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Comment: These articles frustrate me. (Score 1) 87

by JimMcc (#48169175) Attached to: Google Fiber To Launch In Austin, Texas In December

I get so frustrated reading these kind of articles. We get 3mb for $70/month. That's 3mb with horrible latency and dropped packets. That's 3mb that frequently requires pages to be reloaded in order to complete properly.

Of course 3mb is a lot better than my first connection which was, and I kid you not, 110kb via an acoustic coupler on a good old fashion TTY. So I guess that makes my complaint a first world problem.

Oh well, never mind. Century Link just carry on with your fine upstanding service.

Comment: Some Stuff is Just Hard to Act Correctly on (Score 1) 261

by JimMcc (#48132487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

I use a spam filter which quarantines suspected spam. I then review the quarantine and white list or black list as appropriate. Not an ideal solution for large scale users, but for us it works.

Last week I black listed an email. The subject was "You've got to see this!" and the body was only a link. It turned out that it was a legitimate email so I turned around and white listed the sender. But that email would set off the spam flags on just about any filter, including human based filters. Sadly, there is no certain means of determining spam vs non spam.

ISS

Space Station's 'Cubesat Cannon' Has Gone Rogue 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the Look-Dave,-I-can-see-you're-really-upset-about-this. dept.
astroengine writes: Last night (Thursday), two more of Planet Lab's shoebox-sized Earth imaging satellites launched themselves from aboard the International Space Station, the latest in a series of technical mysteries involving a commercially owned CubeSat deployer located outside Japan's Kibo laboratory module. Station commander Steve Swanson was storing some blood samples in one of the station's freezers Friday morning when he noticed that the doors on NanoRack's cubesat deployer were open, said NASA mission commentator Pat Ryan. Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston determined that two CubeSats had been inadvertently released. "No crew members or ground controllers saw the deployment. They reviewed all the camera footage and there was no views of it there either," Ryan said.

Comment: Re:Price per kilojoule [Re:ok if your car is new] (Score 1) 432

by JimMcc (#47089775) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

The tax issue is with diesel fuel. All gas sold has the road taxes included, even if so.d at marinas. You can, if you are fueling your boat, collect the receipts and submit for a refund of the road taxes.

Marina fuel is usually more expensive because of the significantly higher costs of moving the fuel from the tank up on shore to the tank in the boat.

Comment: Re:Sometimes Extra Jobs are Intentional (Score 1) 343

by JimMcc (#46969363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Job Need To Exist?

Later in life I started a consulting company. One of our clients was a governmental agency. At peak I had 4 full time employees there. As near as any of us could tell, the agency provided good paying jobs to a bunch of people, but hired consultants to actually get the work done because none of the employees had the knowledge or desire to be productive. This went on for years and my employees and I profitted handsomely from it; but as a tax payer it ticked me off.

Comment: Sometimes Extra Jobs are Intentional (Score 4, Informative) 343

by JimMcc (#46968763) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Job Need To Exist?

In the early nineties I was Director oif Development for a company that wrote and sold software to small telephone companies. We created a lot of automation into the process which allowed small companies to do much more than their staffing would otherwise allow. One prospective customer was a county owned telephone company. Their first response when we showed them all the features of our softwar ewas to ask if those capabilities could be turned off. Huh? Turns out that they viewed their primary role to be a provider of jobs within the county. Providing telephone service was considered secondary.

So there's nothing really new about these finds. Just that he's getting noticed for writing about them.

Comment: What's the difference (Score 2) 397

by JimMcc (#46563859) Attached to: Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

What's the difference between a hunter with a drone and a factory fishing vessel with spotter planes? Is it scale? money? Both models are using airborne technology to assist in the gathering of food. If we are going to ban aerial observation, than it should be for all applications and uses of it regardless of how monied the operator is.

Businesses

Good Engineering Managers Just "Don't Exist" 312

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you-wanted-good-too dept.
hype7 writes "Here's a provocative article; the VP of engineering of a Sequoia-backed startup in Silicon Valley makes the case that good engineering managers aren't just hard to find — that they basically don't exist. The crux of his argument? The best engineers get all the benefits of being leaders, but without needing to take on the rather painful duties of management. So they choose not to move up. Compare this to the engineers who aren't as strong, and use the opportunity to move up as a way to get their voice heard."

Comment: Just Another Cockup by Corporate Overloards (Score 1) 1191

by JimMcc (#45008971) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

If I could reply, I would add a reply to my prior comment about incomplete summaries. Now that I'm on my desktop I can see that there is a goofy multi-bar icon, and when I click on it I can select classic view. Or at least pseudo classic view.

What's with the fixed width content and all the white space? Yuck. Please let me pick the width of the content area by changing the width of the window.

What's with all the white space. Did WalMart have a sale on blank pixels?

What happened to the "From the ... Dept." tag under the title. Are we now too grown up for levity?

Why is the fortune cookie now virtually invisible in small font with a low contrast?

The whole new look and feel, the removal or minimization of light-hearted portions of the site, and other features give me a strong sense that your corporate overlords have decided that you should look just like all the other sites that various corporate overlords control.

Increasingly /. seems to becoming irrelevant. I read Google News before getting to /. and increasingly I've already read stories about an issue before I get to /., sometimes days earlier. Slashdot used to be a site where one could find interesting stories about the tech world that generally weren't covered in the mainstream press, or at least we'd learn about them before they became mainstream. Not so much anymore. The new layout seems to be completing /.'s trip to being a JANS. (Just Another News Site)

Comment: Incomplete Summaries -Fail (Score 1) 1191

by JimMcc (#45008225) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

The title says it all. I don't want to have to load a new page, along with all the comments to read the whole summary. Additionally, with more and more people using mobile devices, loading a new page with a whole whack of comments that won't necessarily be read, just to get the whole summary, is a waste of metered bandwidth.

Announcements

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta) 1191

Posted by timothy
from the we-show-you-tell dept.
Slashdot's biggest redesign effort ever is now in beta and you're invited to help guide it. This redesign has been shaped by feedback from community members over the past few months (a big thanks to those of you who participated in our alpha testing phase!), and we'd like your thoughts on it, too. This new design is meant to be richer but also simpler to use, while maintaining the spirit of what Slashdot is all about: News for Nerds. Stuff that matters. Read on for the details of what's included, or read this blog post. Update: 10/02 19:16 GMT by T : Since this post went live, we've been reading through the comments below as well as your (hundreds!) of emails. These are all valuable, as we continue to implement our current features into the Beta. Keep 'em coming; we love the feedback. Please keep in mind that this is called Beta for a reason; we've still folding in lots of improvements. One important thing to bear in mind is that the images are optional: check out the Classic mode by clicking on the view selection widget (just above the stories) on the Beta page.
Music

New Headphones Generate Sound With Carbon Nanotubes 102

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the is-my-poster-talking-to-me dept.
MTorrice writes "A new type of headphone heats up carbon nanotubes to crank out tunes. The tiny speaker doesn't rely on moving parts and instead produces sound through the thermoacoustic effect. When an alternating current passes through the nanotubes, the material heats and cools the air around it; as the air warms, it expands, and as it cools, it contracts. This expansion and contraction creates sound waves. The new nanotube speaker could be manufactured at low cost in the same facilities used to make computer chips, the researchers say." And it exists in the real world: "The Tsinghua researchers integrated these thermoacoustic chips into a pair of earbud headphones and connected them to a computer to play music from videos and sound files. They’ve used the headphones to play music for about a year without significant signs of wear, Yang says. According to him, this is the first thermoacoustic device to be integrated with commercial electronics and used to play music."
Blackberry

How BlackBerry Blew It 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-happened dept.
schnell writes "The Globe and Mail is running a fascinating in-depth report on how BlackBerry went from the world leader in smartphones to a company on the brink of collapse. It paints a picture of a company with deep engineering talent but hamstrung by arrogance, indecision, slowness to embrace change, and a lack of internal accountability. From the story: '"The problem wasn't that we stopped listening to customers," said one former RIM insider. "We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did."'"

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