Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

wvmarle Re:actually Australia does have some sanity (185 comments)

The US system makes much more sense security-wise (note: this is purely security POV, not meant as opinion on effectiveness or so).

What they're trying to do is keep the airways safe: prevent hijackings of planes, planes flown into buildings, whatnot. For a terrorist it doesn't matter too much whether they hijack a small 50-seater turboprop or a massive 747 or A380. Such a smaller plane would have set fire to the WTC just as well, it may have been a bit less of a fireball on impact but there's enough fuel on board to set it on fire (especially if you plan the hijack and final target to be not too far out, so lots of fuel still on board), and it was the fire that caused the structures to collapse in the end.

If you only screen international flights thoroughly, but not your local flights, the local flights become a weak spot, and the obvious target of a terrorist seeing to hijack a plane. It is only as safe as your weakest link, and by not screening domestic flights (well), these domestic flights become a high security risk relative to the international flights. I'm sure a terrorist can really cause lots of mayhem even with smallish airliners!

yesterday
top

FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

wvmarle Re:let them suck it (353 comments)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Don't worry. "Unreasonable" can and is defined however it is convenient for them

No matter what, with encryption enabled they'll have to first convince a judge to issue a warrant. That's a respectable hurdle when compared to automated dragnet searches.

4 days ago
top

Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

wvmarle Re:As a metro rider ... (179 comments)

They know what they're driving: a train.

Contrary to say driving a truck or a car, the length of the vehicle doesn't change it's behaviour. So it's really easy for a driver to hop on a 8-coach train and drive it like a 6-coach train without feeling there's more behind him - maybe his train is normally a 6-coach vehicle, but as the normal train is in maintenance, they used an 8-coach one this time. With a truck you feel whether you're laden or not, whether you have that second trailer attached or not.

Once I've seen a train arriving in the station, with two engines, the second of which producing massive amounts of smoke. The train conductor went upfront to warn the driver of this, the driver, operating the train manually, hadn't noticed anything - the conductor noticed the smell of the burning brakes. What happened: the brakes of the second (inactive) engine were locked, and for the past 12 km or so the train had been pulling not only the 6 or 8 coaches, but also an engine with the brakes full on. The smoking hot brakes were released, and with a few minutes delay the train continued its journey.

The solution of having them pull up to the far end, is of course a failsafe option, while also being clear to passengers on where to expect the train to stop. Having the length of their train written somewhere in the cab as reminder may also be a good idea.

about a week ago
top

Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

wvmarle Re:London underground has automatic trains (179 comments)

the drivers are needed to make sure that the train is safe to leave and no passengers are stuck in the doors and so on.

Depending on the size of your trains, these things are best done by a bunch of cameras keeping an eye on the full length of the train, obstruction detectors in the doors themselves, and platform staff. The cameras can be watched from a central location (could be central to the city, the line or to the station) with one person watching the complete train and keeping an eye on the crowds on the platform, while the obstruction detectors can give off an alarm to the automatic train control system and/or the station staff.

Not sure about your area, but I'm used to trains of 8-12 coaches in length, four sets of doors on each side per coach. A driver all the way in the front of the train is in a pretty poor position to see it all (no space for enough monitors) or to offer help (it's several minutes walk to the 12th coach along a crowded platform, and the trains are normally running at 2-minute intervals meaning many trains would be delayed just by the driver having to walk up and down his train - not to mention the increasing crowds - those trains run that frequent for a reason - making such a movement pretty much impossible, and that's no joke).

about a week ago
top

Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

wvmarle Re:It's inflation (191 comments)

If you take into account inflation, Gone With The Wind (1939) is the largest grossing movie.

As that's so long time ago, you may even have to take into account the population at large. Selling 1,000 tickets to a population 10,000 in size is much more impressive than slling the same number of tickets in a population 1,000,000 in size. Plus of course the lack of competition by television or more recent developments such as The Pirate Bay.

about two weeks ago
top

Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

wvmarle Re:Why is Alibaba selling IPO in USA? (191 comments)

China has a closed capital account, putting all kinds of limitations on businesses. All those yuan they get from listing in China is hard to exchange to other currencies, which they want for future expansion. The USD they collect now, they can however quite easily channel back into China as "foreign investment".

Also note that in fact Alibaba first looked at the Hong Kong stock market for listing. Again outside of China, but a lot closer to home. They were rejected by the Hong Kong board, as they could not fulfil certain requirements on financial openness and stability (details I don't know - I'm not a financial guy - however I got this part of the news as I live in Hong Kong and follow the local news). Alibaba even tried to have the Hong Kong stock exchange change the rules just for them, and when that didn't work they went to New York, where the stock exchange is apparently more lax in their rules for companies to list, or they were more willing to make an exeption for this big fish.

There are quite some local investment analysts that believe the financial basis of Alibaba is not sound, especially their payments services platform (something similar to PayPal), and that there is a risk of the company coming crashing down, again based on the unclear financial situation of the company.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

wvmarle Re:Silly design decision (425 comments)

Now at least they have a new feature to talk about: the thinness of the device. Something to make a difference with the existing models.

about two weeks ago
top

City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

wvmarle Re:About 1/2 of 1 percent of their budget (249 comments)

It is more than E85 a year, as this is only the upfront cost, excluding renewal of licenses.

The amount is small on a per-employee basis, however that E6 mln that the city saves can now be used for other purposes. If there's no benefit of using Windows over Ubuntu, this E6 mln (or more, over time) becomes a waste of money. Explain that to your voters, why you'd throw millions of Euros to some foreign company for some unnecessarily expensive product!

And why all or nothing? Because it makes the work of the IT staff a lot easier. Standardise computers, give them all the same hardware and software, and the bulk of the office can do exactly what they have to do. Maybe put in some non-standard (higher end, different OS, whatever) machines in the mix for the people that really need this - this are probably also the people that need the least support, so not much of an issue there.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

wvmarle Re:It's apparently not ready yet - FUD (471 comments)

Well, Apple make me Uncertain about the actual existence of the product, Doubtful on when it's really going to be released (now they'll have to; they can't delay much or they'll really use their reputation), and anyway I Fear it has not much use anyway - not just because my phone happens to be not an iPhone.

So that'd be UDF. Not FUD. But that's just a minor detail.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

wvmarle Re:What I think would be most useful (471 comments)

I didn't say the glance at the notification is not the interruption, however it does show that you are prepared (and, in a way, planning) to interrupt the meeting.

Besides, how often does it really happen to you that your wife takes the kid to hospital? Just be realistic here. Hasn't happened to me in eight years of having a kid. If it's really that important a message they can call someone at the company, and you can concentrate on the meeting instead of looking for messages all the time.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

wvmarle It's apparently not ready yet (471 comments)

With Apple announcements I'm used to them giving a date the gadget will be in the shops. Not just a year, but a month, and often a day even. And that date is usually in the quite near future.

A launch date of "early 2015" makes me wonder whether it's even ready for production, or that quite some development is still to be done before it can be released. No specific date, and it's like half a year out. That's almost a full generation when it comes to mobile phones!

First see, then believe. When it's released it's time to discuss the feature set of this device, the actual feature set that is. For now, it's vapourware. It seems Apple really lost its mojo since the demise of the late Steve Jobs...

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

wvmarle Re:What I think would be most useful (471 comments)

I don't see (3) and (4) working well on a screen that's not even as big as my wrist (and I have pretty big wrists).

In case of (3), if there's a message so important that it's worth interrupting a meeting for (why else would you check notifications?), just have your secretary check on it and warn you in person when such a message comes in.

about three weeks ago
top

Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music

wvmarle Re:This is what the US has become (137 comments)

You're mixing up things.

The original Mickey Mouse movies are indeed old enough to be in the public domain, based on the principles of copyright.

This doesn't necessarily mean the character Mickey Mouse, or its likeness, should be in the public domain as well.

Even less so for trademarks, which do not have a set expiry date: a trademark is yours from the moment you start using it, until you stop using it. It doesn't necessarily have to be registered - though that does make defending it easier. Also, unlike copyright, a trademark must be defended at all times or you may risk losing it. Allowing a company to use your trademark for some time and then going after it (like patent trolls like to do with patented stuff) makes you risk losing your trademark rights altogether.

about three weeks ago
top

Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

wvmarle Re:Define technology (231 comments)

Considering your age you probably forgot to add the part "for use as target practice" there.

about three weeks ago
top

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

wvmarle Re:Around or on top of millitary bases? (237 comments)

True, if totally disregarding the part where the Chinese would have to ship those tanks unnoticed halfway across the world.

The part where they look at American tanks to copy the design and to make their own look exactly alike is the easy part, of course.

about a month ago
top

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

wvmarle Re:This does not bother me (237 comments)

If so, why would those towers be only at their bases? If using regular mobile phone frequencies (or frequencies close to those), they won't be able to create a complete network out of them, simply because the reach of those towers is limited to some 50 km, or the nearest mountain or tall building. Get off the base, and lose your communication - doesn't sound like a very useful system in case of emergency or war.

about a month ago
top

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

wvmarle Re:Around or on top of millitary bases? (237 comments)

If they indeed are Chinese (or otherwise foreign) spy towers, and so easily detected (the authors of the article didn't seem to have a hard time finding such towers), there's something terribly, terribly wrong with your homeland security.

about a month ago
top

Robot Printer Brings Documents To Your Desk

wvmarle Re:great! (64 comments)

In my office I intentionally placed the printer out of reach from the desks, to force movement. It's not much movement, but even a few steps go a long way in preventing RSI and related issues.

about 1 month ago
top

Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

wvmarle Re:not so fast (128 comments)

Humans are by far the most intelligent creatures on this world, and thanks to that intelligence can learn a lot.

Learning primarily takes place in the childhood stage, when parents directly teach their children all they need to know to survive (which until not so long ago, was indeed mostly survival skills: how to grow your own food and so). A long childhood (and with that, long parental care) may for this reason be an advantage: longer time to learn typically makes for a better end result.

As another poster pointed out, childhood is not the most robust stage of the life cycle of a human, especially early childhood. And even if parental care during childhood improves survival during that stage of life, it's genetically not exactly a productive stage of life - no procreation yet, so surviving that part is great but it doesn't necessarily help to spread those presumably beneficial long childhood genes in the overall population. Procreation tends to happen when the parental care has finished.

about a month ago
top

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

wvmarle Re:If by "decreeses" you mean "increases", then ye (300 comments)

Maybe you should start following some proper news outlets, including some run by traditional news organisations, you know, the ones that search for news and publish it. Go out of your basement and buy a newspaper or so. Or if that's too much, try the online BBC news.

If you only found out about this by reading about the removal of the video, you're really looking in the wrong places for your news.

about a month ago

Submissions

top

Ask Slashdot: backup solution for small business

wvmarle wvmarle writes  |  about 4 years ago

wvmarle (1070040) writes "For my small business I am looking for a reliable backup method, allowing me to relatively easily recover my data from a crash. This includes email (Cyrus IMAP), LDAP, /etc, user home directories, and other user generated data. This is all stored on a single server; users mount /home over NFS. No important data on the work stations.
There are two issues I am struggling with: first of all the backup method. Currently I'm making a simple tarball (daily updates, weekly updates, monthly full backups); while reasonably effective it's not easy to recover data and ldap/mysql databases don't like to be recovered that way. I've been looking at software but there are so many solutions that I do not know where to start. Something reasonably easy to manage, and reasonably easy to restore, with a scheme similar to the above.
Secondly the storage medium. Currently my backups are on a separate hard disk inside the server. Again not the best solution. I have been looking to use e.g. flash drivers for external storage, but my .tgz monthly dumps are about 30 GB and the largest USB drive that I found is barely bigger, doesn't make me feel happy. Also too much for DVD-Rs. And it's not enough to think about tape. Removable hard disks I wouldn't like to just toss in my bag to take them home for off-site storage, just hoping they survive those trips. I'm not really looking for permanent backup, 3-6 months while rotating the media will do."
top

Chinese surfers see red over Microsoft black-outs

wvmarle wvmarle writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wvmarle (1070040) writes "Microsoft has decided to take action against Windows systems in China that fail the "Windows Genuine Advantage" check. Since the latest automatic updates, many users find their desktop background to be changed to black. This has left many users fuming and looking for alternatives. Also Microsoft Office is targeted, and Chinese software producers supplying competing products see their downloads soar by as much as 50% already. One of the main complaints is that Microsoft is hacking end user's computers, and users are afraid that if today Microsoft changes their background, what will they do tomorrow? More news reports available here and here."

Journals

wvmarle has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?