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Comment 802.15.4 (Score 1) 276

You have got to wonder what they have up their sleeve to add support for 802.15.4. This is the stuff that Zigbee runs, meaning all of a sudden, there is a gateway between (relatively) expensive (relatively) high-speed wifi devices and a whole lot of (relatively) inexpensive (relatively) low-speed internet-of-things devices, like SCADA of light switches, HVAC controls, home entertainment, etc.

Very interesting, indeed. What is behind door #2?

Comment don't put utter bullshit on your linkedin page. (Score 3, Interesting) 634

"For 40 years, I programmed in C, C++ and Python, primarily in the Unix and Linux environments"

Really. Is your name Ken? I didn't think so.

You can't pull bullshit around smart people. Though maybe you don't notice it so much at a dairy farm.

C was not seen out side of Bell Labs until 1973 at the earliest, most likely 74 or 75, so *maybe* that is true. But the C Programming Language was published in '78, so I call BULLSHIT.

C++ was just a gleam in Stroustroup's eye until about 1983, so I call more BULLSHIT.

Python first hit the streets in '89 or '90, so more BULLSHIT.

Unix, unless you were at Bell Labs, was not seen anywhere until the earliest, 1974, so maybe not bullshit, but I'd still call more BULLSHIT.

And linux is not even 15 years old, so there's no way that anybody has been programming on Linux for 40 years, so still even more BULLSHIT.

Stupid recruiters can't tell the difference between bullshit and tasty chocolate, but Google does not have stupid recruiters.

Comment VMS on x86_64 with full POSIX (Score 1) 484

So I'm not biased or anything. But VMS (real VMS) with the full POSIX support, X Window Systen, running on commodity hardware with source, well, that would be pretty cool.

If I have to make a Franken-OS, I'd like to take the concept of logical names from VMS and bake that in.

For those of you that don't know what that is, you DEFINE a name, to another name, or list of names. You can use that new name like any other name in the system, including the name of a file system. This seems useless on the surface, but the real power is that you can define a name to a list. This could be compared to your unix shell PATH on steroids that have been taking steroids. It is one of the key concepts that lets VAXcluster work. It makes a file system location work like a search path.

I'm a little rusty (is has been almost 25 years) but as I recall, on a cluster node, the logical name SYS$SYSROOT mapped to a list of SYS$SPECIFIC, SYS$COMMON, which allowed the system to have local configuration files that overlayed the cluster's common files. You could set up a logical name for anything that could be named, devices, queues, users, whatever. Very powerful.

Comment HBO, anyone? (Score 2) 194

HBO is the best value on my cable bill, right after the 100mbit internet.

Really!? you might ask. $15/month for that? Well, yes. I like the programming (this is the network that brought us "The Sopranos", "The Wire", "Game of Thrones", "True Detective", and I could go on and on ("Last Week Tonight", anyone?). All this with no commercials, because I paid for superior programming without commercials.

I get the HBO GO service for that same money, and I can time shift what I want to watch with a ChromeCast, and I can watch just about all of HBO's original programming with the HBO GO service -- not just the current stuff. Sure, I'd like it better if it was $10/month.

With HBO NOW, HBO has figured out how to cut the need to actually buy cable TV out of the picture. You can just subscribe and buy their content over the internet directly.

What I'm waiting for is true a-la-carte television, with real options. Pay $15 a month for HBO, or $3/episode for "Game of Thrones", or don't pay, but answer surveys or watch advertising to watch for free. People who don't want ads could pay, people who have the time but not the money could fill out survey or watch ads to watch for free.

Comment Re:asterisk, if you are up for it. (Score 2) 193

I'm using a Sipura SPA3000, which is now unobtainium, to gateway my POTS line from the telco into asterisk. The Digium stuff works better, but it is too expensive. My Digium card got blown up by lightning, so I switched to the Sipura. I think there are similar devices available now.

I'm using ebay-ed Cisco IP phones in the house, they are a pain to set up, but I have not found anything that works better.

Comment asterisk, if you are up for it. (Score 4, Informative) 193

If you have the patience to set it up, and keep it running, Asterisk can help you.

I use it at home to throttle phone spam.

all toll-free go to an auto-attendant that is a robot-check.
all "number unavailable" goes to another robot-check.
obvious fake phone numbers go to the blacklist auto-attendant, an infinite loop, basically.
known phone spammers go to the blacklist auto-attendant
it's easy to add a number to the blacklist.

On a typical day, 3 to 5 calls get gobbled up by asterisk. The phone rings once, the caller id is read, and the caller is sent away. It is *wonderful*.

She who must be complied with does not want to go to what I consider the ultimate solution, the white list for immediate pass-through, and a robot check for all other calls.

The spam callers that do get through are verbally abused before their number is added to the blacklist.

Comment they ought to kill mail too (Score 1) 176

yahoo mail is barely usable at all any more, and it is so full of spam...

the usability has reached a new low, and I think they must be selling targeted email, because I get so much stuff that is obviously spam that it is ridiculous.

Had I not been using yahoo mail pretty much since it was announced in 1997, and I still have people who only know me at that address, I would not use it at all.

Maybe it is time...

Comment because it's cheap, and you're expendable (Score 4, Insightful) 156

I worked for a place that moved to new office space, from cube land, into "modern" open office land.

The CEO said it was "cool" and "techie" and "everybody in 'the valley' was doing it."

It sucked wind. I mean, it blew, hard. Cube land was no bargain, the cubes were about 7 by 6 feet, but at least you could pretend you had a bit of privacy to make a phone call, to send an email, to generally have your own space. Open office land was 24 inch deep, 5-foot wide desks with a foot tall divider between you and the next person. You could swivel your head and see heads in all directions, and hear and see what everybody was doing, and it was loud. You could not roll your chair back too fast for fear of clobbering the person behind you. It sucked. (Did I mention that it sucked?)

It was no place to concentrate -- it was quite focus-proof.

The open office was not chosen for the "cool" factor, it was chosen for the "cheap" factor, because it could better than double the employee per square foot density. This was a growing, profitable, privately held company, and there was no need for it, except to make the owner's take better.

Open office can work in places where it is not done for the wrong reasons. Give people some personal space, install acoustic treatments and dividers, and it can work. Treat people like sardines, and those that can swim away, will.

The nicest thing about the Alto is that it doesn't run faster at night.