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Comment: Exactly. (Score 1) 131

by Futurepower(R) (#47745725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?
I really like your answer!

It is really, really difficult to protect ourselves from every abuse to which a corporation might subject us.

It's important in this conversation to understand that batteries have limited lifetimes, perhaps as little as 2 years, or less if defective.

I was standing in a store thinking of buying a top-of-the-line unlocked HTC phone for $750. Then the salesperson told me that the battery is not replaceable! That caused me to try to avoid buying anything from HTC. I don't like helping abusers.

I never would have guessed that an expensive phone would be considered a throwaway.

HTC CEO: If you learn that I have joined the board of directors of HTC, I will try to convince the other board members that abuse is bad practice. If I am successful, leave the building immediately. You are fired! It's unlikely I would be asked to join the board of directors, but that is a way of expressing the intensity of my dislike for abuse.

Why buy an unlocked phone? Travelers in other countries buy local SIM cards for GSM phones. That means anyone you meet can call you at a local number while you are in the area.

+ - Linus Torvalds is my hero, says 13 years old Zachary DuPont at LinuxCon->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "His school ran a project asking children to write a letter to their heroes, while most kids wrote to celebrities Zach wrote to the ‘real’ hero Linus Torvalds. As Linus said during LinxCon that since he works from home and doesn’t disclose his address, all letter go to the foundation and are then sent to him after scanning. When the foundation saw this letter, being as generous as they are, invited Zach to come to LinuxCon and meet his hero in real. Here is an interview with Zach...."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Good answer! Fraud is their main source of profit? (Score 4, Interesting) 210

by Futurepower(R) (#47737357) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website
Good answer: "... the Oregon attorney general doesn't have the technical ability to prove the fraud and lies. The state has already proven they don't understand what they're doing."

Also, Oracle has been through this perhaps thousands of times. Apparently the major profit center for companies like Oracle is being late and more expensive than predicted. For example, see this quote from the book, Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment:

"... a recent General Accounting Office report on U.S. military equipment procurement concluded that only 1% of major military purchases involving high technology were delivered on time and on budget."

That book says the problem is due to a sociological mistake. My understanding is that it is entirely intended, a way of making money from the largely hidden military purchases of the U.S. government. For the U.S. government, killing people is an enormous, extremely profitable business.

Comment: Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (Score 5, Insightful) 131

by Futurepower(R) (#47734115) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?
An even bigger issue than buying replacement batteries is replacing batteries in cell phones that are said to have batteries that aren't replaceable.

It shocks me that companies can be so hostile to their customers as to force them to buy new cell phones after the inevitable degradation of the batteries.

+ - NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've known for a while that NSA specifically targets Tor, because they want to disrupt one of the last remaining communication methods they aren't able to tap or demand access to. However, not everybody at the NSA is on board with this strategy. Tor developer Andrew Lewman says even as flaws in Tor are rooted out by the NSA and British counterpart GCHQ, other agents from the two organizations leak those flaws directly to the developers, so they can be fixed quickly. He said, "You have to think about the type of people who would be able to do this and have the expertise and time to read Tor source code from scratch for hours, for weeks, for months, and find and elucidate these super-subtle bugs or other things that they probably don't get to see in most commercial software." Lewman estimates the Tor Project receives these reports on a monthly basis. He also spoke about how a growing amount of users will affect Tor. He suggests a massive company like Google or Facebook will eventually have to take up the task of making Tor scale up to millions of users."
Link to Original Source

+ - What is this $41.8 Million of Ice Buckets going to do for ALS 1

Submitted by turning in circles
turning in circles (2882659) writes " The New York Times reported that donations to ALS topped $41.8 million. This is great for raising awareness about this horrible disease. The disease is horrible because not only does it have no cure, no one really understands the causes of it. I have heard pharmaceuticals abused for not producing a cure, but they don't know how. Sorry to throw cold water on this party (ahem), but aren't there other worthy charities that are a little closer to actually helping people right now, or soon, that would be better to donate to?"

+ - Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on a recent experiment into the status of software engineers versus managers, Jon Evans writes that the easiest way to find out which companies don't respect their engineers is to figure out which companies simply don't understand them. "Engineers are treated as less-than-equal because we are often viewed as idiot savants. We may speak the magic language of machines, the thinking goes, but we aren't business people, so we aren't qualified to make the most important decisions. ... Whereas in fact any engineer worth her salt will tell you that she makes business decisions daily–albeit on the micro not macro level–because she has to in order to get the job done. Exactly how long should this database field be? And of what datatype? How and where should it be validated? How do we handle all of the edge cases? These are in fact business decisions, and we make them, because we’re at the proverbial coal face, and it would take forever to run every single one of them by the product peopleand sometimes they wouldn’t even understand the technical factors involved. ... It might have made some sense to treat them as separate-but-slightly-inferior when technology was not at the heart of almost every business, but not any more.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Bezos asks for more U.S. government corruption? (Score 3, Interesting) 136

I was wondering why the Washington Post was spamming me! How did the Washington Post get my email address? Now I know. Jeff Bezos is allowing his "personal purchase" to have the email address I gave to Amazon.

Bezos apparently bought the Washington Post so that he can use it to try to force legislators to give him attention. The U.S. is becoming even more a rich-get-richer country.

The subjects of the spam messages:

{SPECIAL PREVIEW} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{24 HOURS ONLY} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{EXTENDED} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

I think it is a very effective advertising campaign. The effect will be that people will try to avoid buying things from Amazon. Also, after the "Summer Sale", digital access to the Washington Post will cost $100 per year!

+ - Knocking down the Great Firewall of China->

Submitted by Nocturrne
Nocturrne (912399) writes "The FOSS project Lantern ( is having great success in unblocking the internet for many users in oppressive regimes, like China and Iran. Much like Tor and bitorrent, Lantern is using peer-to-peer networking to overcome firewalls, but with the additional security of a trusted network of friends. The network of peers is growing, but we need more friends in uncensored countries to join us."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: What recliner for a software developer?

Submitted by Taxilian
Taxilian (516595) writes "I'm one of those coders who tends to relax by doing more coding. Particularly when I'm short on time for a project, I like to move my work to where I am still around my wife and children so that I can still interact with them and be with my family, but still hit my deadlines. I have used various recliners and found that programming in them (at least in evenings) can be quite comfortable, but haven't felt like I really found the "ideal chair" for relaxing and working on my macbook.

I have found references to failed chairs (the La-Z-Boy explorer, the so-called 'e-cliner', etc) that were intended for tech and failed, but are there any existing and useful options? I'd really like something that provides some sort of lap desk (to keep the heat from the laptop away from me) and reasonable power arrangements while still being comfortable and not looking ridiculous in a normal family room."

+ - The flight of gifted engineers from NASA

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Rather than work in NASA, the best young engineers today are increasingly heading to get jobs at private companies like SpaceX and XCOR.

It is a long article, worth reading in its entirety, but this quote will give the essence:

As a NASA engineering co-op student at Johnson Space Center, Hoffman trained in various divisions of the federal space agency to sign on eventually as a civil servant. She graduated from college this year after receiving a generous offer from NASA, doubly prestigious considering the substantial reductions in force hitting Johnson Space Center in recent months. She did have every intention of joining that force — had actually accepted the offer, in fact — when she received an invitation to visit a friend at his new job with rising commercial launch company SpaceX.

Hoffman took him up on the offer, flying out to Los Angeles in the spring for a private tour. Driving up to the SpaceX headquarters, she was struck by how unassuming it was, how small compared to NASA, how plain on the outside and rather like a warehouse.

As she walked through the complex, she was also surprised to find open work areas where NASA would have had endless hallways, offices and desks. Hoffman described SpaceX as resembling a giant workshop, a hive of activity in which employees stood working on nitty-gritty mechanical and electrical engineering. Everything in the shop was bound for space or was related to space. No one sat around talking to friends in the morning, “another level from what you see at NASA,” she said. “They’re very purpose-driven. It looked like every project was getting the attention it deserved.”

Seeing SpaceX in production forced Hoffman to acknowledge NASA might not be the best fit for her. The tour reminded her of the many mentors who had gone into the commercial sector of the space industry in search of better pay and more say in the direction their employers take. She thought back to the attrition she saw firsthand at Johnson Space Center and how understaffed divisions struggled to maintain operations.

At NASA young engineers find that they spend a lot of time with bureaucracy, the pace is slow, their projects often get canceled or delayed, and the creative job satisfaction is poor. At private companies like SpaceX, things are getting built now. With that choice, no wonder the decision to go private is increasingly easy."

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly