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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

Rob T Firefly Thanks Rob! (1521 comments)

I drifted away from Slashdot site long ago, but I had to come back to comment on this. For a certain period of my life, Slashdot was a major chunk of my day, every day. The stories and community here never failed to make me happy, angry, informed, distracted, thoughtful, content, and LOL many times a day, and some of the friendships I made here have held fast since I left. All the best of luck to you, Taco. I look forward to whatever you do next, I predict it will be awesome.

more than 3 years ago
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Nissan Gives Electric Cars 'Blade Runner' Audio Effect

Rob T Firefly Re:Ffffffsssss (553 comments)

Throw in the sound of the TARDIS from Doctor Who and I'll finally have a reason to get a driver's license.

more than 5 years ago
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Atari Talks Ghostbusters Date, Popular Franchises

Rob T Firefly Re:When the opportunity for a...memory lane. (33 comments)

Nostalgia counts for a lot. Kids who grew up watching the movies and cartoons and playing with the toys are now adults with game consoles and disposable incomes.

about 6 years ago
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Obama's Mobile Phone Records Compromised, Shared

Rob T Firefly Obama vs Palin (278 comments)

When Sarah Palin's personal email was compromised, she was enjoying the customary United States Secret Service protection extended to major candidates for 120 days before the election. As such, the Secret Service were all over the case as well as the FBI, and the fellow responsible was quickly identified and punished.

What's different about this case? Why is Verizon able to play this whole thing off as some minor internal thing that's no big deal really when Obama is such a high proile target?

about 6 years ago
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AIX On the Desktop Is Getting the Boot

Rob T Firefly Re:No, (366 comments)

That reminds me, does anyone have a copy of Ubuntu on UNISERVO tape for my UNIVAC?

more than 6 years ago
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Ender in Exile

Rob T Firefly Re:Boycotting Card (507 comments)

I'm really not sure how you got any of that from what I wrote.

more than 6 years ago
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Ender in Exile

Rob T Firefly Re:Nope, sorry (507 comments)

you can enjoy someone's work without condoning their lifestyle... grow up.

I believe an important part of growing up is taking the bigger picture into account, and deciding who and what we support based on more than just our immediate personal result.

Just because he thinks different than you doesn't make his books any less enjoyable.

Personally, for me it does. I never got around to checking out Card's workt though it's often been recommended to me by those who know my tastes, but if one of his books were put in my hand now I'd see the name of a man who has seen fit to loudly classify many of my family and friends as second-class citizens.

My money and time is best spent elsewhere.

more than 6 years ago
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How To Build a Web 2.0 Government?

Rob T Firefly Re:WTF? No feed? (249 comments)

The "blog" and "press room" each have an RSS feed. The little wavy icons can be seen on this page, though they are grey rather than the customary orange.

more than 6 years ago
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How To Cut In Line and Not Get Caught

Rob T Firefly Re:Instant Cut Priveleges (256 comments)

You forgot one of the most obvious:

4) Be a boobie-having female. Cut in front of a single guy, possibly after making eye contact and smiling slightly.

more than 6 years ago
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Inventor Open Sources "TV-B-Gone," and Why

Rob T Firefly Re:patent vs opensource (340 comments)

How would making your product open-source versus going the traditional patent route increase your sales? I understand that it helps to improve the product, but wouldn't this also allow other companies to sell the improved product as well?

A) He's not looking to increase sales. As has been noted here and elsewhere, Mitch doesn't do what he does to get rich. He works to support his activism pursuits, of which making people question their dependence on television is one.
2) He's using Creative Commons, which offers distinct licenses for free non-commercial use, hacking, and improvement vs. commercial use. I imagine he'll go that route in order to keep things free yet avoid commercial knockoffs.

more than 6 years ago
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Depressed Astronauts Might Get Computerized Solace

Rob T Firefly Quick, cheap, and easy alternative (138 comments)

Write the following on sticky notes and place them around the ship:

CHEER UP, EMO ASTRONAUTS!
You have the coolest freaking job in the whole damn stupid world.
Untold thousands of nerds would do anything to get where you are, but the closest they'll ever get are sewing together their own Star Trek uniforms.
Get over your damn selves, and get back to being awesome.

more than 6 years ago
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Number of ET Civilizations In Our Galaxy Is 37,964

Rob T Firefly Re:My estimate (544 comments)

1.

Is that the mice, or the dolphins?

more than 6 years ago
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Machines Almost Pass Mass Turing Test

Rob T Firefly The other half of the conversation (580 comments)

You: I was fooled.
Eliza: Why do you tell me you were fooled just now?
You: I mistook Eugene for a real human being.
Eliza: Can you elaborate on that?
You: In fact, and perhaps this is worse, he was so convincing that I assumed that the human being with whom I was simultaneously conversing was a computer.
Eliza: Why do you mention computers?

more than 6 years ago
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Government Begins Securing Root Zone File

Rob T Firefly Ah, screw it. (198 comments)

I vote we just give it to Cowboyneal.

more than 6 years ago
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Solyndra's Thin-Film Solar Cells Draw $1.2 Billion In Orders

Rob T Firefly oblig. (131 comments)

Can I use a series of these tubes to power my big truck?

more than 6 years ago
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Spacecraft Buzzes By Mercury

Rob T Firefly Oblig. (62 comments)

The data returned by the craft seems to consist mostly of photos of a skinny guy with a moustache singing about champions and radios.

more than 6 years ago
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MI6 Terror Photos, Data Accidentally Sold On Ebay

Rob T Firefly Re:That was harsh. (317 comments)

I hope they intend to replace it

TFA: "The police have reportedly replaced the seized equipment, at a cost of £1,000."

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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RFID Tracking Games at HOPE

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "As a social experiment, attendees to The Last HOPE hacker conference will be issued with RFID badges, which will track their movements throughout the event.

As discussed by HOPE staff on last night's episode of Off The Hook, the badges will serve as the entry point to a series of multilayered games which will run throughout the conference. Players will be able to connect with participants with similar interests, find and exploit vulnerabilities in the tracking system, negotiate with an artificial intelligence for clues via SMS, and more, all while deciding how much of their own privacy to protect and/or violate in pursuit of their goals. The results will be publicly displayed in real time throughout the conference.

The RFID badges and participation in the game will be limited to the first 1500 preregistrants. The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 in New York City."

Link to Original Source
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17 Dangerous Cinematic Computers

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "The Onion's AV Club has a feature on evil sci-fi film computers. While the usual suspects such as HAL from 2001, Tron's Master Control Program, and The Matrix all put in obligatory appearances, it's nice to see some lesser-known malevolent AIs from the past few decades of cinema holding their own on the list."
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Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "New York Newsday reports on a recent stint by Lauren Nelson, the current "Miss America," as the bait in an online pedophile sting operation. As part of her stated goal to use her "reign" to promote Internet safety for children, Nelson gave police in Suffolk County, New York, photos of herself as a teenager, with which a fake online profile for a 14-year-old girl was created. From there it was a standard pedophile sting operation, with several men chatting with her online, and eventually going to "her" house to meet her for sex.

From the article:

Nelson said she welcomed the men into the home when they arrived, but that's when Suffolk officers and the rolling cameras of "America's Most Wanted" television show with John Walsh, moved in, according to an account on the show's Web site.
The sting will be featured on the America's Most Wanted show on Saturday. As one commenter to the story on Newsday's site put it, "Boy, I can imagine the disappointment on those guys' faces when Miss America opened the door to let them in.""
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Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "In a posting on their website, the organizers of the Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition have updated their response to the controversy surrounding the blacklisting of Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (as reported previously on Slashdot here, here, and here.) They place the blame for the game's removal on the potential legal battles which could result from showing it to the public.

From the posting:
This is not a case of Slamdance lacking courage, sponsor disapproval of showing Danny's game or wanting to control freedom of expression. Simply and practically, Slamdance can't afford to take on the scope of this potential loss by showing the game to the public.
Slamdance now plans to hold a panel discussion regarding the controversy on January 21st.

In a related story Toblo, one of the seven games which was withdrawn by creators in protest of SCMRPG!'s blacklisting, has been readmitted to the festival by the school the creators attend. This was done without the consent of the creators, who have responded with their disapproval on the game's website, affirming their refusal to present or accept any awards on behalf of the game. They will, however, use their existing travel arrangements to attend the festival and Slamdance's discussion panel."
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Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  about 8 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "Hong Kong newspaper The Standard reports on what seems to be the world's first case of a BitTorrent movie pirate being sent to jail. After losing his appeal against a November 2005 conviction, Chan Nai-ming, a 38-year-old BitTorrent user known as "Big Crook," has begun serving a prison sentence for making the films "Daredevil," "Miss Congeniality," and "Red Planet" available for download via BitTorrent. His appeal was based on the fact that he did not profit from the piracy.

From the article:
[Appeals Judge] Beeson noted [convicting magistrate] MacIntosh, in handing out the sentence, was fully aware of the noncommercial nature of the case, but measured the seriousness of the case by the harm done to the moviemakers — not by the gain made by the offender. Chan, and those in the chatroom, "were aware of the possible criminal implications of uploading films to the system," Beeson wrote.

She also noted the sentence was already drastically reduced, from a maximum of four years, to three months, in order "to reflect the novelty of the conviction."
"
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Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  about 8 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "Newsday reports that US Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ) plan to intruduce a bill that would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, to facilitate their monitoring on social networking sites such as MySpace.

From the article:
Under the proposal, sex offenders would be required to register their active e-mail address with parole or probation officers. Online companies, such as social networking sites, would check an e-mail address of a new member against the offender registry, which would reveal whether the member was a sex offender.
I wonder about this not only because anyone can get a new throwaway email address, but also because of the apparent transfer of responsibility to the websites involved. What legally constitutes "social networking?" Could a law like this force everyone from MySpace to Slashdot to random bloggers into picking up a government blacklist and policing their users with it?"
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Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Rob T Firefly writes "MGM announced an animated TV series based on Mel Brooks' classic scifi spoof Spaceballs. Brooks and Thomas Meehan, who wrote the original film, were co-writers on the animated pilot, with Meehan supervising the writing of all 13 half-hour episodes. Brooks will also reprise his roles as President Skroob and Yogurt. The series is set to debut on G4 in Fall 2007.

Will the Schwartz be with G4?"

Journals

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OTH: 9-17-08

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago On behalf of the show and myself, I'd like to thank the Off the Hook listeners among you.

For one thing, so many of you are coming through with an awesome show of support during the current WBAI fundraiser, allowing us to thunder past our pledge goals like a crazed herd of sweaty community-radio-supporting buffalo. Some of us had to leave the studio partway through last night's broadcast and help out the volunteers taking pledges in the phone bank, it was that busy. :-)

Even if you aren't among those willing or able to pledge, thank you for listening. Were it not for you, we would all just be a bunch of strange people closed up in a soundproof room talking to ourselves, which wouldn't be nearly as fun.

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They've killed my Metamod!

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago At work I'm stuck using MSIE6 for Windows XP Pro (I know, I know, but I'm not IT and I have no power here, nor do I wish for any.) Slashdot's Firehose feature never worked in it; the +/- buttons simply fail to do anything. I never minded, since I didn't really dig sifting through the Firehose.

Now they have suddenly gotten rid of the old meta-moderation system and replaced it with an extension of the Firehose functionality.

Since I do most of my Slashdotting form work, this basically means I have to go from metamodding regularly in the course of killing time at the office, to metamodding during the occasional evening I'm Slashdotting from home.

Bumtastic.

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OTH: 8-20-08

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago Among other things on last night's Off the Hook, we had the privilege of speaking with Michelle Kempner, wife of James Powderly. There wasn't all that much new info to report, but it's well worth a listen to anyone interested in the story. You can listen to the segment here or the entire show here.

Updates on James and his situation will be posted to his Free Art & Technology blog.

Off the Hook will be off the air for the next couple of weeks, making way for WBAI's coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The show will return on September 10.

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Grand Theft Auto: The Text Adventure

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

You are on a generic city street.
There are pedestrians here.
There is a car here.

> STEAL CAR

You force open the door of the car, pull out the protesting owner,
and sit in his place. The victim gesticulates angrily at you from
outside the car.

You are in a car. There is a rap song playing on the stereo.
There are pedestrians here.
There is an angry car-theft victim here.

> DRIV CAR

I don't know how to DRIV.

> DRIVE CAR

You put your foot on the gas pedal, and the car moves forward.

You are in a moving car. There is rap music playing on the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> CHANGE STATION

You change the radio station.

You are in a moving car. There is country/western music playing on
the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> KILL PEDESTRIANS

What would you like to kill the pedestrians with?

> KILL PEDESTRIANS WITH CAR

You deliberately drive over some of the pedestrians. Their horrific
screams of panic and anguish drown out the radio. Their broken
bodies fly off in various amusing directions. Other pedestrians flee
in terror at the carnage-laden sight, while still others ignore the
situation entirely.

You are in a moving car. There is country/western music playing on
the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> CHANGE STATION

You change the radio station.

You are in a moving car. There is talk radio loaded with subtle
social commentary playing on the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> _

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The Last HOPE to feature over 100 talks.

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago We've posted the full schedule of talks which will be featured at The Last HOPE.

The conference will feature an unprecedented 100 talks, squeezed into three tracks over three days. There will also be an unscheduled track, where anyone who shows up and claims a timeslot can speak about anything they wish, and various ongoing activities and presentations in other areas of the con space. I think it's safe to say there will be a far broader and more eclectic spectrum of things to see and do at this hacker con than ever before.

The Last HOPE will take place from July 18-20, 2008, at New York City's Hotel Pennsylvania.

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RFID Tracking Games at HOPE

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

As a social experiment, attendees to The Last HOPE hacker conference will be issued with RFID badges, which will track their movements throughout the event.

As discussed by HOPE staff on last night's episode of Off The Hook, the badges will serve as the entry point to a series of multilayered games which will run throughout the conference. Players will be able to connect with participants with similar interests, find and exploit vulnerabilities in the tracking system, negotiate with an artificial intelligence for clues via SMS, and more, all while deciding how much of their own privacy to protect and/or violate in pursuit of their goals. The results will be publicly displayed in real time throughout the conference.

The RFID badges and participation in the game will be limited to the first 1500 preregistrants. The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 in New York City.

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Steven Levy to speak at HOPE

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago Journalist and author Steven Levy is our first confirmed keynote speaker for The Last HOPE. As a fan of his work, I'm pretty excited about that.

According to a top-secret inside source on the HOPE staff (myself) there is lots of other neat stuff in the works. For instance, check out these projects we've announced so far.

Stay glued to the con's website for updates, and check out the various ways in which you can participate. Additionally, please join in our discussions at the HOPE forums.

Hope to see you there!

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Snow Crash

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago I know some Slashdotters will get a kick out of this.. among other classics, "Snow Crash" made the AV Club's list of fictional drugs. (article / printer-friendly version)

From its entry, #16 in their list: "In Neal Stephenson's breakthrough novel Snow Crash, the titular substance is both a drug and a computer virus, as well as an ancient Sumerian curse of sorts -- in fact, it's practically a floor wax and a candy mint too."

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Large good things

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an amazing image of the Large Hadron Collider, CERN's contribution both to cutting-edge science and Slashdot's "hardon" jokes.

In other news, local pranksters Improv Everywhere have posted a new stunt in which their agents went into Starbucks and set to work not with laptops, but full-on desktop systems with CRTs.

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Declarations

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 6 years ago NYC2600 has a new What You Say!! up. Go caption strange people!

Also, if you have the wherewithal to do so, kindly post the words blank expressions somewhere on the Internet, hyperlinked to http://www.2600.com/offthehook/ . As declared in the January 30 episode of that show, it's for science and stuff.

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County jail inmates to be arraigned over Internet

Rob T Firefly Rob T Firefly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

When an inmate at the Riverhead County Jail in Southampton, NY, commits a crime, they are arraigned for it at the Southampton Town Hall. Concerns about overcrowding the Town Hall with prisoners awaiting arraignment, and the fact that it is next to a school, have led to a plan to conduct future inmate arraignments via Internet-based video conferencing.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be arraigned over a webcam. I never look good in those things.

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