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Comment Re:Just another way to bash someone's success (Score 2) 422

I just wanted to +1 this because I don't have mod points. Sociopaths very much do have no empathic response to others. My ex wife was diagnosed as a sociopath after our divorce... this wasn't exactly news to me but was a bitter pill to swallow. Since it came on late in life, it seems most likely that it was actually caused by physical damage in her case (which we can likely trace back to a car accident she had in 2003 where she did suffer minor brain damage). She literally feels no empathy toward others... in a sense I had to accept that for half a decade before the divorce she actually didn't really love me. There is also the chance that she never felt empathic... that she was always a sociopath.... but that's something we'll never know for sure.

She still lies, manipulates and cheats. She is also extremely good at pretending to be empathic and giving the outward appearance of normality... it's only when you are around her a lot that you start to see that her responses are manufactured. Quite often her responses seem almost too perfect and tend to echo similar emotional responses she has recently observed in movies and TV... which can make her seem quite emotionally volatile because her emotional responses change so much over time.

I think GP has never actually encountered a sociopath... I envy him.

Comment Re:Obviously! (Score 1) 333

I actually agree with GP... the Surface is a surprising development from Microsoft simply because it works so damned well. I've not played with one for long but I came away incredibly impressed. I have an iPad that's not seen a charge in 6 months, a smattering of Android tablets (and I think I've misplaced some of them) but to-date my computing world has been three laptops (one Windows, one Mac OSX and one Ubuntu), a server (running Ubuntu) and my Android phone. The Surface is the only tablet I could see myself actually using "in anger"; it's something I can whip out at a coffee shop to surf the web or actually get some real work done (assuming I have the keyboard/cover attached!) or something that's small, light and portable enough to throw into my backpack when I'm going for a long ride on my motorcycle for a couple of days... the only one of my laptops I consider small enough is my Ubuntu box which is an Alienware M11Xr2... even then the Surface is probably better.

It lacks apps at the moment... and the "classic" desktop feels a little like an appendix on the ARM-based tablet (no real apps for that environment)... but that will change and is changing rapidly.

Comment Re:Really? Woz? (Score 1) 333

+1 to this.

I did a clean install of Windows 8 on my shiny new Dell Latitude E6430 on the day I received it... didn't even boot Windows 7. I figured the only way to learn something about this new OS was to jump in feet first and take a few licks. You know what? It's not bad.

Now, the caveat to that is that I put the final release candidate version on... not the boxed copy that wasn't yet released. Drivers were an issue for a bit... had great fun with Hulu Plus app and the fact that my 6430 has the Optimus video stuff going on (so it wouldn't play video) but that was fixed on Halloween when Dell/NVidia finally put out a new driver set. Of course, being on the bleeding edge sometimes means pain.

I will also set the caveat that I grew VERY weary of jumping back and forth between "Modern" and "Classic"... and I still don't really find benefit in "Modern" except for consumption; not creation. All I use it for is reading Reddit to Go and the news app while I eat my lunch or drink my coffee... other than that I work in "Classic". I also don't get the "Modern" apps... fullscreen single app... what is this; 1984 again? Seriously; WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 did this 30 years ago and I thought we have moved on from that idea. I for one *like* having multiple windows I can move around, scale and switch between. It makes my workflow a lot easier. This "single-app-per-screen" was what I thought Windows was supposed to save us from... now we're going back there?

I will admit it makes sense on a phone or a tablet... but it makes NO sense at all on a 24" 1920x1080 monitor three feet from your face unless it's a touchscreen and you have arms like an orang-utan. On the flip-side, I installed Classic Shell and have been quite happy ever since, only venturing into "Modern" when I have an actual need for one of the apps in there.

Comment Re:Woz's unbiased reviews (Score 1) 333

Java would actually be relevant to anything more than Enterprise and a tiny niche market of consumers.

I'm not sure I'd call Android either an Enterprise product or a tiny consumer niche even though a solid chunk of what you see in Android is written in Java, and all apps are written in it.

Though having said that the rest of your comments to have some merit. Slashdot does tend somewhat to be an echo chamber but that doesn't make the discussion irrelevant. I would say if you were to go back on the Slashdot comments about products that would fail you'll actually find more accurate predictions than the ones you trotted out; they are only obvious because they were probably the most glaring but there are plenty of other discussions about technology failures and successes.

Comment [shrug] (Score 5, Interesting) 226

You know, we've been doing this for four years where I work. And yes, I know everyone here is going to espouse Truecrypt as the one true solution, but the simple fact is NASA is run as a corporation... as such they'll probably go for a solution that's vendor supported. The fact that they're NASA will probably mean they'll get a pretty decent price on the software too.

Now, the downside of full-disk encryption (which many lazy corporations do instead of home directory only) is that it does increase the load on your system, slow it down and make recovery if/when it breaks a royal pain. Our helpdesk has an almost constant stream of laptops coming and going through their hands that they have to decrypt and re-encrypt because something got out of sync. Time consuming, and leads to downtime for the users. I've often suggested home folder only encryption... but the higher ups want it all encrypted... right up to the point that their laptop is down for two days because they've broken it.

By the way, another horrible side effect of whole disk encryption is that our experience says that it'll kill SSD's pretty rapidly. Our average SSD life is less than a year at this point because there doesn't seem to be a good full-disk encryption software that properly implements TRIM... so spinning disk or hybrid disk is the way to go.

Comment All of the above... sort of (Score 2) 361

I've used a fair smattering of virtual hosts and hypervisors both at work and personally. So here's what I think of them all (the free ones, anyway);

VMware: Probably one of the easiest to get set up and master. Dead simple point-and-click interface. Learning this is good if you want a career in virtualization because it is the yardstick by which all others are judged. There are a lot of features though that are disabled in the free version that are used in corporate environments... but you'll have the basics down.

Hyper-V: Also very simple to use and manage... but unlike VMware means you can run it as a side-piece on your existing Windows box rather than having a dedicated piece of hardware just for virtualization. Already built into most modern Windows variants, and used somewhat regularly in corporate environments. Again, paid adds features and support.

Citrix XenServer: Takes the basics of the open source Xen and adds a pretty damned nice GUI. Paid version adds support, but most of the major features are available and functional in the freebie. Trial versions of everything are available. Memory management out of the box is a bit of a pain (no overcommitment by default) but easy enough to modify. Use in corporate environments tends to follow people who have significant Citrix/XenDesktop infrastructure.

Xen (Open Source): By far the best to learn EVERYTHING about how virtualization actually works, but probably the worst for actually getting running VM's. There are GUI tools to simplify it, but since Xen is currently moving to a new toolset that is incompatible with most GUI interfaces, and the GUIs tend to be a smidge buggy on occasion it's usually easier just to learn the command line. Of course, then there are config files, XML files, bridged network interfaces. If you want to learn about the internals this is the way to go... but if you're only going to dedicate a day to trying each one then you might want to skip it... this one will take a couple of days at least even with the several well-written HOWTO's. Having said that, once everything is working it's really nice and you can turn around and say that you know how virtualization works, instead of just saying you know how a single product works!

VirtualBox: Like VMware is good for the beginner to learn the basics because it does have a nice GUI that guides you through everything. Update notifications are a constant irritant though; it seems that every week they're releasing an update for this bug or another... I turn that off and upgrade when I feel like it! However, use in corporate environments is almost non-existent. Good support for most OS's, and decent support for 3D graphics and the like but still pretty kludgy. I use it on my Mac for running my BootCamp partition while under OSX... mostly so I can access stuff on that installation and run updates and the like without having to reboot OSX.

I broke out the two main versions of Xen because they are significantly different. They are similar at the core (based on the same code) but Citrix has it own front-end tools that are incompatible with the tools you'll use under open source. However, the commands are the same and so learning open source Xen will have some bearing on using Citrix Xen.

Of course, there are plenty of other hypervisors out there. My personal recommendation if you just want to play would probably be Hyper-V or VirtualBox. VirtualBox has the advantage of being cross-platform; I don't know if you run Linux or Windows (or OSX) at home, and obviously Hyper-V is Windows only. If you really want to learn virtualization and how it works, then open source Xen is the way to go... I run it on my Ubuntu 12.04LTS box and love it... but it's not for the faint of heart! Setting up the networking alone can be "fun" and you should definitely familiarize yourself intimately with how to undo what you have done so you don't break anything! VMware like I said is used extensively in corporate environments... so if you want to pursue it as a career I'd recommend dedicating a box to an ESXi server and just play with it. It's free and easy... but really doesn't teach much in my opinion.

Comment Re:It's not merely technically challenging. (Score 1) 113

Of course; they're simulators. That's exactly what real flight is like. Of course, in the real thing the terror is a bit more palpable because you're ACTUALLY in danger...

Though there are aspects that are tricky to simulate; the taste of horrible coffee, the smell of a first officer with terminal flatulence, and the horrible shiver that goes down your spine when your finger happens to find a blob of some unidentifiable substance that has scraped off the fingers of the previous pilot onto the seat adjustment controls. The only advice I can give there is not to sniff it...

I am sure these things are also able to be simulated... sort of glad they're not.

Why yes, I am a pilot; how did you know? :)

Comment Re:Presentation is key (Score 1) 173

Couldn't agree more. The reason Star Citizen has the traction it has, is that Chris Roberts started with demonstrable code and graphics. His presentation of the ideas is also fantastic.

Sorry, I am a bit jaded. Braben had his day but has promised Elite 4 for over a decade now and has never actually had anything solid to show for it. Even this Kickstarter project is just some hyperbole on a web page. So far his track record for promising the sky is secure, but actually delivering... yeah. And this is from one of the people who actively defended Frontier First Encounters because I saw the potential... but man the bugs were horrendous. If you think you've seen buggy code, you haven't seen a thing until you played the original FFE prior to the patch (which fixed only some of the bugs).

Maybe I'll be proven wrong... and in a sense I hope I am. I won't be backing him though: The world has moved beyond Elite. I play Eve Online and am deciding right now whether to back Star Citizen (*make that probably will before the end of the day). These deliver on the promises Braben made in the late 90's, and even deliver on the same promises that prompted Braben to whine that the technology wasn't there yet back in 2006. Ironically, Eve delivered many of the things he claimed were impossible right out of the gate back in 2003. Colour me unimpressed until I see something functional that we can see.

Comment Re:Ahead of its time. (Score 1) 52

The concept was actually perfect timing; the problem was it was hobbled by horrendous execution. The Webtop environment was horribly limiting, basically allowing you to do nothing except run Firefox. The $499 price tag on launch day was also unbelievable when you could buy a functional laptop for less. Add on the AT&T options you had to add to your plan in order to own it ("Tethering plan + smartphone data plan") and it made the whole thing horribly cost-prohibitive.

I had an Atrix myself and liked it a lot. It was a great phone. My girlfriend purchased the lapdock (for $299 after a few months) and still uses it for her school (she's working on her MBA) so I got to play with it. To me it was effectively unusable without hacking it for a full Ubuntu install instead of the rather crap environment it had. Even then, it was still limited in storage until I hacked it some more to move it to the SD card... and then... and then. Yeah, it could have been a great tool and I loved the idea of everything being right there on my phone, but when I had to turn to XDA-Developers in order to make it functional, there's a problem.

Comment Decent School but Self Taught (Score 1) 632

I grew up in Northern Ireland... my "high school" was the Boys Model Secondary School in Belfast. I live in the USA these days...

Anyway, my formalized education in IT at school was all on BBC Micros during the mid to late 80's; a beneficiary of the BBC Computer Literacy Project. It was on these that I encountered my first network with the Beeb's Econet... we had a BBC Master that acted as our "server" in the computer lab... it all worked pretty well. I did learn some stuff on these machines, and I still have a serious soft spot for the old Beeb; it was a great computer for the time. Not much of a games machine, but a great computer in general and dead easy to work with.

Now, my REAL education in computers, systems and programming was outside of school. I was part of the "Demoscene" on both the Amiga and Atari ST during this time, too. I was a member of a couple of groups at a time, back when we didn't have email to trade our code back and forth. We shared code by floppy disks in the mail... did that all the time and was an active member of groups in Sweden (which was sort of Demoscene Mecca) and one in London. I learned a lot more about computers doing this than I did at school, and by the time I was in my last couple of years of school computer labs I was bored out of my skull because the stuff I was doing at school was so far behind what I was doing in my spare time at home that I just couldn't muster the interest. I mean seriously; we were coding stuff in Pascal to display a menu, store data and stuff... meanwhile I was busy pushing the limits of the computers I had at home and doing stuff that the manufacturers said couldn't be done. Ahhh... good times :)

I have a 12 year old son in school in the USA today and am constantly appalled at the level of computer teaching in middle school. I am pretty close to putting him in private school because public school here just sucks.

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