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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

wbean We ran for yearswith no firewall - and no problems (348 comments)

We ran a Windows server for many years with no firewall. We took credit card info (which was immediately encrypted). We had spent over a month hardening the server by shutting down all but the services that we truly needed. We never had a problem with that arrangement. We added a firewall when PCI required it but I'm still not convinced that it mattered.

about 1 month ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

wbean They want to be paid three times! (466 comments)

They are already paid by the end user and by the distributors like Netflix, who pay for their bandwidth usage. What the carriers want is to be paid three times.

about 6 months ago
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The College-Loan Scandal

wbean Re:at some point... (827 comments)

That logic leads to debtors' prisons. They didn't work out so well.

about a year ago
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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

wbean Re:So, basically, "How old are you?" (587 comments)

Off by 25 years. (I'm kind of old, I was 37 when I got my first home computer.) If I use the first computer I used at work, I get a ratio of 10,000,000 and I'm still off by 11 years.

about a year ago
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

wbean 1961 Evening Course in Fortran (623 comments)

In 1961 I took an evening course in Fortran for physics students taught by a volunteer from MIT. We were promised a chance to actually run our programs at the end of the course, but that never happened. I last used Fortran in 1971, when I maintained a subscription fulfillment system for a student-run academic journal. The print routines were in 1401 assembly language, but we'd lost the source and only had a binary deck of cards to work with.

about a year ago
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Extended TeX: Past, Present, and Future

wbean Re:TeX and LaTeX (300 comments)

I used LaTex in the mid to late eighties to set type for several professional journals and newsletters. It was the only product I could find that was capable of dealing with footnotes that had to be split across pages. We marked up the articles with tags in Xywrite and then used its macro-programming language to translate into LaTex. Worked like a charm and saved a fortune over commersial typesetting.

about a year and a half ago
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France Demands Skype Register As a Telco

wbean Re:Correct (209 comments)

Thanks for a thoughtful reply. I'm not against government, or government regulation. We NEED a government. Read Hobbes if you think we can do without. He lived through the English Civil War and knew at first hand what he was talking about. I am upset at having to deal with large, impersonal organizations who don't seem to have any sense of what their customers need or want. I put the telephone companies, large banks, utilities, and cable companies high on my list of organizations that I'd rather avoid dealing with, if at all possible.

about a year and a half ago
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France Demands Skype Register As a Telco

wbean Re:Correct (209 comments)

Good questions. The IP data is on XFinity. I pay for that whether or not I use it for phone service. From my house it runs on a cable. A tracreroute reveals a string of Comcast servers followed by other routers that don't look much like a traditional Telco, so I'm assuming it doesn't really run over much of the traditional phone companies' networks any more. No, I'm not protected against a DDos attack but then I'm not protected against a truck pulling down my phone line and part of my house, either. The latter happened; I've never had to deal with the former.

about a year and a half ago
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France Demands Skype Register As a Telco

wbean Re:Correct (209 comments)

Are you sure? I just switched two POTS lines to V over IP and expect to save $800 a year. That's what a regulated monopoly will do to you.

about a year and a half ago
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30 Days Is Too Long: Animated Rant About Windows 8

wbean Re:Not again... (1110 comments)

He's right, you know. I've been using computers since 1961. Back then you could read the manual in an evening and then you know all the commands you needed to know. Now the systems are so complicated that only the Internet is big enough to hold the documentation. That's what makes discoverability so important in a user interface these days. Windows 8 is sorely lacking in that department. I have spent the last two weeks building a virtualized server on top of Windows 2012 Server. As a server it's just dandy. Hyper-V works beautifully; networking, backup, management tools are all great. BUT the new interface is still awful and the screens are just plain ugly. I've been working with a Remote Desktop connection to Windows 2012 Server from a Win 7 machine. The Win 7 side is beautiful and functional. The Win 2012 Server side is ugly and functional. It looks a lot like IBM stuff from the 60's. At least there's no confusion about which machine your working on.

about a year and a half ago
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NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish

wbean Re:Some Anecdotal Data (269 comments)

Just bought a Dell desktop for my GF. We went to some trouble to find a Windows 7 machine since I find Windows 8 to be unuseable on a desktop. (I've spent some time with it since I'm setting up a new server using Win 8 and two virtual Linux machines.) There is no way I want a touch screen on my desktop. Can you really imagine spending a lot of time reaching over your keyboard and coffee to swipe the screen?

about 2 years ago
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Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments On Leaked Documents

wbean Re:Pants on fire. (517 comments)

Sadly, it does now mean what the parent poster thinks it means. I gave up on this one when the Economist started using it with the new meaning. Also note the last paragraph of the Wikipedia article.

more than 2 years ago
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Christmas Always On Sunday? Researchers Propose New Calendar

wbean Re:13 Months? (725 comments)

But in the Gregorian calendar the 13th falls on a Friday more often than on any other day of the week. (You can confirm this by checking the entire 400-year cycle. It's a small difference but Friday wins out.)

more than 2 years ago
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I am, at present, from the place of my birth ...

wbean Re:Half of circumference? (332 comments)

50 years and I'm (finally) more comfortable in Boston (USA) than London (UK).

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?

wbean Re:Air Force Musem (363 comments)

Mod parent up. The Air Force Museum is outstanding. They have an actual hydrogen bomb (disarmed, I hope) that's the most ominous looking thing I've ever seen. They also have Bockscar, the B29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Once you get past the nuclear horrors there's an amazing collection of planes going back to the Wright Brothers.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

wbean Re:Time Cube? (990 comments)

Whoa! That's one of the weirder corners of the net. And there's even a second page.

about 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Learn New Programming Languages?

wbean I'm 68 and have some experience with this... (772 comments)

I've been learning computer languages since 1961. I definitely gets harder. The first time I noticed it I was in my late 50's and was learning Web develeopment (SQL Server, ADO, html, Javascript). When I was younger I could read a manual, remember it, and get to work. With the Web stuff I was working with a circle of books on the floor around my chair. Now I don't use books any more, just Google. Part of the problem is getting older and not remembering details so well. Part of the problem is that there is SO much more to remember. Fortran had a dozen or so constructs to learn. Modern Web systems have thousands. My opinion is that modern programming systems would be unworkable without Google. Even the young people couldn't remember it all. Would I hesitate to learn a new language now? Probably not. I just did some work with Camel for the first time; it was slow but I got through it. So, all the advice about career paths is probably good, but if you like to code, I'd say you can still do it.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Self-Hosted Gmail Alternatives?

wbean It isn't free and it isn't open source but... (554 comments)

I've been using MDaemon happily for many, many years. The administration is simple, I've not had any problems with my address being blocked, the spam problem is taken care of by MDaemon's options and all together I'm a happy camper. I used to use their calendar app too but it doesn't play well with Android, so I switched to Google. There's a free version that you can try. I no longer remember what the restriction was that led me to use the paid version.

more than 3 years ago
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New NASA Data Casts Doubt On Global Warming Models

wbean Check the sources (954 comments)

What is this junk doing on Slashdot? Did anyone look at the source of this "information" before posting it? The Heartland Institute? Really?

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Replay TV ends program service

wbean wbean writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wbean (222522) writes "Replay TV has announced that they will permanently discontinue their Electronic Programming Guide. This leaves the owners of Replay TV DVRs with bricked machines. It's not clear how Replay RV construes a "lifetime" contract for service to end when they feel like ending it."
Link to Original Source
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Visualisation of Scientific Article Citations

wbean wbean writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wbean writes "Well-Formed.Eigenfactor.org has an amazing visual display of how often various scientific journals cite each other. Click on any of the journals in the display to see the references into and out of all the other journals. Whee!"
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wbean wbean writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wbean writes "A massive DOS attack on Estonia's government agency Web sites has persisted for days and has essentially cut the country off from the wider Internet. The attack is believed to originate from Russia and was motivated by the removal of a Russian World War II memorial from the center of town to a military cemetary."

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