Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Alternatives, here I come... (Score 2) 222 222

New Google Maps doesn't print well, making it undesirable for it's most important use -- taking a map with you.

Of all things, Bing Maps is looking good. I've been using it some already, and will probably fully switch unless Google makes its product properly usable again. Yes, Google is driving me to a Microsoft product. Pigs have grown wings and Hell is looking a bit frosty right now.

Comment: Re:And now where does this go? (Score -1, Troll) 511 511

Actually, the "right-wing fascists" on the court are often more interested in preserving the 4th Amendment. The left-wing pro-state, pro-government, anti-freedom justices are often less interested in the preserving the 4th Amendment.

(Also remember that although the recent expansion of the NSA started under Bush, the explosion of its use was under Obama.)

The issues here can create very strange politics and what you think might be left or right on the Supreme Court might not actually be the case.

Comment: Re:It's NOT going to happen (Score 2) 250 250

No.... I like Ann Coulter, but she loves hyperbole. I'm going to apply Occam's razor here and go with the much more likely explanation: utter incompetence and managerial indifference. Yes, Obama and friends want to control a large swath of the US economy, but couldn't rip themselves out of a wet paper bag. (Although they're really, really good at running a campaign. Especially if the IRS can slap down opposing groups and prevent them from raising money...) Obama's utter lack of any management experience prior to the Presidency is completely telling.

Thank you, America for your well though out electoral choices!

Comment: Re:It's NOT going to happen (Score 1) 250 250

The Obama administration hasn't cornered the market on arrogance and self-righteousness -- the Republicans have their fair share as well.

But the Obama his cronies can clam more here than any Presidency since...FDR? Nixon? And has almost nothing to show for it other than the ACA -- which appears to be collapsing from a combination of logistical impossibility and breathtaking incompetence.

Comment: It's NOT going to happen (Score 4, Insightful) 250 250

There are more lines of code in (500m!) than Google Chrome, the Linux kernel, XP, Facebook, Mac OS, and the Debian 5 packages combined:

Windows 8 supposed has 80m lines of code:

It would take a miracle of computing programming and program management that no governmental program has ever accomplished to get this epic cluster f*ck fixed in 2-3 months.

If they actually want it to work, it should be taken out behind the shed, shot in the head, hung, drawn, quartered, burned, and the ashes scattered to the four winds. And then everyone starts over. And then take 2 years (minimum) to recode it again with an almost entirely new team. But that's not going to happen. They're going to try and band-aid it, and it won't work.

So things are going to get interesting. It's unfixable in a politically acceptable way for the Democrats and the Obama administration.

Comment: Re:Uh huh (Score 1) 103 103

Also throw in all the other advantages versus hosting in California, New York, or even Washington State:
Lower taxes with or without the tax incentives

More relaxed regulatory markets (this is HUGE)

Relatively cheap electrical power (although abundant hydro power makes Washington State cheapest in the nation: -- all that rain is definitely good for something)

Relatively cheap local labor

Comment: Dump Daylight Savings and standardize timezones (Score 1) 405 405

How about government stop f*cking around with timezones? Studies have now shown that the energy savings from Daylight Savings was illusory. Any benefits of doing plus or minus an hour here and there seem to forget the support costs. And Java's problems here are a great example.

I was managing my company's Outlook/Exchange environment when the US govt last expanded Daylight Savings. What an incredible, and entirely unnecessary, pain in the ass. (Especially as way too many patches/routines were issued only just before the changeover, and were generally poorly documented.)

The world needs 24 timezones, and that's it. (Yes, Newfoundland -- quit trying to be stupid different with your 30 minute time differences.)

If governments want something to show and drum up support/campaign money, just keep passing your local equivalents of Elvis Day. Something harmless.

Comment: Re:This is a typical Sears Stupid Move... (Score 2) 137 137

Well, you're not going to put datacenters in run-down sections of Detroit, or any other crime-ridden city. But how about all those semi-rural communities scattered across America with defunct (or underperforming) K-Mart stores? Especially if they're in regions with cheaper electrical power...

Sounds rational to me.

Comment: Re:Gun control however... (Score 2, Insightful) 856 856

"The republicans are in a pickle. If they support 3D gun printing, they hurt gun manufacturers, which is what they really are supporting ($$$$)."

Not really. 3d guns (at least fully printed guns) aren't (at least for the near future, and probably longer) going to be nearly as reliable as commercially manufactured guns.

And you need a $1000-$5000 3d printer. And the knowledge of how to use it. And obtain the gun schematic files.

That restricts 3d printed guns to a bunch of libertarian or anarchist geeks who like firearms and who could almost certainly afford to buy the real things.

3d printing will make gun parts (and car parts and electronics parts, etc.) easily. And help drive prices down. Which is good for everyone.

(OK, the printers are also good for making 30-round magazines and getting around stupid and at least semi-unconstitutional laws restricting magazine sizes.)

But there won't be mass arsenals of 3d printed guns anytime soon. They're still at the expensive toy / proof of concept stage.

Comment: Running XP Post April 2014 (Score 1) 953 953

OK, you're stuck with XP after April 2014 because your specialized software only supports XP. And upgrades/replacements are unavailable or cost-prohibitive. What do you do?

* Make sure the system is patched completely.
* Have an up-to-date and working anti-virus on the system.
* Remove any and all extraneous software. Run only the software you absolutely need to run. Don't run other software, especially web browsers or mail clients on the system. Consider the computer now an appliance only for your specialized software. Remove Java, Flash, Acrobat, Air, Office, Shockwave, Silverlight, and any other likely attack vectors.
* Remove any unneeded Windows components (games, Messenger, etc.)
* Disable Internet Explorer (
* It's not always an option, but see if you can run the the software in a non-administrator account. If needed, change the properties on the shortcut to the software so just it, and only it, run in admin mode.
* Have an image backup of the system -- it's likely to break at some point. And since the software involved may not be supported anymore, getting it reinstalled may be difficult. (Even better, install an external hard drive and a copy of Acronis TrueImage or Macrium Reflect and schedule image backups once a week or so.)
* Consider moving the XP system to a virtualized system. That way the system will likely be faster (newer hardware) and can still be used for both general computing (web browsing, emails, Word, etc.) in Windows 7 or 8, and then XP for only your specialized software. And if the XP system is virtualized, backing it up is dirt simple -- just make a copy of the virtual machine files. Windows 7 Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate's XP Mode is good, but note that VMWare Player and Virtual Box have better performance, are easier to administer, and have better access to external hardware. You'll probably be better off using Player or Virtualbox if you can. If the system is virtualized, it's also extremely simple to clone it and roll it out to multiple systems. (Caveat: virtualization generally won't work if your specialized software needs access to serial, parallel, or usb to reach an external device, copy protection dongle, etc.)
* Firewall the system so only the the necessities can pass through. Probably file transfers out, but not in. Or only in from specific IPs (your servers). Lock out common ports (22, 23, 80, 443, etc.) -- you don't need them anymore. If needed, only allow the ports to connect to specific destinations, and not everywhere.
* Allow the antivirus to update, but turn off Windows Update -- it's not going to get anything new anyway.
* Disable any other unnecessary services.
* Look towards any other ways to lock the system down.

So it's all doable. And you can make the system (mostly) secure. But plan on it failing anyway. It's going to be fragile and vulnerable. Reduce your vulnerabilities as much as possible. And don't plan on using the XP system for anything but what is absolutely necessary.

Good luck...

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!