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Comment: Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (Score 1) 87

by element-o.p. (#43388473) Attached to: How To Hunt a Cicada Smorgasbord
I was there twice, from '74 to '76 and then again from '79 to '83. My dad was in the Air Force, and Misawa was his first assignment after getting out of Basic. We really enjoyed it, so he requested Misawa again, thus the second tour.

It sounds like you got a lot more immersion in the culture than I did -- I went to a DoD school on the Air Force base. While we spent lots of time off-base, I still lived in a small microcosm of the U.S. for the most part. Still, it was enough to fill me with a life-long love of both the country and culture :)

Comment: Re:They needed research for this? (Score 1) 288

by element-o.p. (#43385577) Attached to: Researcher Evan Booth: How To Weaponize Tax-Free Airport Goods
I beg to disagree, based upon things I have actually tried or that I witnessed someone else try.

I have marinated steaks in Jim Beam, and the marinade burned quite well when I dumped the remainder in a campfire. Not the same as trying to ignite it with a lighter, I'll admit.

However, I also saw a friend make a "Vapor Lock" (what he called it, anyway -- I had never heard of it before that), where he poured liquor into a glass, ignited it (with a lighter, IIRC), let it burn for a second or two to vaporize the alcohol, then clapped his hand over the top to smother the fire. Wait for a couple of seconds, then uncap and inhale the vaporized alcohol. Seemed to me like a good way to really hurt yourself, but...<shrug>.

Comment: Re:Ummmm, no (Score 1) 467

by element-o.p. (#42853383) Attached to: What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?
I am a sys admin, and have been one for over a decade. GPP is saying that there can be, and often are, critical flaws that have not *YET* cropped up in your environment but *could*. I'd argue that that is indeed something that is "broken" and should be fixed. You are correct to state that all four things that GPP claims could happen with an outdated firmware could also happen in a firmware update -- I have been there and seen that, in both cases. However, in my experience, a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sys admin is a ticking time bomb. Vendors don't waste time, energy and money hiring programmers to update firmware just for the lulz. If there is a firmware update, it usually exists for a *reason* and therefore, it is probably wise to at least consider applying the update. Sooner or later, routinely putting off updates because you haven't noticed anything wrong will eventually bite you in the backside.

You did, however, get it exactly right when you said "you have to weigh the pros and cons." That is the crux of the argument. I pointed out up above a case where I had a SAN that could use an update, but updating the firmware on that device scares the living crap out of me because of the potential risk. On the other hand, I routinely update routers and switches without giving it a second thought. It's all about the pros and cons ;)

Comment: Re:Don't fix it if it aint broke (Score 1) 467

by element-o.p. (#42853239) Attached to: What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?
Digital much? In the real world, there are often shades of grey between the black and white.

Case in point, I have a SAN that is supposed to safely power down in a controlled manner when the UPS' supplying it have been providing power off of battery alone for a user-defineable period of time. Unfortunately, there was a bug in the firmware of the SAN controller card that prevents the SAN from communicating with the one-and-only-one brand of UPS that the SAN works with. The manufacturer has told me there is a patch in the next revision of firmware that fixes this problem. However, since the SAN holds the OS and data for several mission critical systems, I have yet to apply the firmware update, even though the device is still in warranty. Why? Because the device is working -- albeit, in a less than ideal state -- and therefore, I am less afraid of continuing as-is than I am of possibly bricking the device during an upgrade.

For the /. arm-chair quarterbacks: Yes, I have backups, but bare-metal restores of Windows servers are still a painful, time consuming process, at least with our backup system. Yes, I could spend the money to buy a better backup system, but capital is tight recently, and upper management isn't loosening the purse-strings, so we do what we can with what we have available. IME, the risk of powering off the SAN in a power outage is less than the risk of upgrading the firmware on the SAN, so we have chosen to continue using a slightly defective product rather than risk bricking it entirely. And for the record, I have upgraded the firmware on more devices than I can count without problem, yet I recognize this *could* happen on any update. In my opinion, the risk of data loss during a power outage is less than the risk of upgrading the firmware on this device. Consequently, we haven't upgraded it yet.

Comment: Re:No persuasion required (Score 2) 510

by element-o.p. (#42505889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Employers Ban Smartphones?

10+ years ago we didn't use smart phones and we coordinated the rest of our lives just fine.

What are you doing on /.? Back when I was in high school, there was no public Internet access, and we managed just fine!

Times change. Expectations change. Communication mediums change. There are technologies available to allow BYOD in a safe manner; we are starting to look into such tech where I work, since we understand that, like it or not, employees WILL be bringing smartphones and tablets into the workplace. You can either recognize that people are going to bring their own devices to work and structure your networks and applications accordingly, or you can stick your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening. One of these allows you to manage the risks; the other will catch you unprepared when the inevitable happens. Your choice.

Comment: Re:And the motorcycles .... (Score 1) 474

by element-o.p. (#41517465) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hacking Urban Noise?

Why is this "5, Insightful": it is one man arguing from experience to absolutely discount another's experience!!!...there is such a thing as a BLIND SPOT you know.

Fair question, and a good point. This is a bit of an old topic by now, so I apologize for being late back into the game, but I think it's worth replying. I did a Google search for statistics, and you know what? I really couldn't find anything to conclusively back either side of the argument. Apparently, I'm not alone; neither could this guy. There is a bit of a priori reasoning, however, that can help sway the argument. As mentioned in the link above, as well as this one, the Hurt report suggests that 77% of multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver ahead of the bike; most of the exhaust noise is directed rearward, however. Yes, sound propagates in all directions, but it is more attenuated towards the front of a motorcycle...precisely where it would do the most good, if "loud pipes [really] save[d] lives." Furthermore, the Hurt Report summary makes a number of bullet points drawn from the accident statistics. Points 1, 6, 7, 9, and arguably 13 and 30 support the "loud pipes" argument (mostly, IMHO, by pointing out that conspicuity helps to prevent accidents). However, points 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, and 41 support the "loud pipes do *NOT* save lives" argument (again IMHO, mostly by pointing out that rider training/skills and proper safety gear have the greatest correlation to a reduction in accidents and accident severity).

So...do I have any proof to support my position? Not really. I can make a decent circumstantial case for it, but no, I can't really prove it. I can, however, make a case -- despite your suggestion that the Interstate Commerce Clause is a get-out-of-jail-free card -- that loud pipes result in restrictions to motorcycle activities (see the two links I provided above for examples). I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on /., so I'll decline a legal debate about whether the Interstate Commerce Clause trumps local ordinances, although I will go so far as to state that I suspect you'd better have some solid statistics to bolster the "loud pipes" argument before you attempt to have your lawyer take on a local judge based upon that reasoning.

Finally, I'll point out one more thing: claiming that you only ride with loud pipes on your bike in the interest of safety is rather disingenuous when the motorcyclist making that claim is riding NATGATT ("Not 'All The Gear, All The Time'" for those unfamiliar with the acronym). You're not wearing a helmet, gloves, etc.? You're going to have a tough time convincing me that safety is what you are really interested in, then. Yes, it gets hot in the summer. That's why manufacturers make mesh gear in colors other than black.

Comment: Re:And the motorcycles .... (Score 5, Insightful) 474

by element-o.p. (#41500897) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hacking Urban Noise?
I ride too, and you're full of crap.

A loud pipe isn't going to keep an idiot driver from cutting you off. I've been cut off by idiot drivers more than once, and generally speaking, it's by a young kid with a ten thousand watt stereo cranked up to 11. Your loud pipe isn't going to phase him in the least, but it will piss off everyone else around you, leading to onerous restrictions about what can and cannot be installed on a bike, where bikes can go, etc. As far as only being excessively loud under extreme acceleration, yeah, I call B.S. on that, too. If you're running a straight pipe with no muffler, it will be loud even at idle. It's only ear-splitting at high manifold pressure settings (i.e., acceleration). Regarding "it is the driver...not the bike itself..." well, yeah, but that's a tautology since the rider is the one who has to remove the stock muffler to install the obnoxious one, it is the rider who has to thumb the starter button, and it's the rider who has to twist the throttle to get the bike to accelerate.

Comment: Re:It's not broken. (Score 1) 1154

by element-o.p. (#41281703) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?
All perfectly valid reason to choose Mac over competing OS'es. Basically, we have agreed to a comment I made elsewhere in the thread: a computer is a tool, and if you need different tools than I do, you will most likely prefer a different OS than I do. As a developer, you have found that a Mac best meets your needs. As a network admin, I have found the tools available on Linux best meet my needs. That's a good thing, and it's why I get frustrated when others complain that choice is a problem.

Incidentally, I hope that I didn't sound condescending when I mentioned the eye-candy in OS-X; I certainly didn't intend to, but in hindsight, I see how it could have.

10 to the 6th power Bicycles = 2 megacycles

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