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Submission + - MS COO Admits Giving Users Choice Was a Mistake (pcmag.com)

Deus777 writes: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said at their annual analyst meeting that offering business customers a choice between packaged software and cloud-based services had been a mistake. "We've changed that," Turner added. "I don't believe that was a good move strategically. And it's one I'm personally course correcting on as a direction. We're going to lead with the cloud."

Comment Re:Thank god (Score 1) 423

I agree. I've been watching this season, and while I like some parts of the stories, I just don't like how the Doctor in particular is written. I don't enjoy this season nearly as much as I did the previous 4 seasons.

I'm fine with the Amy Pond character. I don't really like Matt Smith as the Doctor, but I am trying to keep an open mind. It's hard to separate how his character is written from how he is playing the role.

Submission + - Another oil spill in the Gulf underway

An anonymous reader writes: It's being reported that there is another oil spill happening in the Gulf at this time. examiner.com reports,

The leaks at the Ocean Saratoga site have been leaking since Hurricane Ivan which caused an undersea mudslide nearly six years ago destroying the rig. Taylor Energy have been working since that time to stop the leaks. A ten-mile oil strip was discovered today near the Saratoga site. ... The Ocean Saratoga well was once operated by BP

more here

Alabama's Press Register reports that this 10km long oil slick is now visible from satellite images. This seems to indicate it may be leaking more than the 14 gallons of oil per day reported by the Examiner.

Comment salt, sugar, vitamin c (Score 1) 334

The DIY precautionary recipe against a hangover is: Boil one liter of water, add half a teaspoon of table salt, and six teaspoons of sugar. Let cool and drink before you go to bed. For increased efficiency also take vitamin C, either in the form of a pill or as a glass of orange juice. The scientific explanation is that alcohol affects the levels of a hormone called ADL, something which in its turn makes the kidnies less able to take up water and important minerals and vitamins. This leads to dehydration and lack of said minerals. Further, the process of breaking down the alcohol lowers your blood sugar level. Thus, the easiest non-fancy precaution against a hangover using only household ingredients is to compencate the deficits using the above recipe. In sweden it's also possible to buy more carefully balanced anti-hangover pills with a more advanced mix of minerals and vitamins. They too consist mainly of sugar and salt though. Examples of such pills are "Revigör" and "Bakis". Source of above is fraga doktorn, also as crappy google translation.

Comment Re:Why is it illegal? (Score 1) 574

I would expect some of the indictments are of the "you didn't follow the site terms of use" wire fraud variety, the main thing that jumped out at me from the article as illegal was this:

According to the indictment, Lowson and Kirsch interviewed former employees of online ticket vendors to determine what measures they took to thwart automated buying and also obtained source code, in some cases through hacking.

Emphasis mine. It would seem to me that acquiring copyrighted source code either via buying it illegitimately or taking a copy via hacking is something that most of us can agree is and should be illegal.

Comment Re:1/0 in the compactification of the reals (Score 1) 951

The user did not ask for a limit of division when the divisor approaches 0 but the number representing mathematical result of dividing another number in zero even parts. Mathematics assigns no meaning to such operation (it is not defined). Claiming it will get you infinity is either mathematical blasphemy or utter ignorance. The fact that IEEE might define a state for when a cpu tries to calculate it (NaN - which btw really is NOT a number), does not change the cold fact that doing so is an error and has to result in an error message.

Comment They Just Want to Ban Competitors (Score 2, Insightful) 650

From the long version of the report speaking about OSS use in Indonesia:

For example, in March 2009, the Ministry of Administrative Reform (MenPAN) issued Circular Letter No. 1 of 2009 to all central and provincial government offices including State-owned enterprises, endorsing the use and adoption of open source software within government organizations. While the government issued this circular in part with the stated goal to "reduc[e] software copyright violation[s]," in fact, by denying technology choice, the measure will create additional trade barriers and deny fair and equitable market access to software companies.

There they go using backwards English again. They admit that Indonesia was trying to reduce copyright violations with this advice. Then they turn around and claim that adopting OSS solutions creates trade barriers that deny them fair and equitable market access. Whiskey Tango, Foxtrot? Did these guys go to a special school to learn how to talk like that?

If OSS is so hard to compete against maybe you should give some thought to your business model and realize that it needs some serious fixing. No, easier to get the government to take out the competition for you. Lazy Bastards.

Comment Flawless logic. (Score 2, Insightful) 650

It's not flawed logic.

It's flawed English, both semantically and syntactically ("does not give due consideration to the value to intellectual creations.")

The logic is faultless. What these vendors of proprietary software are saying is that open source competition will reduce the value the market assigns to their products.

The question is whether you share the unspoken assumptions: that this is a bad thing, and that the government should do something about it.

Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 2, Informative) 534

I agree with this, but in practice I have found that it can lead to a lot of bug fixing if you don't have a complete understanding of what valid input looks like. For instance, in one project I was validating some input that should've been user names. I initially allowed for two groups of letters separated by space characters. Later I found out that some people had multi-part first names or last names that had spaces in them, so I had to account for multiple groups of letters. Later, I found out that some names have punctuation in them like . or ' or -. Eventually it got to the point where I was even allowing () because the name field was being used to distinguish between different people with the same name.

The lesson I learned from this is that if you don't have to interpret the data, you are better off just escaping any special characters and working with it that way. Aside from limiting the maintenance you may have to go through, it allows the users to enter whatever they want without arbitrary restrictions on characters.

Comment It CAN'T be good (Score 1) 169

There are really only a few explanations for the secrecy and ALL of them strongly suggest that the public should oppose any ratification.

Simplest is that it's secret because they know we won't like it. Perhaps they don't want the people of the world to understand all the tricks and traps they're building in.

Next up, they don't talk about it openly because they imagine themselves above the opinions and thoughts of the vast unwashed masses. If they let us in on it it might encourage us to give them our annoying, uneducated, simpleton input. If that's what they think of us, how likely is it that ACTA in any way respects us?

Compounding factors include that they're SO divorced from reality and human psychology that they never imagined secrecy would breed distrust. If so, anything they come up with is likely to be equally divorced from reality and human nature.

Finally, perhaps they don't give a damn how it all comes out so long as someone foots the bill for the hookers and blow.

Comment Playing games? (Score 1) 2

Playing games doesn't seem like a particularly lofty goal for the computer club - what about teaching them to make their own games (plenty of easy-to-use game authoring software out there), make their own web pages, or just learn the basics of programming through something like Lego Mindstorms (budget-dependent, of course).

Comment Re:I'm off-duty (Score 1) 945

Or maybe that she's full of shit and doesn't like to admit her choice is about fashion and not utility. Being the IT guru for an extended family, in the last few years I've given purchase advice for the laptops of about 8 college bound students. All of them wanted Macs, and the reason was because they were a premium brand and status symbol. None of them had any idea about the differences in the operating systems or what applications where available. At least one of them uses windows pretty much exclusively on his.

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