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Comments

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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Penguinisto Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (351 comments)

One small problem with your statement:

The vast majority of smart phone users don't use iPhones, but Apple's done pretty well.

A very significant portion of the public does use iPhones (here in PDX it's roughly half and half). The only two human beings I've seen who use and *like* Windows Phones were as follows: a gent who wanted something cheap and worked in .NET for a living, and a visiting Microsoft TAM.

4 days ago
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Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

Penguinisto Re: Biggest archaeological event? (80 comments)

Did you just suggest an Arctic expedition that vanished ~170 years ago and claimed 128 lives [...]

To be fair, the lives lost weren't due to the sinking, but due to the trek they were forced to make over the ice. IIRC, recovered tin cans from the first campsite, and testing tissue from the excavated remains of three buried crew members showed that lead poisoning was likely a huge factor in the decisions that led to most of their deaths.

Not sure if the ship itself will yield any further clues as to the conditions that lead to the tragedy (aside from knowing precisely where it was stuck in the ice, anyway).

5 days ago
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Comcast Using JavaScript Injection To Serve Ads On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Penguinisto Re:Copyright violation? (230 comments)

Well since you are getting connection to the internet for free...

Nope, not true.

I don't have Comcast's phone or TV service (both of which suck), and only have their internet service because that's what we're stuck with in this little town for broadband (at least until sat/wireless catches up in speed). ...and yeah, those bills they send me every month say that you're sadly mistaken.

about a week ago
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Comcast Using JavaScript Injection To Serve Ads On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Penguinisto Re:Copyright violation? (230 comments)

And doing so for a commercial purpose. Which, in theory, could make it criminal.

At the very least they are modifying user content, which should by all rights push them out of any DMCA safe harbor protections.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Penguinisto Re:Seriously? (523 comments)

Agreed - I suspect that the translation from AT&T is as follows:

"Please don't up the definition... we suck, and don't want to have to explain why we can't provide "Broadband" to the majority of our customers anymore."

The sad part is, I bet that all the other ISPs are silently cheering AT&T on. :/

about a week ago
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White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

Penguinisto Re:Of course (74 comments)

Oftentimes, they do that when the candidate has little-to-no experience in the office.

Kind of odd in this case, but with most political appointees the press likes it's a means to hedge against cries of nepotism, favoritism, or suchlike. Gives them a means to shout "...see? Mr. So-and-So is qualified for the job!!!!11!!"

about two weeks ago
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White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

Penguinisto Re:Oh boy (74 comments)

No, the exact opposite of what we need right now is a series of executive orders enforcing implementations that hurt technology, rather than foster it.

Example? If one came down the pike demanding that all government agencies use only Microsoft-built operating systems (or worse, one forcing the use of .docx, .xlsx, etc in all government documents...)

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Penguinisto Re:grow your own exchange (116 comments)

Depends if you have a license or not - $200 and a doc's note is pretty much all you need, then you're pretty much off to the races if you're growing for yourself. IF you're on disability, the $200 is discounted substantially (my in-laws had a license... it was weird going to their house for the first time and seeing ganja *trees* growing right next to their house... okay, maybe not real trees, but these bastards were 12' tall.)

Then again, if you don't want to do the paperwork, Vancouver, WA is only like 20 minutes' drive north of PDX.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Penguinisto Re:grow your own exchange (116 comments)

There is a flip-side to that, though: The benefits are astounding for anyone who knows how to navigate the system.

Example? My father retired 3 years ago from the VA as a biomed engineer. His pay wasn't that great (though in Arkansas it was well above average given local cost-of-living). The real benefits came in when he was able to 'buy up' a full military retirement from his tour in Vietnam, add his full 30+ year retirement from the VA, and now pulls in something like $6k/mo in pensions after taxes... and this is *before* counting his rather massive 401k that still sits untapped. Oh, and he gets full medical/dental/vision benefits, paid-for.

Dunno about you, but the only way I can think of to get something similar is either to build your own business and sell it for a huge pile of cash, or spend an inordinate amount of time as a day-trader in your off-hours.

The closest I came to working for any government outside of military service was as a teacher (then later as a professor)... again, the pay wasn't the greatest, but the benefits were jaw-dropping (healthcare/vision/dental? free with ridiculously low co-pays. Before the tech school I taught at became a state college, I had three months off each year *with pay* - they had merely averaged my salary over 12 months. Even though I had only worked there six years, I'm still entitled to a small pro-rated pension from the state whenever I decide to retire since I was there at least 5 yrs.)

Notice that I never even mentioned the hours. Overtime is rare unless you're hourly and really want the extra dosh. Your day begins at 7-8am, and ends at 4pm - if that.

Also notice that as long as you never go into management, it's almost impossible for a federal employee to get fired or laid-off, even if you're a total fuck-up; that tends to appeal to the less competent among us. Even at the state level, I often stood with a dropped jaw as my two 'colleagues' demonstrated massive incompetence at CS, yet taught it (example? Every student workstation they had came with a public IP addy w/ no firewalls or proxy present, and they *all* ran Windows NT 4, then Win2k/XP. I was the lone *NIX teacher, but even on the infrastructure level, I never put up with that shit - one public IP addy fed the whole room nicely. My colleagues had to completely re-image their classrooms once every two days or so, mostly due to infections and zombification - and I had to build the imaging server for them, else they would have bought some expensive-assed 3rd-party solution to do it :/ I think you get the idea from there...)

Long story short? Yeah, civil service pay sucks, but it is a nice racket for those who want to get a whole lot for very little effort. You have to really love paper, though.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Penguinisto Re:grow your own exchange (116 comments)

It's an oddity, but damn it's easy to get used to - especially in the winter.

The sad part is when you travel. I remember sitting at a gas station for something like three minutes in Atlanta... until my wife prompted me that I had to get out and pump my own damn gas.

about two weeks ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

Penguinisto Re: It ain't no Team Fortress Classic (170 comments)

Agreed - I held off until well into Quake 2 (Weapons Factory MOD) before I got the vidcard and OpenGL bump, and it difference was astounding...

And yeah, I did it because suddenly I kept getting sniped even in the darkest corners until I did upgrade. :/

about two weeks ago
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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

Penguinisto Re:Straight to the pointless debate (136 comments)

If you can't bring yourself to care, why did you post?

That aside, it's good that it was recovered, though it is, to be fair, still a snapshot in time. Now if they had something over multiple years from that period, we could get a better picture.

Nota Bene: "way larger" isn't exactly precise, especially given any competent chart on sea ice coverage over periods as small as a couple of decades. We've seen sea ice grow like crazy over the past two years, after all. ;)

about two weeks ago
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Kernel Developer Dmitry Monakhov Arrested For Protesting Ukraine Invasion

Penguinisto Re:Relates to safety and knowledge. News for Nerds (205 comments)

Apple != Oranges - In your example, the band would likely get busted for trespassing on private property, then would go to court and have at least some semblance of due process. In TFA, dude got locked up for "disobeying a police officer", which is a bit more ephemeral (and way too generalized) than trespassing would be.

about two weeks ago
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How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Penguinisto Re:This Just In! (111 comments)

"people"? You misspelled "legislators" - in 2003/4, Qwest (now CenturyStink) and Comcast went nuts and brib^M convinced Utah legislators to abandon the UTOPIA multi-city municipal broadband project, then they began slathering on lawsuits and threats thereof.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Talks WIth IBM Power Systems GM Doug Balog (Video)

Penguinisto Re:I've always wanted a sytem! (36 comments)

heh - don't eat much? You should see the electrical and HVAC bills...

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

Penguinisto Re:I like... (643 comments)

Everyone likes accountability when they have control over it. The cops would have control over the tapes, right? So they get to choose which parts to show and which parts to "inconveniently lose."

One small problem with that theory... if they "inconveniently lose" a critical bit of video evidence at trial, the defense would savage them for it, and the jury is likely to let that fact color their decision in a way that is not advantageous to the prosecution.

All said, since most prosecutions end up plea-bargains this may be moot, but for those that go to trial...?

about three weeks ago
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IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Penguinisto Re:That ship has already sailed. (113 comments)

If one cannot order it cheaply and easily on the web ala Amazon shopping experience, who is going to bother to go through a reseller? That was the model 40 years ago!

Unless you meant AWS or similar, err, WTF?

If you buy any actual server iron at most companies, you get to play with an RFQ/RFP, untangle the resulting bids, and deal with the PO process, courtesy of Accounts Payable (and Lord help you if you try and circumvent that!)

Seriously - a VAR is usually the only way to make comprehensible sense out of such a purchase, because usually you're not only buying the metal, but you're buying VMWare/Oracle/Whatever licenses to go along with it as well (and if you're dumb enough to do Windows and don't have an SA/EA, you get to buy that too).

Shit, man - the time saved by having a VAR bundle that mess and bid against each other is *way* more than worth the hassle sometimes...

about three weeks ago
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IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Penguinisto Re:That ship has already sailed. (113 comments)

Why wouldn't they just support Linux on the new hardware?

They do - well, if you put it in an LPAR ;)

about three weeks ago
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IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Penguinisto Re:Are they available in the cloud? (113 comments)

I can vouch for this one - the whole LPAR/IVM set is licensed in such a way that makes it effing impossible to be a 3rd-party VAR for the things.

Then again, I'd hate to be the sorry mofo that either a) had to manage the things, or b) had to write a web-based wrapper to track and tie together individual iSeries/i5/AS400-based IVM interfaces (*shudder*).

(no, seriously, I'd much prefer to do that with Solaris/Sparc Logical Domains, if only because LDOMS can be way more easily handled from the command prompt, and thus scriptable...)

about three weeks ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Penguinisto Re:Illegal (182 comments)

Dunno if you can apply a criminal statute to it, but there has to be some precedent formed around taxi companies getting borked out of a fare that way, or perhaps something similar to how pizza delivery was once crank-called... it would depend on the locale, though, and I doubt you'd find anything beyond local laws to support it.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Some US Hospitals Now Data-Mine Patients' Purchases, Lifestyle

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  about 3 months ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "A new article up on Bloomberg shows that in at least two hospital chains, your doctor can know more about you than you may want them to: "Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data."

Question is, how soon before your health insurance broker demands/contracts and gets that kind of information, and what privacy can you expect in the future?"
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Want to Prove How Dinosaurs Walked? Pin a Tail on a Chicken

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  about 7 months ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "Researchers have recently gotten a cool idea: If you want to prove how a dinosaur walked, why not test the theory on today's birds? They decided to test things out by putting prosthetic tails on chicks to provide the same balance issues that a T-Rex (and similar bipedal dinosaurs) faced. The prosthetic tails were periodically replaced with larger versions as the chicks grew. The results were astonishing: After 12 weeks, the chickens' legs were measured, and were discovered to have decreased range-of-motion in the knees while their femurs grew longer... just like the T-Rex. You can also see a nifty video of how they did this."
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Ellison's Team Oracle Racing Yacht Capsizes in SF Bay

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "The America's Cup hopeful and Ellison's favorite $8 million racing yacht Team Oracle capsized today underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. (video). They were testing out a new $2 million sailing wing when the boat suddenly "pitch-poled", capsizing immediately. 14 people were aboard, though no one was hurt. The 13,000 lb boat was pulled four miles offshore by currents before it could be recovered. According to the crew, the boat can be salvaged, but the new multimillion-dollar sailing wing was a "total loss" as it broke up in the bay."
Link to Original Source
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Pending Copyright Treaty a Secret?

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "According to CNET, a request for information by Knowledge Ecology International about a pending copyright treaty was denied. Even stranger, the Freedom of Information Act request was denied for "national security" reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, One would think that a treaty that affects civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this..."
Link to Original Source
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AT&T Is Next To Impose Bandwidth Caps

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "It seems that after Comcast has successfully imposed a 250GB/mo. bandwidth cap on its users, AT&T wants to give it a try, starting in Reno, Nevada. However, they intend to have lower caps, based on your rate plan. For lower-end users (768Kb DSL),this means you only get 20GB/mo. max, while the highest-paying users (10Mb DSL) get 150GB/mo. at the most (compared to Comcast's across-the-board 250GB/mo. cap). Initially, AT&T will only impose this on new customers, or existing customers who break the 150GB/mo. limit, but expect to impose this to all customers. The relatively good news? Instead of being cut off, users who reach 80% of their caps will be contacted, then pay $1/GB for every GB used over the limit once it is reached."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Caught Disrespecting Photogs' IP rights.

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "Microsoft and Nikon had launched a recent competition called Iconic Britain", but had actively encouraged participants to scrape images off of the Web, and to submit the ones they thought best represented the UK. Problem is, this encouragement fell a bit short in the 'respecting others' copyrights' department... there has been a discussion thread on Flickr expressing various proofs and shades of outrage by users at having their photos ripped off. CNET News reports that they had contacted Microsoft and was told that Microsoft is currently "obtaining the rights", but does not have them yet (but still displays the images). Competition partner Nikon has pulled themselves out of the promotion entirely."
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Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platimum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand it's Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to "Shared Source") interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community."
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US Senate pledges $1bn to stop P2P Child Porn

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Penguinisto writes "A US Senate panel approved a bill, setting up $1bn USD to help federal, state, and local police forces create special software that will track P2P networks in an attempt to catch child pornographers. Given the foibles and follies of MediaDefender, coupled with the possibility of criminal charges (instead of civil lawsuits) hinging on a similar application's results, this may prove to be sticky indeed with any innocent party who winds up getting accidentally fingered... Nothing yet on how they intend to address the conceptual and technical flaws that Media Defender have been shown to exhibit. Other provisions of the bill include closing existing potential loopholes in how child porn is generated and disseminated (e.g. altering an innocent image to make it look sexual in nature, etc). While I doubt that anyone would defend someone who actually engages in child exploitation and abuse, the technical underpinnings could have wider future implications as to how governments track and prosecute computer crimes."
Link to Original Source
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Saudi Arabia Detains Blogger

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry has confirmed that it is detaining Fouah al-Farhan for violation of 'security laws'. Farhan apparently knew it was coming, and warned about it almost two weeks in advance on his blog. Even in Pro-Western Saudi Arabia, laws are known to be rather draconian... while the poor guy most likely won't get his tongue cut out (so far they said that they merely wanted him to sign and post an apology), this bodes not well for attempts at opening up societies in the Middle East."
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SCO Admits It May Go Under Soon

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Penguinisto writes "It appears that now even SCO is seeing that they're doomed. CNET reveals that in a public statement by SCO yesterday, it was announced that: "If a significant cash payment is required, or significant assets are put under a constructive trust, the carrying amount of our long-lived assets may not be recovered." So as a parallel to RMS Titanic, has the bow finally dropped below the waves, as shareholders and SCO employees scramble for the last few remaining lifeboat slots?"
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Law & Order Actor, Child Porn, and Geek Squad

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "After the last incident involving Geeks Squad and pornography, one would think they would tend to avoid prowling through users' hard drives. Then again, sometimes it can have, well positive consequences. Yet in supreme irony (in more ways than one), actor Albert Insinnia (of the television show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) took his PC in to Geek Squad, where a worker there found child porn on his hard drive and turned him in to the cops."
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Citrix to buy XenSource for $500m

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "Apparently Citrix doesn't want to be left out in the cold when it came to Virtualization.So, it decided to snap up Xen Source in whole, with a combination of cash and stock. Question is, what impact exactly will this have on Linux as a whole? (Xen runs on/under Windows too, but Linux is arguably its biggest playground to date). Also, is this a defensive move on Citrix' part, given Microsoft's development of potential VMWare and Xen competitor Viridian?"
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AMD officially cuts prices, Intel likely to follow

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "Well, here it comes, as we hear AMD cry "Havok!" and let slip the pricetags of war". From the article: "the price cuts mean that all of the company's dual-core Athlon 64 X2 processors will be priced at less than $200, with the top-end Athlon 64 X2 6000+ now selling for $178. The two low-end models in AMD's dual-core line, the Athlon X2 3600+ and 3800+, have been dropped, making the Athlon X2 4000+ the new entry-level dual-core model at $73." Coupled with impending Intel price slashing, do we sit around and wait for the prices to get real good, or upgrade the older beasties among our collections this summer?"
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Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "A business has so far felt the very real pain of sotware patent enforcement — but this time, it is a large company who extinguished the little guy. Reyes Infografica had recently sent a Cease and Desist notice to a small Poser hobbyist programmer named Phil Cooke for his "Clothing Creator" program, claiming that it violates one of their patents (Phil's own site/support forum contains the copy of Reyes' C&D, Phil's announcement, and relevant discussions.) Clothing Creator has been out for a couple of years now. Basically, it builds quick custom clothing for humanoid 3d figures within the 3d compositing/rendering program called Poser. Recently, E-Frontier, the current owner of Poser, had partnered with Reyes to sell a competing product in E-Frontier's online store, called "Virtual Fashion". To E-Frontier's credit, they recently announced that they would stop selling the Reyes product until the dispute is settled, though at time of writing the product is still available for sale. So is this the "innovation" that software patents were supposed to foster?"
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Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Penguinisto (415985) writes "A few days ago, Phil Cooke, a small-time hobbyist 3D/CG programmer, was sent a Cease and Desist notice from Reyes Infografica over a small 3D/CG clothes-generating program he had sold for years (it generated clothing mesh for a figures in a CG hobbyist program known as Poser). The program has since been pulled from the maker's site, as he cannot afford to retain counsel with which to fight back. Apparently, Phil's program had collided against a software patent that Reyes filed in 2001 (the patent was filed in the US and Spain). The C&D notice, and some of the discussion surrounding it can be found a PhilC's site discussion forums. While we usually see stories about small-time patent trolls raking in huge bucks from large companies, is this an indication of a disturbing trend by larger companies using software patents to intimidate and eliminate their smaller competition? And if so, then how on Earth is this supposed to foster innovation and creativity?"

Journals

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Gawd, that felt good... or, trolling for Mac-Heads on /.

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  more than 10 years ago ----Update, 12/06/04: I've recently sold my G4 Cube ($700 on eBay - go me!) and my brand new dual G5 will be arriving today via UPS...)---

Original journal entry below:

After a long stint of enjoying the grand experience here, and with more than just a little mischief, I decided to have a bit of fun with the masses.

I'd been toying around with the subject matter, and while reading comments in a rather decent article on securityfocus.com, it hit me: most folks claim that Linux users are some sort of ugly zealot-packed mob that rabidly attacks anything that dares impugn the Holy Penguin(tm, pat. pending, etc...)

Now, from experience, I know full well that Linux users are naught but docile saints compared to one particular segment of humanity: Mac users. Being bored, and having the appropriate mood, a wee article appeared that presented the perfect opportunity.

Knowing the shelf-life of a /. story, I had to act fast, but I think I pulled off a fairly decent entry that would separate the intelligent from the raving, drooling, eternally-pissed-off Mac zealots.

As of this writing, there are approximately three responses that successfully avoided the bait - two that actually approached it with some intelligence, one with a good dose of wit, and the rest? Well, the rest proved my point... a seething pack of anger-ridden zealots in the truest sense of the word. I bet most are still shaking at their desks from the adrenalin overload, clutching their iPods and grinding their teeth in white-hot rage.Click the link above and enjoy the show... :)

Perhaps I should include some caveats: One, I am a Macintosh user, and am the proud owner of a G4 Cube which I have successfully modified quite extensively. (I also own a P4-based PC, but I only use it for games and CG art proggies I can't find a Mac version for.) I guess I should also include the fact that I own neither a Dell DJ or an iPod... I instead prefer to play my music via the mp3 player on my Compaq 3536 PocketPC loaded with Linux Familiar and a big fat CF card... (this way I can play music and games on it, grab email, etc... )

Ah well, I guess I should be getting back to the site and read up about how my fellow Mac afficianados think I'm gay, an idiot, a clueless dumbass, etc etc. It's damned funny in a way, and I can always point to it in the future whenever the clueless folk at SecFocus decide to screech about "linux zealotry" or somesuch.

Until next time, Mousketeers...

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