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Comment Say what?! (Score 1) 319

"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 Sad (Score 1) 928

I've used South West Airlines for more than 3 decades. Unless the people responsible for kicking off an unhappy passenger are corrected in public, I will no longer include South West Airlines in my travel plans, nor will I authorize use of their services for my employees.

When I have an unhappy customer, I don't demand they delete their rant, I ask them how I can fix it for them. Sometimes it's not what I'd like to do, but it is what I must do to make my customer happy. I never have, and I never will ask a customer to remove a negative comment. I will ask what can I do to make this right, and if there is any way I can meet the expectation, I will.

#Eyes on YOU SWA

Comment Re:Cars are a luxury (Score 1) 390

Hmm. Much depends on where you live. If you are on the west or east coast, with great public transport, then I agree.
If however, you live in Texas, where public transportation is treated as a poor joke, and one in bad taste at that, and vast metroplexes, then maybe not so much.
It's funny, because the buss routes through the "poor" side of town are 40% less than on the "rich" side of town. On the poor side, you are expected to walk as much as 6 miles to a "transportation hub", while on the "rich" side, there are no routes longer than a mile away from any business or residental section.

Comment Libability (Score 2) 440

The issue here isn't that CostCo is being numb, the issue is that people can sue CostCo if they claim to be sick from the peanut butter. Even if the food bank gives it away, and the person that gets it gives it away, the chain is still there, and CostCo is still in the sights of a plaintiff as a target for a suit.

This is pretty much why railroads will shred brand new cars if they were in a derailment. It's easier accounting to pay the manufacturer for the car than to risk 100,000 or more in liability because the car "might have been" damaged in the derailment leading to the suit. Hmmm. $40K for the car an know that's the end of it, or risk potentially $100K+ payouts for decades after from someone that might not even be born yet? It's simple math.

Comment Re:The tighter you clench your fist, Lord Vader... (Score 2) 273

He's a sysadmin at the NSA, which means he's supposed to be maintaining their servers -- not looking through classified materials.

That's a problem the NSA needs to look into. Unauthorized people seeing classified data is a problem.

So if he were to report to his superiors about his concerns with any of these highly classified programs, he'd be admitting to looking at information he should never touch.

Another problem for the NSA to look into.

If he did anyway, he would have been shit-canned immediately and investigated.

Third time's the charm, right? Right?

So, it sounds like a complete pile of horseshit to me.

Except so far no one is saying "yeah, we looked into his complaints, they were completely baseless."

By the way, my tag line is the same tag line I've used for most of the years I've been reading Slash Dot.

Comment Great - but don't limit it! (Score 1) 415

I have a HD camcorder. The charger is proprietary. It dose the amazingly complex thing of supplying 8.4 VDC at 1.5 amps. The battries are proprietary too. They supply 7.4 VDC at 890mAh.

Not common (and I think I know why) but not out of the realm of cobbling up something to match. However, any aftermarket parts just don't work. Why? Because they don't have the all holy and copyright/trademarked "protection" of geniuine equipment which would "degrade" my user experience. Never mind that a simple battery for this camcorders costs retail $190USD, while the price of the parts is nearer to $12.

And while we are about tilting at windmills, let's go after ink cartridges. I wouldn't mind paying $400 for a printer, if I could get ink packs for it for less than $130 per month to print about 200 pages.

Submission + - What to do when your Government is out of control 1

buss_error writes: I've been watching the NSA and related stories. All I can say is that my personal feeling is that our government is completely out of control, ignoring our rights, and doing what ever they want. I hate to say this, but it seems that no matter who we vote for, it doesn't affect the out of control cowboy moves made by the minions of Bureaucracy. Peaceful protests are ignored. Legal challenges, directives, and congressional orders are shrugged off with less effort than rain. They do what they do when they want, how they want.

No one sane wants to see a city vaporized by a terrorist's atomic bomb, but it that any worse than a society where we have no secrets from the Government? "I've got nothing to hide" is a mind set that trusts that someone won't find a rationale that something you did was harmful. Then make your life a living hell with "secret evidence" you are not able to see or refute.

To quote Ben Franklin: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

How do we, the citizens, reign in the over broad, overzealous surveillance culture? Normally I'd say "cut off the money" but that depends on elected representatives to pass a budget to do just that. Time and again, they have failed to do so.

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