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Comment Varies by device (Score 1) 319

For my laptop (Mac OS X): update as soon as updates are available, unless it's a major update (i.e. a new OS version, not just a patch). If it's major, I'll usually wait a bit and see how it goes in the wild with early adopters, first. For my desktop (Arch Linux): Arch uses a rolling release model, so I do a daily check on what's available and then decide if I want to apply those updates immediately or wait. This depends on what is being updated. If it's the kernel or Xorg I might wait a bit. For minor stuff I usually go ahead and update right away. For my phone (Android): At the moment I'm running Cyanogenmod. I don't flash new nightlies very often; I tend to stick with one I find stable. I do like to keep fairly current, though. I apply app updates as soon as they're available. For my tablet (Android): It's a Nexus version and I never bothered rooting it or anything, I just get the updates as they come.

Comment Re:Real Money (Score 1) 346

Not much different than putting your money into an account at a bank, then. Those "demand deposits" aren't legally your money, either, they're the bank's (which is essentially why the bank can do things with "your money" -- like loaning it out or investing it -- without being accused of theft or fraud). They've just agreed that they'll pay you back on demand.

Comment Re:Hack it to disable it (Score 1) 199

A quick look at the android source suggests that one could disable these by changing the default return value of the switch statement in to false rather than true. There are better approaches (e.g., adding a toggle switch to the settings), but at first glance that looks like a quick and easy way to do it (assuming you're able to build and install your ROM from source code -- but this *is* Slashdot...). I guess that doesn't help if one is an iOS user, though.

Comment Re:Really object to emergency information ? (Score 1) 199

Seriously? In a large scale disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc) you would be irritated by getting a free text telling you...[whatever]

Why should he need to explain his reasons to you (or to anyone)? If he doesn't want to receive such a message on his phone, why shouldn't he be able to block or reject it? You'd rather force the message on him because you think it's a good idea, even if he doesn't?

Comment Reasons I'll Boot Into Windows (Score 1) 1215

For work and day-to-day use, I prefer a Unixy OS. My main workstation runs Fedora, and my laptop is a Macbook Pro. I find Windows to be clunky and limited and weird, and its command line is just plain awful. That said, I do sometimes boot into Windows for two reasons: 1. Dota 2 2. Netflix I know I could probably solve #2, but I haven't felt it's worth the effort since I still would have Windows around just for #1. If Steam ports Dota 2 over to Linux then I'll probably kiss Windows goodbye, completely. And I won't miss it.

Comment They're Hurting Themselves (Score 2) 171

The relatively high price of many e-books drastically reduces the number of e-book purchases I make. I'd be much more inclined to purchase more e-books if they were more reasonable (especially since what you're purchasing is usually more like a license to read it, rather than owning a permanent copy of the work). One side-effect is that I've purchased more self-published or small-publisher e-books than I would have otherwise.

Comment Apple ][+ and BASIC (Score 1) 623

I started off learning BASIC on an Apple II+ in elementary school and on a Kaypro II at home. Went on to teach myself C, C++, Java, et cetera. Was a poli sci major in college (talk about a waste of time and money). In my first job (inside sales), I fell into programming because I taught myself ObjectPAL (for Borland Office) and wrote an order entry and management database app that changed the way the company worked. I decided maybe I should look at programming as a career. Got a job as a professional programmer (working with C/C++) about a year later and never looked back. Never stopped teaching myself new languages, either. Still do it.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming 'not as likely' - BBC News ( 1

BBC News

Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming 'not as likely'
BBC News
Scientists say the recent downturn in the rate of global warming will lead to lower temperature rises in the short-term. Since 1998, there has been an unexplained "standstill" in the heating of the Earth's atmosphere. Writing in Nature Geoscience, the ...
Dire outlook despite global warming 'pause': study - Science NewsPhys.Org
A second chance to save the climateNew Scientist
Lid lowered on global warming rateNew Zealand Herald
The Australian-Scientific American-AllGov
all 26 news articles

Submission + - Skype backdoor confirmed .. (

An anonymous reader writes: I was disappointed the rumoured skype backdoor is claimed to be real, and
that they have evidence. The method by which they confirmed is kind of odd
- not only is skype eavesdropping but its doing head requests on SSL sites
that have urls pasted in the skype chat!

Now I've worked with a few of the german security outfits before, though not
Heise, and they are usually top-notch, so if they say its confirmed, you
generally are advised to believe them.

Submission + - Android kernel GPL violation continues to unfold (

An anonymous reader writes: Prominent GPL violator, Chad Goodman, of Anthrax Kernels has published a new manifesto defending his shady practice of distributing Android kernels without sharing source.

Submission + - Why do corporations still leak your personal details in plaintext?

An anonymous reader writes: Having entered my personal details (full real name, home address) to websites with an "https://" prefix in order to purchase goods, I am still being sent emails from companies (or their agents) which include, in plain text, those same details I have entered over a secure connection. These are often companies which are very keen to tell you how much they value your privacy and how they will not pass your details on to third parties. What recourse does one have to tell them to desist from such behaviour whilst still doing business with them if their products are otherwise desirable? I email the relavent IT team as a matter of course to tell them it's not appropriate (mostly to no avail), but is there any legislation — in any territory — which addresses this?

Comment Re:Caught because someone noticed ... (Score 4, Informative) 773

Yeah. Also interesting that the boat where the suspect was hiding was outside the perimeter of the search zone where the authorities had been conducting their house-to-house searches all day, and that the tip came in within *minutes* of the "shelter in place, all you vulnerable citizens, while we protect you" order being lifted. The homeowner went outside to get some air and check his property. So thank a private business for the initial video of the suspects, and thank an "ordinary" citizen for the observation that led to the second suspect's capture.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison