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Comment: A bit of background for slashdotters (Score 3, Insightful) 311

by nimbius (#46790215) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email
This is a case insisted upon by a conservative group and a delegate from the state of virginia. The idea is the same as the polar researcher Charles Monett who faced formal misconduct charges for his research into climate change.

these are personal attacks of a political nature designed to destroy the career of a scientist attempting to validate or research climate change. If neoconservative corporate shills cant deny funding then they'll shit-coat your career and personal life as a reminder to shut the fuck up about climate change and focus more on Benghazi and anchor babies. If you're a scientist like me, crap like virginia just makes you want to dedicate your life to researching the subject more fervently.

Comment: None of them, absolutely none. (Score 2) 639

by nimbius (#46789567) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?
If youre trying to find tech products crafted with longevity in mind, you're going to have a bad time. The entire technology industry is built around intentional, and unintentional, Planned obsolescence. Connectors are intentionally standardized then customized slightly to stymy interoperability and in turn drive sales of every other accessory they use. cellphones are made from thermoplastic and glass, and come with a multi billion dollar advertising industry to ensure you buy new ones every year or two. And if that doesnt work, Software is simply bloated up until you're forced to buy a new one. everything from laptops to food processors have replacement parts, but those parts are often at the economic disadvantage of the buyer in that they cost upwards of 50% or more of the original purchase cost. this is to induce you to consume more. Proprietary operating systems like windows, and applications like crysis or autocad will intentionally fail to function if you dont have a machine of a particular newness. The data transfer standards themselves are also wildly flexible in that for example what once was an open USB standard for most handheld electronics has become a confounding vortex of shit called MTP or media transfer protocol with limited support in open operating systems and wildly different/broken implementations across devices that do claim to support it.. Video game consoles are rarely backwards compatible. and arguably the digitization of over the air television was a pointless subsidy from congress to force consumers to buy a new TV so they could turn around and gift companies like AT&T with practically free spectrum. tablets are routinely locked down with UEFI to ensure once its not supported by the vendor anymore, you cant do something insane like install your own OS and continue to use it. No, you'll rent your technology and open your purse when you're told to.

devices will never be built to last because our society is predicated upon an open market and endless consumption in which we never question the longevity or practicality of the devices we're told to purchase. The best you can do is mitigate your participation in this endless moebius strip by championing open standards and solutions. build your own pc and replace components as necessary. stop buying a phone every two years. Pick up a book at the library instead of renting text on a device you never actually own.

Comment: yahoo hasnt been yahoo for 10 years. (Score 5, Insightful) 149

by nimbius (#46787249) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0
Everything Yahoo was, namely search, was purchased greedily by microsoft after a relentless and quite aggressive 3 year campaign to make a Bing. that search was then rolled into a search engine that by its very definition could never find itself in the ecosystem of internet websites outside of the mandatory, default configuration in internet explorer. Yahoo is for all intents and purposes a holding company that re-invests what little capital it still maintains into genuinely innovative companies. it sloughs off its patents to the highest bidder and treats its employees with ever growing contempt. Yahoo is not an internet company, its the monopoly man with dog-eared pockets shuffling the streets of internet town. Its designed to return dividends to a select group of core investors through a combination of profiteering and axing the headcount.

Comment: I recently switched. couldnt be happier. (Score 5, Insightful) 309

by nimbius (#46778205) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk
I switched to a standing desk last tuesday, and found my company supported the idea as part of our wellness initiative (I got free fruit for deciding to do it.) The first two days were kinda rough, but afterwards it just becomes a normal part of your day. What i was surprised to find was im way more refreshed at the end of the day, and find it a lot easier to communicate with people who are at my cube than if im sitting.

A few other coworkers do a 'part time' standing desk by elevating their normal work surface using cardboard boxes from the datacenter. im also told a stress relief mat helps make the transition a lot better. Either way, I dont see myself going back to a sitting desk anytime soon.

Comment: another useless patent. (Score 0) 140

by nimbius (#46767605) Attached to: Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"
I cant see a use for this technology. The human brain has an inherent ability to detect and respond to a glasshole even in crowded environments and insufficient light. the revulsion, the rage, its practically an autonomic function. What we need is some sort of future technology to kick someone in the dick from many meters across a room.

Comment: china has smog, so its clearly chinas fault. (Score -1, Flamebait) 156

by nimbius (#46766303) Attached to: Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US
Americans constitute 5% of the worlds population, yet we consume 24% of its energy. Even if the pollution is coming from china, and thats a seriously tentative argument, I find it difficult if not impossible to discount the fact that we as americans drive that pollution. A more reasonable article (and one that drives far less click cash) would be 'man made climate change causing weather problems'

Comment: you want school shootings? (Score 5, Insightful) 790

because this is how you get school shootings. Or in Pennsylvanias recent case, school stabbings. When you strip a person of their safety, and offer them no recourse, they become hard. They become determined with nothing to lose. They adopt these horriffic scorched earth tactics because nothing you say or do is consistent or fair, so the outcome and result of their actions is no longer relevant. And the saddest part is in the aftermath.

people will wonder how they could have helped, what caused it, and why this happened. Gun nuts will bark about bullet proof blackboards and guns for teachers. Parents will entirely miss the point and call for tougher gun laws. No one will stop to consider students or kids for that matter as real people.

Comment: the pink elephant in the room: capitalism. (Score 3, Insightful) 324

by nimbius (#46757481) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket
Capitalism, american capitalism, basically encourages this twisted practice of squeezing as much cash by hook or by crook out of anyone even remotely related to your service. Looking to companies to solve the problem is like looking at a cigarette lighter to fix your burning house.
br. America has no recourse for evil companies, in fact it prides itself on this fact.

Comment: base it around my OS (Score 3, Interesting) 385

by nimbius (#46756607) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
HRblock.com makes pretty quick work of taxes, and it works seamlessly in aurora in Gentoo linux. The only downside is the constant upsell. at some point you're clicking quickly because you just want to get shit done and accidentally upgrade yourself to a $120 tax package. After that, you literally cannot back out or restart.

Comment: you start around windows. (Score 3) 451

by nimbius (#46716335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?
The largest barrier to getting anything in the workplace but windows is a common ground with which you can collaborate and work. If you want to replace say, sharepoint, you can expect to have to sell everyone on the idea. your replacement needs to work seamlessly, just like sharepoint.

if you have a vmware deployment, linux is pretty much a non-starter as anything but a guest OS. you cant administer vsphere from linux, at least not in a way that wont make you hate your life. Many timecard systems and in house software packages might be predicated entirely on windows Internet Explorer, so the loss of ADP might piss off accounting. determine your userbase and its needs first.

Switching people from exchange is a daunting task, but egroupware and others can step up to the plate with a web-based UI. its also a huge cost saver. Whether or not your office wants that is another matter entirely. your linux systems will have to authenticate to AD, and never the other way around because windows just cant. while Libreoffice sure is a nice replacement for a new office, its a disaster when it comes to some of the finer points of complex excel spreadsheets, pivot tables, and the latest doc format. Lync, er, microsoft communicator as it was once called, has tentative support in linux but you lose helpful features like auto away and auto populate and that "call this person" feature I wonder if anyone ever uses..

doing this isnt easy. Ive spent 5 years of my career doing it, and the biggest hurdle is going to be your users. They want features like desktop sharing for meetings and gantt charts for planning. Linux doesnt really 'get' it like microsoft. The key is to make sure the channels of communication between windows users and linux users, be they desktop application level or enterprise, is uninterrupted. sometimes a quick switch from say lync to jabber is best. in other places you might want to phase things like sharepoint out over time. make sure you know how they work, and have a plan to provide a service that helps them achieve what theyre being paid to do.

another pitfall to be wary of is Microsofts jagged edge. Decreasing site licenses will beget unforseen costs like losing your Azure discount or more expensive license seats overall. the purchase terms will also change randomly and rapidly in an attempt to kill your linux idea from the management down (they do this to force meetings with your managers, who in turn dont invite you because its about a budget and not a computer to them.) Once I weaned a prior company off lync and exchange, I had microsoft representatives drop in entirely unannounced and ask for a meeting with almost every manager they could find (and me.) They will hound you with phonecalls, bombard you with junk mail, and chew up your time like never before. They do not like being shown the door.

Comment: the big question is why do we care? (Score 1) 137

by nimbius (#46714445) Attached to: Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam

American foreign policy has been, and continues to exist, on autopilot. the kind of 'hearts-and-minds' democracy predates the carter administration and was originally pushed as part of a diet of secret military coups, sponsored terrorist campaigns, and random acts of embargo designed to pressure communist and socialist governments in latin america toward democracy. the people we would install were usually brutally dictatorial.

the problem is Cuba has watched us do this for quite some time, and become seriously good at identifying and stamping out any of our attempts to topple leadership or foster civil unrest. The only reason we were scared of castro when he had nuclear arms wasnt because he was a madman, but because our shenannigans could now be met with scorched earth instead of populism and pocket resistance.

we are and continue to be on autopilot because the people who run our government, the plutocracy behind the politicians, is utterly mortified at the idea of alternative theories of government that distribute wealth. the US government in turn does what it can now as a fading superpower to appease its cloistered elite, which is apparently so pointless as to involve irritating SMS traffic.

what cuba could do in turn if it seriously wanted to agitate america, and it does not, is liberate the Guantanamo Bay detention center and nationalize its prisoners.

Comment: To clarify, we need to quit SF Bashing. (Score 1) 371

by nimbius (#46695569) Attached to: Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

Is it a crime of opportunity or another page in the current chapter of Anti-Tech movement in San Francisco?

No. neither. Interesting_crime + San_francisco doesnt mean its some primal scream against the jackboot of some technological ruling class. Thats just hysterical conjecture. Police cannot be everywhere at every minute of the day. Given this fact, crimes will occur. These can vary from bicycle theft to parking structure arson and even home invasion. each is unique and cannot be condensed meaningfully into some hot button issue used to drive click revenue. san francisco has, as most every other major american metropolitan area, numerous significant problems and challenges and while some of them predicate violent crime and property damage, it is irresponsible to try to categorize them into one particular problem. We are, as humans, prone to sampling bias by our wanton nature of categorization and observation of false patterns.

this story would make more sense if it were Prius or Tesla arson, or intentional sabotage of major transportation systems, but the size and weight of vehicles like the mini, yaris, smart, beetle, and a host of other subcompacts simply lend themselves to hooliganism. My crown victoria on the other hand with two-ton curb weight and police spotlight on the other hand, does not. in turn it also does nothing for the environment at 14 miles per gallon and 15 years of age.
disclaimer: ive never lived in san francisco, i just hope they can roll with the punches.

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