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Comment Not all companies are horrible (Score 1) 513

I was working for a Houston-based Halliburton in 2009 when my wife passed away suddenly at the age of 34.

We buried her next to family in Chattanooga. When I got to the funeral home, three divisions of Halliburton - not just the one I worked for - sent huge six-foot-tall flower arrangements. They'd not contacted me or anybody who was helping me out with things that I knew of, so I don't know how they got the info of where to send things.

I went back to work two weeks later (and even after that, had to work my way up gradually to doing a full day over the course of a week). The official company policy was that we got three days of bereavement leave. I asked what to do about the extra time I'd taken off, and a division VP (2-3 org chart positions above my direct manager) said "Put down that you were gone for three days, and don't worry about it."

Other than the coworker (who was from a different country and grew up in a different culture) that walked into my office two weeks later and said "She's dead, get over it", I couldn't have asked for a more supportive company to work for during such a tragedy.

Comment You would (or wouldn't) be surprised... (Score 4, Interesting) 147

I used to run a pair hobbyist/enthusiast sites for fans of DEC's VAX and PDP-11 series of machines.

Shortly after 9/11, I got a phone call from someone at the Pentagon who was looking for certain parts so they could repair an older VAX that had been damaged in the attack. I was able to get them in touch with a third-party reseller who still had those bits in the back of a dusty warehouse.

It was surprising that they hadn't upgraded to Alpha (which had been out almost ten years) then; the telco where I worked had one big system that had gone through three company changes (DEC -> Compaq -> HP) and had been upgraded in-chassis from VAX to Alpha.

I think all large systems sold to the federal government are required to have service/support available for something like 5 to 10 years after final sale availability; can't find concrete details via Google.

Submission + - Bitcoin & The End of State-Controlled Money: Q (

hookskat writes: "Bitcoin is the world's first fully decentralized, peer-to-peer (p2p) virtual currency. It allows users to make anonymous and untraceable cash transactions anywhere in the world without any sort of real-world intermediary. So unlike PayPal and other online services, it can't be squeezed in the same way by governments or other control agents.

Created in 2009 by a shadowy figure who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, there are currently about 6 million bitcoins in circulation. That number will eventually rise, in regular intervals, to a total of 21 million by 2033. A money system without any sort of central bank? A currency whose supply increases at a steady and predictable rate according to a concept elucidated by the Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman?

Just how revolutionary is Bitcoin? sat down with Mercatus Senior Research Fellow Jerry Brito to learn how Bitcoin operates and what the implications are for traditional state-based fiat currencies. "Whether Bitcoin succeeds or fails is neither here nor there," says Brito, who predicts that currencies in the future will almost certainly be deregulated and decentralized — with or without governments' consent."

Comment Re:if you had been in the office on y2k.. the stor (Score 1) 123

Been there, done that. I almost went to work with Jher @ IO after I left Texas.Net, but ended up at OnRamp.
Sitting up on the 12th floor of 7th and Brazos for Y2K, listening to my police scanner and watching the crazyness down on 6th,
chatting with colleagues across town and across the country on IRC as we all did the same thing - waiting for a problem that
"never came" because we'd all worked to make sure it didn't happen.

Submission + - Google Files First Solar Patent, Builds R&D Te ( 1

bizwriter writes: Google has moved beyond investing and using solar power and has started on serious R&D work in the area. It's first patent application in solar energy technology just became public, and the company is staffing a new R&D group "to develop electricity from renewable energy sources at a cost less than coal" at "utility scale."

Comment I/O on the free "VMWare Server" sucks (Score 2, Informative) 361

The I/O performance on the free "VMWare Server" product *sucks* - because it's running on top of a host OS, and not on the bare metal.
I'm not surprised that FreeBSD Jails had better performance. VMWare Server is great for test environments and such, but I wouldn't ever use it in production.
It's not at all near the same class of product as the VMWare Infrastructure stuff (ESX, ESXi, etc.)

VMWare offers VMWare ESXi as a free download, and I/O performance under it would have been orders of magnitude better.
However, it does have the drawback of requiring a Windows machine (or a Windows VM) to run the VMWare Infrastructure management client.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Nicholas Carr is wrong on Open Source

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, Nicholas Carr, an acclaimed writer and ex-editor of Harvard Business Review, wrote an article titled The Ignorance of the Crowds in the Strategy+Business Magazine. In the article, he tries to portray open source as a hybrid Bazaar-Cathedral model and warns the businesses against any reliance on the open source process to drive innovation. Krishwords has this article in which a rebuttal is published to Carr\'s article and it has been argued that open source process is a perfectly legitimate democratic bazaar style model. Complete Story

Submission + - Future of Web 3.0: Malicious Code for Web 2.0 Apps

techie writes: "Matt Hartley of fame has written about the future of Web 3.0, and in his opinion, why Web 3.0 will bring malicious code writers to Web 2.0 apps. In other words, Web 2.0 as a platform is in danger. "Considering that there are highly ineffective viruses for Mac and Linux platforms, I'm going to be leaning more with the likelihood that tomorrow's threats on non-Windows platforms are going to take place in the Ajax filled wonders of the World Wide Web. Why? So you can develop a single malware script and execute on all three platforms, assuming it's cross platform, of course."
The Courts

Submission + - Storing Music for Personal Use Online is Illegal

An anonymous reader writes: In a court case of JASRAC vs. Image City, The Tokyo District Court handed down a ruling that says Image City's MYUTA service is guilty of copyright infringement. MYUTA is an online music storage service that allows users to upload music from their own CDs etc. to a central server from which they can download to their cellphones to listen to. Music uploaded to the central server is accessible only by the user who uploaded it and can only be downloaded to their cellphone. Despite the music only being stored for personal use, the ruling reasoned that the act of uploading music to a central server owned by a company is the equivalent of distributing music to that company. This has implications for other services such as Yahoo! Briefcase which could mean Yahoo! is gulity of copyright infringement if any of its users store music in their account for personal use. Google's translation can have a go at the original Japanese article.

Submission + - Netscape's Hypocrisy

hotgist writes: " bans sites and users from their systems that are doing exactly what they do. News is not posted on but links to other sites where the full story is. The summary is provided on Netscape's web site. Now,this is what they do. When you click on the story's Link, you are redirected to another page repeating the story's summary including comments, who voted for the story, who sunk the story, links and summaries of other stories.Sites with related activities receive ban on user and/or domain when they make submissions to netscape and begin to receive good traffic."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Submission + - The Secrets to Desktop Tower Defense's Success

wjamesau writes: "Paul Preece is just a Visual Basic programmer with no professional game development experience, but his amazingly viral Flash-based RTS Desktop Tower Defense generated 20 million pageviews in April alone, earning him monthly ad revenue that easily surpasses the salary of most 'real' game designers. His success story is an ideal case study in an often-overlooked revenue model for online games, one that indy developers would do well to consider. Why deal with fickle publishers and long development cycles when you can make a good living creating cool games at a fraction of the time and cost?"

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