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Despite 2014 being very good for Republicans in general, the Kansas governor was unpopular. Approval ratings well below 50%. The Kansas Secretary of State reacted by making some very suspicious moves, including throwing a substantially larger-than-normal number of voters off the rolls. This is a situation where there was possible corruption and members of both parties should be concerned.

Any transparency and open records should be welcomed, no matter what the partisan leanings of the researcher requesting them.

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You could. There was a keyboard kit for the 400 and I remember it being decent. But the kit may not have been very well known.

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If it wasn't advertised in Antic, Byte, Creative Computing, or Dr. Dobbs then I wouldn't of heard about it.

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I prefer choosing my own install location as well. For me, Portable Apps works well for several different applications. No worries about something quietly installing spyware and, since the applications are portable, I can put them in my Dropbox and have them available across my many different Windows machines.

Plus, I really appreciate the simplicity of having the install / uninstall of programs involve moving folders around. One less thing which could potentially break one day.

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I agree. Nothing beats pure text files. These days though, I save them to my Dropbox folder so they're accessible anywhere. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds this way.

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As a slight enhancement on pure text files: Org-mode [1] for Emacs! I really only use the outlining, and sometimes the TODO-item support, but having nice navigation/subtree folding on top of a file that's still plain text is really great.

I have a few three-line scripts in my ~/bin that commit my Org files to a git repo and push to my remote server, or pull changes. Lets me have copies on multiple machines and works really well.

[1] http://orgmode.org/

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I do this. What happens if Dropbox deletes a file though, on the server? Then it would vanish from the computer as well. If it was an important but rarely checked file, you might not notice for months or years, by which time it might be difficult to retrieve a copy.

Does anyone have more info on the likelihood of this + the possible ways to solve it if it happens? It occurred to me that most of my important files are potentially deletable via Dropbox.

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Dropbox is not a backup. Dropbox is a file sync service with some limited backup features. AFAIK it also hasn't actually ever reported profits, but it's well enough backed and dominant enough that it's unlikely to disappear.

What should happen in the case of missing a file deletion until beyond Dropbox's 30-day versioning windows is that you retrieve the file from your automated backups of at least one of the computers that Dropbox is syncing to.

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>What should happen in the case of missing a file deletion until beyond Dropbox's 30-day versioning windows is that you retrieve the file from your automated backups of at least one of the computers that Dropbox is syncing to.

What would you use for these automatic backups? I use backblaze for my whole computer. However, I think they also only keep file changes for 30 days past change date.

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I use TimeMachine and three large harddrives - a pair in raid1 that TimeMachine does it's normal thing with, then another drive that powers up once a week and rsyncs off that raid pair.

If I were _properly_ paranoid, I'd also set up an off-site backup drive - perhaps using TahoeLAFS. I figure the chance of Dropbox losing my data at the same time as I lose three bits of electronics at my house is pretty small.

For non OSX users, you can fairly trivially roll-your-own TimeMachine-like snapshot backup process in Linux using rsync, cron, and a little bash - it's not like Apple invented it... It might even be just as simple using Powertools on Windows.

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I use Crashplan, which is a little slower and clunkier than other services but keeps infinite versions of files, including deleted files (unlike Backblaze).

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I could try Crashplan again. When I attempted it before, it never successfully synced, despite hours spent emailing system reports back and forth with their support reps.

I would pay Backblaze double if they kept past versions.

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Tarsnap (https://www.tarsnap.com) is great and easy to configure, if you can deal with not having a GUI.

Colin Percival (the guy who maintains it) is also amazing with support - he was responding to my emails on Christmas day!

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I like SpiderOak.

Every platform i've tried it on has worked okay.

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It worked fine for me until I got more data than my plan supported. It was screwed after that, I deleted some stuff I didn't need, but it had already gotten into a borked state and support couldn't even help me fix it.

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>Dropbox is not a backup. Dropbox is a file sync service with some limited backup features

Agreed. Dropbox is more of a consumer disaster recovery solution than a backup solution. If your computer hard drive dies, you lose zero data. On the sysadmin side of IT, we distinguish between backups and replication. Backups have retention and are usually slow to recover from if you need to recover large amounts of data. Replication is often used to maintain a "ready to go" copy of the data. If a server dies a horrible death, boot the standy replication partner and we are back online. Dropbox can work this way of you have it installed on two PCs.

If your data is important, don't leave it to any single service to protect it. If you have truly important data, go ahead and use online backup/sync services, but also make your own point-in-time backups to avoid the accidental deletion of a file you only look at once per year. A cheap USB hard drive that holds monthly or quarterly backups, kept in a safe deposit box, will suffice for most people as that third line of defense.

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They wouldn't delete your file randomly for no reason, unless for a bug. But user data is top priority at Dropbox (it's what their business is all about), so you're extremely unlikely to loose it. They most likely have lots of redundancy.

Now if you accidentally delete something and want to recover it, you have 30 days to do so with a free account. With a paid account, your history is kept forever (basically files are never deleted).

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You can always backup both your Dropbox and Evernote to a single place. I'm the founder of https://revert.io and that's exactly what we've built our service to do. Love any feedback if you want to try it out. Thanks!

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This looks great, I've signed up.

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It's best if you don't think of Dropbox as a backup service. People treat it that way (and I'm guilty of it too) but a file-sync provider is really a very different thing at heart.

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If you're so scared that your files are so easily deleteable, why don't you keep backups?

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I do, but if Dropbox deleted a file, it would be deleted off the synced backup too, unless I get something with infinite version history.

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So you keep your files and your backups in dropbox?

Rule 1 of backups is "don't keep your files and your backups in the same place". Pretty much common sense.

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Why would you sync the backup? Just backup the contents of your Dropbox folder to a hard drive every night. Then it's on the hard drive and Dropbox can't access it.

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Incremental backups or deduplicating storage (ZFS)?

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[deleted]

On new accounts, Dropbox only allows a paid upgrade to store one year of file history.

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Exactly. Evernote and its clones seem to give you the best of both worlds in one product but in practice they do a half assed job of both. It's sort of like the windows vs unix mentality of having one behemoth do everything vs chaining independent tasks together. When I hit save and dropbox just syncs in the background, that's pretty much the best use of my time and also IMO the simplest solution to the problem.

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Funny story I have with Dropbox:

I was setting up my new desktop to dual boot Debian and Windows. In the interest of saving space, I tried to have Dropbox in both systems target the same directory to sync. I'm not precisely sure what happened - I think the folder hadn't finished pulling in all the files before I logged out - but it somehow trashed everything in my lab's shared directory. Thank god for their API and their automatic file versioning, or I would never have gotten out of that pickle.

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The diamonds are too big. I think this convention could work if the diamonds weren't the height of the line. Maybe at 50% or 30% of the original size. Then it would be obvious but not nearly so distracting.

As it is, it's fairly ugly and breaks the text unpleasantly.

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The operative word is 'yet'. You're right. Things aren't that bad now, compared to the Stasi.

But the problem lies in the tools and information available. All it takes is for one of the parties in power to decide they want to use it for their own unscrupulous purposes. And suddenly, they have more information than the Stasi could have dreamed of.

There's no guarantee there will ever be anyone in power who wants to abuse this. But it's a dangerous situation we've put ourselves in.

If we're starting a betting pool, my bet would be on the system limping along as it is for the forseeable future. Average citizens won't even really notice the growing surveillance. Criminals will, but no one will care about them. Certain protest groups, like whatever form the future Occupy takes, will see the system used to their detriment, but ordinary people will still not care. Always safe to bet on apathy, and relatively safe to bet on the politicians / powers-that-be realizing they can already have most of what they want without creating a repressive hellhole--which would cause more economic and social problems than it would be worth.

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The Public Domain Review (http://publicdomainreview.org/) is probably perfect for you. Covers a wide range of archive.org and Gutenberg books and it's well tagged so you can focus on particular interests.

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Not that small. Lawrence is the home of the University of Kansas.

I've lived all over the country, and Lawrence would rank towards the top for me. It's much like Austin, only smaller and less expensive. And probably more relaxed. The only drawback is that it's surrounded by Kansas.

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Yeah, Lawrence is very much a cool college town. Reminded me a lot of Athens, GA.

On another note about Kansas, I was driving from Kansas City to Wichita on a daytrip with my girlfriend at the time. Like 1995, I think. We stopped in a small town along the way and for some reason found ourselves in this dress shop in a strip mall. It turned out to be a boutique type place, with the dresses at 300-400 each. Weird. Who would have thought they had a market there? Cattle and oil money, I guess.

That store also had a small collection of cassette tapes of Turkish pop music for sale, totally randomly. I bought them all.

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Thank you. I knew about the DSN but didn't know there was a status page. Quite fun.

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If a prosecutor's chief career metric is his conviction rate, then he doesn't have much incentive to reelease exonerating evidence.

I wonder if changing the rules would help. Releasing such evidence and causing the case to collapse would not reduce the conviction percentage. Perhaps it could even be counted as a win, increasing the metric, because justice was done.

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Nope, you have just incentivized prosecutors to release guilty defendants to fix the numbers.

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