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Comment Plot of Continuum (Score 3, Interesting) 534

This is basically the plot of Continuum [], which is currently in its third season.

I know this is a tangent, but there is a pretty good intersection of interests here on Slashdot between science-fiction and rights of the people versus government. The show makes it interesting because the viewer is meant to basically hate both sides, plus it has time-travel.


Comment Re:Kind of on topic (Score 2) 232

Nobody should intend to film in portrait mode except in rare conditions that do not apply here with phones. The reason people do it is because it is the natural way to hold the phone, not because it is the natural way to watch the video. The phone should fix their mistake by cropping the image down to landscape or square. I don't understand what you mean by "sensor space that would rarely be used". With a square sensor, the recording would ALWAYS be square regardless of portrait or landscape orientation. It might be different than what users expect, so the cropped area on the display could show application icons for various features that are often hidden in pie menus.

Comment The USA is just one of many bad eggs (Score 1) 406

Even if the rest of the world did this, too many other countries (notably those part of FIVE EYES / FVEY) will simply share data back to the USA. Then, you have the problem that other countries such as China, Israel, Singapore, and Korea will simply do the same sort of surveillance as the USA is doing today. In fact, if you think those countries aren't already engaged in such activities, even if only to a smaller extent than the USA, you're living under a rock.

Comment DRM to protect servers (Score 3, Interesting) 684

My employer as well as our direct competitors are looking to use what might be considered DRM to protect servers that run hypervisors for untrusted VMs.

We use SecureBoot to make protect against attacks against our unattended installation / provisioning layer. We use it to make sure binaries aren't seeded into our environment. I.E. we're using trusted computing.

Comment Yes and no... (Score 2) 232

Basically, I haven't done so yet, but I need to get serious about storm preparations tomorrow. I'm in Philly where we expect to get hit hard, and my wife is 9 months pregnant.

We're electric everything here without any gas backups. I'll run out tomorrow and grab propane for the grill, and I've got charcoal and cast-iron, if I need it. We've lined up a generator rental, since we can't find one for purchase, and we're discussing if we want to go forward with it. More likely, I'll get myself an indoor-rated, portable propane heater and some extra tanks.

Not much in the way of dry and canned foods, but I'll pick up what I can tomorrow at the store. Perishables tend to go quick, but the items that actually matter such as cans and UHT pasteurized products, don't go quickly at all. UHT milk will stay good on the shelf for >6 months. Plus, we have enough to last us the next week if I rationed (my wife can't, being pregnant)

Overall, not prepared, but will be... I hope.

Comment Re:OpenStack - fully buzzword compliant (Score 1) 152

You could argue that Linux hardly works out of the box. You run a distribution. Several distributions are being built, some will be open source (keep in mind that OpenStack is Apache Licensed).

Unfortunately, very few distributions have actually be released into the wild as of yet, and those that have have looked more like Slackware than Ubuntu.

Comment Re:Is the OpenStack buzz justified? (Score 2) 152

The KVM bits do seem to be most tested. The Xen stuff works, people use it, but I do question if it is as polished.

CloudStack supports XenServer very well, but it also suffers from all of XenServer's architectural faults and many of its own as well.

(Xen itself is well architected, in my opinion, but the closed XenServer introduces a few oddball design patterns that made sense in a small rack deployment that aren't good for scale out patterns)

Comment Swype and lefties (Score 1) 267

I've found that Swype is a notable exception to the original article's statement that mobile is better for lefties. What makes Qwerty so good for lefties on a keyboard is what makes it so terrible for Swype.

First, the most common keys in Qwerty are on the left, which benefits from the angle at which a right-handed swype-motion attacks. Secondly, when using the right-hand, the keyboard is not as frequently obscured. The thumb always covers the least-used keys, exposing the more frequently used keys (those on the left) for navigation and selection. Still, with Swype, the right-thumb will eventually obscure keys for the right-handed user, but it is never as bad as it is for the lefty.

Lefties using Swype will most frequently cover the most frequently used keys, leaving the right-hand-side of the keyboard exposed, where the least-frequently-used keys reside. Also, the attack angle of the left-thumb is more likely to trigger false selections, both because of the nature of the angle itself, and (I presume) a bias in the software toward a right-thumbed attack angle.

These problems aren't so bad with two-thumb qwerty software keyboards, since they're intended to be used with both hands. In that case, it really don't matter, no more than with a standard keyboard. In fact, like with standard qwerty, the lefty might be at an advantage. Still, as a lefty, I haven't had much success with on-screen keyboards, so I do wonder if all those righties that have no problem have some hidden advantage that I haven't quite figured out yet.

Comment very left-handed (Score 1) 267

I consider myself to be very left-hand oriented. I write, use my mouse/trackpad/trackball in my left, play a left-handed guitar, and golf lefty. I'm a switch-hitter in baseball, but prefer my left, and throw lefty. My shotgun is bottom-eject, because I shoot lefty, too.

Right-handed tools are the bane of my existence. I hire contractors to do all my home repairs/upgrades that involves power tools. I won't risk it. As a computer-oriented professional, my hands are too important to lose them, or any of my fingers, in an accident.

The problem with mice isn't that left-handed mice aren't available, it is that schools and businesses will blindly purchase right-handed mice. Even worse, none of the operating systems make it quick and easy to change the mousing preferences. This should be a clear and visible option on the login screen, but it isn't. In all Linux distributions, in MacOS, and Windows (through to at least 7), you can't switch your mouse binding without digging into relatively obscure options, that can only be accessed through use of the right-handed mouse, or relatively arcane keyboard-oriented knowledge. That is assuming the school/business hasn't wired the mouse in a way where it is difficult or impossible to use it on the other side of the keyboard. The average user will default to learning how to use the mouse right-handed before they figure out the mouse can be used left-handed, or spend the time to configure every public access-terminal.

The anarchist in me has left public computers configured for left-handed use after using it, for the sake of the next left-handed person, and for the education of the right-handers. If they can discriminate...

In the USA, businesses and schools are not required to provide left-handed computing facilities or otherwise assist left-handed employees, contractors, or students. The ADA does not protect left-handedness as it is a physical characteristic, and not an impairment. However, culturally, left-handed people ARE impaired and would benefit from government mandated accessibility in schools and businesses.

Comment Flying cards and Jetpacks? NEVER (Score 1) 317

The iconic idea of flying cars and jetpacks shouldn't happen. It is of a bygone age of suburban sprawl, cheap and plentiful energy, and a disregard for the future of society. We should not and really cannot consider flying cars or jetpacks with any current means of energy generation. Even then, it is really a solution seeking a problems.

What we need is better public transportation, a virtual cottage where telecommuting replaces physical transportation, etc.

Everything else already exists in some form or another, except food in pill form (and that could be argued), and an underwater city. An underwater city would be neat...

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal