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Comments

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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

roc97007 Re:Dogs as compass (124 comments)

I wonder what would happen if you don't allow a dog to align north-south.

It explodes.

2 days ago
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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

roc97007 Re:Dogs as compass (124 comments)

On our walk last night, my dog defecated while facing west. Clearly he's broken.

2 days ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

roc97007 Re:the photography equivalent of tweeting (97 comments)

> How is ubiquity of cameras making them inane exactly?

I don't mean to imply such a close cause and effect. I'm commenting that for whatever reason, we as a society are taking what is arguably a cool thing and turning it into something inane. It's not the ubiquity of cameras that's making them inane, it's the use to which they are put.

For every photo or video that makes headlines or brings down a crooked cop, there are millions of banal selfies or photos of burritos. It's just exactly as depressing as the popularity of celebs who are famous only for being famous, and for much the same reason.

I tell you, this is the answer to the Fermi Paradox -- we haven't seen any other civilizations because they all invented personal electronics, became irredeemably narcissistic, and civilization collapsed as a result.

3 days ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

roc97007 the photography equivalent of tweeting (97 comments)

There's something to be said for having a camera (no matter how feeble) with you at all times, but aren't we getting tired of pictures of food and blurry portraits taken in the bathroom? People are taking this great thing (a camera with you always) and making it inane. There will inevitably be a backlash. Personally I've stopped taking photos with my phone, except in emergencies (like for accident evidence) when I don't have a "real" camera on me.

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (541 comments)

> Rumor has it that Satya has personally delivered a massive smackdown to the management team responsible for Win8 fuckup. The user sat numbers were sad indeed.

This gives me hope.

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (541 comments)

Must have: Useable start menu, (a button to dump us into the "start screen" was just plain insulting) a useable desktop, and the ability to not run any metro (or whatever it's called) apps whatsoever.

Important but not a deal killer: Put all the control panel functions back in the control panel. You can keep the charms bar for tablet compatibility, but I'd want some way to turn it off on a desktop. In fact, I would like a way to turn off all hot corners, hot sides, and swiping gestures while on a KVM machine. Registry changes to do this would be fine, as I would intend to do it once and never revert back.

Sounds like you want to try Linux Mint. It does all of that right out of the box. For free. Seriously, try it if you are going to change OS anyway.

You have a point, and Mint is on my list to try. I have an older machine I can use for evaluation.

Truly, the only reason I keep Windows around is for the Adobe creative suite (which I use daily). The moment Adobe ports Linux, I'm done with Windows.

3 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (541 comments)

Yes, I've read that. I'm waiting for the punchline, (like, you have to use gestures to log in! C'mon it'll be fun!) but what I've heard so far make me cautiously hopeful. I'm fine with 7 for now, but know I need to upgrade eventually, probably to 9 when it's on SP2 or 3, and when 10 comes out and is obviously a POS. And then, we wait until 11...

4 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 my list is not long (541 comments)

Must have: Useable start menu, (a button to dump us into the "start screen" was just plain insulting) a useable desktop, and the ability to not run any metro (or whatever it's called) apps whatsoever.

Important but not a deal killer: Put all the control panel functions back in the control panel. You can keep the charms bar for tablet compatibility, but I'd want some way to turn it off on a desktop. In fact, I would like a way to turn off all hot corners, hot sides, and swiping gestures while on a KVM machine. Registry changes to do this would be fine, as I would intend to do it once and never revert back.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

roc97007 short answer (391 comments)

...no.

Unless you finagle your way into management.

Wait, now that I think about it, we might be thinking along legacy lines. Perhaps the future is more like: managers with liberal arts degrees presiding over completely outsourced technical resources.

Maybe I should go back to school and major in art history.

4 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

roc97007 Re:Filter of Time (191 comments)

Thank you. I didn't understand his response either.

...and I could possibly think of a few from that time, but they were rare.

4 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

roc97007 Re:perhaps pessimism goes in cycles? (191 comments)

i think you have described sci-fi in general. from it's earliest beginnings, it was meant to foster caution about technology or shine a light on the ills of society. the upbeat Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stargates were really anomalous blips.

I think I disagree. Read any Heinlein, Asimov, Smith, Anderson, Blish, Simak, Van Vogt, Cutner, during the "golden age" in the 1940's and 1950's, up to maybe 1964. Generally positive in outlook. A positive view of the future is not something Star Trek invented -- it was par for the course up until the mid sixties. If anything, Star Trek in 1966 was riding the trailing edge of that positive outlook in scifi, before everything turned dreadfully depressing.

4 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

roc97007 he may have a point (191 comments)

Life does tend to imitate art, although the cycles are a few decades out of sync.

5 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

roc97007 perhaps pessimism goes in cycles? (191 comments)

Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending. The magazine of fantasy and science fiction was full of depressing dystopian stories. Dangerous Visions, Last Days of Man on Earth, Driftglass... The book stands were loaded with depressing scifi. It wasn't a particularly uplifting time. I remember wondering at the time whether the industry go through cycles, where to differentiate yourself you have to write depressing fiction, and then everyone follows along, and then to differentiate yourself you have to go with, I dunno, a happy ending, and everyone follows suit, back and forth. Or whether literature and media tend to track some manic-depressive cycle of society. Or drives it.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

roc97007 Re:Burn to M-Disc (267 comments)

In my experience, even blu-ray isn't big enough. And it's really slow. Raw hard drives are cheap enough that it makes sense to use them as backup media. (Just don't drop one.)

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

roc97007 Re:My RAID horror story (267 comments)

Agreed. Mirroring is not a backup either, because data corruption or erroneous deletion happens on both drives.

A true backup goes to media (which could be another drive) which is then disconnected from the computer and stored somewhere else. The further away (within reason) the better.

A good plan might be to cultivate a friend who also has data he doesn't want to lose, and store each other's backups, thus protecting both of you from local disaster (like a house fire).

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

roc97007 Re:Rules of homeporn (267 comments)

Are you speaking from experience?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

roc97007 use hard drives for backup (267 comments)

As a photographer with over 100k clicks on three bodies, I have just over 2 TB of my own photos on a dedicated drive. I have a two step backup system:

1) With a USB "drive toaster", perodically back up my files to a raw drive, mark it with a sharpie, and put it on the shelf in a different part of the house.

2) About twice a year, ghost my primary storage to a brand new drive, install the new drive in place of the old drive, mark the old drive with a sharpie, drive it over to a friend's house and put it in his fire safe. This serves as my hardware refresh and disaster recovery.

The older drives from previous backups in his safe are repurposed for music/movie storage, or used to rebuild PCs for other family members.

Were I really serious, I'd also mirror my primary storage, but at some point you have to say "this is good enough". Besides, any photos I've published exist on various websites, and I can always fetch copies from there in an emergency.

5 days ago
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Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

roc97007 Re:enh (166 comments)

I suppose that's true, but to foil the "go home" you'd have to jam GPS as well as control signals. And the obvious counter to that is inertial guidance.

about a week 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 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 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  |  about 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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