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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Email lets you organize your thoughts (Score 2) 115

by rgmoore (#49206001) Attached to: Preferred way to communicate with co-workers?

I must compare a well-run meeting with a well-worded email, not a well-worded email compared to a poorly-run meeting.

I think the most reasonable comparison is a typical meeting and a typical email exchange. Maybe a great meeting is better than great email, but we don't always have access to either, and the best judgment should be based on the quality we usually encounter in real life.

Comment: Overstatement (Score 5, Insightful) 286

by rgmoore (#49075555) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

Calling it the most dangerous toy seems like a gross overstatement. Yeah, Uranium ore is scary, but it's a fairly low-level radiation source and as an alpha emitter it's only dangerous internally. Chemical and physical hazards are a lot more serious. Toys with lead paint that kids were likely to chew on were probably more dangerous, not to mention ones that could catch kids on fire (ordinary chemical sets) or get them run over in traffic (like bicycles).

Comment: How (Score 4, Informative) 178

by rgmoore (#49001087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: With Whom Do You Entrust Your Long Term Data?

How should I make sure that I retain access to today's data 20 years from now?

If you really want to be able to keep your data that long, you need a serious plan. You need to back up everything to at least two separate devices other than your main storage, and you need to keep at least one of those devices off-site so your data can't be destroyed in a local disaster. You need to test your backups regularly to know if/when your medium is failing.

When a medium fails- or if you think it might be about to fail- get a replacement that uses more modern technology, and make a fresh copy. If you are ever about to replace your computer with a new one that can't read your old backup medium, buy newer media that does work with the new computer and make copies while you can still read the old ones. If you keep doing that regularly, you can always have a good copy that will work with your computer. It's more effort than copying to the cloud and trusting, but it means you're in control of your own data.

The real key is to keep making regular backups and regular tests. If you expect to be able to put something into a box and still use it 20 years later, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. You have to keep copying, testing, and updating your technology in order to have a serious hope of keeping up. If you do that, though, you have a very good chance of keeping access to your data at least as long as you have software that will still read it. I have 20+ year old data at work that I can still access because we've been careful about moving it to new media, and because the company that wrote the software is good about backward compatibility.

Comment: Re:Fraud is ok as long as you are honest about it (Score 1) 412

by rgmoore (#48972171) Attached to: Major Retailers Accused of Selling Fraudulent Herbal Supplements

Only if your claims are too vague to test. If you make a claim that's specific enough to be tested scientifically, you need to have an actual scientific study to back it up. For example, POM just lost on appeal because they made specific medical claims about pomegranate juice that they couldn't back up with results from randomized clinical trials. So if you want to sell expensive placebos, you need to limit your claims to something vague enough that it can't be tested definitively.

Comment: Re:not the point (Score 2) 375

by rgmoore (#48925519) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

Even if the switch to Wayland happens, most people will still be stuck with using XWayland constantly for a decade.

They may be stuck with XWayland for a handful of apps that aren't being updated, but the work to let modern desktop environments run on Wayland instead of X11 is quite far along. Once the basic KDE and GNOME libraries are ported to Wayland, anything that uses those higher level libraries rather than talking directly to X will run under Wayland without needing any intermediary like XWayland. It's possible to log in and run under Wayland rather than X11 today; I have done it on my Fedora box.

Comment: Re:Encrypted External Drive in a Fire Safe (Score 1) 251

by rgmoore (#48916771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

But generally, my archive set is large (3+TB) and sensitive (taxes, bank statements, account numbers, passwords, etc) so this solution works best for me.

My guess is that most of that 3+TB is not at all sensitive. The vast bulk of most people's data is stuff like photos and videos that are primarily of interest to them. The amount of really sensitive information like taxes, account numbers, etc. is probably small enough to put on an encrypted thumb drive that you keep on your person. If you really trust encryption- including your ability to select a secure password- you could even encrypt it and store it on the cloud. It still makes sense to keep copies of your bulk data- also encrypted unless you're confident in your ability to keep the sensitive data off it- some place safe, but it would give you an extra level of protection against losing your really precious information.

Comment: Re:Escaping only helps you until a war. (Score 2) 339

by rgmoore (#48914405) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

So if we followed that suggesting, and took 10% of the wealth from everyone in America, including corporations, then spread it around to each person in the US evenly, it would be about $70k per person. Most people would spend it quickly and be back where they started.

This is wrong for two reasons:

1) Many, many people would use a big chunk of the money to pay down debt or to buy capital goods that would last them a good long time. Both of those things would have very large, positive, long-term effects for poor people.

2) The money that people spent wouldn't just disappear. It would wind up in other people's pockets as wages, giving those other people more money to spend. The net result would be a larger overall benefit than just the straight value of the cash handed out.

Comment: Re:8 port charger? (Score 3, Insightful) 33

by rgmoore (#48909885) Attached to: Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video)

I assume that some of it is about not wanting to plug in different charging cables all the time. I have several devices that have special cables or docks, and I'd rather not swap those all the time. Having plenty of ports lets you keep them all plugged in even though you aren't going to charge all those devices simultaneously.

Comment: Re:Biased to cracked sites (Score 1) 197

by rgmoore (#48859451) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

Since a site with proper hashing, where in theory the actual passwords are unknowable, wouldn't be on the list.

This is simply not true. It may be impossible to reverse the hash and recover the password directly, but it is both possible and practical to carry out a dictionary attack on a file of hashed passwords. That's exactly why you're supposed to avoid easily guessed passwords and why those crappy passwords are crappy: they're susceptible to dictionary attacks.

Comment: Re:Air-gap. (Score 1) 177

by rgmoore (#48801965) Attached to: The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff

Just make sure that anything past your legal retention limit is only retained offline.

That won't help much against an attack by an insider, who will have access to the off-line repositories. Of course doing that would reveal that it was an insider attack rather than an outside hack, but the damage would still be done.

Comment: Re:...and... (Score 2, Informative) 381

We're not hearing it from our head of state right now, but our previous head of state was a fundamentalist evangelical who was perfectly happy to ignore climate change, endorse intelligent design, and generally ignore any science that gave him answers he didn't want to hear. Of course that was in no way limited to science questions. He was also more than happy to ignore reports from the intelligence community that he didn't want to hear and fabricate evidence to support policies like invading Iraq.

Comment: Re:And this is why there's traffic... (Score 1) 611

by rgmoore (#48604169) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

I lived in LA a few years ago, and I remember there being plenty of places to walk in LA (few roads without sidewalks), so long as you don't mind the stares you inevitably get for not being in a car.

That varies tremendously by neighborhood, especially depending on when the neighborhood was built. Most places where the street network was put in before WWII have good sidewalks. Some cities kept at it after the war, but lots of places started treating them as optional or as afterthoughts. In my area, I rarely need a sign to tell when I'm walking across the Pasadena city limits because the sidewalks in Pasadena are much better than the ones in surrounding communities.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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