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Comment: I can't speak for Grandma, but .... (Score 1) 287

by whizbang77045 (#46431323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux For Grandma?
My wife and I are grandparents, although a few years short of the 82 mark. I'm hesitant to recommend any flavor of Windows to anyone who just wants email, a web browser, and maybe a spreadsheet or word processing capability. I've had fair luck getting older XP users to transition to Zorin, which I believe may be intended for that purpose. Mint Linux, which I use, would come in a close second. But some Windows users just must have Windows, possibly because they think they're familiar with it. Being forced to use Windows 7 or 8 may change a lot of that.

Comment: There are two problems (Score 1) 822

by whizbang77045 (#46085035) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?
1) NSA MAY have broken the law. 2) He definitely broke the law. NSA may need some government action, because it isn't clear if they actually broke the law, or some individuals' interpretation of the constitution. Mr. Snowden definitely broke the law, and needs to be prosecuted. Any altruism which might have been his objective - and I question if there really was any - is way overshadowed by his blatent disregard for the law. He didn't just release information about spying on US citizens; he released a lot of other information which has nothing to do with whistleblowing. This man did severe damage to our country, and needs to be punished accordingly.

+ - Weather Channel Loss: A bad thing?

Submitted by whizbang77045
whizbang77045 (1342005) writes "I find myself wondering what impact – if any – Directv dropping the Weather Channel is having on Slashdotters (

Since it's purchase by NBC Universal, I've noticed more and more reality programming, and less and less actual weather. How it may be in other areas I don't know, but in our area, the forecasts are usually wildly inaccurate. A forecast low of say, 32 degrees, will appear side by side with a current temperature of 25. Precipitation forecasts are no better.

Radar appears to be a work of fiction. It's 150 miles to the nearest weather radar, and nothing below about 22,000 feet is detected. If one goes to the National Weather Service radar site, the imagery cuts off perhaps 5 miles west of us. But while that is happening, the Weather Channel would show radar imagery as much as 150 miles beyond that. There is a huge gap in weather radar coverage beyond where we live. I'm forced to believe the radar the weather channel shows does not in reality exist.

Weather alerts have been equally silly. We were cautioned of a severe storm, which turned out to be about 100 miles away!

Claiming loss of their channel would cause a lack of weather information in our area does not appear to be valid in this area. We're really better off without thinking we know what the weather will be, 3when that's not what usually happens.

What are the feelings of other Slashdotters?"

Comment: NY Times not a credible source (Score -1) 354

by whizbang77045 (#45845295) Attached to: The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden
Unfortunately, in recent years, the NY Times appears to have become more opinion than fact. It's a free country, and they have a right to that opinion, but they should label it as such.

Snowden signed an agreement not to reveal NSA's information, and broke that agreement. There are paths provided for expressing concerns, none of which he appears to have taken.

It was his choice to break the law. Having done so, he does not deserve special treatment. A firing squad, which I don't believe the law provides in this case, would be more appropriate.

Comment: Were known management tools used? (Score 2) 118

by whizbang77045 (#45778265) Attached to: How Changed the Software Testing Conversation
It does not sound to me as though known management tools were used. Did they sit down with the government personnel in charge, and present their approach, and what the site would look like (menus, flow, etc) when finished? Were there testable milestones, and a final presentation of working software? It sure doesn't sound like it.

Comment: Fond memories of a grand lady... (Score 2) 157

by whizbang77045 (#45642411) Attached to: Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper
I have fond memories of her. On the one occasion I got to see her in person, I was a member of a student ACM chapter, and she was our guest speaker. I remember that she had very strong opinions, particularly about IBM.

At the time, the System 360 was all the rage, and had blue cabinets. She brought an 8080 to the presentation in a small, blue plastic case, commenting that she'd heard computers came in blue boxes. She also commented (again about the 360) that it couldn't be much of a machine, since it spent half of its time talking to itself, a reference to the operating system overhead.

I've often wondered what she'd think of computers and operating systems today, particularly Windows and Linux.

R.I.P. Grace Hopper. You're a hard lady to forget!

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder