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Comment Say what?! (Score 1) 314

"When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up..."

I about dropped my jaw when I read that. "What!?" I said to myself. Then poking around, I found that it was the Kitty Litter accident as I call it. The drum did not "blow up" in the sense of explosion, either chemical or criticality, but the kitty litter used expanded and burst the container. Ok, that was pretty stupid (the kitty litter).

What exceeds "Dumb as a box of rocks with all the smart rocks thrown out" followed that trying to clean it up.

Comment Re:Makes it easy for crackers, though (Score 1) 275

For the family, I got them inexpensive PCs without hard drives (a live boot dvd which I make for them so the printers and internal things work) and tell them to use that for going on line for web surfing, browsing, and banking. Everything else, use the normal PC with windows which is no longer allowed an Internet connection at the router (deny the MAC address for inbound and outbound packets, allow the internal network). It's not perfect but I've not had to work on their systems for several years now for much beyond failed hardware.

Very little of the Microsoft updates are actually needed for personal use if it doesn't connect to the Internet, and those that are needed I hand carry on USB drives.

Comment Gee (Score 1) 120

And my family wonders why I refuse to use my phone as anything other than a phone.
If it isn't obnoxious ads, it's poorly preforming apps, and if it's not those two, it's the bill at the end of the month.

One way or the other, if you have a cell phone in the US, you're going to get "got".

Ever notice how they call it a "cell" phone? You keep prisoners in cells. Just sayin'.

Comment Re:WE need unions also why train your h1-b replamn (Score 5, Insightful) 472

I have to laugh myself silly when people object to unions.

Have you ever been in an effective union? Most haven't been in a union at all, but spout nonsense "everybody knows". Or they pick outstanding bad actors and paint all unions the same.

Some very few have been in bad unions. Those do stink.

No, the gripe people have with unions is propaganda generally spewed by those that would least benefit from good unions; bad employers that don't want to pay a fair wage. Before you fire off that hot reply full of indignation, ask yourself if you'd like it if you couldn't be fired because a H1B visa worker costs less, or because your boss is a clueless skylark, or because your employer can cut costs and increase profits by working you like a dog by cutting your team by 1/3 and doubling your workload.

Is fifty buck a month is starting to sound like a better deal now?

Comment Telecom/Cable Co == Screw the customer (Score 1) 113

If I were King of the World for a day, the second group of people I'd order summary executions for would be anyone that is upper mid-management or above in a cable or phone company. Fortunately for them and spammers/scammers/fraudsters/robocallers, I won't get the job of King.

Comment Yeah - I think? (Score 1) 91

Considering all the trouble I went to in order to ENSURE that W10 didn't infect my 'doze box, this news is .... unhelpful.
Now, if I can get WoT working under Linux and a video editor that doesn't make me want to scream and can afford, I'd be done with Microsoft.
(Yes, I know about OpenShot. No, I don't want to change to it. Remember I said I didn't want to scream?)

Comment Advice from a MRR of 40+ years (Score 1) 149

It's only a hobby.... it's only a hobby....

There is likely a model rail club or more in your area. See if they have open house and go check out the place. A good club will be warm and welcoming with folks that are comfortable to be around. Forget the layout at the club, you are looking for a place to hang out with others that know a lot and don't mind answering questions. Fastest way to kill enjoyment of the hobby is to get around folks you'd rather paste in the beezer than talk to. Model railroaders are 25% normal people, 50% kind of quirky, and 25% jerks, given a random sample.

First step is to decide what you want to do. I like to do 1900's, 1960's, and modern railroading, so my layout is designed to be able to add and remove things that are not period. So the box car icing station from the 20'-60's becomes a fuel rack by removing structures and putting others in it's place. Also, do you want to be able to turn a train on and let it run around on a loop, or is it going to be a point to point layout?

Final advice - your relative may say maybe even before their death - but I wouldn't take over anything much before then. Just enough to comfort them they have gotten to bug to bite you is about right. If they give it all up too soon, they may be giving away what joy they can still get from the hobby. Just my two cents.

Digital control for more than a simple model is almost required. Most folks go with DigiTraxx system for controls, and various others for the decoders depending on what is desired out of the model. If you want sound, lights, and smoke (the good kind) out of a model, then almost certainly the decoder choice will be the appropriate SoundTraxx Tsunami - about $100 for the decoder, speaker, and supplies. Retro fitting decoders is fairly easy - the hardest part for me is getting the engine opened up without breaking off things.

Submission + - Power cycle a remote server and router

buss_error writes: I am using Belkin WeMo's, ezOutlets, and Raspberry Pi's with custom software to reboot remote servers.
WeMo's: Good for servers, not good for rebooting routers as they don't have a reset only function.
exOutlets — Great if you don't have too many, has auto power cycle upon no ping from a set of web sites they select.
Raspberry Pi's: Best, but takes programming.

What do you use to power cycle a remote server and router?

Comment Welcome change from Battery Breakthrough comments (Score 1) 44

I breathed a bit of relief that this wasn't another "battery breakthrough" story.

For the last 4-5 years it seems every popular news outlet is excited to announce battery breakthroughs. But for every breakthrough for instant charging for example they don't explain that the battery is 100x larger in size or 100x heavier or whatever. And similarly, when the battery holds 100x the energy, they don't explain the other downsides that impact its practical application. I mean, a capacitor "charges" quickly (and can discharge quickly), but with a number of trade-offs.

I don't know how to get folks to write a more nuanced story - this may just be because the sensational gets the headlines and clicks (even if not as accurate).

Comment Pot meet kettle (Score 4, Insightful) 431

Pot meet kettle!

What's happened is the government has changed lawful access to mean secret courts with secret warrants, mass hacking and surveillance of systems we use every day for commerce etc with zero or token oversight. This is the real zone of lawlessness.

These systems can then be used for cyberstalking some ex, data sold to an investigator for profit, used politically to smear opponents etc, and result in innocent people blocked from flying, subject to extraordinary rendition, special measures interrogation techniques (ie, torture) etc without due process. If this happened in another country we'd call it extra-judicial lawlessness and condemn it.

I think many people are supportive of lawful access. This means due process, within the court system, etc etc. Suspected of x, probable cause, warrant issued but briefly sealed, warrant executed and unsealed, ability to contest basis for warrant, knowledge of its execution and existence etc, etc. This system of due process exists for a reason - and is well articulated and well developed going back to our constitution and subsequent amendments etc.

Our economy and society wins if we can rely on these systems to handle our searches for medical conditions, our emails to loved ones, confidential business information etc etc without massive invasions of privacy. Our economy and society win if we can count on the rule of law.

Small wonder Google and Apple are resisting the secret "National Security Letter" no due process system the government has invented, or the direct hacking of their systems.

Comment Radio? (Score 1) 126

I occasionally listen to 95.7 (now "the jet" formerly "KJR") here in Seattle, but not as often since they (ClearChannel) twice attempted to rebrand it and somewhat altered its format (for one thing they put in a damned morning show, when they used to brag about playing only music in the morning because "who talks along with the radio?")

Now it is pretty much my USB stick in the car and Pandora at home.

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