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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Bah hah hah (118 comments)

Maybe you just have small hands but I found Blackberry phones to be completely useless. I can't type or even dial a phone number on them without a serious case of fat finger syndrome. It takes forever for me to type out the simplest things on a blackberry.

You have to type with the tip of your thumb rather than the pad. It's not that hard.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

roc97007 too complicated (125 comments)

> So, I'm thinking either face-recognition or retinal scans...

Waayyyy too complicated and expensive and Charlie's Angels-ish. If all you're trying to do is identify which user performed which step, RFID is your friend. Have an RFID sensor integrated into the workstation, and require the user to "sign" their work with their badge before they can commit.

Look at people going to work every day using RFID badges. If you want something faster than logging in with A/D credentials (which would have been my first suggestion), swiping a badge is pretty much as fast as you're going to find.

Now, if people using each other's credentials is a concern, or security in general, then you're looking at using A/D credentials plus a badge ("something you know, and something you have"). I personally wouldn't go with biometrics until they've gotten cheaper and more foolproof. Maybe never.

yesterday
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Money how? (118 comments)

I agree with you in general, but feel obligated to point out, the difference (and it is a small one) is, Blackberry had at one time a superior product. Whereas, Microsoft never did.

yesterday
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Blackberry does communication better (118 comments)

> That's only because it had a better OS and software. It isn't actually better than the iphone.

Right.... because.... got it! Because it's not an iphone. There, I've run circles around you logically. Now it's time for the penguin on your iphone to explode.

2 days ago
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Bah hah hah (118 comments)

Active Synch does fine for the things Active Sync does. I liked having transparent access to intranet shares, and that I could easily transition from any environment to any other -- in 2005 -- by rolling over the item and pressing the button. For instance, in a calendar alert, roll to the Organizer, press, send him an email saying I'll be a little late. Some of these features are now available on other platforms, but Blackberry was there first, and they still do it better.

I can't speak for your environment, but BES here was one (1) server for the entire company (approx 20K employees, admittedly not all with blackberrys). That doesn't sound particularly resource-hungry. As to the pain in the ass part, I haven't administrated BES so I can't say for certain, but before outsource we had two people doing it part time (each backing up the other) and it was rock solid. Now we have an entire silo who can't do anything that had not previously been written down as a step-by-step procedure. But that's not Blackberry's fault.

2 days ago
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Not enough (118 comments)

They couldn't pay me to use or carry that monstrosity. Makes you wonder just what were they thinking...

I'd have to reluctantly agree. It doesn't look ergonomic. It looks like an odd compromise between having a physical keyboard and having a smartphone-sized screen.

I'd be more interested in a Classic.

2 days ago
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

roc97007 Re:Bah hah hah (118 comments)

Please add, older Blackberrys had the best physical, tactile keyboard in the industry, before or since, and experienced users could very nearly touch-thumb-type on them.

I went from a Blackberry Tour to an Android phone years ago when IT was outsourced and we apparently lost the ability to keep BES alive. Several years later, I'm still not as fast on the Android virtual keyboard than I was on the old Blackberry. I really miss that keyboard.

I'd go back to a Blackberry in a second (provided it has a good physical keyboard) if our offshore admins could keep BES operational for more than 18 hours straight. The smaller screen and fewer apps were more than made up, in an Enterprise environment, by the high degree of integration with the company intranet. It was something you couldn't play on as much as other devices, but it was something you could work on.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:Baire category theorem for politics (417 comments)

Velocity is a vector

Um, ok, I was thinking direction vector rather than Euclidean vector, but you're right, velocity has both magnitude and direction, so I was using the term incorrectly. But I couldn't bring myself to use "speed". There's probably a better way to word it. Same direction, the only difference being we'll arrive at a bad place in a different time frame.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 Re:Laff (112 comments)

Did you ever get the weird lumps in the milk, that was the last time I ate cafeteria food and always brought my lunch after that.

Only once, and never ordered the milk again. (Maybe they were trying to drive us to the corporate sponsor, Coca Cola?) The cafeteria was a huge multipurpose room, and kids would buy the milk cartons to use as "hand grenades", throwing them high in the air across the room and learning important lessons about splash damage.

Similarly, had the hamburger once, didn't do that ever again. The burrito was... ok. The pizza was ghastly. (How can you ruin pizza??) The hot dog... I don't want to talk about it.

There was a McDonald's a few blocks away (original design, with the building between two giant yellow arches) and kids (including me) would break the prohibition against going off-campus during school hours to have lunch there. Not only was the food quality better, the prices were also. A regular hamburger made fresh with onion pickle ketchup and mustard was (in 1973) 20 cents, and the bone meal filler hamburger made hours earlier on a bun with nothing else at school was 25 cents.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:Doesn't matter who runs... (417 comments)

> I think that the problem stems from the fact that it's difficult to attract "good" candidates to run for office.

Yes, although the reasons might be complex (privacy is certainly a factor) the adage "anyone truly qualified for the job wouldn't want it" would seem to apply.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 Re:so waitaminute... (112 comments)

Ok. I think I'm going to hang onto my old truck, thanks.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 Re:Laff (112 comments)

I'm sorry, they just don't have the broad expertise in mass food preparation. Sure, they can grow crops and tax stuff, but can they make billions upon billions of Happy Meals? I think not. We clearly need to outsource this to McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

When I went to high school, (mid-seventies) CocaCola already had the drinks contract, (probably why I can't stand the stuff today) and the food was worse than anything McD's had ever produced up to that time. Recognizable bone meal in the hamburger. Looking back, I realize now that the food would be considered bargain dog food today.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 Re:so waitaminute... (112 comments)

> To answer your second question: Terrorists? WTF are you smoking?

Whatever I'm smoking, it doesn't appear to be working. I was referring to this line in the article:

> in response to a growing threat from criminals and terrorists

Criminals, that's a given. You had a great example. Terrorists? I'm having a hard time seeing the connection.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 Re:Laff (112 comments)

Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

Yeah only good things can come from this.

Yeah.... it'd be like Monsanto and the IRS teaming up to make children's lunches healthier.

2 days ago
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Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

roc97007 so waitaminute... (112 comments)

I know we've talked about it in Slashdot, in the context of more and more electronics taking responsibility for control of the car, mesh car networks, Windows controlling and potentially driving your car, but really -- hyperbole aside, is car hacking a real thing? And if so, is it really an effective tool for terrorists? (Or is that -- "terrorist" -- what we're calling experimenters and hackers these days?)

I mean, if someone is being proactive about what might be a terrorist vector, I guess that's ok, but there's a feeling in the back of my head that this might be a solution looking for a problem.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:Why settle for second rate failure? (417 comments)

I dunno, personally I'm thinking of switching to Democrat and voting for Joe Biden in the primary. He'd make one hilarious president. Assuming we survive him, we could look back and say "wow, that was amazing". It'd give stand-ups and political cartoon artists material for several seasons. It'd be the most entertaining presidency since Bill Clinton's second term, albeit for different reasons.

Carly, on the other hand, would grimly and with focused intention engineer a spectacular failure while speaking pointy-haired gibberish to the press. This is not nearly as funny.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:Doesn't matter who runs... (417 comments)

Agreed. Even the most optimistic call it "losing your soul".

But really, speaking as a libertarian-leaning voter who often votes Republican, (but will vote Democrat if I think the social issues of the day are more important) I have to say, this (the current 'Pub candidates) is an abysmal lineup. You'd think the 'Pubs would have learned from the drumming they got in the last two presidential elections. But no, it's still not about the message, it's about whether the candidate has a good profile and enough money to run.

And one of them might win.

And that would tend to solidify the belief that it's not about the message.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:What is her platform? (417 comments)

What is she going to do? Orchestrate a merger between US and Canada, then rebrand everything from the US as Canada, and everything from Canada as US? Then sell off Canada again when she finally realizes it is a disaster?

I'm thinking she would do a lot of energetic changes, the final result being that the US would be a much smaller country.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

roc97007 Re:Baire category theorem for politics (417 comments)

In analogy with the mathematical Baire category theorem which exhaustively classifies certain topological spaces, I state the Baire political category theorem:

There are exactly two types of political fools:
1) those who believe Obama was a wonder turn for the better
2) those who believe Obama was a terrible turn for the worse

The proof is left to the reader...

I think I understand. It's not a turn, it's continuing along the same vector at a different velocity.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Google Latitude leaves Google Maps, will be turned off August 9

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about a year ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "According to Cnet (and notifications to google users) Google Latitude is no longer part of Maps and will be turned off August 9. The functionality will be incorporated into Google+. Is this a natural progression or an effort to increase participation in Plus? Will users migrate to Plus, or switch to competing platforms like Life 360?

I used to use Latitude to track my daughter's whereabouts, first as a child while on vacations, and again when she first started driving solo, and having it directly incorporated into Maps was a plus. But now that she's on her own my use case has gone away, so I'm ambivalent about this. Others might feel differently."
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Malware causes fatal plane crash

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "As if you needed another reason not to get on the plane: Malware, possibly from an infected USB stick, caused a fatal crash of Spanair flight 5022. From the article:

  Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais."

Link to Original Source
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Yorke says music industry on verge of collapse

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "Thom Yorke cautions up and coming musicians not to sign traditional record deals because the industry could collapse within months.

From the article: "It will be only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds. (It will be) no great loss to the world.""

Link to Original Source

Journals

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First week on company iPhone

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

A week ago, my team received their new company iPhones. For the first few days, lots of playing, exploring, downloading of apps, taking pictures, putting funny faces on them, showing off various discoveries.

Today was the first team meeting since the iPhones were delivered. It wasn't pretty.

One team member has already traded in his for a Motorola Razr because "it will receive calls". Another says she keeps hers in Edge mode normally, so the phone will work, switching to G3 only when she needs to be on the internet. Another guy forwarded his iPhone to his private cell and uses the iPhone as a rather expensive iPod. The recently released firmware update made no noticeably difference to the reception issues. Our program manager described trying to make a call as "hello? I'd like to... damn" (redial) "Hello? I'd like... damn" (redial) "Hello? damn" (redial).

Other gripes -- Rapid battery death in GPS mode. The camera isn't as good as the one in the company-issued Blackberry. (2.0 Mp vs 3.0 Mp). No flash. No video capabilities. No MMS. Awkward file management. One person said "Once you get past the flashy interface, you realize the guts are five or six years old".

Early adopters. Don't you love 'em.

But seriously, I'm glad there are people out there who will put up with teething issues as the necessary price of being the first to have something shiny and new. I think the concept has merit, and will be glad to "drink the Kool-Aid" as the detractors put it, when the time is right. Which isn't now. My phone, is, like, my phone. First and foremost, it has to work as a phone. The rest is cake.

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Are the number of MS licenses significantly overreported?

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Yesterday I was helping move around some desktop and laptop machines at work, and noticed for the first time that every one of these units had an official Microsoft sticker with a Windows license key, the great majority of which were for Windows Home Edition, which we do not use at work. (We only use XP Professional or Windows Server.)

I asked around, and apparently all those Home Edition licenses are legitimate; they are part of the cost of the unit. The company then stages the disk with the copy of windows for which we have a corporate license.

I haven't checked yet, but I suspect the latest hardware come with a Vista Home Basic license, which is then re-imaged with corporate XP Pro. (I will check this and update as necessary.)

I'm wondering -- doesn't this effectively double the number of licenses that Microsoft can claim to have sold, at least for corporate customers?

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