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Comment: Re:It's not the PC microphone ... (Score 1) 92

by rwa2 (#49185035) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Ha, thanks, awesome insight coming from "Ungrounded Lightning"!

On some of the systems we put a neutral current eliminator to try to "fix" the 60Hz buzz coming off of improperly grounded computers. I think it was overkill for what we were doing, because by that point we had given up trying to use internal audio cards for some of our rackmount computers and were using SoundBlaster Live! USB audio dongles where we couldn't use digital audio, which made most of our system noise problems go away. But it would be nice to have an affordable NCE for some applications, like being able to run amplified speakers from my phone or laptop while they're charging.

In my car I get alternator noise if I try to charge my phone while it's playing music to the aux input. I can make it go away by using a Qi wireless charger instead of plugging in the USB directly... with the added bonus that I'm not fiddling with trying to plug my phone in while I'm driving. Another way to make the alternator noise go away is paradoxically plugging an inverter into the accessory port and using a standard 120V AC wall wart USB charger with the phone. (shrug). Next car will probably have a bluetooth head unit, which I'm sure brings on another set of annoyances.

+ - Demand for Linux Skills Rising This Year-> 2

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "This year is shaping up as a really good one for Linux, at least on the jobs front. According to a new report (PDF) from The Linux Foundation and Dice, nearly all surveyed hiring managers want to recruit Linux professionals within the next six months, with 44 percent of them indicating they’re more likely to hire a candidate with Linux certification over one who does not. Forty-two percent of hiring managers say that experience in OpenStack and CloudStack will have a major impact on their hiring decisions, while 23 percent report security is a sought-after area of expertise and 19 percent are looking for Linux-skilled people with Software-Defined Networking skills. Ninety-seven percent of hiring managers report they will bring on Linux talent relative to other skills areas in the next six months."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The corporate solution (Score 5, Informative) 92

by rwa2 (#49176927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Heh, I used to do multi-conference room / theater AV integration for large defense companies. The number 1 problem was always audio.

1. Test. Test test test. You can get almost any cheap thing working well if you bother to test and tune everything BEFORE the meeting. The most expensive thing can fail for silly reasons if you don't bother to test everything BEFORE the meeting (usually because some executive schlupp dials into both the audio bridge and VTC MCU at the last minute). Then freeze the configuration. Yeah, good luck freezing the configuration with engineers and tinkerers running around.

2. POTS sucks. Maybe some telephony devices are able to negotiate better than 8kHz 8-bit audio sampling if their codecs match up, but you're better off going with something with VTC-quality audio using H323. Most VoIP teleconferencing lines don't bother trying to beat POTS audio quality. So even if you have a nice Polycom phone that does good AEC and NC, you're still going to strain to hear what's going on.

3. Speakerphones suck. Most of them don't bother doing good AEC and NC. Get a good bluetooth or USB headset. Gaming teamspeak headsets are relatively cheap. As long as it's digital, so they don't introduce any analog amp noise from the system.

4. PC/laptop microphones suck. I don't know why no one bothers to test them to the same level as your average cheap dumbphone speakerphone. They pick up all kinds of system electrical noise, and rely on software to do any AEC or NC, which adds more latency. About a quarter of the people in our daily standup have laptop microphone fails on Google Hangouts or Skype each day. Most end up dialing back in from their smartphone when that happens.

Anyway, all that said, our current standup room setup consists of a Google Hangouts room on a permanently-fixed Mac mini with a $50 "Blue Snowball USB Condenser Microphone" and Logitech USB camera attached to it (the USB audio coming in from the Logitech camera was deemed insufficient, even for the small room we had it in.). For remote participants, I've had good experiences with extended use of the $200+ Jabra PRO 9470 Mono Wireless Headset, which is switchable between PC and POTS/VoIP phone use, but a simpler/cheaper bluetooth headset would probably work just as well paired with smartphone/PC.

And set up an echo server for everyone to test their setups. . Or at least go to or something. Did I mention you should test?

I'm also looking forward to someday playing with Amazon's Echo thingy someday, since for $200 it seems to have a lot of the technical audio features of more expensive audio conferencing systems:
assuming it will be able to act as a simple bluetooth speakerphone instead of only for all of the other AI junk they're cramming into it.

+ - Linux and multiple internet uplinks: a new tool

Submitted by Alessandro Zarrilli
Alessandro Zarrilli (4027561) writes "Linux is able do multipath routing since a long time: it means being able to have routes with multiple gateways and to use them in a (weighted) round-robin fashion. But Linux misses a tool to actively monitor the state of internet uplinks and change the routing accordingly. Without it, on a LAN perspective, it's like having a RAID0 on network: just one uplink goes down and all of your LAN-to-WAN traffic goes down too. Documentation and examples on the subject are lacking, existing solutions are few and deeply integrated in firewall/routing specific distributions. To address these issues, a new stand alone tool was just released: Fault Tolerant Router. It also includes a complete (iptables + ip policy routing) configuration generator."

Comment: Re:I'd expect lots of cross-over branding crap (Score 1) 204

by rwa2 (#49172193) Attached to: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

Yes, this. Actually, we already have that right now. Minecraft for XBox is already full of licensed DLC for XBox, Dr. Who, etc.

Minecraft as a cash cow is complete, there's no need to do any more development. It's all business dealings from here on out.

Some Slashdotter put it best a few months back... "Microsoft didn't buy a game, they bought a generation"

Comment: Re:The failure of rules. (Score 1) 522

Oh, she just uses her own domain, which someone registered for her the week before she was sworn in as Sec of State.

whois | grep "Registrant Name"

Hey, LOOK everybody, Clinton supports PRIVACY rights from the prying eyes of the NSA!


Starting Nmap 6.47 ( ) at 2015-03-03 07:50 PST
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.083s latency).
Not shown: 996 filtered ports
53/tcp open domain
80/tcp open http
554/tcp open rtsp
7070/tcp open realserver
... and ... transparency through old video streaming technology.

curl -vi ... says it's an apache server, so there's that.

+ - Why Computers Still Struggle To Tell the Time-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "It’s pretty much impossible for a computer to keep exact time, although accuracy can be improved to the extent that users are willing to spend more money on the problem, said George Neville-Neil, a software engineer who helps financial institutions and other time-sensitive organizations maintain ultra-precise measurements of time. To keep internal time, computers use a crystal oscillator that creates an electromagnetic signal, or a vibration that the computer uses to coordinate processor, memory, bus and motherboard operations. But computer makers often use inexpensive crystals costing only a few cents each, which can compromise accuracy. 'If you buy server-class hardware, you will get cheap crystal, and time will wander if you don’t do something about it,' Neville-Neil said."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Jail time (Score 1) 522

Well, if anybody else in government did this, they'd get fired, lose their pension, and possibly face criminal charges.

When the people at the highest levels of power decide that the law doesn't apply to them, nothing at all happens.

So, on behalf of the rest of the world ... when the political leaders ignore the law and face no consequences, the rest of us want to send a big collective "fuck you".

This has nothing to do with her politics. If Bush or Cheney had done this, we'd want them prosecuted as well.

Laws which are selectively applied are crap. Assholes in power who believe the law doesn't apply to them need to be punished.

These laws exist so there is a public record of activities, not some place where you can sidestep that and conduct business elsewhere away from oversight.

So you're saying Clinton should maybe be fined for something other than violating recordkeeping policy?

On March 6, 2007, Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice, making false statements, and two counts of perjury. He was acquitted on one count of making false statements. He was not charged for revealing Plame's CIA status. His sentence included a $250,000 fine, 30 months in prison and two years of probation. On July 2, 2007, President George W. Bush commuted Libby's sentence, removing the jail term but leaving in place the fine and probation, calling the sentence "excessive."[43][44] In a subsequent press conference, on July 12, 2007, Bush noted, "...the Scooter Libby decision was, I thought, a fair and balanced decision."

(from the Valerie Plame wikipedia article)

Comment: Re:The failure of rules. (Score 1) 522

Just out of curiosity, what email systems does she use? Hopefully not Yahoo mail, that was the one that the Alaska governess had gotten hacked with, right?

I assume her official US government email would have been similar to the system I used while working for a DoD contractor: Outlook / Exchange, where you had to use your smartcard + PIN to encrypt or at least digitally sign every email sent, and there was a 50MB limit on your server-side inbox, 2MB limit on attachments, and no zip files or Office documents or anything else the virus scanner couldn't recognize. And accidentally hitting Ctrl-Enter-Enter would automagically send your mail off prematurely unless you were permitted to change that option.

Comment: Re:Politics aside for a moment. (Score 4, Interesting) 522

This seems indicative of sense that the rules do not apply to me.

Nobody who would vote for Hillary Clinton will care about things like this. There might be some hoopla on Twitter and Fox News for a few days, and then there will be some stragglers like with Benghazi, but it will mostly fade out of the mainstream media within a few hours from now.

Plus, they've known that Clinton's been doing this since the Benghazi investigation, when Clinton staffers rifled through those personal email accounts to provide 50,000 messages for the investigation team. That this issue makes headline news now, the day after she officially announces her presidential election campaign, is pure politics to control the narrative.

Yeah, not really possible to put politics aside for the moment, since that's exactly what this is.

Comment: Re:Java (Score 1) 390

by rwa2 (#49168397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Classic OOP Compiled Language: Objective-C Or C++?

I would put down Java as a good language for learning how to do OOP stuff in the most verbose way possible. But at least it works as documented, and is well-documented. I find myself spending less time fighting the compiler and obscure memory allocation problems, and more time fighting the shear volume of code. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Otherwise, I think I'd have more fun doing something in Python, with some modules implemented in C++ to optimize the performance-critical parts.

Comment: Thought it was already the norm abroad (Score 4, Informative) 171

by rwa2 (#49167905) Attached to: Will you be using a mobile payment system?

In Japan I heard you could pay for things all day wearing nothing but a cellphone.

Also kinda suspicious about how big the Disney MagicBand + Apple Pay announcement last year was, considering you could already do do pretty much the same thing at any sizable Korean sauna with your locker key wristband.

The U.S. doesn't even really have to wait to see if any particular technology system will "win". It's all just business dealings from here on out.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 523

Oh, I'm not trying to blame anything on the U.S. ... I love this country, and just enjoy taking notes on how it works in case I ever find myself in charge of a fantasy island somewhere.

Yeah, the European imperialists have a long history of causing turmoil by running in and carving arbitrary boundaries, like in Africa.

Keeping your opponents locked in regional wars is a great way to be left alone so you can get ahead in Civilization. I'm kinda surprised they haven't added those kinds of territorial boundaries meddling to the gameplay yet, though I guess gifting weapons to the "independent" NPC city-states in Civ V so they can grief your enemies probably does the job just fine.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972