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Comment: Re:Why are taxi drivers all so horrible? (Score 1) 295

I've had good success with genuine taxis in many cities in many countries. Some cities, and neighborhoods, are noticeably better, and I've certainly had to use a gypsy cab when exhausted and there were no registered cabs available. They've helped save me enormous difficulty and expense, from letting me pay later when I was out of cash, to actually helping get a very sick man off the streets to a hospital when my hands were full and I could not reach to pay with my hands so full. I never did get to reward that cabbie, I'm afraid, but I always try to tip well in memory of that help.

One of the practices I've come to despise, however, is the "you must take the first taxi available" rules at airport and public transit taxi stands. All of the drivers get upset if you select the company you prefer and have done business with.

Comment: Re:Sounds like they should ban the cabbies (Score 1) 295

> x86: I'm pretty sure that Intel had a great deal of legal control of that market, a

And illegal control. Do look into the history of the theft of Alpha technologies from DEC that were used for the Pentium architecture.

              http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05...

Comment: Re:Last few fish in a small pond... (Score 1) 431

by Antique Geekmeister (#48594941) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Please don't assume that _quality_ camera film maker will be available. The quality of good camera film, at least, was _amazing_ in its heyday. We saw the results in the photography of scientific magazines especially, such as National Geographic and Nature. The economies of scale seem to have been vital to Kodak and Polaroid, partly because the chemicals used can also be quite toxic and required very controlled handling to ensure the quality of the film.

Film based photography is a fascinating technology history, well worth review in technology and business courses.

Comment: Re:How about a list for Australia ... (Score 1) 43

Given the bans on credit card contributions to WikiLeaks and he behavior of RIAA and MPAA, and the very strange intellectual properties concerning computer software and the DMCA? Yes, I'd say content is being filtered. Also, given laws about child pornography and human torture depictions, I'd say yes, content is blocked in the USA and internationally.

China's filters are much, much broader, but it does not mean speech is completely free elsewhere.

Comment: Dungeons of Dredmor equivalent on Steam (Score 2) 186

by Antique Geekmeister (#48563599) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

I've noted that the Steam game, "Dungeons of Dredmor", is a nice upgrade to the genre of rogue-like games. It's good, for those who enjoy them and like a bit more graphics. It has different shop mechanics, but I was given a copy and enjoyed it. And I do remember compiling and playing the original Rogue decades ago, along with 'rogomatic' to watch someone _else_ trying to dungeon dive.

Comment: Re:"Running arbitrary commands" is irrelevant (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by Antique Geekmeister (#48554613) Attached to: Stealthy Linux Trojan May Have Infected Victims For Years

I';m personally aware of thousands of systems on which database data, backups, and system logs are not read protected from local users. They're left this way on the grounds that "if someone has local access, we're screwed anyway". They pass pass commercial security audits because the security companies do a handful of known external attacks, which giver a small set of tasks to fix the issue and do not address such fandamental issues.

This is particularly aggravated on systems with have password free sudo access for developers, which is very common on development environments, on systems with password free SSH keys casually stored with system wide access, and software systems that store passwords in clear text by default, such as Subversion HTTPS access. It's also compounded when home directories on which such information is stored is NFSv3 mounted and shared with all clients on the network. The concept of "data which belongs to you" breaks down quickly with NFS or CIFS without authentication in most environments. NFSv4 or Kerberized CIFS access can be helpful in restricting this, but I know very few partners or clients who go to the extra steps needed for this.

Comment: Re:Scientific Linux (Score 1) 118

by Antique Geekmeister (#48543595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Paying For Linux Support vs. Rolling Your Own?

CentOS, Scientific Linux, the old "Whitebox" distribution, and other free rebuilds resemble the "Red Hat" distributions before RHEL. They're quite fascinating free and open source software projects. Red Hat has been model open source and freeware contributors in their publication of all legally permissible source code: they do retain some projects where the source code is licensed form others and cannot be published directly, such as the old Sun Java packages.

I agree that Scientific Linux could now consider simply adding separate packages. The difficulty is that those package would still not be in the base CD or DVD distributions, not even access to those packages would be permitted. CentOS has been very, very clear that they do not include non-RHEL software in the base distribution. Scientific Linux includes access to EPEL, which has recently been activated for CentOS. It also provides easy activated access to the "rpmfusion" and "atrpms" websites for software Red Hat cannot safely provide due to patent and DMCA regulation, Adobe access presents licensing issues, NVidia drivers, and MPEG drivers in various repositories, and some old packages with strange licensing.

Scientific Linux has been very helpful at enabling access to these without painful manual steps. Red Hat, and thus CentOS, will not be able to do so without taking on profound legal liabilities.

Comment: A felon with misdemeanor convictions (Score 1) 717

by Antique Geekmeister (#48543475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Because they also show up on the background check, and establish a pattern of ongoing illegal activity. A felony conviction for vehicular manslaughter, on New Year's Day coming home from a celebration, with no history of drug or alcohol abuse, can be described as a single tragic event. A vehicular homicide after a long history of DUI convictions and failed treatment programs means a real addiction risk: it's just the sort of thing that background checks should detect.

Comment: Felons can be teachers and child care workers, too (Score 2) 717

by Antique Geekmeister (#48543417) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

It depends profoundly on what the felony conviction was for. I'm afraid the fact that you asked a very vague question and expect a somehow useful answer is, itself, a much stronger indication that you do _not_ belong in IT. Expecting a useful answer from such a vague question is not a good engineering approach, especially in IT where incredible resources can be wasted addressing unspecified requirements. I'm afraid that, if I saw your resume after this, I'd reject it on the grounds of the horrible question without even having to consider the felony itself.

I've met people with drug convictions and who practice medicine, after treatment and with regular blood tests. I even knew of a child care worker with a kidnapping conviction. (She helped hide a mother and children from an abusive father under extraordinary circumstances.) And if "expunging" is not available, perhaps a pardon is feasible: Ohio apparently can seal court records with a pardon, though it's not automatic.

So a conviction is not necessarily career ending. But without more details, the question is too vague to be usefully answered.

Comment: Re:Ideological purity ... (Score 1) 96

by Antique Geekmeister (#48519783) Attached to: Openwashing: Users and Adopters Beware

He also got patent abuse right (such as Tivo tried to do and MPEG patents), legislative abuse to protect poor quality source code (such as the DMCA and DVD encryption), and the abuse of "open source" licenses to create closed, propeietary "add-ons" which rely on but do not properly cooperate with the open source users and developers. (Yes, I'm referring to Citrix Xen and NVidia.)

"Open Source" , rather than free software, has been repeatedly abused.

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