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Comment You can vote with your wallet here. (Score 5, Informative) 189

Verizon made an overall profit of $4.04 Billion in the third quarter of 2015, reported Forbes (which I am not linking to.) That's not income. That's profit.

I can certainly understand that businesses, in lean times, need to take steps to keep afloat to avoid bankruptcy, but when you're close to earning $12B in profit a year, cutting pension and healthcare benefits is just mean-spirited. Verizon is destroying the middle class that it is hoping will buy its FIOS and wireless services, and that's both bad for business and bad for the country, and I don't want to support those sorts of actions.

Verizon wireless did a similarly mean-spirited thing last year and moved thousands of customer support jobs from "expensive" SoCal to "cheap" Kentucky, putting a few of my pals out of a job, actually. Despite good wireless service, I cancelled my Verizon Wireless accounts immediately, and when Retention called to ask why, I told them exactly why, asked the caller where they worked, and advised them to start looking for a new job because their position was surely going to move to a cheaper area of the country too.

Isn't $12B in profits ENOUGH? Vote with your wallets folks, and be sure to tell Verizon why you're leaving.

Comment And guess where the very next /. story links to? (Score 1) 406

And it was with no sense of irony that I report the very next Slashdot story, about the North Korean Nuke, links to Forbes' story that asks me to what? Disable my Ad Blocker.

Perhaps one thing sites like Slashdot can do about websites that encourage people to disable their adblockers is to not link to them? Maybe?

Comment This this!! A million times this!!! (Score 2) 698

How I have no mod points to boost this is a mystery to me, but I hope OP sees this.

My dad died suddenly in an accident when I was just 22, right out of college. I had always anticipated growing up and having a beer with him from time to time, asking exactly the kinds of questions CodePwned listed, and more like this: "What did you see in Mom when you first met?" "What did you learn from your first real job? Your second? Looking back, what would you have done differently?" "What was your first car? But what car did you really want then?"

In other words, these are the questions that kid Wernst would never have thought about asking, or even cared to know, but 44-year old Wernst would give just about anything to know.

Your daughter might not appreciate "adult" thoughts or musings now, or even for a decade or two, but I suspect you'll be thoughtful in how you record and save these videos so that she can watch and re-watch what you record for the rest of her life. So don't forget to to speak to her for those young and special times in her life, but also for that idle Tuesday when she's in her 40's or 50's and is wondering what kind of man her father really was.

In short, I'm not sure how much I'd value a "personal message from the grave" vs. stories that show me what my dad was like.

And make some for your wife while you're at it She knows who you are better than anyone, but she'll want to remember you too. Best of luck to you.

(Who left all these damn onions around here?!)

Comment Not Apple's first Yosemite-named Mac product (Score 5, Informative) 165

Those of us of a certain age will probably find the codename of the new OS X oddly familiar.

The so-called "Blue & White" PowerMac G3 was also code-named "Yosemite" ( Mine still works fine, 15 years later - it'll be old enough to drive and vote soon.

Too bad my Yosemite Mac won't be able to run Yosemite OS X...

Comment If the 0-Day infections are undetected, then how.. (Score 1) 228

So, if all these 0-Day infections are UNDETECTED BY MICROSOFT, then HOW could Microsoft's telemetry show them that the vast majority of its users are unaffected? If Microsoft knew about these things' existence, it stands to reason that it's product would block them.

Independent testing groups hold AV vendor's feet to the fire like a good free press does to politicians'. When caught, both groups tend to respond the same way: deny the problem and accuse the whistle-blower of being out of touch or inappropriate.

Comment Re:Has the ISS become sentient yet? (Score 2) 87

Hey! I can answer a bit about this.

My last job was at Epson, and around 1998, we made a special Epson Stylus Color 800 inkjet printer for use on the Shuttle. It went up on STS-95, which was the same mission John Glenn went up in. It (or perhaps a clone of it) now sits in the Epson America HQ lobby.

Anyway, I can confirm that other than a special black plastic case, which included plastic "cages" for both feeding paper in and taking paper out (it kept the sheets from floating away), a special latch for the USB cable, and maybe a special power supply (I don't remember anything special, but it may have had one), it was an off-the-shelf printer.

There was no special technology needed to pressurize the ink carts, or to move the ink from the heads to the paper during the act of printing. It just worked.

Now I'm not saying that current printers weren't engineered especially to work in zero-G, but we found it was unnecessary back in the 90's.

Comment Re:Shut it all off! (Score 1) 196

"There is NOTHING in the Constitution about freedom of speech that says that you have to assist demonstrators in shutting down your system."

Actually, it's the FCC that has full legal authority regarding cell phone service (and pretty much all wireless communication methods), and its intentional disruption or jamming, and how NO ONE is supposed to be legally allowed to do it. You know why movie theaters can't install cell phone jammers to keep phones in the audience from ringing? The FCC makes it illegal to do so. Remember when the vendors of paid WiFi services in Logan airport wanted to shut down a competing free WiFi service in the terminal, but weren't allowed to do so? That pesky FCC again.

Basically, only the FCC has the legal authority to suspend/disrupt/jam common carrier services. And in fact, the FCC is inviting users who had their services disrupted to register a complaint at or call 1-888-CALL-FCC.

So no, it's not the Constitution that protects the protesters' rights to use cell phones, but the FCC prohibits anyone else from interfering with the signals, regardless of the intention.

Comment What Might Have Been... (Score 4, Insightful) 154

As a die-hard Apple II user (still have my original //e and a spiffy Ethernet-equipped, Compact-Flash-card-as-a-hard-drive, maxed out IIGS), I've often pondered what might have been but for a few twists of computing fate.

With just between 16KB to 256KB or RAM, a pair of 140KB floppy drives, an 80-column green-screen or RGB color display, 5 card slots, and an 8-bit CPU bus with a CPU running at far less than 10 MHz, the IBM 5150 isn't that different than a contemporary Apple //e (typically with 128KB of RAM, a pair of 140KB floppies, a green screen or RGB display, 7 card slots, and a more efficient 1MHz CPU), and it wasn't obviously superior at the time. Both had similar expansion abilities (serial, parallel, game, modems, primitive hard drives in time), yet industry chose the PC to build upon because it was legally simpler.

What might have been if Apple allowed industry to clone and build upon the Apple II architecture, I wonder? Would we have had Compaq building luggable Apple II's with 16-bit CPUs and expanded memory early on? Might we have eventually had Apple IIs with 16-bit ISA slots, then VLB slots, then PCI slots, then AGP slots, and now PCI Express? Might we today have thoroughly modern computers with slick Windows-like GUIs, but if you did a Control-Reset or booted off of a USB-connected legacy Disk ][ you could still enter an AppleSoft BASIC program equivalent to booting off of an MSDOS boot floppy and doing a "dir?" Might our keyboards still have Open-Apple and Solid-Apple keys instead of Alt and Windows?

Now don't get me wrong, I love my PCs today and earn my livelihood with them, but as a former Beagle Bros employee, I sometimes can't help but wonder what might have been...

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Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.