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Comment: Re:Good Analog Oscilloscopes (Score 1) 565

by BlueStrat (#47790387) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

My Tektronix 453 is still going strong after being retired from use in avionics testing/troubleshooting/repair. As is the old black-Bakelite Simpson analog-meter VOM.

Another "old" technology I use regularly are vacuum-tube guitar amplifiers like the ones I play through, repair, and design & build. Nearly all the major guitar amplifier makers' current lines of flagship pro- and semi-pro-level guitar amps are tube-based designs.

Many of the most sought-after and expensive studio microphones are also vacuum-tube based (integral pre/buffer amp).

There are actually more vacuum tubes being produced currently than were being produced 30 years ago.

Audiophiles also tend to prefer tube-based amplifiers.

I hope relations between the US and Russia don't deteriorate too badly. Russia is a major manufacturer and exporter of vacuum tubes, as is China. Chinese tubes in general are not as high a quality generally speaking though, in my personal experience.

Oh, and the PC I posted this with is circa 2000 with a CRT monitor.

Do I win an internets?

Strat

Technology

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up? 565

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-touch-that-dial dept.
An anonymous reader writes: It's the year 2014, and I still have a floppy drive installed on my computer. I don't know why; I don't own any floppy disks, and I haven't used one in probably a decade. But every time I put together a PC, it feels incomplete if I don't have one. I also have a Laserdisc player collecting dust at the bottom of my entertainment center, and I still use IRC to talk to a few friends. Software, hardware, or otherwise, what technology have you had a hard time letting go? (I don't want to put a hard limit on age, so you folks using flip-phones or playing on Dreamcasts or still inexplicably coding in Perl 4, feel free to contribute.)
United Kingdom

UK Prisons Ministry Fined For Lack of Encryption At Prisons 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-like-prisoners-are-people-anyway dept.
Bruce66423 (1678196) writes The Guardian reports that the UK Information Commissioner has levied a fine of £180,000 on the Ministry of Justice for their failure to encrypt data held on external hard drives at prisons. The fine is nominal — one part of government fining another is rather pointless, but it does show that there's a little bit of accountability. Of course it's interesting to consider the dangers of this hopefully old way of storing backups; but the question of whether we do a lot better now is quite pointed. To make matters worse, one of the unencrypted backup hard drives walked away.

Comment: Re:I seem to remember... (Score 1) 273

by BlueStrat (#47745595) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

when they're giving something away at zero, presumably that's a at a loss. but I'm not a MBA, so who's to say?

Who's to say??

Why, that would obviously be Billy Preston, of course!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

"Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'. Ya gotta have somethin', if ya wanna be with me!"

Strat

Comment: Re:You cannot be surprised? (Score 1) 129

In the age of the internet, if you have to pay someone to sit you in a room and teach you like a trained monkey you have serious problems that go way beyond education.

I went to college to meet chicks.

"If you want to to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library." - Frank Zappa

"Where's the college library?"

Strat

Businesses

When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model 257

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-until-they-have-your-money dept.
jammag writes: A new trend has emerged where tech companies have realized that abusing users pays big. Examples include the highly publicized Comcast harassing service call, Facebook "experiments," Twitter timeline tinkering, rude Korean telecoms — tech is an area where the term "customer service" has an Orwellian slant. Isn't it time customer starting fleeing abusive tech outfits?
The Military

Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the bazookas-for-all dept.
v3rgEz writes: Wondering how the St. Louis County Police ended up armed with surplus military gear, and what equipment other departments have? A FOIA request at MuckRock has turned up every item given to local law enforcement under the Pentagon's 1022 program, the mechanism by which local law enforcement can apply for surplus or used military gear.

Comment: Re:Technical People (Score 1) 194

by BlueStrat (#47681649) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

You are continuing to conflate Medicaid with the ACA

And you seem to be denying that Medicaid is part and parcel of ACA and where those who can't afford the higher costs of ACA insurers end up.

The issues you pretend to understand around Medicaid do not have any relevance to how the VA hospitals are run

They are both ran by government bureaucracies. Government bureaucracies are infamous for waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. They are no exception and neither is the ACA.

Trying to suggest that the VA hospitals are a model for how the ACA will work suggests you are not honest.

Trying to suggest I am not honest because I see and recognize universal patterns of bad behaviors and poor results from government programs suggests you are defending a political partisan ideology rather than trying to solve real problems.

Strat

Comment: Re:Technical People (Score 1) 194

by BlueStrat (#47681081) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

> since no doctors take medicaid now (Many are no longer accepting obamacare at all),

That makes no sense whatsoever. Medicare is not Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act to name it properly). Medicare predates the ACA by many years. No one goes to the doctor with an obamacare. They go to the doctor with an insurance plan. The doctor has no way to differentiate that plan obtained through an ACA exchange from any other plan obtained through an employer sponsored plan. They look the same to the doctor. You don't get a card that says Obamacare on it. Mine says Bluecross/Blueshield.

That's for people like you who can afford to purchase insurance. Guess what card poor people and the working-poor whose employer has dropped providing health insurance and opts to pay the penalty instead carry under ACA/Obamacare?

That's right, Medicare/Medicaid.

I'll give you three guesses on what type of new patients GP doctors (the ones that haven't yet joined the increasing numbers of doctors who are retiring early to avoid this train wreck) are increasingly refusing to take on.

If you want to see how well health care is going to be run in the US under the ACA, just look at the VA and the recent news stories concerning it.

Strat

Government

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.
schwit1 writes Vitaly Lopota, the president of Russia's largest space company Energia, was suspended Friday by the company's board of directors. From the article: "The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia's government to obtain majority control over Energia, of which it owns a 38-percent share. The directors elected Igor Komarov as its new chairman of the board. Komarov is chief of the Russian United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), the government-owned company tasked with consolidating Russia's sprawling space sector." The government is also conducting a criminal investigation of Lopota, which might be justified but appears to be a power play designed to both eliminate him from the game as well as make sure everyone else tows the line so that URSC can take complete control.

Comment: Re:Why do you think that (Score 0) 409

And how easy it is to make the ignorant fearful.
And therefore, how easy it is to make the ignorant violent.

And how easy it is to simply label anyone who disagrees with you as ignorant so that they and their point of view can be marginalized and summarily dismissed without further consideration.

Just ignore the history of government screw-ups regarding dangerous things like radioactive materials, nerve agents, or even nuclear warheads that were all in the hands of "experts".

Geez! Just the thought of bringing an infected and still-living Ebola victim to a large US city is enough to make blood shoot out of your eyes!...Oh, wait...

Strat

Medicine

US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia 409

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mother-nature-wants-you-to-die dept.
acidradio (659704) writes American air charter specialist Phoenix Air has been contracted by the U.S. Army to haul an American physician afflicted with Ebola from Liberia to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. This will be the first 'purposeful' transport of an Ebola victim to the U.S. The patient will be flown in a special Gulfstream III (formerly owned by the Danish Air Force) outfitted for very specialized medical transports such as this. I dunno. I know there are brilliant doctors and scientists in Atlanta who handle highly-communicable diseases, but is this such a brilliant idea? theodp (442580) writes with related news In response to the Ebola outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel. "Ebola virus is transmitted by close contact with a person who has symptoms of Ebola," the CDC explains. "Close contact is defined as having cared for or lived with a person with Ebola or having a high likelihood of direct contact with blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient. Examples of close contact include kissing or embracing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, close conversation (3 feet), physical examination, and any other direct physical contact between people. Close contact does not include walking by a person or briefly sitting across a room from a person."

Comment: Re:If true. If. (Score 5, Insightful) 200

So the REAL question is what WILL stop it. Saying that "This one is a bad person and did nothing to change it" doesn't work. Saying "The previous one did nothing to change it" doesn't work.
Voting for "The other party" doesn't work.

No, I do not have the answer, because if I did I would be giving it.

What must be done to change the status-quo with minimal violence or bloodshed is to unite people under common values, such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

Likewise, the militarization of domestic police forces and their gradual shift from a community law enforcement role to more resemble a national occupation force complete with armored vehicles and heavy crew-served weapons.

Start focusing on what we have in common, not what divides us. Despite what those with power would like you to believe, we have much more in common than we have differences. Those commonalities are also those of a much more fundamental and essential nature than our differences.

Extremely few on any side of the political spectrum in the US (barring government & MIC) wants an Orwellian surveillance//security/police state.

I'd have no problem at all standing side by side in public protests and demonstrations with almost anyone from TEA Party member to PETA and/or LGBT activist and beyond who also was willing to postpone our arguments for our common interests in a free and open society without mass domestic surveillance & data analysis and a militarized police force performing military-occupation and wealth-confiscation roles more than any sort of community-based & controlled "officer of the peace" roles.

Look, people, yes we have beefs over stuff *BUT*, unless we unite and curb government power and size, it won't matter because very soon none of us will have any choices about anything nor any meaningful rights at all.

Strat

Government

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret 200

Posted by timothy
from the public-officials-should-be-on-public-record dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg, prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.

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