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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

mr_mischief Re:Protip (105 comments)

Clearly you work for Trane since your freelancer.com profile says Fort Smith. There, that's out of the way now.

41 minutes ago
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seL4 Verified Microkernel Now Open Source

mr_mischief Re:What exactly is the point? (77 comments)

It allows others to borrow the code into their GPLv2 projects. It also allows others to make modifications which are not proven, but potentially those could be audited and proven, too.

yesterday
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

mr_mischief Re:They don't really want them. (540 comments)

On top of it all, the candy bar phone has Bluetooth and Bluetooth keyboards can be had separately or built into a phone case in the $20 to $70 range. This allows people willing to pay extra for a keyboard to pick the one they want and replace it separately from the phone if they need to replace it.

3 days ago
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Oracle Offers Custom Intel Chips and Unanticipated Costs

mr_mischief Re:Is it just me ? (96 comments)

The link appears to be made in TFA (the first one):

Intel's new Xeon E7-8895 v2 processor is pretty much identical to the top-of-the-line E7-8890 v2, except it has the ability to put its cores into ultra-low power states and then bring them back up as needed, according to Intel.

Intel introduced the 8890 v2 model this past February. It is the absolute top of the Xeon line, the only one with RAS capabilities and other high-end functions found in the Itanium and other RISC processors. The 8890 has 15 cores running at 2.8 GHz and more importantly, a massive 37.5 MB of cache per core for high performance analytics or in-memory databases.

So the chip is great for things like in-memory databases and it's from Oracle. So the warning about that combination might be a bit over-the-top but not totally out of the blue.

3 days ago
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Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun

mr_mischief not Gatling-like, only somewhat Gatling-inspired (39 comments)

There's no autoloading from a gravity-fed hopper. This is an interesting thing with the multiple barrels that rotate and it's a cool homage to Gatling. There's no quick reload with this thing, though. One of the neatest things about a Gatling gun is the feed.

3 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

mr_mischief changing your routes changes the interconnects (394 comments)

changing your routes changes the interconnects
changing your routes changes the interconnects
changing your routes changes the interconnects
changing your routes changes the interconnects
changing your routes changes the interconnects

Seriously, folks, changing your routes changes the interconnects.

His VPN provider probably has a much better route back to Verizon. Yes, Verizon is being somewhat dickish to not acknowledge that Netflix is a big driver for their higher speed plans and giving Netflix's bandwidth carriers a bit of a price break for that reason. No, this is no proof at all of throttling.

Is it evidence suggesting throttling? Well, yeah. Proof? Not even close. It's entirely consistent with what Verizon already said about an imbalanced interconnect that needs more hardware.

3 days ago
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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

mr_mischief Re:Racked by delays...? (142 comments)

"it appears that the word wrack ... have been replaced by the word rack"

about a week ago
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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

mr_mischief Re:Legacy Systems. (142 comments)

Just think of it as a jobs program/economic stimulus/enrichment of a random company on the public dole. It makes perfect sense if you buy into the economic value of the government scaling big bureaucracies that depend on a competent contractor to help them scale so big being beneficial to the economy. Just think about how much more beneficial it is, then, to have it done three or four times to get it right.

On the other hand, consumers could have spent that money rather than paying the government to pay those extra contractor costs. But then again, consumers tend to over-spend anyway and corrode the economy. Sometimes that's to the point that the government has to choose between bailing out the banks and bailing out the consumers. Then again, the government encourages that, too. And of course rather than bailing out the consumers they bail out the banks so they can create more consumer debt and start all over.

The main difference between big government folks and small government folks, you see, isn't that one thinks the government is well intentioned and the other thinks it is evil and needs to be kept in check. That's certainly a factor, but it's not the main one. The main difference is that big government people have an idealized concept of the government as a doer of good. Small government people are skeptical that anything too big and too detached from the lives of real people can reasonably accomplish good things for the majority of people on a regular basis.

about a week ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

mr_mischief Re:The crackpot cosmology "theory" Du Jour (214 comments)

In a way it does. They are offering that since the simplest answer was incomplete there's at least one slightly more complicated way things might work. You see, the simplest explanation isn't the thing. The simplest explanation that actually explains things is.

about two weeks ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

mr_mischief Re:They'd still be on Power if not for two things. (236 comments)

Indeed. The PC was IBM's way to fill a top-to-bottom order without letting other vendors in at the desktop/workstation levels. That was about it.

about two weeks ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

mr_mischief Re:They'd still be on Power if not for two things. (236 comments)

A Cell is a PPC core with extra coprocessors, and was the secret processor that caused delays for Apple that IBM couldn't explain. IIRC it was no secret what chip was going into the PS3 before launch. Again, IIRC, Microsoft forced IBM into a minimum delivery rate and wouldn't allow them to disclose to other chip customers where the capacity had gone.

about two weeks ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

mr_mischief They'd still be on Power if not for two things. (236 comments)

G5s ran too hot for notebooks. IBM's manufacturing capacity for Power/PPC cores outside its own servers and workstations was eaten up by Microsoft for its XBox line. Apple was waiting too much on inventory. They switched to Intel not because their chips were more powerful, but because their chips were more available and could be used more flexibly.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

mr_mischief Re: Well. (749 comments)

I am a US citizen. I don't consider criticism of the US government to be anti-American. In fact, I consider criticizing the US government to be one of the most pro-American and American-like things one can do. The US government isn't America. The people are the country. The government when it hurts the people is the anti-American one. Loving the government over the people is anti-American. Loving the people of America and pointing out or correcting the failings of the government is the legacy of the country.

And yes, I have been pointing out that the government here has been favoring businesses over people and favoring one business over another for some time. Basically whichever business is best for the legislators gets the best laws, and whichever is best for the executive gets the most preferential enforcement of those laws. I think it's hard to say that's far from fascism if we're to be honest. It's a kinder, gentler fascism than those we associate with the term, but for how long?

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

mr_mischief Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

It is illegal to put oneself in a position which must by necessity lead to breaking one law or another. If they can't follow the jurisdiction of both governments then they have no right to operate across those jurisdictions as one business venture.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

mr_mischief Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

You can subpoena the party to produce the evidence. The people in the US are answerable to US law by definition. The people in Ireland are by definition under the control regarding the employer's data of their employers in the US. What would seem to be the problem?

I guarantee you that if you smuggled evidence from the US to Ireland that the US government would punish you for not producing it.

about two weeks ago
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AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To the Test

mr_mischief Re:Not quite (42 comments)

Intel has 107,600.

How many people do you think work in the graphics division of AMD? How many at NVidia?

about two weeks ago
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AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To the Test

mr_mischief Re:what? (42 comments)

Crazy and very specific applications like CAD, video editing, video transcoding, and stuff like that you mean? Yeah, that's what they benchmarked.

about two weeks ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

mr_mischief Louisiana and Mississippi (242 comments)

All along the Mississippi River towns filter and purify water from the river for drinking, then treat their sewage and put it back into the river. If you drink the water near the delta then part of what you're drinking has been through dozens or hundreds of people.

Connecting the output to the input eliminates some of the waste of wastewater. It's good enough for NASA, so it's good enough for you.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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White House petitioned to save those in hot cars

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about two weeks ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The White House, through the "We the People" petition site, has received a petition to allow civilians to proactively free children, the elderly, and animals stuck in hot cars and then contact authorities, as these situations are time-sensitive. The petition asks for a federal law granting people the right to do this uniformly across the country.

So far it has fewer than 1,000 signatures, but do we really need it to have more? Is there a jurisdiction in the US where breaking a window to save a human life is actually considered a crime by police and the courts? If so, what madness is that? Do Congress and the President really need to state in a statute that saving a life is justifiable grounds for what it basically minor property damage?

Is this a case of overly cautious people, overly litigious civil society, or overzealous enforcement of laws? How does it interact with good samaritan laws? What makes doing the right thing so hard?"
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Bill to ban sales of prepaid wireless without ID

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The Washington Post headline reads: "New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones".

According to the Washington Post, "A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks." The proposal says the term of retention by the phone companies should last until eighteen months after deactivation.

At least The Post mentions some of the problems, which is better than many others covering the story. They cover the need for anonymous communications for battered spouses, whistleblowers, and others. They also note the concern that it could be a precursor to registered-only communications on the Internet.

Mobiledia quotes Chuck Schumer as, ""This proposal is overdue because for years terrorists, drug kingpins and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace," said Schumer. "There's no reason why it should still be this easy for terror plotters to cover their tracks."

Mobiledia goes on to compare freedoms about electronics in the US to, of all places, Thailand, Singapore, and Australia. "Several countries, including Australia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand, already require prepaid buyers to register their information."

According to Rueters, Republican John Conryn is quoted as, "A major lesson we've learned from the investigation and arrest of Faisal Shahzad is that we must require individuals purchasing a prepaid cell phone in this country to provide verified identifying information," Cornyn said (emphasis added by submitter to Slashdot).

Michael McAuliff of The New York Daily News editorializes, "We suspect most people will like this measure, but the phone companies, libertarians, and immigrant groups may not be pleased."

Is this really an important power of government, or is it just more grabbing of the privacy and security of normal Americans using a questionable rallying cry?"

Link to Original Source
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Google updates Chrome EULA

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "According to The Register and confirmed at Chrome's EULA page, the objectionable parts of Chrome's license as reported in Slashdot story Reading Google Chrome's Fine Print have been removed.

Rebecca Ward is the Senior Product Counsel for Google Chrome. When asked about the debacle and the public outcry, she said, "In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products. Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service. This change will apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome."

Matt Cutts over at Google called the license snafu, "clearly a mistake" and said he should have been "grateful to the people that pointed it out". He apologizes for his initial "strident" reaction in his blog."
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Washington Post labels Kennedy from Illinois

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "It's a common theme on Slashdot to point out sloppy reporting, especially around tech or science articles. I thought I'd point out this US political snafu from a paper that should know better — The Washington Post has Senator Ted Kennedy labeled as a Democrat from Illinois. Too bad he's from Massachusetts. Perhaps this sloppy reporting problem has as much to do with hurrying the stories as having no clue about what's being reported."
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Fallout 3 deemed unsuitable for sale in Australia

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "According to GameSpot, PC World, and PSX Extreme, the Office of Film and Literature Classification has refused to classify Bethesda's third installment to the venerable series.

Games apparently need to be classified with a rating to be legal for sale in Australia. The most adult-oriented classification for games is for material suitable for the age of 15 and over. That means the OFLC deems something in the game — rumored to be use of the drug morphine, although there are no details as to why on the OFLC site — is unsuitable for those under 15. There are higher classifications for other media."
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Switchgrass -- a biofuel source for the US?

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "SciAm reports that farmers and USDA scientists have tracked the energy inputs into a native perennial grass over a five-year period. They've also tracked the output, and they say there's a 540% surplus of energy harvested over what's put in by the farmers. It even grows on land that's not good enough farmland for raising food and fiber crops. The catch is that it requires cellulose to ethanol conversion, which unlike sugar to ethanol conversion is not yet a commercial concern in the US.

The DOE intends to help change the picture by partially funding six refineries for cellulosic biorefineries to the tune of $1.2 billion.

It certainly sounds better than ethanol from corn, but we'll have to wait to see if this is the fuel source of the near future in the US."
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Another Google cross-domain vulnerability fixed

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The Register reports that a vulnerability allowed exploiting Google Docs to access information stored in users' GMail accounts. The bug is said to be fixed now. It was possible using proof-of-concept code to grab Gmail contact lists as witnessed by the reporters. The developer of the PoC says he could just as easily grab actual email messages or other user data on Google's servers until the hole was closed."
Link to Original Source
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CNet reporter calls for Microsoft to abandon Vista

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "As it's hard to miss the stories lately, all of us on /. are likely to know people are underwhelmed with Windows Vista. Well, Don Reisinger over at CNet's News.com is not quite just underwhelmed. He suggests that Vista may be the downfall of Microsoft because the company has really just missed the mark with the operating system. Despite years in development, Reisinger says Vista was delivered to market too early. He also says it's overpriced and plain doesn't work well enough for its users, among other complaints. His suggestion? Support those who are running it, but ditch Vista and move on."
Link to Original Source
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$199 Linux laptop

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about 7 years ago

mr_mischief writes "According to Hot Hardware's recent review, Asus is getting ready to unleash a $199 compact notbook running Linux. This is entirely different from this recent $150 Linux laptop story which many Slashdot readers believ to be a scam.

There's a dual-mode menu which offers a simple system for novice computer users, and a slightly more advanced version for others. It's not aimed squarely at the same market as the One Laptop Per Child project's XO, and is expected to be sold to end suers worldwide. It's targeted at new users who don't own a computer or at people who want a cheap, small laptop for basic tasks.

The reviewed version has a 7" screen and a cramped keyboard to match, but a 10" version is available for $100 more. It offers built-in wired and wireless networking,four USB 2.0 ports, and a three-hour battery life. The storage options are a bit cramped, as you only get 4 GB of onboard storage (8 GB on the $299 model) and no optical drive. As the review says, though, USB 2.0 can make up for that if you like, and the lack of moving drive parts makes the machine run dead quiet."

Link to Original Source
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "Got Firefox? Get it updated!

The Mozilla Foundation has released an important security update for Firefox 2.0 which fixes eight vulnerabilities (five of them rated critical) among other things.

Patches are also available for Firefox 1.5.0.x and Thunderbird 1.5.0.x as well.

See Secunia's advisory to find out more about security issues with memory corruption in the JavaScript and layout engines, a heap-based buffer overflow handling Windows bitmaps, a couple of arbitrary HTML/script vulnerabilities and what appear to be a couple of arbitrary native code vulnerabilities."
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "It turns out that circumcision, which some berate as a cruel and primitive practice while others say helps in cleanliness and disease control, may actually have a significant impact on the spread of certain diseases. In particular, the BBC is reporting a US National Institutes of Health study in whichthe practice cut HIV transmission rates from women to heterosexual men by about 50%.

While doctors understandably don't want to promote promiscuous sex and 50% is still too strong a chance of transmitting such a serious disease, the recommendation is that circumcision be part of a plan to combat the disease.

Although every disease is different, I wonder if it's clear enough to people that if one disease is slowed by this practice that it probably has some effect in slowing some other diseases as well."
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "EETimes reports Microsoft is working on standardizing a robotics platform and development for it. They want to make it easier to develop robots, starting with the IDE and development environment and continuing through specifying acceptable hardware, just like for PCs and Windows CE devices.

What's next, the MS directives of robotic behavior, including "Do not allow Microsoft to be harmed through your actions or inactions", and "Do not play music, movies, or games that are not from cartel-approved suppliers?""
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "Microsoft has a bulletin about a vulnerability for something called Vector Markup Language. Security Focus has one too.

Vector Markup Language was a proposed web standard that was passed on by the standards bodies and which was both subsumed and superseded by Scalable Vector Graphics.

Despite VML being passed over and another alternative being made a standard, Microsoft implemented it anyway. In the implementation there is a security problem that MS says can allow an attacker total control of a target system.

If it's nonstandard, duplicating functionality offered by a standard, and they can't be bothered to do it right the first time, perhaps they shouldn't preinstall it on millions of computers around the world. How could Microsoft actually get enough of an edge from undercutting a fairly widely implemented standard with a dangerous implementation that it is financially worthwhile for them? Wouldn't be better for them in the long run to just implement the standard, or is there some huge installed base of VML somewhere that I'm just missing?"

Journals

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Is Acclaim really being forward-thinking with Top Secret?

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I saw this message when I went to their site to look it over using Firefox 2.0.0.3:

Welcome to Acclaim!
We recommend viewing the Acclaim site
with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0. You can
use other browsers but you may not receive
the full experience.

WTF? And they want to tell me they're a groundbreaking software house? Check out the groundbreaking work they're doing in your favorite browser and see what it says.

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