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Comments

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How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

techno-vampire Re:Corroborating Hieroglyphics? (190 comments)

b) They brought the stones in on boats, why couldn't they bring the wood as well?

For the ancient Egyptians, stone was a local resource. Wood, for the most part, had to be imported, and was much more expensive and less durable.

2 hours ago
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How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

techno-vampire Re:Corroborating Hieroglyphics? (190 comments)

There's another fact that this theory ignores: Moving the blocks this way takes wood. Lots and lots of wood. Egypt has never had large quantities of wood, and had to import most of what it used. Doing it this way would have been far, far more expensive than dragging them across the sand.

yesterday
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

techno-vampire Re:dont know, don't care as long as ... (773 comments)

I don't know about other distros, but Fedora handled the change very smoothly. All you needed to do was use the approved upgrade tool (I don't remember, off-hand if it was still using preupgrade or had switched to fedup.) to download all the packages, reboot into the upgrade and when it completed and you rebooted into your freshly upgraded system, it was using systemd instead of init. Unless you had a reason to check, you never needed to know about the change.

2 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

techno-vampire Re:Not at all (190 comments)

The server rooms all had UPS and passive air vent, but they were across the street. The building I worked in only had things like Tech Support, Customer Service and Sales.

2 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

techno-vampire Re:Not at all (190 comments)

My company in Los Angeles seems woefully under-prepared for earthquakes.

I spent a number of years working for an ISP in Pasadena. The server room was designed to survive a 7.5 earthquake and we had something like six connections to the backbone in different directions because we were so close to the San Andreas Fault. We didn't have any earthquake drills, but I'm guessing that our plan was about the same as yours. I do know that we had to evacuate the building once because a car crashed into a power pole and brought it down, killing all of our electricity. (No way to open the windows, so no air circulation without HVAC.) Even if there were no obvious quake damage, they'd have to do the same thing if the lights went out, so it's not like they didn't have any plans in place.

2 days ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

techno-vampire Re:Reputation (210 comments)

Worst piece of enterprise software I've ever seen.

Judging by what you write, Oracle should give your company a whole bunch of red shirts as a freebie. If nothing else, it would be a great example of truth in advertising.

4 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

techno-vampire Re:It will catch up with them (256 comments)

Currently, we don't have Comcast where I live, although it's probably going to absorb our cable service, TWC. Even if they do, I won't have to worry because I don't use cable internet. Why? Because unlike any cable service I've ever heard of, our phone company (Verizon) still does its best to give us "nine nines" uptime, and outages here are very, very rare and short. I don't spend all my time streaming video or downloading torrents, so I don't need the fastest possible connection, but I do want the most reliable. And, as I used to do tech support for an ISP, the only time I ever call them is when I need a specific technical detail, such as asking if they're filtering a port I need. When they try to insist that they know more about trouble-shooting than I do, I tell them how many years I spent on their side of the phone and ask how good they are with Linux. Generally speaking, that's all it takes to get them to tell me what I need.

5 days ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

techno-vampire Re:kernel does crash on desktop (720 comments)

That one computer does not crash does not prove the kernel is rock solid on every computer.

I never said that it did. I was just offering as a counter-example to the claim that the Linux kernel was crash prone on desktops, and that the only reason I don't have longer uptimes is that Fedora updates the kernel fairly often. I will also mention that my sister uses Xubuntu and has had similar experiences to mine.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

techno-vampire Re:Oh it'll happen... (720 comments)

Fluxbox with no panel and a dozen virtual screens gives me just that.

I'm not quite that minimalist, but I do use Xfce with Compiz because I happen to enjoy the eye candy. And, being retired I can set my computers up to please myself, rather than some corporate standard of what you can have installed and what you can't. I remember, once, showing the desktop cube on my laptop to a Windows fanboi, back when Vista was fairly new. He told me that it was possible to have virtual desktops on Vista but nobody ever bothered because they couldn't see the point. I guess Windows users must think it's better to use one desktop with a bunch of windows, mostly minimized, than to have four times as much screen real estate (or twelve times in your case) than you have screen. I can't help but think, sometimes, that it's this lack of imagination that keeps most computer users from trying something new or looking for ways to get the most out of their computer.

about a week ago
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

techno-vampire Re:Easy, India or China (303 comments)

Wikipedia states that all members of the United Nations, the EU and a few other states have ratified it, for a total of 197 countries. As the USA is a member of the UN, you are correct in saying that it's a party to the Montreal Protocol.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

techno-vampire Re:kernel does crash on desktop (720 comments)

As I wrote above, the only reason that I rarely have more than 3-4 weeks uptime is the fact that new kernels come out. Once in a while there will be a longer gap between updates, making my uptime longer.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

techno-vampire Re:kernel does crash on desktop (720 comments)

While Linux kernel is solid on servers for whatever reason on desktop it always was crashing and/or required occasional reboots.

Twenty years ago, you would have been right. I've been using Linux as my only OS ever since Fedora 9 came out, and the only time I ever need to reboot is for a kernel update. It's not uncommon for me to have uptimes of three or four weeks, and I can remember it once reaching 43 days. Of course, Fedora does update the kernel (and everything else) more often than some of the other distros, but how many people are there running any version of Windows on their desktop with uptimes like that?

about a week ago
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

techno-vampire Unconstitutinal (376 comments)

I don't know how it works in other countries, but here in the USofA, there's a little thing known as "the presumption of innocence," meaning that the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. This does the exact opposite by assuming that anybody who's accused must be guilty and penalizing them without allowing them to present a defense. No judge would ever be stupid enough to rule in favor of Rightscorp, making the idea DOA at best, even if they don't get sued into bankruptcy the first time they try to enforce it.

about a week ago
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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

techno-vampire Re:Wait, you're surprised? (115 comments)

We try. Good gods we try.

Yes, I'm sure that some of you do. Alas, not enough.

I live in LA, where there are lots and lots of police scandals. Why? Not because our police are so bad, but because we don't put up with police misconduct or sweep it under the rug. Almost all of the scandals out here would be ignored in New York or regarded as "business as usual." Stop putting up with the corruption, get the voters to care enough to vote the crooks out of office and keep them out, and Chicago will clean itself up because it won't happen on its own.

about two weeks ago
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Software Combines Thousands of Online Images Into One That Represents Them All

techno-vampire Automatically means no control (66 comments)

If this software searches out all images of a subject and averages them automatically, that means that there's no human control over which images to use and which to reject. Imagine what would happen if you were to let this program loose to create an average image of Shirley Temple. She started in films at the age of three and reached the age of 85, and the software would create an "average image" by mixing images of her as a small child with ones of her as an elderly woman. Even worse, there's a non-alcoholic cocktail named after her, and pictures of it would almost certainly get included.

about two weeks ago
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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

techno-vampire Re:Wait, you're surprised? (115 comments)

The only honest politicians we have here are the ones who at least have the decency to stay bought.

Yes, and as long as that's your attitude, nothing is ever going to change. Start enforcing the laws that are supposed to prevent this type of thing and stop voting for corrupt, machine politicians because right now, you're getting exactly the kind of government you're voting for.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

techno-vampire Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (303 comments)

Or perhaps you mean Ubuntu...

...which is based on Debian. Maybe you might consider trying a distro that's based on something else, such as Fedora, based on RedHat. Right now, I'm running Fedora 20 on my laptop and 19 on my desktop because I just haven't had time to upgrade it. Normally, my desktop runs 24/7, only rebooting for kernel updates. Current uptime is a little over 9.25 days and I can't remember the last time an update broke anything. Of course, I'm not foolish to run anything that's as bloated as Gnome, preferring Xfce with Compiz, but It Just Works.

about two weeks ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

techno-vampire Re:Think of the children! (418 comments)

I'm a vet: Gun Line, '72. Even though I was never in close combat, I'll bet that I have a much better understanding of just what war is than anybody who never served. Believe me, nothing in those video games can possibly match the experience of being in a war zone, especially if you're close enough to the fighting to see and/or hear the action. (Actually getting shot at, of course, is different; nobody ever shot at me, personally, but I did see 6" shells hitting the water behind our ship, and there's nothing in any game that comes near to that because you know that it isn't real.)

about two weeks ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

techno-vampire Re:Think of the children! (418 comments)

I don't think Military service is even the best way (although I do think it a good one).

What branch did you serve in? I was in the Navy back in '72, serving on the Gun Line.

about two weeks ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

techno-vampire Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (418 comments)

Our soldiers always go somewhere else to fight.

Speaking as a 'Nam vet, that sounds real good to me! The best place to fight a war is always on somebody else's territory.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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America's first police auto-gyro

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 2 years ago

techno-vampire writes "The auto-gyro isn't a new idea; the first successful flight for one was in January 1923. What is new is that police in Tomball, Texas are experimenting with them for aerial surveillance. With a price tag of only $75,000 and operational costs of $50/hour, they're considerably more cost-effective than helicopters."
Link to Original Source
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Another AGW alarmist rescued from Arctic

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 3 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "The Herald Sun reports that TOM Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he's another alarmist with frostbite.

It goes on to say that this is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It's a metaphor.

According to the article, AGW alarmists have repeatedly needed to be rescued during publicity stunts trying to raise awareness of the melting Arctic ice cap because of brutal sub-zero weather conditions on the currently thickening ice sheet."

Link to Original Source
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Charles Darwin's best-kept secret

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 3 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "Two hundred years ago, Ascension Island was a barren volcanic edifice.

Today, its peaks are covered by lush tropical "cloud forest".

What happened in the interim is the amazing story of how the architect of evolution, Kew Gardens and the Royal Navy conspired to build a fully functioning, but totally artificial ecosystem.

By a bizarre twist, this great imperial experiment may hold the key to the future colonisation of Mars."

Link to Original Source
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Which Linux distro should I choose?

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 5 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "Currently, I'm using Fedora Linux on my desktop, and Puppy Linux on my very old laptop. I do tech support for my sister, who uses Ubuntu Linux. Now, I have a chance to get a brand-new, modern laptop and it occurs to me that this is a chance to broaden my Linux knowledge. The new laptop will mostly be used for browsing, email and wordprocessing, with gaming a minor consideration. If you were me, which Linux distro would you install, and why?"
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Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 5 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete "conveyor belt" of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet. New research led by Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution relied on an armada of sophisticated floats to show that much of this water, originating in the sea between Newfoundland and Greenland, is diverted generally eastward by the time it flows as far south as Massachusetts. From there it disburses to the depths in complex ways that are difficult to follow. A 50-year-old model of ocean currents had shown this southbound subsurface flow of cold water forming a continuous loop with the familiar northbound flow of warm water on the surface, called the Gulf Stream. "Everybody always thought this deep flow operated like a conveyor belt, but what we are saying is that concept doesn't hold anymore," said Duke oceanographer Susan Lozier. "So it's going to be more difficult to measure these climate change signals in the deep ocean.""
Link to Original Source
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Using DNA to identify soldiers MIA

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 6 years ago

techno-vampire writes "According to an article at Military.com, the Army is trying to get DNA samples from about 6,300 families of soldiers MIA from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. These will be put in a databank and used to (they hope) identify the remains of servicemen who would otherwise remain nameless. The article includes both a phone number and an email address for contact."
Link to Original Source
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New rootkit from Sony

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 6 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "An article in The Register reports that a new USB fingerprint authentication device from Sony repeats the CD rootkit exploit of two years ago. The MicroVault USM-F fingerprint reader software bundled with the stick installs a hidden directory under Windows. Either they didn't learn from the PR nightmare last time, or they really thought they'd get away with it this time, but in either case, smooth move, Mr. ExLax!"
Link to Original Source

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