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Why Is Wikipedia So Ugly?

Akardam Perish the thought... (370 comments)

To paraphrase a favorite character of mine, "... I'm so sick of (article writers like this) I could vomit...".

Wikipedia has at its core one basic job to do: convey information. Setting aside for the moment the questions of validity of content, sources, spats between editors, astroturfing, etc, the prime question is, how quickly and easily was one able to find what one was looking for and absorb it. This is a task at which I personally feel Wikipedia does a fine job. It is a simple, straightforward visual style that doesn't bolt on any extraneous flash (no pun intended) or style just for flash or style's sake.

By the way, when the article author compares Wikipedia and Geocities visual style and finds similarities, I'm prompted to wonder where the author actually was when Geocities was in its heydey.

As for the complaint about the complexities of editing on Wikipedia: Heaven forbid that when editing one of the great repositories of human knowledge, that the editors should take the time required to learn the skills necessary to do so... seriously, if Wikipedia ever "redesigns" itself to appeal anywhere near the lowest common denominator of the Facebook/Twitter/Myspace generation, I quit.

more than 2 years ago

Why Engineers Don't Like Twitter

Akardam USGS (460 comments)

The first place you should ever check if you feel a quake (or something like) is the USGS quake page. After that, if you want to delve into the high sig-to-noise ratio of twitter, go right ahead.

more than 4 years ago

Warner Bros. Accused of Pirating Anti-Pirating Tech

Akardam Re:Only one thing to do (228 comments)

And what precisely of the watcher's is the watcher's can going to watch?

I'm so confused...

more than 4 years ago

NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

Akardam Re:Who is IPEX? (314 comments)

We used ASI at my last job. Given how seedy their will call area was (been there more'n a few times), and some other things that occured over the years, I can't say as I'm surprised by this.

more than 4 years ago

Intergalactic Race Shows That Einstein Still Rules

Akardam Re:Planck length (227 comments)

... the Planck length would be about as long as a tall cedar tree.

I prefer to measure my Plank lengths in redwood or pine, myself.

Oh, wait...

more than 4 years ago

US Pentagon Plans For a Spy Blimp

Akardam Re:Laser (374 comments)

Perfectly aware, and I was using a figure of speech. However, explain to me how they're supposed to conduct repairs at 65,000'?

more than 5 years ago

US Pentagon Plans For a Spy Blimp

Akardam Re:Laser (374 comments)

It's amazing how trivial those problems are compared to protecting a blimp at 65,000'.


"If the ABL achieves its design goals, it could destroy liquid-fueled ICBMs up to 600 km away. Tougher solid-fueled ICBM destruction range would likely be limited to 300 km"

65,000' is just a hair under 20 kilometers. That's beans compared to what the ABL is supposed to be able to do against a smaller, much faster moving target, from a mobile platform. You might need a stronger laser than the ABL carries, but as I said before, most blimps aren't particularily tough.

more than 5 years ago

US Pentagon Plans For a Spy Blimp

Akardam Laser (374 comments)

Hmm. Large gas-filled object, presumably with a not overly-thick skin to keep the weight down. Ground based laser of sufficient power to pop a hole in the giant balloon.

Yeah, this is gonna work real well.

more than 5 years ago

What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives?

Akardam Re:That's two words (546 comments)

Wtf are "${1}" and "$2" supposed to be?

Perl, foo.

more than 5 years ago

What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives?

Akardam That's two words (546 comments)


Real geeks don't strip spaces - they use underscores :P

(Unless you're a JavaScript programmer in which case I'm terribly sorry...)

more than 5 years ago

What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives?

Akardam Re:Data safety with extreme prejudice using a hamm (546 comments)

One nice side effect, is the smashy smashy bit is a great stress reliever, just wear safety glasses and perhaps gloves.

In the case of a drive that really isn't prime for donation or repurosing (I'd rather see them reused than destroyed), I'll second this. It's also a great perk for a subordinate. One time we had a junior tech who was just having a hell of a week. I plucked an old 4gb scsi drive off the shelf, gave it to him, and said, take this out back and beat the crap out of it. When he came back in he had a huge grin on his face and he sure felt better about life.

more than 5 years ago

Human Exoskeletons Getting Closer

Akardam *sigh* Iternet ! build to be bomb proof... (198 comments)

The internet itself exists because the US military was seeking a way to maintain communications in the event that a major city was destroyed with an atomic bomb, causing a disruption in telephone communications.

Why, oh why do people keep trotting out this tired old myth?

The ARPANet wasn't created to survive a nuclear holocaust. Hey geniuses, it used common (though pricey and high speed) telco circuits - the same as carried telephone communications. They weren't hardened or anything like that. Explain to me how they'd stay put when everything else went kablooie?

The original purpose of the ARPANet was to allow resource sharing between research centers with computing resources that were being funded by and/or involved in defense level research. Even after the first dozen-odd IMPs (routers of their day, and amazingly only refrigerator sized, compared to the behemoths that they interconnected), they weren't even hardened.

Ironically, it would be over 20 years from the inception of the ARPANet that there would be a sufficiently large number of nodes and more imporantly links to give the Internet the level of robustness that might give it a reasonable chance of surviving an all out nuclear attack, the kind that people continually champion as its original raison d'être.

Anyone who's interested in learning more should really read the excellent book, _Where Wizards Stay Up Late_.

more than 5 years ago

How a Router's Missed Range Check Nearly Crashed the Internet

Akardam Re:FTA (196 comments)

Speaking of one typo away from disaster...


more than 5 years ago

Stop-Motion Modbook Upgrade Video

Akardam Congratulations, sir! (14 comments)

Your vocational test indicates you have excellent potential in... marketing!

Or children's entertainment.

more than 5 years ago

Google Earth 5.0 Silently Changes Update Policy

Akardam Re:Not only on MacOS X... (535 comments)

That still doesn't change the fact that there was a service entry (set to manual, but still) and that even if you did remove the task there's nothing to keep any Google app from reinstalling the task and going on as before.

more than 5 years ago

Google Earth 5.0 Silently Changes Update Policy

Akardam Not only on MacOS X... (535 comments)

On Windows myself, and I'd just updated to GE5, and found this this morning. Of course, no way to uninstall.

Deleted the service entries under HKLM/System/CCS. Rebooted, removed PF/Google/Updater/*

Removed inherited permissions on Updater and made the folder read-only (never thought I'd be truly thankfull for NTFS).

I totally disagree about this, but GE and GTalk seem to run ok with the above changes.

more than 5 years ago

Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do?

Akardam Snow? (1397 comments)

Just like my user name, I decided to go with the word "snow" in various languages. So far, I have my router chioni, server nix, desktop losse, and various other names for components. My wii is yuki, my xbox 360 is xue, my ipod touch is lumi. Beyond that I've also used "eira" and "schnee".

So... do you actually have something named "snow"?

more than 5 years ago

Volvo Introduces a Collision-Proof Car

Akardam A Moose... (743 comments)

... once got in the way of my sister's "crash-proof" Volvo.

Mind you, moose crashes can be pretty nasti...

more than 5 years ago


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