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Comment: Conflicted interests? (Score 1) 260

I'm more interested in what this says about the Washington Post than the book. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. TFA is a book review with a link to Amazon, where you can buy the book. I wonder if this is part of the owner's strategy to make the paper profitable. And why does the entire article ignore the difference between color displays and e-ink?

Comment: Tackle one piece at a time (Score 1) 716

by dcooper_db9 (#49029651) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

I also come from a Windows background and looking at Linux from the perspective of someone with pure Windows experience is daunting. Lot's of tutorials make assumptions without noting prerequisites. For example, you might not know how to start and stop services, how to elevate privileges, or where to find important files in the folder structure. I'm hardly an expert but I have gotten to where I work on both platforms and I prefer Linux as my primary work station. My advice would be to pick one narrow challenge at a time. For example, you might set out to setup a server with MySQL. Then try setting up an FTP file server. After you tackle a few of these projects you'll start to get some grounding in the system. The best thing about Linux is that there are lots of people out there who are willing to help.

I have to acknowledge that there are some tasks I've just not succeeeded at. I've been (in my spare time) trying to figure out how to setup a Samba domain controller and haven't got that working. The problem isn't that I don't know enough about Linux, but rather that I don't have a background in networking.

Comment: It's not just the bloat they added (Score 1) 296

by dcooper_db9 (#49010951) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?

Every time they added features the addon developers took a hit. In many cases the features already existed as addons. They kept the addon developers busy because for every feature they added there was someone who wanted to disable it. But the worst thing they did was to keep changing the API. Some of these changes required pretty much rewritting the addon just to continue functioning.

A lot of the addon developers have walked away. A few addons have been revived from dormancy or forked, but many have just died off. The features are still needed but the developers aren't willing to keep rewriting their code. There are only a few addons that are worth maintaining. And without all the addons Firefox is just another browser.

Comment: Why can't I buy an aftermarket chassis? (Score 2) 229

by dcooper_db9 (#48858813) Attached to: Librem: a Laptop Custom-Made For Free/Libre Software
Just yesterday I was reading about the Novena and a couple of similar and related projects. It struck me that all of these projects are tackiling this from the ground up. It seems to me that more people could contribute if different projects could focus on separate modules. That way I could maybe buy an open hardware video adapter to fix a laptop screen. Or an open hardware disk controller to restore a burnt HDD controller. Having open hardware components available would make it cheaper to repair computers. I'd love to be able to stock a single drive controller card and flash the firmware to match the drive it's controlling. Right now I have a complete laptop with a broken hinge and damaged power port. I'd love to be able to take all the parts out and put them into an aftermarket case. I don't mean a replacement case from the original model. I mean a standardized case that would allow me to swap out parts. Why does no such case exist? Why do I have to order an exact match when the case is just molded plastic and each component is pretty much the same size and shape?

Comment: Re:RAND totally misses it (Score 2) 97

I think it's totally worth ignoring the one or two good autodidacts out there if it also means missing out on the thousands who are absolute crap.

Of course. Here's a list of some of the other autodidacts whose contributions we can dismiss: Leonardo da Vinci, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Edison, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, Buckminster Fuller, Jimi Hendrix, Abraham Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Frank Lloyd Wright and Wilbur Wright.

Comment: Not necessarily (Score 2) 190

by dcooper_db9 (#47257701) Attached to: U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes
It might. I remember when the first bill was produced a bill to regulate telemarketing. The idea was a classic political maneuver. They'd introduce the bill to give the impression they gave a shit. Then they'd quietly kill the bill or gut it before it got too far. But it turned out that people were really tired of having their phone lines abused. So many people called or wrote their congressmen that they couldn't kill the bill. They did water it down over the years but it had a lot more teeth than they intended. So yes, getting involved matters. When a congressman knows that a lot of people are paying attention it affects how they vote.

Comment: Might have a place (Score 1) 69

by dcooper_db9 (#47243141) Attached to: Transforming the Web Into a Transparent 'HTTPA' Database

Years ago I was working as a subcontractor to a major defense contractor. I had a conversation with IT that went something like this:

IT to all personnel: Anyone with a computer must review each file on their drive and label any that might contain confidential information. Please insert our company logo and the following text into any confidential files.
Me to IT: To clarify, I have approximately X files on my hard drive. Do I really need to review ALL of my files?
IT to me: Yes
Me to IT: Do you have any tools I can use to automate this?
IT to me: No. You need to open each file, review it and determine if it contains confidential information. Then insert the logo and message into any files that do.
Me to IT: I just want to make sure I'm understanding your instruction. The vast majority of my files are operating system files. Some files, like the Outlook PST file might contain confidential information. They're not documents, spreadsheets or anything like that. Modifying those files might affect the performance of my computer. Also, I have several Microsoft Access databases containing thousands of records of sensitive information. I can insert the confidentiality message into the database but it might be more useful to add the message to the reports.
IT to me: No, you must insert the confidentiality message into any files containing confidential information.
Forward to my supervisor: Can you take a look at this? This is going to take a lot of work.
Supervisor to me: I looked into it. You're going to have to do this.
Me to IT: Which department do we bill this to?
IT to me: Your department.
Me to IT: Procurement?
IT to me: Yes.
Forward to procurement: I ran the numbers. It's going to take me a year of working full time to get this done. Can you authorize this?
IT to me: You don't need to review your files.
Me to IT: Okay, thanks.

Comment: Re:Where do I send the electricity bill? (Score 1) 474

I was thinking of POE over coax, which does exist. Cable companies do run low voltage power through their lines and it can be used to run low voltage electronics. I don't know if there's a standard for POE over coax but here's an example of a device:

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.