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Comments

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Daylight Saving Time ...

txoof Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (310 comments)

I live in Southern Norway and during the morktide (dark time) the sun doesn't rise until well after school starts even with daylight savings time. Sometime in early November is the last time you can see the sun before or after school. In North Norway the sun doesn't rise at all during the dark time. We've come up with good solutions like plastering kids with reflectors and teaching children to pay attention to cars. We also teach drivers that pedestrians have the right of way in intersections NO MATTER how STUPID they are acting. Though we still do the stupid DST dance, it really doesn't change much of anything. The sun goes away, the morning is dark and for the most part kids are pretty safe.

about 5 months ago
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Daylight Saving Time ...

txoof Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (310 comments)

Ever had to implement a timezone aware software application?

Ever had to deal with DST support in said application?

Thought not.

The suffering involved is reason enough for DST to go the way of the Dodo...

Making timezone calculations in an application is ridiculously painful even with helpful TZ libraries. In my last program I just decided to ignore DST in my calculations and just fudge everything. This is particularly annoying because it needs to calculate the time in New York, but the computer it lives on is currently in Norway and North America and Europe switch their clocks at seemingly random times each year.

For this particular program it doesn't matter *too* much, but it does lead to weird failures occasionally. Fortunately it's not in a production environment, it's just something that runs around the house.

about 6 months ago
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Daylight Saving Time ...

txoof Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (310 comments)

There are many logical arguments for time change. Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is what is at issue. Welcome to alternate viewpoints, population you don't count, you just want to rant.

What evidenced based arguments can you site? The rationale I have read for DLS involve saving electricity, but as this article suggests, not only does DLS not save electricity, it may actually use more. It also goes on to cite studies that suggest that DLS may actually cause heart attacks. Farmers tend to hate DLS because they get up when the need to get up with no relationship to the clock. When the time jumps around, they still get up when they need to get up, they're just suddenly one hour out of sync with the wall time.

Though to be fair, it may save some traffic accidents due to allowing more people to drive home in the daylight and it may provide more revenue for some retailers. Though there's plenty of evidence to suggest that sleep disruption (like moving someone's wake and sleep time) causes more accidents. The cited article studied shift workers, but it applies to anyone who's regular sleep cycle is suddenly disrupted.

All in all, it looks like DLS shifts on whole causes lots of hassle, probably costs money and lives and should its self die a quiet death in retirement.

about 6 months ago
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Daylight Saving Time ...

txoof Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (310 comments)

Excactly!

There's no logical argument for the time change. None. The farming argument doesn't make any sense. Farmers don't give a rip what the wall-time is. They get up when it's time to get up and get the work done. They go to bed when the work day is done and they're sleepy. If you have to get up at 3:30 to milk the cows, you get up at 3:30. If the wall clock suddenly says it's 4:30, you still get up at the same time because the cows, corn, and sun don't give a flying FSCK what the wall clock says.

As far as providing more natural light in offices, that may have been true in 1930 when buildings were built without central HVAC with window access for everyone in mind. Though there's precious little evidence that DLS made a bit of difference in the then either. Now all but the "greenest" buildings (and some WalMarts) have their lights on during the work day weather the sun is shining or its pitch black outside.

And my rant continues with the horrible effects on your health. Suddenly changing humans sleep patterns is terrible for general healthfulness and sleep cycles.

In short take your DLS and shove it where the sun will never shine

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

txoof RFID? (130 comments)

Adding RFID tags to equipment and encouraging people to swipe it out as it is used might be a good idea. But short of adding a supply clerk or using a badge system I don't see many other options. Maybe there's some work-study budget for a freshman to sit in the lab and check out equipment?

I heard on Freakonomics about putting up web cams and paying someone in a far-off land to ensure hand-washing compliance. Perhaps a system like that might work.

about 6 months ago
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Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

txoof Saving face? (237 comments)

What the hell was that? They threatened to shut down the Guardian if the media wasn't handed over; it appears though that they didn't have the balls to go through with the threat. Instead they came up with this bizarre compromise that involved 'destroying' the data. Why do this? Was it just a way for the government to save face and not have to back down from some crazy ass redline that threw out there? They must know that the files were immediately duplicated and spread around the world. That was by far one of the strangest things I've ever seen a newspaper do.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

txoof Re:A piece of paper in a drawer (381 comments)

A trusted executor is really the way to go here. Store the passwords in an encrypted format and then give the key to a trusted party that will only unseal the encrypted database in the event that you are incapacitated. For added security, split the key into multiple parts and give it to multiple parties. It would probably be best to transport the key in a physical format and make it clear that the importance of the document.

In a work place setting, give the keys to supervisors that are mutually responsible for the systems in question. In a personal setting, give the keys to family members that are trusted. Be sure to provide step-by-step instructions as to how to decrypt your data. If you are so unfortunate to not have trusted family or friends, pay a law firm to administrate this service and act as your executor. For a fee, the law firm can be instructed to only unseal the data in the event that certain standards are met (such as a declaration of incompetence by N medical professionals).

about 8 months ago
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My SSID Is...

txoof Re:Suggests Meaning, Yet Lacks Any (458 comments)

I use a made-up word that suggests latin and/or greek roots but actually has no meaning whatsoever. It's amazing how simple it is to create such words and discover that people who should know better will pretend to be familiar with them in conversational context, lest they appear ignorant of something they suspect they should have learned in school.

What do you mean? Embiggen is a perfectly cromulent word.

1 year,11 days
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Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers

txoof Re:Here's what we need to know about 3D printing (129 comments)

Meh. ABS is an alright material and it's pretty tough. It's not unlike the stuff cafeteria trays are made out of. A 3D extruded-noodle case will never be as tough as a case made through injection molding due to the inherent sheer weakness between the fused layers. That being said, in my very unscientific and shoddy testing with vice grips, shop scissors and hammers applied to borked pieces, 3D prints are pretty tough to break. A rectangle of say 50x50x5 mm printed with an infill of 50% is surprisingly dense and difficult to crack by hand. I had to use a two pair of vice grips to snap it in half.

As far as protection, I wouldn't count on the ABS providing much in the way of fall protection. Fall protection is all about DV/DT (acceleration), or rather the change in velocity over time. A phone wrapped in a pillow dropped from 1 meter will experience a much lower acceleration than a phone wrapped in a rock when it hits the ground. ABS is definitely squishier than a rock, but it can't compete with something like silicone.

If you're just interested in surface protection, ABS is a pretty solid choice as it's relatively soft and won't bite into the phone finish too much and should offer a bit of protection from your pocket. A 3D printed case won't have quite the same finish that an extruded case has and definitely needs morem cleanup at the end.

I haven't worked much with PLA, but the little that i have worked with it, it appears to be stronger but more brittle (think glass versus steel). Probably not what you want in a case as Apple discovered with their magnificent glass backs...

about a year and a half ago
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Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers

txoof Re:Awesome (129 comments)

Sorry to say, your part of the less than 1% of people that care about this. Nokia doesn't want 1%, they want a viable share of the world market. Making phones unlockable is not their priority and having it on Linux doesn't sell more phones than it being MS or Black Berry OS.

I love the fact that they released blue prints for 3d printers. This is without a doubt a marketing move but I have yet to see Apple do the same thing.

Though I'm not a fan of "the use it the way we intended, or die a death of 1,000 cuts through our inflexible configuration" mentality of Apple, they do make some awesome decisions when it comes to marketing. For quite some time they have been providing specs on their devices for case designers. I suspect this is to help encourage the whole Apple ecosystem. You can find all the specs over at the Apple Developers Page

A quick search over at The Thingiverse yields many printable cases based on these specs.

I wish other manufactuers such as Samsung, HTC and LG would release their designs specs. Instead I'm left here with my vernie calipers and a crapload of guessing.

about a year and a half ago
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For Android Users, 2012 Is Still the Year of Gingerbread

txoof Re:Uhm, CM 7, 9 and 10 (257 comments)

CyanogenMod breathed a whole new life into my 2 year old Nexus one. It was snappier, appeared to get battery life and had a whole host of awesome new features. The only reason I finally upgraded to a newer phone was because the power button broke (again!) and the headphone jack wore out. If you're sitting on an older Android device, consider trying CM. It really turns your phone into a geeksphone.

about 2 years ago
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Curiosity Lands On Mars

txoof Re:and... (411 comments)

And martian shadow. Also cool!

about 2 years ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

txoof Re:For the 57th time on Slashdot (504 comments)

I've tried the freezer trick to help what sounded like an ailing bearing , but with limited success. No amount of freezing seemed to help. To make things worse, when I took the drive out of the freezer, moisture started condensing immediately on the cold PCB. I tried to place it on a sponge to help sop up the water, but I can't imagine this helped the drive at all.

I have some friends that swear by this, but I am extremely doubtful especially because of the condensation problem. I feel like this is an a apocryphal bit of "knowledge" that has been passed down from a time when drivers were larger, slower and had less precise bearings. I can imagine that on a big old drive freezing the drive *may* have helped. But then again, perhaps it's something like throwing a pinch of spilled salt over your shoulder or touching wood--something your grandma told you to do, but doesn't actually do anything.

more than 2 years ago
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Formspring Hacked - 420,000 Password Hashes Leaked

txoof Yet another reason to use a variety of passwords (68 comments)

And once again we are reminded that using the same password on every site is a terrible idea for just this reason. I know I'm guilty of recycling a generic password on sites I don't care about, but I fear that my family members are even worse. I'd say there's an 80% chance that my family recycles the same password on both social and banking sites.

It doesn't help that many password validation routines choke on spaces. Being able to use a passphrase is way easier than trying to remember some random group of characters that just happen to have a high entropy. The Correct Horse Battery Staple model is my new favorite for any site that will accept spaces. Sadly, one bank that I have done business with won't even allow a password that is more than 8 characters and only accepts letters and numbers. They try to shore this up with some bogus security questions on the following page, but I don't feel really "secure."

What other password strategies do you all use to make sure you keep reasonably secure? I eventually gave in to using KeePass to keep my less frequently but more important passwords secure.

more than 2 years ago
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To get me to switch jobs, it'd take ...

txoof Re:Thats hard (374 comments)

My first job in Norway after a 6 month wait for a visa was with a brewery. I was simply excited to be working after six months of forced unemployment. I really enjoyed learning all of the processes and my coworkers were fantastic. The perks were definitely awesome too: I had an endless supply of new beers to evaluate and a sweet employee discount on packaged beer.

I worked at a fairly small brewery so I had a chance to do almost every job from brewing to packaging. Most of my responsibility was wrestling our packaging line while trying not to get any limbs amputate and cleaning. Oh the cleaning.

After about six months of the brewery, I landed a teaching gig and felt a whole lot more satisfied. It's what I actually trained to do and enjoy. The pay is slightly better, but it definitely lacks in delicious samples of adult beverages. I also can't swear as much.

Here's a nifty time-lapse from a rotten day of packaging cans: http://youtu.be/aMm31zgIDLY

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Handling and cleaning up large perso

txoof txoof writes  |  more than 2 years ago

txoof writes "I have a personal email archive that goes back to 2003. The early archives are around 2 mega bytes. Every year the archives have grown significantly in size from a few tens of megs to nearly 500 megs from 2010. The archive is for storage only. It is a mirror of my Gmail account.
The archives are both sent and received mail compressed in a hierarchy of weekly, monthly and yearly mbox files. I've chosen mbox for a variety of reasons but mostly because it is the simplest to implement with fetchmail.
After inspecting some of the archives, I've noticed that the larger files are a result of attachments sent by well meaning family members. Things like baby pictures, wedding pictures, etc.
What I would like to do is from this point forward strip out all of the attachments and only save the texts of the emails. What would be a sane way to do that using simple tools like fetchmail?"
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Do addons like NoScript hurt ad-driven sites?

txoof txoof writes  |  more than 6 years ago

txoof writes "Based on my personal research and the recommendations of the slashdot community, I've taken to using Firefox with NoScript installed to make my web browsing experience a bit more secure. Since adding NoScript, I've become much more aware as to all of the scripting that is run on virtually all web sites, especially commercial ones.

While it can be annoying to pick and choose exactly which scripts to allow when visiting sites like Orbitz or Travelocity, I appreciate the added privacy and lack of strobing, seizure inducing flash ads that pepper the pages. While I was appreciating this, I noticed that most of the ads on slashdot's pages were also absent. Am I hurting slashdot by running NoScript? I don't see the ads and I assume that they are not being sent or loaded so slashdot gets no credit for them. And then there's the more realistic side, even if the ads were being sent and just made invisible, I'm still not seeing them and I'm not buying into the services being sold.

If a significant number of users started using NoScript (or something like it), would this significantly impact the revenue of sites that depend on advertisements? Should I go out of my way to allow google-analytics.com and doubleclick.com so I can keep sites like slashdot running, or am I just a little drop in a very big ocean? I believe in paying for what I use, but I'm also concerned with the all-seeing eye of Google and DoubleClick following me around the web.

In short, am I causing a problem and if I am, is there a middle ground that would provide sites like slashdot their revenue while still protecting my privacy and security?"

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