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Comment I'd do it in a hearbeat- (Score 1) 176

Heck, I'd even do it if I had to drive to a local spot and pick them up. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of having to goto one local store (Wegmans) with their idea of sale prices - 2 for $5....

Let me order or queue what I need during the week and I'll decide when to go get it. No lists, no coupons.

Comment Reverse Engineering, of course- (Score 1) 272

Not the software, but the file format.

A former engineer at our company ran into a problem- his 'mac' produced help files would only work in version 1.0 of the context software, and the minimum upgrade was to 3.1. 3.0 was the last version that was backwards compatible with 1.0.

In short, it was a cluster f.... but he solved it brilliantly.

Looking at the header of the file... he discovered that the FIRST damn byte was off by 1 hex code. So all of the tech support calls, all of the demands for fixing this- all of these issues and being told there was NO WAY to make the earlier files compatible with the most recent ... were bullshit. He hex-edited the old files and they worked perfectly fine.

I wish he still worked for us instead of being laid off. His intelligence is missed.

Comment Just buy hard drives. (Score 1) 680

I've tried a few dozen different methods of making backups and nothing ever really works- if you want cheap, it won't be automated or simple. If you want simple, it won't be cheap. If you want automated, you might miss something.

While 16 gb of data seems like a lot there are days I shoot 16 gb before lunch- when mentoring HS students and filming events you can blow through 16gb very quickly. Now there are some great photo applications that offer you opportunities to back up everything, but I'm just really not into those as I don't trust them.

My suggestions, which work for me-

DIM (Digital Image Mover). Download, rename, renumber, date, and CRC check your files.
(I really wish.... it had a dual copy method).

Immediately burn a DVD backup. I've gotten lax here because I started shooting more... otherwise... ...insert another 500gb to 1tb drive into an external e-sata or usb3 reader and copy all files that you just downloaded (or run DIM again) to the external device.

Duplicate that a third time.

Disconnect both copies.

When one is full, add another drive and store off site.

I have about 10 different HDs in rotation and store images on my media server as well as the internal hardware RAID-5 system. Hard drives go to my Father-in-law's place for backup.

Comment No kidding. Known for years. (Score 4, Informative) 229

This has been covered half a dozen times yet no one in the media gets it: 3D that is being popularized strains the eyes and messes with the brain. I've yet to see a movie that states you shouldn't drive for 2 hours after watching it to let your depth perception recover- because it has been hacked at with the method of presentation.

Everyone LOVES 3D that really pops- and to get that level of pop the eyes must be further and further strained outwards. While this is fine for the short term, immediate needs doing it for any length of time is a huge stressor.

Unfortunately I am at home and don't have any of the papers that were published in the late 80's and 90's about these issues. Sega (damn memory) had a unit that was going to be 3D capable but ended up canning it for a variety of issues- including the health of children. Obviously now adays that isn't a concern and money, as always, comes first.

I know of some military groups that prohibit their members from operating a vehicle for 8 hours after performing 2-4 hours of stereo work. They must be driven home by a buddy. That's not over-reacting in my opinion.

Crewmen of submarines must recover their 3D vision after spending so long cooped up with nothing 'far' available to be seen. They're also banned from operating vehicles while in port for some duration.

Why is it any surprise that a developing brain can be traumatized by seeing something that it wasn't wired to see?

Go ahead- screw your kids up. Mine won't be. I've got hundreds of other ways to mess them up :)

First Person Shooters (Games)

Combat Vets On CoD: Black Ops, Medal of Honor Taliban 93

An anonymous reader writes "Thom 'SSGTRAN' Tran, seen in the Call of Duty: Black Ops live action trailer and in the game as the NVA multiplayer character, gets interviewed and talks about Medal of Honor's Taliban drama. '... to me, it's a non-issue. This is Hollywood. This is entertainment. There has to be a bad guy if there's going to be a good guy. It's that simple. Regardless of whether you call them — "Taliban" or "Op For" — you're looking at the same thing. They're the bad guys.'" Gamasutra published a related story about military simulation games from the perspective of black ops veteran and awesome-name-contest winner Wolfgang Hammersmith. "In his view, all gunfights are a series of ordered and logical decisions; when he explains it to me, I can sense him performing mental math, brain exercise, the kind that appeals to gamers and game designers. Precise skill, calculated reaction. Combat operations and pistolcraft are the man's life's work."

Comment SLightly more pressure than a balloon. (Score 4, Insightful) 571

Contrary to the humorous jokes about popping balloons, mentos and coke, etc- these do have significant explosive force. When they're at full pressure they can maim. While the first google search of "dry ice bomb accident" turns up a youtube video of a small bottle, one can also see videos from Mythbusters where they used 2 liter containers.

Very quickly you can see that putting one of these inside of a mailbox can do serious damage.

These are no different than the drain bombs of my 'youth' when kids were stuffing them in mailboxes everywhere. Those did cause serious injuries- given the reaction of the lye and the shrapnel from the explosions.

Should Mom be charged? No, she shouldn't, and there should be some common sense applied. But since a 14 year old can't exactly buy dry ice (at least not at the places I fill my CO2 tanks at) then she was supplying him- and if she wasn't supervising him doing this... there is a degree of recklessness that needs to be addressed.

Maybe she doesn't understand how dangerous these things can be? I doubt the kid was wearing a face shield with gloves and an apron to protect himself incase of premature detonation.

As a society we all would pay if this child was injured. That's the overriding concern- and society would be screaming right now if the police had showed up, said "Oh, OK, keep at it" and left... and then the kid was in an accident and cost (lets say an eye) his sight.

You can't have it both ways.

Comment I once caught students cheating (Score 1) 694

Our course was easy. Given some inputs, make them match exactly via the diff command to the outputs. It was really pathetically easy to pass, unless you mis-implemented something (happens).

Code review was checked via a number of methods- usually more hype than reality, but it still happened.

I had a couple of different students submit the same code- different names, variables, orders, etc. What gave it up? They had extra spaces at the end of the lines. Usually two, sometimes three- as if the tab was replaced and rounded up. This matched, space for space, for each function regardless of the name of the function or the variables.

100$ fraudulent. Global search and replace.

Prof passed them both. No warnings, no nothing.

I stopped being a TA at that point.

Comment Specialized requirements (Score 3, Insightful) 349

Not always is a common solution the right one. Many times they lack the requisite low level IO needed to do the job right.

Take, for instance, DDC/CI. I don't know what you're doing and that's fine, but in my line of work we have to talk to the monitor. You ain't doin' that on a virtual machine.

Just because it's virtual doesn't mean it's better.

Comment Re:older developers... (Score 1) 742

Lack of experience? Or a lack of give-a-damn or understanding? I've seen 30+ year old "computer engineers" with a decade of experience as system administrators pull this nonsense. They've got experience, they've just got the wrong mindset.

They're like the bad mechanic who replaces parts until finding the problem, or until the problem stops manifesting itself - regardless of whether the problem has actually been fixed.

Comment Re:Unacceptable (Score 5, Insightful) 324

Your are so wrong when you imply that this is not an intrinsic problem in the US. It is, in fact, the corporate standard behavior for US business. Workers, clients, and investors are all disposable, and exists only to fill the bank accounts of the corrupt executive class.

Here are some examples from today's headlines. And by today I mean this week!

Yesterday, the AP reported that Marlene Griffith, a widow of William Griffith, one of the 29 men killed in last week’s explosion at a coal mine in West Virginia, is suing Massey Energy, the owner of the mine. Griffith filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Raleigh County Circuit Court, arguing that Massey’s handling of work conditions at the mine plus its history of safety violations amounted to aggravated conduct that rises above the level of ordinary negligence.


Responding to the lawsuit, Nathan Coffey, the Public Affairs Coordinator of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), took to Twitter yesterday to mock Marlene Griffith. Coffey posted a link to the AP story about Marlene Griffith, sarcastically commenting that “Everyone wants free money!”

As only someone from Mars doesn’t know by now, Goldman allegedly sold collateralized debt obligation, or bonds backed by mortgage securities, to institutional investors without disclosing that the specific securities were handpicked by hedge-fund manager John Paulson. Paulson was betting on the securities to fall and, for that reason, structured the securities to include losers -- not winners.

As expected, the line of people preparing to sue Goldman is now longer than the posers who bought the iPad on launch day. Reuters reports that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who himself has been in hot water over his much lamented decision to sell UK's gold despite protests from the BOE and likely under the guidance of Goldman and JPM, wants an investigation into the Goldman affair by the FSA, and is saying that impacted UK banks will be considering legal action. Furthermore, GB slammed Goldman after the TimesOnline reported that Goldman will pay $5.6 billion in bonuses for just three months work, including 600 million pounds for London-based staff.

According to reports by ProPublica/National Public Radio/This American Life that came out in early April 2010, Magnetar "sponsored" mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations by agreeing to buy the worst tranche (portion) of the CDO, the "equity tranche". The reports claim that Magnetar then shorted (bet against) those CDOs by buying credit default swaps that insured the CDOs. If the CDOs failed, Magnetar would get back many times its initial investment in the equity tranche by receiving the insurance payoff.[2][4]

Comment Re:LOLwut? (Score 1) 298

About the only thing you can't do is go around denying the holocaust in Germany or creating games like Wolfenstien in Germany.

I doubt the Wolfenstien restriction would stick in Post-Downfall Germany. That taboo has pretty much been broken, Company of Heroes was permitted to be sold in Germany despite being able to play as WWII German forces. The developers got around the restrictions by calling the German forces the "wermacht" as opposed to the Nazi's.

Comment Re:Professional Coyotes? (Score 1) 324

Let's just say that they aren't being imported because there's a high demand for foreign work. They don't have skills that American workers don't have.

Why are we importing them, then?

Because we can treat them like slaves because most of them are ignorant to the laws in the USA. They see it as a land of opportunity and are willing to work for less than decent wages to get their feet in the proverbial door. No one usually tells them that they'll have ever-increasing debt the likes of which we haven't seen since corporate script in miner towns was common, though.

We're importing them because someone's making money off it. The recruiting agencies, head hunters, human trafficking rings, etc. All of them get a cut of the already-low wages of the immigrant worker.

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