Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Just Some Guy Re:They need exactly 63 999 employees (272 comments)

tysonedwards said "In no unit of measurement is 64K(anything) = 65635.", almost certainly commenting that 64K+99 isn't within 1 of being a power of two (especially since he goes on to point out that 65535 is. He was correct and probably agrees with your position.

5 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Just Some Guy Re:Binary prefixes: Use them (272 comments)

Did you know it's technically legal to throatstab anyone who says things like "kibibyte", "mebibyte", or other Mushmouth-invented fictional units?

5 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Just Some Guy Re:They need exactly 63 999 employees (272 comments)

OP: 65635
You: 65535

In no unit of measurement is 64K(anything) = 65 6 35 = (64K+99).

5 days ago
top

Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

Just Some Guy Re:Good. Now what about ads? (138 comments)

We should be able to filter out adware applications too.

Sure, but under what justification? If you download an adware app, you're not out anything. You can delete it. You can duct tape over the add portion of your screen. Unless it's "adware with IAP", which would place it in the non-free category, it's factually free in every practical sense.

I find adware annoying and I steer clear of it, but I can't imagine a reason to label it as non-free when it costs me no money to download or use it.

5 days ago
top

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Just Some Guy Re:But scarcity! (389 comments)

Nice sentiment, but, unfortunately, a public corporation's responsibility is to its shareholders and their interests - which is simply $$$. (and probably executives and cushy bonuses, etc...)

Apple is a public corporation, but they seem to be eking out a living from making stuff that people voluntarily want to buy.

As it turns out, a greedy algorithm is a poor choice for those actually wanting to be greedy.

5 days ago
top

FreeBSD 9.3 Released

Just Some Guy Re:What is BSD good for? (77 comments)

I understand the concept. By getting other people excited about your favorite OS / band / TV show / game, you increase the likelihood that people will want to bother with continuing to make it.

There are plenty of projects that exist because they scratch the author's itch, and will continue to be maintained even if their authors were the only person in the world using them. Something as big as a Linux distro, or enormous as an entire OS like one of the BSDs, likely needs a certain user base to make it worthwhile. As such, I don't care if everyone in the world uses FreeBSD. I just want it to be popular and widespread enough that no one starts asking themselves if it's time to pack it up and go home.

about a week ago
top

Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Call of Duty

Just Some Guy Sorry: public figure (83 comments)

If I'm Activision, I'm claiming that this is Constitutionally protected political speech. If you're the public figure in charge of a country, I feel you lose the right to control how you're depicted in media.

about a week ago
top

Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

Just Some Guy Re:Fuck Tiles! (346 comments)

I'd almost buy that, except people generally seem to like the Mac OS interface which hasn't had a meaningful Start button in the Windows sense, since OS 9 or so. You don't have to make an exact clone of XP for people to enjoy it.

about two weeks ago
top

Critical Vulnerabilities In Web-Based Password Managers Found

Just Some Guy Re:KeePass? (114 comments)

This way, if/when the cloud provider is hacked, the password file is not just protected by the passphrase, but by a keyfile that an attacker would have to compromise a physical device to get.

If you believe Apple, that's how their iCloud Keychain works. They say they can't decrypt your keychain, because the keys are embedded in your phone and never transmitted.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple Refutes Report On iPhone Threat To China's National Security

Just Some Guy Re:um... (134 comments)

You know, I think Apple, Google, and a few other companies could get away with calling their bluff. If Tim Cook or Larry Page had a press conference to announce that they'd received a hush order from the NSA, that they refused to honor it, and that it was against their company policy to spy on Americans (all while waving a flag and talking about apple-pie-eating eagles), I don't think much could be done about it. Can you imagine the firestorm if someone tried to have those guys arrested for "protecting average Americans like you and me against government oppression", which is what the front page of Google News would say for the next month?

about two weeks ago
top

First Release of LibreSSL Portable Is Available

Just Some Guy Re:Happy to let someone else test it (101 comments)

Failure to provide work arounds will inherently limit adoption of the project.

I'm certain the OpenBSD guys have literally never cared a single bit. Their goal is to make a secure, clean, and open codebase that people can use and build upon. Anything beyond it simply existence is a bonus.

about two weeks ago
top

TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Just Some Guy Re:Incoming international flights (702 comments)

Yeah, no. You can't enumerate every permutation of every weapon imaginable. At some point, you have to expect an adult to assess a new situation using generally acceptable principals to reach a reasonable conclusion.

Ask a random guy on the street whether Scala is a declarative language and you should expect a random distribution. Ask him whether a disassembled rifle is a weapon and you should expect a solid "yes". You shouldn't need to train on that.

Also, this guy was a dumbass.

about two weeks ago
top

DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

Just Some Guy Re:Superman logo is a Trademark (249 comments)

A little harsh but dead accurate. They're not legally obligated to sue the grieving parents. They could even draw up a contract and sell them limited rights to have this one statue in perpetuity for a dollar, or some such. For PR reasons, the DC rep could even donate the dollar to the rights purchaser.

There are many ways DC could do this, legally and protected, without being asswipes. They chose "fuck 'em; none of the above".

about two weeks ago
top

DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

Just Some Guy Re:They failed to realize... (249 comments)

DC would probably have no choice but to sue since this is in the public spotlight.

That, or they could be normal decent non-fuckhead humans and let a little boy have a grave that looks like the hero he wanted to be. I prefer that option.

about two weeks ago
top

TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Just Some Guy Re:Incoming international flights (702 comments)

A family acquaintance - let's call him "Joe" - worked as an airport screener. This is a true story: I was personally in the room when Joe was complaining to my dad that he'd been fired.

They run periodic checks where an undercover agent tries to smuggle contraband onto a plane. When questioned after the fact, Joe didn't understand why everyone was upset that he'd allowed a disassembled rifle through screening: "but it was in pieces! He couldn't have done anything with it!". "But Joe, he could've taken it into a bathroom and put it together, couldn't he?", followed by an expression of horror creeping across his face as the realization sank in.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?

Just Some Guy Re:First things first... (143 comments)

Also, something like a Livescribe pen that records what you right might be the ultimate setup. You're letting your team use tools they're already familiar and comfortable with (ballpoint pens) while still getting the advantages of recording notes as they're taken.

OP: know how you hate it when work gives you some weird-ass, nonstandard tool to do your job ("we've decided to standardize on programming editors!")? Yeah. Why would you want to do that to everyone else?

about three weeks ago
top

Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

Just Some Guy Re:And here I'm hoping... (681 comments)

4 GByte are not enough for everyone

And 8 registers aren't enough for anyone. x64-64 is a better architecture for reasons beyond its larger memory addressing.

about three weeks ago
top

Krebs on Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails and Blaming Canada

Just Some Guy Re:Any periodic e-mails should be RSS feeds (130 comments)

With RSS feeds, user can unsubscribe, suspend and resume viewing updates at their convenience.

With email subscriptions, users can unsubscribe, suspend, and resume viewing updates at their convenience. Email is also vastly more bandwidth and power friendly than continually polling to ask "have anything for me yet? have anything for me yet? have anything for me yet?".

An email newsletter that a user can subscribe to and which honors the "unsubscribe" link it at the bottom is identically as spammy as RSS.

about three weeks ago
top

Krebs on Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails and Blaming Canada

Just Some Guy Re:they might be right. (130 comments)

Also, no matter how many sendmail servers you have you can't get around the fact that egress still takes bandwitdth.

I just got a large, image-filled email from a vendor, and it came out to 20KB (including headers). Let's assume Microsoft's announcement emails are that huge, and that Microsoft sends out 100,000,000 of them. Let's further assume that Outlook is smart enough to batch recipients to the same domain with a conservative 10-to-1 reduction in number of unique messages sent (probably closer to 500-1, given the number of Gmail users you can collapse). That math works out to about 1000 gigabit ethernet seconds, or about about 1 second of AWS's estimated bandwidth-time, or about 3 seconds of Azure's estimated bandwidth-time, or about a second of traffic at a major porn site. And that's with hugely conservative worst-case estimates for all the numbers involved.

Egress doesn't take nearly the bandwidth you might think it does.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

top

SCO On The Ropes

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Just Some Guy writes "The SCO Group just published their SEC Form 10-Q Quarterly Report for July 31, 2007. In summary, they really needed a victory over Novell that didn't come. In their own words, "[as] a result of both the Court's August 10, 2007 ruling and our entry into Chapter 11, there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." Other highlights include:

Revenue from the UNIX business decreased by $2,704,000, or 37%, for the three months ended July 31, 2007 compared to the three months ended July 31, 2006 [...]


and:

Revenue from our SCOsource business decreased from $31,000 for the three months ended July 31, 2006 to $0 for the three months ended July 31, 2007.


Are we close to the end of the saga?"
top

SCO No Mo'

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Just Some Guy writes "The other shoe has dropped; SCO has filed for bankruptcy. From their press release: "The Board of Directors of The SCO Group have unanimously determined that Chapter 11 reorganization is in the best long-term interest of SCO and its subsidiaries, as well as its customers, shareholders, and employees."

Although they "want to assure [their] customers and partners that they can continue to rely on SCO products, support and services for their business critical operations," they later go on to say that "SCO owns the core UNIX operating system", contrary to findings in the SCO v. Novell court case. It's not advisable to take their words at face value."

Link to Original Source

Journals

top

PyCon 2011

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I am in Atlanta for PyCon, and you're on Slashdot reading about it. So there. Neener neener neener.

top

I think they're trying to kill Slashdot.

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I seriously believe that someone is trying to sabotage Slashdot by making it decreasingly pleasant.

Exhibit A: the new-and-busted discussion system. I actually like it more than the old way for reading comments, but for writing comments it's almost maliciously bad. The new system's preview button is much slower than the old way, and the mandatory waiting time between posting comments is a lot longer than it used to be. The net result is that whenever you're eventually allowed to click the "Submit" button, if your comment doesn't go through immediately, you're stuck staring at a pink error message until the countdown is finished. The only thing keeping this tolerable is that you can middle-click on "Reply to This" to open the old-style comment form in a new window, but I don't know if this workaround is going to be left in place long-term.

Exhibit B: Idle. This is truly the worst interface I've ever seen on Slashdot, from the painful color scheme to the tiny fonts to the difference between the markup used in comments between Idle and the rest of Slashdot. For example, the <quote> tags are treated like <p> in Idle, so there's no visible difference between text you're quoting and your own words. I don't even mind the content so much because it can be an amusing diversion, but wow, the implementation is just terrible.

No, I contend that the new changes are deliberately designed to drive away readership. I don't think that the Slashdot admins are incompetent, so I'm convinced that this is on purpose.

top

Avoid the Ramada

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This isn't tech-related in the least, but my family just got back from staying at the Ramada Inn in Kearney, Nebraska. It wasn't pretty.

Not that Kearney is a likely destination for Slashdotters, but for those who might find yourselves there: you've been warned.

top

Tuning Slashdot, part 1: Relationship CSS

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Refactoring relationships

Right now, relationships are embedded into the comments section of story pages with tags like:

<span class="zooicon"><a href="//science.slashdot.org/zoo.pl?op=check&amp;uid=198669"><img src="//images.slashdot.org/fof.gif" alt="Friend of a Friend" title="Friend of a Friend"></a></span>

This is ugly for a few reasons. First, it's a mess. Second, it means that every visitor has to have their own custom-rendered comments sections so you can't apply aggressive caching to the page-generation code. I would replace this with per-user CSS.

First, create a CSS file for each user like this:

/* Default class */
a.relationship {
background: url(neutral.gif);
width: 12px;
height: 12px;
display: inline-block;
text-decoration: none;
}

/* User-specific values start here: */

/* Friends */
a.user3352,a.user42 { background: url(friend.gif); }

/* Foes */
a.user666 { background: url(foe.gif); }

Next, replace the HTML in the comments section with generic relationship information such as:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="relationships.css">
[...]
<p>by neutral (1234) <a href="bar" class="user1234 relationship">&nbsp;</a> on 2008-01-20</p>
<p>by Just Some Guy (3352) <a href="bar" class="user3352 relationship">&nbsp;</a> on 2008-01-20</p>
<p>by foe (666) <a href="bar" class="user666 relationship">&nbsp;</a> on 2008-01-20</p>

All "a" tags with the "relationship" class get the default CSS values. If there is also a corresponding "user*" selector in the visitor's stylesheet, then the values in that selector override the defaults. For a sad user with no friends, this means that everyone gets the neutral.gif icon. As that user accumulates more specific relationships, those CSS definitions are applied instead.

This benefits Slashdot because suddenly they don't have to generate a brand new comments section for every visitor. The per-user CSS would also be extremely simple to generate. In any case, it would be no more difficult than the current method of embedding all that information directly into the comments section.

Finally, those CSS files could also be cached very easily. Since they would only change whenever a user's relationships are modified, Slashdot would no longer have to query that information every single time it creates a page.

There are two drawbacks to this idea. First, there are no more alt attributes on images, so users don't see a "Friend" popup if they hover over the relationship button. If that's a problem, replace the icons with little smiley or frowny faces as appropriate. Second, it would take slightly more work to support putting users in multiple categories at the same time ("Friend" + "Freak"). The fix is to create a whole set of graphics like "friend_freak.gif" and "foe_friendoffriend.gif" and corresponding CSS classes. There aren't that many categories, though, so it would require only minimal extra work to cover every possible combination.

How 'bout it, Taco - could you use something like that? Less code, less bandwidth, and less processing should be pretty easily reachable goals.

top

Get over it, UbuntuDupe

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

UbuntuDupe screwed up an Ubuntu installation almost two years ago. He still hasn't gotten over it.

UD, let me give you some free advice: move on. Really. You don't even have to admit that you were wrong. Just stop yapping about it and move on.

Do you notice that every time you bring this up, everyone opposes you? It's not because we don't like you, but because even if you were in the right (which you weren't), after two years we simply don't want to hear it anymore. Stop embarrassing yourself and let it die already, OK?

top

NSFW? Fark off.

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Fark: Is read by your boss.
Slashdot: Is read by the weird guy in the server room.

Fark: Tries to be corporate friendly.
Slashdot: Links to Tubgirl.

Fark: Garfield.
Slashdot: Doonesbury.

Quit whining about "oh noes this is not teh NSFW!" If you want Fark, read Fark. This is Slashdot.

top

I've been mod-bombed - yay!

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 8 years ago Within a five minute period yesterday, 5 of my comments got modded down with "-1: Troll". They were in different stories about completely different topics, but they were my most recent posts at that time.

I noticed that I've been building up a nice little list of liberal extremist freaks lately. It seems pretty clear to me that one of them happened upon some mod points and decided to spend them by modding me into oblivion.

I'm kind of flattered in a way, because they must have felt that I'm pretty important to spend their points against me. Even better, though, is this reminder that the favored tool of the liberal is silence. It's not enough to ignore opposing viewpoints, since someone else may hear them and be influenced. No, their response to someone who doesn't buy into their propaganda is to steal their voice.

On Slashdot, at least, they're limited to moderation. That's a lot better than in reality, when they'd probably scream "racist!", or "sexist!", or "capitalist!" in hopes that I'd run for shelter. That's not quite as funny.

top

I Am Not This Serious. Seriously.

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 9 years ago I think I may have to take a break from Slashdot.

Why? Is is because it's eating into my work? Nah - I have plenty of long compiles that allow me to waste a few minutes here and there. Is it because I'm actually building a "Freaks" list? No way! The fact that some people find my honest opinions too insulting to bear is kind of amusing.

No, it's because I've started Acting My Age and becoming way, way too serious.

I am not at all like my Slashdot persona. I mean, my opinions and beliefs are the same - I've never once misrepresented those - but my personality is completely different. I'm a nice guy who likes to laugh, enjoy life, and have fun. I'm almost never this intense or serious in day-to-day life, but put me in front of a comment box and I go uber-professional and detail-oriented. Those are OK traits, sure, and it's nice to know that I'm capable of logical and serious discussion, but that's still not who I am.

I even get along brilliantly with people I disagree with. Although I'm a very staunch conservative, one of my long-time good friends is a deliberately homeless tree-hugger (I mean it - literally!) who's typically into paganism, environmentalism, socialism, and a lot of other isms that I don't really want any part of. We get along great, though, and although we disagree on pretty much everything we always have a fun time in the process. Not here, though. Oh, no. For some reason, I seem to lose the ability to parse gentle sarcasm when I come here and just have to respond in a pedantically exact manner.

So, why is that? I kind of blame Slashdot itself, and its "coverage" of the 2004 elections in particular. Despite our differences, we used to all pretty much get along before then. Now our little green corner of the 'net is hyper-politicized and angry, and you can't ask for a recommendation of a nice IDE drive without being lectured about the evils of magnetoresistive manufacturers and their harm to the third-world environment.

I'll make you a promise: if you promise to lighten up and begin enjoying the humor inherent in a population of nearly a million crotchety geeks from across the world, I'll do the same. In fact, as a token of good faith, I'll be the first to try. On the other hand, if I can't pull it off, then I'm out of here. Seriously. I enjoy life too much to be sucked down into a swirling pit of Seriousness and Thoughtful Deliberation.

Let's have fun again, shall we? Wish me luck.

top

Why you're my foe

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 9 years ago I use my "Foes" list to manage the people who've established a pattern of saying things far beyond my threshold of tolerable stupidity. It's not that I dislike these people personally but that they detract from intelligent conversation to the point that they make themselves a nuisance. I'm not going to spend mod points to silence them, because that goes against my principals (and because I'd rather reward good conversation than attempt to "punish" the bad), but I personally have no interest in what they have to say and don't want to be bothered with it.

So, I think it's only fair to tell people why I've added them to the list. I'm not going to bother with prior entries, but I will be explaining all new ones.

The first recent addition is killjoe. I've disagreed with some of his postings, but this quote is what pushed him from "people I sometimes disagree with" to "people I don't want to listen to":

As for me I think the days of the peaceful liberals are over. It's time we adopted the republitard tactics. Yes that means dragging them behind cars and crucifiying them alongside the highways.

As far as I'm concerned, people who make comments like that are ineligible for civil conversation.

top

Authenticated anonymity on Slashdot

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Want to post anonymously but verifiably? That is, do you want to be able to say things that you don't want traceable back to yourself, but you do want interested parties to be able to verify that multiple posts originate from the same person?

Right now, Anonymous Coward (AC) posts are stored without any identifying information. This means that while you may divulge some important information, another person can reply to your post, claiming to be you, and contradict your statements. Example:

You: I have proof that my company is making toxic waste.

Reply from twit: And no matter what you hear, I was not fired from my last job for making false accusations!

With common software, this is almost trivially easy. The idea is to post as an AC but always sign your messages with the same GPG ID. The advantage is that you can still be an AC when it's important, but interested observers can verify whether other a given set of posts come from you.

If you want do this, here's how:

  1. Generate a GPG key.
  2. Submit your key to a public keyserver.
  3. Write your Slashdot text in an external editor.
  4. Sign the post with your "anonymous" key.
  5. Use <ecode> tags to encapsulate your signed message.
  6. For added obscurity, add "no-version" to you gpg.conf file. If you're using GPG on Linux, that string may not narrow the field of candidates too much. If you hand-compiled it on your TI-85 calculator, and you've explained to your boss in great detail how cool it is to run crypto on your calculator, then it may reveal more information than you want.
  7. Be sure to click the "Post Anonymously" checkbox!

Now people interested in such things can verify that all of your posts originate from the same person, even though they can't determine who that person is.

This isn't exactly a brilliant invention on my part; all of the pieces already existed in usable form. However, I've never seen anyone actually do this, and I thought it might be a useful idea for someone.

Caveats:

  • Assume that your IP is logged by Slashdot and the public keyserver and available to whomever you're trying to hide from by posting as an Anonymous Coward.
  • Be darn sure that you remember to check the "Post Anonymously" box or your cover is definitely blown in a big way; the people you're hiding from can now trace a whole batch of incriminating posts back to you. For example, when I first tested the idea, I made that mistake and forever ruined a key with a clever name (IMHO).
  • This method can't prove that a post did not come from you. In the example above where an anonymous twit is trying to negate your statements, your best course of action is to post a signed reply to him stating that the reply post was not from you.

A Note To Slashdot Editors

I'm not writing this to be a pain in the butt, honest - this seems like a legitimate need that I think needed to be addressed. This specific implemention relies on the idea of <ecode> tags keeping the contents in pristine condition. If people start using this, please don't change ecode's functionality so that old signed posts are broken.

A giant extra helping of karma to the authors if you add code to detect signed messages, keep a list of key IDs that've been used, assign a serial number to each one, and print that serial number in the message header of each signed message. Then, casual visitors could see that a string of messages were all signed by "Slashdot authed AC #243", although responsibilty for actual verification would still lie with interested end-users.

top

Ditch "Overrated" already!

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about 11 years ago Would-be moderators, get this through your head: "Overrated" should almost never be used! If you think that something moderated as "Funny" isn't very humorous, then accept that other people enjoyed it and move on. If something is marked "Insightful" but you don't agree with it, then move on. Get the point?

I always kill "Overrated" in meta-moderation. Always. Keep that in mind, would you?

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...