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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

ratbag Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (385 comments)

Why not as long as the chechsums match?

As I said, if there's no trustworthy source of checksums, ie if HP don't make the checksums available to non-payers, to what am I going to match the suspect, pirated files?

about 10 months ago
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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

ratbag Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (385 comments)

But no sensible sysadmin would go to a pirate site to get firmware updates, so I really would fault someone doing that. If there's no reliable source of checksums available without a contract, how on earth would we ever trust the pirated updates?

about 10 months ago
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Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments

ratbag Re:Ten Commandments are "overtly Christian"? (1251 comments)

The monument is overtly Christian - note the book illustrated top-left: http://peoplesworld.org/ten-commandments-monument-spurs-controversy-in-oklahoma/

Also note the voting record and recorded religion of the guy whose family funded it and who introduced the bill permitting it in the first place: http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/106671/mike-ritze#.UqZHmZGELK4

So the intent seems to be overtly Christian, even if the Ten Commandments are shared by many religions.

1 year,11 days
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Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

ratbag Re:Headline (338 comments)

Ok, we get it, you don't like Slashdot.

From the patent:

For example, upon analysis of the text, it may be determined that the origin of the text is from a Shakespearean play. A setting or location of 16.sup.th Century England may then be determined by the context analysis module 316

amongst other references to the Bard.

about a year ago
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OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle

ratbag Re:Not what you need for sports! (66 comments)

Can you point this time-poor Slashdotter to where TFA says the device "reconstructs the 3D scene" as opposed to provides a 360 degree panorama?

about a year ago
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Campaign To Kill CAPTCHA Kicks Off

ratbag Re:Captcha is necessary. (558 comments)

... bot checks for fields hidden by javascript, doesn't fill them in, you accept the form. The arms race continues.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should More Math and Equations Be Used In the Popular Press?

ratbag Re:A good start (385 comments)

because non-SI units are the most commonly accepted units in the US, it is logical to use those units to communicate.

And US scientists and engineers never communicate with colleagues, competitors or customers from (most of) the rest of the world who have embraced the future (circa 1795-1975)?

Can you see why a previous comment about "everyone different than me" tickles me?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should More Math and Equations Be Used In the Popular Press?

ratbag Re:A good start (385 comments)

To pre-empt any silliness, let's say the container is full of a liquid stable at the local room temperature.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should More Math and Equations Be Used In the Popular Press?

ratbag Re:A good start (385 comments)

No, not a magic bullet, but a self-consistent, extensible, logical, location-independent basis for straightforward communication. Conversion of units doesn't scare me, it just seems a splendidly archaic and sometimes error-prone way to spend time. A quick trite example: without knowing where your interlocutor lives or works or chooses to base their unit system on, tell me how much liquid is in the gallon container next to my desk?

"Everyone different from me" is amusing, maybe even ironic, though I don't know where you hail from so I can't be sure.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should More Math and Equations Be Used In the Popular Press?

ratbag Re:A good start (385 comments)

Personally I think that part of the problem is the non-metric units that are still in use. By accepting that it is in any way sensible to use them, you've already given up on the logical, elegant approach to quantification. You've made it more likely that people resort to the "football fields" etc.

about a year ago
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Kodak Ends Production of Acetate Base For Photographic Film

ratbag Re:Sad, but inevitable. (137 comments)

With regard to the long exposures, I've found digital makes one aspect of the process much, much better, and that's the oldest argument in favour of digital in general: experimentation is quick and cheap. I've started using Lee's Big Stopper recently and I'm pleased I can chuck away (without developing) 97% of my early work with it!

about a year and a half ago
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LLNL/RPI Supercomputer Smashes Simulation Speed Record

ratbag Re:The Bomb (79 comments)

From Oxford Dictionary of English:

commentator |ËkÉ'mÉ(TM)nteÉtÉ(TM)|
noun
a person who comments on events or on a text.
â a person who commentates on a sports match or other event.

Commenter may have been more appropriate in the circumstances, I'll grant you.

about a year and a half ago
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LLNL/RPI Supercomputer Smashes Simulation Speed Record

ratbag Re:This could be good... (79 comments)

At the risk of getting all mushy and sentimental - thank you aussie.virologist, and your ilk, for doing something worthwhile with all these processor cycles available to the world.

about a year and a half ago
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Lawmakers Seek To Ban Google Glass On the Road

ratbag Re:HUD (375 comments)

1. Traffic monitoring built in to my chosen GPS enables changes to route after setting off.

2. Even without automatic traffic updates, I can see problems ahead, turn off the current route and let the GPS pick up the pieces.

3. If I've got a long route memorised (in a hypothetical world without GPS), but somehow forget a turning I will have to backtrack or find signs to the next "waypoint" in my mind. If I'm in another country, or well outside my usual area of travel, that's a non-trivial task.

4. "Safety" camera information is available from the GPS, along with stuff like petrol stations, car parks, etc..

5. Why shouldn't I use GPS? Just because people have done things for about a century doesn't mean we can't embrace progress. I can still read a map quite nicely, thanks and still use one for planning longer walks or driving tours etc. But I would not willingly sacrifice my car's GPS for day-to-day driving.

about a year and a half ago
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Can Proprietary Language Teams Succeed By Going Open Source?

ratbag Re:Money is in bi-annual books and training (136 comments)

Get off the treadmill :) Whilst I do have some "current" Rails books (notably The Rails 3 Way), I've stopped getting new editions of the Pickaxe or Agile WDR books. RailsCasts and good old fashioned studying the docs or picking through Stack Overflow have replaced purchasing books on Rails.

And the solution has hardly changed "completely" every two years. You'd still recognise Rails 1 code if you saw it today.

I limit my book purchases now to well-regarded overviews of new technologies, published before the full developer ecosystem has evolved, along with meatier tomes on design or subjects that I might one day make use of but don't currently need (most recently a book on ANTLR).

about 2 years ago
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Can Proprietary Language Teams Succeed By Going Open Source?

ratbag Re:Yes. (136 comments)

Microsoft's wide portfolio of products may allow a little cross-subsidisation (mild understatement), which is not really an option for a one-product firm as described in this story.

Also the Express editions might be considered loss-leaders: you start with the basics and eventually you need the full-blown paid product. It doesn't seem like this firm is differentiating its offerings in such a way.

about 2 years ago
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How Do You Backup Your Data?

ratbag External drives (212 comments)

Small company, 10 employees. Offsite to a Drobo (rsnapshot and Carbon Copy clones of various Linux and Mac servers). Back that up to another external drive.

Separately back up key info from the servers, including complete email incoming and outgoing, to a portable drive, moved out of my office every night.

Also site-to-site backup of key Linux servers.

So I've got backups in London and two locations in Kent, for servers in London and Frankfurt.

And still I wake in a cold sweat every once in a while...

about 2 years ago
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Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

ratbag Re:US Metric System (1387 comments)

Replying to my own post in order to correct inaccuracy in first paragraph. As multiple responders have pointed out, milk is not sold by metric volume but by our version of Imperial measurements.

Still, they do "map quite closely to the old sizes" :)

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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BBC Radiophonic Workshop revived online

ratbag ratbag writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ratbag (65209) writes "From BBC news: "The BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, which created theme tunes and sound effects for programmes including Doctor Who and Blake's 7, is to reopen after 14 years. The original workshop was known for its pioneering use of electronic sounds. Founded in 1958, it was best-known for creating the eerie swoosh of the Doctor Who theme tune, but its compositions were also used in numerous radio dramas, The Goon Show and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.As well as music, the workshop created sound effects — from champagne corks popping to the distorted, strangulated voices of the Daleks.'"
Link to Original Source

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