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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Filesharing sites (Score 1) 294

by burning_plastic (#48108449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

I've found the best speedtest solution is to choose a couple of the major fileshare sites (ie. the ones that ISPs love to throttle or block). I then upload a non-compressible junk file of about 100MB and try downloading it directly and via a VPN. I then compare those results to my ISP's speedtest.

I've seen some impressive throttling or within-ISP network congestion/lack of interconnects.

Comment: Data Breach Notification Law (Score 1) 50

by burning_plastic (#47105189) Attached to: Spotify Announces Single User Hacked, No Personal Data Stolen

I wouldn't be surprised if this is in part a way of ensuring that all data breach notification law requirements are met by broadcasting the notification in such a way that no agency or person can claim to have not been aware (even if they claim they didn't receive notification directly).

Comment: Linux and Crossover Office (Score 1) 408

by burning_plastic (#45697255) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

I did Linux Mint and MS Office using Crossover as it meant that she could keep using the MS apps, but had a safer stable base to work from.

And - so my littlest sister couldn't keep installing her toolbar / chat app of the week on it - those caused more problems than anything else.

Comment: Good Omens (Score 2) 111

by burning_plastic (#45368107) Attached to: UK Town To Get Driverless 'Pods' Mixing With Pedestrians

"Note for Americans and other aliens: Milton Keynes is a new city approximately halfway between London and Birmingham. It was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing." -- T. Pratchett and N. Gaiman, Good Omens

We used to go bowling there when I was little as it was the only place within an hour's drive with a bowling alley... I mostly remember parts being very empty and then almost never-ending lines of roundabouts (although at least they were in straight lines unlike Swindon)...

Comment: Re:$500,00 equipment with WinXP (Score 2) 727

by burning_plastic (#41733603) Attached to: Microsoft Urges Businesses To Get Off XP

When dealing with certain pieces of equipment, the cost of service contracts often gets renegotiated after each expires and if the vendor doesn't want to support it anymore they just jack up the price of the contract to a non-viable level. So then you just wait until the machine stops working before you upgrade. We had this happen with a Leica confocal microscope - the contract expired, and then the proprietary board that connected the scope to the computer died. Since no more boards existed world-wide the scope was useless as a confocal and so was eventually repurposed as a standard epi-fluorescence scope.

Comment: Move Abroad... Teaching is still a respected job. (Score 5, Interesting) 416

by burning_plastic (#40188619) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With a Math Degree?

There are plenty of countries where teachers are actually respected, paid decent wages and supported by their schools - my little brother ended up in Australia, and even though he's not currently in a particularly nice school (inner city...) he still says it's a massive leap above most schools in the US/UK...

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn