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Comment: Hear Hear! (Score 2) 76

by sjames (#49159433) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

From the announcement (bold mine):

Our session manager was updated to use logind and/or upower if available for hibernate/suspend support. For portability and to respect our users' choices, fallback modes were implemented relying on os-specific backends.

Attention freedeskto.org: Commit that to memory, brand it on your foreheads, tattoo it on each other's butt cheeks, whatever it takes!

Comment: Re:Inproper influence (Score 1) 76

by sjames (#49157367) Attached to: Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials For 'Improper Influence'

The sad part is that the huge corporate screw-ups keep winning the contracts because small but capable shops can't afford the costs of the paperwork designed to keep screw-ups out of the process and they can't afford the lawyers needed to actually get paid when the customer changes directions 5 times and makes the project late.

If they would allow pay as you go contracts with small shops they would get a lot more successful projects (or at worst, fail cheaply enough to try again) but again they're so paranoid that the project will fail that they set conditions that assure it will fail big and expensive.

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 299

by sjames (#49156343) Attached to: Teamsters Seek To Unionize More Tech Shuttle Bus Drivers In Silicon Valley

As to unions stopping a communist revolution... I find that argument lacking in credibility. Especially since in places where the unions were the strongest they seem the most inclined to communism while places where they are the weakest are the least inclined to communism.

You should really delve more into history then. There was a real movement for it. The red flags weren't a coincidence. Remember, the red scare hadn't happened yet. 'The Russians' were still good guys. The cold war was over a decade in the future.

Communism wasn't a dirty word at all except among the wealthy.

As for the rest about Marx, that's all irrelevant. It doesn't matter what actually was or how that came out, all that matters is what the people contemplating revolution at that time believed. Had they not been placated by positive changes, they would have pressed on to a revolution for better or worse. They didn't have the benefit of the rear view mirror that we have on the Russian revolution.

+ - How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In light of recent revelations from Kaspersky Labs about the Equation Group and persistent hard drive malware, I was curious about how easy it might be to verify my own system's drives to see if they were infected. I have no real reason to think they would be, but I was dismayed by the total lack of tools to independently verify such a thing. For instance, Seagate's firmware download pages provide files with no external hash, something Linux distributions do for all of their packages. Neither do they seem to provide a utility to read off the current firmware from a drive and verify its integrity.

Are there any utilities to do such a thing? Why don't these companies provide such a thing to users? Has anyone compiled and posted a public list of known-good firmware hashes for the major hard drive vendors and models? This seems to be a critical hole in PC security.

I did contact Seagate support asking for hashes of their latest firmware; I got a response stating that '...If you download the firmware directly from our website there is no risk on the file be tampered with." [their phrasing, not mine]. Methinks somebody hasn't been keeping up with world events lately."

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 299

by sjames (#49155625) Attached to: Teamsters Seek To Unionize More Tech Shuttle Bus Drivers In Silicon Valley

Tie your knees down and read it again. I said that the concessions forced by unions PREVENTED a communist revolution and that it's a GOOD thing that they did.

If you WANT a communist revolution, by all means take back all that the unions have gained and ban them. Give a few years for the pressure to build up (plus or minus a few cities being burned) and BAM you'll have your revolution.

I prefer that we keep the relief valve in place maintaining a reasonable balance so we can avoid all that nonsense. Even better would be enlightened management recognizing that tightening the screws causes unions and union problems and adopting a more balanced approach, but given the quality of MBAs these days I'm not holding my breath.

+ - Is methane-based life the next big thing?

Submitted by Randym
Randym (25779) writes "With the simultaneous announcement of a possible nitrogen-based cell-like structure allowing life outside the "liquid water zone" (but within a methane atmosphere) announced by researchers at Cornell and the mystery of *fluctuating* methane levels on Mars raising the possibility of methane-respiring life, there now exists the possibility of a whole new branch of the tree of life that does not rely on either carbon *or* oxygen respiration. We may find evidence of such life here on Earth down in the mantle where "traditional" life cannot survive, but where bacteria has evolved to live off hydrocarbons like methane and benzene."

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court

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