said. There were problems even after residents reported seeing others failing to pick up their dog's messes.

"We would call or send a letter and that dog owner would say: 'Prove it,'" Kansky said.

Interpretation: Without proof, some pet owners felt entitled to do as they pleased.

Then:

DNA monitoring has yielded immediate and dramatic results in the condominium community of Devon Wood, where maintenance staff previously reported seeing, stepping onto or driving over several piles of droppings each week on its 350-acre property.

Interpretation: WITH proof, (almost ALL) pet owners now clean up as per the condo rules.

I see this as a success. People without pets don't step in poo in their own hallways. Abiding pet-owners don't get blamed and / or berated. Problem pet-owners bear the cost of their choices.

about 4 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

landoltjp Re:Fear and Greed (926 comments)

I guess a logical progression of this is that, the more success you have, the greater the potential for your fear, so the stronger your desire for control. That explains why those who can AND do succeed might influence a significant level of control on others.

I've qualified ALL of what I've written. Not everyone who succeeds is greedy, and not everyone who is greedy succeeds.

about 5 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

landoltjp Fear and Greed (926 comments)

America is 'the land of Opportunity", that is "I can succeed". It is a land of personal wealth and invidual accomplishments.

Don't get me wrong, there are MANY people that make a difference for a lot of other people. But the central premise is individual success as a primary objective. And Greed, at some minor or maor level, is a motivator to succeed personally.

So you've succeeded, and your greed helped. Now you have success, and you want to keep it.

So you are afraid.

And you want to control the situation to keep what you got
And control others to keep them from getting what you got.

about 5 months ago
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Edward Snowden Leaks Could Help Paedophiles Escape Police, Says UK Government

landoltjp But, but ... think of the CHILDREN, people! (510 comments)

Because now they want to sell your OWN COUNTRY spying on you the same way a USED CAR SALESMAN sells you snow tires / tyres.

Thanks guys

about 5 months ago
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Silent Circle, Lavabit Unite For 'Dark Mail' Encrypted Email Project

landoltjp Re:Dump SSL / Certificate-based Security (195 comments)

Is it fair to say that another shortcoming of PGP/GPG is that it encrypts the message body only, leaving the envelope in the clear?

If this is indeed the case then we're right back to the metadata situation where the [who | when | where] I communicate it known, but not necessarily the _what_ (I'm sure the NSA will make up their own justification for _why_ I'm communicating).

about 6 months ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

landoltjp Re:Personally (655 comments)

Funny. I was required to take an English course.

Surprisingly enough, I also took an english course in French. They were teaching the French language, but the class made use of a liberal amount of the English language.

about 6 months ago
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Oracle Attacks Open Source; Says Community-Developed Code Is Inferior

landoltjp Re:Kettle and teapot (394 comments)

Also:

Hudson (forked by the founders as Jenkins)

about 6 months ago
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Oracle Attacks Open Source; Says Community-Developed Code Is Inferior

landoltjp Hudson? Naw, Jenkins (394 comments)

Thanks for letting me know that, Oracle.

By the way, how is Hudson doing for ya?

about 6 months ago
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How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

landoltjp Re:Why not just open / franchise a Dealership? (688 comments)

Right you are, and so to repeat my last line:

Perhaps they hope to change the system. I would love to see that sort of thing happen

about 7 months ago
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How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

landoltjp Why not just open / franchise a Dealership? (688 comments)

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian, but I have been to texas once.

Ok, 1) Read TFA, 2) don't know much about selling cars (hate BUYING them enough).

Is it possible for Tesla to franchise out a small Tesla dealership in these states? ie, play by the rules? Perhaps only to the barest letter of the "rules"?

Are they not allowed to set a "no haggle price" model with the dealership? I'm not sure why not, since The Saturn Car company did that. They either allow for a few points for the dealership in a "dealership price" in texas, or they take a few points hit when selling in this model in texas. or both. It would then give them access to those markets.

It really does seem like they're playing chicken, or "ok, if I can't play my way, I'm taking my marbles and going home".

Perhaps they hope to change the system. I would love to see that sort of thing happen.

about 7 months ago
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HDMI 2.0 Officially Announced

landoltjp Re:Still limited to 60Hz? (293 comments)

Yes, but I'd like it to 3,840 x 2,160 resolution video at 120 or 240fps.

I imagine that technology adhering to this 2.0 standard will be obsolete by the time it hits the shelves. Maybe that's the plan. I'll hold out for 3,840 x 2,160 resolution video at 120/240fps, thank you.

about 7 months ago
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BlackBerry Officially Open To Sale

landoltjp Sell their killer app: Email / Calender / Contacts (139 comments)

RIM should package and sell their killer app: The integrated Email / Calender / Contacts system. IMO, it would change the face of productivity on android-based phones.

The BEST feature of my old BB was the seamless nature of accepting meeting (calender) requests via email, using contact information on the phone. This was just using my normal email provider, not a BES setup. Worked like a charm!

Then I added a BES email account, and that worked well also.

in Gmail (on the android), I can receive and accept calender requests from other gmail accounts, but not from MS outlook, BB, or iPhone. I've dug all around about this, I've read craploads of comments about the same thing, and I've not seen anyone solve this. At BEST, I only get "workaround" suggestions, but the fact remains that RIM did it best.

I've had my Samsung android phone for a year or two now, and despite trying a boatload of different (free and paid) email apps, I've never seen one that can manage calender requests, and integrations between contact info in email and the calender, like my old Blackberry.

There is precedent here as well, with the "blackeberry connect" suite that's been around for a while now, installable on the old Nokia 9300 / 9500 (running symbian OS). Did they ever make this for android?

about 8 months ago
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

landoltjp Processor Technology SOL-20 (623 comments)

1978 - Processor Technology Sol-20
1979 - 8K Pet
1981 - 32K Pet
1983 - IBM XT
1989 - PC Clone

Some great stories here! Never too young to start, or old to learn! Very cool :)

I started on in 1978 (I was 12-13) and my dad bought me a Sol-20 from a colleague of his. It was sold as either a kit computer or a completed system and I remember the dude from whom he bought it, so I think it really was bought as a kit rather than pre-assembled. It came with 8K of static ram, a tape recorder and a copy of their 5K integer (no strings) Basic. Do that math; that left 3K for program space.

Other than hello world programs, my dad also bought me a copy of Creative Computer's Book of 101 Basic Games. I found a few of the smaller games (many wouldn't fit into 3K), diligently typed them in from the book, and watched them fail (SN-ERROR AT LINE 10). Thus began my world of debugging and adaptation. I learned that this basic would not handle strings, data reads, or matrices (only arrays). But the debugging and modifications gave me the foundation to start writing my own work. Wrote a dice-rolling game, then a horse-racing game (horses ran according to their odds). My dad bought me another 8K S100 card a year later, and I could run the advanced basic on that.

In high school I sold the Sol-20 and bought an 8K Commodore Pet computer, which was handy since my high school had about six of them, and I could trade programs (Creative computing games!) with the other kids.

I bought a DEC LA-100 printer cover from a local surplus store in 1981 which had an acoustic coupler built into it. Got a wiring diagram and Steve Punter's modem program (I'm a Toronto boy like Steve, and he was at the TPUG meetings), and I was off to the telephonic races! I quickly became a junkie of the Toronto BBS scene.

First thing I did in 1983 when I got my IBM XT was to find BBS software (written in basic - sloooow), and re-write it so I had my own BBS software. Found the PC-BBS source (in basic), stripped out everything other than the parts that worked the modem, and wrote the rest from scratch. It was sluggish (interpreted Basic) and not ENTIRELY bug free ;) Dropped messages here and there; we ended up calling our first BBS the Black Hole.

Re-wrote the entire thing in Borland Turbo Pascal 3.0 in 1984, and it motored! By then my friends and I were running 4-5 Vanguard BBSes in Toronto. This was when FIDONet had started batching mail between their systems, so we set out to design a multi- topology short/long haul mail routing system.

The rest as they say is history :)

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

landoltjp Withhold sex (550 comments)

That'll teach 'er!

about a year ago
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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

landoltjp Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (114 comments)

The Amazon Cloud Player may be a native app NOW, but I'm betting that Apple with remove it from the App store within a few days unless Amazon shutdown down the web music store.

And they can do that sort of thing, to protect their market share. This has nothing to do with "user experience"; it's all about Apple getting their money.

about a year ago
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Windows Browser Ballot Glitch Cost Firefox 6-9 Million Downloads

landoltjp Re:Money? (245 comments)

Does the EU have weapon of mass destruction by any chance?

Yes, they have Greece :)

about a year and a half ago
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Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015

landoltjp I wish for Irvin Kirshner now more than ever (816 comments)

Empire Strikes Back was considered by many to be the best of the first three, due much to Irvin's abilities as a director. Shame that he's no longer with us to pick up the megaphone and bring some decency back to the franchise.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Install Their Software Themselves?

landoltjp Re:Why not use tools that help do it? (288 comments)

I'm a build and configuration manager (and a LONG long time software developer), and I completely agree.

If developers want to employ new (as in industry-wide, or new as in company-wide) technology, they are free to install, configure, test, and prove out the functionality and feasibility of the software on their own machine. But that should be the limit of their reach.

Any shared / integrated environment from QA on up to Pre-Prod and Prod, should be off-limits from a developers' sticky fingers. If there is an installation and / or configuration problem that arises with the application, AND a developer is needed for support, then they should absolutely be called in, but from a CONSULTATIVE role only. I.e., their fingers never touch a mouse or keyboard.

It's common (if not expected) for developers to build an intimate working relationship with the technology they're using. In the world of "familiarity breeds contempt", it means that a developer can overlook something that occurs "obvious" to them, but not to everyone else. How many times has a developer been "called in" to fix an installation problem, and the fix wasn't documented or proved out? (not to say that integrators are saints in this area, but they damn well SHOULD be). Or a developer has access to a test region, and just "hops onto the machine" to tweak a parameter that caused a test suite to fail?

QA (and QC Testers) need to count on the stability of a machine, it's known state. If a test is failing 100% of the time, it should keep failing. Or if it's passing 100% of the time, it should keep passing. Having the parameters of an integration machine change without the knowledge of the QA team (e.g. so that changes can be scheduled in, and updates to the testing suites can happen), then the validity of test runs is nullified, testing costs go through the roof, thus adding to the pressure to "skip the tests" and ship / deploy. Ick.

The instructions / script for installing a package on a machine should be EASILY understood by an installer who is skilled in the practice of software installation, and no more. (ie, not written for a senior engineer, not written for the janitor). Enough information to have it properly installed and configured, some basic troubleshooting, and a clear escalation path should issues not get resolved. Skip the 65 pages of configurable parameters if all the installer needs to alter are 12 parameters on the target machines. but don't skip ANY of those 12. If one is missed, find out why. If 10 extra are there, see which ones are needed for the different regions and skip the rest.

My personal line in the sand is the Developer integration area; that stays with the code monkeys. It's important to be able to test out package installs, and this is the type of machine upon which to do it (which is not to say there is a single DIT - have multiple, including one just to test out package installs if need be). QA regions and beyond are under tight control. I work in banks a lot, so Pre-prod and Prod are under a metaphorical armed guard.

Once the installation and config documentation is tested by the developers, the docs get thrown over the wall to the integration team (optimally, QA should be involved in a doc review to make sure that what's in the Doc is what is required, no more and no less). For a Waterfall / SDLC methodology, this documentation review and handover is one of the gating steps. For an Agile / Scrum / XP methology, this can be considered a single story, where the success condition of the task (story, etc) is working installation (works) and usable documentation (has been tested).

The key is not to go bat-crap crazy on it, but to ensure repeatability and workability. It would be GREAT if the install could be automated (or run unattended, or have little or no intermediate steps requiring human intervention) so as to reduce integration errors, but that is dependent on the requirements of those managing the QA regions and above.

about a year and a half ago

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