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Comment DEC QBus console (Score 1) 620

I support equipment in the industrial sector. We have a few of the Vax QBUS consoles left in production that are from the late 80's to early 90's. They use 46 MB MFM hard drives and to load them 5 1/4" floppies are used. The console support 4 heads via RGB video and serial cables for the keyboard. No mouse on this thing. Some of the units support touch screen through an XY IR interface but those were rare since they were very finicky. The console has removable boards that allow for different combo's of CPU, Memory, Video, and disk controllers. The consoles are surprisingly robust with the exception of the hard drives which have a very high failure rate.


Comment Limited use for credit monitoring (Score 3, Interesting) 48

The problem with most of the credit monitoring companies is the little they do can be done by the consumer for a lot less. The real work comes when your identity has been stolen and the hundreds of hours it takes to clean up the mess. This is where you need a company that will do the legwork for you. I use Zander Insurance's ID theft program. I look at it as one more insurance that I pay per year. If/When I need them they are there and I won't have as much pain to endure and the massive learning curve to cleaning up ID fraud on your own.

Comment Used the online version once and never again (Score 1) 237

I have used TaxCut for years and have had very few issues with it. The one year I tried the online variant of it was horrible. There was one particularly nasty bug that caused my return to be rejected twice before I had to go over the print out with a fine tooth comb. I found they were inserting a bogus figure into one of the fields instead of leaving it blank. I finally was able to work around the system to get the issue fixed, but it caused way more work and aggravation than it should have. I did try calling their "help" line, but the person on the other end was completely useless.

Comment Limited 3rd party support? (Score 1) 435

I use K9 on my older Android phone and it works great with my Gmail accounts. I use Thunderbird at home and it also works just as well. I have no issues with the way Gmail "Labels" messages. K9 and Thunderbird treat them as folders and shows me the messages I have flagged.


Book Review: Testing Cloud Services: How To Test SaaS, PaaS & IaaS 45

benrothke writes "David Mitchell Smith wrote in the Gartner report Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing last year that while clearly maturing and beyond the peak of inflated expectations, cloud computing continues to be one of the most hyped subjects in IT. The report is far from perfect, but it is accurate in the sense that while cloud computing is indeed ready for prime time, the hype with it ensures that too many firms will be using it with too much hype, and not enough reality and detailed requirements. While there have been many books written about the various aspects of cloud computing, Testing Cloud Services: How to Test SaaS, PaaS & IaaS is the first that enables the reader to successfully make the transition from hype to actuality from a testing and scalability perspective." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.

Flying Bicycle Is Real, Takes First Flight 123

colinneagle writes "Bringing us one step closer to the hover-boards and flying cars that mid-20th century pop culture had predicted we would have by the year 2000, three Czech companies have come together to develop a functional flying bicycle. Designed by Technodat, Evektor, and Duratec, the flying bicycle weighs a little more than 187 lbs and limits its takeoff weight to about 350 lbs, according to a report from Polish bicycle news site Biketrendy. The report claims the bicycle, which is still just a prototype, is capable of staying in the air for about six minutes, although the companies working on the project hope to extend that to 50 minutes and top speeds of about 30 miles per hour. Currently, the fans propelling the bicycle are powered by a 50Ah battery."

Comment Houston had Red Light Cameras (Score 1) 507

The City of Houston was doing this crap. Yellows that were so short there was no way to stop or you'd be in the middle of the intersection. A petition got the cameras on the ballot and they were defeated. The City was whining about safety, but there were several studies done at intersections in the city by independent auditors that found rear end accidents increased due to the shortened yellows and the RL cameras. From what I read the city was pulling in $2 - $3 million per year on the fines.

Comment Running my PI as an Asterisk PBX (Score 1) 212

Got my PI Monday and got it setup with Asterisk 11 and FreePBX 3 beta. The site raspberry-asterisk.org has a prebuilt image and from there you can easily update to the latest versions. This is going to be mainly for testing/playing at home, but I may deploy one to setup a small 4 DID/10 extenstion FreePBX install to supplement an old POTS pbx.

Submission + - How an Amazon engineer's slip-up started a 20-hour Netflix cock-up (theregister.co.uk)

iComp writes: "An Amazon engineer hit the wrong button on Christmas Eve, deleting critical data in its load balancers and ultimately knackering vid streaming biz Netflix for 20 hours.

The Netflix outage hit customers in the US, Canada and Latin America on 24 December, particularly those using games consoles and mobiles to watch films, while desktop Mac and PC users suffered time-outs and delays. A mistake at Netflix's hoster — Amazon Web Services — caused the downtime and Amazon's developer team worked through the night into Christmas morning to get the problems fixed by 8am 25 December."

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann