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Comment: Sometimes the support is just dumb (Score 3, Informative) 253

by smillie (#47083253) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other?
The company I worked for 20 years ago bought some expensive software and the people who came out to install it couldn't make it install. A call to their own tech support was no help. Boss called me up to look at the problem. When I looked at their install batch file I saw the problem was the install script assumed the hard disk was at C:. When you have more than 2 floppies in the system the first hard disk is at E:. The system had three floppies. I modified the install script while the two company reps watched and the install when fine. A forum having other people with a similar hardware setup might have been a help.

Comment: weird axe (Score 5, Insightful) 217

by smillie (#46808971) Attached to: Reinventing the Axe
I cut and hand split a couple of cords of wood every year. There are some woods such as poplar (in the video) or willow that split really easy. There are other woods that can be cracked open at the top by three inches and still need a sledge hammer to split the two halves apart. Without seeing how it works on the tough woods I can't tell how useful this new axe would be.

Comment: Re:Clever? (Score 5, Insightful) 229

They're a for-profit business and they have a legal responsibility to maximize shareholder return.

This idea always shows up whenever business is mentioned on slashdot. There is NO legal requirement to maximize profits, shareholder return or even to try to make a profit. The board of directors might get voted out if they keep making bad choices but that is by vote of shareholders, not a legal process.

You should read Google's SEC filings that say something like "we will do whatever we feel like doing even though some of those choices will cause a loss for the company."

Caesors Palace (Las Vegas) destroyed about 90% of the value of the company in the 80's to avoid a hostle takeover. As a shareholder I lost a boatload of money on that one but there was no legal recourse except voting to kick out the board of directors at the next shareholder meeting.

Comment: Re:Stability Control (Score 1) 961

by smillie (#45589071) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Just a basic understanding of elementary physics.

It does sound as if you have a basic knowledge of elementary physics, i.e. High School physics. Take university level physics or some automotive engineering in a university and they will explain what you are missing. I'm not able to give you that level of education in these posts.

Long enough, and enough times.

That would be zero and zero wouldn't it?

I had my license for 4 years and did approximately 30 sanctioned races and about 100 non-sanctioned races. I was also the team trainer for 2 years. With two entries per race we took first and second place many times. I speak from real on the track experience.

Comment: Re:Stability Control (Score 1) 961

by smillie (#45585187) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

This depends completely on what the corner looks like

You're confusing the fasted way through a corner vs the fastest way around the track. I'm well aware of sacrificing corner speed to set up for fastest entry speed (end of stright-a-way) or fastest exit speed (start of stright-a-way) or compound corners where one part is more important than another. I've raced on real tracks and understand how all that works but that is not the same as the fastest way around a single corner.

As a side issue there was one practice track with a fast left hand sweeper that led into a sharp 90 degree left hand turn. I was coaching a motorcycle racing team at the time and they couldn't understand why I was able to pass them in that corner even though my motorcyle was heavier and half the horsepower they had. They slowed down at the end of the sweep so they could make the 90 turn. I told them I gave my bike more throttle at the end of the sweep which both slowed me down and aimed me for the 90. They had to try it for themselves to see how more throttle can act as brakes and steering.

Comment: Re:Stability Control (Score 1) 961

by smillie (#45584551) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Think about it

I've thought about it, I've read books about racing and traction and most important I've used it sucessfully on a race track.

Why are all four wheels sliding? The answer is because they aren't getting traction.

Wrong again. If they weren't getting traction you would be off the road. The traction is being split between forward and lateral forces. Using it all for lateral traction (cornering) means you aren't using all you can for forward traction. Think vector forces. The more the back end swings out and is still being powered that directional force is towards the center of the corner thereby increasing the corning force.

Done wrong, drifting can slow you down in a corner but done right it is faster. Watch closely next time you see formula 1 cars racing. Every car drifts almost every corner. The drift isn't very obvious on the fast corners but is quite noticeable on the slower, sharp corners.

When you are steering using just that right touch on the throttle it's a thrill like no other. And you get to pass all those other amatures who haven't figured it out yet.

Comment: Re:Stability Control (Score 0) 961

by smillie (#45583463) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

And while skidding is fun there are better and faster ways of handing a turn.

Actually no. Sliding all four wheels through a corner, known as a four wheel drift, is the fasted way through a corner. The front wheels are only partially steering but most of the steering is done with the throttle making the rear wheels slide more or less than the front thereby changing the direction of the car.

It is also done on motorcycles except that's called a two wheel drift. It's difficult but is done by the pros all the time.

I held an amature racing license for a few years and got to do this stuff on a race track.

Driving at the limits of traction, traction control would almost certainly cause a crash.

Comment: Something Odd (Score 4, Interesting) 210

by smillie (#44911621) Attached to: LinkedIn Accused of Hacking Customers' E-Mails To Slurp Up Contacts
Linkedin suggests numerous names of people I know but have never exchanged emails with. It even suggested the name of my kid's girlfriend and kid's last name doesn't match mine and we have no common links on linkedin. I've limited my links to old co-workers from AT no family, no friends. There is no possible way they could have accessed my email because it requries an ssh login to a firewall server with a different userid and password, then an ssh connection to the mail server with yet another password. Those passwords are also different than my linkedin password. I'm not on any social media sites except linkedin and slashdot. Neither my slashdot name nor password matchs linkedin name or password. There has to be some data mining going on but it's not through email and not through any other social media. I have noticed that others from the companies I've worked for shown up in the suggestions including people I've never met. I'm not sure why they keep suggesting Texas people who worked for AT&T when I've only been in Michigan. It looks like they could have gotten my email contact list but I know they couldn't have. So I'm thinking that others seeing their email contacts show up might just be mistaken on how linkedin got the names.

+ - Intelligence Official Says He Was Fired For Not Lying To Congress->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We knew this already, but we are only being told what the NSA wants us to know and no defections from the Official Spin are allowed.

As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online — a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:

A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.

"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Patriotism (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by smillie (#44551869) Attached to: Photocopying Michelle Obama's Diary, Just In Case

he has sacrificed more A bank robber who gets killed during the robbery sacrifices a lot, he lost his life and his future. Does that automatically make the bank robber a Patriot? Of course not.

The difference is that the bank robber is doing his thing for his own benefite whereas Snowden gets no benefit, all the benefit goes to his countrymen.

Comment: Re:LPT bit banging (Score 1) 520

by smillie (#44509591) Attached to: China Has a Massive Windows XP Problem

I've got one program that runs on DOS. It's been running continously since 1995 (24x365). The only crashes are when power goes out and it comes back from those crashes with no corruption and no need for a manual restart. When power comes back it just picks up where it went down. My Linux systems don't have that kind of uptime. If it weren't for hardware becoming hard to get I would keep it on DOS. It's a nice simple OS that does what it's told to do.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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