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Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 94

by metlin (#48193003) Attached to: China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Spying on their citizens - Check

The difference here is that we the people still have the right to question the government, and organizations like the EFF continue to fight for it.

Economic stagnation - Check

You must be joking. American economy is anything but stagnant. Between 2009-2013, the U.S. GDP growth 1.9%, which is pretty good compared to most other OECD countries.

It may be "stagnant" when you compare it to a country like China at 7.7%, but that is simply not sustainable, not without artificial currency manipulation.

Riots - Check

A few days of media blitz over a police shootout is not the same as protesters fighting for democracy.

High unemployment - Check

What on earth are you talking about? The U.S. unemployment is at 5.9% as of September 2014 and China's is estimated at ~4.5%.

Comment: Re:Hold on a minute (Score 1) 175

by Gorobei (#48191575) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

Software developers help companies make more money. It is the Add in Value-Add. They are the equivalent of the machines in a machine shop. Without them, what is the point in being in business. If you are a software company you pay what you need to pay, to recruit and retain the best developers you can.

Most software developers are not in pure software development companies. They are in large companies doing something like fortune-500 stuff or selling ads (Google) or moving goods (Amazon.)

Very few companies think "let's hire more developers, they add value!" Hiring a developer is a last resort when the tech you have doesn't do what you need. It's like needing to hire a lawyer - you don't want to do it, but it's the cheapest way to achieve your goal.

Comment: Re:Bruce, I know why u r disappointed. Let me expl (Score 1) 179

So, I see this as rationalization.

The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.

You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.

So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.

And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.

Comment: Re:Don't (Score 1) 103

by bmajik (#48189341) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

Dial-up is functionally unusable in 2014. Hitting facebook.com pulls down several MB of data just to draw the page, load the JS, etc.

That said, my home phone line is so noisy even the phone company asks me if it always sounds so bad. They're not sure why the line is noisy. It just is. I don't think I'd be able to sustain a 56k connection.

Satellite also has monthly xfer limits -- that are much lower than Verizon. Most people that have had Satellite switch to LTE and don't switch back.

There is a WISP in the area but he is very busy, isn't very reliable, (e.g. blows off appointments, doesn't answer emails) and his tower is pretty far away and several forests block LOS between my place and his tower. To have any chance of using his tower I'd need to do some significant work -- more than I am doing to actually do my own custom backhaul.

Customers of his have told me that they have a few days of downtime a year while he has to go climb a tower and re-aim something. It sounds very shoe-stringy to me.

Comment: Re:This could be really good for Debian (Score 5, Insightful) 454

by Bruce Perens (#48188887) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork
I am beginning to be wary of systemd, but no. I am talking about anal-retentive policy wonks who believe they only make the distribution for themselves and have (perhaps without intending to) systematically marginalized Debiian and made the project a whore to Ubuntu.

Comment: Re:Don't (Score 1) 103

by bmajik (#48186627) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

Thanks. I've looked into the cradlepoint stuff a bit and if I thought I was permanently stuck with VZN, I would make additional hardware investments along those lines.

That said, even if it was perfectly reliable, my "plan" gives me 20GB of data a month for a family of 5, and I blow through that limit many months, and that involves no online gaming and no video streaming -- both things I used to enjoy doing.

So, I need to get an unmetered connection again, even if I could make the LTE connection perfectly reliable.

Comment: Don't (Score 5, Informative) 103

by bmajik (#48185235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

I've had a Verizon 4G LTE hotspot as my sole home internet for the last year. It is the only type of service available where I currently live.

It is expensive and unreliable.

I live in a rural area. I am using an external LTE antenna on the device. I can see that the LTE signal is moderate to good where I am; the problems I am having do not seem to be LTE signal related.

The device itself is about as reliable as other consumer level networking gear -- meaning you need to power cycle it now and then to make it start working again. It has a remote web admin interface, with no way to remotely reboot it. You have to physically touch the thing to power cycle it.

I don't know what's available where you are, but here, Verizon charges me for every byte that goes through that LTE connection, in both directions. I think they're overcharging me, but I have no realistic power to do anything about that, because they are Verizon and I am not. Overages are excessively expensive. My bill for last month was $250. We watch no streaming videos at my house -- not even youtube.

The device stops responding to pings from certain nodes on my internal network, causing all kinds of networking fun. DNS queries randomly fail during logical browsing sessions. I've investigated all of this thoroughly with tcpdump and other tools. This happens on clients of multiple types - OSX, WinRT, Windows, OpenBSD.

So near as I can tell, the box itself is just shit. There have been 2 or 3 firmware updates for it in the year that I've depended on it for my internet. None of them have improved the symptoms I describe.

It's a Pantech MHS291LVW

The entire time I've had it, I've been researching how to replace it with something that isn't Verizon. I'm nearly done with that plan; I'll be backhauling a nearby DSL service back to my site using a 3.5 mile p2p wireless link. I'm paying to upgrade the site infrastructure and wiring at both ends of the link. I am spending thousands of dollars to do this.

My neighbors also have Verizon LTE service. They have the VZN Home Broadband service, where Verizon will mount an antenna at your site and do the install themselves, and the CPE has 4 switched Ethernet ports in addition to WiFi. They haven't complained about the reliability as much, but the price is still too high.

You can only get that hardware from Verizon in my area if you agree to a 3 year contract. I didn't and won't ever agree to any contract with any US mobile operator, so, I couldn't get the VZN home broadband hardware, which may be more reliable than the Hotspot hardware.

They are not power users; they are a young family with ipads for their kids. They recently shared with me that they just had an $800 monthly bill.

If you have any wired broadband choice available to you, take it.

Comment: Re:Trolls are the lowest form of life. . . (Score 1) 477

by bmajik (#48183845) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

I figure that trolling is one of the reasons for the US's 1st amendment.

Speech that upsets somebody for some reason is the only kind that somebody is going to try and restrict.

If you're not upsetting somebody, you're doing life wrong.

The UK is a lost country. It's a shame.

Comment: Re:May I suggest RTFA? (Score 1) 286

by bmajik (#48183427) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Disclaimer: I have no Enfield experience.

It turns out that patent encumberance isn't the only thing that makes something difficult to make.

Many older weapon designs were optimized for low volume manufacturing by skilled machinists, and required hand fitting by gunsmiths and armorers. That made sense when human labor was cheap and skilled.

The Garand and M14 receivers, for instance, are very complicated to build. The 1911 is also a much loved design, but most 1911s are either built to loose tolerances or require custom, per-example fitting.

Comparatively, the AKM receiver is bent sheet metal. Any workshop that can do basic metal work can build an AKM; the barrel is the only specialized part.

The M4/AR15/M16/AR10 family of receivers were designed post-aerospace industry, and are made to be mass produced by machining down aluminum forgings. I know multiple people who have completed their own AR15 receivers on CNC equipment.

The SIG handguns manufactured in the USA are taken from billet to serial number in a single machining center; no operator intervention required.

It turns out that it can be very difficult to re-create old things. Often, the original tooling is missing. The techniques used may no longer be taught nor widely practiced.

Comparatively, building a modern mass produced firearm is a matter of having the right CAD files.

Comment: Re: It's the OS, Stupid (Score 1) 248

by bmajik (#48178627) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

The NeXT heritage is still very strong in OSX

Calling it "Mach" is correct in the sense that the kernel is still the Mach microkernel, which came from NeXTSTEP. It does not have a BSD kernel.

It's BSD in the sense that _much_ of its userland is BSD, but certainly not all.

It also has many things that BSD does not have, which were proprietary from {NeXT/Open}STEP. For instance, the "netinfo" subsystem, the "defaults" subsystem, the plist architecture, Objective-C, XCode (which, afaik, is a modernization of NeXTs InterfaceBuilder).

OSX is much more like NeXTSTEP than it is *BSD.

Apple has of course added some more of its own stuff that isn't BSDish at all. Look at how the system startup stuff works, for instance.

If you tolerate people that want Linux called "GNU/Linux", because they are separating the userland and the kernel, the right thing to call OSX might be "BSD/Mach", but that nomenclature really ignores all of the things that NeXT did and that Apple has done since..

I spent lots of time on NS 3.3, OS 4.2, Rhapsody DRx, and every released version of OSX.

(in my view, OSX is a regression in usability from NeXTSTEP . Get off my lawn!)

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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