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Submission + - New Slashdot Beta Sucks 3

tekpagan writes: New design Beta sucks.
Boycott the site Feb 10-17th
If the beat is still here on 18th Feb do not return.
Do not fix that which is not broken.

Comment This why Firefox flags self-signed as "dangerous"? (Score 1) 527

I've never understood why Firefox makes it so difficult for web site users to use unsigned keys. Now it makes sense, the "authorities" probably have a back-door into the companies that sell "authenticated" keys and can access those keys "when necessary" (and with what counts as "due process" nowadays).

Did the spy agencies infiltrate the crypto system in Firefox and put these scary warnings in place to prevent a proliferation of self-signed keys that they can't access? The Wired article mentioned the FBI was "entitled" to the Lavabit SSL key - how many other SSL keys are they "entitled" to?

Comment Mining industry needs these guys (Score 2) 274

Go find work elsewhere then.

Striking just shows at they can't. Otherwise they already would have.

I've worked in high-altitude mines in northern Chile and suggest that the working conditions are similar, but the pay is better in mining. There is a large pool of skilled and semi-skilled people who work in the high altitude mines (Collahuasi, Quebrada Blanca, Pascua Lama, Los Bronces, Andina, El Teniente just to name a few) that are the same labour pool that the telescopes are competing for.

The demand for skilled people in mining is driving up wages in Chile. Since these telescopes are competing for the same skilled people, they better pay competitive wages or else watch their people head elsewhere.

Comment Re:It's a sad sign of the times (Score 1) 467

> Honest question, do the Canadians give us "special pricing", or do they sell at market rates?

Short answer is "special pricing", for two reasons.

First reason is the "Brent-WTI spread" that makes land-locked oil delivered to Oklahoma (WTI, today= $85.12) cheaper than sea-borne oil (Brent $107.78). Second reason is that a lot of Canada's current exports to the USA are "heavy crude" that trade at a discount to WTI (varies up to $30) because they require extra equipment to process (delayed cokers or hydrotreaters). This equipment is common in refineries near tide-water (Texas gulf coast, for example), but few exist in the US mid-west. The glut of heavy crude in that market has driven down the land-locked price that Canadians get by about $50/bbl.

Most oil in Canada comes from land-locked Alberta and Saskatchewan. Since Canada doesn't have a major pipeline connecting these provinces to the Pacific coast (yet), our American neighbours are getting our oil at a discount to what, for example, Korea would pay.

Comment Keep it simple (Score 2, Informative) 265

Avoid using overly abstract concepts, and try to put things in terms they can understand. Since you are teaching statistics, try to use a lot of gambling references (lotto, roulette, etc.) since nearly all the students will have some familiarity with those.

I've found I can teach engineering concepts to elementary school teachers as long as I avoid formulae (and avoid using Latin references, so use the term "formulas" :-) ).

User Journal

Journal Journal: OpenSuSE 12.1 install - sound problem

I wiped my computer and installed OpenSuSE 12.1 from scratch, reformating the root directory (but not the home directory). Bad news - the sound didn't work.

Comment Only root account works (Score 1) 1

Good news: rsync works as root.

Bad news: After numerous reboots and combinations of user passwords, I'm still only able to rsync using the root account. Next step will be to dig through the user permissions in the device (ssh as root and play with combinations of groups and maybe the settings for ssh in the /etc directory).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Enabling rsync on Iomega StorCenter 1

Recently bought an Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 for our small office. I've got three Linux machines that I want to synchronize to this device using rsync.

I set the machine up with security, passwords, and so on. Using the web control panel, enabled that "rsync" option (on "Settings|Network Services" page), but that actually didn't do anything -- I get the following:

Comment Engineering programming - SQL and PHP (Score 1) 434

I do process engineering calculations in some pretty big applications. Many of them are web-based since I'm too lazy to program user interfaces. Side bonus is two of us can work on the application at the same time if it is web-based.

The single most useful thing I can recommend for engineering & science students is SQL. I can't tell you how many people I've seen using spreadsheets for a completely inappropriate application because they don't know how a proper database works.

But SQL doesn't do much by itself - I use PHP to interface with it. PHP has its problems, but it is simple, forgiving, and widespread.

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