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Comment Then why didn't you ask for that? (Score 1) 112

If you just want to camp out of your car and go hiking on the weekends, then bringing up survivalist TV shows was more than a bit confusing, because car camping is the opposite of wilderness survival. Buy whatever living facilities you want, park them in an area with cell access, and you are all set. A small generator if you have a pop-up, or just your car if you don't, is fine for juice.

Comment The best I can come up with. (Score 4, Interesting) 112

Your question is bizarre. You talk about being really into the whole survivalist thing, but the infrastructure necessary to hold down a tech job while in the deep wilderness living off your wits is a complete non-starter. (Pedaling for power? Seriously?)

Simply put, your biggest problem is power. (You'll need a LOT less power if you can figure out how to work with a tablet and bluetooth keyboard instead of a full laptop.) That means you are going to need a "base camp". That base camp will need supplies of food and fuel, and a large sunny clearing to collect power whether you are there or not. You can periodically return to swap out batteries/machines and pick up fresh supplies of food and fuel.

You'll need to (obviously) work within an area with cell phone coverage. But there are plenty of fairly remote places that fit that bill, so it's not a big problem.

Discard any idea of hunting for food or cooking with a fire... if you are hungry and in the middle of hunting something or gathering much-needed wood, you are going to get even hungrier when, inevitably, your phone starts to ring with a new problem. You can certainly go several days without seeing another soul, but "living off the land" is just not going to work.

Also consider what you are going to do in bad weather. I'm guessing that once your phone rings, it means something is broken. You'll need to start working pretty quickly, and likely will not have time to make camp if you were in transit at the time. (Please don't say it's realistic to work outside in the middle of a rainstorm, no matter how tough your gear is.) Do you really want to be holed up in a tent (or lean-to, cave, whatever) for days on end when the weather is bad? No, you don't; that's boring as $hit.

Really, if I were in your place, I'd have a base camp (at a regular campground) with a pop-up camper and small and quiet generator (and secure locks!) and go on hikes of one or two days (those small lithium power packs and an iPad would work great!) when the weather looked good. It ain't "roughing it", but trying to get work done in lousy weather when you are hungry and tired is just silly; your work will inevitably suffer as a result.

Comment I wouldn't even ask for read access (Score 3, Insightful) 194

An architect (and one that is trying to be forward thinking and implement all sorts of fascinating new gear) is wasting time learning the admin interface for every box he/she specifies.

And if an architect is having trouble getting away from daily ops, not having any access to the boxes at all will help with that transition. (Not to mention that the architect will inevitably get pulled into ops problems, leaving less time to do the actual job.)

Comment No, you don't. (Score 3, Insightful) 194

If you are logging on to boxes, you are getting too close to operations and too far away from architecture. You get the admins to pull reports and logs you need, but you don't really need logins to the entire infrastructure. What on earth would you do with it that you can't get from the admins? I'm an IT architect for a DR outsourcing company; I wouldn't even have the least clue HOW to login to the gear I'm buying by the truckload (much less do anything useful with it), so obviously I don't have the ability to do so either.

An architect need not have admin rights or even the knowledge an admin must know. (And likewise, it's not important for an admin to know things an architect must.)

P.S. Errr, 1500 VM's for 3000 employees? I sense that a lot of these (and whatever massive amounts of stale data they are attached to) sit utterly disused.

P.S.S. And your historical analogy isn't even valid. Cartographers are generally not surveyors.

Comment Incremental improvements are a good thing (Score 1) 70

It's sort of like saying "we could improve our security by banning all incoming traffic from China and Russia". Well, sure, if you're willing to just block lots of legitimate users in the meantime. It would be far better to try to implement better technologies and policies that actually improve computer security, rather than feel-good measures like this.

Yes, in a perfect world, companies would have perfect device security and it wouldn't matter from which direction an attack came.

But here in the real world, there is no such thing as perfect security, and every little bit helps. They aren't suggesting you block TOR and ignore your firewall and stop updating patches, just that among other security measures, this might help.

Anyway, what possible legitimate use could TOR have in a corporate environment outside of a media organization?

Comment No, it's not a replacement. (Score 1) 76

A dead-flat touchpad is no replacement for a proper keyboard. I know of no half-way decent typist that can come anywhere near their typing speed on a touch-screen. And mice have the advantage that they work in most applications requiring a pointer. I don't need an overlay to do this.

At best, this is a low-rent replacement for a Wacom, but not as precise; there's a reason Digitizers don't use simple pressure sensors. (And graphics tablets have had overlays since forever... I remember using an AutoCAD overlay a quarter-century ago.)

Comment Re:This is standard for mission-critical S/W (Score 1) 168

The standard doesn't have a name; it's not some useless crap in an ISO catalog, it's just a way truly mission-critical software is built.

I know that NASA has used it for the flight-control computers for the manned space-flight program, and IBM uses it for some of the more vital parts of their mainframe operating systems.

I didn't say it was applicable to everything, just that as a software-engineering technique, it's not at all new.

Comment Which shows how much they actually wanted it... (Score 1) 275

Given that they could have gotten a bigger drive for $40 from NewEgg (either out of petty cash, or just taking up a collection), shows how much they really think the data is needed.

Cops buy stuff out-of-pocket all the time to help out with their jobs; if they actually wanted more space for these logs, they would have gotten it, purchase-order or know.

I think that the whole "teh bureaucracy is teh worst" excuse was just an angle to make purchasing easier general, not because they are really upset about not keeping this gigantic mound of data, if not for a $50 part.

Comment Indeed... it works great, combined with BC (Score 1) 173

A study was run a couple of years ago that collected a group of low-income women, delivered comprehensive sex education, and gave them free access to the birth-control method of their choice.

In the fevered imagination of DittoHeads, the poor women would proceed to choose poor (or no) birth-control methods (or use them incorrectly), get knocked up (which is somehow supposed to be a money-maker... still haven't figured that one out), and become leeches on society.

What ACTUALLY happened? Exactly as you would expect rational people to do; the women had a tendency to choose the more-effective birth-control methods, and consequently birthrates dropped by (IIRC) 60-75% vs. the control group, which had no education nor access to free birth control.

Comprehensive Sex Education and widespread access to birth control WORKS. It's far more effective than abstinence-based sex "education", and leads to a reduction in birthrates (both teenage and otherwise.) If they were REALLY concerned with out-of-wedlock births, conservatives would be pushing for these polices, but really they are oddly fixated on the sex lives of American citizens and undesired babies end up being a side-effect that gives them something else to scold poor people about.

Comment If only that were backed with the facts... (Score 2) 173

Is that the main reason the black community struggles much harder today (proportionally) than it did in the 1950s and 1960s is the total collapse of the nuclear family in many areas.

You know, we actually HAVE real statistics instead of wild imaginings culled from whatever websites you are glued to... your theory that the "black community" struggles today vs. the 50's and 60's because of the collapse of the nuclear family is directly contradicted by statistics (from the National Center for Health Statistics, a CDC arm), which show that the birthrate amongst unmarried black women is currently about half what it was at the end of the 60's, and this trend has continued despite a steep drop in black marriage rates over the last couple of decades.

... significantly less prone to the pathologies common in the black lower class (where out of wedlock birth is the norm, not exception).

Nor is "out of wedlock birth the norm"; the married birthrate is about 40% higher than the unmarried.

Ever deal with white trash (not rednecks, white trash; there is a major difference)? It's the same sociological situation and even the same set of behavior problems and stunted options despite "white privilege."

So, are they "pathologies common in the black lower class", or are they perhaps pathologies common amongst all low-income residents, and race has nothing to do with it? Making me wonder why you brought it up...

Yet those issues are precisely the personal choices, enabled by public policy and culture, that lead to the destruction of the stable nuclear family in much of the black community. Blaming external factors for everything, which is the politically correct solution,

Wait a minute... these personal choices are "enabled by public policy and culture" (which certainly appear to be external factors to me) but at the same time blaming said factors is the "politically correct" (and by implication, wrong) solution? Which is it? Is everything all the fault of those short-sighted black folk making bad decisions, or does public policy have something to do with it after all? I'm so confused...

Comment You aren't the customer for Dash (Score 2) 254

For the end-user, these things are of marginal utility. (In fact, I'm surprised they want to charge for them at all; you'd think they'd just toss them in for free if you've bought one of the items they cover a couple times.)

The true customer for these is the brands they are surely charging to be featured on one of these buttons.

Really, what Amazon should be doing is selling these "blank" at-cost to be used for the purchase of whatever item(s) you like.

Comment This is standard for mission-critical S/W (Score 1) 168

The idea of evaluating each step of the program for "what happens if this fails" is standard software engineering technique for mission-critical software. (That't not to say it's always actually done, just that it is the standard.) This method is hardly revolutionary (or even evolutionary.)

Comment The A380 is actually a poor seller (Score 1) 345

While the A380 is a more modern and fuel-efficient aircraft vs. the 747, it's been a bit of a money-pit for Airbus. The demand for such large planes isn't nearly as high as projected, with only a few carriers (namely the long-haul Middle-Eastern ones) really having much use for more than a handful of the things.

Most carriers have shifted to the 777, 787, and the Airbus equivalents, as passengers prefer to avoid too-many connections, and the smaller planes let them service more routes, which reduced the need to travel through major "gateway" airports such as JFK or LHR to go between foreign locales. In addition, connections often mean passengers have to go out of the way, which costs both airlines and passengers money. One flight is usually cheaper (for the airline, anyways) than two.

Comment That's not why the 747 is a good freighter (Score 1) 345

For starters, while they are (until recently) of the same type, freight-specific 747's are (usually) sold that way from the factory; many of those freighter features are not present on the passenger versions. In any case, Boeing didn't make the 747 freight-friendly because they thought they wouldn't sell many passenger versions; they made it freight-friendly because they correctly divined that such a big aircraft would be useful for both passenger and freight service, so it would be folly to not make it easy to sell freight-specific versions if they were already making a big jet.

While many aircraft makers thought supersonic jets would become more common, I don't believe any of them thought they would largely replace sub-sonic jets for passenger service; there's no getting around the fuel penalty of high-speed jets.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA