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Slashback: Attenuation, Maturity, Packaging

timothy posted more than 14 years ago | from the second-time-around dept.

Slashback 129

In this episode of slashback, there's more on NanoStuff, censorship in various forms and venues, and further proof that the word "upstart" uttered or tapped in computer journalism regarding Linux is ever so much twaddle. You have been warned.

Sorry, but the print doesn't get any smaller. If the recent release of the Foresight Institute's nanotech guidelines intriguing to you, you might want to check out the new forum for nanotech advances and issues. bento writes: "From the press release: "I'm happy to report that one of Foresight's long-term goals -- to have a way to meet online that truly works -- is now a reality at http://nanodot.org. We think of this site as our daily newspaper -- all the news that's fit to "print" -- combined with a continual Nanoschmooze discussion. No login is needed to read the site." For those who are interested in nanotechnology's social and technological implications, this site should prove a great resource in finding out what's up in the field of nanotechnology."

One man's trash is other people's trash, too. psxndc writes: "FGNOnline has the scoop about the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association unveiling new packaging options for PC Games at their annual conference. It brings up the point about games with large documentation not fitting into smaller DVD-type Keep Cases, but wasn't the digital revolution supposed to cut down if not eliminate the need for paper in the first place?? Most game-box contents are a jewel-cased CD, some docs, some ads, and a whole lot of unused space? Why?" Well, in the bad old days of the CD longbox (which are not that long ago), the most commonly cited reasons for the box of mostly-air were 1) the space is helpful for marketing purposes (pictures and blurbs and artwork, oh my!) and 2) everyone's favorite eupehmism for shoplifting, "shrinkage." Probably the same rules apply; game makers want to "stand out on the shelf." But if CDs can handle the switch, I bet games can, too.

How will the children survive? CuriousGeorge113 writes: "In a major decision today, a Federal Appeals Court has struck down COPA (The Children's Online Protection Act). According to this ACLU Press Release, a federal appeals court has deemed the law unconstitutional in nature and 'impossible to establish one "community standard" by which Internet speech could be governed.' You can also see the official court case here."

And in news that can only be called related ... Rude Turnip writes: "It looks like Mattel, one of the most despised toy companies discussed on Slashdot, is sellling off its notorious Cyber Patrol censorware. Cyber Patrol's parent company, The Learning Co., which is also owned by Mattel, is being sold off separately. Mattel said they would like to concentrate on their "core competency" of toys. The lucky buyer of Cyber Patrol is the British firm, JSB Software Technologies, PLC, who paid $100 million. With people like Jamie McCarthy out there fighting these purveyours of censorship and great sites like peacefire.org, I bet JSB will soon realize they paid just a little too much :-)" Maybe it's just not a sellers market; the article indicating that Cyber Patrol was to be sold went up a few months ago.

In six years, Tux will be driving. xannax writes: "I just bought a new IWILL VD133 motherboard, and after the usual setup and such, popped in the configuration cdrom - and was suprised to see a Linux kernel boot up on the monitor. When the cd boots, it gives users without an fdisk'ed partition a chance to make disks for board and chipset config; but the neat thing is the use of Linux for the cd. I mean, two years ago, when I wore my "Penguin Power" t-shirt, most of the attention I got was from hockey fans. But just as the logo on the shirt has faded from repeated washing, the exact opposite has happened to the visibility of the Linux OS; it's gone from hackers and nerds only to mainstream. Great to see a company with a reputation like IWILL use Linux in this fashion."

Come sirrah Jack Straw! MrM writes: "An IDG.net story on CNN says that in the face of increasing pressure from privacy groups, business groups and Internet service providers (ISPs), the U.K. government is backing away from some of the more controversial aspects of its e-mail surveillance bill currently under consideration in the House of Lords." The controversy is mostly over little things like, oh, (from the article) "Under the provisions of the RIP bill, the U.K. government -- specifically the Home Office and its head, the Home Secretary -- can demand encryption keys to any and all data communications with a prison sentence of two years for those who do not comply with the order."

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Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 14 years ago | (#970131)

I've got a couple ideas on how to make browsing easier (but I'm not a good programmer, so I can't do it -- feel free to use these ideas in any way you like, as long as I don't have to pay for your software :-)

Put quick index tabs on the side of the help. Each quick index tab should correspond to either a new chapter (if bringing a book into electronic format) or a new idea (if the book is being written electronically). At the start of the chapter, in LARGE PRINT a one or two paragraph blurb generalising the entire chapter should appear, with each important thought highlighted as a hyperlink to the "real" section of the chapter it belongs to. The very first sentence should summarize the generalizations, that way you can read that sentence and understand what you might find. It should also be in bold to stand out.

Add the ability to do quick (one touch to set, one touch to check!), temporary bookmarks. I cannot find any electronic implementation of using your fingers as a quick "information" stop. This way, you can zoom in on the idea you want piecemeal.

As far as making it easy to read, try a larger point size, and make the program adaptable to large monitors. I HATE websites, ebooks, etc... that only use 1/3 of my 20" monitor! I didn't buy that extra 66% to waste it! The larger point size is necessary because the monitor doesn't provide the detail of a book. As far as your eyes straining, check to make sure your monitor does 80Hz+ at your preferred "reading" resolution... Even 75Hz feels bad after a while (to me).

Number 3 is solvable if Dual Head cards become popular... One monitor for the game, the other monitor for the manual.

I think the major detrement to reading documents on a computer is that you are stuck at the terminal. Unlike a book that you can read in bed lying down, read in the passenger seat of the car, read on the bus, read at college during a boring class, read on the toilet etc... a computer doesn't work like that. Laptops have much too low a resolution screen, too small a screen, etc... unless you pay big $$$. Also, while books are "inconspicuous", a decent laptop draws way too much attention in most public situations for comfortable reading.

Just my two cents on the issue...

Re:Software that comes with books (2)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 14 years ago | (#970132)

I have a very good solution to this, which is catching on nicely all over the web: download it. Many software titles and games are downloadable nowadays... they reside on secure sites, and you pay for them with your CC, then download them and burn them yourself. I'd say this is the BEST way to cut down on packaging.

Re:That last thing... (1)

Garpenlov (34711) | more than 14 years ago | (#970133)

Who says you'd even have to go to the trouble of actually encrypting it. Well encrypted data should be indistiguishable from randomness.


Not quite. Look at a PGP message, for instance. Most people would probably agree that, properly used, PGP provides good encryption--but it also has a very recognizable message format. There's an entity which specifies the algorithm to use (IDEA, 3DES, CAST128, etc.), an entity which is the sender's public key, an entity which is... etc., and so on. If the PGP message format was not precisely defined and recognizable, it would be vastly more difficult to use PGP. ("Damn! Err, okay, so what algorithm did they use to encrypt this, anyway?")


Besides, perfectly random data stands out like a sore thumb. Data with no redundancy is either (a) compressed or (b) encrypted or (c) useless noise.

Hrmm (2)

Dungeon Dweller (134014) | more than 14 years ago | (#970134)

Even pulling 20K/sec, it takes about a day for me to download Linux ISO's, that's the server side's lag, not mine. I could hardly picture downloading the next generation DVD software on a connection like that.

It also doesn't account for the meat-world documentation that comes with it.

No offense to your solution though, I always update linux like that, but I like to have the newest CD's for installs up at school :-)

Game packaging (4)

coldguy (31631) | more than 14 years ago | (#970135)

I don't know about anyone else, and maybe it's some sort of crime or something to say this here, but I like printed material and almost always prefer it to online or CD based documentation. Here's my reasoning.

  • Books are portable. Yeah, so are CDs, but to use them, I also need to haul around some portable computer-like device, which would cost me at the very least around $300 to accquire.
  • Books are durable. Nobody freaks when you knock a book off the table. The same can't be said for laptops. Spilled beverages might result in stains and wrinkled pages on books, instead of the major damage they often do to electronic devices. With CDs, you have to worry about scratches...
  • Books are malleable. What I mean by this is that I can fold pages, make notes in margins, highlight sections, etc, all with the simple and cheap tool known as a pen.
  • Books are easier to read than screens. This one is completely subjective, but I find that it's a lot more tolerable to stare at print for 8 hours straight than it is to stare at a CRT or LCD.
  • Books are reliable. They don't run out of batteries, they don't run out of bandwidth and they never ever crash
  • Books are easier to use. You don't have to wait for them to boot, and flipping pages is even simpler than clicking a mouse.
  • Print makes more efficient use of display space. You can fit a lot more readable text on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper than you could ever fit on a standard 17 inch monitor.

The only possible advantages I see in online documentation:

  • It has the potential to pull fresh, updated content from a remote location.
  • You can do full-text searches.
  • You can embed video, audio, 3D worlds, whatever into it.

Those are nice features, but I'd still choose paper any day of the week. I'm particularly fond of the emerging trend of packaging books with a CD-ROM containing the text of the book plus extra goodies - that way, you get the best of both worlds.

In summary, if it comes down to a choice between large packaging and online-only docs, I'll take the large packaging any day. Maybe I'm just selfish, but hey, I like books.

Re:Incorect... (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970136)

The proper definition of a "troll" can be found in the jargon file

And where did I talk about the "proper" definition of troll? You yourself quoted me talking about something completely different:

Which
in Slashbot-speak means "I don't agree with you, but I don't have any counterarguments or moderator points".
There I clearly imply that slashbots have a wrong notion of what a troll is. Which further implies that there _is_ a right notion; but that it is not the one I'm talking about.

You have just given a strawman argument. You attack me for saying things I did not say; and even worse, the attack consists of things I implied!

Your posts are deliberately inflamatory, and obviously calculated to be as insulting and offensive as possible. The same can be also said for the site (aztlan.net) that you link to.

So now, a site denouncing paramilitary vigilantes in the US-Mexico border who hunt down Mexican peasants in the border, and have been responsible for deaths, is "insulting and offensive"?

Anyway, I don't see you scanning /. for all heated discussions, and making similar accusations. Why do you pick on me? Could it have something to do with what I argue and defend?

And your deliberately inflamatory, and in at least one case totally invented and patently incorrect ("unitedstatesian"), and blantantly raceist ("gringo") tone and word choice belies your nature, as does your complete unwillingness to brook any arguement.

Well, how do you suggest I translate "estadounidense" ("étatsunisdien"), "América" ("Amerique"), "americano/a" ("américain(e)"), etc? I'm trying to improve on the terminology. so as to be able to express in English distinctions you can trivially express in Spanish or French.

And how frequently can I expect you to come to my defense when I get called a "wetback" or a "spik", or when my wife gets called a "chink"? I've had enough. If you fully buy into the stupid ideology of the US, I'll call you by the g-word. (And note that, by what I've just said above, this makes it an ideological insult, not a racial insult.)

Well, lessee... checking my tax bracket @ irs.gov... nope. I'm nowhere NEAR the top 1%'s income. No enormous wealth here. But I still have net access. As for the hardware, I can put together a perfectly internet capable box for under $400... not a ton of money there... and you can get net access for FREE if you care to put up with a few ads... or ISPs are available for as little as $10/month without the ads. $400 initial + 0-10 per month... seems pretty cheap to me.

Ironic. You try to debunk me by looking at income data from the richest country in the world, the US!!!

Americans "must believe the US is the world."

Easily disproven. Almost laughably so. I, personaly, [...]

Strawman. Where did I say that? You must be referring to this:

if you are like
most unitedstatesians I've met, you must believe the US is the world
I'm just speaking from my experience. If you have some reason for believing that I've had to deal with an unrepresentative sample, please say so.

I also have many friends from the US who agree with me on this.

And if your idea of "easily disproven" is to give a personal anecdote, you need to review logic, argumentation and standards of evidence.

Simple Solution for larger manuals (1)

phuzzie (21471) | more than 14 years ago | (#970137)

The solution to problem of games with large manuals is really quite simple. Use the same height and width for all the boxes/cases, but for those with thick manuals double or triple the depth. This way all the boxes/cases have the same mindshare and can use all the bins interchangably. With a triple width DVD size case you could fit a fairly hefty manual + disc with no problem. Just my two copper.

phuzzie

Yeah... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#970138)

One of the options you get when you create the key is a date of expiration. I usually go for now+1 year. It's easy enough to generate a new one before it expires, and that way you don't get an E-Mail encrypted with a key you lost 10 years ago.

Re:Free speech (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970139)

You come off it - try speaking your mind in opposition to the government in Uganda without putting your life at risk. [...]

And then try doing the same from a nice anonymous (using cryptography) perch on the net. You can start a web page, get email, spread the word, gail allies, argue the points, and say anything you want on the net - that truly makes it the center of free speech in the world.

Why do people keep proving my points, yet thinking that they have disproven them?

There is an even simpler reason why the net can't be center of free speech in the world: Free speech is a right. Rights are guaranteed by political entities in their territories. The net is not a political entity nor a territory. Therefore, the net can't guarantee free speech. You are confusing "free speech in the net" with "free speech in countries connected to the net".

The fact that in the cases you mention people have to set up anonymous webpages and email accounts to do what they are doing proves that they don't have freedom of speech, even in the net. They still put themselves in danger by expressing their opinions.

And they are always vulnerable to having their "anonymity" treasoned by the corporations that run the "anonymous" servers. Corporations have in the past collaborated with some of the most oppressive dictatorships in the third world, to the point of providing lists of persons to be assassinated. What stops this from happening to members of actvist groups that happen to pick the wrong web or email provider?

No "Community Standards" (2)

khog (146409) | more than 14 years ago | (#970140)

This is one of the best rulings pertaining to the web yet. The government just said it was un-Constitutional for them to regulate free speech on the Internet. This is a large step for the US Government and a huge leap for the Internet. It's now legally established (in the US) that the Internet is a transcendant entity who's free speech is not regulatable by the US.

This casts a shadow upon cases involving copyright on the Internet. While this doesn't nullify them as a whole, this seems like something more in copyleft's corner.


Mike Greenberg

Re:Incorect (drifting offtopic)... (1)

TheReverand (95620) | more than 14 years ago | (#970141)

". It appears that you are applying meatspace prejudices to a realm where they do not apply.

Check this [google.com] out.

From google [google.com] ,

Google results 1-10 of about 81,799 for kkk . Search took 0.06 seconds.

I think his prejudice is just fine.

More than any other culture, it is a meritocracy. You are judged on your accomplishments, abilities, and your willingness to improve yourself.

You are judged if you fit into the "technological elite". Come in here and say you are a newbie, you will get flamed not helped to realize your potential *cough* RTFM *cough*.

I have visited five countries outside the US,

I addressed that earlier

Viva Zapata, Viva Chiappas, Viva Mexico, Viva La Revolucion

No... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970142)


>Who are you, Jon Katz?

No, but just because he can't write*, that doesn't mean that he's never *right*.

*Or, more properly, he's badly in need of a good editor.

john
Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:Time to use StegFS (2)

Booker (6173) | more than 14 years ago | (#970143)

So you give up some easy stuff. When they say "that's not all" you give up a little more. Then you say "no more... really" and they can't prove otherwise.

Also, just compile it with

s/StegFS/VirusScan/

and most likely no one will ever know...

---

I should give a shit about the poor? (1)

No-op (19111) | more than 14 years ago | (#970144)

I'm sorry, we're required to feel sorry because people in the third world can't get their act together? I don't care who's oppressing who, or what my anscestors and myself did to keep the whole world down under our evil white thumb. all I care about is making sure my future kids survive, and all else falls below that. You are a fool if you think that anyone else would think otherwise.

If you want to rant on about socioeconomic evils, donate all your salary to the poor in some filthy country and shut up sally struthers. until you give away all your worldly goods, don't bother me.

Re:Yeah... (1)

ChadN (21033) | more than 14 years ago | (#970145)

What happens when the key date expires? Do you not need to type the old key in to change to a new one?

Re:Do you think I don't know my own name? (1)

No-op (19111) | more than 14 years ago | (#970146)

again, to give you fuel to rant on, south america should sink into the sea and disappear forever.

as for defending you when you are called a wetback or a spick, that's really not my problem is it? nobody defended my grandparents when the nazis burned their whole family and made them shovel their ashes. so shut up already.

Re:Single CD Games (1)

Destrius (956) | more than 14 years ago | (#970147)

It depends on your game, really. If you're playing something which requires the gamer to have a bit of background knowledge in order to get into the game (like some RPG titles, for example), the documentation/manual is pretty important. And for most RPGs while the gamers don't tend to reach the technical docs, they do read the "storyline" parts of the manual.

Imagine a person who has never read any fantasy to start a fantasy RPG title and wonder what's a mage, what's a cleric, what's an elf, etc. Explaining everything within the user interface is going to be messy, and like other people said, its harder to read online. I can't go to sleep reading the manual of my favourite game either. :P

Some games do ship with trinkets and other stuff too, and those would require some kind of manual. The Ultima series of RPGs are usually shipped with a cloth map and some trinket. Can't squeeze that into a CD box.

Re:Ooo! Pretty Picture! Must be true! (2)

Matrix42 (70365) | more than 14 years ago | (#970148)

Wow, your analysis would be perfect...if you had actually read the title on the chart!

The chart does not attempt to say how much computing power was available at a given time...only how much computing power you could buy for $1000. If you think that a Hollerith tabulator was available for $1000, I want some of whatever you're smoking! In reality, of course, the Hollerith tabulator cost (IIRC) some millions of dollars, making the actual speed of operation implied by the chart a few thousand times faster than your erroneous analyis.

In fact, Kurzweil explains all this in meticulous detail in the actual body of the text, which you evidently haven't bothered to read. Maybe the reason that, as you say, "the geeks didn't notice" is that the "geeks" read carefully, including that boring stuff up at the top in big print. This helps avoid jumping to ridiculous conclusions and making a fool out of oneself on Slashdot.

One more reason (1)

restless_ne'erdowell (188482) | more than 14 years ago | (#970149)

Books have one more advantage: It's really dangerous to read on-line documentation in the tub!

Re:That last thing... (3)

rjh (40933) | more than 14 years ago | (#970156)

(I am an InfoSec professional IRL, but this is absolutely not professional advice. Nor am I speaking for my company.)

Who says you'd even have to go to the trouble of actually encrypting it. Well encrypted data should be indistiguishable from randomness.

Not quite. Look at a PGP message, for instance. Most people would probably agree that, properly used, PGP provides good encryption--but it also has a very recognizable message format. There's an entity which specifies the algorithm to use (IDEA, 3DES, CAST128, etc.), an entity which is the sender's public key, an entity which is... etc., and so on. If the PGP message format was not precisely defined and recognizable, it would be vastly more difficult to use PGP. ("Damn! Err, okay, so what algorithm did they use to encrypt this, anyway?")

If all you want to do is run data through a cryptographic algorithm, then yes, it will come back out as something which should pass every statistical test for randomness.

Running data through a cryptographic system, what comes back out should be easily recognizable as the output of that specific system (unless, of course, the system was specifically designed to be indistinguishable from random noise).

Very few people use cryptographic algorithms by themselves. Most of the time, when people say "I encrypted it with Blowfish", they mean "I encrypted it using a cryptosystem which used Blowfish for its cryptographic core".

say, this would be a perfect time to ask.. (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 14 years ago | (#970157)

Who or what is at mu.current.nu, who is Currentek, and why are they important enough that if they have technical difficulties, Slashdot replaces their entire page with "Error:syntax error at (eval [" [insert random integer here] ") line 2, at EOF " and then intermittantly decides to replace all slashboxes with messages about mu.current.nu being down?
I've never heard of these people, and their [currently not that functional] website gives no clue as to what they are. Are they some kind of hosting service or ad provider or andover.net-sponsored echelon tap?

What the hell happened earlier today?

I was going to post this earlier, but it seemed dreadfully offtopic in an interview of a guy who makes telescopes. But luckily it doesn't really seem like anything can be offtopic to slashback..
/me ducks

just curious :)

Re:Software that comes with books (1)

eufaula (163352) | more than 14 years ago | (#970158)

fine and good, if you have DSL or cable or are at a place that has a dedicated connection. some folks are stuck with modems until their baby bell/cable provider wakes up and impliments dsl out there. (if you havent figured it out i am one of those folks screaming at their teleco and cable company). i'd hate to have to try to download Quake3 over a modem. or what if you downloaded 637 out of 638 megs and the connection was lost? gonna get billed 2x when you try to finish the download? true, it would cut down on packaging but imagine the headaches this could cause....

Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

RingTailedLemur (184300) | more than 14 years ago | (#970159)

Actually, building an app, THEN documenting it would be optimal, in my opinion. Most commercial documentation is written long before code is solidified as it takes much longer to print a book than to press a cd, and work is always done right up to the deadline. Often, the tech writer is pulling info from static screen shots, which may or may not have anything to do with the finished product, hence the general crapitude of most user manuals.

Time to use StegFS (2)

Booker (6173) | more than 14 years ago | (#970160)

The trick is to not let them know you've got anything there, encrypted or not.

Check out StegFS [cam.ac.uk]

StegFS is a Steganographic File System for Linux. Not only does it encrypt data, it also hides it such that it cannot be proved to be there.

---

Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

PlazMan (40335) | more than 14 years ago | (#970161)

I used to feel the same way about print manuals being always better, but I've found that the more I use on-line docs, the more I'm getting used to it. My guess is that the next generation of kids will grow up reading more and more on the screen and will not feel the same as you do about printed material.

People who were born before 1979 tend to prefer text over charts and pictures while the opposite is true for people born since then (BusWeek 6/3/200). It will interesting to see if the same type of thing happens with printed vs paperless documents.

Re:Just a few facts for you.. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970162)

Most of the people are friendly and kind to white strangers. The hookers are especially friendly, (much less edgy then French ones, IMHO).

You are a disgusting human being.

Check out STAND (2)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 14 years ago | (#970163)

They do a good job of opposing the RIP bill.

http://www.stand.org.uk/ [stand.org.uk]

Re:I like game manuals.. (1)

raresilk (100418) | more than 14 years ago | (#970164)

Games could and should incorporate an online help and manual reader into their interface, thereby eliminating the wasted paper, the video klunk of switching to a text reader, and the player's feeling of withdrawal from the game environment. Although I do cherish my collection of paper manuals, as well as long nights reading the manual in bed to study up, I'd give it up for a full-text searchable utility that looked and felt like part of the game. How many times has the index failed me in a paper manual at a critical moment, and then months later I found the answer stashed in the margin of some random section. Searching is golden.

You misread the graph (1)

quokka70 (175988) | more than 14 years ago | (#970165)

"Fine," I say, "then do you really expect me to believe that a Hollerith tabulator took 3-30 hrs per operation? 10^(-4) to 10^(-5)ops/sec (according to the chart) = 10,000-100,000 seconds/op. In fact, there isn't a single computer capable of 1 op/sec until 1950 in the chart. Am I to believe that business spent millions on computers that were far slower than a moderately bright child using an abacus?

I don't have the expertise to comment on the data itself, but your observations don't take into account the caption to the graph:

"operations per second per US$1000 in 1999 dollars [emphasis mine]

I'm sure businesses did indeed spend millions of dollars, and got the indicated number of operations per second for each $1000 they spent, in today's terms. The chart may well be bogus, but not for the reason you suggest.

It does show that the Census Bureau must have spent some serious money on Hollerith's machines.

Cheers,
quokka

Re:Time to use StegFS (1)

Alpha State (89105) | more than 14 years ago | (#970166)

"Hang on gov'ner - you've got the StegFS program on this box. What'cher hidin'?".

I could be wrong, but if you use a program like this or a graphics-steg system you have to have the program lying around. In which case they can look for hidden stuff on your HD / in graphics files.

Kind of a difficult problem.

Do ACs know how to form an arguement... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970167)

... or do they just disqualify themselves with ad hominum all the time?

I dunno why I bother but...

>It's not even available in most of industrialized
>europe. Have you even been outside the unites >states?

As a matter of fact, yeah. Just how do you think I've met friends from other countries in the first place? I've visited Canada, The UK, Jamaica, and Australia on various vacations, and once visited Japan on business. And if you want to count places that aren't *technically* foreign countries, you can throw in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands too.

Sure, I'm no Hillary or Drake, but I've been around, probably a little more than average. And in no case was internet access overly difficuly to get. Hell... it can't be TOO hard... my overseas friends *DO* seem to be able to mail me back when I write.

Odd that Estanislao accuses Americans of being US-centric, while he and you try to propagate the view that the rest of the world is a degenerate wasteland.

>you claim to have checked irs.gov (which I'm sure
>you didn't actually do)

Actually, yes I did. The IRS takes away about 23% in income tax, plus social secruity and medicare tax. Then California takes another 5% or so. And I AM not anywhere near the top 1% elite. Altoghether it's a despicable proportion to confiscate. But I DO have some pretty sweet deductions and write-offs coming up this year, so I should make do.

>shows just how clueless you are. He is talking
>about people in other countries.

Well, lessee... I've been to FIVE countries outside the US, and two US terratories that are different enough that they may as well be seperate countries. In not one of them was it overly expensive to get on the net.

As for the rest of your trite ACtroll ad hominum rantings, I won't denign to bother replying.

john
Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:Incorect (drifting offtopic)... (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970168)

Granted, it's not legal to hunt down and shoot criminals yourself, hell, I don't think it's legal to even detain them yourself until the authorities arrive... here. OTOH, I don't know what the law regarding the topic is in Arizona.

And what about conspiring to do these things?

But then again, Texas has some very... shall we say: unrestrictive... laws considering what actions you may take to defend your homestead against tresspassing criminals.

Yes. And they also apply the death penalty with insufficient evidence.

The fact that something is legal does not make it ethical.

Not to mention that the guy in Arizona who organizes this group is leasing 18k acres from the state government. He is doing this in state land.

Point is, you call these people murders, and, as far as I can tell, they haven't even been to trial, much less convicted. Guilty till prooven innocent, eh?

Do you make a conscious decision to use all these strawman arguments, or does it naturally come out like that? Where did I call anyone a murderer? All I said is that these people are organizing to hunt down immigrants and have wounded them. This is just public knowledge.

But that's all irrelevant. The link *IS* very biased and one-sided. The tone *IS* inflamatory, deliberately written to incite emotional, rathar than intellectual response.

Bullshit. You don't like neither what they are saying, or what I'm saying, or the way it is said, that's all.

It takes only *ONE* exception (myself, in this case, but I could easily use any number of my friends or coworkers) to disprove a tautology. So, no, actually, I don't.

I repeat: you need to review your logic. And practice your reading comprehension skills. Actually, I'll be a good logic teacher (a job I've had in real life) and give you two exercises:

  • Look up the meaning of the word "tautology". (It doesn't mean what you think.) Then answer the question: how could you disprove a tautology? Can a tautology be disproven at all?
  • Look up the meaning of the word "most". Which are the truth conditions for a sentence of the form Most(A)(B) (e.g. Most(students)(swim across the Channel))? Under which condtions, then, is the sentence Most people from the US think the US is the world> true? Conversely, under which conditions is it false?

Chicken & Egg w/ PC boxes (3)

Smack (977) | more than 14 years ago | (#970169)

Someone has to make their boxes smaller first, and then their product will be less visible on the shelf. There ARE people who buy computer software by looking at the front and back of the box, and they're going to go for the bigger box. So the manufacturer will lose if they're the only ones who make their boxes smaller...

Now console game companies can do it because the console maker can impose packaging standards from above in a way that noone can in the PC world. Everyone's equal, and no one has to go first.

Guide to sewing up the divide (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970170)

When was the last time you taught someone how to read?

All the milk and honey in the world isn't going to bring a drop of hope for a future, unless you're one of the commie-fascist-nazi bastards who think humanity should fix problems and just eat shit drink work and sleep. Talk about going in fucking circles.

When was the last time you sent those kids some of this technology?

I recently replaced a 4 year old computer with an Athlon 500 + 20G + 64MB RAM + Video + Mobo for $450.

You have to be kidding me that you couldn't ship that sort of thing overseas. And note the Athlon is a powerful machine. You could assemble a box for $150.

Course what does the third world know about computing. Teach if you're so fucking concerned.

As for free speech... Name a place that offers better opportunities than the net. None.

Before whining like a looter in disguise, get off your ass put your hard work where your mouth is and paying your own bills doesn't cut it.

I'm sorry but I don't see anything less than jealous rantings.

Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

alleria (144919) | more than 14 years ago | (#970171)

Which really isn't impossible. It's already being done. Witness something like System Shock 2 (which I recently started playing and have to say is just EXCELLENT):

As long as you have a basic first-person-shooter background (if you don't, you wouldn't be able to handle SS2 anyhow), everything is fairly self-explanatory in terms of key mappings.

The game provides 3 mini-tutorials to guide you through the interface, much like other excellent games a la Thief and 1/2life did, and there are 'explanations' on the walls at points where you need a new explanation.

All added to the in-game 'PDA' so that you can refer back to them at any time. IMHO, this method actually increased the atmosphere and scariness of the game -- having to lower my head to find out exactly what the 'BrawnBoost' Implant does kinda reminds me that them scary monsters ain't real. And that's not something I need to know when I'm enjoying getting the shit scared out of me! :-)

Re:I should give a shit about the poor? (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970172)

Yes you should give a shit about the poor or they'll troll you to death.

Why doesn't that jackass just come up and say give me your Net access NOW, gringo!

Re:Just a few facts for you.. (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970173)

You are a disgusting human being.

Pick an argument and stick with it. Having money does not mean I've stolen it asshole.

Excellent! (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970174)

I think you misjudge me. I've argued [slashdot.org] along similar lines elsewhere.

In fact, I commend you for your attitude.

Look further (still offtopic)... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970175)

>Google results 1-10 of about 81,799 for kkk .
>Search took 0.06 seconds.

(I love it when it's this easy)

Look further. Did you actually check out any of the sites that it returned? Did it ever occur to you that kkk might stand for something other than "ku klux klan" in other languages? Now who's being "US-centric"?

From the top ten you have:

1) the ku klux klan's homepage

3) A trilogy of news articles relating to the kkk: One, an editorial about how important it is to keep an eye on them, lest they get too powerful; another an item about protests that kkk merchandise was being auctioned on eBay; and the third, about a court ruleing AGAINST the kkk.

1) An entry in the online catalogue of exhibits at the Vermont Historical Society... who's collection also includes a life-mask of Abraham Lincoln!

1) What appears to be a networking FAQ in a language which, I beleive, is one of the Scandanavian tongues.

1) What looks to be an Italian architecture or interior design company.

1) A page whose purpose I can't tell, but looks to be in Norwegian.

1) A flash-based page in the .hu TLD, who description is not klan related (and in a language I don't recognise) that won't load.

1) ONE page which appears to sympathise with the ku klux klan

So... 8/10 of THE MOST POPULAR "kkk" matches have nothing to do with Nathan Forrest's little hate group. Care to place a wager on how a statistical analasys of that whole 80K would turn out? I think I'd win.

Oh, and needless to say... any doofus with m$ frontpage can slap together a semi-functional web site... it doesn't take a geek to have a web presence anymore.

My original point stands just fine.

>You are judged if you fit into the "technological
>elite". Come in here and say you are a newbie, you
>will get flamed not helped to realize your
>potential *cough* RTFM *cough*.

And???? What... You expect everyone else to do your work for you if you ask a stupid question that *IS* addressed in the "FM", and you are too damn lazy to crack open the book, type man, or read a FAQ? There's a REASON that manuals, man pages, and FAQ's exist... it kinda falls into the "willingness to improve yourself" catagory.

>>I have visited five countries outside the US,

>I addressed that earlier

Well, you tried.... and I found it especially amusing when you claimed that Japan, in particular, is so similar to the US that it can be thrown out in the "well traveled" competition.

Have you ever BEEN to ANY of the those countries? I doubt it. If you had, you'd know that they ARE vastly different than the US, with (perhaps) the exception of English speaking Canada (but get into Qubec...).

I can understand, and almost forgive, your thinking that Canada, The UK, and Australia, are "too similar to the US". After all, you've probably been raised on the same mass media as I, and think that Canada, The UK, and Australia are the exact same as the US (because they all speak english I guess) except that they have different fameous landmarks and speak with funny accents. I can assure you, though, from having been to each, that that is NOT the case. I really don't know how to convince you of such. But f you think I'm lieing, and that they are all part of some American "monoculture", you *ARE* gravely mistaken. And I can only recomend that you visit each yourself and see the differences. Or at the VERY LEAST camp out in the travel section of a bookstore sometime and READ about each.

Glad that you admitted that Jamacia, at least, is significantly different from the US. The DO speak english there tho... shouldn't that place them in your "too similar" monoculture? And to answer your question, I never set foot in Kingston. I flew into Montego, and then took the bus to Negril. And I didn't meet anyone online there. The point of a vacation is to get AWAY from the computer. But contrary to your beleif, they DO have them there. I just didn't touch one the entire time. Bur it *IS* possible to exchange email addresses on paper, you know?

But Japan?!?!?!? To think that Japan is "too similar to the US"??? I don't know weather to laugh or pity you if you really beleive that. Japan was the most radical departure from American culture that I expierenced... EVER!!! And it was pretty damn cool... if a bit overwhealming... I'm really gunning for that assignment when we open the Japan CoLo tho. But NOTHING like the US... and if you really don't beleive that... you DESPRATELY need to get out more.

john


Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:Just a few facts for you.. (1)

Municipa (99320) | more than 14 years ago | (#970176)

You know, his statement doesn't imply that he has used hookers. When I first read his statement, I thought, wow, this guy must hang around some seedy places and ocassionally gets approched by hookers. Then, yes, I did consider that he may be trying to say he has used hookers in both countries.

But, that is a harsh accusation when you don't have all the facts.

Don't you love technology? (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970177)

America untold millions put up line in Nigeria so you can get Net access in the US.

Don't you love technology?

Re:Yeah... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#970179)

It just stops working after that point, I assume. I've never kept one long enough to have it expire (The joys of reformatting every few months.) I further assume that the ideal thing to do would be to send your new key out a month in advance and sign it with your old one.

Barking up the wrong tree (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970181)

Free speech is a right. Rights are guaranteed by political entities in their territories.

Free speech is a power granted by the people. You need to do some reading. The power of the US gov't is granted by the people. That little subtlety is very visible in how easily the Net evades censorship.

Oh and by the way, when something goes wrong in the US, we don't have a civil war like a bunch of barbarians every other decade. This is the US, not Europe or wherever people choose to shutdown their brains in the face of problems. When a cap gun goes off in the East there's war. When a bomb explodes in the US, there is only horror. No war. You need to learn that lesson.

Anonymity is a power granted by the capabilities of the net. Anonymitity is a little script I can run out of an outhouse in the middle of nowhere over as long as I have a phone line.

It's amazing how you hate the control of authority you can't recognize that there's places where it doesn't exist.

You just argued that locks on my doors are a sign that I don't have a right to privacy, which is the right not to be harrassed not the right to live in secrecy.

You are a chicken with its head cut off. Please read some history before coming out of the wilderness in your own mind.

Software that comes with books (2)

Dungeon Dweller (134014) | more than 14 years ago | (#970185)

Well, a lot of software comes with big manuals. It is difficult to shelf little CD cases next to big monster boxes. Also, multi-disk titles will have to have larger boxes. I'm not sure of a fix for this situation, other than the fact that MOST software fits on CD's, or could have electronic documentation, thereby saving on space, the environment, and so forth. Of course, people will probably make the electronic docs way bigger in file size than they need to (sorta like, video explainations of how to use a text editor, you know?)

concerning mattel.. (1)

hoffey (142879) | more than 14 years ago | (#970187)

and who exactly cares? heh. 'cybercontrol 0wns meh. woot.'

Free speech (2)

KeyShark (195825) | more than 14 years ago | (#970188)

As I see it, and most of you would agree I'm sure, the internet is the last place of truly free speech. There are so many bills calling for regulation it's ridiculous. I'm wondering how the internet is ever going to remain the free speech center of the world. I'm only hoping things like free net will pan out.

WTF? (1)

Count Spatula (103735) | more than 14 years ago | (#970189)

$100M for Cyber Patrol? I think I'll give JSB a call, I have a really good deal for them. Cash only, of course, and in small bills...

Nanodot (1)

michael.creasy (101034) | more than 14 years ago | (#970190)

Anyone else notice they are using slashcode ?

CyberPatrol (1)

moderation (203725) | more than 14 years ago | (#970192)

Mattel still retains a majority share in the company they sold CyberPatrol to. Also expect nothing to change, because you can't sell a program and not the team that built it. The new company gets the team and all, which means the same stupid decisions about CPHack, etc. Mattel execs didn't dictate that - the local management did, and that stays the same.

On the plus side, it might clear Mattel's name enough for all you people to not feel guilty about buying Myst (III|3D|Forever|Another Rehash|.*)

Re:umm.. whats up with this? (1)

hoffey (142879) | more than 14 years ago | (#970193)

it worky for me

Print manuals are always best (2)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 14 years ago | (#970195)

No matter what's supposed to happen with the "paperless office" yak yak yak, I for one will not buy a game with an on-line only manual. It's just impossible to read things on the computer; for short articles it's ok, but not for full manuals. And plus, it's nearly impossible to skim an online manual. I like being able to hold the book in my hands and just flip through looking for info. The CivII and SMAC manuals were perfect for this.

In addition, the manual is very hard to use in full-screen applications, such as most modern retail games. In Outpost 2, their print manual was thin compared to the online one, which meant that everytime I wanted to get help, I had to alt+tab over, which was a big pain in the middle of a high-tension game.

That last thing... (5)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#970197)

I was just talking to a friend about encryption stuff the other day. He's of the opinion that if encrypted information on your hard drive is supoenaed, you have to provide the passphrases to decrypt it or face jail time for contempt of court. I'd think this would violate the 5th ammendment here in the states, but IANAL so what do I know? Discuss.

While we're on that topic, if they're looking for evidence that you killed OJ's wife and find that you're innocent of that crime (Headline: Real Killers Still At Large!) but found that you bought a pound of crack and are the primary provider of Live Goat Porn for the east coast, can they legally convict you on those things? Touchy stuff, eh?

Meanwhile, I'm merrily encrypting data from /dev/random to (similarly random) keys and mailing it off to an assortment of random UK Citizens with various amusing filenames like "murderconfession.txt.pgp," "your_herion_is_in.txt.pgp" etc. Guess you guys will be pretty fucked when they come a knocking and demanding that you provide the keys. God I'm a bastard sometimes, really.

On the plus side, perhaps this would persuade people that it really IS a good idea to set the expiration date on those PGP keys. Nothing worse than being locked up for a couple of years because you can't remember the passphrase for the key you generated 8 years ago. And I expect Belgium will welcome the exodus of businesses leaving the UK. Have you been to Belgium? Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?

Come sirrah Jack Straw! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970198)

Or as they say .. "Que, sirrah sirrah!"

Slashback some more (2)

Wah (30840) | more than 14 years ago | (#970199)

to where they originally posted this [slashdot.org] .

Ahh, well, it's worth seeing twice, since I have more time since I don't have to implement it, woohoo!

--

Game boxes aren't getting smaller... (1)

SecretAsianMan (45389) | more than 14 years ago | (#970200)

...only more complicated. Nowadays, we have the front-cover-is-multipage-pamphlet thing going on in addition to the wierd-geometric-oddity-shaped boxes. We've all got accustomed to the CD-case-only packages being things like "Super Windows Shareware Pack 47" on the bargain rack. I don't believe that any push towards standardization around CD-case-only packaging would be successful at all; the trend is the other way around.

Re:Print manuals are always best (3)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 14 years ago | (#970201)

You're probably right, of course. Still, they first have to:

1) Find out a way to make browsing easier. Don't get this confused with searching, which is _much_ easier on the computer because you don't have to look things up in first the contents, then the index, while spending 10 sec. inbetween each step to find the page. Browsing, OTOH, is a _lot_ easier in a book, where you can just flip through and look for interesting stuff. As a programmer, I have no clue how this would be implemented, but it would help a lot.

2) Make it easier to read. Despite all the hype recently surrounding e-books, they still strain your eyes after a few hours.

3) Figure out how to display the manual without flipping away from a fullscreen game, something that will never be possible due to the nature of the beast. This is the biggest time when print manuals still rock.

Of course, the obvious solution is just to make the learning curve shallower... but hey :-)


Do you think I don't know my own name? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970202)

Dude. You are such a troll.

Which in Slashbot-speak means "I don't agree with you, but I don't have any counterarguments or moderator points". Ignorant coward.

It's Estanisláo.

No, it's Estanislao. Why the fuck do you think you know my name better than I do?

Anyway, if you knew even one thing about Spanish orthography, you'd know that words with penultimate stress are only accented when they end in a consonant, except when that consonant is "s" or "n". So "Estanislao" is the standard way of writing my name. Why this 18th century Gaucho poet's name had an accent in the final "a" beats me, but it's certainly the exception.

Also, if you bother to look up my name as is written you'll find plenty of examples. Google link [google.com] , since you must be too lazy to do it yourself, bastard.

No te pongas a hablar mierda de lo que no sabes. Y deja de joder con mi nombre, pendejo.

Ooo! Pretty Picture! Must be true! (3)

orpheus (14534) | more than 14 years ago | (#970203)

The 'CPU power' [lfw.org] chart disgusted me. If it really reflects the data in Kurzweil's book, I fear for humanity, because it was ludicrously rigged, and should have caused an outcry for such a highly regarded bestseller, yet apparently even the geeks didn't notice.

Yup, you heard me. The chart is rigged. Both with carefully selected points and with outright fabricated data.

First, point selection: Where are the mini's and mainframes and supercomputers of the 80s/90s? ("They aren't the most cost effective!" you cry) Okay, then where are the wang and other desktop (sometimes desk-sized) programmable calculators of the 60's/70's? The HP and other pocket calculators of the 70's/80's? ("They aren't the same thing," you argue, weakly.)

Second, bad data: "Fine," I say, "then do you really expect me to believe that a Hollerith tabulator took 3-30 hrs per operation? 10^(-4) to 10^(-5)ops/sec (according to the chart) = 10,000-100,000 seconds/op. In fact, there isn't a single computer capable of 1 op/sec until 1950 in the chart. Am I to believe that business spent millions on computers that were far slower than a moderately bright child using an abacus?

And how about the Apple II, the first personal computer I owned -- a 6502 used two clocks (out of phase) at roughly 1 MHz to run 500K single cycle ops/sec. I don't recall any common op codes that took more than 5-6 cycles, but there may have been one or two oddballs at 7-8 under worst case scenarios. (Most took 2-3.) Yet the Apple is listed as being roughly 30K ops/sec? (log(ops/sec) = 4.5)?

"Oh but we're talking about 64-bit adds" you argue, whipping out your abacus "...er, make that 'multiply's!"

I could invent justifications for each point on the chart, but by the time you're done, you'll realize, as I did, that the chart isn't worth the paper it's written on, and that it is utterly shocking that this hasn't been pointed out and ridiculted a million times by now.

3-30 hours for a single operation? C'mon!

Re:Time to use StegFS (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 14 years ago | (#970204)

Then you open up stenofs level one, which hides your collection of "Hot babes in bikinis" which you had encrypted to "hide from your wife".

Re:That last thing... (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 14 years ago | (#970205)

Not always true. If the warrant authorizes a search for an automobile, they can't use the goat porn in your desk drawer as evidence against you.

Re:Game boxes aren't getting smaller... (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 14 years ago | (#970206)

Trends, i.e. Prohibition, Disco, and Microsoft always go away when something better comes along. (in said cases organized crime, ROCK and Linux, respectively) When software publishers realize that reviews count for a lot because some people actually read them. (These incidentally are the people who everyone asks for software/hardware advice). And the box doesnt count for squat. But maybe thats me not being a moron...i dunno.

Re:Print manuals are always best (2)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 14 years ago | (#970207)

1) Find out a way to make browsing easier.
"Skip ahead" and "skip back" widgets or keystrokes. Fast scrolling commands that slow down or pause (barely noticeably, but long enough to glimpse a title) when you pass a chapter or section title.

(One of the ironies of benchmarks: at one point, it seems it was fashionable to benchmark Windows text and graphics display speed by timing how long it took to scroll through a document by holding the down-arrow button on the scrollbar. When the Windows-centric trade press tried to apply this to the Macintosh, they started reporting that the Mac was ridiculously slow. Why? Well, on MacOS, the speed of scrolling that way is deliberately slowed down, to make it easier to see what's going on; if you want to scroll quickly, you yank the scroll thumb or click in the scrollbar.)

2) Make it easier to read. Despite all the hype recently surrounding e-books, they still strain your eyes after a few hours.
I count myself extremely lucky to have been provided one of those fancy SGI flat-screen monitors at my workplace, and in other venues I use a laptop. LCD monitors are essentially perfectly sharp and are significantly less eyestrain-inducing than blurry CRTs. If you must use a CRT, use a Trinitron.
3) Figure out how to display the manual without flipping away from a fullscreen game, something that will never be possible due to the nature of the beast.
Have a 'help' keystroke that shrinks the regular game view off to one side and displays a help window -- sort of like the way TV stations shrink the credits to half size these days so they can display the previews.
Of course, the obvious solution is just to make the learning curve shallower
Damn straight. The early Ultima games were entirely keyboard-driven, with a command on practically every key -- but the commands were mnemonic by letters, unlike those in a lot of modern games which expect you to think of your keyboard as a grid of labeled arcade-style buttons. Duhh ... which key means 'fire tertiary weapon' and which is 'raise cloak' again?

Re:Do you think I don't know my own name? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970208)

I've seen enough of the world to know that genuinely underpriviliged people don't go around ranting about imperialism

Well, I've seen it, but I'll grant you it is very rare. You do find underprivileged people forming groups and attacking the most immediate sources of oppression in their community-- corporations, the government, etc.

But you do find many people born in underprivileged families, that by chance get a good education and/or a less miserable life, and thus a wider outlook.

I also know that the Third World people who do behave that way invariably come from rich families, had a lifestyle I've never dreamed of for myself and obsessively project their guilt onto me. Of the two of us, I'm thinking exactly one grew up with a house full of servants. And it sure wasn't me.

You are projecting your prejudices. My experience is precisely the opposite-- in Latin America, the rich are as a rule the most in favor of the status quo.

And there were no servants in my house, nor in the houses of any of my collaborators in the organizations I've been a member of.

Re:Do you think I don't know my own name? (2)

348 (124012) | more than 14 years ago | (#970209)

ignorant American

Wouldn't that be "igorant-murkun?

Re:Do you think I don't know my own name? (1)

TheReverand (95620) | more than 14 years ago | (#970210)

, but I've seen enough of the world to know that genuinely underpriviliged people don't go around ranting about imperialism, don't use the word "egregious", don't try to play the guilt card and they sure don't read Slashdot. I also know that the Third World people who do behave that way invariably come from rich families, had a lifestyle I've never dreamed of for myself and obsessively project their guilt onto me. Of the two of us, I'm thinking exactly one grew up with a house full of servants. And it sure wasn't me.

Ummm...Wrong on everything but /. Underpriveleged != ignorant as you seem to think. If you would like to learn more about that check out The EZLN page [ezln.org] . The new revolution is a war of words.

Viva Zapata, Viva Chiappas, Viva Mexico

Re:That last thing... (2)

Zomart9th (125454) | more than 14 years ago | (#970211)

On the plus side, perhaps this would persuade people that it really IS a good idea to set the expiration date on those PGP keys.

Even if a key pair has expired, you can still use the private key for decryption. This makes sense because PGP simply compares a key's expiration date with the system clock (which can easily be modified). PGP won't even prompt you with any warning messages if you use an expired key for decryption.

The expiration date doesn't do anything besides say 'Hey, this key is old and you shouldn't use it send this person data. You should probably get their new key.'
In the version of PGP that I'm running, it won't even let you encrypt a message to an expired key. However to get around this, all you have to do is change your system time.

Re:Incorect (drifting offtopic)... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970212)

>So now, a site denouncing paramilitary vigilantes
>in the US-Mexico border who hunt down Mexican
>peasants in the border, and have been responsible
>for deaths, is "insulting and offensive"?

Granted, it's not legal to hunt down and shoot criminals yourself, hell, I don't think it's legal to even detain them yourself until the authorities arrive... here. OTOH, I don't know what the law regarding the topic is in Arizona. But then again, Texas has some very... shall we say: unrestrictive... laws considering what actions you may take to defend your homestead against tresspassing criminals. Perhaps Arizona law is similar. I don't know. Point is, you call these people murders, and, as far as I can tell, they haven't even been to trial, much less convicted. Guilty till prooven innocent, eh?

But that's all irrelevant. The link *IS* very biased and one-sided. The tone *IS* inflamatory, deliberately written to incite emotional, rathar than intellectual response.

>Anyway, I don't see you scanning /. for all
>heated discussions, and making similar
>accusations. Why do you pick on me? Could it have
>something to do with what I argue and defend?

Actually yes, that's what message boards are for, yes?. I couldn't care less about the politics of mexican immigration, that's not particularly relevant on /. What bugs me is your frequent neo-luddite-esque condemnation of technology. This time of the internet as a home of free speech, and last time, of digital signatures and electronic voting. I've never bought the "technology is the tool of the oppressor to subjigate the masses" line. Quite the contrary, I find technology, and computers and the internet in particular to be liberating and enlightening tools. The net has allowed for an unprecidented free exchange of information, the likes of which has never been seen before. I think that is a GOOD THING(tm).

>Well, how do you suggest I translate
>"estadounidense"

Others have explained to you why "unitedstatesian" is incorrect. I don't see the need to repeat the effort.

>And how frequently can I expect you to
>come to my defense when I get called a
>"wetback" or a "spik",

Can you supply links to posts where Slashdotters have called you a "wetback" or "spick"? And I don't recall ANY referance to your wife before this post, much less one calling her a "chink". It appears that you are applying meatspace prejudices to a realm where they do not apply.

I've found that in the geek community, you are rarely, if ever, judged by race, sex, nationality, sexuality, religion, etc. More than any other culture, it is a meritocracy. You are judged on your accomplishments, abilities, and your willingness to improve yourself.

At least that's MY expierence. If your employer is one of those stodgy, obsolete "good old boy network" places, I suggest you change jobs. YOU have the power, not the suits. You just have to realise it. And if enough of a company's geeks quit, they will have to become more geek friendly, or die. So by changing jobs (if your current employer is geek-unfriendly), you not only help yourself, but your coworkers as well.

>I'm just speaking from my experience. If you have
>some reason for believing that I've had to deal
>with an unrepresentative sample, please say so.

I can't speak for EVERYONE, but in my own case, I have visited five countries outside the US, and two US terratories that are so different they may as well be other countries. And a number of my coworkers are MUCH more travelled than me. As a matter of face, one on the enginners just left for a six-month leave of absence to travel throughout Asia. Hell, several of the geeks (or their parents) here actually moved to the US from other countries withing the last generation (several from China, two from Japan, Korea: 1, Russia: 2, Australia: 1, Iran (pre-ahitolla): 1).

In the next two years, we'll be setting up CoLos (and therefore sending people (possibly me) to) in Japan, one other Asian country (Australia most likely), The UK, and one other European country (France, most likely).

Sure seems like an easy to learn about other cultures to me.

I've gotten off on a tangent here, but the people *I* know certianly do not thing that "the US is the whole world".

>And if your idea of "easily disproven" is to give
>a personal anecdote, you need to review logic,
>argumentation and standards of evidence.

It takes only *ONE* exception (myself, in this case, but I could easily use any number of my friends or coworkers) to disprove a tautology. So, no, actually, I don't.

john

Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:Incorect (drifting offtopic)... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970213)

>And what about conspiring to do these things?

Again, IANAL... not here in California, and not in Arizona, so I don't know...

but...

>he guy in Arizona who organizes this
>group is leasing

Which is irrelevant... I, for instance, lease my apartment here in San Francisco... but I have the same right to be "secure in my domacile" as I would were I a homeowner. My landlord can NOT give strangers permission to stroll on in and make themselves at home in my apt... not till the lease is over, and I move out. And if he WERE to do such a thing, I could sue the hell out of him. And there are PLENTY of tenant advocacy groups here that would help me.

>Where did I call anyone a murderer?

Direcet quote from your website:

"There are now recorded incidents of murder of harmless Mexican workers along the Sonora/Arizona border including a critical shooting of aMexican youth by two Arizona ranchers on horseback."

>>But that's all irrelevant. The link *IS* very
>>biased and one-sided. The tone *IS* inflamatory,
>>deliberately written to incite emotional,
>>rathar than intellectual response.

>Bullshit. You don't like neither what they are
>saying, or what I'm saying, or the way it is said,
>that's all.

Nope. As I said, US/Mexico border politics don't particularly intrest me. I was using the writing style of your site demonstrate your trollish nature. You are right about ONE thing tho, it IS "the way it is said" that is what makes your site biased and invalid.

I'll put it another way. Doubtless that when David Duke was running for political office, the New York Times, a reputable and responsible, jornalistic institution, discovered, and reported on, Duke's history as a klansman.

Do you think for a second that The New York Times called Duke a "white racist bigot", despite the fact that that is what his clan membership implies?

Of course they didn't. That would be biased and inflamatory editorialising in a news story. It would be irresponsible journalism that would damage their reputation. No responsible editor would ever allow it.

To call Duke a "white racist bigot" would be a foolish exercise in inflamatory yellow journalism; an invalid approach that seeks to incite emotion.

To objectively report on his history as a klansman, not editorialise, and allow the reader to draw his own conclusion is the proper thing to do; you appeal to intellect in that case.

>Actually, I'll be a good logic teacher (a job I've
>had in real life) and give you two exercises:

That's funny, because in virturally all of your postings, you attempt to appeal to emotion, and frequently you resort to ad hominum; both of which are logical fallacies...

(http://www.intrepidsoftware.com/fallacy/toc.htm )

... which immediately invalidate your arguement and cause you to lose... if you WERE a logic teacher or a debate coach, you'd know that. It's certianly a point MY coach reiterated with annoying regularity.

Oh... and I *DO* know what a tautology is... CompSci majors ARE required to take BOTH Digital Logic AND Discrete Structures, last I checked. I got A's in both...

A tautology is any expression which will ALWAYS evaluate to 1... such as...

#if
$x=1; #then
($x==1); #is a tautology

or

#if
@y= 'foo','bar'; #then
($y==2); #or
(@y[0]=='foo') #or
(@y[0]!=@y[1]) #is a tautology

Granted, an actual proof is much more complex than above, but that IS just sophomore level DigiLogic/DiscStructures to know that a single exception DOES disproove a tautology. If you know of a grad level DiscStructures or DigiLogic class that can demonstrate an instance where a tautology holds even when it evaluates to 0 in ANY case, I'd like to hear about it.... School AND professor, if you please, and the CS text that would print such a thing. Every prof at MY school said such a thing was impossible, that if you could proove an instance where it resolves to 0, it is NOT a tautology.

john
Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:Do ACs know how to form an arguement... (1)

TheReverand (95620) | more than 14 years ago | (#970214)

I've visited Canada, The UK, Jamaica, and Australia on various vacations, and once visited Japan on business.

Bad argument. UK/Canada are too similar to the US. They are thrown out. Ditto for Japan, Australia (from an economic standpoint). That leaves Jamaica. I would be interested to know just how many indeginous people you saw online there, or did you never leave Kingston? Tell me, how many people are online in Uganda? In Haiti? In Mexico? Tell me about free internet access in Somalia, a country that can't feed it's own people. Tell me about free internet access in Uzbekistan, where terrorists are constantly attacking the government. You are a deluded fool.

Viva Zapata, Viva Chiappas, Viva Mexico, Viva La Revolucion

Re:Time to use StegFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970215)

You did not read about StegFS. The whole point of StegFS is that they can not identify how much encrypted data you have by looking at your files, but you have the ability to reviel only part of your encrypted data, i.e. not the incriminating part.

Now, they can not say "well you didn't give us anything incriminating, so we will convict you" and they can not say "you did not give us all your data" (there should be no way to determin this mathematically), so you should be doing fine.

The only real problem is when they can prove that you should have some data, so you need to be very careful about letting *anyone* know that higher levels of encryption exist.

Yeah well listen... (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#970216)

Maybe I do misjudge you, but frankly you're no help in misjudging you. Now just listen.

I was like you a year ago. Just pure anti-corporate trash. I had a nickname I don't remember. Then I realized I never made an argument. Just whined all day. I gave up the nick. I used my real name. It does wonders. My posts got sharper. They became shorter. And sometimes even funny.

I've come to believe you can't pull peace and justice out of your own ass and make everyone just accept it. I have to tell you tthe stuff about taking care of each other and the common goood, all sounds nice but it's not only a cop out, it's also putting the cart before the horse.

You want to change the world? Take a bite out of it. Enough with the rituals, the emotions, etc. Human beings do that anyways, mostly out of habit.

Use your head. One bowl of soup isn't going to equal the power of teaching those people how to cook for themselves. That's a service that doesn't end the moment you stop serving. I like to take a lot from my physics classes. No matter how much you sweat pushing against the blackboard, in relity you haven't done any measureable work until that blackboard moves.

You haven't done any work until that person is different in a significant way than the way he was originally. So soup kitchens are out.

You might even try this:

As people are able to work a little, let them rent the kitchen facilities for a small price or services (obviously they're homeless so instead they could teach others to cook their favorite meals), but being able to pay someone in return is a boost in self-respect, in dignity. Help people be human not just carbon bags of water.

As for your site, c'mon. Out think the bastards. I like RATM too, but I still think they're off their rocker. Not because of their music, but because of their need to pump up their persona. And I know they're not media whores, but they do seem like they're playing some part out of a movie. I don't think they realize it. I personally hate the revolutions I read in History classes. The ranting gets so overdramatised (let's not even talk about Gobels) it's sickening.

You have to be a sollipsist to believe in the good OR the bad side. You have to live in your own little world to pick one. I'm not saying Spock would make a good candidate for a revolutionary, but I am saying cut it out with the speeches.

I have a radical idea: Get in touch with some people and open up businesses slowly surrounding these bastard nazis. Turn your town into a checkerboard. Make it difficult for people to be prejudiced by accident. By their own choice... let them be prejudiced. Let the world learn a little on its own what these assholes do.

Teach your "people" to learn to rest. To build up their strength intellectually and personally.

Stop the migrations. Who needs migrations when you've got the Net?

Re:Public Statement (1)

kapella (3578) | more than 14 years ago | (#970217)

I hereby invoke Godwin's Law.

... have a nice day.

The COPA Decision... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 14 years ago | (#970218)

Is old news. Slashdot posted my submission of the story [slashdot.org] on June 22.

Re:Incorect (drifting offtopic)... (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970219)

Direcet quote from your website:

That is not my website. It's a website I link in the URL field of my User Info page. Many people in /. link to pages which are not their website.

I'll put it another way. Doubtless that when David Duke was running for political office, the New York Times, a reputable and responsible, jornalistic institution, discovered, and reported on, Duke's history as a klansman.

Do you think for a second that The New York Times called Duke a "white racist bigot", despite the fact that that is what his clan membership implies?

No, because they don't consider him to be one of the bad guys. The media prints false accusations all the time, but mostly against leftists groups and persons. Check this page [fair.org] .

[ad hominem and appeal to emotion] immediately invalidate your arguement and cause you to lose

You are not applying this correctly. If ad hominem and appeal to emotion are all you base your argument on, then you don't have an argument. However, if one provides an otherwise valid argument, the fact that one has used these things do not invalidate it. Of course, it is not a very friendly and/or corteous thing to do. Which, since you have accussed me publicly of being a troll, I have taken the liberty of not being.

Oh... and I *DO* know what a tautology is... CompSci majors ARE required to take BOTH Digital Logic AND Discrete Structures, last I checked. I got A's in both...

Obviously, you've (a) forgotten whatever they taught you, (b) thought they taught you tons of logic, while you were only given a trifling. I repeat, I have *taught* logic. I have studied First Order Logic, Dynamic Logic, Modal Logic, Hybrid Logic, Type Theory, Model Theoretic Semantics, Substructural Logics, Feature Logics, and some more. At grad level. I'd advise you to not take my knowledge here for granted.

A tautology is any expression which will ALWAYS evaluate to 1
[...]
Granted, an actual proof is much more complex than above, but that IS just sophomore level DigiLogic/DiscStructures to know that a single exception DOES disproove a tautology.

This is a completely erroneous thing to say. If you disprove a statement, then it wasn't a tautology to start with.

One counterexample is enough to disprove any statement. But if a statement is a tautology, no counterexample can exist.

If you know of a grad level DiscStructures or DigiLogic class that can demonstrate an instance where a tautology holds even when it evaluates to 0 in ANY case, I'd like to hear about it.... School AND professor, if you please, and the CS text that would print such a thing. Every prof at MY school said such a thing was impossible, that if you could proove an instance where it resolves to 0, it is NOT a tautology.

Of course I do not know of such a thing. A tatutology is a statement that holds solely in virtue of the configuration of its logical constants. A tautology does not evaluate to 1 by definition.

Let's go back to where this started. You said you had given a "counterexample to my tautology", and thus, you had proven me wrong. Well, if whatever I said could be disproven, then it was not a tautology. Since I made only failsifiable statements in my previous posts, then I said no tautologies.

And the statement you were trying to disprove had a quantifier "most". To disprove such a statement, a single counterexample is not sufficient, except in the case the domain of quantification contains 2 or less individuals.

I like game manuals.. (4)

Danse (1026) | more than 14 years ago | (#970224)

I'd be perfectly happy if manuals for most apps were in digital form only, but when it comes to games, the printed manual is much preferred. This is mainly because when I'm playing a game, it's rather difficult to switch to a text editor to read up on how to do something, and then switch back to the game. Much easier to just keep the manual in my lap.

children's rights (1)

purefizz (114470) | more than 14 years ago | (#970226)

"a Federal Appeals Court has struck down COPA (The Children's Online Protection Act)."

Okay, so US children are wards of the state until the are no longer minors. So, wouldn't the government be fearing for the protection of their children or something. I don't agree with censorship, it just seems kind of weird that children have no 'real' rights, yet they are such a big legal topic (whether its COPA or Elian Gonzalez).

kick some CAD [cadfu.com]

Re:Software that comes with books (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 14 years ago | (#970228)

Most stores, in my experience, have empty boxes on the shelves, out of fear of shoplifting.

In which case, what you actually purchase could just as well be in as small a box as possible -- for most games, simply the CD in a cardboard sleeve with a leaflet. For some applications, the box would be sizeable, because of the manuals.

Retailers would benefit by the smaller stock storage requirements. Consumers could benefit by lowered prices, though in all likelyhood the publisher would probably just keep the savings themselves.


--

Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

acfoo (98832) | more than 14 years ago | (#970230)

Disclaimer: I like to refer to manuals, too, especially ones with good indicies.

Some software, however, you know that you don't need a manual for, and I think it would be nice (if perhaps a hassle to the companies) to offer me the chance to buy software in the following forms:

Max docs- everything, including technical references, electronic searchable database, subscription to updated docs online

Base docs- a single user manual

Electronic docs- pretty obvious

No docs

It would be nice if I could get a rebate or discount if I wanted a lower-docs version, too, but I'd likely pay the same and just feel better about not throwing a lot of paper away or having it clutter up my office or house.

Better yet, for most of the software that I use, I'd like to just get a discount coupon for the relevant O'Reilly book.

For games that you don't know well (I mean, c'mon, you didn't need the Doom II manual) I think that the manual is necessary. But, too often, it's overkill.

Re:Nanodot (1)

zeck (103790) | more than 14 years ago | (#970232)

It's called Nanodot - what would you expect them to use?

Re:Software that comes with books (2)

Azog (20907) | more than 14 years ago | (#970233)

Bad idea. Order online, sure, but then have the cd's shipped to you - just like CheapBytes does - really fast, in cheap cardboard liners. Very little packaging there!

You don't want to download because many software titles are huge. Thief II, for example, is two (2) CD's. Corel Draw comes with at least 3 CDs. So do many other apps. Now, I have ADSL, but I still wouldn't be enthusiastic about downloading 1.5 GB of data (and then having to burn it onto CD's anyway for backup).


Torrey Hoffman (Azog)

The net is a clique of the privileged. (2)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 14 years ago | (#970234)

As I see it, and most of you would agree I'm sure, the internet is the last place of truly free speech.

Bullshit. The net is just another exclusive forum for a prvileged socioeconomic minority that enjoys enormous wealth produced by the labour of untold millions in the third world. The economic and political forces that built the and maintain the net (US military, major media corporations) are also accomplices in egregious violations of basic human rights elsewhere.

I'm wondering how the internet is ever going to remain the free speech center of the world.

Are you being deliberately sarcastic, or just ethnocentric when you say "free speech center of the world? I think the latter, so I apologize for the following if you meant the first.

Most of the world doesn't have net access. How the fuck can the net be the "free speech center of the world"?

You must be under the delusion that the industrialized countries are the world, while those "dirty, poor places" like Mexico, Colombia, Africa or Uganda are part of some other planet. (And this is being optimistic: if you are like most unitedstatesians I've met, you must believe the US is the world.) Come off it.

Re:Single CD Games (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 14 years ago | (#970235)

Perhaps they should cut the price of games by 25% sell them in cd cases, then offer to sell you the "manual" online for about $10.00
When I say manual, I of course mean everything but installation guide, and basic trouble shooting. they can include that on the back of the insert.

Single CD Games (2)

HomeySmurf (124537) | more than 14 years ago | (#970236)

It seems that all sorts of console games are sold as single CD's. There is no reason that PC games can't be sold in such a way. The only difference is that historically PC games included lots of documentation and goodies, just as console games did. However, the marketing wizards figured out that people don't read instructions for console games, and they never have problems with sound/video cards.

When are PC game companies going to realize that their consumers are no more inclined to read documentation, and that it is much cheaper for them to just sell the CD's. No one reads the documentation unless they have a problem, and it could just as easily be on the CD as an html document. Such is the case with the great game Settlers. The box is just a waste of material. Since the PC market is mostly Windows based, there need be no fear of the user lacking a web-browser (just Try to delete Explorer).

Just a few facts for you.. (1)

BandSaw (104086) | more than 14 years ago | (#970237)

Can I have that chip on your shoulder when you are done with it? I need to replace the shakes on my roof...:)

More to the point of your post..

Having spent several years working in Nigeria and Angola, I can confirm that areas of these places are dirty and poor. Sewage runs thur trenches in the street in some areas of Port Harcourt, while Lagos looks like any western city.

Most of the people are friendly and kind to white strangers. The hookers are especially friendly, (much less edgy then French ones, IMHO).

There are the few Nigerians that hate white people and curse at them in public, but this is really rare. The Angolans are much more mellow as a culture, despite years of on and off civil war.

The Nigerian police are totally corrupt, and the numerous roadblocks they create can be gotten thru quickly by giving them a bottle of beer or some smokes and saying "This is a gift for you, my friend". And the Nigerian police generally say "Thank you" when they take your bribe. I've never heard an american cop say "Thank you" or "Please" in my entire life.

So, get off your high horse.. the dirt and poverty are facts...

It does not mean that white people using the Internet are exploiting the third world.

In a sense I find your post hilarious..

You spout the standard type of self-rightous outrage of a minority living and enjoying the western lifestyle..

I have NEVER heard anyone in Angola or Nigera complain that they were being oppressed by white people.. because Angola is run by Angolans, (or Cubans, but that's another story), and Nigeria is run by Nigerians..

And when a white person shows up at a shop, they charge double, we all have a good laugh about it, and they let you haggle the price back down to 1.5 times what is should be.

By the way: Uganda IS in Africa. And Africa is a continent, not a country. Or didn't you know that?

Re:Come sirrah Jack Straw! (2)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 14 years ago | (#970238)

"sera" is future tense, so more accurately:

"Whatever will happen will happen."

Note the correct english grammar too ;)

Re:That last thing... (1)

Anonymous Coed (8203) | more than 14 years ago | (#970239)

I think he should have said while the police are legally executing a warrant.

If the police find something unrelated while lawfully executing a warrant, they can nail you on it. If they have a warrant to search your office (only) and they find your goat porn there, fine. But if they then search your house without specific authorization, and they find the pound of crack there, AFAIK that can be thrown out if you have a competent lawyer. (If you don't have a competent laywer, all bets are off; they can probably convict you under 1600's witchcraft ordinances.)

Incorect... (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970240)

>Which in Slashbot-speak means "I don't agree with
>you, but I don't have any counterarguments or
>moderator points". Ignorant coward.

Wrong.

The proper definition of a "troll" can be found in the jargon file @:

http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/jargon.html#tr oll

A simple check of you posting history reveals that your posts match definition 1, and you match difinition 2.

Your posts are deliberately inflamatory, and obviously calculated to be as insulting and offensive as possible. The same can be also said for the site (aztlan.net) that you link to.

A proper troll, if such a thing really exists, should be subtle and non-obvious. You lack any degree of subtlety. And your deliberately inflamatory, and in at least one case totally invented and patently incorrect ("unitedstatesian"), and blantantly raceist ("gringo") tone and word choice belies your nature, as does your complete unwillingness to brook any arguement.

You ARE a troll. And not only that, you are a poor one at that.

And now, just for fun, I'll use counterarguements to dubunk two of the myths you are fond of propagating.

1)
The internet is a "exclusive forum for a prvileged socioeconomic minority that enjoys enormous wealth" (sic)

Well, lessee... checking my tax bracket @ irs.gov... nope. I'm nowhere NEAR the top 1%'s income. No enormous wealth here. But I still have net access. As for the hardware, I can put together a perfectly internet capable box for under $400... not a ton of money there... and you can get net access for FREE if you care to put up with a few ads... or ISPs are available for as little as $10/month without the ads. $400 initial + 0-10 per month... seems pretty cheap to me.

And if you want to get REALLY pedantic, I COULD just take MUNI to the SF library where they have public internet terminals I could access for *FREE*.

As for people online being a tiny minority, that seems pretty unlikely to me, considering the vast numbers of people online, ESPECIALLY after the september that never ended:
(http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/jargon.html#S eptember%20that%20never%20ended)

2)
Americans "must believe the US is the world."

Easily disproven. Almost laughably so. I, personaly, use the net to keep in touch, via email, with friends I have in in a number of other countries, one of which is New Zealand. I mention New Zealand in particular because, excepting Australia, it is just about as far from America as you can get, without actually leaving the planet.

john
Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:That last thing... (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 14 years ago | (#970241)

As it happens, Kevin Mitnick is involved in just this situation. He's free, he wants property siezed as evidence back, but the government refuses to do so unless he divulges his passphrases et al. Obviously, he's not sufficiently trusting of the government to do so and is claiming that he doesn't have to b/c of the 5th amendment.

I agree with him, insofar as the key or the whereabouts of the key are in his head. If they're elsewhere (and not protected by privilege) then they're not protected by the 5th.

Since it's hard to memorize really long good keys, the best strategy would be to have the key be written down somewhere innocuous. For instance all the last letters of words on pages 15-67 of "Alice in Wonderland", rot13'ed and backwards. No one would ever guess it (unless you did something stupid) and it would be fairly easy to get ahold of when needed.

Re:That last thing... (1)

NaughtyEddie (140998) | more than 14 years ago | (#970242)

I haven't used PGP for years; can you set an expiration data on a key?

Sounds to me like an expiration date would make your key pretty worthless - the old "change the computer's clock" hack would expire the key, wouldn't it?

Pretty Picture (now with improved math) (2)

orpheus (14534) | more than 14 years ago | (#970243)

Some people have raised that the metric on the chart was Ops/sec per $1000, a fact which I myself noted on the nanotech forum. I didn't calculate out every factor because the error on the chart was clearly many more orders of magnitude than any possible correction could account for. The following are just back-of-the-envelope adjustments, but I think you'll see my point stands.

Let's adjust the figures for the Hollerith Tabulator to render it in ops/ sec per $1000, as Matrix42 and quokka70 suggest...

First off, the Hollerith tabulator was first used in the 1890 census, not during the 1910's, as the chart suggests (a *major* fudge factor). It was a mature technology after 30-40 years of use.

But let's assume they meant an 1910 model. With a chart metric of 10^(-5) ops/sec per $1000, it would have cost $100M to attain 1 op/sec -- not processing all the data for a single person, not even copying a single person's data into core memory, but one single op.

In 1915, in the middle of WWI, the total US outlay, including the military, was $746M, and total receipts were under $700M (wars tend to run at a deficit) And you're telling me they spent $100M on the Hollerith tabulator. ("but that's $100M 1999 dollars!" you cry.) Very well, at 3% annual inflation over 80 years, you get a factor of ten adjustment on dollar valuation (3% is actually generous, considering that we had some very serious devaluations, like the entire depresion era, during that time)

$10M 1915 dollars (18% of the Navy's wartime budget that year, give or take) to generate 1 op/sec, at a time when a skilled adding machine operator could calculate much faster, for a salary of a few hundred a year!

In fact, by their figures, $100 Billion - roughly MS's corporate worth today, would give them 1000 ops/sec - one millionth the power of the Athlon on the chart This would enable them to do a hefty 500 million ops/yr running 24/7 -- a whopping 5.5 ops for each of the 91 Million citizens counted in the 1910 census -- enough for two loads, an add, and two store operations per counted citizen!

In short, a $100M 1 op/sec machine would be useless (and at $10M 1915 dollars would have won the war for the Germans) The unthinkable $10B 1915 expenditure required to perform a minimal 1910 census (one-millionth of an Athlon according to that chart) would be better spent simply buying the US outright -- 13x the US government's wartime budget, foreign and domestic!

A battery of 1000 skilled adding machine operators can exceed 1000 ops/sec - and even as late as 1945, the total cost for salary and equipment would have been under $3M 1945 dollars, not 22.5 billion (=100 Bill. 1995 dollars). Incidentally, big companies did their accounting exactly this way (rooms full of adding machine clerks) back in 1945.

The numbers on the chart are messed up --very badly messed up. It's not just the Hollerith numbers. The chart claims that 1 op/sec per $1000 wasn't reached until 1950. Apparently he never looked in a hobby electronics magazine (or model railroad, or scientific American) from the first half of the century cheap home-made relay-based calculating machine projects were far from unheard of -- and did several ops/second.

Think of the codebreakers at Bletchley park. They needed to crack German Ultra messages overnight, at a time when Britain was stretched to its limit. Yet the chart claims computers cost $100,000 per op/sec at that time (and as I mentioned a single adding machine exceeds 1 op/sec) Britain didn't have the hundreds of millions of 1940 dollars to throw at Colossus

Next time try presenting some back-of-the-envelope calculations of your own. I've often found that doing this may reveal some minor errors in another person's calculations, but actually ends up confirming their overall conclusion.

wow (offtopic) (2)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 14 years ago | (#970244)

It's been obvious for quite a while that *you* are nothng more than a troll, but I never knew you guys were running an ORGANISED campaign to attack & disrupt slashdot like that.

My thanks to the AC, later in this thread, who so thoughtfully provided the inchfan link.

>I have *taught* logic. I have studied First Order
>Logic, Dynamic Logic, Modal Logic, Hybrid Logic,
>Type Theory, Model Theoretic Semantics,
>Substructural Logics, Feature Logics, and some
>more. At grad level. I'd advise you to not take
>my knowledge here for granted.

Wow... where have I heard *that* line before. You wouldn't happen to also be "Steve Woston" of "jjjjulius games", would you?

You're *SOOOO* busted!

'nite

john
Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Haiku:
I am not a drone.
Remove the collective if

Re:****TROLL ALERT**** (1)

jlb (78725) | more than 14 years ago | (#970245)

Eh, I wouldn't believe this. It's a common troll tactic to post anonymous links in other sids to a post of a person they want to screw with. Thereby implicating that person as a troll.

I've seen a couple of people it's been happening to.

Don't believe everything you read. If the post is anonymous don't put any stock in it whatsoever. Especially if it claims to be a normal poster who is following up anonymously for some reason.

These are the real trolls. Don't let them disrupt the conversation.

Rob should really figure out something to do about this stuff. It's getting ridiculous.

Re:Come sirrah Jack Straw! (1)

Igirisu (197598) | more than 14 years ago | (#970246)

If we're being anal about it, then "Whatever will happen will happen" would be:

Que pasará, pasará

Ser = to be, so 'Que será, será' = "Whatever will be, will be" (exactly as in the song ;)

Re:Software that comes with books (1)

Rovaani (20023) | more than 14 years ago | (#970247)

Why not just have an A4 sized posters on the shelf and when you wanted a particular title you could get it in a paper bag with manuals, CDs and the other fluff.

That would really help browsing the titles, as well as being very ecological.

Re:Nanodot (2)

fluffhead (32589) | more than 14 years ago | (#970252)

Yeah. You can hardly miss that mile-long page title up there in the titlebar (much less if you bookmark it). "Foresight Institute Slash Server: Slashdot Like Automated Storytelling Homepage" ??? Sheesh. I wish they'd edit their HTML head tags down a bit. Other than that very minor caveat a cool site, though.
Check out the following URL for a nifty log-scale chart of CPU power plotted from Ray Kurzweil's book: here [lfw.org] (needs Adobe Acrobat reader)
According to that chart, by around 2040 we'll be able to buy a human brain's worth of CPU for around $1000 (1999 $ - probably over a million bucks if current inflation holds ;-P) Assuming Moore's Law doesn't sputter out before 2020 like the pundits are predicting now. (well at least we'll have a mouse brain's worth by then - Pinky & the Brain gets a whole new lease on life).


#include "disclaim.h"
"All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak

Public Statement (3)

periscope (20296) | more than 14 years ago | (#970254)

Hi, I'd just like to let you all know publically that, should the RIP Bill go through Lords and become Law in its present state, I WILL TAKE THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS. In addition I will seek to have Jack Straw arrested and locked up for a very long time for his insistance to commit human rights crimes.

Jack Straw is introducing a LOT of new legislation that gives the Home Secretary (him) a LOT of power. In a way this is worse than dictators such as Hitler because Straw is doing this silently under the guise of protecting the public interest. He must be stopped from committing human rights crimes and I will try to do anything possible in the courts that I can to stop him.

Perhaps we do need some kind of new provisions in the law, but let's do it by extending existing laws not introducing new laws . I will not ever hand over my computer decryption keys and if the British Government don't like it then I'll have the ECHR remove them from office.

-- Jonathan.

Re:That last thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970255)

If they supoena your encryption key, give it to them. (You do keep the file containing your encryption key encrypted, don't you?) If they supoena that key, give it to them (also encrypted). You can keep this up indefinately, or at least long enough that you can flee the country.

Re:That last thing... (1)

Monkee (79789) | more than 14 years ago | (#970257)

In the US, *anything* illegal the police happen to stumble upon while executing a warrant is fair game. So, if OJ was the primary provider of Live Goat Porn, he'd be up a creek...

Re:That last thing... (1)

Russ Steffen (263) | more than 14 years ago | (#970258)

Who says you'd even have to go to the trouble of actually encrypting it. Well encrypted data should be indistiguishable from randomness.

Re:Print manuals are always best (1)

Coz (178857) | more than 14 years ago | (#970259)

Yeah, but Evercrack, um, Everquest, is IMPOSSIBLE to play and view an on-line manual (unless you have 2 computers handy).

I mislike the trend toward building a game, THEN documenting it in a separate, $15-$25 book sold on the shelves alongside the game. If I'm going to pay $45 for a game that I'll have to pay another monthly fee to keep playing, they can damn well include a manual with enough info in it that I don't NEED their supplemental tome to be a good player.

Oh, my... was that a rant? (grin)

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