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Comment You may be doing that more often than needed (Score 4, Insightful) 645

I've had Windows XP for almost ten years now, and I don't have to "manage" anything. Every year or so I wipe the drive with a fresh XP-CD install, and need to reinstall my favorite programs, but that would be true of any OS, whether it's Mac, Lubuntu, or Chrome.

Seriously? Do you really need to?

I've got a Windows 2000 install that's still going strong at 10 years old, and a couple of XP installs well over 5 years old. We even have a couple of Linux systems that have been running continuously longer than you keep Windows XP around - we only had to restart them during a UPS replacement. The Mac OSes only get upgrades (which counts as an install, I guess) when The Steve unveils a new version, so the system OS install I'm using right now is however old 10.6 is (about a year and a half). I have an install of OS X 10.5 on a PPC Mac at home that is still working just fine after 5 years.

So, this begs the question, what are you doing to screw up your XP installs in a year?

Even my boss, the resident malware catcher (seriously, I think he actively tries to get malware on his system) is using a three year old install of XP.

I think you'd be safe to extend your reinstall interval.

Comment All sellers charge a markup, not just Apple (Score 1) 660

Apple requires you to charge the same price in-app that you do elsewhere. You can't just do the logical thing and add 30% to the price to cover the Apple overhead.

That's the same retail price - not the wholesale price.

Don't retail outlets charge a markup too?

Surely Barnes & Noble is getting some cut of the $5 they charge for a magazine. Might even be more than 30%.

Wouldn't you expect that Amazon make a profit on things sold via their website?

The only difference is that we can all see what Apple's cut is.


Submission + - Dirty IT Jobs: Partners in Slime (

snydeq writes: "Carcasses, garter belts, anthrax — there is no end to nasty when it comes to working in IT, as the fourth installment of InfoWorld's Dirty IT Jobs series proves. From the systems sanitation engineer, to the human server rack, surviving in today's IT job market often means thriving in difficult conditions, including standing in two feet of water holding a plugged-in server or finding yourself in a sniper's crosshairs while attempting to install a communications link."

Comment This is a prime example (Score 3, Insightful) 220

This is a prime example of why people without legal training should not attempt to critique court decisions.

Words that mean one thing to lay people mean something else to the courts.

On top of that, couldn't this have been summarized in some compact format so that readers know if they want to read the entire wall of text or not?

Comment Ok, but that's not workable in the real world (Score 3, Insightful) 396

teach users proper data hygiene Totally impossible. They don't care and you can't make them care.

Totally easy: 1: Here's not how to be an idiot. 2: If you're an idiot, you're fired without severance or health benefits.

Can you tell me how I can fire my boss? There's basically nobody above him in the organization, so I'm just wondering how you'd apply your totally easy method in this case?

There are also the cases where an employee is main rain-maker for the company, but hasn't a clue how to keep from getting malware on their computer. A law firm is not going to fire an attorney who brings in $30 million a year just because they keep getting malware on their pc, for example.

Comment What a joke (Score 1) 532

I would think it would be the opposite. That the gender studies and the dance majors should be paying the way for the STEM majors. After all, only one group will contribute to the economy after graduation.

I'd hate to live in a world run by you.

Can you imagine how boring society would be if nobody studied arts or humanities?

Picture street after street of dull gray buildings, no theater or art or even interesting architecture, etc., then tell me you want to live in that world.

Comment They should have sold OtherOS as an add-on (Score 3, Insightful) 319

The PS3 was sold as a loss leader...

Maybe they should have priced it so that it wasn't a money loser, or better yet - price it where it was, but sell the OtherOS functionality as an add-on for the difference in cost between the PS3 retail price, and the actual cost + profit margin.

Comment PS3 does make a great, if noisy space heater (Score 2) 319

Given the problem with PSN in the last few days, it appears there's no viable option left but use the PS3 as an offline gaming machine, an ordinary Blu-ray player or maybe a space heater :-)

It makes a fantastic space heater, easily rivaling the Power Mac G5 Quad I have upstairs, which can actually be used to heat the whole upstairs of our house just by having it transcode a video.

I make sure to turn off the power switch on the back of our PS3 after shutting it down, as there were many times I would come into the living room to find the PS3 running its fans at full speed and blasting out heat - hours after it had been shut down. I don't really care to know what it was doing, I just wanted it to stay "off".

Comment Those terms are meaningless (Score 5, Interesting) 244

"it’s two times as hard, six times lighter and ten times higher in tensile strength"

Well, to the materials scientists I work with, those words sound like advertising more than useful information.

Two times as hard as steel. Steel in what condition? There is a very wide variety of steel alloys, and these can be heat treated to be as whatever hardness is necessary. Find a piece of mild steel (the kind of stuff you might find at the hardware store) and try to scratch it with something hard. You can scratch it pretty easily, but try again on a piece of stainless steel cutlery and you'll probably find it quite a bit more difficult. Both are steel.

Six times lighter. Per unit volume? Ok, but how do the other characteristics compare given the same volume? Or given the same weight? The article doesn't give any real detail or any frame of reference.

Ten times higher in tensile strength - again, if you want to compare to steel you need to give the alloy grade (grade refers to composition, not quality), and the heat treatment - anyone who's bought nuts and bolts at the hardware store has noticed that these metal items are available in different strength grades even within the same basic metal family.

Those claims sound just like those given for aluminum - it's lighter (per unit volume), stronger (per unit weight), etc. But, in service, where toughness (ie. impact resistance, the ability to deform plastically before fracturing, etc), steel beats aluminum hands down.

Not that I'm a big fan of steel or anything, it's just that these comparisons are often incomplete and therefore meaningless. It's too bad the article writer didn't include any actual mechanical property values.

Comment NASCAR? Not likely this century (Score 5, Informative) 351

The reason why this is so novel is not the power of the laser, but it's size, timing and durability. It'll be interesting to see if NASCAR allows it, as efficiency is a big part of winning that closely regulated league.

Ummm... The mass-market car manufacturers abandoned carburetors for fuel injection back in 1987, yet NASCAR is still just thinking about using fuel injection maybe in 2012.

I think you can safely forget about laser ignition systems in NASCAR for a good long time after they're available in regular production cars. While NASCAR cars have been refined over the decades, they are still not using very much technology that would have been unfamiliar to a regular car mechanic in the late 1970s.

Now, if you'd said Formula 1, then that would make sense.

Comment Wrong question; wrong phone (Score 1) 93

I wonder if you'll be able to ./configure, make, make install programs written on this small computer? That would make it something worth shouting about...

The question you should be asking yourself is, "Why would I buy a product that lacks a feature that I want?"

If you want a cool looking phone, that can play angry birds, and that you can install your own stuff on, get an Android-based phone, not an iPhone.

Cell phones have been small computers for a very long time now, and have all had varying degrees of lockdown.

Heck, I had one of the first phones with a color screen and Verizon forced you to hack into it just to load your own pictures into it.

You want to get worked up about lockdown when there are other non-locked-down choices available? That's just pointless.

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