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Comments

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I think next winter will be:

pspahn Re:*shakes magic 8 ball* (146 comments)

I can only suggest having a look at Weather5280. They go into more detail during the periods where it gets nasty, such as the recent little cold snap that ended up being no big deal.

yesterday
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

pspahn Re:Actually against Islam (818 comments)

I know very little about Muhammad and the like, so I don't fully understand the teachings; however, what I do know is that ISIS is intent to cut people's heads off for bringing shoes and beds to children.

I can't imagine that Muhammad would think it's okay to behead people for bringing shoes and beds to kids. If they are the kind of people that would deprive children of basic needs, is it any surprise they are also the kind of people that would deprive children of basic education?

I don't think they have any interest in adhering to teachings of Muhammad, and since their educational backgrounds are likely as limited as the children they intend to suppress, I can only assume that they don't realize how easy it is for the rest of the world to see through their thin veil of Islam.

yesterday
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NSW Police Named as FinFisher Spyware Users

pspahn Re:Learn to write English properly... (73 comments)

This is why I came, because I wanted to read, to the comments. It gives, which is very satisfying, me a sense of validation.

2 days ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

pspahn Re:from Notch (324 comments)

Being paid to do something you love isn't a bad thing.

Also, not necessarily a good thing, either. You need to be very careful doing what you love for a living. The stresses of work, life, etc can make it much less fun. This results in you doing something you don't love for a living. The difference now is that you no longer have something you love doing.

2 days ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

pspahn Re:Microsoft can now kill Java (324 comments)

The only reason? That's it? You're saying the success had nothing to do with the original $10 price tag that guaranteed future updates? I think without that early infusion of cash, there wouldn't be any additional resources to develop for other platforms.

2 days ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

pspahn Re:magicJack alternative? (162 comments)

You know, sometimes a company wants to release a product and have it be used yet they do not want mass adoption, hence they won't advertise it.

Google Voice is one of those products.

about a week ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

pspahn Re:Deprecating the telephone system (162 comments)

I can't think of a consumer product that has taken longer to gain traction.

Arby's has been around since the 60's and I still have yet to meet someone who has eaten there.

about a week ago
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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

pspahn Re:Hangouts is, in turn, part of plus, right? (162 comments)

I've been using Voice since the beginning and it is now my primary (well, only) number.

Cell phones might be handy, but someone I'm with always has one if there is something urgent (this has happened maybe twice in a few years). People (including my luddite father) ask me, "how do you stay in touch if you don't have a cell phone?" Well, it's actually pretty easy. I just do what everyone did before cell phones. I have a number. If you call it and I answer, great. If I don't answer, leave a message or a text and I'll get back to you.

This is usually the part where someone says, "You don't have kids, do you?" I don't, but I fail to see the pressing need for a cell phone just because you have children.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

pspahn Re:It should be (363 comments)

One of the guys who was in my "counseling" class after I got a DUI was forced onto a moped since there are no licensing requirements. Our classes were mostly during winter, and he would show up just about every week covered in slush and snow.

Probably not for life, but certainly effective at making someone wish they had a proper car again.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

pspahn Re:It should be (363 comments)

If you get a DUI, your ability to drink alcohol will be severely limited.

First off, if it is deemed necessary, you will be put on Antabuse or something similar. Have fun having a drink with that shit in you.

Next, it is probable that you will have to take random urine and/or breath analysis. You are given a phone number, a color, and a state. You call the phone number every day and if the recorded message names your color, you go take a UA. If the message names your state, you go take a breath test. Failure at either of these results means you go back to square one and probably have additional fines, court costs, etc since you are likely violating probation. Not only that, but the breath tests are easily fooled and will give a false positive for even having a smoothie with no booze in it.

While it might make some sense to give someone a choice between the privilege to drive or the privilege to drink booze, in reality they will simply take away both and make it as difficult as possible for you to want to do either for the next 2-5 years.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

pspahn Re:Maybe driver vs passenger doesn't matter (363 comments)

Passengers are more than welcome to use their phone, so long as they do it in a car driven by someone who hasn't been convicted/ticketed/whatever of TWD. If you aren't happy about that, take the bus.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

pspahn Re:It should be (363 comments)

Please stop perpetuating the myth that texting while at a stop light is completely safe and not the same as while you are driving.

You are still operating a vehicle. You are still distracted. That stop light won't be green forever.

Or am I the only one that sees people using their phones at stop lights that aren't paying attention and miss the green light?

about a week ago
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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

pspahn Re:Really, nothing about coffee rust? (228 comments)

Before you get all smug and smart-ass, you might want to familiarize yourself with what the term "hardiness" means in relation to plants.

In general, it means something along the lines of "resistance to stress/difficult conditions." In reference to plants, it means "resistance to cold".

I guess if your intention is to eradicate coffee rust by engineering the plants to grow in colder climates where coffee rust isn't as prevalent, then your point makes at least some sense, but the problem you're going to run into is all the other fungal pathogens that would show up, making your efforts moot.

The poll option is poorly worded. It should not reference hardiness specifically, but instead say, "Improve the resilience of Arabica" (or something along those lines).

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

pspahn Re:How would we know? (813 comments)

But they have wicked-good legroom ...

Not being from the East Coast, I never use the term "wicked" for anything other than to describe a witch or an ex-girlfriend. I now realize it's proper use.

"Wicked good", as in, "not really that good, but better than terrible".

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

pspahn Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

Calling the Springs a "tech hub" is like calling Ft. Collins an "educational powerhouse".

There's some tech there, but I wouldn't consider it a hub by any means.

The reason for the high rape listing is simple. As someone pointed out, it is not only where the Air Force Academy is, but there is also Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and Schriever AFB. You pair this with changes in FBI reporting and it's not surprise the Springs has that many incidents.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?

pspahn Re:Reverse-SSH tunnel phone-home from remote devic (137 comments)

You sound like a Windows admin for a gov't entity.

You spend a lot of energy telling people they do it wrong without having any real insight or advice on how to do it correctly.

A blanket statement like this shows your cluelessness and shear ignorance.

What does his knowledge of a specific cutting tool have to do with anything?

about two weeks ago
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FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

pspahn Re:Idiotic (222 comments)

Would you feel safer driving I-80 across Wyoming with only large semis on the road with you?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

pspahn Re:+ operator for string concat? (729 comments)

Well, + is addition in PHP, not concatenation.

I know it's kind of bastardy, but I would expect to get 2 from that in PHP, since the 1 might have come from a database type INT and the "1" might have come from user input as a string, and your intention is to add them.

I will certainly agree that casting to a type in PHP feels like voodoo. Sometimes you need to, most of the time you don't. It's those "sometimes" that mess you up debugging since the type is often the last thing you think of as the problem.

about two weeks ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

pspahn Re:False premise (546 comments)

The degree in a scientific field from a respected school says that I am scientifically literate and know how to learn.

As if there aren't a dozen or more other ways to display these skills to an employer? That you don't realize this displays to me that your college education left you closed minded and not open to new ideas. Your second comment about naive enthusiasm and hipster-tier webcrap (whatever that even means, I hear, "it's not C++ it's crap!") simply reinforces that notion.

What if you were to find that many of these folks didn't have a degree? Based on their real-world reputation (not some imaginary reputation you get for going to a school), would you say they are scientifically literate and they know how to learn (I'd bet they know how to teach also)?

about two weeks ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

pspahn Re:False Falseness (546 comments)

I have interviewed at plenty of places that paid well and would say things like, "oh, most of our developers are self-taught." Certainly there are places that are adamant about having a degree, but definitely not all of them.

I've found that you can surround yourself with brilliant people at work and learn plenty. You can also surround yourself with idiots at work. The same can be said for college. Depending on where you go, you will be surrounded by a varying mixture of brilliant people and idiots. I would rather work for a funded startup with people that have a track record than attend your average diploma mill (assuming bettering myself and career was the goal). Similarly, I would rather attend Carnegie Mellon than work as technician at Fry's.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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I'm Quittin' the Life, Vincent.

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Let's say you had 12 hours to get up and leave your current life. No transportation, no cash, and only stuff around your house that you could carry (you can sell stuff). What makes the cut? Where do you go to, "walk the Earth"? What do you do?

Without any sensible regard for what you are leaving, how do you just up one night and start over the next day?"
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One incident exemplifying why Linux is not ready

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Preface: I am typically a fan of Linux and what makes it great. That said... So I had decided to make a short video to submit to the next Survivor casting call. It's only 30-60 seconds, so I came up with an idea and started recording. I used my EeePc netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 simply because it has worked well for me before when recording short videos. Had I known the problems I would encounter, I would be sleeping by now. Yes, this is a bit of a rant, but the point remains, things should simply not be this difficult and time consuming.

Upon loading up Cheese, I am finding that it, for some strange reason, is no longer working as it used to. Choppy video, poor recording, all around strange. It had worked perfectly fine last time I needed it. I think maybe it's some memory thing, or my hard disk is going wacky, but after some looking around, I find out that a lot of things broke between 9.04 and 10.04. Ugh. Ok. I spend a couple hours getting things working adequately.

Now I have some video that I want to move over to my main machine running Win 7 to edit and polish. I assume at first that the .ogv files from my netbook will import into something (I had done it before, somehow). I find out I assumed wrong. I spend another hour or so looking around for software to convert it into something usable. Try a couple things, and end up trying to simply use VLC to convert it (on both ends, Ubuntu and Win 7). Movie doesn't play. I try other web cam programs, all had problems.

It's now about six hours later, and I have yet to record a video on my netbook and get that video loaded and ready to edit on my Windows machine (and play correctly). This is just ridiculous. I'm not saying that it can't be done, I know it can be done, I've done it before. The problem is that this is a task I don't do on a regular basis (at least on Linux), so just getting things to a point where I can function has taken hours. I'm sorry, but this is such a slap in the face that shows how primitive and unusable Linux is for a majority of end users. A similar situation in a commercial OS would have taken minutes to get going. I have to say, Linux can often be nothing but an endless search through forums, wikis, docs, etc. just looking to find the answer to why something isn't working, only to find out there's another problem that will occur subsequently."
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Ask Slashdot: Your online education experience

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "I am currently enrolled at a very well-known online school. I was hesitant when I enrolled. It is now more than a year later, and I am regretting my decision (not surprisingly, huh?) The main problem I have is that I am not learning anything. I have several years experience with web design, yet I was not allowed to bypass Intro to Web Design 1. Similarly, there are other classes on my list that will teach me very little I don't already know, yet will cost me money all the same.

Now, I do have a great desire to learn and to further myself academically, but I just don't see much value in continuing to take classes I could have aced in 9th grade. It is also difficult when fellow classmates clearly have very little intelligence and our online discussions remind me of an AOL chat room. What online education programs have /. readers been happy and successful with? I am interested specifically in Information Security programs, and while it is possible to simply attend a local school in person, I would much prefer an online environment as it seems like a more natural medium considering the content of my studies."
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Ask Slashdot: General Macro Recorder for Windows?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "While I've never really needed a way to quickly change windows states, I was recently inspired by the thought. What methods can I use to quickly record and store the different states my desktop is in while doing different tasks? Between work, school, and life I find that I am often using several different "desktops" depending on what I am working on. At one point I might be writing a paper in OpenOffice, along with several browsers open to common research sites, my grading rubric, etc. At other times I will have Notepad++, Firebug, Inkscape, Aptana, etc. open. Then there's the chill out mode, where I have some music playing, a browser, or other meaningless things just to waste time.

I think it would be terrific if I could set my desktop to one state, take a snapshot, and then have a single icon to double-click that will restore that state when needed. Why I have never really thought of this earlier is beyond me, but I would imagine there are a bunch of ways /. readers accomplish this seemingly simple task."
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What is wrong with SSD servers?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "As the process of launching our "best web site makeover, 2010" continues, I am now looking at who to host our new best digital friend. The development guys that are building our custom theme, in some discussions, recommend their own SSD hosting because of its lightning quick ability to perform transactions. At the same time, other discussions lean towards, "I don't know, there's something wrong with those SSD servers, they keep crashing."

Another hosting company tells me that they discontinued their SSD package because it was crashing too often.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with SSD drives in a server environment? It's not like these companies are using anything less than the best SSD drives money can buy. Are they simply wearing out or becoming unreliable too quickly in lighting fast environments?"
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Where is the academic Wikipedia?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Over the past year of my belated higher-education experience, one thing has frustrated me significantly more than any of the classes I have taken. Citing sources and the availability of credible information online. Yes, I do online school. Yes, they have an online library full of great articles. However, there is an exceptional lack of organized information available covering basic concepts. Wikipedia is often my jumping off point even when I have access to the same information in my class' text.

We have not yet arrived at the point when Wikipedia is appropriate to cite simply because there is fear in the academic community that the information is incorrect. In my experience, Wikipedia is nearly always accurate when dealing with non-political topics. If I want some basic information about the function of potassium in the body or a listing of selection control structures, why should I doubt what Wikipedia has to offer?

So I suppose I'm wondering, where is the academic version of Wikipedia? Okay, you might say it's at my local library, but is that acceptable in this day and age? I like to study at home most of the time, which is the primary reason I chose online classes. I routinely spend a disproportionate amount of time searching far and wide for a credible source of information (even basic facts) versus the time I spend actually learning and writing a paper. For example, a paper I just finished (and that inspired me to ask /.) took me about 3-4 hours to write, and roughly half of that time was spent simply searching for a source of credible text. I completely understand the need to have credible sources, but should it take that much time, especially when I already have the facts needed?"
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Ask Slashdot: How to Counter a Domain Squatter?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Recently, our small business has decided to finally put the "our website sucks" reality to bed. We are working hard on getting a modern, polished, and effective web site up and running. Today, however, it came to my attention that one of our local competitors (who has a history of stealing our innovations) has registered a domain name identical to ours except for "the" at the beginning. When arriving at their squatted domain, it implies to the user that we have gone out of business and then redirects them to their website (which is equally as crappy as ours).

After some brief research, it appears that there are two "legal" paths to follow. Hiring a lawyer or going through Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy. Both are somewhat cost prohibitive at this point, and it seems silly to have to fork over thousands of dollars to resolve something that has likely cost us plenty of business as it is. What alternative options do we have for resolving this? Can we send them a generic cease-and-desist? DMCA? Anonymous? Chinese flesh searchers? I'm hoping that we can employ some type of Barbara Streisand spin on this, as we have a long history of being an honest business that doesn't use these kind of deceptive practices to lure customers."
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Making sense of web development

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "I am working on getting a new website built for our small retail/wholesale tree nursery. I have spent time discussing our project with several local development firms, and am a bit surprised to find that every single one of them uses a different platform for building sites. One is developing their own CMS based on rails. One uses Expression Engine and Magento. One uses a proprietary CMS that incurs annual licensing fees (which includes other stuff like a sign package and plant photo database).

While any ecommerce aspects will not be used immediately, we want to plan ahead and make sure we will be able to turn that on once the time comes. We will be working with an existing .csv database (exported from an ancient HP-UX box) that we want to incorporate into a web product catalog. Blogging and news updates are also necessary.

I am adamant that we are allowed full control over what we pay for, and any type of licensing that will restrict our ability to take our site elsewhere in the future is not acceptable. I will also be taking over (more or less) full-time management of the site at some point once the groundwork is built.

Our budget, while not completely inadequate, should be sufficient enough to get us what we want or at least on the right track (about $5000). I am also willing and able to do much of the menial tasks like entering all the products, uploading new images, changing banners, etc.

Here's the big question. If for whatever reason the design firm we choose isn't around in five years, or we decide to choose someone else, how can we avoid being stuck with a website that isn't portable? Aside from that, what are some other things we should be concerned with when deciding on a CMS we want to incorporate?"
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Educational PCs - C7, Atom, Nano?

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pspahn (1175617) writes "Another school year has arrived, and with it more disappointing news about our budget. Our small special ed treatment facility barely has enough cash laying around to pay for new books and supplies, so forget about equipping our classrooms with computers and internet access. I have been looking into ultra low cost PCs for some time now, out of personal interest as well as professional necessity. With the emergence of sleek Linux distros and low power CPUs, I feel the time is nearing for a move to be made. I am planning on forking out a chunk of my modest salary on a new desktop for my class. My hope is that it will draw some attention, and that a cheap PC in every class would follow. I was planning on buying a gPC, but have noticed that there are some new options incorporating Intel Atom as well as some soon to be offered options utilizing the VIA Nano. Which of these CPUs fits best into our educational environment? Low cost is obviously the biggest concern here, though nobody wants to invest in computers that are poorly built and prone to malfunction. Are there any other options I haven't considered?"
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MMO educational opportunites

pspahn pspahn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pspahn writes "I felt this was worth it's own thread, even though it's an idea I generated in a nearby thread. This is also a post meant more for CCP bigwigs to read, hopefully they do. I have spent a few years on Eve, on and off (which explains my terrible SP/month ratio), and in that time I have realized (along with everyone else) that Eve has a few very noteworthy life lessons to teach. How can an 'experience' like Eve NOT teach kids that trust is one of the most important aspects of life. Working in a facility that tries to teach these wayward kids, I have learned that trust is the main fundamental issue when it comes down to it. Kids don't trust their parents, who they see as purely authoritative, which they associate with teacher, and cops, and anyone else higher up on the food chain for that matter. If they were to become involved with a legitimate corp in Eve, with legitimate goals, don't you think that would help prepare them for the real world in more than a few ways? The fact is, Eve is a harsh reality in most aspects. There are people left and right trying to rip you off. There are people left and right who are genuinely good people. Then there are those (like myself), who are both. I honestly think that exposing some of these kids would be a true benefit to their life lesson plan. Not to mention, there would be a great excuse to keep them afterschool, teaching them about computers (which very few of them have). So, I suppose the question is, would CCP be interested in donating half a dozen accounts to some kids? It's as simple as that. I can worry about how to get them a decent computer and internet access. I'm sure there are many who disagree with this sort of 'method' of expanding the knowledge of our youth, but I can tell you, I work with them every day, and I think it could do a lot of good. I'm going to submit this to slashdot as well, because this really is a question/topic worth investigating."

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