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Comment: Re:9 to 5 is a myth (Score 1) 146

by AJodock (#47778359) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

but I know of no legislation anywhere that an employee might be required by law take them if they do not want to.

I believe it varies by state, but here in Minnesota your employer is required to provide at least a 30 minute unpaid lunch break and 15 minute paid breaks for every 4 hours worked, but I can't imagine the state would make a law that says that you must take that break.

Requiring that the employee takes a lunch break is simply avoiding possible legal repercussions if an employee were to claim that the business worked them so hard that they were unable to take a break (which would mean that the business was breaking the above law). Putting it on the companies rule books that the employee must take a break is then just to avoid those claims. Also they probably don't want the employees eating at their desks on the clock, which probably isn't nearly as productive as clocking out and working the same amount of time later.

Comment: Re:Blank Media (Score 1) 477

by AJodock (#46928877) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

Pretty much all Bluray players require an HDCP compatible TV

This is only required for digital output. If your TV doesn't have HDCP it probably doesn't have digital input anyways (although there was a while in there where they came with DVI plugs, and those TVs typically aren't HDCP compatible).

Presumably your TV has component input for analog HD signal, just find a blu-ray player that has component output for video (nothing specialized for this, many $100 players come with it), and optical/coaxial output for audio and then you are good to go with HD video, and surround sound. You only need a player. Like the previous poster mentioned you will max out at 1080i, but again if your TV doesn't have HDCP it probably isn't capable of more than that anyways.

Comment: Re: What? (Score 1) 142

by AJodock (#46564499) Attached to: AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model

No, no, I still don't get it! The hardware is proprietary, what difference does it make if the driver is or isn't as well?

The biggest difference (for me) is card support. I could fire up Kubuntu 13.10 with X server 1.14 on my old AGP ATI X1650 card and would work like it should. If proprietary drivers were the only choice I would be SOL. If I found the old driver that was designed for that card the chances of getting it to work with a modern kernel/X server would be extremely slim. The current Catalyst driver only supports back to the HD 5000 series so my desktops that I use on a daily basis with HD3*** and HD4*** cards are stuck with a Catalyst driver that says "Automated installer and Display Drivers for Xorg 6.9 to Xserver 1.12 and Kernel version up to 3.4", but they run great with the open source drivers.

I don't claim that the open source driver will support ancient cards forever, but AMD is concerned with selling new cards not keeping up old ones, and the open source drivers are much better in that department. If you know how you can always resort to fixing the issue yourself if the driver is broken for your card.

Comment: Re:Classic Slashdot (Score 2) 131

by AJodock (#46164887) Attached to: Why the Latest FISA Release By Google Et Al. Means Squat

You probably wouldn't get downmodded if you were to explain WHY you would leave as soon as it is mandatory instead of just saying it.

You contributed nothing important to the conversation (slashdot cares about you as a means of making money, but the mods don't care about you leaving), and as such your post has been downmodded to make room for the more relevant posts.

Comment: Re:I hope this fixes my black screen on boot (Score 1) 141

by AJodock (#46018887) Attached to: Linux 3.13 Released

While that is an Intel CPU, it isn't using an Intel GPU. Instead it uses a PowerVR which is a brand of GPU often used in ARM devices, embedded, etc.

Long story short, there are no open source drivers in the kernel for that GPU. That means that you will have to find the PowerVR toolchain and compile your own drivers, but if it is anything like the rest of the ARM GPUs it won't work on a current kernel without a ton of patches. If you are lucky someone will have released an distro designed for your hardware otherwise it isn't hardly worth the time.

From here it sounds like their driver only supports kernel version 3.1, but there is a github repo with some patches that supposedly help only tested up to 3.7 though). However it looks like it requires xorg 1.11 so you may have to downgrade that as well.

Comment: Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (Score 1) 182

by AJodock (#45920341) Attached to: Bitcoin Payments Go Live At Overstock — Two Quarters Early

Why would I want the government to be able to devalue my currency?

People are scared of Bitcoin because it is deflationary, which doesn't promote as much economic growth. Well from what I can see the current inflationary practices have just pushed people into a spend-spend-spend mode, buying crap they don't need because if they don't their money won't be worth as much later. While that may be pumping money into the economy it seems to be making our economy all that much more destabilized, while putting money into the hands of people that already have too much of it.

If people were saving a better portion of their money instead of buying things all of the time, recovering from economic turmoil would be that much easier, especially if the government can't just print money to devalue the money we have saved to bail itself out. If the government is in trouble it should be raising money by increasing taxes (steal my money directly instead of behind my back so that I know how much they are actually taking).

The current method works as a positive in peoples brains. The government inflates the currency, your job gives you a raise to cover that inflation, and suddenly it looks like you have more money in your bank account, even though it is worth less per $. If people could see the REAL costs of their government in their deductions column instead of seeing steady raises that don't increase their buying power maybe they would do something to stop the ridiculous government spending.

Comment: Re:areas of specialization (Score 1) 148

by AJodock (#45748739) Attached to: IDC: 40 Percent of Developers Are 'Hobbyists'

counter = 0
start loop
    do work
    counter ++
    if counter = x
        counter = 0
    end if
end loop
if counter > 0
end if

I would think this might use less CPU doing a increment and comparison instead of a division every iteration.

Comment: Re:Kontact (Score 1) 44

by AJodock (#45746119) Attached to: KDE Releases Applications and Development Platform 4.12

And there are some great KDE4 apps. But Kontact is not one of them. I anxiously install and run it on every new desktop, thinking "this time, it's going to work." And it never does. Kontact on my opensuse box regularly gets hung trying to open a "choose a file" dialog box (say, if I'm attaching something to an email). I blame its ridiculous database and akonadi semantic crap foundation.

No such issues here. I use Kontact every day at work hooked up to exchange (IMAP + Davmail to hook up to exchange). I have occasionally in the past seen issues with the open file dialog when you have favorites added that are no longer accessible like NFS or SMB shares. I haven't seen that in ages, but maybe that is just because I don't have anything added into my favorites. Running Kubuntu instead of OpenSUSE here.

Akonadi works pretty well now too, but there are some occasions where the IMAP process seems to get stuck doing something or other in its database and it sits at 100% of 1 core of my CPU. I just give it a kick with akonadictl restart and that usually clears it up.

Comment: Re:Themostat (Score 1) 139

by AJodock (#45719893) Attached to: Google Testing Smart Appliance, Would Compete With Nest Thermostat

"install it in 10 minutes and then play" to something somewhat more involved.

Well I usually enjoy an involved setup :) As long as it is stable afterwards of course.

However, those outages tend to be a few hours per year in the places I've lived, and the system comes back from failure without intervention.

Yeah that brings up another issue with programmable thermostats is that when you bring your temp down when you aren't home and then the power fails you are already at that much lower of a temperature to start with. A few hours might not be an issue when your temp is already high, but when you are 10 deg lower to start with and then your furnace fails you have that much less time to respond.

The failure mode is that the nest freezes and you have no indication at all that anything is wrong.

I would have assumed that the Nest would alert you like the Honeywell when it quits checking in to their servers. Are they lacking that feature?

and that Nest refuses to let you manage updates yourself,

Ouch yeah I can certainly see that causing problems.

Comment: Re:How is this a remotely useful product? (Score 1) 139

by AJodock (#45717303) Attached to: Google Testing Smart Appliance, Would Compete With Nest Thermostat

And how does that help me to not come home to a cold house when I decide to run home for lunch today (assuming that I normally don't)? I would have to set the timer to do that every day wasting energy instead of logging in quick and setting the temp before I leave the office.

Comment: Re:Themostat (Score 1) 139

by AJodock (#45717121) Attached to: Google Testing Smart Appliance, Would Compete With Nest Thermostat

If your thermostat flakes out in SVC its no big deal. Very different context than rural North Dakota.

As someone who lives in the ND area this is the exact reason why I did buy a internet enabled thermostat. I got a Honeywell not a Nest (wasn't available yet), and having an internet enabled device is the perfect way to monitor if something does go wrong. I can login to the portal and setup high and low limits, and if my furnace were to fail and the house drops below my set temperature I get an email alerting me to that fact so that I can respond. Also if the thermostat or internet connection fails I get alerts warning me as such so that I can investigate the cause.

When it is -20F and your furnace fails to ignite, or your power is out your mechanical/dumb thermostat isn't going to warn you, and you will still be dealing with burst pipes... if you want a mechanical backup just install a second thermostat and put it on the same control line. I would rather be alerted to the situation than be in the dark, because even if the device fails bypassing it to get some heat is just a matter of bridging two wires.

Comment: Re:MS has already done this... (Score 1) 414

by AJodock (#45104117) Attached to: Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

It's more than just a shared kernel, the development API's allow you to be hardware agnostic while developing as well as infrastructure in place that allows app to app communication and data sharing.

How is this any different than what Linux and other OSes have been doing for years? I don't seem to recall all Linux programs having to be rewritten for each and every architecture (except for some applications that may try to tie in at a lower level)

From the article

Thanks to the sharing of C and C++ libraries, Direct X components and SQLite support, developers can actually write an app once and move it from one platform to another with only a few code tweaks.

Take out the Direct X part there, and doesn't that sound exactly like Linux?

Sounds like Java..

The article says that developers can move their apps around from platform to platform. This isn't like a java JVM in the middle that will interpret your applications compiled code and run it on every architecture. It is just a single OS with a set of standards and libraries that are available on multiple architectures/platforms. All that Microsoft has done is copied the exact model that other OSes like Linux have been following for many years, there is no innovation here. Of course they could extend this to be more like Java, so that programs could be moved from platform to platform without being recompiled, but I don't think that will fit in very well with the big hitter programming languages.

As a whole these are of course good things, but seriously how has it taken them this long to do this? Maybe they were worried about people recreating their libraries so that these apps could be more easily ported to other OSes.

Start menu is back in 8.1 so the cries have not been ignored.

A button that brings up the metro (or whatever it is called this week) interface is not a start menu. I mean a real legacy start menu like Windows 7 (or older if you prefer). I wouldn't recommend that they allow you to remove metro altogether since they want to get their cut from the app creators, but not giving users an option for what they want no matter how hidden it is to enable it feels like a slap in the face. I could see that if no one had told them that users wouldn't like this before they released they maybe wouldn't have included it right away, but people have been complaining about this since the beta so there is simply no excuse left for them. It is just Microsoft's way of telling us that they know what we want better than we do, and they are using their near monopoly on the PC market to force it on us.

Comment: Re:MS has already done this... (Score 1) 414

by AJodock (#45101899) Attached to: Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

But Ubuntu and Apple are the innovators... lame...

lol this is Microsoft innovating? So the innovation that your link is talking about is using the (largely?) same kernel on both architectures... Well lets see what architectures Linux shares nearly all of its code across, hmm lot more than 2.

From your link

They OSes even share a substantial chunk of browser code, finally bringing Windows Phone up to parity with its desktop IE progenitors.

Like how Chrome and many other browsers have been using the same browser engines across platforms for years (i.e. Webkit/Blink)?. Hmm so Android has been using much of the same browser code on both desktop, and mobile for some time. Sharing code across architectures/platforms apparently is only new to Microsoft.

Shuttleworth's idea of convergence is hardware convergence. Why have a desktop around when your phone is fast enough to run a full desktop. Just dock your phone and there you have your desktop OS (doesn't have to mean touchscreen UI!), and that way you have all of your data with you all of the time no cloud required (other than for backups?)!

Microsoft's idea of convergence is using the same UI on multiple platforms even if it doesn't make sense for that platform. I understand that they are trying to make an app ecosystem, so they want to push it everywhere, but is it really that hard to at least give the user an option to turn on a normal start menu? Just a checkmark somewhere to turn on a legacy start menu would have completely changed how people viewed Windows 8, but for some reason they refuse.

Comment: Re:So... no separation between system and userspac (Score 1) 335

by AJodock (#44949189) Attached to: New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud

Many VMs run one application, but they typically run many processes. For instance OpenSSH. Say a hacker breaks into your application and has some abilities in the userspace. Now with your reduced separation between the kernelspace and userspace it is presumably easier to exploit the kernel. Once you have your way into the kernel you have the run of the place so you have root access to modify all of the other processes running on the machine.

If you are using a password to login to your system the attacker can get into the OpenSSH service and wait for you to login (giving them your cleartext password). OpenSSH uses a tunnel to encrypt your password from the outside world but it is a tunneled clear text password so once the service itself is exploited you end up just handing it to the hackers. Or on second thought just break your way into PAM and then all applications on the machine start feeding the hacker passwords. Once they have your password they can start to use it elsewhere on your network to see what else they can get into.

External facing machines are often just the start of a hackers goals, and making those external facing machines any easier to compromise for the sake of efficiency is a bad idea.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.