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Christmas Cheer

What To Do With 78 USB Drives Next Christmas? 381

ArfBrookwood writes "Every year, I write a Christmas Letter and send it to about 50 people, and every year, it's different. One year it was just the word blah blah blah over and over with keywords, one year I made papercraft wallets with full color cards and money in them, another year I created a Christmas Letter writing contest that instructed the recipients to create our Christmas Letter for us and we awarded prizes to winners, last year, I took a fake retro photo of my family, Inkscaped/GIMPed in a chemistry set and some wall art, printed it onto CD covers, and burned retro Christmas songs onto digital vinyl and sent everyone in the family what looked like a miniature Christmas album. Last week, I came into the possession of 78 2GB USB drives. I have already taken the time to wipe them clean and reflash the memory so they are blank slates." Now, Arf's looking for suggestions for how to best use all these drives; read on for more.

Comment Re:Work Experience (Score 1) 834

I disagree.

Your personal experience aside, let me give you a window into mine:

I have college education. No undergrad, no masters, no university of any kind. I did an accelerated course that crammed a 3 year program into 1 1/2 years.

I have been working in the field for almost 10 years now, am making great money, doing what I love to do, and have never had any regrets.

I personally believe that you should do what makes you happy. If you love the academics of it, go for it, do your masters. But don't do it because you think it'll give you an edge.

In the long run, if you get an edge because of it (maybe 5% of lucky cases) then great, but if you don't (perhaps 95%) of cases, then you'll be left with a whole load of student debt, and a feeling that you've wasted a lot of time and money for no real gain.

But that's just me 2 cents. :)

Comment Re:Anti-Copyright? (Score 1) 554

Your either extraordinarily ignorant, or your intentionally misinterpreting his words in an attempt to discredit him.

Regardless of which (I suspect the latter), you can't deny the excellent work NYCL has done to expose the RIAA legal team for what it truely is. A machine driven by greed to extort money out of its own customers because its business model is failing in a new world driven by digital culture.

The RIAA had a choice many years ago to embrace the new world. Indeed, there is always a choice. They made the choice to litigate rather than innovate. Thus, they created their own mess by fracturing the file sharing market, and driving people to innovate around their attempts to shut down file-sharing.

The reality is, even without file-sharing technology, the RIAA would still be losing record sales to digital media. If they do not learn to embrace the technology and innovate to save the industry, they will wither and die.

The ball really is in their court now.

Comment Inside my head... (Score 1) 508

My coding happy place is just that... inside my head. I can code anywhere, anytime. Give me some quiet music and a set of headphones and I can escape all distractions and make the whole world disappear.

My wife hates it when I enter that state because she has to all but hit me to get my attention. A state of concentration that intense is when I do my very best coding. It doesn't matter where I am, as long as I can get into that state.

Comment Re:Oh Yeah?! (Score 4, Insightful) 615

For the record:

1. I'm a desktop linux user of almost 2 years.

2. I'm a gamer, and all my games run just fine in Linux.

3. Photoshop works just fine, out of the box, in Linux through WINE if you *really* must have it.

So yeah... all is well for me. I also do video editing and DVD authoring work in Linux, which I find has better tools and better control over the end product than any package I've found for Windows.

Is there a learning curve?

Of course there is. But go visit the Helios project blog and you'll be awakened to a world in which desktop Linux is distributed to underprivileged children who pick it up in a matter of minutes. Keeping in mind that these are children who have never used a computer of *ANY* kind.

If you want Linux adoption, the children is where to target it. Our generation grew up with windows, and a vast many people don't want to let go of the past.

Teach your children Linux, and do the future a favor.

Comment Re:Me too (Score 1) 887

Or... you could do what I used to do.

I used to walk 6km to work each day wearing casual cloths, change cloths when I got to work, then change back into casual before I left at night.

It worked out quite well for me.

Comment Re:Not everywhere in the world has the same laws (Score 2, Informative) 693

I'm going to raise a red light on this...

1. We pay a *levy*, not a tax, on recordable media.

2. This levy does not allow you to distribute your collection online. Distributing copyrighted works online is still infringing activity.

3. The levy *does* cover you borrowing a CD from the library and making a *personal* copy of it to blank media. But, if you are recording the copyrighted work to a media that the levy is not applied to, it is still infringing activity.

4. The Canadian gov't has repeatedly made promises to reform copyright laws and eliminate the private copying levy, so don't get too comfortable with it.

Comment Re:the real story (Score 1) 504

Speaking as a parent myself, and admitedly, not having read TFA...

If the child had previously known issues (of some kind), father should not have left for work without waking up Mother. That's negligence.

Leaving the car keys in a place that the child could obtain them... negligence.

Having the child exposed to GTA, or any other violent video game (regardless of any or no purported effect on the child, I don't care) is negligence. And your argument that it may not have been at home is bunk too. If you know your child has issues already, then you make *sure* that your child is not going to get exposed to anything that could adversely effect that pre-known condition.

Sorry, but this whole story reeks of bad parenting.

Comment Re:Salty Tears (Score 1) 688

I agree, wholeheartedly.

My wife and I have been looking at houses for about 5 years. Weighing our options, taking our time...

We watches the housing prices explode all around us while we continued to pay the same rents. It was strange to see houses go for much higher prices than any sane man would pay... and all along analysts were saying... "The housing bubble *will* pop."

We waiting until that happened. Bought a house this past summer, and are doing great.

Sure, I feel the recession. The company I work for is making cuts all over, and I have been very lucky, as all the cuts have been at other locations, moving more work to my location. But my salary is still the same, and the gas prices are lower, which is good for my expenses. All of my investments are long-term, low-risk. Sure, they might take a hit now, but they'll bounce back when the economy recovers.

Over-all... no... I'm not scared of the recession.

Will Wright Opines That Wii Is the Only Next-Gen Console 381

PhoenixOne writes "In an article that will probably tick off a lot of PS3 owners, Will Wright calls the PS3 and 360 'incremental improvement(s)'. 'The Wii feels like a major jump - not that the graphics are more powerful, but that it hits a completely different demographic. In some sense I see the Wii as the most significant thing that's happened, at least on the console side, in quite a while ... I still, for the most part, prefer playing games on the computer - to me the mouse is the best input device ever. Every generation it's like 'the PC's dead! The PC's dead!'. But it carries on growing when consoles are flat for five years. At the moment I can get better graphics on my PC than I can on the PS3.'"

Submission + - Japan customs will require fingerprints. (

Synchis writes: "This link came to me in a company email and describes the changes going on in Japan to "Combat Terrorists". Tourists and travelers going to Japan will have to submit to being finger-printed and possibly photographed at customs. Some exemptions are made, but really, is this seriously necessary? Should normal people have to subject themselves to being treated like a common criminal for the sake of public safety? Will this really make a difference?"

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