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Comment Re:Who still uses pagers? (Score 2) 278

Paramedic here. We still use VHF pagers. They are simple, but reliable and rock solid. They work pretty much everywhere, and a charge will last for days. We have a complementary iPhone/Android app that will receive info when we get dispatched, but that requires an internet connection, and a series of interfaced software products to all work correctly. The pagers are maintained as a fail safe - all they require is a radio and a means of generating the tones required to signal the pager to open the squelch. In a disaster scenario, the necessary equipment can be run reliably off batteries and generators. That's just not the case with smartphone apps right now.

Comment Re:Can't take the heat? (Score 1) 688

On the occasions when Linus has responded to criticism that he's an... asshole? It basically seems like he says, "1) This is my sandbox and I can do what I want. 2) This communication style solves more problems than it causes." Linus may be correct on both these points. Linus is certainly an important enough person on an important enough project to probably be able to get away with some stuff that others might not. And its often pointed out that the people on the receiving end of these kinds of rants "had it coming" for one reason or another. That may be true as well. On the other side of the coin, though - I see participating in an open source project as a kind of volunteer work. What you stand to get out of it are mainly intangible rewards. And, if you reach a point where the stress and BS you have to put up with as a volunteer outweighs the intangible rewards, then by all means, step away and do something else with your time. In my own life, I was formerly a volunteer for a certain project (not software-related). Some parallels could be drawn between our head honcho, and Linus. Our guy had years of experience. To be fair and objective, the guy was smart, a hard worker, and his heart was in the right place. A lot of stuff got done, that wouldn't have otherwise gotten done if not for him. The guy, however, was simply an asshole. Just rude, arrogant, insensitive. I worked with/for/near/around this guy for a few years, because I believed in what we were doing, and was trying to find some admirable or redeeming qualities about this person. But, after a few years, it just got to the point where I grew tired of trying to deal with this guy, on top of my actual responsibilities, which were difficult and time consuming in and of themselves. So I walked away from this organization, which was a painful and frustrating decision because there were certainly things about it that I did enjoy and get a lot out of. But, it just wasn't worth being treated poorly by an asshole. Now its entirely possible that I should have grown a thicker skin, or that the asshole was smarter/better/righter than me and I somehow "deserved what I got" or whatever. But, fuck it, eventually I realized, 99% of my interactions with my fellow human beings were more pleasant than dealing with this guy. So, I walked away, and sunk my efforts into something similarly rewarding but without a bunch of intolerable BS. So if that's all that's going on here... then godspeed.

Comment Re:Hyde Park, Chicago (Score 2) 330

I was going to mention something along these lines - this concept really isn't that unusual. I worked in the public safety sector (EMS, though, not law enforcement) in the Cleveland, Ohio area for a few years. I was amazed at the number of distinct law enforcement agencies that had overlapping jurisdictions. In addition to the individual municipal departments, county sheriff, and state agencies, here's a set of a few I remember, just in the Cleveland area:
  • University Circle Police - a private department funded by the businesses they serve. University Circle is a neighborhood housing many significant educational, medical, cultural and historical facilities, which is bordered on all sides by very high-crime neighborhoods
  • The Transit Police, which I believe may be the largest department in Ohio - polices the public transit buses, trains and terminals
  • CMHA Police - serves the public housing projects in the county
  • CMSD Police - serves Cleveland's public school district
  • Cleveland's three largest hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth, each have their own police forces (though apparently not web sites)
  • Metro Parks Rangers - basically park rangers with police authority
  • Most of the colleges and universities in the area (even the small schools and technical colleges) have their own campus police forces

That's obviously in addition to all the private security services that lack full law enforcement authority. And I'm probably leaving a few out in my list above - it's been a few years since I've lived there or payed real close attention. But the point is, it's by no means unusual for a private organization to form it's own full-fledged police force.

Comment Re:Ultrafast search and metadata filesystem (Score 1) 356

You're not wrong at all, and I agree -- it's just that the source document has to "live" somewhere. If I were to be happy with it, I'd have to be able to create "debian/manual_on_this", then link it to my "ubuntu/" folder. When I add a change that's no longer "debian/" qualified, I should be able to "rm debian/manual_on_this", but have it live in "ubuntu/". What I'm getting at is that tags let the filesystem ( or database, whatever ) manage the documents and present you with "links", rather then having original documents in the tree. It's like saying that C has pointers like Java (in before Java jokes), ignoring the fact you have to malloc / free. Perhaps I'm ranting at this point, but I think it'd be a nice way forward :) Off to implement it in fuse!

Comment What morons (Score 5, Insightful) 705

What a bunch of dipshits. Traffic is just a routing / scheduling algorithm, if anything his background in Computer Science should *help* him present his case. God, what morons. He just did all that work for you, it's not like you won't review it anyway. Suck it up and do a review. It's your *job*.

How a Leather Cover Crashes the Kindle 280

An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has started offering refunds to Kindle owners who own the unlit leather case who claim that it causes their Kindles to reboot, but are playing dumb on the cause: "our engineering team is looking into this." People have been wondering how a leather cover could possibly crash an electronic device, and why is Amazon offering money back if they don't think there's a problem? It seems that some of the folks over at Connectify have figured it out, and it's a doozy!"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Vuvuzelas Blare On Pirated Copies of Music Game 320

An anonymous reader sends this quote from Wired: "A novel anti-piracy measure baked into the Nintendo DS version of Michael Jackson: The Experience makes copied versions of the game unplayable and taunts gamers with the blaring sound of vuvuzelas. Many games have installed switches that detect pirated copies and act accordingly, like ending the user's game after 20 minutes. Ubisoft has come under fire multiple times for what players have seen as highly restrictive anti-piracy measures that annoy legitimate users as much or more so than pirates. But some more-mischievous developers have used tricks similar to the vuvuzela fanfare to mess with pirates. Batman: Arkham Asylum lets unauthorized users play through the game as if it were a normal copy, with a single exception: Batman's cape-glide ability doesn't work, rendering the game impossible to finish — although you might bash your head against it trying to make what are now impossible jumps. If you pirate Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, brace yourself for an explosion, as your entire base will detonate within 30 seconds of loading the game."
Communications

Consumer Reports Gives AT&T Lowest US Carrier Rank 187

tekgoblin writes "Consumer Reports has just released results for consumer satisfaction across all US cell phone carriers. The survey covered around 58,000 Consumer Reports subscribers. Over half of the respondents who used AT&T used the iPhone when taking the survey. According to Consumer Reports, iPhone users were less satisfied with AT&T than other users with different phones. An AT&T spokesman responded by citing independent speed tests, as well as higher subscriber numbers and a dropped call rate within 0.1% of the industry leader." Update: 12/07 01:49 GMT by S : Corrected last sentence to indicate the 0.1% dropped call rate statistic is the difference between AT&T and another carrier, not 0.1% overall.
Botnet

Researchers Tracking Emerging 'Darkness' Botnet 85

Trailrunner7 writes "Researchers are tracking a new botnet that has become one of the more active DDoS networks on the Internet since its emergence early last month. The botnet, dubbed 'Darkness,' is being controlled by several domains hosted in Russia and its operators are boasting that it can take down large sites with as few as 1,000 bots. The Darkness botnet is seen as something of a successor to the older Black Energy and Illusion botnets and researchers at the Shadowserver Foundation took a look at the network's operation and found that it is capable of generating large volumes of attack traffic. 'Upon testing, it was observed that the throughput of the attack traffic directed simultaneously at multiple sites was quite impressive,' Shadowserver's analysts wrote in a report on the Darkness botnet. 'It now appears that "Darkness" is overtaking Black Energy as the DDoS bot of choice. There are many ads and offers for DDoS services using "Darkness." It is regularly updated and improved and of this writing is up to version 7. There also appear to be no shortage of buyers looking to add "Darkness" to their botnet arsenal.'"

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