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Comment: Re:Why do SSNs persist? (Score 1) 390

by Fitch (#45192335) Attached to: Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service

In recent years there have been several failed attempts at creating a more secure identifier based on smartcards, etc. but they always seem to get shot down by two main factions. Those who liken more secure identifiers to having a barcode tattoo applied at birth and be done with it, and those who benefit from the pathetically trivial level of security the present system provides.

I'm of the mind that any new system can only be as effective / secure as the government that institutes it, and the voter polls have been giving those branches of government resounding F grades for a good while now.

It boils down to which social asset you value most. Privacy, security, or freedom. Choose one and move on to the cashier (IRS).

Comment: Re:Follow up (Score 1) 205

by Fitch (#44250425) Attached to: How Do You Get Better Bug Reports From Users?

The narrative outlined by FireFury is excatly why when I'm financially able to "semi-retire", it will be the last time I touch or talk about a computer for pay.

A scarce few have the ability to engage their reasoning modules, and the rest simply feel that once they tell you "it's broke" they are no longer responsible for participating in the problem solving process. I've always said that these types would be the first to starve to death in a zombie apocalypse.

Bring on the zombies...

Comment: Linux bigot says why buy pre-installed w/ Ubuntu? (Score 1) 253

by Fitch (#44217799) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Tracking Solutions For Linux Laptop?

The best feel-good elixir you can acquire for your shiny new toy is to be aware of how much your deductible is for your homeowners / renters insurance, and encrypt any sensitive information. Anyone serious enough to steal a laptop knows a guy who knows a guy that can re-install a bootleg OS on one simply for the purpose of fencing it. If it does get stolen, you've only got a 50/50 chance the theif will NOT be smart enough to wipe it before connecting to the internet, so laptop lo-jack systems that run on top of the OS are a joke at best.

-5 pts for not purchasing it (cheaper) with windows pre-installed and then wiping the partition to install Ubuntu (or whatever your favorite distro is) yourself. Seriously, you're posting on /. Now I remember why I wanted to petition CmdrTaco to make attribution in some GNU project a prerequisite for membership here...

Comment: Re:The body can affect the mind (Score 1) 522

by Fitch (#44169041) Attached to: Neuroscientist: First-Ever Human Head Transplant Is Now Possible

imagine how your personality would change at least temporarily if you were an 80 year old man who was in chronic pain whose libido left with his prostate removal a decade ago waking up with the body of a healthy 21 year old with a libido to match. You very well might forget your moral compass for a few seconds and make a remark to an attractive member of the hospital staff that you would regret as soon as your brain re-engaged and overrode your new hormones.

Having it put that way, I think you can sign me up right now!

Moral compass... that's funny. I'm only 42, and I'd kill to have a 21 year old's body again. Literally. I could take so much better care of myself having learned the hard way (knees, back, diet, etc.).

Comment: Re:Too late (Score 1) 480

by Fitch (#42006749) Attached to: German City Says OpenOffice Shortcomings Are Forcing It Back To Microsoft

It doesn't work that way in business.

That statement demonstrates the same sort of bone-headed mindset that's driven companies into the vendor lock-down the city of Freiburg was trying to escape from.

Do you really think Microsoft is going to blackmail world governments

Influence is delivered in many different shapes and sizes. Ironically, governments are machines that are almost universally fueled by influence. To think otherwise seems foolish.

Comment: Why 13 years? (Score 1) 717

by Fitch (#41586951) Attached to: How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

"What do Detroit, or Stuttgart, or Tokyo have waiting in the wings that will get to the Obama administration's target of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025?"

Detroit, Stuttgart and Tokyo already have the technology. What they lack, and to a great degree what the overwhelming majority of the population also lacks is the will. The "big secret" is to lessen the influence of big oil, both in Detrioit and Washington.

I own a car that is capable of 54.5 mpg - a 1999 VW Jetta TDI. 13 years and 305,000 miles on the odometer and it still gets me to work and back - around 600 miles a week, on 13 gallons of diesel. Yet I still hear the argument at least every other week that "diesel is more expensive than gas" and then the argument that their trusty old Chevy pickup burns (an order of magnitude more) good-n-cheap 87 octane gasoline / gasohol. This leads me to believe that we need to start making basic economics part of the educational system's core curriculum and not just an elective.

OTOH, don't confuse this for an endorsement of the Obama administration. If you want to pay more to waste more energy, the choice is yours. While Obama has been working hard to remove everyone's choices through higher energy prices, the cash for clunkers program, etc. the fact that they've given auto makers 13 years to meet a level we should already be at is evidence that big oil's influence has infiltrated both sides of the aisle to an equal degree.

This will never happen until we get serious about energy independence, and I fear it will take a global catastrophe to bring that about.

Comment: Re:Salaries (Score 0) 886

by Fitch (#40160303) Attached to: IT Positions Some of the Toughest Jobs To Fill In US

You can train people skills too: you sit your problem employee down and tell him exactly what your expectations for personal behavior are, and what you need him to do differently. You be specific about what behavior is inappropriate or problematic, and tell him what you need him to do differently. If you start seeing changes in the right direction, you encourage it by telling him what he did right.

Are these encouragements in a monetary form? If not, the process of "sitting him down" has already alienated him, and he resents you.

I appreciate the role interpersonal skills plays in an office environment. All things considered, love me or hate me, they know it would take three such "socially acceptable" creatures to take my place. Given the choice, the bean counters would rather live with my "Asperger's".

Comment: All politics aside... (Score 0) 1042

by Fitch (#36896722) Attached to: House Websites Jammed After Obama Debt Speech

To distill this down to it's essence, the US federal government needs the ability to borrow money next month in order to pay the interest on the money it borrowed last month. If private individuals do that it's referred to as check kiting. If an investment company does this it's referred to as a ponzi scheme. If our federal government does this it's called business as usual.

Sadly, the only way things will ever change is if the few true fiscal conservatives in the house remain stalwart and force our government to face reality. The hard truth of the matter is quite simple, our liabilities exceed our gross national product. In business terms we're insolvent. Borrowing more with the justification of obfuscated spending cuts that will never materialize is just stacking another chair on top of an already precarious pile of furniture that we've built up over the past 30 years in hopes of poking our head above the storm clouds. Anyone who buys into the lie of "too big to fail" gets what they have coming to them. The foolishness needs to end, albeit at a tragic cost to everyone.

Comment: Pathetic... (Score 1) 208

by Fitch (#36765304) Attached to: Build Your Own Time Capsule Work-Alike For $200

If you have a wireless access point of some sort (and what home these days doesn't?) what the hell's the point of this article? In three sentences, let me summarize it for those who don't want their precious time wasted.

Go buy a cheap NAS box sans hard drive for $40, install a cheap / spare hard drive and plug into existing router / network. Use existing backup software on your winblows machines to backup to the SMB share. Post lame article on slashdot that will irritate the technically competent.

This is slashdot, not the official Cult of Apple fanboi site. Gawd... I seriously take issue with the gay Apple logo photoshopped onto the Linksys router.

Comment: Re:33% thinner, 2x faster, 500% does anyone care? (Score 1) 1118

by Fitch (#35362536) Attached to: IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3

Just off the cuff, the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor is made in the same FoxConn sweat shop, runs android, and costs roughly half. It's not equivalent if you're comparing it to a full-on tablet with a hard drive and a full blown OS. But when held to such standards neither is the iPad I/II. It's an overgrown phone that's not a phone.

As to your other inquiry, I used the term "trend-setting" in a derogatory sense.

Color me a bigot, but every morning when I see a 3 minute segment on the national news shows covering the newest iFad, I get enraged and change the channel only to find the same thing on all the other networks. Why is this news? Who's wheels does Jobs have to grease to get so much free exposure? Luckily I can count on later that day coming here to /. and finding a fanboi thread wherein I can vent my frustrations. :-)

Ahh, that's better.

Comment: Re:Apple Hate (Score 1) 1118

by Fitch (#35361900) Attached to: IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3

If by fear you mean the sight of him is frightening, then yes, quite. But let's not get carried away, more than Gates?

While I hold an appreciable amount of disdain for the man, I also have ample respect for anyone with his marketing genius. He really knows how to keep the rats coming back to press the feeder bar. Consumer lending institutions appreciate this as well. It's what feeds our economy (to the Chinese).

All the simple programs have been written.