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Comment: Re:Sick leaves (Score 1) 670

by CaptKeen (#42215369) Attached to: Stay Home When You're Sick!

Aren't in the US sick leaves taken from your holiday ? You might then have your response right there. Because in europe they are not, and you are quite encouraged (at least in my firm) to take the day off when you are a virus mothership spreading thema round coughing.

Not usually. Most have vacation days and sick days as separate things.

If you are in California, this is probably true, but I haven't seen it as such outside of CA in a while - my past few employers have had different policies for CA and 'everywhere else' and the everywhere else policy funneled everything under PTO

Comment: Re:bandwidth tracking prog advice needed (Score 2) 172

by CaptKeen (#36100630) Attached to: App To Keep ISPs Honest About Bandwidth Caps

Does anybody know any good FREE programs to keep track of bandwidth usage? Something like NerWorx by SoftPerfect. I tried it and I liked it but for some reason it is tracking my usage incorrectly, I think by like a factor of 8 or 10. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

There are two different units of measure at play here. Network bandwidth is measured in bits, or bits/second. PC storage is measured in bytes, where each byte is made up of 8 bits.

When your provider sells you a connection of, say, 1.544mb/sec - thats megaBITS not megabytes. You need to divide by 8 to come up with your connection speed in bytes.

Storage on a PC is based around a byte, which is 8 bits. The network usage captured is correct - it was simply displaying it in bits, not bytes.

Android

+ - Viability of cell phone without cell network?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I am the owner of an ageing Nokia 770 web tablet needing replacement. I do not intend to buy a voice or data plan, but phone HW running Android would seem to be the obvious choice. I am willing to pay for an unlocked phone. I require at least one MicroSD slot.

This area seems to be a field of traps for a cell phone novice. I have found it difficult to find answers to these questions:

* For a device I intend to carry with me, it seems foolish to not use full disk encryption. In Linux I can easily do that with a loopback mount in fstab over aes256. Can I do something similar on a phone?

* Any phone I buy must become mine after purchase. I have a zero tolerance policy for remote or forced updates, blocked installs or removals, or any form of tracking. Is installing a firmware like cyanogenmod sufficient, or does the vendor still retain some control via bootloaders?

* I have a zero tolerance policy towards software "phoning home". Is there a good firewall to put me in control of the network traffic?

* I will use 802.11, not 3G/4G, and when away from 802.11 accept the lack of connectivity. If I yank the SIM, will this severely restrict the software I can run? Will the phone even work?

* Can I make calls through my (SIP compliant) VOIP provider over 802.11?

* I'm old (early 60's) and even with reading glasses, struggle with small screens. Can Android change the default font size for all apps?

* Lastly, which phones have the fewest ethical issues? I have rejected Apple devices over lockdown and app store control and censorship. Android seems better, but still bad. For example, I like the HTC MyTouch 4G hardware, but by default it permits no root access to your own device, a situation I find ethically problematic. I do not wish to support such practices with my dollars. It can be rooted, although even that has been reported not to work on some newer phones. I'm aware of the GeeksPhone, which seems to be ethically clear and fully owned by the purchaser, but has very primitive hardware. I'm also aware of the N900 which I have rejected for other reasons. Does there exist a phone that is both owned upon purchase *and* state of the art HW?

Any insight from slashdotters to help a poor cell phone novice make sense of it all is greatly appreciated!"

Comment: Re:almost tempted to buy some shares (Score 1) 424

by CaptKeen (#35213068) Attached to: Nokia Shareholders Fight Back

but since I'm paying for subsidized phone whether or not I buy one (no discounts for owning my own phone), I'm going to buy one that way.

That's not fully true. T-Mobile will let you go contract-free and subsidy-free if you bring your own phone. For a Smartphone, with data plan, etc, it works out to be about $20 less a month. I think they call it 'Everything More Plus', although you can't buy it online any more, you can from a store or by calling in.

Comment: Re:Co-workers who use speaker phone (Score 1) 484

by CaptKeen (#34562764) Attached to: America's Cubicles Are Shrinking

100 square feet? That's amazing. We're looking at putting in cubes, to replace the open floorplan we have now, and the cubes will be 8x6 (or 48 square feet).

People are looking forward to the change, too, because the open plan has been a disaster. Within a group, it may work, but when you've got open plan for four groups doing different things within the plan...

Comment: Re:They need something to do (Score 1) 342

by CaptKeen (#32017358) Attached to: FAA Says No More Minesweeper Or Solitaire In Cockpit

Don't forget the legitimate things that they can do during these long flights. Like studing the latest changes to the regulations, the latest company policies, etc. Most of these things are now available in digital form, so now what are they supposed to do? Print them out and scatter the pages throughout the cockpit?

This, I think, was the problem that has generated this rule change. Two pilots for Northwest (now Delta) were discussing the changes in policy around scheduling and flight regulations. One of the pilots had brought out the laptop to go over the new system with the other; they had the auto-pilot on. They then proceeded to overshoot their destination and missed numerous calls from the control towers and the flight crew because they were too engrossed in studying the new applications / changes to the rules. The flight finally got turned around when a flight attendant knocked on the door to get their attention and asked 'Weren't we supposed to land 5 minutes ago'? The pilots then turned the plane AROUND and flew back X miles (like 150?) to land.

Comment: Re:3G Fix? (Score 5, Informative) 174

by CaptKeen (#31017186) Attached to: Nexus One Update Fixes 3G, Adds Multitouch

It does make me wonder if it would just be cost prohibitively expensive to put in a radio that supports ALL used frequency band ranges. That way, you have a phone that will truly work on any network, with any provider, without having to buy a new handset.

I've heard rumor of a Qualcomm chip due out this summer that is supposed to support GSM, HSPA, HSPA+ and some CDMA stuff. A quick google turned up the following:

Qualcomm today updated its MDM family of cellular chipsets with some of the first anywhere to support dual, advanced 3G and 4G formats. The MSM7630 supports GSM, HSPA and HSPA+ standards but will also work on CDMA phone networks and support up to EVDO Revision B for 3G on those services. The addition would let a phone work on a CDMA carrier like Sprint or Verizon but still work with AT&T or T-Mobile and roam at speeds of up to 21Mbps on networks from Rogers, other international carriers, and eventually T-Mobile USA.

From http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/11/12/possible.verizon.iphone.candidates/

Comment: Re:Kindle's energy conscious display (Score 1) 123

by CaptKeen (#30385000) Attached to: Five Top Publishers Plan Rival to Kindle Format

They could add native PDF support in an update for us Gen 1 owners too, but haven't, so don't hold your breath :(

People thought they weren't going to add native PDF for the K2 either, and that happened with the new 2.3 release that just came out. I'm not saying it'll happen for the gen1, but people were thinking it wouldn't happen for the k2 either...

Medicine

Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX 374

Posted by timothy
from the crowd-I-walked-through-too dept.
whisper_jeff writes "There's been a confirmed outbreak of Swine Flu at PAX. Those who attended and are feeling under-the-weather after the con should not write it off as a typical convention cold and go see a doctor to make sure, just in case." The linked post also lists the airplane flights of the cases known so far, so if you flew from Seattle on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday for any reason, you might want to compare your itinerary.
Image

Ball And Chain To Force Children To Study 346 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the school-chain-gang dept.
You haven't tried everything to get your kids to study until you've tried the Study Ball. The Study Ball is a 21-pound prison-style device that locks onto your child's leg and only unlocks after a predetermined amount of study time has passed. The homework manacles can't be locked for more than four hours, and come with a safety key. The product website states, "Quite often, students who are having problems concentrating tend to get up every ten minutes to watch TV, talk on the phone, take something out of the fridge, and a long list of other distractions. Were they to dedicate all this wasted time to studying, they would optimise their performance and have more free time available. Study Ball helps you study more and more efficiently." Stop Teasing Your Brother Pepper Spray coming soon.
Government

Database of All UK Children Launched 296

Posted by timothy
from the can't-help-but-think-of-'em-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'A controversial database which holds the details of every child in England has now become available for childcare professionals to access. The government says it will enable more co-ordinated services for children and ensure none slips through the net. 390,000 people will have access to the database, but will have gone through stringent security training.'"

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?

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