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Comment We cut cable TV (Score 1) 502

We cut cable TV last year. When we had cable, 99% of the time we were watching the local channels anyway. After the DTV switch we got a ton of free channels. The only thing we couldn't really live without was our DVR, so we bought a DTVPal DVR by Dish Network - works decent, no monthly fee.

Don't miss cable, or the expense, one bit. Couldn't be happier with the decision.

Comment It's not the computers I hate. It's the people... (Score 1) 385

Honestly, I can deal with the computers quite well, they do what they are programmed to do without emotion. What I can't stand is the a-hole users and management who expect IT to solve any and all of their problems, with no budget, no staff, and no respect - all while being overloaded with an endless number of projects.

I'm sorry you never learned excel in high school, but when I am in the smack in the middle of a project that can prevent our company from losing millions your vlookup question is just not a priority.

Comment Makes sense... (Score 1) 306

Now I understand why with almost 8 million people in the city, with some of the highest taxes in the country, the reason NYC constantly has no money and has to cut critical services all the time.

Seriously, NYC has some major problems when it comes to infrastructure costs and planning. Just take a look at the MTA countdown clocks and the hundreds of millions they pour into it with absolutely no results, but they can't keep critical bus and subway lines. The WTC is still nothing but a giant hole. The Fulton Street Transit Center is a disaster. Hell, the Second Avenue Subway line dates back to 1929!


Comment Bill seems to contradict itself (Score 1) 91

It appears that this bill is extremely poorly written in how it defines peer-to-peer software:

From the bill:

(3) PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING SOFTWARE- The term ‘peer-to-peer file sharing software’--
(A) means a program, application, or software that is commercially marketed or distributed to the public and that enables--
(i) a file or files on the computer on which such program is installed to be designated as available for searching and copying to one or more other computers;
(ii) the searching of files on the computer on which such program is installed and the copying of any such file to another computer-- (I) at the initiative of such other computer and without requiring any action by an owner or authorized user of the computer on which such program is installed; and (II) without requiring an owner or authorized user of the computer on which such program is installed to have selected or designated another computer as the recipient of any such file; and
(iii) an owner or authorized user of the computer on which such program is installed to search files on one or more other computers using the same or a compatible program, application, or software, and copy such files to such owner or user’s computer; and

(B) does not include a program, application, or software designed primarily--
(i) to operate as a server that is accessible over the Internet using the Internet Domain Name system;
(ii) to transmit or receive email messages, instant messaging, real-time audio or video communications, or real-time voice communications; or

First off, wouldn't "the Internet Domain Name system" include reverse DNS? Secondly, "Peer-to-peer" software is nothing more than machines acting as both "clients" and "servers" and the broadness of what they believe "peer-to-peer" programs are could include public web servers.

Comment Re:GM's eyes are bigger than its stomach ... (Score 1) 206

GM is an international company, and thus, has to appeal to other demographics than the United States.

FTA - GM clearly acknowledges that this prototype will be a tough sell in the U.S. but they believe it will appeal in places such as Mumbai and Shanghai, where people are more used to walking and biking around.

Comment Re:Oops (Score 2, Insightful) 153

Someone just lost their job.

I highly doubt someone lost their job over this - and they shouldn't. There are no perfect systems out there, period. Given Wikipedia is a not for profit corporation, they very likely have limited resources and the IT staff does the best with what they have. Even with a virtual unlimited amount of resources things can still go wrong in a "Perfect Storm".

If anything, the System Administrators should be commended for their quick actions to get the site back up and running as soon as they did.

Comment Amazing... (Score 2, Insightful) 776

It always amazes me how much people take their civil liberties for granted.

Instead of RTFA, a number of Slashdotters went off on tirades against the ACLU, an organization with the sole purpose of protecting your rights as an American citizen. The ACLU has sued to seek the legal justification of using drones, to find out what the limits are, and who has the authorization to use drones. They have not sued to stop it's practice.

Even in war, there are laws that govern the U.S. Military and it's personnel. A soldier cannot just go and randomly kill people, just because they are in hostile territory. Soldiers must follow orders by someone who has the legal authority to order an attack or strike.

This lawsuit aims to clarify who has legal authority to use drones and how they can be used, not only to insure the drones are being used properly, but also to protect the rights of the personnel who use them.

Comment Won't someone PLEASE think of the cabbies! (Score 3, Insightful) 232

Almost every cab driver in New York acts unethically. As someone who lives in the city and takes cabs regularly, I can attest that 95% of them attempt to scam you in some manner. Sometimes they will take a longer route, sometimes they will add extra bogus fees, sometimes they will "forget" to turn on the meter. They will try and friend you to get extra tips. Very often, they will try and complain that the credit card machine costs them money (despite the fact that the TLC increased fares specifically for them). 20% of the time those credit card machines are "broken".

They almost always conveniently forget the flat fare rate from JFK to Manhattan. One time, I was in a cab and someone cut the guy off - so the cabbie sped up and started yelling at him - needless to say I was not amused. After telling a cab driver once we were making 3 stops, he refused to take us any further than the first stop - he was "on break".

This is an industry with a history of mob control and immoral behavior. If it takes GPS to help put an end to these things - I'm all for it.

Comment Re:What exactly is encryption? (Score 1) 155

The point I was trying to make is that based on the loose definition of encryption in these statutes, encryption really is anything other than plain text that anyone can read. Just because the the method of decoding something is public, that does not make the stored data a readily readable format. From what I gather, there is no mandated level of obscufication that data must undergo to be considered encrypted according to these laws.

Submission + - Linux powers SMS appliance

Davide Cantaluppi writes: "May 17, 2007

Acme Systems has introduced a tiny Linux-based gateway that connects cellular SMS (simple message service) and TCP/IP networks. The SMS FoxBox integrates a quad-band GSM modem, offers web, email (smtp/pop3), and mysql interfaces, and supports local message storage through removable flash storage.

(Click for larger view of the FoxBox)

FoxBox ports
According to Acme, applications for the FoxBox include:
  • Radio or TV shows with live interaction with the public, such as real-time SMS polls
  • Data processing for alarms and measure/control units
  • Sending and receiving SMS from a web site
  • Mass SMS message distribution
  • Server control via SMS
  • SMS-based order processing systems
The FoxBox is based on Acme's FoxServe product, which adds a dynamic web server stack to the "GM" version of the company's original Acme Fox design. The board is powered by an Etrax 100LX . The module weds 8MB of flash and 32MB of RAM to Axis's Etrax 100LX, a highly integrated system-on-chip with a 32-bit, 100 MIPS (million-instructions-per-second) RISC core.

FoxGM with Telit modem

The FoxBox's I/O includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, along with a pair of USB 1.1 ports. The USB ports can support USB mass storage devices and wireless LAN or Bluetooth adapters. Alternatively, SD/MMC cards can be used to provide local message storage. The GSM Modem is a Telit GM 862 Quad Band attached using J6 and J7 on fox board (ttyS2 serial port), according to Acme Partner Davide Cantaluppi.

On the software side, the FoxBox is based on a 2.6-series Linux kernel, with busybox providing a Linux-like shell environment. Standard software includes an SSH server, telnet server, SMS server, fetchmail, procmail, mailsend, PHP5, and an FTP server. Firmware is remotely upgradable via LAN, Web, FTP, or SSH. The Boa web server serves the devices's primary UI.

FoxBox's browser control interface

The FoxBox's browser-based user interface offers various message management facilities, such as inboxes and outboxes, an addressbook with group messaging capabilities, tools for setting up an running polls, and configuration tools and logs. Additionally, a "Custom application" interface lets users write shell scripts and connect them to the system's event handler, Caltaluppi said.

FoxBox Widget for MacOS X
Also available is a Mac OS X "widget" (pictured at right) that lets users read SMS messages on their desktop.


The FoxBox is available now, direct from Acme Systems, priced at 750 Euro (approx. $1,000).
Further info..."

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