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Comment: Debian and XFCE4 (Score 1) 452

by jenningsthecat (#46716719) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

...even if they would only be using Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice...

I just finished installing Debian Wheezy with XFCE4 on the laptop of a friend whose usage pretty much fits this description, and she loves it. (She *hated* Win 7 but quite liked WinXP). Personally I stay away from Ubuntu because, as I understand it, an upgrade is somewhat more painful than it is for Debian. So if you're interested in Linux Mint, you might want to try Linux Mint Debian Edition, (LMDE), as it has the slickness of Mint but maintains rolling releases.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (Score 1) 91

by jenningsthecat (#46627927) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

The supply of money is completely independent of the economics of trading.

If a cow is worth 4 goats, changing the monetary price of a cow to 3 dollars or 300,000 dollars or 25 bazillion lira changes nothing about the trading situation. A goat is still worth one-fourth of a cow. If cows die off and become scarcer and more valuable, then they might end up being worth 10 goats but notice that is COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT of the "value" of our money.

Money is merely a tracking device.

Money is also a storage device. If I trade my cow for 4 goats today when I could have gotten 5 goats for it next week, I've lost out. But if I trade my cow for money today and hold the money, then I can buy 4 goats next week, have money left over to buy something else, and have the savings that come from not having had to feed and care for the cow for a week. Of course it could also go the other way - I could lose on the transaction. And this is how stock markets are supposed to work, for better or worse.

But that storage medium makes room for all kinds of middle men, and ultimately gives rise to all sorts of ways to game the system. And because so much money is paid to people who have added little or no value to the system, or who in fact have taken value out of the sytem, a large percentage of 'legal' tender might as well be counterfeit.

Money makes assets and liabilities more fluid, more portable, and easier to hide. It introduces both efficiencies and inefficiencies, and it causes different market sectors to be much more interdependent on each other than they otherwise would. So, no, money is not "merely a tracking device".

+ - Low-Protein Diet May Extend Lifespan->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A new theory about the foods that can extend life is taking shape, and it’s sure to be a controversial one. Two studies out this week, one in mice and another primarily in people, suggest that eating relatively little protein and lots of carbohydrates—the opposite of what’s urged by many human diet plans, including the popular Atkins Diet—extends life and fortifies health."
Link to Original Source

Comment: How the great have fallen (Score 2) 423

by jenningsthecat (#46400193) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

About 40 years ago Radio Shack was actually a place worth going to for electronic components and tools. As a fledgling electronics hobbyist I was grateful to have somewhere to buy parts, especially after the local TV repair supply store closed, and the nearest alternative was 70 miles away and I didn't drive. Back then Radio Shack's selection was decent, and the prices were high but not terrible. Even their audio equipment was often pretty good too. The stores were popular, and the staff were actually somewhat knowledgeable. (Back then an "electronics store" was a place to buy electronic parts, not TV's and stereos).

Here in Canada, Rat Shack stores became The Sores by Circuit City some time around 2005, but long before that they had become annoying places to shop at, with a poor selection of crappy over-priced components, and arrogant staff who knew far less than they thought they did. On the one hand I'm happy to see the beast put out of its misery, but on the other hand I'm sad to see a company that was so important to me and to my eventual career die such an ignominious death.

Requiescat In Pace, Radio Shack.

+ - Hacking an Android phone for $8 monthly broadband and TV->

Submitted by smaxp
smaxp (2951795) writes "Depending on where you are, you can significantly cut your bills for basic cable, home broadband, and mobile voice and data with T-Mobile and Aereo live TV over the internet. In San Antonio, Texas, I hacked an Android smartphone into a Wi-Fi router and then subscribed to Aereo instead of subscribing with one of the cable television and internet companies. I saved a bundle of money."
Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: The First-Ever Political Party Born in Social Networks Constituted in Bulgaria

Submitted by jericco
jericco (3433563) writes "Every step Nova Bulgaria is undertaking will be available online just like it has been until now. The party sets its program on 'Strategy for Accelerated Economic Growth of the Republic of Bulgaria' — a huge document that is developed by both experts and specialists alongside the internet and with the corrections of people who live in the country and suffer from the ongoing policies."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:So full of nope: Bruce Schneier on this (Score 1) 197

Maybe you're trolling here and I'm taking the bait, but in case you really believe what you wrote, here goes...

"The Government", carriers and the manufacture can shut them down right now. They don't because that would be terrible for a number of reasons.

Although carriers can effectively turn off your phone service, and can possibly even brick your phone if you haven't rooted it and disabled automatic OTA updates, they can't currently wipe it clean remotely. The proposed new 'service' would allow them to do that. And where there's some advertised protection against that happening, there's probably a backdoor, or at least an exploit, that can get around it.

And why shouldn't people who have not been paying there bill have their service turned off*?

Um, maybe they shouldn't be allowed to do that because they have a history of abusing their position to overcharge, automatically opting you in to services which they then charge you for, adding 'mistaken' line items that increase your bill, having really shitty dispute resolution mechanisms, etc. Not only giving carriers the ability to wipe your phone, but having customers actually sign up for and potentially pay for this 'service', further tilts the already unlevel playing field in the carriers' favour.

The media companies is a strawman or fear mongering, I can't tell which.

How is it either of these? Major content providers are on record as being in favour of, (for example), disconnecting subscribers' Internet service for even the suspicion of unauthorized copying.

"And this, ultimately, is the problem with those who keep repeating that we should just trust Bruce Schneier. It implies we should also disengage our brains."

Actually, by pointing out potential problems, asking pointed questions, and challenging the status quo, I think Bruce Schneier is encouraging us to engage our brains.

Comment: Security? (Score 1) 305

by jenningsthecat (#46298935) Attached to: Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

But other automakers are dragging their feet, both because they're worried about security and because they might face resistance from dealers.

Given that the level of security on OBD2 ports has been utter crap for about two decades now, I doubt the automakers' major concern is security. Even with well-publicized stories about car hacking, auto companies seem to persist in the belief that it will never be a major, widespread threat. It's probably dealer pushback that has them concerned - having a car dealership is a license to steal, and I imagine dealers are very resistant to any change that threatens their ability to charge $500 for 15 minutes' worth of work.

Comment: The bigger question... (Score 1) 712

by jenningsthecat (#46296755) Attached to: Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

DavidHumus notes "Maybe the bigger question is why is CEO pay so entirely disconnected from company performance?"

No, the bigger question is "Why is CEO pay so entirely disconnected from the value of said CEOs to society as a whole?"

Really, do these people contribute 200, 500, or 1,000 times more to society, (or even to their companies), than the average employee? I'd be willing to bet that, in many cases, CEOs make lesser contributions on all fronts than do regular workers making WAY less money. Sure, CEOs often have greater responsibilities, as well as significant skills and talents. But are they really worth that much in the grand scheme of things?

Comment: Worthwhile keeping in mind, (Score 1) 136

by jenningsthecat (#46294203) Attached to: How Jan Koum Steered WhatsApp Into $16B Facebook Deal

...that the money for this transaction ultimately comes from all of us. We bought the products and services of the companies whose marketing and advertising rely on Facebook. And those of us who have FB accounts, (along with those of us who don't do our best to stop FB tracking us all over the Web), have made Facebook at least look like it's worth the money those companies hand over to it. That's how Facebook can pay almost a thousand years' of WhatApp's current revenue for the fledgling company.

Comment: Re:Tell me how you really feel (Score 1) 2219

by jenningsthecat (#46200005) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Allow me to recommend for your reading pleasure this particular squirt from the firehose:

A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic

Thanks - I think that's a good idea. I meta-modded it up - unfortunately I have no mod points right now. In any case, I fear Dice is so unamenable to reason that your proposal will fall on deaf ears. I'd love to be wrong though.

Comment: Does this all sound familiar? (Score 1) 2219

by jenningsthecat (#46199179) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Forgive me if I'm repeating something that's already been said in the 2,000+ comments made so far; but doesn't this whole affair sound a lot like Gnome3, Unity, and, to a lesser extent, Windows 8?

The fact that this kind of thing happens over and over and over again, in spite of very well-entrenched and eloquent communities that make their profound opposition abundantly and repeatedly clear, suggests some larger cultural, sociological, and/or psychological element at work. In an immediate sense we need to try to protect Slashdot from those who would turn it into an inferior version of the new Yahoo. (Hard work, that...). But over the longer term, shouldn't we try to figure out what's missing in this kind of equation? Clearly, massive user communities such as those represented by Slashdot, Gnome, Ubuntu, etc, aren't managing to hang their considerable weight on the right levers to steer the leaders/stewards/managers/head honchos of those communities in a mutually beneficial direction.

In short, what are we missing here? Let's figure that out so the next time we go through this we can get a better result, sooner in the process, without all the energy lost to (seemingly ineffective) hand-wringing and breast-beating.

Comment: Re:Tell me how you really feel (Score 1) 2219

by jenningsthecat (#46185703) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds! first reply got a reply to which I replied. ...But none of that seems to be visible when I reload this story. ...Wondering exactly what's going on.

I had the same thoughts about an hour ago. I'm not sure if you're experiencing the same thing I did - it's hard to believe that someone with such a low User ID has never come across this before - but FWIW I had to go the bottom of the page and click on "Get xxxx More Comments" to find the comment I posted less than 10 hours ago.

It seems to me that this one topic may just result in the Slashdotting of Slashdot. Quite a feat, actually.

+ - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience"."

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun