Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 1) 147

by Frobnicator (#48932911) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

I can see a good BOHF episode answering this question.

The episodes have addressed it many times. In fact, both the article AND THE /. story talk about it: "We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go out..."

The answer is easy enough: Halon satisfies their requirements, as do Halon substitutes. They work well for cooling and suppress fires. Halon discharges are a BOFH staple.

Comment: I don't purchase UbiSoft products anymore (Score 1) 465

Been many years since I've purchased a UbiSoft product. Too many headaches with them loading up software that protects their product and trashes my computer. Even if this isn't a current practice, I've learned my lesson and no longer purchase their products as a result. Hearing this story I'm not surprised there are more problems with the company practices. It only reinforces my past experience with the company. And I certainly will not be customer anytime in the future.

UbiSoft has major cleaning up to perform. I wish them well....

Comment: Re:Only for the first year (Score 1, Troll) 570

by Frobnicator (#48867423) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

I think the key question is what happens after the first year? How much does it cost after year 1? If you don't pay will it brick your PC or just stop providing updates?

Either way, I predict a massive revolt about 365 days after the upgrade is released.

I also predict a massive PR push by various Linux groups starting about 300 days in.

Comment: Re:Even Better (Score 1) 382

by Frobnicator (#48861111) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

Wait till your infrastructure dies because the FBI or some other three letter agency is poking around in your systems trying to install a backdoor or exploit.

Seems like you missed the news on that.

Last May, as part of Glenn Greenwald's book, the NSA's process of supply-chain interdiction was exposed. They would intercept shipments of Cisco hardware, install the back doors, replace factory seals, and put it back into the shipping chain. One story. And another.

Cisco's response was somewhat curious. It wasn't outrage. It wasn't a lawsuit. It wasn't an emotional response. It was a calm, publicly released letter addressed to President Obama about trust and confidence. Nowhere in their public statements do they say anything about surprise, or about lack of knowledge that it was happening, or that they were not complicit.

Nope, it is an open letter asking the government to restore trust and confidence. It reads like the company was asking "please don't let these secrets go public again."

It is widely believed -- and documented -- that government agencies have already inserted various backdoors into Cisco corporate security products. It is also likely that the companies know full well about their products being intercepted and modified by the government, and that Cisco and others are helping the various agencies by tagging the products to be modified.

Comment: Re:H1-B Tech workers are NOT paid less! (Score 2) 484

by Frobnicator (#48817685) Attached to: IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Sources for all these magical wages? Wherever I've been I don't see the tech giant directly hiring the H1Bs. Instead they hire a contracting firm, and the contracting firm brings in an army from India and China.

And as for some of the companies on the list like Microsoft, they beg and plead for more H1B workers, but last year in July, September, and October they laid off a combined total of over 25,000 Americans with a corporate ban to not rehire any of them.

Somehow those 25,000 workers cannot do the job despite many of them having stellar backgrounds, yet they tell Congress in September that they cannot find any qualified workers and so they are opening up offices in other nations..

Most of us see this for what it is: a corporate money grab. The numbers you gave (without citation) do not paint the real picture. Those numbers may be what the companies publicly state when they are pleading for their desperate need for tech workers, but they do not match the reality of the layoffs, the people training their H1-B replacements, the office closures, and the creation of cheaper foreign offices. I cannot fault the companies in their desire to maximize profits, that is the nature of the beast. But please don't fall for and recite their well-spun lies about H1-B workers not displacing American workers.

Comment: Re:ah so both parties f-d us (Score 3, Interesting) 484

by Frobnicator (#48817631) Attached to: IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Well, voting for Obama solidly makes you part of the problem

BOTH PARTIES contribute to the problem. This is not a party-line issue. This story body and TFA point that out: bipartisan bill.

Given the political parties in power there is no good way an American can vote to fix the problem. Both parties listen to the money from businesses who like the cheap slave labor H1-B provides. Who wouldn't want to hire workers for 1/4 the money that cannot leave for another company that pays better?

As a resident of one of the states mentioned in the story I've written my senator in the past about not raising the limits, and just seconds ago wrote again, including my own sad story of a layoff after training my own H1-B replacement in 2012 and learning that he was being paid about 1/4 of my salary, below the poverty line. Not that writing to the senator will do much good as I've written in several times before and only get a form letter "Thank you for mentioned your concerns. They are important. I will now ignore them. Signed, Senator Moneywhore."

Comment: Re:Scope creep ... (Score 1) 52

by Frobnicator (#48798291) Attached to: FBI Access To NSA Surveillance Data Expands In Recent Years

It's worse than "papers please" ... I'm very sure we are all guilty of something. Prosecution therefore, is selective and can be used to target anyone getting in the way of people with power and three letter agencies.

As a history buff, one of the recurring themes of revolution, both as a cause of the revolution and as a key result, is the opportunity to wipe the slate of the old laws.

It is very rare for an old empire to survive more than a few hundred years without either a revolution that resets the legal slate, or some serious reformation work to clean up all the accumulated cruft. The few old empires with old established law (like the UK) have had many major rewrites of the legal infrastructure.

The US is rapidly approaching the critical mass for such an event, either a major reformation and reduction in laws or people getting upset enough to hit the big "reset the government" button.

Comment: Re:Not just self-employed.. (Score 1) 450

Your fake incredulity notwithstanding, most people do not have the cash for that. They have to pay bills.

Investment income does not necessarily mean having a fortune in assets.

Your personal bank account pays dividends and the government will tax it. Even my kids who maintain a balance of under $100 in their accounts earn a few cents of "investment income" each year.

Comment: Re:Just hire a CPA (Score 4, Informative) 450

If you're self-employed, have investment income, or asset depreciation, you probably already do your taxes with a real CPA. If you aren't, you probably should.

Not necessarily. If you've already got your home and other items paid for, you can be self employed and live off a fairly meager self-employed income. Or alternatively, if you have a lot of investments you can survive quite well with no direct income. Just because you have some wealth or are self employed does not mean you have a lot of discretionary funds, nor that you want to spend those funds on a tax professional.

A quick search of Google for tax prep costs for an 1040 with an itemized schedule A, plus Schedule C, Schedule D, and Schedule SE (which are the ones I personally file for my own home business), plus the similar state tax forms, have a starting cost around $400.

The big tie-in for Intuit is if you use their accounting software (Quicken for individuals, QuickBooks for small business and personal mixed funds) and properly mark your transactions then TurboTax will automatically do all the hard parts of the taxes for you, almost zero data entry was required. It would automatically itemize everything based on all the details you enter for every transaction over the year. You end up paying about $150 per year in software, but it makes accounting a little bit easier.

They could have done this with much less backlash with a little bit of additional communication. Maybe announce two years in advance that the prices will be going up, making it visible as part of the annoying ads they have built into both products in recent years. It is still cheaper than hiring someone to do it, but it is an unexpected cost they didn't mention until the last minute.

Comment: Re:Principles vs Practicality (Score 2) 220

by Frobnicator (#48771937) Attached to: EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

Well, I'm sorry for the EFF, then, but everyone knows what the terms are to get an app in the iOS App Store.

Yes, of course everyone knows.

The headline and other content is all old news, only perhaps a first exposure to anyone who hasn't read much about the Apple development process. The linked article is from March 2010 , almost five years ago.

EFF announced a new app for Android, so the first two sentences of the /. post are great and newsworthy. Everything else in this submission is just inflammatory clickbait.

Comment: Re:Worse service? (Score 1) 448

by u-235-sentinel (#48757987) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Worse service? Than a cable company? I'm 99.99% sure that is impossible.

Especially considering cable companies (such as Concast) have been fighting for the worst company in America award year after year.

After having experienced Concast for several years, I honestly can say I don't miss them and their service. Today my family has a 60Meg down with 20 Meg up internet connection. I'm paying $60 a month for it as well. We have yet to break 250 Gigs in a month in usage and that's WITH Netflix, hulu, Amazon Prime, gaming, youtube, torrenting, you name it.

Worse service? At least cable companies are really good at defining what that is so we can learn and demand better from the other providers.

Concast free since 2007!!

Comment: Re:Resist bifocals/trifocals and progressive lense (Score 1) 464

by Frobnicator (#48720181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

Polarized lenses often don't play well with LCDs.

Yes. Many types of displays are subject to it. LCDs and OLCD displays are always subject to it because of the way the crystals twist in a polarized way. Other display technologies have better or worse interaction with polarized light. A common intentional use of it are the polarized light 3D displays like the 3D IMAX movies.

I have polarized sunglasses in my car to help cut through glare and my frequently-dirty windshield. Sometimes they do not play well with display screens.

When I refuel the vehicle I need to take them off, since the display screens on the fuel station usually don't play well with polarized light. On many fueling station displays I can turn the glasses and make the display go from being clear to being fully invisible.

Many cell phones and tablets have screens that don't work with polarized lenses. Ideally if the screen is subject to polarization they are polarized at a 45 degree angle so both common orientations show the screen. Some screens are more subject to polarization than others, depending on the manufacturing details. But today, nearly all of their stronger-polarized screen result in some common angles that give a bright and clear display while the other orientation is completely invisible. YouTube example.

The same effect can happen on computer monitors depending on the details of the display.

Think twice about asking for polarized prescription lenses rather than as a clip. While they may be easier on your eyes when spending a day on the lake and more convenient than clipped-on polarizing sunglasses, they should not be your only pair.

Comment: Re:It would do them good. (Score 1) 223

by Frobnicator (#48707345) Attached to: US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

They are trying to attract good hackers. If a good hacker is out of shape and you make him go though pre-basic, then basic, he just must decide its not worth it and get a job somewhere else. After all if his skills are that good he has lots of options.

So what you're saying is there are not enough qualified American tech workers are willing to invest the time and effort to satisfy the long list of requirements. So clearly more H1B's are needed. :-)

Comment: Re:It was us? (Score 1) 197

by u-235-sentinel (#48704913) Attached to: CIA on UFO Sightings: 'It Was Us'

Well.. Ummm... So the CIA is taking credit for a flying device which moves at MACH speeds and changes directions on a dime? Seriously?

No, they aren't taking credit for the imaginary sightings, only the actual ones.

Nice to know the CIA is responsible for the reports going back hundreds of years into the past. Truly remarkable those CIA guys....

If a thing's worth doing, it is worth doing badly. -- G.K. Chesterton

Working...