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Comment Re:Edge (Score 4, Insightful) 160

This solves your problem, but requires some work.

A Linux install with a virtual box instance running a nicely sandboxed version of Windows is the solution. If you run it in seamless mode you can even set it up to have dedicated VMs for different apps, and have those apps appear and behave on the linux desktop like regular applications. By setting up a shared folder and storing all data on the host (not on the VMs), and allowing clipboard sharing it becomes completely transparent that the app is running in a VM.

I run the windows apps I require that way, and with VTx the virtualization doesn't really suffer any performance penalty.

It takes a bit of work to set up but then once its running you realize you have the best of both OS worlds. No more rebooting... etc... all the pains associated with Windows, but windows compatibility. As a bonus you can snapshot the VMs, which means if something gets screwed up due to an update or patch you can just revert to the working snapshot and finish whatever work you need, and leave the patching issue to later.

Admittedly you need to invest a little time to learn how to use Virtual Box and set it up, but its worth it.

Plus as you said if the OS goes to pot, you can move your VMs to any OS that runs VirtualBox. I recently switch Linux distros, and migrating was fairly painless (I kept home intact), and used my existing VMs with the new distro without blinking.

I was a Mac User a long time but once the hardware became shitty (battery problems) and even more expensive, and with the OS only being supported for two cycles eventually forcing a hardware buy (the old hardware doesn't support the newer OS, and the older OS version is no longer patched/supported) I said good bye to Apple. I've used this Linux + VM strategy on several machines now and have never look back or missed my Mac since (in fact its running linux now too).

Comment Re:No more web (Score 1) 87

I already run several VMs to support legacy (aka windows) apps on my desktop..

Sounds like its time to stick the browser in its own locked down VM with only the minimum connectivity it needs to function.

Vbox VM running Seamless mode (containing a small minimal linux install) is fantastic for this. You can even snapshot and fully lock the sucker down.
That and with Seamless mode it appears just like an app on the desktop.

Qubes OS (https://www.qubes-os.org/) is looking more interesting by the minute.

Comment Your smartphone + cloud are much more dangerous (Score 5, Insightful) 166

Everyone keeps talking about drones being an issue.. They are just the side show and distraction. We don't need to regulate drones, we need to regulate big data.

Reality is that the NSA didn't need drones to know everything about you. They could collect all payment information, all internet presence, own your smartphone with spy apps, own your PC, and track your every relationship through meta data from your telecom provider. They know who you talk to and how frequently and in fact and have in fact "stopped revolutions" while they were small when it comes to terrorism. The notion that we live in a free and open society is long gone. People have ended up on watch lists for being aware of TOR, linux and other technologies. I wouldn't surprise me if anyone that uses slashdot as they have had discussions is "watched". That's just your US government. Companies track your spending, and manipulate your environment to try an get you to consume more. There are records on your credit, what services you buy, what you read, where you shop, where you live that are traded and bought and sold as profiles between corporate entities for the sole purpose of their profitability.

Practical surveillance is here. They don't know when you fart and burp yet but with exercise sensors that report to the cloud, and the internet of things they'll know those things soon too. All they need is a big enough data center to consolidate the data build complete profiles on you. If stores (e.g Target) can start sending you diaper coupons because your purchasing habits suggest you might be pregnant believe me they will (in fact they already have).

Comment Re:May Day???? (Score 4, Interesting) 247

The issue is that the US has always been an oligarchy of the rich, realistically it came into being due to a tax revolt.
Money out of politics is not only possible, if you look else where in the world with functioning democracies and functioning electoral systems you can find examples:

In Germany

In Canada (with legislated limits)

or see Frances new laws limiting funding

If you believe that money is the only power then you have already been brainwashed to give up your democratic rights.

The average US Senate seat apparently costs ~ $7 million.

The entire Canadian Election spending per party ~ $21 million.

Obama spent well over $400 million for just his presidential campaign.

Think about what could be done with $379 million to address real problems in the US like education, healthcare etc....

The reason the rich are willing to waste their money is because they have too much of it (mainly because of tax law changes).
The average CEO salary in the US is now $10 million per year! Yet they pay less than 20% in taxes!

Even Warren Buffet thinks its time to tax the rich.

If you did that the money that might otherwise be spent on political campaigns might actually do some good like funding education or public healthcare etc...

But then according to your brainwashing program the only power is money and any country that tries to democratically regulate the market (an artificial construct that only exists because of the enforcement of property laws) must a communist country (Canada) how else can we have publicly funded healthcare...
keep drinking the kool-aid, in the mean time we'll outlive you. Yes life expectancy is higher here, as is quality of life.

Comment Re:Probably not (Score 1) 151

You are correct. the needs for a car are much much more demanding. For lead acid batteries you would also be correct in that a "starter" battery or a "marine/rv" battery need to be different design.

However for a lithium ion battery (as used in the Tesla) this is not the case. A battery designed for the car (or your laptop) aren't fundamentally that different.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... ).

The primary driver for grid storage is going to be different, however I bet that if you take a battery designed for the "rough and dirty life of a car"
designed to survive: 1) high discharge (acceleration), quick charge, large temperature swings and extremes (parked in the winter, driving in the summer), and put it in a grid storage application, it won't need to be optimal, just cheap enough.

For comparison a grid storage battery, will likely:
1) see controlled slower charge and discharge rates
2) live in a close to constant temperature basement or battery room (think insulated shed or pit with a roof) (ok it might get warmer, but will likely be a good 10C above freezing)
3) it will see one nicely controlled charge and discharge per 24 period.

The Telsa can drive ~250 miles per charge cycle with 250 000 miles to 80% capacity then that's a 1000 cycles or ~ 3 years. Even if the battery works for another 3-5 years with a capacity of 50-80% it will be viable for energy storage.

Since weight and space doesn't matter much for stationary batteries, all that will matter is price.

If there's one thing we know from manufacturing history is that higher volumes bring significantly lower price.

Grid storage is already viable now using other methods (hydraulic pump + turbine stations) and likely will find ready markets.

I'm guessing that what Telsa is looking for is two things:
1) Economies of scale to make cars cheaper and
2) after life use of their car batteries (before recycling) which will make the cars cheaper again if the battery has a resale value (and a market)

I think its a smart move.

Comment That money could pay for a lot of tracking systems (Score 1) 233

The NY times has an article about how aircraft have lots of communication technologies on board but no airlines have opted to put trackers on their planes.


It would be relatively easy to install systems that send basic location, speed direction and basic airplane health data at reasonable intervals with a reasonable cost.

Its too bad that likely legislation will be needed to get airlines to do something. I have an issue with the fact that they don't have to pay fines or help pay for the search when a disaster occurs. It means that a crash could be a profitable event for them (for example if the plane was more than adequately insured, and they had over capacity in the industry, aka liquidation).

If as a person I can buy a Personal Locator Beacon for $200 to broadcast my location to satellite in an emergency for rescue, the technology is clearly there and affordable.

Comment Get a kids computer + battery charger (Score 2) 325

Toys R Us has a $20 CDN toy laptop with QWERTY keyboard:


add 2 sets of rechargeable batteries: $2*6 = $12

and a charger: $6

You can charge the batteries when you have power.
Alternatively reduce the number of batteries and chargers to less than 1 set per computer and pool the leftover $$$ to get a solar panel to power a charging station

Comment Re:That's why I like the basic Kindle (Score 2) 418

The Publishers and book sellers are their own worst enemy.

I've found I use my tablet extensively for reading, but I've stopped using kobo and other vendor supplied readers because of their built in advertizing spam / preview "features" that couldn't be turned off. One reader went as far as to start downloading "sample" books on my 3G connection. At that point I had to firewall the app to keep it from wasting my data plan bytes. The app was shortly replaced shortly after that.

I use my e-reader exclusively for: 1) portability, 2) the convenience of getting either library books online or public domain works freely available.

I bought a few e-books in the beginning but found myself often wishing I could lend the book to someone and share it. That meant in some cases I had to buy a second book.

At this point I don't plan to buy any more e-books (unless they are DRM free) except in special circumstances where I use the book as a reference so much that portability (it weighs nothing extra and I can have it with me anytime I have my tablet) out weighs all the negatives of DRM.

We've seen content platforms "turned off" before, or lost with the old device as well, and the slight loss in portability of a paper book is outweighed by the ability to share, or resell the book.

As for using a tablet to read: I want a tablet for other things as well, and having an integrated device with multiple functions just makes sense (As long as the applications are configurable I can manage the distractions with self discipline, and/or by turning notifications OFF), the idea of carrying 2 devices is just nonsense.

If they could make it possible to share books, (aka loan them to someone) and would make them DRM free enough so that I can be certain I will have them even if the publisher goes out of business or my device dies (aka I can copy them and they are in an open standard document format) then I will likely buy lots of e-books simply for the convenience of use and portability over paper (plus they take up a lot less room).

I ride the subway daily, and in an informal survey I would say well over 70% of people reading with an e-reader are not using a dedicated e-reader but a more capable tablet (either i-pad or android based tablet).

I use my tablet as an e-reader daily for at least 1-2 hours if not more.


Comment Streisand Effect Winner Coming up (Score 2) 200

These guys will learn the hard way about the Streisand Effect ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect ).

Heck I would just rename the campground and associated website. It would cost less than the lawsuit and would be a lot easier than trying to rewrite history.
With the money I'd save, I'd even set up a camp ground sponsored road side shrine (To make sure that no one would accuse you of changing the name to hide the history). The only thing this camp ground is guilty of is bad luck. If the truck had been 2-3 km down the road they would have never been a news story, except for maybe bad sun burn.

Oh well some people always seem to learn the hard way.

Comment Re:Why do you want to be hired? (Score 5, Informative) 523

I working in IT now despite not having any related qualifications on paper at the moment. I'm working towards getting those credentials though. I got in through networking and getting my PMP (project management professional) certification. I'm currently working towards becoming an enterprise architect (certified).

A couple of key things to getting in the door (past HR):

1) HR people are all about risk reduction. HR staff don't get rewarded for hiring good staff, but they do get fired for hiring too many bad ones. From an HR perspective ideally you have 1) credentials (including degrees) 2) a track record of performance 3) come recommended by someone they know (someone in the company will do). Typically anyone having all 3 won't turn out to be a bad hire. They don't hire for intelligence and capability, they are looking to be able to cover their asses in case you turn out to suck. Whatever you do don't lie on your resume, if even the smallest thing is determined to be untrue HR will drop you like a hot potato.

Keeping the above in mind most applicants have some credentials (1), some experience (2) and no internal recommendation (3).

To get credentials spend the money and get some certifications in the area you work in or others related. Pick credentials in areas where you already know the material and have had some experience as well as frequently occurring as a requirement in the type of jobs that interest you, buy the prep books and study and you can be certified inside of a month or two for $300-1000. You can list credentials you are "working towards" as well (helps with the keyword search).

2) Networking (not the computer kind), If you haven't started building a network (of people) start now. Set the objective to add 1-2 people to your network every week (during your job search) once you're employed continue to do this 1-2 people per month. Use a tool like Linked in. Once you get about 30 or more people in your Linked in Network it becomes useful in that you can find someone you can be introduced to that may be able to help.

Key concept in networking: its about informal meetings 10-15 min, at the convenience of the person you want to talk to, to do these things:
1) give something back (listen, or share something that interests them).
2) create the opportunity to meet other people in the area you want to work in
3) learn about the industry you want to work in.
Finding an opening or opportunity and reference from the inside are not the primary objective.
By giving I mean: treat the person with respect like a person, only ask them for what they can give you (aka do not ever ask for a job), ask them for advice, ask them how they got to where they are, and make them feel like you care and are listening (this is the give back).

Think about it from the networking contacts side. Imagine you're the contact: A colleague (Bob) you trust emails you and writes I'd like to introduce you to an interesting guy (you), he's trying to learn about our industry and find out what he need s to know to be able to fit in. A day latter you get a polite email from the guy asking if you'd be willing to share your expertise and advice in a 15 min meeting at a coffee place and time convenient to you or to talk to you by phone for 10-15 min. You agree to meet because 1) you trust Bob, 2) you're curious 3) you have 15 min 4) its convenient 5) it beats working ;).

In the meeting you talk about your own success and answer a few interesting questions and generally feel good about your own success. You leave the meeting feeling like you met an interesting person with good questions (that you could answer). The person emails you a day or two later and asks a follow up question or two and if you have any suggestions of people you know in the industry that would be good to talk to. You liked the guy so you offer to introduce him to Keith and Sharol two of your suppliers. You also agree to join his network on Linked in.

So now how does a network translate into a job? Once you have a network and people know you're looking for work they may let you know, also more importantly when you find a posting in the company they work in you can contact them again and ask them about it, and if they'd be willing to be a reference for HR.
Also they will give you the inside scoop on the industry and answer some of the questions you cant ask HR. It will help you understand what skills you're missing and how to tailor your resume. In the ideal case you can get contact to the hiring manager and have a 10-15 min networking meeting with him/her or even his boss. If the 15mins meeting is positive, they will tell you to apply (remember you don't ever ask for a job) for the position. If they do you can pretty much expect an interview if you don't screw anything up with you resume / HR application.

Typically with networking about only 1 in 5 (or less) contacts lead to a 10-15 min meeting or new contacts. So this is serious leg work. It does however significantly increase your chance of getting an interview and overcomes the credential / HR hurdle. Also once you've built your network, maintain it (send the odd email) then your next job search is way easier since you already have a network.

3) understand that your resume typically gets about 20-30 seconds of review by a human, if that. In some cases computer systems sort and rank candidates based on an online application form. Make sure your resume is tailored to the job description, as is your cover letter, and that you are a reasonable fit for the role, otherwise don't waste your time applying. If the person knows about you already you will get way more time and already be put in the interview pile.

The other thing is to look for postings on company websites or through your network, by the time a job gets posted in the papers or in job sites like monster it either sucks in some way, or has too much competition. 80% of jobs are filled through word of mouth and networking.

To get relevant experience volunteer if you need to (aka open source projects, charities).

my 2 cents.

Comment Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (Score 1) 757

They talked about $100000 REVENUE. Thats not PROFIT. If you assume they have a 30% mark up on materials and have overhead costs, I'm guessing their profits aka actual profit before taxes is in the order of 15% max. which would work out to $15000. Paying about 35% tax on this (assuming other income) their take home from their "best year" is about at most $10K. The government wants them to 1: pay $1200 to them, and 2 introduce additional labour costs of recording and documenting sales. If we assume a normal year would be about $2K-$3K in earnings I can see why this guy thinks $1200 is unreasonable.

More likely some large corporation that makes water filters or sells bottled water or something else, sent an anonymous tip to the cops with links to a website about how dangerous this stuff is and a link to the new laws because this guy was under cutting them in price. The laws probably came about through lobbying by said companies. This is CORPORATE America, small businesses and entrepreneurs will be regulated out of business to ensure "public safety" and CORPORATE PROFIT.

my 2 cents.

Comment Re:How about a boycott of the ISPs? (Score 1) 159

What about just switching ISPs (if possible). If a significant number of people with Bell sent letters to Bell and said please terminate my service I don't trust you to protect my privacy any more since you were willing to hand over names and addresses just because you were provided and IP address and an accusation.

Also if I were accidentally caught up in this (and didn't download anything) my first check would be whether I can sue my ISP for breaching privacy laws. There is definitely a Tort case to be made. 1) they have a duty of care to protect your personal information. 2) they failed in this duty by just handing over the info. 3) the defense of the lawsuit will cost money (aka cause me harm).

Personally I would expect my ISP not to surrender my personal information until served with a court issued warrant.

I suspect that there will be much backlash on this, especially since we already pay additional fees on blank media in Canada.

Comment Big and Bad (Score 1) 585

The false assumption here is that just passive safety counts (aka protection in a crash).
Active safety (avoiding the collision in the first place) actually plays a huge roll in vehicle safety.

This article is simply non-sense.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great essay debunking this myth with HARD facts (deaths per million vehicles)

Big and Bad: How the S.U.V. ran over automotive safety.

I encourage those you that don't know any better to read it.

Comment Re:Ten points if reading this on your second monit (Score 1) 1002

In other news the account department has decided to reduce desk and cubicle size significantly to save money.


Accounting department manager Bob (spelled with 2 O's) was heard saying "no if only we could stack them..."

Strangely enough the same month the HR department noticed a "problem" with their employee retention program, as top talent left in droves.

[conclusion: Accountants understand cost. Not value.]

[conclusion 2: when dealing with top talent different rules apply. aka they can and will leave.]

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982