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Comments

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Civilization V Officially Available On Linux For SteamOS

musicon Works Great! (93 comments)

I saw the announcement yesterday afternoon, and found it listed already in my available games (since I had previously purchased it for Windows, under WINE).

It works wonderfully under Linux: it's faster, uses less resources, and doesn't crash nearly as often as it did under WINE.

I'm extremely happy, as this was one of the few reasons I still have a WINE install in place.

about a month and a half ago
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I prefer my peppers ...

musicon Used to be spicier (285 comments)

I used to prefer spicier, but age has not been kind and now I can't handle more than a half-dozen jalepeno slices without paying for it later.

That said, I'd prefer flavor over heat.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

musicon Yeah! (224 comments)

Long time or not, this is a good thing for Microsoft to do, as well as for the community in general.

Unfortunately, however, it's under a non-commercial license, so any FreeDOS developers still need to avoid contact with it to avoid any IP complaints.

about 3 months ago
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Android Tablet Gives Rare Glimpse At North Korean Tech

musicon Re:When you turn it on... (125 comments)

I did what you suggested, spent about 10 minutes looking around.

Yes, there are buildings, and yes there are cars. But, I saw hardly any cars (mainly buses, and only a handful of those), and I also didn't see any parking lots. So, either I completely missed it, or you're seeing something I'm not.

Just for kicks, I looked up a list of the world's poorest countries, and picked #1, Congo. While I don't see as many industrial/high-rise buildings in the cities (definitely many more individual homes) I see more cars and other signs of human travel and habitation.

about a year ago
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Firefox 23 Makes JavaScript Obligatory

musicon Lazy Programmers (778 comments)

I'm sorry, but the statement

Today there are a lot of programmers of the opinion that if the user has JavaScript off then its their own fault and consuming the page without JavaScript is as silly as trying to consume it without HTML.

is asinine. It's not difficult to put a noscript tag with a reasonable explanation for clients. All production sites should have graceful fall-back for accessibility and other client issues anyway.

1 year,23 days
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Why Are We Still Talking About LucasArts' Old Adventure Games?

musicon Re:I'll remember the pain. (285 comments)

You're absolutely right. However, I'll admit to now being one of the people giving up. I happily spent days tweaking every config.sys and highmem option 20 years ago. Nowadays I'm lucky to get 2-3 hours a week to play, and I'm not going to waste half of it just trying to get the damn game started. Hell, I just bought and started playing the original Bioshock last week, and made sure before I did that it worked 100% under Wine before I did.

about a year ago
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Life After MS-DOS: FreeDOS Keeps On Kicking

musicon Re:Not surprising (255 comments)

It's not just legacy systems -- there are still current systems being deployed using FreeDOS, such as a few of the fast-food drive-through order screens, elevator news systems, etc.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids?

musicon Discuss what things are appropriate (307 comments)

Unfortunately, children will explore and learn things you don't want them to regardless how much we will (or want to) shelter them.

That said, the solution my wife and I have is we tell them certain things are appropriate, and others are not. When they're older, they can view them, but for now it's not appropriate.

We have two Popcorn C-300s, and the media I don't want the kids to watch are in a separate directory called "Not Appropriate". That way, you don't have to go nuts with security and lockdowns, and your kids know what's there. Knowing the media is there but shouldn't be viewed also teaches them self-restraint.

about a year and a half ago
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Malware Is 'Rampant' On Medical Devices In Hospitals

musicon Completely True (234 comments)

I once worked for a company that produced equipment used in hospitals, and I can vouch for the issues installing updates as well. Moreover, hopelessly stupid things were done such as hard-coding the hosts file for remote diagnostics, and logging in and running applications as the Windows Administrator account. Furthermore, the hospital IT staff was equally incompetent, in that even if (by some miracle) we wanted to patch the products we had to jump through hoops to do so, and even simple things like DNS resolution were filtered for our devices.

about 2 years ago
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Study Finds Unvaccinated Students Putting Other Students At Risk

musicon No Exemptions Allowed (1025 comments)

In order to drive a car, you need a government-mandated license indicating a minimum competency level so you aren't a danger to others.

In order to fly a plane, you need a government-mandated license indicating a minimum competency level so you aren't a danger to others.

The right to practice law, become a doctor, and even have a job (by requiring social security number) is mandated by law.

Why are people allowed to create a public safety problem by opting out of "required" vaccines?

about 2 years ago
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A Million-Year Hard Disk

musicon Isn't it obvious? (394 comments)

Instead of using any existing language (written or spoken), you use mathematics and pictograms. Essentially the same as how they did the drawing on Voyager.

Just start with a basic number system, individual atoms, then a description of radiation, time periods, etc. None of those should change within a few million years.

If you want to give a start and end date, just use a star chart based on the current location of earth with of a few obvious bodies for reference and project it forward.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

musicon Diane Duane - So You Want to Be A Wizard? Series (726 comments)

I'd highly recommend the series So You Want to Be a Wizard? series by Diane Duane for kids in the 8-15 age range, although they read fine for older ages as well. And before anyone asks, I'd recommend them over the Harry Potter series. For older kids (12-18), the Amber series by Roger Zelazny is great as well. There's also the old Danny Dunn series. Finally, depending on the kids' maturity level, go for the classics (Stranger in a Strange Land, A Wrinkle in Time).

more than 2 years ago
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Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

musicon Re:Numerous problems, all downgrades from Jaunty (1231 comments)

*shaking stick* Now get off my lawn, whipper snapper! :P

Hey, some of us used to have to scrounge together floppies for Slackware, deciding whether we really needed X or not. Sad thing was, I went back to OS/2 at the time since it had better hardware support :)

more than 4 years ago
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Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

musicon Numerous problems, all downgrades from Jaunty (1231 comments)

Unlike previous releases where I jumped in fairly early in the beta process (beta 2 or 3), I waited to move to Karmic until the release. I also decided to do a clean install this time to ensure I wouldn't run into any upgrade issues.

Unfortunately, despite the supposed "papercut" fixes, this release seems far more prone to problems. On my Dell Latitude 620 (with Intel graphics, mind you):

  1. Where Jaunty did great handling my laptop display and external monitor, Karmic has had no end of problems; problems that kept enforcing mirroring of displays, continually defaulting to 1024x768, random placements of the taskbar and notification popups, etc. See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8229025 about moving the taskbar.
  2. Totem/gstreamer had no display, just a blank screen. Finally found http://blog.php-oop.net/archives/39
  3. The system defaulted to enabling compiz. I turned it off while troubleshooting all of the other video errors, but now it won't enable again.
  4. Despite the touted KMS, I still have a 2-3 second wait at boot (text mode from Grub I'm assuming), and later a 2-3 second delay with a blank screen excepting an underscore in the top-left corner that shows up between the boot image (eg, usplash) and the "pulsing" gdm startup
  5. The overall boot time (from power on to entering my password) is roughly identical to Jaunty -- I don't notice any difference.
  6. Power usage seems to be about the same, although powertop has reported a spike of 33W whereas before I never saw it go over 19W.
  7. Much higher memory usage reported in system monitor (previously most of the memory was allocated to cache, now most of it is allocated to programs).

About the only good thing I can say (which may also be attributed to the larger 500G drive I swapped in for the install), is that overall the system seems smoother and more responsive.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Phasing Out Support For IE6

musicon Corporate Intranets (481 comments)

Don't start celebrating prematurely. There's a good article on Quirksmode about why IE6 will continue to live on corporate intranets.

about 5 years ago
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New Record For Solar Cell Power Efficiency

musicon Re:someone convince my local government (351 comments)

Shivetya, sorry to hear about your troubles. I'm both the president of my neighborhood association, and own a company that handles the day-to-day management of associations.

The HOA itself, whose Board Members consist of homeowners living in your neighborhood, are usually good people who just want to help (but there are always exceptions). But, since these are volunteer positions, people don't always have the opportunity or time it takes to take care of everything themselves -- leading to the hiring of a management company.

Most of the management companies out there are run by people with former realty experience (Realtors, title companies, etc.), but not necessarily people who have also been on the "other side of the fence" (ie, HOA Board Members). However, many of the people who do the day-to-day work at management companies (think bill paying, driving neighborhoods, answering phones) have little-to-no training or experience with actual property management. The vast majority of my business comes from HOAs that are looking for a less abusive, more responsive management company.

My recommendation to you is as follows:

  • Find out who the actual Board Members of your Association are.
  • Mention your concerns and issues to the Board Members. Be specific, and brief; remember, these are volunteers and most likely won't even be aware of the issues you've run into (like the rain barrels) as that was all done by the management company.
  • Don't expect an immediate resolution. While they can grant an approval/exemption right then, most likely they'll want to talk to their contact at the management company first.
  • If your Board Members are dismissive or won't listen to your concerns, remember that you have the option of forcing a recall and/or running against them at the next election. Your Bylaws should have the specifics around recalling, term length, etc.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install

musicon musicon writes  |  about 2 years ago

musicon writes "According to Nadim Kobeissi, Windows 8 is configured by default (using a new featured called Windows SmartScreen) to immediately tell Microsoft about every app you download and install. This is a very serious privacy problem, specifically because Microsoft is the central point of authority and data collection/retention here and therefore becomes vulnerable to being served judicial subpoenas or National Security Letters intended to monitor targeted users. This situation is exacerbated when Windows 8 is deployed in countries experiencing political turmoil or repressive political situations.

Additionally, it may be possible for a 3rd party to intercept SmartScreen’s communications to Microsoft and thus learn about every single application downloaded and installed by a target."

Link to Original Source
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Pat Villani, original FreeDOS kernel author, died

musicon musicon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

musicon (724240) writes "Sharing the sad news that Pasquale "Pat" Villani, author of the original FreeDOS kernel, died Saturday August 27th at his home. Mr. Villani was the author of two books including "FreeDOS Kernel", a member of I.E.E.E., and the holder of numerous patents. He also wrote several articles on Computer and Electrical Engineering Designs."
Link to Original Source
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "A group of scientists at Purdue University have created a portable refinery that efficiently converts food, paper and plastic trash into electricity. The machine, designed for the U.S. military, would allow soldiers in the field to convert waste into power and could have widespread civilian applications in the future. Researchers tested the first tactical biorefinery prototype in November and found that it produced approximately 90 percent more energy than it consumed"
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "Seymour Papert, 78, an expert on how children learn, was struck by a motorbike Tuesday while crossing one of the many traffic-clogged streets near his hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. He underwent brain surgery at the French Hospital on Wednesday, and is currently in a coma. Papert helped develop the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT and was instrumental in launching the Logo computer language."
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "Hans Reiser (the creator of ReiserFS on Linux systems) was arrested today for the murder of his wife, who has been missing since September 3rd. Police have not found her body, but say there is enough circumstantial evidence to indicate that she was murdered, with a contentious divorce as one potential motive."
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "Christopher Blizzard with the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project has written a long update on the current status of the project. 'We've gotten a lot done, but I don't think that's been communicated to the outside world very well. So, for the first time, here's an update of where we are. Hopefully I'll be able to do this on a regular basis.'"
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "Linux Weekly News has just posted a position paper from 29 Linux kernel developers on the current GPLv3 draft. 'The three key objections noted in section 5 are individually and collectively sufficient reason for us to reject the current licence proposal. However, we also note that the current draft with each of the unacceptable provisions stripped out completely represents at best marginal value over the tested and proven GPLv2. Therefore, as far as we are concerned (and insofar as we control subsystems of the kernel) we cannot foresee any drafts of GPLv3 coming out of the current drafting process that would prove acceptable to us as a licence to move the current Linux Kernel to.'"
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon (724240) writes "Twelve years in the making, the FreeDOS Project (a free DOS-compatible operating system for IBM-PC compatible systems) has finally reached the "1.0" milestone: 'This is a very important day for FreeDOS. A lot of you have put in so much work over the years, helping to make everything perfect. Even if you didn't contribute code, you helped out the FreeDOS Project by submitting comments and bug reports. Thank you!'"
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musicon musicon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

musicon writes "As previously mentioned on /., the Optimus Mini Three Keyboard is real! A working final production sample is shown on ThinkGeek with several pictures and a description of features. The Mini is estimated to be available in September for $160."

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