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Comments

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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

techno-vampire Re:sure, works for France (170 comments)

I didn't say you shouldn't be able to be paid in vacation days or in insurance or in gallons of milk. All I am saying is that you should be able to make those choices for yourself and not have government dictate to you how to get paid.

Agreed. However, the whole point of my post was not just to show that there's more to your compensation than just what you see on your paycheck but to give an example of how such alternate forms of payment can be worth much more than most people think.

4 hours ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

techno-vampire Re:sure, works for France (170 comments)

You want to get medical insurance through your employer then your hourly rate is going to be lower, same with any tax.

Back in the '50s my father voted in favor of a proposal by his union to accept medical benefits instead of a raise in the hourly rate. Years later, he told me he considered it one of the best decisions he ever made.

5 hours ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

techno-vampire There's still one thing missing (176 comments)

Now that we have the Magic Helmet, is somebody going to develop the spear that's supposed to go with it?

yesterday
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

techno-vampire Re:wat (207 comments)

It's important to note that when speaking about infinity don't fall into the fallacy of treating it as a value.

Even trained mathematicians can fall into that trap. In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker made the mistake of talking about a mountain that was "more than infinitely tall," which is nothing more than gibberish. I don't recommend that book to anybody, and this is just one of the many reasons I was disappointed by it.

yesterday
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The Psychology of Phishing

techno-vampire Re:well (125 comments)

My point is that all of those emails I get about accounts I don't have is a counter-example to the claim that spear-phishing is carefully crafted to look real.

2 days ago
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The Psychology of Phishing

techno-vampire Re:well (125 comments)

The spam from your bank doesn't normally address you by name...

Actually, much of the spam/phishing email I get claiming to be from my bank has my name in the subject. I'm rather glad it does because I never get any real email from my bank that does this, so seeing my name there is a dead giveaway.

2 days ago
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The Psychology of Phishing

techno-vampire Re:well (125 comments)

In spear-phishing, the emails are tailored to the intended victim, pretending to be from someone the attacker knows or believes the victim trusts...

You mean like the urgent notices I get about my accounts at banks I've never done business with or the "invoices" from companies I've never heard of before, let alone done business with?

2 days ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

techno-vampire Re:Best Wishes ! (318 comments)

From what I've heard, the current UI for Windows was designed for a tablet, then forced onto desktops, but that's just hearsay because, as I wrote above, I only use Linux.

2 days ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

techno-vampire Re:Best Wishes ! (318 comments)

I'd love to see a single UI that works across...

You might, but I, at least, wouldn't because what you'd end up with was a UI that worked equally badly on all types of screens and wasn't really right for any of them. I'm not a fan of Microsoft, preferring to use Linux, but I will say that they're right in not trying to shoehorn a One True UI onto everything.

2 days ago
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Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf

techno-vampire Closed Captioning (76 comments)

My hearing is bad enough that I need to use hearing aids, although I can get along to some extent without them. When I watch TV, I always have the Closed Captioning turned on and have, in fact abandoned shows that stopped providing it. Yes, providing it at need uses up a little more bandwidth, but very, very little. We don't need to throw out Net Neutrality to get closed captioning, especially when you consider the fact that most people won't ever need it.

3 days ago
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Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

techno-vampire Re:Good! (112 comments)

I've also had the snail mailed fake invoices from them, which I can only suppose is an illegal use of the whois database.

It's also Mail Fraud, and the owners should already be in prison for what they've been doing. Let's hope that the Feds get off their asses and earn their salaries.

5 days ago
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Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

techno-vampire Re:Hijacking (112 comments)

I like my system of avoiding this kind of scam better: my (vanity) domain is registered using my correct snail address, but I've told the registrar that I only want email from them, no paper. That means that if and when I get something in my mailbox claiming to be a bill for registration, I just throw it away unopened because I know it's not legit.

5 days ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

techno-vampire Re: Your Results Will Vary (241 comments)

Formal logic is a branch of mathematics.

Yes, I know, but very few people except mathematicians think of it that way. Most people consider it to be an entirely different study so I phrased it that way to emphasize that much of computer programming has nothing to do with what the average person thinks of as math.

about a week ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

techno-vampire Re:Your Results Will Vary (241 comments)

Studying computer science requires a fair amount of math to understand why some algorithms are more efficient than others rather than just accepting that they are. And, it can be a great help in working out the storage and IO requirements of a program. How much math you need to be a working programmer depends, as you point out, on what branch of programming you specialize in. Personally, I've always considered programming to be more a branch of logic than one of math.

about a week ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

techno-vampire Re:wall-e (253 comments)

Diabetes is mostly annoying and not commonly deadly.

To quote the infamous Dr. Terwilliger, "I, on the other hand, am inclined to doubt that statement." The most brilliant man I ever knew, Dan Alderson was diabetic and didn't take care of himself. Two years before he was forced to retire for medical reasons, he lost his eyesight to diabetic neuropathy; he was only able to continue because I became his "seeing eye person" and helped him continue to program by dictation. Next, it caused his kidneys to fail so that he had to go on dialysis, forcing him to retire. About a year later, he lost a foot to an ulcer, largely caused by his diabetes. Within a year he was dead. Another friend was concerned about his blood sugar levels and made an appointment to have it checked; before the appointment came, he died of hyperglycemia. I developed Type II twelve years ago and since then have woken up in four different ERs. Diabetes can be, and often is a deadly metabolic disorder. Please learn what you're talking about before you comment on this subject again.

about a week ago
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NIF Compresses Diamonds With 50 Million Atmospheres of Pressure

techno-vampire Re:Fusion? (81 comments)

Many years ago I had a friend who was a gemologist. He told me once that it's not at all hard to tell that a stone's synthetic once you have it under the microscope. Synthetic gemstones (Not diamonds; they're done differently.) are built up little by little on a rod, then cut, shaped and polished. No matter how well done they are, you can see the layers. Either the technique has gotten much better over the last several decades or the jeweler didn't know what to look for.

about a week ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

techno-vampire Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

Well, do you know of any cases where women took sexual advantage of pre-pubescent children? I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but if so, it appears to be rather rare.

about a week ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

techno-vampire Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

Sexual harassment occurs whenever men and women are together.

It doesn't even need to have both genders present. We all know that there are men hitting on younger men or boys and women sometimes abuse a position of authority to get a man (or boy) into the sack. For that matter, I'm sure that there are at least occasional cases where a lesbian tries to seduce another woman that isn't interested in experimenting, although these almost never get into the news.

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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