Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:The headline (Score 1) 43 43

This. Anyone who doesn't assume their Internet stuff is effectively sitting on the curb waiting for someone to take an interest and pick it up is delusional. Internet security is a utopia - works great on paper, can't exist in the real universe. If there is a door for you then there is a door for anyone who decides they want to walk through. The best you can do is make your door's locks harder to get through than the next guy's so they lose interest in yours. When a bear is chasing me any my buddy I don't have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the other guy.

Comment Re:Amen brother! (Score 2) 424 424

I get better results when I'm not logged in as well and it has nothing to do with sharing the account. Sorta. It has to do with the fact that there is Work Me, Family Me, and Me Me; the three of us share one account. Google either can't or hasn't yet been able to guess which model of me is doing the searching and consequently gets it wrong for the most part. I have to log out so it doesn't make any guesses or assumptions and then "use quotes" "liberally" "if I have any hope of" "finding" "what I'm looking for".

Comment Re:Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has some input (Score 1) 557 557

I'll second the 'no hallways' and 'eliminate unnecessary rooms' principle. My house is only 800sq ft, but 400 sq ft is a combination kitchen/living room/foyer and the other 400sq ft are doors off of that main room - two bedrooms, bathroom, mechanical room/pantry/laundry. Everyone is scandalized by how small it is...until they visit. Then they all say, 'Wow, this is plenty of room.' They all leave wishing their house wasn't so big. All of them. Every. Single. One.

Comment I am building right now. (Score 1) 557 557

Building with my own two hands, swinging a hammer at every nail. I have had to fight with the bank over construction details because my methods are so out of the ordinary for our area. I ended up having to get the state fire marshal to agree to come inspect my home himself before the bank would release my construction funds.

The "new tech" I'm using isn't new at all. It is 'new' in that it is just now starting to mature as a technology, it is new to North America after being ignored for years or decades, or is just now becoming cost effective for the residential market.

Advanced Framing - this is what the local inspectors and bank had a problem with, despite the fact that everything I did was to code (even pictured in detail in the code itself exactly as I had built it) and was published as a best practice in publications put out by the local electrical coop. Especially cool if you can afford to do it is the Larsen truss wall.

Passivehaus quality windows from the likes of Marvin and Alpen - triple pane windows filled with noble gasses to reduce or eliminate convective coupling, films to minimize IR losses or gains, frames that isolate the surfaces on the inside of the house from those on the outside of the house with insulating materials so there is no direct path for heat.

Residential fire suppression - There are now fire suppression sprinkler heads available designed to operate at the lower pressures of residential systems and are suitable to handle potable water. I've brought utility pressure water into the house, run it through a sprinkler in every room, and then to a pressure reducer for distribution to the house. My household supply runs by all the sprinklers first; this way there is no stagnate water in the lines possibly compromising the integrity of the heads and I know that as long as all is well with the water in the house then I have a functioning fire sprinkler system ready to spring into action. The cost was very low - a couple benjamins - for the heads, extra water pipe, and fittings, and was well worth the extra piece of mind.

Affordable foams for insulation - I couldn't afford to go fully foam, but I used affordable XPS and polyiso panels to supplement the batt insulation I used. Foam seals the walls to minimize energy movement through the envelope.

LED lighting and electronic ballast fluorescent with super long life bulbs for low operation costs and high ROI.

Mini-split heat pump units for super high efficiency cooling. I'm cooling my entire house with less power than my wife's hair dryer uses. Granted, it's only 800sq ft, but pretty good even so.

Radiant floor heat using intelligent automatic variable circulation pumps and tankless water heating units. This keeps efficiencies as close to theoretical limits as possible and increases occupant comfort to minimize use and mis-use of the heating system. Provisions have also been made to incorporate alternative heat sources at a later time such as solar collectors or gasifier.

But the most unconventional thing I did was that I DO NOT COMPROMISE on standards and I sweat the DETAILS when everybody else just wants to shrug and say "good enough" or "that's not how we've always done it". A house is a big pile of little things and if each of the little things is "good enough" what you get is just a little off + just a little off + just a little off + just a little off + ... just a little off = house of crap.

Comment "North Pole" is not the correct answer. (Score 1) 496 496

The answer Musk is looking for is:

"Are these cardinal directions magnetic or geographic? Is the surface you are walking on completely flat for the entire distance? Is that 'mile' in statute miles, nautical miles, Roman miles...?"

If you pop off an answer like "North pole! Ha! That's so easy." you fail. He wants to know if you're the type of person that is going to worry about the details and isn't going to crash one of his rockets when you don't notice one software sub was calculating metric units and the other one was calculating in imperial.

Comment Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 564 564

Tools should get out of the way of the work. If you don't need it, put it away.

If you have no idea what to do with the data you've been given because you don't recognize what it is, then you do need those extensions. You are correct - if you don't need the tool, put it away - but the argument made in this article is that the decision was made that users don't need this tool and it is put away by default and the result is confusion...which is getting in the way of the work. The argument is that this tool is needed to eliminate the confusion which is getting in the way of your work.

I don't agree that users need to be educated regarding the significance of file extensions.

Yes, they do. Computers are not magic, they are tools. Tools a human uses to accomplish a task. The human needs to learn to use their tool properly.

Get over yourself.

Same to you, worker drone. You don't have a job out of the goodness of someone's heart. You have a job because it is cheaper to buy you than to buy the machine that can do your job. So quit your moaning about 'What?! I have to learn something? But I want to just push buttons like and ignorant chimp and get paid on Friday, why do I have to learn something?' and take some pride in yourself. Learn to do your job well.

Comment Re:I homeschool my kids (Score 1) 700 700

"...and besides what kind of situation in the real world are you thrown together with 20 or so of your same age people?"

Very nice. I hadn't thought of that particular aspect of the 'socialization' argument. I can finally rest easy that my dismissal of that argument is justified. Thank you.

Comment My experience. (Score 1) 700 700

Pros: your kid may fare better with homeschooling because (may, not will)

1. Public school classes can only go as fast as the slowest kid. Not so at home. Your kid won't be bored because things aren't moving fast enough to keep their interest. Engagement = better learning
2. You don't have to put up with your kid struggling with the latest bureaucratic nonsense du juor handed down from on high for the education system. You can customize how you teach to your kid's particular mental processes to maximize uptake and understanding.
3. Because of #2 you have some extra room for teaching things that the school system doesn't have time, money, room, teachers, or interest in teaching.

Cons: your kid (and you) may fare worse with homeschooling because

1. Teaching is not a job, it is a personality type. Like "artist" or "engineer". If you are not a teacher you will find homeshooling a miserable experience. Your kid probably doesn't think like you and you don't understand each other's thought processes so explaining new concepts in a way they understand is an exercise in frustration. That's what teachers are good at - figuring out what the mind in front of them needs and adapting to it. If you aren't a teacher, it won't work.
2. While being a teacher isn't just a job, teaching is. A full time job. Don't kid yourself. If you homeschool you are committing to a full time job in your own home for no pay. If you intend to do it right, that is.
3. Homeshcooling requires commitment and fortitude on your part. You cannot half-ass it and expect a good outcome. You are talking about twelve freakin years of near-daily hard work for a kid that won't appreciate how hard it is on you. It will test your patience, stamina, creativity, sanity, and resolve. Be warned.

Could go either way:
1. No schedule. There's a lot of freedom in that. But then there is also a lot of freedom in knowing all your hellions will be out of your hair six hours a day for most of the week if they go to public/private school.
2. State requirements. Some are pretty onerous. It can get expensive. Some are so lax it's ridiculous and its easy to get complacent and slack off your teaching duties.
3. Higher education. Acceptance of homeschool education in universities is all over the map. Some are favorable, some are out-right hostile. Choosing a post-secondary path is a nightmare to try to negotiate at this point, but there's good stuff out there and its getting better. So, you know. There's that.

Real Users never use the Help key.