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J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting

maino82 Show of hands... (392 comments)

Who still watches live TV anymore? Personally, I couldn't tell you what night any of the shows I watch are on (Fringe included) because I watch everything on Hulu. Most of the people I work with Netflix entire seasons rather than watching shows on a week-to-week basis, and it seems rare for anyone not to have a DVR anymore. Is it time to stop using the number of people who watch the show live as a metric for how well the show does?

more than 3 years ago
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Collage, and the Challenge of "Deniability"

maino82 Re:https isn't a perfect sheild (94 comments)

You haven't checked out the firegpg page in awhile. Development has been discontinued and Gmail support has been removed.

more than 4 years ago
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Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod

maino82 Re:Worst summary ever (757 comments)

If something goes horribly, horribly wrong, circuit breakers do blow. In quite a spectacular fashion I might add, and certainly not by design.

more than 4 years ago
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Employee Monitoring

maino82 Re:Please do (274 comments)

I just finished reading the Zombie Survival Guide and no where in there does he mention the use of gold bricks as a weapon, but I think you're on to something here. Just because the world has turned into a disease ridden hell hole full of the undead corpses of those you once loved doesn't mean you can't protect yourself in style. You, good sir, are a visionary.

more than 4 years ago
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SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

maino82 Re:In 5 years (646 comments)

The problem is that you can't always tell when something is failing. A couple of examples from my own personal experience on both the software and hardware side of things...

My bosses have been of the mind for years that you use something til it breaks then you replace it. I've insisted that we take a more proactive stance and regularly replace things, not only to make sure that we have workable hardware but also to make sure we're taking full advantage of all tax breaks available (different things depreciate differently, and after certain periods of accelerated depreciation it doesn't make sense to hold onto old hardware). Long story short, I initially lost that argument and our server died, leaving us out of business for a week. Did we still have things we could do? Sure, but since our business revolves around AutoCAD and producing working drawings on a schedule developed by the architects we work for, this put is in a position to not be able to produce anything that we could actually get paid for. 10 employees at an average of $1000 per day wasted time and our company was essentially out $50,000 of productive work because we didn't spend $3-4k on new servers when we should have. Now we have a firm IT equipment replacement policy in place as a result, but we had to learn the hard way that "use it til it breaks" is not the best way to go and, in the long run, just doesn't make economic sense.

My second anecdote involves AutoCAD again, but in this case we had updated to the latest version of AutoCAD, but we were still using tools, blocks and details developed with a version that was 5 years old because, well, they still worked, right? In the mean time, AutoCAD had developed a wide array of tools and features designed to vastly increase productivity that none of our tools took advantage of because a) no one had kept up on AutoCAD enough to learn all the tricks and b) because we didn't want to invest the time to develop new tools. When a summer intern came in and showed us how cumbersome our old tools were compared to how streamlined and convenient they could be we immediately began updating our libraries. Was it vanity on our part or a need to have the "hottest newness available?" No, it was because we wanted to catch up on all the features and time saving things we'd been missing out on. Is this going to be the same for every piece of software out there? Probably not, but just because you've been doing it the same way for years in no way means you have to continue doing it that way when it may be much more efficient to use the new hotness.

I do agree that updating for updating's sake is not always the best course of action, but sitting on your laurels doing things the same way you've always done them because that's the way they've always been done is also not a very good idea.

more than 4 years ago
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The Billion Dollar Kernel

maino82 Re:Seems a bit high (289 comments)

40 hours a week? We don't hire slacker programmers here. 80 hours a week minimum means they have 10 whole seconds per line. Plenty of time.

more than 4 years ago
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If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

maino82 Skepticism (1142 comments)

I voted for skepticism, but now I'm starting to question that decision.

more than 4 years ago
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Antarctica Needs a Network Engineer

maino82 Re:One plus about the cold: (226 comments)

I'm pretty sure they don't have a distribution center there, though, so no tax! Bonus!

more than 4 years ago
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What's Holding Back Encryption?

maino82 Apathy (660 comments)

I know at my company a lot of it is apathy. We have an unencrypted FTP site where clients can upload/download stuff at their leisure. It's not sensitive material, so no one really cares if something happens to it or if someone gets hold of what's up there. Probably not the best attitude, but if the higher ups don't concern themselves with it, I don't concern myself with it too much either. That being said, for internal stuff and for access to project files from offsite, I did set up an SSH account on a segregated virtual machine that we can gain access to via SFTP. I also gave out separate keys for each individual in our organization. If a key becomes compromised I can simply issue a new one to the key holder without having to inconvenience everyone else. Still probably not ideal (I'm not a security expert by any stretch of the imagination), but better than nothing.

more than 4 years ago
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HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format

maino82 Re:0.9.3 (619 comments)

I realize that AVI is indeed old, but old and obsolete are not the same thing. People still use AVI on a very regular basis, and as long as it gets used, it is, by definition, not obsolete. I suppose one way to make it obsolete, however, is to discontinue support for it so no one can encode something in an AVI container anymore, haha.

more than 4 years ago
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HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format

maino82 0.9.3 (619 comments)

I stuck with the 0.9.3 version for quite awhile because of the lack of support for AVI in the latest release, but grudgingly I switched over a few weeks back. MKV is choppy and buggy on my Ubuntu install for some reason (I get video tearing all the time and I can't seek without the audio getting out of sync or disappearing entirely). VLC handles the files a little more gracefully than MPlayer or Xine, but it's still not ideal. I'm banking on support getting better though (or upgrading my hardware if it turns out that's the problem). I do, however, like the chapters and subtitles features that MKV brings to the table.

I can certainly understand to drop support for obsolete containers, but I think that calling AVI obsolete at this point is very premature.

more than 4 years ago
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Comcast Launches Broadband Meter

maino82 Re:It's all about timing (199 comments)

Ahhh... good 'ole "cac.psu.edu" was always good for a proxy, haha. I think the ubiquitous wireless is a more recent than my stint at UP, although occasionally you could hop on a rogue AP and utilize someone else's bandwidth.

more than 4 years ago
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Comcast Launches Broadband Meter

maino82 Re:It's all about timing (199 comments)

I graduated in '06, so it may be a more recent implementation. The page limit always irked me as well, but the ArchEng department didn't have a limit either so I'd go there to print. Hooray for fellow Penn Staters stickin' it to the man!

more than 4 years ago
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Comcast Launches Broadband Meter

maino82 It's all about timing (199 comments)

In college (I went to Penn State) they had a similar monitor that would update and show you if you were getting close to, or had already exceeded the limits for the month. After the first infraction in a semster, they'd cut you back to dialup speeds for about a week, then at the second infraction, for the rest of the semester, and after the third (assuming you could even get there at dialup speeds) you were cut off. My friends and I took this as a challenge, so we were always trying to get as close to the download limit without going over, even people who otherwise would not download much at all. I would anticipate this will only encourage similar behavior.

more than 4 years ago
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PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles

maino82 Space is a big place... (361 comments)

Do we really need to fight over it?

more than 4 years ago
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Astronomers Invent "Galaxy Game"

maino82 Re:Hot or Not (55 comments)

Supernova or Black hole

about 5 years ago
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Ted Dziuba Says, "I Don't Code In My Free Time"

maino82 Re:Yeah (619 comments)

While I am 100% for not working in my off-hours, there's something to be said for someone who works a full day, then comes home and continues (to some degree) what they were doing. Personally, I find it rewarding to do the kind of work I do (electrical engineering) and little EE projects at home make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I consider myself to be lucky to enjoy what I do for a living, and realize that many people don't, so I think there's something to be said for hiring the kind of people who genuinely love what they do for a living enough to go home and continue to tinker and perfect their craft.

more than 5 years ago
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California Publishes Television Efficiency Standards For 2011

maino82 Re:Counterpoints (265 comments)

I don't know where you're getting your numbers, but a single, small windmill will produce 800 to 10,000kwh per *year*. A utility grade turbine will produce quite a bit more, but nowhere near 6mil kwh in 6 hrs.

Not that I'm arguing with you over the fact that a $1,080,000 a year is anything to write home about (at least when you consider the current budget problems California faces), it's just, as an electrical engineer who deals with these things on a daily basis, I don't like misrepresenting the facts. Although, I will say that if you can build a turbine which can produce 6mil kwh in 6 hours, I am very interested in investing in your product.

more than 5 years ago
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California Publishes Television Efficiency Standards For 2011

maino82 Re:Counterpoints (265 comments)

The energy commission estimates that people will save about $18/yr on their electric bills in the first year. According to 2005 census data [DOC WARNING] there are approximately 12million households in CA. Let's assume each household has only 1 TV (probably a low estimate). The lowest PG&E charges me for 1kwh of power is $0.11 (up to 100% of my baseline), the highest is $0.25 (130% or higher of my baseline). Let's assume an average somewhere around $0.16/kwh (that's what my last bill averaged to, anyway).

That means that each year, each household is saving ($18/yr / $0.16/kwh) = 112.5kwh/yr.

Which means that the state of California saves (112.5kwh/house * 12million homes) = 1,350,000,000kwh/yr

Now, let's be realistic. Not everyone's going to run out and buy a new TV year 1, but let's say even 1% of households do. Heck, let's save 0.5% of households do.

1,350,000,000kwh/yr * 0.005 = 6,750,000kwh/yr

Not an insignificant amount of energy by any means.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft: Windows 7 Upgrade Can Take Nearly a Day

maino82 Re:How many times do I have to tell you, (706 comments)

I agree, although I would extend this to most OSs. Even when upgrading Ubuntu I tend to start from scratch (On LTS releases, anyway, not the in-between releases), although it's pretty trivial to do so since I separate out my /home partition and use dpkg to mark all my installed programs and then reinstall them after the upgrade. It just gives me a nice, fresh feeling to start from scratch every so often.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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PC donation and interaction with the end user?

maino82 maino82 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

maino82 writes "I recently acquired some old boxen that were going to be thrown out at my workplace (everything's on the up and up, these did not fall off the back of a truck). What I'd like to do with them is fix them up, pop in some new hardware, slap on a copy of Ubuntu and then find someone to donate them to. I would like to have the opportunity to sit down with whoever the PC is being donated to and show them how to use the OS, answer any questions they may have about it and maybe even offer a little bit of free tech support. My question to you is, are there any donation programs already in place (preferably in the San Jose/bay area) that do something similar to this that I could join forces with? Has anyone done anything similar to this in the past with any amount of success and interest from the end users?"

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