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Old 07-13-2016, 12:59 PM   #26161
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D.B. Cooper investigation -- unsolved -- is over after 45 years, FBI says | OregonLive.com





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SEATTLE ó The FBI says it's no longer actively investigating the unsolved mystery of 1970s plane hijacker D.B. Cooper.

The bureau announced Tuesday that it's "exhaustively reviewed all credible leads" during its 45-year investigation and has redirected those resources to other priorities.

The FBI has investigated since a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 headed for Seattle after boarding at Portland International Airport on Nov. 24, 1971. He later jumped out the back of the plane in southwest Washington wearing a business suit and a parachute after receiving $200,000 in ransom money.

No sign of Cooper has emerged, though bundles of his cash, matched by serial numbers, were found in 1980.

The FBI says it has conducted searches, collected all available evidence and interviewed all identified witnesses. It says it's chased an immense number of tips but none have resulted in identifying the hijacker.

I'm dying over here

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Old 07-13-2016, 02:39 PM   #26162
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How much of a pay cut is worth getting a job at google? The local google data center has a job opening for something I can easily do, and know a few people who could put in a word for me. I know there will be a pay cut, not sure how much at this time. The benefits would be its 6 miles from home in the opposite direction of traffic, onsite cook for all the food you want. The downsides are a pay cut, loss of my unlimited vacation time, and no more working from home.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:40 PM   #26163
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loss of my unlimited vacation time, and no more working from home.

Would not do because of that
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:44 PM   #26164
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Would not do because of that
I would still have generous "PTO", don't have a hard number of days, and unlimited sick days.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:45 PM   #26165
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And you could tell us where all the good Pokemons are.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:46 PM   #26166
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Probably depends on what you value. Would the pay cut affect you worse than the other benefits?
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:04 PM   #26167
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I wouldn't doo it, too many freedoms being stripped away cause.. 'merica.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:28 PM   #26168
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How much of a pay cut is worth getting a job at google? The local google data center has a job opening for something I can easily do, and know a few people who could put in a word for me. I know there will be a pay cut, not sure how much at this time. The benefits would be its 6 miles from home in the opposite direction of traffic, onsite cook for all the food you want. The downsides are a pay cut, loss of my unlimited vacation time, and no more working from home.
Contractor or full time employee?
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:01 PM   #26169
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Contractor or full time employee?
I believe full time, but not 100% positive. I sent you a pm with some questions.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:17 PM   #26170
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How much of a pay cut is worth getting a job at google?
Are you presently in a career path with an industry which is likely to be disrupted at some point in the foreseeable future by Google / Yahoo / Apple / etc?

If so, then I would absolutely make the jump. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

If not, then I got nuthin'.



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Old 07-13-2016, 04:51 PM   #26171
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Lulz, employer just ended Casual Fridays. Mind you, we are not a retail business, and administrative staff do not interact with the public. Also note that we aren't talking about shorts and t-shirts here; "Casual Friday" meant clean denim jeans, maybe a polo shirt, and running shoes instead of khakis, a button down or polo, and leather shoes.

I honestly don't get it...the timing, the communication, any of it.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:04 PM   #26172
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Lulz, employer just ended Casual Fridays. Mind you, we are not a retail business, and administrative staff do not interact with the public. Also note that we aren't talking about shorts and t-shirts here; "Casual Friday" meant clean denim jeans, maybe a polo shirt, and running shoes instead of khakis, a button down or polo, and leather shoes.

I honestly don't get it...the timing, the communication, any of it.
How about this. I get the job at google. Then I will get you into my old job. Shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops is normal dress code for men at my work. The ceo is generally in jeans, flip flops and maybe a polo.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:19 PM   #26173
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How about this. I get the job at google. Then I will get you into my old job. Shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops is normal dress code for men at my work. The ceo is generally in jeans, flip flops and maybe a polo.
The irony is that I don't really care about wearing jeans on Fridays -- my work clothes are comfortable, so it's not a big deal to me. But I am highly irritated at the decision itself, and how it was communicated.

Supposedly, management is highly concerned about morale and is making "hard decisions" to try to keep people from leaving, while also cutting costs and getting leaner in preparation for tighter Medicare/Medicaid payments under next year's rules. For example, they canceled our filtered water contract. It was handled very poorly -- the guys literally showed up and removed the water coolers before anything had been communicated to employees. But the decision itself made sense to me...not that many people care about it and it's an unnecessary cost. If they had simply given a week's notice, explained the decision, and reminded people to bring their own water to work, it would have been fine.

But this is just stupid. You're concerned about morale, so you take away a minor perk that costs you nothing and don't even bother to explain the decision? Tone-deaf.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:29 PM   #26174
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Buy commercial water filters and attach them to the endless supply of city water?
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:35 PM   #26175
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Buy commercial water filters and attach them to the endless supply of city water?
Possible, but with boil water notices every 2 or 3 months, most folks prefer not to take the chance.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:49 PM   #26176
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boil water notices every 2 or 3 months
Christ, why?
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:58 PM   #26177
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Christ, why?
Jackson, MS is the new Detroit, MI.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:14 PM   #26178
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That's crazy nuts. What sort of contaminate?
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:32 PM   #26179
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That's crazy nuts. What sort of contaminate?
Typically it's from physical damage from shifting soil. Broken pipes, loss of water pressure, etc. Until it's repaired and flushed, they issue a boil water notice.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:55 PM   #26180
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If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: Ancient Computers in Use Today | PCWorld

Itís easy to wax nostalgic about old technology--to remember fondly our first Apple IIe or marvel at the old mainframes that ran on punched cards. But no one in their right mind would use those outdated, underpowered dinosaurs to run a contemporary business, let alone a modern weapons system, right?

Wrong!

While much of the tech world views a two-year-old smartphone as hopelessly obsolete, large swaths of our transportation and military infrastructure, some modern businesses, and even a few computer programmers rely daily on technology that hasnít been updated for decades.

If youíve recently bought a MetroCard for the New York City Subway or taken money from certain older ATMs, for instance, your transaction was made possible by IBMís OS/2, an operating system that debuted 25 years ago and faded out soon after.

A recent federal review found that the U.S. Secret Service uses a mainframe computer system from the 1980s. That system apparently works only 60 percent of the time. Hereís hoping that uptime statistics are better for the ancient minicomputers used by the U.S. Department of Defense for the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile system, Navy submarines, fighter jets, and other weapons programs. Those systems, according to the consultants who help keep them going, will likely be used until at least the middle of this century.

Here are a few stories of the computers that time forgot, and the people and institutions that stubbornly hold on to them.

Punch-Card Accounting

Sparkler Filters of Conroe, Texas, prides itself on being a leader in the world of chemical process filtration. If you buy an automatic nutsche filter from them, though, theyíll enter your transaction on a ďcomputerĒ that dates from 1948.


Sparkler Filters' IBM 402, with self-employed field engineer Duwayne Leafley in the foreground. (Photo Courtesy Ed Thelen / IBM 1401 Group)

Sparklerís IBM 402 is not a traditional computer, but an automated electromechanical tabulator that can be programmed (or more accurately, wired) to print out certain results based on values encoded into stacks of 80-column Hollerith-type punched cards.Companies traditionally used the 402 for accounting, since the machine could take a long list of numbers, add them up, and print a detailed written report. In a sense, you could consider it a 3000-pound spreadsheet machine. That's exactly how Sparkler Filters uses its IBM 402, which could very well be the last fully operational 402 on the planet. As it has for over half a century, the firm still runs all of its accounting work (payroll, sales, and inventory) through the IBM 402. The machine prints out reports on wide, tractor-fed paper.


The punched cards used in the 402, with some mangled cards from a recently cleared jam in the card reader. The cards sit on the IBM 029 key-punch machine. (Photo Courtesy Ed Thelen / IBM 1401 Group)

Of course, before the data goes into the 402, it must first be encoded into stacks of cards. A large IBM 029 key-punch machine--which resembles a monstrous typewriter built into a desk--handles that task.

Carl Kracklauer, whose father founded Sparkler Filters in 1927, usually types the data onto the punch cards. The company sticks with the 402 because it's a known entity: Staffers know how to use it, and they have over 60 years of company accounting records formatted for the device.

The key punch isn't the only massive accessory in Sparkler's arsenal. The 402 also links to an IBM 514 Reproducing Punch, which has been broken for three years. When it works properly, the 514 spits out punched "summary cards," which typically contain the output of the 402's operation (such as sum totals) for later reuse. Sparkler stores all of its punched data cards--thousands and thousands of them--in stacks of boxes.


Sparkler Filters' collection of IBM 402 programs on IBM plugboards. (Photo Courtesy Ed Thelen / IBM 1401 Group)

The company also possesses dozens of 402 programs in the form of IBM plugboards.Computer programming in the 1940s commonly involved arranging hundreds of individual wires in a way that would likely drive a modern software engineer insane. In the 402's case, a spaghetti-like pattern of wires attached to hundreds of connectors on each plugboard determines the operation of the machine, and different plugboards can be pulled out and replaced as if they were interchangeable software disks. So you might insert one plugboard for handling, say, accounts receivable, and a different one for inventory management.

Sparklerís 402 is a such a significant computing relic that the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, sent a delegation to the company last year to try and convince its executives to move to a more modern accounting system and donate the 402 to the museum. That will someday be an appropriate resting place for the 402, but as long as it still does its duty, the Texas company has no problem keeping its digital dinosaur living a little while longer.


Computers That Can't Fail

When you see reports about the small, remote-controlled drones that the military uses to gather intelligence and target enemies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, itís easy to assume that all our weaponry is equally modern. Some significant weapons systems that our military depends on today, though, run on technology that dates back, in some instances, to the Vietnam War era.

The U.S. Navyís ship-based radar systems and Britainís Atomic Weapons Establishment, which maintains that countryís nuclear warheads, use PDP minicomputers manufactured in the 1970s by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Another user of the PDP is Airbus, the French jetliner manufacturer.




Joe Perez with a DEC PDP-11 system in a photo from 1972.

The PDP was among the second wave of mainframes called minicomputers because they were only the size of a couple of refrigerators instead of big enough to fill a room.

The F-15 and F-18 fighters, the Hawk missile systems, parts of the U.S. Navy submarine fleet, and Navy fighter test systems on aircraft carriers use DECís VAX minicomputers from the 1980s for various purposes, according to Lynda Jones of The Logical Companyin Cottage Grove, Oregon, which helps keep these antiquated systems functioning.


A DEC VAX 11/780 system in a 1978 photo.

Because of their critical nature, many of these systems will be in continuous service long into the future, perhaps to the middle of this century. For instance, the Minuteman ICBM program, which uses DEC VAX systems for testing, recently received funding that will keep it going until 2030.

"These legacy systems are integrated into multibillion dollar systems as control or test systems," Jones says. Replacing these old systems with modern machines, she explains, would cost millions of dollars and could potentially disrupt national security.

As it turns out, replacing those systems with modern hardware designed to work like the antiquated components is a decidedly less risky venture. Jones' company is one of many that create systems to simulate older DEC minicomputers using newer, smaller, and less power-hungry electronic parts. The replacement computers emulate the exact functionality of the original hardware--and run the same vintage software--so it appears to the rest of the system as if nothing has changed.


The Logical Company's NuVAX 3200, a modern system that replicates a DEC VAX.

That's important because most of Logical's customers are defense corporations refreshing old weapons technology under contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. "There are thousands of DEC systems in use for military applications around the world," says Jones, "including PDPs from the 1970s, VAXes from the 1980s, and Alphas from the 1990s."

The United States developed many fighter jet and missile systems during the Cold War era using DEC hardware for test and control functions, says Jones, because the company's minicomputers were among the very first general-purpose machines that did not require water cooling and could be used in harsh environments.

The biggest problem with maintaining such ancient computer systems is that the original technicians who knew how to configure and maintain them have long since retired or passed away, so no one is left with the knowledge required to fix them if they break.

Even if someone does know how to fix them, finding replacement parts can be tricky. Stanley Quayle, a computer emulation consultant, has seen contractors desperate to find the parts they need. "I have a prospective customer supporting a U.S. missile defense system that is buying parts on eBay," says Quayle. "Any parts they do find are as old or older than their system," meaning theyíre sometimes no more reliable than the pieces they replace.
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