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Comment Re:Surely an inadvertent target (Score 2) 163

I've done something like this. I ended up using a CD-R removing the hard drives. The advantage of a CD-R is that it can't be modified easily which removed 99% of the possible ways to mess with the system. (I wouldn't be as confident a USB drive couldn't be modified.) It also makes it easy to test upgrades and deploy them rapidly.

I know it would be possible to do network booting but I've tried it and it was slower and took more effort. For my purposes, I found slax easy to set up, modify and use. I tried out several other distros and justbrowsing seemed better to me. However, after testing it out on regular users, the slax install seemed easier to use and harder to mess up. I think it's because having several options confuses people. (I think that explains Apple's success. As much as I may prefer choice and don't mind learning something new, the average user doesn't want to "have to" make choices.)

If I'd had to expose it to the general public, I would have probably used a little superglue to ensure the CD didn't get pulled out, or just stuck the CD-ROM drive inside behind a cover. Yes a deviant with a pocketknife might still manage to pry open the drive or a geek with a screwdriver might replace something internal or reset the BIOS modification password but I still think it would work better than most kiosk systems I've worked with. It was simple enough that kids and old people almost never complained. (I say "almost" because we didn't connect our kiosk machines to printers. I was aiming for low maintenance and printers are pretty much never low maintenance.)

The one real irritant is that people sometimes wandered onto sites that were "Internet Explorer Only." While I possibly could have overcome some of that with IE emulation in Firefox, I choose instead to just say it was bad site design and that, for security reasons, we wouldn't be providing a kiosk with Internet Explorer. Ever.

If I'd been willing to invest more time, I probably would have built a custom distro with Suse studio. If anybody goes that route, I'd be interested in the results.

Comment Re:Recommended by 0 out of 5 Dentists (Score 1) 130

Heck yes they will! I'll go to my dentist and be offered a traditional filling for $200 or a tooth regrowing treatment for $800.

I'll choose the regrowing treatment because my mouth already looks like swiss cheese in the x-rays. I expect they'll drill out the damaged enamel and then replace it with the regrowing sponge, then cap it off with something much like they already use. I doubt it will be cheap, but if I'd been using that for the last twenty years, I'd probably still have all my teeth.

Comment Perpetual motion - it comes (Score 1, Troll) 124

Perpetual motion is quackery, but we use it every day with solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric sources. I'll grant you that "perpetual" doesn't really apply when applied to sources of energy that come from a giant ball of gas undergoing fusion, since it isn't technically perpetual. Nonetheless, it is free energy on a human scale. Let's support investing in collecting and using such free energy sources because it makes life better for all of us. I know Apple isn't without its faults, but each time humanity invests in this sort of thing, it also improves our lot as a whole.

Comment Re:Does not compute (Score 1) 541

That story was a little local for me.

The story I remember was a local union squaring off against management. Management said they couldn't afford to keep loosing money. The union said they wouldn't budge on salary demands, the management said they couldn't pay them what they demanded. The union stood firm and the company closed. Everybody lost jobs. Yay union?

Hostess had a net loss of $1.1 billion in fiscal 2012, on revenues of $2.5 billion. In January, the company filed for Chapter 11.

Unions aren't intrinsically bad or good, but Hostess provided the prime example of how they can cause more harm than good. It doesn't necessarily need to be that way, but if the union leaders aren't able to see reality, then *boom* death of Twinkies!

Comment Re:Better be ready to be beat up when layed off wo (Score 4, Insightful) 541

I certainly don't think I'd be useless without my current job. I love baking, drawing, painting, hiking, camping, fishing, kite flying, movies, tv shows, books, hanging out with friends, learning new skills and programming. I don't get paid for most of those and the one I do get paid for is only fun about a third of the time. Given my current level of comfort, I'd love to spend an extra thirty hours a week on more of those other things.

Take away any single one of those things I enjoy and I'll spend more time on the others. Heck, take all of them away and I'm confident I'd find new hobbies. Woodworking looks interesting.

Comment Re:Better be ready to be beat up when layed off wo (Score 1) 541

I'd love to work ten hours a week for my current forty hour pay. I already spend around ten hours every week listening to podcasts that increase my understanding of the tech industry as a whole and my particular work areas. Given an additional thirty hours in a week to spend as I choose, I'd probably spend another ten on self education, another ten on personal enrichment like reading for pleasure and the last extra ten with my family.

Maybe I'd balance that a little differently. Perhaps I'd get a little more sleep and spend a little more time on slashdot, who knows. I'd like the opportunity to find out.

Comment This is a good thing (Score 1) 251

Nothing could be better for the business of providing privacy supporting VPNs and proxies than this. Every privacy service sees this legislation as a sudden boon to business. In six months there will be more and cheaper VPNs and proxies available all over the world. What could be better for proxy and VPN service providers than having governments produce an incentive to use them?

The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. - John Gilmore

Perhaps we'll look back some day and see this as the thing that created the generator of an economy of privacy.

Comment Of course it is legal (Score 2) 112

If Spike TV finds a website streaming the Garcia vs Vargas fight tonight and they can identify which of their broadcasts is being streamed.... they have every right to turn that particular broadcast off.

That's all this is about. It isn't shutting down someone's site. It isn't spying on someone's data stream. It's not a wiretap.

It's a way to put different identifiers on the service you're providing to different customers. Once you have that, you can identify which of your customers is abusing your service and stop providing that service.

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