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Comment #3 Don't abuse your mailing list (Score 3, Interesting) 49 49

Just because I give money to your cause, doesn't mean I want to give money to dozens of other organizations.

I could supply combustible materials for a village to cook over, with the unsolicited mail that is stuffed into my mailbox on a weekly basis.

Google "charity ratings" before you give, to make sure your donation is going toward the cause, and not to pay for marketing...

Comment Judges aren't all dicks (Score 1) 423 423

There was just a case where a parking/tow-away fine was overturned due to a missing comma between "motor vehicle" and "camper" (e.g. no parking for "motor vehicle camper", so, my non-camper is ok...)

So, being a clever grammar Nazi can pay off, in the realm of law.

Submission + - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

Comment The simple "hacks" are the best. (Score 2) 210 210

Dunno why, that reminded me of some of my own late 80's early 90's hacks.

I once had to take an X-Acto knife to the backplane of something (VAX or PDP-11 or vice-versa to get a card for the "wrong" one to work).

Another time, I needed 240V, but the office only had 110V, so I made a "two headed" extension cord - two normal plugs, and one 240V twist-lock socket.
Then All I had to do was find two outlets on opposite phases and I was in business. This item would probably NOT get UL approval.

Not really a hack; but as a software guy there was one problem driving me nuts, to the point that I had to figure out how to use the logic probe to prove to the hardware guys that the circuit board they layed out had flipped the upper and lower 8-bits of a 16-bit buss... I fixed it in software (until they did a new spin of the board and fixed it, as it was just a prototype).

That was back in days when the CAD program would take days to route a board, and PCs were expensive. We made a moderately priced PC into an expensive (faster) one by changing out the clock crystal - back in the day when "overclocking" was a hardware hack.

Best modern hacks? Root your Android phone and put Cyanogen on it, for crying out loud, stop whining about bloatware!

Also, not too long ago, my kid complained that the "windshield washer fluid" warning light was on all the time (older Camry), but there was plenty of fluid and it worked fine. So, rather than "fix" it, I figured out which wire needed to be snipped... problem solved. (Now you have to "manually" inspect the fluid level of the washer fluid - oh the horror.)

Comment They could save space (Score 3, Funny) 121 121

They could just delete most of the photos after they age a bit, analyzing it with some of their AI whiz-bang software.

If anyone ever asks to see the image again, they can just show one that is "close enough" and nobody would ever know the difference.

I personally, have never posted a photo to Facebook, so I'd be OK with that.

Comment Burried the lead (Score 1) 80 80

From the summary

nearly 13 percent less than the midpoint for local-government chemists and almost 6 percent below the private sector


So, while this particular group is complaining that they are relatively underpaid, it seems,on average, government employees are overpaid.

Let them train some H1-B visa holders to replace themselves and help get the government average down to the private sector average.

Comment Always check the "Other" box (Score 4, Funny) 256 256

We have an every other hire must not be a white male [policy?]

Wow, so it's a good thing that in today's PC society, I can "identify" as a 28 year old female of color, with 30 years of industry experience the next time I apply for a job. That will increase my chances, because, as a 50 something year old white guy, I am screwed.

Comment Last secure MS OS? (Score 1) 192 192

Well, not secure from outside attack, you can defend against that by not putting it on a network... KISS

Maybe everything after XP started phoning home to who knows what "area code" (206, NSA, KGB, unit 61398?)

Doing things right, and doing things cheap are two different things.The presumption was that "COTS" was both... maybe not so much anymore. (BTW the spirit of COTS means OSS is fair game for scrutiny.)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!