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Comments

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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

DutchUncle Re:The real crime here (404 comments)

... people who use violence tend to have minds better able to shut off emotions and critical thought as needed, whether than need is for 10 minutes while shooting and robbing someone ...

I believe you have a logical fallacy here. Maybe some people *like* to hurt others and/or enforce dominance over others, and rather than shutting off emotions and critical thought during the act are actually enjoying it. Maybe that's why they do it in the first place, even more than the monetary reward (after all, the contents of the average wallet hardly seem worth a life).

yesterday
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

DutchUncle Think how fast babies grow. Obviously intrinsic! (174 comments)

Disclosure: wife's paternal aunt and mother, and my grandfather and mother, all died of various cancers. IANA cancer expert but I've read a lot.
I have always figured that cancer isn't about "runaway growth"; it's about the failure of whatever STOPS that childhood growth and keeps adults stable. Curing the body's ability to reproduce cells would be curing the ability to heal and replace and continue living. The best I expect to see is a way to put "safety brakes" in the system so that a person can continue living longer with very-slowly-growing cancer. Eventually, anything that lives, dies; it's just about timing and quality/functionality of life while you're living.

2 days ago
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

DutchUncle Re:Now what could go wrong? (376 comments)

From the ISP point of view, how much of a percentage do I get from this extortion racket, and how do I write my advertising to focus my customers' irritation on Rightscorp so they don't realize we're collaborating?

3 days ago
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Nuclear Regulator Hacked 3 Times In 3 Years

DutchUncle Words matter: email "coerced" someone? (66 comments)

"phishing emails that coerced NRC employees" . . . Email doesn't FORCE a person to do something, or COMPEL obedience. Convince, mislead, trick, confuse someone into doing something, sure. My point is, don't blame the emails - assume that something labeled "nuclear" is a tempting target - blame people ignorant enough (or blame training so insufficient) as to fall for such a ruse, and security lax enough to let the action occur.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

DutchUncle Re:Mosaic (413 comments)

Oddly, not original. I worked for a company specializing in a particular business utility segment, the market leader in mainframe software at the time, which was contracted by a minicomputer company to release a version of the business utility for that minicomputer line. Flat fee plus royalty on sales, and the item was already on the price list. The guy who negotiated that contract got a big bonus. What nobody realized until 2 years later was that to support an iron-clad policy of never discounting their hardware, the minicomputer salespeople had flexibility to discount *software* - like, say, utilities. Our product, 10x or more the performance of the previous in-house release, was sold for a dollar. Another layoff story. :-)

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

DutchUncle Re:Don't do it (154 comments)

Second the motion. Though my herniated discs may be in different positions than yours. A recliner is very comfortable while I'm still, and then when I try to get up I pay for it.

about a week ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

DutchUncle Re:My main concern ... (304 comments)

At the end of the day, it is humans that control the bots.

I'm picturing you delivering this speech from a lectern in a 1950s sci-fi movie, and right at the end of this sentence the music gets really foreboding. And maybe even some heckler asks: "Yes, but for how long?"

about a week ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

DutchUncle Re:Arthur C. Clarke called it a long time ago (304 comments)

And at what point do they realize, like offshore workers, that they don't really need the managers?

about a week ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

DutchUncle Re:We need to push full time hours down with force (304 comments)

But do you really want bob to be working 0 hours and have jack working 60-80 all the time?

Well . . . if bob is incompetent and turns out shoddy work, and jack is excellent at what he does, I'd rather hire jack. Certainly any /.er has seen the debates about the 10x programmer; we all know people who can't cook and people who can, or people who can make music and people who you would pay to stay silent. I used to carpool with a woman engineer who bought inexpensive clothing and re-tailored it so that she looked 1000% couture; I, on the other hand, can just about fix a button on my shirt. There's a bell curve in every skill, and at least 50% of bobs and jacks are below average.

about a week ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

DutchUncle Re:Energy (304 comments)

Welcome to the Matrix. Why not use it for good? There was a science fiction story from the 60s or 70s about elderly infirm being plugged in to fantasy virtual worlds as their bodies were tended to, with the concern that their minds seemed to be going - until someone "visiting" an elder relative retired professor (using a temporary headset) realizes that her mind is going because she's BORED. Policy change time! The next time he "visits", the elder is working papers and calculator at a desk with a blackboard behind her (hey, old story), doing real and practical work in the purely mental domain, unencumbered by the condition of her real-world body. They go to "dinner" with a wave of a hand: "Oh, I know the food's not there, but it feels like it tastes good, and besides, this place has live music!" because other electronic citizens are "playing". It's not quite the Singularity, but it's heading there.

about a week ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

DutchUncle Surprising there are still so many things to find (164 comments)

It's one thing to read about finding traces of ancient civilization using new RADAR and LIDAR technology over the South American jungle, a huge area where ground travel is rare and difficult; it's another to find "new" ancient ruins (not so ruined!) in a mostly modern country like Greece. Also, as with so many other constructs, impressive to see how much was done with sheer muscle power (including animals) and what we consider a low level of technology.

about a week ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

DutchUncle What about seeing MORE colors? (267 comments)

There was a science fiction story in Analog, many years ago, involving one character who could supposedly "read auras" when seeing someone in person. The punch line [spoiler alert!] was that this character saw further into the infrared than normal, and saw the patterns of blood flow on the face and skin, like a visual polygraph.

Just as some people have perfect pitch while others are tone-deaf, and others might have the equivalent with color sensitivity, how many people might have such extended ranges - nothing weird or alien, just the edges of the bell curve into the red or the violet?

about two weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

DutchUncle Re:I am not colorblind (267 comments)

Color sensitivity can also be affected by many medications. The best-known effect of ED pills making vision blue is not at all unique. Worse, some of these effects can become permanent, and neither doctors nor patients are aware of this. Any change in color vision after starting or changing medications should be reported to your doctor, and if the doctor doesn't care, I would find another doctor.

about two weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

DutchUncle Re:Different colors (267 comments)

Absolutely! Get the high-index plastic, and then get progressive lenses (I'm old), and there's aberration all over the place. The blue and red Bank of America logo is particularly annoying when lit; as I turn my head, the smaller section moves relative to the larger section. The problem is that if I wore glass, they would be Coke bottle bottoms.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer

DutchUncle Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (138 comments)

As a sysadmin, running the current version -1 is the safe bet for most businesses. The problem is that few businesses have an upgrade path, policy or methodology so you end up being current version -2 or -3 ...

That tradition goes back to mainframes. One difference is that in the IBM mainframe days, a "version" came out every blue moon, thoroughly tested by an itty bitty monopoly, and justifying similar thorough testing by users; whereas today a "version" can arrive every few days (or faster for people who watch commits to the archive) and testing would almost be continuous.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

DutchUncle Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (430 comments)

... generate documentation based on the specifications and requirements.

What are these strange and mystic words you use?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

DutchUncle Re:Nothing (430 comments)

It's like if your car wasn't acting right, and you took it to a mechanic, and he told you, "just read the fucking manual you idiot." Of course, that doesn't happen, because most-if-not-all mechanics aren't so arrogant they think everyone should know how to fix their own car.

Take it to the next step: Mechanics have realized that the benefit of others not knowing how to fix cars is that Mechanics have a skill for which they can ask to be paid. They can be as arrogant as they want about their superior car knowledge, as long as they don't tick off the paying customers. The programmer who has thrown his incomplete hack on a server and called it FOSS is not getting paid, and sees no reason to put in any "extra" effort.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

DutchUncle Re:Nothing (430 comments)

If I might review your scenario from a slightly different perspective, we might see why Linux has still not taken over the desktop.

The programmer has implemented something that doesn't fully work, because it's "good enough" and/or the programmer can't be bothered to make it right. The writer, like a normal user, is surprised when a casual experiment fails dismally. The programmer might (in a dream world) be embarrassed by the poor quality of his/her work, or (more likely) reacts with anger at the implied accusation of low quality (rather than accept the input as a feature request/prioritization), which anger is reflected back by the writer inferring that the programmer is not just uncaring but incompetent.

Someone offering to handle documentation *is* offering an altruistic gift of time and effort, just like any other open source contributor, though expecting gratefulness is sort of hopeless, mainly because most programmers would *not* see the documentation as an aspect of the project at all, but as a separate afterthought.

Normal people want stuff to work, and they don't want to remanufacture stuff first to make it work. Normal people assume that "published" or "released" stuff is ready to be used, not an experiment or a hobby project. Yes, they're getting stuff for free; but they're still comparing it against other stuff where people worked on the dull parts as well as the fun parts.

about three weeks ago
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Fork of open-source Remastersys closes source, wants payment for source code.

DutchUncle Isn't the previous version still open? (2 comments)

If someone "forked the code", presumably there is an earlier version that everyone can still get. If the point is that someone has essentially appropriated open source work, well, yes, that can happen, and the appropriate response is to boycott the offender.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Slashdot finds a way to keep me from bothering to check it today

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  about a year ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "By making everything unreadable without lots of extra effort, Slashdot has found a way to keep me from wasting as much time today. Thanks!"
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Can you patent a steak?

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Someone at Oklahoma State University has "discovered" a new steak. By now I would have thought that every possible part of a cow was already discovered, not to mention used for something. I can understand trademarking a name for a particular cut of meat; I can understand copyrighting the published instructions on what to cut where; but can this be novel enough for a patent?"
Link to Original Source
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No termination fee if Verizon terminates *you*.

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Just received the following email announcement from Verizon. Nice to know that if they cut off my service, I won't have to pay extra:

"The following is an outline of an important change to the Verizon Online
Terms of Service, which is effective as of November 30, 2009. ...

1. If you are on a term plan and Verizon ceases offering service to
your location prior to the end of your term commitment, you will not
have to pay an Early Termination Fee.

Please take time to review the complete Verizon Online Terms of Service.
Thank you for being a Verizon Online customer."

To which I add: For now."

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