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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

lionchild Windows Option? (333 comments)

I know you're very keen on the idea of moving away from Windows. However, it seems like your family may at least be used to that version or installation of it. As a result, you may be causing more trouble than you want by giving them a new interface that's more foreign than what they have now.

Therefore, I might suggest a $45 option to "harden" a Windows installation: Faronics: Deep Freeze. (

This program will let you get their existing PC setup in that perfect state you want it in, then 'freeze' it in place. If they get a virus, spyware, malware, etc.. The solution is simple: Reboot. Upon rebooting, the PC -always- reverts to the state you froze it in. Their document storage space they can read/write and things stay there, but if a program is installed, *poof* it's gone.

While it might not be a perfect solution for you, you'll be able to make a yearly trip to do updates, or use 'normal' PC remote control methods to run updates and re-Freeze the system.

At any rate, something to consider.

Good luck, either way!

2 days ago

AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

lionchild Still waiting for the base of 4/1. (528 comments)

So, I live in the suburb of Kansas City, the eastern side, where perhaps we'll dream about getting Google Fiber in 2016..201, 2018..who knows. Our density isn't as great as the other places they're working. However, I do have Fiber to the Node with AT&T. But, their 'entry level' is still only 3Mbps/768Kbps, not actually 4Mbps/1Mbps.

I can get faster speeds, I know the copper to my home will support 64Mbps at my distance. However, those tiers are above the basic service. So, I'm still waiting for the "basic broadband" to catch up to this mythic 4/1 we're supposed to get. So, I'm guessing if they push to a 10Mbps minimum, I might get something like 6/2 as the base. So, I'm going to throw in with increasing the base.

On the Info-Highway, like when in air-to-air combat: Speed is Life.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

lionchild AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (355 comments)

The thing to remember about AT&T's DSL and Uverse data limits are that data coming down AND data going up count against that cap.

So when you download that 4GB movie file, it counts, but when you use Dropbox or Carbonite, those uploaded files/data count against your cap too.

about three weeks ago

DARPA Wants To Kill the Password

lionchild Administration after the Death of the Password. (383 comments)

So, if we kill the password, the foundation on which we have security built now, what does administration look like after that? If we use biometrics, do we turn that over to security, so they can verify your identity? If your fingerprint/retina pattern isn't working, does that mean it's almost always faulty hardware?

It's got to be well thought out to replace something that's just about as intrinsic as the on/off button.

about a month ago

IT Pro Gets Prison Time For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's System

lionchild Why is this news? (265 comments)

I'm not exactly sure why this is really a news thing. It took up two lines of text, and was about a guy who did something malicious, on purpose, was caught and pleaded guilty. Let's replace IT Pro with some other profession...with say a teacher. They know they're being let go, so they dip all the keys and answer sheets in ink, rendering them useless and remove covers from textbooks. They get caught / found out, admit they did it, they go to jail.

I just don't get why this is really news-worthy.

about 4 months ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

lionchild Seroius Answer: LTO6 (983 comments)

Considering that you've got to be running something larger than your average desktop PC to hold that much data, I'd consider looking at a tape library like this: ($3750)

8 slots for Ultrium 6 tapes, non-compressed will hold 20TB, 50TB if you can get decent compression...which I'm guessing you might not. I think tapes can be found for just under $65 each, depending on how you shop them.

I guess it depends on how many tapes you want to back up to after that.

about 6 months ago

School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

lionchild Getting Management's Attention (417 comments)

As someone who is part of the elected 'management' of a public school, I can say with some certainty, if you were request to address management in private, opposed to in a public forum, and respectfully indicate that the institution has engaged in a (potentially) illegal activity, they should sit up and take note. Especially if you recommend a simple solution to what could have been a simple mistake, you're more likely to get a positive response.

As far as explaining to non-technical people, I would recommend giving them a real-world example. Such as saying that you've locked up your house, but you leave one window open on the second floor. While it's not likely that someone could get in because it's on the second floor and there's no obvious way in, it's not a reasonable practice if you want to know that your home is secure.

about 6 months ago

Senator Dianne Feinstein: NSA Metadata Program Here To Stay

lionchild Support comes from the people. (510 comments)

If you want people to support the metadata program and various and sundry other programs that various services and branches are or will be using, then you need for the people to want those programs. You can't just say, "It's for your own good," or "..we should support the President," and expect them to not have reservations.

How about we start by making news reporting in the US, more about actual, real, factual news, including not merely local, but national and GLOBAL news. Embedding reports with units during previous deployments has shown it brings support to our troops, if not why they are where they are. How about the US get a taste for what rough and bloody events happen in the real world? If The People want to be protected from that coming to their shores, they'll support the things that keep that away.

The People give the power, and if not done carefully, The People will take the power.

Which reminds me: We need more Statesmen, and fewer Politicians both in the US, and abroad.

about 8 months ago

How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

lionchild Public vs. Charter (715 comments)

Here's the bottom line, all social issues aside:

A Public School takes public money, is governed by people who are locally elected. They spend public money to provide the best education possible for children in the best environment they can, (in theory and often in practice.)

A Charter School in some places takes public money in others does not. They are not always governed by locally elected people. Their job is to educate children and turn a profit, they are not a non-profit organization, like a Public School.

So, when it comes to a choice between being profitable or going down the road to being non-profitable, and what level of education they will provide their children...which will win out?

Primary Education shouldn't be based on turning a profit...ever. It's always about making choices that are first and foremost, about educating children. Sometimes it's constrained by the funds you have, but the funds are not the focus.

In the history of US Primary Education, there has only been one, Privately run "public school system" that's both provided a profit and shown improved student achievement....for one fiscal quarter. After that, the improved student achievement became flat, then fell off. If privately run systems worked, turned a profit and created high student achievement, there would be a large amount of data out there about it. There isn't any. None. Public Schools would be hard pressed to fight real data. But, there isn't any, so they're fighting deep pockets of special interest groups who want to run schools and either turn a profit, or take public money and turn a profit, without necessarily providing high student achievement.

Do all Charters want to do that? No. Some have a great desire to create high student achievement. But what has and will drag them down is that they also have to create profit, because they're a business, not a non-profit organization.

about 8 months ago

US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

lionchild The Real Winner... (511 comments)

I would like to be the guy getting the sales commission on the data storage that the NSA will require to hold that useless data until they determine it's really useless and then discard it....or keep know, just in case.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

lionchild Problems and Solutions (383 comments)

If you take your problem to management, you need to haul along with it the solution for that problem, and the justification.

The key to this sentence, is the justification.

You need to show, likely with dollars and cents, how much productivity is being lost because the current staff is being pulled away to deal with general IT issues. Lost productivity for the end user. Lost productivity for you, which in turn means delays and more lost productivity of other projects.

Bringing in your solution (additional staff), will keep you productive with your main focus. It will get quicker responses for general users thereby boosting their productivity, and so on and so forth.

In business, it's all about the bottom line in many respects. Something that costs you X to implement, but makes you 2X or 3X or 4X in return is an easy decision to make from the business perspective.

about 10 months ago

Amazon Reveals "Prime Air", Their Plans For 30-minute Deliveries By Drone

lionchild Re:In all seriousness.. (397 comments)

I can hardly think of a better destination than a busy office tower or large apartment building. They have mail rooms. Put a small annex room on the top floor, and use the Amazon Coal Chute for deliveries from the roof - straight to the guy in the mail room. The drone can fly to a known collection of rooftop destinations with much less fuss than they would to random residences/businesses "on the ground."

I'm dubious that existing buildings would work for this 'Amazon Coal Chute' since it would require re-design to add said chute, which is construction after architects and engineers, and city planning/zoning approval, etc.. I suppose if Amazon wants to pay for all that too...

Besides, I'm not sure I've seen many 'average' apartments who have a manned mail room. Luxury places, perhaps so...

about 10 months ago

Amazon Reveals "Prime Air", Their Plans For 30-minute Deliveries By Drone

lionchild In all seriousness.. (397 comments)

If private organizations can't use drones to help with natural disasters, such as those in Colorado, how do you suppose this will get approved to fly near local airports and various cities and towns won't outlaw the flying of drones?

Of course, there's always the question: How do you deliver to high-rise apartments and other high-density dwellings?

about 10 months ago

Amazon Reveals "Prime Air", Their Plans For 30-minute Deliveries By Drone

lionchild Considerations. (397 comments)

1.) What types of weather will these deliveries fly in?
2.) Will Amazon be trying to hire away remote pilots from the US Air Force, or will the US Air Force be recruiting from Amazon?
3.) You thought overnight shipping was expensive.......

Things to think about.

about 10 months ago

Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

lionchild Circumventing the Law. (1216 comments)

If the US did this, I suspect companies would be small, and run other companies. For example: Company A would be made up of workers, direct supervisors and maybe another level of supervisors above them, keeping the bottom workers and top of this company in the 'Maximum Wage' Ratio. This company would be managed by Company B, who takes reports and consults, giving direction to Company A, providing professional resources like IT, Logistics, etc. Like Company A, Company B would have several layers, but all within the 'Maximum Wage' Ratio. However, entry level people in Company B are paid more than Top-Tier Supervisors in Company A. Two different companies, interlocking boards of directorate, but each company meets the 'Maximum Wage' Ratio.

That brings us to Company C. This company provides oversight, management and strategic planning for Company B, (which in turn gives guidance and direction to Company A.) Now, like Company B, the entry level workers for Company C make more than the top-tier supervisors in Company B. Company C is made up of what would have been the CEO, Senior VP and other VP's if Company A, B, & C were still all one big organization. but in order to not change pay rates, it simply re-organized into 3 different companies with interlocking boards of directorate, and each within the 'Maximum Wage' Ratio.

Don't get me wrong, I like the theory behind the idea. But, I'm fairly certain that US companies would come up with a way to circumvent the letter of the law and tromp all over the spirit of along the way.

about 10 months ago

Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Pharmacies

lionchild Where to effectively use this.. (282 comments)

I think I'd like to see this in my doctors office. They could employ someone to take care of that, make blood work more quick for diagnostics, and patients wouldn't have to go to yet somewhere else for blood work, then everyone waits for results. I could be wrong, but it feels like this is something a doctors office might be more well invested in for the patient. And if the cost is low enough, then perhaps it's a service they add on regularly so as to insure there's not something cropping up that goes undiagnosed between visits...since we all know that particularly men don't want to go to the doctor unless something is really wrong.

But, it goes back to doctors being more invested in patients and their positive health and less about getting as many people through the door as possible in a day. However, that's probably a whole different discussion.

about 10 months ago

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

lionchild IT Workers and Technical Writing (655 comments)

This is a very interesting topic. I find it fascinating that such a large portion of IT Workers don't have a degree, but are functioning on, and creating non-fiction technical writing that is at as much as twice the level of a BS degree is currently required to show understanding of.

This is currently an important change being made in K-12 schools today. They know what level of reading and writing that is required in the work place today, so they're beginning to gear up to produce students who should be functioning on this level of non-fiction, technical writing when they graduate. However, it makes me curious what will happen to all those students and IT Workers out there who are operating at this extremely high level of technical writing without the background that one might expect them to have. Are we just the sort of folks who are going to stick around at our current jobs and not hop around as much because we don't have that degreed background, or will we move from place to place based on much of the word-of-mouth sort of thing for work we've done before?

about a year ago

How To Foil NSA Sabotage: Use a Dead Man's Switch

lionchild Re:Feds' First Move (259 comments)

Then it falls back on the consumer to stop using the service. Unused services go away and the point becomes moot. New services pop up which are 'clean' and thus the cycle starts all over again.

I like the idea of the dead-man switch. However, if the consumer does what they're supposed to, ultimately they don't win, because they have to keep switching services in this cat-and-mouse game.

1 year,10 days

The Reporter's Fifth Amendment Paradox

lionchild Willingness to Testify. (452 comments)

In a case like this, the key reason not to testify is that doing so will ruin your reputation and destroy your livelihood as a journalist.

Alternatively, you could try to plead the 5th, saying that by answering the question fully, you'll implicate yourself in criminal activity. This may be untrue, but if they grant you full immunity, then you can say something outlandish, like plotting to do away with someone in the midst of this. This may make your testimony suspect, but also does the same thing as the first conjecture, you run your reputation and destroy your livelihood as a journalist.

In this situation, it seems to me that your choices are to protect your source to some degree and destroying your livelihood, or you can tell the truth and destroy your livelihood.

I would ask: To what degree is the court willing to protect the innocent for telling the truth?

1 year,11 days

Patent Suit Leads To 500,000 Annoyed Software Users

lionchild Cash Reserves (180 comments)

Hmm...I wonder which company Apple will be buying out next?

I wonder what'll happen to their stock share price?

1 year,17 days


lionchild hasn't submitted any stories.



Posting to threads..

lionchild lionchild writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It's interesting. I start looking back through my various posts of the last year or so, and realize that I see a trend in what I see there. For the most part, it would seem my comments are either unwanted, or unappreciated. At least that's what I gather from the time folks waste using their moderation points to list me as 'redndant' opposed to elevating those comments that are better than mine.

There are times when it's obvious someone is a 'Troll', however, it's always easier to destroy and break things down than it is to build them up.

Perhaps it's better just to keep my mouth shut and let others simply wonder if I'm an idiot, than to open my yap and remove any doubt.


Meta Moderating..

lionchild lionchild writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Holy crap! Today I got a stack of 'Troll' comments to moderate. Only 3 weren't... I hadn't been doing any meta moderating, but I thought I needed to do my duty today. Wow, can I pick'em.

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