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Ask Slashdot: Linux For Grandma?

whizbang77045 I can't speak for Grandma, but .... (287 comments)

My wife and I are grandparents, although a few years short of the 82 mark. I'm hesitant to recommend any flavor of Windows to anyone who just wants email, a web browser, and maybe a spreadsheet or word processing capability. I've had fair luck getting older XP users to transition to Zorin, which I believe may be intended for that purpose. Mint Linux, which I use, would come in a close second. But some Windows users just must have Windows, possibly because they think they're familiar with it. Being forced to use Windows 7 or 8 may change a lot of that.

about a month ago

Terrafugia Wants Their Flying Car To Be Autonomous

whizbang77045 Poor precedents (94 comments)

I've lost count of the number of flying car designs I've seen over the years. It's always seemed a good idea on the surface, but almost no one buys them. Is there a reason to believe this will be different? Other than a "smoke and mirrors" or "whisling in the dark" answer.

about 2 months ago

Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

whizbang77045 Oklahoma's business (304 comments)

It strikes me that this is Oklahoma's business, and they can do it however they want to.

about 2 months ago

NASA Knows How Mars Got a Jelly Doughnut

whizbang77045 Common knowledge (61 comments)

Everyone knows Mars is just the Venusian's Area 51. It's just a remnant of some secret high tech project.

about 2 months ago

Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

whizbang77045 Who cuts the barber's hair? (597 comments)

And who pays (and how?) for the initial students who will later pay the tax?

about 2 months ago

Fracking Is Draining Water From Areas In US Suffering Major Shortages

whizbang77045 No good (268 comments)

Everyone said they were no frackin' good!

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

whizbang77045 There are two problems (822 comments)

1) NSA MAY have broken the law. 2) He definitely broke the law. NSA may need some government action, because it isn't clear if they actually broke the law, or some individuals' interpretation of the constitution. Mr. Snowden definitely broke the law, and needs to be prosecuted. Any altruism which might have been his objective - and I question if there really was any - is way overshadowed by his blatent disregard for the law. He didn't just release information about spying on US citizens; he released a lot of other information which has nothing to do with whistleblowing. This man did severe damage to our country, and needs to be punished accordingly.

about 3 months ago

Does Anyone Make a Photo De-Duplicator For Linux? Something That Reads EXIF?

whizbang77045 Look beyond computers.... (243 comments)

The de-duplicator is called a human.

about 3 months ago

The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden

whizbang77045 NY Times not a credible source (354 comments)

Unfortunately, in recent years, the NY Times appears to have become more opinion than fact. It's a free country, and they have a right to that opinion, but they should label it as such.

Snowden signed an agreement not to reveal NSA's information, and broke that agreement. There are paths provided for expressing concerns, none of which he appears to have taken.

It was his choice to break the law. Having done so, he does not deserve special treatment. A firing squad, which I don't believe the law provides in this case, would be more appropriate.

about 4 months ago

How Healthcare.gov Changed the Software Testing Conversation

whizbang77045 Were known management tools used? (118 comments)

It does not sound to me as though known management tools were used. Did they sit down with the government personnel in charge, and present their approach, and what the site would look like (menus, flow, etc) when finished? Were there testable milestones, and a final presentation of working software? It sure doesn't sound like it.

about 4 months ago

Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

whizbang77045 Fond memories of a grand lady... (157 comments)

I have fond memories of her. On the one occasion I got to see her in person, I was a member of a student ACM chapter, and she was our guest speaker. I remember that she had very strong opinions, particularly about IBM.

At the time, the System 360 was all the rage, and had blue cabinets. She brought an 8080 to the presentation in a small, blue plastic case, commenting that she'd heard computers came in blue boxes. She also commented (again about the 360) that it couldn't be much of a machine, since it spent half of its time talking to itself, a reference to the operating system overhead.

I've often wondered what she'd think of computers and operating systems today, particularly Windows and Linux.

R.I.P. Grace Hopper. You're a hard lady to forget!

about 4 months ago

The Yin and Yang of Hour of Code & Immigration Reform

whizbang77045 Whee! Where is common sense? (220 comments)

Yes! Let's teach all the kids to be programmers! Who needs butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers? With a whole nation of programmers, Obamacare is just a sampling of the good things to come.

about 4 months ago

US Navy Launches Drone From Submerged Submarine

whizbang77045 Navy's drone program... (55 comments)

I knew the Navy's drone program was sunk.

about 4 months ago

Mediterranean Sea To Possibly Become Site of Chemical Weapons Dump

whizbang77045 Sounds fishy... (174 comments)

Be on the lookout for two headed fish!

about 4 months ago

Snowden Document Says Dutch Secret Service Hacks Internet Forums

whizbang77045 News Flash (162 comments)

News Flash! Intelligence agencies caught gathering intelligence! Film at 11!

about 5 months ago

The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

whizbang77045 This should be amusing (582 comments)

We live in a remote area. There are two cell towers (AT&T and Verizon) in the county seat. They cover some, but not all of the local area. At our house, AT&T cell is blocked by a mountain. We get a little knife edge refraction signal, but you can't count on it. As far as using it for 911 calls, the idea is just silly.

If they get rid of the POTS, they pretty much get rid of phone service. Internet comes in by an rf link. We're pretty much the last house in the canyon we live in to get rf link internet or cell service. Everybody else uses smoke signals, satellite internet, or POTS.

Why doesn't the FCC do something useful, like bug the White House phones, and let the free market take care of the POTS demand?

about 5 months ago

Snowden Seeks International Help Against US Espionage Charges

whizbang77045 Hang the traitor (351 comments)

Hang him, before he convinces someone important he isn't just a traitor in politically acceptable clothing.

about 6 months ago



Weather Channel Loss: A bad thing?

whizbang77045 whizbang77045 writes  |  about 3 months ago

whizbang77045 (1342005) writes "I find myself wondering what impact – if any – Directv dropping the Weather Channel is having on Slashdotters (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/14/directtv-weather-channel/4470233/).

Since it's purchase by NBC Universal, I've noticed more and more reality programming, and less and less actual weather. How it may be in other areas I don't know, but in our area, the forecasts are usually wildly inaccurate. A forecast low of say, 32 degrees, will appear side by side with a current temperature of 25. Precipitation forecasts are no better.

Radar appears to be a work of fiction. It's 150 miles to the nearest weather radar, and nothing below about 22,000 feet is detected. If one goes to the National Weather Service radar site, the imagery cuts off perhaps 5 miles west of us. But while that is happening, the Weather Channel would show radar imagery as much as 150 miles beyond that. There is a huge gap in weather radar coverage beyond where we live. I'm forced to believe the radar the weather channel shows does not in reality exist.

Weather alerts have been equally silly. We were cautioned of a severe storm, which turned out to be about 100 miles away!

Claiming loss of their channel would cause a lack of weather information in our area does not appear to be valid in this area. We're really better off without thinking we know what the weather will be, 3when that's not what usually happens.

What are the feelings of other Slashdotters?"

1 Sale a Day may have had its site hacked

whizbang77045 whizbang77045 writes  |  about 2 years ago

whizbang77045 (1342005) writes "The popular website, 1Saleaday.com, may have had its server hacked. After a purchase, some buyers report receiving an apparently bogus email from the shipper DHL, reporting a problem with the shipping address, and asking the addressee to click on an attachment for further details.

The attachment contains a trojan. In some cases, a check of 1SaleaDay's site status shows the order in question has not shipped, indicating that the DHL email is bogus.

It also suggests 1Saleaday has had their site hacked, possibly including purchaser credit card information. If you are a user of this site, you may wish to delay until their problem is known to be resolved."


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