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Submission + - Microsoft Removes The Option To Opt Out of Windows 10 Free Upgrade (

schwit1 writes: Microsoft is now forcing users running Windows 7 and 8/8.1 to avail the free upgrade to Windows 10, according to many reports from users still on the old operating systems.

Previously, the old versions of Windows would prompt users to upgrade for free; however, it was up to them if they accept the upgrade or not. But now the recent popups just inform the users that their upgrade is ready and will be installed after a specific time period.

Comment You've got the important points. (Score 2) 508

The critical question for such a determination is:
--Do you have anything else you can get get cheaply?
This very much alters the outcome. Por ejemplo: Given the inexpensiveness of wide screen monitors, the old 17" are thick on the ground at a couple of my work places, used only by interns. If your middle class folk can get you a heap of them for near-free, then yes, the Raspberry Pi2 will work well and keyboards and older mice are found in the same filing cabinet drawers. The Pi2 addresses shortage of CPU that was painful in the previous versions. It's very usable.
--Do you have shop class at a local school that can make you some cases?
--Are you looking for an amazing set of projects your kids can do?

If you can't get the monitors cheap/free, then the Pi and even $80 worth of monitor have brought you into the Chromebook range.

At that juncture you have to choose your poison. If you want consistent and easy to maintain, you'll need to purchase large batches of new chromebooks. If you have a little technical know how, you can pick them up in the $120's all day on ebay and as refurbs on woot.

Comment And if you don't like bloatware... (Score 3, Interesting) 209

...there are some other interesting things you can do with your inexpensive smartphone. I have a couple of these:
For use in development with this:
And it may enable SCADA and text message coverage of farms and places that will never get commercial GSM coverage at an incredible pricepoint.

Comment It's the base assumption that its invalid (Score 4, Interesting) 392

That if they knew what was on the phone they'd be able to nab the murderer.
You can leave a trail of blood all the way back to your Rockingham estate, and still get away with it.

There's significant (and mixed) legal precedent regarding someone being ordered to give a password that will decrypt data that will incriminate them. If the courts would not be entitled to this password from the phone's owner (due to Fifth amendment protections) then it's not quite just to claim they have a right to it prior to his/her capture.

This article seemed like a balanced view on the subject:

Comment Abusing one of my Hadoop nodes (Score 3) 558

AMD 8350 (best value per crunch at
32G ECC RAM (because single bit errors suck, and lots of VMs are nice)
Nvidia Geforce 210 (fanless, because video card fans are the cheapest most common failure points)
                  (and because 2D XFCE doesn't need a Titan-X to be wicked fast)
Patriot 240G SSD (for small data sets and zippy desktop responsiveness)
Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 (runs well out of the box with Centos/RH 6.6 and Fedora 21)
2 x 23" 1080p IPS monitors (best value in screen real estate)

Everything on this system runs in RAM after the first read. I took the 4 magnetic drives out for the sake of quiet. Since there are cores to spare and 4.0 Ghz clock I have 3 desktops open with a dozen Firefox/Chrome windows each (with many tabs in each) and lots of PDFs and there is still RAM to spare. In my youth I put more money into "the fastest processor" and "the best possible video card" only to find most of my annoyances were from storage latencies and noise.

Comment Nope. Not happening. (Score 5, Informative) 100

FTA: ...biggest problem is that people allegedly still can’t use Hadoop... Hadoop is still too expensive for firms...

Hadoop is an ecosystem with lots of moving parts. Those are real problems above, but Spark (Particle) is not a stand alone replacement for an ecosystem the size of Hadoop. Moreover it has no problem running integrating with Yarn on Hadoop where you can run Hbase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Rainstor, Flume, Storm, R, Mahout and plenty of other Yarn-compatible goodies.

It's also worth noting that Hortonworks and Cloudera may not be "taking off as hoped" because the branded big-iron players are finally in the ring. They hide the (rather hideous) complexity and integrate well with any existing systems you have with those vendors. Teradata for instance has a Hadoop/Aster integration that's impressive and turn key. They bought Rainstor, and will soon have it integrated, and that's Spark-fast and hassle free. IBM's BigInsights is very impressive if you have the means.

So, no, Hadoop is in no danger of being replaced. The value proposition that my $4.2M cluster outperformed two $6M "big name" vendor supported appliances is undeniable, but only that stark when your $'s have an M suffix. What will probably occur though is that we'll end up replacing every component in Hadoop with a faster one, and MapReduce will become a memory as things like Spark and Hive/Tez move away from that methodology.

Comment Some good data... (Score 5, Insightful) 434

But the doom-saying is inappropriate:
FTA: "Otherwise, it risks having users (slowly but surely) switch to more secure platforms that do give them updates in a timely manner."

Among the problems with this conclusion, the most egregious seems to be: Android is used in a way that Windows and IOS are not. People use it for lower-grade hardware that they are still manufacturing today. Go buy a $39 "unlocked" phone at your local Fry's (search for a brand like Blu). What will it be running? Android 2.3. Which is wonderful. They are calling this "fragmentation," but it's really people who could never spend the money for a $400 dollar phone finally getting access to one to what was a $400 phone 5 years ago. It can't run the latest O/S, but that's fine. The 2.x series phones (like my beloved Motorola Cliq) were really quite functional.

Dear Lucian (article author): Not everyone in the world is rich. That does not mean there is a "critical problem" that Google needs to address.

Yes. It would be great if Android kept major version trees alive and patched, like we do with the Linux kernel, and if all the manufacturers built their their complete phone stack from Puppet scripts, so they could get an Android update, rebuild against it, retest against real hardware and reissue the complete O/S for scant money in a few days.

They don't. If you want to make this happen it won't come from Google. It will come from us, the consumers walking into [insert generic carrier name] and asking which phone manufacturer got the greatest number of updates, after launch, for their top end phone. If the number is 3 refuse to buy from them.

When the stores know that is a selling point, they'll push back. Right now the people in that store and the manufacturer benefit most by selling you a new phone as soon as the old one is paid off. Until we change that evolutionary pressure, they will remain correctly adapted to our behaviour.

Comment Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 4, Interesting) 270

To anyone who has a shred of fear of flying, the game of "screwing with the pilots for laughs" is not fucking funny.

FTA, "Roberts said he had met with the Denver office of the FBI two months ago and was asked to back off from his research on avionics – a request he said he agreed to."

So he's scaring people and breaking/threatening-to-break his word, and they're being dicks to him. This may not be statutory justice, but it's poetic.

On the irrelevant issue of his research turning up vulnerabilities and the manufacturer's response being "shhhhhh, maybe no one will notice," I'd be completely on his side if he wanted to go on TV and talk about it with the world. I would contribute to his legal defense fund if he was in this for the good fight.

But if his frustration with Boeing and Airbus is going to drive him to be a fear-mongering troll, then any inconvenience caused him by the FBI seems utterly fair.

Comment Abusive authority breeds abusers, not obedience (Score 5, Insightful) 629

The question every person in authority should be in the habit of asking is: "Am I using the least amount of my authority possible to accomplish my immediate goals?"

To get a peace officer badge, A Clockwork Orange should be mandatory viewing with a discussion to follow, and an arrest for not understanding it. I think peace officers who don't understand the point of that movie are at least as likely to commit serious crimes as 8th graders who tamper with screen savers. I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Comment Should A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.... (Score 4, Insightful) 163 a book or a doll? In an age where Internet is thick on the ground, no contest.

So, will a weak-AI owned by a for-profit company inspire little girls to have this conversation:

"Mom! The Raspberry Pi 2 is out! It's got four ARM7 cores! My 3D printer would print a pair of ruby slippers in under an HOUR! Please!"

            or this one?

"Mom! If I want to be a size zero, I need Kellog's Brand Nutrigrain Bars!"

Comment I'm a big Elon Fan but... (Score 5, Insightful) 583

...we are so far from Strong AI that it's really a non-issue.

When I have a sufficiently enlightened legislative branch that all members know the difference between Guyana and Guinea, then I'll let them decide the engineering constraints for proper safeguards on autonomous agents and their effectors.

Today the rule for preventing the robot apocalypse is: if a robot can kill people, bolt it to the floor. Seriously, a second robot can bring it things to lase, and chop and mash; you don't have to add the lasers and the chainsaws to the combat hardened roving vehicle and hope the rules generated by the congressional oversight committee will keep us all safe.

Comment Re:Why do you own a gun? (Score 1) 331

>I don't think capital punishment is appropriate for property crimes.

See now, you're exactly the kind of person who should be armed. I agree.

>Unfortunately the track record of citizens stopping crime with guns is poor.

It's actually quite excellent, but the path to that determination is extremely complicated. I do not fault someone who starts with your beliefs for coming to opposite conclusion based on the available evidence.

The problem isn't you, and I don't think it's a flaw with my grasp of stats. either. It is very hard for anyone to measure the number of problems prevented by any factor unless they turn that factor on and off and measure the results in both states, in the same place. Fire is a good example. Fire extinguishers prevent almost zero fires every year. Since they are only generally applied to existing fires, the fires are not prevented. A judgement call is made by the humans that the fire extinguisher made a postitive difference in the situation, and in nearly all the cases where a personal fire extinguisher put out the flame, the fire goes unreported. This plays HELL with any fire statistics gathering. Now imagine if fire extinguishers could occasionally be abused to start fires. Given our poor inputs on how many fires that extinguishers "keep from getting worse" how could we measure that scientifically against how many they start to see if they are a net benefit?

Given the above I would state: It is hard to solve the macro scale math that would determine the appropriate level of firearms distribution for maximum positive effect.

You can solve this problem on the micro scale though. You can take a couple local policemen to lunch (btw: steaks work better than donuts) ask them about the local crime, and then go to a defensive-weapons trainer and ask him about the tools that are effective against those classes of crime. It might be there aren't any and guns are just useless where you live (e.g. Maui); might be that you're a fool to step outside unarmed (Seven Mile Rd., 3:00 a.m. Detroit).

I've helped a non-statistically valid sample of people in the triple digits with this problem. The overwhelmingly popular solution: Pepper spray. Not any; the good shit, found here:

Dominating reason: Nice people hesitate to shoot bad people. It's just not something they learn to do easily. (Weird, eh?) But considerably less hesitation comes with a non-permanent solution. And less hesitation means substantially more effectiveness.

Be safe.

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