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Comment: IT is becoming a utility (Score 1) 344

by zerofoo (#48136671) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Your main concerns seem to be:

1. Cost
2. Management
3. Data location/security
4."Cloud"/internet access?

1 and 2. Google's chromebook/apps platform is completely free. You buy a chromebook (about $250) and a management license ($30) - and that's it. Your Microsoft products and their supporting management/backup software cost way more than that - I know - I bought them for years.

3. Backing up your data - google backs up your data to data centers all over the world and snapshots your data so you can go back in time - again for free. I've bought EMC and Dell SANs - even the cheap ones are very expensive.

4. Cloud/internet access. We have existing filtering systems in place, and our chromebooks work with those systems just like our old machines did. Google also goes one step further by giving you the tools in their management console to build web access policies. You can make web access as tight or as loose as you like. The really great thing is that these policies are applied directly to the machine. If a student takes a chromebook home, those policies are still enforced. This means that web filtering is no longer tied to your physical network located at the school.

The bottom line is that this is where computing is going. Just like it is usually not efficient to generate your own power and water, it will soon not be efficient to generate every IT system you use in house. Sure, lots of people will fight that trend, but efficiency always wins. It's going to be very hard to justify hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) poured into your datacenters, when competing schools are doing similar things for free (or near free).

Comment: No ads in Google Apps for Education or Nonproft (Score 2) 344

by zerofoo (#48136541) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

There are no ads in either the Google Apps for Education service or the Nonprofit service.

From the Google Apps for Education - Common Questions:

"For all EDU domains ads are turned off in Google Apps for Education services and K-12 Google Apps for Education users will not see ads when they use Google Search signed in to their Apps for Education accounts."

As far as "student records privacy" goes, there is tons of case law siding with schools and email providers - there is no expectation of privacy when you are using someone else's email system:

Reichert v. Elizabethtown College, 2011 WL 3438318 (E.D.Pa. August 5, 2011)

We provide computer networks for school work related use. Any other use is unacceptable as defined in our acceptable use policy. If students want privacy, they should use their own systems on their own time.

Comment: One huge customer - schools (Score 5, Insightful) 344

by zerofoo (#48123699) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Google Apps, combined with Chromebooks is a very compelling platform for schools.

We are deploying tons of these. They are cheap to buy, easy to manage, and great for 90% of the work that students are asked to do. (We use Macs for the other 10%).

When a kid drops a $1000 Macbook, I cringe. I cringe at the cost, and at the loss of whatever data that kid saved to his/her desktop. When that same kid drops a $250 chromebook, the hardware loss isn't too terrible, and I know that kid's data is saved to their Google Drive - automatically.

These things are fantastic in schools.

Comment: A potential class action suit (Score 2) 602

by zerofoo (#48007291) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Evidently enough people had similar complaints across many brands - enough to warrant a potential class action lawsuit:

The court decided against hearing the case, but there were over 23,000 complaints for one manufacturer. That tells me there is something wrong with the design of many HE machines.

Comment: New ones are mostly plastic. (Score 1) 602

by zerofoo (#48007287) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

My particular appliances, while steel on the outside, are almost entirely plastic on the inside. The large drum you can't see in most washers is plastic.

The guys that took my machines away didn't even want them for scrap. They said the little recyclables they contain are not worth the hassle.

My new machines, however, are porcelain coated steel.

Comment: The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (Score 5, Interesting) 602

by zerofoo (#48002257) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

I recently tossed a set of 4 year old Bosch HE front-loading washers and dryers. The washer was full of mold and the dryer needed 2-3 cycles to adequately dry clothes.

I performed all the preventative steps periodically running a hot cycle, running bleach and cleaning agents through the machine, leaving the door open after every use, cleaning out the dryer vent twice per year...etc.

None of it mattered. The service tech says these problems are common to all HE machines. They simply do not use enough water at a high enough temperature to adequately flush the machine. They dryers are also garbage as the manufacturers are forced to use small burners and short cycle times to meet energy efficiency requirements.

My mom's 25 year old Kenmores washed and dried clothes without complaint for many years - now we are saving the planet by putting crappy appliances in a landfill every few years.

I finally opted for a non-HE washer and dryer (Speed Queen if anyone cares). They are old-school commercial-duty devices. No WiFi, no touch screens, no weather or twitter feed - simply clean clothes in half the time.

Yup they use more water and gas, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I was told that by 2016 or 2017 these units will no longer be made thanks to more efficiency regs. It's madness.

How does this relate to CFLs and LED bulbs - well - I like my LED bulbs - my CFLs were almost all garbage that lasted a year or two. Most CFLs that I bought didn't last anywhere near their rated 7 year life.

It would have been better to simply give people economic incentives to buy the more efficient bulbs instead of being forced to buy the bulbs.

Comment: Spot on (Score 5, Insightful) 156

by zerofoo (#47941605) Attached to: Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

I buy damn near everything over the internet. I get exactly what I want from a competitive marketplace. Why can't I buy a car to my exact specifications direct from the manufacturer? If Amazon can deliver almost anything to my front door, why can't GM, Ford and Toyota deliver a car to my door?

Comment: Google Play Music anyone? (Score 1) 610

There is a ton of stuff in my Google Play Music library that Google thinks I might like. It's damn annoying and clutters up my library.

My Pandora channels have suggested channels at the bottom. I don't want them, but they are there.

This bothersome phenomenon is not unique to Apple.

Comment: If you don't want to build your own - Cisco (Score 1) 238

by zerofoo (#47891275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

I bought an ASA-5505 on Amazon for around $500. For that price you get a firewall that is used by many big companies. You can get your feet wet in the Cisco world - which could help if you ever need to look for a job, and it handles VPN nicely.

If you've never worked with Cisco before, it will take you some time to get up to speed on the cisco way though.

The only drawback with this box is that the interfaces are 100 Mbps only.

Comment: They may not know any better (Score 1) 352

by zerofoo (#47888483) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

During my consulting gigs, I found very few windows users that actually knew anything different. They all have windows at work (and someone to fix it when it shits the bed).

So far, every single person that has migrated to Mac OS from windows, tells me that the experience is much better on the Mac side. What people usually notice is how little Mac OS interrupts your workflow. Windows is constantly interrupting with updates, or crashed print queues, or explorer windows that simply stop working.

Windows has been patched together for so many years, that a complete redesign is necessary, yet Microsoft is afraid to cut the old stuff loose. MS can never progress if they aren't willing to let the past go.

Comment: Not late - just low quality (Score 1) 352

by zerofoo (#47888393) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

I had Windows CE and Windows Mobile devices for YEARS before I got my first iOS or Android device. I also had Palm devices before then as well.

They were good for their time, but iOS introduced a touch interface that actually worked with your finger and a real web browser on a mobile device.

Why Microsoft couldn't get that together during the 5 year period before iOS speaks to their incompetence.

Comment: All hostages to the last mile providers (Score 5, Insightful) 85

by zerofoo (#47816253) Attached to: Amazon's Plan To Storm the Cable Industry's Castle

It doesn't matter how much content amazon has, nor how many datacenters they have. Amazon, Apple, Google...etc are all hostages to the last mile providers. Their business models depend on that last mile for delivery of their product.

In the end, the UPS/FedEx model will probably prevail where content providers will pay a delivery company for delivery of their product.

Google seems to be the only company with the foresight to start building their own last mile network. Unfortunately, at the rate they are going my great great grandkids might have Google Fiber available in their area.

Comment: It could help answer some questions (Score 4, Insightful) 643

by zerofoo (#47768351) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Was Michael Brown surrendering with his hands up when he was shot, or was he attacking the police officer? Body cam video would have gone a long way to answering that question.

When investigating complex matters like police shootings, more evidence is better. There is no way you can convince me that less data would make the investigation better.

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982