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Comment Big Finish (Score 1) 170

Personally I have really been enjoying the stories which Big Finish have been doing with the old doctors, they have even got Tom Baker doing some now. They've been exploring some of the different doctors' personalities in some interesting ways. You can find some on BBC Radio 4 Extra from time to time, if you don't want to shell out the cash for them...

Comment Learn by doing (Score 1) 298

Set up a system at home. Have a machine which you can use as a server for various things (music, streaming videos/DVDs, etc). Understand how to make it secure from external attacks (set up firewalls, root-kit hunters, etc.); figure out if/how you might access it remotely and still keep it all secure. Ensure you have a decent backup solution (understand what file systems exist, how they are useful, why "RAID is not a backup solution etc.". Set up crypto partitions for any sensitive data (if case someone walks off with your stuff). Depending on where you live and how likely power outages are, install a UPS and hook it up to your server. Install system monitoring software so you know everything is ship-shape (SMART checkers, Munin, etc.). If you have multiple machines set up NFS (and discover all of its wonderful gotchas).

Basically, build and use at home what you might be doing admin for at work. When you know that inside out you should be in a good position to answer questions thrown at you in an interview. Finding _good_ sys admins is hard, if you know your stuff then that's probably most of the battle IMHO.


Submission + - Interpreting The Constitution In The Digital Era (

oik writes: NPR's Fresh Air this week had an interesting interview with Jeffrey Rosen, one of the authors of Constitution 3.0 which addresses a number of issues to do with interpreting the US Constitution in the face of new technologies (both present an future). Many of the topics which he touches on come up on Slashdot a lot (including the GPS tracking cases). It's well worth listening to the program (link in the main page), of which TFA is just a summary.

Submission + - Tesla Model S Sees the Light of Day (

oik writes: Tesla are now showing off their sedan models:

"Set to compete with BMW's profitable five series, the Tesla S is an attempt to build a luxury car with a sports car feel. With a compact electric motor, no transmission and a lithium-ion battery spread flat under the floor, the company claims the car has twice the storage room as the BMW five series, with substantial trunk space at both ends. It can also seat seven, if two optional rear-facing seats are installed in the back that can only be used by small children."

Could this be Tesla's first step to becoming an viable contender in the consumer market? If only I could think of a suitable car analogy for this...

Comment Posted online in 3..2..1.. (Score 1) 277

Once this is in place how long before [insert hacking group of the month] breaks into an ISP and posts this online? The more of this stuff which is collected the more Sonyesque cases we are going to see. The eternal optimist in me says that maybe that will cause a rethink of these types of laws; the pessimist has a quite different opinion...

Comment Lack of polish (Score 1) 432


With the death knell sounding for the N900 a friends I recently decided to buy a Xoom figuring that Android is where things seem to be heading. I have to confess that I've been rather underwhelmed by it. My current list of gripes are:

  • The marketplace is a massive pain to use and to find anything useful in

  • Many apps just don't work (probably because they were never tested on the Xoom)

  • A general feeling that the apps are just unpolished or beta-quality

  • Lack of hardware consistency leading to confused software (some apps expect there to be some form of h/w keyboard present)

  • No video calling with Skype (the main reason I bought to device in the first place, more fool me for not checking)

  • ...

Aside from the Android-specific gripes there are also Xoom-specific ones (proprietary charging interface, a pain to root the device, highly reflective screen, ...). I really wanted to like this device but it feels like an uphill battle right now. It feels like the only way it beats my N900 is on screen size and CPU power; that may have been a niche device but it's still a much better user experience IMHO.


"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"