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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 480

If you've ever used Lotus Notes then you know where most of that support comes from. What a steaming pile of crap.

IBM uses a ton of custom in-house applications that they can't sell to other companies because they're such garbage, and I'll bet 90% of that crap doesn't work on Macs.

Buying a bunch of Macs is probably one IT group's way of getting out from under another IT group's crap.

Comment Re:"Times Less" Makes No Sense (Score 1) 480

It's a semantics thing, 1/x is definitely better, but most people understand that when someone says "x is 3 times less than y", they mean it would take 3 x's to equal 1 y.

And it does make some sense logically. 1/3 y is still multiplication, so "3 times less than y" is just a slightly odd way of denoting that the multiplication is inverted, saying "1/3 times y". Just like "3 times more than y" is kind of an odd way of saying "3 times y".

Actually saying these things in the most correct way sounds the strangest in conversation, IMO. "X is 3 times y dollars" just makes you sound a little off.

Comment Re:Were the users randomized? (Score 5, Interesting) 480

That actually costs your company a lot more, then, not less.

The trick, of course, is that it's a hidden cost that is virtually impossible to tally on a spreadsheet: your productivity is lost while you fix that problem. Did it take you an hour, where a tech might have taken 10 minutes? Did it take you several days when a tech might have had it cleared up in an afternoon? Who gets paid more for their time, you or the tech? That's a cost that's really hard to quantify, and so gets completely ignored.

My favorite example of this is when I worked as a hardware depot manager for one site of a huge global corporation. IT management issued a mandate that said hardware depots could only keep X amount of stock on hand at any given time and could only order new stock when it was gone. New stock orders also required the personal approval of the #3 guy in IT management.

I regularly went through my stock in about a week, week and a half, and it would take two weeks or more to receive a new pallet of computers to refresh my stock. Furthermore, as you might expect, the #3 guy in IT is a pretty busy guy, so he would sometimes take up to a week to approve my stock orders.

In the end, IT saved millions globally because their stock orders were drastically reduced, yet on the local level you had engineers being paid upwards of $1000 a day to twiddle their thumb while they wait for their $500 computer to arrive. But IT doesn't see one dime of that cost. In fact, unless a department gets hit with a flood of new hires who need new computers, it's likely none of the local departments will see a big enough impact on their budget to formally complain to IT about the process. Yet the company's cost saving methods caused a $500 computer to cost upwards of $20,000, and all of it is hidden from the bean counters.

Comment Re:I object to some of your comments.... (Score 1) 260

NO, it is not. Mac OS is not either. Free as in beer means free as in beer - no cost. You cannot LEGALLY get Windows for free. Which leads to the OTHER free, which is free as in freedom - which clearly the other two are not either.

Buy a new computer that someone else built, like most people do, and Windows or OS X comes with, no extra purchase necessary. For most people, it's free. It's not even a hidden cost, as it's often compensated for via bulk agreements and pre-loaded software. Deleting the software does not delete the OS, so it's effectively free. Most people never buy a standalone copy of Windows or OS X.

Most people just want to use their computers to run the software they need to run. Your idea of "free as in freedom" is pointless to them, because it affects them not at all.

What kills Linux for most people (including me), is the fact that, to do anything even slightly different than what ten thousand other Linux users have already done is an absolute nightmare.

Want to install a piece of software that isn't' in your OS's repository? Hope you know your way around Make and the GNU compiler! You need to be a wannabe programmer just to install software? Really?

Got a piece of hardware with no built-in driver? Hope you don't wreck your machine when you re-compile the kernel! Again, seriously?

Hope you know your thousands of config files inside and out, so you can re-configure your system when a piece of software mucks a bunch of them up!

In my experience, Linux is best when nothing ever changes on the system. No new software, no editing settings, once it's set it's set and nothing changes. That makes it perfect for many kinds of servers, and embedded systems where the user is sandboxed away from the core system. In fact, I prefer Android as a phone OS, and in that case I think it is an excellent experience.

I'm glad Linux exists, but I used it as my personal desktop for two years and honestly, if you tried to pay me to use it I'd probably look for another job.

I want to use my software, not fight my OS. As much as people bash Windows in nerd forums like slashdot, in the long run it gets out of the way a hell of a lot better than Linux does.

Comment Re: That's, for better or worse, for a court to de (Score 1) 215

Copyright is transferable. OP's suggestion changes nothing about that aspect of the law. Such works are produced under contract, with the copyright going to whatever entity produced the film (studio, uber rich guy, whatever).

So for example, take Mickey Mouse. That original creation, and all of the films produced involving MM, was owned by Walt Disney. He didn't personally create most of it, but the people who did create it did so under contract, transferring their claim of ownership on to him. The MM copyright therefore lasts until 70 years after his death.

Incidentally, this is why Disney re-releases, re-masters, and re-imagines all the old films every few years. They are creating a veritable minefield of copyright, so that when the original claim is no longer valid in 50 years or whatever, any independent attempt to re-create these stories will probably run afoul of one of their copyrighted works.

Comment Re:That's, for better or worse, for a court to dec (Score 2) 215

3) Give the "under penalty of perjury" part some teeth. If the content is not actually owned by the claimant, covered by fair use, or in any other way determined to be non-infringing; the individual from step 2 above goes to jail for perjury. I think a nice schedule would be:
1st false claim: 30 days in county.
2nd false claim: 90 days in county.
3rd false claim: 1 year in state, plus felony conviction on their criminal record and disbarment if the claimant is a lawyer.

Those teeth are too sharp. You would swing the balance too far in the opposite direction, which would gut any industry that legitimately relies on digital copyrights having value. Conceptually, the DMCA is a necessary thing, and legitimate claims are beneficial to society at large. It just happens that it was written in an absurd way that allows incredible levels of abuse, and that needs to be fixed.

IMHO, either 1 or 2 that you suggest would effectively solve the problem, though I think it would be better if 1 were simply made more sensible, rather than removed completely. Not requiring automatic take downs would stop the lions share of false claims though, and requiring legitimate identification would make counter-claims much more effective.

If you really want to add teeth, provide a mechanism for determining an intentionally false claim, and make issuing one wire fraud. Then you get sensible criminal charges for intentional abuse of the system automatically.

Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Comment Re:Morons (Score 1) 321

Why do people think things like the Bechdel test are worth more than a fart in the breeze

A test is just providing some objective information about something.

What you do with that is your business.

The Bechdel test was presumably invented to identify movies that fail the Bechdel test as deficient, problematic, etc.

But the test can just as easily be interpreted the other way. Netflix might someday soon come up with a category called "Bechdel Failures" and learn that it is extremely popular with men.

I think it would be great if there was some kind of logo or something that indicated if a movie passed or failed the Bechdel test; feminists could look for passing films, and I could look for failing films.

Comment Re:It's heartbreaking that politicians don't do sh (Score 4, Insightful) 482

I don't have any evidence of Trump naming or implying any race at any time with any of his various immigration comments.

His focus has been on
- stopping _illegal_ immigration
- stopping the legal immigration of people that are at an increased risk of becoming terrorists
- reducing immigration that appears to have a negative effect on American jobs

There is a tremendous amount of racial confirmation bias about Trump, in part because that's what the left always resorts to, and because he hasn't adopted SJW phrases and talking points.

Contrastingly, there is historical evidence of him breaking _down_ racial and other bigotry barriers in his personal and business life.

Comment Re:It's heartbreaking that politicians don't do sh (Score 3, Insightful) 482

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton has observed that discussing any aspect of immigration in a negative way makes her more like Donald Trump -- a man whom she very often implies is pretty much the worst thing ever.

It's a bit interesting that when Mrs. Clinton talks negatively about immigration, she's described as empathetic for Americans.

Contrastingly, when Donald Trump talks about immigration, he's described as a racist.

I think people are wise to be suspicious of anyone running for public office. But, of Clinton, Johnson, and Trump, Trump is the only one that has ever said he wants to limit and reform immigration for the benefit of Americans who are seeking American jobs. He's also the one talking about punishing American companies who engage in behaviors that subvert American workers and jobs so replace them with foreign workers and jobs.

If you are upset with companies abusing immigration law to the detriment of American workers, and you wish someone would finally do something about it, Trump would seem like your candidate.

This election promises to be another "hold your nose" affair, but there do seem to be legitimate differences in what the candidates want to accomplish and how they want to do it.

Submission + - US Efforts To Regulate Encryption Have Been Flawed, Government Report Finds (

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Republican congressional staff said in a report released Wednesday that previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it. The 25-page white paper is entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate and it does not provide any solution to the encryption fight. However, it is notable for its criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration. "Lawmakers need to develop a far deeper understanding of this complex issue before they attempt a legislative fix," the committee staff wrote in their report. The committee calls for more dialogue on the topic and for more interviews with experts, even though they claim to have already held more than 100 such briefings, some of which are classified. The report says in the first line that public interest in encryption has surged once it was revealed that terrorists behind the Paris and San Bernardino attacks "used encrypted communications to evade detection."

Comment Re: Unsurprising (Score 1) 441

How does $2k USD strike you?

example in use:

my post isn't really a new or novel idea:

It occurred to me that you could adapt the airframe and application from cruise missile (the blog post), to ultra-low cost, man-deployable SAM.

A 350mph SAM isn't going to go very high, or chase down aircraft that have flown past. It won't work like a big expensive fixed SAM installation.

The current US application of airpower is flying low, slow, over and over, in repeatable patterns, because total air superiority is assumed.

And so if you watch US airpower fly over your burnt-out city, and then you see them turning to make another pass, you pull out your low-buck SAM, get it fired up, and, when the aircraft has heading back towards you, you fire at it, head on, from a field or building rooftop or whatever.

A 350mph object coming straight at an aircraft that is used to assuming air space dominance, and which is giving off no radar emissions, is going to catch at least a few super-power aircraft off guard and take them down.

This only needs to succeed once or twice. That will cause a significant change in the use of theater air-power..

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