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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

Penguinisto Nothing new here (81 comments)

We may yet find out... most of the smarter escapees tend to wait until their deathbed to let something like that slip out.

yesterday
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

Penguinisto Re:Assuming they escaped, the penal system worked! (81 comments)

You mean, didn't get caught. There's a difference.

They'd have to have kept those crimes to extremely petty ones at the most. Even though the 1960's didn't have facial recognition, the TSA (for what that's worth), instant background checks, widespread Social Security Number checking mechanisms, or any of the stuff we have today? They definitely had fingerprinting, and at least some semblance of a national fingerprint database of sorts to check against (the FBI would have had these guys' fingerprints after the break.)

They could have eventually slipped through the cracks even if they re-offended (e.g. it wasn't uncommon for, say, truck drivers to have multiple drivers' licenses from multiple states), but any crime beyond a misdemeanor would have had the local PD looking at some stranger (stranger in their town that is) and doing at least a cursory check, if only to build a rap sheet for the prosecution.

IMHO, if they made it, they likely hoofed it to Canada or Mexico (or perhaps further South) and built an assumed identity from which to live out the rest of their lives in as obscure a manner as possible. Over time, that new identity would become reinforced.

It wouldn't be the first time either... I recall a few instances in the '80s and even the '90s where some schlub or other escaped prison in that era (or before), got himself a new identity, and decades later did something stupid (IIRC, in one case the dumbass ran for a local public office, and a local reporter researching his background found the inconsistencies).

yesterday
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Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Penguinisto Re:LOL (398 comments)

And, well, fuck the non-disparagement agreement. It's not disparagement to post factual information.

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

Penguinisto Re:Joyent unfit to lead them? (254 comments)

Wait, WTF?

From your first link:

But while Isaac is a Joyent employee, Ben is not—and if he had been, he wouldn't be as of this morning: to reject a pull request that eliminates a gendered pronoun on the principle that pronouns should in fact be gendered would constitute a fireable offense for me and for Joyent.

That's some rather petty bullshit, truth be told - by all parties involved, including the author of that blog entry. Now if they were fighting over something, you know, *technical*, I'd be more sympathetic, but really - ideological bullshit like that? Call me when the dude added some actual code to the damn thing and got rude treatment.

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

Penguinisto Re:take their money and run... real classy (254 comments)

if these open source projects are going to accept corporate sponsorship, they must do that corporation's bidding.

No. If an open source project's leadership accepts monetary or other sponsorship, then the leadership of that project has to do the corporation's bidding. The other contributors can still do whatever the fuck they want.

To be honest, unless there's a contract (with a term) involved, the project's leadership can change or reject the terms at any time, and can definitely negotiate or even reject any changes (proposed or actual in their relationship with the sponsor.

Finally, this is a two-way street - the sponsor must accept that the project they took on simply is what it is.

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

Penguinisto Re:Effort dilution (254 comments)

The scourge of Open Source disguised as choice..

I disagree over the degree of which this would be a problem - think of it more like the free market. Under ideal conditions, the best ideas with the broadest appeal tend to win, grow and evolve, while the worst ideas with little appeal tend to fade away relatively quickly.

It also provides a very useful ejection seat of sorts in case of corporate asshattery (see also OpenOffice/Libre Office), patent follies, or worse. Also, consider this: Closed-Source/proprietary software can be just as prone to this kind of internal dissent as OSS, but you the end-user will never have a say in the results.

Forking is awesome to have as an option - either as a threat or as an actuality. A company who knows that their shit could be forked will either behave themselves, or they will lose control of their product. IMHO that's a damned good thing.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

Penguinisto Re:Woohoo, let's explore (140 comments)

Agreed, though it brings up a bigger (albeit personal) bitch-n-moan on my part...

We went from zero to Moon in about 24 years (1945-1969), but then did approximately bupkis in the realm of manned exploration for 45 years after that (okay, Space Shuttle, ISS, etc - but we're talking manned planetary exploration here, not just repeating the same shit we've done over and over again with only trivial increments.)

I remember as a kid anticipating a shot of going to distant worlds as an adult, but damn - by the time they *finally* get around to putting someone on Mars, I'll be damned near retired (and definitely too old for consideration of such a thing.) I just wish NASA would have gotten their shit straight and kept pushing, instead of dropping it in the early 1970s and deciding 'hey, let's make this shuttle thingy!'

Some of us would have wanted to see things happen faster, and sooner - I know I'm not alone in thinking this...

about two weeks ago
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Fraudulent Apps Found In Apple's Store

Penguinisto Re:Security? (89 comments)

I haven't read stories about malware on Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store, and Nintendo eShop.

Fair call, but consider that it costs a pretty penny to get an app into any of those marketplaces, and they're almost orders of magnitude smaller than even Blackberry's App store...

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10 Adds Battery Saver Feature

Penguinisto Re:so.... (96 comments)

No - it's Microsoft's incarnation of Apple's AppNap feature.
(think of it as an aggressive and automatic version of the *nix renice function with a suspend feature latched onto it.)

about two weeks ago
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Fraudulent Apps Found In Apple's Store

Penguinisto Re:Security? (89 comments)

Wasn't stuff like this supposed to be prevented by having a walled garden?

A handful out of several million ain't half bad, considering.

I think the only other app store that could do better would be Blackberry, but only due to the fact that nobody uses it anymore (or at least not enough to have found and purchased a scam app).

about two weeks ago
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Google, National Parks Partner To Let Girls Program White House Xmas Tree Lights

Penguinisto Re:Girls, girls, girls... (333 comments)

He'll probably assume the reason is that girls need extra help because they're dumb.

Quoted for visibility: Most folks, when not given a sufficient reason for something, will come up with one of their own. A child isn't going to know (much less comprehend) all the (let's face it, oftentimes dumb) nuances of ideology or politics, so they'll often come up with and go for the simplest explanation they can contrive given what they know.

about two weeks ago
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Google, National Parks Partner To Let Girls Program White House Xmas Tree Lights

Penguinisto Re:Girls, girls, girls... (333 comments)

Depends, really. When my ex-wife first began nursing school, the only guys you saw in her class were considered to be homosexual (even by many of the female classmates). This stemmed from the perception of nursing as a caring and nurturing profession, more akin to motherhood than to traditional male traits.

I suspect that aside form what other guys think, there's also the 'ick' factor among male patients who have a male nurse, especially when it comes to things involving the more intimate bits of the human body; it's one thing to have a woman shaving your nether regions in preparation for a surgery or giving you an enema (or similar), but some dude doing it to you introduces a bit of mental discomfort in guys. I suspect the biggest reason stems from nearly everyone having had their mother bathe them and care for them when they were kids, so it's easier to overcome if a woman does it. Mind you this isn't sexism, but the result of conditioning.

about two weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Penguinisto Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (1128 comments)

If it went to trial, we *would* know all the facts.

No, no you wouldn't. You would only know what the prosecution and defense could find and present. Nothing more, nothing less.

As it so happens, the DA promised to release all the evidence they have to the public shortly. When, how, and in what format I do not know, but nonetheless, that's what they intend to do according to their statement.

A grand jury doesn't determine guilt or innocence, it only decides whether a trial should happen.

Agreed. The reason for having one in the first place is to determine whether there is enough credible evidence and testimony to be worth a trial.

about three weeks ago
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Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight

Penguinisto Re:Oh great, the Master of the iFlop blowing more (102 comments)

This... IIRC, they teamed up with U2 (the band) to do it. You bought a candy apple red iPod (IIRC) it came with a free U2 album on it, and a portion of the proceeds went towards AIDS research. Nothing new about that or TFA.

PS: Jobs was just as much of an ideological left-winger then as his replacement is now - likely more so.

As for future product lines? Dunno. None of that shit is easy, Jobs was just damned good at picking the winners.

about three weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Penguinisto Re:Global warming is bunk anyway. (367 comments)

Its ironic that one of the potential benefits of geoengineering research is that it will force many climate change deniers to admit that its possible for human activity to have major deleterious effects on Earth's climate.

...assuming it works, doesn't require the entire GDP of multiple nations, and a timescale that would put trees to shame, let alone humans.

Here's the funny part: in your haste to make a snark, you forget something: Humans can certainly alter clime - on a micro scale. Whether or not they can do it on a macro scale (let alone global) within any sort of sane time frame is a whole different (and honestly open) debate.

about a month ago
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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

Penguinisto I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the streets (186 comments)

Seriously - the two biggest (ab)users of the H1B system are Tata and Infosys... and they're both Indian corporations.

{rant}I guess in fairness to Obama, he managed to screw both blue and white-collar workers in one fell swoop...{/rant}

Anyone know the lobbyist money trail for this bit of it, or can I safely guess Microsoft, Apple, Google, Intel, etc... ?

about a month ago
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Penguinisto Re:morality a hindrance or help? (197 comments)

That's true even outside of the Bay area.

Here in PDX, I've worked in boiler rooms, for amoral shitheaded corporations, clueless startups, and similar places. I lost count of how many interviews I would suddenly walk out of due to a strong sense that the place is completely wrong to work for.

I've finally found a place where the folks running the show actually give a damn about their employees, and are willing to prove it in spades. It's a non-profit org, but damn it feels good to go home every day...

about a month ago
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Penguinisto Re:Wrong Question (197 comments)

It depends... Zynga was run by an amoral asswipe (Mr. Pincus) for quite awhile. It took the fading of games like Farmville and Yoville with no real viable replacement from them, coupled with the arrival of new shinies to distract their customers (e.g. Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, and similar crap) before they were cut down to size.

I guess what I'm saying is that it takes a public and/or industry willing to both pay attention to the company's doings and a willingness to do something about it. See also the demise of SCO viz. Darl McBride.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Penguinisto Re:Yawn ... (167 comments)

Not my problem, I'll be long gone.

...and at another company which did the same thing, except this time it's your head on the chopping block (even if it isn't your fault.)

Saw that happen to an IT director once. It was messy, to say the least...

about a month ago

Submissions

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

Penguinisto Penguinisto writes  |  about 6 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 10 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  |  more than 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 6 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 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  |  more than 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  |  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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