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Comment Bad Time to buy storage (Score 1) 355

I would make best with what you got and wait to buy hard drives. Drives will probably be half the current price next summer. The upside is now is a good time to off load drives. I Ebay-ed a bunch of 4 year old 500 GB drives for about 2 1/2 times what I could have got a few months ago. I was amazed how much I cleaned out of my media collection when I decided to keep stuff I would actually want to watch or listen to again.

Comment I do both, have a nice smartphone and pay little (Score 1) 851

I have a really nice smart phone and very good monthly rate. The trick is to not to get suckered into a subsidized phone contract. I bought a unused Palm Pixi for $60. (Laugh all you want, WebOS is freaking awesome) I got a no contract T-Mobile plan for $30. 1500 Mins, 30 MBs data. I can get free wi-fi almost everywhere I go, so I don't even hit my low data cap. No overages too. I wish I found this setup years ago. I have a friend that followed my lead, but he got a nice Android phone for about $150 He is very happy and he has cooler apps than me.

Comment There is a great need for this (Score 1) 601

No I've never used encrypted email, I wish that there was a universal system for it. The other day I needed a credit card number from my wife. Simple I texted my wife to put the number in a text file and save it in the Dropbox folder. I wasn't in a big hurry so I check 2 hours later, nope not there. Texted wife again to recheck, I got a "It's there stupid" No problem, I'll ssh in. Doh! I forgot to setup dynamic dns when I reset the router for the new ISP. My high tech efforts failed, I called my wife and got the number over the phone. 4 hours later the file showed up in DropBox. I sure wish encryption was to norm in electric communications.

Comment I wish for this too, but found nothing (Score 1) 482

I support a District Attorneys Office and have been seeking a secure way to give electronic files to defendant attorney in the "Discovery" process. The files would have to be securely stored on own servers. Looked and looked for a Dropbox like system, concluded that we would have to roll our own. The Web Programmer rejected it, saying he couldn't devote the time needed to do it. Now we are just going to setup a SFTP server with take on all the fun end user support we will have give.

Comment Re:Females?! (Score 1) 141

You cannot divide the cake by zero, so the cake would remain. You could argue that my solution tries makes divide by zero equal to a divide by 1, but not so. I can illustrate the difference. If a Baker sells you cake with the requirement that you must divide it, if you divide by one you will get the cake, if you try to divide by zero the cake will remain Baker and the sale will be voided.

Comment If it is a glitch why is it always in their favor? (Score 1) 215

Of course this isn't enough sample of cases to definitely say this, but every error I have heard was an over charge, not a undercharge. Even though it would be cheaper to have Verizon to call our family and friends, I and my wife dumped them because we would get over charge by at least $50 about 4 times within a year. I hate seeing the bill in mail because I know I would probably be calling customer support to dispute charges we could not possibly have made. At lest the bills were never over $150 dollars. A coworker of mine got a $14,000 bill from Verizon, he didn't even have a smart phone. The explanation was that voice bandwith got charged as data, but it was also from someone eles phone. What kind of crap code is in their billing software. I wouldn't be suprised that it randomly overcharges a small percentage of people, just because it can always be attribitued as a innocent mistake. In reality enough people miss or it don't bother to dispute it that it pads their bottom line. I know about 5 other people that have been overcharged. I'm sure most of people I know would either do the honest thing and correct an undercharge, or they would brag about the money they saved. I never heard of anyone being undercharged.

Comment Hybrid is the future for off the shelf computers (Score 1) 681

I think many people don't see the future, because there is only one drive right that is showing what I'm pretty certain is the future of Laptop/Desktop drives. Dedicated SSDs will continue to sell to enthusiasts and companies building fast tiered SAN's, but fully Hybrid drives like th Seagate Momentus XT will be what OEMS put into the laptops and desktops for the next several years. The Momentus XT only has 4 GB of SLC (very long life) Flash, but inmagine when you put 30 GB of speedy flash in like a 2 TB hard drive. Your OS and apps will all run like their on a SSD and your data files like pictures and movies will sit in the slower magnetic drive portion. And this will all be done without needing complicated tweaks or OS support. At first it will come on the higher end models were people will pay more for the nice speed boost. You will see, I'm right. Now if only I could predict what marketing buzz words will be invented to sell this. Maybe "Hyperboost Drives" ;P

Comment Custom Works Great for my local goverment (Score 1) 606

I work for IT that supports all of the County Goverment's various departments and agencies, about 500 computers. We build most of the computers. It has worked out as big cost savor. Fortunately we setup our volume licence to be transferable because we have used Windows XP and won't transition away from it a department at a time for another year or two. Probally won't compleatly stop using XP until 2014 or 2015. 12+ years for one OS purchase isn't bad. We don't save much up front, but in the long term to cost are great. Many of the parts have 3 to 5 year warranties. The companies we buy parts have a easy RMA process. We do have a 100 Dells, and I hate jumping through their support idiot's hoops when I have just to replace a dead part. Dells non-stadard parts make it expensive to repair when out of warranty. More than half of the computers I support are 5 years old or over. There are still a few 8 year old computers! I had to put a 3 year old Dell out of service, because it would cost $200 to just buy the motherboard on a computer half way though it's life cycle. If it was a custom computer, it would cost $50. I wish we would go all custom computers, but we still buy prebuilt computers for Library Public access computers, for a few reasons. We couldn't build 20+ computers very timley with our small staff already loaded with other tasks, it is harder to put custom built computers into the State and Bill and Melinda Grants paperwork, and the smaller size works better on the Public access desks (Though I guess we could build mini-ITX machines)
Math

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."
Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Operating Systems

Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 vs. Early Fedora 13 Benchmarks 157

Given that early benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx were less than encouraging, Phoronix decided to take the latest alpha out for a spin and has set it side-by-side with an early look at Fedora 13. "Overall, there are both positive and negative performance changes for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 in relation to Ubuntu 9.10. Most of the negative regressions are attributed to the EXT4 file-system losing some of its performance charm. With using a pre-alpha snapshot of Fedora 13 and the benchmark results just being provided for reference purposes, we will hold off on looking into greater detail at this next Red Hat Linux update until it matures."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Duke Nukem Forever Not Dead? (Yes, This Again) 195

kaychoro writes "There may be hope for Duke Nukem Forever (again). 'Jon St. John, better known as the voice of Duke Nukem, said some interesting words during a panel discussion at the Music and Games Festival (MAGFest) that took place January 1 – 4 in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Pixel Enemy. Answering a question from the crowd regarding DNF, St. John said: "... let me go ahead and tell you right now that I'm not allowed to talk about Duke Nukem Forever. No, no, don't be disappointed, read between the lines — why am I not allowed to talk about it?"'"
Image

Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone 643

JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."

Comment Justify your very high IT to staff ratio (Score 1) 837

I would go for it, if you think it will help make management happy about your very large IT dept. What the heck you doing with so many personnel? Do you maintain your own software? I thought we had to do regular horse and pony shows to management to justify our large IT dept, 10 people, 3 helpdesk for 450. We would need less personnel if wasn't one or two unique quirky apps for each of our 10 departments on top of the usual IT stuff, that you have to do ritual dances and prayers to the Vendor gods to keep operational.

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