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Comment Understand your choice of license... (Score 4, Informative) 240

This is probably a bit of hindsight advice, but try to understand the license you choose for your work before releasing under said license. Releasing code under GPLv2 w/o understanding how downstream "users" can legally use it doesn't help when you have to question the legality of someone charging money for the work. If they provide the source and attribution to your work, they're good to go.

If this wasn't the intended use, then consider a different license that more agrees with the ideals which the code was released under. Granted - if you reassign your code to AGPL or something of that sort, many people will either not comply or avoid the work entirely to avoid needing to disclose *their* surrounding source too.

Comment No, the bits will get wet! (Score 5, Insightful) 332

::rimshot::

No, seriously - depending on the cloud service, aren't buckets of data encrypted in such a way that only the owner of the data can access them? Cloud service providers may be required to hand over data, but do they have the means of handing over the encryption keys along with it?

For certain cloud services where you're uploading via browser, they may be encrypting your data post-upload, so the request to decrypt may be more trivial. However, if you manage your own (like S3 backups) - or simply use a service that encrypts BEFORE uploading, I'm not sure there's a whole lot Amazon or some other provider could do to hand over the data in any usable form.

Those who are concerned about security of their data should ensure that the backup is encrypted in an acceptable method, or simply stash it in an encrypted container before storing it "online" (I realize there may be limitations of scale with that suggestion).

Comment Re:I think the generally accepted solution (Score 1) 371

Bit reducing the video, and capturing core audio (DD out of TrueHD, for example) works just fine for most movies. On most displays you won't notice the difference at a constant quality of RF21 or 22 (using HandBrake in an .h264 encoded MKV as an example). I can tolerate a few GB in storage compared to the whole deal. When I want the full experience, then I'll break out the actual disc, but my kids don't care if some of Tinkerbell's finest detail is slightly obscured through compression, when the trade-off is that they can pick any movie we own any time w/o damaging the original disc.

Comment ZigBee for the lose (Score 1) 375

Obligatory Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZigBee

802.15.4 defines the standard that these guys are using - also known as ZigBee. ZigBee is a lower powered WPAN type of "mesh" networking used in things like smart building communications.

There are generally two options for frequency - "900MHz" and "2.4GHz". They operate in a mesh network typically (or virtual star), but usually do so at lower powers. What isn't being fully called out is that most 2.4GHz devices will cause nasty interference to Zigbee, since they typically run at lower powers (0dBm or 1mW) at channel widths of 5MHz (802.11b/g/n uses 20MHz channels by default), using similar encoding as the older 802.11b protocol. Most consumer WiFi routers run between 40mW to 100mW (~16dBm to 20dBm). 1mW (0dBm) will most likely look like noise to WiFi. If the meter operator was considerate, they'd pick one of the few channels that lies between or just outside the typical WiFi 1, 6, or 11 spaces (eff those guys who use channel "3" or "10"). That all said, if the meters are using a ZigBee Pro implementation, they may be transmitting at a much higher level - up to 100mW (20dBm), which would be quite intrusive to WiFi if using a ZigBee channel that overlaps WiFi. Anyone affected by that would HAVE to use a different channel if the meter or meters were constantly transmitting.

In my profession, I'm part of a team that supports the deployment and operation of some very large warehouse WiFi deployments (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), and thus we're quite protective of the 2.4GHz band within the four walls. I can't tell you how often we've been approached by people who want to deploy ZigBee building controls in this band, each time refusing them since we know we'll make each other's lives miserable. Our 802.11 operation will likely render their equipment useless. We let them know that 900MHz or wired RS422 are both fantastic options in this case.

I bet the power company didn't consider the alternatives... or just didn't know and/or care. Not everyone is an RF expert, and the "wireless" buzz-word wins in may board rooms especially if it saves money.

Comment Consider paying in other ways... and a caveat. (Score 1) 666

Maybe instead of a monetary donation to CentOS, consider providing a server mirror to help the cause. May be cheaper than "paying" for Red Hat, and it goes to further the cause.

When it comes to support - consultants are great for implementation. However, if you've got a really large installation and start running into obscure kernel bugs or other software problems unique to your installation, you'll need kernel engineers or other higher caliber software developers or systems engineers to really deep-dive the problem. Red Hat can provide that with support subscriptions (or one-time incidents). Can't say the same for CentOS - you're at the mercy of the community.

Same goes for rapid-paced updates to zero-day problems. Chances are, you're going to get a fix a lot sooner from Red Hat than you would from CentOS.

Do I leverage CentOS for small projects - absolutely. But I understand that while it's 99% Red Hat code, it's not Red Hat in every respect.

Comment Re:CentOS (Score 1) 382

Be very careful on how you expose Webmin though. It wields a lot of power - both for you and an attacker who discovers the open port and a weak password (or other exploit). Personally, if I were to use it at all, I'd only expose it on localhost, and require using SSH port forwarding to access it.

CentOS 6 is a good recommendation though if you have background with Red Hat, or want to pursue a future support career with a RHEL based environment. If not, Ubuntu is equally well supported.

Comment Re:I live in AZ (Score 1) 359

Living in AZ, I want to keep my timezone, but I'd rather live somewhere cooler like Seattle. Can't really have it both ways though.

It is really nice to point and laugh at all of the suckers changing time, but having to explain what time it is this time of year to others conversely kinda blows.

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 316

The problem w/ Sundays only is the automatic "upsell" that some papers like to do.

After a while, my local papers would start upgrading to "Weekends" for the same great price, then 7 days per week for the same price (for a short fixed period). Eventually it became a full priced subscription that ended up going straight to the recycle bin. At that point, I realize I get my news online and I rarely used coupons, and I'd cancel.

My folks still read their papers religiously. I don't get why they enjoy yesterday's news, and they don't get reading it on the computer in real-time.

Comment Re:Surely a Kindle DX would be better? (Score 1) 220

Many private pilots use Kindle DX for their approach plates - the PDF forms are available for free from the FAA. Much better than printing them off or using the bag of thick books that have to be replaced every 56 days. The format of the approach plate is perfect for the DX, who's screen is only slightly bigger than the real plate.

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