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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

RobotRunAmok "Slashdot Crowd Wisdom" ! (132 comments)

See, now thanks to you I have to clean all this coffee off my monitor...

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

RobotRunAmok Re: Which company is next in line? (353 comments)

Wrong answer, childless ideologue.

I and many more like me will tolerate plenty of email scraping if it results in the removal of pedophiles from free society. How much we will tolerate vs. how effective the perv purge is constitutes the thoughtful discussion. But being an ideologue. You don't want to think or discuss, you just want to pontificate and pretend your extreme point of view is the only sensible one because of its "purity."

about two weeks ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

RobotRunAmok Re: I take offense! (165 comments)

Our problem is that we have given a generation of attention-deficient gadgeteers who think that a reader-edited encyclopedia was a good idea public forums to spew their gerontophobic bias.

about a month ago
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Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

RobotRunAmok Re: Non-compete agreements are BS. (272 comments)

I talk to both HR drones and IT drones all the time, at various companies. And although, unlike you, I am hesitant to generalize, the HR people seem to have far and away more real world smarts and overall life-coping competence than their coding and server-jockeying colleagues.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

RobotRunAmok Re: Google+ has taken off? (71 comments)

Marketing a special social network for smart people is like marketing a special vanilla-creme filled chocolate cheesecake to health fanatics.

Which is to say, the moment they take the bait is the moment they demonstrate they're not whom you thought they were...

about 2 months ago
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I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

RobotRunAmok Re:David Weber (236 comments)

Honor Harrington? The first 67 books in the series were okay -- the ones that took place when Harrington was still a mere human. The last 589, however, have been a bit of a stretch. You know, the ones where she becomes a master space-yachtsman; a martial arts master; acquires a bionic arm; a bionic eye; an elite cadre of crack-shot martial arts masters bodyguards; a super-intelligent, super-empathic, telepathic, vicious pet "treecat,;" when her friends, relatives and everyone around her acquire these same "treecats;" becomes CEO of a planet-spanning multi-billion dollar corporation, fabulously wealthy Duchess of a land on a medieval planet, and High Admiral of the galaxy's most formidable space navy, close confidant of The Queen -- all the while boning the Prime Minister (while the PM's wife looks on approvingly because, well, she's Honor Harrington (see above)).

about 6 months ago
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Interview: Jason Calacanis On How His Hackathon Is Helping Create Companies

RobotRunAmok Calcanis was the Quintessential DotCom Era Tool (14 comments)

Smug, arch, deliriously self-absorbed, and given to carrying around precious little pet dogs like he was some kind of eccentric Bond Villain. That he would pay Slashdot to interview him -- and that he would be so out of touch as to think there were any genuine tech decision makers left on Slashdot -- comes as no surprise at all.

about 10 months ago
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Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

RobotRunAmok Re:Better answer (572 comments)

Just look at the outrage that these tweets have caused. It looks to me like gamers do care.

People who tweet about games care. Which is but a tiny fraction of the people who buy games (as tweeters are but a tiny fraction of the population in general, despite Big Media's attempts to have you believe otherwise, but I digress...).

This is Electronic Gaming's "AOL Moment." Back In The Day, we were all on Usenet. Which is to say, a rather insular community of us self-important early-adopter geeks that nobody could really make a dime from were all on Usenet. When AOL provided access to Usenet for all its users (or "AOLusers" as we called them -- weren't we so clever??), we bitched and moaned and derided and threatened and wrung our hands but there was nothing we could do because the great community of "Casual Users" was vastly larger than we hardcore hackers -- once they were shown what to do -- AND they spent money, AND they lined up in nice neat rows for the Marketers to measure and count and shepherd. The landscape was moved to catch where the dollars were dropping -- not to make Internet communities and communication better (well, at least as far as we self-important geeks judged "better").

And what is this based on?
My personal experience. I've played this course before...

about a year ago
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Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

RobotRunAmok Re:Better answer (572 comments)

Don't want a gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? Don't get one!

Exactly right.

And the market will show that the vast majority of gamers could not care less whether an Internet connection is required or not, so long as the game is fun. And since game development is all shifting towards multi-player anyway, with only token efforts being made for the lonely solo console players, this whole issue borders upon moot.

Five years from now, just two categories of game will be made: Multi-player for consoles, solo (with multi-player functionality) for mobile devices.

about a year ago
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Papa John's Sued For Unwanted Pizza-Related Texts

RobotRunAmok Re:Culling the herd (418 comments)

actual meatspace storefront .... Please.

actually using the word "meatspace" and you're *not* a character in a bad 90's era cyberpunk novel? ...Please.

about 2 years ago
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Hiring Smokers Banned In South Florida City

RobotRunAmok Re:Make it illegal (1199 comments)

If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one.

Substitute "a slave" for "abortion" and you have some insight into how Pro-Life voters feel.

The idea that a black African was a "person" with rights equal to his white owner was as crazy to half the country a few hundred years ago as the notion that an unborn child has rights equal to her mother is to half the country today.

Who knows? Maybe in a few hundred years someone who survived a third-trimester abortion will grow up to be President and vindicate the millions who were killed in utero, the way Obama vindicated his slave ancestors? Wouldn't that be lovely?

about 2 years ago
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Aircraft Carriers In Space

RobotRunAmok What th...?! (409 comments)

D00d, you wrote a 2000+ word essay -- on a Slashdot Blog! -- complaining about how the practical applications of Transporter Beams weren't effectively realized on Star Trek (Which is fictional, by the way. FYI)

You're, like, The Uber-Geek. The ur-Nerd.

I got the same weird mixed feelings of respect and mockery reading that essay that is usually reserved for when I see pictures of some Steampunk Cosplay Guy who's built a working jetpack. Over nights and weekends for the past three years.

Well done, Sir! I think...

about 2 years ago
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Aircraft Carriers In Space

RobotRunAmok Re:Nerds Ruining Entertainment (409 comments)

The Black Geary Books, as fans often refer to them, are "officially" known as the "Lost Fleet" books by Jack Campbell.

The first one is "The Lost Fleet: Dauntless." I believe there is a total of six in the series. He followed that series up with further Black Jack adventures in the now-ongoing series "The Lost Fleet: Beyond The Frontier."

The Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/R2vhfI

The neatest thing I found about the series (other than all the geometry), is that Black Jack -- a war hero revived after 100 years in stasis -- is the reverse-type to the trope of Ancient Badass Warrior Travels to Future and Kicks Soft Pasty-White Butts Living in Luxury Too Long. In Geary's "relative future," he is the Enlightened Man, using sophisticated naval tactics no longer taught at Academy because the peeps of that relative future are so angry and beaten down by a century of war that all they want to do is just ram their ships into the enemy and rip out their opponents' lungs with their teeth.

about 2 years ago
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Aircraft Carriers In Space

RobotRunAmok Love The "Black Jack Geary" Books! (409 comments)

But I also enjoy reading pure Mathematics texts.

The Black Jack books are the first ones I've ever read since the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series where I felt the need to keep a pen and paper nearby. Half the time it seems that Black Jack wins his engagements because he knows how to use a protractor and his opponents don't...

about 2 years ago
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Why It's Bad That Smartphones Have Banished Boredom

RobotRunAmok It's Official! (351 comments)

I can consistently pick out the Hugh Pickens submissions just by looking at the titles in the RSS feed.

And Hugh, please don't construe that as a *good* thing...

about 2 years ago
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Torvalds Uses Profanity To Lambaste Romney Remarks

RobotRunAmok I'm Confused... (1223 comments)

...when you say "cult," are you referring to Mormonism or Linux?

about 2 years ago
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New Twitter Policies Put the Kibosh On Mashup Services

RobotRunAmok A Petition?!! That'll Show The Bastards! (82 comments)

Yes, yes, it's easy to mock online petitions and their traditional worthlessness, but THIS petition has been written by a member of the "technorati," so maybe it has a chance.

God Speed, Brave Technoratus! Make Us Proud!!

about 2 years ago
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The Implications of Google Restricting Access To Anti-Islam Film

RobotRunAmok NSA: "Hello, Eric? Need a Quick Favor..." (727 comments)

I am absolutely floored by the notion that there are still journalists and media who believe that Google is not already in the pocket of the government and is not thriving merely because of that relationship.

about 2 years ago
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Magic: the Gathering Is Turing Complete

RobotRunAmok Re:News for nerds (135 comments)

There is a group of guys at my workplace who do it every day on their lunch hour.
And not a one of them would understand this story

Or how to make a baby.

about 2 years ago
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When a Primary Source Isn't Good Enough: Wikipedia

RobotRunAmok Taking Itself Way Too Seriously: Wikipedia (333 comments)

Wikipedia embraces "experts in the community," inflates them far beyond their objective worth when it comes to defending its credibility among legitimate encyclopedias, then goes all "Vonnegut in Back to School" when faced with legitimate experts who normally have little use for their sandbox.

Like I've always said: Want a wonderfully comprehensive summary of the 5th Season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or exegesis on some nearly forgotten Geek meme? Wikipedia's the place to go. Anything else? Not if your serious about it.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Top Authors Make Deal to Bypass Paper Publishers

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  about 4 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "Home to 700 authors and estates, from Philip Roth to John Updike, Jorge Luis Borges and Saul Bellow, the Wylie Agency shocked the publishing world yesterday when it announced the launch of Odyssey Editions. The new initiative is selling ebook editions of modern classics, including Lolita, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Updike's Rabbit tetralogy, exclusively via Amazon.com's Kindle store, leaving conventional publishers out of the picture. The issue boils down to who holds digital rights in older titles published before the advent of ebooks, with publishers arguing that the ebook rights belong to them, and authors and agents responding that, if not specifically granted, the digital rights remain with the author. Publishers and authors are also at loggerheads over the royalty that should be paid for ebooks: authors believe they should be getting up to double the current standard rate of 25%, because ebooks are cheaper to produce than physical editions."
Link to Original Source
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Government Approves First US Off-Shore Wind Farm

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "In a groundbreaking decision that some say will usher in a new era of clean energy, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today he was approving the nation's first offshore wind farm, the controversial Cape Wind project off of Cape Cod. The project has undergone years of environmental review and political maneuvering, including opposition from the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, whose home overlooks Nantucket Sound, and from Wampanoag Indian tribes who complained that the 130 turbines, which would stand more than 400 feet above the ocean surface, would disturb spiritual sun greetings and possibly ancestral artifacts and burial grounds on the seabed. But George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, hailed the decision, saying it was "a critical step toward ending our reliance on foreign oil and achieving energy independence. ""
Link to Original Source
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Bloggers Now Eligible For Press Passes In NYC

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "Wendy Davis, in Online Media Daily, is reporting that the New York City Police Department announced Tuesday that bloggers and others who publish on the Web will now be eligible for press credentials. The move comes as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by three Web journalists who were denied press passes. In New York, journalists with press passes are typically allowed to cross police barricades at public events."
Link to Original Source
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Who Will Control the iPad?

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "Ryan Tate, at Gawker, describes the "heated turf war" waging at the New York Times. The print and digital divisions have differing views over how much a subscription to the Gray Lady (iPad edition) should cost. The print troops believe $20-$30 monthly is the proper price point (fearing that setting the mark any lower will jeopardize print distribution), while the digital soldiers are digging in their heels at $10 a month. The Kindle version is already managed by the Print Army, so don't count on logic necessarily driving any decisions here. It's complicated: the Web version of the paper is still free through 2011, and the computer "Times Reader" has already been released and priced at $14.95 monthly."
Link to Original Source
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Nielsen Struggles to Track Modern Viewing Habits

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "Whether or not our media tastes run with the trendy crowd or not, we all tend to be aware of how "popular" or "highly rated" our favorite TV shows are. Founded in 1939, the Nielsen Company (formerly AC Nielsen) has been the principal entity tracking a TV show's popularity, and, by extension, it's potential profitability. But as our media consumption practices change, have Nielsen's methods kept pace? No, claims a new consortium which includes networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery and Walt Disney, all calling for the creation of a new audience measurement service, and planning to solicit bids from outside firms. Nielsen says they're not worried about so many of their customers ganging up on them, having just invested more than one billion USD in research to stay modern. Except that today Nielsen announced they would pointedly NOT be adding weights to DVR households and that adding weights for the presence of a personal computer or Internet access in under-represented households would provide "no significant change or enhancement" to its national TV ratings sample. The pundits deride Nielsen's "archaic" methodology and "Disco-Era Tactics," but others scoff that such a consortium will only "put the foxes in charge of the henhouse". Will stodgy-but-entrenched Nielsen retain it's Metrics Dominance? Or will it get knocked out by a slicker challenger? As they say on TV, "Stay Tuned...""
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Vogue Model Wins Right to Unmask Blogger

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  about 5 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "A Vogue cover girl has won a precedent-setting court battle to unmask an anonymous blogger who called her a "skank" on the Internet. In a case with potentially far-reaching repercussions, Liskula Cohen sought the identity of the blogger who maligned her on the "Skanks in NYC" blog so that she could sue him or her for defamation. A Manhattan supreme court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to turn it over. Justice Joan Madden rejected the blogger's claim that the blogs "serve as a modern-day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting", and should not be treated as factual assertions."
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Military Robot Feeds Off Dead Bodies

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies. It's called — wait for it — EATR, for Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot. The manufacturer, Robotic Technology, Inc., describes EATR's edge as "engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior." The diagram on the website's accompanying presentation show that the robot comes equipped with a gripping claw and a chainsaw. No, seriously."
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Obama Moves to Block Wiretap Program Challenge

RobotRunAmok RobotRunAmok writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobotRunAmok (595286) writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is reporting that US President Barack Obama has invoked "state secrets" to prevent a court from reviewing the legality of the National Security Agency's warantless wiretapping program and moved late Friday to have a lawsuit challenging the program dismissed. In the case Jewel v. NSA, the EFF challenged what they decried as the spy agency's "dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans." Obama Justice has claimed in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose the aforementioned and privileged "state secrets.""

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