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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

shankarunni Mr. and Mrs. Piltdown? (120 comments)

On a summer's beach outing with the family?

about 6 months ago
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San Jose State Suspends Collaboration With Udacity

shankarunni Not really about whether Udacity is "good" (116 comments)

The main reason SJSU (and other schools) are looking at Udacity and its like, is to be able to spend less time and resources on remedial courses for incoming students (the California State Univ system is basically the entry-level university for the state). If Udacity could ensure that a majority of these students pass those courses, then SJSU can focus its efforts on "real" university material.

They seem to have fallen down on that deliverable, so SJSU really has no option but to toss them, and go back to teaching those remedial courses in person.

Really, this is quite an undesirable outcome for all sides (students, the university, and Udacity). Most of the students involved in remedial courses are those who have already failed at learning (enough) in a hands-on setting (school). Udacity's job was cut out for them - to do better than hands-on teaching, with students that are significantly harder to teach. So not too surprising in this context..

1 year,6 days
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Book Review: Locked Down: Information Security For Lawyers

shankarunni Why is this a surprise? (43 comments)

I'll surmise that from a lawyer's point of view, information security is just another "feature" or "service" to take for granted (just like electricity or water). If any confidential information is lost, it is the _client_ who's injured, and hey, the lawyer will be happy to help the client sue whoever for absurd sums of money (for a small consideration, of course..).

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

shankarunni Virtualize and use an _OLD_ OS (313 comments)

I've seen comments (but no clarification from OP) about these being 16-bit apps, and also mentions of Virtualization.

Excellent idea. But one big benefit of virtualization is that you can run these apps in the oldest available OS you can grab. Are they DOS apps? Grab an MS-DOS 6.22 image and install it into a tiny virtual machine with, say, 4MB of memory. If that's all they need, why give them more (and a giant base OS like Windows XP)?

The benefit here is that if you have dozens of these legacy apps, you can put _each of them_ into its own virtual machine, each taking up only 4MB or whatever, and you can run all this on a beefy 64-bit server for your newer software.

I think Hyper-V can run MS-DOS in a VM. If not, you can consider using VMware's free Server 1.0, or Workstation (both of which run on Windows).

about a year and a half ago
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15 Years of Microsoft Bob

shankarunni Time for an "English Fundamentalist Movement" (191 comments)

Webster's is an abomination unto the Holy English Language - any dictionary that would allow "momentarily" as meaning "in a moment" rather than "for a moment" would be. Looks like others (Oxford) are also falling into this dangerous syncretism.

Personally, I don't think I'd like to be in a plane that takes off "momentarily"..

Only 1/2 :-).

more than 4 years ago
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Porn Industry Tiptoes Into 3D Video

shankarunni Re:Huh? (292 comments)

That's certainly what people fear most: getting caught wearing glasses while watching porn.

No, I think what people fear most is what the previous user was doing when wearing it..

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

shankarunni Re:Four Factors (527 comments)

Well, he might have a defense given three of the four factors:

Wrong. From http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html:

How do I copyright a name, title, slogan or logo?

Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. However, copyright protection may be available for logo artwork that contains sufficient authorship. In some circumstances, an artistic logo may also be protected as a trademark.

more than 4 years ago
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Optical Mice Used To Detect Counterfeit Coins

shankarunni Re:How does it compare to a vending machine? (123 comments)

Vending machines rely on mechanical factors, mostly: Weight, size, metallic composition (measured by conductivity characteristics).

This one seems to focus on the graphics on the faces. It's complementary.

more than 4 years ago
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Massive Power Outages In Brazil Caused By Hackers

shankarunni Re:Good luck with that (462 comments)

Totally impenetrable physical security doesn't exist, but totally impenetrable electronic security most certainly does. It's quite simple to make something completely immune to hacker attacks over the internet: disconnect it from the internet!

Which was exactly my instant reaction when I saw the story. The real problem, as mentioned by Congressman Langevin, is that most of the power providers are small private operators that swim in murky waters. They like the "convenience" of having their billing systems, control systems, and the secretary's network resources all on the same network ("easy to administer with one sysadmin", I suppose), and "just put a firewall" to protect the key systems.

Profit is everything when the profits tend to be razor-thin. It's the middlemen that make most of the money, not the producers.

Of course, our defense infrastructure isn't immune to this, either. The easiest "break-ins" are apparently by just leaving around USB keys in the parking lot, and depending on unsuspecting and greedy people picking them up and sticking it into their laptops or desktops to see what's on it (and whether they can nab it for themselves..)

more than 4 years ago
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Lenovo Software Update Stealthily Installs Adware

shankarunni Chinese Economic Warfare (186 comments)

You do realize that this is just another salvo in the Chinese effort to cripple American business productivity and efficiency, don't you? What little there is left of it, that is?

more than 5 years ago
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What Features Should Be Included With iPhone 3.0?

shankarunni Re:Working Exchange support (606 comments)

1. Only the inbox will download new messages, all other folders must be synchronized manually

Thank *goodness* it does it like that.

I normally get several hundred messages a day, most of which are boilerplate notifications from our SCCS, or bug system, or .... I categorize all these into folders, so that only things that *I* need to look at are left in the Inbox.

This way, my iPhone isn't constantly beeping with dozens of messages every few minutes.

more than 5 years ago
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Supreme Court of India Comes Down On Bloggers

shankarunni Re:Oh Boy (131 comments)

The plus is that their judiciary, though as corrupt as the rest of the country, is under no political pressure.

... gasp! OK, I just picked myself off the floor after LMAO.

Of course they are vulnerable to political pressure: promotions to higher courts depends entirely on the current administration in charge.

Not to mention the threat of a "transfer" to the boondocks, where it's quite commonplace for judges to be menaced by local politicians and thugs (the same thing, really) into doing their bidding.

more than 5 years ago
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Flash Mob Steals $9 Million From ATMs

shankarunni Re:ATM Machines? (232 comments)

Anyways, I could care less.

For the win!

(excellent post!)

more than 5 years ago
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A Cheap, Distributed Zero-Day Defense?

shankarunni Re:Wow... (116 comments)

That was the first thought that crossed my mind, too..

more than 5 years ago
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As Seas Rise, Maldives Seek To Buy a New Homeland

shankarunni Re:Makes me recall Bangladesh (521 comments)

I always thought most Bangladeshis not killed by cataclysmic flooding would escape into neighboring countries

They are already doing so in record numbers.

Much of the ethnic strife in the Indian states of Bengal and Assam can be attributed to the locals of those states fearing the large influx of (Muslim) Bangladeshis; the usual canards of alleged voter-roll shenanigans and over-burdening of infrastructure, and a general "nimby" mood have contributed to it.

more than 5 years ago

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