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Comments

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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

Jason Levine Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (356 comments)

Bit of history in the "creation" of the Palestinians (as they stand today): When Israel was formed and the Arab nations that surrounded it declared war, the Arab nations told the Arabs who lived in Israel: "Flee from Israel to us. When we drive Israel into the sea, we'll give you your land back."

Many fled, but not all. When Israel won the war, the Arabs who fled found they were blocked from returning. (Would you allow someone back if they supported the people who just tried to destroy you?) The Arabs who stayed, though, kept their land and businesses. Today, they (or their descendants) own businesses, are full citizens, and one even is on the Israeli Supreme Court.

The idea that Israel kicked the Palestinians out is completely false.

yesterday
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

Jason Levine Re:Meta-problem (356 comments)

Another piece of evidence towards this point: After the wars with Israel, Jordan found itself with a good amount of Palestinian refugees. Publicly, Jordan bemoaned the horrible fate of these Palestinians. They were living in tents and looked horrible. However, Jordan could have easily settled them within their territory. They chose not to because - for all of their claims of caring about the Palestinians - their "care" was about how the Palestinians could be manipulated to make Israel look bad.

This conflict has not only been exasperated by people on the Israeli and Palestinian sides, but it has been egged on by Arab states who either hate Israel or who use hatred of Israel to distract their populace from their own misdeeds. (Or both.)

yesterday
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

Jason Levine Re:Meta-problem (356 comments)

Hamas hides military weaponry in schools, hospitals, civilian homes, etc. They use civilians as cover.

When Hamas launches their rockets, they don't give any warning. The rockets just rain down and it is up to the Israeli defense systems (both the missile defense system and the alerts/bunkers) to protect their people. Hamas also doesn't target just military locations, but anywhere their missiles can hit.

When Israel launches a rocket, they give warning. They send out text messages, drop leaflets, announce in any way possible that X compound will be hit at Y time for Z reasons. They warn everyone to clear the area. It might seem counter productive to warn your enemy that you are coming, but when your enemy is hiding in a hospital, there is no way to get to him without hurting civilians. So Israel warns the civilians ahead of time and tries to target their strikes to just the areas hiding Hamas rockets.

When the cease fire was in effect and Hamas stopped firing rockets at Israel, Israel stopped firing rockets back. If Israel stops firing rockets at Hamas, Hamas doesn't stop their attacks.

Let's be honest here. Suppose here in America, some native American group got a hold of a bunch of rockets and began firing them from their reservation onto American cities. Suppose those rockets were housed in hospitals, houses, places of worship, etc. Would the American government sit down and ask the group nicely to stop firing? Or would they send in the troops? Even if they tried diplomacy, how long would the politicians hold out against the populace who would be screaming for some kind of action to stop the rockets?

Is Israel perfect? Of course not. There's a lot of policies of theirs that I take issue with. (e,g, Tolerating settlers who venture into the West Bank/Gaza/etc to set up "claims" for that land to be part of Israel. Those settlers should be forcefully removed and imprisoned for inflaming the conflict and thus risking people's lives.) However, when it comes down to Israel's reactions to the rockets heading towards them, there is no perfect response. There is no way for them to respond that a) stops the bombs, b) stops future bombings, and c) doesn't hurt innocents. They have a system in place to reduce collateral damage as much as possible, but it doesn't help when Hamas acts in a manner designed to intentionally INCREASE collateral damage.

yesterday
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Nightfall: Can Kalgash Exist?

Jason Levine Re:An excellent book... (80 comments)

The short story ends as Nightfall is starting. The book extends past into the nightmare of the stars.

I remember reading the book once and I was completely absorbed in the story. I finally looked up and noticed it was dusk. For a brief moment, I felt panic rising because the stars were going to come out soon. It took a moment to disentangle myself from the story.

Being able to completely lose yourself in a book can be a good thing most times - other times, it can backfire.

yesterday
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Jason Levine Re:Whelp. (136 comments)

They have intelligence and nasty beaks/claws. If their wings aren't clipped, they can also fly and attack from all angles. That's a very bad combination for anyone an African Grey (or Macaw, Cockatoo, etc) decides to attack.

2 days ago
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Jason Levine Re:Whelp. (136 comments)

My in-laws have a cockatoo thus my choice of that bird. (They used to have two but one died about 10 years ago.) These birds' jaws are powerful enough to crush bone and intelligent enough to plan out actions. Like you said, a reptile might strike you but you'd see it coming. My in-laws' cockatoo does what that macaw you mentioned did. She will act all sweet and want you to pet her... until she decides to bite your finger off. She hasn't succeeded yet, but that's because we're extra cautious about body parts in cockatoo range. They've also broken small metal locks with their beaks and escaped their cages.

My wife was once on jury duty on a rape case. The defense attorney made a point of how the woman, after the perpetrator fled, took her cockatoo out of its cage. My wife knew just why she did this. The bird had witnessed the crime and the rapist was someone who lived in her building. If he decided to come back before the police arrived, having the bird free would mean the rapist might just lose some precious body parts. (The defendant was convicted. The evidence against him was overwhelming.)

I'd rather face and angry dog than an angry cockatoo or macaw. The idea of a 15 foot tall cockatoo with huge teeth and a taste for meat? That would be frightening beyond comprehension!

2 days ago
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Jason Levine Re:Whelp. (136 comments)

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

2 days ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Jason Levine Re: Hmmm (205 comments)

We have a minivan. We got it just before our first child was born 11 years ago. It was quite handy during the years when the kids required a ton of stuff for trips (stroller, seat to eat in, portable crib, ton of diapers, etc). Now it is overkill and the low mileage makes it expensive to drive on long trips. When the time comes to replace it, we're definitely getting something with better mpg.

about a week ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Jason Levine Re:I disagree (390 comments)

That's a good point. Verizon is complaining about the asymmetric nature of their peering, but it's really their own fault. If you give your customers connections with vastly greater upstream speeds than downstream speeds, you shouldn't act surprised when you're pulling more data from your peering connections than you are sending. (Same goes for not allowing customers to run servers.)

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Jason Levine Re:In Verizon's defense (390 comments)

After some Google searches, it looks like a dump truck would be about 27 cubic yards. A penny is about 0.44 cubic cm. This gives us about 46,900,000 pennies in a dump truck (rounding down to the nearest hundred thousand) or $469,000 worth.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Jason Levine Re:I really really hate (383 comments)

You should listen to a song on the latest Weird Al album: Mission Statement. Sung in the style of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, it's a perfect parody of those managers who love to speak in "corporate talk." Next time you go to a meeting with one of those managers, recite some of the lyrics (spoken, not sung, of course) and see whether they nod their heads in agreement.

"We'll set a brand trajectory
Using management philosophy
Advance our market share vis-à-vis
Our proven methodology
With strong commitment to quality
Effectively enhancing corporate synergy"

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Jason Levine Re:Cars without passengers that are the problem (435 comments)

Bad guys can program computers to do bad things without any human involvement (beyond the initial orders from the bad guys). Should we give the police kill switches for computers so they can turn off any computer they suspect may be involved in a crime?

Bad guys can also park cars near sensitive locations, pack the trucks with explosives, and detonate them remotely. Should we make all cars with special locks that the police have master keys to? This way the police can open any car at any time if they decide that car might possibly be suspicious.

about two weeks ago
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Breaches Exposed 22.8 Million Personal Records of New Yorkers

Jason Levine Re:In ... the New Your State? (41 comments)

Yup. I usually vote for the Democrat candidates, but I won't vote for him again. The problem is that I don't like the Republican candidates either. So I'll likely vote for a third party candidate. I know they won't have a realistic chance of winning the election, but it will be a protest vote. If enough people protest by voting third party, maybe the two major parties will pay attention.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Jason Levine Re:Screw That (87 comments)

According to an update on the article, there are 7300 audiobook titles listed.

You can also take out audiobooks from your local library for free.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Jason Levine Re:Depending on the selection, I'm probably in (87 comments)

Check to see whether your local library lends out eBooks. Ours does and we take out a lot of eBooks this way. It might save you some money on buying new/used books.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Jason Levine Re:High useage (87 comments)

Depending on your library, you might also be able to take out ebooks like you take out paperbacks. In fact, since we're New York State residents, we're members of both our local library and the New York Public Library. They have different amounts of ebooks available and different waiting lists. So if we can't get it from one, we can likely get it from the other.

about two weeks ago
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Breaches Exposed 22.8 Million Personal Records of New Yorkers

Jason Levine Re:In ... the New Your State? (41 comments)

This is also the state where the Commissioner of Education, John King, had a talk about New York's implementation of Common Core. The talk was overrun with parents who had issues with the implementation specifically (and some with Common Core in general). There were a lot of questions they wanted to ask and a lot of answers they wanted to get. Instead, King cut the meeting short, cancelled the rest of his tour, and said that "special interest groups" were to blame. (Parents are apparently now a special interest group.) He finally caved to pressure and re-opened his tour but made sure that each venue was structured so he wouldn't need to be confronted by opponents in that manner anymore.

New York: Where the politicians serve their constituents - themselves - and the public can go wait in the corner until they're needed to pay more taxes.

about two weeks ago
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Breaches Exposed 22.8 Million Personal Records of New Yorkers

Jason Levine Re:Data is Unsecurable (41 comments)

This was one big reason why, when New York said they were going to upload students' data into the Bill Gates Foundation's InBloom system, I was opposed. The data (including some very personal info like medical diagnoses) would have been upload to an Amazon cloud drive. As if "cloud drives" are never hackable.

(The other reason I was opposed was that lawmakers specifically made an exception to the data sharing laws so that data could be uploaded to InBloom whether or not parents wanted it uploaded. Not only was it not opt-in, but you couldn't even opt-out.)

Thankfully, New York backed off this plan. If they wanted to standardize the systems across the school districts, I might not have a problem with it (depending on the system), but uploading tons of personal information and trying to hand-wave security concerns away by saying "the cloud" doesn't sit will with me.

about two weeks ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

Jason Levine Might Finally Use Google+ Again (238 comments)

Almost everywhere online, I use a pseudonym. (Slashdot is an exception because I set up this account so long ago.) I don't want my Twitter/blog/etc accounts associated with my real name so I refused to use Google+. (I set up a Google+ Page with my pseudonym, but that's a pain because you can only follow people who first follow you.) I know some people had switched to pseudonyms, but I didn't want to risk losing my entire Google account over it. Now that they are allowing pseudonyms, I might start using Google+ again.

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Jason Levine Re:So... (401 comments)

If you just stop paying the bills and they don't cancel your service, they'll just send you a bill every month. Eventually, they will turn these bills over to a collection agency which will hound you for payment and which will, in turn, ruin your credit score.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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What To Do With Old Domains

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  about 9 months ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "While looking to buy a new domain for a website idea I had, I realized that over the years I've purchased quite a few domain names. I'm not a domain hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but 14 domains isn't a small number either. Of those domains, only 6 are actively being used. Many of the others were used for web projects that died out or that never launched. I could let the domains expire or possibly sell them (some might actually take in some cash), but I'm afraid of the domains being grabbed by spammers or other nefarious individuals. Holding onto them is an option, but increasingly I'm wondering why I'm paying annual fees for domain names that I'm not using and likely will never use again.

How do you handle old domain names in your possession that you no longer need?"
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Best Science Fiction/Fantasy for 8 Year Olds

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son is 8 years old. I'd love to get him interested in Science Fiction, but most of the books I can think of seem to be targeted to older kids/adults.

Thinking that the length of some novels might be off-putting to him, I read him some of the short stories in Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot". He liked these but I could tell he was having a hard time keeping up. I think the wording of the stories was too advanced and there was too much talking and not enough action. Personally, I love Asimov, but I think much of it just went over his head.

Which science fiction and/or fantasy books would you recommend for an 8 year old? (Either stories he could read himself or that we could read together over the course of a few weeks.)"
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Teaching Your Children Computer Skills At Home

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son's school district, like many across the country, is facing budget issues. Already, art and music are being cut and two elementary schools are likely to be shut down. (One of which my son currently attends.) My wife recently found out that our school doesn't even have a computer teacher. Nobody's teaching the kids how to use word processing programs, how to browse the Internet, etc. They have "computer time" in which someone watches over them while the kids are allowed to visit PBSKids.org and similar websites.

My son is very bright and computer savvy for a first grader, but obviously I want him to know how to do more than simply load up a website. We've discussed home schooling with varying degrees of seriousness. Even if we don't home school, we might want to supplement what he's learning in school with computer lessons at home. My wife is a teacher and has access to various resources, but I was wondering what resources the Slashdot community might recommend.

How do you teach your children about computers and how to use them? Do you know of any websites or programs that would be appropriate for my first grade son to use? (I've already introduced him to TuxPaint, TuxMath and TuxTyping.)"
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Theft of Services Claim with Honor System Paywall

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Towards the end of the day yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone claiming that my company's employees had been stealing his services. I always take claims like this seriously, so I read on. Apparently, his website is called the North Country Gazette. It appears to be a "news" site, but structured like a blog. Each article contains the text: "Free access to The North Country Gazette is limited to one visit, one article, no exceptions. After your free trial, a subscription is needed and without same, your access will be denied. To sign up, see subscription ad on this page. If you have questions, contact us at news@northcountrygazette.org"

The e-mail claimed theft of services because an employee visited two articles without paying. I thought it might be a scam (the threatening tone of the e-mail didn't help) so I visited the site to make sure it was legit. Soon after my one article view, I received a second e-mail calling me "obstinate", telling me to "do your job instead of surfing the internet" and threatening legal action if we visited his site again.

The thing is, though, he doesn't seem to have any kind of paywall in place. No mechanism to detect if a user has viewed an article and stop them from viewing more like other paywalls I've encountered. Just a system to detect when his honor system isn't honored. How seriously should I take his threats? Can someone really sue over theft of services due to three page views (four if you count me accessing his home page)? Can some small text on a website (which doesn't even contain a "pay here" link) really bind you into paying for a subscription? I will definitely be informing my company's legal counsel, but I was wondering if anyone on Slashdot has heard of anything like this?"
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Killer Sue Wikipedia To Remove Their Names

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber killed a German actor in 1990. Now that they are out of prison, German law states that they can't be referred to by name in relation to the killings. Therefore, they have sued to get Wikipedia to remove their names from the Wikipedia article about the killings. The German edition of Wikipedia has already complied, but the English edition is citing US freedom of speech and a lack of presence in Germany as reasons why they don't need to remove the name. In a bit of irony, their lawyer e-mailed the NY Times: “In the spirit of this discussion, I trust that you will not mention my clients’ names in your article.""
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Inexpensively Streaming Media?

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "I recently won a Roku box and my family and I have been enjoying watching Netflix movies/TV shows via it. So much so, in fact, that we are considering canceling our cable service. Canceling cable would save us $65 a month. Of course, this would mean the loss of a big entertainment source for my children (age 6 and 2), my wife and me. We have a decent DVD collection, but it tends to be hard to find the right DVD and play it for the boys. (The DVDs are in stacks and tend to get disorganized.) I'd rather rip them to my upstairs computer and stream the video, but I need some help.

First of all, we don't have a large budget to work with. Yes, we'd be saving per month without the cable bill, but my wife won't let me spend thousands on equipment so that we can save $800 a year. That said, our requirements are low. We don't have any HD televisions in the house and don't have plans to upgrade our existing sets anytime soon. So while it might be nice if the solutions can handle HD, there's no need to spend more money on an HD-compatible product.

Secondly, running ethernet cable is out of the question. My wife refuses to let me drill holes in the walls/floor and to be honest, I don't blame her. My wireless network (current router a Netgear WGR614 v5) tends to cut out at times. Powerline networking intrigues me, but the wiring in the house is old and I'm afraid that it won't be a stable connection. Another option I found was ethernet-over-coax. Would I be better off upgrading my wireless network (replacing the router and/or adding an access point somewhere) or going with a powerline or coax solution?

Third, ditching cable would mean we would lose our cable-provided DVR. While most shows we watch would be viewable via Hulu, we would like to still be able to record shows (especially kids shows on PBS) and play them later. What kind of DVR system would you recommend?

Lastly, my desktop computer isn't exactly the newest system in the world. It is 6 years old and, while not underpowered, might not be up to handling some tasks. Would I be better off building or buying a DVR/Media Center box? If so, how much would I wind up paying for this?

Thanks for any advice you can give."
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Wii outsells 360, PS3, PS2, PSP combined in April

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jason Levine writes "Ars Technica is reporting that, during the month of April, the Nintendo Wii outsold not only the XBox 360 and the Sony PS3, but the 360, PS3, PS2, and PSP combined. The Nintendo Wii sold 714,200 units. Microsoft's XBox 360 sold 188,000 units and Sony's PS3 sold 187,100 units. The PSP moved 192,700 units and the PS2 moved 124,400 units. In addition, six of the top 10 games sold in April were Nintendo Wii games."
Link to Original Source

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