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Comment Re:Booting computers with switches (Score 1) 615

One of the first computers I operated was a PDP-8, complete with the lights and toggle switches. It was kind of a pain because one or two of the light bulbs were invariable burnt out, so reading back what you had already hand entered for the boot loaded was never a certainty. It was also a twelve bit machine and the instruction set (what little there was) was always written in octal. Our programming exercises were written out by hand on graph paper. When we thought it looked all correct we had to manually toggle it into those front panel switches. Once entered we could spit it out to paper tape to be re-used at a later date, because we were just that technically advanced.

Comment Re:Never had a chance... (Score 2) 78

The idea of modular phones or computers, where customers are expected to purchase proprietary modules to change their setup or just to upgrade, has been around since the dawn of the PC. Back in the 80's Byte magazine was filled with ads from computer manufacturers that claimed that you never had to buy a new computer, just swap out their custom (and therefore expensive) modules. Those manufacturers are, of course, not around any longer. It isn't possible to implement something like this without increasing size and manufacturing costs. *Every* time this idea gets flouted it fails miserably, but companies don't appear to learn from the past.

Comment Re:Whats wrong with the good old shopping trolley? (Score 1) 88

Because it will frequently fail. Try leaving that out in the rainy parking lot and see how long it lasts. It needs power, so now you have to recharge all your shopping carts every night, and of course they cost twice as much as a normal shopping cart. How does the customer dispute an error?, and yes errors will happen. Also, it's then so much easier to game the system to rip off the store.

This is one of those pipe dream ideas that always show up on TV commercials for big tech companies, yet nobody seems to ask the people that would be expected to actually use it.

Comment "It could help with lines,..." (Score 1) 88

It could, but it won't. Retails stores now only hire enough checkout clerks to keep customers from abandoning their shopping cart and walking out. When checkout clerks disappear, the stores will simply replace them with as few of these machines as possible. Your wait in line will still be just as long.

Comment Re:Karma (Score 3, Informative) 393

That would be well & fine for those areas from which the water was directly removed. The millions of trees the article is talking about, however, are mostly in the mountains and the associated foothills, upstream from where the water is eventually redirected. The trees get their water from precipitation, either directly as rainfall or from later snow melt. The years of drought have reduced the amount or rainfall, and removing every bit of infrastructure in the state's water system won't change that one bit, so please save you armchair engineering.

Comment Re:Self hosted (Score 1) 205

My IP, from Time Warner Cable, is effectively static, in that it doesn't change unless my cable modem is powered off for several hours, which hasn't happened in several years at least. Once the modem has a connection they have never cycled to a new IP address, and the few times it has happened I just updated my DNS records. Your mileage, of course, may vary. Still no longer run an outgoing mail server however, just too much of a pain in the ass to be worrying about.

Comment Re:Expediency of transactions? (Score 3, Insightful) 62

Electronic transfers of course only take milliseconds, but what's the point of banks using them if they can't steal your money for a few days and earn some interest on it before finally handing it over to the party that you originally intended to have it. Block chains will be no different. Banks will still take the attitude of "Fuck you, pay me".

Submission + - SPAM: California Enacts Law Requiring IMDb to Remove Actor Ages on Request

schwit1 writes: California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation that requires certain entertainment sites, such as IMDb, to remove – or not post in the first place – an actor’s age or birthday upon request.

The law, which becomes effective January 1, applies to database sites that allow paid subscribers to post resumes, headshots or other information for prospective employers. Only a paying subscriber can make a removal or non-publication request. Although the legislation may be most critical for actors, it applies to all entertainment job categories.

The purpose of the law is to prevent age discrimination. How soon will it get struck down for violating free speech?

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Brian Krebs is back online, with Google Cloud Hosting (

Gumbercules!! writes: After the massive 600mbps DDOS on last week that forced Akamai to withdraw the (pro-bono) DDOS protection they offered the site, is now back online, hosted by Google.

Following Brian Krebs breaking an article on vDOS (, leading to the arrest of the two founders, his site was hit with a record breaking DDOS. It will certainly be an interesting test of Google's ability to provide DDOS protection to clients.

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