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The Ongoing Case of Rakofsky vs. Internet

Chmcginn Re:Suits, obviously (157 comments)

The current situation in the UK was on my mind when reading up on this case. It seems like, at least currently, in the US defamation and libel suits have a hard time proceeding except when it's incredibly blatant, or when the plaintiff has far more in the way of resources than the defendant. Having done a bit of business in the UK, and having a few relatives who've done a lot more, I've been getting the feeling that media there would be scared to do a lot of the things that media in the US currently takes for granted.

more than 3 years ago

The Ongoing Case of Rakofsky vs. Internet

Chmcginn Re:Why THAT link? (157 comments)

Several of his earlier posts had already been up on Slashdot when they were new last month. Though the previous posts have more information, it seemed odd to link to them after having gone there from the newer post.

more than 3 years ago

Egypt Shuts Off All Internet Access

Chmcginn Re:CQ? (840 comments)

Most countries have facilities in place to receive/record and triangulate most of all the signals passing through the air. It's pretty basic really.

And unless they're transmitting from the middle of nowhere, it's extremely hard to get a narrow enough search area to find one person with a radio setup that might be quite small. You might know that they're in a particular apartment complex, but without searching room-by-room, DF systems aren't good enough to get an exact location.

Even in the US, it takes quite a bit of effort (and some luck) to find people using a radio improperly. When I lived in Maryland, there was a guy who made fake distress calls via his marine radio on several weekends in a row. The state police & USCG narrowed the search area down to a fairly small area, but since it was in the middle of a marina, they couldn't determine which boat it was coming from. (He eventually got caught when someone who had been on the pier at the marina overhead him making the transmission.)

more than 3 years ago

Black Eyed Peas Member Joins Intel As Director

Chmcginn Re:Toshiba commercial (188 comments)

But T-Pain's on a boat!

more than 3 years ago

Self-Control In Kids Predicts Future Success

Chmcginn Re:Sample size (245 comments)

The only argument you can make is that there isn't a causal relationship.

Or that the sampling wasn't properly randomized.

more than 3 years ago

Ford Building Cars That Talk To Other Cars

Chmcginn So, AIS for cars? (239 comments)

Just like AIS, except in cars?

Except for the fact that the much-shortened reaction time in operating a car versus a ship makes that almost useless, that's a great idea!

more than 3 years ago

How many microprocessors are in your home, total?

Chmcginn Re:more than 20 is too many? (559 comments)

But all microcontrollers include a microprocessor.

more than 3 years ago

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees

Chmcginn Re:Where are those who dubbed wikileaks 'terrorist (410 comments)

Actually large-scale farms which want everything pollinated and thus ready for harvest in one go purchase the services of large-scale beekeepers, which drive farmed bees to the area in hive trucks and leave them there while they pollinate. By the time they die off it's mission accomplished, and growing bees artificially wherever you want isn't under threat like the naturally occurring bees that pollinate wild flowers.

Except that it's the colonies used by commercial beekeepers that are among the hardest-hit by CCD, and their replenishment programs can't keep up with the loss. If a cure for CCD can't be found, in a few years the supply of hives will be lower than the demand for pollination services.

more than 3 years ago

I typically read about __ books per year.

Chmcginn Re:Datasheets don't count (363 comments)

But a 200 page novella does?

I've always disliked the 'number of books read' metric. I could re-read all 38 Discworld books in about the same amount of time it took to read the Night's Dawn trilogy.

more than 3 years ago

Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

Chmcginn Re:What do assumptions do again? (410 comments)

And even if the electricity did go up, the overall *energy* usage would be less than moving a ~4000 pound vehicle across ~50 miles (typical american commute).

Exactly. Although, I think maybe that was part of their 'this was in Britain, so YMMV' statement at the end.

If the average upper-middle-class British commute is much shorter, it could drive up transportation costs. If they originally lived two miles from the workplace when it was five days a week, and then when it became a once-a-week deal, they got a house 25 miles away, it might create more pollution than you saved. But most Americans who work jobs that can be telecommuted to already live quite a few miles away, so assuming they're going to move much further without some good evidence that is the case is silly.

about 4 years ago

Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

Chmcginn Not exactly (410 comments)

The amount of gasoline consumed is directly proportional to the weight being carried.

It's more like directly proportional to the total vehicle weight. A 5400 lb delivery vehicle is going to use a lot of fuel even if it's nearly empty.

about 4 years ago

Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

Chmcginn What do assumptions do again? (410 comments)

Not having the actual study, it's hard to say, but it seems like there's some big assumptions here.

For instance:

It also highlights that working from home can increase home energy use by as much as 30 per cent, and can lead to people moving further from the workplace, stretching urban sprawl and increasing pollution.

Sure, it's going to increase home electric usage. One would hope, though, that the employer doesn't keep all the equipment running - which means the majority of that is just being shifted, not created anew. As far as increasing pollution from transportation, that I don't get at all. Suppose I work from home three days a week. To spend the same amount on driving, I'd need to move two and a half times as far away. And even then, I probably wouldn't, since it would mean more highway miles and less downtown miles. How many people are going to move from a twenty-mile commute to a fifty-mile commute just because they're working from home Tuesday - Thursday this year?

And if the employer set up the work-from-home program permanently, they can get a smaller building since they know 60% or more or staff is home every non-meeting day. So then there's likely very little extra electric usage.

about 4 years ago

72% of US Adults Support Violent-Game Ban For Minors

Chmcginn Why not go one step further? (478 comments)

But who gets to classify 'ultraviolent' vs. 'violent' vs. 'comic violence'? If it's an industry body, then there's the same kinds of conflict of interest that leads to independent films getting 'worse' ratings than big studio releases. And the last thing we need is an Australia-style government run ratings board.

The obvious solution is to prevent children under 18 from buying any media at all. That way it's a content neutral restriction, and all the responsibility for what kids are playing, reading, or watching falls on the parent.

about 4 years ago

Icons on my (computer) desktop:

Chmcginn Re:Desktop? More like junk drawer (384 comments)

My Windows boot just has shortcuts for the two or three games I'm currently playing, and to the directories for .mod files for each of them.

My Linux boot is much the same as yours, with about three 'permanent' desktop residents, and the rest of the space used for things I am or should be working on right then.

Once it's hard to find something, I'll sort through them all and put them in appropriate filing locations, and then start filling it back up.

about 4 years ago

Some Windows Apps Make GRUB 2 Unbootable

Chmcginn Separate drives (429 comments)

After several hair-pulling incidents where Windows ate my bootloader, I changed my dual-boot configuration to two separate bootable drives. So rather than using GRUB to decide which OS I'm booting into, the BIOS stops on boot-up to ask whether I want to boot off the Western Digital or the Seagate drive.

about 4 years ago

Monetizing Free-To-Play Gaming Models

Chmcginn Came here to post this example... (164 comments)

I think part of it is that KOL is very light on the PvP aspect, and it can be opted out of entirely without missing much. If PvP was a bigger part of the game, though, I think you'd see a much bigger gap between those who donate & those who don't.

more than 4 years ago

NASA Universe-Watching Satellite Losing Its Cool

Chmcginn Low Production Numbers (153 comments)

It's not just the rovers. Despite some genuinely newsworthy fuckups, when NASA gets it right -- which is most of the time -- they usually do a stellar job, pun intended.

That's mostly a function of how they operate. When you're only going to produce one or two of a particularly complex device that you can't touch after it starts working, it's generally either going to work great (because you spent a whole lot of time making sure everything was perfect) or fail completely (because you missed that one important detail and turned it into a cloud of fine ash).

more than 4 years ago

Some LA Coffee Shops Are Taking Wi-Fi Off the Menu

Chmcginn Little to do with Wifi (312 comments)

This, exactly. Many coffee shops in the vicinity of college campuses have had time limits on how long you could sit long before they had free wi-fi.

I remember several of my dorm-mates complaining when the Hillsboro street Cup-A-Joe started asking people to leave after about an hour if they didn't order anything else.

more than 4 years ago

Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion

Chmcginn "Gulf-level war" (641 comments)

The only way that could have been closer is if he'd dropped the 'level'. And then it woulda been creepy.

more than 3 years ago

Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

Chmcginn Re:3M (646 comments)

Almost nobody refers to it as "the Xth decade of century Y", so being pedantic in this case just makes you wrong. They call it "the 80's" or "the 90's", which means it runs from Jan 1 YYX0 to Dec 31 YYX9.

more than 4 years ago



The Onggoing Case of Rakofsky vs. Internet

Chmcginn Chmcginn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Chmcginn (201645) writes "Joseph Rakofsky, a New Jersey lawyer whose claim to internet fame is filing a lawsuit against the Washington Post and the American Bar Association for criticizing his performance at a Washington, DC, murder trial, has amended his suit to include a number of bloggers and internet forum members — for criticizing the lawsuit. Which is a bigger threat to free speech — direct government action, or fear of lawsuits for frivolous defamation charges?"
Link to Original Source

Chmcginn Chmcginn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Chmcginn writes "Instapundit reports that a Tennesee woman, blogging about her & her husband's expierence with a "pay us first, then you get job placement assisstance", has recieved a takedown notice about her February 27 post, among others. Numerous other local & national blogs reporting on the same story — notably Qando's "How to Ruing your buisness in one easy step"."




Chmcginn Chmcginn writes  |  more than 6 years ago This is stupid. Email is supposed to be quick, not take days to get routed from the domain entry to my desktop.


I don't get it

Chmcginn Chmcginn writes  |  more than 7 years ago I really don't get where we're going. By "we" I mean "America", or maybe even "Western culture". Part of me sees the nearly-infinite promise of technology, and the possible end-states of humanity, a la the fictional worlds of Isaac Asimov or Iain M. Banks. The other part sees the various groups that care more about their own short-term prospects than the long-term health of humanity.

Extreme short-term thinking seems like a particularly nasty form of selfishness. Not only do people interested only in the short-term sell out other people, but they sell out themselves twenty, ten, or two years down the line.

Eh, I'm just ranting again. Nevermind me.



Chmcginn Chmcginn writes  |  more than 7 years ago Replying to this was exactly what I wanted you to do - there isn't a pm option on slashdot. I think I've got this set up so only you can see get to my journal entries now. Had to subscribe for a month to do that, though... grumble grumble. At least it's only five bucks.

I can't get on lj because I forgot my password, and I'd have to log into my email address to get it reset - which I can't do, because they block all web-based email services. It's dumb.

But we should be home pretty soon, so I suppose we can continue to deal with it... They have been sending you emails to keep you up on the situation, right? Somehow in the week that we had no internet, the email portion of the server got so backlogged that it won't do anything now. And apparently nobody on board knows how to fix it, so we're stuck like this till we get home.

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