Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Software doesn't really matter (Score 2) 258

by crath (#48596921) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?
You're exactly on the money!!! What's needed is a cataloging app that keeps the canonical data store in sidecar files. Picasa is "almost" there. In recent versions it writes most of its data to .picasa text files (an open data format). This provides future portability because another app can read those .picasa files and the image files to rebuild the database. Hopefully, Google will continue to expand Picasa so that it writes all info to .picasa files as well as keeping a local database current. The local database provides excellent app performance, and the sidecar files provide for future portability when Google decides to walk away from Picasa--which they inevitably will.

Comment: Re:At least one CEO eats his own dog food (Score 1) 314

by crath (#46047501) Attached to: Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office
Anyone with a serious interest in this subject needs to read "Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom Demarco & Timothy Lister. They present empirical research data gathered in the 1970s that demonstrates the real productivity gains to be made through housing staff in appropriate office space. Note: open offices and cubical jungles do not constitute productive environments. The numbers tell no lies.

Comment: Netgear's recent incompetence (Score 1) 53

by crath (#45216837) Attached to: Users Slow to Update Netgear ReadyNAS Boxes Open To Remote Exploit
I'm a ReadyNAS owner. I have ignored recent firmware updates from Netgear simply because they have become incompetent at releasing firmware that actually functions. I keep my ReadyNAS far away from the Internet, and so my level of risk is low; as well, I have stopped upgrading: Netgear's release quality is simply too poor to allow me to risk the upgrade.

Comment: Re:big surprise (Score 1) 165

by crath (#44372203) Attached to: NSA Can't Search Its Own Email

More likely a case of somebody lying to get around a FOIA request,...

I agree. Telling porkies is their specialty.

... for which there will be consequences. All government agencies have very strict regulations concerning record keeping and FOIA, with jail time possible for anyone who fails to abide by those regulations.

Now you're dreaming in Technicolor. The liar might get a promotion for their behavior, but there certainly won't be any negative consequences.

Comment: Re:Here's the deal... (Score 2) 329

by crath (#43625641) Attached to: Is Buying an Extended Warranty Ever a Good Idea?

The advice I've replied to is exactly right. In my case, I fly almost every week on business, and I buy my own laptop. By the end of the second year, I almost always experience some type of failure in my laptop--either failure of a component or an accident (liquid into the keyboard). I always buy the all-perils warranty for my laptop and I always come out ahead. I am out at the extreme upper end of the bell curve, and so I benefit at the expense of the insurance company.

One of the benefits of the warranty (on my HP laptop) is that I buy the onsite, next business day service. So, no matter where in the world I am working--and I work in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia--an HP tech shows up and fixes my laptop without the need for me to visit a service centre or return my laptop to depot by courier. This is part of the business value to me.

However, I do not buy any other extended warranties; because in all the other situations I am not out at the extreme end of the risk curve and so I will always lose.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 4, Interesting) 284

by crath (#42949925) Attached to: Monsanto's 'Terminator' Seeds Set To Make a Comeback

It can also be used to prevent the spread of "engineered" genes to wild plants and crops in nearby fields, and it can eliminate many plant-patent lawsuits.

This assertion flies in the face of common sense; pollen from this seed will float through the air and contaminate non-engineered fields and now those farmers will also have a percentage of their crop that produces sterile seed. This time, lawsuits will flow in the opposite direction: farmers who replant seed will sue Monsanto due to reduced germination rates and reduced yields in future years.

Comment: Re:Good only for Monsanto. (Score 5, Insightful) 284

by crath (#42949877) Attached to: Monsanto's 'Terminator' Seeds Set To Make a Comeback

Negative: If the gene causing infertility is transmitted via pollen, then farmers that try to produce an heirloom seed crop near a field planted with a Monsanto variety would be screwed since their seed crop could end up infertile.

This is exactly what will happen, and so Monsanto will put and end to many farmers' current practice of saving part of this years crop as next year's seed--since their seed yield will be reduced they negatively impact their future yield due to a percentage of the seed being sterile.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton