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Comment Re:I hope they put in an external antenna port (Score 1) 124

The original Omega (I own two of them) doesn't have an external antenna either, and does quite nicely without it. I have connected to it as an AP with a laptop from up to 50 feet away even through walls. That's not in a metal case or anything, but I can't complain about it at all. Now the GPS add-on without the external antenna... that's a different story.

Comment Hillary need not worry (Score 0) 421

She has already admitted to multiple felonies related to mishandling classified information. Nothing happened. It is hard to imagine anything that Wikileaks could dump that would harm her at this point. There will be no criminal charges so long as Obama holds the Presidency and obviously none should Hillary win, and should she lose Trump won't waste the political capital to bring her to justice either.

Her voters already know she is a criminal, they are not voting for her in spite of the knowledge, but because of it. It demonstrates she possesses the Will to Power they consider a requirement in a leader.

Comment Maybecause of the aggressive Windows 10 push (Score 1, Flamebait) 383

I know I just dropped Windows in favor of Linux because of the aggressive (read -- "installed in the middle of the night without asking") push towards Windows 10. During the 8 days it was on my computer, the router caught it trying to upload my entire Documents directory to OneDrive, again, without asking.

If I wanted an O/S that was going to steal all my work, I'd install one. No thanks Microsoft, you burned your bridges here. Linux is not as smooth and not as easy to use, but I'll take that any day over having data such as my corporate records, source code, and even my tax returns getting uploaded to some uncontrolled cloud owned by Microsoft.

Comment Re: Why SLS? (Score 2) 224

That's simply not true. SpaceX designed the Falcons from the beginning to meet the requirements for Man-Rating. They met all the specs and all the safety margins. The only reason it hasn't been fully man rated yet is that they haven't finished the Dragon 2 test program through all the steps.

But just like the SLS, it was designed from day one to be man-rated.

The only "pencil whipping" by the Air Force was to allow it to launch national security payloads, and that was after it had completed a certain number of certification flights with civilian payloads. After the launch failure last June, they went right back into a probationary status until the accident was explained and dealt with. There's really been no special treatment of SpaceX, it just seems that way because they've been launching a lot more often than the ULA guys did to get certified.

Submission + - Microsoft is forcing Windows 10 Update without permission (computerworld.com) 1

jnaujok writes: This morning I woke up to find my main work machine (Windows 7) was now displaying this message:

Your WIndows 10 upgrade is almost here!
  • Save your work and leave your PC on and plugged in
  • This upgrade usually takes 90 minutes or less
  • Your files will be right where you left them
  • Your PC will restart several times
  • Make sure you're logged in as an administrator

Your upgrade will start in
14:12
I need more time

Clicking the "I need more time" lets me reset the counter to an hour. No matter what I do, I can't get rid of this screen. If I hadn't stopped to check my mail before leaving for work, it would have installed on its own. I knew I'd be going to all-linux sooner or later, but this level of intrusion seems a bit harsh, even for Microsoft and it's making me contemplate getting off the Microsoft crack today. With all the phoning home and data stealing windows 10 does, I can't possibly imagine using it for my PCI required work.

Any comments from the SlashDot crowd? Clearly this can't just be me, it has to be happening all over this morning. Does Microsoft really think this is a good business decision?

Comment Think of the people! (Score 1) 215

Last year tens of thousands of people were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in excess of 5 milli-sieverts.

How?

They went on vacation to the beach in Brazil for a week or so.

"Radiation levels are highest at Guarapari’s beaches, a popular seasonal tourist attraction, where readings of up to 175 mSv (millisieverts)) per year have been measured." Global Hot Spots

Submission + - SpaceX Lands Falcon 9 Rocket At Cape Canaveral

Rei writes: At 8:40 PM today, SpaceX successfully launched and relanded the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, as well as delivering to orbit the last portion of ORBCOMM's communication satellite constellation. This also marks SpaceX's return to flight and the first launch of the "Full Thrust" Falcon 9 v1.1 with densified (extremely chilled) propellants. The company will now shift its efforts toward catching up on its backlog, investigating and refurbishing its landed first stage, and preparing for the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket this spring. Congratulations to everyone at SpaceX!

Comment Re:I Hate My California Self (Score 2, Interesting) 556

Really? You haven't been paying much attention...

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after the San Bernadino shootings -- "Sensible gun laws work! We've proven it in California." link She is apparently unaware of what state San Bernadino is in.

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with the debt spiraling upwards at close to $1.25T per year and insurance premiums are jumping as much as 50% per year - "ObamaCare is lowering costs and the deficit." link

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.” – in a nation with 307 million people.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) -- “We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds, and yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.". Apparently, she doesn't know that it's illegal to hunt humans with any number of rounds.

She (Feinstein) also believes that allowing people to make calls from an airplane will result in uncontrollable brawling amongst the passengers. link

Or, her (Feinstein's) fine opinion of our Veterans: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms." link

Not to mention Feinstein's flip-flopping on this very issue [encryption]. In October, she said, "Millions of personal records and hundreds of billions of dollars fall victim to cyber-attacks every year, and we’ve done little to stem the tide." In other words, calling for enhanced cyber-security, yet only a month ago, "I can say this. [FBI] Director [James Comey] and, I think John Brennan, would agree, that the Achilles Heel in the internet is encryption. Because there are now... it's a black web! And there's no way of piercing it. And this is even in commercial products!"link

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.” – Sen. Barbara Boxer

“It [marijuana] will still be legal under federal law.” Senator Dianne Feinstein claiming that marijuana is legal

And. of course, the all-time grandaddy of a Nancy Pelosi quote, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

That was from less than 2 minutes of searching. You should really pay more attention.

Comment They've already missed the boat (Score 1) 242

You're missing the one other major effect of advertising and greed by the commercial networks:

Big Bang Theory - Season 1 episode 1: 22 minutes 58 seconds. The season averages about 21 minutes 30 seconds. The longest episode is 24:06.

Big Bang Theory - Season 9 episode 5: 18 minutes, 45 seconds. The last three episodes aired average about 18:50 seconds. The longest episode is 20:32.

So, over the past 8 years, the average episode has lost nearly 3 and a half minutes to additional commercials. A half hour show is now nearly 40% commercials. Compare that to 1966, when Star Trek episodes were 54 minutes long.

At this rate, by 2025, an hour long show will consist of less than 30 minutes of program and a majority of commercials. And then they wonder why people are pulling the plug...

Comment About $2M -- But not really a mistake... (Score 4, Interesting) 377

Our group at FedEx released code that I wrote on a Saturday night. This was two days before the Apple iPhone 4 shipped. The code worked perfectly, however, despite our repeated warnings about nearly doubling downstream traffic, the downstream systems (like billing and tracking) weren't ready for it.

So, on the day everyone wanted to track their new iPhone, my code shut down all tracking on FedEx for about 12 hours before we could switch the config setting (10 minutes) and the downstream systems could catch up (11+ hours).

Estimate of cost was around $2 million in lost time and revenue and extra calls to customer service. Luckily, since I wasn't actually at fault, and we had multiple email chains backing up the volume estimates and warnings, we didn't get the axe.

Comment Re: With H-1B Cap Hit, CEOS Press for Outright Sla (Score 1) 442

You are correct that a H-1B cannot get a SCI clearance, however the company can get around this in two ways, namely by getting them an LAA (Limited Access Authorization - which is a sort of provisional clearance for foreign nationals that can do anything below Secret level clearance) or they can get a DSP-5 license, which is a waiver for "exporting" classified information. In this case, the export is to the H-1B group working in their company.

Finally, the more common way is to use H-1Bs as code monkeys to work on every non-classified sub-system, or to generate databases, algorithms, and networks for processing non-classified data in the same format as the classified data will be using down the road. This lets them do all the coding without ever exposing them to anything that requires a clearance.

I live in an IT community stacked with defense contractors who know every trick in the book to get around limitations. Especially the kind that lets them line their pockets with more of that sweet, sweet government contract money.

Comment Re:With H-1B Cap Hit, CEOS Press for Outright Slav (Score 1) 442

H-1B visas only have to be paid the local market average, not the company average. So you can have high-paid employees and still pay the H-1Bs squat. I worked for 10 years in contract work and that's exactly what all the contract companies were doing. They'd hire in H-1Bs at *exactly* the local salary for the city as reported in the prior year's Fortune or Forbes magazines.

When they were in place, they would never get raises or reviews, and if they complained, they'd pull the visa and have them on a plane home that afternoon. I even had the joy of seeing an H-1B (in the cube next to me) brought in at $54K, but on his first paycheck he got $45K equivalent salary. When he called the company HR department, they responded with, "We are not responsible for typographical errors on your offer letter." When he got angry, she said, "If you don't wish to continue at the rate, I can issue your plane ticket and have security take you to the airport." So he sat and took an illegal $9,000 pay cut because he didn't really have an option.

H-1Bs are used as indentured servants, especially by contracting companies who turn around and bill them out at $50-$60 an hour to other companies. They're pure profit centers.

Oh, and when that company hit hard times, they very illegally cut every non H-1B worker from the contractor payroll.

I've been at three contracting companies that used that identical technique. They hire some citizens to establish a pool so they do lip service to the law about hiring local, then they bring in a gob of H-1Bs at half the price, then they dump all the locals. They end up with pure H-1B work forces, and depress the local economy. I've even seen defense contractors turn away TSI Clearance people in favor of H-1B visas at a discount, because they'd rather pay the $5K for the clearance and $50K for the H-1B than hire a qualified citizen who might earn $80K.

See, that's how it depresses the salaries in the whole market. If I can get headcount "A" at $55K, I'm not going to pay $60K for headcount "B". Most management feel that every STEM person is functionally equivalent. Then they wonder why so many projects fail.

I worked with three H-1B visa "programmers" who had "degrees" from a university in India that doesn't exist. Who in America is going to check that the university has a history or background? These guys laughed about how their "university" was just a guy who ran a business back in New Delhi where you paid the equivalent of about $20 and he paid a bunch of women to pose as university registrars that would answer the phone and confirm your "degree".

One of them hadn't even finished high school, much less college.

Yes, all these stories are anecdotal, and while I could give you the names and places of most of these guys (the ones I remember, anyway) the point I'm trying to make is that the system is being abused from both sides. It's broken, and it needs to be fixed. Tell me, would CEO's be so in favor of it if we had H-1B visas for CEOs?

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