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Comment: Re:The benefits are obvious (Score 2) 139

by BabaChazz (#47183095) Attached to: Parents Mobilize Against States' Student Data Mining

Exactly. There are very real benefits to this program, and if I felt that I could trust the people putting it together to keep the information private, I'd be all for it. The thing is, there is nobody I can trust with this sort of information about my children except me and their mother.

Comment: Twice. (Score 5, Informative) 386

by BabaChazz (#46757109) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Annoyingly, I found out a couple of years ago that despite being a Canadian citizen and filing Canadian taxes every year, the US still considers me a US citizen for tax purposes, and so I have to file US taxes as well. Particularly annoyingly, one of the Canadian tax-deferral vehicles, the TFSA, is not recognized by the US, so I have this big complicated additional form to fill out for something it calls a trust. Plus I am CEO of a company I partly own (my consulting business), so I have to file financial paperwork for that as well. I hire an accountant, it's the only way to make sense of it all, and the US idiocy means that I'm out of pocket an additional $400 every year.

Comment: First name gets ignored? (Score 1) 213

by BabaChazz (#44310633) Attached to: If I search online for my full name...

I have a largely unique last name. If I Google firstname lastname, I get two about me on the front page, one bio from my current prime client and a thing I helped write decades ago about connecting modems to hotel telephone lines; then pages and pages about my brother the writer and my father the (late) senior scientist.

Comment: Detachable Screen. (Score 1) 591

by BabaChazz (#43368693) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

The screen on a laptop is perforce much lower than is ergonomically appropriate, and you end up looking down at it all the time, unless you prop the whole thing up so the keyboard is at a 45 degree angle and your wrists are bent backwards while you type. If the screen could be detached and stood on a pedestal to bring it closer to appropriate height, it might be possible to actually work on a laptop.

Before you tell me how that would make it so much harder to, you know, use it on your lap, ask yourself how many people you see on a daily basis with a laptop actually perched on their laps, and how many use tray tables or coffee shop tables...

Comment: And this is listed as funny? (Score 1) 164

by BabaChazz (#43251069) Attached to: Google Keep End-of-Life Date Forecasted

Why?

In all seriousness, despite the weakness of the statistics (33 points does not make a universe, particularly with such widely scattered data), this is simply a codification of the reluctance many feel about trusting vital data to Google. It's interesting to note how many projects Google has shuttered, and the lengths of time they were live. I do appreciate the fact that the author has provided his raw data so that we can draw our own conclusions.

Comment: Sorry... the PhD. screws you. (Score 2, Interesting) 232

by BabaChazz (#42497203) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Getting Tech Career Back On Track

I'm afraid I have to agree with the consensus here. The big issue is the doctorate. In my experience, very nearly the only people who will accept someone with a Ph.D. behind his / her name is a university. And universities will be wary as well, they will think you expect to go tenure track, and you've already found how limited those slots are. You would probably have better luck with the employment if you dropped the Ph.D. off your resume; that's a bigger problem IMHO than the gap.

The only alternative to the uni IT departments suggested earlier would be consulting; look for firms of consulting engineers, they like to be able to list Ph.D.s on their corporate CVs. I don't recommend going into business for yourself; that takes a vary particular mindset, and it's often a very thin existence.

Comment: My Model M keyboards (Score 1) 338

by BabaChazz (#42207701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old Technology Coexisting With New?

Of course, some of us love the old Model M keyboard. I do, and I have four of them in reasonably heavy use.

I also have a computer with an Intel motherboard that uses RIMM memory. That's being a web server, so I can't nuke it yet; but when the next power supply fails (I have two that I've been swapping and repairing -- the RIMM motherboards used a funky 6-pin connector where the modern ATX uses the PCI-4 or PCI-8 connector) it will be time to start looking for a replacement. The machine I used until just recently for my home development, though, is even older -- a Pentium IV 1.6GHz without even hyperthreading.

I do have a Windows 98 machine with a SCSI card that I'm putting back on line so that I can play Riven from the deck of five CDs... SCSI lets me have four external CD drives.

And there's no point putting a perfectly good 100Base-T switch on the raw output from my "broadband" connection, as it peaks at 2.5Mbps; while I had to retire the 80's era 10BaseT hub that I used for that when its fans failed, I am using a 90's era 8-port 10BaseT hub for that now.

Comment: Re:Thiophane (Score 1) 179

by BabaChazz (#42059949) Attached to: Thousands of Natural Gas Leaks Found In Boston

Here in BC a building exploded from a natural gas leak some ten+ years ago. The leak was not in the building but some distance away, and the gas traveled through the soil to reach the building. This was a well-used building, yet nobody noticed the mercaptan smell. Gas company experts concluded that in its passage through the soil, the marker compounds got stripped from the gas by the same process that makes gas chromatography work -- larger molecules are slowed by passage through what was effectively a packed column.

Not saying this is what's happening in Boston; I'm not there, I don't know. But it is possible. I suspect that something similar may have happened in that neighbourhood in Cali that blew up due to an undetected gas leak -- last year was it?

Sleep tight...

Comment: Re:Worthy Cause: Education (Score 1) 291

by BabaChazz (#41808147) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Over 500 Used DIMMs?

Who says computers donated to this place are "old"?

Typically, these people get computers that have been in the school system for a couple years and are physically abused. School kids don't treat school computers very well. Electronically they are still sound, and recent in enough cases that DDR3 is a serious option. Granted, they also get rafts of (relatively) ancient computers from businesses, but the update / recycle of school machines that have only suffered physical damage is, as far as I understand it, still a pretty big part of their job.

Comment: Worthy Cause: Education (Score 5, Informative) 291

by BabaChazz (#41807769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Over 500 Used DIMMs?

I don't know where OP is from, but in BC, Canada, there is a group called Computers For Schools BC, who are in the (government-funded) business of taking old computers and buffing them up for use in the school system. I suspect they would be pleased to receive something as close to current as 4GB DDR3... and they do enough volume that 500 of them would likely be used up in a month.

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