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Comments

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How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Penguinisto Re:This Just In! (107 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.

2 days 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...

3 days ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Penguinisto Re:I like... (601 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...?

3 days 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...

4 days 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 ;)

4 days 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...)

4 days ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Penguinisto Re:Illegal (181 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.

4 days ago
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Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

Penguinisto Re:10 secrets Facebook doesn't want you to know (61 comments)

Oh, it gets even better - wait until politispam pages all over the site go apeshit and claim outright censorship...

5 days ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

Penguinisto Re:Read that statement as follows: (441 comments)

This is not always true, for a couple of reasons:

1) If you got that H1-B by way of Infosys or Tata (as opposed to getting it straight from the US company), the dynamics are radically different than what you state, and those two companies alone make up an almost-majority of visa-holders (how that happened? 'hell if I know.)

2) Your statement only applies to those workers who are sufficiently competent in the field they work in, which is, sadly, only a fraction of the total (mind you, this is the case in any given group of people in any given field, so don't take it as a snipe against foreign workers specifically). I say this because you still have to demonstrate the competence at an interview. It is one thing to get recruiter offers, but another entirely when you have to sit in the interview.

about a week ago
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Future Hack: New Cybersecurity Tool Predicts Breaches Before They Happen

Penguinisto Re:Isn't the correct answer: (33 comments)

Exception:
My ancient and long-dead first domain/site ever had never got hacked, and it never will: I shuttered it in 2001 (-ish) when I sold the domain name (spark.org). ;)

about two weeks ago
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Future Hack: New Cybersecurity Tool Predicts Breaches Before They Happen

Penguinisto Re:WordPress? (33 comments)

True - and how is it that they say they're not counting vulns when that is precisely what they're doing (albeit counting past vulns and extrapolating...)

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

Penguinisto Re:Publicly Funded Governments (159 comments)

But what about military secrets?
What about ongoing stings of organized crime syndicates, and the undercover police who might threatened?

Both eventually become open records to the public anyway (after an expiration date, naturally), so aside from keeping such exceptional data sufficiently isolated from the public until their expiration dates (which happens anyway), what do you think detracts from GP's philosophy as per data format?

Back in the Bad Old Days, everything was typewritten on paper... a completely open data format. So...

about two weeks ago
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

Penguinisto Re:Google should be wary (155 comments)

I think it'd be a combination of the two - sure, the top three gents would still control the thing, but if GOOG dropped to $0.01 (assuming they weren't delisted first), then they'd have nothing but existing cash reserves to draw from, plus any patent royalties and alternate non-site-related sources of income. That in turn would dry up in a few years (not quite "decades") just from operational costs alone.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Penguinisto Re:Some people... (457 comments)

Question is, would the more proper term be "disruption"? :)

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Penguinisto Re:Websites deserve trolls (457 comments)

By the way scholarly articles or even books published a century ago have downright incorrect information in them all over the place, even if written by experts, but such is scientific published literature.

True - though to be fair, the really old stuff was based on what they knew at the time (with the rest being based on theories and suppositions; e.g. where posited that "ether" existed in space, where we know hard vacuum exists today.)

It's still fun to read, though - anyone with sufficient knowledge on the subject and a love of the evolution of human thinking can see and appreciate how far we've come, no? For instance, I have a 2nd Edition copy of Worlds Other Than Ours, printed in 1870-something (forgot exactly which year - it's at home.) It even came with color illustrations of various planets that were known about at the time. A huge chunk of it is grossly and flat-out wrong about what our environment is like viz. the Solar System. Some of it is so far off kilter that it's funny that folks seriously thought certain things were true, but at the same time you can still see in those words the yearning to learn more, and to know more - even in a book that claimed to be authoritative on the subject.

So yeah - I wouldn't go too hard on those now long-dead folks. I just wouldn't take everything they wrote as gospel, either.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Penguinisto Re:Websites deserve trolls (457 comments)

Depends on the troll...

In the bad/good old days, many of us did it for two reasons: one, to elicit responses and anguish (many of which were often hilarious), and two, to learn a bit more about the 'opposing' side, while forcing them to think harder as well (and not just rely on soundbites.) Many of the most classic trolls were witty, devastating, and sharp as a scalpel... enough so that even if you were the target, you often laughed your ass off in spite of yourself.

It was, sadly, nothing at all like the dreck you often see today.

Call it a nasty side-effect of Eternal September (the AOL/WebTV crowd) - along with the masses coming online, you wound up with their level of thinking. :(

about two weeks ago
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Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

Penguinisto Re:Funny money (409 comments)

The cost of solar dropped 20% in the last couple years, and is expected to drop quite a bit more, due to both technological and manufacturing improvements.

FYI - the biggest reason for the price drop wasn't economies of scale, but because China flooded the unholy fuck out of the solar market, in a bid to dominate it since manufacturing solar panels isn't all that technically complex (at least not when compared to most other things).

It used to cost around $3/Wp, and China's backing of SunPower, SunTech and similar ventures glutted the price down to ~$0.90/Wp; however, last I checked a couple of years ago (I used to work for SolarWorld) it still cost around $1.25/Wp to manufacture a 250W panel, and that's not counting margins slimmer than even a PC OEM enjoys.

about three weeks ago
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Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

Penguinisto Re:Might cause a re-thinking of the F-35 (275 comments)

What sibling said, and in addition most stealth-based aircraft carry radar reflectors in peacetime to aid ATC as a safety measure (the F-117's reflectors bolted right onto the sides.)

about three weeks ago
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"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Penguinisto Re:Do I need to be concerned about this? (205 comments)

Depends.

I once worked for a company that wrote web banking software. The laptops/desktops/etc of certain employees had a 'driver' that continually monitored the USB ports. If anything plugged into it that had storage on it but not the proper corporate auth key to connect as an approved storage device? It would automatically send an email to the IT department, immediately shut off the entire USB subsystem in the OS, and it stayed that way until the device was re-imaged (in many cases making the device completely useless). It also got you immediately perp-walked out of the building and freshly unemployed, unless you could immediately give them a reasonable (and provable) explanation as to why it happened.

Now in this case, I suspect that if the bad stick presented itself to the OS as a keyboard/mouse/whatever, it may circumvent that (I say "may" because I don't know if it would be able to dump any non-keyboard/mouse-related data onto the machine w/o presenting itself as storage.)

Either way, if you're that worried about it, then epoxy the USB ports shut (well, except on the phone for obvious reasons...)

about a month ago
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"ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads

Penguinisto Re: Lockdown (100 comments)

Sure a bunch of geeks with no legal training could use Wikipedia and slashdot. To pass a law exam.

...same way a lot of them made MCSE back in the dot-boom: braindump websites.

about a month ago

Submissions

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

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  about 2 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 6 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  |  about 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 6 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  |  about 7 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  |  about 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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