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Comment: Re:Thought crime (Score 1) 73

They have only thought about it. So they are being prosecuted for a thought crime.

It's both a pity and a blessing that Orwell didn't live long enough to see the geek in full flight.

The organization and planning of a crime, the recruitment of others to assist you, is more than thought, it is action.

Comment: Re:News for nerds (Score 1) 73

While the IS stuff is rather a hot news item, I do not agree that slashdot is really the place for it.
One of the reasons I look at Slashdot is to get a nice newsfeed without 5 items per day about wild muslims.

The problem is that the Slashdot geek seems increasingly resistant to any story outside his comfort zone.

You see this most clearly when a story cuts close to the bone on issues of race and class and gender in tech --- but it comes through elsewhere as well.

Comment: Argh. (Score 1) 296

by westlake (#47933307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

New keyboard. New Problems.

I think it is a safe bet that the folks back home are running Windows and that is all their local dial-up ISP can reasonably be expected to support.

Local support is the only answer here.

Not the once-a-year parachute drop --- and not the trans-oceanic telephone call that has to be scheduled across five or six time zones, perhaps more. There is no joy in that even when it is IT Pro to IT Pro.

Comment: It.s not about you. (Score 1) 296

by westlake (#47933179) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone.

I don't see enough thought being given here to how his parents use their computer besides sending and receiving their emails.

Technical support by telephone across multiple time zones does not appeal.

Comment: Re:Standard remote access (Score 1) 296

by westlake (#47933013) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Use a SSH or VNC server, and also use a dynamic DNS client so you have a hostname instead of some random IP address, Then you can control the machine directly when it's online....

His parents live overseas and he visits them only once a year.

To me that suggests that they are living in time zones at least six to eight hours apart, perhaps more.

Comment: Weasel worded. (Score 2) 94

by westlake (#47932057) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

There are also thousands of artists today that equal the top handful of masters of old times, it simply isn't acknowledge because it is subjective, and appreciation is inherently relative

1 Make a bold, dramatic assertion.

2 and. in your next breath, argue that is useless to offer any proof.

Such a talent is wasted in tech, You really ought to go into politics.

Comment: Yiu haven't answered my question. (Score 2) 358

by westlake (#47930841) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

Your right gas cars are total non-perishable and never wear-out or need replacement parts, and gasoline can be recycled as well.

I need to know what an electric car is going to cost me over its projected service life. I need to know the up-front cost of replacing a battery. I do not want to base my purchasing decision on "green" energy subsidies that may disappear after the next election.

Comment: You're nothing special. (Score 1) 253

by westlake (#47927853) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Well buddy you and any job you have can go fuck itself. If you're planning to hire me solely because I can shave and buy a suit then I have no desire to work for you.
Oh, and if you want someone who does what I do and is good at it...

I'll have no trouble at all finding a replacement who has all your skills and none of your attitude,

Comment: Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (Score 1) 253

by westlake (#47927559) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

If you work in any field involving network infrastructure, software development, information services, or data management/warehousing and your salary is at all dependent upon your attire, I strongly suggest you inquire with competing firms.

Your salary is defined by your usefulness to your employer and your potential for promotion --- which implies that you know how to dress for the different roles you must play within the company and are being realistic about your age and appearance.

Comment: Re:Downloading music for free? Scandelous! (Score 1) 309

by westlake (#47919093) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

If I came over and starting just randomly putting books into your bookshelves that publishers paid me to do without asking you, wouldnt you rightfully be a bit upset about it?

U2 fits comfortably into the iTunes demographic.

I expect to see many more free --- targeted ----promotional distributions of AAA list titles through channels like iTunes, Steam and the Kindle.

Comment: Re:International Copyright (Score 1) 169

by westlake (#47918829) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

Why is Netflix not available in Australia?

The population of Australia is 24 million. The population of metropolitan New York City, 20 to 24 million, depending on how you choose to define it. If you want a presence in the Asian-Pacific market, Australia doesn't loom large in your thinking.

Comment: Re:The geek never learns. (Score 1) 418

by westlake (#47894459) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

PC vendors would have invested in alternative OS builds and support, obviating that issue. Had this been done years ago, we'd have a much more competitive OS market, rather than what we have now.

The vendors had no interest in alternatives.

What they wanted was a place in the lucrative market that had evolved around the IBM PC and PC clone.

In the eight bit era there were many competing operating systems in the home market. If you needed an office machine, CP/M was your first and most likely only choice.

The IBM PC was designed to make the transition to the 16 bit world as painless as possible for the both users and developers. Third party software support for the MSDOS and IBM PC was strong from Day 1 and evolved rapidly over the next two years.

--- and by decades end had eclipsed everything in sight.

The Mac doesn't make its appearance until 1984 --- with barely enough resources available to support the Mac GUI.

Comment: Re:Apple? (Score 1) 418

by westlake (#47892913) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

The MS-DOS carried on into Windows. Even if you wanted to run Linux, OS/2, or anything else, you still had to purchase the MS license, or colloquially, the M$ Tax.

The OEM MSDOS/Windows system install meant you had a marketable product that could be sold in the millions --- tens of millions --- hundreds of millions of units ---- at a mass market price.

Dell and the rest were crying all the way to the bank - any genuine interest they might have had in selling alternative operating systems in the home and SPHO markets could be measured with a teaspoon,

Linux in the nineties was simply not a mass market OS.

But the easily affordable commodity hardware built for the MSDOS and Windows ecosystem were god-sent to the geek who wanted to experiment with Linux.

Comment: Re:Separate hardware from software (Score 1) 418

by westlake (#47892667) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

A law that forbids selling hardware and software together would increase innovation. Installation procedures would become very easy very quickly due to market pressure.

This is the home system I purchased through TigerDirect and other sources a few years back now. There have been many changes since, including a replacement desktop, but nothing that would invalidate the point I am trying to make here.

HP PC Desktop Refurbished.
Not a high end Windows gaming machine but with very credible specs overall.

22" HP LCD HD Monitor.
Mid-Line HP Multifunction Printer Refurbished

Microsoft HD LifeCam.
Logitech Sound System
Logitech Joystick

Internal Expansion HDD (Retail)
External HP USB 1 TB HDD.
Cable Modem (Leased)

I had this beast up and running damn near as fast as I could unpack the boxes and connect the cables.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.