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Comment: It's not the same (Score 4, Insightful) 290

by yelvington (#46237823) Attached to: Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice

I lived through 14 Minnesota winters, and after a similar period in the South, I can say they're really not similar.

Southern pines are spectacular, much taller than those typical in Minnesota, because they can grow for years without being beaten down by the weather. When once in a decade or so they get coated with ice, the result is chaos -- whole trees snapping five feet above ground, crashing through attics into living rooms, tearing down power lines along the way. It sounds like cannon fire echoing through the woods.

The problems of winter hitting the South are not limited to lack of equipment, preparation, or winter driving skills. Nature just isn't ready for it.

Comment: Missing the real story (Score 1) 470

The real story, not in this report because the "market" has been artificially restricted to "desktop" visits to websites, is that total Windows usage (ALL versions) has tumbled to a minority position overall because of the rise of mobile/tablet devices. iOS and Android have rebalanced the personal computing world into a heterogenous environment where open standards are more important than corporate fiat. Fanbois call this fragmentation; I call it healthy.

Comment: If you're not .... (Score 1) 308

by yelvington (#45748571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

If you're not investing your energy in your personal time in furtherance of your mastery of your craft, you're doomed. The world will swiftly leave you behind and it's nobody's fault but your own. The coding skills you have today are obsolescent in 18 months. It may be wise for your employer to invest in your continuing education and foolish to not do so, but it's not the employer's responsibility. It's yours. You made the choice to be in a line of work where very little is permanent.

If you're not comfortable with that, consider masonry.

Comment: I'd shamefully abide if ... (Score 1) 353

by yelvington (#44784245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

I'd shamefully abide if I could figure out how to come anywhere NEAR the usage cap. What on earth are you doing? I consume a lot of streaming media -- Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Xfinity, Youtube, Pandora -- on a Roku, two laptops, a couple of Android and iOS devices, and various family members rotate in and out with whatever toys they bring. I'm using about a quarter of my limit. Hitting the usage cap is probably nature's way of telling you to go outside and look at the real world.

Comment: Re:amazon (Score 2) 147

by yelvington (#43379539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Friendly Video Streaming?

Amazon's streaming service is flaky with linux. The issue is DRM which for some reson is not supported in the linux version of the flash player.

Amazon video works fine under Ubuntu. Use Firefox, not Chrome.
From the FAQ

Why can't I watch videos on my Chrome browser in Linux?
The Flash Player Plugin in Chrome removed support for Digital Rights Management (DRM) in Linux as part of the upgrade from 11.3 to 11.4. This upgrade was bundled with the latest Chrome 22 update for Linux. If you applied the Chrome update, you are no longer able to watch DRM-protected content, such as movies and TV episodes. Trailers are unaffected as they do not use DRM. To get around this issue, you can use a different browser, such as Firefox. For information on Chrome and the Flash Player plug-in, see:

Comment: Not so shocking as it seems (Score 3, Informative) 189

by yelvington (#41871969) Attached to: New Jersey Residents Displaced By Storm Can Vote By Email

Absentee voting already works this way pretty much everywhere in the United States:

First, you have to already be registered, so the notion that nonexistent people are suddenly able to vote is nonsense.

Second, you must file a request to get the absentee ballot. In most states you do not have to show any form of ID to do so, but your name is checked against the registration records before any ballot is provided.

Third, you fill out the ballot form, sign it, and mail it in. Note that the signature means your ballot is not really "secret."

Fourth, the forms are checked against the registration rolls again when they are counted, and signatures also may be checked (usually a sampling are spot-checked). In many places, absentee votes are counted AFTER the live votes and they may even be skipped if the number of absentee votes would not change the outcome of the election. If a voter has voted at his or her precinct, and an absentee ballot from the "same" voter shows up, that's an obvious case of fraud and the ballot is set aside.

There is no reason to imagine that email makes this any less secure than the snail mail system.

COBOL is for morons. -- E.W. Dijkstra