Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Who says you MUST use Google? (Score 1) 133 133

Yes, it is the most ubiquitous and 'easy default' for those that don't trust M$ either. Users are free to choose their own search engine. On M$ machines BING is put up front unless overt action is taken to force google or some other engine to be the default. Most desktops are still owned by M$/Winders. I have no clue what Apple does... They probably don't care if they can't make a buck off it or it doesn't sway public opinion toward them. Android uses either Google and Chrome or Opera as the browser (chrome is the default I believe, so Google would be the default). But Android does allow the users to choose their poison. I am sure that some chinese black hat would love you to use their preferred service machine, and it will be tooootalllyyy secure (best sarcastic voice) that someone would rather use than Google or M$!

Comment: Re:What an amazing surprise! (Score 1) 181 181

I like your hopeful thoughts, I have been watching these kids work to 'provide monetary enhancement to shareholders' (and bonuses to management) way to long to believe they are altruistic in their actions.


There is only one person to pay for everything. The end user customer.

All other 'customers' must pass through the costs as a cost of doing business, or go out of business eventually..

Comment: EOL OpenSource? (Score 1) 152 152

Companies EOL lots of products. IMHO, the world would be good if companies would put support information (files, designs, STL files, etc) in escrow for 5 years after EOL is declared, then allow them to be used for 'support and maintenance purposes', even if it keeps competitors from building on their IP, or better yet, open source the information after some time.

Comment: Re:I Got It All, Baby! (Score 1) 558 558

3D Scanner
CNC machine
3D Printer

Future peripherals
Holographic Storage (basically infinite)
closet turned into a 'tardis holosuite' (bigger in the inside than out! Not just seeming like it is =8 Future software/hardware with enhancements
Truly secure hardware and software while being easily accessible from anywhere and obviously networked! With fast, light speed encryption/decryption.
And a 'you know what I mean' compiler, so it will do what I want and not just what I tell it to.
Reasonable robotic avatar, similar to the Robin Williams 'robot' in "Bicentennial Man"
A way to transmit 'upon death' my life program into my robotic avatar to keep family and friends from missing me.

Thanks for the license to dream...

Comment: Off grid & lo (Score 1) 557 557

Fiber available, but 1G is good everywhere, including to access points inside monolithic dome built like a faraday cage. If cable or fiber is available, consider it over using satellite (but that will work if required). Have internal caching DNS and cloud storage so not dependant on outside network for most things. Have all cabling in conduit so it can be re-pulled as new tech comes along (better cable or fiber or whatever is next). 'Home Runs' to the 'cable closet' where server(s)/cloud/etc lives. Power done 'home run' rather than daisy chained.

Plumbing / main wiring via a 'utility corridor' to make maintenance easy.

Solar power with emergency generator, NiFe battery.

Both vapor barrier and air block membranes throughout, 2x the recommended insulation as well.

Prefer Monolithic Dome (monolithic.com) built to be FEMA near tornado proof (wrong term, but ultra hardy in all kinds of weather and storms).

Rainwater catchment system with option for potable water use from it.

Concrete (properly sealed) or wood hard floors.

Cool using indirect evaporative air conditioning or mini-split if refrigeration is the only way.

4 car garage/shop with heat and air separate from living space (but nice covered walk between. (half of area is 'shop')

Easy to mow with 'robot mowers' (design for it, not back into it).

Ceiling fans (we love them) throughout. Prefer similar to BigAss Fan Haiku series.

LED lighting throughout. Projection video to inside of dome surface!

Lots of outside light, directly or with solar tubes like Solatube in prescribed areas.

Home control system that is understandable and works without much 'input' from users (btw Haiku fans now do some of this themselves!)

Energy efficient appliances & windows.

Parking/driveway with permeable concrete or pavers. Allows water to soak in if not collected. Permeable concrete can also collect water if put over impermeable area.

Yes, I dream of a lot. Even more if I think about it. Most is doable. But I am starting to get of the age it isn't going to get done. ... Oh well.

Comment: Like others... (Score 1) 227 227

Sorry to re-iterate the now obvious. Learn to live on much less. Yes, it is hard to do. ... After your 3 or 6 months of living expenses stashed away in T-bills or cash equivalents you can get to on a moments notice, another 6 months in 'emergency' funds. ... Then stash all the left over nickles into investments. If you don't know what to do for investments, you could get over 50K available in cash, get with a money manager (I found Fidelity Professional Asset Management good, but there are others that are good. Just vet them first. ... I have found the expense more than worth the service, and that is after years of DIY.)

I told my kids to give away 10% (biblical yes, but I have found it helped me not to focus to much on money as the reason for life - life is for living, money is a tool, like a screwdriver or a hammer, to make life easier), save 20% (ROTH, IRA, 401K, with 1/3 tax paid, 2/3 tax deferred), save another 10% for short term savings (vacations, new car - pay cash, car insurance, house down payment, etc), live on the rest. If there is any left over, put it in short term savings. Don't take money out of IRAs or 401Ks for life expenses even as loans.

All this is very fatherly advice, but it helped once I figured it out, it helped me and my family greatly. I hope you find what is best for you and yours.

Comment: True? Not True? (Score 1) 422 422

Business is a no-holds-barred contest. This is true in all countries, where communist, socialist, or capitalist controlled.

Play by the rules, (mainly don't run out of cash), secondarily, follow laws where you are and where you market, thirdly, take care of employees AND customers.

Balance it all, and you stay in business. Don't, and you are gone.

Mandriva is gone. Why? Sounds like they ran out of cash and couldn't pay people, and follow the laws (including paying court defined costs of doing business), keep people happy, and paying customers happy to pay enough to support it all.

Point fingers anywhere you want. They are gone due to lack of cash, why? Any number of reasons, and at this point assigning blame doesn't fix the problem, Mandriva is still gone.

Comment: Don't tax me (Score 1) 413 413

I have been paying taxes for many years (longer than most have been living), and can't get broadband where I live without excessive fees ($20K to $40K for install depending on when I ask) from cable companies, and the phone company says 'no', we don't serve you. Even land line modems are at best 20kbaud, where it worked nicely at 56kbaud where I was before I moved here. (The copper has degraded since then too.) And we all have been paying about $0.50/month for each line so that 'rural' areas can get broadband and good phone service since the 1980's. (That money is federally allowed, but not REQUIRED to be put into rural infrastructure, like the law was advertised that it was to be used for. The money is also not forwarded to the governments, but retained by phone line providers for more profit, IMHO.) So I say NO to 'free obama-band' till you live up to what you already 'provided for' in statutes that are already in place.

Comment: $$$ will determine who wins in the long run (Score 1) 597 597

If using high-power DC needs to go over a few feet, then AC will win IMHO. AC can travel longer distances over smaller wire (meaning, lower cost wire due to reduced copper needed) with the same losses.


Calculate your DC requirement to have bigger battery (by 20%) if running AC, vs cost of 'new' appliances and larger wire needed for the same power in DC. Whoever wins in that equation should (and in the long run will, IMHO) win.

This is true for solar panels and power from them to the battery charge circuits too. The further the DC power needs to go, the more it costs in losses of power or cost of wire.

Comment: ROEI - ROI - ... And more (Score 1) 256 256

Return on Energy Employed, and Return On Investment -- They are not just terms, they are basis for comparing investing.

Wind, like solar, is a temporal energy and not 'available on demand'.

I am not going to downplay them, but we need a way to power the 'grid' of power we use today and in the future. Adding supply methods, like wind and solar, are good. But we also need to invest in non-renewable energy that is reasonably clean.

To me, Thorium based nuke power is preferable to uranium/radium based. It can consume our current stockpile of waste (and plutonium). The byproducts from thorium reactions are shorter lifetime and less radioactive. Thorium is not limited to just 'rich countries' and is no worse to collect/process than uranium. It is almost impossible to generate weaponizable materials. If built right, they could be built into 'containers' and drop shipped to current/old coal power plants to provide the hot water for the same turbine generators.

The first Thorium reactor was turned off for weekends when it wasn't needed at Oak Ridge TN for years. If built correctly, it CANNOT 'melt down'.

Currently India and China, and to a minor extent Canada, are actively developing the technologies with production coming soon. The USA did the basic research and now it will probably be sold back to us for us to be a consumer rather than a producer nation.

We need to research and support ALL the directions to make inexpensive energy available. Support renewable (solar and wind), higher efficiency living (insulate, water/vapor barriers, Energy Star or better ratings, and non-uranium based nuclear engineering.

Comment: 3R's mainly (Score 1) 302 302

Still being able to read, at more than a 6th grade level, write coherently in story form as well as technical/documentation type writing, and math, more than a basic calculator can handle. An understanding of basic economics (what does 'balancing your accounts' or 'living on less than you make' really mean), and retirement ABC's (what is an IRA, ROTH, 401(k), 403(b), HSA, and how and why fund them - what is an emergency fund and why ) -- Also, for when their pending (zombie, skynet, etc) apocalypse of some flavor, be able to do all these without REQUIRING electronic devices.

Yes, many may never go 'hard core back-pack' camping out of the reach of a cell tower, but some will. Prepare for it.

Physical education, musical education, literary, history, economic (macro and micro), political science (civics in the old days), public speaking, all should be required and add to the quality and tapestry of life.

The trick is to balance them. ... Who's next on the soap box!

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 1) 393 393

I hate to state the obvious: UNIONS

and secondarily Federal Management (not allowed to raise rates or reduce schedule to live within means, so deficits ensue, paid for from the General Fund, and Congress not willing to provide more support/funds).

Poor management? OK, some of that in there too.

Mix well, bake for 100+ years of 'rail experience' in the US, and you get the current Amtrak. But then, this is just my perspective. I am sure pubic healthcare will work equally as well as Amtrak or USPS.

Comment: Also having a Benevolent Despot in charge... (Score 1) 469 469

Having open source and public scrutiny is good and needed. But having Linus to be a benevolent despot over the kernel, his single mindedness that it needs to grow from NEEDS not DESIREs, AND the community having overall faith in his judgement for yo theses 30-is years (or however long) has been as asset to the overall kernel support.

Yes, there have been power grabs, politics, and any other kind of thing we could guess (I only assume someone has tried to 'buy Linus off' but thankfully he and his family have been well taken care of so that wasn't a primary need.

There are other great leaders and curmudgeons in the Linux arena, but Linus is still top dog, and for one, I approve.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351