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Poor Design Choices In the Star Wars Universe

Rupert 38 States (832 comments)

People will live where there are economic opportunities, and state lines, where there is a steep gradient in the price or availability of certain items or services due to different state laws, provide those opportunities.
The boundaries of Minnesota are pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but moving them will not remove the incentives for liquor stores open on Sundays on the Wisconsin side and fireworks stalls on the South Dakota side (I believe the laws may have changed since I left, but the principle is the same).

more than 4 years ago

Are Women Getting More Beautiful?

Rupert Re:DEFINE: Subjectivity (834 comments)

I discussed this with my wife the other day, after she'd been watching the Fashion Channel. The audience for catwalk fashion shows is buyers (mostly commercial) of clothing, and that audience is dominated by thin women and gay men. Whatever the models on the catwalk look like, it doesn't tell you anything about contemporary tastes of heterosexual men.

about 5 years ago

Soccerbots Learn How To Fall Gracefully

Rupert Whatever next? (105 comments)

Argentinian soccerbots with hands.

This grudge is now 23 years old. Hopefully it will be moving out on its own once it's done with grad school.

more than 5 years ago

Study Finds the Pious Fight Death Hardest

Rupert Paley beat you to it (921 comments)

He compared the watch on the heath with a rock. Paley was no geologist, and didn't have any idea that you could actually inspect the structure of the rock, and get a very good idea of how long it had been there, how recently and how many times it has been buried, subducted, uplifted and exposed.

Rocks are beautiful and intricate. They're every bit as designed as life.

more than 5 years ago

Automation May Make Toll Roads More Common

Rupert How to do it wrong (585 comments)

Like they've done it on the new Orewa-Puhoi toll road north of Auckland:

* don't allow credit cards;
* don't allow any form of payment except cash at the toll booths;
* don't put in enough toll booths;
* make the toll booths hard to get to;
* make it hard to get back onto the motorway from the tollbooth;
* don't allow texting your licence plate number to a short code phone number (this is a particularly egregious omission in a country with more cellphones than people);
* put up far too many signs explaining how to pay, but don't *actually* say which forms of payment are accepted where;
* don't allow people to use their own bank's website to transfer money to you, but insist on them giving you their bank details, and promise to keep it secure.

For bonus points, spend 1.2 million dollars on a bridge connecting two dirt roads on private land, and put a gate at both ends.

more than 5 years ago

HTTPS Cookie Hijacking Not Just For Gmail

Rupert Thanks for the panic attack (128 comments)

So, if you maintain any sort of reasonable looking website secured by any SSL certificate (Sorry Rupert, you lose on both counts)

OK, when did it become funny to put the contents of my cookie in TFA?

Oh, and I am not responsible for the CSS on the sites I develop for my employer. Don't blame me for the dark blue text on a medium blue background.

more than 5 years ago


Rupert hasn't submitted any stories.



Next sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It's not quite time to change sigs yet, but here's a statistical anomaly from Phil Plaitt:

"One man's mean is another man's poisson."

I've found it attributed to both Anon and J.W. Haeffner, but Google knows nothing about the latter person apart from a single attribution of this phrase.

I might leave it attributed to the Bad Astronomer, just because it's a more /.y link.


Culture sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I've been re-reading some Iain M. Banks, and there are a couple of mottos that fit the .sigspace nicely.

I did toy with "Perfect AIs always Sublime" as being fairly /. relevant. I eventually decided on the more pithy .sig you now see on my posts.

Previous .sig pointed to the previous journal entry.



Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Who knows the minds of spammers? I've noticed a trend lately: about 75% of my spam (~30 emails a day) are "apparently from" either "National Refinance Exchange" or "Western Advisory". The actual "From" field generally looks fake (, and so on).

Blocking those two strings at my ISP has cut the amount of email I have to download by 2/3 (I don't get much real email <sniff>).

I don't get it. Why go to the effort of faking the from address, then sticking an identifiable string in front of it?


Total lunar eclipse on Tuesday

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The moon has decided to protest against Slashdot's North American bias. The lunar eclipse on May 4th will be visible everywhere in the world except North America, and the extreme eastern parts of Russia. NASA has a map of where the eclipse can be seen.


Another new sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

OK, so the Bush joke wasn't funny. Maybe I should have said "Bush managed to avoid a war in Vietnam".

New sig:
<br>-- <br>
If I use parts from Autozone to mount a Thinkpad running Suse into a Jeep, how much do I owe the Sco Group?


New Sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

This political joke occurred to me during Shrub's press conference on 4/13.

<br>-- <br>
What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?<br>
Bush has been to Iraq.

old sig was:
<br>-- <br>
<b>Karma:<b> Curate (mostly due to parts of it being excellent)


Slashdot's Journal System

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I love it. Otherwise these ideas would be taking up valuable neurons.


Would the real la donna e mobile please stand up

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So I was singing in the shower the other day, and it struck me that "donna e mobile" could be the kind of person that calls into talk radio: Donna E. from Mobile, AL. So I checked on for people called Donna in Mobile. Unfortunately, the only searches I could get to work are "E, Donna" (there aren't any) and "Donna E. *", which listed the following candidates:



New sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

New sig is a lame Karma joke that only windows programmers will get.


Karma: 3452816845 (mostly due to an uninitialized variable)

Old password was:

int x=354583890,y=371516;main(){putchar(x); x>>=y&7;y>>=3;return y?main():0;}


Niemoller on Outsourcing

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

First they outsourced the textile producers,
    and I didn't speak up,
        because I wasn't a textile producer.
Then they outsourced the auto workers,
    and I didn't speak up,
        because I wasn't a auto worker.
Then they outsourced the COBOL programmers,
    and I didn't speak up,
        because I was a Java programmer.
Then they outsourced me,
    and by that time there was no one
        left to speak up for me.


More .sig changes

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

David Gould pointed out that my sig really needs a line feed at the end. Fortunately, the bits line up like this:

'T': 01010100
LF: 00001010

So the only change required to my sig code was to change the intial value of y so that it did an extra shift of three bits.

Old intial value of y was 1010101100111100 (43836)
New intial value of y is 1011010101100111100 (371516)


Bug fix to sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

GCC didn't like my sig. Thanks to lemonjus and jungd for pointing this out.

New sig:

int x=354583890,y=43836;main(){putchar(x);x>>=y&7;y>>= 3;return y?main():0;}


I have discovered a wonderful sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

... but it is too long to fit in the space available.

"Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it."
Charles Babbage


New sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Obfuscated code sigs are terribly passe. I'm thinking of changing it to something my daughter said at the weekend, which pleased me in a Rugrats meets Star Trek (the original series) kind of way.



Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Old sig was


non est jam dicere, ut populus sic sacerdos, quia nec sic populus ut sacerdos - St. Bernard

New sig is:


int x=354583890,y=43836;main(){putchar(x);x>>=y&7;y>>=3;y ?main():exit(0);}


New sig

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 11 years ago

After my Star Wars review gets posted I'll take down the current sig:

Have you seen <A HREF="">Attack of the Clones on an IMAX screen?</A>

and replacing it with this one, which I saw quoted in Francis Bacon's essay "On Atheism":

non est jam dicere, ut populus sic sacerdos, quia nec sic populus ut sacerdos - St. Bernard

Translation in an anonymous reply to this journal entry, so keep your threshold high and you won't spoil your own translation efforts.


AotC IMAX review

Rupert Rupert writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I submitted this as a /. story, but I'm sure it'll be rejected.

Since it was my wife's birthday today, last night I took her to see Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones: IMAX edition. Notwithstanding the overuse of colons, this is a movie worth seeing, even if you think you already saw the movie.

If you haven't already seen AotC, you no doubt have your reasons, and there isn't anything in this edition to make you change your mind. Likewise, the plot still has gaping holes and Anakin is still moody, so if those were enough to make you hate this movie, you won't want to see it again. The action sequences gain little from the new presentation, as objects move too fast across the large screen to follow.

On the other hand, if you want to see the pores in Natalie Portman's skin, or the individual hairs in Christopher Lee's beard, this is the movie you've been waiting for. I suspect that some time was spent re-rendering the digital characters. Yoda, Wattoo and Jex Dexter stood out in close up, looking more real than the human actors.

Some scenes were cut from this edition. Some I didn't miss, such as Ani and Amidala frolicking in the meadow with the giant bed bugs. Others, such as almost all the scenes in Palpatine's office, and many of the Jedi Council made it even harder to follow what was going on.

You might be wondering where you can see the movie.

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