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Comments

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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

roc97007 Re:Applause for Google (126 comments)

Thanks, that's very good to know. I don't think I need that at the moment, but if I ever do I'll know what to look for.

yesterday
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:That wasn't the question (451 comments)

...but anyone can say "I think I smelled something" or words to that effect.

Example: I used to work a contract in a different city, coming home (200 miles one way) on weekends. Often I'd be on the road either going to work or coming from work in the wee hours -- 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM. I got pulled over often. The cop would check my papers and let me go.

When I asked why I was pulled over, they'd say "you were weaving" or "you did not signal a merge when your lane ended". (Which I don't believe you're required to do but I didn't argue.) Finally, when the same cop realized he had pulled me over three weekends in a row at 2:00 AM, he admitted they pull lone vehicles over during the wee hours "just to check them out", and they can always find some excuse to pull someone over if "they needed checking out".

There's a small additional step from there to "I smell something" or ...what is the latest law enforcement tool?... oh yes, "I observed debris".

My original point is that in a world where anyone can phone in an anonymous tip that leads to a vehicle being pulled over or a cop at someone's door, it inevitably follows, at least in some police departments, that cops will be phoning in their own anonymous tips. That the tip has no relation to the actual stop is a bonus. It only means the tip can be pretty much anything.

yesterday
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The $5,600 Tablet

roc97007 And then... (95 comments)

missile_guidance.exe has stopped working.
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.
Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

yesterday
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:That wasn't the question (451 comments)

But in this case, they did search. "I think I smell something".

yesterday
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (451 comments)

No, don't go after Senators' spouses and children, go after their mistresses. Really hit them where they live.

2 days ago
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:That wasn't the question (451 comments)

> if it can be anonymous....then the police can phone in their own tips!

And that's the whole point.

2 days ago
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (451 comments)

> Be sure to use a payphone.

...if you can find one. And it hasn't been used as a lavatory.

How about a burner phone?

2 days ago
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

roc97007 Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (451 comments)

I've got this hankerin' to call 911.
This law could get repealed mighty quick if it's senators and congressmen getting pulled over from anonymous tips.

That was my first thought. It might be time for some civil disobedience.

2 days ago
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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

roc97007 Re:Applause for Google (126 comments)

you can port that number to anything of your choosing :)

google voice is especially nice, since you can make your phone carrier a commodity via forwarding. IE: port primary number to google voice, get burner/landline whatever, and then just have google voice forward your primary number to whatever number you get from the new provider. it breaks caller-ID and confuses people regarding your callback number, but it's a small price to pay.

Small anecdote: I was using straighttalk wireless, and had an issue with their soviet era website (I have zero patience for companies that make it difficult for me to pay my bill.. seriously, i'm fucking trying to give you my money.. ). So, thanks to call forwarding I was able to drop them post-haste and switch to a different provider without losing a beat (or worrying about notifying people of a number change.).

The thing that worries me about porting to Google Voice is the articles that Google is going to kill Voice in the near future and bring some or most of the features into G+. Whether it's still useful for my purposes will depend on what they do with the changeover. What they did with Latitude made that feature unuseable and we ended going to a different solution. So I'll wait and see and take another look post-transition.

2 days ago
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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

roc97007 Re:Applause for Google (126 comments)

Again, it must depend on the area. Wife has an (older) Roku downstairs, and daughter has a blu-ray player with netflix upstairs, and they can stream simultaneously with no issues. The only time this is not true is if I'm downloading something massive.

2 days ago
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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

roc97007 Re:Applause for Google (126 comments)

I dunno, it must depend on the area. I got FIOS from Verizon when it first became available, and when they sold it to Frontier (apparently because Verizon Wireless wanted to enter into a business deal with Comcast) the only thing that happened to us is that the customer service became more responsive and more pleasant to talk to. What I've seen is that the "minimum" speed keeps going up (probably pressure from Comcast cable modem) and our cost has not increased.

Mind you, I do not buy cable TV from Frontier (or anyone). These days, cable TV is an unnecessary expense. I only get internet and phone. (And the land line is also unnecessary, really. I only keep it because we've had the same phone number since the late eighties.)

2 days ago
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Reinventing the Axe

roc97007 Re:Neat (214 comments)

If you don't want to buy one, you can rent a log splitter in many areas. Moreover, as someone else pointed out, a hydraulic log splitter works with knotted up wood, not just the very easy to split wood in the example.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

roc97007 Work in the food industry (389 comments)

I had this problem when I first started college. You can work at best part time while going to school full time, and have to crowd into an apartment to be able to afford it, and often we'd be counting out change to make rent, which left very little for food. You haven't lived until you've dined on boiled rice and ketchup packets because that's all you had in the kitchen.

I don't know how it is now, but I tried for food stamps at the time, and ran into a catch-22: You couldn't qualify if you shared a cooking area with roommates, but if you were well off enough to live by yourself, you were too well off to qualify.

A partial solution for me, since I had to work anyway, was to get a job in the food industry. I worked in a restaurant, which included one meal during my shift, so at worst I was guaranteed one meal a day three or four days a week. Later I got a job at a supermarket which gave discounts and other food related benefits to employees. For instance, they sometimes overbought on whole hams for the holidays, and employees were allowed to buy them at a reduced price, with free slicing and packaging. I loaded up my freezer and had ham... for a long... time... Moreover, working at the store puts you first in line for loss leaders, freight-damaged, and discontinued items. (And I know that's a misuse of "loss leader", but the store allowed it.)

Other issues to be cognizant of besides mere starvation are nutrition and food poisoning. The first because of the tendency to eat the same thing over and over, and the second because you may be too distracted to remember to put food back in the fridge, and too hungry not to eat it anyway.

Part of the problem, I think, is that college kids are young and often fresh out of home, and don't often have the life experiences to foresee what their needs are going to be and arrange to be in a place where those needs can be met. There's a tendency to live in the moment, not think ahead, and that causes "the moment" to often include boiled rice and ketchup packets.

4 days ago
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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

roc97007 Outsourcing is definition of "view from the top" (220 comments)

> This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.

In what world is outsourcing not the same culture in spades? Specifically, a few suits and a few lucky fourth or fifth level professionals selling the idea that a bunch of farmers with three hours of training can take over IT? This only works when the people making the decisions have a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem they're trying to solve.

As if Californians didn't have enough power problems... I'm glad I don't live there.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

roc97007 Re:Change management gone wrong (293 comments)

> The idea of change management is to ensure that changes are tracked, but this sounds like bureaucratic crap.

Yep, that often happens when the people who are putting together the change management system have little experience with the issues that a change management system is supposed to fix. You then get hilarity like systems that prevent reasonable reaction time to production outages, "blanket" notification for every single change, a process that can't be successfully negotiated in less than a week, or my personal favorite, a mandatory process with no owners.

The issues as I see them are (a) what does the change entail? (a Red Hat "patch" sometimes will change the RHEL version number, which may take your apps out of compliance) (b) what else does it affect? (Sun patches often installed a virgin sendmail.cf, rendering email inoperable) (c) have you tested this change in a non-production environment? (if you're going to brick a server, do dev first) (d) will we be able to look back later and figure out what change occurred when and by who?

But this often degenerates into the managerial equivalent of a hen party, driven by people with way too much time on their hands, and the value is lost.

about a week ago

Submissions

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

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about 9 months 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 3 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 3 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 5 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 5 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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