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Comments

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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Skater Re:Lies and statistics... (445 comments)

Oh, yeah, I've been turned over to collections a couple times, because of old bills that weren't paid that I was unaware of. One was a medical bill for $100 that I thought had been paid but hadn't (an error on my part); another was a vehicle tax bill (in which my former state even HAD my new address but still somehow neglected to bother to contact me before heading to collections - and it turned out in fact I didn't owe them a cent; I was able to give three separate reasons for why I didn't owe that money) for $35. It wasn't a matter of not being able to pay it. Knowing what has happened to me makes me laugh at that 35% number - it's certainly artificially inflated with stupid debts in situations like mine - someone goofs (me or someone else) and the debt just sits there unbeknownst to you, until you check your credit report, apply for a mortgage, or get something in the mail about it. This reminds me, we haven't checked ours lately... last time I did, I found a credit card for Wal-Mart on my record, a card I've never had.

yesterday
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

Skater Re:Dragnet (490 comments)

That was Airplane!

2 days ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

Skater Re:Disclaimer? (346 comments)

I've tried replying to let them know they sent the email to the wrong address (as requested in the disclaimer), along with a bill for $200 for the service. They never respond.

about a month ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Skater Re:Supreme Court did *not* say corps are people .. (1330 comments)

To me, it's yet more evidence that our health insurance should not be tied up with our employment. I don't know what the right solution to untangling that mess is, but we have to do something different.

about a month ago
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I suffer from jet lag ...

Skater Re:Of course it depends... (163 comments)

I recently flew from the east coast of the US to Austria, a time change of 6 hours. I didn't sleep well on the plane over, got perhaps an hour on the first flight, followed by another half hour or 45 minutes on the second flight (woke up just in time to get food). Then my luggage didn't make it in, so I was awake until midnight Vienna time waiting for it - so I think aside from those naps I was awake about 36 hours straight. That was pretty rough - I've never pulled an all-nighter - but the next few days I did fine, actually. I also had an extra day in the schedule to let myself recover.

Coming back, I couldn't sleep on the plane so it was a really long day, but I woke up at 3:30 a.m. or so the next few days despite trying to keep my regular schedule and going to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. Then, my luggage arrived at 3 a.m., three days later. (Yes, British Airways delayed my luggage in both directions; fortunately the longer problematic delay was on the way home where I had other clothes and toiletries I could use.)

The hassle was definitely worth getting to visit Vienna. I didn't get to see everything, unfortunately, so I'll have to go back later.

about a month ago
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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

Skater Re:No. Simply No. (522 comments)

I've not heard anyone describe functionality added to MS Office since Office 2000. Excel has it's uses, but what have they done to it since, except forced people to learn new places for buttons?

Exactly! And they didn't really even do that - they just converted the drop down menus into the "ribbon". They didn't rethink the logic. For example, it still throws me - after using Word for at least 15 years - that page numbering is on the "Insert" menu/tab. I can see "inserting" page numbers the first time I add them to a document, but most of the time I need that control, it's because I'm editing page numbers that are already there, so "insert" is not the menu I think of when I want to do that. It should be a "page layout" option - it's something that's usually fixed on every page, in a defined layout, regardless of what else is on the page, like headers, footers, margins, etc.

In short, Microsoft didn't take the time to rethink how people use Office and see if they could perhaps improve efficiency, with a cost of a learning curve while people learned the new way. Instead, they just converted the menus to buttons and sold it as a huge upgrade, at the cost of the learning curve for the ribbon with no net gain in the end.

about 2 months ago
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Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

Skater Re:Grammar (329 comments)

Ever seen an older Airstream? Think that's dust?

The shells aren't, but often the frames are, or are close to it - they're just steel. (Airstream owner here, although ours is a relatively young one, built in '95. I do have quite a few friends with vintage units from the 60s and before, though. Some of them had to do shell-off restorations, starting with the frame, to get them usable again.)

about 3 months ago
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Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

Skater Re:America is *finally* implementing chip-and-pin (210 comments)

I'm going to Vienna, Austria (from the US) in a few weeks for work. My work-supplied credit card doesn't have the chip, so I asked about getting one with it. The area that handles the cards in my office said, "You're the first to ask about them," and called the credit card issuer. The CC company came back and said, "No, we don't issue them." Oddly enough, I have a personal CC in my wallet with the chip, issued by that same company. That card will be going with me to Europe.

about 2 months ago
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The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

Skater Re:Can we not have this political bullshit on /. ? (769 comments)

They used to have an entire section for politics, then it would be easy to remove those stories from the feed. This, for inexplicable reasons, is filed under "Hardware".

about 3 months ago
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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

Skater Re:Mass transit (398 comments)

i'm all for mass transit and use it almost every day, but i'm in NYC a lot of cities in the US aren't dense enough to support the costs of the system

I'm not sure mass transit is self-supporting anywhere in the world. But people see the build cost + maintenance costs and flip out, ignoring that roads also have a build cost + maintenance cost + police cost + etc.

about 3 months ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Skater Re:Burned once (194 comments)

Uh, Apple does make an adapter for it... I know it's $30, but it's at least a solution. (Our car has a USB port, so it's just a matter of changing the cable for us.)

about 3 months ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Skater Re:Less apple more ISO standard interface please (194 comments)

They failed to mention it only supports apple products.

Are you sure? Android phones now use something called "MTP", which most devices don't seem to support (neither of our car stereos do, one is a factory Honda, the other is a Pioneer; similarly, my Macbook Pro *still* can't connect to my S3, a year and a half after I bought the phone). Did you try a standard USB drive? I bet it'll work.

about 3 months ago
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The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

Skater Re:Does it really cost $100k? (461 comments)

They have those already - at least the sonar one. It pings for up to 30 days once it hits the water. The issue is that you have to be relatively close to the plane to hear the pinging. Even with Air France 447 when the ACARS data told us where the plane was as it was crashing, it still took almost two years and several searches to find the hull of the plane. In this case, it appears everyone spent the last several days looking in the wrong place, because the military either didn't report or no one listened to their report of spotting the plane in a very different, unexpected location over an hour after it disappeared off the civilian radar. I hope someone in charge wrote down that lesson.

As for the cost of the devices: How much is this search costing the countries involved? It's probably enough to pay for installation on quite a few airliners at this point...

about 5 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

Skater Re:Shazbot! (352 comments)

What I find amazing is there is a large segment of the population who will get up in arms over this kind of collection, dig out their pitchforks and storm the castle, but will willingly post GEO tagged photos online to document their "privacy" protest activities. These same people will run Google maps, Wayze or other applications on their smartphone to navigate their way to the protest, then do the same to find someplace to eat, while cranking up the coupon application to find a deal on the sandwich they are hungry for. These folks don't think twice about their privacy in any other context.

You don't see the difference? Google Maps, Waze, etc. provide a useful service to the user in return for that information. Repo camera databases don't.

about 5 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

Skater Re:COST (473 comments)

Yep. Also, I recently got life insurance, and one of the questions they asked me was, "Have you been aboard an aircraft other than as a passenger on a commercial airliner?" I wonder how much a "yes" answer would've cost me each month. I'd love to do it, but we're talking about $6000-$8000 just for the license, daytime, single engine only. How much more for any of the other certifications? I drive past an airfield every day on my way home from work and look longingly...then remember how much it costs.

Sport pilot would be cheaper, of course. But as you pointed out there are quite a few expenses aside from just the license.

And, it's not like you can, say, fly yourself to vacation to save money. A friend of mine has his license and his own plane (owned one before he even could drive, in fact), and still flies commercial whenever he needs to actually go somewhere.

about 6 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Skater Re: Why? (2219 comments)

That's the point of a protest though; to get the attention of people who might otherwise not notice that there is a problem. They are effectively picketing slashdot; inconveniencing the normal readers like you and I, to put pressure on the management to take their protest more seriously, and offer something more than just platitudes and empty promises.

It's not working...this is the first I've noticed ANYTHING, and I usually check /. a couple times a day. I have tags turned off, because they're useless, and I'm logged in. I may have looked at beta once or twice a while back.

I just looked at it and didn't care for it, though. What's with the useless, unrelated pictures - a compass for the article about GPS dead reckoning in cars? A picture of LEGO on an article about coding? Useless. I don't get the top "block" of three stories or whatever... what happened to the summaries of those? The menu bar is of little use to me - I don't browse by topic, and I doubt many others do, either. And the narrow comments isn't good, either - as deep as this thread is, my comment would be about one character wide in beta...all kinds of fun for reading! There is a trend amongst web designers to make everything very narrow, ignoring that the interruption while your eyes move to the next line makes the text harder to read and comprehend.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

Skater Washington Post paper (361 comments)

We get the Sunday Washington Post, which includes a free subscription to their website that can be shared with a second person. The coupons we get more than pay for the cost of the subscription, and I get the Sunday comics to read...on Saturday. My wife also checks the ads for sales on stuff we'll need soon. The newspaper itself goes right in the recycling bin, unfortunately. (Side note: this tells me there's a market for a service of just delivering coupons like the papers do, but it would make more money than the newspaper by ignoring the news!)

about 6 months ago
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Network Solutions Opts Customer Into $1,850 Security Service

Skater Re:NWS -- more info (405 comments)

The only reason I continue to use Network Solutions is because over the years (and yes, some of my domains have been up since the 90's as well) I've watched other name registering outfits come and go, seen various name server problems, etc., and for all their horrifying business practices and high prices, my sites seem to always work, which is what I place the most emphasis on.

Seriously? You can find reviews of plenty of other domain registration sites. I use pairnic.com (which is part of pair.com hosting...they've been around 18 years, according to the email they sent me the other day), and pay $14/year for domain names, without any of this crap, and I've been using them for at least 10 years. I'm sure there are plenty of other good ones, too. Don't reward an abuser.

about 6 months ago
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The Spamming Refrigerator

Skater Re:So guys... (90 comments)

A poor implementation doesn't mean it's a bad idea. If it was, Yugo would have killed the market for automobiles.

about 6 months ago
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Americans To FCC Chair: No Cell Calls On Planes, Please

Skater Re: FCC Shouldn't Ban It, But Airlines Should (340 comments)

I completely agree with you, but how long until an airline gets sued because a passenger was unable to take an emergency-related call? Reasonable policy exceptions must be allowed.

Well, how many times has the government been sued for that very same issue until now?

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Spam Law

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Skater (41976) writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the Virginia Supreme Court has struck down the anti-spam law that was used to convict spammer Jeremy James, on the grounds that the ability to be anonymous was more important than the problem of spam. Strangely, the same court only a few months ago upheld the law."

Journals

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Common Slashdot References

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Some common phrases you'll hear on /. and their sources:

"You insensitive clod": from an episode of the Simpsons, near the end. A pretty funny moment, too.

"I for one welcome our new alien overlords": Another Simpsons reference. Deep Space Homer.

"Cats and dogs living together": Okay, this one isn't that common, but I've heard it occasionally and just found the reference over the weekend. (This might not be the original source, but I think it is the reference.) Ghostbusters, said by Venkman while describing the destruction--and insanity--that will occur if the Ghostbusters aren't allowed to do their thing. (Click on "memorable quotes" to see the context for this one.)

"In Soviet Russia...": From the comedian Yakov Smirnoff, who had a repeating bit using this format. Here's a page talking about some examples: In Soviet Russia.

"All your base...": From a badly translated video game. Official video site. The flash videos are funny and pretty cool.

Feel free to post updates/corrections below!

Update 10/4/03:

"Imagine a Beowolf cluster of those!": Beowulf is a distribution of Linux that allows you to set up a computational cluster of computers. As cool as this sounds (and is), it's probably not worth setting up one in your home, because only certain classes of problems can be worked on a cluster of this type. (You probably can't have, say, Netscape run over the cluster to improve its speed.) Anyway, originally this comment was made seriously when a new, fast piece of hardware was introduced. However, it later became a joke to be used whenever ANY piece of hardware was introduced or resurrected, be it fast or slow. It's also used when the hardware being described in the article is in fact a cluster of some sort, so the joke is talking about a cluster of clustered systems.

"CowboyNeal" option in polls: My crack team of scientists have researched the polls to find the FIRST time CowboyNeal was used, and here it is! That poll was asking about "Favorite Muppet" and was intended to give the reader an "out" if they didn't like any of the Muppets listed. Previous polls picked on Rob Malda and other /. members, /. itself, or had "Huh?" as the "other" option if they had one at all. It soon became a regular option (I assume; I didn't check because the "crack scientist"--me--is tired of looking) and had the effect of splitting /. readers into three camps: those who loved the CowboyNeal option, those who hated the CowboyNeal option, and the rest of us that just don't care.

Natalie Portman's hot grits: A star of the Star Wars (Episode I, II, and III) movies. Geeks near her age lust after her (she's a little young for me, although she is pretty). I'm researching the "hot grits" part now.

GNU/Linux, GNU/RMS, etc: Richard M. Stallman, founder of the GNU Project, wants people to call our favorite operating system GNU/Linux instead of just Linux. His justification for this (and he has a good point) is that Linux is just a kernel and would be useless without the dozens of tools that prop it up to make it a true operating system. Unfortunately, he's known for being extreme, which makes anything he says suspect in many people's minds. Also, many people point out that other software (not GNU) is also integral to Linux: for example, they might say, "X Windows is integral to Linux on most desktop machines, so should we call it 'GNU/X/Linux'?" Some people like to throw the whole "GNU/" thing back at RMS, and so call him "GNU/RMS", probably not with the highest respect in mind. (PLEASE don't start this debate here. I'm just trying to give an unbiased overview of the issue!)

Ellen Feiss: She did one of the Apple "Switch" ads. Here's a link to the page on Apple.com for her. You used to be able to watch the videos there, but I didn't see them now (after only a quick look). She became an internet sensation, unlike most of the rest of the Switch people, because...well, because these things happen and no one can explain them.

Update 10/5/03:

"But, does it run Linux?": I haven't seen this one as much recently, but for a long time, any time some unusual, unique, or very powerful hardware was introduced, someone would ask if it runs Linux. This later turned into a joke. Also, you might see the joke turned around: if a piece of equipment is introduced that is intended to run Linux (for example, the Sharp Zaurus), someone might ask, "But, does it run Windows?"

Update 2/16/04:

It appears the phrase "you insensitive clod" appeared in a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon before the Simpsons used it. See this post for more info and a link to the strip.

--RJ

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Spam Spam Spam

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Someone used my Yahoo e-mail account address on the "From" line of spam. Fine--it's not the first time it's happened, and it's annoying, but I don't use the Yahoo account for much other than a spam trap, so it's not a big deal to me. (The username is pretty simple, because I signed up with Yahoo so long ago.)

However, someone felt it necessary to mailbomb my mailbox with "Fuck Off" messages, containing copies of the spam that was sent. There are two problems to this that I can think of immediately:

  1. Anyone smart enough to launch a mail bomb should know the "From" line is almost always forged. How dumb can you be?
  2. With a look at the headers, it's quite obvious this person resorted to the exact same tactics as the spammer.

The second part reminds me of the war protestors that started throwing rocks. Hello? Anyone in there?

Okay, none of these are new or even particularly interesting points. But now I've vented and feel better. Thanks. :)

--RJ

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