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Comment Re:Amended quote (Score 4, Insightful) 743

From the first three paragraphs of the second TFA:

When Edward Snowden stole the crown jewels of the National Security Agency, he didn’t need to use any sophisticated devices or software or go around any computer firewall.

All he needed, said multiple intelligence community sources, was a few thumb drives and the willingness to exploit a gaping hole in an antiquated security system to rummage at will through the NSA’s servers and take 20,000 documents without leaving a trace.

“It’s 2013 and the NSA is stuck in 2003 technology,” said an intelligence official.

Doesn't look like he is portrayed as 'brilliant'. Just a bad quote taken from the article to 'made you look!'

Comment Re:Winkflash (Score 1) 350

I second this reference to I have used their service for many years and their quality is very, very good. I have experimented with Costco (used them for a long time), WalMart, CVS and Target. WinkFlash came out to be the least expensive - and they mail your stuff home. No need to trudge to the nearest location to pick up photos. Of course, the negative is that there is no instant gratification. The price at which they are most competitive is the 4 x 6.

As is normal with other online sites, you can save your pictures there etc. But the nice thing is that they have multiple sizes, canvases, books, calendars - all the additional features that online sites give you. I haven't tried most of the other formats.

Last but not least, their single click tweaking to make printed pictures seem better than what you see on screen, they have a setting called 'Enhancement' that tries to compensate for underexposed or overexposed pictures. It has worked for most of my pictures.

They have occasional sales - and no - I am not a salesman for WinkFlash - just a long-time customer.

Comment Re:Let them try (Score 1) 146

This article also got Subramanian Swamy taken off the Harvard School professorship. No explanation offered. There was an online petition or two that got the support of many Harvard students and some of the staff. Harvard did not explain anything other than saying that the publication of the article.

My suspicion is that this has happened only because SS is not an American. Noam Chonsky of MIT has held similar firebrand views in the US - but his political views have not had him fired - because he is a Computer Science professor.

SS was a professor of Economics at Harvard - his article had nothing to do with Economics.

Censorship in the US anyone?

Indian Rediff

P.S. I suspect this will get me a Troll moderation - but please, read what I am saying a little dispassionately before rating me a troll. I am NOT supporting SS - but I DO support his right to free speech.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Outsourcing - why has Indian quality sagged

I was asked a question by a veteran of Slashdot - and the only justice I can do is by posting to my journal. The question was, why was I railing against outsourcing while I was a beneficiary of the same outsourcing.

Comment Re:Faulty Reasoning (Score 5, Interesting) 653

Mod parent up. The number of people that discount the short-term thinking of outsourcing cannot be overstated (parse that - hopefully I wrote it right).

I have looked time and again for over 10 years (having been laid off twice - once directly attributable to outsourcing and the second time to the current downswing) as to when this wave of outsourcng will change.

PHBs will look at the bottom line alone.

Let me give you an example. At a bank I worked at, we had a memo right from the top - for every local hire, there MUST be at least 7 overseas - otherwise the local hire is not allowed. I found the quality of work being done there sucked! Of the 800 odd people on various projects, there were more than 700 offshore - the rest were onshore - and I was privy to those rates. Offshore rates were 1/5 of the onshore equivalent. I remember one of the local bosses railing at one of the onshore representatives of the minions at the quality of code being delivered. It seems if a zero was entered into a field instead of a non-zero number, the web app would crash (or it was something equally stupid - please don't hold me to actual issue).

Given that these banks took such a large amount of money from US taxpayers, the least they should do is to ensure that any new jobs they have are given to onshore people. Instead, they have gone extreme - and are offshoring more than ever. Ingrates R Us.

Background: I am originally from India, one of the original outsourcers and have seen, with mine own eyes, the precipitous fall in quality of the offshore developers. Until about the mid- to late- 90s, things were not so bad. But Y2K changed all that. All and sundry became s/w developers. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Comment Steve Jobs - the 20th Century Rennaisance man (Score 1) 1613

Learning the news as I did this morning, I was in tears. I am not a fan of Apple (although I own an iPhone). But Steve Jobs has done in one lifetime, what many, many people put together could not do in many lifetimes. Any one of his achievements would qualify as genius. He has reinvented the term genius. Steve Jobs: May he rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family and with the Apple employees.

Indian Rediff

Comment Re:Euro (Score 5, Informative) 252

The old symbol for Rupee did not exist. You either said Re for Rupee (singular - but hardly used these days since the single Rupee is worth so little) or Rs for Rupees.

Side note: I remember in the old days on the IBM 1403 printers (running with the IBM 1401 machine) there was a symbol that used the space of one character and still printed Rs very close to each other. That was the closest that India ever came to having a symbol for the Rupee.

Until now.

The proposed symbol (which I believe looks very good) is symbolic of a few things:
1) The symbol looks like an R with the vertical leg removed and a horizontal line through it (much like the $ is simply an S with a vertical line | through it).
2) It is also the Hindi symbol for the first letter in the word Rupee in Hindi - with a line through it.

Hope this makes sense

Indian Rediff


Energy Star Program Certifies 15 Out of 20 Bogus Products 275

longacre writes "A Gasoline-Powered Alarm Clock was among 15 bogus products granted the coveted Energy Star seal of approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency during a secret evaluation conducted by the Government Accountability Office. In addition, four fictional manufacturers run by fake people and marketed with crummy websites — Cool Rapport (HVAC equipment), Futurizon Solar Innovations (lighting), Spartan Digital Electronics, and Tropical Thunder Appliances — were granted Energy Star partnerships. The root of the problem: Manufacturers need only submit photos and not actual examples of their products, and they submit their own efficiency ratings, which are not independently verified by the EPA."

FCC's Broadband Plan May Cost You Money 318

At ten minutes past midnight the FCC released their National Broadband Plan. Judging by the available coverage, few reporters spent the night poring over it. The BBC at least posted something in the morning hours, but it quotes Enderle, so that gives you some idea of its sourcing. Business Week notes the plan's cool (not to say frigid) reception among broadcasters. Dave Burstein of FastNet News did some real digging. His take as of 4:00 am Eastern time is that the plan will cost most Americans money, and won't provide much if any relief to the poor. We'll see many more details and nuances emerge over the day. Update: 03/16 19:53 GMT by KD : The FCC plan (PDF) is here.

Comment My run-ins with Windoze (Score 4, Interesting) 402

It was 1987. I was in Texas, working for a bank (as a consultant, installing some mainframe software for them), when the VP dropped by and asked whether I would want to see something new. He had an old guy pounding away at a new fangled thing called a personal computer (for them). I was more than happy to indulge him.

Windows 2.0 was it! The key things that I remember doing are that the PC I used had no mouse. Since I was a mainframe type, everything was keyboard based in my prior life. I assumed that there must be special keystrokes that I needed to use to play with the new computer.

Over a period of a few days, I stumbled on the keyboard shortcuts and familiarised myself completely with all of them. The amazing thing is that most of them are still relevant today - and my kids bug me to show them how to switch between windows quickly! In fact, I am amazed at how few people know many of the short cuts and the various ways in which you can play with computer without using the mouse! But I digress.

Next week the VP dropped by again and asked whether I could install a game for him. I went ahead and installed the floppies (and they were real 5.25" floppies - not diskettes). And I started playing my first graphical game - Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards! Long story short - it was a fun few days while we indulged the old man (the Veep) and saw the various aspects of the game.

I remember wondering about the keyboard shortcuts and wishing they were not so complicated.

My next encounter with PCs was not until a couple of years later - Windows 3.1, a mouse and Quicken! And boy did I have a learning curve with the mouse! At first I thought the mouse was optional. It took me a good year or so to start using it without having to think about it.

Good times ... until the Linux revolution began.

Comment Re:Give it to newborns (Score 1) 198

Actually I have done something similar to this at my home. My kids (now aged 12 and 10) have been using Ubuntu for the past 3-4 years for their school projects. The older one (my daughter) is more resistant to technology in general. She doesn't like using computers :-)

My son has realised that I am never going to buy a Windows PC for him. Leave alone MS Office. The township here uses the Mac. Also, they have seen Windoze on my dual-boot laptop (on Ubuntu right now as I write this) and on my wife's laptop. I have been able to help them with their presentations (using Impress), their documents with Writer and it has been fairly painless.

I believe conditioning is all that is needed to get kids to realise that there is more than one way to do things. Getting them used to 3 operating systems at this young age and getting to see that it is nothing different has been uplifting. They have learned to live with this - and even enjoy the wider variety of games available for Ubuntu.

I also know that I am probably the only parent that does this with his kids. As a matter of fact, I have asked everyone around, and I have yet to meet anyone else that walks the walk - with their family, not just themselves.

Indian Rediff

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