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* Posts by sisk

1470 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper

sisk
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Dungeon Keeper FTW!

I came across my DK CD while cleaning out the storage unit just last week and popped it in to find out if it'd run under Wine for nostalgia's sake. Unfortunately it seems that my optical drive has died at some point in the 6 months since the last time I used it, so no antique code fun for me.

Still this was one of my favorite games back in the day, right up there with Rock 'n Roll Racing and StarCraft.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

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Smartwatches, bah

I was really excited about smartwatches when they first hit the market. Then I found out what they can really do, and, more importantly, what they can't. Short version, I've yet to see one that can do anything a phone can't do, which is fine except that you have to be carrying a phone for it to even do that much. So, really, what's the point? I wanted a phone on my wrist, dangit, not a thing on my wrist that talks to the phone in my pocket for me.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

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Re: It's a long way

Well if you're bringing HIM to the fight I'll make sure to have a big electromagnet handy. :-)

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Re: It's a long way

sharpens knives

Try us, bub.

Bringing knives to a gun fight?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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Honestly I think most of the US government realizes there's more advantage to calling Snowden 'damage done' and washing their hands of the whole thing than creating an international incident in a misguided attempt to get him back.

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Re: It's a long way

A war with Canada? Over Snowden, a guy that a lot of people consider a hero for blowing the whistle? I think not, unless Obama's a hell of a lot stupider than I give him credit for.

Go ahead, give all the conspiracy theorists who've been cleaning guns, biding time, and gaining numbers for the last few years a reason to start shooting. They wouldn't win, of course, but the resulting domestic chaos would be an absolute nightmare. We've already had one way-too-close call with those guys at the Bundy ranch. I don't think anyone who understands what almost happens there wants a repeat. If the shooting had started, and they were one itchy trigger finger on either side of the line away from it, it wouldn't have stopped there.

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The Schmidt hits the clan: Google chief mauls publishers' 'abuse of dominance' claims

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Re: Alternatives to Android

It's possible to get a phone with a forked version of Android and no Google utils on it. That's probably your best option since the only other smartphone options are either aged to the point of irrelevance (Blackberry, Palm, Symbian) or at least as evil and possibly more so than Google (WinPhone, iOS).

And yes, I realize Blackberry is still updating, but the recent BBs I've seen just don't stand up to other current smart phone offerings in terms of features and app libraries.

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Re: "Antitrust" ... misused as regularly as "Antisemitism".

To be brutally frank, I am surprised to see that there is still no real competition to that - anyone an idea why?

Because word hasn't gotten around outside of the IT community about DuckDuckGo yet.

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Alien Ninja Fembot Pirates vs the Jedi SAS Chuck Norris startroopers: RUMBLE

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Chuck Norris is a mad retirement-age fundie Christian who turns the other bum-cheek. My mrs could beat him in a fight.

Half right. The real-world Chuck Norris is indeed a retirement-age fundie who advocates cheek turning. His age is a big part of why he didn't go for a seventh straight world karate championship, and that was way back when.

That said against most real-world people my money would be on the former six time world karate champion, retirement age or not.

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Beer in SPAAAACE: Photographic PROOF

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Quoting Brooska above, the plan was for "a sealable 530ml container purchased for £3.50 from Tesco". That sounds more like a Tupperwareish storage container than a cup with a lid to me.

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I'll just point out that we can only see how wide and high the container is. It could well be very deep, therefore giving it more capacity than is readily apparent.

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

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Re: what idiot uses 1 2 3 4 5 for a password

Sadly, I know a few who used to. One of them pitched a fit when he gave me his password of 12345 (after being told I didn't want or need his password) and I immediately ticked the 'must change password on next logon' box on his account.

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Re: Passwords.....

That's actually along the lines of the method I've been hearing the security experts I respect recommend for years now. I have a password card that I use for my most important stuff. It has a grid with the top row and left column being the alphabet and 0-9 and the rest random characters. I line up the first letter of the site name on the top with the last letter of the site name on the left, count off 15 characters from that point in the grid, and that's my password for that site. I only bother with it for things that would be devastating were my account to be breached, like my bank. I don't actually have to pull it out very often. For any site I visit with any kind of regularity I end up memorizing the password whether I make an effort to or not.

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And people wonder why I don't trust mainstream American news outlets.

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Apple 'fesses up: Rejected from the App Store, dev? THIS is why

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If your user interface is ... less than very good, it may be rejected.

Based on some of the apps I've seen in the app store Apple must have a far different idea of what makes a good interface than I do. Some of the UI sins I've seen in the app store would have my boss telling me to scrap it and start over if I committed them them.

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Re: An example to follow

If only other app stores were as selective!

I think the word you're looking for is 'restrictive'. In other app stores, particularly the Play store, the good apps are chosen by the market, as it should be, and float to the top of the search results. Bad apps may get into the store, but they sink to the bottom of the results. That is, in my opinion, a much better way of selecting the best apps than ensuring that the market never gets to see some of the apps.

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MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS

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Re: The whole News is a sham.

I rather thought it might be a hoax. It just sounded way too much like that Swedish 'city of lesbians' rumor that had the men of south east Asia so excited a few years back.

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Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case

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Re: Department of H and HS is looking for national security threats?

That's where term limits come in. Yes, they're all corruptible, but the worst ones are the ones who've been there for 20 years and have no plans on leaving any time soon. That and they're less likely to be as bad if they know that they're going to have to go back to living under the laws they make in 4-8 years.

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Re: Department of H and HS is looking for national security threats?

Can we somehow start over?

Yep. It's actually quite easy to do once we get everyone to agree to do it. All we have to do is vote all their corrupt asses out of office over the course of the next few years.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

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So when they're done with this the next step is to prove the simulation argument by showing we live in a simulated universe. Then, of course, we need to set up a communication interface with the engineers so they can send us the documentation for the simulator, allowing us at last to just RTFM instead of fumbling around like a bunch of n00bs.

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Re: Sub-heads

Landslide or not there's no escape from reality. Even if it's just a hologram.

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Re: Interesting times

In science, you can't prove a theory to be true. You can only prove it false.

But you also can't prove a negative, so where does that leave us?

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Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO

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Judge Koh ruled against Apple? It's about damn time. That should have happened when she denied the appeal that should have happened based on jury misconduct.

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Wall Street woes: Oh noes, tech titans aren't using bankers

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if they're not very good at using Wall Street, then what unholy deals are they cobbling together without that adult supervision?

Wall Street? Adult? Are you kidding? These are the bastards whose selfishness (which puts the selfishness of my toddler to shame) tanked the entire world economy and who went so far as to actively TAUNT the demonstrators when the Occupy movement hit (not to support the Occupy movement....it was always doomed to failure in my opinion, but watching the tycoons go 'neener neener' did nothing good for my opinion of Wall Street).

Personally I say if they don't need Wall Street then good for them for not using Wall Street. As is usually the case the banks need them a whole lot worse than they need the banks.

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

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Re: @Daniel B. - You may not want to read this

You mean those that are constantly hiding behind NDAs...

To be fair they don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. They can 'hide behind NDAs' or be sued into oblivion. AMD actively supports the FOSS version of their driver, but even they can't reveal all the technical details to make it as good as the proprietary one. On the other hand NVIDIA's proprietary driver is a joke. I'd be embarrassed were I on the team that wrote it.

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Re: @boltar

No offence, but Python, javascript, ruby and similar scripting languages are training languages. They're the 21st century equivalent of QuickBasic.

Python and Ruby maybe, but JavaScript is THE go to language for client side web site scripting, which makes it very important for both web design and HTML5 based mobile apps. But don't get me wrong: it gets misused a lot these days. It should never see use outside of those two environments, but somehow people have gotten the idea that it's the way to do things.

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Re: Choosing a distro is like choosing a car.

Debian's the "I just want it to keep working" option irrespective of whether it's server-room or desktop.

Perhaps if you let it do one of the standard installs it lets you choose from during the installation, but if you do the minimal install and then build up from there (which is how I typically set up Debian) it becomes much more flexible.

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Choosing a distro is like choosing a car.

With cars, if you need to haul kids around you get a minivan or a station wagon. If you work on a farm or in construction and have to move around heavy stuff, you get a pickup truck. If you just want to get around for the minimum money you get a Vespa. If you need to conduct business while moving around the city you get a limo and a driver.

With distros, if you're building a server room and want enterprise grade support, you get SUSE, RHEL, or CentOS. If you're just browsing the web and checking email and don't want any hassle you get Mint or Ubuntu. If you're installing it on a Pentium II you get DSL or Puppy. If you're doing security testing you get Backtracker.

And then there's Debian and GenToo. Those are like getting a well rounded pile of car parts: you can build whatever you want to with them, but you have to know what you're doing.

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Re: You may not want to read this

#4 is my most commonly received answer.

Though to be fair the Linux questions I have long ago left the realm of newbies, wandered through the land of "Oh that's on page 5 of the old version of the manual, but they cut it out of the current one", climbed up the hill of "yeah, ALSA can be a real pain, but here's a little black magic to fix your problem" and now firmly reside on the border of "That's a tricky one. If you ever figure out a solution let me know" and "I've never heard of anyone having that problem before"

And yes, those are all answers I've gotten on various Linux forums over the years. Pretty close to exact words to.

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Re: Just my worthless opinion

Eh, most packages released 5 years ago will still work in a modern distro. Probably even a good chunk of the ones released 10 years ago will. You'd probably have to compile something that old against modern libraries, but back you pretty much had to compile anything not coming from your disto's repository anyway.

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We no longer equate the GPL with open source. Restrictive licenses don't fit with our view of the world. It's no longer necessary and often outright toxic to a project.

I do have to agree with you on this point. The GPL is, in my opinion, long winded and nearly as restrictive as a proprietary license would be. My license of choice these days is the BSD license when I decide something done in my free time is worth licensing at all (if it's not in my free time I don't own it - pretty standard when someone pays you to code). Really more often my free-time projects end up getting thrown out to the wild with a public domain release. But then they tend to be dinky little things because, who wants to code for 8 hours on someone else's pet project and then come home and code some more on another big project?

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Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

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Re: Undead?

Seems to me, they're among the "original" BOFHs. How are they not called out in the poll?

Oh come on now. We want a competition, not a slam dunk victory.

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Max Brooks

On the subject of World War Z I think it should be pointed out that the world's militaries had little trouble dropping zombies by the horde once they accepted that zombies were not human. Both the shock and awe tactics and entire classes of conventional weaponry were utterly useless, but when they went back to the good old bolt action of yesteryear and focused on marksmanship above intimidation the zombies ceased to be a real threat. They pretty much wiped out all the zombies in the US with no more than a handful of casualties once they did that.

Movie? What movie?

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

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Re: 23 Years

But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now.

It was offered as an option for a while, but it wasn't pushed nor, really, advertised at all outside of the IT community. Most people took the default Windows, and even those who looked mostly ended up thinking "Hmm, XP or Vista, and what's this Ubuntu thingy?" It also didn't lower the price any, so even though you were buying a Linux computer you still felt like you were paying the "Windows tax"* .

In order for Linux to make a significant impact on the consumer desktop Dell or HP or Lenovo or some other big brand will have to offer it as a default OS choice on a popular model or push it heavily in their marketing, which, face it, is never going to happen. I've long since accepted that running Linux as my desktop OS puts me in a small niche and always will.

Not that it matters. Linux owns the networking equipment, server appliance, TV, BluRay player phone, car computer, programmable coffee maker and dead badger markets. There's no need to own the desktop too.

Also....

Sadly, the zealots seem to be in tha majority amongst Linux users.

Vocal minority != majority.

*Even though the way Microsoft gets Windows to the big manufacturers means the consumer doesn't really pay for it on pre-built machines most people, even geeks, don't seem to understand that so the perception of the Windows tax remains.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

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denigrate their intelligence & suggest they can't know anything tech because they are men?

Eh....I share an office with a few of those if you just leave it at 'can't know anything'. One of them seems to truly think men are useless and the others just seem to go along with it. Either way I'm pretty sure a man speaking about women the way they do about men would be shown the door. But, like the pervy creeps at a show (who, by the way, would likewise been shown the door were they working for anyone I've ever worked for and word get back to the boss about their behavior), they're the exception not the rule.

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A sad state of affairs

I don't care how drunk you are you treat people with respect. Drunk is not an excuse. When I was in college I could drink everyone I knew under the table and would still hold the door for a lady (and for balance too by that point, but I digress) and tell her to call me when we were both sober. If I can keep my manners about me when I'm piss drunk I find it hard to give anyone else a pass just because they're drunk.

I'll say it like I always say it when I see these sorts of stories: Guys, grow up. There's just no excuse for that sort of behavior. If you have that much trouble controlling your libido then you probably shouldn't be allowed in public.

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Re: Surprised..

I don't think I've ever had enough drinks at any event to tell any random girl, mid conversation, that you've gotten my er...attention. That's just vile. It sounds like the stuff you overhear from spotty 18 year olds at the local Wetherspoons

I disagree with that last bit. Most guys I know had figured out mid-way through junior high that you don't say things like that in the presence of a lady, and a good chunk had abandoned such juvenile topics even in the locker room by the time they were 18. That's more what I'd expect from a 12 or 13 year old.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

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Good grief

I'm of the opinion that intentionally seeking out and watching a video of a man being murdered in cold blood is in poor taste, but calling it a crime is way over the top. Somebody's stirring the pot to serve an agenda here, as if it weren't a bad enough situation already.

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Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?

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Re: Take a note from the US

Call me crazy, but shouldn't the public website of a body that prepares for disasters be somewhat capable of sustaining a sudden peak in traffic, such as might occur after a disaster?

You'd think. Technically though the CDC only has responsibility for outbreaks of disease, which very rarely happen over night. FEMA would be the agency in charge of the types of natural disasters that are usually sudden and unexpected. Contagions tend to not be so sudden. Even the ones that hit public awareness very rapidly don't usually cause such a huge spike in CDC's traffic.

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Re: Take a note from the US

To be fair the Zombie Apocalypse thing was a general disaster prep guide written by a CDC staffer with a sense of humor (and serves as the only publicly accessible proof that such people do, in fact, exist). Seriously, that guide works just as well for a flood, tornado, or earthquake as it does for a zombie apocalypse.

Also resulted in the total collapse of the CDC's public network due to a sudden 10,000ish fold increase in incoming web traffic when it went viral, so it's perhaps not the best idea to emulate.

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What are your plans to respond to an asteroid impact?

Suggested answer:

In the aftermath of an impact event within the council's area of influence large enough to warrant a response from your town council it will be dissolved. As will the council members. And town hall. And the town. You might escape dissolution should you be fortunate enough to be on vacation at the time.

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

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Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

I believe Gmail accepts text files, to handle some repetitive tasks. I know I could use it to create a large number of users.

Couldn't they be used to update and/or delete accounts? Never looked into it.

The only task we could use text files for was importing users. Mind you I wasn't the one maintaining the student email accounts, so my knowledge of it is mostly via hearsay, but I do know that three days were spent correcting an error that was in the text file last year because they couldn't edit or delete the accounts via text file.

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Re: Thanks for that

Have you actually used Thunderbird recently? I didn't think there was anything that could out-crap Apple Mail, but there it is. I also wouldn't shout too loud about "reliable". Yes, the Linux kernel is reliable, but that doesn't mean that the desktop productivity applications that run on it are.

I've TRIED to use Thunderbird recently. Lets just say I get all my personal email on my phone for lack of a decent email client that will run in Linux. LibreOffice is another story though. I've found it to be extremely reliable.

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Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

Freeware type Office copies might work for small business and home users, but for the vast majority of enterprise users, it's simply not up to the job. Especially Excel.

Anecdotal though it may be I've never had a need that Calc wasn't more than up to. Though, to be fair, I mostly use spreadsheets as a place to dump database queries to so that I can easily give them to someone else. Someone else does all the book keeping and accounting that is Excel's strong point.

As for Thunderbird + Lightning, on that I have to say it's just not up to the job even for my relatively modest needs. I've been there and tried that. After a couple months of frustration I gave up and went back to Outlook. GMail Enterprise can do the job, but it brings in its own headaches. The biggest one for us is that there are no bulk tools except an import. If you need to change a huge batch of accounts you have to touch every single one of them.

For most businesses that wouldn't be a problem, but we were using them for student email accounts. That meant every June some lucky sod got to go in and delete 600 email accounts for outgoing students one at a time over a not-especially-fast web based interface. Even worse, every time the suits (AKA the guys with PHDs in education who can't find Outlook if you delete the shortcut from the desktop) decided something about those accounts needed to change we had to touch every single one of them, which took about 3 days of mind numbing click-click-click. I could see GMail as an alternative in a more normal enterprise, but it doesn't cut it for us.

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So apparently the biggest bitch is there's no direct equivalent to Outlook?

Actually....I can sorta understand that one. If they were complaining about Word or Excel it'd be a toothless argument, but Outlook is, dare I say it, damn useful. Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious and so useful that I've often wondered why the concept hasn't been cloned into open source yet (and before you say it, I don't have the time to do it myself or the leadership skills to assemble a team to help).

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

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Re: What?!

Try hitting one on a motorcycle, then... Not to be recommended.

I don't know about pigeons, but I once saw a guy take a pheasant to the chest on a motorcycle. The bird won. It knocked him clean off the back of the bike and wandered off into some tall grass while he was testing how much protection leathers give against road rash (quite a bit, apparently, but not so much against bruises and broken arms).

Somewhat humorously, the bike continued down the road for about a quarter mile before it realized it had lost its rider and laid down in the ditch to wait for him.

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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

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The kill button is a step in the right direction, but it really needs to be an opt-in if they want to include this feature, not an opt-out.

Then again I've never liked Ubuntu. All the user friendliness - or lack thereof - of Debian with all the stability of Windows XP before its first service pack. I'm a recent convert from Debian to Linux Mint Debian Edition. Its as easy to use as the more traditional Mint and has all the stability I've always loved in Debian.

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The Register is HIRING technology hacks for the WORLD

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It interested me for a minute or two. I think I have the writing skills and I definitely have the tech knowledge for the job. Sadly though there's more to journalism than just being able to string words together and have them make sense. I'm somewhat lacking in the skills that let good journalists figure out when to ask whom which questions, not to mention the skills to actually get those questions answered. Besides I'm about 2000 miles from San Francisco with no plans to move.

I can't help but feel it'll be a rewarding career for whoever gets it though.

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

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Re: I refuse to do backups - on principle

I'd point out that nowhere in the story does it suggest the files in question weren't on a server. No one in a company big enough to have an IT department backs up users' desktops except as occasional exceptions to their backup policy for exceptional machines (we back up the one that has the ID badge printer and software for instance). Who has that kind of storage to throw away?

As for PST files, my alternative is a trash can. In my experience most people who have a need for PST files are saving emails that no one needs anymore. The prime example around here had three PST files because he'd run into the 4gb max file size in FAT32 when trying to store them on a flash drive (and blamed IT for it when he had to have multiple files, but that's another story). Looking at them it was pretty easy to tell the man had never deleted a file in his life. He still had emails from 1994 talking about whose turn it was to bring snacks when he retired last year.

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