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Comments

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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

BenJeremy Beware the monster you abide (135 comments)

It's a disease that needs to be stomped out, mercilessly. Allowing the NSA, DHS and CIA (hell, even the IRS, for that matter) to continue to operate as they are allowed to will swallow up the last vestiges of America and its dream.

The dystopia exists now but it's not too late to turn back.

3 hours ago
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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

BenJeremy Re:Syfylys passes on an actual classic (139 comments)

Exactly. I would do much the same as you.

I suspect there is a large number of science fiction fans that do not watch SyFy any more... they stream or watch the few shows they like from that network through on-demand and forego actually tuning into the network. I don't even know, off-hand, what the channel number is on my cable box.

They get good ratings for wrestling, but it has driven the fans away from the rest of the programming, which suffers because of it, and draws viewers that do not stick around for any other programming. The junk programming they have (Ghost Hunters type shows) is like going to a fine dining establishment to be served hamburger helper - it also drives away the base.

For every decent SyFy show on the air, there are three or four terrible ones. The Wil Wheaton Project is a great show, because he celebrates and respects the fandom, but when I watch it, I'm reminded of all the crap SyFy inflicts as well. At least it gives Wil some fodder to joke about.

2 days ago
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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

BenJeremy Syfylys passes on an actual classic (139 comments)

This is why you put an executive in charge of a channel that actually likes the genre. Bonnie Hammer only saw SciFi Channel as a stepping stone to a more mainstream network (USA), and installed another idiot who didn't really care for the shows they were peddling when she left.

They should be funding movies based on classics, whenever possible, instead of the crappy creature-of-the-week and pseudo-reality crap they shovel out every week. These days, its possible to deliver quality science fiction programming without busting your budget, too - but somebody at the top has to be motivated to deliver this to the fans (the network's viewer base), rather than dump garbage none of the fan base wants to see in order to draw more "mainstream" viewers.

2 days ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

BenJeremy Re:Is there an SWA Twitter police? (889 comments)

It must be nice to take a stranger's word and believe entirely in their side of a story.

This passenger intended to intimidate the gate agent for following the rules - that becomes obvious when you know he had to inform them of the tweet. It seems more likely that he was overbearing and pitching a bit of a fit, and the agent might have felt threatened.

There is a lot more to this story we will never know, but if you try and see it from the agent's perspective, you become aware of other possibilities - some of which are more likely. At this point, we only have the passenger's word that they threatened to call the police, and for that matter, the same can be said about removing the tweet.

Who's to say another agent suggested they call security over the guy ranting and throwing a tantrum over not being granted special privileges, and he realized what that meant, and suddenly decided to back down - until he could go to the press with his horror story after the fact (thus completing his threats and gaining his "revenge"); removing the tweet was just a temporary gesture to placate the agents that he had "calmed down" while he plotted to "expose the rude bitch" later. (Just a theory here)

about a week ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

BenJeremy So SW Agent was following the passenger's tweets? (889 comments)

Not really likely, right?

So logically, the agent had to be informed that the passenger was making his angry tweet, which, as you imply, the passenger was actually using the tweet to blackmail the agent into bending the rules for him.

I think it is very key, and very telling that this is not addressed in the story. There is no way for Southwest employees at that gate to have known this guy tweeted anything, without the passenger informing of it, and once we get to that obvious fact, to what end was he doing this? The obvious reason is to intimidate the agent he felt was "rude" - which seems rather petulant.

Now it gets more interesting if you start to wonder if there was a reason why the agent threatened to call the police on this guy... was it an overreaction, or was this passenger just being such an incredibly overbearing, pompous ass in his blackmail attempt, that the agent felt threatened? It might be that they never requested him to remove the tweet, but were instead responding to his petulant tantrum.

I can easily see it playing out that he was informed he needed to calm down and back off or they would call security. We only have his word that they threatened to have him arrested, and that he had to remove the tweet... it seems more reasonable, knowing this passenger intended to intimidate the agents, that he was in a threatening posture, and realizing he was about to get a royal TSA probing, "calmed down" and offered to remove his tweet as a gesture - all the while plotting to tell the story we see presented here, in all of its one-sided glory.

I hate to side either way on this story, but I'm more inclined, given this key missing item of the story, to believe that the "more to this story" involved the passenger being a LOT more in the wrong than the gate agent.

about a week ago
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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

BenJeremy Headphone cables from thin air! (115 comments)

My phone does this, it's called "Speaker mode"

Seriously, saying "fiber optic cables from thin air" is an idiotic statement. IR remotes have been doing this for decades, and using lasers to do so has also been done for ages.

about a week ago
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Researchers Design Bot To Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

BenJeremy Great... (102 comments)

...that's all I need, an avatar to browbeat me for an hour over my poor credit history that is partially due to my poorly-paid job working on a government contract.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

BenJeremy Acquisitions (272 comments)

HP has over 317,000 employees, thanks in large part to acquisitions - Microsoft is no different here.

Lots of redundancies can be eliminated (unfortunately for those employees) - and in some ways, this is a very bad thing. As monopolies grow, they are able to be more efficient and eliminate jobs. We don't stop and think about the fact that in a massive conglomerate corporation place once stood several competing corporations that meant competition (lower prices, better service to consumers) and more jobs - but of course, less return to investors and less pay to executives.

This is a troubling trend, as the American Dream is snuffed and the middle class finds itself dwindling deeper into poverty, while the richest seem to work tirelessly to increase that gap. I'm no socialist or communist, but it occurred to me the goal of these assholes wasn't to get richer - that's something that happens when you are that rich anyway - it is to make the rest of us poorer.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

BenJeremy Save even more bandwidth for facebook users! (129 comments)

Take all landscape photos and crop 33% of the space on the left side and 33% on the right side. I see they already do this to widescreen videos taken on smart phones.

I just saved 66% of their bandwidth, and made the images more appealing to hipsters and guidos!

about two weeks ago
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Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

BenJeremy The impact of copyright enforcement (214 comments)

The monetary costs of "fighting piracy" is probably far greater than any actual losses. With international treaties, lobbying, investigation, prosecution, lawsuits, direct enforcement (police raids) as well as countless millions handed over to worthless organizations like the MPAA in this effort, the industry and society in general spends more to fight this phantom menace than is prudent.

Of course, common sense would tell us to stop being dumbasses, but there is an entire industry built around "copyright enforcement" and that scam involves too much money to give up anytime soon.

about two weeks ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

BenJeremy The real problem here... (353 comments)

...is that instead of "saving" you on premiums, it will only be used as an excuse to tack on more to your premiums.

We already see this with credit ratings. Having trouble paying your bills, even though you pay your car insurance on time? Here's a nice 20% price hike to punish you.

This is the way this always works, particularly with an industry that you are legally mandated to do business with.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

BenJeremy Change Jobs? (282 comments)

Once every 56 years?

Too soon?

about a month ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

BenJeremy Should have filed in Nevada (346 comments)

...and used Microsoft's legal team. They would have gotten the gmail.com and google.com domains and then it would just have been a matter to use Microsoft name servers to commit a DoS attack against gmail's hackers, erm, users.

The Federal judges in Nevada are suckers for a good story, I hear, even if it's blatantly false.

about a month ago
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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

BenJeremy Streisand effect (239 comments)

"Right to be forgotten" works great for some already-anonymous person... not so much for CEOs or other 1%ers.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

BenJeremy Re:Hijacking Business (495 comments)

Try finding the damn tech support number at Microsoft... for those who are affected, call this number and ask for "Operator": 800-642-7676

At least voicing our angry concerns, and failing any resolution (that won't really happen, but perhaps we can overload their ticket system), call their legal and corporate affairs office (425-706-7863, in the parent post).

I was directed to the "Pro support team" - if they try and sell me Azure services I am going to freak. That's just outright illegal - hijacking and shutting down a competitor to sell business?!?!? I don't care if that is the unintended effect - it is still incredibly unethical and illegal.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

BenJeremy Affected me (495 comments)

I don't serve anything important... but I usually post images through my local server and upload to imgur "through the web" - it took several retries when I tried to do this a short while ago, and now I know why.

Thanks, Microsoft.... you can't just take over no-ip and then run it through crap servers that can't handle the loads.

about a month ago
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On the Significance of Google's New Cardboard: An Idea Worth Recycling

BenJeremy Re:Don't forget these (42 comments)

The only thing these really need added is an LED to aid head tracking with a web cam.

about a month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

BenJeremy Re:Where's my medal? (192 comments)

Yeah, I got a couple of those during my time in. I did a few things to improve productivity and spent a lot of time teaching people how to use PCs (The amazing, Tempest-certified Z-248! Running Enable!). I think I had performed over 200 one-on-one classes in the ~3 years I was at that particular unit.

Tweaked the EDL-based print spooler we ran to get print from Camp Lejeune so we could store more than 65,535 lines of print (hmmmm maybe it was 255 lines)... that made it possible for the "night shift" person to come in @ 5am and still get all the print off and ready by 7am... before, we had to start at 10pm to get the same amount of work done. It seems that both communications and printing were faster if they weren't performed at the same time, by at least an order of magnitude.

about a month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

BenJeremy Where's my medal? (192 comments)

I wrote a nice database system to track inventory cards and print out cards that were pretty much identical to the forms our S-4 used back in the late 80s in the Marine Corps. It was much better than the system they had used - which relied on removing old cards, and filling out, by hand, all new cards every time a piece of equipment was checked out or checked in. It helped alot with leakage... and worse, with equipment that was supposedly checked out, but had actually been checked in (and the Marine would then have to incur replacement cost).

There were other things I worked on, but this one had a significant impact on our effectiveness as a logistics unit.

about a month ago
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FAA Bans Delivering Packages With Drones

BenJeremy Always thought this was a joke anyway (199 comments)

Seriously... who the frack thought this would EVER be practical? It's like that nonsense "beer delivery" drone - except there was no way that drone could deliver a 6-pack, let alone a case of bottled beer to anybody. Range, payload, maintenance, control, and fuel all mean a big "NO" to delivering packages by "drone" for at least the next few decades.

It's a JOKE. Apparently, a brilliant one, because slashdotters still believe that something useful could be delivered in a practical manner this way.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Adobe trolls slick dealers

BenJeremy BenJeremy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

BenJeremy (181303) writes "This morning, lots of bargain hunters awoke to great news: Adobe was offering their Creative Suite 2 for free, just for registering an Adobe account! Download links and serial numbers on Adobe's web site seemed to confirm the news, as "hot deal" sites and even Forbes published the news. The plug was pulled a few hours later as horrified Adobe employees discovered they had inadvertently exposed a web page intended to help Adobe customers (who were already licensed) deal with activation servers that Adobe shut down on December 15.

One would hope Adobe would simply say "we meant to do that, here you go, have fun with the old version of Creative Suite and consider purchasing a newer version" but it doesn't look like they will do that."

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