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Comments

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Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Just Some Guy Re:Criminal? (456 comments)

Well, clearly. If they actually cared about preventing speeding, they'd advertise speed traps so that you were paranoid about driving fast through that area. They don't want to deter crime, they want to punish it through lucrative fines.

2 days ago
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Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

Just Some Guy Re:Not surprising (158 comments)

I can't speak to Android, but Apple still supports and issues updates to the three year old iPhone 4S. Microsoft sometimes just walks away from stuff.

5 days ago
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Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Just Some Guy Re:No way! (512 comments)

The enlightened self interest angle is that I don't want corporations treating H-1Bs like crap, because it enables the companies to get them for cheap, which depresses salaries in my career path. I want companies to have to treat H-1B visa holders well because 1) it's the right thing to do, and 2) so that I'm not competing against guys who'll work for 2/3 my salary for fear of being deported.

about a week ago
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Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Just Some Guy Re:No way! (512 comments)

that is not factual in any way and doesn't help.

Precisely what I was thinking about your woefully inaccurate claim.

again, facts are important.

Correct, which is why I choose to believe the facts instead of naive misintrepetations off the Internet.

about a week ago
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Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Just Some Guy Re:No way! (512 comments)

LOL that's precious. Meanwhile, the H-1B employees I know - my personal friends, people I hang out with and trust - describe a legal hellscape that's pretty much exactly indentured servitude. One of them managed to escape a bad situation by hooking up with a major corporation who could expedite the process to have the transfer done within a couple of months. That's two months of walking on eggshells so that they didn't get fired and deported. Another wasn't quite as lucky and had to ship out to the European branch of their new employer so that they can come back to America in a year or so, presuming everything is in order by then.

You're on crack if you think an H-1B isn't a recipe for suckishness. Regardless of what it hypothetically sounds like on paper, the situations I witnessed firsthand were terrible for the workers involved.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Just Some Guy Re:Wirthian syntax ... (647 comments)

Python has a PEP (think RFC) for that. It says:

Use 4 spaces per indentation level. [...] Spaces are the preferred indentation method. Tabs should be used solely to remain consistent with code that is already indented with tabs.

That's the the near-universal style almost everyone used anyway, so it was more of a hypothetical than practical issue anyway.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Just Some Guy Re:So not Python, but VB? (647 comments)

I also disagree about C being "incredibly complex for a beginner".

One of the things I disliked about a data structures class using C was that you had to learn a fair amount of boilerplate and memory management to get up and running. Those are important things, but it's a frustratingly steep learning curve when you're more interested in a structure or an algorithm than you in the language. For example, here's a complete, working linked list in Python:

.class Node(object):
. value = None
. next = None
.
.head = Node(); head.value = 123
.second = Node(); second.value = 456; head.next = second
.tail = Node(); tail.value = 789; second.next = tail
.
.node = head
.while node:
. print node.value
. node = node.next

I don't mind C, but it's way too easy to get distracted by coordinating all the moving parts, so that you lose focus on the problem you're trying to solve.

about a week ago
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Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July

Just Some Guy Re:End of support, not "end of life". (156 comments)

Our Exchange server was also safely being a Postfix "firewall", but we also configured it as a smarthost so that Exchange never had to contact the Internet directly. You might see if that's an option for your setup.

about a week ago
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Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships

Just Some Guy Re:A Boom in Civilization (227 comments)

PvP is a lot different from war, though. Almost every board game ever made is PvP by that definition, and I don't think I'd consider Chutes and Ladders in the same category as Battlefield 4.

about a week ago
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Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships

Just Some Guy Re:A Boom in Civilization (227 comments)

EVE seems to be doing OK, and while there's war to participate in if you want to, there are plenty of people making money from mining, research, logistics, and so on.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Just Some Guy Re:Who cares? (489 comments)

5) Uses Intels new-ish RDRAND instruction for a higher quality random number gen as the basis for ASLR

The ones that FreeBSD de-emphasized due to security concerns?

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Just Some Guy Re: 8.1 better than 7? (489 comments)

Yeah, I'm not keen on relying on a proprietary overlay to a proprietary OS. What happens when backward-incompatible service pack X arrives and breaks the overlay, and then you have to decide between learning the defaults or not upgrading? I'm not a fan of such things on general principle: if the OS really wants me to do things a certain way, I try to either adapt to it or not use that OS at all. Continually fighting against the current makes me tired.

about two weeks ago
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Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

Just Some Guy That's a shame. I'll miss it. (314 comments)

I also submitted the story but got scooped. I wrote this:

Our favorite source of resistors, odd batteries, and cell phone accessories is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Millenials won't remember a time when it was a legitimately geeky place to go with lots of new at the time computers on display, tons of electronic kits and DIY gear, and a Free Battery Of The Month club card. Sadly, Radio Shack never found a clear way forward from those roots and swung between emphasizing several categories of small consumer goods.

It's really too bad. Radio Shack was a great place when I was growing up, but floundered about from one market experiment to the next and never found its footing. I really hope I'm wrong and I wish them well, but I can't imagine how they could possible make it through this.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

Just Some Guy Re:But (640 comments)

We bought a laptop for my then-12-year-old son so he could play Minecraft without using ours. It shipped with Windows 8 and he is young and unexperienced enough to not have any prior opinions. And above all else, it was his beloved Christmas laptop, not some random beige box that an employer shoved onto his desk. In other words, this was the best possible scenario for someone to like Windows 8.

Two years later, he despises the desktop with a passion. Sure, his programs run well once he launches them, but everything else is a hassle. It looks weird. Nothing works like the lab computers at school. His friends don't have anything like it. It's obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious, and I've heard plenty of complaints about Windows itself since we got it. They're good natured and he isn't ungrateful: when I asked him if he liked his laptop, he told me he loves it and it runs great, "but is the next Windows going to be less stupid?"

If you make a UI change and Retirement Joe in the office pool doesn't like it, well, that's probably just Joe being crotchety and close-minded. But what's it say when a malleable early teen who didn't have preconceived notions also thinks it's illogical and weird? I think it says you've done something very, very wrong.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Just Some Guy Re:Problem with Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc... (629 comments)

How long exactly do you suppose that phones are expected to last? I had a RAZR ten years ago and it's insane to demand that Motorola should still be supporting it in any meaningful way. More recently, the first iPhone shipped with 128MB of RAM and as little as 4GB of flash - not to mention a non-replaceable battery that is probably universally dead by now. You know, there are legitimate reasons why things improving as quickly as portable consumer electronics have short expected lifetimes. It's not so much that the hardware should die quickly as that almost everything will be functionally obsolete after a couple of years.

Should Apple be supporting a 7-generation-old iPhone 1? Should Motorola be supporting a class of device that for practical purposes no longer exists? Both of those are unreasonable expectations.

about two weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

Just Some Guy Re:No (437 comments)

That seems to be the case. Is there an Android vendor that makes upgrading as seamless as it is for Apple devices? If so, I'd like to see what their adoption rates are like.

about three weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

Just Some Guy Re:No (437 comments)

Joking aside Lollipop went from 0% to 0.1% in two months. iOS 8 went from 0% to 56% in two months (released in September; at 56% in November). As of now, the latest iOS 8 has 68% share, the previous iOS 7 has 29%, and older releases have about 4%.

According to Google, 46% are using two-generations-old Jelly Bean and 15% are using versions at least three generations old.

I think there are more reasons for Android users not upgrading than "they got busy over Christmas".

about three weeks ago
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Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

Just Some Guy Re:ESPN (196 comments)

In which we are once again reminded how much the Slashdot demographic differs from the rest of the populace.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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WSJ says RadioShack is preparing for bankruptcy

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about two weeks ago

Just Some Guy (3352) writes "Our favorite source of resistors, odd batteries, and cell phone accessories is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal (link is to a different source because of the WSJ paywall). Millenials won't remember a time when it was a legitimately geeky place to go with lots of new at the time computers on display, tons of electronic kits and DIY gear, and a Free Battery Of The Month club card. Sadly, Radio Shack never found a clear way forward from those roots and swung between emphasizing several categories of small consumer goods."
Link to Original Source
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SCO On The Ropes

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 7 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?"
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SCO No Mo'

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 7 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

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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.

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I think they're trying to kill Slashdot.

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 6 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.

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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.

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Tuning Slashdot, part 1: Relationship CSS

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about 7 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.

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Get over it, UbuntuDupe

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about 7 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?

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NSFW? Fark off.

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about 7 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.

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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.

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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.

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Why you're my foe

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 10 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.

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Authenticated anonymity on Slashdot

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  about 11 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.

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Ditch "Overrated" already!

Just Some Guy Just Some Guy writes  |  more than 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?

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