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Comment The GPS is for charging in-state only (Score 1) 3

You asked what happens if you fill up in Oregon, drive 1500 miles in other states, and return to Oregon. This is why a GPS is used: no, you aren't supposed to get an Oregon road tax for miles driven in California. This mileage based tax was floated in 2004 in Oregon, and the idea was that your car would use Bluetooth to report the miles driven to the gas pump to collect the road tax. But the argument against that was: what about the people with a daily commute across state lines? It's not fair to charge people driving in Washington a road tax for Oregon. Supposedly, the GPS only racks up mileage tax while you are in Oregon territory.

I think you are absolutely right about the privacy implications. It's a horrible idea.

And I'm sure you are correct about people tinkering to break the GPS. What's it supposed to record when there isn't a signal? How's it supposed to work underneath this tinfoil hat that mysteriously showed up? Oops, my odometer cable was disconnected too? Shucky darn.

Comment Re:This guy lives in Microsoft's Ivory Tower... (Score 2, Interesting) 376

Sure, I wouldn't use the word "great"; but... I see the foresight MS used in bringing out SharePoint.

Better than email is a whole, real, Document Management System. And although implementing a DMS is smart, traditionally they didn't do "web". So Microsoft brings a DMS into its stable of product offerings, and makes it a WebDAV server, and integrates its access control features into Active Directory. That was smart.

Did I just use the word "stable" in a sentence describing a Microsoft product? Gad - they've gotten to me.

Anyway - the idea behind SharePoint was a good one, and I don't know of a better option out there. (Novell wants us to buy Teaming+Conferencing, but like iFolder I expect it's a good idea that will fade away).

Comment Re:Do people still get spam these days? (Score 1) 284

I'm an email admin for a local government. A few different days last month, my postfix box got (and hung up due to RBL hits) over one million spam connections in a twenty four period. You aren't seeing spam, because people are working to keep it from you. Doesn't mean that the business model has collapsed though.... It does mean that I'll keep paying for my anti-spam software thankyouverymuch.

Comment I know what did it (Score 2, Interesting) 326

I know what did it:

Certain elements of the community that developed here, unfortunately, creep me out.

In the interest of living a life a certain good book suggests (turning the other cheek), most of the people who donated to Bruce's site were Novell employees.

Comment Re:Thanks for reminding me (Score 1) 3

We do net installs at work, but here at home, I haven't bothered. If I'm going to do that, I'm going to do it right with PXE boot, which means a DHCP and TFTP server. I only have two DVDs because one is 64 bit, and the other isn't. This machine I'm on is an older 32 bit machine. But the xen host machine is 64 bit.

Comment Re:It doesn't work like that. (Score 1) 779

I agree with you that some churches are better than others, and that the good ones will gladly open their books for you. I don't know that most secular non-profits are more thrifty than most churches however. We can probably agree that public sector organizations have some large inefficiencies. (I used to work for the local County Health Department, and fully know both the good and the bad of a government run health department).

As far as tax-exempt status goes, you do know that churches pay property tax, right? So they don't necessarily get all those local services 100% gratis. They don't pay income tax, so the federal level services *are* free - but now we're talking military protection from invading armies, the EPA, Ag Department, National Parks, banking regulations, and bond debt service, et. cetera. They also don't collect sales tax; so the city (not county) services *are* free. The funding can get a little blurry - the police officer patrolling the street is probably city funded (sales tax), but the officer guarding the prisoner in jail is almost certainly county (property tax). If you live in a state without sales tax, then the church does benefit a little more than those in other states.

I'll also point out that clergy don't pay income tax, but they don't get Social Security either. And only the mega-churches provide retirement plans. I know my little church couldn't dream of it. I don't know if your employer takes out SSI. But if they do, that's a tax funded safety net you have because you pay taxes. Don't assume that those that don't pay taxes get all the benefits you do.

Lastly, there's the difference between non-profits that get to bill the government for services provided, and churches, which don't. Technically, my local hospital is a non-profit, but the amount of money it sucks down is shameful. $60 for a single tablet of Motrin. It's clearly thievery; but, as long as they can spend 9/10ths of their income, they can claim they only cost 10% admin overhead. I think that a church that hosts an AA meeting is a far more benevolent organization than, say, The American Red Cross, who takes donated blankets and sells them to disaster victims. The charity provided by a church is 100% charity. Not so with most secular non-profits.

I can see where you don't trust an organization that doesn't publish it's finances. But I've also taken enough bookkeeping and seen enough financial finagling (in all sorts of organizations) to know that a claimed overhead rate, even when published, isn't a valid measure of trustworthiness. Which is why I suggested that to know the real truth requires actual in-person knowledge. Even if they published their ratio of income/outgo, that isn't as valuable as knowing if the travertine is in fact a gift from a wealthy parishioner. And if it isn't, shame on them.

Comment Re:It doesn't work like that. (Score 2, Interesting) 779

How about you take a look? The church I attended was happy to let any one look at their finances - because indeed, they were doing the right thing. So the obvious answer to your challenge is: walk to the nearest church, and ask the pastor if you can look at his books. State that you've been told that churches do charitable work, and you don't believe it's as valuable as you've been told. Ask the pastor how many hours of counseling he does per week. Ask how many meetings are held per week. Ask how much money the church donates to outside organizations to send doctors and nurses to third world countries on childhood vaccination missions. Ask how much of the billable time (if it were a private sector business / public sector clinic) is actually billed.

It's obvious to me that the GP is right. It's also obvious to me from your attitude that you won't believe anything less than the truth as seen by your own eyes. I'm OK with that. March your eyes down to the closest church and check it out.

Of course, if the closest church to you is the Scientology Center, I'm screwed. ;-)

Comment Re:digg (Score 1) 6

I agree, mostly. With the software I administer at work, client upgrades come with two modes: "Classic" and "New". You aren't forced into the new scheme if you don't like it. What a concept. It's not like Slashdot couldn't have two or three web servers each running a different HTML rendering engine, all against the same database.

Where I disagree somewhat is the idea that corporate owenership was what lead to the downfall of the site. I'd be surprised if it weren't CmdrTaco and Pudge calling the shots on what gets implemented, and how it gets implemented. If anything, getting a salary to run the site should make the development process better; but....

I agree that Idle is a waste. And they don't seem to pick good editors. The last couple of new editors didn't emphasis "News for nerds, stuff that matters" as much as "Flames for fanboys, our hero: Jerry Springer". It's very rare that they put up a technical article that has any meat to it. Very rare.

That might indeed be the corporate overlords doing. If so, it's problem that needs to be addressed.

Comment Whoops - I forgot a problem (Score 1) 102

As I was getting ready for work, I remembered a problem. Management of the network did get worse with the transistion to SuSE in the realm of DNS / DHCP. On Linux, DNS / DHCP management is practically a stone-age operation. On NetWare it was far better, with a Windows app that did syntax checking, and the data was stored in eDirectory (which means auto-replication and redundancy). So my portrayal that the migration is completely rosey is flawed. Wanted to fess up that there IS some pain involved, and that it's not all 100% UPgrade.

Comment Re:Half-Assed Truths (Score 1) 102

We're getting painless migration. So far, we've migrated about 30 servers from NetWare to SuSE, and there has been litterally zero impact (almost*). Admin functions are still done on Windows workstations using ConsoleOne or iManager. People still use their Windows PCs, accessing NCP volumes (although the NCP "volume" is actually an NCP layer on the server: the files are actually on ext3 or reiser). We notify our clients of the brief outage while we switch, but other than that, they can't tell anything changed.

Mostly the benefit is that the Service Desk still uses the same tools it always did for user management. There's been zero change for GroupWise, ZENworks, remote control, file system permissions, print driver roll-out - you name it. It all just works, same as it ever did.

On the back-end, it did get a little more complicated, as there is a greater reliance on PKI. In the NetWare environment, the PKI was so built-in as to be almost invisible. In the SuSE environment, it isn't really invisible / automated. I imagine it will get better, but I'd be lying to you if I said it was as easy on SuSE as it was on NetWare.

*OK - yes, there was this one DOS app built ten years ago that has it's own internal database, that didn't like the change from a NSS volume to a NCP emulated ext3 volume. But that's the only exception out of about 800 users and 100+ apps.

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