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Comments

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NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 GPUs

Ash Vince Re:Only 4 displays, sticking to AMD. (125 comments)

If I had that setup at home, I'd find the fucking postage stamp I'm allocated at work to be insufferable.

Sounds like you work for a crap employer. Most companies nowadays recognise that developers are far more productive with at least 2 monitors. Where I work we all have 2 dell monitors attached to a laptop docking station for our company issue laptop so we can actually use 3 screens if you don't mind one being smaller than the other two.

If I had that setup at work, I'd have to drop a few grand to duplicate it at the house.

Why? Personally I try and avoid working unpaid hours from home, if it was part of my job requirement then I would want the company to buy be the necessary gear.

I don't mind the off bit of being on call to reboot servers and such, but that hardly requires anything more than a laptop screen.

about two weeks ago
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NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 GPUs

Ash Vince Re:Only 4 displays, sticking to AMD. (125 comments)

Can only drive up to 4 displays , pretty much any AMD card can drive 6 displays. I don't want to play games but want more screen real estate for software development.

Then why look at this card at all? You must be able to get something FAR cheaper if all you want is 2d real estate for software development. Wouldn't 2 or 3 cheaper cards be a far better purchase, even if you needed to buy a new motherboard to support it.

about two weeks ago
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KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Ash Vince Re:Some criticism (184 comments)

This is the sort of criticism that software developers really need to get, and it seems good that maybe KDE is listening. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if a lot of people respond to this by saying the criticisms are stupid, that "if you know what you're doing" then you'll understand what's really going on, etc.

Ifr they were listening they would fix this crap. The problem though is that the stuff he points out all seems like the sort of horrible boring drivel that most devs hate fixing. they want to work on new features that are fun to implement, not digging through tons of other peoples code and all you see at the end is a few dialog boxes not being displayed when they don't make sense to.

This is one of the reasons why commercial software generally does this sort of thing much better, because you can assign this bug to someone then tell them their bonus depends on it getting fixed this sprint.

Doing that with unpaid devs is more tricky :)

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Ash Vince Re:Does HFCS count? (294 comments)

Pop quiz, hot shot?
Why do those subsidies exist? what did they replace?
You don't know, do you?

The US subsidizes its own farming industry in order to enable it to compete with the third world where people work for peanuts. Europe does the same.

about two weeks ago
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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

Ash Vince Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (385 comments)

This is making init do stuff it doesn't need to do, which makes it more complex, which makes it more fragile.

This whole argument seems to be based around the idea that systemd is trying to do something that you do not want: make bootup a more efficient process as more things can be started in parallel. Ok, the trade off is that solving this is a complex problem so it does introduce more complexity.

The question is though, at what point would a system boot too slowly to force you to start acknowledging that this is an issue?

Linux boots have been getting slower and slower for as long as I can remember even though the hardware is getting faster. When it starts taking closer to 2 or 3 minutes to boot to a working desktop would you ever acknowledge that this problem needs fixing? I have a feeling that most people who are against this sort of work simply never reboot their machine so would be happy with it taking 5 or 10 minutes to boot, the problem though is the most people do seem to care about this, especially people who use linux desktops and do not want it to look like something 20 years old.

In my case, I have to cold boot my PC at least once everyday because I use full disk encryption mandated by my employer. That means i also have to do a full shut down if I am out and about and putting it back in my bag. Every time I stop using it, it needs a full shutdown so the encryption key is definitely out of memory. So for me, a faster boot is useful and saves me time.

I do not want to sacrifice a working system to obtain that, but I do want people to look at how they can solve this problem, even if it results in something slightly more complicated. All software and hardware has been getting more complicated as they hardware has become more powerful. Once upon a time nobody cared about multitasking, now any OS without it would be useless on the average PC. Surely enabling multitasking as early on in the boot process for as much as possible is actually a good thing now most PC's have 4 or more cores.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Ash Vince Re:Experience counts (232 comments)

I would love to have at least one of those fearful devs to handle documentation.

Could you elaborate a bit on that? Because it kinda sounds like you're a tyrant. Why would anyone welcome fear, without being a tyrant?

The problem is that there is the other side of the coin to people who spend their whole life documenting and avoiding writing code, that is developers who just churn out tons of code say "hey, i don't need o write documentation as the code is easy to read". The problem with this approach is twofold:

1) Your are nearly always a poor judge of your own code, in terms of how straightforward it is. Of course, you understand it, you wrote it. It needs to be reviewed and the reviewer should also determine if it needs any additional documentation. Also, big pieces of work should actually be designed beforehand, at least in broad strokes, and the design should be included in the documentation and kept up to date with any changes during implementation.

2) It requires someone to look at the code in depth to understand what bits they need to change if any future amends are required. You should always be aiming to write code that is as straight forward as possible for a developer who is new to the project to pick up. A large part of that is making sure they can start looking at the right bit of code they need to change when given a project easily without it taking up your, or another developers time. If you give them a head start by having things like design diagrams, database schema and other documentation then your team becomes more productive as a result, even as people rotate into and out of it.

Having someone who loves writing documentation of your team can be very valuable if the documentation they produce is good.

(Disclaimer: I hate writing docs, if someone else wants to do it for me and the docs they produce are half decent I will cover for them and say how great they are to management. If I don't have anyone like that on my team I just slog through them bitching about how much I hate documenting stuff, even though I know it needs doing)

about two weeks ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

Ash Vince Re:One of those strange rules of war. (180 comments)

That brings up a good point. That is probably why the government automatically deducts taxes from the paychecks of most employees.

Then maybe your duty even extends to things like civil disobedience to try and obstruct you government from behaving in this way? I am not sure I actually agree with this, but I do understand people who do.

There is an interesting side point to this though with regard to Israel in that US taxpayers do help foot the bill to pay for their armed forces. They also pay a sizable amount to Egypt to keep the military there Israel friendly and maintain the blockade of Gaza.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrar...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl...

Does this make US citizens compliant also for the deeds of the Israeli armed forces? $3.1 billion is quite a lot after all.

Of course the problem with this argument is that in many cases the US taxpayer simply has no idea what their money is spent on.

about two weeks ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

Ash Vince Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (180 comments)

Be that as it may, laws that are not enforced or do not have penalties for infraction that are enforced are meaningless.

Not true. Often laws are in place to provide cover for those who want to engage in activities the laws sound like they should prevent. For instance if you have a law that has a few well crafted loopholes then the people engaging in activities that may not fall under a technical definition of the law but are certainly against its spirit can point at the law and say "hey, we are following all relevant laws so we are the good guys".

about two weeks ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Ash Vince Re:Seems reasonable (462 comments)

As far as i know, its the only Consitutions which specificly warns of giving excessive powers to government, and thus allso specifies a sollution for it via militias, and gun ownership etc.

i am not an amierican, so i may be wrong here.
Still, it doesnt seem to have helped them thus far ;)

Gun ownership is a big con when it comes to preventing crap like this. The problem is that the government will always have more people, who are better trained with bigger guns unless a sizeable part or the population come to their senses. Gun ownership might help prevent a foreign aggressor from taking over, but it does precious little to prevent a government from manipulating its own populace into putting up with their corruption.

The reality of the US is that the corporations have long since bought all the news media and are very adept at using it to push the population into electing the politicians who they want in power. Recently this has actually been accentuated with the complete relaxation of the campaign financing laws as politicians need lots of rich backers to get elected. This money is actually an investment though, as the politicians then have to pay the people who provide it far more attention than their own voters.

about three weeks ago
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LLVM 3.5 Brings C++1y Improvements, Unified 64-bit ARM Backend

Ash Vince Re:The FSF/GNU folks overreached with GPL v3 ... (99 comments)

The FSF/GNU folks overreached with GPL v3. They overestimated their importance, pushed a little too hard, and get spanked by Darwin. Both the scientist and the kernel.

Gcc being displaced was bound to happen. When politics guide engineering the long term is doubtful.

Unfortunately this is a pretty spot on assessment of the situation in my mind.

Ok, It was annoying that companies were starting to find ways to use OS technology as center pieces in their products and not opening all of their source code to let people tinker with it. The problem their though is that in some cases if they did that then they would reveal too much about things like the underlying hardware that might be under NDA's forced upon them by other companies

Given enough time this sort of problem might have solved itself as companies slowly moved away from doing business in this way and embracing ideas that ultimately gave them long term benefit (ie: free code), but the GPL3 seemed a crude attempt to force too much change too quickly on business executives who have too much to lose, so are by that point in their careers too conservative.

about a month ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Ash Vince Re:Hamas are Terrorists (402 comments)

Is it Hamas, because the 'evil Jew' refuses to make peace? And because they were there before the Jews came? Is it the 'evil Jews", because they were there before the Ottoman Empire practically kicked them out if they didn't want to convert to Islam? At least here we know that Judaism existed first.

Just like the native american indians existed first in the US before they were fucked over by the european settlers who now rule the country and own all the land? if every country had to go back to the borders it had last time the Jewish people were actually in the promised land then the world would be very different. That is never going to happen though, and most people would not want it to.

The two state solution involves pretty much drawing the borders where they are now with the exception of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is sacred ground to Christianity, Islam and Judaism so the only fair option is that it is ruled by no single religion and is shared by all as the cradle of all religions. This is simply the only fair option.

Sure, there are extremists on the arab side who would like to drive into the sea, they have to realise that simply will not happen. There are also people within Israel though who view the promised land, as handed down to the Jews by god as sacred and that includes all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, these people also have to realise that driving that many Arabs from their current homes is also out of the question. Once all parties back away from these extremes only then will there be peace.

about 2 months ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Ash Vince Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Everyone can say whatever they want, but this much is worth repeating: If Hamas, etc., disarmed, there would be peace. If Israel disarmed, they would be utterly destroyed.

What utter crap. Who would destroy them?

Egypt is now a puppet state of the US, that is why the army threw the Muslim brotherhood out of power. Syria is too fucked to have a go at anyone, and most other countries nearby like Jordan would not want to do anything to upset the US. The only country that would consider attacking Israel now is Iran and they do not actually have a border with them.

The only people who still have a grievance with Israel are Gaza and Palestine, and they would never be in a position to use military force to take Israel back for the Arabs. The truth is that the only problem with Israel giving up its huge armed forces that the US subsidises is that they would have to stop expanding.

about 2 months ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Ash Vince Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

No, Israel has no territorial claim to Gaza strip.

Not everyone in Israel agrees with this. The hardcore Zionists consider it part of the promised land that was given to the Israelites by god.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference

Was it a personal income tax, or a capital gains tax?

I suspect the latter, which would explain why the very richest were not actually bothered all that much.

Income tax actually, although over here is there is less difference than you would think.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Even when people are supposedly more mobile, moving is a big thing for most people so they do not do it.

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference because while these sort of exceeding rich people might threaten to take their family somewhere else, but then when they talk to their wife and she refuses to move more than a 20 minute drive from her family and refuses to move the kids out of school and away from their friends.

as well as moving, people at that level can move their income elsewhere, pension it, or defer it to avoid the tax. Avoidance is not illegal (evasion is).

Key issue with the 50% rate is - did it raise 20% more money than the 40%, for incomes over 100k ? If not, then people _did_ move either themselves or their income, and the country's finances got less benefit.

HMRC reckons the income moved - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2... - chart on P28 is very interesting, 25% fall in total declared income over 150k, on the introduction of the tax. Other stats: before 50% tax rate 16,000 people with income over £1M, after - 6000. Gradually increased to 10,000 in following years, but that is still 6k people with 1M+ income who went somewhere else (at least 2Bn in tax they would have paid at 40% rate, gone).

Actually what happened was that many bankers deferred their bonus payments then took them after the rate was abolished. This means the stats are pretty worthless. If it had stayed on the books for a few more years it might have worked, but since people were allowed to just defer paying tax at the higher rate until after it was abolished we will never really know.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Crazy (778 comments)

. Case in point, gas stations used to employ yonge ppl in usa to wipe your windshield, check tire pressure, oil level and of course pump gas for you. With the govt created inflation and its political game to make it look like it cares and thus raising minimum wage over time these jobs disappeared.

What utter crap.

Part of the reason those jobs disappeared because people filling their cars up started being driven to buy the cheapest gas they could, that often meant going to gas stations where you served yourself. The end of the gas station attendant probably had more to do with the price of oil going up sharply in the 80's than minimum wage. People were forced to economise, but when the prices started going down again by then they were used to filling their cars up themselves so few businesses bothered moving back to the old system.

The other huge factor now is trust, and this is probably more important than minimum wage and the reason above. Back in the late 70s the only indicator of how much fuel you bought was on the pump. That nice fella who wiped your wind shield was actually doing it because you the business could not do without him, they needed him to use the pump so they knew how much fuel you used and how much to charge you. Once technology enabled the till in the store to be connected to the pump and CCTV to monitor the whole place and record the licence plate of anyone who drove off without paying the businesses realised that customers could be trusted to serve themselves.

This is just another example of technology doing someone out of a job .

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Minimum wage is actually minimum ability. It cannot extract non-existing money from small business, but it can prevent people with abilities that are below minimum wage from finding jobs

The assumes that business hires people it does not really need, they don't. Any sensible business hire the minimum number of people they need at any one time, there is a little bit of slack as businesses hold on to people they might not need now but might need in a month or two but that is usually a symptom of the cost to train someone up again if you let them go.

In light of this, all that happens when you raise minimum wage is that employers pay more and then have to raise their prices a little to cover it. If a business lets someone go as a result of the minimum wage increasing then that business must be able to do with out them anyway, or they are right on the edge of bankruptcy and are letting someone go who they cannot do without, but in my experience businesses like that are doomed anyway since they are clearly not profitable anyway.

None of this is to say that large increases in the minimum wage would be a good idea, but a slight increase to cover inflation is not going to do anywhere near as much harm as the media make out. Of course very few news outlets in the US put this view across though because they are generally owned by people who are very rich and will have to pay their cleaners and nannies more if the minimum wage goes up.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Moving to the state whose laws work best for you may work for people who can move, but I expect the people affected by these laws are pretty closely representative of the set of people who can't move.

Even when people are supposedly more mobile, moving is a big thing for most people so they do not do it.

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference because while these sort of exceeding rich people might threaten to take their family somewhere else, but then when they talk to their wife and she refuses to move more than a 20 minute drive from her family and refuses to move the kids out of school and away from their friends.

A few years ago I wanted to move to the states as there were few companies that I could have worked for that might have appreciated a few niche skills I had picked up in their field. Although I would have been a ton financially better off in the states and we could have bought a much bigger house to start a family in than the 3 bedroom London house we have now, my wife would not have moved that far away from the family support. I could have explained how the US tax code would have benefited us until I was blue in the face but she simple wouldn't have cared enough to pay attention.

The idea that people will move is just a scare story that the rich use to try and maintain the ability to pay less in taxes or employers use to justify being able to pay as little in wages as possible.

about 2 months ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

The entire Israel is "land that has been stolen from others", depending on who you ask (e.g. Hamas believes that to be the case). So if Israel stops expanding, or even lets go of most of what it took after 1948, the rockets won't stop flying.

I personally think that if Israel stopped tearing down Palestinian homes and agreed to the immediate formation of a Palestinian state with borders that were where they are now then peace could be attainable. The huge problem though is that many Zionist Jews would find that utterly unacceptable as it as such a departure from the promised land as it was given to the Jews by god.

I don't think Israel needs to tear down a single settlement, just promise not to build any more and then actually live up to that promise for a year or two.

about 2 months ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (379 comments)

Their not allowed to repair the buildings as concrete is on the list of goods that Israel prevents from being imported:

Seriously? Let's think about this:

He says if Hamas stops with the rockets, they can use the money to make repairs to buildings.
You say "but they can't fix stuff because they can't get concrete".
Israel says they can't import concrete because they keep launching rockets.

Hrm. I don't know about you, but I think I see a solution somewhere in there.

Even during the last ceasefire the blockade was still in effect so it is not as simple as you suggest.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Bleszinski: "I'll never make another disc-based game"

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  about 7 months ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "Ex-Epic design chief Cliff Bleszinski has had it with disc-based games.

In a new interview with Gamasutra, the former Gears of War designer said he wanted to make a PC game in the modern online environment that allows creators to have closer relationships with their players."

Link to Original Source
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Save MySQL petition

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "A petition has been started which aims to try and ensure an open source future for MySQL after the acquisition of SUN by Oracle.

In April 2009, Oracle announced that it had agreed to acquire Sun. Since Sun had acquired MySQL the previous year, this would mean that Oracle, the market leader for closed source databases, would get to own MySQL, the most popular open source database.

If Oracle acquired MySQL on that basis, it would have as much control over MySQL as money can possibly buy over an open source project. In fact, for most open source projects (such as Linux or Apache) there isn't any comparable way for a competitor to buy even one tenth as much influence. But MySQL's success has always depended on the company behind it that develops, sells and promotes it. That company (initially MySQL AB, then Sun) has always owned the important intellectual property rights (IPRs), most notably the trademark, copyright and (so far only for defensive purposes) patents. It has used the IPRs to produce income and has reinvested a large part of those revenues in development, getting not only bigger but also better with time."

Link to Original Source
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Subversion for Database Changes

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "Where I work we have recently moved to subversion to manage our codebase. We have been running it for several months and have now had a number of successful releases of our software using it. As far as source code management it seems to do everything we need but since the application we provide is heavily database reliant we need something to track changes to both table structure and content of certain tables.

Since we cannot be the only people in this situation what solutions have other people come up with to fill this gap. At present we have been using a text file containing the SQL which we then keep in our subversion repository. This just about does what we need but seems a bit messy. Is there a better solution out there?

(In case its relevant we use MySQL as a database server)"

Journals

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Google Blocks Pings

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Google are now not responding to pings from the outside world so all of us who ping their servers to check if the internet is up now have to find any something else to ping instead.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a decent site you can ping to see if your local internet connection has crashed?

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Slashdot - Are you getting paid to read it?

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  about 7 years ago

After reading the Media Defender email leak recently it got me wondering as to how many other companies actually pay their employees to read slashdot. In the case of media defender it seems as though they pay staff to read it but probably don't mind them posting the occasional comment as at one point they talk about a comment being friendly and ask if it was one them posting it.

This led me to wonder how many people actually read and post on slashdot through choice nowadays. Now don't get me wrong, this is not one of those moaning posts where people just carp on about dupes and the like, but I am curious as to how many other companies might have people in their public relations departments reading slashdot, digg and other tech sites to keep them appraised of how well received a particular campaign or product is.

We know there was the whole Intel section recently but alot of companies that are currently less well liked here amongst the regular users (I can think of one in Redmond in particular) would not want to draw any attention to their staff involvement, even if it was only supposed to be in an observational capacity. This also assumes that if you paid staff to read slashdot all day they would be able to resist the urge to post the occasional comment.

Then there are all the strangely modded comments. Even if you were only supposed to READ slashdot, if you happened to log in one day and noticed you had some points, would you not be tempted to use them? The more paranoid amongst us might even realise it would be possible to write a script which looked at a number of different slashdot accounts and inspected the HTML after they were logged in and flagged any that did have mod points. And this is assuming the captcha prevents automated account creation and has not been defeated as well.

If I was getting paid to read slashdot, I would not mind spending a few minutes each day signing up a new account. Then at the end of the day the account gets entered into a database and as soon as the random mod points come round, bingo. I would be very surprised if I am the first person to realise how easily this could be achieved.

Some of you regular readers will also remember that someone recently wrote an algorithm to rate how reliable an article on wikipedia is (http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/31/0259224&from=rss). So does anyone out there have any ideas how we would do this for slashdot to flag up corporate trolls in a similar way? Then they might me able to read, but any regular posting be counter productive if the site could flag your posts with who was paying you.

On another similar note, could any of the paid readers here tell me how they got into the gig, as I would really like to get paid to sit about and read slashdot too.

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