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Comment: Fax Machines gone? (Score 5, Informative) 395 395

There are tens of thousands of fax machines and fax systems still in use today because, despite all of our technological advances, the fax machine is still the most secure way of delivering medical and legal documents between locations in a compact time frame.

E-mail? Right out unless you're configured for encryption and getting all the companies you deal with to agree on, utilize, and understand how the encrypt/decrypt works is ... beyond Herculean in scope. In the medical field alone that would require suppliers, doctor's offices, HME/DME companies, hospitals, hospices, quick care/walk-in style facilities, pharmacies, and so on to all have a system that worked easily that everyone agreed on. Of course, that doesn't begin to take into account the MILLIONS of patients that just might want to communicate with you via e-mail.

The legal field is just as bad - judges, courts, lawyers, public defenders, police departments, fire departments, etc, and clients of course.

So, yeah, technology that has supposedly died usually is alive and well and the people who think it has died just work somewhere they don't have to deal with it.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 1094 1094

I had this happen to me a while back as I was working while going to college. Admittedly, it was when the minimum wage was $5.00/hr and they raised it to $5.25 per hour so nothing drastic like $7.00/hr to $15.00/hr but for a college student it was a decent increase. The problem was, I was already making $5.25 per hour because I was good at my job and had earned a pay raise.

So, the week after the minimum wage increase went into effect my co-workers, who had not earned a raise, were now making $5.25 per hour and I was looking forward to my $5.50 per hour. Check came in, checked my totals, and my pay was $5.25 per hour. I explained to the store manager that this was incorrect and, at first, he just kinda laughed and said it was correct. I explained to him that no, it was not, because my pay was tied directly to the minimum wage and I had EARNED a pay raise of $0.25/hr and I asked him to explain to me how it was fair for the other three employees (small store) to be making the same I was when they had not earned a raise, but been handed one by the government. He just stood there for a minute with his mouth hanging open and said "You're right. Let me talk to corporate." Sure enough, our parent corporation agreed with me and increased my pay to where it should be and paid me my missing wages for the previous week.

Unless I am a salaried employee, I _always_ make it plain to my company that my pay is tied to the minimum wage and if it goes up my pay goes up by a corresponding amount -- otherwise, I just took a pay cut and someone fresh off the street without my years of experience with the company could be making nearly as much as I do (depending on the increase of the minimum wage vs. my wage, of course).

Comment: Re:It not very hard (Score 1) 167 167

I thought their current business model was to charge everyone $5 per month, including non-subscribers. At least that's what my credit card statement and numerous online forum posts seem to indicate. Their customer service apparently also sucks, as they refuse to answer when you e-mail or call to discuss the fraudulent charges. They could probably become more profitable if they started earning money instead of stealing it.

Comment: Why is it even a discussion? (Score 5, Insightful) 441 441

The open internet is one of the most democratizing things we have in a modern society, why is this even up for debate? What benefit would society have in enabling "Fast lanes" or "premium" connections or other nonsense? What do we get protecting commercial interests?

Comment: Missing Option: Start projects and abandon them (Score 1) 190 190

I've started several open source projects. I have one that I started in 2002 and have continued to use myself over the years. Its an xml parser that works the way I think it should work. I wrote it and made it open source because I found myself wanting to use xml in projects at various employers and it was always a hassle finding an xml parser and convincing management to allow me to use it (because open source) and then it never had exactly the right features, etc. Xerces was too big, etc. So, finally I just wrote my own. Since I own the copyright, I can use it and grant the employer a non-exclusive close source license if they want.

Comment: Re:I feel for them... (Score 4, Insightful) 273 273

They're trapped between three fires...

They need to keep the Americans happy to get American diplomatic support to keep China from eating them.

They need to keep the Russians happy to get access to cheap arms and possibly whatever diplomatic pressure the Russians have these days.

And then they need to keep the chinese from salivating every time they look at them.

Given that the US and Russia are at odds again, it is a very difficult position to be in these days.

They can't give the Russians or the Americans everything they want because much of what they want is the Vietnamese to choose sides.

And if they don't keep their allies happy they look more vulnerable to the chinese.

Poor vietnam.

So in other words they can choose between China paying them a visit to bring them corrupt free market communism, Russia dropping in to bestow upon them the blessings of cleptocracy or the USA taking another crack at bringing them plutocracy when all they really want to do is practice their own home gown brand of nepotism and corruption?

Comment: There is no such thing... (Score 1, Insightful) 247 247

"I had to slow the deployment of this system (which) makes conventional warfare much more lethal and nuclear war winnable in the eyes of some,"

There is no such thing as a winnable war, nuclear or otherwise, and anybody who thinks there is such a thing has either never experienced war or that person is dumber than a palette of bricks.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 3, Informative) 671 671

I don't know if Russia is a good place for someone like Snowden who likes to expose government corruption. Then again, maybe he'll have better luck than Boris Nemstov.

Luckily, if the Russians ever decide to jail him for exposing government corruption, he's likely to get that "fair and impartial" trial that he evidently thinks he needs a guarantee for in the US.

As long as it is only the US government's corruption, abuse of power and their ongoing rape of the US constitution that Snowden is exposing then I'm pretty sure the Russians are perfectly happy to allow him to continue and if Snowden has half a brain he will allow the Russians opposition to handle exposing the similar shenanigans of the Russian government.

Comment: Cross platform development. (Score 2) 407 407

I've been trying to pick up a classic, object-oriented, compiled language since the early 90s, but have never gotten around to it. C++ was always on my radar, but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money developing for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do, both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux, though, and also use it as my main development platform. Yes, I know quite a few other languages, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS. Both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill. What do you recommend? How do these two programming languages compare with each other, and how easy is cross-platform development in either? (Primarily GUI-free, "headless" applications.)

I would only bother with Objective-C if I was anticipating having to develop a lot of code for OS X or iOS which might be worth your time since there is money to be made there and IMHO it is a fun language to code in. There is a FOSS Cocoa implementation for Linux, GNUstep but I don't know how current it is or how much cross platform development it allows. Integrating C++ code in Objective C programs (aka. Objective-C++) is as easy as integrating C code into a C++ program so for cross platform purposes you'd be best advised to write as much of your business logic in C++ or even C and use more platform specific languages like Objective-C for view and controller logic. Basically write as much in C++ or C as you can since both can be used in Objective-C apps. That way, if you also want to, say... have an Android version you could write Java wrappers for your C/C++ code. Finally be very careful about what system calls and libraries you use. Just because something is available on Linux does not mean it is available on OS X, the other *NIX'es or Windows. I have all to often seen people end up with egg on their faces after spending significant amounts of time developing something on Linux and using everything Linux offer with wild abandon only to find out hat several key functions or even entire libraries are not available on other target platforms like, say Sun OS or AIX or that even if these are available they behave in a totally different way (example: Lex/Yacc). When doing CP development, even if it is just across multiple Linux/Unix platforms, it pays to write unit tests and regularly compile your software and run the entire test battery on target platforms other than the one you do most of your development work on (which is likely to be Linux).

Comment: Re:Needs several people to wear them (Score 3, Interesting) 150 150

Assuming your identity isn't given away by the fact that you're the only person wearing infrared emitting glasses. Anyway, for the full effect, you should walk around naked so you can't be identified by the clothes you're wearing.

That depends on your use-case. If you are Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi you might be better off just shaving your beard off and avoiding cameras. If you are a private citizen who is not trying to hide, not wanted by the police and is just plain old creeped out by being under constant surveillance then this might be a product you want even if it makes you stick out like a sore thumb. It also depends on how commonly accepted this technology becomes. If the public at large eventually gets so creeped out by being under constant surveillance that half of them wear a device like this there is very little the security services in most western democracies could do about it without looking like the Gestapo or NKVD.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.