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Comments

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Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass Within Geostationary Orbit Sunday

Minupla Re:3:2 resonance (101 comments)

you'll want a more accurate simulator!

Quick! Load Kerbal Space Program!

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Minupla Re:Will the cameras work? (643 comments)

Or discourage the abuse from occurring in the first place, which is even better.

If the officer has to think "OK, I'm going to have to find a way to deal with the video camera" then maybe they don't do whatever it is that would require dealing with the camera.

That would suit me fine.

about a month ago
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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

Minupla Re:They did not hack it (140 comments)

Here's the difference - we have firewalls on the Internet.

What they're saying is that the Bluetooth is sitting on the same network as your anti-lock brakes and there is no firewall.

Not sure about you, but where I work, if I didn't put a firewall between the internet, and my web servers and at least one more between my web servers and the database, I'd be looking for a new job. These guys hooked it up to the "internet" (bluetooth) and decided they didn't need any additional security between there and the "database" (your brakes).

Security is all about layers, and they've said that Bluetooth is all the security your health and safety critical systems needs. Not sure about you, but that doesn't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Min

about 2 months ago
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Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

Minupla Re:They have no accountability (132 comments)

Agreed - and in this case "Hackers" == "Nation Sates"

about 2 months ago
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The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

Minupla No one is ever influenced by advertising (254 comments)

No one is ever influenced by advertising, ask around. People say "no, I'd never buy something because it's on TV" but those infomercials stay in business for a reason.

So polling people and asking them if advertising is effective on them is a bit of a red herring. Like IQ tests - logically half the world has IQs less then 100. Oddly, I've never met any of them.

Now the question 'is social advertising effective' is certainly open for debate, but not because some survey says people believe it's not effective on themselves.

Min

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

Minupla Bathroom (310 comments)

Sitting on a closed toilet seat in a college bathroom where someone decided to install the Cisco router I needed to do unnatural things to with a Perl script.

Min

about 4 months ago
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Bill Blunden's Rejected DEF CON Presentation Posted Online

Minupla Re:Actually RTFA (40 comments)

Agreed, as a DC attendee I'd give it a miss, and if there wasn't anything on that was more interesting in the slot use it to fulfill some of the 3-2-1 rule of attending Defcon. The talk is an interesting read, and there are other confs I've attended where it would be a fit, but DC isn't it.

I think the review committee made the right call on this one.

Min

about 4 months ago
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Congressman Introduces Bill To Limit FCC Powers

Minupla Re:Does anyone actually believe this? (176 comments)

You kidding? They'd be terrible at tech support! They think the internet is made of tubes forchrissake!

Min

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?

Minupla If you're going to volunteer... (309 comments)

If you're going to volunteer, go find an non profit that speaks to you and volunteer there. At least if you don't get a job lead out of it you'll feel good about the work you did instead of bitter over doing free labour for a company that didn't give you a job in the end.

In my personal case, I did volunteer work for an non-profit ISP just starting up way up north. 6 months later, I was being paid for the same work, and jump started my professional career.

There are options for lots of types of geeks, from the "we recycle used computers for disadvantaged people" to the "We send you to an impoverished country to bootstrap their technology base" ones.

I believe the ICRC is always looking for skilled technical people who can think outside the box too.

I enjoyed my time doing non profit work immensely and it still comes up 15 yrs later in job interviews, as some of my best war stories come from those jobs. There's something about the combination of the startup shoestring budget and the feeling that you're actually improving the world that comes together and energizes me. Your mileage may of course very.

Min

Min

about 5 months ago
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One Month Later: 300,000 Servers Remain Vulnerable To Heartbleed

Minupla Re:Certificate extortion (60 comments)

Actually, unless I'm missing something in TFS, this isn't about rotating your certificate (although that's a good plan if you were vulnerable to Heartbleed, but do your own risk assessment there).

Heartbleed was a vulnerability against openssl, mitigate that and you won't be vulnerable to Heartbleed. You may want to swap out your SSL certs too in case someone grabbed them while you' were vulnerable, but certainly not wanting to pay for the cert rotation shouldn't stop you from updating openssl.

Min

about 5 months ago
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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

Minupla Re:You know what worked better for me then longhan (191 comments)

Understood, and agreed in so far as everything you wrote is concerned. My (unwritten) assertion, which is probably obvious to someone who understands that the research is about statistical medians, is that it would be dangerous to extrapolate from the study's conclusions that it would be appropriate to mandate a particular note taking style (e.g. "No laptops") because you would likely be doing a disservice to a portion of your student population who is not the 'average' student.

Min

about 5 months ago
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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

Minupla Re:You know what worked better for me then longhan (191 comments)

In point of fact I scored a 4.0 in English class, and technical writing. After that I spent 20 years in the school of working for a living. The first two taught me correct diction, grammar, and proofreading skills. The latter taught me that there was a time and place for perfection, and a time and place for writing quickly with enough accuracy to get a point across. No one pays me to write Slashdot comments, so it falls into the second category.

Min

about 5 months ago
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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

Minupla Re:You know what worked better for me then longhan (191 comments)

Yep, but I'm dysgraphic, so anything involving my fine motor system is a cognitive, rather then an associative task, as it probably is for you. E.g. writing requires cognitive processing for me as opposed to happening as an 'automatic' background task as it likely does for you.

Thus my point about the danger of making sweeping statements for 'students'. We all learn differently, so making decisions based on this sort of study is treacherous ground.

Min

about 5 months ago
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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

Minupla You know what worked better for me then longhand? (191 comments)

You know what worked better for me then longhand notes? No notes. Listening to the teacher instead of writing worked best for me. Turns out I recalled things better when I spent my attention listening to the teacher rather then trying to write legible notes so I could read then later.

Just goes to show that people learn differently and making blanket statements for all people gets you into trouble :)

Min

about 5 months ago
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Our Education System Is Failing IT

Minupla Re:Philosophy is the opposite of mathematics (306 comments)

The courses I was referring to were not the "History of Philosophy" classes. Rather, the formal logic (think Boolean logic) and argument, rhetoric and reason classes.

Teaching you to think and communicate, rather then teaching you what other people have thought before.

Min

about 5 months ago
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Our Education System Is Failing IT

Minupla Re:It is just so horrible (306 comments)

Having taken some comp sci and worked in IT for 20 years, I can state with some basis for argument, that comp sci has very little to do with IT. Probably about the most useful portion of the comp sci coursework to me now is computational efficiency (choose the o(n) solution not the o(n!) one).

But the poster who said psych and phil wasn't far wrong. I'd add technical writing in there as a class I don't regret taking. Philosophy to come up with the right argument and psychology to make it stick, then technical writing to put it on paper in a way that's understandable to my audience.

I have yet to solve a differential equation at work tho, (unless I'm playing with Kerbal Space Program on the side!)

Min

about 5 months ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

Minupla Re:Not True (245 comments)

I view kickstarter more as the patron system of artistic sponsorship from the middle ages. A wealth patron commissions a piece of art because they believe in the artists's artistic vision and want to see that vision brought to fruition. So they back the artist with their money.

Sometimes the patron's eye is good, and you get good art. Most of the time, not so much.

So I think the venture capitalism model, to your point isn't the correct one, and certainly isn't what I'm thinking when I donate on kickstarter. I hope that my money helps an artist's vision come to fruition, and I'll benefit from having that art available to (use/play/enjoy).

If it doesn't work out, like the patron of olde, I'm not spending money I can't afford to spend, and it'll make its way back into the economy, which will make the world go round. And there'll be fewer starved artists on the curb :).

Min

about 6 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Minupla Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Just to point out, the fact that a large number of people believe something does not necessarily impact the morality of it. At one point a large majority of people (at least non-African people) felt that the slave trade was right too. That does not make them any less wrong in the eyes of history. Being a part of a majority does not by definition make you right. Morality is moved forward by outliers, people with views outside the social norm, by definition. Eventually society moves towards the new moral norm and the majority now believes the position formerly occupied by outliers, and the cycle resets.

So you can't logically argue that since even the entire state of California believes something to be true that someone stating that they are morally offside is wrong, as history is replete with counter examples.

Min

about 6 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Minupla Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Recall that you're innocent until proven guilty (to various standards of proof) in a court of law, so ties go to the defendant.

So rather then the defendant proving that the statement is true, the plaintiff's task is proving that the statement is false. A much larger hill to climb.

Min

about 6 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Minupla Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Unless US law is different then I'm aware of (and a quick bit of research suggests it is not) defamation (liable or slander) lawsuits require saying/writing something that is false. Here's the OKCupid statement:

"Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.

Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.

Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there's a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we're asserting ourselves today. This is why: we've devoted the last ten years to bringing peopleâ"all peopleâ"together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it's professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.

If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.

However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:"

It seems to me that the statement consists of statements that in for far as the public record is concerned, are true. E.g. "Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples.", which is supported by the contribution that started this all; the rest of it appears to be statements that either relate to feelings of OK Cupid, or clearly deliminated opinions. IANAL, but I do spend a lot of time talking to them professionally, and I think it would actually be a very weak case for liable (which is what this would be, slander refers to the spoken word, liable to the written one).

You are welcome to opinions on how OKCupid handled this, but I think the argument that it's legally actionable is probably incorrect.

In brief, in order to be defamatory, a statement must be:

1) Public (e.g. someone had to have heard it other then the two parties)
2) False
3) Not an opinion
4) Damaging
(there's a couple of other items that have no baring in this case)

I think anyone reasonable could agree on 1 and 4, but 2 & 3 have larger hurdles.

Min

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Minupla Minupla writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Minupla writes "I've been asked to put together a new IT dept in a regional office. Among other things, I'm going to need to put together a set of tools, both hardware and software for my department. So that got me to thinking "What things have other geeks found handy in doing their jobs?" So how about it? What tool in your kit would you never want to do without?"

Journals

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The year in review

Minupla Minupla writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Wow what a year.

I appologize for the long delay between journies, for the few people I know who check up on me in here.

First in late June, I got an older sister. Yep, you read that right. It turns out that my mother had a daughter before I was born, whom she adopted out at birth. The result of a marriage that failed on their way to the alter.

This seriously shook me, as one might imagine. She's a good person and fits in well with the insane state of the rest of my family though, so all's well that ends well.

Then this fall a job application I dropped off hit pay dirt, and after several interviews, I've accepted a job in the Carribean! So a mountian of paperwork is currently burrying me, as you might imagine! :)

So if any of you would like a postcard when I make landfall in the land of no snow, drop me a line here, or ICQ, or email, with a snail mail address and I'll drop one in the mail to you as soon as sanity restores itself (at an improbability level of 1:1.24*10^10000000 against) I'll fire off some postcards of pretty beaches :)

Min.

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Thinking to myself

Minupla Minupla writes  |  more than 12 years ago

If a journal gets written and noone is there to read it, does it consume harddrive space?

It's a bizzare world we live in these days, and I haven't felt like writing in here for a long time. Although I live in a different country, sept 11 hit us here too. It was surreal for several days after the 11th. I had a job interview on the 13th, I had to travel by passanger boat to the interview. Usually the boat has children running around talking excitedly, the usual burble of adult conversations, ecetra. Not on the 13th. The whole trip was a surreal silence. Children sat silently beside their parents, occasionally looking toward their mothers and fathers, as if understanding that the world had changed, and not for the better, and willing their parents to make it all better.

Even in Canada, I was touched by the tragity. Friends of mine lived in a city that had a suspicious plane land, in the far north. They came over the radio and announced that everyone should head to high ground out of the city incase the highjackers decide to take the plane into the hydro-electric dam just upstream of the city.

My friend's daughter was in NYC not a week earlier and had bought tickets to a performance in the WTC.

My cousin was just across the water, and saw the planes hit. She was down there on a work trip.

I had come in second in a job competition that would have had me in the WTC on the 11th, and my Fiance had planned to work at the bookstore in the basement.

And I was one of the remotely effected people. I didn't actualy know anyone who died on Sept 11.

I wrote this on Sept 15th in my paper journal.

To all my friends and relitives in the US, my thoughts are with you.

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Wow, my first journal entry

Minupla Minupla writes  |  about 13 years ago

"Reflections on a Conversation with 'Angie'"

First allow me to note that the excerpts from my conversation are used with her express permission. They were personal thoughts and I would not have dreamed of reprinting them without that permission.

I was travelling home from the movies tonight, and waiting for the bus at Georgia and Granville, when I was approached by a young lady, asking for some spare change. Before I could respond with my now practiced evasions, (it is strange how it's one of the first things you learn when you live in the big city), she offers to read me some of her poetry. This is new, and I've got time to burn before the bus arrives. I accept her offer, not supplying the change. She proceeds to recite from memory for 4 minutes poetry much better than I, with my college education ever could have written.

I hand her what money I have on me, and bid that she take a seat and talk with me for awhile until my bus shows up. She's obviously not your stereotypical street person, and I want to hear her story, and felt that I'd just paid much more to hear some producer's made up story, I could certainly spare a few dollars to hear her real one.

Except for a shift in economic status, it could have been my story. She started lower so when her family crashed, she ended lower, and didn't have my aptitudes to fall back on. She told me stories of protecting her little sister from her dad, and how eventually they left him, opting to live on the streets rather then continue to accept the abuse. She told me of a boyfriend who wanted her to push dust, and her refusal to inflict that on other innocent people. She also told me of the punishment she received for this refusal.

Part way through the stories, I stopped listening so closely and listened to the tone of her voice, and watched her bearing. This was a young lady (of all of 18 years old!) who had the confidence, and self-assurance of any professional I've ever dealt with. I questioned her about this. She responded "There comes a time when you have to make a decision, you undergo abuse from your parents, and you have to decide, you can either be like them or you can learn from them. I thank my father for giving me the example not to follow."

Eventually, as many conversations like this in my life have gone of late, the subject of religion came up. I myself am a confirmed fence sitter. I'm agnostic. After having recited a common saying, it occurred to me to inquire as to her belief system. She said, "People need something to keep them going. It can be anything. If believing in a God does it for them, more power to them, it could be a doorknob they believe in, and that would be fine too." So I asked, "And what keeps you going Angie?". Her response was, "I want to see where this train stops. That and taking care of my little sister." At about this point, my bus pulled up, and Angie pointed it out. I quickly scribbled my email addy "bofh@ufies.org" on a scrap of paper and handed to her, noting that if she was ever in a position to access the net, to please drop me a line, and stepped out of her world.

Never once during my conversation with her did she express more then a quick thanks, and never did she indicate that more money would be appreciated, this would have been beneath her dignity, she had what she needed, and in return she gave freely of what I requested, conversation.

So, as I sit on the bus on my way home trying desperately to type this into the laptop while it's still fresh in my mind. I ask myself, "What has this changed about me? What does Angie have to teach me?"

I think we take people for granted. Here's a lady that if you read her story in a fictional tale you'd go, "Ya, OK, but who can believe the character?" These people exist in real life. And you find them where you least expect to find them. When I logged out of #UF tonight and decided almost randomly to see 13th floor (good movie, btw, and well worth seeing), I never expected to meet a role model, and certainly never expected for her to be a street person. But in this day and age, I'll take my heroes where I can find them.

Thanks, Angie, and I hope my 10$ bought you a warm place to spend the night, it was more then worth it, and I hope one day you will be in a position to tell your own story, as I'm sure you could do so with much more eloquence then myself.

 

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