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Unwarranted Cavity-Search Of Two Women Brings Federal Lawsuit

Penurious Penguin typo as usual (1 comments)

The first sentence should read: "After enduring body cavity searches by police while en-route from Texas to Oklahoma, Angel Dobbs and her niece have filed a federal lawsuit against Texas State Troopers. "

about 2 years ago
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Hairspray Could Help Us Find Advanced Alien Civilizations

Penurious Penguin Yeah, but (1 comments)

Depending on their counting system and calender, they might be super advanced without ever having endured the 80's.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything

Penurious Penguin Rorschach (?) (319 comments)

Sir, please examine this image and tell us what you see. Which "penguin" do you identify yourself with?

about 2 years ago
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Implant Translates Written Words To Braille, Right On the Retina

Penurious Penguin "very good!": (75 comments)

10 (padding)
10 (padding)
11 (padding)
very (contracted)

11 (padding)
11 (padding)
00 (padding)
"go" (contracted)
10 (padding)
01 (padding)
10 (padding)
"o"
11 (padding)
01 (padding)
00 (padding)
"d"
00 (padding)
11 (padding)
10 (padding)
"!"
*padding for line-quota

about 2 years ago
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Stratfor's (Abridged) Dictionary

Penurious Penguin Should be a good test, (1 comments)

I predict the amount of my submissions declined shall be henceforth inclined. Well, it's just me and my sling -- and I keep on missing.

about 2 years ago
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Stratfor Hacker Could Be Sentenced to Life, Says Judge

Penurious Penguin Stratfor's Dictionary (388 comments)

Intelligence:
Noun
1. A collusive process whereby otherwise public information is made proprietary, assimilated and either (a) retained, or (b) reconstituted by the few for purposes of affecting the many.
2. The art of making something seem more intelligent by obscuring the details necessary for thorough evaluation.
3. A politically-correct synonym for propaganda (America, UK).
4. A private precursor to public ignorance (America, UK)
5. An expendable and valuable resource thought by oligarchs to produce results at a significantly-faster rate than wisdom, but with greater consequences and less predictable results on long-term scales. (America, UK)
6. An industrialized, highly refined form of data-processing specially tailored for those deficient of intellect.
7. A misnomer, popular amongst pun enthusiasts

about 2 years ago
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Stratfor Hacker Could Be Sentenced to Life, Says Judge

Penurious Penguin Re:Stratfor To Get Life (388 comments)

Yes, because my honest opinion on the matter is flaimbait, and overrated at 0. Yes, makes perfect sense to me. I repent; Stratfor is a great all-American company and should be loved by serfs and overlords alike. If companies like Stratfor only had more power, the world would be at peace. I luv u Sratfor! I know you only collude and keep information from the public because you care. We're not worthy. The Authorities should never need pause for public inspection.

- Reformed by Modpoints

about 2 years ago
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Stratfor Hacker Could Be Sentenced to Life, Says Judge

Penurious Penguin Stratfor To Get Life (388 comments)

When all the treasonous rot that Stratfor has engaged in comes to further attention, they'll soon be getting some heavy-duty sentences themselves. It says a lot about the character of the company that they'd not come out and directly discourage such a gross penalty. If they really had anything to do with security or "intelligence", they'd not try so hard to destroy people who aren't significant threats. They would also do things to empower society -- not sociopathic plutocracies.

Anyway, Stratfor, I hope the worst is yet to come for you. You are charlatans and parasites and don't give a damn about what you profess to protect.

And PS to all replies: I'll not be responding.

about 2 years ago
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Judge Issues Temporary Order Blocking Expulsion For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag

Penurious Penguin Re:Why do we even bother with schools anymore? (305 comments)

The prison industry is thriving and set to continue growing. I'd actually not be surprised to see that happen. I could think of a dozen reasons, but here's one.

about 2 years ago
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The World Falls Back In Love With Coal

Penurious Penguin Zeta Power (341 comments)

This should be great for the zeta cartels - it seems they've expanded from drugs and mass-murder to the coal industry.

Now when we do such things as turn on a light, we can relish more than our collective carbon boot-print on the Earth's bemired face -- we can smile as we bask in the sanguineous luminosity of torture and intoxication too!

about 2 years ago
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This Is What Happens When You Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey

Penurious Penguin DHS (164 comments)

The DHS warned about this last year. Where there aint be no terrorists or journalists, there be birds without feathers.
And don't mind that strange man in a trench-coat lurking outside your house; he's just one of many TSA agents volunteering to frisk your turkey. If you stuff it in a diaper first, he'll give you free Pre-Check when he's finished.

about 2 years ago
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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch

Penurious Penguin Re:Honest error, my foot ! (519 comments)

I definitely know it happens, though I'm not yet certain why. Take for example, my most recent submission which was rejected over an anonymous submission that came in 24 hours later. Mine contained a typo and a link at the bottom of the post. The anonymous version was a little cleaner, but much later, and it was accepted pretty quickly. When it becomes routine, I will stop submitting and go elsewhere. Until then, I guess I'll keep at it. It's really just a little hobby, and possibly an unhealthy one anyway -- I aint no Pickens.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?

Penurious Penguin Video Renaissance (547 comments)

Here is Sarasota, FL, there's a place that's been around for a long time and continues to survive. Business is probably not what is was 10 years ago, but the last time I was in, I asked such questions. Before I learned much, I interrupted to ask about Terry, one of the guys who for the last decade (or two?) seemed inseparable from the place. Unfortunately he'd passed away. Terry Porter was a real wizard of film. Aside from being a kind and interesting fellow, I knew I never had to leave the store empty-handed if I could just vaguely describe a desired genre to him. All the folks who've worked there (or still do) exhibit an impressive knowledge of film. One advantage of the store is that for many years, they've specialized in difficult-to-find material, and I suspect that even in the age anything-you-want-right-now, they still have a few things up their sleeves one would struggle to find elsewhere.

That's about all I can say. Whether I've described their virtues well or not, they remain in the same location - with customers, but apparently without a website. I dug up their Faceclamp page and a news article on Terry; maybe between the two you'll find an idea.

about 2 years ago
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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch

Penurious Penguin Re:"first time plagiarist" (519 comments)

I definitely sympathize, but I from my experience, it is likely an honest error. I have spent my time on several occasions writing summaries only to see one come through right before I'm finished. I've also innocently submitted summaries (which I thought superior) atop another similar submission and watched mine rightfully be discarded. I have seen many occasions where an anonymous post of lesser eloquence trumps an account-based submission of greater quality, only because it was first. But, as you've illustrated, it doesn't always work. If it's any consolation, I voted for yours earlier, but not the newer one.

about 2 years ago
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Anonymous attack Israeli websites

Penurious Penguin Re:Anonymous = Terrorists? (9 comments)

If I couldn't read through typos, I'd never know what I wrote. Regarding your response, I'm afraid I can't add much in return. It's going to get real strange, no doubt.

about 2 years ago
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Anonymous attack Israeli websites

Penurious Penguin Re:Anonymous = Terrorists? (9 comments)

Don't worry; the targeted ethnicity this time will be all-embracive and all-inclusive -- as will be the few on the other side administering the tyranny. Evil has learned the virtues of surface diversity. If you want to worry about such future varieties of Nationalism, I recommend considering China.

about 2 years ago
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Valve's Big Picture Could Be A Linux Game Console

Penurious Penguin Note (1 comments)

I really don't know much about the above subject; I simply felt inspired to submit an attempt at a summary because I find the concept very appealing. I actually don't play anything but Go. So, if an editor happens to read this comment, be informed that it may be in need of editing or even destruction.

about 2 years ago
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Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies

Penurious Penguin Re:Change! (674 comments)

The Twinkie is fucking stoic!

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Unwarranted Cavity-Search Of Two Women Brings Federal Lawsuit

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "After enduring body cavity searches by police while en-route from Texas to Oklahoma, Angel Dobbs and her niece have filed a federal lawsuit Texas State Troopers.

State trooper David Farrell had pulled over the two women after seeing cigarette butts tossed from their window. Farrell claims to have detected the odor of cannabis emanating from the vehicle and called for female officer Kelly Helleson to perform a cavity search, which she eventually did. Meanwhile, the lawsuit claims, Farrell searched the vehicle without a warrant. When the cavity search was finally performed, it was done so in plain view of passersby and the genital areas of both women were prodded by Helleson with the same glove.
When nothing was found, a sobriety test was given; after passing it, they were given a warning for littering and let on their way — and the entire event was captured by the dash camera of Farrell. While Helleson has been placed on paid leave, Farrell remains on active duty."

Link to Original Source
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Onion's Kim Jong Un "Sexiest man alive for 2012" Fools Chinese Media

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "In September, Iran's FARS news agency was duped by The Onion's Gallup poll — the one where "the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama."

Arguably besting the last breach of foreign media discretion, The Onion has now fooled China's The People's Daily in a hilarious nomination of Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest man alive for 2012". The article included amongst dozens of others, a featured image of Kim Jong Un proudly perched upon a speckled horse. Looking at the image, one is compelled to wonder what sort of envious subterranean tillage may be taking place on behalf of Kim Jong il. He really does look stunning!"

Link to Original Source
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DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival, DuckDuckGo, is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage.

Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, aka "filter bubbles"."

Link to Original Source
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Hubble and Spitzer Telescopes Find Most Distant Galaxy Yet

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "At a distance of 13.3 billion light-years from Earth and approximately 600 light-years wide, the MACS0647-JD is the most remote galaxy yet discovered. Combined application of the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes were able with the help of a natural "gravitational lens" (cluster of galaxies), to find what what would have otherwise been extremely unlikely. Space.com has an article on the subject along with a video locating the galaxy in the general direction of Ursa Major and Polaris."
Link to Original Source
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Valve's Big Picture Could Be A Linux Game Console

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Via LXer, a hopeful article at The Verge persuasively suggests that through Valve, Linux could soon become a formidable contender in the gaming arena, capable of holding its own against such giants as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Wii. With 50 million users, a growing Linux team, a caboodle of interesting experiments ("Steam Box" hardware baselines, etc.) and a strong conviction that more-open platforms are the way, Valve may actually see it through."
Link to Original Source
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Total Solar Eclipse Bedazzles Northern Australians

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Tuesday at 6.38am (2038 GMT Tuesday) thousands of Australians witnessed a solar eclipse in northern Queensland, where it was the first total eclipse in over 1000 years for the specific region. The most prominent view occurred in Cairns, while elsewhere in locations such as New Zealand, parts of Indonesia and Australia, partial eclipses were visible. Totality lasted approximately two minutes — a video (YouTube) can be seen here. Scientists are also taking the opportunity to study both land and aquatic wildlife in affected areas."
Link to Original Source
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Fully Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Via LXer, an article from PCWorld describes the A13-OLinuXino, produced by OLIMEX. Similar, but distinct from the Raspberry Pi, the Linux-powered OLinuXino is touted as "fully open", with all CAD files and source-code freely available for both personal and commercial reuse. Its specs include an Allwinner A13 Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 3D Maili400 GPU, 512MB RAM, all packed into a nano-ITX form and fit for operation in industrial environments between -25C and 85C. The device comes with Android 4.0, but is capable of running other Linux distros, e.g., ArchlinuxARM."
Link to Original Source
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Fully-Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin writes "As low-cost, compact, Linux-powered devices continue to improve, another interesting species has emerged. Via LXer, an article from PCWorld introduces the A13-OLinuXino, which has entered the scene sporting an Allwinner A13 Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 3D Maili400 GPU and 512MB RAM, in a compact nano-ITX form. Stock with Android 4.0, and capable of industrial environments between -25C and 85C, the A13-OLinuXino is produced by Bulgarian company, OLIMEX, and is said to be "fully open", with all CAD files and source-code freely available for any commercial and personal reuse.
A YouTube video exhibiting some this little beast's capabilities can be seen here.
Another (25 minute) YouTube video shows the OLinuXino running ArchLinuxARM, where several impressive feats are achieved, such as plug-and-play USB WiFi, setting up an apache PHP web-server, and a few others."

Link to Original Source
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Stuxnet Infected, But Didn't Affect Chevron Network In 2010

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "CNET and the Wall Street Journal in correspondence with Chevron representatives reveal that back in 2010, Stuxnet did reach Chevron, where it managed to infect, but not significantly affect their network. The issue was, according one Chevron rep, "immediately addressed" and "without incident". Chevron's general manager of the earth sciences department, Mark Koelmel, said to the CIO Journal:

"I don't think the U.S. government even realized how far it had spread," ... "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished."

"

Link to Original Source
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Director Of CIA, David Petraeus Resigns

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "After serving as Director of the CIA since September 2011, David Petraeus resigned from his position today, November 9. The retired four-star Army general has cited an extramarital affair as reason for the resignation. Michael Morell will now serve as Acting Director of the CIA."
Link to Original Source
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80,000lbs Of Walnuts Purloined In Northern California

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "While not quite as epic or bitter as losing 600 barrels of maple syrup — in two separate heists, 80,000lbs of walnuts have been stolen in Northern California since last week. The heist was discovered after the walnuts failed to reach their destinations in Miami, FL and Dallas, TX. If you happen to see a large man (approximately 6' 2") driving a white semi-trailer and munching on $300,000 worth of walnuts, it may be the villain. Officers with highly trained squirrels have yet to be posted at interstate weigh-stations."
Link to Original Source
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Federal Judge Approves Warrantless Covert Video Surveillance

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Your curtilage may be your castle, but "open fields" are open game for law-enforcement and surveillance technology. With "No Trespassing" signs a hundred or none, your private property is public for the law, with or without a warrant. What the police cannot do, their cameras can — without warrant or court oversight. An article at CNET recounts a case involving the DEA, a federal judge, and two defendants (since charged) who were subjected to video surveillance on private property without a warrant. Presumably, the 4th Amendment suffers an obscure form of agoraphobia further elucidated in the article."
Link to Original Source
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Secret Stingray Warrantless Cellphone Sippenhaft

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Last year a Slashdot story mentioned the case of Daniel David Rigmaiden, or "the Hacker". With the help of an IMSI-catcher device, law enforcement had been able to locate and arrest the elusive "Hacker", leading to U.S. v. Rigmaiden. But far more elusive than the "Hacker", is the IMSI-catcher device itself — particularly the legalities governing its use.

The secrecy and unconstitutionality of these Man In The Middle devices, e.g. "stingrays", has caught some attention. The EFF and ACLU have submitted an amicus brief in the Rigmaiden case; and EPIC, who after filing a FOIA in February and receiving a grossly redacted 67 out of 25,000 (6,000 classified) pages on the "stingray" devices, is now requesting a district judge expedite disclosure of all documents. Some Judges also seem wary of the "stingray", having expressed concerns that their use violates the Fourth Amendment; and additionally, that information explaining how the technology is used remains too obscure.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of ISMI-catchers is their several-kilometer range. When a "stingray" is used to spoof a cellphone tower, thousands of innocent users may be collaterally involved. And while the government claims to delete all gathered data unrelated to the target, it also means no one else can know what that data really was. The government claims that because only attributes of calls — but not their content — are captured in the attack, search warrants aren't necessary. The use of a pen-register (outgoing) and trap & trace (incoming) device, requires little more than a mewl of penal curiosity before a court, and no warrant or follow-up on the case is needed. The pen/trap seems unwieldy enough, as the EFF explains:

Most worrisome, we've heard some reports of the government using pen/trap taps to intercept content that should require a wiretap order: specifically, the content of SMS text messages, as well as "post-cut-through dialed digits" (digits you dial after your call is connected, like your banking PIN number, your prescription refill numbers, or your vote for American Idol). intercept information about your Internet communications as well.

Precisely what data these "stingrays" collect will hopefully be soon revealed through such efforts as those of EPIC.
It should be noted that the Stingray is one of multiple devices with the same application. The Stingray and several others are trademarks of the Harrison Corporation. Some are quite pricey ($75,000), and others are, as mentioned last year by a Slashdot reader, peculiarly affordable — and available.
For a more comprehensive overview of the subject, see the WJS article in the primary URL."

Link to Original Source

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Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "In 2011, en route to Baltimore, Tennessee mother Andrea Abbott was arrested after squabbling with the TSA over their pat-down and "naked" body-scan process. Initially Abbott had protested a pat-down of her 14 year-old daughter, though eventually backed off. When her own turn came, she refused both a pat-down and body-scan. This week, despite having no criminal record, Abbott was found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to one year of probation.

A surveillance video of the affair shows what appears an agitated Abbott surrounded by various TSA agents, but seemingly contradicts the premise by which she was convicted. In the case against Abbott it was claimed that her behavior impeded the flow security-lines and lawful activity. Beyond Abbott's confession of issuing some verbal abuse, the video does not appear to display a significant blockage of traffic nor anything noticeably criminal."

Link to Original Source
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NY Police Officer Arrested For Cannibal Plot

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin writes "From the BBC To Serve and Savor Dept., comes strange news of a New York City police-officer whose plot to kidnap, rape, torture and eat female victims has been thankfully foiled. Gilberto Valle, the aspiring cannibal, had been mining police databases for information on more than 100 potential victims. Email and instant-message conversations between Valle and another deranged companion lead to the arrest. In a quote from the BBC article, Valle is reported to have said:

"I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus... cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,"

"

Link to Original Source
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Italian Supreme Court Rules Cellphones Cause Tumors

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "In a case involving an Italian businessman who developed a brain tumor after 12 months of using wireless devices at his workplace, the Supreme Court of Italy has determined a "causal link". Innocente Marcolini is reported to have spent between 5 and 6 hours per day on wireless devices over a 12 month period — approximately 1300 hours.
Legitimate or not, the ruling is unlikely to go without debate. A rather large Danish study from 2006, which followed 420,000 Danish citizens over 20 years, indicated no correlation with cellphones and cancer. The study concluded that despite the tremendous increase of both cellphone usage and the amount of time spent on them, tumors haven't increased in significant proportion."

Link to Original Source
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Explosions in Louisiana Result In 2000 Meter Plume

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Shortly before midnight on October 15 — initially surmised by some as a meteorite — a large explosion occurred at a munitions facility near Camp Minden, Louisiana. Amongst those evacuated were hundreds of students and prisoners, though no fatalities have been reported. Doppler-images from the National Weather Service suggest the plume may have towered as high as 7,200 feet.

Apparently, large explosions are not uncommon in the Minden area. In 2006 an explosion resulted in over 1000 people being evacuated, and as recently as 2011 1000lbs of black powder exploded."

Link to Original Source
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Hiring Smokers – Banned In South Florida City

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "On October 2, City Commissioners of Delray Beach finalized a policy which prohibits agencies from hiring employees who use tobacco products. Delray Beach isn't alone though; other Florida cities such as Hollywood and Hallandale Beach, require prospective employees to sign affidavits declaring themselves tobacco-free for 12 months prior to the date of application. Throughout the states, both government and businesses are moving to ban tobacco-use beyond working hours. Many medical facilities, e.g. hospitals, have already, or intend to implement similar policy. In some more-aggressive environments referred to as nicotine-free, employee urine-samples can be taken and tested for any presence of nicotine, not excluding that from gum or patches. Employees testing positive can be terminated.

The primary rationale behind these policies has been frugality, citing greater insurance-costs for smokers, and the savings implied by eliminating them from the workforce. In some less aggressive situations, persistent smokers are imposed a "Tobacco User Surcharge" of $20 per paycheck and offered waived co-payments for smoking-cessation drugs.

Efforts to cut expenses and encourage better health seem perfectly normal. Policy prohibiting activities otherwise legal, but unbefitting a workplace environment also seem normal. However, employers or government defining employee's domestic lifestyles is a relatively new concept, especially when nothing illegal is involved. It would be difficult, if not impossible to argue that smoking is without consequences; but is breeching the boundaries of the household inconsequential?

Times do change, and adaptation is often a necessary burden. But have they changed so much that we'd now postpone the Manhattan project for 12 months because Oppenheimer had toked his pipe? Would we confine our vision to the Milky Way or snub the 1373 Cincinnati because Hubble smoked his? Would we shun relativity, or shelve the works of Tolkien because he and C. S. Lewis had done the same? If so, then where will it stop? Will we soon scan employees for signs of excessive sugar, trans-fats and cholesterol? Will we have authenticated and logged aerobics classes? I, for one, welcome answers from our new salubrious overlords."

Link to Original Source
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Eight Arrested In Russian High-Tech Export Scandal

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Millionaire Alexander Fishenko, owner of US-based Arc Electronics Inc, and seven others have been arrested in Houston Texas, with a total of 11 indicted in a conspiracy to smuggle advanced microelectronics from the US to Russia. The technology allegedly involves components of radar, weapons guidance, and detonators. Amongst the evidence are accounting records indicating notable similarity between the revenue of Arc Electronics and the Russian Federation's defense spending; intercepted phone calls and emails; and a letter to Arc Electronics from a Russian domestic intelligence lab complaining of defective microchips .
A Russian foreign ministry spokesman has denied there were any intelligence connections in the affair."

Link to Original Source
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Hiring Smokers - Banned In South Florida City

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Earlier this week, City Commissioners of Delray Beach finalized a policy which now prohibits agencies from hiring employees who've used tobacco products within 12 months prior to application. In other Florida cities, such as Hollywood and Hallandale Beach, prospective employees must sign affidavits declaring themselves tobacco-free for 12 months prior to the date of application. Elsewhere, throughout the states, both cities and businesses are moving to ban tobacco-use beyond working hours. The city of Fort Worth, TX is considering such bans, and many hospitals have already done so, or intend to. In some environments referred to as nicotine-free, employee urine-samples are taken and tested for any signs nicotine, not excluding that from gum or patches. Employees testing positive can be terminated.
The rationale behind these policies has been primarily economic, citing greater insurance-costs for smokers and the savings implied by eliminating them from the workforce. In some less aggressive situations, persistent smokers are imposed a "Tobacco User Surcharge" of $20 per paycheck and offered waived co-payments for smoking-cessation drugs.
As one might presume, this subject isn't without controversy. Many argue that in efforts to address the effects of tobacco, other confirmed sources of ill-health are treated with less concern, such as transfats, nitrates, obesity, excessive sugar consumption and sloth. The fact that not just smoking, but tobacco and nicotine itself are being banned beyond the workplace, is certainly worth some consideration — especially while they remain legal activities.
Is tobacco an intrinsically wicked plant? In Sweden, where tobacco products are commonly used in the form of snus, tobacco-related cancers are amongst the lowest in Europe. Due to its curing process, nitrosamines — a primary carcinogen in tobacco — are found in much lower levels in Swedish snus than in other tobacco products. Snus is even labeled as a food product in Sweden. Strangely, what so often seems left out of anti-tobacco rhetoric are the aspects of abuse, deceptive advertisement and peculiar ingredients. Whether or not tobacco can cause grievous harm is not a matter to contest; but maybe perspective has wandered. Would we decline employment to the likes of an Oppenheimer, Hubble, or Einstein because they toked a smoke 6 months ago? Surely one might encourage them to quit, but to shun? Have we become so self-righteous that we no longer lend others the privilege of indulging in lawful behavior? Without making any cases for a hideous industry, can it be asked if this is going too far?"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Dear Soulskill & Slashdot Kin - Farewell

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

This is my farewell to Slashdot. I once stated after seeing my submissions disappear faster than spam -- often while RED and bearing no negative tags -- that I'd leave Slashdot out of self-respect if it happened again. Although I made an exception or two afterwards, the time has now come. I do not waste my time to have even the effort of a summary squandered so aggressively whilst spam outlives my contributions. The title of this journal is due to the tendency for this to occur under the watch of Soulskill -- almost exclusively. Whether or not it has anything to do with any particular editor or not, I obviously cannot say with certainty. It has simply reached a point where I've come to expect it -- an unhealthy anticipation. Hopefully some of the 18 accepted submissions have helped to enrich things rather than otherwise; I definitely tried. As a final note to actual "friends"; my failure to reciprocate was Discordian in nature, and I was inclined only to friend my foes. For us Discordians must stick apart. Take care folks and keep the the excellent stories coming!

- Penurious Penguin

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Stratfor's (Abridged) Dictionary

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Intelligence:

Noun. (America, UK)

1. A collusive process whereby otherwise public information is made proprietary, assimilated and either (a) retained, or (b) reconstituted by the few for purposes of affecting the many

2. The art of making something seem more intelligent by obscuring the details necessary for thorough evaluation (See: esoterica)

3. A primary ingredient in propaganda

4. A private precursor to public ignorance

5. An expendable and valuable resource thought by oligarchs to produce results at a significantly-faster rate than wisdom, but with greater consequences and less predictable results on long-term scales

6. An industrialized, highly refined form of data-processing specially tailored for those deficient of intellect.

7. A misnomer, popular amongst uncreative pun enthusiasts (See Langley)

8. A theoretical state of mind thought by some to be obtainable by eliminating the thing itself

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Microsoft Releases Skype 4.1 For Linux

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Via LXer, Phoronix announces that Microsoft has released Skype 4.1 for Linux:

No official change-log has yet to emerge for the Linux version of Skype 4.1, but the closed-source VoIP program now has the ability to sign into Microsoft accounts and also chat with Microsoft Windows Live users.

Skype 4.1 for Windows was originally released in 2009 and is now up to version Skype 6.0. The OS X version of Skype was also updated to 6.0 last month with Microsoft and Facebook account integration.

I think I'll let this one cool down a bit before upgrading anything.

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90,000 Texans want to secede (ars technica)

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

Although a story on the subject of succession was posted on Slashdot yesterday, Ars Technica has one just out, which provides some additional insight and updates on the situation. 90,000 people is a pretty good start, considering it's a pretty new petition. Guess that's what the drones were for -- our leaders really look ahead!

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Fully Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Device (Yes, again)

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  about 2 years ago

I figured I'd submit this one last time (in journal) since the last two seem to have been rejected. I was quite intrigued by this device, especially since it appears to resolve some previously debated concerns regarding the openness of the Raspberry Pi. This final submission (via journal) is primarily in hopes of either receiving a comment (or two) as to why it is unworthy, or perhaps alternatively, some nods this time around. I was genuinely pleased to discover it, hence the persistence.

See Submission: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=2350381

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Explosions in Louisiana Result In 2000 Meter Plume

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

First, this first paragraph is not the submission. I am re-submitting the story below, but to journal this time. My reason for the second submission is exclusively because I observed the first one showing red consistently until it suddenly and rapidly disappeared altogether with no color change. It was still showing in the Firehose box to the left for a while, but not on the Firehose page (dubiously aka "Recent" page). I also observed a few other articles simultaneously disappear with far greater speed than I have ever noticed before; even spam lasts longer. I can imagine it being voted as offtopic, but I saw no added tags and it happened with peculiar speed. So there is my reason. See post below if desired:

"Shortly before midnight on October 15 â" initially surmised by some as a meteorite â" a large explosion occurred at a munitions facility near Camp Minden, Louisiana. Amongst those evacuated were hundreds of students and prisoners, though no fatalities have been reported. Doppler-images from the National Weather Service suggest the plume may have towered as high as 7,200 feet.

Apparently, large explosions are not uncommon in the Minden area. In 2006 an explosion resulted in over 1000 people being evacuated, and as recently as 2011 1000lbs of black powder exploded."

Primary Url: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/16/mystery-explosion-shatters-windows-lights-sky-in-louisiana/

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An encounter with 'invisible' parent-comments in Slashdot - Why?

Penurious Penguin Penurious Penguin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

First, this is NOT a submission. I was not aware of any other way to ask an informal question, so I've posted to /journal.

After making several comments on Slashdot today, I later checked for replies directly on the article's front page and discovered one of my comments appearing out of context. An image of this thread here(1) , shows I had responded to an AC who had replied to one of my comments. The AC's comment is clearly visible and it can be viewed by its ID here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3146679&cid=41472221, where you will see my reply, stupid or not, but in context.

In this image(2),

you can see that the threshold for displaying comments is set to Full, which still left the AC comment invisible while viewing its child-comment (my comment).

Image (1) was captured from within my user-account options, which automatically loads all comments for single threads. What I failed to realize is that to see all comments on the article page, I needed to click the Load All Comments option. See here(3). Yes, I know, eureka.

But without selecting the Load All Comments option, my comment is displayed without its parent, appearing as if I've responded to another user. Below is a [mis]representation of my comment as it would presumably appear to all other Slashdot users, regardless of their settings and whether logged in or not: See(4)

  It is unlikely that most Slashdot users select the Load All Comments option -- apparently resulting in some comments appearing completely out of context, almost guaranteeing they will be moderated as "Troll" or "Offtopic". It seems unreasonable for a parent-comment to be invisible when viewing its child-comment simply because the parent is rated zero or below (- 1). As I believe is well-illustrated by the images linked herein, such a protocol can corrupt otherwise normal or higher-rated comments. Has it always been this way? Is this more sensible than I realize? Do I have a point? Is this the cost of replying to ACs? Or am I missing something?

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